Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chocolate

A few days ago I mowed the lawn.  Didn't want to, but it needed to get done and it gives me good exercise as well as time outside and keeps Jeremy from having to deal with massive allergy attacks.  Julia watched me from the back window as I cut the lawn in the backyard.  I always do dances and silly kicks and things while I push the mower.  And blow kisses at her and just act plain goofy.  I love to see her laugh watching.

I blew a kiss goodbye and went to mow the side yards and the front.  As I'm cutting the front yard, Jeremy is running outside and asks "Have you seen Julia!??"  I stop mowing and tell him she was watching me mow when I was in the backyard.  We both look around the yard.  He goes back inside and then comes out the front door and tells me that he found her.  About gave us a heart attack.

Once I finished the yard, I found out the whole story.  Julia had decided to hide in a closet. Riley found her.  Her mouth is covered with chocolate and it's on her chin.  Turns out that Julia had wanted to eat more chocolate so she went in the pantry and got out the chocolate goldfish bag, shut the door and started eating.  Stayed very very silent as Jeremy called out for her and she didn't answer.  Thankful she hadn't gone outside.

She'll do just about anything for chocolate!

Easter

This morning was very relaxing.  Having gone to church on Friday night, it was strange to have both Saturday and Sunday mornings to sleep in and stay home.  Or at least start the day off later at home.

The girls were precious.  Both woke up in awesome moods and they brought down several books that they wanted us to read including the Jesus Storybook Bible.  Hands down my favorite children's bible!!  Such a great Bible for children and an awesome way to teach them how Jesus is in every story of the Bible even when His name is not mentioned.

I read to the girls the story of Jesus crucifixion, his burial and his resurrection.  They both listened so well.  Jeremy was next to us as well listening in.  Riley was really understanding.  We explained that this was the meaning of Easter - Jesus dying for our sins so we could be forgiven and live with Him forever and that He rose again. With tears in his eyes, Jeremy expanded on the story and shared more about Jesus with the girls - especially Riley since she is at an age where she can comprehend more.  Riley was very thought-filled and quiet.  Just taking it in.

We didn't do Easter baskets or anything big.  That's not the point of this holiday and it seems to me that it shouldn't be the main event of this holiday.  We do celebrate bigger Christmases with presents and talk about Jesus birth as well and how He is the reason we celebrate Christmas.  But I have to say that I feel that Easter is totally different.  Christmas celebrates His birth and that is important.  No doubt about that.  But Him choosing to die on the cross despite having the power to come down at any moment and then rising again on the third day.  That sets Him apart from any other God.

My parents planned an easter egg hunt at their house.  We do it every year and it's a blast!!!  Totally simple and fun!  The girls got dressed so incredibly fast and were asking every few seconds if it was time to leave.

We got to their house later in the morning.  They had hidden six eggs in the playroom for Julia upstairs and six eggs for Riley in the living room downstairs.  Julia found her eggs and as she found them, she opened them and dumped the candy into her basket and put the egg back where she found it.

Downstairs Riley went in search of her eggs and they were hidden in some really hard places!  So we played hot/cold and told her when she was getting closer "you're getting warmer...warmer... hot!!!"  The last egg was hidden in their ficus tree and had $2 in it.  Riley was super excited about that!!

Julia ate several chocolates and was just happy as could be.  Once the girls had some chocolate, they chose to hide eggs for Grandpa to find in the living room.  Riley tried to get her eggs on the mantel by throwing them in the air.  Hilarious.  Finally the eggs were hidden and Grandpa came to find it.

Riley decided to play the game hot/cold and told him "You're warm... warmer... warmer... cold... warm..."  As soon as my dad held the egg in his hand, Riley called out "You're warm!!"

We went home after lunchtime and Julia took a short nap on me on the couch.  Sweet girl!! Riley read her books to me and we watched some Barney.  Jeremy cooked pork and sausage and got our meals ready for the next few nights.

As we had the girls get ready for bed, Jeremy turned on Hillsong Kids and we danced in their room to the songs.  The girls were adorable - huge smiles and lots of wiggling and giggles.  I would flip the girls over and dance with them.  They were happy as could be.  While dancing Riley said "I love my life!  I love my family!"  Then Julia called out "I love Grandma and Grandpa!"  Riley then said "We're a blessed family!!"  Such a precious time with the girls!!  Jeremy and I are so blessed.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Litter

As Riley and I walked into Walmart today, there was an oversized empty drink container on the ground.  I saw it and thought about picking it up, but didn't want to touch it.  Riley thought about picking it up and actually did pick it up.  She carried it to the trash can at the entrance and said "I really don't like touching litter.  But we need to take care of our Earth and our things."

I love that she is aware of responsibility and taking care of things and that we are to treat not only our things, but where we live responsibly and well.

My Running Buddy #1

Julia asked if I was going to run today.  I told her I was going to just hang out today and rest my body because that's important too.  Then Riley said that she really wanted to go for a run.  So I took her up on it.  Jules was sad because I knew that it would be difficult to keep up with her or I'd end up having to carry her.  Riley is old enough to just keep going so it's much easier.

We went out to do a short route - a mile lap around our sub.  Riley's favorite spot is what she calls "Circle round the ring."  There is a portion of the running trail in our sub that circles so that you can easily turn around at the end instead of having to circle in the grass or stop and turn around.  Riley loves to go on the circle round the ring.  We go opposite directions running around it and we high five each other every time we pass each other.

I thought she'd want to just go a mile, but we got to our house and she still wanted to go again.  Riley said "This is so much fun.  I mean it's good for our bodies and it's fun and it's just great.  I love it!"

Can't wait until Julia is a little older so that the three of us (and hopefully Jeremy will want to try it sometime too and do a family run!!) can be running buddies together.

Riley is incredibly fast and can just go and go and go.  She makes for a great interval partner because she'll run for a while, walk a short bit, run a while, then walk.  Beautiful day outside with my girl!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Service

Tonight we went to church for our Easter Service.  There are nine of them held this weekend and tomorrow and Sunday will be packed so we thought we'd go to the Friday night service where it would be less crowded and the time was early enough.

It was a great service and we got the girls and headed home.  Julia was singing out the same song over and over.  We couldn't tell what it was for a while but it sounded like this:

Ho Ho Ho Ho Santa
Ha Ha Ha yay you yah
He He He He saoreiuoa ioer
dfjklsdjfsd9iufsl

(in other words we couldn't sound out the last two lines at all and even when she spoke them, we had trouble understanding them)

It finally dawned on me that she was singing an old church song that I sang as a kid - and Jeremy probably sang it as well:

Ho Ho Ho Hosanna
Ha Ha Hallelujah
He He He He saved me
I've got the joy of the Lord.

Jeremy and I giggled because why wouldn't it sound like Ho Ho Ho Ho Santa at the beginning to a three year old!!!

Easter Eggs

Julia came home from school yesterday very excited about her Easter Eggs that she collected during the Easter Egg Hunt at school.  I picked her up and she had them all in her plastic bag.  She pulled one out as we were leaving the school, opened it up and said "Oh no!  There money in my eggs!  There no candy!!"

I saw she was sad about 'money' (aka stickers that looked like money to her) but told her it'd be ok.  We walked further.  She then threw the egg on the ground and sat down in the middle of the hallway.  And wouldn't budge.  She then said "There money in my eggs.  There no candy!!"


I did it!!

I've been wanting to run in a 5K the past few years.  Worked up to 2.5 miles between August and late last year, but then decided not to run in a race with a friend due to finances.  The weather has been getting warmer and it's always a great time of year to be outside so I decided to start running again.

The Colony High School is putting on their Cougar Prowl 5K next month.  It's close, it's cheap and convenient so I signed up for it yesterday!!  So excited!!!  April 20 - can't wait!!

I ran three days ago and did 1.3 miles which I was totally happy about.  Ran a full mile straight and had warm-up/cool down.  Today the weather was gorgeous this morning!!  So I tracked a longer run just to see if I could do it and I wanted to be outside in the great weather so it was a good day to test it out.  I used USA track and field map it to plot my course before heading out.

I ran 2.25 miles today and walked .25 miles for a total of 2.5 miles.  Felt so great!!!  Sore, but not overly sore.  Feel a total burst in my energy level just after running two days this week.  And I'm sleeping more soundly than before too and I was already sleeping well so that just adds a bonus.

My favorite part about running is that it makes me more positive.  You have to be positive to run and to keep going.  I tend to even speak out loud to myself and say "you can do it!" when I hit a point where I'm tired.  Today I said it twice right around the 2 mile mark.  I only had to finish the end of the street to accomplish my goal and I'd already gone so far.  And made it to my goal.  I love that you can't be negative and you can't think "I can't do this" because then, of course, you can't.  You have to think positively.

And then it carries into everyday life and not just the run.  Like "You can do this" when dealing with a screaming, whiny three year old who is mad that she can't eat chocolate cake for breakfast.  Or "you can do this" when your preschooler pees her pants while standing in front of the toilet and it means having to give her one more shower so she doesn't sleep with pee on herself.  And of course "you can do this" when you choose to relax rather than clean something because it can be cleaned tomorrow and enough was already accomplished for the day.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Little Friend

My dad cleaned his pool out this afternoon and found a friend swimming in it that he thought he'd bring over to show the girls.  So he brought a box with a bunch of holes punched in the top and grass inside.  He made sure the friend was still alive before showing the girls.

So he took the box out to our backyard to show the girls the brightest green gecko I have ever seen.  They loved it.  All of us got to pet it.  Then it jumped all around, ran across my dad's pants and scurried around and went on his way somewhere.  We all froze where we were standing in the grass in case he was moving.  We couldn't find where he went and then we went ahead and moved inside.

Closed the door.  Took a few steps and Julia reached her arms up for my dad to hold her.  He started to pick her up, felt something crawling on him and dropped Julia on the ground. She hit her bum on the tile and her head on the wall.  Started to cry while my dad was doing this crazy awesome dance while trying to touch his back with his hands.

He realized the gecko was on his back and under his shirt.  I picked up Julia and cuddled her while I opened the back door.  My dad takes off his top shirt and asks me if I can see the gecko and to get it off.  I tell him that it's under his other shirt too.  There was just this lump of a gecko on his back.  So he rips off his tshirt and throws it to the ground which also caused his expensive $800 glasses to fall on the cement and one of the lenses fell out.

He's still dancing a little and the gecko is finally off of him.  Riley actually tried to chase the gecko and catch him.  I helped my dad get his lense back into the frame and he got his shirts back on.  Julia was still whimpering a little.  Later in the night she says "Grandpa, you drop me on the ground.  I hurt my head and my knee!"  She was probably totally scared because she didn't understand why he dropped her!

We all had a good laugh about it because it was a lot of chaos due to a little gecko.  So silly and so fun!!

Bedtime with Grandpa

Since Jeremy has class every Wednesday night, my dad has been incredibly helpful in coming over to help with the girls bedtime.  He had Riley last week and she was very sweet.  Said she was going to pray for one of her friends, turned over on her side with her hands together in a 'prayer' position and fell immediately to sleep.  Never prayed.

Tonight he had Julia.  First she told him "Grandpa, I be right back!  I going to brush my teeth, drink a water and spit.  Alright?  Then I be right back!"  She gargles and spits awesome!!

She likes to play the game where you lay on the bed pretending to sleep, she turns off the light and then I say "hey!!!  Who turned off the light?"  Last night she had Jeremy do it a few times and kept turning the light back on to give him directions:  "No, that not how you do it.  Say "Hey!  Who turned off the light?"  Tonight she kept turning the light back on and trying to get Grandpa to say it the way she wanted him to say it.


Consequences for Burping

Riley and I had a discussion about what she should be doing during science and how burping is not appropriate in the classroom.  I asked her what she thought I should do about it.  She shrugged her shoulders and wasn't sure.

So I paused and said "Let me think on it."  Then added "Do you know what your consequence would have been if you hadn't been honest and if I had found out from Ms. E about what had happened?"

Riley's eyes got really big and she shook her head and said "What?"

I told her "You would have lost your iPod."

Riley looked so very sad and started crying.

Then I told her "Riley, thank you for being honest and coming to me and telling me the choice that you made.  Because you were honest and came forth with the information, I think I know what will be the consequence.  You will need to write an apology letter to Ms. E for burping in science class."

Riley started to cry some more.  I got out the paper and pen.  I asked what she wanted to write.  Riley says "I thought you were going to write my letter for me?"  I shook my head and said "No.  I didn't make the choice to burp in class.  You did.  So you will need to be the one to write Ms. E the letter since you made the choice."

We talked about how you write letters, the proper way to address it to a person and how to sign off at the end.  I let Riley decided what she wanted to put in the letter and helped her get started by telling her that it would be appropriate to start with "I'm sorry for...."

So this is the letter Riley chose to write to Ms. E (and other than the first three words in the paragraph, the remainder of the words are hers):



Dear Ms. E,

I'm sorry for burping in class. But anyway I still love you. I promise I won't do it again.

Love, Riley



Then she addressed the envelope and we went on our way to doing something else.

Trouble for the first time

Riley, Julia and I had pizza for dinner tonight.  Jeremy was at class.

Riley tells me somewhat shyly "I didn't get to do play time the whole time today at school.  I got in trouble today."

Me: Oh.  Well what happened?

Riley:  Mom, it's a long story.

Me:  We have time.  You can just tell me the short version if you want to.

Riley: No that's ok.

Me:  Well did it happen during class?

Riley:  During science.

Me:  With Mrs. Klimek or Ms. E?

Riley:  With Ms. E.

Me:  What were you doing?

Riley:  Well, Deven got in big trouble and missed play time the whole time.  I only missed some of it.

Me:  I'm not so worried about Deven.  Just interested in the choices you made.

Riley:  I burped in science class.

Me:  Like one time?

Riley:  Yes.

Me:  Like over and over?

Riley:  Yeah.  But Ms. E didn't understand me.  I needed to burp.

Me:  Did you burp repeatedly without stopping?

Riley:  Yes.

Me:  Ms. E understood you.  You didn't have to do that and they weren't real burps.  Real burps don't keep going and going and going repeatedly.

Riley:  Cheyanne had to sit out during playtime for burping too.  And Deven.

Me:  Ok.

Riley:  I'm sorry Mom.


Water, Water Everywhere

Opened the garage to leave for work and get everything in the car.  Noticed there was some water under the tire and when I went on the other side to help Riley in the car, there was a ton of water.  There was also water flowing down the driveway and under the garage door area.

My first thought was the water heater.  My next thought was wondering if it was the washer leaking since I'd run the washer several times yesterday.  Then we walked into the third car tandem garage part and there was water on the ground everywhere.

Our hot water heater decided it was time to quit and was leaking everywhere.  Jeremy called Roger to find out what to do to stop the leak.  There were two - one out the bottom and one gushing out the top.  So he turned off the valve that was supposed to shut off the water. Come to find out later that they had the lines mixed up and they were incorrect so the wrong valve was turned off.  Jeremy got the wet/dry vac set up and I got to work on getting the water out of the garage.  Emptied tons and tons of water.

The girls all hung out in the car while Jeremy and I went to work on it.  They were very patient which was great.

I finally left to take Julia to work and get us to school so we would be there as close to 8am as possible.  Thankfully we were on time and no tardy slips given!  Got close with three minutes to spare.

Jeremy ended up coming back around lunchtime and opened the garage to find that it was all flooded again the same as before.  Thankfully the new unit was put in and the old unit taken out.  The guy did a great job getting it in and it looks great.  He told us that our unit was a standard six year unit!!!  And it lasted almost fourteen years which is insane.

The biggest blessing in all of this (and there were several blessings) is that we had planned to get a new unit and to use a portion of our tax return to pay for it.  In so doing, we also had painted and gotten a new shelf in the garage which took all sorts of things off the ground.  Only ten days or so ago, we got the shelf.  If this had happened before then, we'd have a totally different mess to deal with.

Our new water heater is working awesome and we can take hot showers tomorrow - woo hoo!!  It's just one more thing that is now new to the home and one less expensive thing to have to do in the near future!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Relaxing

Today was very relaxing.  Riley had gotten to bed late, we all woke up late and so we chose to stay home today.  We spent tons of time together as a family - puzzles, meals, legos, playing upstairs.  Julia loves all of her new toys and played with all of them today.  Lots of doll time.

All of us worked together to put together the new Lego Friends Stable Set.  They are so cool!!  Only wish they had them when I was a kid.  The girls played on it for hours!!

Was such a blessing to just stay home and enjoy our family.  Tomorrow will be hard to go to work!!  I just keep reminding myself that I'll be home with my girls in two months and that I've got a lot of great activities and events coming up at school.  Time will fly!

Close Call

This morning Julia and I woke up around 8am.  Felt good to sleep in!  She wanted to stay laying down with her babies so I got up and went downstairs.

Yesterday Riley decided to write Santa a letter back.  Since he sent Buddy the elf to give Julia a present and a letter as to why he couldn't make it to her party, Riley wanted to say thank you and to request that he bring new batteries for her remote controlled car.  She wrote a sweet note and we rolled it up and placed it in Buddy's hands to take back to Santa.   Riley also got very sad later in the day because Buddy had never come to one of her birthdays.  So we explained that Julia had asked and asked and asked about Santa coming and that must have been why Buddy was sent.  Thinking Buddy may make an appearance at her birthday this year...

I forgot about the letter being with Buddy and forgot about Buddy visiting until I came down this morning by myself.  Started my breakfast and looked over at the fireplace to see Buddy still holding the note and sitting in the same spot!!  AHHHH!!!  Total panic set in.  The girls could not see Buddy still there or they would have a lot of questions and wonder why the letter didn't get to Santa.

Very quickly, I picked up Buddy and the note and put them in a bag and snuck them upstairs to our closet.  Before going upstairs, I found three AAA batteries that were in our drawer and just prayed that they would fit inside the car.  Couldn't remember how many batteries or what kind were needed, but knew we had AAA batteries so I took a chance.

Julia and I then played puzzles downstairs, ate breakfast and spent time together.  It was very sweet.  Jeremy came down and looked at the fireplace.  A little puzzled.  I just smiled.  Riley noticed Buddy was gone and I said "You might want to see if Buddy left anything since you sent the letter."  Riley reached up on top of the fireplace mantel and found the three batteries!  I looked at Jeremy and said "Buddy is quite magical!"  He just grinned with a slight "I hope this works" look in his eyes.

We got the car out and Jeremy undid the backing on the car.  There were three AAA batteries needed and Buddy had left three AAA batteries.  So thankful!!!!  Riley was thrilled!!

The remote itself needed a different kind of battery that we also had.  Riley asked "Why didn't Buddy leave that one?"  Jeremy was quick on his feet and said "Well, you only asked for batteries for the car.  Buddy left you the car batteries!  We just had the remote batteries!"

