Sunday has yet to arrive, and we have already had a great weekend. We picked the kids up early on Friday and went to the beach. Poor Josh was cutting his two top teeth. I think the water and the noise provided more stimulation than he could handle. He was content to play on the beach towel. On top of his discomfort, Ellie was a little confused on beach etiquette and dumped a bucket of sand on Josh and me instead of water. He was not amused, and she was perplexed by the reaction. Josh was not interested in even standing in the water, but seemed to enjoy watching everything from a distance. On the other hand, I was thrilled with Ellie’s enthusiasm for the lake. She didn’t mind being knocked over by the waves. In fact, the faster they came, the louder she squealed. Her and Sean went deeper than I would have probably ventured and came out laughing. I’ve always loved the water, so am excited that she likes it so much too.

Today, we went to a great park near our house. It has a huge wooden climbing apparatus and lots of swings. Josh and I played on the swings while Sean and Ellie climbed, found tunnels, and worked up a sweat. The park also has some trails through wooded areas. Ellie is intrigued by jungles and forests, so this was perfect for her. I see many of my own characteristics in Ellie, but here is a distinct difference. Ellie walks so slowly!!! She strolls, meanders, shuffles. Our walk through the forest lasted quite some time. Her and Sean seemed well-paced for each other. They enjoyed throwing rocks into the stream and picking up sticks. Josh and I pushed on ahead. He is still confined to a stroller and needs to keep moving. Regradless of the pace, both kids enjoyed the hike. We’re fortunate to have all this great, free, accessible entertainment so close. I was raised an outdoor kid; I hope Ellie and Josh continue to enjoy it as much as they do now. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Daddy time

well, paula went away to do some consulting this past week (monday until wednesday late at night). i had the kids all by myself monday evening and we had a wonderful time. i also have more respect for people who have even more kids and have to do things by themselves. wow! paula’s father and niece (molly) came up on tuesday to help since i taugth paula’s class (every day from 1 – 4) and i also taught my own class from 6 – 9pm on tuesdays. i couldn’t watch the kids obviously. molly, grandpa, and ellie went to the children’s museum and the zoo on wednesday. fun times were had by all.

we spent the evening at marshall fields in their little gourmet cafe. i honestly think this is our favorite place to have dinner in all of grand rapids (metro area of over 1 million people). perhaps we should have our heads checked, but it is never crowded, has a good selection of neato foods, and has lots of room to spread out and be noisy with the kids. can’t beat it.

paula had a birthday this past tuesday while she was in kansas. we are going to have our little family birthday party for her tomorrow. i am even thinking of baking her a cake. perhaps i’ll wise up and go out and buy one instead. i’ll keep you informed. ellie thinks that the two of us will be able to make a cake…i wonder how long i can continue to make her think i have any sort of kitchen skills whatsoever??? heh…i make a mean buttered toast. 😉

Notes from Paula

We had a great weekend! Yesterday we wore the kids out with shopping and beach time. Both kids loved the beach. Ellie was not remotely intimidated by the water. She jumped right in. Josh was a little more hesitant and sat at the shore line, half in – half out. Today was much quieter. Ellie, Josh, and Sean all took naps at the same time – nice and peaceful for me. Both kids seemed to want to hang around the house and especially hang around Mommy. This is only interesting because tomorrow I leave for two days in Kansas. The kids seem to know when I will be gone and are very clingly and needy the day before. One of them will no doubt have a fever tomorrow. Of course I am racked with guilt over being gone from them for more than a usual work day! I keep a separate journal for them in which I write little notes about once a month or so; however, I always write the night before I leave for one of these trips. My fears of being gone from the kids are an equal mix of worrying about them missing me and worrying about them not missing me!! I love parenthood; it’s such an adventure.

Josh and Ellie are interacting more and more. Today Josh spent most of the morning terrorizing her by pulling her hair and basically trying to steal every toy she picked up. She works very hard to move away from him rather than throwing a tantrum. In the afternoon, they played together for about ten minutes. She talked him through some pretend game she was playing and he was so delighted to be included, he sat without grabbing a curl the entire time. She also gave him considerable encouragement as he tried to walk, clapping, cheering, and even throwing in a “Good job Josh.” They’re such a joy!! I miss them already and even though I haven’t left yet, I can’t wait to get back.

Blogging (by Paula)

guess it’s time i jump into the blogging fray…today i was home with Ellie because she had a fever. we read some books and watched some educational tv. i had to make a lot of phone calls because i was scheduled to meet with students today and had to switch from meetings to phone conferences. anyway, i was right in the middle of advising a student when Ellie saw me on my laptop (looking up the student’s records). she immediately came running into the dinning room where i was making the calls and started saying, “playhouse disney dot com…please. pleeeease.” i couldn’t reason with her because she was so determined. because i was ignoring her while i was on the phone only added to her determination. i had to have a student wait on me while i navigated to for my little daughter. a good bonding day for daddy and daughter.