Another gymnast?

This is what Sam hopes.  We are very excited about our kids being involved in some sort of team sport (not in an insane way–traveling teams and whatever at 4) but in a “learning to work with others in a competitive endeavor” sort of way.  West Point?  Berks Gymnastics?  Hello!  Lily looks like she is on her way-she’s got the moves and look down already!  She told us she was Chelsea somebody from a competition she watched with her Dada.  She even let me brush, pull back, spray her hair and tie a ribbon in it.

The Boy and The Trike

Oliver continues to be a sturdy and steady little pre-walker.  I know, I know, I reported earlier that he was “walking” but he was really is (and continues) just taking steps.  But individual steps lead to combined steps and that means walking!  But he really wants to keep up with whatever his big sister is doing so while Lily rides her trike outside (one day she just got the hang of it with Sam’s help!  Yay Lily!) this is what Ollie does:

 Lily pedals to the bank, the store and also to get gas.  (Obviously we run a lot of errands together:-).  Ollie keeps up in any way he can.  Right now he favors the all 4’s walk–not a crawl, more like a monkey, up on both his hands and feet.  He is incredibly speedy.

The Many Faces of Lillian Hughes

I am surrounded by characters here in this house.  Certainly Lily got both the love of costumes from Sam and need for dance/movement/performance from me.  It is quite a combination.  It is quite a mess sometimes.  Here are just a few of her many looks over the past week or two:

Left alone with markers and a gel pen in the playroom

Showing me how the magic happens 
After getting into my makeup bag which is supposed to be out of reach

Give us a pout, girl.  Oy vey.  Help me.

This next one, however, is the one that makes me laugh out loud.  I can’t even post the real pictures of this her latest and greatest mess to date.

I know it doesn’t look like much…until you understand that:
1.  She had watched a gymnastic competition with Sam in the morning of this day.
2.  She was left alone outside while I worked on dishes.
3.  Her easel with paint was set up.
4.  Nearly each day she ends up playing naked in one form or another.
So what you get a glimpse of in this photograph is a nude Lily who painted in her gymnastics leotard, complete with long sleeves and also tights.  She did a little routine for us as we snapped pictures.  I’m really glad photos don’t need to be developed any longer at a photo shop or we may well be arrested.

Last of Summertime…

I really feel like summer is coming to an end.  I’m getting anxious about the beginning of school, our new schedule, the time we will be able to devote strictly to playing and seeing friends….so we are making the most of our summer and taking advantage of all the cool things there are to do nearby.

For fun we went to see some friends at the “splash playground” in Palo Alto-also known as Mitchell Park-yesterday.  There was less water play than we usually have and much more running around with friends on the playground.  Lewa Drew was there, a willing and able partner in exploring the sand pit and various climbing opportunities.  It is so great to have an extra set of hands and eyes along–Sam came with us!

And then we went to Happy Hollow this morning to celebrate the first of the new batch of babies in our group turning 1.  I’m kind of shocked that I don’t have any anxiety about that milestone but I/we have SO enjoyed our first year as a family of 4; just looking forward to seeing how these two develop a relationship beyond taking toys away from one another. 🙂

Lily was much more interested in the playground and petting zoo than the rides.  We tried only two rides–the Dragon Train, of course, and the carousel.  She had ambitions of going on the roller coaster but changed her mind while standing in line.  There’s always next time, Lily!

The first of many two rides 

Snacking before moving onto the playground

We were told that if our child was on the playground, he would need to have shoes.
Sadly, Ollie owns no shoes.
Poor baby.

This is as close as she wanted to be to the roller coaster.

Her First Dream

Two strange things happened this morning. One, Lily slept in until 7:30 and really only woke up because we went in to see her. Two, as soon as she woke up, she told her Dada about her dream.

This is the very first time she has had/remembered/reported a dream. We have spoken about dreams but she didn’t fully understand what we were trying to explain.

Her dream: “At Gramma and Grampa’s and there were doggies and those doggies were biting elephants and me. The doggies were blue. Something caught my neck in the museum and it was warm. And it was Dada’s fault. The elephants had boots and they had crowns, too. The purple elephant had a doogie face, a mask and it was scary.”

“Can I have some toast?”

