I think I'll start with 3 quotes of Zach's that made me smile.
The first quote came when the boys and I were driving through some farmland, and we saw some horses. Zach said that when he grew up he was going to have a farm with lots of horses named PJ (our neighbor Molly has a horse named PJ that Zach got to ride last year on Labor Day). Then he said that he'd let Mike, Drew, and me visit him there. "I'm checking dates to see when I'll be available," he said. Where does he get this stuff?
The second one came a couple of nights ago- "Be quiet as thunder, Mom." I had gone into Zach's room right after putting him to bed to look for his swim trunks, which I wanted to throw in the washing machine. They weren't there, so I told him that I thought maybe they were in Drew's room. He offered to go get them, but seeing as how Drew was also in bed, I didn't want that, so I said I'd just sneak in, and Zach's advice to me was, "Be quiet as thunder, Mom."
The last quote is from last night. Mike was talking to me about something and Zach, being Zach, desperately wanted to be part of the conversation, even though he had no way of understanding what we were talking about. So when Mike said something about someone receiving a glowing review, Zach chimed in, "Yeah, because it's hard to make yourself glow." Right.
We've had quite a few chilly days this summer, which is actually kind of nice. Better than extremely hot and humid days, but I'm guessing those will come in August and September. Zach spent some time outside on one rainy day, blowing his "outside only" whistle and using his new umbrella.
The caterpillars for Zach's butterfly pavilion came in the mail a few weeks ago. Grandma Cynthia and Grandpa Kevin gave this to him for his birthday in June, and Grandma had already ordered the caterpillars. I didn't get a picture of them in that stage, but here they are once they formed their chrysalids about a week later.
After about another week to 10 days, we saw our painted lady butterflies had hatched. These next few pictures are taken through the mesh of the butterfly pavilion, so sorry for the fogginess.
We cut some fresh flowers from our garden and put sugar water on them to feed the butterflies. The one negative thing was that when the butterflies hatch, they release this red meconium that looks a lot like blood. Not a big deal, really, except that it soaked through the bottom of the mesh container and got all over my off-white table runner, which is now ruined. I really don't enjoy decorating/redecorating my house because I'm not very skilled at it, and now I have to redecorate, and that's a stressful and annoying notion to me.
Ideally we would have had the butterflies in our enclosure for 3-4 days, but they hatched Thursday evening/Friday morning, and we were leaving Friday morning to go up to Minneapolis for the weekend. I knew with us being gone that we would need to set them free so they could find their own food. The only problem with that, other than not being able to observe them for longer, was that it was super cold that day, and it was supposed to get down to 53 degrees that night. The butterfly directions said that they should only be released when temps were above 55 degrees, so I hope they all made it through the night!
This past weekend Mike was playing in a golf tournament with some neighbors of ours, so the boys and I headed up to Big Creek State Park with my college friend Kristi, her husband Mike, and their boys, Mitch and Logan. Mitch and Zach are the same age (exactly, born on the same day in the same hospital, no less), and Logan is about 4 months older than Drew. Here's the whole crew at the beach.
Zach enjoyed burying his feet and digging in the sand. For awhile Zach and Mitch just sort of ignored each other, but after lunch they went up to the playground and seemed to have a lot of fun together.
Drew enjoyed playing with this dump truck and throwing sand in the water.
Even though the water looked kinda gross on the edges (algae) and didn't smell great, the boys still enjoyed getting in the water. Drew really liked just wading back and forth along the shore.
It was really fun to see Kristi and her family again. We live close but just don't get to see each other often enough. Thanks for inviting us up to the beach, Kisch! It was fun!
Later in the weekend we just played around. Here's a couple of pictures of Drew being silly. He recently discovered these necklaces and has been enjoying wearing them around. The producers of Babies Gone Wild are hitting me up for this picture, but I'm not gonna sell my baby out.
Here he's showing me his belly button and doing his "smile for the camera" face.
In addition to sucking his arm, Drew's other new thing is sticking his hand down his pants. I guess I should be relieved he's sucking on his arm and not his fingers.
Last week Zach had Vacation Bible School at our church. He was very excited about it and had a blast. They do such a great job there getting the kids into what they're doing. Zach learned new Bible stories and lots of fun songs. Our church is really big to begin with (about its only drawback in my opinion), and VBS is HUGE there. Pastor Mike told us on Sunday that over the 2 weeks that they had VBS (3 sessions in those 2 weeks, ages 3-12), they had about 4200 kids attend, and the majority of those are not members of the church. Here's a picture of some of the VBS kids singing at church on Sunday.
Zach was excited to go up on stage to sing. He maybe went up a little early, though, and as a result, he was a bit far back in the crowd and was tucked behind a lot of bigger kids. In this picture you can just see his little head and white shirt. See the tall kid in the black shirt on the left side of the picture? Zach is just to his right, coming up not even to that kid's shoulder. I was worried he'd be kinda scared/overwhelmed being behind so many big kids, but he thought it was just great.
Every year the VBS organizers take popular songs (some current, some older) and change the words to fit the things they are teaching the kids. For example, this year the songs include 2 from the Village People- "In the Navy" changed to "In the Big Boat"- a song about Noah's ark (God wants you. God wants you. God wants you as a new recruit!), "Macho Man"- about David versus Goliath, some Aerosmith/Run DMC "Walk This Way"- a song about the 10 commandments (God wants you to walk this way; talk this way!), and some other songs that I recognize but don't know what they really are. I think one is a Miley Cyrus song, and there's a country-ish one about T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Zach's favorite is the one about David and Goliath. Once VBS is over, the kids get a free CD of all the music, so that has been on at our house a lot lately, and Zach and Drew have been doing a lot of dancing, but they're still working on their moves.
We filled up the pool yesterday and played in it for about an hour and a half after lunch. Drew's favorite thing is to climb into the pool and climb out of the pool. Into the pool, out of the pool. Into the pool, out of the pool. I don't know why he loves it, but he does. That is how he spent a good part of our time outside. He never cares if he falls on his face in the water and gets all wet (polar opposite of Zach there); that's almost more fun for him.
This is our first week where we have really just one scheduled thing to do (story time/toddler time at the library), and it's definitely nice to have our free time back. It seems like we went from t-ball to swim lessons to VBS all right in a row, and it's so nice this week to not have to get up and hurry to get ready to be somewhere by 8:30/9:00 in the morning. That feeling does have me thinking, though, about when Zach starts preschool and goes Monday through Thursday every week!
Hopefully I'll be better about posting more frequently throughout the rest of the summer. A long post like this takes me most of naptime and then even bedtime to get done, with uploading all the pictures and videos and everything.