Monday, June 30, 2014

Three Months Old Today!

Our little Ella turned three months old today!  It's hard to believe that she is already 1/4 of the way through her first year of life.  Ella is really turning into a good, little baby.  She is quite content now days to lay on the couch or in her bouncy chair or on the floor watching the world go by for many minutes at a time without crying which is such a blessing in my life.  She absolutely LOVES any attention that comes her way and will smile and giggle at anyone who will talk to her.  She is getting chubbier by the day and is still comfortably wearing 3-month clothes.  Ella is still getting up for one feeding a night whereas her siblings were both consistently sleeping through the night at this point.  However, I am grateful that she sleeps from 10 p.m or so until the hour of four each morning, so I am now getting a nice chunk of sleep before waking up to feed her.  She goes right back to sleep after the feeding and will usually sleep til 8 a.m. which is so nice.  I am hoping that she will sleep through the night within the next month or so, but we shall see.  Ella went on her first trip this past month to the coast and will be heading out for her second vacation in July to visit the family cabin in Priest Lake for the first time.  It will be fun to put her in a swimsuit and dangle her toes in the lake water for the first time!  Oh how we love our baby Ella!

A shot of one of Ella's many adorable, open-mouth smiles!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Girl Scouts and American Girls

Today Lia, Ella, and I headed up north to the American Girl Doll store with the other Daisies and their moms from Lia's Girl Scout Troop.  Upon the completion of their cookies sales earlier this spring, a portion of the money that they made went back to their troop to be used towards a fun outing of some sorts.  The older girls in Lia's troop went horseback riding earlier this month, but I convinced the other two moms that the perfect activity for our little Daisies is to visit the American Girl Doll store for lunch in the bistro and for some shopping in the store.  We had such a fun time together with our girls today.  Ella slept through the entire affair which allowed me to relax and just enjoy my time with Lia.  Lunch was delicious and Lia was able to buy TWO outfits from the Caroline Abbott collection with her cookie money.  I think I was just excited about it as she was since I will never cough up that kind of money for doll clothes!

Regan, Kate, and I eating with our girls.

Mila, Lia, and Addy and their dolls seated and ready to go for lunch!

Lia posing with her beloved doll, Caroline.

The girls done with lunch and ready to shop!

The girls finished with their shopping and posing with a cut out of Isabelle, the girl of the year.  I just love how cute and grown up they look with their store bags and dolls in hand!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Has Begun!

Summer has been in session five days now and we are definitely off to a good start.  We have been fortunate to have wonderful, sunny days so far and have gotten out to do something fun each day.  On Thursday, the children and I went to a neighborhood, summer kickoff party where we ate ice cream sundays in the cul-de-sac.  Friday, one of our friends from school hosted a bunch of us moms and our kids for a big play date in their backyard.  Saturday, the five of us went downtown for a few hours to wander around Meeker Days and then we hosted a backyard BBQ that evening for four other families.  On Sunday evening, I took the two oldest on a walk around the neighborhood and to the school park for some playtime.  And today we headed up to Issy to play in Lake Samm since the temperature was predicted to hit a high of 79 degrees.  It was a perfect day to be at the lake--barely any boats were out on the water and the kids had a great time playing on the beach after a picnic lunch.  It even got so hot before we left that I dove in and ended up swimming with both Lia and Logan before we packed up.  Oh, how I LOVE summer!  I am looking forward to many more wonderful days like this ahead!

Logan and Lake Samm.

Logan discovered this bulldozer (a.k.a. "scooper") on our previous trip to the lake and played with it for over an hour today!

I barely could get him to look up at me because he was so engrossed in his scooper play!

My long-legged Lia on the gangplank. 

Brother and Sister in the water.

And they're off!  

I love how Lia and Logan now play on the beach together.  They happily play side by side while engrossed in their own imaginary worlds.  So cute.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

First Day, Last Day

First day of Kindergarten.

Last Day of Kindergarten.
My firstborn is growing up.

Last Day of School!

Today was Lia's last day of Kindergarten.  I was able to drop her off and pick her up today as it was my day to drive for our carpool.  Although Lia was excited to go to school today to sign autograph books, she was sad to say goodbye to her teacher and finish Kindergarten.  Lia sure has loved school this year.  I am grateful for her fabulous teacher, her wonderful friends who we met at preschool last year, and all of the good experiences she had this year.  Now it's on to first grade!  I can't believe how fast she is growing up.

Lia as she walked out the front door of school on her last day of Kindergarten.

Lia posing with her good buddy, Mollie, who we carpooled with this year after leaving Wildwood Elementary School together.  Lia suddenly got very sad after walking outside and refused to smile for this picture and then went and hid in our van.  It wasn't until I figured out what was going on that this picture became very funny to me.

After I found Lia in our van, I asked her if she wanted to come back outside and say goodbye to her beloved teacher, Mrs. Armstrong.  This helped her perk up a bit.  Lia agreed and happily ran over to give her teacher another hug and willingly produced a smile for this picture.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kindergarten Graduation

I was able to attend Lia's graduation from Kindergarten alone today thanks to my wonderful mother babysitting the two younger children.  It was so fun to watch Lia and her classmates walk (or run in the case of many of the boys) into the gym while having their name and what they want to be when they grow up read over the microphone.  From Disney princesses to ninja warriors, these Kindergartners wanted to be everything under the sun.  As for my Lia, she wished to simply be a Kindergarten teacher when she grows up.  How sweet.  What a compliment to her teacher.

