Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Getting OLDER!

These kids are getting older incredibly fast.  Eloise slept last night without a diaper, which means that she is officially diaper free 100% of the time now.  She was dry in the morning, but that may or may not have been due to a certain Daddy being very anxious about daiperlessness, and getting her up several times to go potty.  I asked her today if she wanted her pacifier for her nap, and she told me, "I don't have a pacifier or a diaper anymore." Whew.  I'm so relieved that she is over the pacifier.  
This big girl suddenly has enough hair for a ponytail. 
 She loves to help with anything she can do.  Here she is cutting mushrooms to put on pizza.
 She wanted to cut the mushrooms because Jared was cutting/eating the olives.  Jared gets sidetracked easily, but he is usually a huge help around the house.  Now that he is almost four, he puts on his own socks.  He also takes care of all of his own bathroom business, as he is fond of bringing up proudly at really inappropriate moments.  Alas, he is still very much three and a half.
 For anyone who has talked to Eloise in the last couple of months and heard about "A jacuzzi and a tomato!"  I have finally solved the mystery of what she was talking about.  We went swimming with friends last Wednesday.  When we arrived at the pool, we discovered that it had a small hot tub next to the children's pool.  Jared excitedly shouted, "A jacuzzi!"  Eloise looked at the hot tub, then she looked at me and said, "I thought a jacuzzi was for eating."
So there you have it, folks.  She thought a jacuzzi was food to be eaten with a tomato.
Her new favorite word is "delectable," which is just about the cutest thing I have ever heard. She quotes from a book, "Do princesses have a favorite vegetable? They find them all delectable!"
 Jared is starting to look like a big kid.  He is getting much less mushy around the edges.  He is still incredibly cuddly, and loves to give hugs.
 Even these big kids sometimes like to pretend they are still babies.  Eloise and Jared helped me learn how to use my wrap for a back carry one day when Todd went to work with my regular carrier in the car.  B was too wiggly to practice wrapping.
 These kids loved being wrap carried.  They were both pretty sad when they had to stop taking rides around so that I could put B in it.
 I had a crazy mom moment last week when I let Eloise make our family home evening treat of no-bake cookies.  She stood at the stove and stirred diligently while I added ingredients.  She did a great job.  I never left her at the stove alone for a single second, but she didn't try to touch the pan or stick her fingers in for tastes.  She waited patiently for the cookies to cool.
Benjamin is passing his own milestones.  He now eats big kid oatmeal (no more texture-less baby cereal for this guy), and he can crawl! He started crawling forward on Saturday (Aug. 10), with a sort of awkward swim crawl, but he has refined his technique.  He is still dragging himself across the floor, but he is getting very efficient about it.  I have to watch him very carefully because he is getting faster and faster by the hour, and he is dying to get his hands on anything paper or small enough to fit completely into his mouth.  
Eloise is no fan of B's new development.  She runs away from him yelling, "He's getting me!"  Or "B wants my book!"  I hope she adapts quickly to him crawling, because he will be climbing, pulling up, and walking before we know it.  
I think having a third child in our family makes all of the milestones and achievements of all of the kids blink past us so quickly that I can hardly keep up.  So many times I have wished that I could just preserve a moment for a little bit longer. but these babies just keep getting older and older.

Grandparents' visit 2013

One of the things that Todd most wanted to do with his parents visiting was to take our new inflatable boat to Lake Washington and row around.  Grandpa arrived on July 2 in the evening.  The next day, we took the boat down to O.O. Denny Park to play.  
 The day turned out to be pretty windy, and I was a weak rower, but Jared really enjoyed the boat.
 Eloise was okay with the boat, but she would just as soon have stayed on the beach with Grandpa and thrown rocks in the water all the time.
 The playground at O.O. Denny is new this year.  These kids will swing for a very long time.  They were yelling, "It's exhilarating!" while Grandpa pushed.
 Grandma broke out the snacks while the women and children waited for the menfolk. The kids are clearly soaked in this picture.  Not bringing the swimming suits was the wrong call for this outing.
 Todd and Kent took great care lashing the boat to our roof for a distance of less than two miles.

The next day was Independence Day.  After last year's parade, we promised Jared that he would get to ride his bike in this year's Independence Day parade.  We instantly regretted our promise, since the city's parade is after our ward breakfast festivities, and right during nap time.  Fortunately, our ward decided to have a children's parade at the breakfast, and Jared was willing to accept that as his parade.  
Under no conditions was Eloise going to surrender her sausage for the parade.  She was the youngest child marching.  She ended up trailing the parade by about ten yards, holding up the boy scout color guard that was following the children.  
Jared was the only child who arrived with wheels, but that didn't stop him from having a great time.  He was all over the park (O.O. Denny) on his bike.
After the breakfast and parade, we headed home for lots of resting before the evening fun.  We had our first barbecue on our new backyard grass.  The yard was leveled while we were away in Idaho, and the sod was put down on July 2.  Nothing says Independence Day like a back yard barbecue.
We took all of the children back to O.O. Denny park for fireworks.  None of the major city displays in the area are visible from here, but the kids were too tired for more than a few minutes of official fireworks anyway.  They had a great time watching individual fireworks being set off around the lake.  We even had some friends show up to join us throwing rocks in the water and watching duck families swim.
The next day, we decided to hike down to O. O. Denny from our neighborhood.  We knew this was possible, and we even found the trail head sometime last year, but the trail is a little bit too steep and long for Jared to walk the whole distance.  We took advantage of having Grandpa visiting to leave Benjamin with him for the hike.  
It was a beautiful, overcast day, but that didn't stop us from getting pretty hot on the hike back up the hill to our house.  
On Saturday, July 6, Todd's last non-Sabbath day off before returning to work on Monday, we took the clan to the Ballard Locks and botanical gardens. It was a busy day for boats.  Here is one of those rare family portraits of our Knight family.  
The next picture is Grandpa with his youngest grandbaby at the fish ladder.  This was taken right before the gigantic Eloise meltdown.  I think she got overwhelmed by the crowd.  She wanted to look at the fish, but not with all of the other people around.  With forty or fifty people trying to look at salmon through five viewing windows, it isn't really possible for a two year old to have her own window, but don't try telling her that.
Grandma and Grandpa got a portrait in the botanical garden.
Here is our tired crew right before heading back to the car.
We had a quick picnic right next to the parking lot.  Benjamin was fast asleep on my back by this point.
I think I can speak for our whole family when I say that we sincerely hope that Grandma and Grandpa make their visit to Washington a regular tradition.  Everything is more fun when they are around.