Monday, February 28, 2011

Nicknames and silly songs

Summer has gone through lots of nicknames over the years. I think the one I use most right now is Noodle. A few days ago, I decided Lexie should be Toodle since she is two. When I told Summer, she thought she should be Fourdle instead of Noodle. I convinced her that it wasn't even close to being a word and she has been my Noodle for a long time, probably since she was 2, so I'm going to stick with it for now. We don't use Mogo Noodle much anymore. When she was going through her cancer treatments, she came up with that one. There is this song I sing that goes "Oh toodle my noodle, oh toodle my noodle..." I guess you really have to be there to hear it, but I think it goes perfectly with the two nicknames I sometimes call the girls now. I've been singing it for quite a while and it has a real catchy tune. LOL The girls love it when I make up silly songs and sing them to them. Sometimes when I bathe them, I sing a song about the different parts as I wash them. Their faces are always all smiles when I do it that way.

It looks like Lexie is all better now. She started eating again yesterday and has not been laying around so much. She and Summer are playing right now which makes my heart happy. It is usually Summer telling Lexie what to do, but in time maybe Lexie will have a little say in the way they play. I'm just happy that they have each other to play with. I do love playing games and Barbies with them, but as a mom I've got a lot to do around the house so I can't play all day long like they sometimes want. So far Summer and I have had no sickness, and if we can just get through tomorrow with it that way, I will be cool if we do end up getting it. Tomorrow she visits the Bright School for two hours. She hasn't invented any illnesses or reasons not to go yet, but I do remember the preschool days and how they usually came up before bedtime or when she got up so to quote Justin Bieber, "Never say never."

This morning Summer helped me make some banana bread for our church dinner tonight. She loves mixing the ingredients and even cracked the eggs for me. She's still not a pro at it, but the 2nd egg was done almost perfectly. Her pinkie got shut in the cabinet door when I was getting out the shortening. She did not cry or anything, but it did get a cut on it which she claimed was bleeding. So we got her a waterproof Hannah Montana bandaid to protect it. She showed it to Trixie and told her not to bite it because it hurts.

I really wish that dog could understand what we say because then she would know that under Summer's bed is not an acceptable place to pee or poop. Last night, when I was putting Summer to bed, I thought I smelled poop. So, I looked under her bed and to my surprise, there were several pee and poop spots. Needless to say, that delayed bedtime a little because I just had to pull the bed out and scrub the floor. This morning I covered the floor under her bed with pillows, games and her big shoe storage thing so that there is no where for Trixie to potty on the carpet. I'm really not wanting to look under my own bed, but I probably should. The crazy thing is we mostly keep her out of the bedrooms because I want to get her potty trained so this very thing won't happen all over my carpet. We seem to take two steps forward, and one step back. We all love the dog so it will be worth it when she is finally fully trained. Summer definitely enjoys being her mommy and is happy that Santa knew the perfect thing to put in her stocking.


Go away stomach bug!!

This week is not starting off promising with my "big baby" waking up with a stomach bug during the night. Sometimes she is a little baby, but mostly she calls herself a big baby. Last night, Lexie woke up between 11 and 12 and had soiled her clothes and sheets. After cleaning it up, she moved to my bed where she stayed until about 5 a.m. After her 4th time of getting sick, she was ready to go back to her bed. Good thing we have lots of replacement blankets because she took 3 out early in the game. So far today she is just laying around mostly, but does have her moments of playfulness. Summer has showed no signs of sickness yet, but I'm not going to get my hopes up too high. My buddy and her family have had it this weekend and we were with them Saturday night at the bowling alley, so who knows whose next?

We had an awesome weekend though. We headed out to the lake on Thursday and enjoyed the beautiful outdoors. We rode bikes, colored with chalk, played 4 square, grilled out, and played in the hot tub. One night, we had Memaw and Nanny over for a bonfire. We roasted lots of marshmallows and the girls and I all had it in our hair. That's what happens when you roast three at a time and everyone gets a bite. It all came out easily in the shower the next day which was nice because combing their hair is not the most fun task in the world. Summer wakes up everyday with a "rat's nest" in the back of her hair which is always a pain to get out. Even trying to be extra gentle will cause a few ouches to fall from her lips. I really would like to get a bonnet for her to wear to bed. I wonder if that would help. As a kid, I think a used to where panties on my head to bed at times. I'm not sure if that was to keep it from sticking up or what, but it's definitely crossed my mind as a solution to our nest problem. We still haven't tried it though I have mentioned it to her several times.

