Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Patriotic Playgroup

Today's play group had a patriotic theme to help us prepare for the upcoming 4th of July weekend.  Sheila and Addyson hosted today and did a fantastic job.  All the kids were decked out in their red, white, and blue and we celebrated with cupcakes, coloring sheets and lots of playtime.  

Handley asked why the cupcakes had candles and when told her we were celebrating America's birthday she asked, "Who's America?"  I tried my best to explain it to her, but it was kind of a tough concept.  Either way, the kids loved blowing out the candles.

At one point I happened to look out the window and saw this rabbit!  Apparently, Sheila has a family of rabbits that live in her backyard (and eat her grass).  The kids were all glued to the window watching it until he hopped away.

As the real playing got started the big girls were having all sorts of fun in Addyson's playroom upstairs.  At one point someone came downstairs with a nice drawing on their face and we found out they were "face painting" each other with markers.  Lovely.

They were so proud of themselves.  The funny thing is that the little kids who were playing downstairs with the moms were all upset that they couldn't get their faces painted too.

Sheila sent some of the extra cupcakes home with us so we enjoyed another one as our dessert after dinner.  This time before the girls blew out their candles we sang "Happy Birthday" to America and talked a little more about this wonderful holiday!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Daddy/Daughter date and getting ready for Hudson

We had a wonderful weekend and one highlight included Handley and Robby having a daddy/daughter movie date to see Cars 2.  Handley chose this special treat as her reward for filling up her marble jar again.  Her request was that it just be she and Robby and that they get sprite and popcorn when they went.  She was so excited and couldn't wait for their special date. 

While they were doing that, Harper and I ran a few errands and then I took her for her special treat.  She had also filled up her marble jar and told me she wanted ice cream for her treat so we compromised with a birthday cake milkshake from Zaxby's.  

The other highlight of the weekend included the girls having a sleep over with Gigi and Papa and me getting tons of stuff done around the house to prepare for Hudson.  I washed all his clothes, linens, etc., made the girls "Big Sis" shirts, and organized all the baby gear at the bottom of our basement steps so that it is all ready to be brought up at a moments notice.  The only thing I haven't done is pack my bag and after today's doctor's appointment I'm thinking I can still wait a while on that one.  No progress yet.  While I expected to have something to report, I'm honestly pretty happy.  I still feel pretty good and I'm just having SO much fun with the girls this summer.  I'm really enjoying our pool and play time together and I want to soak up every day possible doing those fun things with them.  Don't get me wrong...I'm really excited for Hudson to arrive and for us to figure out our new normal, but I want the girls and I to continue our fun summer activities for as long as possible because I know that after Hudson is born all of that will stop for at least a little while.  

This week Handley is doing a camp with Avery each morning.  When I dropped her off this morning Harper was sad that she couldn't be going to camp too.  I promised her that in a few weeks she was going to be going to camp at their school.  This afternoon we made our way to the pool.  The girls just love getting to ride the golf cart there and have such a blast swimming with friends! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Handley's 4 year checkup

After ballet class this morning we made our way to the doctor's office for Handley's 4 year check-up.  She did a great job and even thought she knew she was going to be getting shots, she was excited about going.  They took her blood pressure, gave her hearing and vision tests, and asked her to draw a picture of a person to see how many body parts she included in her drawing.  Not to be outdone, Harper enjoyed answering every question that was asked of Handley.

Her stats were no surprise to me...she's tall and skinny!

height - 41 3/4 inches (90th percentile)
weight - 35 lbs. (48th percentile)

She cried for just a second during her shots and then perked right up when she found out that she would be getting a popsicle and a token to use in the prize dispenser.  Thankfully the nurses were nice enough to give Harper the same treats.

They warned me that her legs might be sore from the shots and I felt so bad for her this afternoon because I could tell they were becoming sore and she complained of them a lot.  Poor thing could hardly bend down to pick something off the ground.  However, that did not stop her from having some fun on her new slip-n-slide (a birthday gift from Uncle Cameron) this evening after dinner.  We decided to try it out for the first time and the girls (and our next door neighbor) loved it!

Harper can't figure out quite how to get the sliding part down, but Handley was sweet enough to pull her down each time she wanted to go.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Little Fish

As a result of spending practically everyday at the pool and some awesome one-on-one swim lessons with Mrs. Angie, I officially have two little fish.  Handley and Harper are doing so well in the pool and are constantly amazing me with their swimming abilities.

Handley has come such a long way from last year.  She no longer wears her water wings at the pool and is so much more confident.  She got a kick-board for her birthday and that is now her favorite thing to swim with.  Yesterday she and Avery swam across the pool and back using their kick-boards.  While I kept my eye on her the entire time, I wasn't worried because I know she has the skills to be able to swim and make it safely to the side on her own if for some reason the kick-board got away from her.  When they got back they were both so impressed with themselves and were proud to tell us that they swam without their Mommies all the way to the deep end and back.

During her lessons Handley has been working on her strokes, really reaching and using her arms during free-style and she has even been doing the backstroke on her own! Click here for a short video of her last lesson today.  The end is where she is doing the backstroke, although she is far away so it's a little hard to tell.

Now on to Miss Harper.  This little girl has absolutely ZERO fear of the water.  She thinks she is invincible and wants to be just like her big sister.  Last week during Handley's lessons I started taking her floatie off to work with her a little and she loved it.  Now, she is constantly asking to take it off and swim to me.  She can swim a few feet on her own and is SO very proud of herself when she does it.  She'll ask me over and over to "go far away Mommy" so she can swim to me and when I do have a hold of her she is constantly wiggling to get free of my arms and tells me, "let go Mommy."  Yesterday before Handley's lesson, Harper saw Mrs. Angie standing not too far away from the steps and decided she wanted to show off.  Next thing I knew she swam over to her and thankfully Mrs. Angie was watching and scooped her up.  Angie suggested letting Harper do 10-15 minutes of Handley's lesson time and that just made her day.  She did everything asked of her with a giant smile on her face.  Getting a lollipop from Mrs. Angie at the end of her lesson was icing on the cake.  :-)

Click here for a short video of Harper's swim lesson today.

I'm sad swim lessons are over for us, but so proud of what the girls have learned!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

We enjoyed a low-key day at home today for Father's Day.  Although my parents left shortly after our pancake breakfast, it was still fun to be able to see my dad on Father's Day.  The girls loved having my parents here for the weekend and enjoyed all the play time with Dadaw.  This morning Harper convinced him to come sit with her to help her with some "writing."  From as far back as I can remember he was always willing to take the time to be there for my brothers and I and help out in ANY way possible.  That is still true today and I'm so happy to have grown up with him as my dad.  Happy Father's Day, Dad!

We gave Robby's his gifts first thing so he could enjoy them this morning.  He has slowly become a coffee drinker over the past few months, but we don't even own a coffee maker.  To save him trips through the drive-thru on his way to work his gift was a brand new coffee maker, a bag of his favorite Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and some new travel mugs so he can take it to work with him in the mornings.

We spent this afternoon at the pool and had so much fun. Lots of our neighbors were there, so the girls had tons of friends to play with.  Both of them were excited to show off their swimming skills to Daddy and he was pretty impressed.

I feel so lucky that the father of my kids is so incredibly devoted to our family.  He is always super silly and fun with the girls and they just LOVE him for that.  As soon as they hear the garage opening each night they start squealing and take off running as fast as they can to leap in his arms as he comes in the door.  They love to play all sorts of crazy games together and it is as if there is a constant stream of laughter when he is around.  I love watching him in the role of "Daddy" and couldn't ask for a better partner to help raise our kids.  Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Handley's Birthday Party

Today we had Handley's birthday party at Champion Kids.  It's a gymnastics location that has inflatables, in-ground trampolines, a foam pit, a zip line, and all sorts of other fun activities.  Handley has been talking about wanting her party here since we attended another party at the same location 9 months ago.  

Since I'm almost 36 weeks pregnant, my goal for this party was for it to be as stress free as possible.  I dropped off all of our decorations on Thursday and when we showed up this morning everything was already set up and ready to go. All I had to do was set out the cupcakes and we were ready to party!  Handley was very in to the planning of her party this year, including every detail like the decor and the guest list.  Her main request was that everything be pink and purple.  

The kids all had a great time playing and it was hard for me to get many pictures because none of them stopped for two seconds the entire hour they were in the gym.  A lot of the dads got in on the action too, which was quite entertaining for the rest of us. :-)

 Both my girls loved the zip-line into the foam pit.  As soon as they were able to climb out of the pit they were running back to get in line to go again.  Click here for a little video of Handley's first try at the zip-line.

After everyone was worn out from playing it was time for cake!  Handley got to sit in a special throne chair as everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to her.

It was a great party and she had fun celebrating with all of her closest friends.  A big thank you to everyone who helped make her day extra special!  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Handley!

I really can't believe that my first baby turned 4 years old today.  I can remember almost every detail of this day 4 years ago like it was yesterday.  However, it's also hard to remember what my life was like without her a part of our family.  My first teaching job was teaching Pre-K and it is really crazy for me to think that she is the age that my first students were.

 Handley has been talking about her birthday for months and was so excited for the big day today.  This morning she woke up with a huge smile on her face and kept it there all day long.  Mimi and Dadaw are in town for the big occasion so she had quite a crowd telling her "Happy Birthday" this morning.

After a cinnamon bun breakfast Robby and I surprised her with a brand new bike!  She was so excited and immediately wanted to head outside in her PJ's and try it out.  She is already doing great getting around on it and looks so big riding it.

After getting dressed Mimi and I took the girls to get their nails painted at a real nail salon.  Handley was SO excited about this special treat.  She chose her two favorite colors, pink and purple, and sat very still watching every move the nail tech made.  Harper got her toes painted too and chose her favorite color, orange.  I had to sway her away from the Halloween orange that she originally picked out, but she was also very proud of her pretty toes.

Next we were off to do a little shopping and then we went to lunch at Handley's favorite spot, McEntyre's.  Everytime we saw someone Handley was happy to announce that it was her birthday.  This afternoon she helped me make a cake for tonight's family dinner party.  Handley was very sweet to let Harper help with the decorating and the final product was a sight to be seen.

This afternoon she got a special surprise from her BFF, Avery.  On our front door we found this birthday sign!  It was SO sweet!!! We had to move it inside because of a big windy storm that was approaching, but she was proud to show it to everyone who came over for dinner and now it's hanging on our pantry door.

Tonight was so much fun.  Gigi, Papa, and Trey all came over to help celebrate.  We had dinner, ate cake, and opened presents.  I even let her pick out a piece of cake from the VERY center because it had the most sprinkles.

She loved every second and as she was going to bed tonight she told me she just couldn't stop thinking about how great her birthday was.  :-)

At 4 years old she:
  • is very inquisitive and is constantly asking question
  • shares incredibly well with Harper and always wants to include her in what she's doing
  • is particular and likes things done a certain way
  • is social and constantly asks if we can get together with her friends
  • loves following a routine and a schedule
  • is extremely affectionate towards her family and close friends
  • has an incredible memory
  • has a very motherly instinct and is a nurturer 
  • is always eager to please 
  • has an adventurous spirit
  • is strong-willed 
  • has started doing simple addition problems and loves using new vocabulary words
  • is extremely helpful to me around the house and with Harper
  • has become very independent recently and enjoys accomplishing tasks on her own
  • loves to act silly and goofy, especially with her Daddy

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Sydney!

Today is Sydney's 14th birthday.  We adopted her from another family when she was 7 years old and I remember our only concern in getting her was that she was already past hear "prime" years.  I know our decision was the right one though because we have had many great years with her and she has been a loyal and faithful companion to us since day one.

 Sydney is probably the most loving and gentle dog I've ever been around.  She has been so wonderful with our kids and every other kid who has come in contact with her.  Last weekend Harper was dancing around and accidentally stepped on Sydney's face and she hardly moved a muscle.  She is very tolerant and understanding of small children.  Something I don't necessarily think was taught, but rather just part of her nature.

When I researched the life expectancy of a golden retriever, most resources I found say between 12-15 years.  She just had her annual check-up and she continues to be as healthy as any senior dog can be.  She spends most of her days sleeping and has a hard time getting up after laying in one place for too long.  However, the second one of us is in the kitchen or if she sees the kids drop some sort of snack, she finds a way to get up on all fours and make her way to "clean-up" after them.  :-)

There are days I feel guilty because I'm so busy with the kids that I know I've hardly paid any attention to her.  However, she never holds it against me and is always happy with any pets or treats that might come her way.  I've really been trying to make an effort to teach the girls to appreciate her while she is still around because I know when she is no longer with us that she will be greatly missed.

We decided to do it up right for her 14th birthday.  The girls picked out some special dog treats at Wal-Mart that really look like cookies dipped in frosting.  We sang "Happy Birthday" to her and loved on her all day long.