Wednesday, July 12, 2017

L & A Years 4/2, Week 1: Little Jumpers - 6/29/2017

We have officially moved onto the next chapter of the blog!  We had two years of a Leia blog, then  two years of an Arwyn blog, so now we can switch to a family blog.  Realistically nothing will be different except for the weekly titles.

We started a new "Star Chart" system for Leia's bedtime routine.  She can earn a star each morning if she cooperated at bedtime the night before, didn't get out of bed more than once, and navigated night potties by herself.  She is ecstatic about the fancy new start stickers, so she's being so well behaved!  Leia got some new swimming flippers from her cousin Jordan, and she did such a good job of swimming all the way across the pond using them.  Between the Puddle Jumper floaty and the flippers, she is so fast and confidents in the water these days.  Leia is impressing me with her singing these days.  She knows all the words to the "Princess Song" from Beauty and the Beast, and sings along with Bell so beautifully.  She's also being a really great big sister to Arwyn these days.  She loves to help Arwyn out with stuff that I might normally need to help her with, and she's been so sweet with her.  Arwyn is often a little cranky in the morning, and doesn't really want the very excited and hyper Leia in her face so early in the morning (and really, who could blame her?!), but Leia stays positive and tells me that she "just wants to make Arwyn happy in the morning, and get Arwyn to like her again."  She's so proud of herself when she can interact with her in the morning without Arwyn getting pissed.  Both girls were super cute this week when Nana gave them a new book.  They all read it together, and both of them were totally enraptured, which doesn't always happen when they read books together since they are at different levels of reading.  Leia got super mad at me this week when she woke up too early, so I wouldn't get her sleeping star for another 30 minutes.  She stormed off threatening to find them and get one herself, but ended up just playing in her room and getting dressed all by herself, which never happens!  Since then she's started to slowly get a little more independent each day.  She even suggested that if I just turn on the TV for her, I can go back up to my room and do my stomach exercises or sleep more.  This is a total miracle because she didn't used to even want to watch TV by herself.  Suddenly I'm finding that I actually have a few minutes to myself each morning to consistently do the exercises that I've been wanting to do for two whole years now!  Leia said a few funny things this week.  One day in the car, totally out of the blue, she says to me, "I want to go to West Virginia."  "Why?"  "I want to go to West Virginia to play and go shopping.  They have good shopping in West Virginia."  And then without missing a beat, Arwyn pipes in, "I shoppin'!!"  It was too funny.  Then, on the night that Poppy had to pick them up from school, everyone was still up when Josh got home, but Poppy tried to stay and help get Leia to bed.  But Leia turned to him and said, "Poppy, I love you very much, but there are times when some people just want their daddies to put them to bed."  So reasonable and sophisiticated!  Where does she come up with this stuff?

Arwyn's words, and they way she pronounces them, are really making us smile these days.  "My hone" for phone, "Poh'-ny" for pony (aka hair tie), and "broten, I fitz it" for broken, I'll fix it.  It's the cutest thing ever.  She's still saying "ma-tee" for milk, which is probably her signature word, and so cute.  She's finally started to wake up and just chill in her bed for quite awhile.  And the other day when she woke up, she stated singing "Happy ju ju nana", which was so adorable.  Arwyn is starting to drive me crazy in the morning.  While she's a little cranky with Leia, she's generally pleasant to me, and happy to have hugs, and excited to sit down and eat "ce-yol".  Until we do sit down.  Then I offer her some cereal, and she shakes her head.  So I pull out another, no again.  I literally pull out every single box and she says no to all of them, but still indicates that she does in fact want cereal.  All the while, time is ticking, and I'm getting later and later for work.  It's absolutely maddening!  Like with the cereal, she's starting to have so many opinions about things that she wants and doesn't want.  She insists on picking out her own jammies each night, and decides whether or not she'll wear her sleep suit.  And she's even starting to figure out how to stall and work us at bedtime.  She likes to pull the old "Mommy do it." So I come in and do, then "No, Daddy do it!" So he tries, and it's back to "No, Mommy do it!"  We figured out that little game fast, but she still tries anyway.  She even told Daddy that she wanted Mommy to do it on a night when I wasn't even home!  Arwyn loves the new trampoline, and has become a total jumping maniac.  Already I can see so much improvement in her balance and competency on the trampoline.  She's even able to do small tricks, like jumping jacks.  I took Arwyn skiing this weekend.  We invited Leia, but per usual she put up a huge fuss about it, and I was in the mood to fight.  The skiing was most likely going to be marginal at best, and not worth any kind of fighting and agony, so I just let her stay home with Dad.  Arwyn and I had a fabulous time!  In fact, I think it was the best day of the year.  Not skiing-wise, but I didn't have to fight or stress to get out there, Arwyn was totally excited and cooperative, and then she didn't even get tired or fussy half way through.  Plus, she even skied by herself for a little, and I was so impressed with how well she skied since the conditions were really mushy and difficult for a little person.  Leia was pretty jealous when we got home, had been a little bored with Dad, and wished she'd made a different decision.  Maybe next time!

Leia's acrylic painting on real canvas...fun birthday present from the Ridenours!

I think Arwyn's unicorn is flying through a tumultuous ocean.

Leia's Father's Day Present.  Pretty accurate, but not sure why she thinks both of us like mustard so much!

