Summer Reflections

by Kristi Van Dyk in ,

Wow ... it's mid-August ... the time when I'm used to gearing up for school. Last August was the first fall that I didn't have to prepare for school at all. I had no Band Camp, no pre-season tennis workouts, no orientation preparations for incoming freshman, no dorm decorations or door signs to make, no courses to schedule, no plans to revise or classroom to prepare. I only had the dwindling summer evenings, the cooler weather coming, and my sweet baby daughter to get on a schedule. (I made it just 2 months last summer home with Kayleigh without a schedule ...) This summer seems largely the same only with two babies to keep on 'routine' and preparations to make for how to keep a very active toddler entertained. As I begin to think about what fall will look like at the Van Dyk house, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on the best this summer has given us. 2010 Top 10 Summer Highlights 1. Language Explosion in my tiny toddler who went from 50 some words to well over 200 and is almost always speaking in 3-5 word phrases. 2. Several great weeks/weekday trips to the Maranatha for fun with the Creswell Grandparents 3. Benjamin and Kayleigh learning to love each other despite their serious gap in development at the present moment 4.  Benjamin learned to smile, giggle, hold his head, and reach and grab objects (the latest most recently and he still surprises himself when his actions cause reactions: i.e. he grabs the little dog on his rocker and it plays a song, he hits the buttons on his exersaucer and a cow moos) 5. We had a fabulous day at the Meijer Gardens as a family and with Great Grandpa 6. Steve and the kids had several days at Slayton Lake with the Van Dyk Grandparents 7. We had a host of super fun playdates with Auntie Alaina and Ryan 8. A fun filled playdate with Carson Van Dyke 9. Got a fantastic new camera that makes capturing precious family moments incredibly fun. 10. Took a whirlwind - needs to be repeated when the kids are older - trip to Chicago and Shedds Aquarium

2010 Top 10 Lessons from summer 1. A baby pool is not a luxury - but a necessity (even if Mom and the 2 month old are the only ones "swimming") 2.  Schedules ARE NOT maintainable during the summer season -- park visits, long walks, time with grandparents, swimming, beaches, all can AND WILL interfere with naptime 3. Despite what "makes sense" a 10:00 a.m. nap will not replace the typical 1:00 p.m. nap no matter how long it is! 4. Window air conditioners, turned on BEFORE everyone's mood goes bad, really is better than saving an additional $2.00 per day in energy costs. 5. Vacations are way different and not nearly as relaxing with 2 kiddos, but they are, most definitely, way more entertaining. 6.  A window air until is picked up constantly on the voice activated setting of a baby monitor. Therefore, all night, you will hear/see the baby monitor going off (though it's 99% likely that it's NOT the baby). 7. Placing a sleeping baby on sheets that have been in a window a/c'd room without blankets for shielding will yield a no longer sleeping baby. 8. Candy works great as a last minute bribe to pry a toddler off of the beach for clean up/supper time without shrieking. 9.  When all else fails (constipation meds, extra napping, more food, less food, etc) Soy could help :) 10. Sigh ... summer is fantastic but it isn't meant to last forever. Enjoy the break in routine, and get excited when the routine returns.

2010 Things to Get Excited for in the Fall 1. More growth from both Benjamin and Kayleigh 2. Women's Ministries Bible Study during the day (with nursery for both kids!) 3. Benjamin learning to nap for longer than 30 minutes at consistent times! 4. Kayleigh's 2nd birthday 5. More playdates with more babies (VanDyke's new baby, hopefully the Texers will want to as well!, and of COURSE my amazing nephew and his mommmy, even perhaps adding a few dates with Suzanne and Thomas!!). 6.  Cool mornings and very cool evenings for great walks/runs in the double jogger 7. Fun fall activities like: Apple picking, pumpkin carving, football games (probably just on tv I doubt we're braving anything live!), visits to the farms, jumping in the leaves, etc. 8. A trip to Mackinac with the extended Van Dyk family 9. Steve's 30th Birthday!!!! 10.  More fun pictures, stories, and family times together.

Here's a fun comparison (I love that I can start doing this):

[caption id="attachment_502" align="alignleft" width="269" caption="Kayleigh, 3 months in February of 2009"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_503" align="alignright" width="276" caption="Benjamin, 3 months in August 2010"][/caption]