Thursday, June 27, 2013

Swim Lesson Success!

Today was show-off day for swim lessons.  Megan and Abby have been going every day for the past two weeks and although it's meant a drive to Carrollton and late naps, it's been totally worth it.  Megan and Abby both cried A LOT the first day but now they're both fish!  Or almost.  I am so pleased with their progress.  They're both diving for rings, jumping in, they know what to do to be safe around the pool and if they accidentally get pushed into the pool.  They can both "motorboard" which is kicking with heads down and hands clasped ahead of them and towards the end of this week have been learning to add arms.  Of course that means coordination and so needs some work since some of that is genetic . . . 

I haven't named my videos so I can't tell at this moment which is which but 2 of them are the girls jumping in and swimming to the side and one is a long video of them swimming where Megan especially does a dynamic job.

So happy to be at swim lessons!  They have been excited to go every day.

Abby practicing her kicking.  She loses it in the water and ends up dog-paddling a lot which is somewhat appropriate given that she acts like a dog most of the time . . .

Monkey walk -- how you get around the pool when you're looking for a step.  They did a lot of safety and always repeated the pool rules at the beginning of class, one of which was always go swimming with your parents.

Abby and her teacher Miss Heather and her final award.

Megan and Miss Heather.

There's a second session in July that I did not sign the girls up for but I will definitely be signing the girls up next summer as well.  Of course they still need supervision but it makes me feel so much better to know that they have basic safety skills in place and that they won't panic when they go underwater.  Huge success!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

What You Have to Look Forward To . . .

This post is dedicated to my parents and my three brothers who are currently without children.  My parents are looking forward to (hopefully) a visit from the four of us (sorry, Chopper not included) in less than a week.  They'll get all of this -- the screaming, the playing, the fighting . . . and yes, for my brothers who don't have children, someday I will laugh at you just like you laugh at me.  Someday . . . 

Hard to believe that this kid wasn't putting ANYTHING in his mouth just a month ago!!

The girls and William have gotten pretty adept at chasing each other but you have to be careful.  William gets over excited and clamps down HARD!  Those four little teeth are SHARP!  And he knows what he's doing because he doesn't bite me when I'm nursing him or when he's trying to get me to nurse, he still does the funny lip thing.  But otherwise, you better watch your skin!  But the girls enjoy chasing him and he enjoys giving it right back.  I have no worries about him being the trampled baby in this house!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

In case you haven't seen it, this Mormon Messages video is fantastic.  It makes me tear up every time (although admittedly, that is not hard to do).  In fact, we used the quote at the end on Father's Day gift at church (candy bars) and it comes from a great message given to fathers from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles back in the 70's.

This year we kept it simple.  Chopper loves his back scratched so I've been saving this idea for a few months now -- a t-short "map" with some cars for the kids to play on his back.  Of course we drew in all his favorite places on the shirt: 7-11 (for Dr. Pepper runs of course), camping and fishing, Bass Pro Shop . . . 

Then I got this cute idea off Pinterest and had to try it.  The pictures will go in a frame to spell out dad but I had to share my favorite ones from our little backyard photo shoot.

 But I think William says it best: 

The older I get and the more kids I have I realize how grateful I am for Chopper as a good husband and father.  Parenting is hard and I'm finding more and more that "dad" is a necessary role.  I was blessed with a good father as well and I know that my life wouldn't be what it is now without him.  Our children adore Grandpa and Chopper (ok except William, he's still pretty exclusively a mommy's boy) and get so excited when he comes home from work and demand time with him.  I'm grateful that he is such a support to me and the backbone of our family and that he let's me do what I want (stay home with the kids!!) by working hard to support us.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Laughing At Destruction

That is a really horrible sounding title but I'll tell you what.  Nothing gets William laughing quite so much as something being beaten on and destroyed!!!  I hope this is a universal baby thing!  I think it is . . . 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer Days

It's Saturday.  Chopper's outside smoking a brisket and drinking Dr. Pepper.  The girls have spent the morning in the little pool and William's been running amuck inside.  I got some errands in, KID-FREE -- it's a good day so far.  The temperature is already in the 90s and guaranteed to go higher next week I think.  And I thought I'd share a bunch of random pictures I found.