Think she is done telling us about her dream:)

A Dabble: Sewing from a Pattern

Instead of my casual design of little girl clothes and use of online tutorials to make my own clothes-both of which I have been using exclusively as I learn to sew, I am attempting to use a PATTERN!  This both very exciting and a whole lot of intimidating to me.  I know I will make a few mistakes.  It has taken me some nerve to get to the point, right now, where I am going to actually cut through the pattern and the fabric.  Taking a deep breath.  I guess I can update at each step but here is what it looks like so far on the dining room table-aka-my sewing workspace 🙂

I do not understand the why sewists are all about truly strange combinations of patterns and [especially] shoes.  As I’ve started to study this world, I find maybe companies want to look rad and cutting edge so they take the accessorizing and shoes to a place they should not be.  So, no, I won’t be wearing a combination such as this-although I may have in high school:-)

PlayDoh and Waffles

When we aren’t trying to clean up, clean up (everybody, everywhere…) or outside while Ollie takes his AM nap, Lily and I do projects.  Mostly it involves scissors and glue but sometimes we make and bake or try our hand at some CandyLand.  Yesterday we made new playdoh.  Our old mix was drying out and we always like to mess up the kitchen just a little bit more if we can!

So we created an orangey-yellow raspberry-scented batch.  Lily even got involved in the kneading.  And then we used our cool doh tools in the playroom…but THIS morning, she was a little bit more creative…

A modern girl’s kitchen-complete with working appliances! 
Waiting patiently for the waffle to bake.

Looks like she needs to clean her work area as much as me! 
Almost ready!

Ohhh-nice and hot!

Everyone got to try a few.

It looks good enough to really eat!

She is off to gymnastics right now and the O is taking his nap.  Whew-time to gather my strength for another great day!


So there I was, comfy and cuddled in bed already at 9:15 and Little Roundy comes calling. Now he was improving on the sleep pattern and getting up closer to midnight so I was not anxious to go to him and encourage early waking…but then I thought maybe a bink was out of reach or he just needed some soothing. I’m so glad I went to him! Ollie was an unhappy boy; he needed a new diaper and a little more to eat ;)but he did something so unexpected that I just need to write it down immediately.

This whole parenting business-such sweetness, such hard work, such non-stopped-ness. And right in the middle of breaking down or giving that time-out or wiping up the latest spill, Lily and Ollie flash a smile or begin giggling or say something outlandish that makes everything stand still. And you say a prayer that you got to take part in their little bit of magic.

And so my bittersweet moment with Ollie that makes me want to freeze time: He finished eating and he rutched his way up so his arm was slung around my neck, he nuzzled in under my chin and took a nice cuddly snooze. It was so unexpected that I just rocked him and felt his belly breathing, his tiny sleep movements. And I thought about how he is growing so fast-how Lily is going to eat lunch at school this year and how I don’t want to power through my days without really seeing my kids. I don’t want to waste the time I have to hold them while they sleep or give them baths or fill them up with everything I know…

Youngest Weller Takes First Steps

Mr. O has not been sleeping well. Instead of his typical one bad night followed by a good one, it’s been a few terrible nights and a chance night of sleep for 7 hours at a pop kind of pattern. Not the most sustainable routine for The Mommy since napping isn’t my thing. We have a great baby book called Touchpoints written by Brazleton (maybe) that explains each of the points in a baby’s life when you can expect some upheaval…for example, when they start moving on their own or turning over. At these times the babe is so excited that they have a hard time settling down. They are so excited that sleep becomes the enemy and awake time gives them a chance to practice the new skill.

I thought something might be up…and then he took his first steps today! Maybe that explains his crazy non-sleep. Or maybe Gramma Hughes is right and it’s really the mom that creates a sleeper or non-sleeper 🙂

He held onto the table in the living room and kept trying to turn so he could touch me. I was a little bit behind him. In order to get to me, he needed to reach out…and he happened to let go and took two unsteady steps toward me. Later on he took another step after letting go of my leg. He has been working on the standing alone and squatting down without falling. What a mover!

Today we also had fun going to Mitchell Park, a splash playground, with some friends. Lily was especially excited to see Nora Jane, Henry, Nash, Ruth and Matthew. The babies crawled around and shared snacks with each other and the big kids tackled the slides and other fun climb on structures. I wish we could rig a microphone to one of them in order to record what is being said…there is always serious conversation and planning going on!


Last night as I was making dinner, Lily was in the playroom (which looks like an episode of Hoarders right now as I attempt a reorganization!) and joined me in the kitchen to show me what she found. It was a superball. She didn’t have any idea what it was or what it might do besides roll around on the floor. So I showed her.

Here’s the best part…she didn’t understand what was happening. I bounced the ball. She kept looking at me. I bounced it again. I explained that she needed to follow the ball with her eyes. As soon as could see where it was, a look of utter astonishment came over her face like it was the most rad thing she ever did see! It struck me, once again, how things we grow to take for granted were new to all of us at one time. And so it was for Lily and the SuperBall.

She bounced and chased it for the rest of the night. And giggled like a madwoman during a full moon. No kidding.