Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ahhh, the desert...

This week we have been enjoying the "cooler" temperatures that come with monsoon season. It's only been in the mid-90's which has been an excellent reprieve from the 115 degree heat we had experienced last week. You should see the kids run to grab their umbrellas at the sight of two or three rain drops.

We spent the 4th of July up at my in-laws cabin which was a lot of fun! We saw fireworks (well, everyone except T who fell asleep), hunted for bugs and rocks, picked veggies from the garden with Nana, and rode a lot of go-kart with Papa. Not to mention we even needed to wear a jacket occasionally.

Even in spite of the crazy temps, we have been managing to stay cool enough with morning playdates with friends, museums, swimming lessons, splash pads, libraries, and so on.

In fact today we went with some friends to a tour at Coldstone Creamery where the kids got to help make ice cream and then of course eat some! My awesome friend, Tasia, set this up for us, and we all had a blast!

However, we do have to stay inside most afternoons because I can't bear to stand in the torturous heat while each preschooler insists/attempts to buckle their own car seats by themselves. The sun seems to beat down even hotter during those waits.
Even so, the kids have really gotten so old! I am realizing this in that they require much less manual labor than last summer. But, I do think they zap more emotional energy at this point. Between antagonizing each other (T is a pro!) and whining (B could give even the best whiner a run for their money) there are some days where I think I just might lose it. Thankfully, they make up for it with the ridiculous number of cute things they say. There are very few things that are better than snuggling them and reading together or seeing them enjoy some little activity we are doing. They adore each other, too. I peeked into their sports class the other day and saw them each keep picking each other in duck-duck-goose until the teacher intervened.
We have now been back from Africa for two months though it is very much still on our hearts. It is so strange for me to be reading travel warnings about potential terror threats and the danger of being in public places that we used to frequent just weeks ago in Kenya. We are praying for a peaceful voting process on August 4th in Nairobi, and thinking of all of the people we shared moments with while we were there.

As for our African friends here, we were able to take the refugee family we are working with to Walmart for the first time. I got to hold their little one year old baby boy as we walked around and he kept grabbing my hand and pushing it to his toes so I could count them once again. It was nice to be able to help a bit with some little things, like demonstrating what to do with air freshener and showing her that she didn't want swim diapers (that would have been a leaky disappointment of a diaper!) It made me remember what it was like to be in a foreign grocery store for the first time. It's pretty daunting.

I think they were surprised they could buy pineapples and shoes in the same place, but other than that they didn't display too much shock. The cashier accidentally dropped their can of fruit on the floor and it was very dented. She told the family that they would get a new one, but the family insisted, "No problem! No problem!" It was pretty interesting to think that this dented can was probably of not much concern when they had spent the past years living in a refugee camp after fleeing their war torn country. It's amazing the perspective you can gain even in a Walmart. Now if only I can keep that perspective...


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