August 4 – August 22, 2016

It’s still hot! But Mina’s staying cool.

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That little toy you can see on her left is one of her favorites. She especially likes to use it to practice switching hands.

Mina’s eating a lot of different foods now. That’s a bit of fig cracker on her nose, I think. She loves bananas, sweet potatoes, pears, peaches, and honeydew melon. She really likes watermelon, but we can’t let her have it because she bites off huge chunks.

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The Rody belongs to Linus, but Mina likes to take him out for a spin from time to time.

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Or maybe just nibble his ears.

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She’s getting very mobile. She likes to climb up onto her feet, and can pull herself up to standing now. We need to lower the mattress in her crib!

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Linus put his old conductor hat on her. We were surprised how long she left it on!

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We met friends at a park one Saturday morning. It’s a great little park – lots of different things to do, but also by the train tracks. Every few minutes a train goes by and all the kids stop to watch.

Instead of slides, they’ve built this huge slope. I like it better than a little slide.

Assembly Row and Southern Kin restaurant

Assembly Row and Southern Kin restaurant

Of course they have a little sprinkler area. Linus was naturally attracted to it because we’d forgotten to pack another set of clothes.

Assembly Row and Southern Kin restaurant

Assembly Row and Southern Kin restaurant

Assembly Row and Southern Kin restaurant

Assembly Row and Southern Kin restaurant

Assembly Row and Southern Kin restaurant

By the LEGO store. I suppose one day we’ll have to actually pay the crazy fee and go inside. For now, though, he’s perfectly happy just looking at the giraffe out front.

Assembly Row and Southern Kin restaurant

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Linus grabbed Yen’s phone and managed to take a bunch of photos of himself. I insisted that he keep a couple.

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Here’s a little better quality!

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I showed this photo to a friend at work who hasn’t seen Linus in quite a long time. She said, “He’s a little boy now!” She’s so right. All of his baby fat is gone, and he’s just a bean-pole little boy. It went too fast.

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Yoga! But also showing off his underwear. He’s doing so well with the potty training. He’s only had one real accident. A couple of times he, um, leaked a little as he ran toward the bathroom, but I think he’s really got it down. He particularly enjoys peeing on trees now when he’s outside. When we walked around the neighborhood the other night, he made me stop twice in 45 minutes!

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Here she is standing up! She’s awfully proud of herself.

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Linus is such a great helper. As soon as he finishes doing all the laundry, he immediately runs off to sweep or mop the floor.

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Monkey face!

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Here’s a little peekaboo video at the dinner table.

Of course sometimes she spends meals just sitting there yelling at us.

One night Linus and Yen were blowing bubbles out on the back deck. I thought it was an awfully cute scene. These two guys are the best buddies. They try to go out and do something adventurous each day: grocery shopping, returning library books and selecting new ones, or just checking out the local parks.

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Poor Mina. She developed an allergic reaction to something. We’re still not sure what it was. She had a little bit of pho the night before, so I was scared that it was a beef allergy. But the doctor didn’t think it was beef or the possible MSG that could be in the soup – in other words, she thought something was in the soup that shouldn’t have been, or that I’d used some kind of lotion or soap that was different, but just didn’t remember doing it. Anyway, little Mina had to take Benadryl three times a day for a full week! The allergy worked its way through her little body. One day her cheeks would be inflamed, and the next day they’d be fine, but her neck would be crazy. Then her chest, on down to her stomach, etc. It never seemed to bother her, and it hasn’t happened since. Not the nicest picture, but I wanted to include it in case we need to remember later exactly when it happened.

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She felt well enough to go the museum on the weekend (although you can still see the rash on her legs). There was a LEGO exhibit, so I naturally put on one of the helmets.

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Linus is doing a better job of playing with other little kids he encounters. Note how much taller this kid is – he’s two weeks younger!

Wenham Museum + Lego At Large

Wenham Museum + Lego At Large

Linus moved the stool around and placed it wherever he wanted to get a better look. I was proud of how self-sufficient he was!

Wenham Museum + Lego At Large

Wenham Museum + Lego At Large

Aw, here you can see her little red marks are still there. But she enjoyed the museum anyway! I didn’t have too many qualms about bringing her out in her condition. After all – this is where Linus got Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. People are clearly not too worried about contagions.

By the way, have you noticed that her eyes are finally now the same deep black as Linus’s? They’re so pretty.

Wenham Museum + Lego At Large

Wenham Museum + Lego At Large

We should have taken a little video of this scene. They’ve got it set up so the excavator looks like it’s digging. Linus loved it, of course – we all did, frankly!

