Wednesday, April 18, 2018

L&A Years 4&2 Week 42: The Grandparents Come to Play! - 4/12/2018

Leia had another hard week this week.  I feel badly because I know a lot of it is my fault, and I'm inviting the bad behavior by how I'm interacting with her, but it's these stories that stand out in my mind as eventful for the week, as opposed to all the good little things that come in between.  But rest assured, I am taking steps to remedy how I come to the table, and working on getting back to my good parenting habits again.  Anyway, back to the saga...  Leia is not doing well on her 30 days of good behavior and no whining, and therefore is not earning her new big girl bed too quickly.  We had several clashes of wills between us this weekend.  For example, Friday morning she was not cooperating with our morning departure procedures, and therefore lost her treat.  But rather than accept her consequences, she decided to make a stand by not getting out of the car, and trying to steal treats out of the console.  I had to drag her out and march her into school thrown over my shoulder fireman style.  She was so pissed that I wouldn't put her down, and it was quite a struggle by the end, but I refused to put her down until we were inside and in front of the sink.  I washed her hands, gave her a hug, told her I loved her, and tried to leave (btw, I was calm the whole time again!!), but then she freaked out and didn't want me to leave her.  Thank goodness Teacher Allison was there and jumped right tin to take her away.  Leia ended up dictating a really long apology letter to me that Teacher Lynsey wrote down for her.  It was very sweet.  Then again on Sunday, we had all agreed we'd go skiing, but I couldn't get them out the door to save my life.  It's so maddening how distracted little kids are!  One big laugh stands out in my head this week.  I asked Leia if she wanted to start going to ballet again and participate in her class ballet performance.  She said that she did, but with the following caveat: "You're going to give me flowers after the show, right?"  I couldn't stop laughing!

Arwyn has turned into a total pain in the butt at every bedtime.  She never wants to go to bed anymore!  And she plays the typical game of trying to do things to make me not leave, so it's very frustrating.  Then in the middle of the night one night, she woke up and started calling out for me.  I tried to ignore her in hopes that it wasn't a big deal and that she'd go back to sleep.  But she didn't give up, and it became clear I'd have to get up and go check on her.  I really didn't want to bring her up to my bed, but I really wan't sure what was bothering her so much.  When I got down there, she told me that one of her Crock Shoes that she had insisted on wearing to bed had fallen off her foot and was lost in the blankets.  I found the shoe, put it back on her foot, and she stopped crying and went back to sleep immediately.  All that fuss over a lost shoe in the middle of the night, so ridiculous!! Arwyn had a good week at school this week, no more attention seeking behaviors, thank goodness.  She also did really well at skiing this week.  The spring snow was soft and slushy, but she agreed to be on the leash and powered right through it!  She did lose her balance and fall a few times, but she kept getting back up without being upset about it.  Arwyn is being so cooperative with pictures so.  In fact, she loves to smile and ham it up when I ask, it's so awesome.  We also got the bikes out this week, and Arwyn is finally big enough the reach the pedals on the bigger pedal bikes!  Hurray!  She can't quite spin the pedals to propel herself, but she'll figure it out soon enough I'm sure.

Summiteers is over for the season, and unfortunately I didn't get to see Leia out on the hill too much because they skied all over the mountain and were very hard to find!  But her team mate sent us this video of Ella and Leia (in the blue) ripping it up on a powder day a few weeks back.

This kid loves her swim class!

Peek-a-boo, I see you!

Big girl can hold herself up on the side of the deep pool now!

Arwyn's getting brave...jumping into the pool and dunking under!

Spring break meant Leia pretty much got a private lesson.

Leia has been working diligently each weekend to improve her swimming skills.  Today she went really far with a great free-style stroke.  Just need to work on kicking a little more to prevent those sinking legs!

The artist in Leia is always at work.  She found this earring and turned it into a decoration on our staircase.

The princess in her party dress!

Thank you for the pretty dress Auntie M!

Did somebody say "Party"?  Count these girls in!

Well, we officially have to pro air hockey players!

Don't mess with Leia, she means business!

She was a little shy at first, but once she found her grove on the air hockey table, you would never know that Arwyn is usually on the quieter side.  

With the warmer springtime temps, the snow was a little slushy and bumpy today.  But that didn't stop Arwyn!  She dominated the challenging conditions with her ninja balance skills!

Leia hasn't learned the tactic of skiing right to the locker room door before taking off the skis.  Her destination was in sight, and she was done.  After wrestling with her skis a bunch, eventually abandoning them, and then having to go all the way back to get them, I don't think she'll make that rookie mistake again!

Arwyn graduated to a big girl bike!

