She loves playing with small things, and sorting objects like money or rocks.
She'll spend hours looking at her rock collection or playing with wood chips at the park.
I love seeing her imagination take off, these wood chips were our lunch. We used a larger wood chip to "eat" the smaller ones, and I was instructed multiple times to "eat it all up". Yesterday came to me with an empty hand in a cupping shape and said "look at Lilly's bunny, oh he's so cute". I had to pet and feed her "bunny", then she set him gently on the table to finish eating her goldfish crackers. She's getting more adventurous and independent everyday, climbing big play structures at the park and going down the big slide.
Here's Sharon, our favorite story hour lady. Last week she brought a chicken in for the kids to feed and pet. She also plays an auto harp along with all of our songs. The kids usually play some percussion instruments along with her, which they love! She even encourages them to get up and dance, which is Lilly's favorite part. All of the stories last week had to do with farms, or chickens, even the songs had to do with chickens. My favorite part, we didn't do the chicken dance!
Eli didn't used to like to draw or color at all, but suddenly upon arriving in Boise he's drawing non-stop. This is great because in places where he used to be board, ie: story hour, he's now happy to sit still and draw a picture. I don't know what got into him, but I'm sure happy about it. I think Ben actually helped Eli draw the picture on the bottom, but he traced and drew the one on the top himself. This morning, at 7am, he brought me a John Deere book and wanted me to trace a tractor that was decorated for a parade at Christmas. I tried my best, in bed and half asleep, thinking it would take him awhile to color it and I could lay in bed half unconscious for 20 more minutes. Apparently my skills aren't up to par because he said it was terrible, then cut it out of the paper, and traced his own. There's nothing like a kid if you want honesty, luckily this isn't a talent I've ever imagined myself to have!
We went hiking in the foothills on Saturday, and had a wonderful time. The nature center had a story for the kids to read along the way. There were posts every 50ft. or so, and each post had another page of the story. The story explained that bees are just as afraid of us as we are of them. This is a great story for Lilly, who continues to have a terrible fear of all flying things. She's terrified of flies, bees, butterflies......she screams as if a leg has been amputated and then shudders for a few minutes afterwards. We try to tell her all the bugs are nice, and say "shoo shoo" while waving your hand. It's slightly better than it was, but we won't be going in the butterfly exhibit at the zoo this summer. Last year it was like we sent her straight into the movie arachnophobia, poor baby.
With all the biking we've been doing I decided I needed a new bike. This one sits upright, and is way more comfortable than my old bike. Lilly loves it too, although she's usually upset because she thinks we don't go fast enough. She's constantly spanking me and yelling "Go Mama, Go"!
We did so many fun things at the zoo today, but my phone died half way through, so there aren't pictures of everything. We rode the carousel, fed giraffes lettuce, fed the goats, and road a boat. We don't have a train, but the super slow, solar powered boat is quite the thrill ride if you're two. They said the top speed is 3mph, but that they've never reached top speed (and I believe it).
According to Eli "Every day is a regular day here in Idaho". He later explained that this means it's not raining! He told me he was so unhappy in Oregon because we were stuck in the house day after day and he had to play with the same boring toys. He says he's happier here because we can play outside all the time.
I couldn't agree more! I didn't realize how much the gloom had gotten to me (especially at this time of the year) until we fled the rain. I really feel like a different person, and I'm loving it.
The big main library isn't far, but there's a little branch right across the street from us and we just can't get enough. We go for story hour every week, and some of the ladies are just amazing. Today Cher brought her auto harp and played music while everyone sang, danced and played along with drums, tambourines and shakers. Lilly especially loves it, and calls it "Lilly's school".
They have computers for the kids to use, and each kid even has their own library card of which they are especially proud.
We're missing a yard (as if living in a closet isn't bad enough). The kids surprisingly don't seem to mind, they think this dirt outside Eli's window is great. It's especially fun if the sprinklers turn on at night, because then there's a puddle. What more could you want?
Living more simply has really made me realize how unimportant a lot of things are. Lilly likes her closet, they both love dirt, we don't miss cable and the kitchen is tiny. Somehow we seem to be doing just fine, maybe all of those things are as necessary as I thought they were (although I'm really tired of people smoking outside my window!).
Lilly lives in our walk in closet, and calls it her "Tiny Room". Our apartment only has three bedrooms, one for Eli, one for my Mom, one for us and a nice big closet for Lilly. She hangs out in there, reads books in there, builds legos in there and goes in there to cry when she doesn't get her way. It's kind of sad, but funny at the same time! She's at an age where she doesn't really understand, so I don't think she'll be damaged. In fact, she loves it. If only it was under the stairs, then she'd be a girl Harry Potter!
We're loving the Greenbelt here in Boise. We can access it just a block from our apartment, and ride our bikes on it all the time. Eli asks to go daily so he can do the dirt bike track. We also love the little lakes along the way, water can keep the kids busy (and happy) for hours! There's a playground we can ride to just about a 1/2 mile down the track, and best of all the weather has been very permitting!
Eli keeps asking if we know any other 5 year olds that like to do jumps, umm we'll keep looking.
We found a pool in Boise to continue Eli's swim lessons. It's a salt water pool, which is cool I guess.... having never been in I can't really say. I love the little wall they have to contain the kids while they're waiting their turn. Eli used to get in trouble for not staying on the wall at the Hillsboro Aquatic Center, but here all the kids wait in a 2 ft. deep walled off area until their one on one time with the teacher. Each lesson is 45 min. and they just play until their 10 min. of undivided time with the instructor. I don't know if this would be great for everyone, but it's perfect for Eli.
I found the pool online HEREand thought it looked like any other facility. We printed out our google map and headed out for our first lesson. The address brought us to a residential, somewhat rural road and I thought we were lost. I spotted a suspicious looking barn near a big house with about 15 minivans parked outside. We decided to drive down the long gravel drive and check it out. Sure enough kids in towels were coming out, and you could see the pool through one of the windows. It's a great pool, with dressing rooms, showers, even a playroom for Lilly with toys and movies (and a closed door , with plenty of big windows, my favorite part). Only in Idaho are your swim lessons in a giant barn!!
It's small, but well worth a visit. Everything was hands on, and you can feed the tropical fish and the sharks/sting rays. The kids loved it, we stayed 2 hours and they didn't want to leave!
Lilly was a little timid at first, but she warmed up to the idea of touching live things after awhile. She even sat with her hand held our for awhile waiting for a little fish to swim right into her hand. She really wanted to hold one, she said "little fishy sit on Lilly's hand, it tickle Lilly, be my friend". It was so cute, but as you can imagine, no little fishes thought this was a good idea.
Ben - Professional: Financial Analyst for The City of Boise Recreational: Tries to catch a movie or bike ride whenever he can, takes the kids on bike rides Church:
Michelle - Professional: Homemaker Recreational: Reading, cooking, bike riding Church:
Eli - Professional: Plays with Matchbox Car, rides his bike, plays with stuffed animals, memorizes names and functions of heavy machinery Recreational: Watches Mighty Machines, "fixes" things, swimming Church: Loves to sing Choose The Right
Lilly- Professional: Thinks she's Cinderella (without the cleaning), reading, and riding her bike Recreational: Follows Eli around the house trying to do what he does while wearing 10 necklaces Church: Goes to any nursery like she's been going there her whole life!