Vacation

We went on vacation to New Orleans in April.  Jasha had a work conference there, so the boys and I accompanied to take advantage of the opportunity to see a new place.

Most of the pictures I took are on my “real” camera, and of course won’t be downloaded for several months.  Here are a few  pics from my cell phone!

Shopping at the New Orleans Children's Museum Winn Dixie store
Shopping at the New Orleans Children’s Museum Winn Dixie store
Atlas loved this chicken coop at the New Orleans Children's Museum!  He loved the stuffed chickens and the toy eggs.
Atlas loved this chicken coop at the New Orleans Children’s Museum! He loved the stuffed chickens and the toy eggs.
Atlas ready for another sunny day!
Atlas ready for another sunny day!
Unfortunately, it was rainy and cloudy most days.  This was the fountain outside of our hotel that we played at several times.
Unfortunately, it was rainy and cloudy most days. This was the fountain outside of our hotel that we played at several times.
Taking a ride on the streetcar.
Taking a ride on the streetcar.
Enjoying the pool.  We didn't actually get to go swimming due to the weather, but we did splash in the water a bit.
Enjoying the pool. We didn’t actually get to go swimming due to the weather, but we did splash in the water a bit.
Speaking of weather...
Speaking of weather…
This is at the butterfly garden at the Audobon Insectarium.  We enjoyed all the Audobon attractions in the area (aquarium, zoo, and IMAX theater).
This is at the butterfly garden at the Audubon Insectarium. We enjoyed all the Audubon attractions in the area (aquarium, zoo, and IMAX theater).
Atlas showing off his new hoodie.  Ender got one from the aquarium that looks the same except it's navy blue and has a shark on it.
Atlas showing off his new hoodie. Ender got one from the aquarium that looks the same except it’s navy blue and has a shark on it.
Ender and his "wokotakies".  He pointed out this painting every time we entered the hotel lobby.  In, fact, the wokotakies have actually followed us home and live outside our house now (sometimes he lets them inside as well).
Ender and his “wokotakies”. He pointed out this painting every time we entered the hotel lobby. In, fact, the wokotakies have actually followed us home and live outside our house now (sometimes he lets them inside as well).

Another Winter Afternoon – Natural History Museum

Ender has been really interested in skeletons lately.  I don’t even remember how we started talking about skeletons, but he is constantly asking to see pictures of skeletons on my phone.  A few Ender quotes:

“Can I see a fish skeleton?”

“I want to see my skeleton!”

“Mommy, my skeleton is inside my body!”

So, when my parents wanted to get together this past weekend, I thought Ender would really enjoy a trip to the natural history museum about an hour from our house.

The trip went well.  We had Japanese for lunch and Atlas tried sushi (Ender refused all food).

Ender was pretty sick still at this point and he ended up falling asleep at the museum and getting carried around.  But overall, I’d say the trip was a success and I’d do it again.

This is how I feel about them - the whole world is theirs if they want it!
This is how I feel about them – the whole world is theirs if they want it!
We were looking at some rib bones and he was showing us his ribs.
We were looking at some rib bones and he was showing us his ribs.
Great picture of Atlas and Daddy!
Great picture of Atlas and Daddy!
He wanted to crawl right in there.
He wanted to crawl right in there.
Atlas was tracking Darwin's journeys.
Atlas was tracking Darwin’s journeys.
Ender loves owls.  It was really neat for him to see an owl skeleton.  He was also excited about the owl egg.
Ender loves owls. It was really neat for him to see an owl skeleton. He was also excited about the owl egg.
My mom bought the boys each a gift.  Ender's was the ice cube tray which was taking a ride in the dugout canoe.  He'd get really mad if you took it out.
My mom bought the boys each a gift. Ender’s was the ice cube tray which was taking a ride in the dugout canoe. He’d get really mad if you took it out.
This was the possum display.  I love it.  I can't explain why.
This was the possum display. I love it. I can’t explain why.

Winter Afternoons – Kid’s Museum

We have a great little kid’s museum near our house.  It’s the kind with kid-sized stores, hospitals, banks, etc.

One great thing about the community we live in is that each month, a local business will sponsor a “free” day at this kid’s museum.  So last week, we took advantage of one of these free days and spent the chilly afternoon at the museum!

Ender had actually been sick at school but perked up in order to enjoy the museum.

I think the boys’ favorite part of the museum was the little grocery store.  It had the packaging from real food items.  It also had little tiny grocery carts, little mini conveyor belts, and working cash registers that provided real receipts!

One of the hits of the day was the grocery store.  Here are the boys enjoying a shopping trip together.
One of the hits of the day was the grocery store. Here are the boys enjoying a shopping trip together.

