Sunday, July 28, 2013

Toohig Tidbits

Helen Grace and I were playing with Barbies, and she was showing my Barbie how to dance. When I pretended not to know how, she told me to “just listen to your heart.”

After our visit to Jerry’s Sno Cones, she said, “How do the workers make this so good??”

When we were playing on the bed, she banged her head into the headboard. I expected her to complain, but she popped up and said, “I have a Toohig head. That didn’t hurt!”

When I don’t know the answer to her question, she tells me to look it up on my phone. She’ll tell me, “You know everything, Mama!” The other day, she was pretending to look something up on her phone, and she looked at me after ‘finding an answer’ and said, “Can you believe that? I’m serious!”

“I love my school. I’ll never give it up!”

At bedtime, she always says, “I want some company.”

Meeting Rowan Eldred, Lawson’s little brothermeeting rowan CF6C0576 daddy1 That train was so LOUD!trainOnly she could convince me to get into this thing.20130716_191302 She was tired of Granddaddy taking pics- “Talk to the hand”20130718_18360220130718_183630“What? Not everyone goes to a birthday party in princess heels?!”2013-07-20 14.00.39-2Visiting Grandma at work2013-07-23 11.58.58A re-d0 at the sprinkler park with the Baldersons since mommy got HG there so late and then it stormed for Finley’s partyIMG_4488 Chase!IMG_4489 IMG_4490

The poor child has a lot to deal with when it comes to learning to write and spell her name. A double name sounded like a good idea in theory! Thanks to her grandmothers, she has made a LOT of progress this summer, and I love hearing her spell her name (at least Helen, anyways). We’re getting there!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Princess & A Pirate

This afternoon, we took our little princess, Tinker Bell actually, to meet her pirate, Lawson, at Chick-fil-A for their Pirate & Princess Party. If we were to make it to the event, we had to whisk HG out the door right after her nap, and despite being sleepy, she rallied when she realized it was time to get dressed up as Tinker Bell. It was a hot afternoon, but we all had a blast with the carriage ride, moon bounce, balloon creations, and treasure hunt that led to CFA nuggets! A little Icedream cone cooled us all off though and provided lots of laughs watching these crazy kids try to get theirs down (and keep them off the floor). Fun afternoon!

CFA w lawson1CFA w lawson3

Morning on the Farm

We spent a really fun Saturday morning on the farm at Kidz Kountry to celebrate Tyler and Ethan’s birthdays! Surprisingly, HG was a bit shy and passed up some of the hands on activities, but she petted a ferret, duck, and bunny, and at the last minute, decided to ride a pony. She jumped at the chance to ride on a cart, and because she was the tallest in the group, she was seated on furthest end of the bench. Judging by her white knuckles and wide open mouth, I think she had an exhilarating ride! After a train ride for the kiddos, we chowed down on cake and snacks. Very successful morning with our FTM friends. Happy birthday to Tyler and Ethan!

IMG_4501 Catching fliesIMG_4507 IMG_4514 IMG_4521 IMG_4526 Caroline and HGIMG_4532 IMG_4535 So glad she finally decided to take a pony ride!IMG_4537 Hugs from CallumIMG_4538 And Finley had to have one tooIMG_4539 They really loved Mrs. Ashley’s horse creations!IMG_4545

Jump Back to School Camp

I was curious how Helen Grace was going to respond to another week of camp at St. Agnes. Going somewhere every day, especially in the morning, was a new challenge for her, but her only question was, “Do I have to get on stage?” Apparently, she might be a dancer on stage when she grows up, but she probably won’t be an actress! So when she realized she wouldn’t have to perform, she was happy and went to Jump Back to School without complaint. This week, they spent a lot of time in the classroom, practicing their writing, and learning more about the school and routine. She got to meet her new teacher, Mrs. Gossett, but Mrs. Kathi, a 3K teacher, was her teacher for the camp.

I took her to school on Monday morning, and on the way, a monsoon rolled into town. Thunder has really been scaring her lately, so she was a bit on edge about the weather. We waited in the car for the rain to slow down, and she crawled up in my lap in the front seat. We had a nice cuddle, but when we realized the rain wasn’t stopping, out into the pouring cats and dogs we went! When we got to her classroom, she went happily in, and I had to pull her back for a hug and kiss. She was excited- praise the Lord! When Grandma picked her up, she was proud that she had written her whole name. Successful day.

