January 23, 2015

my little dance star

This past weekend Ryann had her first dance performance of the year.  It was the competition showcase, which gave all the girls an opportunity to do their dances on a stage before the real competitions.  I was so nervous that Ryann, and her class, would be a disaster, but they pulled it together!!

No, their dance wasn't perfect, but for a small group of 4 and 5 year olds it was pretty good.  Ryann did a wonderful job staying with the music and only forgot one part.  And she was pretty pumped because she got to wear lots of make-up and fake hair.  I'll admit the fake hair was pretty awesome.  Hers looked a bit cheerleaderish (not that that is a terrible thing, but not what I was going for) but it was too cute.  And makes me long for a day that maybe her hair will thicken up a bit!

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After the showcase Ryann asked me if she was all done with that dance.  When I reminded her that she still has two competitions and a recital to go, she asked me what a competition is.  We have kind of been over it before, but I've tried not to dwell on it too much because winning doesn't matter, especially at this age.  I want her to enjoy the atmosphere, have fun with her dance friends, and feel like she is a part of a team.  But I explained that a bunch of different studios will come and dance and try to do their best so they can win ribbons and trophies.  Naturally she is now paranoid that she won't be good enough and won't win.  Of course I assured her over and over that winning doesn't matter.  Smiling and having fun does.  So we'll see.

After that conversation I looked up the various rules for the competitions we're going to, and the category that these cute little girls will be in is 8 and under.  I'm sure their age is considered when comparing the two, but the difference between an 8 year old's ability and a 4 year old's ability is pretty big.  So that will be interesting.

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Nonetheless, Ryann is having fun and learning a lot, and I'm loving watching her dance.  Can't believe I'll be heading in to a dance competition as a parent!

January 20, 2015

that's what she said

Me:  "Did you have any dreams last night?"
Ryann:  "Yeah, me and my mom went to all the grades and then college."
Me:  "Well that's weird."
Ryann:  "Why?"
Chris:  "I thought you said she was your mom."
Ryann:  "Life works out weird in magic land."

Ryann:  "Mommy will you please print me a picture of Elsa to color PLEASE?"
Me:  "Hold on let me finish these invitations."
Ryann:  "PLEASE MOM.  I'm making a picture for you.  And if I do something for you, you do something for me.  I'm pretty sure that is how this works."

Ryann:  after getting herself dressed  "I picked out leopard pants for the bottom, and my anchor shirt for the top.  So it's like I'm half leopard, half boat girl!"

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January 13, 2015

elsie - twenty three months

And here we are.  One month shy of Elsie's second birthday.  I can't handle it.  Elsie has brought so much joy in to our lives, and I can't believe my littlest girl is going to be two!  Cue the tears.  I'm getting emotional.

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My best guess is that Elsie is around 26.5 pounds.  I haven't a clue how tall she is.  Pretty tall compared to her friends.  She is in mostly 2T clothes, with a few 18-24 month items that still work.  Poor thing though, she is shoved in an 18 month onesie for these photos.  This was the last time we were going to need it, we don't have any 24 month onesies, so... sorry kid.  Next month I'll have a shiny new shirt for you to wear, promise!  Elsie is wearing size 6 shoes and size five diapers.  I think my favorite pair of her boots are starting to get a touch small, but I'm pretending it's not happening.  I should have bought them in another size or two!

Nap and bedtime has become a whole lot of fun.  Elsie is still a relatively good sleeper, however she has taken to tossing everything out of her crib, and then crying for us to come give it back to her.  And at night when she strips off her pajamas and throws all her blankets out of her bed, when it feels like -11 outside, I feel like we have no choice but to go back in there.  It is going to start being a tough love situation pretty soon.  And I'm worried that we need to switch her to a bed soon anyway.  I know she could climb out of the crib if she wanted to.  She easily swings her legs over the top.  She just hasn't actually done it.  She is usually in bed by 8pm, and is up around 7am.  I lay her down for a nap at 1pm, and she actually sleeps from about 1:45-4.  She spends so long just messing around before she lays down to go to sleep.

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Elsie loves to sing songs and is getting pretty great with the ABCs.  Sometimes she gets tripped up, but for the most part she does good.  She can regularly pick out E, O, R and Y in print, but otherwise we haven't done much on letter recognition.  I know it isn't a necessary important thing right now, but I think she COULD learn them, so whenever she is willing we might as well go for it, right?  She is great with her colors and most shapes, and can count to like 15 or 16.  She can also count down from 3.  Not a huge feat, but she'll say "3-2-1!" before heading off to do something.

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spaz.  for sure.

E has also gotten a lot more interested in her books lately.  If I take the time to just sit and read to her, she'll listen for a good half an hour.  She tries to read them all with me, too.  She has gotten pretty good at reciting some of her favorites.  We regularly read I Love You Stinky Face, Smile Pout Pout Fish, What's Wrong Little Pookie and the Belly Button Book.  She has also picked up on the fact that all the letters and such are words, and will point to a page or sign or pamphlet, anything with words, and ask "what these words say?"  Pretty cute.

She's still my little helper, loving unloading the dishwasher and doing laundry.  And now whenever I vacuum she busts out her mini Dyson she got for Christmas and gets to work as well.  But her newest task has been unloading the bags or groceries when we get home from the store.  And she started it completely unprompted.  One day we really need to do dishes so the counter was full, therefore I set the bag of groceries on the floor.  I had to do something, I can't remember what, but I didn't get right to the groceries.  I came back in to the kitchen to find her taking stuff out of the bags and putting it the best place she could come up with.  She got several pantry items put away correctly, and had corralled fridge items together.  Then she pulled out a package of wipes and took them to her room.  I was impressed, and she was so happy to be helping.

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Elsie's vocabulary has gotten to the point where I don't think there is much that she doesn't know or understand.  And if a word confuses her, she'll say "what? what you say?"  Some of my favorite phrases this month... I'll ask "Are you poopy?" when I know without a doubt she is, and she'll respond "No, I just fine!"  She hates having her diaper changed.  And when she doesn't want to get her diaper changed or doesn't want me to pick her up, "No Mama! Leave alone me!"  She'll ask me to play with her in the family room, and if I agree she grabs my hand and says "Aw-wight Mommy.  Tome on.  Wets go."  She regularly looks at cute things and says "Awww, so fweet!"  She often gasps at pretty things, or something she finds exciting, and says "Oh my gosh!"

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Miss Elsie is OBSESSED with Hello Kitty.  I have no idea how or why the obsession started, but she can spot a Hello Kitty from a mile away.  Naturally Christopher feeds her love of that little cat, and we've now collected like six different stuffed Hello Kittys, tons of Hello Kitty stickers and coloring books and a Hello Kitty cup.  I admit now when I see a Hello Kitty anything, I think to myself "Elsie would love that!"  But I try to refrain.  I am on the hunt for some cute Hello Kitty pajamas to get her for her birthday though.  Pajamas don't bother me as much as actual shirts and stuff.  I also saw a 50 inch Hello Kitty balloon at Party City, and I just might break down and get it to have at our house on her birthday as well.  Why is making kids happy so much fun?

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Speaking of birthdays, I was all set to have a carousel horse themed party, and then Elsie started telling people she was having a school bus birthday party.  I tried several times to sway her back to the horse side, but no luck.  She talks about her school bus party every day, and pretends she is going to a school bus party all the time.  I'm pretty sure her mind is going to be blown when a bus pulls up in front of our house and she actually gets to get on it.  Yes, I rented a school bus for her birthday party.  I'm crazy, I'm aware.  But it was cheaper than renting a place to have a party, and it is starting to get a bit cramped having a bunch of kids in our house for a party.  So we'll putz around on a bus for a bit and call it good, and the kids will have a blast, right?

