Tuesday, July 31, 2012

end of july update

We've all been pretty busy lately. Matt has been wanting to put something together for the girls in the yard. He was thinking of adding onto the playhouse at first, then thought about building a play center/swing set. After he finally talked me into it, we went out and priced out the necessary accessories for a decent swing set. 
SO not worth it.
It was more worth it to just buy the whole kit and kabootle. 
So, we did!
We found one that was already reduced, plus sloppily re-packaged (without any known reason), plus we talked them into no tax!
We got away with an awesome deal, and a pretty awesome play center for the girls. Everyone's pretty psyched, even Matt, who has been keeping a smile on his face during all of the assembly.

Hailey is starting to talk, and I'm sure I don't want to know what half of what she's saying is. 
She. Is. So. Bad.
Like, SO bad.
But in a good way! 
Different from the other two. They were slightly more...um...calm, and a whole lot more quiet.
She's still a huge climber, and when she's quiet I know she's into something. Like today while my back was turned for just a few minutes paying a bill online, she climbed up onto the table, opened the butter container, stuck both hands as far into it as she could and proceeded to "draw" on the table with it. 
She still isn't very good with a spoon, but eats everything with a fork. Even toast.
I'm hoping to toilet train her before the summer ends, so wish me luck! 

Gracie has been getting ready for school! We picked out a backpack and a lunch box for her and she will be starting kindergarten in September! We bought her curriculum already, and I'm trying to make a very structured schedule to keep us organized and on track. She recently bought a watch and is really trying to learn how to tell time. Right now she knows when its (insert any number here)O'clock and (insert any number here) thirty. 

Hanna has been stuttering! Ugh...
She's already hard enough to understand. :) That's okay...she'll get through it. Gracie went through a short stage of stuttering too, so I'm sure there's an end in sight! 
Other than that, she's doing great! No stomach issues at all, and she's always making me laugh with stuff she says. The other day we were at my parents' house and the girls were all eating ice cream cones. I forget what it was that my dad asked her to do, but she responded with "no...I'm busy!"
She's been progressing in so many ways it's hard to even document all of them. From things like scooping sand and putting it into a bucket, to knowing almost all of her letters, she's been making it hard to even set goals because she's accomplishing them so fast.
With Matt back being back to work, and the girls - well, being girls, and Kristyn and my party business keeping us pretty busy, I can't seem to keep up!

Friday, July 27, 2012

help Kanani

My blogging friend, Joanna does some amazing work advocating for children, helping them to be adopted. She volunteers in orphanages and is trying to make a difference one child at a time. 
Right now, she's hosting a giveaway for anyone who would help Kanani from being institutionalized. 
All you have to do is donate $10 to her fund, and you could win a really cool necklace. Best of all, you will be helping to save this little girl's life.

I already made my donation because I have a place in my heart for special visually impaired kiddos. :) Especially the ones who need to find loving parents to help them reach their potential. No special child should be without a home.

Check out Joanna's page here and help her save this little girl.
Kanani's story can be found right here and here.
Hurry! The giveaway ends tomorrow!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

pictures of the day

 We've been enjoying the pool. The only thing you can do the extreme heat these days! 

 Gracie recently learned to "swim underwater". Having her obsession with mermaids helped her conquer her fear of holding her breath under water.

 Some days Hanna gets really anxious in the pool. Not sure if it's the brightness throwing her off, or the fact that can't touch the bottom, or just the fact that she hates being splashed, but I feel bad for her some days. This was a good day!

 Bryanna realized that Cinderella doesn't float, and thought the world was ending because she sunk.
Thanks to Yuli, Cinderella was saved, and Bryanna felt much better.

I hope everyone is keeping cool!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cedar Point

My brother, Timmy and Yuli wanted to go to Cedar Point this year, and my mom offered to keep the girls so we could go with them. 
It's about a 2 and a half hour drive for us, so we packed up our passports and left first thing in the morning. 
Honestly, it felt so wrong not to have the girls with us. There's a little Snoopy Land for kiddos, and every kid I saw there, I felt so bad that I left mine at home. It's also the longest I've ever been away from them, so it was a little bit hard for me!
We had a blast though. I'm so glad we went. Matt was a trooper and went on everything we wanted to go on without even being dragged. 
Of course we didn't get on everything because it was so busy and eventually we ran out of time, but it was well worth it. 
We even managed to make it to the water park for the last part of the day too, which worked out perfectly, and we were (mostly) dry by the time the park closed. 

 We went to Chili's for dinner, and it was quite good! I've never been to one before, so it was good to try!

