Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's All About Olivia Today . . . . .

What can I say, but my little one is quickly growing up.  Every day she says or does something that surprises me or just makes me giggle a little.  Here are a few highlights from this week.  Keep in mind it's only Wednesday.

Monday:
First day at dance class.  She's been waiting for this day for weeks.  Her only disappointment was that it was only one hour and only on Mondays. 

Here we were on the way to dance class. She couldn't wait to get those shoes on!
 We got there early so here she is spying on the older girls class.  She was absolutely mesmerized.
 And here she is in her class.  She is on the right and her best friend Faith is on the left.

 And here she is going so fast that my camera couldn't keep up with her.

And here is some video.  Sorry it's sideways, but I couldn't figure out who to rotate it.
video

video

Tuesday: We went swimming, just her and I.  She is doing remarkable.  First let me show you some video taken from this past weekend so you can truly see what a fish she is. 

Here is Livi jumping off the diving board and swimming to the edge

video

So with that in mind, fast forward to this week.  So she's swimming along and all of a sudden she gets water up the nose.  So she gets kind of upset and I give her the good old pep talk.  I told her when you get tired and you don't think you can make it, just push harder, kick harder etc.  So I guess I got a little intense because then she said, "Yeah mommy and you have to make a really mean face like this!" And this is the face she made:

And of course you didn't think I could post without mentioning Juliana, did you?  Here she is, another little mermaid.  And no, she is not sleeping, my little vampire baby doesn't like sun in her face.  Who does?
 video

Which brings us now to today, Wednesday.  Today was her dancing day.  She had been be-bopping around the house today, but at night, right before bedtime, the dancing queen was unleashed.  Here is a little montage of Olivia's"interpretive" dancing.  I'm really not quite sure where she gets these moves from but WOW!


Friday, June 10, 2011

The End of an Era

Well, as anyone with kids knows, one of the toughest decisions you will make comes in finding child care for you infant.  I still remember 5 years ago, I was still pregnant with Juliana and I knew the only place I wanted my daughter was at Mrs. West's daycare.  We prayed for an opening (she was the place everyone wanted to be and the only time she had space available was when her kids graduated to kindergarten).  It was a long shot, but we prayed and by some miracle Juliana got a spot.  It was a painfully hard decision made easy.  Mrs. West house is just that place you could walk into and "just know" it was the right place. 

We watched Juliana grow and change there.  Mrs. West was there when we started to notice something was wrong with Juliana.  She was there through all the tests we went through searching for an answer.  She was there when I found out I was pregnant with Olivia.  She was there when we got the dreaded diagnosis.  And yes, there for all the therapy appointments when ECI would go out to her house.  Juliana formed an immediate bond to her.  And yes, thank God when Olivia was born, there was a spot for her too.  It was awesome having them both there, together at Mrs. West house.  When Juliana turned 3 it was time for her to go to another place that could meet her needs and provide therapy, but Mrs. West continued to be a part of her life.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures from that time.

Did I mention that Mrs. West is an excellent cook.  She introduced my kids to all kinds of fish, every kind of vegetable (including eggplant) all kinds of beans and because of this are both excellent eaters.
Juliana's first piano lesson at Mrs. West house.
This is David, Mrs. West's son.  Her whole family became like our own.
Juliana was like their living doll.  They took such good care of her.
Juliana and Faith.  They literally grew up together.
This is when our little Olivia made her debut.  Of course Mrs. West was there to meet her newest student.
The last class photo
One of the many science experiments at Mrs. West house.  This was the caterpillar one.  Good thing she got that lesson there because I sure wasn't about to do it.
Which brings us to the present day.  This spring Mrs. West decided to retire after 25 years of loving our children.  This has been such a bittersweet moment for us all.  Olivia is 3 and I know she is ready for pre-school.  I know she will be in a good place.  And I know Juliana is in a good place as well, I am just heart broken that this special lady will not be a part of our every day life.  When someone is with you through so many milestones, it's just hard to say good bye.  And I know we are not saying a permanent good bye.  I know she will still be in our lives just not in an everyday kind of a way.  I will miss going to pick up Olivia and falling into her couch, talking about how our days had gone with her and the other moms.  Being surprised with an art or science project they had worked on or a new skill Olivia had learned.  Okay, enough crying!  Thank you Mrs. West and the whole West Clan.  You have been like family to us and we will always have a special place in our hearts for you. 

Here is the official graduating class of 2011
video

Here is the group singing Juliana's favorite "This is the day!"  As a final performance:
video

And here is a video that we put together for her filled with just a few of our favorite memories.
video


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bathing Beauties are back!

I just love summer!!!!  And so do the girls!  Here they are for their first time out this season.  Just soakin' up the sun!
 Trust me, Livi was happy.  Not sure why she looks scared in the picture.