Thursday, June 30, 2011


Avery and Emma. Sisters. I watch them together and I melt. Reminds me of my own and I get all warm inside. They love each other so much. Here they are playing princesses together in their room. During the day Avery will call Emma and hold out her hand to her. "Come on Emma, let's go play babies" she will say and hold out her hand. Emma will stand up and toddle over there, take Ave's hand, and hand in hand off they will go. If Ave gets hurt or is overtired or anytime she starts to cry, Emma will hurry in and hug her, patting her on the back. I love to watch them. I love when they play pretend. One day a few months ago I was doing some laundry and I overhead Avery. Talking in a heavy English accent I heard her say. "Hurry Elizabeth, hurry. We can't be late" Around the corner she came dressed in a princess dress, Emma following quickly behind her. Barely able to walk carrying two dolls, a purse, and some play food. Sporting some purple shades and a beaded necklace. Avery who was carrying nothing but her purse slung over her shoulder quickly marched on again calling to her, "Hurry Elizabeth, hurry." Now if you can imagine her doing this in a thick English accent no doubt you will understand why I had to turn away as they paraded past me because I was laughing too hard. From that point on Emma has been "Elizabeth" whenever they play. I think I will burst when I hear them playing and Ave says things like, "Hurry darling" or "Elizabeth, come." The hilarious part is that Emma responds to being called Elizabeth and follows Avery as requested. They will spend up to an hour playing in their room with baby dolls, playing house or princesses. Avery doing all the dialogue and giving directions. Emma sometimes understanding other times just smiling at her, moving the babies from the crib to the stroller and feeding them a bottle. She will let Ave put tutus and necklaces and glasses on her. They will both get combs and pretend to "do each other's hair" This particular morning Avery came into me and told me that "Me and Emma want to play princess dress ups" then she added, "Emma wants to wear the ladybug costume but she keeps running from me when I try to put it on her, can you help Mom?" At first Em looked at me unsure if she was really feeling the dress up thing right now. As soon as I put her ladybug on she looked at Ave, the accent came out and Emma went into play mode. It was adorable. She definitely feels her character and becomes "one" with Elizabeth. They played and played and I had to capture some pictures of them in all their sweet girlyness. I love them. I am thankful they have each other. I love watching them grow together and know all the wonderful things ahead. It makes my heart swell.

Hatch reunion

This past weekend was our Hatch family reunion. We stayed at the Xona resort in Scottsdale in two 1800 sqare foot apartments. Each had four bedrooms with a living, dining room and kitchen. Each bedroom had its own bathroom and two queen beds and a flat screen TV in it. It actually fit us all pretty well. We first got there and chowed down on some pizza. Then we headed for one of the resorts four pools and splashed around for awhile. This kick started a weekend of constant eating, sleep/relaxing, lots of swimming and tons of game playing. The kids practically lived in the pool. Hunter was excited to find "gold" underneath the faux rock waterfall when he searched it with his goggles. He also enjoyed playing Marco Polo and water zombies with the older cousins. Avery and Emma were glued to Trina's daughter Kendra and always wanted to play with her. She kept her floaties on only due to Deke and I's insistance since she still can't swim quite well enough. It made us laugh that we kept finding her trying to float on her back in the "baby pool" as she called it. She loved the jacuzzi. Emma was perfectly content to trek along with daddy in her little butterfly floater. She and GG found a princess ball and had some fun playing with that. My kids are so lucky to have not only three sets of very wonderful grandparents but an amazing pair of great grandparents that are so involved with them. Kimbre and I found some goggles and relived our childhood days of handstands, somersaults and our "underwater tea parties." It was fun because there was a fountain outside of the room where birds kept coming to bathe and drink. You can imagine miss E's reaction to that. Not only were there birds but tons and tons of tiny little fluffy tailed bunnies hopping around. They would actually let you get pretty close to them. Mom carefully put Emma down and she took off after on and managed to get decently close to it. Evenings were filled with so much laughter my sides hurt. From Thursday until Sunday I didn't go to bed before 3am, I am still recovering. My cousins and I are very close, our family is very close. On Saturday night we had a very special family meeting. We had opportunity to talk and share things with one another. With all of us squished in every square inch of that living room and kitchen the spirit was so strong. Grandpa rested most of the time and we could go upstairs and visit him in his room and for short periods of time he would come down and visit with everyone. He is looking great. After our meeting Aunt Lou had brought colored Sharpie markers and we each got a chance to write a message or draw a picture for Grandpa on his "turtle shell" back brace. It was really neat. He is such a wonderful Grandpa, this has been really had for all of us. We love him so much. I love my family. I feel so blessed. To have this time with my cousins, to watch my children play with my own younger cousins. I watch them run off deep in imaginative play and think of the cousin club that I created when we were kids, not only did I create it I was president :) Monday after this was Emma three times during the day. She took three different naps, each an hour plus. All three of them I would turn around and she was out on the floor surrounded by Ariel's. I love it. All the millions of fun stories I have growing up in the family that I have. I am blessed to be born into this family. There is strength in our togetherness and I love the love and support I feel when we are together. It was such a great weekend. Love you everybody!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Squirt toys and water play

