Sunday, September 6, 2015

We Knights

After the Hoefferles left we had a lot of sunshine and time on our hands, so we met the Christensens at the zoo.  I found this picture of these kids trying to touch a model komodo dragon egg at the same time hilarious.  
 We lost B in the zoo once.  He was pretty tired, so he didn't notice that we had moved on without him.  When I retraced my steps to collect him, he wanted to show me a trick (dangling from a bar) before we caught up with everyone else.  This was lucky. Usually when B thinks he is lost (usually while I can still see him) he breaks down in tears and refuses to be comforted.
 Eloise really wanted to wash the car one day.  B saw her swimming suit and insisted on joining her.  There was a good natured water fight, which was unusual in that it was good natured.
 We went to summerfest in Kirkland with the Christensens and got lunch from a food truck before going home to can peaches with the Carvers.  Eloise did a craft while the boys did an obstacle course.  There was a breeze coming off Lake Washington that had Eloise freezing.
 B couldn't leave without hugging this monkey.
 Occasionally we put on our domestic hats and cleaned house, but not often if we could avoid it and enjoy sunshine.
 We caught a couple of children's concerts in the park.
 And I got talked into allowing impromptu wading sessions.  We bring a lot of sand home from Juanita beach with us.  It is impossible to give sandy feet a good cleaning while Sammy naps on my chest.
 We had a couple of really successful family home evenings.  At this one we told stories of courage from the scriptures and from the lives of our kids, then we put on our lion masks and roared to support each other.  The roaring support continues to this day.
 My friend Lisa asked us to pick some of her ripe tomatoes while she was away.  My little harvesters jumped at the chance, even though B doesn't care for tomatoes.  They were super sweet and delicious.  We all got quite a surprise when my friend's grown son, who had not been warned that we were coming, appeared from the house.  We hadn't met him before, so I was afraid that we were picking tomatoes in the wrong yard!  It was fairly awkward for a minute.
 I joined a facebook group called Buy Nothing Kirkland where people give away things that they are finished with, but are still in good condition.  I was gifted this slide that is small enough to live indoors this winter.  For a few days in August, though, it was a water slide for us.
 Goofballs taking a break from playing outside to be silly with a water wing on B's head,
 and a book in Eloise's shirt.
 Potty training brought out B's inner toilet paper artiste. He was making roads for his matchbox cars.  Jared, also known as "Destucto-man," when he is not appropriately stimulated, was taking apart toilet paper roads.
 My favorite picture of my favorite people:
 We met the Christensens and the Carvers at the Caspar Babypants concert.  This year it was Sammy's turn to be hot and miserable.
 The older kids didn't want to miss a single note, but B got a little hot, and Sammy fussed for most of the time.
 The minute I put his feet in the water he calmed down.
 Little did we know that this would be one of the last very hot days of this long, hot summer.  Taking all of the kids to the beach by myself with baby has been a special challenge of my summer.  I think that as Jared and Eloise were posing with this traffic post, B climbed into the car and peed his pants, and then Sammy woke up and started screaming while I cleaned up.  This was after spending twenty minutes gathering up kids and stuff, shaking sand off of things, packing up without waking Sammy, and then stopping at the bathroom for Jared on our way to the car.  This was a pretty typical leaving the beach scenario.  We just leave lots of time, enjoy our outings, and try hard to be patient with each other.  All of the grandmothers I know (except for my own mom-- thanks for the honesty, Mom) assure me that I will look back on these days with nostalgia.  Am I the only one who feels that future nostalgia like a millstone around my neck in tense moments of reactionary parenting?
 Don't get me wrong, I adore these children.  I love how B has just begun insisting on praying independently, and how Jared tries to spend every waking moment building with legos or reading.  I love rediscovering the world through their eyes.  I love to watch them overcoming their obstacles.  I love the way they squeal with delight as they chase each other as fast as their little legs will go.  How could I not love every inch of these gorgeous little humans?  B has especially had me smiling at his confusion over the words "everybody," "nobody," "somebody," and "anybody."  He uses them systematically-interchangeably.  He will pick one of those words and use it for all of those words for several days, until he picks up that his system isn't working, and then he tries a new variant.  He usually means "somebody."  For example, when he looked around at a Google event last week and couldn't see me, he started crying.  When I came to rescue him from well meaning strangers, he sobbed, "Nobody scared me when I couldn't see you!"


 Todd took some of his paternity leave during Jared's birthday week, and we used some of the time to go to the beach.
 B's confidence in the water has really grown this summer.
 So has Sammy's.  He has come a long way from hating every gust of wind three months ago to actually standing in the cold lake water now.
We Knights use our summer days productively.

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