 

Atlas thinks we need some onions.
Atlas thinks we need some onions.
Ender didn't know what several of the food items were (for example, frozen pot pies).  When asked what an item was, he'd happily say "I don't know!".  That certainly didn't stop him from adding the items to his cart!
Ender didn’t know what several of the food items were (for example, frozen pot pies). When asked what an item was, he’d happily say “I don’t know!”. That certainly didn’t stop him from adding the items to his cart!
Cashing out with the very realistic cash register.  It even had a scanner to scan the barcodes on each item.
Cashing out with the very realistic cash register. It even had a scanner to scan the bar codes on each item.
When Atlas took the money out of the cash register, Ender said "that's daddy's!".  Because apparently only daddy holds money.  haha
When Atlas took the money out of the cash register, Ender said “that’s daddy’s!”. Because apparently only daddy holds money. haha

The first time we visited this museum, the hospital (complete with ambulance) was the runaway hit for the boys.  This time, they weren’t quite as into it.  Ender was giving the doll a shot in her eye, which sounds pretty horrifying.

We have no idea what this stuff is!
We have no idea what this stuff is!

Another big hit is the water table.  The water table has pegs into which you can slide these plastic rectangles in order to direct the flow of water.  This is useful for creating areas for Atlas where his toys won’t float away.  Ender really loves the fishing toys (magnetic poles and fish).

Ender trying to get his brother to fish with him.
Ender trying to get his brother to fish with him.

The museum has quite a few agricultural displays.  For example, they have a gardening plot, a display about farm animals, this really neat grain conveyor belt, and several pieces of farm equipment you can climb into.  Ender just wanted to try to lock Atlas in the barn.

Waiting for his change to lock Atlas in the barn.
Waiting for his change to lock Atlas in the barn.

This was a really great to spend the chilly afternoon and I hope we can do it again next month!

Making the most of 30°F

It was significantly warmer than it has been this past Sunday.  We took advantage of the warm weather to try out the awesome sledding hill near our house.

The hill is actually super huge.  It starts out as a very tall hill (like 100 yards up maybe?), then flattens out over a road, which is closed in the winter, then finishes with a much smaller hill (maybe 25 yards).  We spent most of our time on the smaller hill at the bottom.

Ender LOVED sledding.  He just laughed and giggled the entire time.  At one point, he got sick of walking back up the hill after sledding down and started crying.  I mean, I totally understand.  Walking back up the hill after sledding down is a real bummer.

Ender's first sled, then walking back up
Ender’s first sled, then walking back up

Atlas sat in our awesome wooden baby sled, which was a gift for Ender’s first Christmas from my parents.  It’s got a back and a cushion, so it’s great for pulling kids around in.  I did try taking Atlas down the hill once, but he seemed scared and cried as we were going down.  So maybe he’s a bit too young to enjoy sledding!

Baby Baby

The only mishap of the day happened when a Ender’s sled collided with another kid’s sled.  Yeah, he cried.  But he got over it and still wanted to sled after that.  Oh, and when we were pulling the kids to the hill from our house, the sled tipped over TWICE, sending Atlas face-first into the snow.  He didn’t seem upset, though, just confused!

We came home afterwards and enjoyed some warm chamomile tea to warm up!

Atlas’ Words

Atlas is quite the talker.  Shortly after turning one, he started saying those typical baby words, “dada” and “mama”.  Well, “mama” sounds more like “nana”, but we know what he means!

Since then, he’s added on a few others.  The third word he’s picked up is “deer”.  No doubt he’s been inspired by the frequent visitors to our backyard.

Just today, he’s increased his vocabulary to four!  He’s started saying “delf”, which we’re pretty sure means “elf”.  Atlas has clearly been inspired by this cheeky little fellow!

elf

Ender called our elf “Elp” the year he turned two.  So it’s extra cute that Altas’ interpretation of the word is “Delf”.

I’m thinking that now that Atlas has a few words down, he’ll begin adding more rapidly.  So exciting!

A Trip Around the Sun

A week after Atlas was born, we took him to the pumpkin patch.  Atlas was supposed to be an October baby but ended up making his debut in September instead.

Regardless, he is my pumpkin baby and I’m hoping to take a pumpkin patch picture with him every year he’ll let me.

Fall 2013
Fall 2013
Fall 2014
Fall 2014

One of the most fascinating things about the past year has been watching these two grow as brothers.  They’ve gone from simply co-existing to truly enjoying each other’s company and finding joy in being together.

Fall 2013
Fall 2013
Fall 2014
Fall 2014

However, there are some things that may never change.  Including the Ender’s out-there expressions.  Crazy kid.

Fall 2013
Fall 2013
Fall 2014
Fall 2014

The boys have grown so much in the last year.  Atlas has changed from a little squish into a beaming, bright little boy.  The changes in Ender are subtle, but his face has grown leaner; his postures are more big kid than baby.

Another year gone.  Another trip around the sun.  And I couldn’t be more proud of how they’ve grown.