The girls have done and grown a lot in the last two months since we left New York. Ginger's language has gone from 1-2 word utterances to full blown clever sentences - it still surprises us every time she opens her mouth. She imitates absolutely anything and everything Hazel says and does, and much of what we do. One day unpacking we had my iPod on shuffle, hooked into speakers, and Ginger shook her booty into next week when "Ice, Ice Baby" came on. Now she loves to walk around singing "ice, ice baby!" Next I will teach her the verses, or maybe start with, "Word to your mother." She offers thanks ("Nanks") and apologies freely, and loves to sing songs with hand motions. When we go to the car, she insists "I climb myself" into her carseat. Hazel calls her "our talking baby." Ginger (a.k.a. Missy Squeezy-Buns) is also nurturing a hat fetish, wearing them around the house and spotting them like a sniper anywhere - out in public, on TV, in a book. It may develop into a whole accessory thing because she loves to be held up to gently stroke and discuss my necklaces and earrings (when I have my act together enough to accessorize.) And Diego has stolen her heart. Every time she wakes up, and many times throughout the day, she regales us with, "I wanna watch Diego Go!" Her favorite toy: rocks in any container (bowl, basket, etc.)
Hazel is taking full appreciation and advantage of our new home. Whenever we come home from somewhere she either wants to ring the front doorbell or go around to the back patio door and be let in, or both. She also gets to help me with the laundry whenever she wants, something I usually tried to do while she was napping before. The possibilities for hide-and-seek in the house seem limitless, and she is learning to get creative. And whenever someone comes over the first thing she wants to do is show them her room. Hazel also loves assuming adult roles in pretend play scenarios, like being a doctor, barber, teacher, etc. to the rest of us. And she has an adorable phrase (I like it so much I have started using it) she uses to describe anything that makes her feel good: "nice and friendship."
Hazel starts preschool 3 morning a week soon, something she is thrilled about and so am I, though I expect to cry freely the first day. It's a co-op, which causes me a little issue in finding childcare for Ginger on my aide days, but I'm also looking forward to spending some time in the classroom to see what they are doing and meet the other kids. This summer has also been all about toilet training with Hazel and she has made leaps and bounds of progress, though we're still not totally there. It has opened the door for many frank discussions regarding bodies and functions, and she has said some totally hilarious things, very Snapshot-worthy, but I know other people just don't want to hear stuff like that, so I keep it between me and Ed. Her favorite toy: a family of rubber lizards.
Both girls love the stairs - Hazel always wants to be "the leader" going up or down, and Ginger has pooh-poohed my insistence she descend backwards, opting instead to be a big girl and walk carefully frontwards, holding the banister for dear life, and clapping and dancing upon successful descent. The back yard and next door park are as wonderful to these tired urbanites as we had hoped. A 20-minute romp with Ed in the back yard before bedtime, or a quick no-stroller, no-diaper-bag jaunt to the park for 30 minutes while dinner cooks have enriched our days with exercise, variety, and a notable decrease in TV-watching. There is no shortage of rocks and sticks to play with, and the local wildlife includes squirrels, chipmunks, birds that aren't pigeons, and the occasional rabbit. While the gnats and mosquitoes can be annoying it's still lovely to be out. They also love play-doh, jumping on the couches and off the bottom two stairs, the doll house, and most of all, helping me in the kitchen. It's a rare day when you won't find all three of us in aprons, the girls on chairs or step ladders, measuring and mixing something together. We all love to cook together, and if I ever set up my sewing machine it might be my winter project to make us matching aprons from some awesome fabric.
September looks to be a fun-filled month for us. Preschool starts, as do "Thursday Outings", a little something some moms from Church do, like little-kid field trips. It will be great to see some of the things there are to do with kids in the area. We're also looking forward to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, apple picking, the Cox Farm Fall festival, cooler weather, and continuing to play with "Nana and Bobba" as often as possible, which delights us all.