Friday, June 24, 2011

Girls Only

The day my post-planning ended, Mimi, Grace, Emma Kate, and I set out on a girl trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  This would be the last of our annual girl trips before it became girls + 1 for at 6 months pregnant, I don't see squeezing in another one before Reece joins us.

My favorite thing to do on a girl trip: shopping!  And with 3 generations of shoppers together, bargains will be found!

Exhibit A.

Before I had princess loving little girls, the Disney store got on my nerves.  Now, walking in and seeing that flip flops were buy one, get one free and t-shirts were half price made my heart go pitter patter, and the only question was which ones to get!  Grace and Emma Kate's prize find was a pair of Cinderella glass slippers that light up in the heels.  Fash-ion-istas!

The little girls favorite thing was a toss up between swimming and Dolly World.  These gals are like little fish in the water.  They love swimming, so even though we didn't get to our hotel until after dark, I had promised they could go swimming when we got there.  It was the only way I could convince Grace that eating is important and we did have time to stop for dinner.

We like this particular hotel because it has a splash pool, kiddie pool, and regular pool.  The only problem is the same problem we have every time we go swimming - getting the girls to leave!

Dolly Wood is an amusement park owned by, you guessed it, Dolly Parton!  The girls had a blast riding the ferris wheel (where Grace kicked off her shoe), a Veggie Tales roller coaster for itty bitties, flying elephants, river boats, and tea cups.  Do you know how many rides there are for pregnant women?  Zero.  Even the little cars that can't veer off their track for more than 6 inches and don't go over 15 miles per hour have the little sign of a stork with a big slash through it.  So, I was the designated stroller watcher/photographer while Mimi got to ride in enough circles to make an elephant dizzy.  She definitely took one for the team.

The only ride an adult couldn't ride on was the Veggie Tales roller coaster.  We waited anxiously at the first hill, ready to yell at the conductor to stop so our terrified girls could get off.  Instead, we found them giggling incessantly shouting "Again, again!"

Emma Kate, in full 2-year-old glory went back and forth between being her adorable, sweet self, to a hormone raging, fit pitching, fireball.  I am convinced that this is the peak of the terrible twos and it can only get better from here.  It doesn't help to have a sister who loves pushing buttons.  On the plus side, as a mama who's been through the terrible twos before, I can honestly say that it does not last forever, and in a year or so, I will be glad that I did not eat Emma Kate like I've contemplated.  No, not like "You're so sweet, I could eat you up."  More like, the concept of why some animals eat their young is not as horrifying as it was before I had children.  Yes, I'm only kidding.  Today.

Despite the heat, and the tantrums, and the bickering sisters that have become such a normal part of every day life, our girl trip was a blast.  I am so glad that we are able to make these memories.  I hope that Grace and Emma Kate remember these times as fondly as I do.

Mother's Day 2011

"There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children - one is roots, and the other, wings." 
 - Hodding S. Carter

Sunday, June 12, 2011

School Days

Dear Grace,

We just wrapped up your first year of school.  Though it was only 3 mornings a week, it was official.  According to you, it is what separated you from the "little girls."  On that first day last September as I wiped my tears that my little big girl was entering a new phase, I prayed.  I prayed that your first day would go well, that you would like your teacher, that you would get along well with the other kids, that you would feel secure and confident.

Yes, I prayed for those things so many times leading up to the moment I dropped you off in your classroom.  And then, I prayed for them at least 1000 times over the course of the school year.

It didn't take long for my worries about you liking school and it living up to your expectations to seem silly.  Every day when I got in from work, you were bubbling with excitement over what you learned, who was line leader, what you had for snack, and dozens of other details about your day.  I love getting to see your work each school day.

It also didn't take long for me to realize how much you love Ms. Cyndi.  You had Emma Kate participating in a pretend world of school in no time where you were the boss.  I can tell by the tone of voice you used as teacher and the way you handled "discipline situations" that Ms. Cyndi was loving, patient, and full of energy.  We were so blessed that your first teacher was Ms. Cyndi.  Not only did she teach you about letters and how to correctly hold a book when reading to your students :), but she taught you about waiting your turn, sharing, and treating others with kindness.  We were also blessed that you were able to learn truths from the Bible each week at school.

You met your first school best friend this year.  You and Madison are like 2 peas in a pod with your love of pink, cosmetics, and jewelry.

As preschool is fading and pre-kindergarten is approaching, I hope your love of school and learning will continue. Remember to always do your best and treat others with kindness.

It's so hard to believe that I'm typing a post about your first completed year of school.  It flew by in a blink.  It makes me scared about how quickly the next years of school will pass.  Remind me not to blink too much.