Owen and Cam in Action

Sunday, August 23, 2015 – Mequon, Wisconsin


Andy wanted to go to Duluth Trading Company in Port Washington.  They have a great playground there overlooking Lake Michigan so Jennifer stayed there with the boys while Andy shopped. Of course, I took dozens of photos and they are all adorable, but here is one I like for the picture as much as who the baby is. I squatted at the end of the big green tube sliding board and waited for the boys to come down. Owen was right behind Cam, but the picture with both of them in it was not as compelling.

a Cam in Sliding Board Tube

The boys continue to ride their pedal-less bikes nearly every day.  Here, they are taking a break and eating snacks Jennifer had set out for them.

a Cam and Owen with Bikes

Owen loves to paint watercolors and asks Jennifer to draw him pictures of monster trucks to paint every day. He is just emerging from the spread-paint-all-over-the paper phase to the splotching-colors-on-objects phase. Cam is in the paint-myself phase. This level of concentration is typical. He even painted the bottoms of his feet.

a Cam Painting Himself

Jennifer and the boys planted some sunflower seeds next to the driveway.  I took this picture with the afternoon sun shining through the petals.

b Sunflower in Sun Shine

One day George brought Owen’s motorcycle out of the garage. Given the fact that, when he first came to our house for spring break while they were in college, I told him I would rip his arms out of the sockets if he ever got my daughter on a motorcycle, he was probably not sure how I would react to my grandson riding one. I admit I would rather he did not have any self-propelled vehicles. But, I don’t want to be the kind of mother-in-law or grandmother who tries to set their rules.

At the moment it seems safe enough.  George has it set so slow that I could walk backwards faster than Owen rides it. He is not completely comfortable on it either, so George or Jennifer walk with him, holding the back fender and getting a backache.

a Owen on Motorcycle

That big ole helmet and protective clothing must be hot; his hair was soaking wet when the ride was over.

a Owen and His Motorcycle

Oh my gosh, Cam is driving a little car too. He handles it very well. He especially loves the checkered flag.

a Cam Driving Race Car

What is the world coming to?

There are a lot of nice things to say about Wisconsin and Ozaukee County.  One of them is the number of parks and playgrounds. I asked Google (but didn’t check to see if this is the latest information) and learned that the town of Mequon has 26 recreational facilities covering 1,100 acres. Thiensville, a couple miles south, and Cedarburg, a couple miles north of the house, both probably have as many, proportionally. Owen and Cam seem to like what they call the firetruck playground in Cedarburg.  One of the pieces of playground equipment looks like a big firetruck and my exceptional grandsons love to drive it.

a Cam Driving Fire Truck

George usually commutes by motorcycle.  I got a kick out of Cam kissing him goodbye one morning.

a Cam Kissing Papa Goodbye

The boys come into Sao every morning to wake me up.  (If I’m already up, I get back into bed when I hear them coming.) They sneak into the bedroom and Owen says, “Baba Yaga, your grandsons are here to wake you up”. Andy helps them climb up onto the bed and they push me while Cam repeats, “Out! Out! Out!” until I am Out! of the bed. Then they want a biscotti.  Yes! There is a Costco just a few miles away too!

a Cam and Owen Eating Biscotti

Own generally eats his.  Cam eats the chocolate off and leaves the cookie. It’s a little bit soggy when he is done too.

George and the boys went with us for our daily walk on Andy’s birthday.  We went to the Rotary Park just around the corner, our new favorite place to walk.  George took the bike trailer for the boys. It makes and excellent stroller on hiking trails. George made them get out and walk part of the time.

a George with Boys

Then we went to the playground.  Cam has become fearless on any sliding board over the past couple weeks.

a Cam on Sliding Board

After the walk, Andy and I went out for his birthday lunch at the Anvil Pub and Grill in Cedarburg. Then we walked a bit more around town and along Cedar Creek.  We were studying the water flow over a dam when I noticed a bird I had never seen before.  Several of them were zipping around above Cedar Creek and perching in the branches above us. I asked Google and learned that it is (wouldn’t you know it) a Cedar Waxwing. I love the mask.

a Cedar Waxwing

Today, we brought out the birthday ice cream cake. I put the boys on Andy’s lap so they could help him blow out the candles.

a Birthday Cake

Owen blew them both out with one quick puff as soon as Happy Birthday ended so Jennifer relit them so Cam could have a turn. Then we got down to eating ice cream cake. Cam, who is not too skilled with eating utensils, used his spoon to pick up the whole slice of ice cream and bring it to his mouth for a bite. This picture was taken in the beginning before he smeared ice cream on the table and dropped a glob on the foot-rest of his chair.  As I was wiping him up, I discovered ice cream on the bottoms and between the toes of his bare feet.

a Cam Eating Icecream Cake

Owen did not want to go inside for dinner and would not listen to his Papa.  He got carried in kicking a screaming.  After being chastised for disobedience, he went to the sofa and got under a small quilt to pout.  I took this picture from the table. Poor little waif. He is pitiful enough to make you think he didn’t deserve it.

a Owen Sad on Sofa

I commented to Jennifer that Owen has passed the Terrible Twos and is now in the Terrible Threes.  She responded with, “Whoever coined the phrase “Terrible Twos” did not yet have a three-year-old”. Of course, she was advanced for her age; she reached the Terrible Twos at one-and-a-half.



