Thursday, May 30, 2013

Last Day of School!

I’m still not sure how it happened, but Piper’s first year of preschool is OVER!  Last summer before school started, I couldn’t imagine putting Piper in school four days a week, three hours a day.  She had an awfully hard start to the school year, but gradually settled in to her place in the classroom.

She made friends.  She learned a lot.  She gained loads of confidence.  It’s been difficult watching her struggle when it’s been hard, but it’s been so awesome to see her thrive when she succeeds. 

Her last day was a busy one- a performance of a song they were learning in music class (The Green Jelly Bean Song, in case you’re wondering, is one of her favorites right now), graduation for the kids moving on to kindergarten (only three of the sixteen kids will be in class with her again next year), lots and lots of snacks, and then, the culmination of it all, Field Day!

They did all kinds of games with the kindergartners (how fortunate for the kids that their field day was on a day that was slightly cool- the big kids had theirs on the first HOT day of the season!)  I thoroughly enjoyed watching Piper with her friends, even though things were very different and she wasn’t entirely sure what was going on (read: we did a lot of chasing…)

She rocked the races- kept up with the pack just fine, thankyouverymuch (that’s her in the green shirt at the bottom.)  The only one she had a little difficulty with was the hopping one.  She didn’t get out of the start blocks until a second late, so she wanted to catch up to the other kids.  So she ran.  And then realized that she was supposed to be jumping.  So she jumped.  Only problem was that she wasn’t going anywhere.  She was jumping in place.  So she ran.  Which lead to more in-place jumping…  You get the picture.  It was pretty hilarious, actually- and she didn’t mind.  In fact, she was pretty proud of herself when she crossed the finish line!DSC_0600

After a bit of time outdoors, they went in to the gym to swing on the ropes and play on the scooter boards.  If you had told me last year that this would happen this year, I would have called you crazy!  That’s her teacher behind her- took three people to get her on it since it was so high off the ground, but…DSC_0616

…she did it!DSC_0618

And the scooters?  Definitely a big hit!  She was pretty quick on those boards!DSC_0625

Even Addy got in on the fun!DSC_0629

…and me <<ahem>>


We ended the day doing freeze tag in the field.  Which is a rather unfair game to play when you’re the shortest one out there- no one could run through her legs to “unfreeze” her!  So, she resorted to being the group unfreezer- She had no problems with that part!  She thought it was pretty hilarious, too.  Until she tried to go under Addy’s legs. 

It didn’t go over well.

Popsicles provided a nice segue from all the games into goodbyes to all of her friends.  And teachers.  <<sniff sniff>>

What a big year it’s been- can’t wait to see what she learns next year!  Let’s just hope it comes with fewer days spent in the hospital, shall we???

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Stupid Dancing Flowers

My grandparents have these silly flowers and hula girls that dance when they’re in the sun- they’re solar powered, so they live on the window sill in the living room.  In their packaging.

“Why in the packaging?” you ask?  Good question.

This is why:DSC_0444

Addy loves them.  Actually, we’re not sure if she loves the dancers or if she loves taking them out of their packaging.  Either way, the first thing she does is open up those plastic containers and extract the goodies from the inside.

Even if we’re all outside, she’ll sneak inside, take the packages outside, and open them up.DSC_0446


I don’t understand it, but she’s a girl on a mission every time we go to Grandma’s house.DSC_0450

I also think she’s broken several- good thing they’re cheap.  I don’t tell her that, though, because I’m not buying some for her to have at home.  I think it’s a game best annoyed played for the great grandparents.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Oh, Craigslist, How I Love You So!

Every year, I’ve managed to acquire a few outdoor toys for the girls.  When Piper was teensy, I got the Little Tikes toddler slide that’s only about two feet tall.  That slide lives in the backyard and the girls still enjoy it.  Only problem is that, when Piper decides to go down head first (while I cringe in the background) she’s getting a little big for it.

Then last year I got a teeter totter and the Koala Climber.  These live in the front yard and serve the purpose of allowing me to garden out there and the girls can stay entertained.  The climber is good for, well, climbing, but the slide is getting small for both of them.

We knew we needed to up the ante for our backyard fun this year, but I wasn’t sure what we’d be able to find that would fit in our almost miniscule yard.

So in my hunt for the big Little Tyke’s slide (holy moly- people want a FORTUNE for those used!), I stumbled upon this humdinger on Craigslist:DSC_0641

It’s slightly larger than a slide (ha!) but it. is AWESOME.

Luke and his dad drove to Longmont to pick it up.  Addy woke up from her nap just a few minutes before they got back, so she got to “help” set it up.  She helped carry the pieces the backyard…DSC_0180

…and then helped find the appropriate tools for the job.DSC_0184


THEN she got to test it out!  The playhouse works!DSC_0165


The ladder works!DSC_0173

This swing works!DSC_0192

…but this one was toooo low.  (Notice the look of unapproval.  I think she was shaming her father.)DSC_0195

But once that little foible was corrected, things were back on track.  The swings even work for tummy swinging!DSC_0203

Piper (finally) woke up and wanted to test the slide.  But it got too hot in the sun, so she talked her dad into cooling it off with the hose. 

