One thing that I realize time and time again is that I never appreciate my kids as much as I do after I see them through the eyes of people who aren't around them that often. Of course everyone thinks their children are special (or demonic, depending on the day), but all too often I take them for granted. So even if I know to take it with a grain of salt, it's kind of nice to have their great-grandparents and great-aunt, etc. singing their praises. And now that I'm surrounded by extra sets of hands to keep an eye on them, I'm trying to sit back and enjoy their quirks and qualities.
We've been in California for about 24 hours now, and the kids have already been up to photo-worthy activities. (Okay, maybe I've deemed them photo-worthy because I know their dad is going to need updates early and often.) The photo of Danny below is certainly nothing new, but consistency is nice, and plus he has such a cute smile and shirt (which he was none too happy about wearing until enough people complimented him on it).
Meanwhile, Clare, faced with the lack of cousins for playmates, turned on her imagination and played dress-up in Grammy's closet, with all kinds of imaginary events surrounding each ensemble. She did pause long enough to serenade me on the garden bench.
And finally there was this morning at Sara's, Kate's and Nicki's house, where the kids turned on their inner artists. This started out as a blank board, and no one else wrote on it. Maybe we should change his name to Jackson Pollock.