Sweet Summertime

Ah.. the summer is finally winding down and coming to an end.  Although the heat will linger much longer than wanted, our sweet summertime adventures will become just a memory.  This was a very special summer for me.  Truly the first summer that I wasn't stuck indoors in a cardigan working until the last of the sunny day faded away.  I look back through the pictures and see how much they grew and changed in just this one summer and it makes me beyond grateful that I got to spend every minute with them.  Who knows how many more chances I will get to savor the sweet details of their little lives?  

We had SO MUCH fun.  I blogged along the way about our vacations and adventures but our daily life was filled with lots of smile, friends, water, learning, shopping, chores, potty training, hugs, and of course, laughter.

I will remember this always as the summer my boys fell in love with super heros.  It started in June before we left for the beach. I can trace it to one single gift that Dee Dee brought to entertain them at dinner.  A spiderman motorcyle.  Then we needed a Spiderman car.  Then we were home, the boys watched just a few minutes of a Spiderman movie in the car.  The next think you know, those boys had moves like you have never seen before!  Always accompanied by Pow Pow Pow.

Dee Dee found these shirts online during Gapkids sale and they boys FELL IN LOVE.  I cannot tell you how many times and how many places they have worn them.  I even looked for a bigger size so that when these are too little fall apart we would have them but they are sold out.  Eli always puts is arms out and say "yook at my webs"

The super hero love expanded on a trip one day to Barne & Nobles.  I took the boys to play with the train table and to read books.  This is Beckett's absolute favorite place.  You can ask him "do you want to go to the toy store?" And he will say "no, the bookstore!"  He loves it.  Eli is a bit wild for the bookstore but manageable.   We were reading dinosaur books and looking around and I saw this little box of Super Hero books.  With all the Marvel Super Hero Squad members.  I called Beckett over to read it and he latched on. He has not let go since.  He sleeps with the books at night.  He gets to pick 2 to take in the car everywhere we go.  Even Eli always refers to them as "Beckett's books" That is how much in love he is with Super Hero Squad.  Here are 2 of my favorite videos.   He names the Super Hero Squad and he sings the theme song.  When we found the cartoon on tv, we really fed the obsession.  Its just so cute!  He LOVES them.  

"yook at all dees super hero books mom "

When Dee Dee came to visit this summer she brought us our capes and masks.  Do we wear them to school? Yes mam.  Do we wear them to the gym? Of course.  Did we wear them to the doctor recently, Absolutely.  I am convinced this makes me super mom!

Even Dad gets in on the action!

Super DAD!
We were fortunate to attend our dear friends Super Hero party this summer and it was the "best party ever" according to Eli.

Eli and Beckett with the birthday boy Spiderman

Loved these Thor walkey talkies

gaurding the fort from villans

Eli loves his "friends" though.  He likes super heros, LOVES Spiderman but is partial to "all his friends"  as he calls them.  And he has plenty of them.  On the same trip to Barnes & Nobles he fell in love with this Mickey Clubhouse book that had all the little characters in it.  We have had many adventures with that playset and clubhouse this summer.

feeding them "chips" Notice there is a chipmunk in them

feeding his dinosaurs

But they both can never get far from their true love Buzz Lightyear & Toy Story friends.


"Mommy I LOVES him"

Garbage truck from Toy Story
We played hard and spent lots of time on play dates this summer too.  Usually near whatever to beat the heat.  We love that all our friends have fantastic pools at home or at their neighborhood.  We also love the pool at our YMCA and spent time their.  All of this equalled a couple of really brown boys!

Like this mom?


Watermelon by the pool

Big slides

walking with our friend Max

Pool date with sweet Ben (and more watermelon)

Great visit from The Cullens


Our friend Zola

Swimming :-)

Sandbox with The Galloways

Love love our friends
Brown legs

The boys loved "school" this summer.  The preschools follow the regular school schedule and were out for the summer.  The boys went to an awesome "summer camp" at the gymnastics center.  It is one of those that you pay daily when you go so nice to be flexible and also to let them have some fun.  They did art, gymnastics, lessons, movies, playgrounds, snow cones, and so many fun things.  

Had this on for an hour before it was time to go.

The boys learned to do several chores this summer too.  Including cleaning and cooking.  The cooking they both loved.  The cleaning only Eli.  That kid loves to make a mess but he loves for it to be all picked back up again.  He very much like things to be in order, in their place (the same place) and for the routine to be followed.