 It was a long ride home, but we made it in about 2am. My parents were at our house with all the girls fast asleep on the couch. 
Thanks guys, for the awesome day, and thanks Mom and Dad for taking care of my babies. 
We had a blast!

July 14, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

who woulda thought

...That my little Hanna girl would be doing dance along with other typical 3-5 year olds. Nothing stops this girl.
I was so happy when our little, local dance school accepted Hanna as a student this coming fall. Since Gracie has already danced in the Preschool Combo 1 class, we wanted her to be able to move into the next class, Preschool Combo 2. This class is still for 3-5 year olds, but only the ones who have already taken the first class. 
Hanna was just too young to start last year, so she should have been going into the Preschool Combo 1 class this year. This wasn't going to fly with me though, because I wanted Hanna to be able to dance with Gracie. I know Gracie would be a huge help, and I was honestly not too sure if Hanna was going to be completely comfortable with the whole thing, unless of course, she had her big sister there with her. 
When I contacted the owner with my concerns, she quickly, and graciously gave me other options. One of them being that I send Hanna to the drop-in classes during the summer to get her acquainted with the class, and teachers and to see exactly what kind of extra help she may need. This way she would also have a little bit of experience under her belt.
I jumped at it. We went out and found her the cutest little tap and ballet shoes, and the smallest size of body suit and skirt that the store carried, and she was just as excited as we were!

Today, with her little pony tail adorned with little bows and make-shift leg-warmers to fit her tiny legs, she was ready. She let us know all the way into town too. 
Me:"Are you ready, girls?" 
Her: "YES WE ARE!!!!" 
 She couldn't get onto the dance floor quick enough. She started talking to this little girl right away. 
Of course they had to start with tap. She was so excited that she didn't stop jumping to make as much noise as she could, until they started doing these "push-up" type moves. Then she was all into it. She was about 3 steps behind everyone else, but she did an amazing job.
 Gracie was the best help there. The teachers didn't even realize that Hanna needed a little extra help, but Gracie told them right away that "she doesn't see very good" and made sure she was paying attention to the teacher or trying to do was she was doing. She stayed right with her and often took her hand to guide her in the right direction if she was getting carried away and doing her own thing. Gracie really does make me proud. She's so good for and with Hanna, and doesn't even realize how much she does.

 We have 4 more weeks of drop-in classes, and during those we will just watch and observe to try to find exactly what Hanna will need help with, and for the actual class starting in September she should have a young aid to help her with whatever she may need.
I'm just so happy that she had such a great time. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for her and will only show us how much more she can shine. 
I can't wait for the coming weeks to see how she progresses!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

a little get-away

Matt's on shutdown for two weeks, and I managed to talk him into going up North for a couple nights. My parents have property up there just about 8 hours away, and they were already up there, so it was a perfect time for us to go up with the girls! I haven't been up there since before Gracie was born, so I was so excited to go!
We left Friday night around 10pm, when the girls were ready to go to bed. They slept the entire way, and we arrived about 7am. 
My mom and dad met us at the beginning of the trail (it's a 10 minute hike in the woods to the cabin) to help us with all our stuff and the girls. 
This is the Spanish River. They're cabin sits right on it. Gorgeous, or what? I took this one from the canoe.
 My parents had everything set up for us, and made us breakfast over the fire when we got there. Scrambled eggs and bacon! Yum.

 Kristyn, Brian and the kids were on their way back from Alberta, so they stopped on the way too! All the kids were so excited to see each other. Matt, Gracie, Hanna and I canoed over to the beach at the mouth of the river and met everyone there. This beach is perfect for the kids! They could walk all the way across it if we let them. Koda even went swimming, and she's not much of a swimmer!

 This little girl was a handful.
 She was constantly climbing everything, and kept us all on our toes.
The next morning we had waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, and sausages! Of course all cooked over the fire. D-licious!!
In this picture the girls are "helping" my mom make hot chocolate and coffee. 

 They loved hot chocolate every morning, Hanna thoroughly enjoyed hers and drank the entire thing with a spoon every time. 

 Later we went to see the chutes on the Sables River.

photo credit

 Then, back to the beach!

 The girls thought it was awesome when we got back into the canoe and started following one of the beavers that hangs out near the dock. We got so close, he went under the water and smacked his tail on the water to warn us. See him in front of us?

Time went by too fast, and I would've stayed at least one more night, but everyone was tired and ready to go home. We hit the road around 6pm, and got home about 3am Tuesday morning. Since the sun was setting behind us on the way home, I could only get it in the rear view!
 Thanks again for all the amazing fire-cooked food and help, mom and dad. I'm so glad we made it up, finally! We couldn't have kept Hailey under control done it without you!