Friday, May 28, 2010

School's out!

What a year! I can't believe Meredith's first year of pre-school is over...she has learned so much, grown so much - it amazes me! We started off celebrating such a great year with donuts before school and I spent the time with Meredith and Jillian, just telling Meredith how proud I have been of her this year. I am looking forward to making donuts a yearly tradition.

Jillian and I later joined Meredith's class for her end of the year party. Her parties are always lots of fun - we had pizza, made cookies and art, and played fun games. Seeing her with her friends and her teachers is such a fun treat.

Jillian loved watching her sister make cookies...luckily there were some extras, I don't think we could have convinced her that she wasn't allowed to have one!

Looks like Meredith enjoyed it!
An impromptu game of ring-around-the-rosie was a huge hit - we could hardly break it up to get them to play the other games!
All the kids had a blast with duck-duck-goose and charades too!
Jillian was satisfied reading while the big kids played.

We have been so blessed by Meredith's class this year - the Superstars have been full of sweet kids that have become really good friends to my little girl. I have enjoyed spending time with lots of the mommies too. Most of all, we loved the Superstar teachers. Meredith is going to miss them over the summer and has already asked if we can have them both over to play! I am already praying for teachers this wonderful for next year.
Mrs Harris and Meredith
And cuddling with Mrs. Irons (and Meercat)

Another big part of our school year this year was spending school afternoons with our friends Grace and Jude. I was a able to pick them up from their classes and spend some time with them until their mom got done teaching at Arlington HS. When we didn't come home to play dress up, we spent lots of days at the indoor playground at Fielder or at the park by our house. The kids loved to take an occasional trip to Sonic for drinks and slushes and we all loved to play the Red Light Dance game on the way home. I am going to miss being around these two kids all the time, they are full of energy and just bring something different to our afternoons - and some of the most sweet moments were seeing Jude bond with Jillian at the beginning of the year - he just loved her and it was adorable.

I won't first, getting 3 preschoolers each with a nap mat and backpack, a baby, a stroller, arm fulls of art work, and a diaper bag through masses of other loaded down moms was a challenge. Those first few days, I was sure that one of us was going to get run over in the parking lot, but I am pretty proud to say, that I had the whole routine pretty well mastered by the end - and none us were flattened by a minivan or SUV. So I wanted to do something special on our last school day together. I set up the inflatable pool, passed out popsicles and we had a blast!
Meredith and her Popsicle - or lolli-pop as she preferred to call it.
Grace and Meredith dancing in the pool

Jillian sharing her Popsicle with me - this was her first ever Popsicle and I think she was a fan!

Tarzan Jude!
Such sweet friends!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Meredith's Dance Recital

This weekend Meredith had her first dance recital! We started off the day of the recital with a dress rehearsal, so it was a long day, but she was a trooper! She had lots of fun at the rehearsal playing with her two best friends from class - we sat near the back and the girls made up their own dances to the other songs. They loved watching the big girls dance!

We squeezed in a quick nap and a very early dinner with Gigi, Grandma, and Aunt Katie.
Grandma has a great collection of Precious Moments that Meredith loves to check out when she goes to visit her house, so Grandma gave her this ballerina one from her collection. Meredith was really excited to go put it in her room right away!

Meredith's dance was very near the end of the recital, but she sat really well through the other performances (with the help of crayons and lots of paper!) After several dances, she would excitedly ask me at the end of each song "Is it time for my bear dance?" We even hit intermission before her dance. When the lights went on for intermission, Meredith's face dropped and she almost teared up, asking me "But what about my turn?" I quickly explained intermission and then we headed to get her ready!

Meredith and her friend, Averie
Me and my adorable Meredy Bear!

And the performance was great! She had a great smile and a fantastic bear face, of course too! :)
After her Bear Dance, we had to quickly get her ready for the big finale - the Daddy Daughter dance! The Daddies take the girls to extra practices for a few Fridays before the recital and learn a dance together - this year the dance was an 80s theme. I can't even express how cute this idea and the actual dance is. Meredith loved getting to do this with Neal (and so do all the other girls of course!)
After dancing on the stage, the Daddies carried the girls down to the back of the auditorium while the song continued and the big girls danced before heading up to end the dance altogether. I wish I could have gotten better pics of this during the dance, but this one will do!
My two favorite dancers!
Meredith with her very proud dance teacher, Miss Erin!
Meredith and Maddie with all their flowers!


