Monday, August 15, 2011
Spending the summer in an apartment during a record heat wave would test anyone's patience. While it's been a challenge and we've had our moments (like our bongo-drum-playing neighbor and middle-of-the night parties in the breezeway), the kids have been troopers. They know how to have fun wherever they are. I really enjoyed watching them play and giggle and become friends in this tiny space we called home for the summer.
Ryan had the kids a few weeks ago, and sent this picture to my camera ...
Guess it's time to stock up on wipes.
I went through our winter clothes stash during nap time the other day and left things in a pile in the corner. As I was changing Bug's diaper (and wet clothes), he noticed these boots and insisted that I put them on him. He was so excited about them that I had to snap a few pics before I finished getting him dressed (yeah, yeah, he'll hate these later). He's been wearing them whenever I let him, despite the crazy hot temps. I must admit, I think they're pretty cute, even with shorts :)
When you're from my hometown and have young kids, a trip home during the summer always includes a visit to Kiddie Park - a kid-sized amusement park with miniature rides, snow cones, and cotton candy. We have great memories of summer nights there, and watching our kids ride the same rides is sort of a rite of passage. We took the girls last summer, but they were hesitant, and only rode a few rides. Not so this summer - they ran from place to place, asking, "can we ride this one?" Fun was had by all, and plans were made to return before the summer's end.
One of Tink's sweet friends and her Mommy invited us to join them for a tea party at The American Girl Cafe in Dallas - we were quick to accept and were so glad we did! The girls got to choose a doll to sit with them at the table, they each got their own teapot of pink lemonade "tea" and a special tray of treats, and we enjoyed some fun girl time! It was a great experience, and we hope to do it again soon.
Tink took swim lessons last year with her Daddy. She had a good time, but was still pretty timid in the water. I knew this year might be a challenge, so I looked for something a little smaller than the next step at the same place. I signed her up for lessons with Lori Black - a certified instructor who holds lessons in her pool with six kids of the same age, and I was hopeful. I was definitely right about it being a challenge, and the first few days were spent in tears. As a Mom, I was torn between pulling her out and waiting until she was older, and making her push through it. After talking to R, the latter won, and we continued lessons. We spent lots of time talking about it and reassuring her that she could do it - I even spent an afternoon with her in our swimsuits in the bathtub! By the end of the second week, she was (hesitantly) putting her face in the water, and swimming with assistance. She even chose to jump off the side of the pool at the end of the last lesson! I was so proud of her for doing what she was asked and pushing through, even though she was scared. She was very proud as well, and still asks me to tell people that she "didn't cry under water". We ended lessons with a trip to Sonic for a much deserved slush (which were such a hit that they became an occasional afternoon treat).
Just before it was time to say goodbye to my sister's family, I thought of the perfect "cousin" activity for the girls. I left the boys with K for the afternoon and we headed to Grapevine Mills. The girls each chose an animal (the same, of course), said "I love you!" into a special recorder, and made Cousin Puppies to squeeze when they were missing each other. If you know the girls at all, you know that they weren't complete without princess shirts :) It was a really special, bittersweet afternoon, and I hope the girls will remember it for a long time.
Some of my fondest childhood memories are making mud pies at my Granny's house - she let us use any kitchen utensils we wanted (even the good ones), the leaves from their mimosa tree were just right for sprinkles, and their fireplace cleanout door made the perfect oven. When I spotted a mimosa tree at Ryan's parents' lake house, I knew just what to do :)
When we were invited to Nash Farm early in the summer, I wasn't sure if the kids would be interested. I'm always up for something new, so we gave it a try. Little did I know, it would be one of the highlights of their summer! They LOVED pretending to garden, watering flowers, playing with toy tractors, and visiting the animals. Tink talked about it for days, and still asks when we can go back. And, of course, all Bug talked about was the horses ...
For Mother's Day, Ryan surprised me with a weekend in San Francisco! After seven months of having the house on the market and planning and packing to spend the summer in an apartment, it was a much needed getaway! We had a wonderful time seeing sights, eating great food, sleeping in, and having uninterrupted conversations :) We toured Alcatraz, shopped and ate on the pier, and ended our weekend with a Napa Valley wine tour. It was a great time away, and I came home ready to start our crazy summer.