summer, summer, summer

Man, it is HOT. But these boys are movers and shakers, so we are outside all day long. The backyard is a mish-mash of canopies: an umbrella over the pool, a sun sail over the swing set and a castle (gazebo) at the end of the driveway.

Dining is alfresco and fluffernutters are frequently on the menu.

liam and kellan
lunch time in the castle

Cleanup is a breeze. We just chuck the boys back in the pool and voila, marshmallow no more.

Liam and Kellan
cheeeeeeeeeese!

Our Kel-Kel monster still naps in the afternoon (knock wood repeatedly). And, occasionally, when the new guy is down I can con the old baby into a snuggle in the hammock.

mommy and liam
hammock time

Although hammock time is the best part of my day, Liam still prefers Godzilla time. He puts on “Godzilla Shows” regularly.

liam, godzilla and (fake) mechagodzilla
“heeshhh, aaaaaaargh”

Liam has been mad about Godzilla for more than a month now. We let him watch Godzilla vs. Mothra on Crackle several weeks ago (so that B and I could stay in bed past 6:30 one Saturday morning) and the boy loved it. He immediately began asking for a Godzilla toy. So we made a deal with him. Liam had to clean up all the toys in the living room before bed to earn a check mark on his Godzilla chart and after five checks we’d buy the toy. Low and behold he cleaned the living room every night before bed.

You have never seen a kid so proud. He still has the chart and the box that Godzilla came it.

In the past couple months he’s watched all the Godzilla flicks that Crackle has to offer plus the 1998 American version.  However, the poor, neglected child only has one “real Godzilla toy” and so must pretend his robot is Mechagodzilla and that Red Death is Gigan and a dragonfly puppet is Mothra. Sad, right? He’s scamming for more “real” monsters through various charts, birthday and Christmas lists.

liam's godzilla show
dragons, dinosaurs and monsters, oh my!

In other news, there is an escape artist in our midst. Kellan slips out of his crib like a ninja. Seriously, the boy does not make a sound until he’s opening the bedroom door or trying to wake Liam.

kellan robert
yeah, i’m smooth

We moved Kellan into Liam’s room for Aydan’s visit and it worked. So, they now share a room and we are converting Kellan’s old bedroom back to a craft room. It’s been pretty smooth sailing until now. The past two nights himself has exited the crib several times at bedtime. He climbed out four times on Tuesday night. The first three times Liam shouted over the monitor, “Mommy, Kellan’s out of his crib!” As Kellen does EVERYTHING Liam does, he immediately piped in with, “Mommy, I out of crib!”

Oy.

By the fourth escape, an hour later, Liam was asleep. Over the monitor we hear, “Nemo*, wake up. Godzilla time.” Then a few minutes later their bedroom door opens and closes, little feet pad down the stairs and then big blue eyes peep around the corner into the living room. Luckily that was his last escape of the night at around 8:45. He let himself out of his crib in the morning and sauntered into the dining room like it was no big thing. The boy slays me.

Last night was better. K stayed in his crib after only three escapes in twenty minutes. We’ll see what tonight brings.

liam and kellan
brothers

The brothers get along really well most of the time. Naturally, skirmishes break out occasionally (and sometimes often), but at the end of the day they’re pals.

Life is good.

*Liam still pronounces his own name “Lima” and Kellan mispronounces it further into “Nemo.” Ridiculously cute. However Liam is a bit sensitive about it and doesn’t find any humor in adults purposely mispronouncing his name and calling him Lima. Consider yourself warned.

outdoor living

We didn’t let the outrageous heat stop us this weekend. Thanks to our new Intex Ultra swimming pool the boys and I spent the whole weekend playing and finishing projects in the backyard. Please note that I will be using the royal “we” throughout this post as my contribution to the work effort was nothing more than pointing and barking directions.

The boys are absolute fish! They love the pool and have no fear. Seriously, the pool is the only way we can stay outside for extended time.

Liam Gregor
i’m a fish

First, B built the boys a teepee (tipi) using a 12’x15′ cotton drop cloth and some 10′ lengths of conduit hanging around since last year’s garden. We followed ZiggityZoom’s instructions and tucked it in a shady spot in the yard. So far, the boys have shown little interest. Go figure. I think it’s very, very cool.

canvas teepee
next step: paint

Next, with the aid of our neighbor Cullen, B made our reclaimed pallet rolling table. The idea came from Joy Ever After. We ignored all measurements (much to B’s horror) and made do with the materials on hand. The casters are from Lowe’s, but everything else is reclaimed. We used two locking casters and two regular, so the total cost of the project was about $25. Can’t beat that with a stick!

reclaimed pallet table
rolling pallets

We’ve been collecting pallets and crates destined for trash pickup for a month or so now and had the perfect pallet for the table top. We couldn’t find a match for the bottom, so B and Cullen broke up another pallet and crate and recreated a pallet for the bottom. They didn’t bother with L-brackets, just toe-screwed the legs to the top and bottom.

pallet table
perfect size (and price!)

It probably took the guys about two hours start to finish and more than half that time was spent busting up the pallet and crate for the base and looking for long wood screws in the shambles of our garage. I positively love it. It’s the perfect size and the ability to roll it around the yard is sweet. We didn’t do anything to the wood, though I may have B sand off a few of the really rough edges to be sure nobody gets a splinter.

Kellan Robert
cutest helper ever

After all that hard work, a shady spot to rest was in order. So, B hung a hammock using an old 9’x12’cotton drop cloth folded in half and some rope from the (still messy) garage.

hammock
shady haven

B followed Tim Anderson’s video on instructables.com. It went up in minutes and can be taken down just as quickly. It’s the perfect size for me, but too small for B. So nice. So, so nice.

Next on the outdoor project list is a picnic bench for the boys. As you can see in the image above, they currently picnic on old plastic milk crates. Surely we can do better than that.

And now for a gratuitous photo.

Liam Gregor
doin’ my best James Dean

The remainder of our weekend was spent testing tiki drink recipes such as:

mai tias
Trader Vic beat Don the Beachcomber

and

coconaut
easy and delicious!

and

Aurora Bora Borealis
i initially liked this, but by the end wasn’t digging it…

Don’t be jealous.