Friday, May 30, 2014

My Little Graduate

Folks, we’ve got a new graduate on our hands!

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Trenton’s class had pre-k graduation this morning, and it was adorable!  The class marched in to a kindergarten chant, led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, and then sang songs.

Trenton was up an hour and a half past normal bedtime last night practicing the songs.

But…having a tassel in your face can sometimes be distracting…

We sure are going to miss this great group of friends.

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And Trenton’s wonderful teachers.

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But we’re looking forward to a fantastic year in kindergarten!

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Monday, May 26, 2014

What is Memorial Day?

What is Memorial Day?

Many confuse Memorial Day with Veteran’s Day.  While it is completely warranted to thank our veterans each and every day, Memorial Day is set aside to pay special tribute to those who did not make it home. 

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Those who left everything on the battlefield, at sea, or in the air fighting for our freedom and fighting so that others may hopefully one day know the same type of freedom we hold so dear. 

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Today we remember their service, bravery, and patriotism.

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(Surrender Road – Yorktown, VA – Where the British surrendered to the Americans ending the Revolutionary War)

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(McLean House – Appomattox Courthouse – Where the surrender papers for the Civil War were signed)


May we remember them always and lead lives that are worthy of their sacrifice.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Last Day of Preschool and Teacher Gifts

Today was Charlotte’s last day of preschool.

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I’m not exactly sure what happened.  I sent a little girl to school at the beginning of the year, and now she’s so grown up.

Creatively Blooming

This girl has had a pretty busy year.  But through the good (becoming a big sister!) and the bad (nine days in the hospital for surgery and infection), she’s kept her smile and peppy attitude.  You know, other than the totally random times she decides to throw diva-ish fits…

I’m proud to say that I wasn’t the procrastinator that I usually am (remember how I stayed up past 11pm the night before school started sewing that dress in the picture above?), and we did our teacher gifts a couple weeks ago.

Teacher Gifts

I think someone was pretty proud of the finished product!

Teacher Gifts - Thank you for helping me grow
Teacher Gifts - Thank you for helping me grow

   Now that Charlotte is done with school for the year, she doesn’t understand why we have to wait for Daddy and Trenton to finish up their schools before we move.  This girl is ready to get to Pennsylvania and start Pre-K!  Mommy, on the other hand, wishes that her kids would stop growing up so fast!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Flying Away

Today was the day to say goodbye to our nine butterfly friends.

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Charlotte got a butterfly kit for her birthday.  We went to Texas right after Charlotte's birthday, so we waited until we got back to order her caterpillars.

We received two jars of caterpillars in the mail.  We watched them eat and grow for a couple of weeks.  We got lucky and were able to watch the first caterpillar make its chrysalis.

We had nine chrysalis’s last week before we left on our trip to Yosemite.  I took them out of the jars, and put them in the butterfly house.

Our first butterfly came out of its chrysalis on Friday.  By Saturday evening, we had nine butterflies.  Jarrod and Charlotte were able to watch one make its way out of the chrysalis.

Strawberries and flowers with sugar water made our butterflies strong, and they were ready for their big flights today.

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Charlotte named each of her butterflies as they flew out of their house.  She’s already asking when we can order more caterpillars!  I have a feeling that we’ll be getting more after we get to Pennsylvania.  I think all of us enjoyed watching the lifecycle of a caterpillar/butterfly!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Beware of the Whipped Cream Monsters

 

Shaving Cream Slide Fun

More like shaving cream, but they liked calling it whipped cream instead.

Shaving Cream Slide Fun
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$2 worth of shaving cream made for a fun afternoon of messy play.

And to clean it all up I just ran the sprinkler.  The kids ran through it to rinse themselves off and it rinsed off the slide and tarp too.

Cheap and easy.  I love it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Watch Me Grow: 4 Months

I seriously can’t believe that this little cutie is four months old!

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My how time has flown!

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Can you tell that she’s finally starting to chunk up?  I’m loving the beginnings of squeezable thighs!

Evelyn is starting to hit a really fun age.  She doesn’t just lay around anymore.  She plays.  She grabs toys and plays with them.  She grabs her feet and plays with them.  She grabs Charlotte’s hair and plays with it (Charlotte thinks this is hilarious.).

Evelyn loves listening to Trenton.  He talks to her all the time.  And she just hangs on every word he says.

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I love that Evelyn is such a smiley baby.  I hear her wake up in the morning, and look over the edge of the bed to see her smiling up at me (she still sleeps in the rock & play – we’ll get her moved to a crib eventually!).  Can’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed when you see that!  She is also trying to laugh.  I can tell that she really wants to, but she hasn’t quite gotten it yet.

We are hoping that we finally have Evelyn’s medical issues figured out.  Her pediatrician switched her formula to Elecare (a formula that is even more broken down than Nutramigen) a few weeks ago.  It has worked wonders on her diaper count.  She was at 5-6 dirty diapers a day, and is now at 1 every day or two.  And as soon as she went on the new formula, her diaper rash disappeared.  The pediatrician is working on trying to get Tricare to cover at least part of the cost of the formula.  It runs $400 a month right now and will only get more expensive as she takes more formula.  While the formula worked great on her diapers, she was still spitting up everywhere going through multiple burp rags and clothing changes a day.

