A mile from our house there is a very small and sweet botanic garden.
We took this sweet and sassy girl for a visit last month.
Any expedition is fun when wearing a new princess gown. It makes the flowers smell extra sweet.
We went right when spring had just sprung in Palo Alto, so even Orelia appreciated the novelty of blooming flowers and ladybug sightings.
Bobby and Linda were there to appreciate our California weather and especially their favorite California girl.
We were the only guests at the garden that morning, but there were plenty of volunteers digging up plants to make room for new ones.
The volunteers were so sweet to Orelia, answering all her questions and encouraging her to help.
John and I don't do any gardening, so Orelia loved the opportunity to get her hands on some plants that actually had roots attached. If she even knows what a root is.
It was the perfect way to show our guests the beauty of Palo Alto, and I was proud of Orelia for enjoying the experience as much as a 3.5 year-old could.
Of course, some 1-2-3 swinging didn't hurt either.
After the garden we took Bobby to his favorite Palo Alto restaurant since he, like Orelia, is much more willing to experience some culture if there is a promise of pizza and ice cream at the end of it.
Sometimes the camera comes out because the house is full of a laughter and I want to remember the moment.
Sometimes she is wearing her "married dress" complete with a veil and her grandma's glasses, laughing up a storm.
Sometimes she is somber, but just as beautiful.
And sometimes she is laughing and her eyes sparkle.
Most importantly, sometimes she is acting like a complete nut and her grandma is willing to go along with whatever game has been concocted. I can't remember now how the snowballs became food that afternoon, but I do remember she was having a great time with a grandma she treasures.
Around 18 months, a switch flipped. Something changed inside Bennett and he basically just seemed much more a "person" than a "baby."
With a mid-September birthday he doesn't qualify for most preschools that require children to be two years old by September 1st, and I thought "who cares." He seemed so young and didn't really need school anyway.
Well, at 18 months he became this little person, and I realized he would absolutely love school, and I would really regret it if he didn't have school next year, and hell I just missed the deadline to apply for a class at Orelia's school.
We found out this week that he got off the waitlist for a class at Orelia's school, so all is not lost. Every Friday he and I will get to toddle and climb around the same playground Orelia played in at his age, sit on the same rug Orelia sat on for circle time (likely for a similar ten seconds before bolting), and hopefully eat a little less sand than Orelia did. I can't wait to make great memories with him at this wonderful school and to watch him develop friendships over a shared interest in dump trucks and bubbles.
Orelia is a bit of a girly girl. I'm not sure if you've noticed or not. So when we found a park with a creek and she actually wanted to go in, I made sure we went the next week with our rain boots and swim suit.
I want to encourage her adventurous spirit, especially when it is somewhat outside her usual comfort zone (ranging from Cinderella to Sleeping Beauty).
Well she did lots of wading in the very cold creek, and discovered that when walks into water higher than one's boots, the boots immediately fill with water! Whoops. After emptying the boots a few times, she played on the muddy banks and pretended to talk on a rock phone.
She then decided to get out, put on her sundress, and declared "I am never going in that creek again."
Kudos for trying something new, darling.