Monday, August 29, 2016

The Lazy Days of Summer

After our lovely trip to Florida, we really embraced a lazier, summer lifestyle around Casa Dean.  Which wasn’t completely justified given that Matt and I both still had work and Olivia continued her year-round school.  Nonetheless, we sunk into a routine of later dinners, evening pool time, Olympics-watching with later bedtimes, and of course, sleeping in later. 

Here is a look at what we've been upto the past few months:

Popsicles at the new Steel City Pops with Doug and Charlie

 Olivia and I enjoyed weekly Wednesday night pool dates while Matt had his tennis practice.

Mimi and Grandpa spent basically the entire month of July traveling (lucky them!) so we enjoyed seeing Yazzie and Naz at some lunches:

The babies are an ever-present part of our routine.


We painted some pottery with Sofie and Minah

And Olivia got to meet Baby Henry...and the love affair began...

 Olivia has become the ultimate clown lately, always trying to make us laugh (and cracking herself up too!)  A few stories for the memory book:

The other day I was lecturing her on respecting property after she accidently/purposefully broke several things.  When I was done with the lecture, she looked at me, began clapping and said “Good job mommy.  You’re my little cutie pie.” and then cracked herself up laughing.

She and I were driving and we saw a guy wearing soccer clothes, running towards the near-by park. Olivia gasps and says “Oh. Look. I bet he’s running to get a cigarette!” (She recently learned about cigarettes thanks to some smokers standing outside her school…many unhappy mammas that day…but hard to control the streets in downtown Houston). Anyways, I told her that I thought maybe he was going to soccer because of what he was wearing. She said “Nope. Cigarettes. I can tell.”

When she was little, Matt would put his shirt over his head, talk in a silly voice and say "Oh hi!  I'm GOOFY!" and Olivia would crack up.  The other night Matt was helping Olivia get ready for bed and told her about 15 times to hurry up and put on her nightgown.  I walked back there to help and just as he was about to explode, she pulled her shirt over her head and said, in her silliest accent, "Oh HELLO daddy!  I'm GOOFY!"

One week, Matt was out of town and I was swamped at work so Olivia was the first one to daycare and the last one to leave.  But, she handled it like a champ and my crazy schedule meant she got to eat out every night with mamma.  One night after dinner she asked to get ice cream and I said no.  She gave me this face and said "Come on gurl!  Don't panic.  Just say yes!"  She's so crazy!

We scored another pair of matching dresses!

Got pedicures with Emma

And braved the heat for a little park time
 (that summer heat will wear a girl out though!)

So a post-park sno cone is really the only option!

One Friday morning I told Olivia we were going to the Museum of Fine Arts to see two of contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama's signature infinity rooms.  Her first reaction was less than thrilled because apparently "she just likes to relax on Fridays" and I *always* make her to the Museum (note: this is 100% not true.  We had literally never been to this museum before!)

But, she finally agreed and thankfully she liked it.

Aunt KK and Minah met up with us too!

And she got in some more snuggles with Baby Henry

We have been loving riding our new bike

And Olivia has been having fun at school this summer. As a response to all the recent violence, the church affiliated with her school created Turn Toward Love, an interactive art installation where Houstonians could express their thoughts, feelings, hopes and prayers through word and art. The children all participated in the event by writing "love notes" and then 2 local police officers came to the school to see the notes and talk with the kids. I asked Olivia what she learned from the police officers and she told me "They have guns but they wouldn't let us touch them." So....not really the "love" experience I was hoping for, but it did open the door for an unexpected lesson in gun safety one night at dinner.

She also participated in a tree-planting today with Mr. Greg (the owner of the school) where each student helped plant the Water Oak that will grow tall over the years and provide additional shade on the playground!

When I was little, my parents would take us to "fancy" restaurants and I remember loving getting dressed up and going out.  So I wanted to try and start doing that with Olivia. We decided to try it out with Houston Restaurant Weeks (an annual fundraiser for the Houston Food Bank where participating restaurants have a set menu and give a percentage of proceeds from the meal).  We tried out The Melting Pot and, as I suspected, she loved the idea!

I was surprised she didn't like the cheese that much, but she devoured the rest of the meal - especially the chocolate!

This is the face of a satisfied customer! ;)

As we ease into the Fall, we are looking forward to our annual September birthdays and some fun pumpkin-based activities (bring on the cooler weather!).  She already has her entire birthday party planned, picked out her Halloween costume and is beginning to think about Christmas!  And, I've got a few surprises up my sleeve too for Miss O.  We are hopeful this upcoming season will one for the books!