First Week in Wisconsin

 August 10, 2015  Mequon, Wisconsin

It is hard to believe that we have now been in Wisconsin a week and I have not written a single log.  By the time we are finished with the grandsons in the evening, I am too exhausted to think straight or to focus on the keyboard.  Tonight I am making some extra effort.

Owen and Cam were so excited when we backed Sao into the driveway.  I was greatly amused at Andy getting all the help with the tow hitch. Both boys were trying to do it all.

b Helping with the Tow Hitch

At one-and-a-half, Cam wants to spend time in the driver’s seat every day. Most of the time, he wants me to sit in the seat and he sits on my lap.  He grabs my hand and pulls me to the driver’s seat while pointing with his other hand.  Then he says, “shit”.  I obediently sit and he climbs up on my lap and starts driving.

b Cam Driving Sao

Owen, on the other hand, does not seem as obsessed with driving.  Though, one day he was behind the wheel and Cam climbed up behind him, screaming “OUT!”  Owen did what any big brother would do; he pushed back from the steering wheel and tried to squash Cam behind him.  It didn’t work too well, Cam was determined.  Then they were both screaming.

b Battle for the Steering Wheel

b Cam Driving Sao

b Owen in Sao

Owen also likes to sit on the dash to wave goodbye when Papa leaves for work in the morning.

b Boy on Dashboard

They also zip around the yard on the pedal-less bikes. I took this picture before they got their required helmets on.

b Boys on Bikes

We were drawing on the driveway with big fat chalk and Andy drew a picture of a man.  Jennifer and I were amazed that it was a self-portrait although Andy said he did not intend it to be. Owen added the body, arms, and legs.

b Andy in Chalk

I have discovered a cure for insomnia.  Have two little boys wake you up every morning between 0600 and  0700.  Daughter Jennifer says Cam starts asking for me as soon as he wakes up. I have even fallen asleep two afternoons this week.

Andy gave the boys the bear backpacks he bought in the Smokies. They were very pleased with them.  Owen collected some paper, markers, and a book to put in his.  Cam just carried his around empty.
b Owen and Cam w Bear Backpacks

George and Jennifer live in an ideal location, just a few miles from Costco. But, she told us that we are not allowed to go there to buy any Costco quantities of food. I could not pass up the cutest fireman costume for Owen.  He loves to dress up and you can see from his expression that he was very proud to be a fireman. This suit will fit him for a couple years.

b Owen the Fireman

I had seen a recipe on the internet for “Unpopable Bubbles” and was excited to try them with the boys.  We used my hospital basin dishpan and Jennifer made up the recipe with dish soap and corn syrup.  We made just a few giant bubbles that didn’t last any longer than regular bubbles.  Then Cam decided to sit in the dish pan and tipped it over.  He was a sticky, soapy mess and so was the sidewalk. Jennifer had to wash him down with the garden hose. I hosed down the sidewalk while Jennifer was inside changing Cam.

b Cam in the Bubble Suds

Cam wants to drive everything.  Here he is checking the gauges in the Focus.

b Cam Driving Focus

The boys had swim lessons on Saturday morning.  Their classes were side-by-side at the same time and I was running back and forth taking pictures of them.

b Cam in Swim Class

Owen was a bit uncomfortable on his back, but he did cooperate.

b Owen in Swim Class

We went to the Renaissance Fair in the afternoon. Owen got a dragon painted on his face.  He sat so still that the woman returned half the price to George.

b Owen Face Paint

And, we are calling him Sir Owen now since he was knighted by the queen.

b Owen Being Knighted

George and Jennifer wanted to assemble the new bunk beds for the boys so we took them to the beach to get them out of the house.  Lion’s Den Gorge is very close to home and on Lake Michigan.  There is a mile walk from the parking lot to the gorge (a big ravine with bridges, stairs, and paths leading down to the beach from a high bluff). I didn’t take too many pictures of the boys on the trail because I didn’t want to let go of Cam’s hand for long. Owen held onto him for a picture on a bridge.

b Owen and Cam on Bridge Lions Den

Here they have reached the beach and I was just behind them, still in the woods.

b Cam and Owen on Beach

It didn’t take Cam long to get his butt wet on the shore.  Then he sat in the sand. I took this picture just before he climbed over the log and fell face first into the sand on the far side. I poured the water from his drink up over his face to get most of the sand off.  That didn’t get it out of his nose though.

b Cam with Sandy Butt