Friday, June 30, 2017

3 and 1/3 Years Old!

I know I say this every time, but it is hard to believe that my baby girl is now 3 and 1/3 years old today.  Ahhhh!  Can I just push the "stop" button on her life?!  Apparently not.  Ella continues to just grow up and become more of a little girl and less of a toddler.  She is so full of energy and constantly one step ahead of me.  She loves princesses, riding her bike outside, playing hide-and-go-seek, singing made-up songs, and looking at books.  She also thought of the funniest thing to do whenever she wants to play dolls with one of us, but doesn't have any dolls around (like when we are in the car).  She will ask either Lia, Ron, or me the question, "Can you play with your hand?"  We then will have to use our hand to move and talk like a doll.  This little game can go on for several minutes with her and it is just the funniest thing.  Ella really loves playing with her brother and sister when they are around and will allow it and she has also started to interact with other children when we are at a park or during a play date.  Ella is all girl and loves anything Disney princess, Barbie, or dress-up.  She has also asked on several occasions if she can take ballet class.  Ella is also in the current phase where she asks questions all the time.  She will also ask the same question over and over again even though I repeatedly answer it over and over again.  The funniest question that she likes to ask me on an almost daily basis is, "What time is it?"  This just cracks me up since she has zero concept of time in the first place.  Ella has also not mastered the art of whispering and consistently talks really loud in Sacrament Meeting in church which bothers Ron a lot.  Ella has also started to refine the art of tantrum throwing.  Although she pales in great comparison to her older brother at this age, she still throws a couple of short-lived tantrums a day right now.  It's not my favorite thing, but I will take it any day over what Logan put me through when was three years old.  In addition to throwing tantrums, Ella has no qualms about expressing her dislike of certain people at times.  She will shout, "I don't like you!  I don't like anyone!" when she is mad at you.  She also likes to yell, "Never!" when she is not in the mood to do something. On the other hand, she can say, "I don't know," in the sweetest voice in response to questions like, "Ella, why are you so cute?"  Other funny things that she says are "waters" and "mines" (just like Logan).  She also recently asked me, "How old me?" when wanting to know here age.  And, this one was my favorite of the last three months.  When we were talking about something that had happened before she was born, Ella said, "I wasn't there.  I wasn't born.  I was still up in Jesus."  So cute.  We love you, Ellie B!

Friday, June 23, 2017

School's Out For Summer!

Well, it finally happened! School's out for the summer!  It seemed like summer vacation took forever to arrive this year due to the fact that Lia's last day of school wasn't until June 23rd, but it finally came.  Luckily, this wasn't the biggest bummer this year since it rained a lot in June.  Although Logan finished up his preschool the end of May at the Lutheran church, I organized a co-op with three other moms from his class to keep the schedule going Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning for the three weeks that he was out of preschool that Lia was still in school.  This helped to keep him busy and happy while waiting for his sister to join us for the summer fun.  Today, we met his co-op friends and their moms at the splash pad in Puyallup for an early picnic lunch and some play time in the water and on the park.  We even found a few minutes to run into the library to check out some more American Girl Doll books for Lia.  We then dashed over to her school to pick up Lia right at noon.  Surprisingly, she and Mollie (who I had to take home) both met me at the side gate with glum faces and even some tears.  After learning that they were upset that they had to say goodbye to most of their friends for 2.5 months, I told them that this was absolute nonsense.  I would have nothing to do with this!  After reminding them in the car ride home of all of the wonderful things they get to do in the summer that they can't do during the school year, they started to perk up.  Good grief!  Has the girl drama already started or what?!  Anyways, by the end of the four minute car ride home, all of the girls were smiling and laughing.  I sent everyone to play in the sunshine in our backyard after lunch until Mariah picked up her girls.  I think it is safe to say that we are all officially excited for summer to begin!

Our tall, grown-up, third grader flashing a confident smile before heading off to school this morning.

