Saturday, June 30, 2007

Missed it Again!

Yes, yes. It was Friday yesterday. I completely forgot. I've been so consumed with "Avalanche Ranch," our VBS program, that it didn't even register that it was that time of the week again. So, because I only took pictures of preschoolers doing VBS things this week, this is a "Padyn Photo Friday." These are shots from our week on the ranch. WAH-HOO!

I took individual photos of each preschooler for a craft they did on Friday. I thought the one I captured of Padyn was one of the best. Then again, I might be biased since she is my kid and all.I actually didn't take this friend, Chrissy did. I love how it captures Padyn's pure joy. Funny...she used to be scared of the parachute game. I guess not anymore. On Friday we had a special visitor to the ranch...a real live horse. Turbo (I think that was his name) was dressed in his parade finest. The Fourth of July Parade, that is. No one got to ride him. He was strictly for petting. He was amazing with all those kids yanking on his mane.Padyn and her posse...I mean, Ranch Crew. My good friend, Heather, was her Ranch Hand (ie leader).

If for some reason you want to see it all, you can go here and see what all the Highway kids were up to this week. I think there's even a shot of two of Kate in there. She spent the week in the nursery. We had a blast, but Thank God this doesn't happen every week. It may take another week to recover.


I had a breakthrough today. I ran 4.5 miles OUTSIDE, without stopping. (Well, almost. There were these two stoplights along my route. I tried to keep moving, but it's just not the same.) It took 50 minutes, but again, stoplights, and it was hilly. The last mile? All uphill.

But you know what was really awesome? Not once did I think "I can't do this" or "I have to stop now or I'll die" or "If I just lay down on the sidewalk, do you think anyone would notice?" Nope. I visualized the whole route before I left, purposely ran out for 2 miles so I knew I had to come back at least that distance, and I just kept going.

Now, don't misunderstand. I didn't feel like it was easy. It was still sucky in parts...especially those uphill parts. I had a lot of help from my iPod. But when I was done? I felt like I could have kept going.

I've already been asked once today why I didn't keep going. Honestly, I just couldn't do anymore uphill...

Here's the best part. Today is the first day where I actually believe I can run the entire Wharf to Wharf in 3 weeks time. I don't think I've honestly believed I could run the 6 miles before.

Today I believe.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Reality According to Padyn #415

Padyn and her little friend were discussing what they were going to eat for dinner. Padyn's friend is a very good eater, and she was talking about how she was going to eat turkey and bread and broccoli for dinner tonight.

Padyn, ever so seriously says, "My mommy doesn't let me have broccoli."

Well, now that's an interesting interpretation of "You just have to take one bite" every time I put broccoli on her plate. I wonder what I need to do so she knows I'm allowing her to eat broccoli. No idea.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Move Over Angelina

Padyn had her first ballet class today. Not only did she standout due to being the only one in a gymnastics leotard (and most of the girls had those cute little wrap skirts over their leotards), she was the most comfortable child out their getting her groove on.Now if I can only get her to watch the teacher instead of herself in the mirror. She was also the only one hugely grinning at her reflection during the entire course of the 45 minute class.

Today and the last day are the only classes I'm allowed into, so these pictures are valuable.See the rest here.

Clarifying What it Means to be a Grown-up

Overheard in the car on the way to VBS yesterday morning...

Mommy, I don't want to wear earrings until I get married.

I think she was afraid of the big dangley ones I had on that day to match my highly attractive western attire.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Date to Remember

I know I've had a few "write down the date" posts, but this one is big. REALLY BIG.

Last night, Padyn slept without her pacifier.

I wouldn't quite call it voluntary. We decided it was time, we told her, she cried about it for a while, then she went to bed. Daddy lay down with her to make sure it was going to take. She was out in minutes, and didn't wake up calling out at all during the night. Not once!

You better believe we made a big deal out of it this morning. She finally got her beloved Dora Carriage (why she loves it so much, we're not sure). She got the Dora blanket that Auntie bought her as a present for the momentous occasion (it's been hiding in the playroom). And, of course, no celebration would be complete without candy. 7am and she was happily munching on M&M's and Jelly Beans. Yummm. Just what I want first thing in the morning.

