Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Handley stayed on GREEN today!  She told me this morning she knew she could do it and after reminding her a million times it must have sunk in because she did it and was so proud to tell me when I picked her up this afternoon.

As a reward we painted her nails, (something she has missed out on yesterday.  She picked green for St. Patrick's Day and so she can look down at them tomorrow and remember to stay on green.

I'm hoping that little being silly at school phase is behind us now and that she is back on track.

The girls and I had dentist appointments today, which they both loved.  They thought it was great to come home with a new princess toothbrushes, floss and a special treat from the treasure box.  The rest of the afternoon Harper kept giving a big smile to everyone she came across to show them how bright and shiny her teeth were.  Hudson stayed home with a sitter and it's the first time in a while he has been with a non-family sitter without have the girls around.  I wasn't sure how he would do since he can be pretty attached to me, but she said he was FANTASTIC and so much FUN.  That made me really happy to hear, but at the same time it's just another reminder that he is growing up.

Tomorrow starts the Welcome Baby Sophia countdown!  My parents arrive late tomorrow to be here for Sophia's arrival on Friday!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Yesterday I had Handley's conference at school.  I was expecting to go in and hear what a perfect student she is, how she is always on task, and how well she is reading and writing.  Her teacher did confirm that she is reading very well, knows all of her sight words, participates in class and is always eager to please.  She said she is still writing some of her numbers backwards and that we should practice that at home, but that it was developmental and that it will come in time.  The thing that I wasn't expecting to hear was that the past few weeks Handley has been acting silly in class and that she has even been on red a few times.  (The behavior system in their class is that all the kids start out on GREEN, move to YELLOW is a warning and RED means business.)  Her teacher hadn't made a big deal out of it before because Handley wasn't being bad, just silly, and said she was only telling me about it now because it had continued to happen.  Needless to say I was shocked and very unhappy that she had been acting that way at school.

When we got home I talked to her about it and she immediately started crying.  She seemed to genuinely feel bad about the way she had acted and the fact that she hadn't told us she had been on red.  She told me that she likes to make her friends laugh.  I explained that was a wonderful quality to have because everyone loves to laugh, but that there is a time and place for it.  On the playground was fine, but during class was not acceptable.

After talking and reminding and talking some more about her behavior I just knew that she would correct the behavior and have a much better day today.  Turns out I didn't know anything.  Her teacher informed me this afternoon that she was on red AGAIN today for being silly in class.  I was disappointed.  And humbled.  And furious.  I told her right away that as a consequence for misbehaving at school that she would not be allowed to go to playgroup this afternoon and that just crushed her.  As soon as we got home she was sent right to her room and she also missed on out several privileges this evening.  We've talked, again, about the importance of not being silly during class and I pray that it got through to her this time and that she will have the self-control to make good choices at school tomorrow.  I suggested that she write her teachers a note apologizing and she loved that idea.  She worked hard on it and also drew a picture of she and her teachers riding bikes together.

I love that she is so social and loves to bring a smile to her classmates faces, but I also expect her to be focused and respectful during learning times.  She told me she knows she can stay on green tomorrow, so that is what we are aiming for!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Workout Video

A few weeks ago I bought a workout video at Target.  I had decided I was tired of not being able to get outside and walk/run due to the cold and with a video I could do it anytime of day indoors.  And then the video sat on the kitchen counter for a few weeks.  The kids were off school on Monday for Presidents Day and Handley asked me that morning when I was ever going to watch the video.  I took that as my sign that it was time to give it a try.  She hoped on my bed ready to watch it with me when I had to explain to her that we don't actually sit and watch it (although it would be nice to still get the results that way), instead that I was going to follow along with what they were doing on the video. You should have seen her eyes light up.  She told me to hang on and she ran to her room and returned a few minutes later wearing her "workout clothes" and announced she was going to do it with me.

So we did.  And I was laughing so hard because not only did Handley want to join in the fun, but Harper and Hudson did too.  Harper took on the roll of coach and bossed us all around just like the girl on the TV.  Hudson surprised me by trying to copy exactly what she was showing us to do.  Then he'd do a couple of laps around us and throw himself on the ground to roll around.  When we finished the 30 minutes I had definitely worked up a sweat and felt good. Handley said, "That was SO much fun...let's do it again!"  So you know what, we did!