It’s a little fast when it’s wet.


…and she performed her own tests on the swing.  She’s excited!


I’m thinking we’ll have no trouble getting $100 of fun from it.  The only problem we’ve had is convincing them to come inside.  Pretty sure they’d sleep in the darn thing if we’d let them…

Now- who wants to come play?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ornery. With a capital “O.”

Ornery toddler + full bottle of baby shampoo + 2 minutes alone = horrendous mess.



At least she was proud of her handy work.  Until I insisted that she wash it out.

I’m mean like that.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sunny Days

Spring days.  Sunshine.  Park trips!  Could there be anything more fun?

Swinging with Dad…DSC_0052

…and talking him into taking you on the Thing That Spins Enough To Make You Puke.DSC_0056

Addy and Piper found dandelions to blow…May5

…and things to climb.May4

Both girls enjoyed the rocker…May6

…and that’s when this little event transpired- it was one of those “they’re talking but not making any noise” kinds of situations.DSC_0072

And then this.May7

Holy moly I love these girls…DSC_0110

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Addy is T-W-O!

Two years ago, Addy taught me that “typical” doesn’t mean a whole lot.  “Typical” comes with it’s own battles, it’s own turmoil, it’s own adventures.

“Typical” comes with ambulance rides, ER visits, and frustrations.

“Typical” comes with work, celebrations, and pride for milestones.

“Typical” comes with lots of joy, lots of love, and lots to enjoy!

It’s no real secret that Addy has been a pretty difficult child.  She still doesn’t sleep.  She gets extremely frustrated.  She’s very hard on herself when she can’t do what she wants to do. 

And, for crying out loud, she’s the only reason we’ve had to call 911- twice.

But Adalynn is one awesome kid.  She grasps concepts that are way beyond her years.  Her ability to take one idea and transfer it to another situation is uncanny.  She learns very quickly- often when I don’t see it happening.  She can solve almost any problem if given enough time.  It’s almost become a game for ME- I try to think of things that will take her longer than five minutes to figure out.  Let me tell you- it’s not easy to find!

She’s unbelievably compassionate.  I’m finding that my (or Piper’s.  Or Luke’s.) bad days give her bad days.  She can tell when someone is unhappy; she will make sure that we know that there’s a baby crying when we’re out.  She’ll even be sure to tell the baby’s mommy that the baby is crying when we’re out (I’m sure she appreciates that, by the way…)  But she knows no one better than she knows Piper.  I’m still convinced that they have their own version of twin-speak or ESP or something- I swear they speak without making a sound.  Addy idolizes Piper.  She’s always excited to go to “Piper’s school!” and yells “Piper!  We’re coming!” on our walks there every morning to pick her up. 

She’s a gross motor rock star.  She still does gymnastics every week and loves it.  She asks to go “jumping!” at least once a day.  She also insists on wearing her “soup” (“suit”, in case you didn’t know…) which is difficult- I just haven’t been able to find a leotard for her 22 pound frame.  So, she insists on gets to wear a swimsuit to class.  Hey, it works, right?  She’s mastered swinging on the rings, can “skin the cat” holding on to my fingers, walks on the balance beams, and loves to play on the bars.  She needs that outlet- being in motion really seems to help her attitude.  I feel like we have fewer meltdowns when she’s going to the gym regularly.  And besides that, she gets some exposure to an organized learning environment.  She has to listen and take directions from the teachers, wait her turn, and follow a routine.  She does a really great job! 

Addy talks.  All. the. time.  She mimics pretty much everything we say.  She answers all of our questions, but if she doesn’t know the answer, she just repeats what we’ve said.  It’s actually kind of funny.  Oddly enough, it’s been a little difficult to get used to having a child who uses their voice to get what they want.  Even if that means yelling loudly at the store…

Yup, Adalynn keeps us hopping!  But her great big bear hugs, sweet kisses, and crinkle nose when she laughs keeps us going.  She’s an Oscar-winning dramatic, wrapped in a stand-up comedian, wrapped in a pint-sized love bug. 

Happy Birthday to my littlest munchkin!  Now- can we please have fewer ambulance rides this year???


Monday, May 20, 2013

The Party, Version 4

The girls had a combo birthday party this year, and way smaller than last year.  Their grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins (and even my grandma’s sister from Wyoming!) came over for cake and ice cream. 

I suppose I should add in here that we went “easier” this year because Luke ran in his first ever half marathon that morning.  604081_10100653108138096_295572071_n[1]

Anyway, the girls were definitely “in” to opening presents this year.  They did a fairly good job at sticking to their own gifts, but they were interested in what the other got.  May2


And the, of course, it was time for cake and ice cream. 

We sang- the girls weren’t so sure.DSC_0550

We ate.DSC_0555


…and some of us stole the ice cream off of our sister’s plate.DSC_0558

A pretty successful celebration, if I do say so myself. 

After all the “formalities” were done, we went outdoors to play in the sun.  I got the girls silly string (I really don’t know why, but it was kind of fun) so we got it out, too.

