Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer doings

My sister Caitlin and niece Camryn, who’s 5, are down here with us for the rest of the summer from New Jersey. It has been a little bit of an adjustment having two more people in the house, but it’s actually been fun overall. Caitlin and I have not spent more than 4-5 days together at a time since we’ve been adults, usually just once a year, so it has been really neat to finally see who she is as an adult and as a mom. She’s going through a lot of things right now and I’m glad Matt and I are able to be a resting place for her and Cammie. Caiti is really crafty and creative and has so many great ideas for projects for me and the girls, and she also loves baby Ryan. That is awesome for me, because all Ryan ever wants is to be held, and Caiti is glad to oblige.

We got a really nice bunk bed off Craigslist since we were going to have to put the girls together in a room. I don’t have a picture yet, but it has built in drawers, shelves and a computer desk. Cammie sleeps on top and Addie is in the cave part underneath, which is perfectly fine with her. The sleeping arrangement has gone very well…. in the morning, they both appear, usually holding hands, and come downstairs together. It’s very sweet and cute – for about 30 seconds, and then the bickering starts.

The girls jumped immediately into siblinghood. Camryn is an only child, and is not used to sharing her toys, or not getting her way. Addie was enthralled with Cammie and had a very hard time understanding why Cammie would run from her, take toys away, or refuse to play with her. Cammie had a hard time understanding that she had to share and that Addie didn’t appreciate teasing games, keep-away, or "scaring" her (harmless fun for 5 year olds, but not for 2 year olds). We have been trying to give Cammie some alone time, and some big-girl activities, and she is in a performing arts camp at the YMCA this week during the afternoons. I think with time, they will adjust and be fine. It’s been two weeks so far, and I am already tired of refereeing and telling the girls to keep their hands to themselves. I thought I would have a couple of more years before that, but I guess it’s good practice in seeing what’s effective and what’s not.

On the 4th, our neighborhood had a parade and we got the girls all dressed up to watch while Matt stayed home with Ryan. Addie was excited because her swimming lesson coach was there with the swim team, spraying water guns and throwing candy. It was a cute little parade, and there were a lot more people out to watch than I thought there would be. Afterwards, we walked down the street to the clubhouse/pool, and got to take a tour of the brand new volunteer firestation in our neighborhood. The girls got plastic fire hats, and Matt met us with Ryan for free hot dogs and chips.

Fourth of July Desserts

The firefighters' recliners in their media room

After that, we all piled into the Blazer to go to a pool party hosted by our wonderful church friends, the Martins. Caiti and Cammie met most of the people from our ABF, and Uncle Matt played in the pool with the girls while Ryan ate and ate.

We then came home to relax. Addie took a nap and Cammie watched a movie and dozed. We met up with Matt’s sister Jennifer and husband Todd and cousin Hunter (3.5), and we all went to a humongous fireworks/family festival at a church up in Spring. It was an amazing place and a wonderful community outreach program. Free food (hot dogs, chips, fruit, ice cream, snow cones, popcorn, soft drinks, water), glow necklaces, seat cushions, even blankets to sit on were provided. There was music and a live band, and a big fireworks display. Oh, and moonwalks and bounce houses for the kids, and charter buses to take us to the big parking lot down the road. The girls were angels, and Ryan was great too. We didn’t get back home till almost 11 p.m. (Ryan wouldn’t go to sleep for anything), but we had no fits or meltdowns. It was an exhausting but really fun day.

Last Friday was Dress Like a Cow Day at Chick-Fil-A. If you dressed like a cow from head to toe, you got a free combo meal. Normally I wouldn’t attempt such a thing, but I knew it would be fun for Cammie, and hence for Addie, and with Caiti to help, I figured why not. We all went, and all got free food. Luckily for us, some neighborhood friends were there and immediately took the girls off to the playplace while Caiti and I got the food. Addie was scared of the big cow suit costume, which was very funny.

She mixes up her prepositions a lot, and says things like, "Come sit for me" instead of "next to me", or "Come upstairs for me" instead of "with me." My favorite of all is when she says "I’m scared for it. Save me for it!(instead of "from it"). She had a bad dream about a rooster once (at least that’s all I can figure, since for a week she would randomly look at me and say, "Mama, I’m scared for the rooster. It’s in the spider web, and it fell down, and I’m scared for it." Instead of "scared OF it".) So once when she was babbling about the rooster, she began to get worked up and cried and fussed and said, "Mama, I’m scared! Save me for the rooster!" and I said, " Oh, I’ll save you for the rooster, all right! I’ll save you for it until it gets here!" Matt and I laughed a lot. So the point was, she was very scared for the big cow at Chick Fil A and wanted me to save her for it. I told her I would.
Her other thing that cracks me up is when she is still hungry. Somehow, she got confused when I would ask her if she wanted something else to eat, because now she will say, "Mama, I’m still hungry. I need else to eat. Can I have else to eat?" It is so cute that I usually do give her else to eat.

Ryan has been standing alone quite a bit over the past two weeks. The longest he stood was about 9 seconds before falling back on his bottom, but he’s also really good at bending his knees and lowering himself to the floor from a standing position. He climbs up and over everything and everyone. He also puts everything in his mouth – we are constantly fishing things out of his mouth, and today I found a button in his diaper. Who knows when he ate that! I wonder how long it will be before he takes off running. He finally got two teeth poked through the bottom gums, but still has been having a terrible time with pain, runny nose, diarrhea, and even fever. I don’t know if it’s all teething related or not, but he is unhappy/in pain about 70 percent of the time. He also doesn’t nap very well, and overall has been so different from Addie. It’s been pretty difficult in a lot of ways, and I have been praying for a lot of patience and grace to deal with him. When he’s happy, he is an absolute delight –smiling, giggling, babbling, and being silly. I just don’t know if he has a high-maintenance personality or just doesn’t feel good a lot of the time.


  1. I see that you broke out the yogurt cups! Hours of free entertainment!

    I LOLed when i heard about the button. At first I was thinking - how did he get a button down his diaper? - yeah, then it hit me.

  2. That's so cute. You didn't tell me all about the 4th of July when I was there - and you neglected to mention how often the girls giggle and play nicely! It was great to see everyone - especially that precious, never-whiny adorable little Ryan! You tell such stories on him!

  3. Everyone had a cute 4th of July outfit on. Where did your top come from?

    Also, I'm a big fan of your cow outing. I was wondering what sort of cow costumes you guys had... but the pictures qualmed my fears. I mean, 4 full actual cow costumes would have been really strange...