Riley was thrilled.  She had a fun time playing with her remote car and we were able to smile knowing that the magic was still there.  Jeremy said something later about how I got lucky.  And I just smiled.  He was right!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Julia turns 3

Julia turned three today.  She is the most precious, spunky, sweet and joyful little girl.  She brings such life and fun into each day.

This morning I was sleeping in her room with her and she woke up and said "It's morning!  Time to get up!"  Since it was still so dark, I asked her if the sun was awake.  She said "I'm not sure!  I will go check."

She got up and pushed her curtains away and then looked through the blinds and said "No. The sun still asleep." Then she laid back down in bed next to me.

I told her happy birthday and started to sing, but she was adamant "You not sing right now.  We wait until later."  She kept listing off the people who were coming over today for her party and she was very excited about it!

We got up soon after and woke up Jeremy.  Riley also woke up.  We went downstairs and Jules rested on me on the couch while looking up at the fireplace.  She says "What is that?" and starts to giggle.  Lo and behold - Buddy, our elf, was sitting in the candle holding a note from Santa!!  Santa wrote to tell us that he was busy at the North Pole working on presents for Christmas, but that he sent Buddy to say Happy Birthday to Julia and to bring a small gift (a Friends Lego set) for Julia.  She was SOO excited about it!!

The lego set was put together quickly - a little newborn foal, a girl and carrot and a small horse corral/feeding trough.  We all played for a little while before getting breakfast.

Riley had a friend's birthday party this morning so I took her to that while Jeremy took Julia out for some fun - a carousel ride at the mall, playing at Pottery Barn and doing a little shopping together.

When we got home, Julia was asleep on the couch.  She woke up but was super restless so I took her upstairs where the two of us fell asleep together in her room.  Jeremy woke us up at 4:30pm and said that everyone had been over our house for at least 45 minutes.

The party was all family and was very little stress as well as being very calm.  The kids all played kindly and there were no arguments.  It was very relaxing and very lovely.  We sang happy birthday to Julia and she giggled a lot as we sang.  She loved opening her presents - puzzles, dolls and some legos.  She was pleased as could be and spent the night using everything she got.  She couldn't wait to sleep with her new babies.

For dinner we had pizza and for her birthday treat we had nothing bundt cakes.  Love those!!!

I can't believe she is three already.  Yet I'm so glad that she is and so excited to see how she continues to grow into a sweet little lady.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Contractions

Mrs. E is teaching the kids how they can take out a letter when using two words and create contractions from them.  Riley is loving this!  When Mrs. E came to pick up her class this afternoon, she said that she had a funny story for me.

A few days ago Riley was reading through words on a video that were contractions.  Mrs. E listed them for me and said that Riley was reading them nice and loud and clearly.

Couldn't
Wouldn't
Shouldn't
She's
It's

The video confirmed what she had read until the fourth word.

Riley read:  Shit's
The video read: She's

Riley said "Oh.  That wasn't what I said."  She didn't laugh or smirk or get embarrassed because she didn't know it was a bad word.  Love that she's still so innocent!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Birthday Invitations

Still amazed that Julia will be three in two days!!  She has been cute all week (when is she NOT cute?!) and keeps asking "When my birthday going to be here?"  She gets excited as the days are getting fewer.

She has informed us who we need to invite to her party.  Most of the invitees were to be expected - Riley, Grandpa, Poppi, etc...  There is one invitee that we're having a hard time explaining:  Santa.

Last night as I put her to bed she said "I want Santa at my party!!!  He can come to my birthday!"  I told her that I wasn't sure if he would be able to make it or not.  She made a sad face and asked why.  I explained that Santa is in the North Pole and it is far away.  He is busy there starting on her Christmas presents and it would be hard for him to leave.

We had almost the exact same conversation tonight except Julia thought of something new! After giving her the last explanation, she perked up and said excitedly "Santa can work on my presents fast and then he can come to my birthday!!"

Jeremy and I talked briefly about how to go about inviting Santa.  So we're sending a letter to Buddy, our personal elf, and hoping that he'll write us a letter from Santa and bring a special present from Santa just for Julia.  Maybe he can even appear on her birthday Saturday morning and stay for the day??!!  I hope he's not busy - wink,wink!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Smart Girl

Tonight Julia chose a big pile of books for us to read.  I was moving pillows and blankets around as she sat on the trundle bed and opened up the book "Pinkalicious and the Pink Drink."  I listened as she started to say "It was a hot day... so I sat under the shade..."

She continued on and 'read' the book.  Then we got out the Mercer Mayer book "I was so mad" and she was so excited to 'read' it.  She read it word for word from start to finish.  Only needed help on two pages as she couldn't remember what was happening.