As always, we had to take a sibling pic with silly Logie and darling Ellie B.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day 2017

We wrapped up another Father's Day today celebrating Ron and the wonderful father and husband he is for our family.  I hope that it was a good day for him.  We started out with a nice breakfast of eggs, sausage, and homemade pumpkin bread in the dining room.  Ron then retired to his shop to work on whatever project his heart desired for a few hours while I manned the kids inside.  We then went to church for the afternoon and before coming home for a Filipino dinner and some gift opening complete with several items that the children had made for him.  Thank you for everything you do for us, papa. We sure love you!

The kids and Ron enjoying breakfast Father's Day morning.

Papa reading our family card that we made (and Logan colored since he is now the expert artist in the family).

Papa kissing Ella after reading her little message in his card.

Ron reading over the Father's Day newsletter that Lia wrote all about him.

Logan helping papa unwrap his gift.

Papa showing off the awesome gift that Logan made at preschool this year:  a framed picture of him covered in rocks that says, "My Dad Rocks."

Ron's Filipino dinner complete with rice, sinigang, longanisa, and lumpia.  It was delicious if I may say so myself. :-)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bridging to Juniors!

After Lia's Kindergarten year, she switched to a fabulous Girl Scout troop led by the mother of another little girl who attended Lia's school.  For the past three years, Lia has been a member of this wonderful troop with her fearless leader, Nancy, at the helm.  Nancy and her other two assistant leaders, Angi and Haley, have done the most wonderful job leading this troop of girls.  They have constantly gone above and beyond with every activity and event they planned.  They always paid such attention to every little detail and I have loved that Lia and so many of her friends from school have benefited from these ladies' service over the years.  So, you can imagine how disappointed we were when we learned that Nancy was moving to Alaska this summer.  After talking it over with the other moms of girls in the troop who go to school with Lia, we decided to break off this fall and start our own troop.  So, although we will be parting ways with Troop #44340 this summer, we are grateful for all of the wonderful memories our girls made during their time with them.
So today was one of the last activities that Lia participated in with this troop as the girls bridged from Brownies to Juniors.  The leader decided that she wanted the girls to go on a long, scenic walk through some farmlands of Orting to "bridge" over the Puyallup River.  Luckily, I thought to bring our old, double stroller last minute which saved me big time as Logan and Ella would have never lasted walking the entire time.  We had an enjoyable time walking to this bridge and watching Lia cross over it.  Ron was able to catch up with us on the walk back to the park in Orting where we ate a picnic dinner and watched all of the girls receive their cookie rewards and remaining patches that they had earned this school year.  It was fun way to celebrate Lia's fourth year in Girl Scouts and her time belonging to this troop.

A darling picture I managed to snap of several of the girls in Lia's troop holding hands while walking to the bridge.  Lia is second from the right.

Logan and Ella posing for me with some cows in the background.

Lia and her troop walking over the bridge.

Lia walking under a human bridge formed by some of the other girls in her troop who has bridged previously at another event.

Lia walking away as a Junior with her new vest on her arm.

The girls getting a new Junior pin from their leader, Angi.

Lia with her entire troop and leaders.

Logan, Lia, Ella, and Mollie eating their dinner back at the park.

Lia receiving her certificate, awards, and patches from her three leaders.

Lia also presented in front of her entire troop in order to earn her "My Promise, My Faith" pin.  In order to do this, Lia has to talk about how her religion connects to a line from the Girl Scout Law.  This year, Lia chose to talk about how choosing the right connects to the law.

This is the handmade picture frame that Lia and I made for her troop leader as a farewell gift.  We used the picture I took today of the troop today standing on the bridge.

Monday, June 5, 2017

All Healed!

