Thursday, May 30, 2013

May 30: Fun in Indy

We are back home after spending the past week or so with Daniel's parents in Indiana.  While we were there, we had a little birthday party for Isla with his family.

I made these cupcakes and thought they turned out fairly cute.
 I love this picture of Audrey playing dollhouse with Uncle Scott.
 Isla wasn't too sure about opening her presents, but Audrey was happy to help!  =)  Isla got this push car from Mimi and Papaw.

The rest of our week in Indy was fun too.  The girls loved playing with Mimi and Papaw, though I forgot to take pictures, so I have no photographic evidence of that!  We got to go to the Y with Mimi one day and go swimming, which was a big hit with both girls. 

We also got to spend an afternoon with our friends Eli and Beth and their kids Hunter, Gauge, and Lily.  Again, I failed to take pictures of our time together, but we had lunch at their house and spent the afternoon at the park.

Then we also got to see our friends BJ and Kellie and their kids.  And I did remember to take pictures this time!  We got to meet sweet baby Lucia for the first time!
And we got to hang out with Truett, who is the funniest and most adorable three year old boy!!
Audrey had fun playing with Ava.  In the past, the two of them have not always gotten along so well.  But this time, they had so much fun and played together the whole time.  Here are all the kids together, transfixed on the ipad.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Good News for Isla!

We heard back from the endocrinologist about Isla's test results today.  They tested for thyroid problems, growth hormone deficiency, kidney function, anemia, celiac disease, and Turner syndrome (and maybe a few other things that I am forgetting).  And all of those results were normal!!

The only abnormal result was in the bone age x-ray.  It showed delayed bone age, which is actually a good thing.  The x-ray shows that her bone age is younger than her actual age now, which means there is still room for her to grow.  At her height, if her bone age was normal or advanced, that would be more cause for concern, as it would limit her ability to grow in the future.

Her official diagnosis from the doctor was "late bloomer" which is also called constitutional growth delay.  Kids with constitutional growth delay often fall off the growth curve during the infant and toddler years, because they are not growing at the same rate as other kids.   According to what I have read, Isla should start to catch back up to the growth curve in the next few years.  Then she may be delayed in growth/development again around puberty, but she should grow into normal adult stature with no other problems.

So this is great news!  I am greatly relieved to not have to do any more tests on Isla and to not have to worry any more about why she is so much shorter than everyone else her age.  We just have to follow up with the endocrinologist in six months, as they still want to keep an eye on her growth and development for a little while and make sure nothing changes.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

May 25: Good-bye House!

We officially moved out of our house yesterday.  It is such a weird feeling.

We had some great friends who came to help us pack up the truck on Thursday night.  (And hopefully all of those great friends will be back again to move it all to our new place!!!)
 Then we all spent the night in an empty house. The girls thought it was fun to eat breakfast on the floor Friday morning!
 Then we sent the girls to a babysitter, and Daniel and I cleaned every inch of the house.  I was not sad at all to say good-bye to those cabinets!
 When it was finally time to leave, it was pretty sad.  And just crazy to think that we will NEVER enter the house again!  After living there for eight years, I feel like I know every square inch of that house.  And our new house, I know very little about!  We briefly walked through it three times, but it will be a whole new place for us to get to know.
 The girls thought it was fun to run all around the empty house.
 And so we say good-bye to our first home...sad to leave, but excited to make memories in a new place!  I just wish we didn't have to wait three weeks to move into our new place.  We are in Indiana right now, and it doesn't quite feel real yet.  It's like we are just on a trip to visit family.  Then I keep remembering that we don't have a house to go home to right now.  Like I said, it is just weird!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 21: Audrey's Last Day of School and a Piano Recital

Today was Audrey's last day of preschool for the year!  Her school had a Family Fun Day this morning, with play time on the playground and popsicles for everyone!
Her is Audrey with her class aid, Mrs. Roscetti.
And with her teacher, Mrs. Clark.
And with her Bible and Music teacher, Mrs. Plake.  It's possible that Mrs. Plake is her favorite teacher.

