July 14, 2012

Summer Thus Far

You know you are not posting on your blog enough when people send you emails about it. Sometimes I need that extra push!

July has been warm. I like warmth. I don't mind humidity (much.) I will not complain about heat or humidity because I much prefer that over cold and dry. Or worse, cold and wet. Or even worse, cold and snowy. I keep trying to convince Eric that we need to move to Atlanta or something but so far no luck.

Ackshully, I don't really want to move away from family (again.) And I like New Jersey. When Eric and I got engaged, so many people were astonished to learn that I was moving here instead of Eric moving to Washington. "New Jersey?" they would say in disbelief. "Why would you want to live there?" I can't tell you how many times I heard that. I think people who have never been here think that all of New Jersey is a giant concrete suburb of New York City. Of course, I can't say that I'd want to live in north Jersey. But here it's pretty nice. Come visit us, and you'll see for yourself!

Where was I? Oh, warm July. As much as I like the heat, I also enjoy a cool house, as does the rest of the family. This year I just couldn't bring myself to turn on the ancient wall air conditioner. It's old and smelly and just ... yuck. So we bought another window unit for the living room. Unfortunately it was too small and couldn't keep up on the really hot afternoons when the sun shines directly into the big living room window, despite thermal curtains and the lovely ceiling fan that Eric installed. MIL wanted a new unit for her bedroom, so we sold her the too-small one and bought the next size up. What a difference! We are nice and comfy now. Even the kitchen and laundry room are much more bearable.

A nice thing about hot days is that clothes can be dried outside. After much research I ordered a clothesline and have been line-drying stuff outside for about a month. I often have heard people say that clothes dried outside smell so good -- well, to be honest, most of the time I don't notice that they really do. In fact I think that line-dried sheets actually have an unpleasant smell, so I don't do that anymore! Towels get crunchy which I don't like, either, nor do I care to pin up a bunch of small things like washcloths and socks. But clothes and diapers dry nicely on the line, and I figure I'm saving us a couple of dollars a week, anyway. Maybe by next summer the clothesline will have paid for itself. In the winter our laundry room stays warm and dry from the furnace so I'm already trying to figure out how to rig up a clothesline in there for the cold months.

Eric is taking a welding class through work this summer. It's 7:30-12:30 every Saturday morning for ten weeks. At first he thought it would be an opportunity for him to sleep in a bit on Saturdays since he normally works 5:00-10:00 a.m. However, he is required to work 55 hours a week, so he has to make up those five hours somewhere. He's been working 11 hour days on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 10 hours on Thursday and Friday, and putting in two hours before class on Saturday mornings. Needless to say, he's pretty wiped out by the end of the week! It's kind of a bummer that he has to go to class every single Saturday, but it's something he's wanted to do for a long time and this is perfect timing since we don't have any vacation plans this summer. He likes it, except for the fact that they don't turn the air conditioning on during class, so it gets pretty hot to be doing welding.

The Boogie asks me sometimes, "Do you want me to stop growing?" When I say yes, she giggles and says, "But I can't!" She is getting quite a sprinkling of freckles on her nose and cheeks. Her legs and feet are so brown that every time I give her a bath I scrub and scrub them because surely some of that must be dirt! It's not, though. Both girls have noticeable flip-flop tan lines.

Her hair is really long.
Eric did this and called her Cousin It. A few months ago it was constantly getting horribly tangled. Brushing it was a nightmare and I began to think it was time to just cut it off. Finally I asked her if she would like to donate it, and she said she would! I don't want to chop it too short, so we'll let it get a little longer before cutting it all off. I'm growing mine out, too, so we can do it at the same time. I warned Eric the other day that I will probably cry when the Boogie's gets cut off -- at least it will be for a good cause and thankfully will grow back. Meanwhile a good trim took care of most of the tangles, and I braid it often which helps a lot too.

Both girls love to play together. They get along really well (for the most part) and I am trying to treasure these days of actually enjoying the companionship of each other.

They play doctor a lot. For Christmas they received a Fisher Price doctor kit and a Melissa and Doug doctor dress-up outfit complete with all the accessories. This has come in very handy as each kid can have their own set of "tools."

They made up a game called Sick Girl which mostly consists of Peabody laying on the floor (or occasionally a bed) completely covered with doll blankets with her head on a pillow while the Boogie ministers to her with plastic doctor toys. I love when they play Sick Girl -- it keeps them occupied for a very long time. Since they have their bedroom and a playroom to play in, I discourage toys in the living room, but I always say yes if they ask to play Sick Girl in there.

A slight variation of Sick Girl is Sick Animal wherein, of course, a stuffed animal is sick and must be ministered to with plastic doctor toys.

