So much happening with my girls. It's been an event-full summer. We took a vacation, but our 6-day retreat turned into a 9-day marathon when my father ended up in the hospital an hour away from the rented cottage. We tried to squeeze in some vacation-y things, but spent every afternoon driving, visiting, and driving back again. Maggie's afternoon naps were all in the car. Oh, and the rain. I'd never seen it rain so hard or so often- major thunderstorms every afternoon. Usually twice each afternoon, and for more than a week straight. We had one day without rain while we were away, but nothing ever truly dried out because of the humidity. I'm glad we were there, though, since otherwise my mom would have been dealing with dad's health scare alone. Dad has some extended treatment to go through, and underwent surgery before returning home a week after we did, but he's doing well now.
We dropped Maggie's morning nap. I don't remember when that happened; maybe before my June post. She falls asleep in the car whenever we go somewhere before lunch, but she never gets cranky. She loves her afternoon nap and usually goes down around 1:00 for 2-3 hours. Both girls sleep like champs at night- Maggie from 7 to 6:30; Charlotte from 7:30 until 6:30. We lucked out on the sleep front as we almost never do battle over bedtime. In fact, the girls and I shared a room on "vacation," and no one had any trouble going to sleep and staying there. Except me.
I am still having sleep issues (posting at 3:30am after falling asleep on the couch for 4 hours; dreading going to bed because it makes my back ache). I think I'm functioning well on 4-5 hours per night. Others in my life may beg to differ.
I've been trying to DO a lot with the girls this summer. For the last 4 years, I've been either pregnant or caring for a newborn, so it's been fun to experience a lot of local attractions and see what my children get excited about.
Interactive art exhibit at a local museum/garden. The metal rods are meant to resemble giant blades of grass. Charlotte loved dancing through them.
Blackberry season was sweet, but way too short as the heat dried out the last of the berries before we could eat them. Charlotte and Maggie made a valiant effort, though. Not a single picked berry went to waste, but they didn't leave me any for baking.
Maggie has discovered carousels and LOVES them. Here she is on her first solo ride on a real, up-and-down carousel horse at a local carnival.
And now it's mid-August. We went to the Boston Children's Museum Monday, and they both loved it. To add to the adventure, we took the train into the city. No mishaps (aside from leaving the museum pass in the car and missing the first of our intended trains into town), no meltdowns, no 'accidents.' The girls amazed me by staying awake for the hour-long train ride home. They got a little antsy, but their restlessness manifested in a most adorable hug-fest.
Charlotte spent much of the early part of the summer having several potty accidents every day. She owns 14 pairs of "big girl underwear," and I had to do laundry at least every other day to keep clean ones available. It was horribly frustrating, and I was almost ready to put her in diapers again (I did for occasional outings when an accident would have been a really serious problem), but suddenly, two weeks ago, she righted herself and has had just one accident since. And that accident was only because she was way overtired and forgot to put the seat up on the potty we almost never use. I had mentioned to her that she couldn't go to school this fall if she was still having lots of accidents, so now she tells me every night that she's ready for school. Plus, she gets a lollipop and watches something on TV while I put Maggie to bed if she's stayed dry all day.
Maggie has begun telling me just before she poops in her diaper- "Potty! Poop. Diaper." She absolutely refuses to sit on a potty, but loves to watch Charlotte do it. She's Charlotte's little cheerleader, clapping and singing "Yay, Charlotte!" It was around 19 months that Charlotte first seemed interested in using the potty, so maybe Maggie will have a similar interest in a month or so. Meanwhile, I appreciate the warning. It allows me to adjust our schedule so she never has to sit in a soiled diaper for more than a couple of minutes.
Maggie talks and signs magnificently now. She is obviously proud of making herself understood. She attempts new words fearlessly, and has come out with a lot of expertly pronounced doozies- spaghetti, sandwich, zipper, towel, and blankie are in her usual repertoire. She mastered all the Baby Signing Time signs quite a while ago, and now requests ("Sign Time! Please.") Signing Time almost every day. We bought just about the complete set last Christmas and have been unwrapping a new one every month or so. Charlotte watches too, but doesn't seem quite as interested. Maggie soaks them up, and shows me new signs almost every day. She's discovered opposites and loves "arguing" with me- I say yes, so she says no. I say hot, so she says cold. Up, down. In, out. Repeat, repeat, repeat until we're both laughing hard.
Charlotte wrote her name. Somewhat legibly. I had to coach her through the letters and remind her that they needed to be in a row, not scattered all over the page, but she drew each letter herself.
I think I'll try to nap a little before the kids get up.