Tuesday, April 26, 2011

There went Peter Cottontail

This past week the girls lit up when I sang "Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail. Hippity-hoppity Easter's on its way. He's been watching girls and boys, going to bring them lots of toys. If they can be good 'til Easter day." I don't think those are the exact words to the song, but they were my version of it and the girls would both smile big and hop around the room like a bunny. It's amazing how excited the song made them. Music can truly bring so much joy at times. I know they are excited to go to music tomorrow. They both love playing with Ms. Janice's toys so we try to get there a little early so they have time to enjoy what she has set out for them to choose from. Sometimes it is puzzles, legos and a certain type of instrument. Sometimes there is a bin of books or blocks. No matter what, they always find something they enjoy. Then it is time to sing and dance and hug. I love the way they run to my arms after they return each instrument we get to use to it's box. Sometimes they knock me back they are coming with such a force, but it feels good to have them so happy to be in my arms. Precious moments for sure!

The girls had lots of Easter activities this past week. On Friday, we colored eggs. Summer got to choose 2 different kits out of the 4 we had left over from last year. She picked a tie dye kit and a sponge painting kit. They both produced beautiful eggs. She ended up coloring most of the eggs we had. Lexie only made it through one egg, but it was beautiful. After she finished it, she got distracted building a house with blankets which is something they are both really into right now. I think there are two "houses" in my living room right now. Actually, I remember Summer telling Lexie that she could come to her hotel when she got up. For some reason Summer was at Lexie's house tucking her into bed. I asked her if she worked at the hotel or owned it. She said she lived there and guessed she worked there too. It's cute to see them play house together. I remember playing house with my sister as kids and having a house (or was it a boat?) made from a blanket on the front porch. Outside the blanket was the ocean, full of sharks!! LOL We had our Cabbage Patch Kid dolls....I wonder if she remembers it the same way. Sadly, the details in life do seem to fade with time.

On Saturday we met up with Willow, Mason and Harper at the zoo for their festivities. After making our way through stinky building with Summer holding her nose pretty much the whole time, we walked through the rest of the zoo participating in several special booths that were set up. They got to pet a ferret, a tortoise, snakes, rabbits and a hissing cockroach. They posed with characters and got candy filled eggs. The baby snow leopard was very active, chasing his mom around the habitat. We all oohed and ahhed over it. After our friends left, the girls got to ride the carousel twice. Then we stopped at the playground for a little bit. I rarely can get away without letting them on it for a few minutes, but it is good for them to climb and play so no need to disapoint them if we have extra time.

I left the zoo with two hungry girls so we stopped by Wendy's for lunch on our way to the church egg hunt. The puppet show was a hit with Summer and Lexie. Then they made their way out to the playground baskets in hands and ran around picking up eggs with a few dozen kids. After emptying the candy from the eggs, the girls got to pick out a big prize (as did all the kids who attended). Summer studied the two tables carefully before choosing her prize. She was eyeballing some stuffed animals when I walked up with Lexie. I was happy when I saw her move past them, seeing as how we have more than we need already. But, instead of candy or any of the other goodies I had hoped she might choose, she found the most perfect prize for her: a pair of white teddy bear slippers with a matching teddy bear. I hadn't seen them until she picked them up. Her face said it all, this was the prize she was taking home. Lexie got a big Reese's bunny which has yet to be opened, but I do think she will enjoy it when she gets around to eating it. If she had her way, all the candy would probably be gone by now. But, I try to limit them to a few pieces a day since it isn't really a healthy food choice.

