July 30, 2011

Summertime Heat

I'm not complaining. I refuse to complain about heat. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I would rather have heat and humidity than cold and snow. I'd rather have to cool my house down than heat it up! It's been nice and warm around here lately. That means we get some cool thunderstorms. We got a couple of good ones last night, the kind where you hear the thunder from a long way away, the kind that rumbles almost continuously while the storm gets closer and closer and then is right over the top of you and then rolls away.

I can't believe we've been home for almost two weeks already. Goodness, that has gone by quickly. The Boogie tells me daily that she misses Pops and Lela, and says often that she wants to go back to Washington.  The Pheebs points to pictures of Pops and yells "Pah!"

The R family finally arrived late Monday night. They are not staying with us yet but we expect that they will move in sometime soon. SILJ and HR and all the kids came over to play on Thursday. The Boogie had not seen them yet and in fact we hadn't even told her that they were here. When she saw H-man she stopped dead in her tracks and said, "I was looking for you!" She was very excited to see him but he couldn't have cared less about seeing her. She didn't notice that, however, and I think they all had fun playing.

Phebis is saying lots of things now. She signs and says "more" and "all done" and signs "milk." She has started saying "thank you" when we give her something, or when she gives us something, which is awfully cute. She points to and says "head" "eye" "ear" "mouth" and "nose." She will grab her stomach when you ask her where her belly is. If you ask her what a doggy says she says "woof woof." If you ask her what anything else says she says "woof woof." But then she will repeat whatever noises we make. She has started puckering up sometimes for kisses instead of coming at us open-mouthed. Baby puckers are the cutest thing ever! I will get a picture when she starts doing that more consistently. She will come up to me and say, "Mama?" and then babble a string of gibberish, like she has something she just has to tell me. She says something that sounds a lot like "dadoo" or "daddy" for blankie, and will sing-song "Da-doo, whey ah oooo?" which is interchangeably "Daddy/blankie, where are you?" She loves pattycake and will chant along and clap and rub her belly at the right times. She will go look for things when we tell her to; she is in love with baby dolls and will toddle right off to find one if we tell her "go find your baby." She "sings" the ABC song and the happy birthday song a lot. She still frowns and babbles when we tell her it's time to pray, finishing with "mmm-MEN."

Phebis calls me Mama although the Boogie still says Honey with the occasional Mama thrown in there, and Eric always refers to me as Honey when he talks to either girl. I am in the habit of referring to myself as Mama. And then of course most other people, when talking to the girls, will refer to me as Mommy. Poor confused kids. It will be interesting to see if the Pheebs starts calling me Honey or if the Boogie reverts back to Mama.

The Boogie still says funny things from time to time, but not as often anymore. Recently she came up to me all excited: "Honey, guess what? You're not going to believe it!" She leaned in really close and whispered, "I'm cuuuuute." We finally took her to Olive Garden -- she's been asking for months to go -- and she was delighted. When we left Olive Garden we had to drive past Red Lobster and she said, "next time we need to go to Lobster." She still calls restaurants "rench-raunches" and tries to convince us to go to Taco Bell every time we leave church.

They are good girls and we're so blessed to have them.

July 23, 2011

Boogie Check-up

The Boogie had her 4-year-wellcheck the other day. For some reason we did last year's appointment really late, so this one was late too.

She was so excited! She had to read a chart to check her eyes, and go into another room for a hearing test. Then the assistant told her to pee in a cup, put the cup in a pass-through box in the wall between the bathroom and a small lab room (only she called the pass-through a "magic box,") wash her hands, then look in the "magic box" again and the cup would be gone. The Boogie was beside herself when she opened that box the second time and the cup had disappeared!

She had to put on a little gown.
We saw a different doctor today and really liked her. The Boogie was very chatty with her and did great while she had her check up.

And then ... and then ... and then ... she had to have five booster shots. She knew she was going to have some though I didn't know how many until we got there. She did pretty well, considering, but she did cry and cry after they were finished, big sad "that hurts" kind of tears. I hated that the appointment had to end on that note, since it had gone so well up to that point and she had been so excited!

The promise of lunch with Daddy cheered her up and she was just fine after that. And aside from yearly flu shots, she won't need any more boosters until she is 11.

She is 36 lbs, and just shy of 40 inches tall, still staying right on track with her growth curve.

That's my big girl. 

July 20, 2011

WA to NJ: Going Home

After a wonderful vacation it was time to go home. I had my doubts as to whether or not we could get everything packed, but we did! (Except for the box of videos that had to be shipped. I am reeeeally looking forward to getting those and watching some classic musicals with my girls, and introducing some more classic comedies to my fella.) When I'm packing to go somewhere I always forget to leave room for bringing extra things back. It worked out though, and our heaviest suitcase even was a few pounds shy of the limit.

Pops and Furry took us to the airport. Mount Rainier was out! So pretty.

