Saturday, August 23, 2014

To The Beach!

A few weeks ago I was running so I was feeling good, spontaneuos, and in control of my life, so I thought "We should go to the beach this weekend". This weekend, meaning 4 days from that thought.  So I ran home and told Josh my idea which was all planned out in my head (cause that's how I roll) and of course he was excited, who turns down a trip to the beach? 

I made some hotwire hotel reservations and a few days later we were on our way!  Paige had a fever for a few days leading up to the trip but I didn't think anything of it, obviously it would be gone by the time we left.
 Since it was just a 2 night trip, we wanted to not lose the whole first day in travel so we awoke everyone really early and left for Carlsbad.  The girls are great travelers, no crying, screaming complaining, even Paige was good!  She still had her fever but she was acting okay.

Claire LOVED the beach.  She was so brave this time!  What a difference 2 years makes!
  She was out boogie boarding every moment that Josh was able to go with her and watch her.
She dug for crabs,

dug holes and found some brittle fish with Dadda.

 It was so fun to have a child that it is old enough to actually enjoy and appreciate the trip.
 

 Joy liked it but was afraid of the ocean for the first 2 days.
She spent her time on the shore. 




Her favorite thing to do was walk to the jetty and jump on top of all the rocks.  To the end and back, over and over and over again.

 
When she got tired around her normal nap time, she would go in the little sun tent behind our chairs and fall asleep.

I got sick of the whining about water the last day and forced her to stand in up to her knees.  There was crying and frantic attemps of escape but after about 10 minutes she started to like it and then decided the ocean was fun.


 Paige, Little Paige who we thought would have a good time because she loves water and she loves to be outside was still sick.  The first 2 days all she did was scream and nurse.  She was almost weaned before this trip but not anymore!  She literally nursed, and slept under a towel with me holding her for 98% of the day.  The other 2% was her making an appearance from under the towel to scream and fall in the sand.

 This went on for the first 2 days.  The second day she broke out in a terrible rash and was even more cranky. looks at those legs!

And let me just say that the 2 nights in the hotel room were so terrible that I was SO close to telling Josh we needed to just go home at 2:30 in the morning.  But we endured and thankfully we did because the last day her rash started to go away and she was a little happier.
 She played in the sand.

 ate solid food,

 and was overall pretty good. 
 The last day of the trip certainly redeemed it.  We stayed longer than we should have because everyone was having such a great time.

Josh has the amazing skill of being able to stay awake when driving at night (which I do not) so he drove home and we got back close to midnight.  Phew!  It was a memorable trip!





















Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Paige is One

The end of June was Paige's 1st birthday.   We made it.  That day marked the end of the most difficult, frustrating, exhausting, horrifying year of my life. 

Hello, my name is Paige and I will
   make your life a living hell for the next 11 months.

I don't need to go into the horrors - I have touched on them enough. We'll just skip to the present.
Right around the time Paige was starting to crawl she became a little happier. 

Then this life changing moment happened when she put food in her own mouth for the first time and she seemed a little bit more content with life.....

Then right at 11 months she turned into a child instead of a horrible monster and has been a sweet girl for the past few months.

The day before her birthday she started seriously working on her walking skills.  (the other girls walked at 10 months so she is slow to us) and the next day, on her birthday she was walking.  Now she is toddling and stumbling everywhere she goes.

She has lots of hair that it untameable.  Sometimes she looks like Frankenstein and other times she looks like Pebbles from the Flintstones and other times she just looks like this.

She loves water
and she loves food....a lot.

She desperately tries to keep up with her sisters.
 But it's hard when you are a short, round girl with little legs and poor balance.
She really is a delightful girl now.  I do not get a pit in my stomach when I hear her wake up from her naps.  I don't have to hold her and yell at the big girls over her screaming all day long. I don't have to feed her non-stop to keep her from fussing.

 It was a long and rocky road Paige, please make it worth it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Nana's Butterflies

Butterflies are a part of our everyday lives and a couple months ago, in the height of my mom's butterfly season, I realized I had never done a post about them.
 
They seem very ordinary to us but not everyone has the opportunity to watch the metamorphic life cycle take place on a regular basis. My childhood is sprinkled with memories of these caterpillars and butterflies.  Our home in California had the passion vines that the caterpillars live on, growing all along our back fence.  It was the neighbor's but it was so enormous and robust it completely climbed over the fence into our yard. It was beautiful and it was COVERED with cute (to us) spikey, spunky caterpillars. I don't know when or why exactly but we started bringing the caterpillars inside, putting them in a big glass jar and watch them grow and turn into butterflies.
 