Audrey and her bff Anna posing outside their classroom, the Yellow Room.
Tonight, I also had my piano recital with my piano students.  Not ideal timing with all we have going on this week, but when I scheduled the recital, I didn't know we would be moving out this week!
Between the last day of school activities and the piano recital, I was packing.  Today's big task was to get all the laundry done, and then all of that laundry had to be packed.  My goal was to have everything in either a box or a suitcase, and I did accomplish that.  But it stressed me out.  We have to pack for the 3.5 weeks that we won't have a house, so I had to figure out what clothes me and the girls would need during that time.  Then I had to make sure we had clothes out to wear for the next few days.  And then I put everything else in a box.  Doesn't sound that hard, I guess, but it was causing me much distress today!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Isla's Two Year Pictures

At the spur of the moment today, I decided to take Isla's two year pictures.  It was not ideal.  It was the middle of a bright sunny day, which means not great lighting.  Audrey was with us, and taking along an unpredictable four year old as an assistant is not ideal either.  Not to mention that I really should spend my time today packing, not taking and editing and posting pictures!

But mpix is having a free shipping deal this week and I wanted to get the pictures before Isla's party, so that made today the day!

Audrey was actually a great assistant.  Her job ended up being the briber.  She held a box of raisins, and every time Isla smiled or cooperated, Audrey would give her a raisin and lots of encouragement!

Isla started the photo shoot making this face in every picture.  She is an excellent pouter, and she was not afraid to show off this skill for the camera!
But once we broke out the raisins, we finally started to get some smiles from her!

And my assistant photographer also wanted to be in a few shots!  =)

And one final shot of the sisters together!
I can't believe Isla is going to be two next week!  And I can't believe that we won't live in this house when she turns two!  Crazy stuff going on around here!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

May 18: Daddy/Daughter Date Night

Last night Daniel took Audrey to see a local production of The Little Mermaid.  She got to go on this special date with Daddy because of her improved "report card" at school. 

Even though it is just preschool, they send home progress reports at the end of each semester.  When Audrey got her report after first semester, she had several areas marked with a 2 (on a scale of 1-4).  They were things like "shows self confidence"  and "responds well to changes in routine" and other such things.  Everything that was marked with a 2 had to do with Audrey's confidence and independence (or lack thereof).

But since this day in late January, Audrey had been doing a hundred times better at school.  No nervousness, no tears...she has been like a new girl these past few months.  On her report card, all of the 2s had been changed to 3s and a lot of the 3s had improved to 4s.   I am so very proud of her for changing her attitude, being brave and learning to love going to school by herself every day!

Back to the show, Audrey was obviously a big fan.  When I asked her what her favorite part of the show was, she said without hesitation, "Ursula!"  Those of you who know Audrey know she is a big fan of princesses.  But she is also a big fan of the bad guys in most movies.  Ursula, Jafar, Mother Gothel, Scar, the queen/witch in Snow White...Audrey loves them all.  Not sure what that says about her!

Friday, May 17, 2013

May 18: Another Growth Update

Isla had her follow up with the endocrinologist today.  The purpose of the visit was to measure her height again and see how much she has grown in the past three months.  As always with these types of posts, brace yourself for more details than you ever wanted to hear!
I wasn't sure what to expect.  Based on the way her clothes fit her, I was guessing that she had gained weight, as her belly is definitely bigger than it used to be and she fills out her shirts more.  But her 18 month pants are still plenty long, sometimes too long, on her and this doesn't seem to have changed at all over the past few months.  So my guess was that she hadn't gotten much taller.

And I was right.  She gained almost two pounds in the past three months, weighing in at 23.8 pounds today.  (I'm not 100% convinced on the accuracy of this measurement, as Isla wasn't being very cooperative.  They had to weigh me, then weigh us together, then subtract the difference...and Isla was very squirmy the whole time.)  I don't know what percentile that put her in today, but she has definitely gained weight at a good rate recently.

