Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bard and the Beach

Some of you might recall that last September--when our teachers were on strike--I introduced my children to Shakespeare. 
Janae got really into memorizing sonnets and reading Hamlet, and in my desire to encourage this very healthy obsession, I promised that in the summer I would take her to see an actual play at Bard on the Beach.  Ben--in his much more casual way--said that he would like to come, too . . . and thus, the stars aligned for one of my dreams to come true :)
Before school was out I selected a Saturday in July and bought tickets for The Comedy of Errors. 
Looking at the seating map on the internet, I hoped we'd be able to see the stage alright from where we would be sitting.
When we got to the play, I could not believe how great our seats were.  I'd learned in one of my English classes that in Shakespeare's time people could pay extra to sit on a stool right on the stage--and on Saturday I felt as though that was US, as we were practically on the stage :) 
I'd read a synopsis of the play and some of The Comedy of Errors itself with Ben and Janae before the big day, so they knew the storyline and generally what would happen . . . but the performance was even better than any of us had expected.  The acting was amazing!
At the gift shop I let the kids each pick out something--Janae got a set of paper dolls with costumes to dress up as Hamlet and Ophelia, Othello and Desdemona, Antony and Cleopatra, Benedick and Beatrice, to name a few. 
Ben found a book that has four Shakespearean tragedies told with . . . LEGO.  The plays are abridged but told in Shakespearean language, with pictures after every few lines that show the scenes with Lego sets and figures.  Ben stayed up Saturday night reading Macbeth--I wasn't sure how much he would get out of it, but the next morning he told Janae the entire story--in great detail--on the way to church :)
After the play--as we were walking to the beach to meet up with Jason, Eric and Alaina--Janae said, "If we get into a car accident [and die] on the way home, I will be happy that I saw a Shakespeare play!"
She can be a little dramatic. . . .
But I was happy that the experience didn't disappoint.  Janae has actually asked several times if we can go back and see it again :)
While we were at the play, Jason had Alaina and Eric at the Planetarium, and then at the beach--both right next to the performance.
We joined them for an hour or so afterwards.  It was a really hot day, so it was nice to be by the ocean.  All of the kids loved finding crabs, digging in the sand, and playing in the water.

Alaina was sad that she wasn't old enough to go to the play (kids have to be at least 7), but maybe she will be able to join us, too, in a couple of years . . . and Eric and Jason, as well, a few years after that :)

In case you are wondering, YES, I am planning to make this a summer tradition for our family!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Eric at 18 Months

This week Eric reached the halfway point between one and two--which meant he had to go for his last set of baby immunizations.
On the questionnaire about developmental milestones, it asked if my baby could say and use at least 20 words.  I thought about it for a minute and wasn't sure--but then checked "yes," thinking he probably could.
When we got home I decided to list all of the words Eric uses regularly, just to be sure he had at least 20 . . . and came up with at least 40:
dog, kitty, animals, car, truck, tractor, chipper, up, more, go, nurse, shoe, me, park, walk, hop, baby, thank you, spaghetti, cheese, taco, pizza, ice cream, apple, (ba)nana, water, cup, juice, flower, book, no, Jedi, yummy, yucky, stinky, Wiggles, head, hand, hat, hot, owie, popcorn, diaper, duck, bus, piece
He also says lots of names, including dada/daddy, mama/mommy, Gpa/Gma, Alaina, Ben, Holly, Becca, Brooke, Luke, and Peeta.
He is growing up so fast--I thought I'd record some of his favorite things at this age.
Eric loves swimming/playing in water,


going for walks--especially to the park--where he is very adventurous,

singing, watching The Wiggles, playing with trains,
and looking at books. 
Eric's favorite book is called Tractors and has pictures that he likes to point to.  At the end of this book it says, "Would you like to have a tractor like me?  Do you have some jobs for me to do?" and Eric always nods his head and says, "Yes."

Eric loves Jason's truck and landscaping equipment. 

He pretends to cut trees with anything he can find in the backyard--including a toy curling iron the girls left outside.

Eric's favorite foods are tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, lasagne, spaghetti and pizza.  He loves making popcorn with Daddy, and he really loves ice cream--he has recently started eating freezies, too.  He also likes to dip things in ketchup--even tomatoes if they happen to be on his plate :)

Unlike any of our other kids at this age, Eric still sleeps in a crib--for naps and the first half of the night.  Like Alaina and Ben, he prefers to sleep with Jason and me when he gets the chance.



Eric also loves animals--dogs and cats that we see around the neighborhood and cows, goats, horses and pigs that he sees at local farms.

Of course, Eric is still best known for his red hair.  Alaina gets jealous (and has said she wishes SHE had red hair) because people constantly stop to comment on this fascinating feature.

Eric recently had his first haircut, which made him look tidier--and (gratefully) not TOO much older.
Needless to say, having this one last baby has been the best thing that ever could have happened to our family.  We love him so much and have so much fun with our little guy!  I just wish time could slow down a bit....