Monday, June 30, 2008

Water Babies

We spent the last two weeks in swimming lessons, and let me say it was the best Arizona summer investment ever spent. Lucy loves water, always has, but I needed guidance for not getting nervous whenever my baby tried something new in the pool. And Amelia fed off my nervousness when she was small I'm sure, and was scared to get her head in the water. So I had a goal for swimming lessons and that was to get us all more comfortable around water. It's a necessity here in Arizona with constant 114 degree weather, you gotta spend the day in and around water to stay cool! We went swimming tonight at our neighbors house for family night and, GOAL MET! Yea! Lucy is now TOO comfortable in the water (I had to jump in after her fully clothed after she dove into the water before the rest of us!), but she has learned to kick, paddle, pull herself up on the wall, float and we found out LOVES to be thrown into the deeper parts of the pool. Dallan sat out because of his dental visit earlier today, so he'd throw her in, she'd go under and I'd catch her. She was all smiles and swam frantically back to Dallan to do it again. I was so proud and amazed watching Amelia swim around, jumping in, going under the water. Swimming lessons were the best money ever spent!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Little Girls and their Dolls

I love having little girls. They are so loving, so motherly right from the start. Today at church someone was impressed when they heard Lucy say "baby" quite clearly. Let me just say, she's learned from her sister, we love babies! Lucy got her very own doll for her birthday and she loves to feed it, to give it kisses, and have us give it kisses. She hugs it, pats its back, takes wet wipes and gives her baths. It's so fun to see her and Amelia nurture their little dollies. In the picture of Amelia in the stroller, that is Binky Dolly in her very own carseat, and yes, Amelia is shading Binky Dolly from the sun using a map of the Botanical Gardens! Lucy's baby is yet to be named other than Lucy's Baby. We'll let you know when it gains its identity further. (Be sure to watch the video at the bottom. It's quite cute...)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

One of those weeks!

Well, in case you were wondering, the week didn't improve. I love playing the oboe. But sometimes I just have to ask myself, why am I doing this? Why do I keep playing? Every time I have an opportunity to play, it seems to follow the rule "when it rains, it pours". Christmas, Easter, ect are very high in music job opportunities, so I can usually anticipate those busy seasons, prepare for them, but they are still stressful. This week was a fluke in the system for me, busy off-season. I have started playing with a woodwind nonet, and our first concert was this afternoon in a beautiful cathedral in downtown phoenix. About two weeks ago I agreed to also do a musical production of Secret Garden, which meant I had dress rehersal with the nonet Tuesday, dress rehersals for the musical Wednesday and Thursday (with two different casts) and performances Friday, two on Saturday, and the nonet today. On top of that I had previously scheduled for Amelia to have her 3rd year photos to be taken as well as an updated family picture Saturday morning. AND swimming lessons every morning except Friday this last week and next. Just CRAZY, CRAZY schedule. And then on top of all of that... Dallan mentioned Thursday night he has had a major toothache all week, but hasn't said anything because there wouldn't have been time to do anything about it with work and everything else going on. By last night he couldn't move, and described the pain as a 10 on the pain scale. Drugs didn't help at all yesterday, but I was gone all day, he had to take care of the girls all day, so it was a really rotten day for him. We got cute pictures though, on the bright side... I just want to cry! I love to play my oboe, I love to take these opportunities, but everytime I do my family suffers. (Dallan quite literally this time). Poor Amelia got sent to time out in nursery for kicking another child today. She is never a violent child! She just reacts so badly when there is stress in our home, I know thats why she reacted to whatever, like she did. Is it worth keeping this talent, this passion of mine, while raising my family? How do other people do it, keeping something they hold dear to their heart while keeping up with family, home and children? And this is something I feel like I need to keep, my music I mean. I just need to find a way to balance and deal with the stress better. Anyway, Dallan is going to a dentist tomorrow, I'm vowing to let my house go to the pits this week, at least while kids are awake, and see if I can't renew some stability in these poor little girls lives (and my own).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One of those days

