Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Madi's Camp Post!

Camp Kidjam
By Madi

Day one: Had no idea what we were going to do when we first arrived. Last year they had waterslides when we got there, but everything changed this year. We had to stand with our suitcases while being bit by ants. My counselor was really nice though, and reassured all of us that we only had to wait a few minutes. When we finally had all of our group members together, we had to lug our suitcases- suitcases!!!- up a few flights of stairs. Then we got to board an elevator and head up to our dorms where we had to change our clothes and rest for a few minutes. My counselor Mrs. Helen came in and we headed off to our first Jam Session, with worship, stories, Drama, and prayer. Each session lasts about an hour and forty-five minutes, and then we go back to the dorms for quiet time.  Mandy, my dorm mate decided to take a shower while I sat on the windowsill. Our room had a perfect view of the boys’ dorms, so I just sat waving at the kids on the balcony while they waved back. Again we left, but this time for dinner. The campus food was GROSS, let me tell you that. I ended up eating grapes, soda, a hotdog, and Oreos when we got back to my room. Jam session, then small group time where our group only talked about God and did fun activities. By the time we went to the third and last jam session of the night it was 8:45. Everyone loves the dramas, called Funnier Than Thou and CKJ Live, because they are hilarious. Funnier than thou is about these three people, Phil Davison, Cubby Deloach, and Teresa stone, while CKJ Live was a news that had Nate and The tree as their stars. We were team Orange, our name was The Orange Bananas, and out team cheer on the first night was “O-O-O-O-ORANGE! O-O-O-O-ORANGE! O-O-O-O-ORANGE BANANAS!!!!” Then after a meeting at 9 and a party at 9:30, we finally went to bed, watching the boys wave their flashlights at us.

Day Two: Wake up at 630.  Which meant 30 minutes to get ready and then breakfast, which I knew with experience from last year was going to be Eggs, Bacon, Cereal, and Orange Juice. It was their most delicious meal. After eating we headed back to our dorms while group B ate their food. Then came the Jam session. First we sang songs like “Jesus you’re my superhero” and “Love.” My friend Aubrey fell asleep, and the rest of us danced and sang along. Then our host Adam came on to the stage and told us how he got a Ferrari and disobeyed the car dealer by putting a certain kind of Gasoline in it. He then showed us a picture of how it looked after it had exploded. Adam cried and told us that that was how Adam and Eve had felt after they disobeyed God and ate the fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil. I thought it was a pretty good example. Adam went on, and as we listened the lights dimmed until it was black in the room. Adam finished his last sentence and walked off, and on the big screens the words “CKJ Live” came up. The some kids were screaming and screaming their heads off, while others were going “Woot, Woot! Woot Woot! Woot Woot!” You could barely see the stage being set up. Then the staff left the stage so that Nate and Jake, or the tree, could start. The lights came on and the hosts said, “Goooood morning folks, and welcome to C-K-J Liiive.” Nate had this huge grin on his face, the one that stayed on for the rest of the week on the news. It was AWESOME! They talked, and then called up the flyest kid of the day, which was the kid who nominated his/ herself to go up on stage. Today was a girl who could hula-hoop for a very long period of time. Seriously, Veery long periods of time. She was on the stage hula-hooping non-stop for the remaining hour of the Session! They awarded her team points, and then told her to stay up for the rest of the Show. Jake called the Awesomest leader of the day up, and poured chocolate on him, then sent him away. They set up News, and Nate reported the weather.

“If you want to know what the weather is today, go outside and look up.”

He grinned. Wow. While Jake commented that Nate was useless, we laughed our heads off. CKJ news ended after that, and it was track class time. My class was Drama, and I was with one of my group members Skylar. At first we all played a game where we made our names like “Joyful Jessica,” or “Too awesome Trinity.” My name was “Magnificent Madison.” And Skylar’s was  “Stunning Skylar.” Zip Zap Zop was fun too, where you had to point at a person and make sure you said the right word. But Question To Question was the best of all. I was the orange team volunteer, while I went against a red teamer. The object of the game is to respond to your opponent’s question with another question.
I started. “Where did you get that shirt?”
“Did you get your eye color from your mom?”
“Did you know your shoes were untied?”
“No I Didn- Aww!”
Another daring challenger came up. She started.
“Where did you get your skin color?”
“Why should I tell you?”
Silence. “Crud! I couldn’t think of a Question!”
Two more games and then it was the finals. I stared at the red teamer straight in the eye. She started.
“Did you get that shirt at Justice?”
“How should I know?”
“Do you like origami yoda?”
“Did you know that I haven’t read it?”
“What is your mom’s name?”
“How much longer is this going to last?”
“I don’t know!”
I had won. I cheered along with my team and our teachers dismissed us all. It was lunchtime. I chose a hotdog, a roll, two cookies, lemonade, and fruit. It was actually quite filling. Our dorms were cool when we got back, and we planned a party for the next day, which was to be in the upstairs lobby with my whole floor.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dallas Zoo Trip

Another really fun day!!  I surprised Riley by taking her to the zoo today.  My mom was in on it and came along as well.  Jeremy explained to Julia where we would be going when he put her down last night.  Riley was very excited to try to figure it out and guessed the Arboretum which was a great guess!  She loved the idea of going when we told her on the way down which is good!