The problem is that she is not gaining height.  And if she continues to gain weight without getting any taller, that is definitely a problem!  I'm afraid she is going to just keep getting rounder and rounder.  Over the past few months, Isla has grown just under 1 cm taller (they do everything with a metric scale).  She was 78 cm on February 1, and today she was 78.8 cm.  That translates to just barely over 31 inches, and it puts her into the 1% for height.  Her percentile in February was 6%.  She has been borderline on the bottom of the growth curve for a while now, but she has now officially dropped off the bottom. 

So the good weight gain combined with the not very good height gain signaled to the doctor that something is not right.  If she were just "small stature" as we talked about at her last appointment, her weight and height would remain proportionate.  But since her height has almost stopped growing while she continues to eat well and gain weight normally, the doctor thought it likely that something else was going on to stunt her growth.  So she ordered some tests.  A lot of tests.  A lot of tests that are not very much fun for an almost two year old.

Isla and I headed down to the lab, where she first got some x-rays.  This was the second time Isla got x-rays in her short life (the first was for her neck as a baby).  How many almost two year olds can claim that?  Isla did not cry at all during the x-rays, but she was very nervous.  She kept saying "Mama? Mama? Mama?" in a scared little voice.  But she laid perfectly still, and they were able to get all three pictures (one of her arm and hand, one of her leg, and one of her foot) easily.  These x-rays will help the doctor to look at her growth plates and bone age to determine if something is not right there.

After the x-rays, we went back out to wait for our turn in the lab.  Then it was time to get a urine sample and draw blood.  Getting a urine sample on command from a non-potty trained almost two year old is not easy, and we were not successful today.  The doctor said not to worry about it, and if they need to, they will try again at a later date. 

Drawing five vials worth of blood from an almost two year old is also not very easy.  Isla took it like a champ.  The worst part was that they had me hold her down on the table even while they were getting everything ready.  Isla was looking straight into my eyes, whimpering, with the most confused look on her face, like she was saying, "Why, Mama?  Why are you doing this to me?"  It was horrible.

While drawing her blood, Isla cried, but she remained perfectly still which made it easier on everyone.  It felt like an eternity for them to fill up all the vials, though I'm sure it was just a couple of minutes.  Once they finally finished, Isla lost it and just started crying and sobbing uncontrollablly.  It took forever for her to stop crying, and then once she stopped, she just laid still and wouldn't move until she finally fell asleep at home.   She was not happy.  Fortunately, after she woke up from her nap, she was back to her usual happy self.  Poor girl, it was not a fun morning at all!

After all of that, I thought Isla deserved a special treat.  Though she did come home with eight stickers this morning, as everyone at the doctor's office felt sorry for all she had to go through.  Daniel and Audrey went out on a date night tonight (more on that in another post), so Isla and I went out to get ice cream!
And while I am writing about Isla, I finally got a little video of her talking!  Yesterday, she was all of a sudden ready and willing to talk to me on camera.  It's not much, but it is the most she has ever talked in front of the camera!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


8 days until we move out!  Crazy!  It is definitely bittersweet.  We have lived in this house for eight years, and we have made many wonderful memories here.  This is the place where we brought home both of our daughters, and where we have spent countless hours with friends hosting various parties and events.  It is our HOME!  So it is going to be really weird adjusting to a new place.

But it is also exciting!!  Now we just have to get everything packed up and ready to go in time.  There are boxes (both full and empty) piling up in every room of our house.
 Most rooms also look like this, because I have given up on cleaning and picking up for the moment.
I have also developed a system for organized packing.  When Daniel saw my system, he laughed and said I was just spending time organizing to avoid packing.  And he knows me so well!  This system has MUCH more to do with me procrastinating than it does with my desire to be super organized. 

So the system is:  each room in our new house is assigned a color.  After packing the box, I put a piece of colored tape on the box.

Then when we move in, each room will have a sign with that color of tape on it.  I made the signs today (which is when Daniel started laughing at me!).  So everyone will know where to put the boxes, and everything will end up in the room where it is supposed to be! Lovely!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May 12: Happy Mother's Day!

