Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Deep Sea Diving

Here is a picture of Mary Sarah Jayne, aka "Squishy," now shortened to just "Squish," a term of endearment given to her by her older sister about a year ago. It stuck. The following story is mostly about her. If you work for CPS (child protection services) from the state of MN, kindly please stop reading now. Thank you.

While we were up in Grand Rapids for Dan and Lindsay's wedding, we tried to spend some time as a family. My family had a cabin on Sugar Lake when I was growing up, and it's a wonderful lake to take kids in. Since it was too cold for swimming, Mike and I decided to take the girls on a canoe trip. We put lifejackets on the kids and off we went.

Julia had a great time. She had her own paddle and was very well-behaved. Squishy, on the other hand, would NOT tolerate her life jacket. It was keeping her from getting close enough to stick her arms in the water off the side of the canoe, and she screamed blood murder with the thing on. The second I took it off, she grinned at me and toddled over the the side to see the water again. She has no fears. I was glad that the screaming was over. My head was beginning to throb.

Mike and I made a point to canoe within 20 feet of shore on our way out because Squishy refused to wear her life jacket. (OK, MIke....she didn't refuse to wear her lifejacket. *I* refused to listen to the screaming...) We were in 1-2 feet of water the whole time on our way out. I only paddled about five strokes the entire way because I was so afraid that Squishy's new blue hat might get in the water and float away. I was keeping one hand on my kid at all times. She was peering into the water and sticking her arms into the frigid Northern Minnesota lake, sometimes up to her elbows.

Here is the Squish, doing what she does best: 1. fearlessly leaning over the side of a canoe, and 2. manipulating her mom into letting her go without a life jacket.



Well, on the way home, Mike and I were getting hot. We made a mutual decision to avoid taking the long way along the edge of the lake and instead "booking it across the bay." This involved traversing deep water. Making light of her screaming and hollering, we put Squish in her life jacket and started paddling like mad.
About thirty seconds later, amidst my furious paddling (the screaming was making my migraine come back), we heard a "splash." Then silence. Mike and I turned around, and sure enough, about twenty feet behing the canoe, there bobbed Squish, thankfully in her properly fastened life jacket, in a state of "cold water shock" due to her polar plunge.
We looked at each other. Our canoe, which had been going at mach-3, continued to streamline away from the baby, who was now beginning to gather enough composure to shriek again, this time MUCH louder than before. The Look he gave me was classic: "Sarah, I guess you'd better jump in and swim over to her. She is alone in a frigid cold lake. Wow. That life jacket really works as well as they say it does!"
Reluctantly, I took my shoes off and removed the belongings from my pockets before I lept from the canoe into the glacial waters. Luckily, all of those canoeing trips at camp had taught me how to leap from a canoe without tipping the thing. I rescued my screaming child and swam her to shore. Since the canoe didn't tip, our digital camera survived to take a picture.

I walked an angry Squishy back to the resort. About five minutes into our walk, she began to shriek again. "What NOW?" I wondered. I had already removed her life jacket.
She pointed to the water. I lowered her down into the frigid bath and she giggled with delight. For the love of Pete and George! She wants to SWIM.
Much to her joy, I dragged her through the water all the way home. I had more goose bumps than she did. Every time I tried to swing her out of the lake and over my shoulders, she let out another ear-piercing shriek. I think we just might have a water baby on our hands. A manipulative one at that.

Here are our wet clothes. Mike likes to take pictures that remind him of neatly organized laundry. He took this one.

And here is the Naked BAby, making her rounds in the cabin after we removed her ten pound water logged diaper. Luvs are amazing.

Heh heh heh heh....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Flower Girl, part II

Julia's first encounter with a curling iron and hairspray. She has never seen either one of them since I don't use them at home. She thought we were nuts. And she HaTED the hair spray. She would only let me use it on her (not the hair lady) despite the hair lady's degree in hair spray. Oh well.

Julia, all dolled up except for the dress....which went on at the very LAST minute...

Lindsay and her Dad

Papa and Squish

The girls

A cute photo of the three flower girls.

Three kids is difficult, but taking pictures of five little kids? Are we crazy?
Julia would only hold still for the group photos if I let her hold her glass of sprite AND the straw.

Lindsay and her flower girls

Dan, Lindsay, and the kiddos

Julia and Mary spent a good deal of time fighting over/playing with this alligator/xylophone thing from Aunt Mary. It is actually Mary's toy, but the closest she could get to playing with it was smacking Julia's hand while she was holding the mallet.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dan and Lindsay's Wedding, July 4th, 2009

Squishy wouldn't let Julia touch her head piece. She screamed bloody murder when her sister came to try it on. It was hilarious. It won't be hilarious when they are fighting over it in the car...

Twelve year old cousin Andy played the piano for the entire ceremony. Wow can he play! And music!

Squishy and Gramma

Squishy, Gramma Beth, and Cousin CArly

Julia took her job as "flower girl" very seriously. She methodically dropped one daisy blossom every three steps from her "step off" point until she hit the altar. She didn't miss a beat. If only she listened that well when she isn't all dolled up with everybody looking at her....

The flower girls and bridesmaids


Grandpa and Grandma share the true meaning of wedding vows
I love this picture of Julia
Aunt Trice (aka mother o' the groom) and the flower girl, armed with ANOTHER thing of bubbles

Susie and Dave
Twistin' the night away
Glamorous Julia, whose Papa changed her into a blue dress for dinner after he saw the barbeque sauce on the table.
Bride, groom, and (fore)headshot of Miss Flower Girl
The Riesgraf Clan

Random photo of idea how it got in with the wedding pictures, but it was cute so it stayed.
Matt and Paula
Julia, delerious from dancing for HOURS...

Chris and fiance Laura

Bob and Mary