Lazy Weekend

I hope you had a nice weekend! Ours was pretty relaxing. I think the most effort I put into anything this weekend was dyeing my hair. I had to fix a botched lightening job from a few weeks ago that I did without David here to help me with the kids. Big mistake. It turned out patchy and strangely reddish. If I had done my research, too, I would have realized that they discontinued that line of products. Last night I dyed it back to my normal color. Much better. Makes me wonder why I wanted to lighten it in the first place.

When we woke up Saturday morning, we noticed two of our Painted Lady Butterflies had emerged from their chrysalides. Two more emerged this morning. It is nice to see Chloe curious about them, since she is NOT into bugs. Sometimes she’ll be playing outside and I’ll hear a blood-curdling scream because she saw a bee or some such insect get too close without warning. She usually shies away from butterflies, too, since their flight pattern is so drunken-looking and unpredictable. We released them this morning, and Chloe did great. Now we are just waiting for the remaining one to hatch.

Otherwise, besides getting groceries, and taking Chloe swimming, David and Chloe spent most of both weekend days playing Legos. Leo watched them from his play pad for a while. Will he like Legos as much as his father and sister?
Only time will tell, but as a mama, I’m not looking forward to keeping all those little pieces out of his reach, and out of his mouth!


My Little Artiste

I guess with two graphic designer parents it is no surprise that Chloe loves art and crafts of any kind. Thankfully, it keeps her occupied for long periods of time, too.

When I’m tired or don’t have the time to clean paint brushes, I give Chloe Q-tips. They provide a different painting experience, and allow me to toss them when she’s done.

We have a bad habit of ruining play-doh by leaving it out to dry. Making it at home makes me feel less guilty, and its cheap and easy. Here’s the recipe and instructions, but you must let the salt dissolve in the water first, or the play-dough ends up with a grainy texture.

The photo at the top shows Chloe making a collage with her My First Scissors. They are rated for kids as young as four years old, but Chloe uses them just fine at 2 and a half (and under supervision). When she asks to “do cutting” I just hand her some pages from our recycle bin along with a glue stick, scissors, and a sheet on which to paste. It occupies her time, helps to develop good hand skills, and she enjoys it. All good things.


One month down

Leo turned one month old this week. Several times I sat down to try and write about what life has been like this past month, but I can’t seem to find the right words.

Basically, it’s complicated.

One thing for sure – being a mother of a newborn and a toddler is HARD. Existing on such minimal sleep is the worst part – like living life through a fog. Simple tasks can seem monumental. And I feel like I should be happier – like when my mom was here, I felt like I should have been so happy, but I wasn’t quite as happy as I thought I should be. Does that make sense?

Anyway, in a nutshell, this past month has been stressful, but things are getting better. I am feeling better, both mentally and physically. Best of all, we are slowly starting to adjust to our new shape as a family.

As for Leo, he is definitely growing. Seriously. It was like I woke up one morning and my tiny newborn was replaced by a hefty baby boy (which makes sense when I think about it, since all he wants to do is nurse). Nights are getting somewhat easier, and what seemed to be his constant fussing and crying is giving way to a few more periods of “quiet alertness.” Thank goodness.

The thing I miss most is the little time I had for myself, and going out with the “ease” of having just one child. Now there are two little individuals with vastly different needs. There are moments I feel trapped and frustrated in my own house, and other times when I don’t want to leave again, ever. Plus, I miss my husband. He’s here, too, doing his part, but our whole lives are revolving around the kids right now, with no time for us. It will be good when Grandma Sandy (my mother-in-law) comes next week. Hopefully that might give us time to reconnect. So, again, it’s hard. But we’re dealing. And learning. And living.

One day at a time.

(Btw – that photo was taken by David a week or so ago, so Leo is not a one-month old in that photo. Note to self: take more photos!)


Chloe, Two-and-a-half

Chloe turned 2-and-a-half yesterday. Since our OMSI membership has expired, and I am no longer up for all the walking required to visit the zoo (at least until after the baby is born), I decided the Children’s Museum might be fun and manageable for the both of us. It had been a while since we visited the museum (here’s the last time, over a year ago. So crazy for me to see how much she’s changed!), and luckily the free pass was still available at our local library.

