Sunday, September 23, 2012

to the fair

a few weeks ago, we finished reading charlotte's web to the ladies (and caleb, of course, though i'm not sure he was paying much attention). since then, summer and afton have been *so excited* to visit a real live county fair. summer's personal goals were threefold: to see the pigs (check!), to eat cotton candy (stuffed-her-face check!), and to ride the ferris wheel (barely-tall-enough check!)

so massive crowds notwithstanding, i think we can claim our day at the puyallup fair as a success.

deep fried butter.

farm animals.

cotton candy.

more farm animals.

the ferris wheel.

and smiles.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

take me to the river

well, summer was over.

then we decided that (courtesy of this great weather we've been having) one more water play day was a must.

the kids had a great time exploring the rocks, splashing in the water, and eating the wild blackberries growing nearby.

however, this particular late summer excursion turned out to be more than just fun and games.

near the end of the afternoon, two of the kiddos in our group were swept downstream by the current. their mother heroically came to their rescue, and all three made it back to shore, though not without some serious stress, very cold water, and exhaustion from the difficulty crossing through said river current to safety.

we are so glad no one was seriously injured or worse, and this experience prompted more thorough research on my part concerning water safety.

here are a few tips specific to wild swimming:

first of all, one can never overuse the life jacket (what about bob?, anyone?)

also, explore the water before allowing children to swim. you need to know how slippery the rocks are and how strong the current may be or if there are any deep drops. after testing the water, mark off the area where it is safest for them to swim and play. i am a notorious water-hater (basking in the sun on the shore is much more my thang), but i will now make it a point to do some brief water-safety recon and then bask in the sun on the shore.

if a child (or adult, for that matter) gets caught in a river current, they need to float on their backs with the current, feet down stream, and try to grab on to something to stop. more experienced swimmers can try to swim out of the current by swimming perpendicular to it, but do NOT swim against the current, you will become exhausted and gulp down way too much water.

instruct, model, and practice what to do with your children before allowing them to enter the water.

more basic safety guidelines here.

now, who's ready for fall?!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

little lady lauper

80s hairdo fashion flashback brought to you by summer, 
courtesy of rolling around in the grass before dinner:

and is it just me, or is she totally pulling it off?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

five alive

hey, you.

yeah, you.

what's shakin' in your little baby five-a-month life?

well first off, i'm pretty sure we've touched on the fact that caleb is huge. sometimes bryan and i forget how huge he is. then we see other babies, and we're like, "oh yeah, our baby *is* huge." i mean, if i wasn't there for the birth (and here's proof that i was there), i would swear he was at least seven months old.

also, caleb is certain that he and i are an item. he likes his daddy and everything, but when bryan's home, you can see baby caleb looking at him, trying to puzzle through what exactly his role is here. he's all, "yo, dad, why are you hanging around so much, bro? like, get out of my bed, and stay away from my woman already." really, it's rather sweet that so many men in this house adore me.

and when he's not busy doting on mom or defending my honor, caleb loves to be wrestled and tickled and bobbed and jiggled and smooched and tossed and flown and flopped and just about anything else that gets his heart rate up and his blood pumping and his voice squealing.

caleb is a very physical baby. he's just itching to sit up and crawl and bust free of this trap of a baby body he's in. whenever we stand him up on our laps or the ground or wherever, he vigorously bounces up and down on one leg like he's a race horse taking his mark and kicking up dirt at the starting line.

just a-raring to take off and go!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

at the dentist

the wheeler girls finally made their trek to le dentiste (including momma, for whom it's been two years since her last visit. dental school friends: feel free to shudder).

the little ladies both did great. 

summer, for whatever reason, is a big fan of being poked and prodded and going to various check ups, so for her, visiting the dentist was a real treat. afton, on the other hand, was predictably more cautious. she maintained a death grip on her chair the whole time, refused to let them turn on the bright light, and whenever the dental assistant got out a new instrument or tried to put something in her mouth, afton would say, "you're going to hurt me!" but, sort of to my surprise, she let them clean and check and polish her teeth anyway.

and the good news is: no cavities here!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

family picture

we've recently received a few various requests for a current photo of our family of five, and it's been surprisingly difficult for us to gather round and get 'er done. 

you'd think that for people who take so many pictures of themselves (yes, us), it wouldn't be that hard to manage one straight up group pic, right?

well, that's what i thought, too.

but to be all in the same place, looking fairly presentable (with no one sleeping or screaming), and having someone there to work the camera turned out to be easier said than done.

anyway, the stars finally aligned (huzzah!), and here we be, all together on a casual weekend afternoon, as photographed by uncle owen:

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

first day of preschool

(to remember her first first day of preschool, go here.)

our summer girl, replete with preschool glory:

 totally owning her first day exit:

 reuniting with momma after a long three hours of preschool awesomeness:

with part of "the gang" (including all four kiddos from last year's preschool co-op): 

and here's afton, who wanted her picture taken, too:


so way-back-when, in anticipation of our sojourn home from balahama, i put together some photo puzzle pieces to mail home to bryan (one a day for four days leading up to our return) so he would be sure to know we hadn't forgotten him.

au cirque

for our farewell grand adventure in alabama, mere mere and opa d treated summer, afton, and baby caleb to their first trip to the circus.

not pictured: the professional hula-hoop dancers (and aerialists) who have inspired summer and afton's (but especially summer's) new occupational goals. i suppose running away to join the circus should no longer be considered an idle threat.

also, we are not unaware of the debate surrounding animal training and animal performances in circuses. since attending, we have learned even more and have become committed to patronizing only humane or animal-free circuses. this particular circus was small and family run and focused mostly on people performers. for a list of animal-free circuses, see here.