Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gettin' Down & Dirty At The Park

In early September, Kevin's aunts came for a visit from Boston. They're his dad's sisters, Mary Lou and Nancy. Kevin's sister's family, brother's family, our family and his parents all got together at the park. The weather was perfect (and had cooled down a bit, thank goodness). Lots of food, shady trees, and a stream with polywogs. What's not to love?

Here, let me help you get the foil off those brownies...oooh! They look wonderful!

...Mmmm...and delicious! (That's my Grandpa Dick behind me.)

No one's watching...might as well try one of the cookies.

Just kickin' it near the desert table...

Did you need something?

Family and lots of food. Isn't life great?!

Much of the day was spent following Kate as she would saunter off (or run off) to go explore, or follow her brothers.


Kevin's aunts, Mary Lou and Nancy. (We just love both of them - they're fun company!)

I'm holding Kate, but she threw herself forward to latch onto her brother's necks! :)

Look how sleepy I am Mom...I need a nap! (...and she did fall asleep within 2 minutes of being in the car!)

I love this big guy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Boys Are Back in School!

Okay, I hate to admit it, but I was humming, "Oh what a beautiful mornin', oh what a beautiful day, I got a wonderful feelin', everything's goin' my way..." :)

With the onset of the school year (which, by the way brings the blog up to late August :) comes the new soccer season for Colton, with a game every Saturday. Bryson is enrolled in classes at the Community College, Brendan began middle school, Colton is in 3rd grade, and Ryan is in preschool. Whew! That leaves Mommy and Kate home alone 2 mornings a week.

I'm never quite sure which time is easier/harder...the summertime when they're all home and I get to enjoy their company, and they can stay up & sleep in, but there's more meals to make, laundry, driving, etc., or when they're at school and I have some time during the day, but have to get everyone up early, drive everyone to school and back and have homework/papers due.

Kate helped Ryan acclimate to his first day in a new preschool. It was interesting to see how comfortable she is among a lot of kids. Since this first day, the routine is that Kate is in the room and seated at an activity table before Ryan and I have literally gotten through the door! Ryan's teacher thinks it's very cute. I then try to get Ryan situated and wisk Kate back out the door before she gets paint or glue on herself (which is usually the table she heads straight for!) She definitely "gets" what this whole preschool thing is about, and I can already tell, will enjoy it greatly when she's big enough to go.

Kate cruising the "house" area of the classroom. Hmmm...Nice the vacuum!

Ryan's first day.

Brendan used to be in this exact room for preschool! It looks a bit different, and now has A/C! His teacher is still there. :)

August Heatwave

I always think of San Diego when I hear the song Camelot...
"It's true, it's true, the crown has made it clear, the climate must be perfect all the year.

A law was made a distant moon ago here, July and August cannot be too hot,
and there's a legal limit to the snow here, in Camelot.
The winter is forbidden 'till December, and x's mark the second on the dot.
By order summer lingers through September, in Camelot...
Camelot, Camelot, I know it sounds a bit bizarre, but in Camelot, that's how conditions are..."

The whole reason so few people in San Diego have air conditioning is that there are so few days in the year that you really need it. Well late August and early September had San Diego, as a whole, contemplating changing the air conditioning status quo. It was HOT, it was muggy, and basically, all around miserable, and this record breaking heat went on full blast for a good 2 weeks.

I don't mind warm weather...actually, I kind of like it, but this was taking things a bit too far. Numerous days, the temperatures were well over San Diego!! I actually began to look forward to school for the kids, not to get them out from under-foot, but for them to get some relief from the heat, knowing their schools have air conditioning!
Until then, though, they lived in the inflatable pool. By time number 2, 3, or 4, in the pool in one day, the sight of little ones in undies or a diaper in the water was commonplace.

Kate wants a blanket no matter the temperature, but this heat kept even her from wanting to be covered up.

A messy, sweet little face in her brother's shirt!

This swimming all day wears a girl out!

Kate feels very comfortable and safe with Colton.

Kate(2), Brendan(12) and Ryan(4) cooling off...three of my cuties :)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Dynamic Duo

...or as they are commonly referred to...the wrecking crew. (You'd understand what I mean if you saw the living room at the end of the day!)

It hit me funny when they both came downstairs wearing construction helmets. I cannot think of a more appropriate representation of these two non-stop-action, little people. If it's not one, it's the other.

I think of Kate as having the curiosity (and experiences) of a 10-12 month old, but with the mobility of a 2 year old...this is a high-maintenance combination!

It is interesting to watch her develop and learn, though. Like watching someone on fast forward. For example, I sign and say "HOT", 'be careful' when I give her food that is very warm. Well, one day, I was moving a steaming pot on the stove and she patted my leg a few times, and said, "Mommy, Mommy, Ha, Ha" and signed 'HOT' as if trying to warn me to be careful. (That's right! Good girl, it's hot!) She also uses the sign for 'water' to mean 'I want a drink','let's go in the pool', and 'I want to go back in the ocean'. Pretty smart. (She'll usually point to what she has in mind.)

On one of her sign language dvds is a song to teach the 'boy' or 'girl' sign. She was on my lap as I sang with the dvd, "I'm a girl, I'm a girl, yea" and I held one of her arms up on the 'yeah!' part. Well, Kate throws both of her arms up and yells "YEAH!" I started laughing. That's right - you're a girl!! YEAH!! :)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kate's First July 4th in America

Okay, now remember, we're going to pretend it's early July, as I update...

Independence Day was spent the best way San Diego has to offer...friends and family on a beach with lots of food and fireworks! This year was on Coronado Beach, very near the Hotel Del Coronado. Kevin's brother's family and some friends help make it a great day!

It was Kate's 2nd time being in the ocean, and she was still very clingy...for about 6 minutes. She soon saw that a wave coming meant that she would be lifted up high, then set back down in water up to her knees. Particularly when she saw Ryan shrieking with delight, she realized this could be really fun.

Kate has become pretty good at signing for what she wants, and made everyone laugh as she pointed to the water, with little bluish lips, and shivering, signed 'water'. "You've got to be kidding, she wants to go back in?", but she did. We eventually just insisted that it was 'dry time', and took her back up on the sand. She sat there with her sunglasses and little hat (we're trying to keep her scar out of the sun). She looked so darn cute, everyone would smile walking past her.

Kate most definitely enjoyed the abundance of food and drinks, and just sat in her beach chair, happy as a little clam, as the food kept-a-comin. :) Then there were brownies!...This is a great holiday!

Aunt Mimi pulled out glo-sticks for all the kids when it got dark (which were a huge hit), and you could see 3 different firework shows from where we were seated on the beach. Kate did not seem particulary phased by the show and finished up the day (evening) by playing in the sand. I think we came home with half the beach in her shoes.

Kevin and Ryan with the Hotel Del in the background.

Are you comin'?

Kate was unsure about the way her feet would sink into the sand as the waves went back out.

She would curl her little toes, trying to hold onto the sand! :)

Swimsuit courtesy of Grandma Shirlee.

Mommy and Kate on her first 4th of July as an American citizen.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Day At The Pool

Okay, I've been shamed into updating the blog! Summer with 5 kids home turned out to be a little busier than I had thought, and free time/computer time turned out to be a thing of the I'll update.

It's now September, and Ryan and Kate are running around (literally) as I type this. Kate looks adorable in her little purple dress, black squeaky shoes and bow in her hair, as Ryan tries to lure her up the hill in the backyard where she will undoubtedly get filthy and/or banged up. I'll try to type fast! :)

Kate's birthday present of a blowup pool was enjoyed by all the kids over the summer, and Kate went from being a bit nervous in the water, to being a little fish, thoroughly enjoying the water to play in, and also to cool off in. She would look at the pool, or see/hear the other kids in it and urgently sign 'water'. I bought her a little floaty ring and you should have seen the look on her face as she would 'coast' from one end of the pool to the other. It was more than once that I wished the folks in China could see how happy she looked.

The first day we blew up the pool.

One of the cool things about Kate is that she's pretty tough. You can squirt her with the hose and she doesn't cry or even turn away but will run up to it and open her mouth to catch the water. It's pretty funny. We discovered this one day months ago, on a cool evening, when Kevin was watering the lawn and she kept running, shivering, into the stream of water, with a big smile on her face. (Doesn't the water look neat?)

An after-swim picnic in the backyard....Kate and her brothers. It's a great day! (L-R...Brendan, Ryan, Kate and Colton)

Kate and Colton are buddies. I love the way she's looking at him!

Big brother Colton keeping Kate warm.

I love these pictures...cute little outfit, cute little pigtails, and how clear the water looks. Don't you just love summer?