Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Thank you mommy, er... Susie!"

Last week Jim was in Indianapolis for his first (working) trade show of the year. As an awesome surprise, he had arranged for my sister-in-law, Susan, to live with me while he was gone. She not only helped me out tremendously with the girls, but also was a great companion for me so I didn't lose my mind from not having anyone to talk to for a week! Plus we got the added bonus of my in-laws Yorkie, Daisy, staying with us.

We had a fun-filled week with Aunt Susie. Every morning Kyra would announce "I see Daisy" as we walked downstairs to have breakfast and then ask "Where's Susie?". Kyra totally loved having Susie around all week to play with and climb on and talk to. After having Sue around for a few days Kyra started calling her mommy and me Susie from time to time. She would say "Thank you mommy" to Susan and then correct herself and say "Thank you Susie".

A couple highlights of the week include playing at the park with Susan, Katie, and Mac; dinner at On The Border; and going to Springton Manor. The dinner out at OTB was actually quite crazy. As soon as we got to our table Kylie pulled an entire stack of 4 plates off the table and they shattered all over the floor. It was SO loud and it scared her so she started crying. Within minutes a manager was at our table asking us and the surrounding tables if we were all okay as a busboy quickly swept up the broken pieces. Then Kyra spilled her milk on the floor which also resulted in the return of the busboy to clean up the mess. I ended up practically force-feeding Kyra her dinner so I could justify allowing her to eat the free ice cream sundae that came with her meal. She was quite a sight with chocolate syrup all over her shirt and face as she enjoyed her treat. Susan and I also treated ourselves to dessert. It was our reward for still having our sanity after all the chaos that had ensued.

Saturday the weather was beautiful so we decided to get ourselves outdoors by going to Springton Manor. We ate a picnic lunch by the pond and then visited the animals in the barn. Kyra got to see horses, including one getting a manicure, a momma pig and her babies, a couple of donkeys, baby chicks, a furry cow (it was very peculiar, but very cute) and her baby, and a couple of goats. Kyra even got to pet the goats as they ate some hay. After that we had the chance to watch a sheep getting his wool removed since we happened to be there on "Sheep Shearing Day". It was so crazy how fast they shave them! And surprising how well the sheep would cooperate. They seemed very happy to be shedding their coats now that warmer weather has arrived here in PA. We then took a scenic tractor-pulled wagon ride around the Springton Manor grounds and then called it a day. Being out in the sun for those few hours really sucked the life out of the girls and they were definitely ready for some naps afterwards.

Chase enjoyed having Daisy around all week too. He is a very social dog, but only rarely gets the chance to be around other dogs so he loved having a live-in friend. The two of them acted like brother and sister in the respect that he would sneak up behind her and swat her with his paw and then she would yell at him for it. He even sat on her head a couple of times, but she got back at him by peeing in his bed. I think she failed to consider that he wouldn't be the one cleaning it up. They would steal each other's treats and get jealous when the other one was getting loving from Susan or me. It was almost like having 2 more kids. Prior to last week I had been seriously contemplating getting another puppy and having Daisy around for a week gave me the reality check I needed. It was fun to see Chase with Daisy, but having 2 dogs is definitely more work than having one. Ergo, I won't be getting another puppy anytime soon. (Can you hear Jim's sigh of relief?)

Having Susan's help and company definitely made the week without Jim more fun and made it go by quickly. I'm sure she was exhausted by Sunday when she finally moved back home, but we couldn't have survived the week without her! Thank you Aunt Susie for staying with us!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More Words

Back in December I wrote a post about Kyra's verbal communication skills. I expressed how she and I were both struggling with her inability to put her needs, thoughts, wants, etc. into words. The feelings of frustration over the issue still resonate in my mind, but I am blessed to say that God has been answering my prayers over the last 4 months.

We've had some major breakthroughs over the past week in particular. On Monday night Kyra woke up crying with a fever of 101.5 and for the first time ever, she told me that her head hurt. I can't even begin to count the number of times over the last 6 months I have tried to get Kyra to tell me if something hurt or where she hurt and didn't even get a yes or no to confirm if I was guessing correctly. As difficult as it was to see her that sick, I found myself rejoicing in this small verbal victory. Other little victories this week include listening to Kyra name off all her friends, hearing her interact with her buddy Cory while they were playing, having her start to parrot things that I say (which can also means I've got to be on my best behavior! :P ), and improved pronunciation of words she's known.

The pronunciation thing is huge because it eliminates confusion over what she's telling me. For instance she was pronouncing the word bubble with the z sound "buzzle" so I kept thinking she wanted a puzzle instead of bubbles. Last night while taking a bath it all of a sudden clicked and she began properly saying bubbles!

One of my favorite things this week though was on Monday when Kyra carried her toddler Bible to her Aunt Susan and said "Susie want Jesus?" It was seriously one of the best moments ever and one of those things I know I'll never forget.

God, in His perfect timing, answers prayer!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Family Saturday

Yesterday I was blessed to have some fun quality time with my husband and girls. It was the first time in a while we've gotten out of the house and just enjoyed our little family.

We started the afternoon at the park where Kylie got to swing for the first time. It was so cute to see the girls side by side on the swings having so much fun. Kyra particularly enjoyed daddy flinging himself backwards after she would pretend to kick him. Kyra also made her rounds on the slides, dinosaurs, fire truck, and climbing walls. I think we need a climbing wall in our house. Kyra LOVES climbing. I've already looked into getting her lessons at the local rock climbing gym as soon as she turns 3 (thats the age they start). Until then, she continues to attempt to scale any and all furniture, including her play kitchen she got for Christmas. ANYWAY, while daddy chased after Kyra, Kylie swung on the swings, bounced on a purple dinosaur, slid down a couple slides (sort of), hung out in the shade, and followed Kyra around.

After we had expended as much energy as we could spare, we headed to Chick-fil-a to recharge. The girls were both SO well behaved and did such a great job sitting still and eating. That is a HUGE deal. Usually outings to CFA involve me practically tying Kyra to her seat and force feeding her because she is solely focused on getting to the indoor playground. Which daddy did take her to as soon as she finished eating. You can't ever get enough climbing and sliding.

We then popped into Best Buy for a bit to pick up a few CD's we had been wanting. Jim got the newest U2 album and I scored the latest Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban. Although I was bummed they didn't have Julianne Hough's CD. I would really like to check her stuff out since I have fallen in love with her on DWTS. She's just cute as can be and makes dancing look easier than walking.

Finally, we rounded out the day with a quick stop at Rita's. We opened the trunk of the Murano and Jim and I sat in the back with the girls in front of us in the stroller. The four of us shared a root beer gelati. Kylie didn't get any of the root beer part, but she LOVED the vanilla custard. She would smile at the spoon as soon as it started toward her. It was so funny to watch.

It was such a perfect afternoon. I wish every day could be just like it. But I guess that's what makes days like this one so special.

P.S. Here are some pictures from the park:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Longwood Gardens

It's good to have friends who are season pass holders. We get to experience all of this for free:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

9 Months Old

You giggle at anything or nothing.
You are beginning to tolerate being on your tummy.
I think you know you're supposed to crawl soon.
You just haven't figured it out yet.

You're getting more curious every day.
So you try to get your hands on everything.
Kyra does a good job sharing with you.
But there are some things that are just off limits.

You recently decided you don't mind a bottle.
In fact you get very relaxed as you drink it.
And you let out the cutest little sighs.
I just adore you.

Can't wait to see what's next.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009

This Easter was by far my favorite to date. It was the first year Kyra could really appreciate the little things that somehow become traditions over time.

As usual, I made my egg-shaped Easter cakes, but this year I let Kyra decorate one of them. The decorative frosting turned out about as I imagined it would, but what I didn't anticipate was Kyra's vigor for sprinkles. She shook the sprinkle shaker so hard that she couldn't stop the shaker from pounding into the cake each time she did. There were sprinkles all over the chair, table, floor, and still a mound of them made it onto the cake. But her cake turned out so cute and I was very proud of her. She also managed to take full advantage of licking the lid to the chocolate frosting can, which of course is the best part about helping mom in the kitchen.

In the afternoon we headed to Jim's parent's house where we had an A.MA.ZING. greek feast. Jim asked his uncle if he could make greek Easter 4 times per year rather than just on Easter. We had lamb and pork and yogurt with cucumber and eggplant and stuffed zucchini and salad and homemade pita bread. It was all so delicious. Before we ate however, both Kyra and Kylie were showered with awesome gifts from my in-laws including some adorable spring clothes. Then before the high of the presents had even worn off, we headed out to the back yard for Kyra's first ever egg hunt.

We showed her the first egg and put it in her basket. She immediately put the egg back in the flower box we had just taken it from. So we put it back in her basket and showed her the second egg. When she saw egg #2 she took the egg out of her basket and placed it next to egg #2 in the flower box. We laughed and put both eggs in her basket and then pointed her in the direction of egg #3. And then it clicked. And from that point on, she had no trouble finding and gathering all the eggs strewn throughout the backyard. I was part of the paparazzi that followed her every move snapping pictures as fast as my camera would allow. It was so much fun to feel that excitement of an Easter egg hunt, even if it was vicariously through Kyra. I can hardly WAIT for next year when Kylie will join in on the excitement.