We had an enjoyable Mother's Day around here.  The girls woke me up with a present in bed...a new cup with a straw (I love plastic cups with straws but I am constantly losing mine) and a Sonic gift card (to feed my Diet Dr Pepper addiction). 

We had lunch at Jersey Mike's.  It was my choice, and I just wanted to go somewhere that wasn't overcrowded and that didn't have a wait.  Jersey Mike's was the perfect fit for that, as I'm guessing it is not the number one choice of many moms on Mother's Day.

This afternoon, Daniel told me to go and do something by myself, something that I very much enjoy.  It seems a little backwards to want to spend time away from my kids as a Mother's Day present, but it was very nice to have a couple of hours of quiet time.  I went to Barnes and Noble and Panera, browsing and reading books.  It was enjoyable.  And it was nice to come back home and see my sweet girls!  They were super sweet today...a perfect Mother's Day gift for me!  =)

In my Sunday School class this morning, I planned a craft that would include a printed photo of each kid as a gift to their mom.  I took the pictures in class and planned to print them on the church's copier, then cut them out and attach them to the craft, all before the parents came back to pick their kids up.  Well, it didn't work!  Lots of technical difficulties.  The kids took home their craft without the picture. 

But I still had all these pictures, and I wanted to do something with them.  So I came home and made a Mother's Day e-card, personalized it with each kids picture and name, and then e-mailed it out to each kids' mom.  They turned out pretty cute.  Here is Audrey's that she "sent" to me! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

May 10: Isla's Speech, An Update

It's been a long time since I have written anything about Isla's speech.  She has been making good progress lately!  Here is a list of words that I know she can say:

1.  Mama
2.  Dadda
3.  Bye-bye
4.  Ball
5.  Duck
6.  Bubble
7.  Go
8.  Cracker
9.  Baby
10. Block
11.  Hello
12.  Shoe
13.  Juice
14.  Down
15.  Nana
16.  Papa
17. Mimi
18. Adam ("Aa")
19.  Elliot ("Ee")
20.  Anna ("Nanna")
21.  Steve ("Tee")
22.  School
23.  Grow
24.  Bible
25.  Tall
26.  Milk
27.  Cup
28.  Church
29.  Me
30.  Mine
31.  Key
32.  Hold
33.  Chair
34.  Dress
35.  Shoe
36.  Nose
37.  Eye
38.  Ear
39.  Bus
40.  Car
41.  Amy
42.  Grover
43.  Eat
44.  Cookie
45.  Hi
46.  Blue
47.  Green
48.  Pink
49.  Purple
50.  Mouth
51.  Hair
52.  Bottom
53.  Cat
54.  Giraffe
55.  Pig
56. Done
57.  Food
58.  Roll
59.  Pat
60.  Boat
61.  Please
62.  More

I'm pretty sure she can say more than that, but that's all that is coming to mind now.  Now, when I say she can say them, it means that I can understand what she is saying.  She still has a long ways to go to master correct pronunciation.  I can probably understand 60-70% of what she is saying, but I am guessing most people might only be able to understand 30-40%.

The one thing that she will not even attempt to say is Audrey's name.  It frustrates Audrey because she will hear Isla say many other names.  But when you ask her to say Audrey, she is just silent.  I would think she would at least be able to say "Au" but most of the time she won't even try.  It's strange, because she will try to imitate most words now.  Just not Audrey's name.

She doesn't really put two words together very often.  But occasionally she will try.  She has mastered "Go Da!" (dad), and she says it repeatedly every time Daniel leaves the house to go running.  Tonight I heard her say, "Hi Ma" (mom) for the first time!

This is all a huge improvement over a few months ago when she was sparingly saying only five words.  I think she would still fall in the low range of normal for speech, but she is improving daily.  And it is just so much fun to hear her talk!!

She is also starting to sing more songs.  She manages to get a few words on pitch in several different songs including:
Row, Row, Row your Boat
The Wheels on the Bus
Deep and Wide

I also caught her playing Pat a Cake with her baby the other day, and it was the cutest thing ever!  She was doing the motions with the baby's arms and saying, "Roooooo, Paaaaaa....Meee!  Translation:  Roll it, pat it...(and mark it with a B, and put it in the oven for baby and ) me!

