The 4th of July parade/fireworks was a big success. It was hot and steamy, but the kids had fun swimming and then they were great at the fireworks display at Faithbridge. Ryan was old enough to walk around and enjoy things, and while the fireworks were going, Addie and Ryan waved their flags and glow necklaces and Matt and I could sit and relax - no one had to hold a fussy baby, or run after a naughty kid, or keep someone from eating dirt. Even waiting for the bus afterwards with sleepy kids was ok. Addison rode her first-ever big kid carnival ride with her cousin Hunter, and I didn't know if she'd like it or be scared, but she loved every minute of whirling around. She also climbed through the long inflatable obstacle courses - Ryan wanted to go too, but when we opened the tunnel and the air whooshed out, he got scared and cried.
The next day I drove the kids up to Dallas. My sister had just moved into my mom's house from New Jersey (with the beloved Cammie, who is now 6), and my brother Patrick was visiting for a week with my niece Sarah. It was a surprise for my mom, who was thrilled to have all of us together with our kids. Addison and Camryn were inseperable the entire week, and Ryan was with them most of the time too. Such a HUGE change from vacations last year and before!!! I barely even had to worry about where they were or what they were doing. Sarah, who is Ryan's age, had some separation anxiety issues with me, so I didn't get to hold her or even play with her much, but she did enjoy all the older kids and her and Ryan spent time playing together and coloring. She's so tiny and Ryan is so...boy...that it was fun to watch them interact. And when we came home from that trip, Ryan's vocabulary just exploded. Since mid-July, he started mimicking everything, making sentences, talking and laughing and doing LOTS of singing. He can say pretty much everything now (not always intelligible), and has 3 and 4 word sentences.
Milking the cow at the Children's Museum in Dallas
He is a silly kid and likes to make up games, gallop around the house, and roll around on the floor covered up by his blankets. He has a weird twisty prancy run that cracks me up, and his gappy-toothed smile makes me laugh. Oh, while at my mom's, he learned to climb up the big waterslide by himself, which was really nice. This past week, he's been sleeping till 9 every morning and taking long naps. Maybe he's growing. I can't believe he's almost 2! He tries to say the prayer with Addison at dinner and he'll say, " Da da da, da da da da, da da, Amen!" And once he brought me the soap from the bathroom that has a parrot on it and said, "Mama, look! Macaw!" He had just watched Diego saving the Mommy Macaw. What a smarty pants! Somewhere in the past month he finally learned to say "No" but it hasn't been a big deal. He HAS entered the crying throwing a fit screaming phase when he's mad or disappointed. He screeches pretty loudly.
Our ABF class put on a VBS for the kids this summer, and it was really neat. I dropped Addie off for two days, then worked the other two days. Ryan cried and cried when Addie got out of the car and we drove away. I was so proud of her and excited to see what she would learn and how she would do. She loved it and came home singing songs and telling me all sorts of random things about the day. She has a little sing-song voice with her own funny accent so I have to train my ear to hear and understand all the stuff she says, but it makes me laugh a lot. She's not my cute funny toddler anymore, but now she's a cute, funny preschooler. I get all the fun comments and questions, and listening to her jabber on while she's playing or coloring is great. She's trying so hard to figure out how the world works, and she come up with things or make strange connections that make me laugh. She is doing great with swimming - she'll go under water all the time with no problem, touching the bottom of the pool and jumping off the side without making us catch her. She's also been coloring a TON lately - she'll sit for hours at the table every day coloring. Ryan will color a lot too, to be with her, but he gets bored and then fusses because there's no one to play with him. Addie's coloring skills have improved so much. She colors inside the lines now and really pays attention to details in her pictures, like belts and flowers and buttons.
My sister and niece came down for a week recently and the girls hit it off again. Addie was so excited to finally have Cammie sleep in her bunk bed, and she copied Cammie in just about everything - food choice, toy choice, words, activities, clothes, singing, etc. Luckily Camryn didn't seem to mind at all. Addie still talks about her best friend Cammie every single day without fail. I'm so glad they are finally living close to us so that seeing Camryn doesn't have to be a once-a-year thing.
> Cammie with short hair and bangs
Maybe if I keep up with this more, it will be easier to write and remember stuff!