Wednesday, February 29, 2012

There's Two New Additions To Our Home...

So a few weeks ago the girls had one of the best days of their lives thus far.  Right after Christmas the girls decided that they wanted American Girl Dolls.  Actually, Brooke decided she wanted one like 3 days before Christmas but I had already bought all of their presents so Santa brought a American Girl gift card.  I had no idea she even knew about those dolls before that.  But since then, that's all she could talk about.

Naturally since Brooke was obsessed with getting a doll, Ava started wanting one too.  Well, I don't know if you have ever priced out those dolls but they're not cheap.  I honestly didn't want to buy the dolls for the girls because I didn't think they would take care of them in the way they should take care of a doll of that price.  We told the girls they could get a doll when they had saved enough of their own money.  

Well, they did it!  They had some money in their piggy banks from doing chores and helping "clean" Grandma Cindy's house over the years.  Combined with their gift cards and the rest of the money they got for Christmas, they had enough.  

So we made a plan to head to the nearest American Girl store.  I asked Brian if he wanted to go with us and he said "No thank you.  That store creeps me out..." 

I'm not sure why...

Before we went to the store the girls had been looking over the catalog and pretty much had their mind set on which doll they wanted.  Ava had her heart set on getting a Bitty Baby.  She knew exactly which one she wanted too.  As soon as she spotted the one she had picked out she ran right too it.

There she is!

Brooke on the other hand took some more time walking around and looking at all the girls.  Finally she found her.  

Both girls have been having a ton of fun with their new girls.  And they have been taking such good care of their dolls.

Yep, that happened.  The dress that I found for Brooke to wear to her Daddy Daughter Dance came with a matching dress for her doll.  She wore it to a play date a week or so ago with a friend from her class who already has a ton of American Girl stuff.

I have a feeling that this whole obsession with American Girl doll stuff is just getting started in our house.

Please pray for me.  And our checking account...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

August 22, 2011: Brooke's First Day of School

I was pretty sure I was going to be a basket case of emotions on this morning.  I tossed and turned all night dreading the coming morning.  In the morning I would hand my first born off to start her journey in the public school system.  Funny thing that isn't what I was scared about.  Most of my nightmares that night were of grubby peanut butter faced kids running around contaminating every square inch of the school...

Truthfully I was excited for her to go to school.  She loves school.  

Even though I am going to miss that little precious face like crazy.  

Barbie backpack and Hello Kitty lunch box.

Her "locker."

And right about here is where she lost it.  

She got misty eyed and was choking back tears.

Daddy was able to calm her down and after we said our goodbyes we headed out.  

When we got in the car Brian said "Wow, you did pretty good in there.  I thought you would have been bawling by now."  Then he turned and looked at me. I lost it.  I sobbed all the way home.

I don't think my phone left my hand all day.  I was convinced that she was going to go into full anaphylaxis on the very first day from peanut exposure.  Every time my phone rang, my heart stopped.  Somehow the we made it to 3:15 and all was well.  All except my blood pressure that is.  

I must say my fears have eased quite a bit since that first day.  We've met with her teacher who is amazing about helping us work around her allergy and the nurse who is so on top of it too.  I have to say it's been a pretty good experience so far.  I was really worried because I have heard horror stories from families who have peanut allergic children.  So far so good though.  

She even has two other little girls who are allergic to peanuts in her grade.  They all sit together at a peanut free table and their friends can sit there with them too if they get their lunch checked by a teacher.  Brooke has even told me that they had to set a limit of how many kids can sit at the table and that all her friends have to take turns because everyone wants to sit there.  This makes me so happy.  I had huge anxiety that she would be "that weird girl that sits by herself."  But I worried for nothing!  Why do I do that to myself?   

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I found this one on my camera.  It's from AFTER the Daddy Daughter Dance that Ava and Daddy went to.  I loved how excited she was when she got home.  She took her jacket off and showed me all the cool stuff she got and the pretty necklace (which is now hanging from my rear view mirror because she gave it to me) that she made all by herself.  After she got done showing me she said "Can you get your camera out and take a picture of me and Daddy again?"  That's kind of a big deal because Ava doesn't usually like to have her picture taken.

And here's a prime example.  When it's not her idea to take a picture she does the "cheese smile" and averts her eyes from the camera.  But she's still cute anyways.  

Parker's shirt says "Mommy's My Valentine"  My cousin bought it for him last year and I found it in his closet this year.  It's a little small but I squeezed his head through the hole, put a shirt underneath it and made it work for one day.  It was too cute not to. 

After we dropped Parker off at his school, Ava and I headed over to have lunch with Brooke.  It's so fun to sit at the table and listen to little Kindergarten girls talk about whatever it is little Kindergarten girls talk about.

Then we headed over to Brooke's class to help set it up for their Valentines Day party. 

So much fun.  Oh to be 5 years old again...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

August 17, 2011

A awhile ago at Brooke's Dance Recital Ava said to me "Next day I'm going to be a ballerina.  You know, when I'm a Brookie."  

She meant when she was Brooke's age "next day" (tomorrow or later on) than she could go to dance class too.
Finally "next day" had arrived!  And let me tell you she was thrilled.  She told everyone about the new dance bag Auntie Chelsea had bought her and I don't think that smile left her face all afternoon. 

Brooke also had a big first that day too.  That night she got to meet her teacher and see her classroom and classmates for the very first time.  I had been so nervous because ever since Summer started and she left her Preschool she told me over and over, "I'm going to hate my new school and my new Teacher.  I only love Mrs. Liz!"  But something changed that night.  As soon as we got home she she was so excited she said "I wish school started tomorrow because I can't wait to go!"

Monday, February 13, 2012

Daddy Daughter Dance Round Two

I'm not going to mention any names but someone was beyond excited that it was finally time for her Daddy Daughter Dance.

She picked this dress out all on her own.  For about a month she has been telling me that she wants an all pink dress for the dance.  We searched high and low for weeks and couldn't find anything that she liked.  Every time we found a pink dress it would have different colored flowers or designs on it and she didn't like it.  She would say "It has to be all pink."  

Finally after giving up and heading on our way out of the store one day, she spotted it.  The dress she had been dreaming of.  The problem was that it was in the infants section...

I told her they probably didn't have it in her size because it was in the baby section but we could double check.  There was lots of 3-6 months, 12 months, even a 18 month and then all of a sudden there it was. One single 4T!  I couldn't believe it.  It was meant for her.

Ok now this has nothing to do with the Daddy Daughter Dance but it caught my eye when I was taking pictures.  I wanted to share and see if anyone from the Kephart/Hefley families recognized them.  

They are from Aunt Ginny and Uncle Chucks house.  I remember staring at them through the bars on my crib when I would stay over there.  It's one of the earliest memories I have.  They were the only thing I had to have when we were all there that Summer for Unk's memorial.  They sit out in my bathroom and I see them everyday.  They make my heart smile thinking of all the love those two poured out on so many people.  Just had to share.

It's become a tradition over the past couple years that I pamper the girls and get them ready for the Daddy Daughter Dance.  They talk about it for weeks and weeks before.

It's as much fun for me as it is for them.

I love to see their happy little faces.

Brooke did not go to the usual dance that we do each year because she had a sleep over that she wanted to go to instead.  And she went with Brian to a dance the night before.  But they still wanted to take a picture together before they went their separate ways.  Silly Chester walked in front of the camera right when I took the picture.  Poor guy is starved for attention.

The Shoes.

The Purse.

The Daddy.

Daddies are the very best accessory.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Daddy Daughter Dance Round One

Brooke and Daddy all dressed up and ready to head out to the Daddy Daughter Dance at her school tonight.  Tomorrow night Ava will be taking Daddy to a Daddy Daughter Dance.  Daddy's dance card is quite full these days.

Happy Valentines Day From Brooke!

They are finished!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentines Sneak Peak

This is what I'm working on.

I got the idea from pintrest, my newest obsession.  What did we ever do without that site?

Oh yeah, now I remember... I had a life!

 Tomorrow I will cut slits above and below her hand and stick a sucker in there to finish them off.  I tried to get Parker take a picture like this too but he was just not into it.  I decided to pick up a box of Toy Story Tattoo Valentines and call it a day.  You gotta pick you battles.

Speaking of Parker, he's the reason I'm up so late.  Poor guy is coughing his face off.  He has Bronchitis and a ear infection in each ear.  He has been on antibiotics since last Friday.  Today was the first day he hasn't run a fever since Saturday.  We went back to the Dr. yesterday and she gave him a stronger dose of antibiotics, a liquid steroid and a stronger breathing treatment.  The new breathing treatment meds, which we are doing every 4 hours, made him really shaky the first couple times he used it.  I hated that.  But he seems to be tolerating it a lot better now.  Hopefully the poor guy gets some relief soon.  He sounds like death.

Ava was sick as well.  She got meds last Friday for Strep Throat and she has been doing a lot better but still has a lingering cough so she is doing breathing treatments as well.

Well, all is quite for the time being so I'd better try to get some sleep before it's time for another round of breathing treatments.

August 6th - 12th, 2011

We left California to head home on Aug. 6th.  That is such a long drive.  We've done it what seems a million times and for some reason I forget how long it is every time.  I think I'm in denial.  

Or maybe I am suffering Post Dramatic Stress Disorder from the whole ordeal... 

We all needed a day of rest when we got home.

My Facebook post from the day we got home pretty much sums it all up:  "I need a vacation after that vacation. I am not moving very far from this couch today. Besides, the DVR is stuffed full. It's the responsible thing to do."

The kids had some great surprises when we got home.  First thing was the project Daddy had been working on for the last month while we were gone.

Their new play set from Grandpa Jim and Grandma Marcia!

Our back yard is really sloped down so Brian spent a lot of time building a retaining wall and leveling off the back yard.  I'm not sure how he got it all done in the record breaking 100 degree + weather last Summer, but he did it.  The kids LOVED it (still do) even though the swings and slide weren't even on yet.

The other exciting thing was the new carriage bed!  Daddy got right to work taking down the old beds and setting up the new one.  I even helped a little!  It was quite the task. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

August 5, 2011

Still trying to get caught up...

First thing in the morning Brian got up and got to work on putting the trailer hitch on our car.  We had to rent a UHaul to get the bed home.  Parker could not leave Daddy alone.  He missed him so much and was so excited to have him back.

For our last day in California, we had one more important thing to do.  Get Ava's ears pierced.  She was so excited.  It was so cute!  

It was her reward for being fully potty trained but we just hadn't gotten around to it.  Plus, she wanted Auntie Chelsea to be there so we had to wait until we were in California.

The only time she showed any fear was when they were drawing the dots on.  She kind of cringed a little until we told her it was just a marker and not the real thing yet.  

They did both ears at the same time so it wasn't too bad for her.

Once it was done, she blinked a few times and then she smiled.  She never even cried!  Avers, you're so tuff!  And you and your new earrings look so beautiful.  You earned them baby girl!

Silly Brooke and Auntie Diane.  

When we got back to Grammy's house she got her old fashioned ice cream maker out so we could cross one more thing off our Summer Bucket List.  

It took a lot of hard work and elbow grease (mostly Brian and Chris') but the ice cream was so yummy, it was worth all the hard work.