Now, Grandpa and Mimi put her to bed tonight, and while it took her a while to actually get it bed, apparently there was no whining or lamenting about the lose of the paci. In fact, she kept telling Grandpa and Mimi, "Remember, I have to sleep without my paci." Maybe she was psyching herself up for it. It awaits to be seen if she'll actually go all night without complaint, but it's 9:30pm, and we haven't heard from her yet. We'll see how 3am goes.

To bed for me now. It is going to be a long week. We are having VBS (Vacation Bible School) at our church this week and I'm the preschool director. This is what I have to look forward to. Really, I'm excited about it. It's going to be great. The kids are going to love it. Padyn is going to love it. All that singing and dancing? At church? All her favorite things...


Friday, June 22, 2007

Photo Friday

Look! It's Friday! And there's photos! Actually taken today! That never happens...

This was our morning...hanging out on Mommy's bed, playing with toys, and eventually getting dressed. All these pictures were taken before we even made it downstairs for breakfast. That was finally about 8:30. Fridays are nice like that.
Kate showing off her paci
Padyn "reading" Daddy's book
Hanging out on Mommy's bed
She was making up the story and reading aloud to me.Hugging Bear BearPlaying Peek A BooAfter I finally got them dressed, we were still hanging out upstairs. Kate wandered off at some point and I found her in the playroom like this. Apparently Padyn isn't the only one who loves reading.

Beautiful Girl
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Two More

I have two more blogs to add to my list of people we know who also manage to keep a blog...

First, friends of ours, the Bergs. They just welcomed TWINS into their family last month. You can track the progress of little Austin and Brock as well as big brother, Jadon, as they move from a family of 3 to 5. You can imagine that life is a bit hectic, so don't expect daily updates, but definitely cheer them on and keep them in your prayers.

My second addition is the Syphus Family. Stacey is my oldest friend. Our mothers were best friends growing up and Stace and I were born a month apart. Unfortunately, her family moved away from ours when we were young, but we managed to stay close by being pen pals throughout our childhood. When we moved to the Bay Area, we discovered Stacey and her husband, Drew, were living in the same town, also with their first baby on the way! What are the chances? Sadly (well, only for us, not for them) they moved away over a year ago and we haven't had much contact. But, our Kate and their Charlotte are just days apart in age, and Stace and I will always be good friends-even if we don't talk to each other for a year! We're good like that.

So anyway, while she started her blog a while ago, I just got the link to it a few days ago. Stace doesn't post much either, but that shouldn't stop you for going over there and inundating her with comments. She'd love that!

Who's next?

Comparison at Fourteen (close to Fifteen) Months

I am extremely delinquent in my 14 month comparison and update, so the Kate's update will probably just be a combination of the two months (she isn't changed THAT quickly anymore, right?) and the comparisons will just be right on top of one another.

I don't think the girls look much alike anymore, but every once in a while I see an old picture of Padyn and recognize something of Katelyn in it. The eyes, the teeth, the toothy grin...I can tell they are sisters for sure. I tried to pick some pictures that highlighted their somewhat similar features.
So here they are...between 14 and 15 months of age. Kate is on the top and Padyn is on the bottom of each set.

Similar squeezable cheeks...Similarly delighted with themselves when they accomplish something new...
Similar profiles, particularly the nose...Similar happy, content personalities....

Differences at this age, you ask? Well, the main two are mobility and food. Padyn wasn't even close to walking at this age, while Kate is now trying her hand at running. Padyn was a much less picky eater. She'd eat almost anything as long as it wasn't milk. Kate still has a fear of meat, vegetables, and most fresh fruit. But she loves her some milk!

Already Playing Favorites

Getting ready this morning...

P: I like Daddy best.

M: You mean you like Daddy better than Mommy?

P: Yes. I like Daddy best and Kate likes Mommy best.

M: I think Kate likes Daddy best.