On Sunday, we went to church and then headed to my Aunt Leisa's house for Sunday dinner. It was a great time with family, and I was especially happy to see my Grandad there. After we got our bellies full, Summer found a caterpillar which she wanted to keep. She was so fascinated with it she put it in a cup so we could take it home with us. Lexie had an inch worm she played with too for a little while, but it was smushed before too long. After placing the caterpillar in the car, the kids hunted eggs until their heart's content. Then they counted their eggs and got in line to pick out prizes. The table was FULL of candy and treats. Little Debbies are always a staple at this prize table, and they were the first to go. Thankfully, we only ended up with one box. The girls don't really eat them that much so they didn't choose any at all. I lucked out and got all the unchosen Cheeto bags. They are my weakness right now. We left there with plenty of candy and headed to Selena's for our last egg hunt. After eating another yummy dinner, the kids hunted eggs in tall grass. They found 95 of the 100 eggs we hid. They blew bubbles and played on the swingset. They played with Willow and Harper's toys and dolls. It was a fun, fun time for all. Needless to say, we were all exhausted by the end of the day. Another holiday has passed and lots of great memories were made. What more could we ask for?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Time Out

Oh what a place to be! I thought the uncomfortableness of the rock fireplace alone would deter the girls from repeating unwanted behaviors, but that does not seem to be the case. It never ceases to amaze me how many times Lexie can do the same thing you just told her not to do. Again and again and again. I know that the toy does not just keep moving and jumping under your feet!!! And, then when you ask her if she is going to do it again, she looks at you with those beautiful blue eyes and says she is not going to do it, all the while knowing good and well she probably is. So you let her out of timeout and there she goes. Fun times!

And, attitude? Well, that's Summer's downfall at this point in time. That and picking on Lexie. I believe they were both in time out for picking on each other today. I do think they are learning something from their time outs, but they also keep testing their boundaries to see what they can get away with. I guess that is just part of it. I really do believe consistency pays off in the long run. So, I'm sticking to my guns and doling out the consequences by the hand full it seems some days. It's not always easy to do that, but I do my best to set reasonable expectations for the kid's behavior and then make them responsible for their actions. Now don't get me wrong, it's not all consequences I'm handing out. There are praises too and treats for good behaviors. I definitely believe in building them up with words. You can never do that enough. Lexie has only one more poop to go and she gets to pick out a toy at the store. I am so proud of her and she is proud of herself too. Will it be tomorrow? And, do I burst Summer's balloon that she is not getting one too??? Oh the curve balls in life. I just love handling them. Oh to be the kid again...........this parenting stuff is hard some times.

Friday, April 15, 2011

My hands are full and I love it!

The girls went down to bed just before 8:00 p.m. this evening. That is usually a goal of mine if we are home and don't have anything special going on. Sometimes I am too tired to do anything but go to bed after I get them to sleep, but it's Friday so I'm going to stay up late and record some memories while I watch a grown-up movie on TV. I really wish there was some Kardashian show to watch because the Real Housewives of New York just isn't going to do it for me tonight. But, there is not. After flipping through the guide, I settled on a CIA movie which is not something I would normally choose. Variety is the spice of life though.

The girls have kept me on my toes this week. Potty training Lexie has been somewhat frustrating. I am sooooooooooo glad Summer is past this stage. I don't remember being as frustrated with Summer, but maybe with her being my first I was a little more patient. Or, maybe she just caught on quicker. At this point, I am tired of diapers and I know she knows when she is peeing and pooping in her pants. So for the past two weeks, she's been in panties. But, I can't get her to tell me when she is going to pee. Usually it is just me taking her when I see signs or feel like it has been long enough for her to have to go. Otherwise, for the most part, she pees and poops in her pants. There are only 3 more poop spots for stickers on her potty chart before she gets to go pick out a toy. The 8 pee spots were filled up in the first few days. At the rate she has been going, it could be end of next week before she gets the poop spots filled up. And, that's wishful thinking on my part probably. Again, I am soooo happy Summer is past this stage!!!! I just wish Lexie would catch on and get on board with going in the potty, not her panties. All things in due time I guess.

Summer and Lexie seem to enjoy antagonizing each other at times. Why, oh why, can't they just get along and not pick at each other like good little girls? I guess that is just part of sibling rivalry although they are not really siblings. They are both vying for my attention, the same toy, or, better yet, my lap! If one of them gets in my lap, the other is usually not far behind her. If only there were more of me to go around! LOL Sometimes they end up pushing each other a little, wanting more of my lap for themself. It's not bad hosting the lap, but it is a little annoying when they get whiny and take the pushing too far causing the other to get defensive and/or cry. Then I have to step in and mediate. When I do something with one, the other wants it too whether it be for me to sing them a song or give them a ride on my feet through the air. When Lexie gets a piece of candy for using the potty, Summer wants one too. I wonder if they will always be competitive like that or if one day they will realize that there is enough of me and everything else to go around. Of course, who knows what the future holds? We may not even have Lexie here at some point. She could possibly fall off the face of our Earth and then Summer will have me all to herself. Life is just not predictable enough for me sometimes. But, it is, what it is, and I have learned to accept that.

The girls and I have been to visit my grandad at the hospital for the past 3 days. They were very entertaining to say the least. They got a little bit rowdy and wound up at times, but they did bring some smiles to my grandad's face which is always good. They both gave him kisses and hugs. Lexie even held his hand one time and sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to him. Yesterday, Nanny took them outside for part of the visit to explore the hospital grounds and then to the cafeteria where she bought them a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. They loved it. Oh how Memaw and Nanny love to spoil their grandkids!

Summer is not one to let details go and listens even to conversations she is not directly involved in. Imagine that! LOL We have talked about the possibility of him dying because his kidneys are not working. She read between the lines and told me that if he does what he is supposed to do, meaning dialysis, he will be OK. Of course, dialysis is a choice and not a very appealing one to my grandad unfortunately. So, I have been trying to gear up for the worst, but hope for the best. I sure don't want to lose him, but then who does want their loved ones to die? We did get some good news today that his kidneys may be working again and dialysis may not be necessary so I'm a little less worried than I was, but now I realize, once again, how precious time with our loved ones is. You just never know what the future holds.

On the way to the hospital yesterday, Summer told me that when she grows up she wants to be one of the people who explores the forests. Nature is one of her things for sure. A few weeks ago, we found a freshly dead owl in our backyard. Alongside one of my friends, she checked its body and feathers out. This past week, we discovered a bird who had apparently flown into a window and injured it's wing on our back porch. Summer's first instinct was to take care of it and save it. We called one of our friends and talked about what to do. After deciding to get a cage to put it in, we left the bird and went back inside to retrieve it. When we returned, we were surprised to see that Trixie had killed it. Summer was very sad and put Trixie in her play pen. She didn't really believe it was dead at first, but I showed her how her head was limp and her eyes were not looking at us anymore. Following the lead of my friend last week who put the owl in the freezer and took it home with her, she wanted to keep the body. I explained why we couldn't do that. So in lieu of keeping it, we took note of some of its features we wouldn't normally be able to do up close. We checked out the wingspan and saw how the wings look like butterfly wings when spread. When her daddy got home, he cut the wings off of the dove for her to keep. We'll see if they end up in the back yard with the rest of the body at some point in the future. We talked a little about making something from them, but we haven't yet and that happened a few days ago. Maybe one day the time will present itself, but for now they are on a paper plate on the counter top.

Today, summer and my dad found some snails crawling around outside. She coaxed him into putting them in a jar for her. She had the best time playing with them this afternoon. It's amazing how long they entertained her. She even let me and Lexie hold one for a little while. She ended up breaking one of the shells herself, thankfully. If it had a been Lexie or myself who did it, I'm sure it wouldn't have went over as well. She sure does love all kinds of living creatures though and isn't scared to get on a touchy-feely basis with them if she can.

Our Wednesdays are a little less busy now with gymnastics being over until we return from our vacation. We actually went to class this past Wednesday unnecessarily. I didn't realize the session was up. Oops. Luckily, the girls were both dressed in something cute, so we took the opportunity to go see the Easter bunny at the mall. They had the best time sitting in his (or is it a her?) lap. The camera wasn't working and the photographer had to reboot the system so they got an extra long turn. The bunny tickled them and they giggled and smiled. Unfortunately, my camera died after a few snaps so I didn't capture it like I would've liked to. The pictures turned out cute though so all was not lost. They each left smiling with an Easter mask in one of their hands. Summer chose a bunny, and Lexie chose a lamb.

