Oh June. What a great month!
First of all, I have to say that I've had a lot of fun watching Brennan grow & mature lately. He is taking fewer naps, which provides for more one on one time with him while the Brothers are napping. Some of the big favorites this month were puzzles and learning about volcanoes. At one point he was "reading" a volcano book while watching a volcano video. Brennan and I even had a nice little fro-yo date after a very, um, dramatic haircut for him. It's nice to be able to spend a little one-on-one time with my biggest baby.
My photografriend Lisa and her hubby have 3 kiddos - 6 year old twin boys and a 2 year old girl. With as much traveling as we do and as many photo shoots they do on the weekends, we rarely have the opportunity to get everyone together. But we took advantage of a free weekend in June and headed over to their house for a BBQ. Brennan loves to play with the big boys, the littles love to run around together, and we parents love to be able to sit and chat while the kiddos run wild.
Early June was filled with lots of normalcy. The Brothers are starting to require timeouts on the regular, which just reminds me that they're quickly approaching ... 2. They're still quite snuggly babies though. I must admit that there are days when I'm just "touched out", but it's rare that I'll turn down a bedtime snuggle because I know that these moments won't last forever.
Brian filled up the pool in the backyard and the boys have had so much fun swimming and playing and trying to keep cool. They love squirting each other with the hose and practicing their swimming techniques. Mommy & Daddy are enjoying the ability to put our feet up and watch the fun with beers (and a camera, duh) in our hands.
Father's Day was pretty laid back in our house this year. The boys (and by that I mean "I") bought Brian a few small things. We tend to keep Mother's Day & Father's Day to small, meaningful gifts, usually something that the boys make.
This year I found a great deal on a remote control helicopter and decided that it would be something that all 4 boys could enjoy together. I hid it successfully in the bottom of my closet until 2 days before Father's Day when Brennan discovered it and yelled, "Daddy! Look what I found!" Brian smiled sheepishly at me and said, "Um, I think he found my Father's Day gift". They all spend most of Father's Day enjoying the helicopter together and all-around enjoying the most important man in our life. I always knew that Brian would make a great Dad, but I had no idea that he would be this amazing. We are all so lucky to have him.
Much of June involved playing outside, getting dirty & sweaty, and taking baths to remedy the situation. The boys love to draw with chalk, play hopscotch (kinda), ride their bikes and "fix" the cars. Of course, Florida summers are pretty hot and the sun is intense, so we try to keep the outside times reserved for early mornings or evenings. They also really love to be "naked" when they're outside, if you couldn't tell from the pictures. We're totally that family.
Mr. Beckett looooooves to drive the car. And Kiernan really prefers to ride shotgun, so there is much less arguing than I anticipated. Whenever they drive around like this, I have visions of them in 15 years and my heart does little flip flops. They're growing up too fast.
As I said, bike riding is a favorite past time around here. Brian recently found a great deal on a bike on Craigslist, so he has been biking to work occasionally to help build up strength in his leg. Brennan's physical therapy has helped with his strength and it's becoming easier for him to ride his bike. They've attempted a few father/son bike rides, but they usually only make it to the end of the block before turning around. Baby steps ;) The brothers love to get in on the bike riding action too, practicing on their trike or sitting on Brennan's big bike. Kiernan's favorite part is wearing Brennan's bike helmet.
Uncle Cory came for a visit a few days before my birthday. On Friday the 21st, we headed to the zoo for a few hours. Since there were 3 adults, we decided to ditch the stroller and let the boys walk. I think they really enjoyed the freedom, and it was much less chaotic than I imagined it would be!
My favorite thing about our zoo is the opportunity to feed so many of the animals. The boys love the interaction with the deer, birds, and giraffes in particular. It was such a great morning.
As it neared noon, Brian stalled and stalled. He seemed to be taking his sweet time and the boys were getting hungry and tired. So of course I was getting annoyed. Then when we left he wanted Chick-Fil-A. When I suggested we drive through and he refused, finally declaring that he wanted "4 to 5 fountain Cokes", I knew he had something up his sleeve. I had no idea what it was, but I decided that I better just go with it. Imagine my surprise when I was waiting for our drinks and my parents and sister walked through the door!
It was the greatest surprise. I was over-the-moon excited to see them, especially George since I hadn't seen her since Christmas. After lunch, we headed back to our house. We chatted while Brennan and Brian played in the rain. It was an awesome day!
On my birthday we headed to Brian's office for a cookout with our friends. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. My Mom & Brennan made me a cake and that evening we sang Happy Birthday and I opened a few gifts. It was a wonderful birthday, and I have to say, 30 feels pretty good.
Sunday we headed to the beach. It was nice to have lots of extra hands and the boys loved body-surfing.
The difference in the boys' personalities is really evident at the beach. While they all enjoy being in the water and playing in the sand, they each definitely have favorites. Mr Beckett prefers playing in the sand, often under the shade of our tent. He's a sand thrower, but luckily his favorite target is his own head instead of his brothers. Kiernan likes to chase things. I know. Shocking, right? Birds, waves, airplanes, people. You name it, the kid wants to run after it. On this particular trip he was having a blast pointing out all of the airplanes. While he likes to play in the sand with Beckett & chase things with Kiernan, Brennan's favorite thing is to be out in the water with an adult (usually his Daddy) holding him and "jumping" over the big waves.
I can't even explain how much easier it is to go out to eat with more adults to help with the boys. We seldom eat out at restaurants because A.) it gets expensive with our growing boys and B.) it's chaos. So it's nice to have extra adults around to help control the chaos so that we can enjoy a meal at a restaurant now and then.
Aunt George came bearing gifts for the boys and they kept her busy while enjoying those gifts. She supervised time in the rice box sensory bin, helped with the painting kit she brought, and manned the pump for the airbrush kit she brought for Brennan. Mommy enjoyed telling Brennan to "go ask Aunt George for help" while she was here :)
Of course, everyone got plenty of snuggles while they were here. Each boy seemed to have a favorite person to stick close to. Brennan had lots of fun with Aunt George, Kiernan loves his Grammy, & Mr Beckett wants nothing to do with anyone but Grampy. So on the rare occasion that Beckett went near Grammy, we had to snap a picture to document that he does actually love her.
Going to the pool at their hotel was another HUGE hit. Apparently I have 3 little fish. It took Brennan a bit to get used to the pool and he insisted on wearing his swimmies. I hadn't planned on putting swimmies on the Brothers, but had thrown them in the bag just in case. When Kiernan saw Brennan's, he insisted on a pair of his own and wouldn't let anyone help him swim. Beckett wanted a pair on too and required a little more assistance, but they all had an absolute blast in the pool. It made me sad that they don't get to enjoy Grammy & Grampy's pool more often!
The boys also wanted to show Grammy & Grampy how we take walks around the block ... footloose and fancy free. Brennan showed off his car spotting skills when we crossed the street and they all showed off their "Red light, green light" game.
It was so hard to see them leave, but it was made a bit easier knowing that Brennan and I would head to Michigan in a few short weeks. What a wonderful way to end a great month!