P: No, I like Daddy best.

M: You can't both like Daddy best?

P: No, Mommy. Only me.

It's a good thing I don't take this stuff personally.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

New Adventures

This time around in Tahoe we strayed from our normal routine of laziness and attempted a few new adventures. J and I had been discussing getting bikes and a bike trailer, so we decided to rent one while we were at the lake. Why not? Great bike trails, cheap rentals, and a form of exercise that could involve the girls.

Surprisingly, Kate and Padyn seemed to enjoy the trailer. I was worried that since it's so low to the ground they would not be able to see anything and therefore become bored. And we all know how fun bored children are. There was some general complaining at the beginning, but it was mostly from Katelyn and I believe it was over the fact that I made her wear a helmet. But doesn't she look like she's enjoying it here?Padyn fell asleep on the trip out, but that could have been due to extreme comfort and feeling of ease rather than boredom. She tends to fall asleep easily in moving vehicles. She gets that from her Momma. Padyn wanted to walk in the river, so we had to make a stop on the way home and cool ourselves. The timing was pretty good for Mommy, who was pulling the trailer. The ride back to the city is uphill. I was sure Katelyn would hate the water since it's FREEZING, but I had to hold her back from throwing herself in. Obviously, Padyn loved it, and her shirt did not stay dry very long. We quickly became the white trash family hanging out on the bank of the Truckee. (That's ok. We've been white trash before. We have no shame.) Padyn liked the Truckee River so much, that the next day we went rafting along the same section that we had biked (another new adventure). This girl can't seem to get enough water. (We have no pictures of the rafting experience for obvious reason. My Nikon + Water = Hell Freezing Over.)
I don't have many other pictures from our 3 days in the Sierras, but I'll post some beach ones later in the week. I can't promise much this week in way of posting (trainings to give, VBS to get ready for) but I'll do what I can. I wouldn't want to disappoint the girls' fan base.

Have a great week!

I LOVE Shoes

Well, yes, I do love shoes (remind me to post a new pair I bought last week) but I'm really talking about Kate. She had a slight fascination with them before she started walking, but now it's a full blown obsession. Seriously. She is constantly bringing me her shoes so I will put them on her feet. In fact, if she doesn't like the pair she has on, she will find and deliver to me another pair and demand I change them. Just imagine that from a child that has no clear vocabulary yet.
I think she likes walking better when she has shoes on. And walking she is now. This crawling stuff is just for babies. I wonder when she'll start running. It mights my hair turn white just thinking about it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On The Road Again

We are taking yet another trip tomorrow. This time we are heading to one of our favorite spots-Lake Tahoe. So, in order to tide you over until Sunday when I can post again, here's a couple shots I took of Kate this past weekend when we were staying at our friends' house in Davis. (That's her pal, Anya, sharing the bathroom with her.)

She climbed right up there herself. Doesn't she look pleased? I think she's actually clapping for herself in the bottom picture. I hope she doesn't think I'm going to be potty training her anytime soon. Cause that's just not going to happen.
Happy Wednesday...and Thursday, and Friday and Saturday...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Simplifying Life: Lesson #38

That little "Quick Rinse" setting on the dishwasher? Totally awesome. Why have I not discovered this before? Why have I been rinsing my dishes off in the sink and then putting them in the dishwasher? The dishwasher has a setting that does this for you. Egg yolk, peanut butter, cheese, crumbs...all gone in a matter of minutes. Sweet.

Don't tell me it uses more water than me actually rinsing them or it's not environmentally sound. Even if it is true, I don't really care. Not with two kids under 4. Not when it feels like I spend half my life washing dishes. This is so much less time consuming than my previous method. Who is going to begrudge me the few extra minutes I have discovered? Who of you couldn't use an extra 8 minutes in your day?

That's what I thought...

Last Day of School

Last Thursday was Padyn's last day of preschool for the year. When she woke up that morning and I told her it was the last day she said, "YEAH!" She has no idea what that actually means, and I know she'll be asking me in two weeks when she gets to go to school. Or college. Lately she's been telling me that she's going to college. Tomorrow. And spending the night there. I think she's watched the "Steve Goes to College" episode on Blue's Clues one too many times.

