April 25

I had a photo session scheduled for last Saturday - 9-month photos for a sweet baby boy - but he was recovering from pneumonia, and his mom thought he needed a few more days. The only day we could reschedule was today, but thankfully my mom was off work and willing to watch the kids. I dropped them at her house, took the photos, and headed back to find my children playing happily at Grandma's.

Mom got out a real glass child-sized tea set and made a real pot of tea, and Daisy was over the moon excited.
I mean, seriously. Are they cute or what? And the doggie sitting at their table?

Also, both girls let me put their hair up today and chose darling dresses, so the cuteness factor is magnified.

They felt so grown up! Caleb was too busy reading to be bothered with a tea party.

I am pretty sure they could spend all morning playing tea party! I may have to find a thrift store tea set for Daisy's birthday. (Unless someone with more child-free free time than I have wants to do it instead...)

Remember my flower field pictures from a few days ago? I mentioned on Facebook that I wanted to do flower mini-sessions, and a few people were interested. Someone mentioned another field of flowers, and since it was kind of near my mom's house, we all went to check it out.

It was fabulous.

Daisy was the only one willing to traipse into the field with me. 

Isn't she funny? 

Lily was worried by a bumblebee, so she would only play with the dandelions. (And no, that's not a wound on her arm - it's a heart stamp with rainbow ink.)

Eli was hilarious. He found a stick, which became his light saber, and he was wearing his cape.

I said, "Show me your Super Eli face" and got this: 

He is so funny!

Then he ran flew up and down the length of the field, making zooming noises the whole way.

Two is so much fun!

These two are pretty fun, too.

April 24

I have too many pictures for today. The weather was so nice that, despite my better judgment, we spent most of the day playing outside. I was pretty miserable from my allergies, but it was worth it.

We spent most of the time drawing with chalk on the driveway. It started with Daisy asking to draw me, so I laid on my side in a flying position.

You know, because I'm super mom? That's me in the orange boots, with the giant bottom. Then Eli wanted in on the game, so we traced him and made Super Eli.

The girls each wanted to be a super hero, too, so we did those.

See our super family? Chris was on a day trip out of town for work, so there was no Super Dad. And Caleb? He didn't want to be a superhero. He wanted to be Octopus Man. You can kind of see the waterline, some tentacles, and bubbles behind his octo-body.

Eli dragged his dump truck outside and rode it down the driveway.
Note: it is not supposed to be a ride-on toy.
He promptly face-planted and scraped up the left side of his face.

I think Lily was showing me an owie here? I just love the picture.

And Eli joyously ran his laps. Our neighbor two houses up the street reminded me that when we first moved in, Caleb was the same age and did the same thing. He even had a cape fixation for a while. I had totally forgotten about that, and I thought it was so sweet that the neighbor remembered. 

Even our next door neighbor, and elderly woman who was recently widowed, has come outside multiple times to tell us how much she enjoys watching Eli run his laps outside her kitchen window. 

He has so much fun!

Over the course of the morning, our creation developed. You can see Octopus Man, who is a pinkish color and holding a trident, his jellyfish pal below him, and manatee mama, who is the blue blob. There is also a baby manatee out of the frame, and behind Caleb is Octopus Daisy.

Meanwhile, Eli ran more laps.

Are you tired of this yet? I'm sure not. How about video?

If you can't hear it, I ask Eli, "What's your name?" He runs past me, then answers, "I Super Eee-eye!"

And these two kept working on their octopi selves.

I snapped these pictures of Caleb telling a story, because they sum up some of his most common facial expressions.

This boy of mine is something.

I loved the late afternoon shadows on Daisy's face.

The kids found grubs under the rocks!

More Daisy in a new dress.

Daisy asked to take a picture of me, and as soon as Eli realized that I was having my picture taken, he climbed into my lap so he could be in the picture, too. I can't say that I mind!

And seriously. That Lily Clare is too cute.

April 22

It was a busy day today! The big kids had swim lessons (Daisy chose to sit out and not participate...), I did grocery shopping, and then Chris took Caleb and Daisy off to Boy Scout family camp. Then my mom came over to stay with Lily and Eli while I attended a Board of Directors meeting for my babywearing group. (I know! Fancy! I volunteer for a legit nonprofit!)
Lily woke up from her nap in a fury, devastated that Chris left to go camping without her. The only thing that could pacify her was wrapping her up on my back. Luckily, Amber is letting me borrow her custom handwoven wrap, Vespers. Isn't it lovely? Lily sure liked it.

Eli's imagination has taken flight lately, and he and Lily played a very involved pretend game while I got ready to go. The chair was a crib, and whoever was in the chair was the baby, and the other person was the mommy who tucked them in. I love watching these two play together!

April 20

It was a MOPS day today! 
Due to vacation and illness, I have had to miss the past two MOPS meetings. We only have one left after this, so it was such a treat to be able to go today!

On the way home, I noticed that my field of wildflowers was finally in bloom. I have been waiting for this field since last spring, desperate to use it for photo sessions. So despite my hungry, whiny kids, I drove past to explore it. The field I had in mind was actually kind of blah - the best fields looked like they were on private property, with no available parking. So we went back to the blah fields and hiked through tall grasses to see if maybe they were better in person.
Pretty fun, right?

My MOPS table leader gave me this yard flower, and Lily confiscated it to use as her magic wand. That + pigtails + beetle shirt + plaid shorts + flowered boots = girl is hilarious.

Caleb seems unimpressed.

Eli liked it, though!
Or maybe he liked this gorgeous carrier I am borrowing from Amber?

So much fun!

And then we went home, ate lunch, and this: 
Baby in a big boy bed is just too cute.

I might have snuck a nap in myself, while I let the big kids watch science shows on Netflix and Amazon. That counts as school, right?

Eventually, Eli came in to wake me up. This kid is too funny!

April 19

Oak pollen is at its peak, and my allergies are making life miserable right now. I can't be outside for more than 15 minutes without dissolving into an itchy, sneezy, drippy mess, and the poor kids are so sad that we can't go have fun outdoor adventures during this lovely weather. We got some outside time today, though, because Amber and her kids came over. Her children + mine = nine little people, so outside is always best when we get together.

Daisy is the pattern-mixing queen, and she is proud of her magnolia leaf finds. 

I can't remember what Lily was saying to me, but it was serious. Also serious? Her dress collection. We just went through her closet and drawers and put away all the too-small stuff and pulled out all the 4T summer stuff. She now has eight gajillion dresses, and she is in heaven. She particularly likes this one because it has flowers and pockets. Smart gril.

Don't worry, Mom! He's not going to run into the street!
We have a new outdoor-play strategy: every time a car drives by while the kids are playing in the front yard, they freeze on the sidewalk and wave at the driver. So if Eli above saw a car, he would take four steps back to the sidewalk and then wave. The waving kids tend to make the drivers slow down, which makes me feel more comfortable.

The superhero cape is Eli's current favorite. 
Also a favorite? Running laps on the sidewalk. I'm pretty sure in his head, Eli isn't running. He's flying.

Today he was Super Robot Man. Is he the cutest, or what?

We found this snake in our back yard. Don't worry; he's harmless. Still, the kids are no longer going back to their Secret Hideout barefoot.

And this girl? The one who is just finishing home school kindergarten? She just plowed through these second grade sight words like they were nothing.  I love how proud she is!

And then our garbage disposal died. It lasted 5 years. This is the third time Chris has had to replace a garbage disposal, so he's getting pretty good at it. I'm not sure if that's normal or not? Caleb was a diligent helper, holding the light for Daddy.

Also, bathtime babies are the cutest.