Cole, Alex, & Anna Grace

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Not So Lazy Days of Summer

I can't believe that our summer break is already almost half over. We have been spending our days at the pool, going to the park, and playing with friends.

Yesterday we made a trip to Chuckie Cheese. It was Anna Grace's first time there- does that make me a good mommy or a bad mommy?? Chuckie Cheese is not my favorite place in the world because of all of the noise and the germs. Yes, I am a "germ-a-phobe" But, the boys love it and somehow I have managed to avoid the place for over year. This is my conversation with Anna Grace before we left the house:

Me: Anna Grace, do you want to go to Chuckie Cheese?
AG: Yes!! I love turkey and cheese!
Me: No, not turkey and cheese - a place called Chuckie Cheese. Do you know what they have there?
AG: Ummm, yes! They have cheese!

Anna Grace loved playing all of the games, eating pizza, and getting on stage to dance with Chuckie (although she was confused by why the giant rat would need to take so many naps behind the curtain). She acted like she had been going there her whole life and somehow knew exactly how to put the coins in the machines.

Cole and Alex love summer break because most days we go to the pool. Alex is learning to dive off the diving board and Anna Grace has learned to love going under the water. If I had known earlier in the summer how much she was going to love going under water, I would have signed her up for swim lessons. Swim lessons are definitely on the list of "things to do" for next summer!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Nuk Fairy

Tonight, just before supper, the Nuk Fairy visited our house. "What is a Nuk Fairy?" you ask. Well, a nuk, according to Anna Grace, is a pacifier. A Nuk Fairy is a beautiful fairy (really 2 big brothers who are hiding in the bushes) who carries away the nuks that are left on the front door step so that the little babies can use them. The Nuk Fairy leaves behind a special present.

We have been debating the right time for the Nuk Fairy to visit. Anna Grace came to us using a pacifier and we did not have the heart to take away another thing from her after she lost everything that she knew in China. However, she has attached very well to Mike and I and we no longer feel like she must have the nuk for comfort. Really, she was only allowed to have her nuk when she was sleeping. The nuk stayed in her bed. But, her dentist said that she is starting to have some damage to the alignment of her teeth and her pediatrician agreed that it was time for the nuks to go.

So just before supper tonight, Anna Grace placed her nuks on the front doorstep.

She closed the door and then the doorbell rang. When she opened the door, a present was left behind.

The Nuk Fairy left her a new pillow for her bed and a bag of suckers. She gets a sucker when she wakes up in the morning and after her naps.

Tonight, Anna Grace went to sleep without any tears.

We tried a trial run of sleeping without a nuk this afternoon at naptime, but she cried for a long time and never did fall asleep. I spent most of my afternoon going upstairs to comfort her. So far tonight, she seems to realize that the nuks have now gone to the babies and she no longer has them. I feel kind of sad knowing that my little girl is growing up. We missed so much of her baby years, and now the nuk is gone too.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Our Beach Vacation

After a week's vacation, it is hard to just pick a few pictures to post. We had a great time camping at the beach. This was Anna Grace's first time at the beach and her first real vacation. We have taken her on several weekend trips, but in the year that she has been home, we had never taken her on a long trip or to the beach. Last summer, she would have not been able to handle walking on the sand due to her motor issues and issues with different textures under her feet. She did not even want to walk across the front yard! But, she has come so far in the last year and she loved playing in the sand and splashing in the ocean. The beach that we went to had an area protected by jetty rocks that prevented large waves from coming ashore. Anna Grace loved wading out into the water and the boys had a great time floating on their tummies looking at the fish.

We took a short day trip to visit some fresh water springs. The icy cold water came up out of a hole in the ground and it formed a small pool before it joined a small river. The boys (including Mike) took turns swimming across the hole.

Anna Grace really wanted to see a real alligator, and she got her wish. Actually she calls alligators "crocodiloos". She rolls her tongue and pokes out her lips when she says it. She got to see her "crocodiloos" right in our campground. Luckily, the alligators did not like to come into the area with the campers. :-)

Mike & Alex went on a party boat for a fishing trip. They did not catch many fish, but they had a really fun time. Alex loved how the waves splashed up the sides of the boat drenching everyone with the spray of sea water. Mike said that Alex was laughing so hard that everyone on their side of the boat was in stitches laughing at him each time another splash of a wave crashed the side of the boat.

One of my favorite things to do at the beach is to eat out at restaurants that look out over the water. I love a restaurant with a good "beachy" atmosphere- music, an outdoor deck for eating, good food...

Cole got a skim board as a reward for making all "A's" this year in school. He had quite a few crashes as he learned to ride it, but he can finally skim across the water for short distances.

I really wanted to take some good pictures that I could use for a collage above my mantle (really I would love to have professional pictures taken, but that is not in our budget.) So, I had to settle for our own photo session on the beach. Somehow a piece of sand or smudge of sunscreen got onto my camera lense and ruined most of my pictures. I guess we will just have to plan another trip to the beach- hee, hee.