Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hand Camp 2018

We got to go to Scottish Rite's Hand Camp this year! This was a really big deal because the camp could only accommodate a limited number of families. We went two years ago and loved it, and this year may have been even better. 1st grade has been a little rough for Katelyn, arm-wise, and she really needed Hand Camp. It's the one time of year that she can be around other kids she doesn't know and no one will ask questions, make "broken arm" comments, whisper, or stare. The kids at camp, and many of the counselors, have some form of upper limb difference. It is a family camp, so siblings of limb difference kids attend (Ryan isn't old enough yet), but no one thinks twice when they see others with missing fingers, a little arm, or no arm at all. It just seems normal! In fact, when we returned from camp, I had to look twice when I saw kids without limb differences. Ha!

Hula hoop and jump rope happened every day before meals

cooking class-- making apple donuts and zucchini pizzas

making her pillow case... all on her own, she wrote "we are all different"

finished product

making a jar aquarium

Our family brick from Hand Camp two years ago! 

Knowing Katelyn needed to overcome some fears, we signed up for the rock climb/zip line. It took a lot of prodding and she was not a fan, but she did it!

We are so very thankful for Scottish Rite and the opportunity to go to Hand Camp. Thankful for new friendships made, new experiences, and time with our girl.

Friday, April 6, 2018

They keep us laughing!

Me (having a very long, in-depth discussion about God): ... and God knows everything about you-- even what your next thought it going to be!
K: So God knows how many meters long this house is?

K: Ugh! This is maddening! My invention is just not working!!!!
Me: I'm sorry, maybe try again later?
K: No, I just need some quiet time to think about this.

Me: I just realized at your next birthday party, you'll turn 7. I need a moment to cry, please.
K: It's ok, Mommy, you'll turn a year older, too!

Me: Why didn't you eat your carrots at lunch?
K: I didn't have time and you gave me a lot.
Me: Ok, you can eat them tomorrow-- for breakfast!
K (dryly): Oh Mommy, you're always good for a laugh.

Me: Why is there a sign on your door that says $5?
K: Well, it's not for you, Daddy, or Ryan. But anyone else who wants to enter my room has to pay $5.

Me, skeptical that all her carrots were gone: Have you been throwing away the carrots you don't want in your lunch at school?
K: No, I've been eating them. But that's what I used to do in kindergarten.

After a long discussion about what it means to confess our sins:
K: Mommy, I think I need to be honest with you about something.
Me: Ok, I'm listening.
K (deep breath and in a high, squeaky voice): Well... you know how sometimes you say I can have one piece of candy well sometimes I have two but I can'thelpitcandyisthebest!!!! 
Me: Is there anything else you need to be honest about?
K (back to her normal voice): Yeah, in kindergarten I also used to throw away my sandwich at lunch. Man, being honest like this sure feels weird.

K (watching the Olympics): I want to go to Israel and meet that figure skater.
Me: That's a long way to go to meet one person!
K: Well, on Sunday at church they said they're taking a trip to Israel soon. Maybe I could go with them.

Me: Throw away that toothbrush, please. I got you a new one.
K (10 minutes later and very solemnly): Mommy, I need you to come here. It's time for the funeral. 

K: Ryan is two. Man, it's going to be a bad year!
Me: Why?
K: Because he's two! And two year olds these days!!

K, on an airplane as it was landing: My ear made a fart noise!

D: Bye Ryan, have a good day!
R: Adios!

Me: I wouldn't trade you or Ryan for anything in this world.
K: What about your salmon?

R, lying down without a shirt on, laid on the floor, stretched his arms behind his head, sighed, and said, "It's a hot day!"

R: Where's my da-dor (tractor)?
Me: At home. Baylor's going to watch your tractor while we're gone.
R: (distraught) Oh noooo!!!!
Me: No, Baylor will not be ON your tractor. Baylor will be sleeping. It's still YOUR tractor.