On Tuesday, she was happy to go- no complaints. But it was a wild day. Since it was raining so hard, they were encouraging the carpool line, so my parents dropped her off at the door. Middle school aged boys met her at the door with umbrellas and took her hand. Again, Spiffer had to stop her to get a hug before she ran off with the boys. The rain later knocked out the power at school, and a nearby bank robbery and stand off situation which caused them to go into lock down. Luckily, she didn’t know anything about the police drama and thought it was cool to be in the halls in the dark! My parents picked her up in the carpool line, and she was happy as a lark about her day. When they asked her if she had a good day, she said, “Bigger than big!!”

By Wednesday, I was figuring out that some of her hesitation in the mornings is just the fact that she is NOT a morning person. She loves school and is singing about how much she loves her school by the time she gets there, but when you are dragging her out of bed to brush her teeth and get dressed, she’s not thrilled. I dropped her off in the carpool line, and again, she went in happily. I wasn’t quick enough with my phone to snap a pic, but I took a mental picture of her walking away from me with her cute smocked shorts outfit and carrying her lunch bag. Such a big girl. Afterward, she was happy that they got to play on the playground today and ride bikes. She seems to be making friends although not catching their names. Her teacher said she was doing well, was up to par with the other students, was interacting well (mostly with girls), and if anything, was maybe a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing but that was expected for a new kid at this age. I later asked HG if she played with boys at school. Her response- “I didn't play with any boys at school because I knew they'd give me sweaty kisses, so I didn't go close!"

When my parents picked her up on Thursday, she said she had more fun than with Grace Ann! That is a H-U-G-E statement! And on the way to school on Friday, she asked me, “Are we there yet? I’m so excited!” By the end of the week, she couldn’t tell us what work they were doing in the classroom because she was having too much fun and couldn’t remember. She is super happy about her school and being a St. Agnes girl- mission accomplished!

In the car on Monday morning, waiting on the rain to stop2013-07-22 08.54.48 Picking her up in carpool on Wednesday afternoon- I just missed capturing that flash of recognition and the smile that exploded on her face when she saw me. Maybe this carpool thing won’t be so bad after all. ;)2013-07-24 11.33.26Dropping her off on Fridayschool days2

Making the Car Seat Switch

For the last 6-8 months, Helen Grace has very interested in weighing herself often to see if she’s hit the 40 pound mark to switch from her car seat to the booster seat. It’s actually worked to our benefit because we could always get her to eat a few more bites at dinner with the encouragement that she would be that much closer to her big girl seat. I, personally, have been pretty sad about it since it’s such an obvious sign that she’s growing up at a rapid pace and won’t ever be that little again, and I’ve joked with her that I won’t let her grow up and want her to stay my baby.

At her fourth birthday, she was 38.5 pounds. So close! And what do you know…a few weeks afterward, she jumped on the scale and had hit 40 pounds! At first, she was happy, but when we started talking more about booster seats and going to pick one out for her, she hit the brakes. She wasn’t ready yet and said she wanted to stay my baby. I was in no rush to push it, but she finally came around to it this last week or two.

We (Spiffer and Grandma too) all did a lot of research, and we found a high backed booster with the LATCH system which makes it feel so much more secure. And I have to admit, the seat belt makes getting in and out of the car SO MUCH EASIER, and she loves to do it all herself.

Here’s my non-cooperative big girl on her booster seat’s maiden voyage in mommy’s car…


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lunching with Baby Emily

Helen Grace and I had lunch with our sweet friends Hope and “Baby” Emily today. (Although she’s not a baby anymore, HG still calls her that.) HG spent most of the meal with her head in my lap (“I’m toooo sleepy to eat”), but once she finally managed to get down all of mama’s required bites, she perked up and was ready to play. Funny how that happens, huh? These two kiddos are so good to each other and just hug and hold hands constantly. We are so blessed by our friends!

2013-07-24 12.32.19photo 2013-07-24 12.39.14 2013-07-24 12.46.03 2013-07-24 12.46.47 2013-07-24 12.54.18

Take Me Out to (Worth’s) Ball Game

Over the weekend, we had a fun family night at the ball park to cheer on Worth in one of his baseball games. He had several great hits, and the girls loved cheering him on, especially as he made a run and scored! Can’t believe how quickly he’s turning into a young man.