We were sad to leave ... but at the same time looked forward to being home again.

And of course the Boogie was excited to fly on a plane again.

Our journey home was uneventful with the exception of an exploded marker in the Boogie's backpack, and three orders of fries spilled all over the floor in the St. Louis airport. It felt very quick compared to our adventure on the way out.

We arrived in Philly around midnight and all of our luggage made it, too! Praise the Lord. FIL was there to pick us up. It is taking a while for us to adjust back to East Coast time -- I've always found that it's harder to adjust to coming east than going west.

The friends who were supposed to stay in our house while we were away still haven't arrived! They are still trying to get on a military flight. Hopefully they'll be able to get here next week. So, everything in our house was just how we had left it, including clean sheets and towels. Now that's the way to get home from a trip ...

I am so thankful that we were able to go. It was wonderful to be able to spend so much time with my family. There were a few friends we didn't get to see which was disappointing, but there's always next time! Hopefully it won't be another three years before we get to go back. And hopefully some of you Washington people can come see us in the meantime.

July 19, 2011

Washington: Second Weekend

Our second Saturday was spent in Seattle. We joined B & D and their kids, as well as Auntie Vee, for a trip to the Bite of Seattle food festival near the Space Needle. The morning was gray and drizzly which actually worked to our advantage -- there weren't as many people there when we first arrived. It was really fun! We tried fried gator on a stick, crab cakes, blackened salmon sliders, young coconut milk (juice?), deep-fried green beans, elephant ears, lemonade slushies, chocolate-covered strawberry kabobs, deep-fried macaroni and cheese, and I can't remember what else. There was some live music and PLENTY of great people-watching. All of the kids did really great and we didn't lose a single one of them, even when it started getting really crowded. Only once did the Boogie get separated from us for a moment or two, just long enough for a couple of ladies to stop and ask her if she was okay! Praise the Lord I realized she wasn't with our group and caught sight of her when I did.

After making the rounds a few times we went back to the cars and traded children: the Boogie went with her cousins for a sleepover, and JL came with us to do a little more sightseeing. I should have thought that through better. If I had I would have realized that he wouldn't be too comfortable coming with me and Eric, since he barely knows us.  But Vee came with us which was good and JL seemed to be okay with his Auntie Vee around.

Eric and I wanted to go up in the Space Needle but what we didn't consider was that it was a Saturday and everyone and their brother also wanted to go up in the Space Needle. The line was unbelievably long and we knew that it would be too much to expect JL and the Phebis to be patient while we waited in it. So, we made our way through the hordes of people back to the cars and drove to Pike Place.

We made a stop at Cost Plus World Market. What a cool place! Sadly there are none in the northeast. I could have spent a long time in there. We walked around Pike Place for a little bit. Actually we fought our way around Pike Place for a while. It was insanely crowded!

 We watched some fish throwing; bought some smoked salmon; sampled jams, jellies, honey, and candy; looked at jewelry; checked out some chocolate pasta (but didn't buy any -- now I wish we had!); and listened to street musicians. It was crazy but fun. While we were inside it rained a bit but cleared up by the time we were ready to leave.

We passed a Tully's coffee on our way back to the car so of course we had to stop. We let the kids roam for a few minutes. JL was fascinated by the dog statues.

Pheebs was slightly interested in them

but kept going back to the drink cooler which was apparently way more interesting than giant dogs.

Both kids passed out in the car on the drive home. Vee took her own car and JL rode with us -- I was kind of worried that he would cry for his mom, but he only whimpered a bit before going to sleep. He was a sober little guy. The only time I got him to crack a smile was when I told him we were going to Pops and Lela's house.

Vee followed us back and that night we played a card game. Pops, Lela, Eric, Furry and I had played it several times during the week, but this was the first time we played with Vee. She was very tired and especially goofy. Watching her play was more fun than actually playing the game, which is really fun in itself.

We frequently had to suspend the game while she laughed! Furry especially was cracking her up. At one point Vee insisted that a word be looked up in the dictionary, to which Furry responded, "Oh, we have to book-Google it?"

The Boogie had a fantastic time with her cousins during their sleepover. They played games, watched movies, dressed up, and ate fun snacks. She was so worn out that she slept through the entire evening service on Sunday.

On Sunday morning we all attended church together! That was pretty cool.

After the morning service we took some family photos.
Everyone all together!
Just the girls.
Vee and I were photobombed a couple of times before we managed to get a good self-portrait.

Then we got Mom in on it too!

We went back to Pops and Lela's for pizza and then taught the card game to B & D while the kids played doctor or hospital or something.

A few more pictures before B & D and their clan had to leave.
Just the boys!

The married children.

Furry, Ben, me and Vee.

Mom and Pops with us four kids.

All the grandkids together. :) Cuties :)

And the marry-ins ... they are good sports to put up with all of us!

It was a great day! I love my family.