Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Birthday Addie

Addie turned 6 a couple days ago and she was very excited about it :-)!
I already posted these on my photography site, but here they are again. Her 6 year check up isn't until next week, so I'll have to add her stats in later, but I definitely have plenty of other things to say about Miss Adeline at this age.
This last year started out quite rough for us with issues at preschool that had me stressed and crying (and Addie stressed and crying) nearly everyday for awhile. Although we still struggle at times knowing just how to best help her, overall she is doing SO much better. I still wonder what exactly happened though. Was it all because we got rid of her cat Tom? because she was bored at preschool? a result of being surrounded by 8 crazy boys in her class? or just her unique personality? I'm sure it was a bad combination of all of those things.
The good news is that with the start of kindergarten, Addie really blossomed and has done awesome! Sure, there are frowny faces in her folder sometimes, but most days it is a happy face and she seems happy, which is what is most important of all.
She is participating in the two-way immersion program that Ella is in and has done great with it. English class was her favorite at the start of the year, but now she tells me she likes Spanish best. Art is her favorite "special" class (no surprise there!) and she loves making up games for her friends to play at recess. She is better at reading than she thinks and I'm trying to help her improve her confidence in it. Along with her reading, her writing has improved tons as well. I love to see the things she writes about!
Addie goes through spurts of what she wants for lunch...a ham and cheese sandwich, a bean burrito, a chicken and cheese sandwich on a ricecake, a roll-up (chicken, cheese, ranch and spinach rolled in a tortilla)...anything but peanut butter for some reason. She typically picks one of these for two weeks at a time before tiring of it and wanting something new :-). Her favorite dinner is creamy lemon chicken on rice and salad, she likes asparagus and broccoli but not celery or carrots. She doesn't like oranges but loves strawberries. And she is my hardest kid at breakfast. The only thing she wants is toast, no eggs, no waffles, just cereal. She has started drinking her green smoothies without complaint though and that makes me happy.
Addie is not really into TV and movies but she'll sit and watch Phineas and Ferb or the Cat in the Hat and she does love the movie The Lorax lately. She definitely loves playing games on my phone and on the iPad...where's my water, flow free and mouse maze are her faves.
It was Addie's first year doing summer swim team and she could swim across the pool by the end! We tried soccer in the fall and she didn't love all...but her attitude got better with every game. She just started a little art class and swimming lessons again. She likes to go to both those, but loves being home most of all!
Adeline is still our little creative kid. She writes books, creates homes for her animals out of paper, makes wallets and pretend money, creates her own board games and is constantly drawing or coloring something.
She still loves her cats and although she doesn't play with them as much anymore, she always has a few with her to go to bed (along with her trusted pink blankie). And cats are always featured in her artistic creations. We still read a few verses of scripture and a book before bed, say a prayer and sing I Am a Child of God...with a back scratch. The back scratch is VERY crucial to her having good dreams :-). She sleeps with a light on, a very bright light, but whatever works.
Addie and Preston have grown very close over the year and love playing together. They call each other BFFs and can fight just as well as they can play. Despite her extreme emotions she really is so caring and thoughtful and is always making things for Preston and Ella, and sometimes me and Mike too.
I love to hear her talking about things and starting to understand how her brain works as she gets older. She has such a unique little perspective and I can't wait to see where it takes her. We sure love our Addie girl and the spirit she brings into our family.
Happy 6th Birthday Adeline Amani!
weight: 44 lbs (48th%)
height: 45 in (45th%)
and a few pictures from her first present openings...
(Brittany and Dustin came out from San Antonio to celebrate and she got to open their present and Meema and Papa's Friday (1/25) after school)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mardi Gras Meet at LSU!!!

