Monday, July 7, 2008

In like a lion...

So far, July is definitely roaring, and I'm not talking about weather either. We've just been super busy, and I find myself with an extreme shortage of time these days. I'm going to try and catch up with what we've been up to though.

Thursday marked 5 years since Jason and I met. Yes, you read that right...since we've MET. In less than 6 months, we'll be celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. You could argue I'm biased, but I think each year gets a little sweeter.

This past Thursday, the girls and I met Stefanie and her girls at the park. We picked up McDonald's on the way and let the girls run around from the teeter totter, to the slides, to the swings, and back again. It amazes me how much Elsie grows and changes from one summer to the next. Last summer, I was under her feet the entire time we were at the playground, helping her climb, waiting for her to slide down, pushing her on the swing, etc. This year, she's pretty self-sufficient. She and Lydia will climb up into a swing on their own and the other will push leaving Stef and I to visit. We're not complaining! Anyway, Lydia and Elsie played together incredibly well on Thursday. So you can imagine our pleasant surprise when they played just as well together all day on Friday.

Our church always has a Fourth of July picnic we go to. It doesn't hurt that our city's fireworks display is literally across the street from the church property. We've got a GREAT view. Anyway, there's food, of COURSE, slip-n-slides, an inflatable water slide and pool for the kids, volleyball, bean bag toss, and a lot of fellowship. We gather together to eat in the early afternoon and stay all day, ending the evening with the fireworks. Elsie spent the majority of her day in the water, and could hardly stand still for a picture...but I did capture one of her playing with Lydia and a couple more after she tasted cotton candy for the first time. (She loved it.)

Since we're so close to the fireworks display, a LOT of non-church members gather on the property in the evening, and we hand out balloons and glow bracelets and necklaces to the kids. Both are always a hit, and I remember Elsie wailing last year when her balloon slipped out of her hands and sailed toward the Heavens. This year, she eagerly let go of the string and waved her balloon good-bye. Lydia followed suit and they promptly errupted into a fit of giggles.

Claira was in a good mood Friday as well as she loves to be outside. She's one content clam outdoors, at least until she gets hungry. Elsie's first summer, I remember skipping fireworks to go home and pump (boring, I know). So, it was nice to see them this year despite having a baby in tow. I just had no idea what to expect out of Claira. Shortly before the show started, she got fussy so I came in the house to feed her. She fell asleep, and I figured I'd be watching fireworks out the window, but she woke as soon as they started so we went back outside to join Jason and Elsie. At first, her eyes were as big as baseballs, then she got fussy, and I thought I was going to end up inside after all. But, Elsie came over to join us at that time, and Claira was so incredibly excited to see her. She must've missed her sister that day because her excitement was obvious.

Saturday, we took Elsie (and Claira) to Chuck E. Cheese for the first time. Naturally, it was a hit. I hadn't been there in several years and was happy that the pizza wasn't as bad as I remember. Plus, we got to play skee ball, and if that isn't a recipe for a good day, I have no idea what is. Elsie enjoyed climbing around in all of the tunnels, riding the cars and roller coaster simulators, and playing games. She cashed in her tickets for a piece of taffy, some stickers, a hair bow, and we saved the rest for another day. The girl at the prize counter was incredibly sweet to give her a Hello Kitty change purse that was more tickets than we had total so that was a blessing.

That evening, we stationed ourselves in the living room for a marathon folding session. We must've had about EIGHT loads of laundry to fold. Our living room looked like a laundromat exploded. Elsie likes to hang shirts on hangers, and she's getting better at it.

Mommy's Little Helper:

Claira's pretreating Daddy's clean's going to be drooled on sooner or later, right?

Today, we had church this morning and came home for lunch. This afternoon, Eli and Janette dropped Brianna off to play while they had a meeting. Her and Elsie usually play really well together and today was no exception.

Brianna styling Elsie's hair:

A brief pause:

Snuggled up watching the Newest New Bears (Berenstein Bears)

They ended their playdate by marching through the living room and kitchen in a circle with princess wands and chanting, "Goo-ber! Goo-ber! Goo-ber!" I have no idea what that was all about, but Brianna was sad to stop when it was time to go.

Shortly after Brianna left, Jason's brother, Eric arrived. He graduated college recently and is staying with us this week while he does some job training nearby. It's also been five years since I've met him, and it's hard to believe that he'll be married in less than two weeks. Anyway, Elsie didn't take long to warm up to "Uncle E" at all. We're looking forward to spending some time with him.

In other exciting news, Claira turned 8 months old this week! I'll have to dedicate a post to her sometime tomorrow. I'm afraid that I'm in need of toothpicks to hold my eyelids open so I'm opting for bed instead. Good night!


~aj~ said...

I had to laugh about your laundry mat explosion illustration. That is SO what our house is going to look like tonight. I keep doing laundry, but put off folding and putting it away. I have laundry baskets full of clothes all over this house!

Glad you guys had such a great 4th and that Elsie has been having so much fun with her friends!

Thanks for the tips about the school routine you've started with Elsie. You've given me some good ideas. Now I've just got to find the time to squeeze it into our week. :)

Jen said...

Cute pictures and glad you had a good fourth of July! Looks like Elsie had a great playdate too. I just love the way you talk about your husband - very sweet. Hope things settle down for you all :)