Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer's Slow Arrival

As Sarah noted in the last entry, the weather over the weekend of the July 4th wasn't that hot. Literally and figuratively. But, mere days later, things finally started to turn around, and Summer appeared with a vengeance, with temperatures jumping from the 50s up into the 80s and 90s virtually overnight. So, with Summer finally here, how have we been spending out time?

Well, first off, the day after we returned from our camping trip, we visited Kobota Garden for the first time. This amazing Japanese garden is just a short drive from our house, but for completely inexplicable reasons, we'd never bothered to check it out. But, after having been there once, I'm pretty sure it will become a reoccurring place to spend our afternoons year-round.

Stella takes a break from walking around the park to take in the scenery... (or, perhaps her parents just sat her there).

A neat twisted old tree that is one of the parks centerpieces. Note the stylishly place crow (you may have to zoom in to see it).

Stella loved all the tiny paths, little bridges and waterfalls. This definitely seemed like the type of place you could explore again and again.

The view from the "Sun Bridge."

A day later, the heatwave hit, and the temperatures skyrocketed. But, after weeks of grousing and complaining about the rain and cold, you can't just turn around and start complaining about the heat. So, time to turn to the water sports! So, in addition to making a trip one afternoon to the Volunteer Park wading pool; another afternoon, I filled up a metal tub we have and turned it into a make-shift pool for Stella to play with. She didn't seem to have any interest in climbing into it... but did enjoy scooping the water out.

In addition to pouring water on the grass and herself. Stella seemed to enjoying filling her pots with water, walking across the lawn and watering the plants. Helpful!

Also, a couple of days ago, Stella's friend, Lucy, came over for a visit. Lusy's new brother, Jackson, was just born, but since he arrived a little early, he's still in the NICU. So, Lucy and Stella got to hang out while her parents visited him there.

As Stella and Lucy get older, it's fun to watch them interact. Where at one time they just ignored each other completely, they do seem to genuinely like each other these days. Stella even lets out a little chuckle whenever we mention Lucy's name around her.

How the two girls spent a good portion of the time. I'm not sure you could call this "parallel play" yet, but they do hang out with each other while playing individually... maybe "tandem random" play.

During Lucy's visit, Stella seemed pretty obsessed with making sure that Lucy was properly fed and hydrated. At first, like in this picture, Lucy was, like "oh, thanks!" But, by the end you could tell that Lucy didn't need any more water or goldfish crackers.

But, probably the biggest change for us over these last couple weeks was Tirza's departure. Stella's nanny, Tirza, is due to have her own second child in October. But, while we were secretly crossing our fingers that she could stick around through the summer, juggling Stella, Natalie and a difficult pregnancy ended up being too much for her and she had to start her maternity leave early. So, sadly, no more regular visits from Tirza, though she said she'd still be available for random babysitting.

With Tirza gone, Sarah and I have started looking at other child care options. When Stella was younger, we thought that a Nanny was the best route to go, so that Stella got personal care. But, at this point, we feel like Stella could benefit from being around other children, so we are considering going the Day Care route now. At first we were worried about getting her into one, but have visited a couple that we really like, and will have openings later this summer. So, now we are more optimistic.

Until we get that figured out though, I'm stepping back from freelance work, and focusing on being a stay-at-home dad. I have to admit that I'd probably go stir-crazy if it was a full-time gig, but it has been nice spending extra time with Stella... especially to counter-balance the fact that she is going through a clingy, mommy-centric phase.

Yesterday, while vacuuming out the car in the driveway, I let Stella sit in the driver seat and pretend she was driving. You could tell by her smile and "bahoom bahoom" sound-effects that she thought it was the Best Thing Ever™. Little things like that are helping keep the stresses of work, money, child-care and life in general at bay.

1 comment:

Emily said...

The park looks gorgeous - I've never been and will have to check it out. Loving that she and Lucy are buddies, it's so much fun to get to enjoy bits and pieces of all our friends wonderful babes!