Not here. We're all anxiously awaiting it, but it's gonna be a while. It's been incredibly humid here lately, and still pretty hot. All the rain has brought out fire ants everywhere, which makes it even harder to spend time outside. We're taking advantage of as many indoor things to do as we can, but Carter really wants to spend more time outside! I have a folding chair and an outdoor fan that stays next to his sandbox, and that makes sandbox play at least tolerable. But still, the humidity is pretty miserable these days.
Being inside means we can pretend it's fall though. I have a whole bunch of fall crafts and goodies that I want to make this year. This week we made pumpkin lollipops:
Carter loves them! So do I...
Big box stores are great places to spend hot afternoons. This week was worse than usual because our house was being painted, so we really had to find somewhere else to go. Toys R Us is a fun one, especially around 8:00 at night when it starts to empty out. Carter had a great time running up and down the aisles!
As usual, he found the tractors!
He's definitely aware now that toy stores are places where we buy toys, so we've had to establish the one-toy rule. He's done pretty well so far, and seems to be able to look at four or five choices and narrow it down to the one thing he wants most. He seems to understand the concept of buying to an extent -- he knows that we have to hand the toy to the cashier and Mommy has to interact with the cashier before we can leave with the toy.
This also means that he understands what the toy store is all about, and has started requesting trips there. The other day we had this exchange:
Carter: "Mommy help you get the skid steer."
Me: "You have a skid steer? Um, okay. Where is it?"
Carter [clearly thinking for a moment]: "Maybe... it's at the toy store."
Me: "Oh... it's at the toy store?"
Carter: "Mommy drive the silver BMW car to the store, and help you grab the skid steer, and Mommy buy it, and go back to the silver BMW car, and Mommy open it for you!"
Me: "Wow, you've really thought about this, haven't you?"
Carter [happily]: "Come on! Let's go to the toy store!"
So yeah, he understands how this toy buying thing works! No concept of money yet, though.
There is a fantastic mall a few miles from our house that we also like to visit. This mall has really set itself up as a place for families with children. There are lots of kid-oriented stores, a playground, an inflatable jumping place, a food court with lots of little coin-operated rides, a big carousel, and now -- a train ride!
There are multiple trains around town, and all of them are fun, but this is the only one that's inside! It goes all around the bottom floor of the mall.
We rode it twice! Carter wanted to ride in the caboose both times, heh. It's a fun little ride. We also rode some of the coin-operated rides. Carter hasn't been interested in riding these until recently.
On one ride we shared the caboose with a mom who had a little boy Carter's age and a 7-month-old baby. Carter watched them off and on throughout the ride, and about halfway through climbed into my lap and started hugging and kissing me! He's been doing this a lot lately when he sees kids his age whose moms are holding their new baby brothers or sisters. He becomes very clingy very quickly. I'm not sure he really understands the concept of a sibling, but he definitely understands something about how a new baby affects the other kids. It's like he's trying to say You're not going to do that to me, are you? Most likely not, kiddo, so no worries!
That same mall hosts a farmer's market on Saturday mornings, and we went this past Saturday. There was live music, and Carter seemed to find it interesting to run around.
He's really into music these day. He loves to play along with music on TV, and breaks into song often. He'll sing about where we're going, or where we've been, or what he did that day. He's starting to try to play actual tunes on his instruments instead of just making random noise. He can beat a drum in time to a song, and keeps a steady beat. He likes to bring me an instrument so we can play together, and he's also getting interested in how to use instruments. He took apart one of his harmonicas, and he got very frustrated when he couldn't make Doug's pitch pipe sound like a harmonica!
Michelle said that they were driving in the car today and listening to music on the radio, and Carter said, "Ding ding, Mimi, ding ding. I hear the cowbell." And she said that she listened for it, and then could hear the cowbell in the song, though she hadn't noticed it until then. He will also pick out trumpet and flute sounds if he hears them in music. I really, genuinely hope he learns to play an instrument and to love music! It's something Doug and I have both always had a great love for. :-)
This is just a silly little video of Carter eating toothpaste. He's getting better at brushing his teeth, but it's really a vehicle for toddler toothpaste consumption. When he gets hold of the tube (it's flouride-free), he just wants to drink the stuff.
That's it for now. We're off to New York this weekend, so hopefully we'll get to experience some fall weather at last!