Sunday, June 8, 2008

Saying Goodbye to the Big Easy

Grandma Kristen descended like an angel out the skies to help Maren drive back to Michigan and then fly on to Idaho. Maren had fun showing her around the Crescent City. 

In front of the St. Charles cathedral with an alligator (for Lainie) and a little dolly (Brin's) that Grandma bought them in the French Quarter. 

Ferry Boat on the Mississippi. 

At the aquarium. I included this picture because of Brin's psycho smile (fond memories of her psycho cupcake look) and Isaac's open stare at the fish. 

In rainforest room. 

Hey, look! No sunburn. :)

At the New Orleans Zoo

Our little wild animal. She's so sweet and cuddly, but just when we think she's tame...  

The most intimidating view at the zoo. It's a huge silverback gorilla. watchout!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Lainie Day!!

June 2nd may have been one month to the day before Lainie's Birthday, but it was HER DAY!! We took the girls swimming when I returned from work. Grandma Kristen napped poolside (she was overcoming a cold) while Maren and I swam with the three kids. As Isaac and I were making our rounds around the pool we happened upon Maren who was trying to convince Lainie to try to swim with her help, but without her little arm floatation devices. Lainie was resisting so we switched spots. After much further convincing and manipulative statements like, "don't you trust your dad...then why don't you show it by removing these?", we finally convinced Lainie to remove her airbladder sleeves. You do what you have to, sometimes, and just hope your kids don't remember it later, I guess. Well, Lainie practiced floating on her back for a bit, and then I set her on the stairs. I said, "Lainie, just swim to Daddy.." while I stood about 3 feet away. To our amazement Lainie began swimming! She swam the 3 feet and then, as daddy backed up more and more, it became 6 feet, and then 9 feet, and then 12! We were so proud and so was she. She wanted to keep swimming all night! She swam the entire length of the pool 3 or 4 times. She's now our little Mer-Lainie. 

After washing off the chlorine, Alaina was ready to continue her night. She has had a loose tooth for about 1 week, and it was ready to come out this night. Daddy pulled one of her two central bottom teeth and she didn't even grimace. What a brave girl!! Out just in time for Kari and Chris's wedding! 
As a side note, even with all the pride and excitement over new milestones reached , there was (and is) a feeling of real sadness somewhere down deep inside me. I guess it is that realization that father time is going to keep passing no matter what we do to try to trip him up. My little girl is getting bigger and I am left wishing I had her back as a baby, and a one year old, and a two year old... just once at each earlier stage of her life for one more hug. But...of course, that wouldn't be enough either, would it? I'm selfish, but I sure do love my children! As I write this, I'm reminded of a country song that talks about when tough guys have little girls they turn into big babies again. I need to take a break.