Don and I spent almost all of July at home.
For the first 10 days of the month, our house was loud and happy, with celebrations and voices and toys and activity.
After our long roadtrip in June, we enjoyed hanging out at the house with Heidi, Jamie and Charlie. It was nice to have time together, while their furniture was in transit from Oregon to Austin.
It's been years since Don and I have had "kids" at home over the 4th.
Charlie wasn't sure what to do with that flag... so I blasted on some Sousa and we did some marching throughout the house. Can't say I've done that in recent years!
The temps reached about 100 on the 4th.
The pool helped!
A quick storm helped. Thunder sent us to the porte cochere, for some tricycle time. Hard to believe Charlie's mom once rode that!
The sun came out again and popsicles helped cool things off.
Fresh plums, watermelon, hotdogs and corn on the cob! It felt like the 4th!
Don wore his Party Crocs!
And we toasted with red, white & blue pina coladas! Toasting made me miss the rest of our family!
After the 4th, Heidi was busy working remotely. We squeezed in some toe-time after work one day.
We did not have coffee on those mugs. It was after 5.
Heidi and Jamie left for Austin when the moving pods arrived. Don and I had Charlie to ourselves for a few days.
I love these two together.
Charlie doesn't do much sitting around, but she did have some couch time with Don.
We only watched TV once, to watch a little bit of "Frozen".
Charlie's voice was just as sweet as these photos, when she sang along with the Disney musical.
"'Cause for the first time in forever..."
And More Singing
We heard a lot of singing!
Charlie's Old MacDonald Voice is much louder. I believe in both photos, she's holding that last note for a little drama.
Charlie visited the piano every day. We sent a video of "Happy Birthday to Uncle Scott..." on his birthday.
Sometimes "Grandma" was allowed to play the piano. But often I was instructed to dance to Charlie's music. "Happy!" "Sad!" "Silly!" It was exhausting. And funny.
Charlie's feet couldn't reach the pedals, so I was allowed to help with the pump organ.
We went through a lot of instruments. The cigar box "guitar" that Heidi made in high school, was a hit.
The ukuleles were fun.
Don taught Charlie how to strum.
Plucking the old zither was more fun than strumming. Charlie tried to sing the sounds she made.
Better than I could do!
I was excited to get out some old records from my childhood. Charlie was less enthused.
Charlie listened to Burl Ives sing "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly..." But when he sang the words, "...Perhaps she'll die!" They didn't match the words Grandma had been singing for days. I think Charlie wondered why the man sang, "Perhaps she'll die" instead of "Perhaps she'll cry". Such a weird song!
Lot of old toys and teaching props came out of hiding!
It was fun to see Charlie pretend. I'd forgotten how much I actually love to pretend.
The old black phone was a prop I used with classes. Charlie took right to it.
I'm not even sure who she was talking to!
I adore reading books to kids, but mostly Charlie read to me.
She found this old gem, made by my dad and brother.
The book that Charlie seemed to like the best was my childhood favorite, Eloise!
Charlie could definitely relate to the spunky 6 year old Eloise!
After a couple days of Pop-Pop and Grandma time, it was time to drive to Charlie's new house!
The 2.5 hour drive was nothing, compared to the 2,200 mile drive we used to make to Oregon! It was fun to see the new house, but I only stayed one night.
Quiet at Home
It should have been easier saying good-bye, since our cities are so near, now! But after 5 weeks of bonding with our favorite 2-year-old, I knew it would be tough not waking up to her in the morning!
It seemed way too quiet back in the Sugar Land house. Even the neighborhood felt quiet.
Routines and Heat
It was nice to get back to routines. I don't love running, but it felt good to get out there again.
I went early to avoid the scorching heat. I was happy for sprinklers.
The fierce heatwave called for cold drinks. And since our downstairs a.c. went out, we enjoyed them outside.
Poor Don dealt with worsening back issues during the month. But we got a smile from him, here!
The new baby ducks on the lake, didn't seem to notice the heat. They seemed surprised to see me. The only person not hunkering down in their air-conditioned home!
After a week without a.c. (and dishwasher & disposal) the house came to life with repairmen. Actually it was 2 days!
We got a new a.c. unit AND furnace. It took the workmen many trips up and down the wooden attic stairs. Some sloppy work caused a hole in the wall and stained carpet... ugh!
I was sort of furious with the workmen, before the carpet cleaner and painter did their work. But the focus on the attic prompted me to have a look for forgotten treasures. Toy kitchen! Charlie needs that!
I only explored the oven-attic for a moment. I brought down the old "Showboat Theatre" I adored as a child. I cleaned it and played!
Finishing the Month
By the end of the month, Don's back was feeling up for a drive to Austin, so he could see the fam in the new house!
We only stayed one night, but what a fun time! And what a relief to know we no longer have to book flights or block big amounts of time. What a sweet way to end the month of July!