Friday, August 6, 2010

Owensboro Bound

The Whompton clan traveled to Owensboro and had a whirlwind day.  Raina summed the day up nicely:  "We got in the car and then out of the car, in the car and out of the car."  We drove in from Nashville, went to my parents' house, then on to Grandma Lillie's farm, then back to my parents', then onto Grandpa Don's house, then to a playground, then to Moon-Lite BBQ with Debra, and then back to Nashville.  It was a long and fun day. 
A collection of photos from the farm

I admit it, I love this photo.  "A multi-generational picture with my great-grandmother?!  Who cares?  I'm so sick of pictures!" says Lola.

These shots are from my Legion Park, one of my favorite places in Owensboro. 

.... And then we were home in Saint Louis.  We had depleted all food stores in the house before we traveled to Nashville, so our first action upon returning to STL was to get back in the car and go to Schnucks.  For the first time, Lola chose to ride in the car part of the cart with Raina.  Raina taught her how to use the steering wheel and honk the horn.  The giggling coming from the car was intense.

Schnucks allows each child a free cookie.  We started allowing Raina her cookie last year and she always volunteers to go to the grocery store as a result.  Lola never had a free cookie before, but since she was a "big girl in the big car cart" she expressed indignation that she was passed over for the cookie.  We caved and Lola had her first Schnucks cookie.  On our trips since, both Raina and Lola race to the car carts and ride in the front together.

Nashville Ventures

The Whomptons have a strong policy of local restaurants only, so when we travel we research the best places to eat along the road.  I chose a place solely based on its dessert menu, but Lola was still sleeping when we reached that town.  Instead, we ate in Paducah at a Mexican restaurant.  Lola ordered something from the menu for the very first time.  She was very excited to eat her enchilada, beans, and rice, and chips & salsa!

Over winter break, Raina and Mama Jo made a cardboard box house.  Atticus, Lola, and Raina played in it a lot this week.  Here's Atticus peeking out the window.

And Lola playing peekaboo out the front door.

Raina had a very wiggly front tooth but it refused to leave its home while we were in Saint Louis.  We yanked it out in Nashville.  Raina was very worried that the Tooth Fairy wouldn't find her in Nashville, but we were rather confident she'd make the trip.  Raina was thrilled to find Silly Bandz in place of the tooth the next morning!

Lola walked into the kitchen, saw the two melons, shouted "BALL!" and then proceeded to roll them all around on the floor.

Raina and Lola patiently are waiting for something exciting to happen.  Notice Raina's new array of Silly Bandz.

Every Compton / Whompton / Monaco gathering involves pictures.  With so many small children, our collective patience for the pictures has decreased; as a result, many adults strategically plan out the picture and position furniture, and then we are summoned to smile.  This photo is from Day 1 of picture taking.

Lola's sleep schedule was destroyed by our Nashville trip.  Eric valiantly took Lola duties and let her wallow around until she crashed.  Here, Eric had blockaded the room's exit with his body and then fell asleep after she did.

Lola and Atticus had a love-bite relationship during the week.  Atticus wanted to do whatever Lola wanted to do, which sometimes resulted in bites from Lola.  Here, Lola wanted a snack, then Atticus wanted a snack, then they wouldn't stop snacking on bread.  I think I gave them five pieces of bread total.

Atticus and his Mommy!  Emily may have been the only brave adult to venture into the cardboard house!

He's a cutie.

The Whomptons took a college tour of Vanderbilt.  Raina acted like a college student and wanted to take a quick nap on the bench. 

She also wanted to skip and run.  Most college students don't do that in the hallways :)

An elementary school and its playground were within walking distance of the Compton abode, so we spent a lot of time there.  Lola continuously did slides until she saw Raina climbing.  Then Lola wanted to climb everything too.  She successfully climbed this structure twice.

The girls chose to slide down together.  It was a precious (and rare!) thing to see, so we captured as many shots as we could.

Raina swings by herself now!  Sometimes she needs a little starter push, but she's totally self-sufficient after that.  Wonderful.

Lola laughs hysterically with each push.  Once she enters the swing, she never wants to leave.

Stephanie kindly negotiated for Raina to join camp for a day.  Raina loved it and she said, "I did lots of fun stuff.  There was only girls in my class.  I did swimming.  I stayed in the shallow part."   

Another precious shot.  I love that Raina and Stephanie are holding hands.  Raina treasured every moment that she spent with Stephanie.

The little ones gained two push train toys from a neighbor and then proceeded to play with them incessantly for the rest of the week.  The train parade was lots of fun to watch.

Raina and Lola scored Camp Widji shirts and Lola proudly displayed hers.  Her excitement is immense here because she's ready to 1) go 2) swimming.  We cheated and let her in the pool one day before we technically were supposed to, and Lola panicked a little bit when we took off her bandages, but she was ecstatic in the water. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Whomptons Vote

The Whompton adults clearly are out of touch with the majority of voting Missourians because we are often disappointed after Election Days.  Some decisions still rankle and make me furious.  St. Louisians voted down a smoking ban (when my tobacco-growing hometown has been smoke-free for years).  They also refused to pay a 1 cent tax on their monthly cell phone bill so that emergency 911 services would work on cell phones.  They voted against public transportation, against unifying St. Louis city and county, against same-sex marriage.  Yesterday was no different.  Missourians voted to exempt our state from the federal health care requirements.

I love many things about where I live, but I sincerely wish Missourians were slightly more centrist in their political views.

Coveting Sleep

The Whomptons went on vacation to Nashville and visited family and friends and played tourist for over a week in mid July.  It was lovely to see family, but Lola's routine was utterly destroyed by the venture.  Each night we were there, except one, saw Lola waking up sometime between 10 p.m. - 1 a.m., screaming hysterically, and then remaining awake for 2-3 hours.  She screamed and screamed in her crib, which wasn't appropriate in a household of 10 or so people, so Eric got up with her during her insomnia hours.  I got up with her at the 5 a.m. hour because, of course, she went to sleep and got up at the standard times each day. 

We left Nashville early, partly in the hope of sleeping a normal night's sleep in STL.  That didn't actually happen though.  Lola still screams out and requires servicing of some sort -- sometimes 2-5 times a night.  Since we've returned to STL, we let Lola scream as long as it takes; her top length duration was 2 hours. 

The past few nights have been much better.  If I reach her within 30 seconds of screaming start, then I can tell her "It's not time to get up Lola.  Lie down and go back to bed."  and she will lie down and let me cover her up.  That's worked successfully four or so times.  But it still requires getting up, going to her, and then hoping, hoping, hoping that she sleeps. 

I know that parenthood equals interrupted sleep, but I've grown comfortable in my realm of a consistent 8 hours of sleep each night.  These past three weeks have destroyed Eric and me and we eagerly await the night that Lola chooses to sleep completely through until morning. 

Lola's Words

Lola's speaking vocabulary is quite vast.  For instance, we ask:

KSW:  Say Mommy.
Lola:  Mama

KSW:  Say Daddy.
Lola:  Dada

KSW:  Say Raina.
Lola:  Way-Nuh

KSW:  Say Samantha.
Lola:  Mine!

And we all laugh hysterically each time.  Eventually she'll say Samantha, but, right now, Samantha is satisfied being attached to Lola.