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Over the last couple of weeks Elsie and Ryann have started playing really well together.  Of course they still fight like crazy, but they can actually spend a good 20-30 minutes doing imaginative play together.  It is amazing to watch, and so very cute.  Not to mention I get a little bit of quiet time here and there.  They have a thing for going in the closets with flashlights to 'hide'.  I don't know what goes on in there, but there is an awful lot of giggling, and it just melts my heart.  They also find it hilarious when each other toots or burps.  That's fun.  Ha.  But again, they start laughing so hard and I can't help but smile.  I hope that as they both learn more social skills and how to communicate better, that they play together well even more.

A few more of Elsie's favorite things include coloring, mac n' cheese, the play kitchen and carrying things around in random bags and boxes.  She likes being able to use dip on her food, and can sniff out snacks like it's her job.  I think she would eat all day long if I let her.  She drives me nuts taking off her shoes and socks in the car all the time.  She tries to sing with all the songs on the radio.  Our cat Max is one of her best friends, I don't know how she convinced him to put up with so much tough love.  She wants to be just like her big sister, and is still a total mama's girl.  She says her favorite color is red.  She has to walk or crawl through anything that looks even remotely like a tunnel.

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Elsie girl I can't get over how much I love you.  Sometimes you make me smile so much my cheeks hurt.  Can't believe you're almost two!

January 12, 2015

welcoming 2015

The fact that we are nearly halfway through January is just crazy to me.  I felt like the days would slow down after Christmas, with less to be looking forward to in theory, but nope.  Not at all.  They just keep flying by.

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This year we spent New Year's Eve having a slumber party in our new house.  We needed to meet with the contractor we selected, and my parents were out of town, so we figured why not.  It's our house, might as well sleep there!  Before my parents left for Georgia they dropped off air mattresses, as well as some snacks and New Year's party supplies.  After meeting with the contractor, we headed over to The Blue Moose for some dinner.  Chris and I hadn't eaten there before, so we were excited to try it.  The waiter we had was great, and our food was pretty good as well.  My favorite part though, was the fried pickle appetizer we ordered.  They were fried in a beer batter, and weren't full spears but not the little rounds either.  So good.

After dinner we headed back to the house, and eventually had a couple of friends over.  They brought cake and ice cream, along with some paper bowls and plastic silverware since we didn't have any!  The kids hung out and watched a movie, and at 9:00pm Ryann asked them when they were going to leave because she was ready for bed.  Haha.  A little blunt but oh well.  Our friends left, we got the girls in bed and then Christopher and I started a movie of our own.  But I barely lasted half an hour before decided I was ready for bed myself.

In the morning we sent Chris out for some doughnuts.  Probably not the healthiest way to start off the new year, but when you don't really have any groceries or cooking utensils, why not?  The girls seemed pretty satisfied.  Especially Elsie.  We hung out for a bit longer before packing up and heading back to Kansas City.  A very mild but fun New Years.

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Usually I would sit down and make some lofty goals for the year, things that I want to accomplish, ways I want to become a better person, etc.  But the truth is, I anticipate this being a crazy year for my little family.  Chris is so close to finishing his fellowship, we're going to be moving, Ryann will start kindergarten, we're renovating a house, we have to sell our current house... the list goes on.  So this year?  We're going to survive, and take everything in stride.  That is the goal.  It's going to be big, but I think it is going to be pretty fun too.

January 11, 2015

christmas morning

I was on such a roll, and then I got distracted or something.  So my Christmas posts are way late and I've still got New Year's and Elsie's 23 month post on my to-do list.  And then maybe I'll actually come up with something more exciting to blog about.  A girl can dream, right?  Ha.