They also both like to play with dolls; Peabody more than the Boogie, who is more inclined to lavish affection on a stuffed animal than a doll. But they will pretend to be little mamas and care for their babies and push them around in strollers and, naturally, take them to the doctor when they are sick.

Can you tell that sick or injured is a big theme around here?

Dressing up is becoming more popular. Peabody got some Dora the Explorer dress-up clothes for her birthday, and they have a few other random things. Thanks to Barney they have a song to go with almost every outfit, and especially like to wear their firefighter hats.

They love to play outside. They have a little sandbox, a trike, a scooter, and now a pool. Mama Dog likes to have some company. If it's not raining or too hot, she's outside.

Happy playtime can change in an instant, though, when Peabody decides she doesn't like what the Boogie is doing or that she wants the toy her sister is playing with. She's been such a 2-year-old lately, pushing boundaries and whining a lot. It is wearing. Or wearying. Actually both. I have decided that she has CWTS: Chronic Whiny Toddler Syndrome. It's a good thing she is cute.

Every time my sister sees a picture of Peabody she says that she looks like her. A friend from church often comments that Peabody looks like my brother Uncle Furry. And whenever I text a picture of the girls to my Mamaw (and truly I cannot get over the fact that my grandma texts!) she replies that the Pheebs looks so much like my mom did at that age!

I promised myself that I was DONE buying cloth diapers ... and then I found this one.

Oh, dear. I couldn't resist. She loves her "am bur diapuh piks" (Angry Birds diaper pigs.)

THEN the week after I ordered that one, the same store stocked these!
Rats. Had I known they would be getting these in, I would have bought the blue one instead of the pigs. Eric keeps trying to convince me to order it anyway but so far I am resisting. Must.not.buy.more.diapers.

Peabody does fairly well with telling me she needs to potty, though probably half the time she actually needs to go and the other times she is announcing that she already went. There is zero differentiation. Just when I think I should get over myself and potty train her already, she will have a day with several poopy diapers and I just cannot bring myself to deal with THAT in underwear. Yet.

On the other hand, now is a prime time to do it if I'm gonna -- it's summer, we haven't started school yet, we can stay home for several days at a time.

On the other other hand, do I really want to deal with a barely-potty-trained toddler during a vacation across the country in a couple of months?

It's dilemmas like this that no one warns you about when you are going to become a parent.

A few weekends ago MIL and FIL asked if the girls and I would care to make a trip to the shore. It was the perfect day to go and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Love love love this picture MIL captured!

We had such a nice time that we decided to go again the next weekend with Eric. Because of work and school, we didn't get to the beach until mid-afternoon. The tide was still coming in so the water was cold and very seaweedy. As soon as we got there clouds rolled in and hid the sun. It was all right, but not as much fun. Oh well. The girls enjoyed it!

SILs 1 and 2 are running summer camp at the school cousins attend. We've gone a couple of times to participate and help out a little bit. The Boogie loves it -- there are several kids just about her age -- and Peabody enjoys herself but gets pretty tired after a few hours. I think both SILs deserve medals. I do not have the patience to deal with other people's children all day, every day.

Mama Dog had another brief adventure the other day. Our yard is completely fenced, with gates in the front and another gate between the yards. Mama Dog stays in the backyard mostly but will go out front if we're out there. I'd gone into the garage through the back and opened up the big front door not realizing that the front gate was open. Normally she will stay nearby but this time got what we call "the crazies" and started ripping around the front yard. Before I could close the gate she darted through it and down the sidewalk. I almost caught her at the corner where she had stopped to check out a cat when the cat took off across the street and into a backyard with Mama Dog in full pursuit. I guess the cat jumped a fence into another yard and Mama Dog came to me when I called her. Whew! Just a couple more houses down and she would have run right into a busy road.

Sometimes on our walks we will stop to play in the backyard at 52. I let Mama Dog wander loose around the yard with her leash trailing -- she is so worried that we will leave her again that she sticks pretty close. I guess I'd better not do that anymore, though, if she will take off after small animals. We did buy a spiral stake with a long cable so I should take that over there for when we visit.

When we had Sophie the Basset Hound my office manager gave us a large dog crate. We used it some for Mama Dog but it really was too big for her, and way too big for our house. I posted it on Craigslist and was able to trade it for a similar crate but a size smaller. I was so pleased because that was exactly what I'd hoped to do (and after a month of dead-end replies to my listing was getting discouraged.) Mama Dog does NOT like to be crated so I'm planning to slowly adjust her to this new one by taking it apart and putting her bed in the bottom half for a while, then adding the top half but leaving the door off, and so forth. We'll see how that goes. I haven't done it yet because quite frankly I don't want to add one more thing to our laundry room. It's beginning to get awfully crowded in there ...


Katie said...

Weird....reese has CWTS too! Big time. Loved your post!

Rhonda said...

Wow! Great catch up post. Thanks!