Busy Bees

One goal, in the next few months, is to purchase a camera. As in, a camera that is NOT on my phone.  One that will render reasonable and perhaps pretty good photos.  And perhaps enable me to be a little more intentional, rather than haphazard, about taking good pictures.

For now, we have the haphazard shots of our summer thus far.  However, there are lots of things I *didn't* get pictures of (Opa's awesome Hollywood 60th birthday party, July 4th fun with our friends, trip with pre-school friends to the Aerial Tram, surprise birthday party for my dad and sister, Claire's first real experience in a big pool, as in, her floating around by herself, wanting to be really independent, etc).  

It's been a busy summer and it's past the halfway point, now.  Here's what we've been up to!

Strawberry picking!  We went with our preschool group (the preschool co-op we will be joining in September).  Picked a TON of strawberries! 
Our week-long beach getaway, in Long Beach, WA.  We went with Chris' parents, siblings and our niece and nephews! I don't have pictures to prove it, but we chose Long Beach because Chris' grandparents live there and we wanted to spend time with them.  It was a lot of fun seeing them, playing in the wild woods behind their house and eating grandma O's delicious peanut butter (gluten free!) cookies!

 That is totally a bald eagle, about 50 feet away from me!
 Claire and Oma, in the ocean.  Oma hard her work cut out for her in keeping Claire from running like wild, into the ocean!
 Soaked, sand-covered and ecstatic! Claire LOVES the beach more than anything!
 Claire and cousin Ellie :) They got a lot of girl-cousin-bonding during this trip! It was so sweet! Can't wait to add Ruby to the girl-cousin mix!

 The Cousins! 

 Back from the beach and playing dress-up with Benny! 

 Starting to pop out! 20 weeks.

 On the flight to Idaho.  Let me tell you, it was devastating when we got to the airport, unloaded the car and realized.....we left JOE (her lion...her love...her life!) at home! And we had NO TIME to go get him.  It was illuminating to me, in that I realized how much I, myself, depend on Joe Joe...he's my safety buddy too.  I felt soo incredibly sad for Claire.  She didn't throw a fit or demand him.  She just stood in the security line with me, at the airport, with her eyes brimming and spilling over with heart-broken tears.  The first couple nights in Idaho were rough...lots of wrenching sobs, missing Joe Joe.  

 Her cousins were a GREAT distraction, though!
This might be Claire's favorite aisle, in Target. 
 We went swimming at the pool a couple times...and afterwards got huge snow-cones.
 She's intense about her snow-cones.
 And we took a trip to Build-A-Bear.  Now....this store actually freaks Claire out a little bit.  The first time my mom took her there she almost panicked when the employee hooked up the limp animal carcass to the stuffing machine.  It terrified her.  And I realized...that's kind of a normal response. This time, she requested no stuffing because she didn't want to repeat the traumatizing event.  I talked her into it, though, and she got a new friend.  A dog. Of course. Besides Joe, if you're not a dog stuffed animal, you're not making it to the bed.  She named him Tim. He eased the pain of missing her sweet lion friend.

 I think Claire LOVED having two "big sisters" (Aspen and Cordelia). She was in heaven and loved rolling with the big kids and get to be a big kid, herself. Aidan, her older boy cousin, was also a BIG FAVORITE! 
On our last day, we all went bowling with my parents' friends. At first, Claire used the little alligator thing that guides the bowling ball.  However, later she decided she wanted to do her running and throwing approach.  It was the CUTEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN! I promise, I'm not as disappointed as I sound, in that clip :) 

 The ride home...Tim and Claire, tucked safely in their safety belts.
 After we got home from our trip to Idaho, the family in Idaho came over to our house, in Oregon! This is the morning after the surprise birthday party we had for my dad and my sister (pictured above). 
 Claire crashed this picture :) 

Needless to say, Claire had a lot of tears when they left. 

All those pictures and there are so many that I DIDN'T take! It's been a great summer! Next up, Claire's 4th birthday!  We are going low-key this year (I promise!).  Stay tuned :) 



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