July was hot and tough. But August has proven to be almost perfect. And so we have been soaking up every last bit of summer. It's true that I've been counting down the days to Fall. I'm anxious to put out my fall decor, buy harvest candles and carve pumpkins. I'm ready to come home from work, throw on a sweatshirt and enjoy cozy evenings with two little boys in jackets... taking walks as we watch the sun set a little bit earlier every night.
But... for now... we have a great nightly routine going on. Come home from work/daycare, grab a light snack while we prepare dinner, eat our supper... and then outside we go. In fact, the minute Brandon gets down from his booster seat at the table, he makes a dash for our back door and tries to turn the door knob by himself. He knows what's next.
We have an assortment of outdoor activities that the boys enjoy every night in our own backyard. But to start off, Brandon usually just likes to run around and explore. To see what bugs he can find and what birds are flying above him in the sky. His little personality just blossoms more every single day. Sometimes I think I literally squeeze him too tight when I give him hugs. I can't get enough.
(The picture of him holding his hand up is his way of asking for the camera.) ;)
Brandon tries to copy his big brother. He's figured out the t-ball set, and though he can't hit the ball very far (he has no idea how to hold the bat correctly), he likes to place the ball on the T, tap the ball with the bat... and repeat the process a few times -- often clapping for himself when he's done.
Jaden is loving his motorized John Deere tractor. It has two speeds - medium and fast - and can be put in reverse. He is turning into quite the skilled tractor operator. While he used to just drive it forward and in circles, he now likes to challenge himself by putting it in reverse and trying out different driving patters. He does refuse to use the fast speed... but I'm sure that's the only speed Brandon will want it on when he's old enough to take it for a spin. Jaden also really likes his bike, and plans are in place to get him a "big boy" bike by next summer.
The kids also enjoy climbing on their slide/fort, playing in the sandbox, pushing their mower around (a toy they often fight over), playing with chalk and swinging. There is nothing better than a tree swing. Brandon enjoys it, but for some reason only Mommy is allowed to push him. If anyone else tries to push him... whether it be Jaden, Daddy... or even Papa - he gets angry. He's a goofy one.
Most evenings are ended with a walk around the neighborhood. The UNI quarterbacks coach lives nearby, so Jaden often mentions walking to the house where the "UNI football coaches live!"
These two boys are so much fun, and I am a very lucky Mama.