I'm thinking the second time was probably what did me in because I was so sore the next morning that I could hardly get out of bed, much less bend down to pick up anything off the ground.  Every day this week Handley has asked me if I did my video while she was at school because if not she didn't want to miss doing it with me.  I had to take a break yesterday because I still couldn't reach down to tie my shoes, but this afternoon we were back at it.  And again, all three kids were thinking it was tons of fun.

When we weren't getting in shape the kids had an awesome day.

Hudson and I went to chapel with the girls and I just love how excited he is to be there with them.  He loves singing songs, clapping along, and he always runs up to give Mrs. Cindi (the director of the pre-school and leader of chapel) a high-five on the way out...just like the big kids do.  He is talking so much now and everyday I'm surprised by the new things he is saying.  After chapel we ran a few errands and then it was time for his tumbling class, which he loves.

After school Harper had a playdate with a friend from her class.  There is a little girl she has gotten to be pretty close with and she was really excited to get to play at her house.  In fact, all the kids loved getting to play somewhere new.  Next up was Handley's gymnastics class and on the way home Hudson and Harper crashed from our busy non-stop day.  Hudson stayed asleep when we got home and slept on the floor a while longer just like he did a few weeks ago.  You can tell by looking at his outfit the amount of fun he had today.  What a messy boy!!!  (Apple sauce on his shirt, sidewalk chalk on his shoes and pants, and marker all over his hands and neck.)

Handley just loves gymnastics and is really getting good at her cartwheel.  She also has mastered her bridge, which she proudly showed us this evening.

And I just had to include this picture.  A few nights ago Harper wanted to brush her doll's hair, but it was time for bed so I told her she could do it just a minute before she went to sleep.  When I peeked in her room to check on her I found her with the lights off, wearing her head lamp, and going to town on her doll's tangled hair like she was performing surgery.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bribery at its best

The only thing we had on the calendar for today was a birthday party after lunch.  Robby got up bright and early to go skeet shooting with some friends, but the kids and I enjoyed sleeping in and hanging around the house.  We enjoyed it a little too much because it was 11:30 before I knew it and we ended up rushing to get to the 1:00 party.   It was a music class party and all three of the kids loved singing, playing the instruments and dancing along with the music.

One thing happened today that I'm probably more excited about than I should be...bribery at its best.  I'm not above bribing the kids with an M&M or Smarties if they pose and smile for a picture.  Hudson has always been the hardest one to get a smile out of when he is in front of the camera.  And, I really can't even get him to sit long enough for a picture most times.  Well, that has all changed because today when he didn't want his picture taken I told him I'd give him a candy heart if he stood with the girls.  You should have seen how quickly he went running to get into position with them.  The girls kept laughing and saying, "say cheese for candy" and he would do it!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from my crew to yours!  

We started our Valentine activities a little early yesterday when we went to deliver hand-made cards to the residents at a local assisted living home.  One of the moms in Harper's class had organized this project and kids from lots of the classes at their school made the cards.  Several of the kids helped pass them out yesterday and I think they got just as much enjoyment out of it as the sweet elderly residents did.

The girls were super excited about celebrating Valentines Day at their school parties today.  They worked very hard writing all of their cards and couldn't wait to pass them out to their friends and teachers. 

For their parties they had lunch, dessert and then did a craft and played several games I had found on Pinterest.  For one they had to stack conversation hearts in a tower and see who could get the tallest tower in one minute without them falling over.  The other was using a straw to suction conversation hearts from one plate to another and see how could do the most in one minute.  Both games were so simple, but the kids all loved them.   

They came home and immediately went through their bags to see what kind of cards and goodies they got form their friends.  

A huge THANK YOU to Jen for watching Hudson for me while I was running back and forth between the two parties.  Speaking of Hudson, he has another double ear infection and I'm just praying that after being on antibiotics a few days he will start feeling better and sleeping better!  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day 3 - Disney World!!!

We woke up bright and early Monday morning ready to spend the day at the happiest place on earth...Disney World!!!

Hudson was definitely not feeling well, but he was a trooper and still managed to have fun, too.  You'll notice he has his paci in almost every picture.  I wasn't about to deny by sick baby the one thing that would make him happy.

We got to see lots of characters and ride lots of rides.  The park was a lot more crowded than we had expected for a random Monday in February, but I guess there are always tons of people there.

Our first ride wasn't even a ride at all, but after waiting an hour in line we discovered it was a "tour" through the Beast's castle and we got to help act out when Belle first meet the Beast.  Harper immediately got terrified thinking we would actually see the beast.  She finally calmed down after all the parts had been assigned. Handley got to play the part of Mrs. Potts and she was so excited to be in the show.  Then we learned that she was actually going to get to act out her part with the real Belle!  She was thrilled.

