Sunday, February 16, 2014

Just a few more things

As it turns out, we have done more in St Louis than have a baby. We have actually done a significant number of really great things! But you'd never know from this here little bloggy-blog, would you?

No you wouldn't. Because life keeps changing, and in order to keep up, my priorities keep changing. I have spent some time over the last few days looking back at our blog and am overcome at how much I love reliving the moments that are recorded here. As my circumstances have changed yet again, I think I am ready to move blogging back up the ranks a bit and get some stories and thoughts down here in my 'free time'. (heh.)

In debating where to begin and what to do next, I decided I'm just going to suck it up and catch up. I just don't think I'll be able to face blogging about today until I feel yesterday has been adequately accounted for.

So. That means there are a few more things to remember from our time in CA. Things that I will enjoy remembering because we were wearing flip flops with rosy cheeks instead of freezing under layers of ice and snow as we are in this very moment. The grass is always greener. Always. But I would by lying if I said I wasn't struggling looking back at photos of sunshine and strawberries. Anyway.

To begin, a few throwback pictures of our little Ash-matash. It is shocking to me how small he was when we moved to CA, and how big he was when we left. SO much growing happens in the first three years. Oh, they keep changing alright, but not in the leaps and bounds they do in the first few years.

We lived in a tiny apartment. So, so tiny. Some days I wanted to poke my eyes out from the tininess. Other days I remembered how it only took an hour tops to clean our whole house with two kids underfoot and loved it for all it was worth. And even though I hated it more than I loved it, I see pictures and get twinges just like I do with other places we've lived that I loved far more. There is always something gained no matter how unidyllic your circumstances are. (The optimism! It is unflinching! It is my super power!)

Our tiny apartment was just a little ways down the road from an awesome enclosed playground. We went there a lot. It was so easy to let the kiddos run, and very rarely crowded. This is a picture of our tiny tot being adorable at that playground and I love him.

 That baby face! It's so much less baby now. It will be even less baby next year. Oh the baby face.

Over the course of the year, both boys worked up the courage to go down the twisty slide. It's a tough one because you can't see the bottom from the top. But, oh yes, they did it. Over and over and over. Orange sunglasses and all.

At this little playground, my children demonstrated that they do not know how to swing. But doing it like this is actually really fun and far less likely to result in injury (At least for my children. That is not a heavily researched claim). They also demonstrated that they do not know the dangers of walking in front of swinging swings holding swingers. Numerous times. Were it not for the danger it posed to the swingers, I would have let them get knocked over so they would remember that this was not a good idea. But, I hear other parents don't like it when people toy with their children's lives to teach their own children a lesson. So there's that.

But, this little nook was really just the best. They spent so much time under there playing all sorts of games and eating rocks and such. Just the best.

When we weren't playing outside, we were playing inside.

We played with our Bob the Builder toys, like the above goggles. Below is the face Asher made every time he asked to have them put on. Be still my heart.

We played with 'da beens' a lot. Still do actually. Throw some beans and construction trucks into a pan and you have endless entertainment! For my boys anyway. (Again, I haven't researched that claim.) Please note: playing with da beens is way more fun when you're wearing your big brother's shoes, too.

We made paper hats because those are fun for the 5 minutes that they last.

We spent far more time than we should have doing unsafe things like this because everything is a toy when you live in a teeny tiny apartment. And that little monkey has grown into a slightly bigger monkey that still does this and more!

There were corners to hide in and mysterious games that only brothers knew about.

We managed to find ways to hurt ourselves (I even had to get stitches in my pinkie finger! Watch out for those butter knives!) and then cheered each other up by taking silly pictures.


You know those little stoppers on the bottom of doors that make that noise when you flick them? Do you think they're awesome? Because my children sure do! Unfortunately for us, they were on every door in our apartment. Until our children broke them off. Fortunately for us, at least two of them could be reattached. Also fortunately for us, most of the time our children forgot about them. Please note: playing with the stoppers is way more fun when you're wearing your big brothers shoes over your pjs.

Even the hallway leading to our apartment provided entertainment. There was an elevator (where our curious children pushed the emergency button SO many times. I hate to think who might be ignored in the case of a real emergency after our stint using this elevator) that taught us about listening and also being aware of other people. Because the boys would do things like the above position of 'hiding' while we waited for it to come and then the door would open and they would faceplant into an unsuspecting resident's crotch. Never a dull moment for us or our neighbors! (Have I mentioned we were the only ones on our floor with children?)

We would play ball in the hallway (during respectable hours of course, this isn't college now, is it), hide in our doorway and wait for Daddy to get home, and even have races or help carry the garbage to the big chute. It amazes me to think about the number of things we found to do even though our apartment was teeny tiny. It also amazes me that people were still nice to us, and even liked us   though our children did ridiculous things.

We found great community inside and outside, which brings me to my next of the 'few more things' - our California friends!