We've been having a fun summer so far. Selena has been begging to go camping for a couple months now so when we went on our annual trip to my uncle's cabin on the Washougal River we brought our tent and decided to sleep in there instead of in the bunk house. It was good. Both girls fell asleep sitting around the campfire, so I didn't have to miss any socializing putting them to bed. They even managed to sleep in a bit. We'll try a real camping trip (cooking our own food) in two weeks.
We've still been doing a lot of berry picking. One day Selena commented, "I didn't know we were going to turn into berry pickers when we moved to our new house." We've gone and picked strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries at various local farms and we often go out among the nature trails around our house to pick wild berries. I'm looking forward to the blackberries getting ripe. My parents do an annual trip to Whidbey Island to pick blackberries, but we haven't gone in a long time because we lived so far away, but we will get to do it this year.
In theory I am against television for young children for a few reasons, but I have succumbed to the convenience of it giving me a few short breaks during the day and by the fact that Selena asks for it. The habit started when I was pregnant, still working part time from home and needed a nap and Sesame Street could give me it. So she watches a few shows a day, but no more than one at a time and we use the DVR so there aren't many commercials. But in the last couple weeks Selena seems to have entered a new level of comprehension when it comes to watching television. She used to watch the same episode about 5 or 6 times on our DVR before getting bored with it, and sometimes you would ask her about the show and she couldn't tell you what happened (research has shown that young children's learning is very inefficient through the television ie they have to watch something on the TV 4-6 times before they learn it, but if they are taught it in person it only takes 1 or 2 times of repetition). She did learn a lot of things from the shows, but she did have to watch them over and over. Now she only wants to watch a show once, and she participates in the interactive portions of the show. So it is kind of an interesting developmental milestone.
She has been writing a lot lately. She can now write most of her letters without me creating dots for her to trace. It is neat because we don't work on writing or reading. We just include it with things she does. Like we write letters to family members or make cards for people's birthdays. It is fun to see her progress. It also answers my question if she knows her letters, because I'll tell her how a word is spelled and she writes it only occasionally asking me how the letter is made.
She has also been drawing a lot. My favorite has been her series of pictures of her cousin Issac. She's drawn Baby Issac playing golf, wearing a tutu, with an afro, in a blanket.
She is definitely in a climbing stage. Everything is a jungle gym, and when we are in a store, and she's using the shopping cart to climb on. It is pretty annoying. However when we are at the playground it is pretty impressive. She's small for her age so I'm sure other parents think she is younger than she is and thus I've gotten many parents hovering around her at the park when she is fine. In general I don't like to hover because I've noticed that if I hover she is more likely to give up and have me do it for her, than if I am not nearby. If she asks for help I will help her, but I try to let her assess her own abilities to figure out what she can do and what she can't. There is a big rope spider web at Willis Tucker Park and she is determined to climb to the top. She's gotten almost there, but she is a little too short to get up the last two rungs.
She is also in a question phase. Of course the inevitable "Why?" to anything and everything. But also some more thoughtful ones. Today we got into a discussion on how the dinosaurs died and where humans came from. When she doesn't understand she keeps asking, "What did you say?" Obviously my explanations were confusing and she eventually said, "Mom, I am so confused."
She still has her invisible friends Do, Re, Mi, Fa and So and the other night we were out, in the dark, with our flashlights looking for their house so she could go over there for a slumber party. When we couldn't find their house she was very upset. I kind of pointed out that Do, Re, Mi were pretend so they didn't really have a house, and she got very upset about that. So I quickly covered and said I didn't mean it, and I was confused, and that they must have gotten confused and really wanted to have a slumber party at our house.