Monday, April 23, 2012

A Warm Sunday at the Pool

Yep, jumping in the pool is a ton of fun

For the past several months Ronan and Nieve have been enjoying the SCRA pool in our neighborhood, even more so now that the weather is getting warm. Ronan has taken to swimming thanks to lessons from his great-aunt Nancy - his form is coming along nicely and he's certainly comfortable being in the water.

The launch... with a big grin on his face

Ronan takes flight. I wish I had that kind of style when I am airborne.

What Ronan enjoys most, though, is not technique or hydrodynamic optimizations - he just loves big jumps into the water that generate the maximum splash. He'll jump it from the edge, the diving board, or even the starting blocks for the swim lanes; if he can make a splash, he'll try it.

I think Ronan has what it takes to be a human cannonball

Diving boards are no problem either

Yesterday Ronan was able to show off some of his newfound skills to Bhavesh Kaka who stopped by for a visit (thanks Bhav for taking some photos!) I think Bhavesh was impressed with Ronan's cavalier attitude and broad smile; if Ronan is in the air he's sure to be wearing a broad grin.

Pool time is made better by adding 'purple noodles'

Nieve is not quite so enthusiastic about big splashes as her brother. She prefers to hang out in the shallow pool, playing with toys and other floating devices, and making sure not to get her face wet. If forced she'll demonstrate that she knows how to hold her breath (and even paddle a bit), but she'll also respond with a vocal and unpleasant protest. Her favorite time at the pool is the hot shower afterwards - she's been known to spend more than twenty minutes 'cleaning off' after a swim.

Nieve shows her affection for Bhavesh Kaka by squirting him with her bath toy

We're lucky to have a great pool so easily accessible to our home. Hopefully within the next year both Ronan and Nieve will be water safe, allowing Mom and I to be less paranoid when the kids are near water. In the mean time Ronan will be working on his aerial skills, most likely mastering a front flip before his fifth birthday.


Me hanging with 'big air' Ronan and his flotation device

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ronan's First Self-Haircut

Yesterday...

Ronan breezed comfortably through another childhood rite of passage today - the self-haircut. Apparently somewhere in between painting and building Legos with Grammy Ronan got ahold of a pair scissors and decided to remove the center portion of his bangs.

...and today

I appreciate Ronan's effort - decisive, aggressive cuts that that left a gaping hole not unlike a missing front tooth in the mouth of a 1st grader. And Ronan has a handsome forehead; his new 'do does an admirable job showcasing this oft-overlooked feature.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ronan Turns Four, Nieve Turns Two

Someone is proud to be turning four

This week Ronan turns four years old and Nieve turns two. Nana came up to help us celebrate over the weekend and brought with her some presents for the little ones.

Nieve holding her mermaid card, eyeing the cupcake in front of her

Ronan made off with a new set of Legos containing a police officer on a quad and a thief in his 4x4 getaway car. Ronan's Lego assembly skills have clearly improved since Christmas as he was able to build the vehicles himself (with only slight verbal instructions from me).

Ronan explaining to Nana the gift she gave him

Nieve was even luckier - she received her first official Disney princess doll complete with a hairbrush and - I'm not kidding about this - hair extensions. To be fair to the doll manufacturer, it was Rapunzel, but Mom and I cringed at the inclusion of the extra hair while Nana chuckled craftily to herself. Needless to say Nieve loves her new doll, especially the tiara and the purple dress.

Nieve, her princess, her magic wand, a hairbrush, the color purple and a smile

Mom tried a gluten-free, vegan cupcake recipe (in order to accomodate a dietary need of Nieve's classmate); none of us were impressed by the taste or texture of the so-called treats. Fortunately Mom will make a conventional batch for Ronan's class so the kids will get their tasty dessert!

Nieve's look sums up the cupcake's taste

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Easter Salamander

Ronan found a small friend

When playing in the backyard after breakfast this morning Ronan found a fun little friend - a small and docile salamander.

Affectionately petting the little salamander

I was surprised at how gentle and calm Ronan was with the delicate amphibian. Ronan kept a steady hand and would at times pet the salamander ever so slightly with his index finger.

A happy boy and his amphibian

Ronan thought to keep the salamander out of the sun - he was worried that it's skin would dry out in the heat. Ronan also spent several minutes observing the little creature - the colors, the legs, the eyes - I was impressed by how diligently Ronan studied his new find.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ronan's Andrew Lloyd Webber Adaptation

Like the Phantom, only less tragic

Last week Ronan was exercising his 'dramatic play' muscles at school, dressing up in costume and performing little numbers with his classmates.

This photo was taken by one of his teachers during a stylized-by-Ronan superhero routine. Ronan's rain boots, blanket-as-a-cape, animal mask, and keyboard prop reminded me of The Phantom of the Opera more than the intended Batman. Either way, it's always fun to see what young imaginations create!