Well, it actually happened!  After only three weeks and two days, Logan got his cast off today!  I still can't believe it.  I had no idea that a broken bone could heal that fast, but according to the doctor, children's bones can heal really fast when they are young.  Lucky for us!
Logan had his appointment this afternoon at the same orthopedic clinic in Tacoma where he got his cast on.  After picking him up from the preschool co-op that I am doing with three other moms from his old preschool class, I rushed back home to make lunch for the kids and my mom and me (who had come down from Issy to babysit Ella during the doctor's appointment).  I was in such a hurry to get lunch finished and cleaned up and out the door that I totally forgot to bring my camera.  I was so annoyed when I realized this at the doctor's office as I rarely ever do this--especially for such a monumental event like a child getting a cast off!  So, I am sorry, Logan, that there aren't any pictures of your new x-rays and the cool saw that the nurse used to cut off your cast.  Regardless, we got to the clinic right on time and were seen after only a few minutes of waiting in the lobby.  After the nurse sawed off Logan's cast, we were taking into the x-ray room for a series of x-rays before being sent back to our room to wait for the doctor.  Logan was so brave during all of these steps--especially the saw cutting off the cast part as that sure was scary for him!  When the doctor came into our room, she happily announced that all of the breaks on Logan's elbow were healed and showed me the new, bone growth on his x-rays (that were a different color than the rest of his bone).  We were all so happy at this news!  This means that Logan can participate in his swim lessons that start in three weeks and not miss out on any of the water fun we have planned for this summer.  I am so relieved that this is all over and so proud of how brave Logan has been these past few weeks.  He never complained once which is just amazing to me.  Good job, Logie!  We love you!

One of the few pictures I took today!  Logan showing off his healed arm after we got home.

Logan showing me how he can bend his arm again.  It must have felt so good to him.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Girl Scouts and the Great Wolf Lodge

When Lia's Girl Scout troop leaders announced this winter that the girls had sold enough cookies to pay for two hotel rooms at the Great Wolf Lodge for one night, the troop was thrilled!  And so was I until I learned that there was no room for mothers to tag along.  Since I was not comfortable with the idea of sending Lia off to a massive hotel and water park with a huge group of girls with only three leaders to supervise, I immediately began talking to a few other moms from the troop.  Within a few days, I had reserved a hotel room to stay in with my friends, Heather and Mariah, and all of our #2 children.  This would allow me to keep an eye on Lia while having a rare and fun get-away with just Logan.  But as luck would have it, Logan broke his arm three weeks before our big trip was scheduled.  I went back and forth as to whether or not I should take him with me or just leave him at home with Ron since he would be unable to spend hours and hours playing in the massive water park which is really the main reason why anyone goes to Great Wolf Lodge.  Just a few days before the trip, I decided to take him with me--especially after a mom from Logan's preschool class gave us a waterproof cast protector to use at the pool.
I am happy to report that I am so glad that I decided to take Logan.  We had such a great time together and really stayed busy the entire two days that we were there.  Heather decided to pull Sienna and Lia out of school early on Friday which gave them several hours to play in the water park before we arrived at dinner time.  I delivered Lia a McDonalds meal and then Logan and I went out to eat in dinner in a restaurant.  We then kept busy all of Friday evening and all of Saturday with various activities before we left with Lia Saturday afternoon.  Logan was such a good sport about having a broken arm and never complained once that he couldn't spend his entire time playing in the water.  He was so easy to be around and we just had the funnest time bouncing from one activity to the next--especially going on several "quests" around the hotel with the MagiQuest wand I bought Logan as the one splurge of the trip.  Here is a quick rundown of our time together...

After dropping Lia's dinner off to her at the hotel, Logan and I decided to eat in the cutest pizzeria down the street from the hotel.  It was so nice to just spend this time eating together.

After getting back to the hotel, Logan changed into his pajamas and off we went to the huge lobby to listen to story time and watch the clock tower show.

Logan and I waiting in the lobby for the show to begin.

Logan with the clock tower behind him.

The animated animals and people talking during the show.

