Home again, and back to life.
1. The girls actually did pretty amazing during the car rides to and from Kansas City. On the way there Joya fussed quite a bit, but in her defense she and I were on the hot side of the car. The temp was over 100 in Kansas that day, and even with the window shade it was terribly hot. Rear-facing car seats do not get the benefits of a/c either. She was drenched in sweat by the time we got there. The ride home was much better, since she wasn't on the sunny side. She screamed every time we put her back in her seat after a pit stop, but only for about two minutes. Then she just seemed resigned to her fate and stared at her sister the whole time. Alaina was pretty grumpy on the return trip, but she didn't freak out or anything. All in all, I feel like we can take long road trips and survive.
2. We took the girls swimming for the first time this year in Missouri. There was a delightful, mostly deserted little pool that Melonie had access too, and it was so fun. Alaina loved playing on the stairs, and we all coaxed her out into the water to swim a few times. Joya loved the little floaty, except she kept trying to crawl out of it. Last summer Alaina and I went swimming a lot, but we haven't gone once this summer, since I need another adult to help me. It was great to have Lee there to help with the girls.
3. I think I need to own the fact that Joya is a messy eater. About a third of her cheerios/puffs/whatever she's eating ends up on the floor. If she's eating a cracker or something larger, she feels the need to touch it to her head (much like her Aunt Carolyn does to find out if something is made of plastic or glass.) And just yesterday she started a habit of ripping off her bib and throwing it on the ground when she's finished eating. Actually, it's kind of nice to know when she is done, although I would have preferred the sign-language version. I suppose I could invest in bibs with snaps so she can't rip them off, but I just bought these velcro ones. Anyway, Alaina was never like this.
4. You've all known for awhile how friendly Alaina is with strangers at stores. Lately, if someone makes eye contact, she'll launch into a whole dissertation that her name is Alaina and that she had a birthday "just last week" and that her sister is Joya, "J-O-Y-A." Most of these strangers don't really know what to say after all that, and I can tell they are trying to politely move on. I usually just smile at them and lead Alaina away. I think it's great that she can spell Joya's name. She cannot spell her name, though. She's tired of spelling by the time I try to work with her on that.
5. Finally, here is a little video that always makes us smile. WARNING: this song has the potential to run through your head for the rest of the day.
11 months ago