Wenham Museum + Lego At Large

Wenham Museum + Lego At Large

The next day was supposed to be the hottest, most humid day of the year. We didn’t want to keep the kids locked inside all day, so we headed to Drumlin Farm. As usual, they were the only kids who weren’t bare-headed and -limbed. I promise that all of the clothing is very light-weight and loose so they’re not any warmer than they would be in short sleeves. It just saves having to rub sunscreen on them over and over – and really protects them better from the sun.

Anyway, here’s Linus checking out the sensory tree. He wasn’t impressed.

Drumlin Farm

The poor sheep smelled so terrible! I think maybe they hadn’t been mucked out for the morning.

Drumlin Farm

Drumlin Farm

Here’s what he was pointing to in that last photo!

Drumlin Farm

Linus didn’t really want to make friends with the farm cat. The cat seemed to respect that, and they just considered each other from a careful difference. It may have been a welcome break after the previous kid grabbed its fur with both fists.

Drumlin Farm

Linus likes to run truck rallies around the house (we are required to join in). Lately he’s been balancing things on top of the dump truck, and I spend the whole rally repositioning it for him. Eventually he will come to understand basic physics, I imagine.

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Linus loves to touch Mina’s cheeks. Who doesn’t?! They’re the softest substance on earth. She doesn’t always enjoy the gesture, though.

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Poor Mina got so frustrated trying to learn to crawl, but Linus was very sympathetic and kept getting down onto the floor with her.

He’s very sweet on her. He’s always cuddling with her – or trying to. She is fascinated by watching all of the things he does, but she generally seems unmoved by his affection.

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Mina takes after Linus in her interest in HVAC technology.

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This one really kills me. Her little face just looks so funny. “I can do it! The whole ball!”

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We kept playing peekaboo with Mina, and finally Linus stole the blanket and walked all over the house. He knows the house so well that he went all over the place without looking at all.

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Our little man-about-town went shopping with Yen. He’s completely ready to go out to the Cape for the weekend (or something equally preppy!).

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This car has been sitting in our garage for quite a while now – ever since we realized the extent to which it was scratching the walls. Linus discovered it one day and decided to take it for a spin. Yen told me he actually rode it all the way down the street and up the hill from our house!

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I know it’s cruel, but isn’t it cute?

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These turkeys have been visiting our neighborhood all week! Here they’re in the neighbor’s yard. We certainly do not have a big ugly pool in ours!

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Linus is in charge of the laundry, of course, and lately he’s started hanging it outside instead of putting it in the dryer.

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Shhh! Mina’s sleeping! Isn’t it funny how she sleeps all spread out like that?

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Linus went through a little phase of being sick of his bike, but I think he’s back to liking it again. I think you can guess who attached all of those American flag stickers to his chest.

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Singing and sweeping!

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The last time we went shopping, Linus insisted that he needed to climb into the back of the car. He wasn’t happy when we explained that he couldn’t ride home like that.

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Now, this is terrifying. One day we were all sitting in the living room, and suddenly Linus was up on the couch. He can climb up the front with no problem, but he needs a step to get onto the side.

And then Yen discovered his trick.

Billerica Boys and Girls Club

Billerica Boys and Girls Club

Saturday evening we decided to head out to the beach after naptime was over. We got there around 5pm, which is really the perfect time to go. It’s a little cooler, a little less crowded, and it’s OK if everyone falls asleep after the visit because it’s bedtime anyway!

When we arrived, I carried Linus over the sand dunes. When we got to the top, he screamed, “Ah! Di!” Which means, “Water! Go!” When we got down the edge, I set him down. He didn’t even pause. He just grabbed my hand and marched us out until he was chest deep.

Crane Beach

Crane Beach

Mina was a little more cautious, but I suppose that’s natural when you can’t walk!

Crane Beach

She seemed mildly disgruntled…

Crane Beach

Crane Beach

I was completely living out my parenting fantasy by showing Linus shells and crabs and all kinds of interesting beach things. He was exactly as excited as I wanted him to be.

Crane Beach

A popsicle, an inchworm, and no pants.

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The following day, we headed into Boston to meet Yen’s friends. He and Linus stopped off at a skate park while Mina and I napped a bit in the car. It was a great place for Linus: steps, skaters, and a train in the distance.

North Point Park

Here’s Mina with Yen’s friends’ baby. He’s only a month older, but so much bigger!

North Point Park

He kept trying to kiss her, but she was even less interested than she is in Linus’s kisses. Mina plays hard to get.

North Point Park

North Point Park