Ryan is really verbal, but when he doesn't know how to pronounce a word, he substitutes it with the sound that it makes:

Fire truck/police car = whee-oh, whee-oh (like the sound of a siren)
Fire in fireplace = whee-oh 
Santa = ho ho
Sheep = baa baa
Horse = neigh neigh
... and so on. I love it.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Puerto Rico!

We had the opportunity to go to Puerto Rico with Dave's family over Spring Break. I've never been to Puerto Rico (or even outside the continental U.S.) and wondered if we were all crazy for taking a big trip with young kids. The 4-5 hour flight felt long... and as it turns out, I'm pretty sure my max for keeping 2 kids entertained on an airplane happens to be 4-5 hours. But we made it! And I loved seeing all the islands along our flight path! Beautiful. 

Fun fact: Hurricane Maria took all the street signs around the airport, so there's really no way to know if you're going in the right direction as you leave the airport. Nana, the kids, and myself were in the car headed to the resort first, and we unknowingly turned the wrong way. We did a lot of accidental sight-seeing--again, no directional signs along the interstate--and finally found some English speakers who could help us. They were so, so nice and told us that we should be using Google Maps, not the Apple map, on our phones because Google Maps was more accurate after the hurricane. They also reminded us that, since we were from Texas, our 54 mile journey back to the resort would be no big deal!

Puerto Rico is beautiful. BEAUTIFUL. It felt like we were the only people at the resort. I seriously counted about 10 other people that we saw there the entire time. We were told that the week before had been really busy, so I guess our timing was good!

This lasted all of about 10 seconds. Ryan HATED the sand touching his feet or getting into his sandals.

He also hated the water.

There were two beautiful pools at the resort, and he didn't want anything to do with either of them. 

Proof that we actually got him on the sand... so long as he had a beach towel to sit on. Even then, he was so uncomfortable when sand got on the towel.

Luckily, there was grassy area near the pool and that's where he wanted to be.

Ryan may hate sand and water, but he could spend all day going "vroom vroom" in a golf cart. 

Katelyn and I found so many shells. Her favorite were the "unicorn horns."

These two cousins were born just months apart and are polar opposites: one is cautious and calculated and the other is fearless and adventurous. But they get along so well and seem to have their own little language!

We played a LOT of UNO after the boys went to bed.

These beautiful iguanas were everywhere! This one was at least the size of my leg, hip to ankle.

The weather and scenery were absolutely perfect. We had SUCH a wonderful time!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Happy 2nd Birthday, Ryan!

Ryan is two. Two!! He is SO much fun right now. I love this age because he’s so eager to talk, enthusiastic about everything, and uninhibited. It’s all on the table. He hasn't quite hit terrible twos yet, so I'm soaking up the sweetness now.

There are a few things that stand out in this phase that I do not want to forget.

First, his beloved tractor. It was originally at Nana's house and he went nuts over it every time we visited, so Nana decided it made more sense for the tractor to live with us. This is the toy that's going to be with us forEVER, that we keep for his own child someday. When he wakes up in the morning, he says, "Where's Dada? Where's Katelyn? Where's tractor?" It's so special to him. 

This was the look on his face when he realized the tractor was in OUR living room instead of at Nana's

Next, Ryan's love for drawing. I mean he really, really LOVES to draw, especially with pen. Plain paper, big sister’s artwork, bills, the decision clipboard he discovered on the pew at church—everything within his reach is fair game, apparently. I don't think a day goes by when he doesn't draw for an extended period of time. My mom gave him a pen with a removable cap and he is fascinated by it. It’s going to be a sad day when he uses up all the ink in that pen-- which will no doubt happen. 

I turned my head for 2 seconds and Ryan made lots of decisions for Christ

And as he’s drawing, he pretends to draw/write the names of specific people… he doesn’t know how to spell or write words/shapes, of course, but he calls out random letters and shapes as he’s drawing and proudly tells me what he’s done. My favorite is when he cracks himself up when he draws something he thinks is funny. There is so much I love about all of this.