It's hot, and I'm out numbered. Including the little guy I babysit I can't take four kids which includes two babies to a pool to swim. Yet it is like 114* outside and everyone has cabin fever. Why do we live here? I want to live somewhere where summertime is riding bikes and playing in treehouses, playing tag outside and laying in the grass on a blanket in the warm evening. Here if you try any of those things you run the risk of heat stroke. Deke is almost done I keep telling myself, then we will get out of here. Grass, trees, seasons...I will be coming, soon. Anyways I remembered that last year we had a play pool for Em, a cute little inflatable with a palm tree shade top. Last year this time missy was only three months old and couldn't even use it. This year as I got it all set up she watched curiously from the window.Hunter and Avery equipped with goggles headed out to start splashing around. It was pretty hilarious since it is a "baby" pool and they could hardly fit in it but you'd be surprised how little of water it takes to make for a fun time. Emma for quite a while enjoyed being an observer of the action. Hunter and Avery had to alternate turns laying down completely in the water to actually be able to go under.
They had so much fun. Laughing and splashing, pretending that they were diving in the ocean and looking for treasure. Seeing how long they could stay under and trying to go under without plugging their noses. I love this picture of them they are such good buddies.
After awhile I decided it was time for Emma to get in. I had to physically get into the pool myself that coax her into it with me. Nice right. Grown woman in baby inflatable pool. For the first five minutes or so she would let me put her down. Everytime I would try to put her in the water she would pull her legs up.
Once she finally got comfortable and I put her down in the water she started clapping for herself.
Hunter and Ave jumped back in with her and the three of them played and played. Within the first five minutes she had already taken a little spill and completely dunked herself under the water. Which led to this face...thank goodness brother came over and made it all better :) We brought out Emma's favorite squirt toys for her to play with in the pool. She's definitely Deke's child in the way that she likes stuff organized. She promptly took her squirt toys and started placing them one by one in a life on the edge of the pool. The part that was amazing to me though was that she made sure they were all facing front into the pool. It took her like ten minutes to arrange them, she would put one down and if she saw that it was facing the wrong way, she hurried to turn it around and get it perfectly spaced. It wasn't until they were all lined up facing the same direction that she stood back, smiled at me and clapped for herself. So her dad.
All three played and played until they were beyond normal pruning and mom couldn't stand the heat anymore. When I took Emma out of the pool her pouty lip came out and she started pointing and crying saying, "yay," "yay" and pointing at the pool. She just learned this word and I don't know if she totally understands it but I think she knew it was something fun and so that was her association. It was so cute. Even as I changed her back into her clothes she kept looking out the sliding glass door pointing then looking at me and saying "yay?" Then crying when I told her no more swimming today. Precious. I guess swimming is just fun no matter if the pool is teeny. We need to find ourselves a day to really take a swim.