We left around 8am and got to the zoo right as it opened at 9am.  Lathered ourselves in sunscreen and headed inside.  Julia wasn't quite sure what we were doing, but got so giggly and said "They very loud!!"  when we saw some toucans as we walked into the park.  She didn't want to leave any of the animals ever.  Whichever animal we were at, she only wanted to stay there.

So happy about her surprise trip!

Watching the birds when we first enter the zoo

We were able to see the elephants walking, swinging their trunks and feeding themselves.  Then we watched them go to sleep.

Then we made our way to the giraffes.  It was awesome!  There was one gliding/running in the back of the savannah which zebras were running like crazy as well as deer.  Just beautiful!  We bought some lettuce to let the girls feed the giraffes.  Julia kept saying "Hi animals!!  Hi animals!"  then changed it to "Hi giraffes!"  once she knew what they were called.  Riley wanted to pet them and did so after feeding them.  Julia fed them one leaf and just preferred to watch them.

Though their favorite part was playing under a hut with a thatched roof and getting soaking wet from the misters.  Which was probably best as it was in the low 90s quite early this morning.

We took a snack break while we waited for the monorail to come around.  Jules was excited about riding the 'train.'  She did not want to sit down!  Kept moving constantly between my mom and I and couldn't figure out where she wanted to go.

After the monorail took us around a portion of the park, we went to watch the bird exhibit.  Which was slightly disappointing as the guy they called up to the front ended up falling into the water just like the girl did last time.  Obviously staged :(  Bummer.  But the girls loved it.  Especially when the owl went flying directly over our heads and very close to us.

We then made our way to the car and went home.  Two and a half hours was the perfect amount of time to take them to the zoo.  Tonight Julia kept talking about how she saw lions, elephants - "they eat with trunks!  then sleep like this! (eyes closed)," giraffes...  she would close her eyes and immediately open them to talk about the animals she saw today.

Riley loved it as well!

We went to Willow Bend Mall to get some lunch and do a little more school shopping.  Got Madi a bunch more shirts as she's needing them.  Then came home for a little while to chill. Then went to my parent's for a late-night swim before eating dinner and going to bed.

Was a fantastic day!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A special day with Riley

Today I only had three piano students as the many others were at camp, on vacation or couldn't make it for whatever reason.  Julia was at daycare, Madi was at church camp and Riley was home with me.  So I decided to make it a special day for her!  I still had students for almost two hours this morning and a dentist appointment for myself in the afternoon, but there were three hours between them.  So off we went!

I asked Riley what she wanted to do today and gave her choices:  stay home and play whatever she wants to play or do whatever she wants to do, make American Girl doll clothes for her doll, or go to the mall.  She chose the mall.  I let her know that I had carousel tokens so she could take a ride on it.  And that I had a Justice gift card and we could check out the animals/clothing there.  She's a little too small still to shop there, but sometimes their size 6 clothes run small or tight so she can wear them with leggings or we can shrink them a little in the dryer :)

We drove out to the mall and we sang together in the car.  She was sooo excited!!  I let her decide where she wanted to first.  She chose Justice so we made our way there.  She found a little puppy and a little cat to buy - all of $10 for both which was great!  I found Madi some new clothes and got Riley a shirt.

We looked at the Disney store and Gymboree.  Went to the carousel and she decided that she didn't want me to stand next to her.  She wanted me to watch from behind the metal fence.  I helped her buckle the belt and then moved outside the little fence.  Ok - seriously??!!  When did she get so big?!  She was SO happy and proud to be able to do it herself.  I helped her off.

Then we went to Abercrombie Kids and got Madi some new tshirts.  Then went to Gap Kids and got Riley a bunch of new school clothes.  Love shopping for their school clothes when they are discounting summer things so much because the fall clothes are always too hot to wear at the beginning of the year anyway.  Gap Kids had 40% off clearance prices, Abercrombie had 50% off clearance prices and Justice had take 40% off and an additional 40% off clearance.  Needless to say the girls scored very well in the clothing department today!  Should be a nice surprise for Madi when she gets home from camp.

Next week on Wednesday we'll go to Old Navy.  I have a coupon for spend $50 and get $15 off.  And they have jeans for $10.  So we'll get a bunch of jeans and get the girls all set with pants.  Buy the next size up so they have growing room and a few that fit them now.

Riley and I got home to play with her new puppy and cat.  Ate a special lunch picked out by her - almond butter (no, I'm not allergic to almonds and loving it) and honey sandwiches with gogurt yogurts.  We seriously devoured them.  First time having almond butter and will definitely not be the last!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

No More Potty Training

In one week, Julia is completely in panties all the time.  She is going potty - number one and two - whenever she needs to.  She has stayed dry at her naps the last few days and stayed dry through the night last night.  Woke me up at 4am and was freezing so I had her lay with me in bed and snuggle.  So sweet and so warm.  I was actually on fire from being so hot next to her little warm body.  Then at 5am, she woke me up to go to the potty.  Couldn't believe she was dry!!