Our fantastic preschool ministry held a day where families could get their pictures taken by talented photographers from our church. We were blessed enough to get a new friend of mine, Gara, whose photos I have loved! So I was super excited to find out that she was going to be our photographer - thanks Gara!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nobody Puts Dragonfield in a Corner

I have been known from time-to-time to call both of my girls names that are neither Meredith nor Jillian. These include (but are not limited to), for Meredith: Meredy Bear, Bear, Meredy Moo, Moo, Cutie, and Cutes and for Jillian: Jilly Bean, Beans, Beaners (and lots of other Bean iterations), Stinkopotomous, and Stink (not because she stinks but because she is kind of a cute little stink on lots of occasions). And both girls get called "Baby" lots and lots. The other day, I called Meredith "Baby" for some reason or another, to which she told me that she is not a baby, and asked why I could call her baby if she was a big girl. I told her that she was MY baby and always would be. Even with this oh-so-sweet rationale, she told me she didn't want me to call her "Baby" (sniff, sniff). So I asked what she wanted me to call her instead. Her answer? "Dragonfield". Of course. Not sure why that one wasn't something I had called her before. And she is holding me to it. Every time I forget and call her "Baby", she says "Don't call me Baby, you are supposed to call me Dragonfield, 'member?"

My sweet Dragonfield :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jump Day

Meredith decided that we needed to have a picnic lunch in our backyard today, so we headed out with a blanket and some sandwiches to enjoy a beautiful day. After lunch, I was easily convinced to do a little playing on the swing set and with all the other fun toys in our backyard. Jillian has not been feeling well, but when we got outside, she seemed to forget - and it was so nice to see her smile and laugh a little.
Jillian found our hop-a-long ball and thought it was lots of fun to carry around - even though it is as big as she is!
Then it was Meredith's turn to show her how to really have fun with it!
With all that fun hopping, Meredith moved on to Jumping on her jumpoline - loved her piggy tails jumping along with her!

Jillian is (a little over!) 13 months

Ok, so only a couple of days over, so not so bad! I wasn't even sure I was going to keep doing a monthly update, but this month has been pretty big, so I thought I would brag about all the fun stuff Jillian is doing now that she is 13 months old!

First of all, thank you all for your prayers and sympathy and advice about Jillian's sleeping issues I posted about several weeks ago, I am very happy to report that shortly after that post, she did start sleeping through the night! We still have an occasional night where she wakes up crying but she is able to put herself back to sleep fairly quickly and without me going in to help her - and that also menas that she is not eating in the middle of the night either. So after we hit that milestone, I started weaning her from nursing and as of last week we stopped that altogether. So now, she is drinking only Whole Milk. I was excited that the transition to whole milk was pretty easy, but then I was TERRIFIED of getting her to give up the bottle. But to my surprise, she did it really easily and I even got her to do it without much planning - it just kind of happened!

Her super big accomplishment this month is that she has officially learned to walk and is getting pretty fast! And she is also learning new words -- two of her new favorites are "cracker" (which, much to Meredith's frustration, can also mean Goldfish, Cheerios, etc) and "Coki" (our dog).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Gigi!

This weekend we celebrated a milestone birthday for Gigi (I won't write out the number for her, but it does end in a "0"!) We got to spend lots of time with her - starting with Jillian and I taking her lunch to her class on her birthday while Meredith was at school. Then, she joined us for dinner after Meredith's dance class that night. Meredith had decided that we HAD to get Gigi a lunch box, so she picked one out for her - I am not sure why she decided she needed one, but Gigi said she actually didn't have one but does take her lunch all the time, so she did great picking!

