Tuesday, September 16, 2014

6 Months and Summer!

This summer was intensely filled with 3 young children for me!  For one week in July the girls went to VBS at our church, and they loved it.  Then in August they did another week-long morning class.  Here they are ready for the first day of that class together.

It's been quite a hot summer here, and we've had a lot of fun in our city as well as traveling to Washington twice.

Ready to eat part of a creation made at their class!

Mid-day we often spend inside, because it's been too hot out (or we go to a wading pool or sprinkler park or pool or beach!)  Here was some fort building that happened a few weeks ago.

And Greta set up a tea party for penguin one morning.
Greta also learned how to use my phone to take pictures...
Here's another one she took!
A friend of ours lives in a building with access to a pool.  Lucy, the little girl, and her grandmother Pat have helped us out a lot this summer, and they have invited us to the pool several times.  Greta doesn't know how to swim yet (the swim lessons at our neighbourhood pool get filled up SOOOOOOO quickly!!) but she used this floaty suit as well as a noodle and got really into floating/swimming around in the deep end in this pool.  She started out really nervous, but Lucy knows how to swim, and watching her boosted her confidence.  Soon she was out in the middle with Lucy and myself, exclaiming something or other about how much fun she was having and how good at swimming she was!!  I think these experiences will have been quite memorable for her, and I can't wait to take her swimming again in this pool next summer.
Therese likes to sit along the stairs of this pool with all of Lucy's toys (My Little Ponies and princesses, of course).
These two can play so well together most of the time.................but oooh, sometimes they are just SUCH SISTERS!!!!!  ("I had it first!" "She hit me" "I wanted to do that" "No I don't want to play that way" "MOOOOOOOVE OVER!!!") Many a day I have been yearning for kindergarten and preschool to start, and yes, I know, someday I will be sad about this, but right now I'm just looking forward to the break, the quiet, the routine of it all :-)
And here's our little bubba posing for many, many pictures for me several weeks ago!

Eating his first solids near his 6 month birthday!  He has loved eating cereal, fruits, mum mums (little baby rice crackers) and egg so far.  Hosea can become very impatient for his food once he sees me preparing it!

He is such a sweet little soul :-)
Sometimes I completely forget to take any pictures of him...and then other times I overcompensate.  Here we go!

Sleepytime in the carrier with Papa!
This stroller is for dolls...I had to try it out...and then Hosea had a poop explosion in it (serves me right, I guess.)
Swing time!

Emulating Papa.

When I first started feeding solids to Hosea the girls were ALL OVER IT with excitement.  At many points he was surrounded by us 3 ladies all trying to feed him and get his attention at once :-)  Poor guy, or lucky guy? Not sure...!

(I meant to put this pic next to the other one with Greta, and now don't know how to move it without disturbing this whole post, so oh well)
My mom made this outfit for Therese!  It looks adorable on her (Greta got a greenish-blue dragonfly one)
...Although the thing around here is to have a "dress that spins well" (I do NOT know where they got this idea from, probably a friend)...most days the girls want to wear a dress and the dress must be one that spins well and the spinning well aspect must be showed off and paid attention to many, many times throughout the day!  "See how well my dress spins!" :-)
Still conked out one morning...Hosea sleeps in our bed with us, and often Therese climbs in too in the middle of the night--it's pretty crowded...I mean, cozy :-)
Here's Therese riding her bike to Pat's pool one day (in her swimsuit and purple half boots that she calls her "digging boots"!)  She is really good on this little balance bike and can zoom around quite fast and happily!  Unfortunately it was left at my Dad's on a recent visit, along with Greta's new scooter, AND their helmets!  I can't wait to get these things back because the girls have so much fun on them and they are so helpful when it comes to running errands.
Falling asleep reading.  Therese takes awhile to wind down these days--she spends a lot of time reading, dressing and undressing dolls, etc etc before finally falling asleep (oh, and I have to lay down with her for 3 songs too!)  At least she's not having the bug nightmares anymore!
On a recent trip to Washington we stayed with my mom for a couple nights.  Here the girls are getting to play with Nana Kaka's old Barbies for the first time! I used to do this as a child and thought it was soooooooooo special, so it was quite a moment for me as well!  My mom still has her Barbie from like 1965, as well as hair dye it came with and TONS of shoes and accessories and clothes (many of them she or her grandmother made!)  The girls enjoyed this quite a bit.
Wearing Nana Kaka's jewels and headbands...so glamorous :-)

Hosea really bonded with Nana Kaka as well as Grandpa Shayne--he was quite comfortable with Grandpa Shayne right away and a few times I found Shayne hanging out with Hosea on the floor talking about one thing or another (I wish I'd gotten a picture!)

We made a stop by Nana Judy's and saw Grandpa Hans...while waiting for him we hung out on their beautiful lawn under a tree.  Even though the girls didn't get to see Nana Judy (she was at work and I was just making a quick trip to pick some things up) they felt right at home immediately and ran upstairs to play with all the toys Nana has! It was cute.

Next on our trip we went to my Dad and Linda's place.  Dad got out my old dance recital costumes, doll clothes and Barbies.  The costumes are probably the favourite.  My sister and neighbour friends and I used to wear these when we danced in our garage growing up.  We'd turn on tapes of old show tunes and perform for each other.  It was a big deal and probably one of my most favourite things to do as a child!  It is delightful to see the girls enjoy the costumes now too (and apparently they put on a show for Great Grandma Hope and Great Grandpa Harry once Matthew and I left them at Dad and Linda's on their own for a couple nights!)
Therese especially loves this wig (I think it was from the time Jenny was Lucy in a Peanuts play??!)  We also tried it on Hosea (I don't know where that picture went to...)
Therese was especially excited about these costumes and kept frantically changing to she could make sure and try on all kinds of different combinations!