Today we traveled in the car quite a bit - about three hours total between all the places we had to go.  She stayed dry, went at the right times and had no accidents.

Kudos to Julia.  Seriously the easiest child to potty train ever.  So thankful!!

Our Little Mermaids

Julia loves to jump in the pool.  Actually lunges forward off the tanning ledge, jumps as hard as she can, mouth open wide, coming out of her inner tube that is around her belly.  Hilarious.  She loves it!!!  She always says "I'm a mermaid!!"  And loves being told that she is one too.

Tonight I took Julia and Riley over to my parents' house for a swim after dinner.  The sun was lower and it was a little cooler (99 degrees).  Felt wonderful!  The girls were cheering in the car and couldn't wait to get there.

Jules is a dare devil.  Doesn't mind taking risks.  Jumps right in and thinks about it later.  She has started telling us "I do myself."  So today and the past few days, she'll have her water wings on and jump in all by herself - with us very close by just in case.  She ends up going under the water.  Then coming up and saying "I do again!"  She was born to be a little mermaid.

We always call Madi "The family fish."  She has very much earned that title.  I think she was born to swim.  It's definitely an area that should be encouraged and given an opportunity to grow.  She's so natural at it.  My parents give her dares and she completes them.  Super fun for her!  She'll be swimming at camp this week.

Riley has become a totally new person in the water since taking swim lessons.  She is confident, doesn't mind water in her face, loves goggles and tries new things every time we're over there.

This week she realized that she can touch the bottom of the pool on one end.  Today she realized that she can walk across the bottom of the pool along one end.  She repeated this a few times with no water wings on.

She also loves to jump in the pool repeatedly.  Julia tries to copy everything that Riley does.  They had so much fun tonight giggling and laughing and copying.  Was so fun.

Riley is also going underwater and attempting to swim on her belly while using her hands to cup and kicking while I hold her under her belly.  She's done such an amazing job being more daring and trying new things.  So glad those swim lessons helped her so much this summer!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Best Potty Training Award Goes To...

Julia!!!!!  She has basically trained herself to go potty.  Still in shock.  She woke up and sat on the potty right away, wore big girl panties with Minnie Mouse on them all day and stayed dry, had zero accidents, and used the potty whenever she needed to all day long.  She even woke up from her nap completely dry and stayed dry while we went out today.  Completely amazed!!!

She's loving it too!  Cheers for herself and cheers whenever someone else goes potty too.  The other day she brought her book about Jesus with her to the bathroom and said "I go potty with Jesus."

Today Riley went potty and wanted Jules to go at the same time on her little potty so she started yelling out "I'm going poop!!  Come on Jules!  Let's poop together!"  Was hilarious.

It was a very peaceful day today.  We mostly stayed home except for one short outing to a resale shop to see if we could find a side table to refurbish that would work for all of Riley's art supplies as her crayons, papers, stickers and artsy things are overtaking her room.  Didn't find anything, but the girls had fun looking around!

Tomorrow is the weekend and Jeremy will be going into work again.  Only two more weekends to go, I hope!!  Then we celebrate Dad's birthday on Sunday at El Fenix.  The girls will love that!!!!  Chips and Grammy and Poppi - can't get better than that!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What I want when I'm six

Tonight at bedtime, Jeremy read a book "Max, My Best Friend" with Riley on the iPad.  Apparently she loved it!  He said she was just adorable.  And after they ended the book, she said:

"Oh Dad.  The only thing I want for my birthday when I am six is a dog.  Is my very own dog.  And Dad.  I just really want a dog!  A brown one with black.  I want four dogs.  They will be three girls and one boy.  No.  I only want one dog for my birthday.  The only thing I want is a dog.  I will take care of it and I will love it.  It will sleep beside me, it will cuddle with me because it will be cute and warm and it will cuddle with me.  I will have really good dreams tonight about my dog.  Oh.  I can already do it right now!"

Jeremy prayed and said in his prayers "And help Riley to have good dreams."

She interrupted and said "Oh I will Dad.  I will be dreaming about my dog."

Riley's First Dental Visit

Riley was so excited today about going to the dentist.  Madi had gone last week and was going back for some dental work so I scheduled Riley's dental visit for the same time.  She knew that she would get a gold token to use in one of the machines at the end and she would be able to get a special prize.

She got dressed in a velvety black dress with dogs on it that Grandpa Mo had purchased for her.  She put on her nice white shoes and was ready to go!!

We had to wait about fifteen minutes before going in.  She got a sticker that had a sheriff's badge picture on it and her name.  Cute name tag!  She wore it proudly.  They called her name and she skipped to the door.  So I gathered Jules and Madi followed as she would go back as well.  The girls sat and played on some boards while I answered some questions.

She asked Riley to come to the cabinet and choose a new toothbrush and toothbrush cover! At Frisco Kids Dentistry, they have the parents stay in the waiting room while they work on the kids.  The kids are able to watch tv on flatscreens that are on the ceilings while they work on their teeth.  When they are done, they can play video games for free.  Amazing!!!

