Friday, July 31, 2015

What we do while waiting for Jim's swimming lessons to be over.

Stand outside the Y and collect compliments from entranced old people, of course. Hit it, Lottie:

She likes to play it up when she senses an admiring public.

But she's not too proud to come racing over when she needs an explanation for some fascinating thing like a piece of bark.

Try as she might, she's not quite big enough to hurl herself into the fountain yet. Don't worry, Lottie. Jim's got the constant-peril part of the family covered.

She's got the being-charming thing covered, though. Read her lips: "Hiiiiiiiii!"

And how are Jim's swimming lessons going, you ask? Great! He loves them, except that they leave him a little chilly. "Too cold for Jim," says he every day. According to his teacher, he's kind of alarmingly fearless in that he won't reliably hold on to the rail, which is why he needs to stay in the ultra-beginner class where they have one-on-one supervision. Other than that completely expected character flaw feature, he's doing really well. He can swim 5 yards on his front or his back, float in the water, make his way to the edge and get out without assistance, and do a pretty killer cannonball. That's all you can really expect from a 4-year-old, right?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Did I tell you about my cat?

What's that? There are living creatures besides children in this house?

Looking plaintive after nudging his cat food out from under the counter.

Oh yes, there are, and one of them recently had surgery. Some of you may recall poor old Bruce and the saga of his swollen, scabrous face. What we thought was a bad food allergy turned out to be pretty savage allergic reaction to his own tooth decay. So, off he went to the vet this week to have most of his remaining teeth extracted. Poor guy only has ten teeth left, but on the up side, his face looks a million times better, and he's got more pep in his step than he's had in a year.

He didn't appreciate me taking a picture of his shaved leg.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Miniature golf.

Well, it didn't go as well as bowling. But it was still fun, I'll give it that. Jim loved the idea, and all of us were ready for an outing. Alas, we had the bad idea to go at like 11 am, when it was both hotter than Venus and dead smack in the middle of Lottie's naptime. Also, Jim's excitement wore thin pretty fast and he started looking for alternate ways of amusing himself. Four-year-olds are good at that.

Most of the day looked like this, with Ilya painstakingly trying to instill good golfing form in a semi-cooperative but mostly uninterested Jim.

But look, it's almost like he knows what he's doing, right? Temporarily, anyway.

Lottie could only shake her head in dismay.

Don't let the expression of good cheer fool you. She was a raging tyrant by the seventh hole.

Even getting to push the stroller didn't appease her for long.

Long story short: We left after the ninth hole so that the baby could take a nap and the rest of us could recover some sanity. Oh well. Maybe next year.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hanging out with relations (or at their house, anyway).

Jim was pretty cool.

He made Lottie a blanket pile. I don't know why.

Best place for watching cartoons.

Aunt Emmy painted Lottie's toenails (and she held still for it, too!).

The result.

Jim and Uncle Ilya, silently entranced by the wonders of technology.

Lottie's first selfie. Well, no, she's had hundreds. Lottie's most recent selfie, anyway.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


I asked Jim to go get Lottie a cheese stick. He came back and said he had a better snack. Lottie didn't disagree: An entire bag of grapes is basically baby heaven.

Jim likes to get crazy when he's brushing his face. Er, his teeth, I mean.

He said he was a safari guy building a safari truck.

Jim and Lottie are street, yo.

Jim was super super proud of this little pumpkin we grew. It turned into mini pumpkin pies at Emmy and Ilya's last weekend.

Forgive the blur, but I assume you can make out the sheer thrill she's getting out of dancing.

Lottie's stompy dance in all its glory.

Jim made a "friendly dragon." Lottie liked it.

Monday, July 20, 2015

What a charmer.

So I asked Jim what he did in his swimming lesson today, and he told the following story:

My girl was there, and I said to her "POOP!" and she said "Why you say poop to me?" and I said "HOT DOG POOP!"

Good come-back, Jim. I can already tell he's going to be a hit with the ladies.