When we arrived at LSU's natatorium it was between sessions so it was really empty and gave us a chance to check it out. It was such a pretty pool compared to anywhere we have been and Ella was SO excited! (oh, and seeing the times instantly on the scoreboard was pretty cool too!) We claimed our seats and got settled in for a long afternoon at the pool. Preston and Addie did awesome, mostly thanks to the iPad, and we all had a good time. Ella was so excited to tell Coach Steph, who wasn't at the meet, what a great job she did and that "it was the best meet ever!"
parade around the pool

Let the races begin!!!
First up was freestyle and after a rough dive in, it was the first time all indoor season that Ella didn't improve over her best time. Luckily, the rest of the meet she killed them!
25 Yard Freestyle
previous best: 22.09
this race: 23.45 (23rd/29)
lane 3, third from top

25 Yard Breaststroke
previous best: 30.46
this race: 27.38 (6th/12)
*this was her first time earning points for Katy Aquatics and getting a ribbon!*
Breaststroke is her definite favorite and a lady sitting near us who was really nice went on and on about what beautiful technique she has on it. She told Ella that once she picks up her tempo she will be unstoppable and Ella was so happy :-).
lane 7, second from bottom

25 Yard Backstroke
previous best: 30.22
this race: 25.50 (18th/25)
 but 1st in her heat (also a first during indoor season!)
lane 3, 2nd from top

The last race Ella was in was the 100 Yard Relay. I wish I would have video-ed it because Ella did awesome! I was more concerned with timing it because we wanted to be sure she did better than her first go at freestyle. I timed her at 19.9! Relays are always a little faster because the entry is different but still, I'm pretty sure she would have beaten her previous best time! The team came in a close second and Ella LOVED being part of a good relay team. It was a fun way to end her day of swimming.
Then Mike got to take a turn timing, which ended up being two since no one showed up for the last shift.
By the time we left the natatorium, hooked the car back up to the RV and got some dinner it was after 8pm. I got the kids in their jammies and we made up all the beds. They fell asleep quickly and I sat up front with Mike for awhile. Around 10:30pm I went to the back to go to sleep but not long after I woke up to Mike pulling over to the side of the freeway and lots of smoke coming from the front of the RV. When it was clear the RV would not be starting again we called AAA to get towed. It took them FOREVER to find someone big enough to tow us and also that could get us all the way to Katy, TX. They kept saying, they would call in 30 minutes, they would be here in 30 minutes. etc. so we kept waiting for them. Well, it was after 3am the tow guy finally arrived and began the process of hooking everything up. The kids had been sleeping through the entire incident and we moved them to the Hyundai to finish the drive home. We ended up home around 6am and then Mike went back to meet the tow guy and show him where we park it. What an adventure! The kids were ready to go for the day and Mike and I were ready to they watched TV and we went to bed :-). The good news is that the RV is currently being fixed and it wasn't as bad as it could have been (new transmission needed).
At Ella's next practice she received her ribbons...super exciting :-)!!! She was also thrilled to tell me that Coach Steph was SO proud of her beating her times by so much. We love our little swimmer girl :-)!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Louisiana Weekend Begins

Last weekend we took a little family trip to Baton Rouge, LA. Ella's swim team was participating in a swim meet at LSU and we thought it would be a nice little getaway.
We headed out Friday after school in the RV. The kids were so excited to be in it again and kept talking about wanting to go on another big trip :-).
The next day, Saturday the 19th, was the day Ella would be participating in the meet. She wasn't up until the afternoon session so we had some time to kill that morning. We tried to find a Cracker Barrel for breakfast but were taken to a weird little gas station TWICE before realizing our GPS was going to need more help from us. Eventually we made it to the real deal and ate a yummy breakfast.
As we were leaving we saw a little miniature golf place and decided to check it out. The kids had never been and thought it was pretty fun, although their golfing form could definitely use some improvement :-). On the first couple holes Mike and I were trying to keep score but the game quickly became more about trying to keep the kids focused and moving a long as other golfers joined the course. In the end I wasn't even golfing anymore,  I just took pictures and tried to keep track of kids, but it was still a good time (plus the weather was perfect for it!).
Saturday morning...
with Dad's help, Preston got a hole-in-one!