Riley had no problem going back!  Was soooo happy!!

After she was done, I went back to see her with Julia.  They were still finishing Madi's cavity filling and sealants.  She was all smiles and very excited!  She was very sad when they did some x-rays as it hurt her mouth to bite on the guard thing.  But other than that, she loved it.  She said that the water pic was funny feeling and it made her laugh.  She said she loved how clean her teeth felt and that she loved it.

Dr. Rubin said that her teeth are perfect and in excellent shape.  No cavities or issues.  All her adult teeth are growing in great and everything looks wonderful.  He showed me the x-rays and you could see the adult teeth below.  He said everything is developed as it should be.  No issues at all!  So glad to see our brushing, flossing and mouthwash routine every night is helping so much!!!

She has another visit in January.  So very proud of our girl!  And so thankful for such an amazing pediatric dentist office!

Potty Trained!

Not sure how this happened so quickly.  Wasn't planning to work on it a whole bunch this summer and figured she'd be potty trained by her third birthday, but Julia had other plans.

On Monday, she walked the house naked all day.  From the waist down anyway.  Kept her shirt and shoes on which looked hilarious.  But she did not want pull-ups on and she did not want a diaper on.  So I got out the little potty and kept it close.  She did awesome!!  She loves to go in the little potty, carry it to the big potty, dump it, flush it and let me clean it.  She's so proud!!

On Tuesday, she went to school while I taught piano lessons.  I sent her in her pull-ups.  Wasn't sure how panties would go.  Her teacher said that she stayed dry the entire day and was so excited to use the potty.  In the morning, Jules told her teacher she was going to go potty so she went into the bathroom (they leave the door slightly open) and then flushed and came out fully dressed.  Three hours later, the teacher took another child to the potty and saw a pull-up in the middle of the floor.  Being that Julia was the only one who had gone that day, she called out to her.  Felt Jules' bottom and realized she had gone commando for three hours that morning with no accidents.  Funny girl!!

On Wednesday, she wore Dora underwear.  Went through three pairs as she'd start to go, but then hold it until she made it to the potty.  She did awesome!!!

Today she was dry the entire day!!!!  Only one small accident.  I put her in a pull-up when we went to the dentist, but she stayed dry and went in their potty.  So amazing.

So we'll see how tomorrow goes!  Thinking we may be very close to being officially done with pull-ups during the day!  Woo Hoo!!!

Laughter Makes the Heart Happy

I called my mom at lunch and vented as to how the morning had gone.  All she could do was say "Sorry.  But that's really funny!!"  I was laughing too.  All the while Julia was screaming in the background and Riley desperately needed something and was crying so I had to go.  Never a dull moment.  And definitely never a moment of quiet or time alone.

I got the girls breakfast, gave them both a shower to which they freaked out when made to get out and then played hide and seek in our closet.  Though Riley was very mad that Julia kept hiding in the same place as it "wasn't fair!!!"  So change of pace - let's go downstairs!

Being the insane mom I am, I thought going to Ikea would make for a fun outing this morning.  With three children.  Didn't think it through very well.  My goal was to get a new shelf unit for Julia's room.  Our plan is to keep the 2x4 unit that it is her room and lay a 1x4 unit sideways with bins so that it can be her "dresser."  Then I'm planning to make a cover and get some cute little pillows and something on the wall to create a little reading space.  Jules loves to read so it would be fun for her.  So first we needed the Hemnes unit.  And I thought "Great!  I can get it and Jeremy can build it.  Will save us a trip."

Before going, we needed to go to the bathroom.  Riley went and as she came out, I stepped in.  Julia was crying to go in and Riley wanted the panda that she had left inside the bathroom.  But I didn't know she had left the panda until I got in the bathroom, locked the door and went in private.  Seriously the first time in ages since I have gone to the bathroom without a child saying "Yea!!!  Go Mommy!  I see?  You poo?  You pee?  I flush?"  All said while I am still sitting down.  I was very excited to be in the bathroom alone.  But then I saw the door handle moving all directions and could hear both of them yelling to get in and Riley was pulling the handle.  And I called to her and told her to get off the door handle.  She kept it up.  I told her again that she needed to leave it alone as this was how the curtain rod in her room was broken yesterday and we didn't need a repeat.

But she kept pulling.  I barely fastened my pants so I could open the door and free them from their lonely lives in the hallway.  I had warned that she would lose her panda if she didn't let go so true to my word, I placed panda on the top of the fridge.  Riley lost it and was sobbing and very mad.  I was just frustrated at this point.  And told her "You're such a brat!!!!"  So mature I was.  Just lost it.

She ran upstairs to which I yelled "Good idea!!"  Julia was on my hip.  And yet, I still decided to go to Ikea.  After apologizing to Riley for losing my temper and that I didn't use nice words, she apologized for not listening.  I told her sorry again and she asks "Do I have to say sorry again?  I already said it and I wasn't sure if you're wanting me to say it again."

All of us were then calm and so off to Ikea we went.