Another amazing dinner on our Arbonne 30-Days to Healthy Living Program.  The was seriously the most tender, succulent chicken ever!

Arwyn picked a very snazzy outfit for herself today.  I've been trying to get her to wear those pants forever, but she never wants to.  Today that changed when she learned they come with a belt!

Leia picked a very chic outfit for herself too.  Are these two the cutest or what?

7 days after the pest control guy came and sprayed, these guys decided to get back at me by huddling up to die right next to my pillow!  So gross!

Arwyn's only ballet and yoga training come from her sister Leia (and possibly from her weekly gymnastics class, but that's not been confirmed), but to watch her show off her skills here, you'd think she's been taking classes for years!

Wow, cool new art kits from MumMum!

Grandma, PopPop, and MumMum arrived, and this girl was all smiles!

Major art project time!

Leia is so good with her multimedia pieces!

Arwyn's art is serious business!

Paint, glue, glitter, scissor, pens, crayons, pastels...Leia had to use it all!

Nice picture, show off!

Now that's a million dollar smile!

Hey giggles.

Innocently posing for a sister picture...but is it just me or is she secretly gripping Arwyn a little to tightly?  Arwyn certainly thinks so!

Loving her fancy new clothes!

Doesn't matter what time of year the grandparents come, it's always Christmas!

Leia finally found a victim to let her pain their toes.  Looks fabulous PopPop!

This girl is just so beautiful!

Awe, Grandma snuggles!

And PopPop snuggles.

Slurp slurp!

Who doesn't love a delicious milkshake!

Cute selfie.

These two were thick as thieves all weekend!

My little angel.

Loves to smile!

Looks like everyone is having a fabulous time out to lunch!

Geez Arwyn, I think that hot dog is bigger than you!

More decorations.

Catch me if you can!

Monday, April 16, 2018

L&A Years 4&2 Week 41: Easter Mania - 4/5/2018

Arwyn makes me smile when she says the word "neck-a-less," because I love the cute way she separates each syllable.   It's also funny because she says “neck-a-less” for all bracelets and necklaces.  I got the most surprising call from Rebekah, the director of the kids’ school, about a little “incident” with Arwyn this week.  She didn’t describe it in the message, so I was on pins and needles waiting to find out.  I just couldn’t imagine what could possibly be going on with sweet little Arwyn. Well apparently she’s been very tantrumy at school for awhile now (news to me), and her teacher has the do the equivalent of Mommy Time with her each morning, giving her a few extra minutes of one on one attention before class starts. Well, at some point during the day, Arwyn had a little poop accident, and while Teacher Jackie was getting her cleaned up, she turned her attention away from Arwyn for just one moment, and the next thing she knew, Arwyn had gone and smeared poop all over her tummy, war paint style!! Yuck, so gross! Luckily Jackie got Rebekah involved, and like the professionals they are, they deemed it inappropriate attention seeking behavior, and used all their best tricks to active ignore her bad behavior, and reward her good behavior the rest of the day. We decided to keep up the positive reinforcement, and wait and see if this was an isolated incident or if it’s a bad pattern that needs more serious attention. And that’s why I love that school; they really know their stuff when it comes to dealing with kids!! We really didn’t have any problems with Arwyn all weekend (just a few with Leia), and then Monday rolls around, and I get another call from Rebekah. This time Arwyn saw sone other kids painting, and asked her teacher if she could as well. Jackie told her that, yes, she could have a turn next, after these kids were finished. Well, Angry Arwyn took over (and yes, we all know Angry Arwyn, who gets pissed when she doesn’t get her way), and she screamed her head off, demanding to be able to paint NOW! “And if you don’t let me paint now, I’ll just pee on the floor!” And that’s just what she did!  Rebekah came in again to help clean her up, making sure to point out all the unpleasant things her actions had just caused her, but without giving her much attention, and followed up throughout the day with positive acknowledgment of all the good things she was doing. Unfortunately, this was almost definitely a little science experiment based on behavior she saw Leia doing the day before.  It’s so weird because Leia does all her experiments at home and is a complete angel at school. Whereas Arwyn is pretty good at home (where she has a non-dominant role in the family compared to Leia), but at school where she has more freedom, then she tries to do her experiments and flex her muscles. It’s definitely nicer for me not to have to deal with it all directly, but also a little embarrassing that she’s not able to put on a good show in public.  Plus, it’s a shock to find out all of a sudden that she’s not just perfect at school, because in all our prior parent/teacher conferences, we’ve had nothing but excellent reports. Oh well, hopefully it’s just a phase. Arwyn did have a great Easter Weekend. She was really good at finding Easter Eggs, and so cute because she just kept saying, “I’m really good at hunting for eggs!” 