Friday, July 17, 2015


Jim was too excited to stand still for a picture of him in his bowling shoes.

Forgive the blur, but you have to appreciate the technique on display. Jim mostly utilized the "chuck it from on high" method of bowling.

Watching the result. He was a pretty good sport, actually, for most of the game. Much high-fiving all around if a lot of pins go down, and a comforting pat on the hand with a "don't worry, you'll get more next time" if it's a miss.

Lottie was mostly just excited about the ball return thingy. And the olives that came with our nachos.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A much-needed trim.

Jim held perfectly still to earn the promised lollipop.

Afterwards with his prize, a cheese-flavored (yeah, that's what I thought) lollipop. He later told me he wanted his Jim-hair back. His first haircut remorse! I know that feel.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Now back to your scheduled programming.

Picture updates are complete! Everything should be visible now. Let me know if they're not so I can fix them. Updated posts are:

A Boy and His Rhinoceros
A Giant Photo Dump
Fourth of July Festivities
A Walkabout

Go look if you've missed any of them.


See, ordinarily I prefer to leave anything involving tools and lifting to Noah. Alas, with him gone, I've got to occasionally do work myself, so when my shiny new bed frame arrived in thirty pieces spread across two cardboard boxes, I rolled up my sleeves (uh, proverbial sleeves - it's Georgia in July, we don't wear sleeves) and prepared to get my hands dirty. Fortunately, Jim was ready to step in and help get the job done.

Big muscles to make the work go faster.

Lottie decided that her job was to try to eat the packing materials, so Jim helped me chuck everything in the trash right away.

At first I thought that, being four and all, Jim would probably be more of a detriment than a help. It turned out that I actually couldn't have gotten the thing together without him. There's no way I could've held up both ends of the frame so I could screw on the rails, but Jim held it up steadily and without complaint until it was together enough to stand on its own.

Jim held everything together while I put in screws.

Tiptoeing around the finished product.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Improvements in progress.

It has come to my attention that my pictures don't work because Google is stupid (or I'm incompetent, maybe possibly). Please enjoy this adorable baby while you wait.

A walkabout.

The canal trail that starts at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion is always a nice place for a walk, so with nothing better to do on a Thursday morning, I dragged the kids out for a walk.

Jim was initially skeptical, but the view from the pavilion won him over.

Lottie was likewise impressed.

And what's that in the distance?

See that tall rocky thing in the background? Jim determined that it must be a volcano.

Jim found Lottie a red leaf. She loved it, even if it wasn't a flower. I think he may have regretted handing it over, though.

He just got done tossing a rock through this convenient gap in the shrubberies.

Where there are sticks and dirt, there must be careful arranging of sticks in the dirt. It is known.

And another, just because he's cute.

My main view for the walk

Lottie looks stern.

Jim's finished arrangement. Kid's clearly got an eye for aesthetics.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fourth of July Festivities

I can't figure out how to imbed this short video of Jim being festive, but it's cute, so you should go watch it. Incidentally, while trying to figure out how to link it, I watched it like fifteen times with Jim right next to me, and every time video-me says his name, Jim-right-next-to-me said "Yeah?"

It was funny, okay?

Jim kicked off the day with a festive drawing of a flag (a "balloon flag," to be precise) and fireworks. Aunt Emmy helped label it with the appropriate patriotic slogan.

Uncle Ilya served as grill manager while the rest of us lounged about and played with small explosives.

Lottie, unfortunately, was out of sorts and required steady infusions of tomatoes to remain in tolerable spirits.

Jim's general opinion of those little thingies that you throw on the ground and they go CRACK.

Lottie, however, was mostly a concerned onlooker.

A sample plate of our cook-out. Well done, all.

Lottie loved it.

Not pictured: Fireworks that whizzed around on the ground with different colors, Jim breaking Ilya's glasses, Lottie clapping her hands and shouting yay at the big fireworks in Evans later.