Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Will the real Aunt Maria please stand up?

I spent this last week in California with my sisters, at my big sister's place. She has two adorable little boys who joined us on many of our adventures. One thing we noticed pretty quickly was that, even though we see them a couple of times a year, they have some trouble telling me and Laura apart. Here you can see me and Laura with T, our older nephew:

(I'm on the left). Becca had us sit down with T and Ike and had them look at us closely to see if they could tell any good ways to keep us apart. After some scrutiny, T said, "well, Laura has curly hair and Maria has squiggly hair." On top of that, we noticed that Laura wears earrings and Maria doesn't, and that's about as far as we got. Despite the hair distinction, they ended up calling both of us Maria quite a bit. Maria 1 and Maria 2.

The best thing about spending time with T and Ike is how relaxing and refreshing children are when one is used to being completely surrounded by academia. They are so affectionate and curious and innocent that it makes my heart ache with happiness sometimes. They also both love books, which makes us kindred spirits.

They are also very, very funny. Now, for a shout-out to the humor and antics of a six-year-old and a three-year-old.

Here is Ike doing his impersonation of the kung-Fu Panda. Note that he is holding his own bear, fresh from the Build-A-Bear Workshop:

Ike also apparently has a thing for hats these days. We stopped at a little store in a flea market to try on hats and he joined right in the fun. Doesn't he look good?

Ike also is the proud owner of a cowboy hat. He wore it all over Disneyland. Then he acquired a crown and added that to his headgear. The waiter at the restaurant wanted to know if he was a cowboy prince:

Ike is 100% little boy. When we went camping, it took him about five minutes to get his hands full of sticks and dirt on his nose. We went on a nature walk and he insisted that we climb on every log and stump we saw. It was kind of fun.

T is know in our family for his quick mind, amazingly retentive memory, and fabulous imagination. Here he and Angela are building an ark in a children's museum. If you ever wondered how Noah did it, check out the speed at which these two are moving!

After building the ark, T enjoyed some time in the catwalks of the ark:

From the catwalks, one has a pretty good view of all the animal life on the ark:

T's mom, my sister Becca, is very creative, and his dad, my brother-in-law Mike, is an engineer. T inherited both traits. He loves building things and he adores cars. His favorite rides at Disneyland were the Mark Twain steamboat and the Autopia cars. Laura rode in the passenger seat of the car while T drove. At least, it started out that way. T discovered that he couldn't reach the pedal and the steering wheel at the same time, so Laura pushed the pedal. Then, T put her hands on the wheel and had her steer from the passenger seat. When they were all done, he jumped out of the car and enthusiastically told Laura that she was a good navigator:


Ross & Amanda Goodman said...

I think your squiggly hair is beautiful!!!

Danielle said...

I wish I had squiggly hair. I love that that and the earrings were the only distinguishing features between you! (for a young child, anyway) The cuddly little worm story is still one of my favorites of all time. Although, I have to say that T looks a lot older, skinnier, and less bald than I remember.