Of course Chloe had a grand time. She didn’t spend as long in the water section as I thought she would, maybe because she is still too short to have full access to everything. Not surprisingly, she really enjoyed the dig pit, which is so much better than her current obsession of digging in the fill-dirt pile on the side of our house. She almost always heads straight for it when outside, and of course she comes away head-to-toe filthy. We’re hoping to plant some grass seed there soon, but meanwhile I’ve ordered her a Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center for the summer.

The only downside to our morning was Chloe’s mini tantrum when it came time to leave. I was tired, too, just trying to keep up with her and watch that the older kids didn’t take her tools or toys, or accidentally knock her down (which nearly happened countless times). I know I didn’t handle her breakdown as well as I could have, but we eventually made it home in time for only a slightly delayed nap.

I can hardly believe Chloe is already two-and-a-half. She’s still slender and petite for her age, but wears a normal 24-month/2T in clothes (although she’s only in a size 3 diaper/pull-up and barely in a size 5 shoe). Her size is in wild contrast to her vocabulary. It surprises people all the time to hear how well she talks. Just one of the examples from the Children’s Museum was when we were sitting in the clay studio – Chloe made some remark and I overheard the older boy next to her turn to his mother and say “Mom! That baby can talk!”

As for Chloe’s baby brother, Chloe does have at least a vague idea of his existence. She knows his (still tentative) name, where he is (in my belly) and which drawer contains his clothes. What she doesn’t know is that he will be here in a matter of weeks, and how that is going to rock all our worlds.

(And just for the record, Chloe calls that dress her “Princess Dancing Dress.” She puts it on herself and insists on wearing it. And she knows the difference between Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, etc. without ever having seen one of those movies. I admit that I just recently learned all their names myself. I guess the “princess” phase is in full swing.)


The Land

Grandpa & Chloe @ Quail Hollow
(Grandpa playing in the stream with Chloe, just like when I was a girl)

When I was a little kid growing up in Virginia, my father bought 20 acres of land in the mountains not far from the Shenandoah River. He built a small one room cabin wired for electricity, but no running water, and uses it as a refuge from the city, as well as private property for hunting. Mostly there is only deer and very small game, but I once remember seeing a black bear, too.

For my part, I have always had a love/hate relationship with the place. Things I hated: the long, boring drive, the warm weather mosquitos, ticks (my dad actually got Lyme Disease a few years back) and and other insects, thorns, brambles and poison ivy, squatting in the woods to pee, and generally being stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do. On the other hand, I have some good memories, too – of wading in the little stream that crosses the propery, throwing rocks and catching minnows and crayfish, climbing my dad’s tree stand, learning to load and shoot a rifle, wandering the nearby abandoned factory, swimming in the Shenendoah, and getting a Nehi soda and a coleslaw-topped pulled-pork sandwich from the old country store.

Anyway, I hadn’t been back there in probably over a decade and my dad specifically asked to take a trip there during our visit so he could get some photos of him with Chloe. Of course I agreed, and we all ventured up there for the day. This time, the drive went much faster than I remembered and I actually enjoyed seeing Chloe doing a little exploring of her own. I got some great shots using my good camera, too, and look forward to sending them back to my Dad.


On the way home, after a brief stop at Skyline Caverns so Chloe could ride on it’s miniature train, we decided on an early dinner at the newly built Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. I only mention this because, besides the perfectly fried catfish, it was the first time I had ever tried chocolate fudge Coca-cola cake. I had heard about this old-timey southern specialty, and the moist richness of this cake did not disappoint. As a fan of Classic Coke, I think I may have to find this recipe and make it myself (although it will likely take a few experiments to find the right one – a google search turns up a wild amount of variations). But I think I’m up for that challenge. 🙂



I think Chloe has survived the worst of her symptoms, although she is still somewhat snotty and has a (slightly less severe) cough. We’ve even gotten her to ingest something other than Children’s Advil and PediaSure Shakes. Whew. This was the worst sickness she’s had so far, which all-in-all is manageable, since we know others who have had extreme emergency room visits with their sick toddlers. Meanwhile, no classes or activities, probably for the rest of the week, which is a shame, since Chloe loves her dance class.


Sand and water

A couple weekends ago we had Daddy all to ourselves. This particular day we joined him for a brief afternoon on the river, and then a few hours at Cannon beach. It had been a long time since we’d done something like this, and we had such a great time. Chloe loved playing in the water and especially the sand, despite the cold temperature.

