Our summer has been done for about a week and a half now. I loved my summer. Loved it. It made me yearn for the day I can be with my girl (and whoever else comes along) full time. I loved being at my house, working in my home, keeping things clean, teaching my baby new skills, reading to her, taking her to the park and the pool and swimming etc. etc. etc. Someday, I'm hoping to make this my only job, but for now, I have my summers, and I'm grateful to only work mornings. Here are some summer highlights.
In June, Claire and I went to the Long Beach Aquarium with her cousin Lila and Aunt Lydia and Uncle Jeff. I had gotten 4 free tickets for being a teacher so since none of us like to pass up free things to do, we all went out there for the day. Claire had a blast and took a pretty good stroller nap :-) Only bummer was missing the Lorikeets due to previously mentioned stroller nap. Oh well. You can't always see everything :-)
Cindy and I decided to take a trip to the LA Zoo with Claire. Her family was supposed to go with us but that fell through at the last minute. Since we were all dressed and ready to go, we decided to go anyway, Claire's favorite animal was CLEARLY the flamingos but she also liked the black bear, the rhinos, hippo, giraffes, zebras and elephants (although you couldn't see them very well). The sheep in the petting zoo were a big hit as well!
For the fourth we did our traditional BBQ at the Samsons then walk over to watch the YL Fireworks show. In the morning, good friends of ours helped us paint the guest room (the room next door to Claire's) We are eternally grateful for this since the job was a little more overwhelming than we anticipated. We are hoping to do some more painting soon but at least now we know more what to expect. After Claire's nap, we headed out to the Samson's for the BBQ. I was a little worried about the evening since Claire has an early bedtime but her nap was PERFECT that day. Slept longer than normal and was fantastic for the firework show. I was also a little nervous about how she would react to the noise and bright lights of the show. But she handled it like a pro and watched in complete awe with her buddy Logan (who was a few weeks shy of his 1st birthday) We love being with friends for the fourth.
During the sumer, Claire took swim lessons at Aquatic Zone in Corona. Every Monday morning, the two us us would put our swimsuits on and go to the lesson. Claire LOVED it. This was the idea. I really, really, really want her to be pool safe. Really. We live across the street from a pool and my in-laws have a pool. It's just maddening for me to imagine not teaching her swim at a young age. Maybe I'm paranoid but I think I'll feel much better when I know my little girl can float and swim to the wall if she ever fell in the pool. It was so fun to watch her go from a clueless toddler to being able to (almost) climb out of the pool, confidently have her head dunked and walk along the wall with her hands. She is starting to get the idea of kicking and blowing bubbles. Luckily the swim center is indoor. We took the month of September off to get ourselves settled, but I will be taking her back in October in the afternoons to continue having her swim so maybe next summer, she'll be even better :-)
Los Osos Trip and Great Grandpa's 80th Birthday
Claire's Great Grandpa (my Grandpa) turned 80 years old on August 12th. For his birthday, our entire family took a trip up to Los Osos (Morro Bay area) and rented a house for all of us to stay in. It was a fantastic house and everyone seemed to have a great time. Claire took her first steps in front of the entire family on that trip, chasing after Auntie Laura. We were so blessed to be with everyone in such a beautiful place celebrating such a wonderful person who has given us so much, spiritually and emotionally and always makes sure our physical needs are met as well. Grandpa is one of the most amazing influences on my life and on the lives of his children and my cousins and, really, everyone he meets.
Mamma Turns 31 (and relives 13)
I turned 31 this August. On a whim, I mentioned to a friend that, for my birthday, I'd like to ride a horse. I took lessons as a kid and the last time I'd been on a horse was when I took a trail ride through Bryce Canyon several years ago. I didn't think I was going to actually get to do it, you see, but Cindy told Cheryl what I had said and the next thing I know, I'm in my jeans, on a horse riding around the Yorba Linda arena. So. much. fun. Claire met a horse up close (she'd seen them before since we have a bunch by our house) and I got to meet "Buddy" :-)
There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart. ~Celia Thaxter