August 17, 2011
Have you noticed how I don't even apologize for my irregular entries anymore? I'm sure you're tired of reading it!
It's been a busy summer. First, my father visited from out of state. The kids had a wonderful time with him - although Zane was a little traumatized the first morning he got out of bed, ran into the living room, and discovered Grandpa sleeping on a mattress on the floor. He apparently turned his back to Grandpa, sucked his thumb for a long time, then ran into his room. When I got up, he was back in bed, asleep. Since that morning, he's never again let himself out of his room when he awakens!
Then Anastasia stayed with her cousins (about two hours away) for two weeks. I couldn't get her swimming lessons in town, but it was easy to get her lessons where my in-laws live. This also meant she took lessons with her cousins, which added to the fun. They ran her ragged; not only did she have a swimming lesson every weekday, but they roasted marshmallows, tromped through the woods, swam in my sis-in-law's pool, went to a rodeo, and went to a fair. When she came home, it was clear she'd had a marvelous time - but she was ready to come home to Mommy, Daddy, and "little Zane."
With one of her cousins.
I don't normally think Anastasia looks much like me, but I do see a bit of a resemblance when she wears her hair like this. (That's me on the right.)
Being silly with her auntie at the rodeo.
Riding a Ferris wheel for the first time.
Every year, we attend a local celebration and Anastasia rides the ponies. Last year, Zane did not want to join her. This year, he couldn't wait. He was first in line, and actually let a stranger take his hand and put him up on the horse.
My dear little two year old boy.
It was great to have a little break while she was gone, and have extra time to spend with Zane, but poor Zane mourned her. At one point, I said, "I can't wait for sissy to be home." He replied, "Me toooooo!" When I asked him what he was going to do when sissy came home, he said, "Big hug. Group hug." When she came home, he said his longest sentence ever: "I'm glad you're home!"
Then it was time for Anastasia's birthday party. Unbelievably, she is now six years old. The day after her party last year, she decided she wanted a princess and knight party where they would play "pin the tail on the dragon" and eat a castle cake. She also wanted the girls dressed like princesses and the boys dressed like knights. She stuck by that vision, and that's exactly the party we put together.
The princess at her birthday party. My mother painted the awesome dragon for "pin the tail on the dragon." I found the dragon piņata online.
Knights and princesses everywhere!
Zane had fun, but didn't want to be involved in the costumes and games.
The girl loves her cake.
Somewhere in-between all this, Anastasia met some girls, six and four, who just moved in down the street. They became fast friends, and now visit our house nearly every day. It's a great thing for my oh-so-social girl.
Left: Anastasia and me. Right: Zane in one of his infamous costumes.
* This summer, when the tiger lilies started blooming, Anastasia called them "leopard lilies." I told her that her name made more sense, since the flowers are orange with black spots, not stripes. (This reminds me of when she was perhaps two or three and she called yellow jackets "yellow coats." )
* Zane seems to have mixed feelings about Anastasia's friends. Some days, when they walk in the door, he cheerfully waves and says "Hi, girls!" and joins in their games. But other days, he seems to think there's too much estrogen in the house, and he complains to me.
* Anastasia continues to struggle with picking up toys. (Although currently the following helps: She wouldn't pick up, so I put her toys in a trash bag. I told her every day she picks up promptly and without complaint, she can have one toy back. If she doesn't pick up, or she dilly-dallies or complains about picking up, I get to do whatever I want with one of her toys.) The day of her birthday party, her grandma walked into her room and said, "Anastasia, you need to pick up your room!" Anastasia replied, "Let's not talk about that."
* Both grandmas brought Zane a present to open at Anastasia's birthday party. I'm proud to say he would have been content just to watch Anastasia open things - but he was extremely delighted to have a present of his own, just the same. I think it was the first time he's opened a present by himself, and he squealed and cried in delight, "Oh yes! Wow! Wow! WOW!"
* Anastasia: "You know the signs that tell you not to drink wine when you have a baby in your tummy?" Me: "Who told you about that?" Anastasia: "I saw the signs in the store. I know what a circle with a line through it means!" Me: "Well, what about the signs?" Anastasia: "Babies can't drink wine!"
* One day, Anastasia and Zane emptied a box and sat
in it, as if it were a ship. They had their pirate hats on and Anastasia
kept saying, "Are we there yet?" And when the ship/box toppled over
because Zane got out, she shouted, "Oh no! Shipwreck!"
* When Grandpa visited, Anastasia rode her bike (or tried to ride it, anyway) quite a bit. At one point, we were at a park, and being the competitive child she is, she wanted to race Grandpa. Several times, he jogged off the pathway and took "shortcuts." When we were done, Anastasia said, "I'm really disappointed in Grandpa. He cheated."
* Did I mention that Zane decided to start using a pillow all on his own? And he counts to five now, too. He's still not very interested in using the potty, and when someone says, "What a big boy you are!" he counters, "No. Baby!"
* We went to two parades this summer. At both, Zane had the whole catching the tossed candy thing down pat. He made everyone around him laugh as he shouted "Yum! Yum!" and ran all over the place collecting the candy. At one point, a lady next to us picked up a piece and tried to hand it to him. His thumb went in his mouth and he opened and closed his other hand. He clearly wanted the candy, but didn't want to take it from a stranger. I finally took it from her and he shouted "Yum!" as he took it from me.
* One of Zane's favorite things is to have his sister sing him a lullaby. She clasps her hands and closes her eyes as she makes up a gentle tune, and he closes his eyes blissfully as he listens.
Our family portrait. Ahem.