Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lexi, age 2

Lexi girl! You are growing up so fast. It is hard to put into words just how much we all adore you. You are such a lovable little girl. The perfect combination of spunky, yet still a good girl at heart. I wish I could record your little voice all day long. The way you say things nowadays just melts me. The way you say "baby suit" instead of bathing suit. And when you need help you say "No can't do it Momma". You are just a little angel.  A recent change to your appearance is your pig tails. It was a little tough at first, but you've grown to love your "piggie tails". I'mso glad, as I'm sure they will be signature to your two year old year. You get a lot of compliments on them when we are out and about. :) The other day we were riding a paddle boat and the canopy brushed against your hair. All of a sudden you started crying, saying "my piggie tail!". The rubber band had fallen out and it just devastated you that it was gone. I love the little bit of drama you give to each day. Your smile and sweet ways make me feel so lucky to be your Momma. I thought we'd better document some of two year old you as you are changing so fast these days!

Good listener/direction follower - I love this about you. You are such a good listener and direction follower. Even if it isn't something you want to do, you do it without complaint. It never ceases to amaze me when I  ask you to do something and you just do it - I never have to ask twice. This awesome quality makes you one of the easiest two year olds ever. From telling you to slow down, to asking you to wash your hands...whatever the request, you oblige.

Drama queen - The truth is, you're a bit of a crier. Until two months ago you cried every time I dropped you off at the gym Child Watch. When we started dance class in June, you cried every time we left the house because Daddy wasn't coming. If you fall down and get hurt, sometimes you cry a little bit longer than what would be considered normal. The truth is, you love to be coddled and you love the attention that crying brings you. You really are a bit of a drama queen. :) But, we all love you to pieces, so we play into it!

Independent - As much as you love being with other people, you definitely have a streak of independence in you. You easily find ways to entertain yourself. I often marvel at you as I do things around the house - you make up your own games, completely okay being on your own. You play with your ponies, talk to dollies, you are often wrapping something up in a blanket, but your favorite entertainment in the house is your kitchen. You are always making "dinner" and bringing it to everyone. I've also noticed this independence at the beach. Often times the older kids are just a little too far out in the water. Instead of this frustrating you or you depending on me for entertainment, you'll just go off on your own, completely content to play in the sand.

Easy laugh - That belly laugh you have is so awesome!! You are very good at finding reasons to laugh - often initiating games that are sure to bring some giggles. Like when we are at the park you say to me"you can't get me!" and start running. You love to be chased and find every reason to start a game of it.

Best Little Sister - I always talk about what a great brother Declan is, but the truth is, you are a pretty great little sis! You rarely antagonize him, and really just love to play with him. The two of you make a great team and it is a joy to watch the two of you grow up together.

Your blanket - and it's tag are still your beloved. Over the summer we've experienced our first challenges in sleep with you and boy was it nice to have that blanket as leverage! But besides leverage, I love watching you with it around the house. It is always near. You often pause whatever you are doing, lay the blanket out on the floor and lay on it for a few seconds - I guess this is your little recharge bit. You also love sharing your blanket - asking me or your daddy to lay down and then covering us up with it. It is so cute!

Beach Girl - you are following your brother's love of the beach. It's a good thing too because we spend a good amount of time at the beach. You like playing in the water, with other kids, and with sand toys. I love that you try to imitate what Declan does in deeper water, on the shallow sand. Crouching down like you are going to catch a wave. For only being two, you are pretty aggressive with how deep you go, and you are always in toe with the older kids. You are generally a pretty happy beach girl and are certainly not afraid of getting a little wet!

Playing with friends - In the past few months I've noticed a change in how you play with others your age. It is more deliberate - not as much parallel play, but actual interaction. I am so happy for you that you have little people in your life who you love to be with.

Parrot - You repeat everything! Right after someone says something, you echo it. Especially Declan. You repeat everything he says. It is hard to put into words how entertaining this is, but it is. Half the time I know you don't really know what you are saying...I guess this is where the entertaining part comes in.