I wish we could do this kind of thing more often, like we used to, but there are so many reasons we don’t – I’ve been so tired this pregnancy, or David has to work the weekend, or we need to take care of house-related errands or chores… And honestly, Chloe is becoming a handful. At two, she is naturally more independent and willful (and sometimes downright naughty!). There are days I can’t even bear to take her for groceries, and have put it off, if it just isn’t a good day. I wish it wasn’t that way.

I wish getting out of the house was easier… that everyday could be spent somewhere stimulating and fun. But now I’m okay if its just a few times a week, not counting her dance class or her morning at baby preschool. And when Baby Two comes along… well, I think its going to be tough for a while. David said something along the lines of wishing we could fast-forward through that first year, and though I see his point, this will be my only other baby. The last time I’ll get to experience the wonder of a newborn and all the sweetness that entails. And I want to share that with Chloe in a good way. I want them to love each other, to get along, to be friends. But I won’t be able to help them do that if I’m exhausted all the time, like I am now. So, when things just happen to work out, like it did on this special day, I am that much more grateful.


One snowy day

Although I lamented that our Colorado visit would include no snow, it finally did snow the day before we left. It was perfect: cold, soft, white, and a special experience for Chloe that she will rarely ever get in our part of Oregon. She had a great time, especially being pulled on her first sled ride. Despite freezing fingers and a rudolph-like red nose, she hardly seemed bothered by the falling temperature. I had to go in and warm up long before she did (plus my camera was getting soaked). Chloe was just having too much fun.

And here is the one glimpse I saw of the wood-pile rabbit. What a cutie!


Dear Chloe – 22 months

Dear Chloe,
You are 22 months old today. Thanks to a new Babymate app, I’ve been able to record some things about you as they happen. Here are some noteworthy occurrences during this past month:

Sept 14aYou got a black bean stuck in your nose. During dinner you kept saying “bean… in… nose” while holding a bean in your hand and gesturing toward your nose. We kept telling you that no, we don’t put beans up our noses. Then Daddy finally figured out that you already had a bean stuck in your nose. Oh boy. Daddy told me to run and get the tweezers, and after a slight hesitation, I did. I guess I was afraid we’d scratch the inside of your nose with the tweezers, or worse, push the wayward bean back in too far. Turns out Daddy was only able to pull small pieces out at a time, while the majority remained lodged. Then he got a tissue, held your right nostril closed and told you to blow. I was afraid you’d inhale it even further, but after a few tries it came shooting out. I guess it was a good thing you already had a little cold, so the mucus helped it slide. Go figure.

Sept 14bThe potty got a record amount of action on this same day – both your first time peeing and your second time going poop.

Sept 15Your second pee in the potty!

Sept 16a – You and Daddy love playing “blocks” (mega-blocks, legos, and/or wooden blocks) together. This particular day, you built a structure all by yourself which you called a “baby bed,” and then proceeded to lay the baby in it.

Sept 16bYou slept through the night! Consequently, you’ve been sleeping amazingly well ever since. Not always through the night, but with less wakings than you’ve had in a long time.

Sept 17You fed the Lorikeets at the zoo all by yourself. Although you’ve always enjoyed them, their piercing squawks and abrupt movements kept you from getting too close during previous visits. Today we had the area all to ourselves and it was pretty special. I was pretty proud with how far you’d come. The lone attendant said you did amazingly well for your age, especially since you moved slowly and listened when I told you not to touch the birds. I took a video of you with my iphone, and consequently, you love to watch it over and over.

Sept 19 – While Mommy and Daddy were working in the office, you left and took your pants and your diaper off, and then put your pants back on. Did you think we wouldn’t notice? This is far from the first time you’ve taken off your diaper, but the first time you put your pants back on afterward. Clever girl.

Sept 20Your first train ride. You and I took a morning ride through Forest Park on the zooliner. It was a really special experience for the two of us.

A few other tidbits about you this month:

  • You’re vocabulary is growing, and your making more complete sentences.
  • You like yogurt covered raisins, which you call “beans”.
  • Yellow and Orange are the colors that you consistently know.
  • When you’re excited, sometimes you’ll loudly call out random numbers – “Two! Eight! Seven!”

