Oh, Lolly, Lollipop

Love at first lick.

A Visit to Great-Grandpa

Earlier this summer we took a long-awaited trip to Des Moines to visit Great-Grandpa. It was the first time for him to meet little Evie, and Penelope hadn't seen him since she was 3 months old. 

Penelope got right down to the business of having tea parties and conducting very important phone conversations with Great-Grandpa.

A visit with Great-Grandpa wouldn't be complete without his special cookies. Penelope couldn't have his original recipe due to her nut allergies, but Great-Grandpa made her her own special batch. Penelope readily gave them her seal of approval.

The trip also gave Evie and Penelope some more cousin time.

Both cousins were particularly enamored with Great-Grandpa's cane. Evie liked to take off with it while he wasn't looking

Grandma and Grandpa also soaked up their last few days with their grandchildren before heading back across the ocean.

While we were there, we loved playing outside in the grass and the chance to escape the hot, humid NC summer for a spell.

Evie learned how to run down hills,

while Penelope preferred to roll me down the hill.

She also got to sample a few of the first ripe raspberries, and--her favorite--spy on the mother deer and her babies who made periodic apprearances out on the lawn. Unfortunately, the lawn was also the source of a very bad infestation of chigger bites around Penelope's diaper area--the effects of which are finally gone after 3 miserable weeks of itching.

This creepy, over-sized baby doll was another favorite past time of Penelope's while we were there. 

We were so glad to get to spend time with family, and especially with Great-Grandpa! It is a trip we won't soon forget!


Vacay Miscellaneous

And finally, a few last favorite shots from our family vacation at the Outer Banks...

gazing at sea turtles at the aquarium 

pretending to be a crab

touching sea creatures

finding "crabs" (grandma's toes) in the sand

(it fooled her every time)

aunt ali and uncle t in the celebration spirit

uncle matt living up the good life

 p chatting with her "girlfriends"

evie sampling the sand

discovering real crabs

uncle t and grandpa chilling on the beach

rocking on the deck and listening to the ocean

mommy-daughter time

soaking up the attention from grandma and grandpa

thanks for such a fun and memorable vacation!


Cousin Adventures and Mishaps

The last time Penelope and Evie were together, Evie was not mobile and let Penelope do whatever she wanted. Now, Evie is starting to learn to hold her own (or at least yelp in protest) when Penelope takes charge.

Penelope and Evie, seconds from a display of wills:

Evie relied on the weight of her body to win the first round of this match

Don't worry. There were some civil exchanges between the two as well. Like when Penelope persuaded Evie to give up the big shell in exchange for Penelope's reject shell.

Penelope also found a way to "share" the wagon.

Notice Evie's look of satisfaction and pride when she figured out how to distract Penelope ("Look! An airplane!") so that she could claim the wagon.

Penelope was, however, very excited to share in the celebration of Evie's 1st birthday.

The promise of cupcakes made the sharing of the attention much easier. 
But the waiting was difficult.

But worth it.

Evie thought so too.

Personally, I would like to savor this moment the two cousins had together and think that their future interactions would be more like this. Here's to hoping...


The Tunnel

Uncle Trevor got it in his head that he wanted to build a tunnel for Penelope. (Well, I'm pretty sure it was just as much for him as for P). Not just any tunnel--THE tunnel of all tunnels.

So he started digging.

But he didn't realize that Penelope would be more of a barrier to his ultimate tunnel than a help. When Penelope started filling in his hole for the tenth time and no amount of pleading would dissuade her, poor discouraged Trevor abandoned his tunnel.

Until Penelope went down for her nap.

While she slumbered Uncle T dug, and dug, and dug.

And dug some more.

Until his masterpiece was finished.

Then Penelope was invited to try it out.

She approved.

It took a bit of convincing to get Penelope to climb through it though.

But soon she got up enough courage and went for it.

Then she decided that it was Uncle T's turn to go through. 

It was a tight fit.

"Thank you for my tunnel Uncle T!"

"Anytime Little P!"