Like to be cuddled - you love special attention and being cuddled. In the last six weeks or so I've started calling you Mookie Moo and you love it. You always give me the head tilt/coy smile when I call you this. As I've mentioned before, sometimes I think you cry just a little longer than need be just to snag some more cuddles.

Play Time! - You have a wide range of games/toys that entertain you. Some of your favorites are: your play kitchen, your play house outside, the trampoline, having pretend birthday parties, dolls, ponies, mickey mouse clubhouse (this is a big one - you have a Minnie mouse doll that you call "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse"), playing pretend grocery store, puzzles, crafts, legos, trains, and your princess castle.

Stats - You are approximately 28 lbs, 36 inches, wearing size 4 diapers, and size 2T clothing. Also, we just had your shoe size measured - 8! You've got some big feet girl!

And here is a little 2 year old discussion with you...

Friday, August 30, 2013

behind the scenes

One of the photography forums I belong to is always posting photos ideas to challenge you. One of them is a "daily project" where you take pictures of the background stuff...the insignificant details that are in the background but a part of your daily routine. I gave it a try. This took my whole obnoxious camera thing to a whole new taking my camera to the gym is probably something I will never do again, because, you know, it just isn't fun. And quite frankly is a little embarrassing. But, I did it - so I'm posting. 
Here's our little summary of August 30th.

1. I love the way Lexi wakes up in the morning. It is usually about 20 minutes after Declan. She says "Momma!!!" in the cheeriest voice, and when I come in her room, she is usually holding he edge of her crib jumping up and down. She didn't love the fact that I had a camera in her face first thing instead of a hug, so she is reaching in this picture instead of jumping with smiles per her usual self. declan is usually cheerful in the morning too. He usually bounces in our room announcing that the "the sun is awake!" Love it.
2. Pretty much every night I pack up everything we'll need for the next day to make our mornings run as smooth as possible - lunches, gym bag, beach bag, and the general back pack with diapers and changes of clothes. This is my key to a sane morning and a good start to the day.
3. My lazy mom trick. If I need a few minutes to myself - usually when we are trying to get out the door in  the morning or when we come home in the afternoon (transition times) I let Declan watch trains on my computer. Lexi may watch them for a few minutes too, just because she likes to do whatever Declan is doing, but she usually looses interest fairly quickly. 
4. A picture of Lexi and Ella in Child Watch at the gym. Lexi used to cry every time I dropped her off. She just stopped a couple of months ago. Crazy because she has been going to the gym pretty much her whole life.
5. A picture of Declan and Lily heading off to the big kids Child Watch. They break away from the little kids room when it becomes too full. I usually see Lily and him holding hands, walking down the hall while I am running. They always wave to me. I love it. Often they are the "line leaders". I just happened to be out in the hall chatting with Aunt Kristin this day.
6. A mid-afternoon bath. On this particular day we went to the beach in the morning and were heading to an evening concert at the Botanical Gardens so a mid-day bath was necessary! 
7. I usually run 3-5 times a week. I have a certain number of miles I always aim to reach each week. I should probably try some other form of exercise, but I love running. 
8. "Train Beach". I love how easy the beach was this year. Everyone can walk on their own, and even help me carry things. We've really pared down on what we bring. It used to be a whole wagon-full of stuff.
9.Slowly Declan is becoming more independent and taking an interest in doing things on his own. It takes a lot of coaxing and encouragement with this one. One thing he loves to do is put sunscreen on his face. I'll take whatever help I can get in the morning!
10. After the Botanical Gardens concert we were driving home and the sunset was so stunning, we skipped the entrance to the freeway and headed straight to the beach. It was only a ten minute stop, but we couldn't pass up such a gorgeous sunset.
And those are the boring details that actually account for a significant part of our life. 

"Peas I run Momma?"

The fact that our downstairs is basically shaped in one big circule is fantastic for my energy laden kids. At least once a day, they break out in a run. What cracks me up is that Lexi always asks first, "Peas I run Momma?" As if I'd ever day no. They run around the house like it is the best thing ever. My attempt to nab some video definitely kind of killed the moment, but it does give the general idea (and some documentation which is really what I'm after) of this daily activity. Love these kids (including the biggest one in the video).

