1. Max and I went camping about a month ago for our church's annual fathers & sons camping trip. I hate camping, but I love Max. So we went. And judging by this picture, you would think Max didn't have a very good time. But you'd be wrong. He loved it. That was his new flashlight. He played with it until I forced him to turn it off. At that point, it was around 11 at night and it was hanging from one of the pockets in our tent.
We shared a tent, but we brought Max's tent so he'd have one, too. That made him really happy. But he was a little disappointed that he didn't get to sleep in it. We tried that, but since his tent doesn't have a door (it just has a little opening, like the igloo that it is painted as), for the 15 minutes he was trying to go to sleep, he was really sneaking out of his tent to wander around with hist flashlight on. At one point, some big kids came by and saw him playing with his flashlight and asked for help because they couldn't find their tent. Well wouldn't you know but that Max Ellis just would love to help the poor little boy find his dad!
Luckily, I was sitting on a bench about 10 feet away watching the whole thing. I hated to put an end to it, but after he helped the little boy find his way, I invited him to join me in my tent for the night.
Anyway, although they tried, the bugs and the midnight train running through the state park (yeah, who planned that one?) couldn't make me hate the campout.
2. It was great that we went on our campout. Max hadn't been as nice to me over the past couple of months as he had been earlier in life when I used to be his best friend. Slowly over the past year he's really started to favor Kristin because mostly when I'm home Aviva dominates my attention. Since the campout, though, things have kind of returned to normal, and he even wants me to play with him some times. I'm so grateful.
3. A couple of months ago we took the kids (along with cousins Ben & Keely and friend Collin) bowling. Only Collin and Ben enjoyed the repetitive nature of the activity. As usual, Max and Keely just used the event as an excuse to hug a lot and cheer. (See picture.)
4. We've been trying to encourage Aviva to start speaking. She clearly knows how to speak, she just chooses not to. Really frustrating. Mostly she grunts -- with a slightly positive sounding grunt and a really negative sounding grunt as the two most common. The other day, I was trying to get her to use words when she was grunting. We were in her room and clearly wanted to go to the other room and play, so she started grunting. I says: "Aviva, can you use your words please?" So she looks at me with that look'o'death she's perfected. And instead of using words she just pointed at me then pointed at the door. Then she nodded. With finality.
Who needs words when the whole world bows to your every whim expressed in grunts and pointing?
5. One of my favorite Maxisms is when I ask: Max, who taught you that? And he says, "My body told my mind. My body is really smart." He says it a lot.
6. Max finished his first year of pre-school. He and his classmates did a little lip-psynching to some '50s0-era songs at their graduation ceremony. Max loved hamming it up. And having people cheer for him. I couldn't find any footage, but maybe Kristin can upload some at some point.
7. So Kristin was sitting on the couch the other and was telling Max, who had rolled his shirt up under his armpits, that she loved his belly and that she wanted him to come over to her and giver her his belly. He turns around, points to his derriere and says, without missing a beat, "you love my bum? you want my bum?" You can't teach that. You just can't teach that. And I love it.
8. We were singing songs as a family -- not unlike the von trap family -- and Max happened to fart in the middle of the song. So he turns to Kristin and says, "My butt's playing the drums." Seriously, you can't teach that.