Fall is rapidly falling on us. This weekend we had jackets on, strange after last weekend when we were playing in the fountain at the zoo. I compiled this montage for the summer 2011 and I kick myself that I don’t have race pictures from May but other than that I think I got everything.
Starting in the top left corner;
A Zoe cluster; her swinging in our walking park swing. This summer she got big enough to swing and loves it, she wants to swing anytime she sees one and is happy as a clam. This exact picture is from Fathers day and she is wearing her I Love Daddy t-shirt but you can’t see it because she is just a tiny peanut in that swing. Below that is Zoe and I at the beach in Forest Lake. Not my favorite beach but close and easy. This is about as far in as Zoe liked to get because, as we found, she is not a fan of cold water on her tushie. Since I’m not the biggest fan of full body emersion in a lake (or any other cold body of water) I was fine to sit on the shore with her. This picture is from 4th of July weekend and we actually did not spend too much time at the lake since it was not that hot a summer but I have a feeling next year will be different. Next is Zoe doing downward dog, she does this ALL THE TIME and I have no clue why. Maybe it was all the yoga before she was born but randomly she will break out the downward dog. This picture is at the water park on the way to pennisc, a tiny little WI Dells hotel park but just right for our needs. True to form, Zoe did not really go in but she had a good time anyway.
To the right of Zoe’s rear end is Lars and Niamh on a waterslide at the same water park on the way to pennsic. Niamh found out she loves water parks and is conquering her fear of water dumping on her head for the fun of slides. She did this slide herself lots of times and had a great time, until she got a water park related injury (scraped knee) and we drove on to Pennsic, our biggest adventure of the summer.
Going to the right again is Niamh doing tree pose in a field. That field is at our favorite sculpture park in Franconia and was during my parents visit in June. I love this picture because it shows her continued fashion sense and independence including stealing Zoe’s hat because it matched her outfit. To the right of that is our foray into cloth diapers. A spur of the moment purchase, one I’m still not positive I love, but I do feel good about putting fewer diapers in the landfill. Niamh really only had them for a week and then went back to pullups at night (still not overnight trained.. gurrr…) but Zoe is a cutie bottom still.
Top right is pennsic, only a week but a major shift in day to day life and our only real ‘vacation’ of the summer. Sadly SCA had become a smaller part of our life this summer due to a variety of factors but it will be there to go back to I’m sure. Like a novelist, I’m layering meaning into my pictures and the blurry background of fighting is representative of the SCA this year for us. Below it is a picture of Zoe and Niamh in LOVE with the sand on the ocean beach on fireisland – more of that trip in row 2.
Row 2; Niamh washing the car – she did this tons of times but this is the first time. The idea was to just play in water but she wanted to be a helper girl. This compulsion comes and goes but I like it when its there. I also love her outfit in this picture too, totally her right down to that flip flops – we bought those together on our first mother-daughter shopping trips on her birthday. She can now fully express her love of ‘cute shoes’ since she speaks like your average human now, probably an above average human since her vocabulary is HUGE now and very expressive. The next picture is our family picture from the sculpture park, my parents took this one of us all up on top of one of the sculptures that remind me of a tail assembly on an airplane. That visit was fun, great weather and good company. Next to the right is Niamh on a tree that fell in my grandmothers yard. The hurricane in early September was something I watched on my phone practically every hour and I was so glad to see the winds drop and the severity decline. The one next to that one is on the same trip but on Dad’s boat, we didn’t take camera on the boat so all pictures are from the dock but it was a nice outing with everyone. We actually sailed again that weekend with Miss Math and her little boy aboard, and, I can’t forget the 3 hour tour with Marie and Clay in the same visit. We were in NY for Labor day weekend for Mom’s birthday, the last official weekend of the summer and it was a fine trip, great weather and jam packed with fun.
The bottom row starts with something I am sure you all find cryptic but it is MoM written by Niamh and since we were mailing that away I had to take a picture. Her early writing skills are blossoming, thanks in part to the bath crayons Josh and Karen got her for her 2nd birthday (since replenished by the Easter bunny) and she just loves to ‘write’ and as of the end of the summer she can write N, n, M, m, T, t, O, X and that’s about it for sure. She can recognize all the letters on sight and is memorizing signs, a big trend of the summer was her pointing out every N she saw on a sign. Below the MoM picture is a shot of a crazy couch car that our friends created. The memory is less about the couch riding and more about the continued friendship between us all (but the couch ride was fun). Next is Lars’s birthday and the day I discovered instragram. That cake was an insanely sweet mint frosted brownie cake I don’t think we finished but birthdays are always for celebrating. For his birthday we went to Valley Faire and it was super super hot, the hottest day of the summer I think but still fun.
Next is a rather random shot of Niamh and Zoe ‘doing dishes’. This is less about the dishes and more about how well they can play together this year. Zoe loves to do what Niamh does and Niamh calls Zoe her ‘best friend’ – have got to get that on tape one of these days… anyway, many (majority) Saturday mornings featured us playing in the kitchen and on the deck and around the yard, doing nothing in particular but having fun together. The next two pictures are an homage to our new kitten Dexter and while he is a mental case, he is great with being treated like a rag doll. The pot picture is funny not just because it’s a cat in a cook pot but because Zoe loves matching the pots and the lids and Niamh was pretend cooking in that pot and got so mad when Dexter jumped in.
The last couple pictures are from July; the green heart is from the 4th of July when we went to John and Amber’s and we played with fireworks and light painting. I tried to do more ‘good’ or adventurous photography this summer and it was fun to experiment. Someday I want to take a class or something to really learn how to do the different cool things my camera can do. The final one is of Zoe dipping a toe in the pool – that’s as far as she got. The pool was more about throwing stuff into to ‘rescue’ then sitting in but sometimes you win sometimes you don’t. The pool was an impulse buy for Pennsic and didn’t really work out there either but whatever, kids like pools right? Maybe next year…
So not a bad summer considering two full time working parents and I took 2 masters classes. Lots of visiting, lots of playing, lots of travel. Not pictured is the general hanging out that filled in the rest of the time, I should have included a picture of Dora since she is still a big part of our lives but TV probably always will be and my job is to make it not the dominant part. I always say my life looks great in pictures and Lars tells me that our life is great. I agree, it is a good life and the tantrums and bedtime/mealtime fights will fade and hopefully all that lasts is a million pictures of good things.
Ps. I’m totally beating that ‘second child gets less pictures’ thing
Pps – what did YOU do over this summer?