After the show was over, I told Logan that I would treat him to a MagiQuest wand since he was unable to enjoy the water park like we had planned.  He was so thrilled about this!  And I was thrilled to learn in the gift shop that I only had to buy the wand.  Since Logan is so young, the employee told me that we wouldn't need to buy any of the individual "quests" (or games).  We could still follow the map and walk all over the hotel finding all of the interactive stations that light up when the wand is pointed at them.  So, Logan totally thought that we were playing the game without our progress actually being recorded in the MagiQuest system.  So, we started off Friday night finding several stations.  Logan was so excited to see them light up and sometimes talk whenever he pointed his wand at them.  He really thought he had a magic wand.

Around 9:30, we met Lia back in the lobby with the rest of her troop for a giant, dance party that the hotel hosts on weekends.  The kids had fun dancing together.

Around 10 o'clock, we all went back to our hotel rooms.  I helped Lia get dressed in her hotel room across the hallway from us.  She got to stay in one of the fancy, KidKamp suites with wooden bunk beds.  Here she is with Ruby and Sienna.

After saying goodnight to Lia, she headed up to the other suite her troop was staying in for a late night movie, snacks, and games.  Logan and I headed back to our hotel room to go to bed with the other moms and kids.  Here is Logan with the other siblings, Gabs and Conner, all ready for bed in their pajamas.

After breakfast in our hotel room on Saturday morning, Logan and I spent the first part of the morning in the water park.  Since it was too dangerous to ride any of the water slides, we spent the morning in the toddler pool area.  We did manage to find Lia coming out of one of the giant water slides that she rode over and over again during our stay there.  Look at the smile on her face as she came up the stairs!

From left to right:  Piper, Mollie, Lia, and Shannon.

Lia posing with Logan and his giant, cast protector on his arm.

Sienna, Lia, and Mollie getting ready to climb across the giant, lily pads.

Lia heading across.

Lia and Sienna coming out of another water slide.

Logan carefully walking through the toddler pool area.  He really did a good job being careful and keeping his cast dry.

Logan riding one of the pretend wave runners.

Mommy and son posing in the pool.

Logan riding the giant, banana boat.

Playing with the star fish, spray gun.

Logan playing with another boy.

After Logan decided he was done playing in the water park, we went back to the hotel room to get changed back into our clothes and to eat lunch.  After packing up everything in the car, we headed back out into the hotel to meet Lia's troop at the ropes course.  The leaders had announced a few days earlier that they had enough cookie money left over to pay for all of the girls to go to the ropes course outside the hotel.  Lia was so excited to do this!  Here is Lia lining up with Addyson, Shannon, and Mila at the entrance.

Lia getting the climbing harness on before heading up.

The troop all ready to go!

Lia getting hooked up to the rope.

And, they're off!  Lia and Sienna waiting in line to cross their first obstacle.

Lia stepping off a platform and flying through the air.

Landing on the platform on the other side.

Lia walking across a tight rope.

Lia and some of the girls in her troop waiting their turn.

Shannon and Lia on top of another platform.  As they worked their way through this ropes course, they climbed higher and higher in the structure.  Lia was so brave and did everything with a smile on her face!

Lia crossing another rope.

The grand finale!  After finishing the entire course, the girls ended up on a platform high in the air that they got to repel down.  Here is Lia first jumping off.

Lia soaring down to the ground.  I was so impressed that she did this!

After we watched Lia and her troop on the obstacle course for quite some time, Logan and I went back in the hotel to continue playing MaqiQuest for the next hour or two.  I will admit that I was ready for it to end after climbing up and down the hotel stairs over and over again, but Logan never tired of it!  However, I was just grateful for this game as it kept Logan busy and happy the entire time since he couldn't be in the water park.  We threw in the towel at 2:30 when we met Lia in the lobby after she had gone back to the water park one last time.

A picture of my kiddos on the Great Wolf Lodge, "bear chair" on our way out of the lobby!  It sure was a fun way to spend two days with my Logan (and occasionally Lia)!