And last, his relationship with Katelyn. I think one reason I'm loving this stage is because I get to watch Katelyn's response to Ryan growing. They're such good friends. She’s quite the little mama and loves teaching him new things, and Ryan soaks up the attention. Katelyn is religious about dressing her dolls into their pajamas and tucking them into their bed each night. Well, one evening when Katelyn wasn’t home, Ryan went up to her room and had me help him dress one of her dolls in pajamas and tuck it into bed. When finished, he promptly said "all done" and went to ride his tractor. SO SWEET. 

Hard to believe he is already two but I'm so excited for what this next year will bring!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Tooth and They keep us laughing!

“I just don’t know about this...”

That was the phrase Katelyn said over and over regarding her first loose tooth. I’ll never forget her wide eyes one morning when she gasped and said that she had a very loose tooth. She was panicked. Several months before she was convinced her tooth was loose, but nothing ever came of it. This time it was real and legit cause for alarm.

And honestly, it was really hard not to chuckle at her reaction, because let’s face it, she’s a funny kid. But this was not funny to her; losing her first tooth at age six is serious business.

Katelyn does not like the anticipation of new experiences, so this forced reality of losing a tooth was a mental and emotional adjustment beyond her level of comfort. I tried to play it off as no big deal, thinking she would relax a little. She did not. In typical Katelyn style, she fretted and analyzed and needed to talk about it and prepare as best she could. So, we prayed that God would help her be brave. She tucked her little tooth container in her backpack, just in case. She sought reassuring conversations with friends and Annabelle who have been there, done that. Dave and I told stories of when we lost our first teeth. For several weeks Katelyn all but refused to let anyone near her mouth to check the progress of the loose tooth. She carefully tried to avoid chewing with her front teeth. 

I really wish that tooth would’ve just randomly fallen out one day and put us all out of her misery. 

Then one night, she nervously told me that her tooth was very, very loose. I finally convinced her to let me look at it. Oh, goodness! How that tooth was still hanging on, I'll never know. I seriously thought it might fall out if I just looked at it wrong. I told her that it was time to let the tooth go because I was afraid she was going to swallow it. So she took a deep breath and let me pull it.

And then she mourned the loss of it. 

Before bed she told me, "This morning I prayed that today would be the day I would lose my tooth." I asked her why today, and she said it was because she was just tired of dealing with it and wanted it to be done. By the way, loose tooth #2 is already underway and she's not the least bit worried about it.


Me: If this doll bed is difficult to put together, I'm not doing it tonight. 
K: I'll help you! Teamwork makes the dream work, Mommy.

K, getting in the car: Thanks for the Uber! (no clue how she knows about Uber)

K: I want to go up to the moon and see if it's really made of cheese.

Me: You and I are a lot alike. Always thinking of things to make!
K: Yeah, but I don't want to be an artist. They don't make a lot of money. I want to work at the American Girl store. I know their workers make a lot because their dolls are expensive.

K: I've always wanted to go to Africa.
Me: What do you want to see?
K: Giraffes. Zebras. Elephants. Pandas. Armadillos.

K: Ryan, you're going into time out when we get home.
Me: You don't get to do that. You're not the boss of him.
K: Well... I kind of am.

K (while driving to church and without any context): Once I saw a bat eating a banana and a watermelon.

Me: Dear God, thank you for...
R: Dada! Mama! Katelyn! And vroom vroom!!!!

R, standing on top of a toy: I so funny!

Me: Can you say books?
R: Books!
Me: Can you say apple?
R: App-ee!
Me: Can you say love?
R: No.

Me: Why did you leave Ryan upstairs by himself?
K: I didn't, he has my imaginary friend with him.

K: Who in our family speaks Chinese?
Me: Um, I don't think anybody. Are you looking to have something translated?
K: No, I was just checking.