August was strikingly different from July in two respects. First of all, everyone in the family was healthy all month long (YEA!) Secondly, not all that much happened, and the stuff that did happen was all positive (another YEA!)
One positive thing was that we put a pool ladder into the deep end of the pool. Since Jonathan likes to jump off the diving board, this gave him a lot of independence (or maybe it gave US the independence). We used the pool a lot in August. It was very hot all month long, with most days reaching triple digits. The result was that Jonathan, who was swimming, but just barely, when his swim class ended, can now swim like a fish. He is also running off the diving board and diving into the water, a stunt that amazed us the first time we saw it. Benjamin likes to jump off the diving board too, but doesn't get to do it as much because it requires two people - one on top of the diving board to toss him off to a second person in the water who catches him.
The diving board is only one example of a long list of ways that Benjamin tries to emulate his brother. We don't use the high chair anymore, because Benjamin wants to sit at the table in a regular chair like his big brother. Fortunately, Jonathan is such a nice kid, that many of the ways Benjamin imitates his brother work in our favor. For example, we carry graham crackers in the car for the boys. When given one, Jonathan always breaks his in half and hands half to Benjamin. The other day, when we gave Benjamin a graham cracker, he broke it in half and gave half to Jonathan! We are so lucky to be blessed with such good kids.
We have friends who are moving from Houston to Los Angeles. Ben, the husband, came out ahead of his family to find housing, while his wife Debbie stayed in Houston with their two girls to find renters for their house there. Ben is staying with us until he finds a place where the family can settle. Since Benjamin's room was our guest room, we moved Benjamin into Jonathan's room. This has worked out well. Jonathan has woken Benjamin up in the middle of the night a couple of times, but Benjamin goes back to sleep very readily. Benjamin has woken up by himself a couple of times too, but Jonathan sleeps through it.
Jackie was offered work, (that she could do at home) but the pay wasn't high enough so she turned it down. Still, the prospect motivated her to do something that she'd wanted to do for a while - buy a 21-inch monitor. She's still in sort of a daze over all the extra real estate that she has to work with.
Soccer practice started for Jonathan. It's been fun to watch him and the other kids on his team progress from week to week. Jonathan loves it. We're really looking forward to the first game in September.
The last week in August, Marc went to Hawaii on business. Jackie thought about joining him, because he has enough frequent flyer miles to fly her there for free. But the timing wasn't quite right - Childcare was a problem and Jackie wasn't ready to completely give up nursing yet. We decided to keep with the original plan of bringing her on the business trip scheduled for January (assuming it happens!) Marc's business trip went well, except for the annoying habit that his body had of waking him up at 7:15 California time!
This same week, we hired Alana, a teenager that lives a few blocks away, to watch the kids for a few hours an afternoon or two each week. Benjamin will play with Alana for a while, and then need to reassure himself that mom's still around, so he'll go to find her. Then the three of them will play for a while, and when Benjamin's playing happily, Jackie will go back to whatever she was doing. Then the whole cycle will repeat. Fortunately, each time the cycle gets longer.
The only sad thing that happened in August was that we had to give away all the baby bunnies. Giving the babies away was hard, but having them here was a lot of fun. After we gave the babies away, the mommy seemed to be acting a little differently, but whether it was a) my imagination, b) happiness to have the whole cage to herself, or c) sadness that her babies had grown up, we'll never know.
Benjamin has been experimenting with gravity lately. He knows how to get off a bed facing the bed, and to go down stairs on his belly. Now, he's trying to teach himself to get off the bed by sitting on the edge and dropping down to the floor. He will climb on Jonathan's bed using a stepstool, sit down, scootch to the edge, drop to the floor, and then repeat this over and over and over again. He's also trying to teach himself to go down the stairs forwards without holding onto a railing. Fortunately, he is well aware of the dangers of trying this from the top step and only tries it from the bottom step.
Benjamin also said his first spontaneous recognizable word. It was (drum roll please) "Uh-Oh." He says other things, most notably, "bye-bye," "ball" and (of course) "ma-ma," but only when prompted. Well, actually, he says "ma-ma" whenever he's upset. Jonathan reminds me that he also says "Yea!"
Jonathan is rapidly becoming a computer addict. Lately, he's been swapping his regular bedtime stories for computer time. He likes grownup games, and we're always amazed at how well he does at them. We're in the process of trying to decide how much computer time is too much. He tends to go in cycles. He'll discover a new game and play a lot, and then after a while it will taper off.
August was family reunion month. First we had a reunion with Sandy Wechsler and Alan Bergan and family and the Los Angeles Picus clan. Then cousin Bebe came into town, so we got to see her. And cousin Rhonda got a job in the LA area and moved here this month.
The last thing that happened in August was that Jackie got fed up with how XonTech was handling its web server, and moved her website and email over to ISX. If you haven't updated her email address to firstname.lastname@example.org, don't forget to do that.
Hope life is treating you as well as it is treating us!
Jackie, Marc, Jonathan and Benjamin
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