The other morning, while Maia and Sarah slept, I was sitting at the table checking my email and eating my bagel. I heard Keana’s footsteps all over the house, stopping in this room, then that one, no doubt collecting toys to play with. To accompany her footsteps was a constant stream of talking, role-playing really, between the characters she had collected. I didn’t see her at all though until something caught my eye. Out from behind the couch straight in front of me, in the only patch of sunlight that filled the normally shaded room, two little hands, each holding a character, danced around to the narrator’s voice. I couldn’t see her face or feet, just two sunlit hands playing. And just now, I walked out into the living room to stretch my legs and Sarah’s dozing off on the couch as Keana’s crooning “Once Upon a Dream” from Sleeping Beauty. She’s getting quite good at that song, hitting almost all the pitches and remembering all the words to the chorus. Hilarious.
Maia is growing into her independence. That girl definitely has some sass in her step, literally. Today she was standing on the shoe rack which is about 18″ off the ground. I warned her of the edge, and she purposely walked right up to it, put half of one foot over it and looked up at me with a huge smile on her face. I think that pretty much says it all. She can string together two and three word sentences now and continues to dazzle us with her sense of humor. She’s basically potty-trained too, so her independence grows and grows. I’m also amazed how much she and Keana can play together. Keana does get bossy, but she’s also really good at asking Maia questions about what she thinks about something or what she wants to do.
I feel like we’ve been “bum rushed” by the end of July and August so far. We spent the end of July decorating our house and really moving in. The ass-kicker for us there was hosting Iana and Ryan’s baby shower at our house on August 1. We always need an ass-kicker to really get us to finish less-essential domestic tasks. The shower was great and we really enjoyed being able to have so many family and friends over. The next day was spent quasi-cleaning up and getting ready for the annual family camping trip with Sarah’s family. It wasn’t easy, but we got it done. I think we were more inspired this year because from Fresno it’s only a two-hour drive to the campsite instead of the six-hour-usually-hellish drive from Richmond. Indeed, we got up there without much event, and setting up camp was pretty easy since Iana and Ryan were up there first and were available to help out with the girls.
I’m not going to lie though, this year’s campout was not the greatest. There were lots of family issues flying about, both Maia and Keana were sick, there were several cloudy/cold days, there was more of an agenda due to Nathan (Sarah’s cousin) and Jennie getting married up there, etc. But let me tell you what was great. Being outdoors for a week is always good for our souls. Being by and in the river was great. Keana had a blast with older friend Phoenix (9). And of course both Keana and Maia had a ton o’ fun with Uncle Michael, Iana, Ryan, Grandma Jennie and all our fellow campers. Iana and Sarah sang at Nathan’s wedding, and the wedding and their singing were quite beautiful. There was a live band in the meadow too, and our whole family enjoyed a little dance party after the potluck reception. So even amidst the stressful family shit, there really was a lot of great moments. About halfway through that trip though Maia started crying, “Home!” on and off, and I think she was spot on because it was really nice to go home.
We slipped back into our routine on August 10th, at which point Sarah got sick and now I’m sick. Keana started her first full year of preschool yesterday, August 17, and I think it’s going to be a great year. It’s hard to believe summer is coming to a close and I can only hope that we can squeeze in some redemption camping before the weather starts to change. Speaking of which, this Fresno heat is no joke and I’m really looking forward to the decline in temps as fall approaches.