Sunday, September 22, 2013

Austin Children's Museum

We took the kids downtown in March to see the children's museum. It was a good walk from the train station to the museum and between the walk and the museum they were good and tired by the end. It was also the last weekend of SXSW. Fortunately, the museum wasn't particularly close to the epicenter, and we were even able to get a last-minute reservation to Lambert's, one of my favorite restaurants downtown (and made Texas Monthly's list of top 50 bbq restaurants in Texas). It wasn't quite as peaceful as lunch with a bunch of programmers, but the kids liked it and we survived.


They had a live band upstairs, of course. I tried heading up for a closer look but once you came up the stairs the noise hit you like a wall. Downstairs, it was tolerable. Isaac really liked it; you can see him grooving as we left:

Firemen at Chick-fil-a

I took the three older kids to Chick-fil-a in March to see the firemen. They had the truck practically to themselves when we arrived, and were all quite impressed. Isaac in particular loved it and kept asking if we could go see the fire fighters again over the next few days.

Male bonding

IMAG0807 by jbellis
IMAG0807, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Matthew likes to "help" Isaac when Isaac is playing games, by "showing him how to do it." Which is to say, what starts as Isaac playing a game tends to quickly become Isaac watching Matthew play.

My preferred solution is to get games supporting co-op multiplayer so they can help each other. This can still result in Matthew getting mad at Isaac for Not Doing It Right if he's in a bad mood, but for the most part it works pretty well.

Here (in January) they're probably playing Castle Crashers.

Melissa's vampire tree

IMAG0990 by jbellis
IMAG0990, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

I'm not sure where this came from, to be honest.

I don't think the lumberjack shown at the bottom will have much luck.

The best spice

IMAG0907 by jbellis
IMAG0907, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Why is Corinna (in March) eating this food with such relish?

Because it is Isaac's.


IMAG0916 by jbellis
IMAG0916, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

(From April.)

We got cool kites for all the kids and took them to the park across the street. Isaac has the best luck because he was willing to let Mommy help him get his kite up.

Matthew and Melissa did not get theirs up. Matthew was quite angry about this. He was quite sure the kite was defective. Or possibly the world had a systemic problem with heavier-than-air craft that only manifested when he, Matthew, attempted to launch a kite.


IMAG0939 by jbellis
IMAG0939, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Isaac and Corinna play together remarkably well, for the most part. Isaac is patient with his little sister wanting to do Everything Isaac Does and enjoys playing games with her.

Here they are at the park. Note Isaac's Bag of Rocks. This was quite a thing with him for several months. Note also his favorite Angry Birds shirt, also quite a thing.

In the background you can see Isaac's learning bike and Corinna's sandals. She still views footwear as a necessary evil, at best.

Poor Isaac. Corinna is ridiculously photogenic.

I do it myself

IMAG0944 by jbellis
This is from April. Corinna is now deeply into Doing Things Herself, including taking off her own dirty diapers and fastening on the clean ones. (Daddy is not a huge fan of this.)

Another one:

Melissa in the choir

IMAG0992 by jbellis
IMAG0992, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Melissa had fun, but not so much fun that she is super excited to join the choir again this year. "I'll think about it."

All the Ellis kids are artichoke fans

IMAG1010 by jbellis
IMAG1010, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Melissa and Isaac each eat a whole artichoke. Corinna comes close (but she's really just in it for the butter). Matthew, less so.

Picnic in the toy room

IMAG1033 by jbellis
IMAG1033, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

We thought the kitchen renovations would get more or less done while we were in Washington. WRONG. Without Rachel to motivate them, they neglected us for other projects and almost nothing got done. So we spent about two months kitchen-less.

It kind of sucked, but we did our best to make lemonade. Here's Rachel having a "picnic" in the toy room with the kids. I think Matthew actually took the picture.

Corinna's handbag

IMAG1122 by jbellis
IMAG1122, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

Corinna had a ton of fun with this red bag in Office Depot. I went looking online for a more toddler-sized bag. I learned two things: first, bags are found in the Shoe department. Of course! Second, they can easily get ridiculously expensive.

Rachel said I should try the thrift store. So the next time I was running errands with Corinna, I stopped at the Salvation Army store and checked it out. They had a *lot* of red shoulder bags and handbags. I picked the two with the most zippers and pockets and let her choose.

She chose, both! But she actually didn't fight me over it and settled on one. She was very, very pleased.

(The cashier ladies thought she was the cutest thing ever.)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Isaac goes AWOL

Rachel put Corinna down for a nap, and took Melissa to buy a birthday present for later this afternoon.

I put Isaac and Matthew down for naps too.  They were both kind of grumpy.  Then I fell asleep myself.  (Back from Norway this morning at 1 AM.)

Next thing I knew Rachel was waking me up.  Time to take the kids to that party!  And oh, by the way, while you were asleep Isaac left the house, knocked on a neighbor's door, and told them his daddy was gone.  They brought him back, Matthew dragged him yelling up to his room, and the noise woke up Corinna.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

A tired pumpkin

IMAG0985 by jbellis
IMAG0985, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.
Taken in the aftermath of Melissa's birthday in May.

Another, from February.  Isaac may be our best child at listening to his body when he's tired.  (Lest you get the wrong impression, I will add: best Ellis at this skill is a low bar indeed.)IMAG0859