Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Loving summertime!

Last week I took Evi and Jamie to Wheaton Regional Park so Evi could ride the Merry-Go-Round and the Train. I had been looking for some fun activities during the week and I found that the Montgomery County Fair had a few more days. But to even get in the gates it cost $10 per adult, plus $5 for parking. Wow! The Howard County Fair (which we missed by a week) only cost $5 per adult, which didn't offend me quite as much. But to take a 3 1/2 year old and then have to pay for everything inside, it just didn't seem worth it. Evi kept calling it "The Fairy". Next year I'll have to keep track of the dates and make sure to go in Howard County! The Merry-Go-Round and Train were a great substitute for the Fairy, and we had a great time. Evi was a little terrified of the merry-go-round at first, but thankfully the ride was nice and long so she adjusted. She really loved the train, and at $1.75 per ticket, it was much nicer than the fairy!

We played at the park for a little while, but I was a little sad that it has changed a lot from the huge park I remember from childhood. A few of the really big slides are gone--for safety reasons I'm sure. But Evi had a blast and Jamie was nice and content as well. We even enjoyed a self serve snow cone together thanks to the "music truck" (this is what we started calling it a few years ago so she didn't think she could get a treat from it every day on our street. It worked until this summer). It was a wonderful day, but it didn't end there.
We went home, Evi had a little rest, then we all went to Rockville for the last night of the Comcast Film Festival to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs outside on a big screen. We have that movie and Evi loves it, so I thought it would be really fun to watch it outside. The downside is that it was a really late night, but it was fun and worth it. The weather was great, and we were in a great spot and it was something I'd love to do again. Jamie didn't love being so close to the speakers though--it was pretty loud. I just took her to the back of the parking lot and sat on the curb so she could fall asleep. I'll know better for next time I guess. Don't let the picture fool you--Evi loved it. She just didn't want to be in a picture!
The next day we had another outdoor event at the Beltsville Community Center, to listen to "Jazz Under the Stars", an outdoor Jazz concert. Another beautiful night and a great concert. Evi wasn't as interested in sitting to listen to music, but there was a great park for her to play on, so it was a great option for the little ones. It was fun to run into some of our friends from the pool there.

The following week was the week of friends! Monday we watched Evi's cousins, Caleb and Ashlyn. Ashlyn and Evi are only 6 months apart in age and they have really come to adore eachother. We live over an hour away, so playdates together aren't too often, but we need some more. Wednesday Evi went to play with a friend of mine (since her kids were both sleeping, bless her), so I could go to an appointment. Thursday we set up a play date for Evi and Zoe. Zoe was away all summer, and the first sunday they saw eachother in church, they couldn't stop giggling and hugging. The funny part about getting them together is they were both a little grumpy that day! I took a picture of them both laying on the couch because they couldn't agree on an activity. Yet, they forget easily because they had a blast together at playgroup today! Then Friday we watched another friends little boy, because her childcare fell through at the last minute! Stressful for them, and it worked out really well for us.
I am actually really glad we had friends over all week, because Evi really needs to learn to share her things better. She is great in neutral territory, or in someone else's home. But we really need to work on having more kids at our house! The interesting thing is that she seems to share and play better with boys. I'm not sure how I was as a kid, but in high school, I had a few great girl friends, but a lot of guy friends. Not on purpose, that was just who I became great friends with. Hmm, could this somehow be genetic??

Yesterday was a special treat because we got to play with Evin, Mia and Shelby. We went to feed the ducks at pond and played at an all too hot playground with no shade! We're looking forward to a weekend of fun together this weekend at the beach! Although a friend told me today there may just be a hurricane landing on us there....so we'll see how that goes!

We've been busy the last couple of weeks, but we're just trying to enjoy summer and friends while we can! Just a few more days and the outdoor pool will close for the year! Evi has been doing outstanding in the pool lately. She likes to go under tunnels and bridges; so I make them with my legs or arms and she'll go under water right through. We're still working on the actual swimming part of it, but I love that she is already being so daring. She still has a healthy fear though, so I'm glad for that.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Let's compare...

(left) Evi at 5 months old (right) Jamie at 3 months old

(left) Evi at 3 months old (right) Jamie at 3 weeks old

(left) Evi at 5 months old (right) Jamie at 3 1/2 months old

(left) Evi at 2 months old (right) Jamie at 3 1/2 months old

These two kids look so different when comparing the pictures from the same age. Jamie was heavier at birth, but lost more weight than Evi did after birth. Evi's diet was supplemented with formula from the beginning, yet in her pictures she looks so tiny during the time I was nursing and supplementing. As soon as we switched to only feeding her formula at four months, she plumped right up. Jamie rarely gets formula anymore and seems to be getting plenty of nourishment, although it was a rocky start. It looks as though we've got the feeding thing figured out, for now. They look more similar in pictures when comparing an older Evi to Jamie!

Already? It's too soon!

It's funny how your attitude towards milestones changes when you have a second kid. When Evi was an infant, I couldn't wait for her to hit all the big milestones--holding toys, sitting up, rolling over, crawling, walking, etc. Then I learned that once they do some of those things, they can go everywhere. This time around, I have been in no hurry for Jamie to hit her milestones, as I know they will be achieved when she is ready. Evi learned rolling from stomach to back around 2 months, which is average I think; Jamie did the same. Evi learned to roll from her back to her stomach 2 days before she was 5 months old (ok, so 5 months old). Jamie learned to roll from her back to her stomach YESTERDAY. By the way, she is only 3 1/2 months old! I'm not ready for this new achievement. Once the rolling is down pat, they roll wherever they want to go before they figure out crawling. I am thrilled she learned it, I just could have been content with waiting another couple of months for this! I was just changing her diaper a little while ago and she kept rolling away from me, and I had to hold her in place so I could get her diaper on! Well, what a great little learner and grower. It was just too soon for me! I should have known it would come this early. For at least a month (or longer) she would move herself all over the floor if I had her laying on her back; just from kicking her long little legs. Oh boy! She's going to keep me on my toes!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just wondering...

How did I manage to get poison ivy again??? A few days ago I thought I had 2-3 mosquito bites on my inner arm/tricep, so logically I scratched the itch. Well, it was not 2-3 mosquito bites, it's little bumps of what I can only assume is poison ivy........AGAIN. I am trying my best to leave it alone now, and some of the bigger spots are now covered under bandaids. But really, I didn't do ANYTHING even remotely close to the poison ivy this time. Now I'm wondering what still has the oils--or did I pick it up from something/someone else? I'm just hoping to keep it contained and not give it to my helpless infant.

That's all.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A memory and a lesson

I started thinking about a wonderful memory I have of my dad tonight. Several years ago, most of my family was vacationing in North Carolina, but I could only go down for part of the week because of work. It was the 4th of July and by the time I was nearby it was already dark, so I was enjoying seeing fireworks in each town that I passed. My family had told me the location of the house so I had an idea of what to look for. But like I said--it was dark. This was also before EVERYONE had cell phones, so my family only had a general idea of when I'd arrive. So I was nearing the neighborhood (a bit later than planned because of traffic), but there weren't street lights to help me see the landmarks or street signs I was supposed to look for. All of the sudden, I saw my dad on the corner of the road I had just passed and quickly turned around and picked him up and we drove to the house together. I asked what he was doing out there and he told me that he knew it would be hard to find in the dark without some direction.

He must have been waiting out there for at least an hour since I hit traffic--but it was nothing to him. He was worried about me making the drive by myself and wanted to do all that he could to bring me safely home.

What a good lesson for me from a parent, but also to make the analogy about my Father in Heaven, always watching out for me. All He wants is to bring us safely home, just like my dad did that night. We make our choices and sometimes have to find our way in the dark. But He'll always be there, we just have to look and open up to let him in. My dad always used object lessons. It's funny, because I feel like this was an object lesson for me and he didn't even have to say a word.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"He got dead"

Last night I was looking through the Gospel Art Book with Evi so we could find pictures of Jesus. Although there are several to choose from, she was fixated on a picture of the crucifixion. She was studying it, staring at it, and asked all sorts of questions about it. She was fascinated. I explained what was happening in the picture to her and she just continued to stare, get kinda sad and ask some more questions. We tried to turn the page away after several minutes to end with a picture of Jesus with children, but she just kept wanting to go back to that one. I first felt like it was a topic that might be too complicated to explain to a 3 year old, but she wanted to know about it and I'm glad we took the time.

This morning she opened the book and asked me to help her find the page where Jesus "was hanging". And again tonight she wanted to open the book to see the picture where "Jesus got dead", and told me she was going to teach me a lesson. :)

It's refreshing to see her sweet and innocent spirit coming out like this. I could tell there was something really drawing her to that picture and I am so glad for chances to sit down as a family to learn together.

Monday, August 2, 2010

You'll get yours in Heaven

This morning I went for a run and stumbled upon a dog at the top of a bridge! I was doing the zig-zag switchbacks up the bridge to go over the train tracks and out of the corner of my eye at the top I see a dog, just hanging out. It seemed so strange and for a minute I was at a loss of what I should do. I looked around and saw no one--remember, I'm at the top of a bridge and no people were anywhere. The ground was wet around the dog and it seemed he had been swimming in the lake that I was on my way to (it didn't seem hot enough for him to be sweating that much). First I called my animal loving friend, as I knew she would tell me the right thing to do. No answer. Then, DUH, I checked the collar and found the number to his owner, and his name: Butch. I dialed. A very thankful woman said YES, that is her dog and she was 2 blocks away and would be there right away. She also asked if I could stay with the very friendly dog. No problem. I'm allergic to dogs so I try not to get too close, but I sat down and started petting Butch. He was indeed very calm and friendly. The woman's husband showed up and the poor dog started quivering. As he was walking up the bridge, I tried to get Butch to stand and he wouldn't. I wasn't sure if he didn't want to go or if he was hurt. The guy gets there and I commented that Butch was shaking and wouldn't stand, and he assured me that he doesn't beat the dog. Clearly he was the owner and was very grateful that I called. Plus, I wasn't accusing him, I just wanted the dog to be ok. He went on how they've had the dog since he was a puppy and that he's 12 years old now and how grateful they were that someone would call them to come get Butch. His wife insisted they give me money as a thank you. I tried to refuse, but he forced it on me--six big ones. :). The dog was clearly hurt, and the owner thought that maybe he had been hit by a car? Not sure, but I told him, "I'm not even a dog person and I'm tearing up over your dog." He thanked me again and told me, "you'll get yours in heaven." He seemed very touched by the simple act. I am grateful for that small experience this morning, as I have been praying for opportunities to serve. Heavenly Father presents opportunities all the time. But how open are my eyes all the time? I could have kept on running, but I'm glad for the simple opportunity to serve someone else.