Got Julia in a cart and she was crying because she wanted to walk.  Well, Ikea is NOT the ideal place for her to walk and we just needed to stay on the first floor for the few items we needed.  Got two storage containers for food for the kitchen.  Passed the bedroom area only to have Madison say "Not that I'm not thankful, but I can't wait to get a new bedroom.  After a year, I'm ready to have all new things.  I want to change it all.  I like my room, but I want all new things."  Ugh...

So we get to the unit to buy and I realize "umm... I am so not strong enough to lift this thing."  So Madi gets a new cart to hold it and a worker helps load it on.  Madi pushes Julia in the small cart and is swerving and moving it all over the place.  Had to make sure she was able to do it calmer several times as there was a screaming toddler in the cart.  Ugh again.  We get to the checkout and Julia is still screaming nonstop.  The lady working there goes "Someone doesn't like Ikea!"  To which I reply "No.  Not today."

We get to the parking lot and I tell Madi that I'll need her help getting it in.  She proceeds to get in the car anyway.  And even after being asked several times, just hangs out and is totally unaware.  In the meantime, Riley is helping hold the cart with the unit on it and saying "Here Mom.  I'll help."  So I get Julia in the car - still crying - and say "Hey!  Madi - get out so you can help."  She's still totally oblivious.  Finally I put the seat down and say "Madi - out!"  So Riley climbs to her seat and I tell her "Please stand behind the cart and just hold it in place so I can lift the unit in."  I finally have her holding it, lift it a little and get it in no problem.  She walks inside without thinking about the cart having wheels and I grab it before it hits something next to us and put it in the cart corral.

Julia stops crying - so thankful!  We go to Target where Madi is trying to get me to buy her pants ("no you don't need those"), school supplies ("we don't have your list and you have a lot of what we need"  "Oohhh... I thought I got all new things??!!"  "Seriously?  You have a practically new expensive backpack, an unused large binder and tons of notebooks/supplies/crayons left that are unused.  I think you should be thankful for what you have and realize that it will work great."  "Well, I just want all new things."  and then complaining that I haven't called her friends' mom because her friend told her at the end of school that she wanted me to call to see if she could go over her friend's house to go to Jumpstreet.  So I explained - again - that if a friend wants to plan a playdate, they will call.  You don't invite yourself over to have their mom pay for a playdate at Jumpstreet because your friend said that you should call.  If they want to invite you to Jumpstreet, they make that call to invite you.  Then we got in a discussion about friends and being the right friend and how I would not invite her over to a playdate at someone else's house.

Deep breath.  So frustrated by ungratefulness and selfishness.  Deep breath.

We make it through Target with only Julia's new panties which she is super excited about. Minnie Mouse :)  We get home only to have Madi asking loads of questions and talking nonstop.  Riley is hungry and Julia is hungry.

So they have Ramen and Jules and I have leftover pizza.  Girls eat really good.  I call my mom and tell her I am truly insane.  That I am just pooped from dealing with three girls and all their needs.  She just laughs and says "I remember those days!"  And then I laugh too.  Because one day I'll look back at this day and go "I remember those days..." when talking to my girls when they have kids.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Giddy Up!

Busy day.  Partly my own doing as an over-achiever.  Partly my own doing as a "I need to get this done..." person.  Partly... ok it is all my own doing.  But made for a very productive day.

Julia woke me up at 4am this morning.  She was calling out my name repeatedly in the hallway and then when I got up (after finally realizing I wasn't dreaming anymore), she took my hand gently and said "Come on Mom!  Come with me Mom!"  So she led me to her room where she told me exactly where she wanted me to sleep, how she wanted to sleep on me and how she wanted the covers arranged.  Phew - good sleep coming...

For about two minutes.  Julia couldn't get comfortable.  So she popped out of bed and said "I be right back!"  Then proceeded to turn off her sound machine and her night light.  In pitch darkness, she says "I want to eat dinner.  I hungry."  I tell her it is four in the morning and it's time for sleep.  She responds with "Oh-tay"  (okay) and turns everything back on and climbs back into bed.  Was a very, very restless night.

After trying to sleep on one inch of the mattress and about to fall off, I finally lay down on the trundle bed hoping she won't wake up.  But she feels me move and leans over the edge of the bed to look at me.  She slips out of the top bed and says "Oh!!  I sleep with you down there!"  And climbs down next to me in the trundle.  Thankfully we were able to get an hour or so of sleep before waking up.

7:00am awake.  8:30am piano lesson to prep for.  So I get dressed, get Jules ready and packed for daycare, drive her to school, get back, get the girls going to breakfast and clean all three bathrooms - toilets, mirrors, shower.  Put in a load of laundry.  Then start my piano students until 10:00am.

Talk to my friend and while looking at the lawn realize how long the grass is.  Has been 10 days since I last cut it and it needs it.  Ugh.  I have one and a half hours until another round of piano students come.  I promised I wouldn't mow it ever again as I've done it all summer and it's hot and it'd be great if Jeremy could stop working weekends to help out with house chores like mowing, but he has work and filing that he's been doing for four months so I decide I can either complain about it (which I have only done ONE time!!  Seriously really good for me.  Ok - two now that I have blogged about it) or I can mow it myself.  So first I weed the beds in the front of the house.  Because they were full of weeds.  Again.  Cannot even count how many times I have weeded those things this summer.  I think the weeds are growing extra fast this year.

Get out the mower and decide to mow only the outside part that everyone else sees and let the backyard go.  But then realize that I'm already sweaty and smelly so I might as well do it all and do it right.  Finish the yard.  Take a shower.  Prep food for lunch for the girls and I.  And my next piano student arrives.

I have a 30 minute lunch break at 1:00pm and call my mom and eat at the same time.  Yup.  Multi-tasking.  And throw in a load of laundry and change out the other load to the dryer.  Start my next round of piano students that ends at 4:15pm today.  Put the other load in the dryer, fold the first load and take it upstairs.  Call the pizza place to order.  Finish the last row of the blanket I've been working on and tuck the final strands of yarn in.  Blanket finished - ta da.

Get Julia.  Pick up pizza.  Talk to Jeremy.  Check-in with him and find out that we have a dinner with his work tomorrow night.  First thought is - what do I wear???  Other thought - ummm babysitter???  So he calls his parents and they'll be coming out tomorrow night.  Sooo thankful!!

Feed girls.  Start night time routines.  Hand off Julia at 7:00pm.  Drive to the Colony Family Childcare Association to give a presentation.  Walk right in and find them totally ready for me.  They started the meeting early and finished all their business news.  So I talk and present and teach books/songs/games/activities for their daycares for an hour.  Then leave to come home at 8:30pm.

It is now 9:00pm and the day is drawing to a close.  Well, almost.  There is that one last load of laundry in the dryer to fold.  But I think it can wait until tomorrow.  Yes, yes, I know it can.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Week One: New Bed Report

Julia is an incredible little girl!  She has taken to her new bed like a champ and is loving it.  She goes down really well and easily.  She keeps waking up in the night and one of us has spent the remainder of her nights in her room on the trundle bed.  Or Riley has woken us up.  Or we've had both of them waking us up.

Last night Jeremy was woken up by Julia.  She said "I want to eat dinner!"  He asked if she was hungry.  She says "I wahn an Eggo!"  He goes "Ok!"  She goes "Booberry."  So off he went to make her a blueberry eggo in the wee early hours and once eaten, she went right to sleep.

A few nights ago, Riley woke me up because she had to go to the bathroom.  So we went and being in a fog, I followed her to her room and fell asleep.  A few hours later, I hear the door open and Julia is coming in.  So I followed her to her room where I slept a few more hours.  Woke up to her staring over the bed at me - just waiting patiently for me to wake up.  Then she giggled.

Julia was extremely chatty tonight.  We read the story of Jesus' birth in the Bible.  She loves this story and wants to see Baby Jesus on every page!  If he's not there, she asks where he "go" and can point to Mary's tummy to tell that Baby Jesus is in her tummy on the pages where she is pregnant.

There is a picture of King Herod with sweat marks coming off his face and a scowl on his face.  She is always fascinated by this picture.  Tonight she says "He very mad?  He no like Jesus?  He no like Jesus?  He not very nice."  Then she pointed to the angel and said "He no like Jesus?"  And I explained that the angel loved Jesus and liked Jesus. King Herod didn't want Jesus to be the King of the Jews because he was King of the Jews and he didn't want another King.  So Jules says "Oh.  He not very nice?  He no like Jesus?  He very mean?"  She's very captivated by this picture and literally spent ten minutes solid just staring at him and trying to figure out why he was so mean.

While laying in her bed, she had her own conversation with herself repeatedly.  As my Dad puts it, she is like hanging around an Alzheimer's patient as she repeats herself so often.  Starts with her looking for the book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."  She has to have it open to the page of the ahcoon (cocoon) so she can look at it when she sleeps.  Then evolved into remembering the train she saw at the Dentist Office. And goes like this:

"Where Caterpillar Go?  I dohn know!  Where Caterpillar Go?  Did he go to Grandpa's house??  Noooooo.... Is he sleeping?  Nooo.  Where Caterpillar Go?  Mommy?  Where Caterpillar Go?  I don't know!

Da Choo Choo Train go?  Where did the choo choo train go?  It at the office.  Yea.  It at office.  Dah dentist.  But where the caterpillar go?

Where my blanket go?...."

On and on it went.  No matter what answer I gave her, she continued to ask where it "go" every time.  She had me sing "Hush Little Baby" many times.  Always gets very upset at the line "... If that looking glass gets broke..."  and says "Oh no!!!  It broke??!!!  Why Broke?  I no want it broke.  It broke?"

Monday, July 9, 2012

Swim Lessons

Riley is doing great at swim lessons.  She is ducking her face into the water (which is huge).  She and Madi did the life saving course today and had to wear life jackets.  They learned how to swim on their back, chins up.  How to buddy up with a friend and connect in a large group in a circle to stay warmer.

Madi jumped off the diving board.  Riley got to swim more on her belly and jump in the water to the instructor.  She is doing fabulous!!!

