Sunday, July 31, 2011

Accessories gone bad!

This is what happens when I let Laurel get Cadence ready for church!

It might be one hair bow too many!

The end of swim...

Swim season 2011 is officially over.  We have been at the pool almost everyday since June 1st for 2 hour practices.  I have sat (or ran!) in 90 degree temperatures for 6 hours each Wednesdays during their meets... to watch them each in the water for about 3 minutes!  We've had rushed (and sub par) dinners, super quick showers, and hoarse throats from cheering everyone on for the past 2 months.  Some parents hate it, but there are those of us that love it!  I enjoy my social time with all of my friends while the girls swim.  I enjoy watching the girls work hard at something and see the results.  I love watching the joy on their faces when they do well as well as when their friends do well.  Swim season is certainly not a pace I'd want to keep up year round, but I will miss it in the winter and look forward to next year!

For some swim is about the end result... the time on the clock, the ribbons at the end, the winner of JSL championship.

Yep, that's Laurel in 1st place for freestyle!

And Sierra in 2nd place for freestyle!

For a lot of people, the meets are about a lot more too...

Goofing around and constant eating (usually LOTS of sugar!)

Cheering on the new swimmers who, although they have the longest times, are the ones that work the hardest to get there!

Giving others some support to get through the meet

But one thing that everyone can agree on, one big plus of swim season is the friends!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm the proud parent of a bluebird and a bat!

Sierra and Laurel had a wonderful opportunity this summer.  Missoula Children's Theatre came to town and they were lucky enough to be a production of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".  The two producers from the traveling theatre were amazing!  Casting the kids (65 of them), keeping their attention and keeping them occupied throughout the week long rehearsals, and then putting on two productions of a hilarious adaptation to the story... I have no idea how they did it!  But it was awesome!  I knew that Sierra would have fun and be outgoing on stage, but Laurel was a wild card.  She can ham it up when she wants, but if she's not in the mood, she won't put on a show for any amount of bribery.  In the end though, Laurel brought it!  She was the most animated, not to mention cutest, bat there was - if I do say so myself!

I always longed to be on stage (I'm sure those who know me are shocked at this!).  When I was 9 years old made it to the final round of try-outs to be a munchkin in "Wizard of Oz" and then didn't get a role. Seriously?!  I was the shortest kid there for cryin' out loud!  Anyway, my acting spirit was crushed and I never tried again.  Brad thinks this was my attempt to live vicariously though them.  Maybe!  But I think that having the confidence to get up on a stage in front of a crowd full of people can go a long way in life.  And confidence is definitely one of the top traits that I hope my girls will have.

Sierra is the bluebird on the far left

Laurel is 2nd from the right... it's blurry but her animation is ADORABLE!

They were excited and happy after the first performance

Probably the only time you'll see a bluebird giving a bat a noogie!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

If you give a girl a cherry...

I do not like staying inside my house all day.  Some of it is because of my sickness, the inability to completely relax in my own home, looking around at everything that needs to be done.... because Something always needs to be done!  Obviously with an active toddler running around there is no way to get Something (everything) done, so I choose to leave my home instead!  Except for days when the heat index is 112 degrees, when even the pool won't be refreshing.  The days when a run to the store might be okay except that your car is 150 degrees when you get back in it.  So, we decided today that our goal today was to "Not go outside"!  (Not to include feeding and watering animals, of course.) 

We started the day with a great speech therapy session for Cadence.  She recently got a new therapist and I really like her!  She is young and full of enthusiasm, pushes Cadence in her speech, but knows when to lay off too.  I think it's good match for both Cadence's ability and stubborness.  As we listened to some Ingrid Michaelson, we then moved on to cleaning up the 6+ pounds of cherries that I had to do something with,  which segwayed nicely into some artwork and finished up with a delicious cherry pie!  While Cadence napped and I got Something done (unpacked more boxes) Sierra and Laurel hung out in a sheet fort to watch a movie. After a dinner of octopus and seaweed and microwaved Peeps the girls had a shaving cream bath and we ended with a movie night for all of us (yes, I know, 2 movies in one day, but hey, we were inside ALL day - not something that I ever do!).  All in all, a fairly productive, fun, stress-free day spent IN my house!  I could get used to this!

Sierra is trying to finish the Harry Potter series before school starts

Cadence reading over her speech eval

If you give a girl a cherry...

she'll want to help take the pits out...

and then she'll see how juicy they are and want to mash them up...

(Evidence of last's night swim meet!)

and want to use the juice to paint with!

Movie time!


The dried cherry/blueberry juice art.  What I don't understand is why the colors stay so bright when they are on the kids' clothes, but not on the paper!  Lesson learned... anti-climatic finished project.

Octopus in seaweed

Poor Peeps, they have no idea what's in store for them! (Insert maniacal laugh!!!)

Watching the show.  They were eaten too quickly afterwards to take pics.

Shaving cream in the bath never gets old!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Denial is not just a river in Egypt

Trust me, I know! Denial is one of my best coping mechanisms. Of course Cadence's heart murmur is benign... wrong. A third child will fit perfectly and easily into our lives (Yes, she is a perfect fit. The easy part... wrong.  My best friend is just taking a long vacation... she's not moving away and we will see each other often, right?!

I was raised in Columbus, Ohio, went to college there, and began my career there. This equated to lots of friends. I could call a number of people, any time, any day, and have something to do or someone to see. When I started travel nursing there were usually other travelers to become quick, fast friends. Brad and I met, fell in love, moved to VA, bought a house WAY out in the country, and had a baby. The last two components made making friends particularly challenging. I felt very lost and lonely for quite a while without my girlfriends to call on and hang out with. Once we moved to a neighborhood I joined a playgroup and met a lot of wonderful people and made some good friends. Unfortunately, this neighborhood is quite transient. I have some fabulous friends who have stayed around, but I've also seen a lot of people come and go.

Kristi and her family moved just down the street from us in 2007. Her daughters were the same ages as Sierra and Laurel. We saw each other everyday at the bus stop, carpooled our kids when they were in the same activities, and soon became good friends (as did our girls). When Brad started grad school (the hardest three years of my life) she was there for me. She supported me through all of the challenges of being a "single" parent and missing my husband. I trusted her with all of my worries, my celebrations, and my children. When we were on our way to a funeral and Laurel started puking, Kristi insisted that I bring Laurel to her house and she kept her. Did you hear that? She kept my puking child in her house with her 3 kids! Who does that?! I knew that I could always count on her and she'd have my back. For the first time since college I found someone I would call one of my "best friends".

About a year after they moved in she commented that her husband felt that he was ready to "move up" (read: move away). My initial instinct was to pull away, not get any closer, not open myself up to disappointment when she moved... but I didn't. Thanks to the bad housing market she got to stick around for another few years! In the last year she became good friends with Kelli, and by association, so did I. And I feel so blessed. We've had a blast this last year! We've crashed wineries with our 9 kids (total between us) in tow, cheered loud at late night swim meets, celebrated many birthdays, and enjoyed s'more and wine evenings. The three of us even managed to get away to NYC for a girls weekend. But one thing that I have loved the most, is knowing that these women love my kids. I read this in another blog and immediately thought about Kelli and Kristi:

"Can I get an "amen" for how good it feels to watch your friends love your babies? These kids are my heart and when you love them, you consequently just found yourself a deeper place in my own heart. Likewise, to let my friends know I love them...sometimes loving their kids is the best place to start."

Just two months ago Kristi broke the news that her husband was getting his promotion. I tried to hold back my tears at the playground and couldn't talk to her, knowing the flood gates would open. Not only was I losing my best friend but so were Sierra and Laurel.  Kristi and I were sitting about 5 feet apart, not saying a word, when Cadence walked up. Cadence walked over to Kristi, took her hand to make her stand up and walk, and sat her down on the ground next to me. Our own peacekeeper -that girl's got some instinct! But it made me feel like everything would be alright. Distance changes some dynamics of a friendship, but it doesn't change the fact that I have a friend who will always be there when I need her. It doesn't change the fact that she helped put another wonderful friend into my life. And as someone wise said "Sometimes God can make a void and fill it at the same time".  In the meantime, Kelli and I will plan our next girls trip to meet Kristi in Chicago!