After our first wedding of the summer, we spent a week in DC while Ellie was home from Guatemala. She was back in the country for the first time in six months so we jumped at the opportunity to see her. She heads back tomorrow for an undetermined amount of time. If it's another six months, then we won't see her again until Christmas, but there has been talk of a return visit mid-October after this baby is born, which we're rooting for. While we were down in DC, we celebrated Dad's last day of work at the World Bank, and his "retirement." It doesn't seem appropriate to say that Dad is retiring. In fact, I think his Ironman training coach put it perfectly. On Dad's training calendar for his last week, his coach put his regular workouts on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then on Thursday, Dad's first day without work, he wrote, "First day as a Pro Triathlete." Most people retire when they want to relax and spend more time doing nothing. Dad is retiring so he can spend 30 hours a week on his bike. Cue day one of Dad's retirement--working on his bike with a little helper.
From the basement, we overheard this conversation:
Lilly: "What's this Papa?"
Dad: "It's a very important bike tool. You use it to put on tires."
Lilly: "Oooh. I need this screwdriver, Papa, like Daddy's."
Dad: "You can play with the screwdrivers. Just be careful."
Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.
Dad: "Sorry, Lilly. We don't bang on my spokes with a screw driver. I think it's time to put them away."
All of us upstairs heard the stomping of a little toddlers footsteps, and Lilly emerged from the basement a few minutes later, clearly unhappy to learn that screwdrivers and spokes do not mix. Dad and Lilly had a few good bike cleaning/fixing sessions. Lilly helped Dad clean his chain and helped him put new tires on the wheels that Dad himself made a few weekends ago. I wonder when she'll do her first Ironman...
Lilly had a great time in DC, as always. She has her little routines there. She helps Papa or Gigi feed Tess breakfast and dinner; she follow Tess around telling her how cute she is and giving her scratches, or Judy, or her one; she's always up for watering the garden or picking lettuce with Gigi; she knows the walk to downtown Columbia Heights. The walk was made even more exciting this time by the discovery that one of the houses along the way is home to a bunny, Geronimo, who roams in and out of the house at his discretion. We saw Geronimo, and his owners (who seemed to be sitting outside drinking beer constantly), quite often.
Fitting right into the neighborhood. Just helping Gigi water the garden wearing her pajamas and tutu.
Carrying her granola bar above her head so Tess can't reach it. This was fantastic entertainment for both of them for a good half hour!
Lilly covered Tess with her one, while Tess was asleep. Tess is so old that she doesn't even flinch when Lilly does things like this anymore. I bet if she could, she would roll her eyes.
I walked into the kitchen to find this; two of Lilly's favorite things, Tess and Judy spending time together.
As I mentioned, this trip to DC was planned knowing that Ellie would be home. Ells, or "Wells" as Lilly called her, quickly became Lilly's best friend. Lilly kept walking up to Ellie, taking her hand, and saying things like, "come on, Wells, let's go outside and _________." (Insert any word you want here: dig, play, go for a walk, water the plants, draw with chalk, play with play-doh... You name it, Wells and Lilly did it).
"Watching" 101 Dalmations on Ellie's first morning in DC. Ellie got in at 4am. Lilly was up at 7. What a perfect way to spend the morning!
Ellie's drawing of Elmo is pretty amazing!
I love seeing Ellie and Lilly together. In my mind, Lilly is a smaller version of Ellie, but as an oldest child instead of a third child. They think alike, have extremely strong opinions, and you don't want to get on either of their bad sides. Ellie is the perfect Godmother for Lilly (aside from the whole religious aspect...) The two of them colored and played with play-doh together for hours. The watched "moomies" together. They read "Princess Baby" together--the book that Ellie gave Lilly when she was only weeks old, not knowing how appropriate it was going to be or how much Lilly was going to adore it. I'm not sure who likes the book more...Ellie or Lilly! Ellie made Lilly squeal with laughter like I have never heard. Dad called it the Fakhry squeal--apparently it runs in Mum's side of the family and I have to say that it was seriously ear piercing. How did I know that Ellie would bring that squeal out of Lilly? Ellie also knew exactly how to press Lilly's buttons. One afternoon when I was making smoothies, I asked Lilly if she wanted one and for some reason, she really didn't, and she felt pretty strongly about it. Ellie picked up on this and started asking Lilly over and over again if she wanted a "hoomie" (Lilly's word for smoothie), and every time, Lilly got so worked up over it. Ellie was in hysterics. It was just like when Edward was little. And of course, Ellie gave Lilly another haircut. Her last one was when we last saw Ells in Florida so she was well overdue. Lilly was a bit less patient this time but amazingly, her hair came out looking so cute. As Ellie was cutting her hair, I told Lilly that her hair was getting so blond from the sun, and she said, "no, my hair's beautiful, not blond." Yes, definitely a little Ellie. I can see that Ellie and Lilly are going to have a special relationship as Lilly grows up. The whole drive home, Lilly kept asking where Ells was and has since said hundreds of times that she wants to play with Ells again.
Playing with the spray bottle to keep her entertained
And now the scissors?! This definitely does not look safe.
We celebrated Father's Day down in DC, and Lilly was very excited to give Jim his present and to open it with him. Amidst the confusion of yet another celebration, Lilly began the day by wishing Jim a Happy Birthday. Once she learned that it was "Happy Father's Day" instead, that became her slogan for the day.
Helping with the iPod
A Father's Day hug
"I'm not quite so sure what this funny looking helmet is, but it has a buckle and I loooove buckles!"
A little Father's Day dance
Now, whenever Lilly sees Jim's aero helmet, whether he's at home or at work, Lilly points to it and says, "Happy Father's Day, Dad!"
And the rest of our stay in DC went something like this:
Lilly adored Ellie's infamous head, created in a pottery class in Singapore that has traveled around the world with Mum and Dad. Lilly and Ells gave the head a bath multiple times.
Dancing to "Forget You" with Papa. Still her all-time favorite song!
She's got pretty good moves!
Driving back to Connecticut, with Judy on her shoulders.
One's in her mouth, which means it must be nap time.
It was a great week in DC; one that went by too quickly. We hope that Ells comes back before Christmas as six months is an awfully long time to go without seeing someone that you love. I love spending time with my sister; Jim with his third-child-partner-in-crime; and Lilly, with her Godmother.