4 months of updates coming up

Every year I end up falling off this thing. Meg’s Facebook pretty much captures every moment in almost real time, and we get so busy it’s hard to sit down and recap everything and resize photos etc… But I’m still trying to get it done.

For what it’s worth, in the last 4 months Parker has turned 4, she’s started a new school, and her speech has really improved.

SC had their “once in 1,000 years” flood, which we fortunately escaped from unscathed, although many friends and neighbors were not so lucky. We worked to donate and deliver items to people in need, and got the kids involved with it a bit. They’re still a little young to fully grasp what’s going on.

Brenna is doing very well in Kindergarten, and will be turning 6 in TWO DAYS. Whoa.

The 10th anniversary of Thanksgiving in the Park happened! I really thought we were going to have to cancel it due to the flood, but Parks and Rec said the park was open. It was still flooded in our normal area though, so it was just moved closer to the park front. We primarily focused on “survival packs” of clothing items this year, and distributed lots of scarves, socks, feminine products, and of course food to people. It was a great time.

Christmas was a blast with kids this age, although their behavior was so bad in the 2-3 weeks leading up to it I nearly took everything back and canceled it. MAN, was I this bad leading up to “the big day?” It was like they lost every manner and kind bone in their body. But it also more or less seems to have passed.

New years was great, and we got a break from the rain long enough to shoot some fireworks. I didn’t buy much – some sparklers, some spark fountains and two big booming explodey-things. Good enough for us.

My computer blew up and the parts that still worked I’ve put into a computer for Brenna for her birthday. That does make updates harder than normal, but I’ll try to be more on top of it when my replacement bits get here.

Happy New Year everyone. I look forward to 8 months of updates, and falling off at the end again. lol…

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2nd day of Kindergarten. The tooth fairy.

Man, what a week! School started up for Parker of course, and Brenna is in Kindergarten. She’s also had a wiggly tooth for the last 2 weeks and on Friday it would just lay flat in her mouth. “We should just pull it,” Meg and I suggested. Brenna took a little more convincing but reluctantly agreed to let me pull it. I told her it would maybe feel like a little pinch, and hurt less than a shot. “I don’t even cry at shots!” she exclaimed (and is also true), and I think that built up her bravery.

I handed her some gauze, took some myself and started to reach for her mouth….. and she backed out. “No worries. If you’re not ready, we’ll do it tonight or tomorrow.” But about 5 minutes later she came to me with the gauze back in her hand and said “ok, I want to do it.”

On the count of three… 1, YOINK! (a little trick my dad taught me) and the tooth was out. There was literally no resistance and I don’t even think Brenna realized the tooth was out until I told her we were done and showed it to her. She went to school with a new hole in her mouth and a big goofy smile.

Bren fell asleep early on Friday, and the tooth fairy brought her TWO shiny gold dollar coins.

What a big week!

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Kindergarten and “Big Girl” pre-school

I guess it’s official now – my girls are “big girls.”

Meg and I woke Brenna up this morning and she turned over with a giant smile on her face, “Is it time for school?!” she asked excitedly. “Almost honey, let’s get up and have breakfast,” we laughed.

Brenna has been waiting for this day for weeks and she’s so excited. Meg put her in a special dress, picked for this day and she was ready in the morning before I’d even gotten in the shower.

Parker was a little harder to convince to get up (as is nearly always the case), but once she got going, she was super sweet. She’s already started back, so she was a little less excited about her school day, but she too was very happy for Brenna’s big day.

We dropped Parks off with little trouble (although she decided she was “shy” as I was leaving and wanted to velcro herself to my legs). Ms. Priscilla pulled her off me with the strength that only teachers have, and carried her to class. There was no crying or fussing; I think Parker just wanted to put on show.

Brenna walked with us right to her room, and got down to business. She introduced herself to her classmate who was reading with the teacher, and sat down beside her ready to “read” along. I had to get her back up to take a few photos and get some extra kisses in before Meg and I went to work… and that was that. Our child started school. No tears, no fears. Just absolute pure excitement.