I would love to capture all of these words and songs on video, and I am constantly trying.  But Isla is a stubborn little thing, and she does NOT like to perform for the camera.  I will keep trying though!  I have so much video of Audrey's first words, because she was a little show off and would do anything for the camera.  I would like to have at least some of Isla's early words recorded, but I am going to have to figure out a way to do it so that she doesn't know I am recording her!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 9: Happy Birthday, Daniel!

We had a pretty good day celebrating Daniel's 31st birthday.

Our friend Jody, whose husband is our senior minister, also has her birthday today.  So we went out to lunch with them and some others from the church staff to celebrate. 

We have been eating out a lot lately.  Getting ready to move in two weeks has made me less motivated to cook (and do dishes, we have also been eating on paper plates a lot).  But for Daniel's birthday, I thought we should have a nice home-cooked meal.  I made this garlic cheddar chicken (my go to baked chicken recipe), this roasted asparagus (because Daniel LOVES asparagus!), these drop biscuits (which were super simple and tasty!), and a fruit salad.

It would have been nice if the girls would have cooperated in making this a nice family meal for Daniel's birthday.  During prayer, Audrey was being ornery and goofy and not very respectful.  She ended up having to leave the table for a little bit.  When I went to bring her back and talk to her about why we should be respectful and use a nice voice when talking to God, she said, "But Mom, God always loves us.  He loves when we pray any way."  Ugh, what am I supposed to say to that? 

Then we told the girls they had to eat their green beans before having cake.  Audrey quickly ate up all her green beans (which isn't TOO hard for her, since green beans are one of her favorites).  Isla refused.  All I wanted her to do was eat two small green beans, then she could have her cake.  This was her reaction.

So Daniel, Audrey and I enjoyed caked while Isla watched.  She didn't seem to be too upset by it, but she was very determined that she would not eat those green beans. 

The cake was designed by Audrey!  We were brainstorming ideas on what we could do for Daniel's birthday.  Audrey, my party planning protege, wanted a themed cake, of course!  She decided we should have a running cake, because Daddy likes to run.  She wanted to make a road that went all across the cake, and then she wanted to put a picture of Daddy running on the top of the cake.  And so, that is what we made!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6: On Parenting

I am the first to admit that I have no idea what I am doing most, if not all, of the time as a parent.  I parent mostly by trial and error, and there seems to be lots of error in that process!  I have very little confidence that I am doing anything correctly, and my greatest fear is that my kids will end up totally screwed up because of something I did as their mom.

I know of parents, and have read books by parents, who seem to have great confidence in their ability to raise children into kind, loving, well-adjusted, successful adults.  They seem to be able to discipline in a loving manner with ease.  They know what to say in each and every situation, and they don't doubt their parenting skills.  I am jealous of parents like this, because I am nothing like them.

However, I am also skeptical of parents like this, because is it really possible?  I am pretty sure the perfect parent doesn't exist.  Does anyone really have it all figured out?  I like to tell myself that I am in good company.  I hope and believe that there are plenty of other parents floundering around in this confusing world just like me.

Randomly, I've stumbled across some interesting thoughts on parenting this week that have encouraged me and my parenting abilities. So I thought I would share them here in case there is anyone else out there struggling with parenthood.

I'm the kind of person who likes to read and research everything before I do it.  So with parenting, I want to read every book on the topic so I can learn the right way to parent.  It didn't take long for me to realize that many people have views on how to parent the right way, and no one seems to agree on what that right way is!  Especially when it comes to babies and sleep.  When my girls were babies, I read way too much on this topic, and I was left feeling much like this mom, who posted an amazing and hilarious piece on the conflicting advice about getting babies to sleep.  My favorite line is:  "Using the "Cry It Out" method (CIO) will make them think they’ve been abandoned and will be eaten by a lion shortly."  Too funny!