Mom Chronicles

Leia came home from school one day and announced that she was meant to be a scientist, born to be a scientist in fact.  She was so excited about recreating her school science projects at home, and wouldn't take no for an answer.  On Easter Morning while we were waiting for the day's festivities to begin, when she gets out the food coloring, fills glasses with water and food coloring, and then drapes folded paper towels between them, explaining it’s going to make a rainbow, and this is what they did at school. But then she insists she needs all sorts of other ingredients like oil, salt, and pepper.  It seemed harmless, so I let her go with it, and the experiment did turn out pretty cool.  After checking with Teacher Lynsey, it was pretty close to the original experiment, but the oil, salt, and pepper definitely were not needed, as I suspected!  But after the rainbow experiment, she was on a power trip roll, and got a little bossy about her next great idea for an experiment.  She wanted to mix plastic Easter grass with salt, pepper, olive oil, etc in my $200 kitchen aid mixer, kept claiming it was a project she had done with Lynsey, and absolutely wouldn't take no for an answer.  I tried to distract her with a fun collage project, but she wanted nothing to do with it because it was not her idea.  So then she crumples up and rips all our collage clippings just to be a jerk because I wasn't letting her do what she wanted.  I was so angry, and I really didn't know what to do, so I locked her in her room. She yells out she needs to pee, but I wasn't going to fall for that old trick, but I guess it wasn't a trick because then she pee’s all over the floor.  And then the pee drips from her room above through the floor boards, and goes all over the antique table in the room below. At this point I still hadn't yelled once, I still remained calm, and I just cleaned it all up, not giving her any extra attention. But then the kids start hitting the crap out of each other, and now I finally lost it.  I just wanted to try to escape to my safe place, and have some me time to calm down,  but at that moment, every single piece of digital equipment in my house malfunctioned, and I couldn't even put a movie on to calm them down and give myself an easier escape  So I just let them scream and left.  And then I finally got to my room to breath and write it all down, when 5 large carpenter ants walked across my body!  Aghhh! And then I texted everyone that I had decided to cancel the rest of the day, and that everyone had lost their egg hunt privileges. Yep, that all happened! I just locked myself in my safe spot, and luckily Poppy came over to save the day.  He calmed them down, took them to Stacia’s for cookie decorating, and by the time I saw them again, all was better.  It was a pretty awful morning, but I’m proud of myself because at least I didn’t yell!

Here comes Arwyn's class, excited to hunt for some Easter Eggs!

She's got a bright pink one in her sight!

Big reach for that one!

Gorgeous day for an egg hunt!

Showing off her great hunting skills!

Arwyn and her 2 best school friends, Luna and Tatum.

"Come on Tatum, let's wave to my mom!"

Love those smiles, cute friends!

And there they go, some happy hunters heading back to class.

Watch out Easter Bunny, here comes Leia!

Oh wait, this is the Easter Bunny!

One year older, another year of confidence under her belt...Leia was on fire and pretty hard to keep up with!

I don't know if anyone else even got eggs with the speed Leia was going!

Pays to be tall when the bunny hides eggs up so high!

Emmett was pretty fired up to be finding eggs too!

Hard to believe this happy camper with her full basket was so upset this morning when she learned that Arwyn's class would be hunting first.  It didn't matter how many times I told her that the Easter Bunny was going to hide more eggs after each class!

Lined up with her class, ready to check out all their great booty! (Crazy how much tall she is than everyone!!)

Wow, Leia had me totally floored when she showed me this picture...she was drawing a picture of the little bunny figurine that you see at the bottom...such an awesome rendition and great drawing of her first bunny ever!

Christmas present from Uncle teepee!  We talked about taking it to the beach, so they had to put on their bathing suits right away!

Watching TV in their new teepee fort!

Big congratulations to our budding artist, Leia, who won the prize at our local Savemart Easter Coloring Contest!! $5 gift card! (Arwyn also had a masterpiece of an entry, but I guess it wasn't quite what the judges were looking for.)

We kept saying we were going to color eggs, and Leia decided that meant we should paint them.

They both gave up that idea once they realized the color wasn't very dark with a paint brush.

It's an egg coloring party!

Tolerating my pictures.

Showing off her beautiful egg.

Two peas in a pod...always battling about who gets to put their eggs in the glass first!

Beautiful orange egg for Leia, and nice egg balancing skills as well!

Forget the spoon, that hands are easier!

Ta da!  Happy with another great egg dip!

There's more dye on her hands than the actual egg!

Arwyn is so compliant with showing her eggs off for the camera, but she always puts them right in front of her face!