Anyway, Christmas morning!  After a fun evening at my uncle's house, the girls actually slept until almost 8am.  A Christmas miracle no doubt.  When Elsie woke up we pulled her in to bed with us and told her Merry Christmas.  She told us Merry Christmas too, then proceeded to pull up her shirt and said "Merry Christmas be-bo!"  I about died.  Only my child would tell her belly button Merry Christmas.  We laid around for a bit until my mom texted that Ryann was up.  She was anxious to peek in her stocking, but I convinced everyone to have breakfast first since they were only serving it until 9am.

The particular hotel we were staying in only has a continental style buffet, cereal, crappy muffins, yogurt, etc.  So our Christmas breakfast was a little lackluster.  But it got the job done and we raced back upstairs to see all the gifts that Santa brought.

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Elsie was obsessed with her umbrella.  She is a Hello Kitty fanatic.  I have no idea why.  And she thought the Hello Kitty umbrella was pretty much the coolest thing ever.  They also had some stickers, bath paints, crayons, coloring books and a couple of other random things in their stockings.

Then we moved on to the family gifts.  In our family Santa only fills the stockings.  I mean, why should the imaginary red suited guy get all the glory?  Honestly I'm still undecided as to how much I'll allow Santa to influence our holiday season.  We talk about Santa, but we don't make a huge deal about him.  I don't remember Santa being some huge magical thing when I was little.  I remember when I found out he wasn't real, but I don't remember being super pissed about it or anything.  Maybe I was, I have no idea.  The thing I struggle with the most is how to deal with Santa in a way that works for our family, without taking away the magic for someone else's family.  Life is complicated.  Ha.

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In that last one the heater was giving Ryann quite the model wind blown look.  It was awesome.  The girls got some great gifts, and I was pretty pleased with a new camera strap, running shoes, an external hard drive and a new dishwasher (thanks mom and dad!).  We had a great day, but I'm so excited to see what Christmas can look like in our new home.

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January 3, 2015

christmas eve

Still plugging away at my backlog of photos.

For Christmas we made our annual trek to Omaha to spend the holiday with my Dad's side of the family.  Christmas Eve was spent at my uncle's house, with lots of family, food and a visit from Santa Claus.  Elsie started crying as soon as Santa came in the room, and she wouldn't get within 10 feet of the guy.  As much as I wanted a picture of the girls with Santa, I wasn't going to press it.  Ryann was a pro though and hopped right up and told him what she wanted.  We had picked her out a Barbie with a unicorn that she had been asking for at Target for probably the last six months.

The rest of the night was just spent watching the kids run around like crazies and having conversations with my cousins.  Another fun, but uneventful, Christmas Eve in the books.

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Next year we plan to spend Christmas at home in our new house.  I'm sure going to miss all of the family, but I've spent one Christmas at home that I can remember.  It never really bothered me when we stayed at my Grandma's house.  But after my Grandpa passed away and she moved into an apartment, we've spent Christmas in a hotel.  While being with family truly is enough, we'd like to experience a Christmas at home.  I'm excited, but it will definitely be bittersweet.

January 2, 2015

cookie baking day

The weekend before Christmas we headed to my parents house for the weekend for some holiday fun.  We drove around Winter Wonderland to look at the lights, celebrated my Dad's birthday and had our annual cookie baking day.  Sugar cookies sure are a lot of work, and certainly not my favorite Christmas cookie, but the girls have a blast and I love watching them help my mom in the kitchen.

And I use the term help VERY loosely.

We ended up splitting the process between two days, because Chris and I went to a KU basketball game Saturday afternoon (rock chalk!) and that evening Ryann randomly had a fever.  But she was feeling good by the next morning so we baked and decorated.  Elsie was adorable with the sprinkles, saying "prinkle prinkle prinkle!" as she decorated her cookies.  Ryann just dumped excess amounts of sprinkles on a few cookies, but she was proud of it so we'll call it good.  Oh, and Elsie was obsessed with the "wittle bitty (1/8th) tup".  No idea why, but it was cute.

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Fun stuff.  Personally, I'm ready to get back to our regular routine and schedule, but there is just so much fun to be had during the holidays.