Friday, June 11, 2010

Musical train

At Morton's Public Library, they hosted one of our favorite local children's artist, Julie K. As she sang about choo-choo trains, the children formed a couple of lines and paraded around the parents. It was so cute! Julie joined right in without much hesitation. Anything trains, and he is ready to go!
Pekin's miniture golf features a train theme too - coal car, tracks, even a caboose that you go inside to tee off and then hop off to follow your ball down the tubes to the hole. Julian went around and around on that hole five times! And, he played a little game of make believe insisting that mom sit in the train seat and he called out "all aboard" then punched the pretend tickets.

Julian only teed off the actually tee the first turn. After that he would just run up to the hole, place the golf ball about three inches away, then bend over and take his shot. He was very curious when the ball disappeared down the tube at the 18th hole. He didn't want any other balls to go down there since they weren't returned to you!

At McDonald's (or, should I say "cock-a-doodle doo"), Julian made a new friend. He and Maurice were big cheeses in front of the cameras!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Outdoor fun in the sun

During a nature hike this week, Julian helped me collect dried seeds that resembled little garden snakes. My intention is to paint them with bright colors and polka dots like the figurines found in Oaxaca, Mexico.
This low branch was at a perfect height for Julian to climb. Julian also insisted that I come under the tree with him in order to help keep the sun out of my eyes.
Barefoot and fancy free coming down the slide!
Julian got caught nibbling on some of the bread crumbs we were supposed to be feeding the ducks.
Could anything be better than playing in the sun with the garden hose?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My first fish

Well, would you look at that! Julian had barely sat down to fish, when he had a bite. Those whole wheat dough balls sure did the trick! Daddy was kind enough to take the fish off the hook and toss him back into the pond. Afterward we wondered if maybe we shouldn't have left the tiny fish on the hook as bait for a larger catfish. All in all, this was a very appropriate first catch for a two year old we thought!

Julian was very serious about winding in his own reel. And, of course, he brought along his blue Bass Pro Shop folding chair to sit on.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Trucks! Trucks! And more trucks!

We met up with friends at the annual Touch-A-Truck event hosted by the Peoria School District today. Each kid received a "I touched a truck." sticker and bag for collecting prizes, snacks, coloring book, crayons, etc. Julian was all business as he headed out to see the trucks!
Julian got into hip action with some other kids soon enough. Fun, lively music played the entire time. I wish I would have taken a picture of the DJ (husband of the clown we noted)- he had six huge speakers set-up. They did the trick that's for sure, as it was a windy day and truck horns were honking constantly!
Julian was the last to part with his hula hoop; it was difficult to carry with both hands!
We took a break from touching the trucks, and sat under some trees to eat lunch. Julian kept watching all the action though!
Not my ideal place for a comfortable nap, but Julian must have known something we grown-ups didn't because before long two other boys jumped into the front loader too!

They all seemed tickled by their cleverness!
Inside the stadium they had carnival like activities for the kids. Julian was calm, cool and collected participating in the craft-like task of filling an elephant charm necklace with colored sand.
He was pretty good at fishing too! Maybe we'll take him to the fishing derby in Peoria this Saturday!

He was really ready to take off and drive this tractor across the parking lot while wearing his hard hat from Ameren UE, of course. Julian was pretty proud of himself for climbing into the driver's seat of the school bus. In fact, he reached for the CB radio at one point and seemed to be role playing!

We'll probably go see more fire trucks this weekend at the 2nd Annual Fire Days in Pekin. There's a parade and free kid entertainment....they don't have to tell us twice!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Farmer Julian

We headed over to Fon Du Lac Farm Park with friends today. Boy, was Julian ever busy lending a helping hand wherever he could! First, there was digging up a new sand pit at the playground.
Then, Julian helped wind up the ribbons on the May pole.
Here he is "testing" the cool shade in the pony's stable.
Julian checking out the saddle in the tool shed.
Milking the cow.
Then, dumping out the "milk" into the grass like he saw one of the volunteers on the farm do.

Needless to say, Julian fell asleep on the car ride home.

Mommy sang "e-i-e-i-o-u-1 farm park"!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

That's what little boys are made of!

Julian has attended four Chiefs' minor league baseball games now. So, he was practicing his own baseball skills the other day. What do you think of this sitting down technique?! He was quite pleased with himself!
Bath time was a whole lot more appealing the other night when Mom whipped out a travel size can of shaving cream. Julian thought it was funny sticking the rubber ABC's to his belly too!
Julian attended not one, but two children workshops this past weekend. He was in full concentration with the rather large hammer Home Depot provided for the kids. Lowe's usually has only small hammers for the younger crowd, so the heavier hammer was a really big deal!
The picket fence planter seemed to have Julian's seal of approval. He even found a little house plant to set in it which he had to kneel down and admire in the middle of the aisle on the way to the check-out.
At Wildlife Prairie Park, Julian thought the giant frog was a hilarious sandbox playmate.
Most of the animals were behind enclosures, however, this little turtle was found along the walking path. Julian had to show Mommy and Daddy how its head goes in and out of its shell (poke, poke). Then, he released it back into the talk grasses along the side of the path with that new baseball arm of his while Mommy rummaged through her book bag for the hand sanitizer!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's a great life!

Nick captured this picture of Julian "hanging out on the tree swing". JuJu's favorite way of swinging these days is best described as the crazier the better!!!! He even pushes off the tree for a little extra fun -- agh!!!!

Julian often likes to sit as his very own picnic table for lunch, snacks and dinner. He must have thought his spot was a little too sunny, so he improvised a shadier seat with a rain umbrella.
The Pages' Circus (it has a Spanish pronunciation, by the way) came to Pekin, IL last Wednesday. We toured the arena grounds during the morning and were able to see the elephants, camels, ponies, horses, tigers and lions. Julia's favorite thing t0 watch was the park ranger mowing grass on the riding lawn mower!!! Later that night we did attend the live show; Julian laughed out loud, clapped enthusiastically, jumped out of his seat and attempted to perform some upside-down acrobatics and spins of his own, and even cuddled up to an 8 yr. old girl to enjoy the second half of the show!
What better way to raise Mom's heart rate than to fly down the slide on your belly!
Julian's trying to keep up with our neighbor, Tom, who has a riding lawn mower!!!
We toured the "Art of the Brick - LEGO" exhibit at the Lakeview Museum with our friends, Walter and Monica. The boys were most captivated by the permanent hands-on exhibit with plastic pins that you press back and forth.

And, finally I must confess to dragging the boys (Nick and Julian) to a Primetime Expo on Saturday that was sponsored by our local newspaper. We were the youngest attendees...apparently "primetime" is a bit older that I imagined. Many in the crowd were participating in chair aerobics to the Golden Oldies. The antique car show was pretty cool though, and the Elvis impersonator bestowed a silk sash on Julian!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fun in the sun!

Thanks to all the time we spent outdoors in the backyard last summer, the dogs have become very proficient at digging in the dirt. Their favorite spot is this shady area next to Julian's play house. Julian doesn't seem to mind; in fact, he's benefited from the dogs' actions. The dirt (when dry!) is really lose, and the hole has really grown in size. Julian grabs his "sandbox" toys and digs right in. Here he is with his safety glasses from Lowe's as it was a breezy day and he was tired of rubbing dirt out of his eyes. The outfit was of his own doing too!
Lots of dirty fun!

A little clean fun, too!
Concentrating while climbing at the playground.
Give a kid a shovel, and he'll spread mulch around for you!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Have lawnmower ... will travel

Shhhh! Don't let the IRS know about Julian's new toddler lawn mowing service! It's quite the set-up. He crawls into the red wagon, hauls the plastic lawn mower in with him. Then, Mom gets to pull him along to the "work site".

Here are some photos from the past week:Hanging out in Grandma Shari's forsythia bush.Swinging along the zip line that Grandpa Jerry installed.
Looking for what the Easter Bunny left in the yard.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Going green!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Mother Nature must know that today is an Irish celebration -- we woke up to a thick blanket of fog outside. Hopefully the sun will appear in time for the annual St. Patty's Parade downtown. Julian made a shamrock wand with Miss Mary at the library yesterday; he's looking forward to waving it among the crowd.
So, here's Julian helping Mom cut up a big head of cabbage for a yummy salad. Of course he was the official taste tester; at one point he lifted up the entire head of cabbage and took a big bite out of it!
In other news, Julian likes to tell you his name -- "Ju, Ju" he says. Ahhhh!

Julian's hot-stuff picture!!Rockin' out!

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