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Squeeze

It seems the closer we get to the end of summer, the busier we get. Squeezing every last drop of that summer sunshine :) Last week we were up to the usual beach fun, with a few new adventures. We're trying desperately to check everything off our summer bucket list. We'll come close, but most probably will have a few empty boxes. Anyway onto last week's highlights...

A Beach day at Buccaneers with Ben Holly, Nicole, Jacob, and Katelyn, Scarlett and Elise.

We were the first ones to arrive. These two entertained themselves in their usual fashion. This double boogie board thing never gets old to them.

Ben and Holly...he's got this beach thing down!
Declan and Jacob playing with boats in the water, and Scarlett on her way out to hit the waves!

Declan and Jacob, on their way to catch some rides.

We'll never tire of beach days!

 Tracy, Katie, and Lizzie invited us over for a pool don't have to twist my arm! Their pool is awesome! Declan, Katie, and Lexi loved swimming around and jumping off the rocks.

I love how she always smiles under water.

After watching me go for a ride down the slide, Declan quickly ran up to give it a try. He sat up there for awhile before deciding  not to go. Good thing - I think he would have been in for a surprise by the drop off at the end.
Lizzie getting her swimming on

All summer I have been looking forward to the Shamu Rocks show. It is definitely the best show at SeaWorld! The problem is the start time is 9:30pm for most of the summer because it has to be dark out. At the end of August there are a couple of weeks when it begins at 8:00. Krissy and I took the kids for a late afternoon SeaWorld play date with the intent of watching Shamu Rocks at the end. To my dismay the show was no longer running. :( We had a good night anyway. But, I'm definitely not missing the  show next year!
Dolphin greetings!
Declan and Lily wanted so badly to touch a dolphin.
They got close a couple of times...
but no such luck. :( We had to drag these two away from the friendly creatures.
On a whim we decided to try out the new Madagascar show. What a hit! The kids loved the music and large, dancing stuffed animals. The whole way home Lexi kept saying, "we'll have to tell Daddy about the penguin show."
It didn't take long before Lili and Ella were up and dancing too. Declan and Lexi were a bit more timid.

At the end of the evening we bought the kids these Shamu bubble guns! So cute. Since we bought them, we've taken them to the park after dinner most nights. The kids love them!

One of my favorite adventures from last week was Friday night. We met the Herkert clan at Felippi's Pizza to celebrate Aunt Krisint's birthday.
A few pics of cousin chaos at the pizza place...

Every single cousin tickling Zack! What a trooper this kid is.
It was getting a little crazy while we were waiting to pay, so we took the kids outside (minus Quinn) for a breather.
After dinner, we went on an impromptu walk for ice cream. Crusin' Grand just happened to be going on and made for some wonderful entertainment!
Checking out the cars
When the kids heard the live music, it didn't take them long at all to get their groove things on. Following is a ridiculous amount of pictures of the cousins dancing. I love their *awesome * dance moves and adorable expressions!

And, wouldn't you know...I just happened to take a little video too...


Okay, enough dancing - let's go get that ice cream! 
More princesses
Two peas in a pod
Ice cream! Could this night get any better!?

Such a fun night! A great way to celebrate Aunt Kristin ;)

We had a very low key, relaxing weekend. But, we did manage a beach day with Daddy. The kids love it when Daddy is at the beach with them!

Their beach seats.
Rogue wave ;)
 Where are our legs!?
 Daddy's awesome beach swing.

On SundayLexi and I went to her last dance class. :( Hopefully we'll be able to pick this up again in the Spring. I had so much fun doing this with her.

And, last but not least, our final summer play date with Ellie and Lola. Stacie heads back to school this week :( We decided to stay on dry land this time and headed to open gym.
My girl and her piggies
We'll miss these girls! I love that we get to see so much of them over the summer!
 Jump time!


Using the rings to drop into the circle... he was really good at this.
 Happy girl!
 We ended our play date with frozen yogurt at Menchies...mmm!
And that wraps up another week of summer fun! We're going to go into major shock when it's time to slow down.
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