Big Girl Bed Night Number #3

Julia has now been sleeping in her big girl bed for the last two nights.  Tonight is number 3.  She is amazingly easy!!!!  We keep waiting for her to discover that she can get up at anytime.  Then to find her up and walking around or playing.  She has slept through the entire night every night.  Just amazing.

She was very upset that the leather chair is no longer in her room.  She was trying to pull it into the room last night and crying because she wanted it in there so bad.  However it is much too big to fit anymore with the big girl furniture.

She likes to read on the trundle bed and then climb under the comforter to sleep.  She looks incredibly little in the big bed.  And is soooo cute!!

I love that she wakes up from her naps, opens the door and looks over the balcony to call out "I awake now!  I wake up!"  She also loves waiting in her bed in the mornings until the girls go in to see if she is awake.  Then they all come into our room to say good morning to me.  So cute!

Tonight we read a few books on the trundle, Julia tucked her doll into the trundle bed sheets and then she lay down in her bed.  She asked at least a hundred times "Where the train go?" (we saw a train at the dentist office today).  So I told her it was at the dentist, but she continued to ask where the train went.  Then I told her we'd see it soon and she responded with "Alright."  And lay her head back down so she could sleep.  Precious, precious girl!!!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Arboretum and Visit at Grandpa/Grandma's

Chess Fun!

Chihuly Exhibits

Coolest and most amazing blown glass creations throughout the Arboretum!

Here Goes!

So Julia and Jeremy are upstairs and it is almost 10pm.  That either means that he fell asleep or that she is having a hard time falling asleep.  Hoping it's the former!  Oh - just heard her door open...  will be an interesting night!

Jeremy put together the trundle bed tonight.  We worked together to get the room cleaned out.  The girls all wanted to get the bed put together and I assigned them tasks so there wasn't arguing.  Though they still found things to argue about.  "I want to do that corner!  Why are you laying on the bed?  I want to sit there..."  So redirection and assignments helped curb the "I wants."

Julia was very excited about her new girl bed.  She climbed on it and lay down on it.  Sat on the trundle bed to read some books.  I can't believe our little girl is getting to be such a big girl.  I'm ready for it and at the same time, I can't believe our crib days are over.  And we're moving on to big girl nighttime routines.  Not much different than yesterday, but being in her big girl bed, it will seem different.

So here is the result as of now of her big girl room:  (or soon to be as the photos will not download!)

Sheets... Couldn't get a very good photo of the print on them!

Riley snuggling with her puppy

New Bed Preparation...

Tonight is Julia's first night in her big girl bed.  When I put her down for her nap today, she climbed out over and over and over using the corner of her bed, swinging her legs over the sides and landing on her feet.  Then shouted out "Again!  I climb out again!!"  So it is definitely time.

I ordered mattresses from Weir's today sight unseen.  Sounds crazy, but we had done our research and knew what we were buying.  So rather than getting three girls in the car - after having done swim lessons, lunch and being right before naptime - I decided to just order them and ask to pick them up today.

My dad came by to stay with the girls.  Though I left Madi to babysit until he got there as I wasn't sure if he'd be able to do it.  She did a great job.  I went to the outlet, got them in the car and home.  Serta Perfect Sleeper mattresses.  Look great!  Then put all the car seats back in the car so we could go purchase the bedding today.

After Julia's nap, we headed to Stonebriar.  I had been looking at things online so that I knew prices and could make good choices on what we were looking for.  I had in mind some prices, but was ecstatic with what we got.  Our first stop was to Macy's because we had chosen to get the same mattress covers for Julia's beds that we have on Riley's bed.  Martha Stewart Mattress Covers are amazing!!!  Highly suggest them as they keep everything off the mattresses and wash incredible.

Problem was that online they were on sale for almost half off and in the store, they were full price.  And there was no way I was going to spend full price.  So I talked to the lady working there and shared that I had seen them online for much cheaper.  She asked if I could pull up the info on my iPhone.  Which I then did.  (Technology is amazing for things like this!)  I showed her the price and she matched it.

The girls were walking around looking for cute sheets.  Madi came upon these adorable sheets that were white with pink, green, blue and yellow circles on them.  Very cute pattern and they were in the clearance section.  Normally $55, but were marked half off according to the sign.  Best part was that they are a set.  When I paid, the lady was like "Ummm.... $5????  There must be something wrong with this."  So she scanned several times and double checked it and says "Sure is!  These are only $5 for the entire set!"  So I grabbed two more as I had already chosen two pairs so this way we have extras.  There is no way on earth we would find other sheet sets for $5!!

I called my parents immediately as I knew they would be looking for new sheets for their bedroom and they came right over to the mall to get their $12 King size sheet sets.  Crazy!

I also purchased a cute comforter pillow set for the top of Julia's bed that was half off.  Matches the sheets and will fit right along with her room.

Very excited to put it all together!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Julia's Big Girl Bed

A few months ago we purchased Julia's big girl bed.  It has been in boxes in the garage and we've been waiting on the right time to set it up as she has been very content to be in her crib still.  Weir's had a fabulous deal on a daybed/trundle and we knew we'd found what we had been looking for!