I can’t believe you’re going to be 2 years old in only another two months!



Dear Chloe, 21 months old

Dear Chloe,

You are 21 months old today! Although I recently shared a couple of your big accomplishments, I wanted to include a few more tidbits about you this month:

• Now that you’ve mastered basic animals and their sounds, you’re taking a special interest in transportation vehicles: cars, trucks, trains (choo choo), airplanes, school buses and boats.

• Loud noises still scare you, although you’ve made a tentative peace with the vacuum.

• You like Elmo from Sesame Street. You point him out in the toy store, in books, even on your diapers. You’ve now watched two Elmo dvds and although you enjoy them, you really do not like Mr. Noodle. I’ve learned to fast forward through his segments in Elmo’s world. (Baby Einstein videos remain your favorite).

• Although you’ve always eaten beans (black, kidney, not green beans) you are really enjoying edamame. I think you like the process of opening the pods and popping out the beans by yourself.

• You could finally use a haircut. At least a bang trim to get it out of your eyes. I can’t decide whether to do it myself or just let it all grow out. You look quite nice wearing a clip to pull your bangs back, but your fine hair seems to reject even the “no-slip” kind.

• You’re learning colors, although orange is the only one you get consistently right.

• Today, the head of child care and another child care attendant both remarked on what a large vocabulary you have for such a young age. It does seem like you are surprising me with new words everyday.

Holding hands with Daddy at the zoo

• This past month we made a special trip to Ikea to get you some toddler supplies: the Latt table and chairs, Mala easel, Rusig rocker, Patrull bathtub mat and various art supplies. You were so happy the next morning to see your own child-sized table and chairs! Not a day goes by where they don’t get used. You call the rocker “Horsey” and when you ride it you say “Whoa! Whoa!” I think it won’t be long before you start saying “Giddyup!”

Playing with “Meow”

In your room, with buppy

Overall, we are having a wonderful summer, full of sunny days, splashing water fountains, summer dresses, local adventures and new explorations. We are so lucky to be able to spend this precious time together. I feel grateful to have you in my life and I try to remember that all this innocence and wonder probably won’t last forever. It is in the here and now, and that’s where I want to be too.

I love you my sweet little girl,


Dear Chloe, 20 months old

Dear Chloe, You are 20-months-old today!

I love the little surprises that each day brings, especially the smiles and laughter, hugs and kisses. New words especially are starting to flow, including two word combinations like “hold it” (you want to hold it), “see this” (you want to see something), “shoes (or socks, or hat…) on”, “(hair) clip in”, and one of my favorites “bless you!” (after sneezing). At the breakfast table just this morning you said “Daddy! Sit. Down. Eat!”

When I ask you “What’s your name?” you say “Co-eee!” When you see the neighbor’s black cat you say “Meow,” (you are really into animals and their sounds). You like to point out ownership of things, whether they are “Mommy’s,” “Daddy’s,” or “C0-eee’s.” When something is not quite right, like some juice has spilled, you make sure I know about it with choruses of “Uh-oh! Uh-oh!” and when you fall down I’ll hear “Boom!” often followed by “Up!” because you’ll want me to hold you.

You’re just now beginning to learn colors, and are becoming more interested in crayons and play-doh. Recently I suggested you draw with the yellow crayon, and you picked it out and started drawing. So you are paying attention! And you’re a big helper. If asked, you’ll pick up your toys and put them in your drawers, or move piles of laundry, or help wipe down the kitchen after a meal.

Mealtimes are getting much better. While several of your daily calories still come from snacks, you are (dare I say it?) eating more and feeding yourself with increasing skill. I still have to hide certain things (freshly pureed spinach into mayo as a spread on bread, or salmon into your mac and cheese) to make sure you’re getting a varied and healthy diet of foods you won’t eat individually, but overall, you seem to be growing, which I am very happy to see.

Every day you bring joy to my heart. Here’s to another beautiful month of summer with my sweet little girl,
Love Mommy

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July weekend

We had a really nice weekend – gardening and friends for dinner on Saturday and then fishing with Daddy on Sunday. We don’t go fishing with Daddy very often anymore. I might have said this before, but it is just too exhausting keeping a toddler safe on the riversides where David likes to fish. It is mostly exposed, so it is hot and we have to watch for sunburn, and the water is painfully cold, so you can only step in it for a handful of seconds. Chloe kept forgetting and I’d have to hold her back from just charging in.