This one's a little hard to see, but it was a letter that she wrote to me.  She read me the whole thing, but unfortunately I can't read her writing and I don't remember it all.

Finger painting by Arwyn.

After a long hiatus, Leia is finally back to drawing faces and people!

I like this creepy looking monster that Leia drew!

So vivid and bright!

Arwyn's beautiful use of the "brown palette" of paints.

Leia's attempt to use the "ugly" brown palette after I complimented Arwyn's brown painting.

Arwyn got a turn with the bright colors too.



Singing bee by Leia.

Happy Father's Day from Arwyn!

I love when I get to catch the kids while they're still asleep.  Little angels.

Password = Arwyn

Arwyn now sings the cutest little song when she washes her hands.  She must have learned it at school.

Looks like something sketchy is getting in the way of her jumping!

Trampolines = smiles!

And silly falls!

The somersault throw...going up...

...and up...

...and over!

Leia's a little heavier...going up...

...and over...

...and down!

Daddy sandwich!

Checking out the new hammock.

Admiring the beautiful view, right before she flipped out...I forgot how dangerous hammocks can be!

Watch out, it's a sea monster!



Day 2 at the pond.  Arwyn got more used to the cold temps, and everyone was doing so well with swimming.  

A bunch of little fish we have!



Water fight!

There's just something a little funny about the way she's smiling while she sits in that nasty little pool of water!



Oh my gosh, it's a real life Little Mermaid!

She's beached!

She swam surprisingly well for her first time with a mermaid tale!

Biking in her Princess Leia Boots?  Must be headed to Burning Man!

I just can't get enough of these guys on their bicycle built for three!

Help, save me from this little one!

Always so stone cold serious.  You'd never know she was super excited to come skiing.

We were headed up to ski while the Kids Adventure Games were going on below...seems like there's something wrong with this picture!

There's some snow, and there's a little bad ass who finally got to use a real ski helmet!

Absolutely loving the vest on this little snow bunny!  Did I mention that she picked out her hat today, and absolutely refused to take it off despite the hot temps and the helmet!

June 25th, 95 degrees outside, and I'm still out here skiing Squaw with this cute little ripper.  So awesome!

Mushy slush with lots of snow snakes, but she totally killed it!

She kept pointing out all the skiers on the ground, saying, "She fall down," so I think she wasn't so worried about falling down herself today.

Password = Arwyn

It's June 25th, 95 degrees outside, and I'm still out skiing with my littlest ripper Arwyn.  It was her best day of the season too!  No fussing, no crying, with great turns and a stop all by herself!  So awesome, especially considering the sloppy, difficult conditions.

Lake Tahoe scenic shot!

Even carried her own skis!

And now it's time for a little hard earned Apr├Ęs Ski glass of milk!

Finally letting lose and getting silly!

There's a little smile!



Missing Leia in the wagon.

Did I mention it was 95 degrees!!

MorMor put up her trampoline!  A little scary now that we are used to having walls!

Big air time!

More big air time.  Definitely not afraid, just mom.

Password = Arwyn

Arwyn was jumping like a maniac on the trampoline today, and totally out of breath chanting her own name, "Arwyn, Arwyn, Arwyn!"


Everyone was totally enraptured by the new ClayMates book!

Password = Arwyn





Ahh, sit back, relax, and watch my new baby sitter hard at work!

I brought home the fidget spinner, expecting them to fight over it.  Did not expect Josh to join in that fight too.  It's a very popular toy!

Pond day with Echo and the Little Mermaid.

Now she's got the full green tail, so it's the real deal!

Password = Arwyn

Arwyn likes to snooze in bed while singing to herself.  Today she sang Happy Birthday to Nana, just a few weeks late!


Little goobers!

Leia is so good at the good-bye hugs and comforting.  Guess that comes from a few years of being on the receiving end.


I guess they call this "Teacher Modeled Art." Leia's teacher said she's really good at her art and following instructions!  It's a beautiful watermelon, so I'd have to agree.

Cool abstract rainbow? Although that also looks like Leia's signature hand writing.

W for Walrus.

Such a good big sister reading to little sister.

Password = Leia

Even though she can't literally read yet, Leia knows a lot of the words to the stories, and is good at making up stories based on the pictures, so she did such a good job "reading" to her little sister.


Password (below) = Arwyn

After a narrow escape from the evil Darth Vader, Princess Arwyn reunites with her allies to defeat the troop of clones...




Fun day of mini golf with Echo and Rye.

So hot and still she insists on the winter hat!



Trying out the old one-handed technique.

Golf pro over here.  Also wearing the full jacket and pants on a scorching day, but her excuse was that she needed the pockets for her score card, and didn't want sunscreen on her legs!

Again, the one handed swing...

...and that is a beautiful follow-through!



A few pointers from Coach Dad.  

The cave is everyone's favorite hole!

Loving the cannon ball shot!

What's that Arwyn, a hole in one?

She was very concerned about writing down her score at every hole, just like her Mom!

Demonstrating the proper long-putter technique, just like in the PGA.

Beautiful spot for a little picnic lunch.

Sadly it was our first time at Lake Tahoe all summer, and we didn't get to stay too long.

Huge dandelion!

Dandelions and Dad's shoulders, two of the greater things in life.