Last week, the girls went to the roller skating rink for the first time. Sidda celebrated her 6th birthday party there and invited them to come join the fun. Summer liked it better than ice skating, but she still needs a helping hand to get around the rink. She really enjoyed it when I held both of her hands and sort of pushed her around at a faster speed than she could manage on her own. We only wiped out together once and it was less painful than I anticipated. I wasn't even sore the next day. Summer wiped out lots of times, but she never complained of it hurting her. Lexie used Summer's beginner skates, that she got for her birthday a few years ago, for the first time and really enjoyed it too. Of course, they had to play some of the arcade games too so there were tickets to be cashed in for prizes which Summer always loves. She picked a fun dip which she did share. Maybe we will go back on family night sometime where we aren't so rushed and halfway preoccupied by a birthday party. It would really be cool to get them skating at a young age. It is good exercise and lots of fun, even for me.

Tonight we are going to volunteer for IHN and play games with kids. I think it will be fun for both Summer and I and hope it will be something we can continue to do together. I really want to instill a sense of community and giving to others in both girls. It is important to learn that the world doesn't revolve around you. That's a lesson that cannot be learned too soon in life. It's too bad Lexie will have to miss out tonight, but I don't want to risk passing this stomach bug around. It is no fun for anyone, but it does bring about lots of snuggling which makes it tolerable.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bicycles and music

Today was filled with bicycle rides and Wii games. Cookies and Popsicles too. The girls sang and danced at music this morning. They had fun playing different instruments (egg shakers, one bell jingle, rhythm sticks) during some of the songs. During family band time, they got to play a wider variety of instruments at their choice. One of the songs we have done the past two weeks is actually to teach them to help their mom out and clean with a dust rag. Let's hope they really pick up on this one because my house needs some dusting! LOL Their teacher, Janice Bond, is awesome. She used to teach Kindermusik, but set up her own music studio for kids about two years ago. She has been teaching Summer since she was 2 years old. Summer always listen closely at story time, but Lexie has yet to sit on a heart on the blanket. She prefers my lap / crawling all over me. Today Summer had a problem sharing my lap with Lexie a few times. It has been an adjustment for her with Lexie staying with us all the time, but she is learning to accept her and they do play together perfectly at times. Plus, she loves her "except for when she messes up" what she is playing with. It has definitely left her sharing her mommy more than she would want to, but all in all I think it has been a good thing for them both. I hope so anyway. I wouldn't want to traumatize her and give her some sort of complex like sometimes I imagine could happen. I try not to worry about that too much, but I do wonder how the present situation will affect the futures of these children.

They are always wanting me to "come here" - Lexie's favorite words. Or, show me something they made or did. I can barely even sit to blog without them coming to find me. Well, they found me again. I must run to be at their beck and call. A mother's job never ends, and hopefully neither do the fun times with the kids.

Monday, February 21, 2011

She's not ready, at least in her mind

But, then again, will she ever be? School starts in the fall, and Summer is still not excited about going to kindergarten. She has two school visits and a kindergarten assessment coming up in the next two weeks. I really hope she enjoys the visits and catches some enthusiasm for school. She has been really doing well on her preschool work lately and seems to be liking math worksheets that involve counting and addition. She can count pretty high, almost to 100 if she really tries. She never seems to get the 100 when we count by 10's though. I know she is really smart and will flourish in school. One of the schools we are looking at seems to have a more loving / nurturing environment and I really hope she gets in there. She definitely seems like the type that would enjoy a little coddling every day. Not that the other school isn't awesome too, but it does not have the same values at our #1 choice. Plus, Lexie might get to go to school too if they can both get in at school #1.

She seems to have developed a bad habit which I plan to nip in the bud. She used to grow her nails long. But, in the past few weeks, I have noticed they are short and seem to have been bitten off. We've had a talk about not biting them anymore where she said "I guess" I won't do it anymore. Oh my, I might just have to go buy some of that yucky tasting polish. I hope not, but if it comes to that I will.

Last week, we went to a playground 3 days in a row. The girls absolutely always want to go to the playground. I'm glad there are so many around town. Variety is the spice of life, right? We were going to go to the zoo one day, but it was colder than I had anticipated it would be and I didn't bring a jacket for myself. After our picnic lunch, the girls played on the playground there and then rode the carousel a few times. Maybe it will be warmer this week and we will try again. We are really excited about seeing the baby snow leopard when they bring it out for visitors to see.