Toward the end of the afternoon we left the grassy area and found a nice shady spot amidst a lot of mud and rocks. Here is Chloe examining the mud on her fingers and saying “Dirty!” over and over.

But, of course, she got over it quickly and just sat down to play. By the end she was dumping dirty water on her head over and over. She was a mess!

This was the only photo I took of Barkley. He LOVES coming to the river. We used to be able to throw a stick for him to swim and fetch, but he doesn’t do that anymore. I don’t know if it is his leg, or the temperature is too cold for him now that he’s older. We just found out that our next door neighbor’s dog was put down because of cancer. Makes me wonder how long we’ll have Barkley. I hope a long time, so that Chloe can grow up with a dog around.

And lastly, here is a photo of a little visitor who landed on me. We saw several butterflies that day, and I remember thinking how neat it would be if I could get a shot of one. However, none of them were still long enough, they just fluttered by. This one however, decided to give me my opportunity. It wasn’t ideal, since focusing an SLR one-handed is a challenge, plus I had to keep stopping to pull Chloe back out of the water. I couldn’t believe how long that butterfly stayed, too. You can see in the photo that it’s proboscis is fully unfurled and it’s rooting around for some nectar. You’d think it might be attracted to my sunscreen, except Chloe was wearing the same kind. Plus, it was the only one that stopped to say hello. I feel quite blessed by that experience.


Heat Wave

We’re suffering through a heat wave in Portland right now. So far we’ve gotten by with only fans, but tomorrow I’m guessing the AC will get its first run of the season. Chloe’s lovin’ it, though. Yesterday she got to play in the nearby park fountain for the second time, although she will still quite timid. All of the jets except four are quite forceful, and the four tiny jets were crowded with other babies, toddlers and parents. So, today we broke out our new Melissa & Doug Blossom Sprinkler. I bought two on a whim back in March, and gave the second as a birthday gift. It is everything that I’d hoped for. Right now we’re keeping the flow low, so Chloe can get used to it, but it also goes big, and the sprinkler heads are soft and flexible for little feet. I think we’re going to get a lot of use out of it this summer, and since losing our trees, I’m sure our grass is going to thank us.

On another note, I recieved a lot of really insightful advice in the comments of my recent Maybe I should have spanked her post. I appreciated reading every one, and gleaned some good information.  It also spurred me to look at some “raising toddler” help books at the library. The one I’m currently reading is The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp, MD. I was really impressed with how well the techniques from his other book and DVD worked when Chloe was a newborn. I’ve gotten through the first four chapters so far, basically presenting the idea that parents should act as an “ambassador” to their children (vs. being a buddy, or a boss), and how to communicate respectfully using the “Fast Food rule” and “Toddler-ese.” To be honest, I was skeptical about the “Toddler-ese,” but I had an opportunity to try it during dinner tonight. Chloe must have hurt her mouth somehow and was crying. Daddy tried to distract her with redirection, which usually works, but she just continued crying. It was my opportunity to give toddler-ese a try. To my surprise, Chloe responded by pausing mid-wail, which was just long enough for Daddy to redirect her again with the promise of a cookie (it was the end of dinner, after all). Whoa! Was this just a coincidence? Hard to tell. I plan on trying it again in other situations, and if it works even half the time, then I’ll be happy.


Looking back, maybe I should have spanked her

Chloe and I go outside almost every day, rain or shine. Most often we hang out in the back yard, but today we were out front so I could transplant some flowers. During this time a neighbor wandered over. He’s the kind of older neighbor that plays with the neighborhood cats,  invites the local kids to the museum where he works for free, and eptitomizes the words Neighborhood Watch.

Today he saw Chloe and Barkley hanging out in our driveway so he walked over for a brief chat. We talked about a plant he recently bought for the edge of his driveway. When he walked back, he called out and pointed to the plant he had just mentioned. I looked over and said something about it being similar to another plant he already had when I heard Chloe calling my name. That’s when I turned my head and saw her in the street.

