Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Signs of Summer

Summer Staples: splash pads
Technology hasn't been kind to me lately.  Between broken laptops, a hacked Google account, and a broken (brand new) camera lens, I haven't been able to post here at all lately.  I had intended to do a "wordless" post to catch up on photos, but you are doing so many new things!  You're morphing from a baby to a kid right before my eyes.  I can't possibly do a post without addressing it!  Besides, it's summer vacation and we've jumped in with both feet.  All of the things that just scream summer to me are just waiting to be checked off of a bucket list. We've gotten a running start, but we're nowhere close to being done yet.

We brought swimsuits, but I opted to let you guys "just be kids."

You really like this place.

So much rain this summer!

Sydney and Daddy went to a One Direction concert.

You, Kylee and I hung out in the hotel.

With the coolest whirlpool bathtub.
Daydreaming about her close encounter with 1D, no doubt.

Playing on the hotel bed.
Summer vacation is in full swing by now.  We've been attempting to maximize these lazy days while still being unstructured and pressure-free.  So whether it's a day of park-hopping or beach-going or simply just playing chicken with the vacuum cleaner while I catch up on housework, I've enjoyed every single day.  Some are more productive than others.  Some are more fun than others.  Some are more memorable than others.  But they've all been enjoyable.  I dread returning to reality this fall.

Beach visits every time the sun makes an appearance.

Looking for sea life at the rocks.

Daddy is the most fun.
Our beach baby.
Digging for coquinas.  Always.

Syd went to the driving range with daddy on Father's Day.  Cutest golfer ever!!

We finally have a hammock again.

Catching a driveway sunset when we can't make it to the beach in time.

Little sentences have made their way into you vocabulary.  Your newest phrases are among my favorites.  Possibly because they're new, but probably because they speak so much to who you are right now.  Every other sentence out of your mouth is "I do'd it!"  You are so independent and refuse to let anyone help you until you've exhausted all of your patience.  You are also quite fond of "My turn", which sounds just like "action" for some reason.  You're also starting to randomly put words together.  Just yesterday you saw Dora the Explorer on the tv guide menu and you said, "I like it, the Dora."  No lie!  We just got back from Disney for the 4th and you were so excited to see Mickey...until you did.  You just buried your head into daddy's shoulder and said, "Shy."  You are really able to communicate these days.

You've finally mastered bubble-blowing!

It takes a lot of effort, apparently.

So we turned your newfound skill into art.

A date with my three youngest to my favorite coffee shop.

We packed in a park visit.

Some time by the water.

And pottery painting into the date.  It was a good day.

Watermelon on a stick.  It must be summer.

We take splash parks really seriously!

We might've played a little trick on your sister with the water fountain.
 There's so much to catch up on.  A Disney trip is a post in itself.  But I'll be satisfied with the fact that my computer actually turned on and save it for another day.  Housework calls.  Laundry is piling up.  And we still need to think of something fun to make for snack today.  It must be fun being you.  It sure is fun being your mommy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

No More Pencils, No More Books

Nope, she's not the new Bachelorette. But she was given this rose.  By a boy.  One the last day.  Daddy's not pleased.
So, it finally happened.  The school year came to a close.  The end of school is sometimes bittersweet, but this year it was pretty much a full-on celebration.  We already know Sydney will have the same teacher next year, so instead of "goodbye", we were really saying "see you later."  Kylee will finally head into her final year of middle school, and I welcome the end of this three-year stretch that seems like an eternity.  The only thing not worth celebrating is the weather.  There has been a tropical depression, turned storm, in the gulf putting a damper on all of our summer plans.  I think the term "depression" is more accurate, because we've been housebound all week.  Talk about cabin fever!

The "Before & After" shots blow my mind.  Sydney was a baby on the first day!

I have no idea who that girl on the left was.  Can't be my Kylee.  Can you say growing pains?  She may have been mad  about the photo on the last day, but I'm so glad I have the comparison!
We had an after-school milkshake date with your cousins.

What's cuter than kids eating milkshakes with silly hats?

Maybe this.
The upside to all of this indoorsy time is that we've started potty training, for real!  We bought some big girl undies and just ditched the diapers and crossed our fingers.  Day one was better than great.  You were amazing.  Not a single accident.  Day two was slightly more normal...two accidents, one brought on by a time-out crying fit (you and time-out are becoming an item).  Today, day three, has been your rebellious day.  You just don't seem to have the patience.  I'm currently doing laundry out of necessity.  Thanks, kid.  To be fair, I don't think you're feeling well.  You have a cough that appears while you sleep and I think it's keeping you tired and grumpy.  Right now you're on the third hour of your nap, and that's all the proof I need that things aren't as they should be.

Rockin' the big girl undies!

Playing in the rain.
One of the things I look forward to every summer is Sydney's dance recital.  This year, because she took jazz and ballet, we had two recitals to attend.  There is so much build-up to this end-of-year ritual that you'd think it would end up being a let down.  But it never is.  It never disappoints.  Sydney was late to join her ballet class this year, but you'd never know it.    She caught up and learned the routine like a pro.  They danced to an instrumental number, dressed as (the cutest!) court jesters, and she looked amazing up there.  I was so proud of the progress she made in this "serious" ballet class, and in so little time.  Her favorite routine was the jazz one, though.  The dance was set to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and her costume was a black, gold and silver sequined beauty that turned her into a silent film star from the Roaring 20's.  I don't love little girls in makeup, but I am totally smitten with my little girl dressed up for a recital, makeup and all.

On-Stage Dress Rehearsal, Take 1

The rain was coming down, but you both needed to blow off a little steam.

So much rain that week.

You deserved a little play time.
On-Stage Dress Rehearsal, Take 2
Sister adoration.
Our usual posing spot.

Finally, something resembling sun!

The adoration is mutual.
Happy for now.

Not a single happy picture of Sydney from before her evening performance.  It was a long day.
So proud.

Such a patient girl.  So much sitting and waiting this week.

Before the Sunday show.  Sydney's smile reappeared.

It's a wrap.

Ready for a nap.
Other than the much-anticipated recital season, the beginning of summer vacation started off with less of a bang and more of a fizzle.  The rain put a damper on things.  The mosquitoes added to our misery.  And being tied to a dancer's schedule complicated things.  Now that we are free from most of those things (mosquitoes are a constant), we can finally do some of the things we love.  I wanted everyone to pitch in on a "Summer Bucket List" this year so we could be sure to fit in all of the things that we'd like to do together.  It seems like every year we think there will be more time, then there's a mad scramble at the end to do some of the summery things that we put off for months.  Not this year (famous last words).  So far your sisters have given great suggestions: pottery painting, water balloon fights, ice cream, boat rentals, bowling, water parks and vegan restaurants.  And that's just a tiny fraction of what's already on the list.  We have a busy summer ahead!  And I'm looking forward to all of it.