Summer has been excelling in her swimming lessons and will be moving up to advanced beginner in the next session. She doesn't mind going under and swimming anymore. She will jump in and go under the water. She really loves swimming around our hot tub. She can almost float on her back by herself. In her class she glides, rolls over to her back and goes back to her stomach and swims to side. I am really excited about her new skills and so is she. She always looks forward to her lessons now. Gymnastics too. Those two activities, along with music keep our days pretty full. But, not too full for the random trip to Chuck E. Cheese. I think we might just have to go there sometime this week.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vegas Family vacation

Two weeks ago, we headed out to Vegas to visit Clint's family. Summer loves spending time with her cousins out there. Here too for that matter. Every morning Nona would cook a big breakfast and then Summer would excuse herself, wash her hands and face and scamper off to Glen's house to see who would play with her. Lexie enjoyed them too, especially the playground in their back yard.
Our last afternoon was spent at the Mirage's Dolphin Habitat and Secret Garden. The dolphins did some tricks which we all enjoyed watching. There was no petting which would've been a major plus, but I imagine it is not really safe for every one to be touching the dolphins. There were some odd looking animals called alpacas to look at.

There were also several species of big cats. White tigers, Bengal tigers, African lions, white lions, and black panthers were some of them. They were all so pretty. I didn't notice any of them looking at Lexie as lunch like I did at Tigers for Tomorrow a few weeks ago. I assume they are well fed living at a casino.

Of course, no vacation is complete without climbing trees. Summer had fun in one of Nona's trees and even wanted to carve her and Lexie's name into it. I think at some point they were actually going to write on it with a marker, but I don't think it ever happened.

Summer had some batting practice with her dad throwing her tennis balls while she swatted them, or rather at them, with a racket. She has no interest in playing t-ball this year, but maybe we could try to head over to the tennis courts and see if she has any interest in it. I think I'm going to put Clint on that job because I stink at tennis.

Summer and Mia totally rocked it out on the Wii playing Just Dance 2, MJ: The Experience, and Rock Bank. Of course, I was right there with them. We all took turns playing the drums, guitar and singing. They both total nailed this move on a duet dance. A trip to Circus Circus could not be skipped. There is not a lot for kids to do in Vegas, but this is one place which will definitely put a few smiles on their faces. Unfortunately, the Adventurdome closed for a week of repairs the day we went. But, the arcade was still open and dispensing tickets so Summer was happy about that. There were also circus acts to watch, but we didn't get to watch a whole show. Next time I will have to check the schedule more closely because Summer was pretty disappointed in that. No worries though because the circus is coming to town soon and we are going.

There is a horse boarding/riding place right down the street and the kids made several trip down there to pet the horses and pony. One horse actually tried to eat Summer's hair which I thought was odd and a bit gross seeing as how he left grassy slobber all over the top of her head. Fortunately, she was not hurt or even scared after the incident. I can't wait for her to get to ride her friend Willow's new pony. I know Lexie will love it too. We've got to make a trip up there one day when it warms up. Hint, hint Buddy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Jet Lag **edited

Summer and Lexie finally slept in this morning (later than 8:30), something that did NOT happen on vacation. They were both up before 7:30 every morning. They even made it to one 6 a.m. walk on the beach with me and Paw-Paw. It was fun although the stroller had to be carried across the very wide beach to the packed sand at the shoreline in order to be pushed. Paw-Paw toted Lexie while I hauled the stroller. When we got to the sand, it was a nice stroll down the rock and shell spotted beach. Summer is officially following in my footsteps as a shell collector. That makes me smile. It really is not worth very much to have boxes full of shells, but the hunt is sometimes addictive and fulfilling. Luckily, I have learned to control some of my picking up urges and don't bring home huge bags of them anymore. On our walk, Lexie asked for a shell so I picked her out two. When we got to the playground, which just so happens to be on the beach, she had taken a little bite off of one of them and was chewing it up. Then, she wouldn't spit it out. Kids. After we got the slides dried off, the girls were ready to play in the chilly morning air. Summer loves to climb all over the equipment and slide down the slides on her feet and other "non-normal" ways. She is not very fearful, and I think gymnastics has given her some confidence in her abilities. Lexie always loves the swings the best. On the way home, we stopped at Starbucks and got a morning beverage. Summer had to have something, so she got a bottle of mocha frappuccino. My dad and I got a caramel mocchiato. Yum!

