July - you surprised me this year. You're supposed to be a fun month, but you turned out to be a lot of work.
First the fun stuff!
We've been keeping cool by playing on the back deck in the kiddie pool, as well as using the ice bucket to dump water down our shorts.
Playing outside is a lot of work, and sometimes a buddy just needs to rest his sweet head on a hard piece of plastic.
Mimicking mommy and aunt kels, who only participated in the kiddie pool with toes.
This went on for a good half an hour.
An immediate fan of Giant Peach Iced Tea, like his momma.
We've had a lot of fun teaching Ellie things this summer, but Robbie has had the most success. He is currently trying to expand her vocabulary by yelling in her face "T-T-TRAIN!" and "B-B-BOOK!".
Something fun my friend Suzi and I have been doing is our own sort of VBS for our boys. She has an awesome book that guides you through a bible passage and related activity for young children. This set of pictures was taken during the story of Noah's Ark. We had the boys decorate the outside of a tupperware bin with paper and drawings (ha!) of the animals Noah gathered into his ark. Then we hid stuffed animals around the room and the boys gathered them into OUR makeshift ark! It was adorable.
The boys decide to pile into the ark along with the animals.
Eli got the short end of the stick (being the first one in).
You can see he is less than thrilled, poor guy!!
Suzi closing the time in prayer. This picture is evidence that it's never too soon to engage your kids in prayer and bible study. Look at these 2 boys!! Precious! And totally participating.
A few weeks ago we started to introduce Organic Whole Milk (cow's) to Ellie's bottles. She immediately started to show signs of a continued allergy and after a trip to the doctor for her various reactions, we were told to abandon cow's milk. We knew the chances of this happening were pretty good, so we went back to all formula bottles until her system could settle down. She had diarrhea among other things, and I chalked this up to the milk situation. But it DID persist for 3-4 days after we had abandoned milk...
About a day before she was back to her normal self, Robbie came down with diarrhea too. And it lasted for 7 days. He was miserable, and the worst part was that he developed terrible diaper rash early on. Every diaper change was torture for him, and after a day or two I resigned myself to the fact that we weren't going anywhere for more than an hour at a time (read: bare necessity trips to the grocery store) because the best thing for him was to be sprayed down and soak in the tub after each poop. We went through 2 tubs of Desitin in one week, between both kids.
I do realize that I'm talking an awful lot about poop right now. Do I feel bad about that? Sort of. But I'm going to keep going, and you can feel free to just stop reading at any time. This is our life. :)
On day 4 of Robbie's illness, I took him in to the doctor to have his bum examined. They prescribed a cream in case he had developed a yeast infection. A few days later, the diarrhea stopped but his rash transformed into something new. The nurse on the phone said he should be seen. Back to the doctor... if you're keeping track, this is visit #3 in 2 weeks for the Livingstons. We walked out with a prescription for 2 more creams, one of which cost more than you really want to spend on something you put on your bum. Desperate times...
During that week we did everything we could think of to ease Robbie's pain. ("Robbie has pain!" he would say to us through tears.) The best thing for him was to run naked outside, so we did a lot of that.
Ellie is always good company out on the deck.
This picture below is evidence that the Lord protected her from illness - she's taking a swig out of Robbie's sippy cup mid-illness. There is just no way to keep your kids from touching or sucking on a sick sibling's cup or toy.
After a little sand snack.
Robbie is still a sweetheart, even when he's feeling awful. So quick to give his little sister a kiss on the forehead.
Do these pictures call to mind the Garden of Eden to anyone else!?
Towards the end of that sick week, we went to Wisconsin for Joey Larson's baby dedication (see last post below). I wanted to photograph my sketch before giving it to the Larsons, and was having a hard time finding a place that gave me enough natural light.
I thought this was funny. Ellie doesn't like to let me out of her sight and stays pretty much within arm's reach of me during the day. Jailbreak!
The day after Joey's dedication was my birthday, and we celebrated by staying home with Sickie and having a cookout with my family. My mom, dad and sister came over with an entire birthday meal prepared, and we enjoyed an Armbruster family traditional meal of Steak Shish-Ka-Bobs, salad, bread, and birthday cake! That morning Kelsey had come over with my favorite Starbucks drink and donuts for all of us, and we ate my birthday breakfast on the deck (so Robbie could be nakies, of course!) and had a great time just being together. Flowers delivered from Rob's parents as well as my brother Collin who lives in Indiana topped off the day for me.
And now I'll leave you with a few images of a typical day around here.
And this was after I had completely picked up all the toys that morning... TWICE!
I wouldn't trade it (even the poop) for anything.