Have you ever just had one of those days where you wish you could crawl in a hole and hide from responsibility? Today's one of those for me. Everything that has gone wrong has. We had a tire blow out on our van last night. Dallan was taking his scouts hiking and on their way, it blew. The saddest part, was we were already needing new tires on our other car and it was in my plans today to take that car in and get those tires. Not knowing a lot about tire replacement, Dallan and I forgot that you have to replace two at a time, they won't just sell you one. So today we had to buy four new tires. Ugh! I really have a love/hate relationship with cars. Gas is so pricey its hard to go anywhere, but without a car I don't know how I'd manage, and THEN there are the repairs, insurance, blah blah blah... the costs feel endless! This week is already crazy for me, so Dallan decided to take the cars in for me allowing me to keep the girls on their schedule, get them to and from swimming lessons, and hopefully just have an easier day. I'm playing in "The Secret Garden" at Chandler Gilbert Community College this week and next, tonight being my first rehersal with them. It was supposed to be quick to get all the tires replaced, but the place Dallan took the car of course was out of its specific tires, so they sent him to another store further away from his work to get it. So his morning was shot, he will most likely get home in time to high-five me out the door, and now I'm feeling guilty for pawning that responsibility off on him. Ugh! Money, Time... there is never enough of either one. And the painful realization of responsibility and choices made and their consequences is just rough some days. Se la vi.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Buckethead!

Happy Birthday Amelia! My little girl is 3 years old today. I can't believe I have been a mom for 3 years. You know, its interesting celebrating an oldest child's birthday, its a celebration of survival for the parents as well. Hooray! We survived 3 years of parenthood and our children are still alive! Anyway, I think (THINK being the optimal word in this sentence) I'm going to enjoy having a 3-year old. It was fun today to have her truly recognize it was her birthday. She's always been so smart and quick with thinking and words, but for some reason she seemed older in her dialogue this weekend. For instance, at dinner tonight, we were all so hungry and tired Dallan and I started eating and forgot to talk. Don't worry, Amelia reminded us. She said, "I know! We could talk!" Wow! What an amazing idea. So she started a conversation and we talked about nursery and she informed me she had pretended to be a puppy and the lady told her to not be a puppy anymore. Or like last weekend, we went to Wilcox AZ to visit Dallan's sister and Amelia got to have a sleep-over with her cohort in crime cousin Meghan. We caught those two at 3 in the morning chatting about the dreams they had had and about our kitty Tula, and who knows what else. But those are such big girl things to do, my little girl is no longer a baby in any way. I love how smart she is, how grown up but yet childlike she feels, I absolutely love the conversations we have. I have learned so much from that little buckethead, I'm very grateful to have her as part of my family and to have her be my oldest. She is truly the best big sister in the world to Lucy. Anyway, enjoy the pictures from all our birthday festivities!
Since her birthday was on Sunday, we told her she could invite a couple friends over on Saturday for cake. She said "five friends". So we told her to start naming that many friends and she named "Max, (we insert his mom's name and brother), yeah, and Ashlyn (we insert her mom and brother) yeah." Ok! Five friends! This is Amelia with Timothy and Ashlyn Laughlin, her favorite girlfriend.

At Amelia's request, a pink cake, with pink frosting with a mother bird and her babies in a nest! Voila! I thought I did pretty good!

Best quote of the night, "Look mom, I'm dressed as a shoebox!" A box still proves to be the best present a kid can get. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa! The toys inside are pretty fun too.

Monday, June 2, 2008

She DECIDES to walk! Finally...

Well, folks! Lulu decided to walk yesterday. It was a busy day starting with a very small yard sale (mostly to get rid of 2 strollers and a couch... we sold two strollers and are pending on the couch. So, it was a success!) Anyway, we were talking to our neighbor and Dallan says, "Lucy stood up!" I'm thinking, big deal, she stands up all the time. The catch was she stood up with nothing and no one to hold on to. So my assumptions with Lucy's personality were correct. She had to decide "I want to walk" and she would. So, she then walked a good distance in the grass toward me! We cheered and applauded and made a HUGE deal of it! So of course she did it again, and again and again! And voila! She is walking. It's still faster to crawl, so unless she is wanting praise, she still crawls. But I'm so happy she is walking now! Mostly because it seems less dirty to walk than to crawl. Like the other day at the zoo, we were in the goats petting zoo and Lucy crawled right into a pile of goat poop. It was so disgusting, but if she were walking, I would have been cleaning a shoe and not racing to the sink to wash her hands before they got near her mouth and face. So anyway, all you who say, "You don't want her walking.... its better they don't walk." I just don't believe you. I'm so EXCITED that my Lucy is a walker! Take a look: