Mia’s First Day of Preschool

 

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So excited to get to her classroom

So excited to get to her classroom

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Getting acquainted with the toys

Getting acquainted with the toys

Mia's new friend Pearl

Mia’s new friend Pearl

Mia's teacher Mrs. O'Neill

Mia’s teacher Mrs. O’Neil

Today was Mia’s first day of preschool at Nativity. She was so excited for her first day she could hardly contain herself as she kicked my seat back the entire way to school and kept repeating, “I’m so excited, I can’t wait.” Having just turned three in May this will be her first of two years in preschool. I wasn’t sure if there would be tears when it was actually time to say goodbye but she did awesome. She gave me a big hug and said, “I love you so much Mom, have fun with Hopie.” I can’t believe how much she has grown up in the last few months. Most of you that know Mia know that she has struggled quite a bit with separation anxiety when we were apart. That was definitely not the case today. So as Hope and I headed home I began to think about all the exciting possibilities that could take place with three whole hours during the day of Mia being occupied at school. Luckily for me, Hope still takes a morning nap so I had a solid hour and a half to mop the floors, do the laundry, clean, and meal plan for the week. It was glorious! I’m sure future mornings will be less productive but my first morning off was amazing. When I picked Mia up I got the full report. I wasn’t sure if she was going to say much but she told me a few of the highlights. She was pretty impressed with herself because she already knew the songs they sang.(Itsy Bitsy Spider and the ABCs) She was excited because her teacher read her a Clifford Book, they had scooters and tricycles on the playground, and she made a bead necklace. I think we are off to a fabulous start!

Hume Lake Family Vacation

We have been looking forward to this summer’s family vacation for quite a while. It couldn’t have come at a better time than when we needed a break from the stresses of building a house. We had one week with no cell reception and no internet to relax in a cabin up at Hume. Of course Tim had a lot of juggling on his end in order to keep the house project going and did have to make one trip to find cell reception to keep up with contractors but overall, it was an amazing, relaxing week. We asked Tim’s sister Charity and her husband Jason to join us as they would soon be moving to Texas and we knew they needed to get lots of neice time in before they left. My parents even came up for a night to hang out.
There were so many highlights to our trip. So many firsts for the girls. Mia’s first time paddle boarding, swimming in the lake, jumping off the diving board, and going to “preschool” every day from 9-12.
Hume has this great program for kids called the “Huckleberry House” where Mia went every day from 9-12. She went on bear hunts, searched for bird nests around the lake, built sand castles, and fed the ducks while Tim and I spent time reading at the cabin, and hanging out with Hope on the lake. Next year Hope will be old enough to go to the Huckleberry House. The afternoon usually then consisted of pool time, milkshake time, and swimming/paddle boarding on the lake until dinnertime. It was great having Jason and Charity there because Tim and I got to head out in the evenings and do a little hiking or just hang out down near the lake. I can’t wait until we get to go again next year!

Excitement upon arriving at the lake!

Excitement upon arriving at the lake!

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First time on a paddle board and loving it!

First time on a paddle board and loving it!

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Hope really wanted to paddle onto the lake but had to settle for just sitting on the board

Hope really wanted to paddle onto the lake but had to settle for just sitting on the board

First time off of a diving board. No fear!

First time off of a diving board. No fear!

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Loving piano time with Uncle Jason

Loving piano time with Uncle Jason

The tree house at our cabin that Mia dubbed "the castle"

The tree house at our cabin that Mia dubbed “the castle”

Hope's ride throughout the week.

Hope’s ride throughout the week.

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Pooltime always concluded with a milkshake from the snack shack.

Pooltime always concluded with a milkshake from the snack shack.

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Night hike to the Lil Brown Church.

Night hike to the Lil Brown Church.

Jumping off the big log!

Jumping off the big log!

Spending time with Grandma

Spending time with Grandma

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Ready for the 4th of July Parade

Ready for the 4th of July Parade

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Mia Turns 3

Being Mom to Mia for the last three years has been an absolute delight, and watching her grow this past year has been so much fun. Mia has taken a lot of pride in turning three. In the months leading up to her third birthday she continually would tell me that when she turns three she would know how to:
1. Ride a bike
2. Go to her own big girl preschool
3. Accomplish the monkey bars at the park

She set her sights pretty high and luckily she hasn’t mentioned trying out the monkey bars this week but she has accomplished riding a bike on her own and preschool does indeed start in the fall.

I think it comes with the territory of first child, but Mia is a pleaser. She is the biggest cuddler in the world and sooooo attached to mama. She really is a good kid and on the days that are difficult or she is feeling like she needs some space she tells me she is going to take a time out in her bed until she is ready to be nice again. What three year old says that? I am amazed at the days she decides she is tired a few minutes before naptime and tells me she is ready for her nap, amazed at how protective of her little sister she is starting to become, and amazed at her desire to learn how to write and recognize all her alphabet letters. I love that she can sit with us and read books for literally hours on end. I love her passion for swimming and her desire to learn at swim lessons. I love that her favorite vegetable is brussel sprouts. I love that she is clueless about anything having to do with princesses because practically all her friends are boys. And I love her independent spirit that insists on doing everything herself. I can’t wait to watch her grow leaps and bounds in this third year of life!

Mia woke up to a new doll house in her room. I scored on Craigslist!

Mia woke up to a new doll house in her room. I scored on Craigslist!

Mia requested to be able to drink a juice box for breakfast. (This is a big deal as she rarely gets juice) It was her idea to make sure she had a party hat to wear while she ate her breakfast.

Mia requested to be able to drink a juice box for breakfast. (This is a big deal as she rarely gets juice) It was her idea to make sure she had a party hat to wear while she ate her breakfast.


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Mia chose everything about her cake and even helped me make it.

Mia chose everything about her cake and even helped me make it.

Mother’s Day

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This is what happened when I asked the girls to come sit by me and take a picture. I am pretty sure they heard, "climb on Mom like she is a jungle gym."

This is what happened when I asked the girls to come sit by me and take a picture. I am pretty sure they heard, “climb on Mom like she is a jungle gym.”


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This post is a little late because when both of your kid’s birthdays are sandwiched on either side of Mother’s Day, they take precedence. Isn’t that how it always is? I have such a greater appreciation for my own mother now that I have kids of my own, and I am only just beginning to realize what this long journey down the road as “the selfless mother” entails. For example just last week I had the whole family ready for the beach and when we finally made it to the beach I realized I was wearing nothing that resembled beach attire and was sweating to death. It’s little things on a daily basis, like when we are all at the park and the kids have sunscreen and hats on and I think, “if only I had remembered to just grab my sunglasses.” So this Mother’s Day Tim let me take some time for myself. Being that we are on what I will call “we are crazy and building a house” budget, all I asked from Tim this year was to sleep in and for him to wash my car. You can hear the breakfast conversation from our kitchen table in our bedroom due to our pint sized rental right now, so Tim took the kids out of the house and I slept until 8AM! I am pretty sure the last time I slept until 8AM was three years ago (pre-kids)! It was glorious! We had a picnic at our favorite park in town and just enjoyed hanging out together. Then I took an afternoon nap! Needless to say I could not fall asleep that night because my sleep bank was full.

Birthday Bash

It was so much fun celebrating the girls this year with a bike themed birthday party. Mia loves riding her bike everyday at the park and 95% of her friends are boys, so we thought it would be perfect to build a little bike obstacle for the kids to ride through. We played “pin the bear on the bike” and made our own candy necklaces and the party was a hit. The party was also a lot of fun for Hope because she loves keeping up with her sister on some kind of wheels. I made some simple streamers out of ribbon ziptied to golf tees so the kids could decorate their bikes and since we had 50 mph winds Saturday afternoon, they blew around nicely as the kids charged through the obstacle course.
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Hope Marie Turns One!

Hope celebrated her 1st birthday this last week, and the milestone seemed to creep up on us so quickly. I guess that’s just what happens with the second child. We were able to celebrate Hope with just the four of us midweek before the big combined birthday party for the girls coming a few weeks after her birthday. It was simple and I am really beginning to like simple. Simple as in one present and one cupcake. Hope’s favorite things right now are dogs. She spends all day using Cali as her personal climbing gym and following her around saying, “Hi Cali Dog” so we decided to buy her a little stuffed dog that barked and flipped over. She pretty much thought it was the greatest thing in the world although the frosting on her cupcake came in at a close second. She did a nice job making a mess of the frosting and then as usual tossed the entire “leftover” cupcake to the dog. She finds great joy in feeding Cali even though she gets stern looks from me every time she does it.

