Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Faces and Places

Last Friday was a busy day for us girls. In the morning, Liesl, Ava and I traveled to Flint to ride the Huckleberry Railroad at the Crossroads Village. We joined many of the members of the Farmington Area Mom's Club for a ride on the train, then a nice picnic on the grounds of the village before exploring a bit. I really enjoyed this trip, as did both of the girls (well, Ava enjoys just about everything, as long as there is a clean diaper and a little nursing in it for her. But Liesl did have fun too.) Crossroads Village is a bit smaller and less busy than Greenfield Village, which is a very popular attraction in the Detroit area, and closer to us. We haven't yet taken Liesl there, as we prefer to wait until she's older and can take in a little more. But the Crossroads Village was a nice compromise.

Us three girls on the train...Ava is nursing in this picture. Hey, when you gotta nurse, you just...nurse. Would you believe that I had to gather up my kids and gear and change cars right after Ava started nursing, so I did...with her latched on. She never knew the difference.
The conductor of the train was pretty horrified, though. Oh well. We're not in the 1940's anymore, buddy.

The three of us again...slightly sweaty, but enjoying the ride.

(Ava was awake and fully-fed at this point.)

The FAMC informal picnic gathering.
That's Ava on the bottom left corner, trying to eat grass and twigs, for all I know.
Liesl is the little blond kid with the dark blue shirt, closer to the upper right corner
of the photo. She's probably bumming food off of somebody.

My friend Christine's sweet little Amalie after our picnic lunch.
Robeez make great post-lunch chewies.
Christine and I wearing our babies in Baby Hawk carriers, and our backpack diaper bags.
We were longer than we were wide--or tall. I felt like a pack mule, but I was a happy pack mule.
(Try turning around in a crowded space in this getup. It's hilarious.)

Friday evening was...interesting. Although I am not working much as an interpreter, I still need to log 24 contact hours per year to keep my Michigan QA. So I went to the monthly Interpreter Improvement Guild meeting to socialize and log a few more hours. Since last month's meeting had many kids in it, I thought it would be fun to bring Liesl--more kids for her to play with, and since the meetings are held entirely in American Sign Language, it would expose her to more ASL. Ha. Only one kid showed up with a mom this time, and the discussion was very technical, I had a bit of a hard time following along while keeping an eye on Liesl. Fortunately, everyone who attends the IIG meetings (the majority of them are Deaf) are very understanding. Liesl found some friends to talk--er, sign--to. (Plus, the ASL Resource Center has fish. Heck, forget about all the Deaf people that she could talk to with her hands. She wanted to see the FISH!)

Liesl chatting in ASL with Annette, who is Deaf.

What a treat this was...this is Aimee, an old college classmate. We both graduated from the Sign Language Studies program at Madonna University. I haven't seen her in years, she was up visiting from Florida. She said she is in the process of trying to move back to the Detroit area. I hope so...she has such a crazy sense of humor and she is a gifted interpreter.

On Monday, one of my friends from church came to lunch and brought her three children, ages 6, 8 and 10. (Carrie homeschools her children too, so as you can imagine, she has her hands full.) Oh, it is such fun for Liesl to have friends over! To celebrate the occasion, we made homemade pudding pops (a very simple and easy recipe, and guaranteed to please a crowd.) Liesl "helped" me with the assembling of the pops. I am so glad that Tom's and my passion for cooking (and eating) is catching on with Liesl--but I must remember that the next time I get "help" from her in the kitchen, that the project will generally take 5 times as long--and require 5 times the clean-up. Imagine: Liesl's light pink jammies while she's helping me stir dark chocolate pudding. Oh well, this is why we wanted me to be a full-time mom.

Sara and Ava...Sara is 10 years old and is so mature, sweet, and absolutely loves children.
I have my eye on her for a mother's helper and a baby sitter in a few years.

The gang eating their pudding pops...

...except Liesl's wasn't quite frozen yet. Oh well!

I told Carrie that Tom and I had assumed, before we became parents, that my being a full-time, stay-home mom would mean we would all have more time to relax. Now I laugh every time I think of our naivete. Still, our lives are full of fun activities and interesting people. We wouldn't change it! (Well, we might ask for a little more sleep....)

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