Chuli Can Tie Her Own Shoes: I know that as a mother I am supposed to have undying faith in my children but Chuli's intense defiance and resistance to the mere suggestion that she even try tying her shoes had almost convinced me that she was going to have to wear slip-on Vans for the rest of her life. One morning last week she decided that she was going to try and lace up her Chucks by herself because I was busy putting on Rio's shoes and for whatever reason, the thing she convinced herself she could not do suddenly became possible! It made me so happy to see her finally try and tie those shoes and prove to herself that she could do it, that it didn't even matter that her laces came untied 3 times from our house to her summer camp. She is so proud to tell anyone that will listen that she can now tie up her own shoes and has been sure to pick out "shoes with ties" everyday since. Those Vans are starting to look a little dusty...
Justice Hits The Other Side Of River With Every Rock She Throws: Last summer on our yearly trip to the Russian River, Justice tried for an entire week to hit the other side of the river with a rock. She was motivated by the $50 reward I offered should she be successful in her attempts, as well as her desire to have a better arm than her Papa. On our last day at the river she managed to make enough contact with the other river bank to collect her reward but wasn't able to replicate the throw with any kind of consistency. This year the first rock she launched hit the other side of the river feet behind the water line and 8 out 10 rocks thrown with even the slightest bit of effort have made it to the other side. Good thing I'm not paying this year!
Rio Uses The Potty: I don't know if it's her intense hatred of having her diaper changed, her fear of over-flowing landfills, or maybe because the rest of her family spends so much time sitting on the toilet that she has come to believe there is something magical that happens there, but at only 19 months Rio has started using the potty. Not only does she ask to sit on the potty but she actually makes deposits, of the #1 and #2 kind. And while we are still probably a long ways away from being able to call our 3rd born officially "Potty Trained" it is still pretty impressive. And the decrease in our weekly diaper budget is a sweet added bonus.
Justice has started walking places alone: Next year Justice will be in middle school which means she has a new schedule that requires her to be at school a full hour earlier than her little sister. Since I am not inclined to getting our entire family up and out the door and hour earlier than normal just to sit around the school yard for an hour until Chuli's classes start, Justice will have to get her butt to school on her own. We only live 10 minutes and a straight shot away from the school and I walked the exact same route when I was her age but none-the-less Justice has been dreading this day since she first heard about it. In order to combat the resistance to and fear that Justice has about getting places by herself, I have engaged Operation Solo Walk in full effect to turn this 11 year old into an independent, confident and fully-navigational machine by the time school starts. She started in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica making the 5 kilometer bike ride into town by herself (a perfect starting point as there is exactly 1 street in the whole town and almost zero possibility of getting lost) and today Justice can walk herself to and from Band Practice (which is a mere 2 blocks from our house), to Trumpet Lessons (4 blocks away) and her grand finale, a full 5 blocks to Starbucks to get me my Chai Latte! I have to say, this is definitely my favorite development yet!
It seems like all of the sunshine & water-play this Summer has made my kids into fully blooming Big Girls. While it is easy to miss the snuggly baby stage, I have to say that I am really enjoying the increase in independence. Even these small milestones give me a sneak-peek into the fierce, strong, confident women my girls are destined to become, and so far the future looks amazing. I can't wait to see what these girls will accomplish in the next few months and I will be there at every moment with my camera phone in hand to make sure it all gets adequately publicized to the world!