Thursday, July 2, 2015

River time

We had a couple storms that caused the weather to finally improve right as we close out the month of June. It's still over 90 degrees today, but it's the first time in 4 weeks that I don't see a day over 100 and we did get a couple days this weekend that had highs in the 80s. It's been really hot here. We spent the entire weekend outside enjoying the weather while we had it.

Monday, June 29, 2015

More Busch Gardens

Or as Eleanor likes to refer to it: "Boo Gah Dens, horsie ride." Eleanor's favorite ride is the Lil' Clydesdales, followed closely by Prince Elmo's Spire, which is a mini-drop tower, or as Eleanor calls it, "Up Up Elmo."

We try to get over there once a week for a few hours with whoever we can find to go with. Eleanor has really made great strides this summer at the theme park. She went from hating just about every ride to being fearless. We ran into some friends of ours with older kids last week, and she followed their children onto the Battering Ram, which is an adult ride (that apparently small children can ride with supervision). It certainly made me queasy, but as soon as it ended she said, "mohr, mohr!" and we ended up riding a second time.

She still loves all the other rides, and there are a few more we have yet to try. One that we haven't gotten a chance to try yet is the Autobahn, Jr. (little kid bumper cars). We'll have to see how she fares on that one!

Overall, I was worried the pass wouldn't be worth the money this year, but I sure was wrong. She loves going to Busch Gardens and has a blast when we go. The other day we even had a little impromptu dance party in England on our way out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Blueberry picking

We went blueberry picking recently and Eleanor made some improvements from last year and stayed the same in other ways. This year she actually carried her own basket and was able to tell the "blue" blueberries from the non-ripe ones. She did a fairly decent job picking. Like last year though, once she started eating them, the picking was done and she spent the entire time eating them. We went early enough in the morning that it wasn't too hot yet. It seems we've been in a heat wave here for the last month. It gets above 100 degrees several days of each week and pretty much every other day is at least in the 90s. We thankfully got back home before it hit 90.

Of course we also got some of their homemade blueberry ice cream, which Eleanor and I both enjoyed extensively. 

Since then we've done a bit of blueberry eating and baking - I think we will be sure to freeze some for later, too!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

We celebrated Father's Day yesterday by heading to church and then hitting the pool for the morning. We spent the afternoon relaxing and grilling. I wanted the day to be fairly laid back and relaxed for Chris but from morning til night it seemed as if that would not be! Eleanor woke up early and was very loud, Chris had to run out to the store to pick up something for dinner, Eleanor was fussy after her afternoon nap, and in the middle of grilling, we ran out of propane and he had to head back out again to pick more up. Oh well, the best laid plans...often go awry, or so they say. On a positive note, Eleanor was very proud of the craft she made for Chris. She gave it to him and kept telling him "Eh-know paint!"

She made him a frame and we took a picture of her earlier in the week to put in it.

And sadly, here we are running out of propane. Oh well!

The night before, some of our friends invited us over for a Father's Day evening cook out, so we had a blast there enjoying company and eating delicious food. 

The girls all played outside in the pool and then caught lightning bugs once it got dark enough. These are my favorite ways to spend summer evenings so we were so happy for the occasion!

Happy Father's Day, of course to Chris who cares for us, loves us, provides for us and just continually blesses us by being the man that he is, as well as to my dad who raised me to be the person I am today, and to Chris' dad, who raised him to be the husband and father he is today. Also, a special happy Father's Day to my grandpa, who is also a great-grandpa - quite an accomplishment!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Swim Lesson

This year I debated started Eleanor in swim lessons. We live on a peninsula and are surrounded by water. I want her to have a healthy respect, but not fear, of the water, and I would love for her to learn to keep her head up if she does happen to fall in somewhere (like she almost did while we were canoeing). I think she is probably still a little too young, but a woman from church that teaches swim lessons to kids at a local pool offered to give her a lesson to see how she did with following commands.

There were certain things that she was good at, and other things that she would just start crying when we tried to get her to attempt. I would like to do one or two more lessons this summer, but think we'll probably wait to sign her up for something more consistent until she is 2. Another girl who had turned 2 about a month or so ago did excellently so I think a couple more months of understanding a maturity would go a long way. For now, we are just going to the pool whenever we can!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The messy faces of Eleanor

The older Eleanor gets, the more she wants to do things independently. "Eh-know do it self!" is a phrase we hear multiple times a day now. Basically for us, this just means we have to give up on the illusion that she is ever clean and translates to a lot more baths or showers. For example, at the farmers' market last weekend, she got a treat before we left and wanted to hold it herself. Unfortunately it was about a hundred degrees outside and her treat happened to be a chocolate-covered pretzel.

Then later in the weekend, she wanted to eat a popsicle herself. I don't think this picture adequately does her justice. Her entire mouth was purple, her clothes were sticky, and when we took them off, she had a purple stain running from her chin down her stomach to her diaper. It was quite gross.

The one positive to all this though is that it doesn't seem to bother her when she's sticky, messy, sweaty, etc!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Little Creek Reservoir

We went out to a reservoir near our friends' house last weekend to get in more water activities. You are apparently not allowed to swim in the reservoir, but you can kayak, canoe, paddleboard, and fish. We took the girls out canoeing and paddleboarding. Thankfully we picked up an infant lifevest for Eleanor last summer that we are using again this year. Last year she hated her lifevest because she couldn't walk yet (which is why I got it in the first place), and she couldn't turn her head well in it. This year it fits her perfectly and she can move fairly freely with it. At one point while I was paddling in the canoe, I looked over and Eleanor had her face and arms dragging in the water, with one foot over the side, while my friend who wasn't paddling was grabbing on to her lifevest straps pulling her back in the boat. When she was safely back in the boat and soaked, she was smiling hugely and kept saying "Eh-know plashs! Eh-know plashs!" She kept leaning out to touch the water the rest of the time until we transferred her over to the paddleboard. Overall it was a great morning and very relaxing except for that almost overboard moment.

On another note, our friends have chickens and guineafowl, so before we left for home, Eleanor terrorized the poor thing by chasing him in circles around their yard. It was quite cute, and she never got anywhere near him, but she kept running, yelling, "Guinea, hi!!! Guinea, hi!!!"