Next week Summer has her last two swimming lessons. She can already swim like a fish thanks to the first two sessions. Now she is working on learning the freestyle stroke. It's not perfect, but she is putting forth a good effort in trying do it. Goggles are a must for her to go under the water, but that's OK with me. Whatever it takes. She loves the water and that makes us both happy. I wonder if she will want to pick back up on the swimming lessons after vacation. Do I have a future competitive swimmer? Only time will tell. I try to live one day at a time and not get ahead of myself, but I do love to dream about what she will be like when she grows up. I will never know what the future holds, but I hope and plan for the best. That's all we can do, right?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Overnight guests again

Today started in a very unusual way. We were woken up by Lexie rather than Summer who decided she wanted to sleep until 9:00 a.m. which is unheard of around here. She is usually up around 7:00 a.m. give or take thirty minutes. Lexie usually gets up when she does although occasionally she will sleep a little later. Never until nine though, not at this house at least. After breakfast, a quesadilla and the last sugar cookie for Summer and a poptart and fruit for Lexie, the kids and I snuggled up and watched some Curious George together until PawPaw came over to play with them. After lunch, Lexie went down for a nap and Summer started working on a ceramic paint project I found at Walmart. She chose to paint the butterfly first. That brings us to now which is my down time of the day when I can jot down little snippets of our life that we will always be able to remember. That is if the Internet does not collapse before I download a complete copy of this blog.

Last week, (long pause) Ok, fast forward 7 hours, I've got free time again. :)

So the rest of day was spent playing the Wii and building houses out of blankets. They have turned Trixie's play pen into a spooky dark house. Summer piled blankets on top of blankets to darken out all the light and make it "spooky." Lexie did not like it when Summer mades scary sounds inside of the house so Summer didn't get to make many. Lexie also kept messing the door up so Summer turned the baby bed area she had made outside the house into Lexie & Barney's room. I'm not saying that the blankets were not messed up several times more by Lexie and Trixie because they were. Summer is learning to be patient whether she likes it or not. We all are I guess. Two is definitely a mischievious age for Lexie. She is nothing like Summer for sure and has had her fair share of time outs in the past few weeks. They both have had more than I would prefer. But, if I turn my head and do nothing, what will they learn?

After dinner, Summer played in the hot tub while I painted Lexie's finger and toe nails. She chose pink with a glitter coat on top. When Summer got her pj's back on (it's been a pj day for her today), she started painting her own nails in a "pattern." Each digit on her hand/foot is a different color, but both hands and feet have the same pattern of colors. After the first hand, she asked me to finish which I gladly did. I actually did a half way decent job too, not that my friends will believe me. LOL I hope the polish does not come off too quickly, but it always seems to on the kids.

We polished off the evening with popcorn, chocolate chip cookies and a movie - Barbie as Rapunzel. After a good teeth scrubbing, it was story time. Summer was more into her story than Lexie, but that is usually the case. Then it was time for prayers and bedtime kisses. It's so sweet to hear them tell me goodnight and proclaim their love for me as I close the door and say "sweet dreams." I will never forget those sweet voices and dread the day that they outgrow it.

Last week, they had lots of company between their cousins and friends, Willow and Harper. Wednesday night was the only night they didn't have other kiddos to go to bed with. Leah and Jonathan got two spend two nights with us. The kids all played great together. There was not much down time for me with an average of 4 kids in the house, and I quickly drifted off to sleep when I finally hit the bed every night. Summer and Willow did some Easter crafts and made and decorated sugar cookies. They splashed in the hot tub and built houses on the back porch with beach towels and lounge chairs. They swang on the tree swing and enjoyed batting at tennis balls with tennis rackets. Lexie and Harper played with playdough, one of Lexie's favorite things to do. Willow and Summer played Sorry and Wii games. They jumped off the bed and enjoyed bedtime stories read by yours truly. We finally coaxed them into sitting down and watching one of the movies Selena brought one afternoon. The days flew by and fun was had by all. I can't wait to spend some more time with these people on our vacation and I know Summer can't either.