Megan found her Lizzie doll all tied up after playgroup about a week ago.  Kind've morbid I thought!

Chocolate chip cookies and pajamas! 

Last Monday we went to the neighborhood pool for Family Home Evening.  It was William's first pool experience (well, out of the womb) and I couldn't help but take some pictures with his fat rolls, well, rolling:

Yep.  Not suffering!  Actually the therapists called and we can start his feeding therapy.  He's eating bits and pieces really well and not doing much gagging and choking.  Last Wednesday he even ENJOYED a piece of black licorice!  We love strong flavors over here!  He's still not taking a cup at all so I might do a few therapy appointments to see what they have to say about that.

 We spent a beautiful morning Friday at the Arboretum with some friends.  We waited in line for face painting and of course Abby was a puppy dog and Megan a kitty cat.  We've been talking about doing Alice in Wonderland as a family for Halloween.  I think Megan would make the cutest Alice but she wants to be the Cheshire cat and Abby wants to be the brush puppy -- watch the movie (Disney animated one) and you'll see.  Abby LOVES dogs.  She switches into puppy dog mode at the drop of a hat and will only bark at you instead of talking.  She also carries her puppy purse EVERYWHERE.  It got left at the library last week -- usually I don't let the girls take anything into public places that can be separated from their person but I figured the purse was safe since she wears them across her body (not just over the shoulder).  Nope.  We discovered it's absence after I had strapped all the kids into the car and so we all got out and went back in.  Fortunately, we found it right away.  Lesson learned.

Megan always takes sweet pictures when William's in them with her.

 The girls

And the boys  

This is what happens when Abby takes pictures with William . . . 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's Summertime!

Megan's preschool has actually ended a week earlier than the public schools but she is on a set timeline that after school ended, it would be summer -- so summer it is!!  It's certainly warm enough to claim it!

I'm going to do something I have not yet done in 5 years of mothering -- live by a schedule!  I'm hoping that having one in place will help us have a fun and productive summer rather than degenerating into a tv watching mess.  And I'm really trying to limit television right now because it's one of the 2 things that Abby constantly asks for (the other is Dr. Pepper -- I am NOT kidding).  She's become a little bit of a My Little Pony addict and it worries me.

So our daily schedule is going to go something like this:
Try not to wake up
Out of the house activity (grocery shopping, library, pool, friends -- Friday's are going to be our field trip days -- this Friday is the Arboretum.  Hey, gotta get it in while it's still relatively nice in the mornings!)
Reading (story books for Abby and a chapter or 2 of another book for Megan, right now we're reading Charlotte's Web!!)
Chores (every day we'll water the plants and then I've broken household chores up into parts to last all week.  FUN! -- Not really but I need to teach them to work right?)
Homework -- I found basic activity books at the Dollar Tree (LOVE that place) on letters and numbers, etc.  So just to keep them working academically.
Fun activity!!!  This week we'll do an animal memory game on Monday, hopscotch on Tuesday, water balloon fight on Wednesday, bubble burst paintings on Thursday, and cookie clocks on Friday!  

I'm hoping that a packed afternoon in particular helps with the time between naps and dinner.  For some reason, that is the LONGEST part of the day for me, I'm getting tired and am more apt to be cranky and the girls can be restless too.

In addition, we're doing all of our Family Home Evenings for the summer on the Articles of Faith and our stake has given us a summer scripture reading program that I'll probably incorporate when it starts.
We'll be busy!!  But that's to keep our minds off of the fact that we will not be going to Michigan to visit Grandma and Grandpa because we're all really upset about it.  Seriously.  I don't talk about it because it makes me sad and it makes the girls mad.

So here's to an amazing, at home summer!!!!