Then, since this was a major birthday, we tried to do something a little special for her. She did not want a party at all, so instead, Aunt Katie suggested we plan a grown-ups only dinner. We started out with just the girls taking Gigi to a store that we all love for a little shopping and then we went to a great Mexican restaurant and had a blast - Aunt Sandy came up to surprise mom and then we all headed to her house for cake.

Then tonight, we went to Gigi's for a cookout and of course included the kiddos this time. Meredith and I made a cake for Gigi, too. I wanted to make a flip-flop cake, but Meredith insisted it have kitties too. So Meredith made the kitties and we made it work!
The kitty/flip-flop cake!
Meredith also made Gigi a party hat

Happy Birthday Gigi! We love you!

Party Time at the Zoo

This weekend we went to a great birthday party for Merediht's friend, Maddie at the zoo! The kids all got to go play games and then the zoo keepers brought by animals for the kids to see. Of course, after we were all able to go visit the zoo. Since our normal tour of the zoo takes a couple of hours and we were getting a later start because we had been at the party, we told Meredith we could only see "a couple of animals." First, she chose the monkeys, and then we, of course, had to see the meercats especially since Daddy was with us. On the way to the way to the meercats, I pointed to the zebras, which are very visible from the walkway and told the girls to look at them. Meredith very purposely walked away from them and told me that she didn't want to see the, when I asked why, she told me that the zebras were not a part of the "couple" that she wanted to see. Boy, she took me literally! Luckily we really got to see just about everything we usually do, just on a more abbreviated scale. She was very good about helping us to get home in time for Neal and I to take Gigi to dinner for her birthday! What a sweet and considerate little girl we have!
No trip is too short for a stop at the Baby Elephant for pictures!
And of course, we had to ride the carousel. Meredith didn't want to take this picture, but she was having fun riding with Daddy! She even compromised with herself to get to ride the carousel - she first told us she wanted to feed the birds, but then said "No, I want to ride the carousel instead" -which was not a decision we were trying to force on her. She is too funny!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A lesson in rhyme

Yesterday, Meredith and I were getting in the car and she says...

"Street. Seat. Mama, seat and street rhyme."

To which, I think, Wow- that is a tough concept and I have never taught her that! She is so stinking smart!! So I ask her to tell me even more rhymes and she starts listing off things like: house and buckle; doggy and hair; and a few other random words that are things she happens to be looking and don't exactly rhyme.

She is still brilliant.

Preschool Choir Concert

Tonight was Meredith' end-of-the-year Preschool Choir concert and it was too cute! The preschool and children's choirs at our church did a performance called "Knight Camp at Rock Kingdom." There were lots of great songs and a really cute performance with a great message from the older kids too.

I was really proud of how well Meredith (and the other kids) did. The little ones sang "My God is So Big," "King of Kings," and "My Provider". She has been practicing "My God is so Big" lots and lots around the house so I knew she would love singing that for everyone, but she seemed to do really well with the others too. What fun!

Mother's Day

What a pleasure to get to celebrate Mother's Day with my beautiful girls, wonderful husband, and both of our families!

First, Neal took me out to celebrate with lunch on Saturday and then we spent the rest of the day together - just the two of us. Then we woke up on Sunday and headed to church (and Neal and I even subbed in Meredith's class for Sunday School, which was lots of fun!). After church we had lunch at Bubbie and Grandad's to celebrate with Neal's mom and then we went home where we ALL got naps (the best Mother's Day present I could ask for!!) For dinner, we went to my parent's house to celebrate some more!

The highlight of celebrating at Gigi's house was getting to see her early Birthday present - a Swing set! Now, isn't that what every woman wants for her birthday? It is already a huge hit!

Yeah! Swingset!
Meredith was super-excited to test out the monkey bars!
Jillian loves to slide and could have done it all night!
Meredith and Pinky take a turn
Jillian and Gigi admiring Gigi's birthday present
Wonder what Gigi will ask for next year to top this?
Jillian and Grandma
Posing with 1/2 the reason I got to celebrate. The other half wasn't really into picture taking when there was so much fun to have at Gigi's house especially with her favorite cousin, Landon!

Before bedtime, Neal tried hard to get a picture of me with the girls...

Oh well, Happy Mother's Day! :)