After moving to AZ it was quite a few years before my mom bought some passion vines and started a butterfly garden so to speak.  
My mom is obsessed over fond of them.  Everyday she checks the vines for predators and kills any that may be lurking, she covers them with a net at times to keep the birds away (because contrary to popular belief, the spikes do not ward off birds, she has personally witnessed a bird snatching up a large, juicy caterpillar and flying off with it.)  She brings in the caterpillars she finds to her indoor nursery on the kitchen windowsill so they won't get eaten.   We never get tired of watching a new butterfly that we have known from a tiny egg break out of its chrysalis and fly away.

 Eggs:

Caterpillars:





Getting ready to make his chrysalis:


 Chrysalis: (for about 2 weeks)



Coming out of the chrysalis:





Butterfly!



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tooth Fairy!

Back in May,  this is what Claire's mouth looked like.
 Her two bottom teeth were a little loose but the permanent ones were growing in behind them.   We were very worried that she would need braces since the new tooth is so far behind the others.   Her first bottom tooth came out a month after the lovely mouth picture. 

This little tooth was STUBBORN!  It took weeks of loosening, crying and screaming to get it out.  Of course, like everything else with Claire it was a high drama situation.  A normal child would have worked on it themselves and just pulled it out.
 Dr. Buddy trying to get it out by slipping a string around it. 
It finally came out when I was tired of the drama and just pulled it out hard.  It surprised her and she was mad at first until she realized I had gotten it.

**It is important to note that the permanent tooth moved forward to its correct spot nicely.  Yay!

She was so excited for the tooth fairy to come!  I was too because I had come up with a special tooth fairy plan that I was excited about.  Instead of getting a quarter or something she would loose immediately  I came up with the idea of a Toothfairy bracelet.   I went to Hobby Lobby during their 50% all charms sale and got a charm bracelet, and fairy charm and then pearl charms - enough for all of her teeth that will be falling out over the years. (20)

I put it in a cute drawstring bag with a little note explaining she'll get a new pearl charm for every tooth she looses -  one pearly white for another.  ( I had to explain to Claire that sometime teeth are call pearly whites)

Yesterday morning she lost her second bottom tooth (finally).  We put it in the little bag for safe keeping for the day.  Unfortunately, Joy dumped out the little drawstring bag when she was on the couch and lost Claire's tooth. We spent a good hour scouring the floor, couch, under the couch, inside the couch etc.before we finally found it.  Phew!  Crisis averted!  She was so excited to go to bed last night to get her 2nd pearl charm.


Eventually she'll have a bracelet full of pearls. It is my hope that it will be something that she will hold on to for a long time and when she is older, going through boxes of her things, ready to move out and get married, she'll find it and say "Oh! My tooth fairy bracelet!"  And remember the sweet magic of childhood.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

6 and 60

This year my Dad turned 60 and Claire turned 6!

For Claire's birthday this year, we just did family parties. Due to schedules, we had her party with my family a week before her birthday and with Josh's family, a week after her birthday.  This confused her very much and she just could not wrap her head around the fact that you can celebrate on a different day than your actual birthday.
Claire got a slip n slide from my parents and we were both unsure if she would like it, but it was and still remains a huge hit!  She didn't understand the whole running and throwing your body on the slide until Aunt Rachel "raced" her up to the slide so Claire could see how fast she had to run. 

After a long time of watching Claire, Uncle Buddy had to join in.

Joy loved it as you can see. (tears ensued)

Later we sang and ate cake!
Joy knows Poppy will let her sneak some frosting.
This girl loves her cake.

Two weeks later we went to Josh's parents.  They bought a beautiful new house a month or two ago, and the girls were so excited to swim in their new pool. 
Paige loves it the most because it has a whole shelf area with a shade umbrella where she can touch and practice walking around.
Paige is the bravest of the girls when it comes to water.
Claire is an expert swimmer - as long as she has her mask.
Joy is too  - as long as she has her "yeyow fwoaties" aka puddle jumpers.


Later we ate and Claire opened her gifts.  She was soooo happy to get a big girl backpack and a flashlight and other things she would need for Kids Camp. 
The next morning, we went to church and she and Josh left for camp.  They won't be back until Saturday.  The house is conflict free and quiet but also boring.  We miss our little six year old!