Now that's a happy girl who's having a fun afternoon!

Another pretty one, and it's not in front of her face this time!

Leia and Josh both display their masterpieces.

Just love that smile!

Had to get in on a few selfies to prove that I was here too.  No one ever takes pictures of me!

"Egg cheeks!" says Arwyn.

Sneaking a kiss from the handsome dude!

Arwyn is the speed dyer...lots of eggs in a out quickly...Josh kept getting upset that she was taking all the eggs, and tried to teach her about double dipping.

This year's beautiful batch of eggs.

Kids were very distraught Easter morning when Leia discovered that the Easter Bunny hadn't taken the eggs out of the fridge to hide them like I had promised.  I explained that our hunt wouldn't start until later, so the Easter Bunny probably just didn't pick them up yet, but they insisted we leave them out on the front porch to make sure he would find them!

A very fancy Easter breakfast with my girls...Leia insisted on bowls with plates, fancy tea mugs, a silver milk pitcher, and I even put my smoothie in a bowl so I could eat with a spoon.

Leia setting up her science coloring and paper towels that will transfer the color to make a rainbow.

Day 1 of the double rainbow.

Easter cookie decorating time with Aunt Stacia!

High on frosting!

If it doesn't get all over Arwyn's hands, she didn't have enough fun!

Messy fun!

Beautifully decorated Easter cookies by Leia, Emmett, and Arwyn.

Time for the big hunt...last one to Nana's is a rotten egg!

Yay, the bunny left them Easter baskets!

And their off, racing around the yard for the hunt! 

There were so many eggs this year!  Leia had to empty out her basket into her spare holding bag at least 3 times!

The 3.5 year old Emmett was definitely a pro-hunter this year!

You just can't beat an egg hunt in Nana and MorMor's many fun hiding places!

Love this little cutie!  Leia has been a pro egg hunter since the age of 1.5!

"Look, I found an egg!"

Another nice thing about all the great hiding places here was that even after Leia and Emmett raced through, Arwyn brought up the rear at a more steady pace and was still able to find almost as many eggs!

Ooooh, that Easter Bunny sure is tricky...big reach!

The proud hunter!  "I'm really good at finding eggs," says Arwyn.

That tricky bunny, hiding eggs in a birdhouse!

Cutie patootie with her basket.

Emmett was taking his hunting rather seriously.

Nice reach Arwyn!  Not quite as tall as Leia, but not short either.

Can you say fired up?!

Cooper likes to help find eggs too.

Daddy showed up just in the nick of time to witness his first ever egg hunt with the girls!

Going back through everything for round two, combing the terrain a little deeper.

Goofy cousin pose!

Almost got them all smiling together.

Take too many pictures and things start to fall apart!

Happy girl, love that big smile when she shares it with the camera!

Navigating the snow field!

Climbing high off the trail!

Cooper trying to help again.

Leia's serious model pose.

Checking out all the loot!

Josh's egg art.

Gorgeous spot for an Easter picnic!

Opa and MorMor joined us as well.

Time for some rope swing fun!

Getting a little rowdy in the line!

Leia's getting excited while she patiently waits her turn!

There's that beautiful smile catching her in action when she doesn't know it!

Rope swings are fun, according to the smile on Arwyn's face!

Poppy's turn!

All that cross-fit is keeping him strong!

Arwyn has some strong little guns too!

Emmett's turn...looking a little uncertain at first...

Oh yeah, now he's got the hang of it!

Having so much fun!

Close up.

Giggle monster!

Is that a butt-head or a head-butt?  Either way, gotcha Leia!

There's that big Emmett smile we love!

These guys could have kept swinging all day!

Little sweetheart in her new Easter dress.

Kinda looks like a little queen in her throne.

Ta da!

Walking to Nana and Poppy's for Easter dinner.

Helping Dad pull wagon.

Leia had a last minute outfit change, and decided to bike to Easter in her PJ's.

This kid loves to smile!

Beautiful dress!

Looking very serious for the impending downhill.

Getting silly in old costumes!

Enjoying their beautifully decorated cookies!

Liking that frosting there, Mr. Emmett?

The girls got a tracing light board from Uncle Cody, and this is Leia's first ever tracing!  Josh didn't even believe that Leia had done it, he thought I had.  Really great job Leia!

Update on Leia's rainbow science experiment.  Still on the table 5 days later and looking pretty cool!  It really turned into a rainbow!

Leia really wanted to walk home from school today, but I said Truckee was too far.  So we compromised, and I dropped her off at the end of our street.

This girl is definitely on an independence streak!

Arwyn fast asleep with her guitar.