Friday, August 5, 2011

Another (Few) Week(s) Gone...

Hmmm... the title says it all. If you actually make it to the end of this post, you'll know why. My last post was in mid-July. I think it's really rude that July just up and ended so quickly. It would have been far more polite to hang around a bit instead of rushing off like that. Oh well, maybe August will slow things down a bit.


I can hardly believe how quickly the kids are changing and picking up on new things. It's only been three weeks, but the pictures show all kinds of firsts, and everyday I'm reminded what fast little learners they are. Mark is saying new words everyday: wawa (water), nana (banana), uh-oh, shoes, all done, hi, and bye-bye are just a few. He also makes the sign for hungry, and even though he can't say eat, he gets his point across by heading straight to his chair when he wants breakfast. When he runs out of milk in the mornings, he stands in the doorway of the kitchen whimpering. Once he sees me headed his way, he bolts for the refrigerator door and tries to open it. "One sippy cup of milk, coming up!"

Grace is communicating quite well herself these days. She always pulls a chair into the kitchen saying "I wanna see. I wanna see Mama, I wanna see." Then she climbs on the chair to observe whatever it is I'm doing. Recently I was cooking at the stove, and Grace pretended to be cooking dinner on the other burner. When I asked what she was making, she replied, "Ice." Well, it was either that or PB&J, since those are the only two food requests she makes these days.

As I was slogging through three weeks of pictures I realized there has definitely been a theme the last few weeks. Mark discovered the water hose for the first time and took to it like a fish... well, you know.

Everything works better when you stick your tongue out.

He also mastered the "drink from the hose" trick.
Sort of.
That weekend Daddy got some time to himself while we headed to Disneyland Papa and DeeDee's house. After we settled in, Papa took Grace to try out the trampoline. Since "hop" is one of her favorite things to do, she thought this was the best thing evar.

"Look at me Mama! Look at me!"
(Another one of her favorite lines.)
After that, Papa washed his "big truck" and guess what? There was water!

"Uh, Grace? Why is there soap in the water? Are they
afraid we're going to find dirt somewhere or something?"

Lo and behold, Papa had a water hose too!
Mark was mesmerized.

"Look Papa! I already mastered the Drink from the Hose trick!"
As usual, my kids found the perfect spot to dry off:

"Gee Mark, all this land and they choose to cover it in grass.
Good thing we found a tiny spot of dirt to keep us occupied!"
After being such big helpers with washing Papa's truck, we went inside to help DeeDee:

"More cleaner please DeeDee!"
(Mark would hold up the towel for some cleaner,
then wipe the mirror. He wouldn't be fooled by a
"fake" spray of cleaner either, he waited for the real thing!)

"Hmmm. I wonder why DeeDee gives us three baths a day,
and Mama only gives us one bath every three days?"
After nap, cousin Lizzie (who was also visiting) introduced Grace and Mark to the new puppies born just the week before. Grace was very delicate with them, and did NOT want to hold any puppies. She was okay with approaching them on her terms, but if we tried to give one to her, or if they started to crawl toward her she would freak.

"Here puppy, let me pet you with one finger..."
Mark, on the other hand, had no such reservations:


"OOOOHHHH! You're smaller than I am!"
"How come you don't open your eyes?"

"Oh! You're waitin' for a kiss! Here you go...!"
Nope. No reservations at all.

When we went out front to put the puppies back into their house, guess what we found???

"Look Gracie! A water hose!"

Yep, he's got this trick down.
He should. He's had plenty of practice.

It took the kids about five minutes to figure out
the best spot to try and turn grass into mud.

Luckily, Grace is good at completing the clean up!
Uncle Kevin and Auntie Kim came to pick up Liz, and after all the excitement from the weekend, Mark was happy to find a great place to snuggle up and rest:

Uncle Kevin, a.k.a. "The Mark Whisperer"
The following weekend, the cousins came to our house to visit while Auntie went to the homeschooling conference. (I'm determined to go next year!) We played outside (sans water) and played some games too...

"Hey! What happened to my motor?
No stopping for the papparazzi!"

"Good job Grace! You're a super duper Xbox player!"
"Yeah, I learned it from my dad. Watch this!"

"Hey John! I'm a super duperer Xbox playerific! Watch me too!"
(Mom disclaimer: Neither of my children play Xbox.
They only play "controllers".)
Don't worry, amid all this excitement we got in some of the usual activities too. Grace was given "real" puzzles from her cousins. They varied from 12 to 24 pieces. She loves them. It's her new favorite request. "Play puzzles? Play puzzles?" She's amazingly good at finding the pieces and turning them to fit into the right place.

She's also had her first encounter with band-aids. She got a scraped knee, and it was enough to warrant some attention. Oy. Can I take that action back? She requests band-aids at all sorts of random intervals now! In the middle of a meal, halfway through a cartoon... and of course, as a ploy to keep from going to bed. I may hold some of the blame. When she asks... I usually give her one. What can I say? They're Strawberry Shortcake bandaids, and she's even cuter than the little redhead on the package!

Since we're past potty training, we're now into bathroom training. Or toilet paper training. Or put-your-underwear-back-on-before-leaving-the-bathroom training. Whatever you want to call it, we're there. Grace is pretty good at handling the mechanics of actually going to the bathroom, but once the deed is done she often ends up running around the house half naked. And typically with unwashed hands. Luckily, I have evidence that she is at least aware she's supposed to be using toilet paper:

Good thing there's a plunger handy.
This week the weather has been beautiful, and the kids have played outside quite a bit. I often have my camera in hand, which is how I managed to record just how quickly Mark can go from playing to eating:

Mud Pie!
I swear this happened in a shutter flash. I snapped the shot while reaching with my other hand to get the dirt out of his mouth. In the photo below, the water under his eyes is tears, not a product of the garden hose. He was quite irritated that I didn't let him swallow the dirt. Since then, he's eaten at least four handfuls. (That I've witnessed. I try not to think about what I haven't seen.) There's only so much I can do. So far he seems none the worse for wear. If he starts to grow turnips from his ears, I'll crack down.

He got this shirt as a birthday gift.
Someone knows him very, very well.
Another first for Mark this week was his very own, not shared, not-held-by-anyone-but-himself ice cream cone! He walked around with it stuck to his mouth like a bottom feeder for the first five minutes. He would suck on the ice cream like it was a sippy cup. Maybe he was afraid if he took it from his lips he wouldn't get anymore. Once he finally came up for air, he consumed it so quickly I barely got any pictures. Until he dropped it on the ground. That slowed him down - but not for long. It was mostly gone anyway, so I let him finish. Hey - you saw the picture up there. I'm going to take away his ice cream because there's a little dirt on it? Who am I kidding?

Must. Eat. Quickly.
Cannot. Share. Cone...

Of course, Grace loved it too. She made sure to show
my camera her treat, and her face says it all.
Yay for summer and ice cream cones!

"Grace? Do you think Mama will take away my ice
cream if she finds out I dropped it in the dirt?"

"Nah, she'll let you finish it. She's crazy nice like that."
Thanks for catching up with all the summertime fun! Hope you're getting some good times in this summer too. I'll leave you with just one more potty story - they're too entertaining not to share.

This week at breakfast Grace announced she needed to go potty. Seeing that she was finished, I excused her from the table and sent her on her way. (It's so nice not to have to accompany her all the time, even if it ends up in a small TP disaster on occasion.) As she sprinted toward the bathroom, I cleaned up Mark and let him wander free too. I heard them playing in the front room as I finished cleaning the breakfast dishes. It's so nice to be able to focus on something while they play and giggle, rather than running in to referee every two minutes. Once I was done, I headed in to check on the kids...

...and I found this.
The END(s)!

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