They both had a great days from what we can tell. Parker played with a dragon and went outside and “didn’t get in trouble OR sent to time out!” Brenna read books and played with new kids and seems to be very happy. Oh, and her best friend/boyfriend Daniel is in her class, so that certainly makes things an easier transition.

PHOTOS!!

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see ya next time!

xoxo

-Travis.

Big News All Around

Well, here we are… Summer’s ending, so I’m told (though I wish someone would inform the weather). Parker and Brenna spent all summer in gymnastics camp, which has been wonderful. They’ve done very cool activities and had a safe outlet for all that energy. And boy, how much their rolls, tumbles, and flips have improved! And they’re both so strong now.

Parker picks preschool back up tomorrow, and we’ve picked a special outfit for her “first day.” She’s excited, and we’ve talked about it, but I don’t think she understands yet that Brenna won’t be there with her. Wish us luck on that front. She does NOT like it when she feels Brenna is doing things she’s not allowed to do yet.

And Brenna… Wow, Brenna is about to start Kindergarten. I can’t believe this time is already here! Her first day is Thursday, and with gymnastics closed tomorrow Meg and I are splitting half days to spend time with her on the last day of vacation. That should be fun. Zoo? Museum? Video games? Haircuts and shopping? Who knows?!

On top of starting school, Brenna also has her very first loose tooth! She’s constantly wiggling it and showing it off. It’s a very big deal, and she’s incredibly excited about it. I think the Tooth Fairy is more exciting to her than school is. But a magic fairy that brings you money does sound FAR cooler than reading books I suppose!

We should have new pictures soon with the coming days school events. I’ll be sure to post them asap. I promise!

Until next time,

xoxo,

-Travis.

Late July update

Summer goes on, and the girls continue to grow, surprise, and delight.

About a month ago I started a free-form story with Brenna and Parker. Each night I would make up a story on the spot involving two little princesses, conveniently named Brenna and Parker. I would present them with some loose story ideas and have them make decisions about what the princesses did, and I’d make up the next part of the story. They met a dragon, made friends with mermaids, turned into mermaids (wow!), defeated a mean giant shark, and generally disobeyed every order their parents made of them to make it all happen. This was all a test to see if they would remember night to night what happened and be interested in continuing the tale. They were, and so we did. It was great fun for all of us.

Because of this success, and because Brenna is going to Kindergarten soon we started reading long books with her. In addition to her reading us simple stories like Pete the Cat, Meg has been reading her Roald Dahl’s The Witches (the guy who wrote Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). It’s been great because it’s a longish book for a 5-year old, and a scary one (witches hate children and turn them into MICE!), and she’s so excited to hear it each night. Meg’s done a great job making sure there’s always time to read.

We’ve bought all of Brenna’s school supplies except for headphones, which I need to get from Amazon some time soon. Apparently there’s been some shake-up at Parker’s pre-school being bought by some corporation who took away their toys and wall decorations and videos, because nothing sparks a child’s imagination like no toys or playtime, and blank white walls! We’re obviously hoping this is all just to prepare to bring something new in, but there’s a lot of concern going around. I’d hate for some jackass finance guy to ruin the great thing they had going.

What else is going on … Oh, Moonie bought us a smoothie maker about 6 weeks ago and we’ve literally used it every day since. I bought it with us on vacation even. Fruit smoothies, breakfast smoothies, dessert smoothies, protein smoothies for me, etc… it’s been awesome. Other than the fridge, it’s the most used thing in our kitchen. We all love it.

And finally…. Brenna loves boiled peanuts. I mean, a lot. Like, don’t leave her unsupervised around boiled peanuts. Which is fine with me, since I also love them and now I have someone to eat them with. Woohoo!