Discipline is the other area where everyone seems to disagree on the right way to do it.  Since my kids have mostly outgrown the sleeping through the night problems, discipline is the new issue for us now.  And wow, there is so much advice out there!  Everyone seems to have an answer on the best way to discipline their kids...except for me!  I just don't know what to do sometimes (a lot of the time!).  Again, I have read books on the topic, but trying to implement some of those techniques in real life is so much harder than they make it sound in the book!  Then I read this post by Kevin DeYoung about parenting this week, and I loved every single word.  Specifically this exchange about disciplining according to a book's guidelines:
I really do believe in gospel-powered parenting and shepherding my child’s heart. I want conversations like this:
: What’s the matter son?
  Child: I want that toy and he won’t give it to me!  Me: Why do you want the toy?  Child: Because it will be fun to play with.   Me: Do you think he is having fun playing with the toy right now?  Child: Yes.   Me: Would it make him sad to take the toy away?  Child: I guess so.   Me: And do you like to make your brother sad? Child: No.   Me: You know, Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. That means loving your brother the way he would want to be loved. Since Jesus loves us so much, we have every reason to love others–even your brother. Would you like to love him by letting him play with the toy for awhile?  Child: Yes I would daddy.
 I try that. Really I do. But here’s what actually happens:
Me: What’s the matter son?  Child: I want that toy and he won’t give it to me!   Me: Why do you want the toy?  Child: I don’t know.   Me: What’s going on in your heart when you desire that toy?  Child: I don’t know.   Me: Think about it son. Use your brain. Don’t you know something?  Child: I guess I just want the toy.   Me: Obviously. But why?  Child: I don’t know.   Me: Fine. [Mental note: abandon "why" questions and skip straight to leading questions.] Do you think he is having fun playing with the toy right now?   Child: No.   Me: Really?! He’s not having fun? Then why does he want that toy in the first place?  Child: Because he’s mean.   Me: Have you ever considered that maybe you are being mean by trying to rip the toy from his quivering little hands?  Child: I don’t know.   Me: What do you know?   Child: I don’t know!   Me: Nevermind. [I wonder how my brilliant child can know absolutely nothing at this moment.] Well, I think taking the toy from him will make your brother sad. Do you like to make him sad?   Child: I don’t know.   Me: [Audible sigh.]   Child: He makes me sad all the time!   Me: Well, I’m getting sad right now with your attitude! [Pause, think, what would Paul Tripp do?  Thinking . . . .thinking . . . .man, I can't stop thinking of that mustache. This isn't working. Let's just go right to the Jesus part.] You know, Jesus wants us to love each other.   Child: I don’t know.   Me: I didn’t ask you a question!   Child: [Pause.] Can I have some fruit snacks?  Me: No, you can’t have fruit snacks. We are talking about the gospel. Jesus loves us and died for us. He wants you to love your brother too.   Child: So?   Me: So give him the toy back!
That second conversation is totally how things go in our house!!  You should go here and read the whole article, because I thought it was spot on and something I needed to hear.  He ends with this statement, which is something that really resonated with me and my desires as a parent:
I want to spend time with my kids, teach them the Bible, take them to church, laugh with them, cry with them, discipline them when they disobey, say sorry when I mess up, and pray like crazy. I want them to look back and think, “I’m not sure what my parents were doing or if they even knew what they were doing. But I always knew my parents loved me and I knew they loved Jesus.” Maybe it’s not that complicated after all.
 (Source)  Don't you just love the random pig in this picture??  =)

One more link that really clicked with me this week:  20 Things Every Parent Should Hear.  A few that I particularly liked:
The crazy, the crying, the cuddles. The screaming, the sacred, the scared. The minutes, the magic, the mess. It’s all part of it. And it’s all worth it.
 You will never regret parenting. Except for the teeny, tiny tons of times when you secretly wonder if you maybe regret it just a little. But, overall, never. And overall is what counts in the end.
If you pay attention, kids will teach you how to laugh loudly, how to love deeply and how to live fully. They will also ruin all your stuff.
Parenting will bring you face to face with yourself. It may be terrifying. It may break you. But it will also rebuild you, and you will be stronger than you ever thought possible.
Okay, so this was a really long post (mostly made up of other people's words).  But reading through and thinking about all of this stuff this week, I've come to the conclusion that it's okay if I don't have this parenting thing figured out yet.  I'm thinking it might be a good idea if I get at least a few things figured out in the coming days/weeks/months/years.  But I don't think I ever will have it all figured out, and that's okay.