IMG_4333 IMG_4337 worth

Zoo with Grace Ann

After “Annie,” Grace Ann, Helen Grace, and I set out for the zoo. When we arrived, I remember thinking, “Where is everyone? They are missing a great day at the zoo!” It was a beautiful day, and it felt great in the shade with a nice breeze blowing. Within a few minutes of walking in the bright sunshine, I realized what the rest of the city had already figured out- it was too hot to be at the zoo! But we made the most of it and set out to see all the sights that the zoo has to offer.

GA’s first camel rideIMG_4300 Saying hi to PeytonIMG_4301 One of the most popular spots in the zooIMG_4306 And visiting the pandasIMG_43142013-07-19 14.08.44 Grace Ann was really impressed by the sting rays and even fed them! HG…not so much.IMG_4319 And the trip wouldn’t be complete without a ride to make them squeal!IMG_4326

SAA Mini Musical Camp

To ease the transition of Junior Kindergarten in the fall, I signed Helen Grace up for two one-week-long camps at St. Agnes this summer: first, mini musical camp for ‘Annie,’ and then the following week, Jump Back to School.

Last Monday was her first day of theatre camp. I planned on going in late to work so that I could take her and get her settled. That morning, right as we were about to walk out the door, she started crying huge crocodile tears, saying she didn’t want to go because it was new and she didn’t know anyone, she didn’t want me to leave her, etc. I was able to calm her down, change the subject, and get her in the car, but of course, I was a nervous wreck the whole way there. I wasn’t sure if they would let her keep her lovey, so when we arrived, I was able to talk her into leaving her monkey in the car but let her take lovey. I walked her in, and she clung to me like glue. There was one other little girl there, so we (I) talked to her for a bit and then we went to the bathroom. When we came back, a lot more girls were there, including one who was sobbing. I sat her down next to another shy little girl, and once HG got comfortable with that girl, I suggested they go help the crier. HG hopped up and gave me a kiss and headed off to offer one of her Nutter Butters to the crying girl. My heart melted right there.

On my way to the car, I ran into some friends from our moms’ group at Hope, and I was ecstatic that Helen Grace would now have a friend in the camp! When I got outside, I remembered that I had a sippy in the car, and a lot of the girls brought a drink for their snack time. I debated if it would upset her for me to go back inside, but I finally decided that I’d rather her have some juice and headed back inside with the sippy. I was pleasantly surprised that she was fine and interacting with the other girls. She smiled and thanked me for the cup and went right back to playing. No upset at all.

Afterward, Grandma and Peggy met me at the school and were planning on taking her back home while I went back to work. Grandma slipped into the theatre and then sent me the most excited text message saying, “AND THERE WAS OUR GIRL CENTER STAGE HAVING THE TIME OF HER LIFE!!!” HG ran out to us afterward, and although she said she had to follow instructions, she had a good time. I caught her singing some of the lyrics, even though she wouldn’t sing any of it for me.


On Tuesday morning, she briefly complained that I couldn’t come with her to camp and was a little unsure about what they were going to do that day, but she was so proud of herself that no one cried. She told me that, “today was awesome!” and the teacher was so much fun.

On Wednesday, she was used to hanging out with me on a ‘mommy day’ and wanted to go to the grocery store with me. But again, when we got there, she was excited and said, “I love my school!,” when we pulled up.

Thursday was the perfect day. No whining or complaining and was happy to go.

On Friday, they had their ‘performance’ of two songs- “Tomorrow” and “Hard Knock Life,” and she was a little anxious because she was scared when her teacher acted like Mrs. Hannigan. ‘Acting’ is a hard concept for four year olds! And Grace Ann was spending a few days with us and I think she’d have rather hung out with her, but she enjoyed showing Grace Ann around her school and went happily into the theatre.

Completely opposite of her dance recital performances, she was so shy on the stage and barely opened her mouth. I thought for sure she would belt out “Tomorrow,” but she held back. She had quite the cheering section and smiled and waved when she saw us- Mama, Daddy, Granddaddy, Spiffer, Grace Ann, Worth, and Suzanne. Grandma was stuck at work. :(

But despite her shyness, she said she enjoyed the camp and would do it again next year. Above any acting and singing, she’s getting used to her new school and easing the transition, and that is PRICELESS!

CF6C0648 CF6C0656 CF6C0659 CF6C0674 CF6C0676 P1040342 P1040343IMG_4286 “Cut the pickle”IMG_4290 “Tickle, tickle!”IMG_4291