Lia next in line and ready to go.

My big girl walking to the front of the gym to receive a certificate from her teacher.

Lia getting a hug from her wonderful teacher, Mrs. Armstrong, before sitting down with the rest of her class.

An excited Lia putting her hands to her face (what she always does) while waiting for the rest of the names to be called.

Lia standing next to Addyson and Titus at the end of the program.

Proud mama with Lia after the program was finished.

Lia and her preschool buddies--Mollie, Sienna, and Addyson.

After cookies and mingling, we went back to Lia's classroom for a few minutes and were able to take a picture with her teacher for the first time.  She has been a wonderful teacher to Lia this year--platinum hair and all!  :-)

After Lia switched into this class at the beginning of October, she quickly began talking about another student named Cole because he was so cute, little, and talked in this adorable, high-pitched voice.  Cole became a regular topic of conversation at our dinner table.  It wasn't until I started volunteering that I learned that Lia's affection for Cole was reciprocated.  These two love each other and it has been fun getting to know him and his twin sister and mother throughout the course of the year.  Here are my two little buddies standing together after graduation.  Look at the height difference between these two!  Isn't he the cutest thing?!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day at the Beach

We received a last minute opportunity to spend Father's Day weekend on the coast at the beach house of one of my parent's friends.  We quickly jumped at the invitation, packed our bags, and off we went to the darling beach town of Seabrook for Saturday and Sunday.  It was the perfect way to spend Father's Day and to break in Ella to the world of travelling.  The older kids and I spent a fun filled Saturday afternoon at the beach and at the community pool before returning to the cabin for dinner and bedtime.  On Sunday, we all went to the pool for more water play and enjoyed an early Father's Day dinner before packing up and heading home.  It was a quick trip, but definitely worth it!

When we first got down to the beach, Logan quickly found a sandcastle build by someone else and immediately went to work dismantling it with a stick.

Lia found a huge fort and played in it for awhile before joining her brother.

Brother and sister on the beach.

Lia and Logan soon discovered the little stream that emptied into the ocean and spent the rest of the time playing in it.  Here is my girl frollicking on the beach with the Pacific in the background.

This boy was mesmerized by this little stream and seriously spent an hour running up and down in it.  I just sat on my towel and watched him with a smile on my face the entire time.  It was seriously so cute!  Logan had the time of his life and wouldn't even stop for a picture.

Logan and Lia running up the stream.

Logan soon discovered a stick which brought even more joy to his play.  A two-year old boy + a stick on the beach = pure happiness.

Logan and Lia playing away in the stream with some beach toys.

Lia striking a pose for me while Logan refuses to look at me.

Sweet baby Ella spent most of the trip relaxing back at the beach house with her papa.  Here she is hanging out on one of the couches in the family room.

Baby Ella was a good sport on Sunday morning and happily relaxed and slept in her car seat at the pool's edge allowing us to spend a fun filled hour swimming in the pool.

This was the first time that Lia felt comfortable enough to swim in a pool without a life jacket on.  I was really impressed with her swimming skills.  Two years of swim lessons have finally paid off!

Lia swimming to papa.

Logan absolutely LOVED playing in the pool.  Since it has been almost a year since he has been in any sort of water, he really has no recollection of swimming.  So it was so fun to watch him experience it for the  "first time" on this trip.  He jumped in over and over and over again.  Whenever he was ready to jump in he would come to the pool's edge and say, "Uppy jump!"

Logan jumping to papa.  Look at that boy go!

Big girl Lia jumping in sans water jacket!

Lia and Logan getting warm in the master bath's gigantic tub after swimming in the pool.

Lia and Logan loved eating meals on the bars stools in the kitchen.  

The view of the ocean from the cabin's back deck.  So pretty.

Mama and her brood before leaving on Sunday.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Farewell to Troop #40991

Tonight Lia and I attended her last Girl Scout meeting with Troop #40991.  We had a potluck dinner with the other girls and their families and then an awards ceremony afterwards.  Although I loved that Lia started Girl Scouts this year, I came to have some reservations about the troop we joined due to the fact that it consisted of several Brownies and Junior Girl Scouts, too.  It wasn't until we showed up to the first meeting in September that I realized that being in a troop full of rowdy, older girls who have been together for years probably isn't the best place for a little, five-year old Daisy.  But we had a good year and Lia really seemed to enjoy it.  However, I was not disappointed when I learned a few months ago that both of our troop leaders were "retiring" at the end of the school year as it gave us the perfect opportunity to gracefully bow out and sign Lia up for an all Daisy troop next year with several of her friends from school. And, luckily, the two other Daisies from her troop will be joining her, too!  So, we shall see what the 2014-2015 school year brings for our little Girl Scouts!

Regan, one of our troop leaders, handing Lia her certificate and Daisy star. 

Lia, Mila, and Addyson crowding around Regan as she passes out their patches.

Lia and her troop pose for one final picture.