Monday, August 31, 2015

Last week before school!

Dear Maya and Emi,

Well, it's finally happened. Mommy has had weeks go by with very few pictures of you two before, but it was usually due to sickness or something. This week I have very few pictures and it's because mommy was busy taking pictures of other families. I suppose now that this photography business is starting to take off there will be more weeks like this in our future, but I'm sure we'll still have enough pictures to look back on. More than enough. :)

Here's just a quick list of what we've been up to:
*Mommy took you girls to go visit Aunt Kelsie, Grace and Will
*You both spent about 4 days in a row with daddy while mommy got in several appointments and then spent the weekend working--you had fun but you certainly tired him out!
*Maya, you and mommy went to the dentist, the farm, and a doctor appointment together
*As a family we went to the fire house so mommy could give blood and after I explained why, Maya, you said that you wanted to give blood when you grew up, too
*Emi, you've been chattering more and more and sometimes saying words that sound like like "choudai" (Japanese for "gimme") and "sister"
*Emi, you've also been giggling so much more with your sister. This right here is super adorable:

Well, that was a quick post but mommy has to get back to the mountain of photo editing and other work that's waiting for me. Plus, of course, we have to squeeze in a bunch of fun this week before somebody goes to school next week. Sigh... Love you both!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Growing girls, creepy bugs

Dear Maya and Emi,

Things are starting to get real around here.

Emi, you're showing signs of being pretty darned clever. You do lovely baby things like snuggle, give kisses, wave goodbye, say "hello," and run from the other side of the room to give us a high five. But then you do these thoughtful things like pulling your own booster chair out and putting it at the right angle to be fed tonight. Or lining up Maya's shoes, mostly correctly, after playing with them. Or giving your water bottle to daddy when he wasn't feeling good. You're one to watch out for!

Maya, mommy had a bit of an aha moment while shopping last night. I was looking for a school shirt for you and I had to go into the girls' section instead of the toddlers' section. It felt different in there and mommy got a little teary. I trust you're going to do well in school because you're strong and smart and you're super excited to just get started already. Honestly, I'm more worried about me adjusting at this point! It's going to be so weird!

So, Maya, today mommy took you on a special outing to celebrate your big girl status--your first ever movie in a movie theater. "Shaun the Sheep" was adorable and though mommy doesn't think you were ever actually afraid, it was such a wonderful feeling to have you hold on to me during the 'scary' parts of the movie. It felt like you were my little girl again for a few minutes. But then you wouldn't hold my hand in the parking lot. Sigh...

One more blurb about you, Maya. Mommy has written several times about how much you like creepy crawly things and often keep slugs and snails in jars for a day or two. You now have a new collection. In some ways it's creepier because of how they look, but at least these aren't alive. Yup. This is your jar of cicada shells. Most of them were found right outside our house, but you carried the jar with you looking for more on our rail trail hike the other day.

Well, mommy needs some sleep! Love you both!

Monday, August 17, 2015

On the staycation bandwagon

Dear Maya and Emi,

Mommy's been going longer in between blog posts lately. I guess that's to be expected when we're busy making memories. Still, mommy likes to sit and write these posts weekly to reflect on how you're growing and changing and what our family is up to. Otherwise it all goes by too fast!

This past weekend we had an unexpected and, lately, unprecedented amount of time to do fun things as a family. It became like a mini staycation, even. On Friday, instead of just mommy and Maya time at the farm, we all went to get our share for the week. We also picked string beans, herbs, cherry tomatoes, and flowers. Emi, you loved carrying the basket and running around the fields so much that you fussed when we picked you back up.

On Saturday, mommy took you both to a local small-town festival. Like last year, Maya, you enjoyed the bouncy house and riding a horse. You also helped crank an old-fashioned sheep shearer and had your face painted for the first time. Both of you loved the ice cream at the end of a very fun time.

On Sunday we left early and went to a sculpture garden/estate. It was pretty humid and there were some cranky moments, but overall you both liked it. There was a sculpture scavenger hunt, plus we found some newts in the woods so of course those were the highlights for you, Maya.

It was really hot again today so we pulled out your new water table, Emi, and had a great time splashing around. We've been playing a lot with your new-to-us wagon as well. Mommy's been getting a workout pulling you both up and down the backyard and the street behind us.

Well, mommy has some more work to do. Love you both!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

'One' to grow on

Dear Maya and Emi,

Whew! We've had a very exciting ten days since the last post. Here's what we've been up to...

 *Credit to Aunt Rhi, Grandpa, and Daddy for many of the photos in this post!*

*Big truck day at the library--Maya you loved the dump truck, ambulance, and especially the firetruck. You barely gave any of the other kids a chance!
*Mommy and me swim class--Emi you were scared at first but you got used to it and started to relax a bit. We tried to go again yesterday but the weather prevented any swimming.
*Grandpa and Lori--they stayed with us for a couple days, keeping both of you busy inside ("Grandpa-slide!") and out (running around and playing with water).

And, the big event was your birthday party, Emi! The theme was vegetables, or "One to grow on" (get it? get it?) The location was at a park right on the river. The weather was perfect. Our family and friends were gathered. It was a great day! Here are some more details...

*Farm stand sign by Grandma and Papa Stan

*Berry baskets of various local veggies as favors for the adults

*Berry baskets of veggie toys, erasers, stickers, paper, and pencils for the kids

*Zucchini cupcakes with grated fresh zucchini on top

*Dark chocolate 'dirt' cupcakes with candy 'leaves' on top and orange cake 'carrots' inside

*Zucchini smash cake for you, Emi, with candy flowers and candy pea pods on top

*Emi, you almost cried when we all started to sing "Happy Birthday" to you, but then when you saw the cake you just grabbed the stand and went to town! It was adorable!

*You got such generous gifts from everyone, too: adorable clothes, fun toys, and a good start on your new bank account!

*Here are some other fun pics from the party. The kids and adults alike had fun watching the barges and sailboats go by, playing in the sand and on the swings, and feeding the birds.



Yesterday Grandpa and Lori went home, so to avoid the second-day-post-grandparent meltdown, mommy took you two for a little hike today. The weather was warm but there was a bit of breeze, the sky was beautiful, and you two loved running around. Plus, you both napped afterwards. Win-win!

Well, mommy has thank you cards to write. Love you both!