A lot has changed since last September for Lil' Miss Padyn. This skirt she's wearing in the First Day of School Photo? That no longer fits. Nor do those shoes. And the sweatshirt...well, it would fit if it hadn't been lost at school. With her big girl haircut, pigtails don't really work anymore. Besides, she looks more grown up with a headband. Not that it stays in her hair very long.

The Last Day of School
What else can I say about Padyn and this year of growth? Well, she no longer wears a diaper during her nap and her nighttime diaper is dry 9 out of 10 mornings. That's a HUGE accomplishment. Her vocabulary and clarity of pronunciation has improved tremendously over the year. Now the only time I really don't understand what she is saying is when she is making up a new word. That happens quite often. The new word usually rhymes with a known word. Rhyming, especially nonsense words, is very popular in our house right now. She has a pretty good understanding (for a 3 year old) of who God and Jesus is, and she can pretty much preach the gospel to you. That rocks. Totally worth that tuition money.

Her eating habits haven't exactly broadened, but you can usually convince her to at least try something new. But even then, she sticks to a simple and consistent meal plan. Peanut butter toast is her favorite breakfast, turkey cheese and crackers is fine for lunch EVERY DAY and dinner can be almost anything as long as it involves yogurt and carrots, preferably with hummus.

Some changes over the year haven't been as welcomed as others. We seem to have entered a phase of tantrum throwing. I find it amazing that she continues to throw these full-out tantrums even though they NEVER get her what she wants, and usually they get her even less than what she is hoping for. And I mean tantrum. On the ground, screaming at the top of her lungs, thrashing about TANTRUM. It usually ends with me carrying her up to her room (trying to avoid being kicked) where she kicks, yells and screams on her bed until I go in and convince her that life would be better if she cut it out. (Various methods work for that...I won't go into them now.)

She uses the word "scared" more than before she started school and she refuses to watch most children's movies because they are loud and scary. Not that I'm complaining about her disinterest in most television, but I'm just getting tired of the same Blue's Clues, Berenstein Bears and Leap Frog videos. While most of her friends are branching out into movies like Cars and The Incredibles, Padyn is happy with her "shows" on PBS. Again, not complaining, just finding it interesting.

While she loves her sister, Padyn has entered a bossy, bratty stage with her, also. I know that this "stage" will be never ending, so I've been trying to find a balance of letting the natural flow of "Big Sister verses Little Sister" occur without ganging up on the big sister and always coddling the little one. I'm trying to find new ways to say, "You are not the Mommy," and "It's ok for Kate to do that. Leave her alone!" This weekend I picked up, "You are not in charge," from a friend of mine. I think I'll try that one for a while and see if it works. Padyn's constantly swiping toys away from Kate, yelling at her to stop doing something, or tackling her to keep her from crawling somewhere. I'm getting tired of repeating the same instructions over and over again, and I'm especially tired of hearing 'why" come out of her normally sweet little mouth. Do you know how many times I've said, "Because I said so," over the last month? I don't either, because it's so automatic now, I don't even notice.

One thing that I was hoping would change this year with school that really hasn't. Padyn is still a pretty shy, introverted kid when she doesn't know people, when she's in a large group (even of people she knows) , and even when she is with a small group of friends. She just gets uncomfortable and there really isn't much I can do to help her. I've had a problem with her turning away from people that say hello to her, even people she knows, so we've been working on acknowledging people's greetings. I tell her that she has to either say hello back or wave, but turning and scowling is not an ok option. I understand she isn't comfortable and isn't outgoing, but still...I don't want the rude, sullen child.

Oh, something else that hasn't change this year? When she doesn't want to take a picture with her teacher, you really are not going to convince her to look happy. I understand being unsure on the first day of school to take a picture with this new person, but the last day of school? Give me a break. And believe me...the last day picture? That's the better of the two I took.

First picture with Mrs. D.