After a big home cooked breakfast, we showered up and headed to Malibu. We paid to park at the pier and then walked down the beach. After only a few minutes on the beach, the girls shoes and socks were both wet and needed to be taken back to the van. I know it's crazy, but I didn't see that one coming. Then we took a leisurely stroll, looking for shells and chasing birds. Lexie really wanted to pet one, but soon discovered that they do not want her to pet them. Summer learned that lesson a few vacations ago. I still have not learned to stop daydreaming about living in one of the houses we walk by, but it takes longer for some of us than others. We walked to the end of the pier and took a look around the gift shop. There was a beautiful great dane that the girls loved. They gave it lots of attention, chasing it around the store until they were scolded and asked to not torture the dog. Good times. They both got a shark tooth which is probably lost by now. I think they were actually in my possession last, but I can't remember where I stashed them. As long as Summer doesn't remember getting it, I'm OK. But, her not remembering something would be completely uncommon and out of the norm so I better get to looking for them. :) We had lunch on the pier which was lovely for everyone but Summer whose pants were a little wet from the ocean. Next time, I'll have to pick out what she wears. She has become so independent in dressing herself that I rarely question what she wears. She does sometimes like for me to do it for her, but those days are getting rare. On a side note, she is also going to the bathroom more by herself and not needing me to wipe her. Usually it is just poops that she needs me, but sometimes, like during the night, she wants me to help with either. OK, so back to the vacation.

On our second day in California, we went to Disneyland. It was awesome and the kids were so excited to ride the rides. The lines were not too bad. The weather was perfect. As soon as we got there, the characters were taking their places to pose with tourists. We got pics with Minnie, Mickey & Donald in the first 10 minutes after our arrival. We started the day with a ride on the Astro Orbiter where the girls each got to control their own plane. Then we headed to the Mad Tea Party which was Summer's favorite ride at Disney World last year. They rode Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, King Arthur Carrousel (several times), Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Peter Pan's Flight, Pinocchio's Daring Journey, Snow White's Scary Adventures. Casey Jr. Circus Train was the last ride before lunch. After lunch we headed to Toon Town and visited Goofy, Mickey's, and Minnie's houses. Lucky for us, both Minnie and Mickey were home for pictures although Lexie missed Mickey due to a temper tantrum when leaving his house to go into his production barn. Summer rode her first roller coaster of the day, Gadget's Go Coaster, and fell in love. She was so excited the whole ride and had to ride it again with her dad after we went together. Last year, she wouldn't get any where near the kiddie coaster at Disney World, but this year she loved it. After that, we rode two more coasters which she also loved - Splash Mountain was her favorite. We finished up the day with Pirates of the Caribbean and Tarzan's Treehouse. On our way out of the park, the girls picked out their souvenirs. Summer got Minnie dressed as a fairy and Lexie picked a 2011 Mickey Mouse. To our surprise, neither girl fell asleep on the way home, although Summer almost did. It was a long, exhausting day, but so fun and one I hope they will remember.

The rest of the trip was spent visiting Hollywood and Venice beach. The girls played in the sand and loved mixing the ocean water with sand in buckets. Summer even got Lexie to try her "soup." No one else would take her up on it though. Despite the freezing cold ocean water, Summer loved playing in the surf and jumping over small waves. She and I would run hand in hand towards the incoming waves and then turn and run back towards the sand. Our sand castle turned out on the dumpy side, as usual. I don't know what it is, but I really haven't been able to build an awesome sand castle in a long time. I remember building some pretty good ones as a child.

We hit the playground a few more times. Summer wanted to throw a party one night, but even after making invitations and handing them out, she did not get around to it. They read, "Party 2nite Rock on 7:00." She made one for her dad, Paw-Paw and Amanda. I told her Amanda had the party without us after we went to bed, but she informed me that she did not turn in her ticket so she didn't. LOL Our last night we went to the Santa Monica pier, my main inspiration for the trip. Summer again loved the rides. She wanted to go on the roller coaster twice, but the line was too long. She really loved the scrambler and said it was her favorite. Lexie enjoyed the ferris wheel ride with Summer and Paw-Paw. We didn't make it to all the rides, but Summer doesn't know that. It was late and we were all tired and ready to go to bed....except her. Of course, she could ride forever. Oh to be a kid again...

I'll have to update on the first part of our trip later. It's late and time for bed. Summer's got her 3 month CT scan in the morning. Praying for NED!!! I haven't started worrying yet, but it does set in once the scan is over and we are waiting on the results. No spots please!