Last Thursday we met with a pediatric GI doctor.  He raised the dosage of Evelyn’s reflux meds.  He also changed how Evelyn takes her formula.  The doctor said that if we cut down the amount of liquid she takes in that she will spit out less.  So we are using less water but the same amount of formula powder.  This thickens her formula a bit too making it stay down better.  It’s only been a few days since making these changes, but we’ve already seen a huge difference in Evelyn.  I had our backpack stuffed with multiple changes of clothes and burp rags for Evelyn while we were in Yosemite, but we never even had to use them!  

The GI doctor said that we’ll talk about solids at Evelyn’s next appointment in a few weeks.  The kids can’t wait for Evelyn to start eating baby food.  They really want to mash up bananas for her!

Weight: 12 pounds, 4 ounces (25th percentile)
Height: 23.5 inches (25th percentile)
Eating: 4 ounces of water + 2.5 scoops of formula powder every 5 hours
Solids: None right now
Teeth: None, but good gosh this girl drools a lot!  More than her big brother and big sister did combined!
Sleeping: Evelyn goes to sleep around 8:00, wakes up around 1:00 for a bottle, goes back to sleep, and then wakes up for good around 6:00.
Naps: One long nap in the morning.  Normally 8:30 until sometime between 11:00 and noon.  Evelyn normally goes down for an afternoon nap around 1:30 and sleeps until about 3:00.  Sometimes she takes a quick catnap around 5:30, but not every night.
Clothing Size: She has outgrown almost all of her 0-3 month clothes, she still fits into most of her size 3 month stuff, and she’s just starting to fit into a few 3-6 month things.
Diapers: Huggies Little Snugglers size 1
Shoe Size: Who needs shoes anyway?

First Easter – April 20th:
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First Aggie Muster – April 21st:
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First Time in a Coin Operated Ride (she obviously loved it!) – May 3rd:
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First Trip to the Beach – April 30th:
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First Road Trip – May 9th:
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I love watching this little munchkin grow and change.  I just hope she doesn’t grow up too fast!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother’s Day in Yosemite

Beautiful.  Magnificent.  Amazing.

Honestly these words don’t come even close to describing Yosemite.

Imagine driving through a tunnel nearly a mile long, and this is the first thing you see when you exit the tunnel.

Weekend trip to Yosemite

Let me tell you, it is like hearing angels sing.

That is Yosemite.

We drove up to the park on Friday to spend Mother’s Day weekend there.  Our first hiking stop was Bridalveil Fall.

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It was an easy 1/2 mile hike without a whole lot of elevation gain.  The kids loved being at the bottom of the falls and feeling the mist.  There were a ton of people there though, so we decided to walk back down the trail a bit to grab a family photo so we wouldn’t be photobombed by the other 100 or so people there.

Yosemite with Kids

Next we hopped back into our car to go to our next stop.  Along the way we just had to stop for pictures at the meadow with Yosemite Falls in the background.

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I even handed my camera over to Trenton so he could snap a picture (or 30) of me and Jarrod.

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Not bad for his first try with my camera!

We hopped back in the car and went on to the parking lot nearest to our next hike – Mirror Lake.  We hitched a ride on the shuttle bus to the trailhead so that we wouldn’t add an extra 2 miles (1 each way) to a hike that was already going to be 2 miles roundtrip from the trailhead.

The trail to Mirror Lake was a wide paved non-driving road.  The last 1/4 mile was a little steep to the lake, but not too bad.  We all survived.  The pretty views helped.

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And this, my friends, is why it is called Mirror Lake.

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After walking back down to the trailhead and catching the bus back to the stop near our parking lot, we headed out of the park to our cabin to call it a day.

Saturday morning after making breakfast in our cabin, we headed back out to the park.  Our cabin (Yosemite Pines) was 22 miles to the park entrance.  What I didn’t realize when booking was that it was another 24-25 miles from the park entrance to Yosemite Valley.

But we were afforded with gorgeous views on our way through the park.

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We made it to the valley and then drove another 30-40 minutes to Wawona on the south side of the park.

Our first hike of the day was Swinging Bridge.  We loved this trail.  It was very remote and not one of the more popular ones in the park.  The trail was unpaved, and we only ran into about 10 other people while we were out.  There was little to no elevation change, but there was some rock scaling to get down to the bridge.

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The bridge was a true swinging bridge.  Over a rushing river/creek (not really sure which it was).

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Everyone was ready to cross!

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Everyone is looking at the camera and smiling!  That’s a first!

Once we crossed the bridge, we climbed onto some rocks to eat lunch with a view.

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Check out how she eats her sandwiches.  It totally says something about this crazy girl’s personality!

After hiking back across the bridge and back to our car, we drove down the road a couple miles to the Yosemite Pioneer History Center.  None of the buildings are open to the public, but we could peek in the windows.  We also walked/balanced across a covered bridge to check out some old wagons.

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After we were done exploring the pioneer center, we drove back up to the valley to check out the iconic Yosemite Falls.

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We hiked the short, paved, very crowded trail up to the lower falls.  It was really gorgeous, but some were not impressed…

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They did like the walk back to the car though.

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We grabbed dinner on our way back to the cabin, and then it was time for dessert.  We had a couple of excited kids!

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This morning we made breakfast again, packed up, and walked over to the petting farm that was across from our cabin before heading back home.

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We loved our cabin, but if there is one thing I could have changed, it would have been to not be housed directly across the driveway from our alarm clock.

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He went off at 6:30 every morning…

Yosemite National Park was the perfect place to spend a perfect Mother’s Day weekend!  Happy Mother’s Day to all of you special mommies out there!

 

I planned our hikes using this Where to go in Yosemite with Kids series on Go Explore Nature.  It is a great resource to anyone – not just those with kids.