Getting help from her big sister

Getting help from her big sister

It's a dog!!

It’s a dog!!

One of my favorite things about Hope is that she loves to hug things

One of my favorite things about Hope is that she loves to hug things

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This picture makes me laugh because moments earlier Hope smeared half her frosting on Mia and Mia is trying to figure out what just happened.

This picture makes me laugh because moments earlier Hope smeared half her frosting on Mia and Mia is trying to figure out what just happened.

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Easter

We travelled to Hollister this year to celebrate Easter with the Richards side of the family. My parents just moved into their new home in Hollister the week previous and were very gracious to host everyone amidst the exhaustion that moving brings. We went to my sister’s church in Gilroy in the morning and then it was time to hunt those eggs and eat, eat, eat!

Dying eggs the day before Easter with Aunt Beth and cousin Rudy

Dying eggs the day before Easter with Aunt Beth and cousin Rudy

The pre-Easter bbq the night before

The pre-Easter bbq the night before

There's always something exciting to do at Grandma's house

There’s always something exciting to do at Grandma’s house

Getting a good family shot is so much harder now with two kids

Getting a good family shot is so much harder now with two kids

Easter bunnies and cheesy smiles

Easter bunnies and cheesy smiles

Grandpa, Grandma, and Aunt Beth

Grandpa, Grandma, and Aunt Beth

The Easter bunny dropped off lots of goodies on the front doorstep for Mia

The Easter bunny dropped off lots of goodies on the front doorstep for Mia

One massive lawn for an egg hunt

One massive lawn for an egg hunt

Eating all the chocolate in the eggs

Eating all the chocolate in the eggs

Hope's first Easter

Hope’s first Easter

It doesn't get much better than plastic eggs that open and close

It doesn’t get much better than plastic eggs that open and close

The perfect ending to Easter day: Slip n Slide!

The perfect ending to Easter day: Slip n Slide!

Avila Beach Day

There is nothing like a little sun and sand on a Saturday to recharge you after a long week with the kids. It always seems like it takes so much work to get out of the house and head to the beach, but once you are there it never disapoints. After the peanut butter sandwiches, sand toys, and changes of clothes were packed, we rushed off because of course we only have a two hour window before someone needs to take a nap. Running in and out of the waves with Mia while Hope bounced along on my hip laughing hysterically was my highlight today. Tim was in charge of building/engineering sand castles as I kept pulling rocks and sand out of Hope’s mouth every five seconds. I must admit I long for the day when I can actually bring a lawn chair to the beach again and just relax while I watch the kids play. Those days will come, but for now I will enjoy these crazy, messy, full of life beach days.

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Outside All Day in January

Everybody around town is constantly talking about the weather lately. It is the friendly conversation starter at the park as I explain why my daughter is sporting a swimsuit along with her bike helmet, it is all the talk when I turn on the news, and it is causing Mia to take fewer naps because all she wants to do is play outside. Along with it comes all the talk of needing the rain but I just love soaking up all the sun. I haven’t even worn one of my new Christmas sweaters yet and am feeling the need to go shopping for new flip flops and tank tops already. I could live in this 90 degree weather forever because I am so spoiled with it. The second it dips down into the 60s I am pulling out the down jacket and am plastered to our wall heater. I don’t know how most of my extended family in Iowa and Illinois survive. So this is what we have been up to lately: lots of park time, bike rides, playing in the water table, and swimming in the community pool.

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Santa

We have seen a lot of Santa lately. I am beginning to think he is following us. It all started before Thanksgiving when Mia sat on Santa’s lap quite tentatively. Well she has really warmed up to the jolly old man running up for a hug and picture every time we see him. Hope has done the opposite and each time she sees him she increasingly becomes more wary and screams to get off his lap. Here’s a sampling of all our Santa sightings.

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