Last picture with Mrs. D.

Still, I love my Padyn Baby. Despite the tantrums, the bossiness, and the scowling, she's a sweet sweet gentle-natured girl who I know will be a loving, responsible adult one day. I love watching her grow up. I just don't want it to happen so fast.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Walking! Well, Almost

So, you read two weeks ago that Katelyn FINALLY took her first steps. Since then she hasn't really been so interested in walking, especially of her own volition. But tonight she got all into it. She walked multiple times to and from objects that interested her (mostly to and from Mommy) just because she wanted to. And we aren't just talking two or three steps. She was walking a distance of 5 or more feet at a time. That's many many steps for her. When she got to where she was going, she's laugh or clap for herself. She knew she was accomplishing something important.

This may be a new phase for us. Hopefully we're ready.

And I promise to post a 14 month update and comparison soon. Very very soon.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Happy Birthday Coley Rose

Today is Coley Rose's birthday. Today, Padyn's best friend turns 4. It's hard to believe it's been 4 years since that stubborn little musically-inclined child made her way into the world. I remember crying when her Daddy called me to say she was born. (I was at a restaurant with some friends I hadn't seen for years. It was a bit embarrassing). I remember how beautiful she was right from the start. I remember hoping that my baby (whom I didn't know was a girl at the time) would be just as gorgeous. I remember calling Coley's Moma right after my ultrasound to tell her that I was going to have Coley's best friend instead of her future boyfriend.

Once Padyn came along 5 months after Coley Rose was born, the Girls' Moma and I made sure to get the girls together at least twice a year. Funny, I don't think we talked about it before hand. It just sort of evolved and is now a standard to which we live by. I wouldn't change it for anything. Getting Coley and Padyn together is hectic, nerve-racking and utterly fabulous-they are vastly different, yet scarily similar in so many ways. I love watching them learn to share, sing, dance, talk to each other, play with each other instead of just alongside, and really enjoy the other's company. And now that Jalyn and Katelyn have been thrown into the mix, our visits are all the more memorable (as well as a bit louder and more messy). I have to admit, I don't just make these visits happen for Padyn. My motivation is a bit selfish. I'm kinda fond of spending time with Coley's Moma. We were thrown together 8 years ago in Mississippi and despite never having lived in the same state since, we've somehow have managed to maintain a strong, authentic friendship. That just doesn't happen everyday. And that's why we make every effort to get Coley and Padyn together twice a year. That's the friendship I hope for for them.

So, at least twice a year since March of 2004. That's what we have here. Two friends, who will, God willing, be friends for life. There are two visits I don't have pictures from, but otherwise, here's a few of the Best Friends we've shot over the years. Enjoy.

March 2004

July 2004

August 2004
February 2005
March 2006
April 2007
June 2007

Happy Birthday, Coley Girl. We love you.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Daddy Says Funny Things, Too

During one of our drives between our hotel and Coley and Jalyn's house this weekend, Padyn was eating corn flakes that we got courtesy of the free "breakfast" offered by our hotel. She dropped a few down her shirt and became very agitated when they scratched her skin.

Daddy, upon recognizing the discomfort Padyn was experiencing due to the corn flakes, stated something like,"That's not a corn flake eating shirt."

If any of you find a shirt made for eating corn flakes, would you let me know? I think it would make a great Father's Day gift.

Breakfast Conversation

Padyn told me this morning over her peanut butter toast, "I dreamed about lettuce again last night, Mommy."

Ok, first...why is she dreaming of a vegetable that she rarely lets touch her lips?

And secondly...again? She's had visions of lettuce in the night before?

What a strange strange child I have.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Catching Up

I may not have posted for a few days, but look! Flickr updates! I'm only a week behind now. All of May is posted and it's only June 5th. I can't believe it myself.

Tomorrow I'll get up the pictures from our weekend, but if you want a sneak peek, you can go to Coley and Jalyn's blog and check out the Girls' Moma's Flickr photos. That will give you a pretty good idea of how we spent our weekend.

Until then, enjoy a few...