Belle is Harper's favorite princess so after she realized that the Beast wasn't going to be there she was happy to run up and get a picture with Belle, too!

Next up was more rides and more characters.  Harper is usually scared of characters that don't look like real people, but this trip she did SO great.  She was afraid of some of the scary looking ones during the parade, but she loved seeing the white rabbit from Alice and Wonderland and loved Mickey and Minnie, too.  Hudson loved seeing them and would run right up to give them a hug or high five.  He isn't in many of the pictures though because he would run back to me before we were able to snap the picture.

Hudson finally took a little rest in the stroller while the girls did some of the bigger rides.

If you look way up there in the very front car of that roller coaster you will see two brave little girls.  I was shocked that Handley had talked Harper into sitting in the very front and even more shocked that as they got off the ride they both said how much they loved it.  Harper kept saying, "I wasn't even scared one little bit!"  

Hudson woke up just as the girls and Robby were getting on the teacups.  After their first ride they hopped back in line so that they could take him on the ride, too.

As he woke up better he enjoyed some of the other rides and had fun flying high on the magic carpet ride and seeing the Under the Sea world where all of Ariel's friends live.  He definitely wasn't feeling well, but was such a trooper and we made it until about 5 PM before we decided it was time to leave.  Before that we had given them the option of riding one more ride or seeing the princesses.  Not sure why I even asked them since I knew the answer to that question.  It was such a magical experience because the princesses and princes all chat with the kids, ask them questions and really interact with them.  Also, because it was the week of Valentine's Day they were passing out special autographed Valentine's to all of the kids.  The girls are treasuring those!

Princess Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty) even had the girls dancing with her and twirling their skirts.

Hudson was all about giving them high fives and hugs!

We had a wonderful time and although it was only a day we packed in a lot of fun and the kids left feeling like they had the best day ever!  

* I drove home with the kids today and Robby had to stay in FL to do some work.  It rained the whole way home and because Hudson really isn't feeling well the ride was not the easiest, but we made it home safely and he and I will be visiting the pediatrician's office first thing in the morning.

Florida Trip - Day 2

On Sunday we got to have a wonderful visit with Great-Grandma and Aunt Sharon.  We had lunch with them and had the best time catching up.  They couldn't believe how big the kids had gotten.  The last time Grandma had seen Hudson was when she came up for Gigi's 60th birthday.  He was so tiny then and this visit he was running around, playing peek-a-boo and chasing their dogs.

Grandma gave each of the kids a little gift with lots of goodies to keep them entertained throughout the rest of our trip, which was so thoughtful of her!

We wished we could have stayed longer, but Hudson was fading fast and getting ready for a nap so we said our goodbyes and then headed off to the hotel we were staying at the remainder of our trip.  On the way we did a drive-by past the house we lived in when we lived in Orlando.  Robby and I thought Handley would like to see where she first lived.  We appreciated it more than she did, but I'm glad we drove by.

The kids loved getting to the hotel and getting to walk around and explore.  It was so warm and nice that we took them swimming that evening.  There was a lazy river and a water slide, so the girls were in heaven.  Hudson wasn't too sure about it at first, but quickly warmed up to the idea of the water.

We had dinner by the pool that night and laughed as we saw two ducks start swimming in the pool.  Harper said they were Donald and Daisy!

Hudson had been stuffy all day, but still seemed happy and fine.  However, he woke up that night with a fever and was up for about 3 hours before I could finally get him back to sleep.  Needless to say the entire time I was just thinking about the fact that the next day was our one and only day at Disney, but I wasn't about to let a little lack of sleep stop us from having fun.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Florida Trip - Day 1

We just got back from our trip to Florida and we had a wonderful time!  On Friday night we got to our friends, the Mills' house, and spent Friday and Saturday nights with them.  Their girls are very close to Handley and Harper's ages so they all had so much fun getting to see each other again and loved playing.

It was so warm down there that we were able to wear shorts, flip-flops and get out and enjoy the sunshine! It was a much welcomed changed from the dreary cold weather we've had.  On Saturday we went to pick strawberries.  Everyone had fun and the kids loved it.  Those strawberries were seriously the best I have ever eaten.

We all loved getting to visit with Kathy and Corey and even though we only had a short time with them it was still great to see them and their sweet girls.