As I mentioned, the girls stayed 2-3 nights extra at my Dad's and Matthew, Hosea and I went home early (after having gone to the Pink Martini concert with Jenny and Dalton and all the kids at the Woodland Park Zoo--I had been looking forward to this all summer, it was fun, full of dancing especially at the end, and of course I took no pictures...whoops)  Anyway, the girls had so much fun staying with Grandma and Grandpa: picking blackberries, eating ice cream 3 times a day (according to Greta), jumping on the bed, watching movies, playing in the tent outside, eating dinner outside EVERY NIGHT (according to Greta), making blackberry cobbler, riding their bike/scooter, etc etc.  When they came home they actually seemed kind of down--I think they wished they could've stayed longer.  But I think Dad and Linda were tired out enough for another 6 months ;-)

One special summer activity we did was go to the Fair at the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition).  The PNE has an amusement park and all things related to that, as well as a fair every summer with animals and other special things going on.  We went and, although it's not Matthew and I's ideal way to spend a day, we had a great time.  In the end we let the girls choose 3 rides to go on, and we stayed out till dark (they fell asleep on the hour-long bus ride home!)

Up above is Therese on the boat ride she chose, and down low are Greta and Matthew on the slide...however, Greta was too scared to actually go down this slide.  She tried and then chickened out twice (poor thing, I can completely identify with that...she was up at the top just crying and crying, then trying to be brave, then crying and crying and walking back down the stairs! I was glad Matthew was with her!)

Therese also chose the cars and LOVED it!  I mean, it looks so BORING, and the ride was so short, but she had no complaints and was beaming the whole time (oh, to be a kid without the cynicism of adulthood...)
Matthew took the girls on the teacups!  It was a hit (nearly too nerve-wracking for Greta, but she kept it together)
This summer has been really great.  Two trips to visit family, many visits to pools and the beaches around here, and did I ever mention the fireworks??  We finally went to a night of Vancouver's yearly international fireworks competition!  We went to Jericho Beach where there are even bunnies and blackberries, had a picnic, swam in the ocean, walked to Spanish Banks to see a BEAUTIFUL view of the sunset, and there were tons of people there, music playing, people fishing off the pier...and then later the fireworks show started.  We all snuggled up on our beach blanket and enjoyed it.  It was such a lovely moment, peppered with the usual comedy of our family (Therese said something like "Boom in your face!" and then shortly after exclaimed "I've got sand in my butt!!!" really loudly!  We all laughed, then Matthew turned the two lines into a rap.  Quite memorable.)  The girls often mention the night of the fireworks--we got home past midnight, and they fell asleep on the bus.  It was soooooo worth it.

And have I mentioned swimming in the ocean? Greta and I love to do this, and she jumps off the docks too (in the shallow part).  I love running in and bobbing around in the waves or floating on my back, it is so relaxing and has been the perfect antidote for some of the stresses of life the few times I did it this summer.  We live in such a beautiful place and we have been enjoying it thoroughly.

Some random quotes/incidents I've wanted to record on the blog:

Therese: "Can we have some of my chocolate covered raisins after we have some of our NOT yunch?" (Therese says "Y" for words starting in "L", and for some reason always refers to breakfast as yunch...hence "NOT yunch" because she cannot remember the word "breakfast!!)

Greta one night brought a toy bunny to bed, covered it with a doily and a handkerchief, and set out a paper carrot she had made for it alongside a bowl of water.

Hosea laughs at the girls for such random things!  They'll be playing and all of the sudden, while watching them, he will just completely crack up over something and do such a cute little belly laugh--the girls will say "He's really cracking up!"

One night Therese was really really really tired and we had to walk on egg shells around her to prevent her from completely going psycho.  She wanted someone to sleep in her bed with her, and I offered to sleep in this mattress we had set on the floor instead, since her room was so hot.  She replied very angrily with a strongly gesture-accompanied yell of "I don't want anybody to NOT sleep in my NOT cozy bed!!!!!!!!!!!" Wow, it was hard not to laugh in her face at that one.

Greta to Papa about Hosea: "When people are brand new they're really fun, right?"

Greta was playing with a sticker book where you put the furniture onto a room of a house.  She mentioned to me something about how she could live here and I'd live in there in a tidy house, and she's just call to me if she needed something!!! It was sweet and smart and creative :-)

Some names the girls give to their dolls: Sally, Rose, Rose Petal, Rosetta, Periwinkle

And some names the girls have given to Papa: Foonie Doonie, which has turned into Foonie, then Foonza, or Big Guy, or Bigs!!!  So now they usually call him Foonza or Bigs!!  Weird, very weird.  I'm sure he'd like to be called Papa again ;-)  I like to refer to him as Pops...maybe it'll stick :-)
One more costume picture--in a poodle skirt my Mom made for me when I was young.


Thank goodness, I found the wig picture.

This little guy is nearly sitting up on his own and he can scoot himself around a bit now.  He likes to watch balls being thrown or rolling back and forth, and continues to be pretty easy going (except after his vaccinations, then he's cranky for a few days and I'm even more grateful when he turns back to normal!!)
For awhile I could sing "Hush-a-bye, don't you cry, go to sleepy little Hosea" and it was the magic song that would calm him if tired or flustered, now the go-to song is "I love you, a bushel and a peck"...it's settles him right down when he needs it.  It's true what they say about wanting to bottle up the moments for later, especially these baby moments.  They are so fleeting and so special.  As much as I'm often tired of being needed so much, I feel so grateful to have this beautiful family.

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