Making mommy's salad

Loading the washing machine


Making daddy breakfast

Making ice cream with daddy

snapping green beans

snow cones!
We potty trained and entered the adventures that accompany this journey.  Back in the spring we did the 3 day training as I am sure you remember.  Well, we did it again.  Mainly due to this fact.  One night we were on the couch and Eli says, "mommy, I'm wet"  He is in a pull up.  He proceeds to stand up, take it off, take it to the trash can, run to his room, bring back a pull up and put it on himself.  We just looked at each other and started laughing!  Time to get this big boy on the potty.  The second time was much better. With Justin here it was actually comical (to me, not him) because I don't think he fully realized how awful it is even though I called him crying the first time.  He would get really frustrated and I would do but we were able to calm each other down and be patient.  How did we do?  Eli is totally potty trained!  He has had a few accidents here or there but is in his big boy undies.  Beckett is what we are referring to around here as "house trained".  At home he is 100% trained as long as he is naked.  He tells us he has to go or he just goes to the potty and tell us after he uses it.  He does both businesses on the potty.  However, you take him in public not so much.  You put undies on him or a pull up, not so much.  Almost there but not quite.

double fisted potty prizes

Eli's pick at the toy store for his special reward! 

yogurt with daddy for doing big boy business on the potty

What funny funny times we have had with this.  The salon I got to has this fancy toilet that has buttons, water temperature, and most importantly, a bedet.  Yep, the water that shoots you.  Well, I took Beckett to get his haircut and he had to go potty.  So I took him to the potty and he changed his mind, and I decided I had to go.  I had on a long dress so I don't think anything about it and I pull it up and start to do my business.  All of the sudden I feel this super hot burst of water right .. well right where it shouldn't be!  It knocked me off the toilet and proceeded to soak the wall, the floor, and the diaper bag.  Beckett looks at me and says "I push the button mommy!" OMG.  He shot me with the bedet on full force hot water.  I started laughing/crying and I had no idea what to do. I got napkins and started mopping up water and trying to be quiet.  I have no idea what they thought we were doing in there!  I had to leave with less clothes on under my dress than when I came in.  It was that much water.  I will never forget that potty break :-)

The offending toilet
And there have been some funny mishaps too.  They almost always have to go outside before we come inside.  So one day we stop by the "bushes" near the sidewalk and Beckett says he has to go tee tee.  I pull down his pants start helping him.  All of the sudden I hear Eli yelling "mommy, its the brown stuff, its the brown stuff" Oh yeah, Beckett is pooping on the sidewalk and Eli is having a fit.  "no, Beckett the brown stuff goes in the potty" So then I have to leave them both in the front yard to go in to get wipes.  I am laughing, Beckett is crying, Eli is screaming.  Commit us!

The usual scene in my front yard

yes, I live in a neighborhood
Oh, and what did Eli do at a playdate? He tee tee'd in the toy box.  Yep, that is our sweet friend Stephanie outside while I watch 4 kids cleaning out the toy box!

Other milestones? Eli is in his big boy bed 100% of the time. Beckett has been in his all year and I don't know.  One day he just woke up and asked to sleep in it at nap time and that was that.  

Yep. He stole his brothers pillow.  A favorite game arguement. 

How many "friends" it takes to go to bed

We got in just a little bit of learning too.  My goal was to try and do 2 learning lessons a week but it was more like 1.  The boys loved it when we did them though.  Looking forward to lots more of this in the fall.

One of the biggest adjustments for the boys and hardest challenges is how much time they spend together.  Monitoring the sharing, and the fighting, and the chasing consumes an enormous amount of time. Honestly early this year, I thought I was going to go insane.  Or just lock them in separate rooms for the day.  Over the last few months though, it seems that we have crossed over into a closer bond.  Now, don't get me wrong, we still have huge fights and times where I have to intervene but overall the daily from sun up to sun down arguing has slowed.  Instead, lots of love has taken its place.  I love being part of this, fostering their relationship and working to get them to see how blessed and lucky they are to have a constant playmate.

All this playing sure did make us tired too... 

Best part of my job
The sweetest of summer times I will remember this to be.  Sticky popsicle hands, squirming away from the sunscreen, tummies covered in watermelon juice, "mommy come swim with me" always on their tongues, windows rolled down in the car, singing their favorite tunes, later bedtimes, great vacations, beautiful memories, and happiness written all over our faces.  Thank you Lord for this season and all the blessings that it brings.

The Riley's

The Riley Family1 Comment