Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When Imitation Isn't Necessarily Flattery

Before Jessica could talk she has been imitating us, learning to clap, making faces and sounds. I knew I was in trouble this past school year, when on a weekend, Jess and Ristow stayed at my parents house overnight and my mom told me that Jessica was waving Ristow's clothes at him and "yelling" for him to get dressed. Now she couldn't say specific words at the time but everyone could tell it was an imitation of me trying to get Ristow dressed before school. Funny and a bit embarrassing at the same time ;)

Since then, she has imitated more sayings and words and loves to pretend to be cookie monster and say everything in a rough low voice. (Christopher likes to pretend that he taught her to talk like Carl from the movie Slingblade). Nowadays Jess has quite the vocabulary and likes to talk almost as much as Ristow does, which as you can guess, doesn't leave much time for anyone else in the family!

This afternoon Jess took it to a whole different level. When we came in from playing outside, she grabbed a toy bunny and put it in the corner for a "time out". She said "bad, hit, out, one" then walked away from him and went back gave him a hug and made him say "sorry baby". Then she gave him a kiss and went on to play with something else. The translation of Jessica's words work out to be something like "That was a bad choice. We do not hit! Sit in time out for one minute." Which she seems to hear quite often and can now obviously imitate in her play.

It really amazes me all that they pick up and learn, even at such a young age. It also is a good self check for me to make sure she is imitating good things and not bad. Imitations like Christopher's fly dance moves or Ristow's silly faces and jokes and hopefully lots of my hugs and kisses and love!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

4th of July, Cousins, Chickens and more

After the McClintock Reunion in Ohio, the kids and I decided to drive up to PA to see my brother Jim and his family. We drove up on the 4th and made it just as the Ligonier Camp 4th of July Parade was starting! The kids were so excited and love seeing Uncle Jimmy and Dylan in the parade.
The next big excitement was seeing the cousins. Ristow and Dylan ran to each other from across the parking lot and hugged, it was the cutest thing. Right out of a cheesy movie!
When we got down to their house Jess screamed with glee as she chased after the chickens and ran around. Later in the visit she was walking around the yard and the chickens were actually following her in a little parade.
We did tons of stuff while we were there. From fireworks and sparklers

to riding horses and playing cowboys.

We picked wild black raspberries and saw a military helicopter overhead that responding to our shouting and waving with spins and circles! Ristow's other favorite thing is eating in the camp cafeteria and spending time with Uncle Jimmy.

Unfortunately I didn't get quite as much grown up conversation time as hoped as Suzannah and I spent much of the time refereeing the little ones. James and Jessica weren't quite the loving cousins we had imagined they would be. They are at that age of testing and tantrums and communication frustrations. It is a good thing they are so stinking cute ;) Lots of good hugging time was had and fun on the swings.

All in all, it was a great visit and we are so glad we could make it up to see them. Time passes so quickly and the kids grow so fast. It is important for them to know each other.
Much love to the Paul Family!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

McClintock Family Reunion 2011

Another year, another reunion. Kids are bigger, hairs are more grey, some new faces are added to the mix. But in general reunions stay the same... great food made with lots of love, hugs, laughter, small talk, catching up and sharing pieces of life together.

This year it was fun to see our little niece Alma and Jessica play together. I look forward to the cousins growing up together. They battled over laps and toys but seemed to be pretty intrigued with each other.

Ristow looked forward to his special stash of cookies at Nana's house that he only gets when we go there.
He loved talking and playing with the older kids and gave lots of hugs. We spent great family time at the pool and the playground! It was wonderful.

It was a very enjoyable visit and we are so thankful for the time we got to spend with everyone!