Summer Vacation, Part 1

August 31, 2010

Dear Teo,

Ok, here is part one of my "What did you do for your summer vacation" essay!  We spent 12 hours driving, flying, shuttling and walking through airports, to get to Kansas City to visit Uncle Levi and his family.

You did so well traveling, and I must say, I pushed myself to new limits finding ways to entertain you.  Your favorite distraction was riding up and down the airport escalator with me singing, "Upity, upity, up-up-up!" and "Downity, downity down-down-down."  

The visit with Levi and family was great.  We took you and your cousins to a place called Wonderscope, an awesome discovery center for kids.  It an old school building with each room was set up with a different theme - like the farm room, water-play room, doctor room, and a room with elaborate lego constructions of sea animals and a submarine to play in.  You were fascinated by it all.

Even when we didn't leave the house, you were surrounded by opportunities for discovery.  Your three cousins were entertainment enough, but there was also the cow, the bull, the chickens, the Saint Bernard dog, the two cats, the chinchilla, the play structure (built by Uncle Levi), and lots of big kid toys to try out.  Really, who needs Disneyland?

All the time we were there, Levi cooked delicious food for us.  I loved the raw cow's milk from their cow, and the cheese, yogurt, sour cream and ice cream that he makes from it.  We had eggs from their chickens and vegetables from their garden.

I helped out in the kitchen at times, which led to a minor disaster one morning.  I went to put the tea kettle on, and I didn't realize that it was a special kind that goes on its own hot plate.  I put it on the stove, and when I turned around it was on fire.

Adrienne turned the burner off and when she lifted it up, the plastic bottom had melted to the burner. We had to evacuate because toxic smoke had filled the house.  I was outside with the kids, lamenting that I had ruined the teapot and the burner.  Sweet Indigo said, "Well, just remember, it's okay and you learn from your mistakes."

There were many moments that I found myself appreciating Indigo and Jaden's gentle sensitivity as they nurtured and watched out for and included you in their play.  River, when the mood struck him, also protected you by taking away things you might choke on and saying, "Can't have that.  That's choke-able."  As I watched your cousins together, I admired the energy, creativity and wisdom it must take to guide, protect, and simply keep up with three kids.

Jaden giving you a snuggle.

River showing telling me all about the animals in the encyclopedia.

We spent one evening watching Indigo and Jaden at their gymnastics practice.  It was fun to watch them do things that I have never learned to do, like cartwheels and handstands!

You were a little frustrated because you couldn't join them, so Papa and I took you next door to a playground and you were able to swing and climb to your heart's delight.  Swinging with you on my lap is such a good feeling.  You totally relax against me, unless we slow down, and then you wave your hand to let me know to get moving again.

One day, you and I played Ring-Around-the-Rosie with Indigo and Jaden, going very slow for one round and then very fast for the next (when River joined us, it was pretty much fast every round).  Now you love playing endless rounds of this game.  I think you learned a lot from watching your cousins.  I wish we lived closer to them so you could play with them a lot more. 

Jaden, Indigo and King Michael.

 Indigo feeding a calf at the Discovery Center.

Indigo feeding a calf at home.

 You playing with the incredible marble track that Uncle Levi built.

11 Months - Garden Sprite

August 26, 2010

Little Teo, 
On the day you turned 11 months old, you really walked for the first time, about 5 steps across the living room.  We have a push toy that you like to walk with.  You do tricks, like pushing it with one hand, and then you get a big grin on your face.  The other day, I was helping you push it, and you brushed my hand away, like "I got this, Mom.  I can do it myself!"

You aren't saying any words (other than mama, bapa, and bye-bye), but you understand so much now. . . like, "go outside" "can mama have a bite?" "throw the ball" "turn off the light" and "put the paper in the potty" and your favorite: "go see grammy." 

Whenever I say those words, "go see grammy," you make a silly little chuckle, like you just can't contain your excitement.  At grammy's house, you like to play with her pots and pans or your tool bench.  Most of all, you like it when Oceana is there with her 4 week old kitten. 

The big event of the summer was our trip to Kansas and Oklahoma to visit Uncle Levi and his family and Opapa and Mary Louise.  I'll post a separate entry about our trip. 

Here are a few photos of you being your cute, funny, sweet self.

Love you!
Garden Sprite

Very Scary Garden Sprite

A Magic Bean

A Tired Little Monkey

I will be your home,
I will be your guide,
I will be your friend,
always on your side.

Sleep now in your room,
quiet of the night,
surrounded by the moon,
till you see the light.

By: Renee Stahl and Jeremy Toback

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