It was a pretty fantastic summer in Turrell/Anderson land. Tallulah learned to swim. I mean really learned to swim so that now she can jump off of the side of the pool, into the deep end, pick things up off of the bottom and swim all around on her own. It is pretty amazing to see and has ticked off one of the major safety concerns on our lifetime to do list. Not that I don’t still stay within arms reach of her just in case, of course I do, but for the most part I just swim nearby and go under the water with her so we can make faces at each other with goggles and hum little songs to each other. Her favorite things is for me to puff out my cheeks underwater so she can press on my cheeks with both of her hands and make a lot of bubbles come out.
Myffy has had a language explosion this summer which has been super exciting! Late in the Spring she started doing this really intense echolalia where she would repeat every word from some of her favorite movies, and then she started anticipating the dialogue, saying the phrases just before the characters would say them. Then, all of a sudden, BAM! Spontaneous speech started appearing all over the place! It has been so totally amazing!!!
This summer was also a very special one for my father James Turrell who turned 70 and had coast to coast retrospective art shows at 3 major museums accompanied by a number of galleries and institutions with permanent installations like this Skyspace at Rice University. These were the LACMA in Los Angeles, the MFA Houston and the Guggenheim in NYC. I contemplated trying to take the kids to all three, but in the end we decided to take the kids to Houston, and I attended the opening in LA and visited NYC on my own. This was first time I have ever away from both kids overnight other than leaving one to be with the other in the hospital, so it was a pretty big step for us all. But it was also amazing to be able to see so many of my Dad’s works displayed at one time. I am only posting this one photo of us outside one of his pieces because even great photographers can’t do the work justice, much less an iphone camera. You can google him to find some pretty great photos, but better yet, seek out a piece near you and go see it in person. His work really has to be experienced in person.
The family trip to Houston was really fantastic. The kids loved being inside of Dad’s ganzfeld at the MFA and had a good time at the Rice Skyspace and the Live Oak Friends Meeting House which also has a James Turrell Skyspace built into the roof. And while we were in Houston we also visited the Dan Flavin museum which was like rainbow heaven for the kids.
They also liked playing in the Dan Flavin built into the entry way of our friend Helen’s beautiful home.
The kids are becoming old pros at air travel now. And Dahanna was a wonderful helper to Lu as always. Madison, the Behavior Analyst graduate student who works with Lu both in her home program and as her school aide came with us to help out and enjoy the art.
In August school started with Lu doing full days of kindergarden for the first time this year and Myffy still doing half days of preschool. They are both at the same schools as last year with aides that they know from their home programs, so the transition back to school was not as hard as it has been other years. Both kids have adjusted well and are making friends
The biggest change for Lu this year has been having lunch at school. Because she is mostly tube fed we started off the year with her going to do her feed while the other kids did lunch, but little by little she has shown more interest in food so we started having her go to lunch with her friends and she has started eating a little more by mouth. Her friends are so good about asking Madison which foods Tallulah is allergic to so they can make sure she doesn’t get any of those things out of their lunches. And of course her aide always makes sure that she doesn’t eat anyone else’s food.
In September Myffy turned 4 and had a really great 4 year old Birthday Party. It actually ended up being a 3 Birthday Party Weekend since each kid was invited to a different Birthday Party for a classmate and then both were at Myffy’s party as well. We were all completely worn out by Sunday night!
In October Stew and I launched our new baby jenandstew.com along with our new music label Emotional Response! It felt really good and excited to be doing music again, putting out new music as well as finally getting around making so much of the back catalog available for download on line. It’s something that we have been meaning to do for years. A week later on Oct 20th we had our 12th wedding anniversary. I think the website was a fitting gift to each other. Please check it out and drop us a line!