Seriously, this girl can put back some boiled peanuts

Seriously, this girl can put back some boiled peanuts. Both plates are hers, and hers alone.

Alright, that’s it. See y’all next time.

xoxo

July 10 2015

Hello no one! It’s good to talk to you again.

Boy, Summer is in full swing. The kids are out on summer vacation and we enrolled them in an active daycare at their new gymnastics place, Brussell’s Gymnastics. They love it! They do regular summer fun things (pizza Fridays, water balloons, chalk drawings), but also get to have gymnastics classes and lots of play time. Brenna is getting so good at her flips and Parker is insanely strong and has an amazing jump!

Here they are at gymnastics where they got to put their hand prints up on the wall!

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We also recently got to go to Moonie’s Mountain Farm with some friends and their kids. It was a big time all around! It’s been a long time since Meg and I went on a vacation with another couple, and the kids got to have their friends there to play. It was great! 3 days of swinging, walking in the creek, grilling, boardgames, fishing, exploring, and riding the ATV.

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July 4th went by uneventfully. We bought American flag plates, cups, napkins, little head bobbers and such and did a veggie tray, meat and cheese plate, pigs in a blanket and other quick finger foods. Of course there were fireworks, and Brenna actually enjoyed them this year. When she thought they were a bit loud she never fussed, she just stepped inside to watch from the window. Parker was unsure of the sparklers (I think she remembered being burned last year when she touched the end), but by the end of the night she held one and flexed both arms in the air and declared herself a “BIG GIRL!”

We went to IHOP and had pancakes the next morning, as is our tradition established by Brenna any time there are fireworks. It was a great day.

As Summer begins to wind down, Meg and I are beginning to feel the reality setting in that Brenna is going to be going to Kindergarten soon. I can’t believe how excited and nervous I am! I don’t think it’s really hit Brenna yet, but she seems to be excited about it. It will be a big change, and probably the first real step out of her comfort zone in a long time.

Parker continues to grow and hold VERY STRONG OPINIONS on a myriad of topics like a 3-year old does. Her vocabulary is quite large, and her speech is getting clearer. She’s a bundle of energy and love, and still an absolute spitfire at times.

I guess that’s it for now. We’ll talk to myself again, soon.

xoxo,

-Travis.

So busy

Ok, it’s been 4 months. Crazy times. What’s been going on? The short version…

1) Brenna turned 5. I managed to write a post about that.

2) We had a great Easter dying eggs with the kids and hunting them with the family. Great times with Nannie and Papa.

3) Meg turned 38 in April. We had a nice dinner out, went shopping, and had dessert and coffee at the pub. It was a very relaxed, very good time.

4) It’s Spring now, and with it comes cleaning, yard work, grilling, festivals, and recitals!

We’ve spent time at friends’ houses letting the girls play. We had the girls’ VERY FIRST SLEEP OVER!! It was with their cousin Adelyn, and overall I think it went pretty well. They’ve been asked to do another one with their across-the-street friend soon, so that’s exciting. They’re growing up so fast.

Brenna still likes Pokemon (though its luster is fading it seems), and Parker continues to challenge our ability to provide relevant toys by constantly discovering TV shows from the 90s and early 2000s. If I hear “LET’S GO HORSELAND! GITTY UP GITTY UP!” one more time I might just break as a human being.

In addition to dance and gymnastics, Brenna has taken up the violin! Parker is quite jealous, but at 3 is still just too young to take on another hobby like that.

We try and have boardgame time as a family once a week, which has been mostly going well. Parker’s attention span wanders, but we don’t push it and let her wander off and come back as she needs to. She’ll get there soon enough. Brenna seems to be as obsessed with “the rules” as her daddy, and will make a wonderful rules lawyer one day with her friends (look, someone has to do it, or games are utter chaos!)

Flickr hasn’t been updated in a while, so one of these days I’ll get a few hundred photos uploaded. In the meantime, I’ll add a few in a follow up post.

Love y’all.

-T.

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