I was looking forward to the week marking the midpoint of September. The temps were supposed to finally drop below the 80's - even below the 70's! - and rain was in the forecast. Hooray!!!! Yes, we'll have a different attitude come January, but for now - [almost] all of us are so ready for cooler temps and even some wet stuff falling from the sky.
I knew Christi and her girls were planning on leaving for California by the end of the week to spend time with her family as her sister, Jenny, was about to have a baby. So, when she mentioned she had to go run some errands, I thought I'd offer to take Elsie for her so Whitley and her would get as much time together as possible before they left.
We had fun trampoline jumping (at one point, I had a girl laying in each arm, all of us on our backs on the tramp - singing "Old McDonald" and tickling them while we made animal sounds....while they giggled like crazy - the kind of priceless moments you never want to forget!). We also took a "Nature Walk" - meaning doing the loop around our block. They were gung ho, as evidenced by this picture.
However, soon after this picture was taken, Elsie started to ask to be held.
And, if Elsie is going to be held, Whitley wanted to be held too. Um, NO. We were at the halfway point of our journey and there was no way I could carry a kiddo in each arm the whole way back. As they started to protest, Whitley decided to just take a break in this (unknown) neighbor's side yard (fortunately not the front - as they neighbor was actually outside). While I tried to stay off the grass and mandate Whitley get back on the sidewalk - Whitley lured Elsie up to join her. In fact, as I snapped this shot, she's actually telling Elsie "Tell Aunt Stephie 'NO'!" - in response to me telling the girls they both needed to get back to join me. They look so cute, though, huh?!
Fortunately, the incident and me marching up to grab both of their hands did, at least, prevent them from remembering they had previously asked to be held and I was able to distract them until we got back to my house....
Upon return, they starting playing with "Groovy Girl Dolls" that had been passed on to us and just that morning pulled down from the attic.
For whatever reason, both girls found themselves drawn to Sydney that day too. Neither of them know she's sick. Whitley knew she got her bump removed, but thinks she's okay now. Of course, these days, I take about twice as many pics of Sydney as I used to as I'm always aware of her presence - so these added to the mix.
For Elsie - Sydney will undoubtedly be forever remembered as the "dog dog" that she learned to be comfortable around and let go of her fear. (Evidenced by these pics motivated entirely by Elsie).
While I am so thankful I can report that Sydney is still just as lively as ever - showing no discomfort or slow down at all....the tumor is starting to regrow in the same location. We have decided, despite the fact that the surgery wound is now completely healed, to just keep her Thunder Vest on 24-7. It gives her a probable "extra security and comfort" and prevents us from obsessing over any tumor growth or being distracted by it in our interaction with her.
As it turned out, Christi ended up having to leave on Tuesday for California. I was super bummed that day - hoping they wouldn't have had to leave until the end of the week. As is often the case, I let the circumstances of an overwhelming and unknown future affect my "now" - and wondered how I'd survive nearly 3 weeks without my partner in crime and "child herding" to keep Whitley entertained.
Wednesday was a brighter day, though, as we worked it out to hang out with Cara, Wyatt, and Lincoln Gilchrist. Wyatt is a perfect playmate for Whitley - about 11 months older. He's a sweetheart - a little more serious than Whitley - but, equally excited to interact with her. Interestingly, Cara's husband, Grant, is now Brayden's math teacher - one who we'd hoped he'd have since he first started at Marist. We hung out at Lone Pine Farms together - and after they conquered the playground (incorporating another 3 year old boy in their imagination play) - they headed on over to the goats, shared coins and goat feed - and then worked at posing for us in the "Ghost Town" set up that the farm now has for the upcoming Halloween season.
Sweet little Lincoln...
I love this pic - I mean, how many different ways could you caption this?!!
On Thursday, as we had no plans with others, and as it was POURING down rain, we ventured over to the PetSmart where we were told we could play with the adoptable kittens if a volunteer was in attendance. I can't say I'd return again on this particular day of the week as the volunteer in the room was a little, ehhh, "sketchy" - but Whitley could have cared less as she only had eyes for the kitties. Particularly, "Arrow" the orange and white one. While Travis and Steph had no interest for bringing a cat into their family, I do feel good that I advertised his presence on Social Media to encourage someone else to maybe give cat adoption a try.
I was only able to lure Whitley out of the kitten room by enticing her with the snakes, bird, and rodents in cages out in the store. She was really bothered she couldn't get behind the cages where the employees gain access - she even tried my keys to see if it they would work.
Friday was the first day of this season that had me feeling like fall was here. The chilly, gray fog had settled in and it was soooooo cozy.
Later on, the sun emerged and temps moved back in the 80's for the weekend...but, not before we took a long walk along the river in the foggy weather.
We took a few pics of ourselves later that afternoon - to send to Christi telling her she was missed. Apparently, Whitley equates selfies as opportunities to stick out her tongue. ;)
Christi's absence is encouraging me to make plans next week with other folks. I tend to get into my "comfort rut" and then panic or get irritable when it's threatened (exactly what's going on now as the weekend is nearly over and I would really like to start all over with the opportunity to kick back, hibernate and cuddle with my Kindle) - but, I know God has much bigger plans for me than my corner of the couch and Kindle Fire, if only I would be willing. So, here's to new adventures, and pushing myself just a bit to seek His will.