She has put her foot up on the front of the crib a few times, but never gone over it.  Today as I was getting her humidifier unplugged and had my back to the crib, she calls out while giggling "Look Mom!  I climb up!"  There she is - with her entire body laying across the top of the front of the crib, looking like a total monkey and finding it totally hilarious.  Thankfully she fell back into her crib.

The girls then came into the room to watch her climb over and Julia was very excited to show them repeatedly that she could get out.

I texted Jeremy to let him know that the time had come to get the big girl bed all set up.  He was laughing through his texts and came home to set it up after work.

During her naptime today, I was singing to Julia and praying.  She tells me "Leave!  Goodnight!"  and stood in her bed smiling and pointing to the door.  I said "Nappy Nap Jules!"  She replied "Goodnight!!!"

I listened closely at the door for a little while and then went downstairs.  But decided to go up to check on her.  I opened the door to find her in bed - standing - giggling - smiling - and doing anything but napping.  She repeated again "Go Mom!  Leave!  Goodnight!"

When I checked on her a few minutes later, she was asleep in her bed with her arm around her doggie.  Was so sweet.

Jeremy got home and the girls were ecstatic!  Jules kept yelling out "Yea!!!!!  My new bed!!!!"  Riley was just hyper and moving everywhere and Madi was talking nonstop like "what if...." or "You know.... you could fit six of them in here... and ...."  Jeremy was about at his wits end.

He got all the pieces upstairs and the girls were asked to sit on the couch to watch.  They mostly sat and the rest of the time kept wanting to touch it or look.  Julia kept saying "My new bed!!!!!!"

Finally got it together and noticed that the washers were not on.  So all the screws came out again and the washers were put on.  Helped put the back of it on.   Looks awesome!!!  Julia is going to love it and it's such a blessing for her to have a big girl bed.

As I was reading to Julia tonight, Riley gently knocked on the door and said "I just wanted to come in to say goodnight."  She kissed Julia on the forehead and said "Goodnight Jules." Kissed me on the cheek and said goodnight.  Then got very close to Julia and said "I am so happy that you are getting a big girl bed, Jules!  Are you happy with it?  Daddy and Madi picked it out for you and I'm so happy for you, Jules.  You're going to love your new bed, aren't you?"  I told her I loved her and she sweetly replied back that she loved me.  Love those sweet moments.  And love that she was so excited for Julia.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Extreme Days Recap

Don't know that I can really put into words what it was like to watch my little girl worship God with all heart, put her hands together, bow her head and then pray that God would be her God!  She then raised her hand when asked if she had prayed the prayer of salvation - to which she raised her hand very high and kept it up even when they asked them to put it down.  So sweet to know that her heart is so open to Jesus.

Watching Riley worship and sing and do the motions while getting totally into the music was awesome!  She especially loved the song "Superhero" by Hillsong Kids Worship.  "Stronger than Superman, Faster than the Flash, Bigger than the Hulk Man, Jesus is a friend...."

The games outside were not such a big hit with her.  She wanted my sunglasses (has always hated light being in her eyes) and wore them when she could.  There were bad ant piles and kids were getting bit constantly so she wasn't too into being in the grass.  Can't blame her.  She did play "Red light, Green light" with me and we held hands while we followed commands.  And she laughed the entire game.  The last day they brought eight huge bounce houses and the kids had a total blast on them!  Riley managed to climb up a large one using a rope and blocks in the side.  I was so impressed by her determination to get up and then by her ability to do it.

Bible time was awesome.  She loved the stories and the drama and the people leading them.  But she was very sad when she was called on the stage to be part of Gideon's army.  Only to find out that God told them he needed a smaller army so she was almost immediately sent right back off the stage.

She made some cool crafts in art time.  Sculptures, God's Eyes, and a drawing of pop art using pictures of herself that were printed by the guy in charge.  Lots of fun!  She made some good friends and it was cute to see them all holding hands, smiling and laughing together.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Swim Lessons!

Today was Riley's first swim lesson!  We took a Mommy and Me class at Lifetime a few years ago (like four years ago) and that was fun, but this was a 'real' swim class.  Riley got very teary when sitting on the bleachers waiting for them to call her to her group.  It was a huge pool and quite overwhelming for her.  I took Julia down to see her.  She was very nervous because her instructor was a man and she had been expecting a girl.  But the teenager was super nice and welcomed her in with no issues on her part.

Riley was scared that she would be made to go into the deep water and without her arm floaties.  Madi had talked a lot about how the shallowest water would still be over her head so she got scared about not being able to do it.  I told her that he would help her, that they were standing on a platform in the water and that she would be totally safe.  She held her goggles, sat on the side of the wall and was totally fine.

Once she got in the water, she was a little fish!  She learned arm movements:  monkey (arms under armpits) then arms out to the sides (bird) and arms straight down at her sides (soldier).  She loved it!  And immediately said she can't wait to show Grandpa all her new moves.  So glad her confidence is growing!!