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.



Getting ready to make his chrysalis:

 Chrysalis: (for about 2 weeks)

Coming out of the chrysalis: