It's the last official week of summer and the weather here in Portland has already turned. Before summer is over, though, I want to write down some highlights of what was certainly one of the best ones of my life.. Mr. Jones and I constantly talk about how our family has really turned a corner, where the challenges of life with babies seem to have finally (almost) subsided, and what is emerging are two personalities, so different and both so fun.
Our house really came into its own this summer. From swimming to sliding to gardening and painting, we've used every inch of our space. Though most every day we went to a park, afternoons in the backyard were always an adventure.
I turned 40 this Summer. 40! Mr. Jones threw me an epic surprise party (of which I have no photographs - I was just too busy having fun). Luckily, I've yet to notice a change from my 30s to my 40s. We'll see how long that lasts!
This Summer, Penny and Lulu did everything togther, as Lulu is never without an eye on Penny. They color together, they play (sometimes even nicely) with the same toys, and they talk to each other. People used to tell me that even though before the younger sibling could talk, the older one would know what they wanted, know what they felt. This is hilarious to us now. We've heard it can be true, but whenever Lulu is barking emphatic sounds at us, you can look over at Penny and see her quizzical face before she asks, "Mama, what does Lulu want?!" What Lulu almost always wants, is what Penelope has.
The love of water finally kicked in this Summer! It took Lulu's free spirit to get Penny under the hose and sprinkler, but there was no stopping Penny at the swimming pool. I can't wait for future years of snorkeling, paddling, and swim lessons, though Penny has already told me, "I don't need that class because I know how to swim!" It's funny how she doesn't know yet what she doesn't know. She's an expert at everything she tries. I love it.
Finally, I think this Summer Mr. Jones enjoyed his girls more than ever, and vice versa. This little one still has tears when her daddy leaves for work in the morning and was glued to his hip all summer long. We took two great vacations to Victoria, B.C. and Manzanita, and started to travel, if even just a bit, as a family. I'm sure in future years we'll have so many more miles to cross together.
Other things that happened this summer include:
- Penny gave up her pacifier, cold turkey, with only one meltdown about missing it.
- Lulu started talking, with words like "more" "mama", "bowl", "ball", and my favorite: "uh-oh!" (used often around our house).
- They enjoyed a Bounce House and Bouncy Castle, at various parties. Their giggles were contagious.
- They became really affectionate with one another. It started in Victoria, where Lulu would sit next to Penny on the sofa to get her pajamas on, and unprompted, side hug her. To which Penny did not react. So Lulu climbed onto her lap, sitting face to face with her, head resting on her chest, and hold and kiss her. Penny, on the other hand, simply has moments throughout the day where she grabs Lulu spontaneously. The teachers at daycare tell me they hug every time they see each other throughout the day. Recently, they've started having a good-night hug and kiss, Lulu holding Penny's head on either side, kissing her on the mouth, then hugging. Once in a while she'll get a "That's enough, Lulu!" but not often. Despite herself, Penny likes it a lot.
- Penny has started becoming aware of her age, telling me what she's going to do when she's 4: "I'm going to eat curry and chili, and always go on the potty." She tells me how big she's getting every day, to which I say, "Don't get too big. Stay 3! I like 3!" and she replies, "I'll still be your friend!!"
- They're both entranced by videos of themselves. Penny requests to watch one of baby Lulu all time, shouting, "She's so cute!" as it plays. To this point, I offer up a sample of Penny and Lulu in the Summer of 2015 (bump on Lulu's head, and all).
"It's a beautiful sunny day, just right to play!" Thanks Summer of 2015. You were the best.