Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The dress

A couple of weeks ago Tot Trade was in town. It's the twice a year children's consignment sale that comes to Columbia.

I went on 40% off day to see if there were any good deals. The girls were with me. I'm usually looking for dresses for Caroline - play dresses or Sunday dresses. As we were walking down the aisle, Caroline spotted a dress she loved. I could tell in her eyes that this dress was a precious sight to her. Her eyes were big and wide and she was saying things like "Oh Mommy!" and "It's just beautiful!" But can I tell you the truth? It was hideous. Ok - maybe not hideous. First of all the style was not something I liked at all. Second, the dress looked like it belonged in the garbage. It was extremely worn. The colors were faded and the material felt like it had been washed a thousand times.

I flat out told Caroline no way. I told her I did not like the dress and it looked very worn. But she was undeterred. For the rest of our browsing down that aisle, she cried quietly and hung her shoulders Charlie Brown style. She kept asking about the dress. And asked and sulked, I had a flashback .

I flashed-back to myself at about age 9 or 10 shopping with my mom at a department store. I had spotted an oversized, denim button-up shirt with cutoff sleeves. I had a vision of myself wearing it as a dress belted at the waist with bicycle shorts. And I just loved it. I would look fabulous in that oversized, denim button-up. I was too young to really care about looking "cool". I just wanted to look fabulous.

My mom thought it looked just as ridiculous as I thought Caroline's dress looked. But I cried and whined. I sulked all around the store. And before we left the store that day, my mom bought that oversized, denim button-up. I know she thought it was a foolish purchase. I know she only bought it because she knew that shirt would make me happy. And you should have seen me floating out the store that day.

The very fact that this purchase rings in my memory should tell you that kind of thing never happened.

This story gives me such fond memories of my mom. She wasn't always a stickler for the rules. She had compassion for even something ridiculous I wanted.

So I bought the dress for Caroline. Now the dress was priced at $3 so that day it was $1.80. So it's not like my gesture was super grand. But I want Caroline to have those memories of me - memories of compassion.

Caroline's eyes still get big when she talks about the dress. She wants to wear it on her birthday. I still think it looks awful and I"m going to have to figure out how to keep her from wearing it in public.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Just a little catch up

I have a whole month of activities to catch up on. So this is going to be a very picture oriented post and quite long.

We've been doing well with our family split in 2 different states. Of course it has lots of challenges, but one of the cures is staying busy!

We spend every possible minute we can outside. Mostly in our backyard. With the tree house and the sandbox - the girls never want to come inside. 

Lucy with her sunglasses on upside down - status quo

Caroline playing Rapunzel (also status quo)

We've kept ourselves entertained with small crafts or experiments. Caroline talked for a couple of weeks about tuna so we decided to all try some.

Swim practice keeps us VERY busy. We are there 2 nights a week. Caroline spends roughly half the time doing laps on a kick board and the other half doing freestyle laps. Her "freestyle" stroke has improved a lot, but still looks pretty sloppy. I think someone could look at it right now and know that is the stroke she is doing. That was probably not true a few weeks ago =) Regardless of how pretty her form is, she is swimming laps in the pool with no floating device for 20 minutes! I'm not sure I can swim that far or that long. Lucy and I entertain ourselves on the Magna-doodle most nights. We have also painted her fingernails and watched some Disney Junior shows on my iPhone. Lucy is getting really good at writing her "O's" and "L's".

This is what dinner looks like on a  swim night. Chicken nuggets, bread, a fruit, and raw carrots get consumed on the way to swim. And they each get a cereal bar for the ride home. 

A few weeks ago, Caroline got to bring Boris home from school again. He spent the weekend with us. Lucy may love Boris more than Caroline.

We've been out for ice cream.

We went to the St Patrick's Day parade in Five Points. The girls wore dress-up clothes and I let them.

Caroline has been crafting away. She's been really into drawing ladybugs and butterflies lately. Seriously, the girl never stops. She draws me and Lucy something almost everyday.

 Both girls' preschool classes presented at chapel recently. Throughout the year, the classes each take a turn singing or presenting a couple of songs/verses in the biweekly chapel service. Caroline and Lucy's classes happened to be presenting back to back.

Lucy's class presented close to the end of March. Isn't it the most precious thing when your child spots you in a crowd?  =)

Her class sang "Only a boy named David" and "It's Smelly in the Belly of a Whale". I don't think Lucy sang a word, but she did some motions. Here she is holding her nose.

We made a cake for Baby Jackson because we knew he would be coming soon. Jackson is our first cousin on Adam's side.

The cake went into the freezer and then we found out the next day, he was really coming! We went to Florence to wait for his arrival and we had a sweet little birthday party for him after he was born.
That weekend, we went back to Florence for some real snuggle time. The girls did not understand why Jackson didn't want to play with his toys.

Caroline got a special treat that same day. I took her out shopping while Lucy napped. I challenged her to get out of the pool at swim practice all by herself without a coach helping her. I thought it would be a difficult challenge (I was imagining myself trying to get out of a pool). She shocked me when she popped right out and she's done it by herself ever since. I guess she just needed some motivation.

Adam was supposed to come home and we were all missing him as it had been 4 weeks since we had seen him. But he had to work and we had to go one more week. The girls both slept with a picture of Adam a lot that week. Talk about tear-jerker!

Caroline's class presented in chapel the first chapel service in April. Lucy was equally excited to see us. Grandpa was in town for a meeting so he got to come too.

Caroline sang very sweetly through the service. Her class sang "He knows my name" and "I will praise him in the daytime".

We've been to the museum and zoo with friends.

We went to see cousin Crystal's play at her high school. There was an incident before the play started and Lucy sat through the entire play a dress!! Oh my! But the play was really good and cousin Crystal was in almost every scene so that kept the girls interested. Here they are watching in Aunt Alice's lap. (And yes, Alice knew about Lucy's condition)

After the play, I put the girls to bed and waited for Adam to get home. We were so glad to have him home for a long weekend!

We went to Florence so he could meet Jackson.

On Saturday, we had a relaxing day at Sesqui. We hiked the 2 mile loop trail.

Caroline loves to stand on stumps. She walked the whole way.

Lucy walked some and got carried some.

We decided to forego naps in favor of some shopping. Adam and I each had random stuff we needed to get before he left. Adam promised the girls some candy if they cooperated and they did so we stopped by the Peanut Man. I picked up some Dr. Pepper jelly beans while we were there =)

It was a lovely weekend! We get to see him again this coming weekend and we are excited.

We started our resurrection eggs while Adam was here and the girls and I have been keeping them up.

The girls and I also dyed Easter eggs last week. 

We've been testing out 3 car seats in a row in the backseat of my car. Mostly I want Caroline to practice buckling with a car seat beside her. 

Caroline has been begging to make her birthday chain. At one point I told her she had to wait until May 1st, but I finally gave in this past week.

Yesterday, we went to the Easter carnival at Pine Island. It was a ton of fun. By myself with the two girls I didn't get a lot of the photos I wanted to get. There was a carousel and lots of bounce houses. The girls really enjoyed it. 

And that about brings us to present day. I'm thankful for lots of activities to keep us busy. While it's hard being away from Adam, we are enjoying ourselves and making the most of it.