Ever since Chloe took her first steps, I’ve taught her to never go past the curb. When we’d walk over to visit a neighbor, I’d pick her up and carry her. If we were going for a walk around the neighborhood, then she’d be pushed in the stroller. She’s never been allowed to take a single step onto the road. And today, she did it anyway. In that single moment that I looked the other way, Chloe took an opportunity to do something she knew she shouldn’t do. Whether she forgot, or did it intentionally, does not change the fact that it could have gotten her killed.

I immediately picked her up out of the road and placed her back on our yard, all the while very emphatically saying No! After I put her down, I thought  a stronger consequence was in order, so I picked her up again and took her into the house. She cried when I shut the door behind us, because she didn’t want to come in, yet this still didn’t seem like enough. But by then I knew too much time had passed and anything else wouldn’t get tie together in her mind, so I left it at that.

All I can think now is thank goodness there was no car coming at that moment! Our street is pretty quiet and it is likely someone coming would have seen her and stopped anyway. But, what if? Also, this incident again revealed to me that I’m not prepared to discipline. I just don’t know how. Her doctor recommended Time-Outs (one minute for each year in age), but I know that she wouldn’t stay in a chair or a corner where I could safely leave her. Nor do I want to put her in a play-pen or shut her in her room. So what to do? She’s only 19-months right now anyway, but modern literature suggests that disciplining is best started early, that disciplinary consequence will be necessary to keep her safe and help her negotiate within society. The question is, what is the best way to go about it? I don’t know, but I hope I figure it out soon.


Dear Chloe, 18 months old

Dear Chloe,

You turned 18-months-old last week. Yesterday was your 18-month check-up and you are officially at the 0% percentile for weight. You’d likely be negative if the chart measured below zero. As usual, the doctor found you to be very healthy. You got your tetanus shot and had some blood drawn to check your iron levels. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and apparently you have a nice vein in your left arm. Turns out you’re mildly iron deficient. We’re beginning a multi-vitamin with iron until you turn two. Once your iron stores replenish, I’m told your appetite should increase, which could lead to normal weight gain. The nurse told us that it should be given with orange juice to help absorption, but not within an hour of milk or dairy products, which will hinder it. So maybe all the whole milk I’ve been trying to give you might not have been a good thing after all. The nurse also cautioned that iron supplements can stain teeth. I still hope it helps.

The girls at Saint Cupcake and then hanging out at the park (again with the rain!)

To celebrate this 18-month milestone, you met up with a friend at Saint Cupcake who shares your same birthday.  It seemed fitting to have a little mini-cupcake together. Both of you are on the petite, picky-eater side, so it is nice for me to have another mom to commiserate with.

Watching the big hail storm last week. Curiously, the hail was in the shape of diamonds.

There is so much about you that I want to remember from this age, and I’m going to kick myself in the future for not capturing it on video. Your smile is infectious, your laughter bubbly. The feather-light smack of your sweet kisses melt my heart. Some days you’re a study in opposites: little miss independent one day and then saying “up, up” (aka “hold me”) the next. You’re all the good, lovable things a little girl should be, despite the occasional frustrating, demanding times that I expect will keep growing as your needs and desires outpace your vocabulary and restraint. I just hope that I can be the loving guidance you’ll need, even when I have to grit my teeth. 🙂


Chloe stats: Weight: 18lb 13.2 oz, 0% | Height: 2’7″, 28% | Head circumference 17.99″, 26%)



Chloe is having a wonderful time with her grandparents. It is obvious she brings them great joy.

My Dad once told me he had almost given up on having a grandchild, and that the day Chloe was born was the happiest day of his life. A few days ago I asked him if this having a grandchild thing was all that he expected it would be. He said “Better. Better than I expected.” I can see that he means it. And my mom, well, I’ve heard her laugh more often this past week than I can remember. And that’s saying a lot.

In a perfect world, Chloe would get to see them and her Aunt Katherine much more than the every six months I’ve been able to bring her so far, only three times in her almost year-and-a-half (although my mom did come to Portland right after she was born). I hope to bring her once more before she turns two, while she can still fly free as a lap child. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue the trend, although having to buy two separate tickets in the future will not be easy on our finances. Yet, I can’t help but feel that being with family, and especially this amount of joy, is truly priceless.

Top photo: Chloe getting a taste of Granpa Bill’s ice cream cone from the pavilion in Old Town Alexandria. Bottom photo: Grandma Mai pushing Chloe on the neighbor’s tricycle.

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