I love that she has become such a lover of reading and books.  I remember when she wouldn't even sit still long enough for us to read more than one short sentence.

We read eight books or so tonight before laying down.

She loves to stand on the Ikea shelf (only one cube high) and say "I'm going to turn off the light!!"

I lay on her bed and pretend to fall asleep very dramatically and shut my eyes.  I say "You'd never shut the light off on me, would you?"  She giggles constantly and then turns to turn the light off and faces me once it is off.  I pretend to be surprised and pop out of bed and come over to her, pick her up and spin her carefully in a circle before hugging her tight and laying down next to her in bed.

Boobs

The word of the month:  Boobs.

The girls think it is so hilarious and lift up their shirts.  And laugh and laugh and laugh.

Tonight Julia wanted a snack after dinner so we went through our usual question and answer.

"Graham crackers?"

No.

"Cereal?"

No.

"Yogurt?"

No.

"Eggos?"

Ummm....No.

"Oatmeal?"

Sure!  I know.  I want boobs!!!!  (hysterical laughing ensued)

Spring Break Finale

What an awesome week!!  There is truly nothing better than being home with our girls.  They got along so well together, laughed and made lots of memories.  The past few days were a little more easy going due to Julia fighting off a fever and sinus infection.  She had it quite bad Wednesday.  Thursday was okay.  Today was much better.

The girls were able to put their art skills to work and both of them created an acrylic paint drawing on canvas yesterday morning.  They really wanted to play outside as it was gorgeous, but Julia was still having sinus issues.  We did go outside and blow bubbles for a bit which was fun.  And it was beautiful!  When I saw that Julia's nose, sneezes and coughs were okay, we walked to the park and played for a little while.  Then took showers as soon as we got home to get pollens off.

Today we went grocery shopping and went to Michaels to get supplies for Riley's "Person of the Week" poster.  Should be really cute!!  She gets to have special privileges all next week and gets to present information about our family and what she likes to do and her favorite foods and other favorites.  She's very excited!!

As we were leaving Walmart, it was noon so I asked the girls where they'd like to eat for lunch as it was our last Spring Break lunch together.  Riley immediately asked to go to McDonald's!  She loves it there.  Went with Grandma and Kami before, but has never gone with me.  In almost six years, I've never taken her there.  Until today :)

The girls loved it.  We got the food and took it home to eat.

She created a home for her little unicorn today out of PopTart boxes.  So cute.

And we got our outfits ready for next Friday which is Duct Tape Day.  I love Riley's outfit!!!  We covered an old skirt with penguin duct tape and then made a 'flower' pattern on the shirt.  For my outfit, I covered an old skirt and then did the same pattern on my shirt.  Unfortunately I can't sit very well in the skirt as I taped it too tight, but I can sit.  Just not comfortably.  However I'm not buying more duct tape to redo it!  Should be fun to wear on Friday!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Riley's First PlayDate Alone

Today was a big day for Riley!  She didn't wake up until 9am and her playdate started at 10am.  She was sooo excited!!  It is the first playdate she has ever gone to where I didn't stay and hang out too.  She has done other playdates with Madi or Julia by herself, but never by herself without one of them.  She was so confident and sweet!

I always say the same thing to her every time she goes somewhere.  So instead today I asked her "What am I going to say to you?"  Riley says "Use your manners.  Say please and thank you."  And then I smiled and said "And have fun!!"

Riley was dropped off at her friend Ryan's house.  Ryan is in her class and is a sweet little girl!  The plan was that I'd come pick her up after lunch when Amanda called.

After dropping off Riley, I took Julia to the dr.  She has been wheezing all morning, hasn't slept well the last two nights, lots of drainage, a bad cough and a fever.  We saw the Dr. and her fever was 100.1 this morning.  She was still coughing like crazy and the Dr. said that she is wheezing, but that her lungs are clear (phew!).  That the wheezing was caused from the drainage and the amount of gunk stuck in the upper chest.  Hadn't traveled to the lungs yet which is good.  She was diagnosed with a terrible sinus infection and given antibiotics.  The Dr. was like "Oh poor baby!  That's a lot of drainage for her."  Kept saying how terrible it was.

Picked up her medicine and came home.  She was really restless and coughing and really didn't like the medicine ("It's spicy!!"), but took it down like a champ.  I promised her a piece of candy (don't judge - this kind of bribery works on her) and so she ate all the medicine, but must not be feeling well because she didn't want the candy after all.

She sat on the couch next to me and snuggled in close.  We watched Dora and halfway through the 20 minute episode, I could hear she was sleeping.  As the show ended, I turned on our favorite Pandora music "Calm Meditation Music" channel.  It's so peaceful.  She turned over on the couch and was out.  I lay down on the other couch and fell asleep too.

2:30pm comes quick.  A full three and a half hours later.  Julia had moved to the floor next to the couch.  It is now 3:04pm and she is still sleeping right there.  I hear the phone beep and run over to it to find that Amanda has called twice and left a message once and texted twice.  Ugh... first time she's over there and I'm mortified that I have slept through the calls.  The music was loud, but not super loud.  Not sure why I didn't hear the phone as it was up very loudly.

Amanda was so sweet when I called.  She said that Riley and Ryan were so incredibly well-behaved and sweet.  That they've just played so well together.  They wanted to go to the school playground to play and I told her that was perfectly fine.  And so I'll pick her up when they get back from playing.  She was understanding and accepted my apology for not hearing the phone, but I still feel so ridiculous.  Just thankful that Riley is such an amazing little girl and that they've had such a fun time together!  And hopefully she'll let Riley and Ryan play together again despite the fact that Riley's Mom doesn't answer phone calls.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring Break Day Two

Earlier wake-up today: 5:30am.  Poor Jules has bad allergies or a bad cold.  Just couldn't stop sniffling and woke up.  Lots of snuggle time with her today!!  Precious!!!

We went to Michaels this morning to get more yarn so that I could make the cocoon order from Etsy.  Woo hoo for an order!!  The girls also got more perler beads.  They love these things!!

Spent the rest of the morning snuggled on the couch, watching Barney, crocheting and cuddling.  This afternoon we went to the Post Office and mailed the order out.  Tonight some of my choir students performed the National Anthem at TCHS Baseball Game.  There were only ten students that showed up, but they sang in tune and did a great job!  The girls were all excited to go to a baseball game.  Until it got chilly.  Then Julia decided she really didn't like the cold and didn't like the baseball game and really just wanted to go home.

I truly believe our girls will have to do indoor sports if only for the fact that they do not like extreme heat or cold and do not like being outside and being uncomfortable.  Riley keeps asking about gymnastics and swimming.  Thinking those would be perfect!  Julia also wants to do gymnastics.  I think it'd be a good outlet for her energy :)

What a blessing to be home with these two precious girls this week.  I feel like the most blessed mom ever to have these two girls and to be able to spend so much time with them.

Spring Break Day One

Yesterday was a blast!!  Julia woke up at 8am (yes!!!)  and Riley slept until 9:15am (wow!!!).  They were both in fabulous moods and were so incredibly sweet and kind all day.  No time outs, no spankings, no arguments at all - none.  Made for a fantastic day!!

We went to Willow Bend Mall and found some great sales.  $6 bathing suits for the girls at Gymboree!!  And some really cute fall clothes that they can wear next fall/winter.  A $40 knit dress for Riley for only $7.  Love the deals this time of year!!



I took the girls to Sonic in the mall and we had lunch there.  They loved it!  And were so great about throwing their trash away without being asked and cleaning up without being asked.  Love them!

After the mall, we stopped by my parents' house to get the paint supplies.  I've been wanting to paint our laundry room, but Jeremy said it will be too much work (aka I will need his help getting down shelves and he is the least bit interested in helping take them down).  But he said I could paint the garage if I wanted to.  Ummm... okay!

So we got the paint supplies and headed to Home Depot.  I told the girls that they could help paint if they wanted to.  After all, the garage door would be open and there would be less fumes that way.  And you really can't go too wrong on garage walls.  Perfect place for them to learn!  We got our paint, headed home and got all prepped.

They were sooo excited!  Before even picking up a paint brush, Julia decided it was too cold outside (it was 50 degrees) and went in to watch Barney.  Riley decided that she was Picasso and picked up the paint brush right away.  She had so much fun with it!  Though she really loved using the roller better.  She was very helpful, listened and enjoyed painting a lot.

Ready to paint!

Stinking cute!!








An hour in to painting the walls, Julia had fallen asleep to Barney on the couch and Riley tells me "Ugh  - Mom.  My arm hurts sooo bad.  I don't think I can do this anymore."  Couldn't believe she made it a full hour into painting non-stop.  She's a trooper!!  She went inside and chilled.  Well, as much as you can with being told "Don't sit on the couch as you have paint on yourself and don't touch anything."  :)

She thought it was really funny that she had paint on her cheek and hands.  I finished up the first gallon of paint.  Got much further than expecting to.  Took almost two hours to do it, got inside, showered and got Riley showered and Julia woke up.  Perfect timing!!

I didn't tell Jeremy I had painted it.  Thought he'd be surprised!  He came in smiling and said "I'm surprised it's painted, but I'm not surprised that you painted!"  He said it looked great and he loved it.  So now onto getting our shelving unit and being the main clean-out at the back of the garage so we can finish it up.  Though I'm not doing that today!  But soon....









Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hoopty Hoops

Hula hooping fun at the Grant House!  (Or Hoopty Hoops as Boz the Bear calls them)  Riley is taking Zumba classes and in the beginning of each class the kids hula hoop.  We finally found some cute ones at Walmart on Friday.  She was SO excited!!

Riley said that she wanted to learn how to hula hoop like the big girls do.  She spent all Friday night practicing.  Got a little frustrated a few times, but had the gist of it.  Julia spent time with her hula hoop by laying on the floor and balancing the hula hoop on her hands and feet in the air.  And singing the hoopty hoop song.

On Saturday morning, Riley woke up and tried out the hula hoop.  And has been hula hooping like crazy ever since.  She goes on and on forever.  And can now hula hoop a long time with two of them!

Saturday afternoon I took her to her friend Peyton's birthday party where the girls had a cute tea party, made crafts, did bubbles outside and hula hooped.  It was precious!!  Riley was very excited to be able to hula hoop well.

New Words

Julia is talking so much more clearly these days.  Loving that!!  Love that we can understand her so much better.  Today she told Grandma "My shoes are so comfortable and sparkly!"

She went upstairs during the day and I heard some noise.  So I called up and said "Julia, whatcha doing?"  Her response was "Ummmm.... I'm not sure, Mom!"  Sweet as could be and serious.  She gave the same response later in the day as she was doing something else. Cracked me up!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Moving Up

In two weeks, Julia moves up to the big kid preschool class at daycare!  She has come so far this year.  No more biting!  Lots of new words and tons of puzzles finished.  She is so incredible at putting puzzles together and piecing together the parts.

Her teacher Ms. Shaun has been having her trace letters and Julia is doing amazing with it.  She is also able to count objects on paper up to 10.  She can trace her name and recognize her name.  She is getting along with the kids in her class very well.

She has been going to Ms. Christian's class and will be there full time soon.  She's such a fun, joyful little girl.  So fun watching her grow up!

Spring Conferences

I met with Mrs. Echevarria on Monday this week for Riley's final Kindergarten Parent-Teacher Conference.  Hard to believe we only have 11 weeks until she is finished with her first year of Elementary School!!  It's gone SO fast!

Mrs. E asked me "So do you have any concerns about Riley?" and then she laughed.  Because she knows as well as I do that Riley is exceptional and doing an outstanding job in Kindergarten.

She showed me some of her assessments.  Riley aced them all.  She showed me the class average on one of the large assessments and the entire class scored very high.  Mrs. E said "I have a very bright class this year!"  Which I completely agree with being that I see them every other day in music.

She told me that Riley's reading and writing are far beyond what is expected at the end of the Kindergarten year.  That Riley is such a joy to have in class and she has absolutely loved having her in her room this year.  I told her that Riley feels the same!  She said that she gets along with everyone and everyone gets along with her.  That Riley is responsible, kind, hard working and does what is asked of her.

In her reading, she said that Riley uses all of her strategies (looking at pictures, inferring, referencing words she just read, using phonetics to sound out words and letter patterns).  She said that is what makes her so successful.

I asked about summer reading and she said that I should get Grade 1 or 2 workbooks for Riley to do in the summer if she likes them.  To have her do a library program over the summer with reading.  And to continue to encourage her to read and be read to!

This has been such a fabulous year watching Riley develop into a big kid.  So very proud of our big girl!!!

Open House

Tonight was Open House at Ethridge.  Riley was so excited to show us her portfolio that she had worked on.  It was impressive to see the amount of work that was displayed inside of it!!  The students had done several write-alongs in their best writing with Mrs. E.  They learned about the Presidents, Washington D.C. and symbols of our country.  Riley is very excited that we'll get to see the Liberty Bell when we visit Boston!  She drew and wrote about it.

Grandma and Grandpa came with Jeremy, Julia and I to her Open House.  It made for such a special night!  Riley loved showing everyone around her school.  She was so proud of all that she had done and read us some of her pages.

I especially loved seeing the sentences she wrote about her everyday experiences.  Her writing is truly amazing!!

We had a great night as a family and spent time praising Riley for what an amazing girl she is.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

What Day Is It?

Friday morning I got up a little later than normal.  Had my hair appointment Thursday night and didn't need to wash my hair.  Got up, shut off the alarm and walked into our room as I was sleeping in Julia's room.  Jeremy was still sound asleep - snoring.

I said "Hey Jeremy.  You will want to get up.  It's 6:20."

He replied quite angrily (totally out of the norm) "Do you KNOW what day it is?"

I said very calmly "Yes, it's Friday."

He says "No it's not.  It's Saturday."

"It has to be Friday.  I had piano students yesterday and they come on Thursday nights so it's Friday today."

He groans and says "That's the most depressing news I've heard all week!"

When we talk later in the afternoon, he has no recollection of this conversation.  We both have a good laugh thinking about it as his normal response would be to groan and say thanks for waking him up.  He's had a tough week the last week with new clients and crazy stuff going on with accounts.