The Summer of 2014 is drawing to a close and we have definitely made the most of it! The kids have been taking swimming lessons twice a week since early June and I have been getting them to the pool as much as possible besides that.
It's amazing to compare their comfort level in the water at the beginning of the Summer compared to the end of the Summer. Quinn wasn't as involved with the lessons but Olivia took the instruction really well! By the end of the Summer, she's able to fetch rings off of the bottom of the pool and she's getting her confidence in the water.
Here's a shot of Olivia 'diving' with her instructor Alea and one of Quinn in the pool too:
A few days ago, Quinn started talking in complete sentences! His first sentence was "You're a stinker, Daddy!" Then the next day, he invited me to sit next to him on the bed saying, "Come sit by me, Mommy" and from there he hasn't looked back. He is officially talking and not just words here and there. I am amazed at his verbal skills, the correct use of pronouns such as you, me, he, she, etc and how quickly this change has come about. He has obviously been listening to us all along and formulating sentences in his mind, just not saying them out loud until now.
At this point in a child's development, you can usually start to reason with them. With Olivia, life is one big negotiation. "Put your shoes on so we can go to the store and ride in a car" (aka one of the fancy grocery cart 'cars' they have now). "Eat your broccoli so you can get down and play", "Brush your teeth so we can read a story/watch a movie/sing and dance, then go to bed" and the list goes on and on. And the important part is, that it works.
Before I had kids, I might have frowned upon this approach because it is essentially bribery, but now I get that it is all part of parenthood and you have to use whatever leverage you have when you have it! Funny thing is, QUINN DOES NOT NEGOTIATE. I am discovering things daily about my little boy... such as that he is incredibly strong willed. Sometimes I hear George W. Bush in my head repeating, "America does not negotiate with terrorists.." and Quinn is asserting himself with the mantra: Quinn does not negotiate with Mom and Dad! He understands it all but he will just not trade this for that. A bite of oatmeal for his favorite bunny, cleaning up the toys for his beloved binkie, etc. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out!
When Quinn gets mad or frustrated, he often lays on the floor face down and beats his fists and kicks his legs, classic 'baby' style. It is pretty amusing. He is usually good natured, sleeps well and can be tickled or teased out of a bad mood easily though. He is my sweet boy and I love him to the end of the Earth and back again!
Here are some recent pics from a family photo shoot. The kids were not in the mood for pictures but I think a few of them turned out ok.
Love always, Claire & Family