August is winding down and our big beach vacation is just a few weeks away. That's my official marker for the end of summer - not Labor Day or the start of "school." The beach vacation is the last big hurrah of the summer. once that's over, it's really fall.
For now, we've been keeping busy in smaller ways close to home. While it's sort of felt like the summer of amusements parks, sometimes the monkeys find other ways to keep occupied.
Jordan and Mina worked hard building a fairy house in the nook next to the swing set. Jeff prefers to call it a "fort."
Here, Mina assembles signage to lead the fairies home, or as Jeff says, "Good job marshaling the troops to the fort, Mina."
Regardless of what you call it, great concentration and care went into its design.
Jordan maintains that same intense concentration on other important tasks - like bubble making.
But when it comes to the bubbles, I've found it wise to set up separate "bubble stations" on the deck. Everyone needs their own work space sometimes.
Some of us get a little possessive about our bubbles.
The nice thing about playing on the deck is that it's directly below the kitchen window. So, they are visible at all times and can be heard loud and clear. I can safely toss them out there for a little while to fend for themselves, while I tend to other matters.
Like making a batch of veggie muffins. Grandma H gifted us with a particularly bountiful zucchini this week. It came in handy for three different recipes.
Some of us have not been eating as healthy. Oscar demonstrates why dogs are not meant to be vegetarians. Don't mess with me, man. I got a steak bone.
A surprising development in recent weeks has been Jordan's emerging skills in Wii bowling. I'm not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, maybe it's unwise getting hooked on video games this early. On the other, it's Wii, which is a more physically engaging game than the Atari space invaders and Asteroids, I grew up with.
It's bowling. He loves it. And he's really, really good. I played him last night, and he beat me. And trust me, I was trying to win. Those of you who've played any kind of athletic endeavor against me know how competitive I am. I had no intention of letting the kid win. But he did. Soundly.
There's something about his technique that defies logic.
Maybe it's the little happy dance he does after each strike.
Miss Mina doesn't have the patience for learning to play this game, yet. However, she's making herself useful in other ways. Before bedtime, she helps me water the flowers on the front steps.
She inspects them. Amazingly, they're still alive. Geraniums are pretty hardy.
Last stop of the evening - meds. Miss Mina's been expressing interest of late in the medications I give Jordan at night. As she puts it, "Want meds too!" This is one of those transplant-related moments, when I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
So, I improvise. Recently, her pediatrician switched her multivitamin from the oral kind to the chewable. I used to try and hide her vitamin drop in her beverages, but she wasn't crazy about that.
On the other hand, they both LOVE the chewable multivitamin. I sit them both on the counter and each gets a "special med." They come in three different colors - pink, purple, and orange. Jordan always chooses the orange. Mina always goes for the pink. We have a glut of purple languishing in the bottle, which I'm going to have to do something creative with.