Piper was far from okay with it.  DSC_0568


Addy, surprise surprise, didn’t mind at all.DSC_0570

Once Piper figured out how to make it go by herself, though, life was good.DSC_0573

I think I’m still combing silly string out of my hair…

Monday, May 13, 2013

Piper’s Birthday Celebration!

Since Piper’s birthday was on a Saturday, and the Friday before was their field trip, Piper got to celebrate her birthday on Monday with her classmates.

As did two other kids.

It, apparently, was the day of endless treats.

No one complained, I assure you.

There’s a rule at the preschool that they aren’t allowed to bring homemade treats in for snacks (they bring snack in once a month for the whole class) or for birthdays, so Piper got to wander the aisles of the store picking out what she wanted to take to school.

Big shocker that she chose ice cream popsicles.

When I got to school, her teacher told me that she didn’t feel like putting on her birthday crown today (not a big surprise.)  But, when she realized it was time for them to CELEBRATE her birthday, she more than happily wore her candles.  She and her crown walked around the class handing popsicles to everyone.  And then, the one and only time during the year that it’s allowed, Miss Patty helped her stand on her chair and danced with her as the class sang Happy Birthday at the top of their lungs.

I, of course, have no pictures to show you of this because there are kids in every shot.  But believe me- it was sweet.  So, so sweet.DSC_0430

Celebrating your birthday at school?  Awesome!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Piper!

How is it possible that my BABY is FOUR?!?!

She has definitely morphed from a toddler to a little kid this year.  She has taken “ornery” to an all new level, honed her sense of humor (said me to ornery Piper: “Piper- are you a turkey???” Piper:  “No, I a ham.”), and perfected her role as bossy, in-charge caring big sister. 

She has learned so much from school this year, too.  Everything from “Ew!” and “gross!” to “I help, peeease???” and “friend!”  Apart from all the “school” stuff she’s learned this year (which is a lot!), she’s learned to make friends, has gotten over a lot of her over-cautious tendencies (especially on the playground!), and that she can do all that away from Mom. 

I still think she’s about the funniest kid on the planet.  She tells jokes routinely- she always cracks herself up, and if we can actually understand what she’s saying amidst all the laughter, she cracks us up, too.  (Case in point: she saw Luke putting on deodorant the other day and decided he looked like a monkey- I think she laughed about “monkey daddy” for about twenty minutes.  So did I.)  But if we can’t understand what she’s saying, we laugh anyway, because she has one of those laughs that just gets everyone going. 

Piper’s Favorite Things:

  • Food:  Ice cream (or “kye cream.”)  Bar none
  • Resturaunt:  Chipotle.  What’s not to like?  Rice, beans, quesadilla.  And chips (“pips”).  Don’t forget the pips.
  • Show:  Arthur.  She loves Arthur.
  • Mode of transportation:  Gallop.  One of these days I’ll get a video and you can see why it’s my favorite mode, too.  Funniest. thing. ever.
  • Friend:  Blake (“Bakey.”)  She has a thing for cute blonde boys.
  • Music:  Anything with a good beat.  She figured out the other day that she can set the speakers off on the music aisle of Target- she was beep-bopping right there in the middle of the store.  She doesn’t get that from me!
  • Can’t leave home without:  Her backpack (“pack-pack”)


Happy, Happy Birthday, sweet girl!  Four sounds so old, but I think you’ve earned it this year.  You’ve worked so hard and come so far- we couldn’t be more proud of the little girl you’ve become! 

PS- Is it just me, or does she look like a blonde version of Boo from Monster’s Inc. in this picture???

Friday, May 10, 2013


Piper had her first (and last) field trip of the year!  They loaded all 64 preschoolers from all four classes on ONE big bus and headed to a park across town.

We’d talked up riding the bus (Piper’s never rode a bus before…) and tried to prepare her for what was going to happen on Field Trip Day.  I think all we ended up doing was completely freaking her out about the bus.  But, to be honest, I’m not sure it was the BUS that was so concerning or the fact that there was another 16 kids in her classroom in the morning (from the afternoon class), and all their parents.  She got to sit next to Miss Patty on the bus because she was so worried about it all.  Patty said, though, that as soon as the bus started moving, Piper did just fine!

…until they got to the park and she bolted off of that god-forsaken vehicle.DSC_0369

It was slight chaos with all the kids (and their little siblings) there.  The park was big, but not that big.  Addy was a little overwhelmed when the bus unloaded, but not Piper.  Nope- that girl ran and played and climbed and slid with all of her friends like a pro.  It was fun watching her in the middle of The Crowd and hanging out with all her friends.  It was also truly awesome to see how they take care of her- they look out for her and help her when she needs help.  They also seem to understand a LOT of what she says- at least the important stuff- which is AWESOME!  It makes this mama so happy to see her succeeding in school!



Yup, Piper has sure changed this year.  It becomes most evident, though, when I see things like this:DSC_0404

…and this…DSC_0410

…and this.DSC_0408

She (and Addy!) had so much fun at the park.  It was such a treat to see all the kids together playing.  I asked Piper if she wanted to ride the bus home or come home with me.  She fell asleep about 30 seconds into our drive. 

She was one worn out kid. 

Is it mean that I made her go to OT that afternoon???