I’m going to have to condense nearly all of December before Christmas into one post. Hang on!
Because they know Jasper is a boisterous boy who has more than enough energy to go around, Papa and Nana bought Jasper a trampoline for his birthday. He loves jumping on it … and using it as a launching pad for some brotherly wrestling. It’s a good thing Benjamin is tough. (sigh)
Jasper likes to jump on his trampoline while directing other activity. Here he’s directing the assembly of his new Mater puzzle, by dad, Andy and Kathryn Rouse. The kid’s got skills!
The tent Grandpa and Grandma got for the boys is still a fun place for them to play – a fun place for wrestling, again. Somehow (seriously I don’t know how he puts up with it) Benjamin manages to laugh and smile through it all.
This plate of food is full of leftovers from Jasper’s birthday party – some of his favorites: sausage, pasta salad and pineapple. yum! Drew keeps threatening to try to eat as much as the boys do for a day. I don’t know that he’d be able to do it. The boys pack it away. We know where it goes on Benjamin (see below), but we’re thinking Jasper’s developed a Joel Hock-eske hollow leg.
Benjamin is becoming adept at using his spoon to eat. He still makes a mess on a regular basis, and things like yogurt have to be spooned off his bib and fed back to him, but he doesn’t care. Sweet potatoes are the best thing for him to eat with a spoon because he turns his spoon upside down at entry.
Play-Doh! Oh yeah! I guess we’re a year “late” to the party, but now that we’ve joined, Jasper is loving it. He started out making spaghetti. He’ll be branching out soon.
Check out that belly in Benjamin! He’s having a little “naked baby” time after bath. He gravitated to the trampoline, and I haven’t a clue why. Speaking of the trampoline, Benjamin quickly started leaving his mark on it. There are half moon-shaped bite marks in the red foam on the handle bar. It’s just at the right height for him to chew on. Considering he’s getting his molars now, he’s drooling and chomping on everything.
But he sure is CUTE! Benjamin was 14 months on December 6th.
Before Christmas we were thrilled to find a weekend when Lisa and Bryan Rollins could join us for dinner. The boys love Lisa! She spoils them and always is delighted to greet them when we go to Apollo to visit daddy. We didn’t know Bryan well before our evening but found him to be so nice, personable, fun and adventurous. We were also delighted to see how quickly Jasper bonded with him. They both are awesome with kids. This is great for us – since they’ve offered to babysit so Drew and I can get out of the house every once in a blue moon. :)
Some of our friends have beautiful property on Lake Austin, and they have generously offered to let us use it whenever we are interested. We are so blessed to have an outlet for escape or just a place to enjoy the serenity of the lake. We headed there in the middle of December to take some family photos. They boys love running around on the property or sitting in the swing next to the lake. Jasper likes to count how many boats we see. We saw many more over the 4th of July, but we still always see some.
Behind the boys, across Lake Austin, high up on the bluff is Mt. Bonnell. It’s a sightseeing spot in Austin from which you can look downtown to see the skyline and also up the lake (river) to see the 360 bridge. I have to admit we got lucky with this photo. We think Benjamin looks so old in this photo – way beyond his 14 months, and that big brother Jasper is looking particularly comforting.
This photo is all sweetness.
But this is what life with two toddler boys is really like. Benjamin is trying to eat me, and Jasper is either crawling out of my lap or jumping in it. Whichever one – he’s always on the move.
This photo still makes me laugh each time I see it. I brought candy canes as props – if needed. I didn’t think through how we’d use the candy canes if we needed them. We posed the boys amid this reeds and told them to hold the candy canes. I don’t recall what Jasper was doing with his, but we told him to hold it up – and this is what we got: a statue of liberty pose. Benjamin is 100% uninterested, and in general it was a total bust – except for the laughter factor.
An old set of stone steps at the back of the property proved the best spot for more serene and light-controlled photos.
By the end of our photo op, we were all desperately running out of fuel. The boys needed to nap and we all needed more than bunnies and craisins. Thankfully they boys held on as long as they could and we were able to get a couple of precious shots of the boys and our family.
The boys figured out they could sit in the wagon (never intended for people transport) and pull/push each other. Jasper liked pulling Benjamin around,
and Benjamin liked climbing in and out.
Like women who think they can suck in their gut to get on a pair of too tight jeans (me included), Jasper thinks he can fit himself into the wagon. Benjamin is not similarly interested in pushing that much weight. Pulling (something heavier than him) is a concept beyond him at this point.
Less than a week before Christmas, the weather was nice enough for an afternoon on the deck. I could sit at the office desk and get things done on the computer (with them in direct sight), and the boys enjoyed playing with the trucks in their sandbox.
But they are still their father’s sons and before long were distracted by the sound of aircraft.
back to pushing sand around. :)