I really love the idea that parenting is more about who I am rather than what I do.  (Another thought from Kevin DeYoung's article.  Seriously go read it if you haven't!).  Rather than focusing on the techniques and rules of parenting, I want to focus on being the best person and Christ-follower that I can be.  And I think that good parenting will come as an outflow of that.  Hopefully.  =)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May 2: Another House Update

We heard back about the appraisal on our house today!  It was appraised exactly at our asking price...what a huge relief!!  We were very concerned that the appraisal would be lower than the asking price due to an extremely cautious appraiser, and that it could potentially cause the whole deal to fall apart.  But all that worry was for nothing.

We also got the all clear on our termite inspection, which means that our house has now passed all tests necessary for us to sell it.  It's really going to happen!  We are really going to move!

I've know all along that we would probably move, but until the inspections and appraisal were finalized, in the back of my head I always knew there was also a chance that we wouldn't move.  Now that everything is final, reality is setting in...we move three weeks from tomorrow!

In honor of this exciting news, I'm going to share a sneak peek of our new house! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 1: Playing Outside

This is what I tried to post yesterday, but Blogger wasn't letting me upload any pictures.  It still wasn't working very well tonight, but I finally got my pictures uploaded after trying off and on all evening.

I posted three weeks ago about how spring weather had finally arrived.  Then after that, we had a LOT of cold, rainy days, and it felt like winter all over again.  Finally, the weather warmed up again and we have had three amazingly nice days in a row.  It's supposed to be rainy and cooler again for the next few days, but at least I have hope now that it won't be cold forever.

We were stuck inside for most of today, as Isla is kind of sick.  She has had a low grade fever off and on today, along with a horrible sounding cough.  But the past two days, we spent a lot of time outside.  Here are some of our favorite things to do outside.

Sidewalk chalk!

Yesterday, Audrey and I worked to draw a road all the way down the sidewalk in our backyard so she could ride her bike on it.

Then there are bubbles.  Both of my girls LOVE bubbles.  But bubbles are not nearly as much fun as the girls think they are.  Audrey has finally gotten to an age where she can blow bubbles by herself without tears.  So bubbles aren't so bad with her anymore.

Isla, on the other hand, thinks she can blow bubbles by herself.  But in reality she can't.   So it is a frustrating process of Isla trying to blow bubbles then getting mad because she can't blow bubbles.  Then while she is trying to blow the bubbles, she dumps out all the liquid in her bottle (because she insists on holding it herself), then gets mad again because she just spilled all the bubbles.  It is not fun, and I try to discourage playing with bubbles as much as possible.  Yet despite all the frustrations, Isla still thinks bubbles are the best thing ever!  I don't get it.

Another fun game to play in the backyard is opening and closing the garage door.  It goes like this:  the girls go in the garage and close the door, I knock on the door, the girls open the door, everyone laughs and then we do it again.  It never gets old.  At least not for them!

We also have been going on walks around the block, with Audrey riding her bike and the rest of us walking.  Monday night, Daniel and the girls walked (rode) down to church so Audrey could ride her bike around the empty church parking lot.  She is really a pro at riding that Big Wheel.  I'm thinking we need to get her a real bike for this summer.

The girls and I spent some time walking/riding around the block yesterday afternoon too.  I just loved watching Isla walk down the sidewalk in her cute little outfit!

All the rain we have had recently is making our grass grow like crazy.  Audrey is so excited that our yard is filled with all these beautiful flowers.
Both girls are fans of picking dandelions, and I am constantly finding dead, wilted dandelions that the girls have picked all over our house.