Tomorrow's our busy day - gymnastics, music, lunch, nap, swimming lessons, and church. And guess what I forgot at the grocery store -- liquid energy in the form of Starbucks mocha frappuccino. Guess I'll be hitting a drive thru at some point!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this post is a novel.

Summer and I at Fridays for a special Valentines day lunch. Grrr....it's blurry.Lexie loved her bag of goodies from me and Pop. Watch out wallet, it's the carousel again. Even though it was too cold to walk through the zoo, the girls loved riding the carousel.
They love to play in the hot tub!

Not sure if she was trying to make the same face for herself and Barney, but it looks like it.
Summer doing her balancing act. Big smile for the rocking horse.

Lexie likes blowing bubbles in her pjs. Summer makes some big bubbles.
Taking her baby out for a walk.

Chili is a favorite meal around here.

Is she happy?
Ready to roll

Summer's first time roller skating was at Sidda's 6th birthday party. Lexie's first time roller skating with Summer's training skates.Sidda and Summer are super cool girls!
Playgrounds are always a good time for Summer and Lexie.
Lexie wins playing Pretty, Pretty Princess with me and Summer.
Summer takes a picture of Lexie as we cruise down the road.
She loves taking pics of herself too.
Summer and Mason face off at the air hockey table.
This is fun!
Summer supervises Lexie's bowl.
They enjoyed strolling in the new double stroller while wearing costumes.
Always smiling on the carousel.
They absolutely love it!

The zoo has monkeys!!!

Summer and Lexie are always ready for adventure.

Summer really got into the art projects at the Creative Discovery Museum's Western Day event for preschoolers.
Giddyup cow girls!
She's ready to eat the snack she made.
Summer colored the whole poster before we left. She was very into this craft.
Time for a tea party to celebrate Karlie's birthday.
Lovely ladies enjoying the party.
Time to decorate your own heart shaped cake with icing and sprinkles.
All smiles when I came to pick them up from visiting day at St. Peters. They were playing on the playground at the school they will be attending in the fall.
Very cool seesaw!
The girls loved Leah's chorus concert that was 80's themed.
The circus was a fun time for us all.
Lots of pictures and posing from us girls.
Summer brought her hat from last year's circus.

Lexie is a rock star on the Wii.
Summer pushes Lexie with me.
Ready for books then bed.
She was so excited to help me cook.
Lexie and Barney sit on Nanny's lap.
Summer loves the clubhouse at Memaw and Nanny's house.
A little girl who prays for Summer gave her a bag full of stuffed animals. One of which turned out to be a neww Barney for Lexie.
Summer's creative with chalk. This is her walking a few dogs.
Someone missed out on this playdate with Liliana and Laila. Can you guess who?
We were all ready for Barney to come on stage.
Yay!!!! There they are!
Lexie enjoys the show with her own Barney doll.
BJ comes to great the crowd and the girls wave.
Summer loves her Trixie!

A hike sounds good to this girl.
Thumbs in the mouth everyone. :p

Summer hides from the camera behind Lexie. One happy hiker with pretzels to snack on. Don't you just love those pig tails?!?
Couldn't you just pinch those cheeks? They're better for kissing though.
Summer and Ty waiting on everyone to catch up.
Summer and Willow love posing at the zoo.
Riding the deer like she did on the last visit.
Lexie picked a tiger.
Can't leave without a stop at the playground too!
Whose ready for the Easter bunnies?
The girls attempted to count the eggs before we hid them. Harper and Lexie were quite a distraction though with wanting to help put them in the baskets as Willow and Summer counted them. They did try though looking adorable all the while.
Time for the egg hunt...and they're off!
Fun times when you dump your basket out. She didn't seem to mind though.
Time to count the eggs to see who gets to pick out the door hanger they both wanted from the craft project they made earlier. Willow wins, but Summer got the big prize egg that earned her a ring pop and saved her day from falling apart. LOL
Lexie enjoyed the hunt. I think it was good practice for all the girls. They will have another rematch on Easter. Can't wait!

I love the dress she picked out. She even fixed her own hair. She's SOOOO BIG!!!