Monday, May 30, 2016

Preschool Graduation

Our sweet Ellie Belly graduated from preschool on Thursday. I can't believe that this sweet, tiny little girl is going to be in kindergarten in the fall.

We're going to miss Little Emerson next year! She has been Ellie's very best friend all year, even though they were in different classes. She and Ellie would talk every day at carpool and make big playdate plans!

Sweet classmates!

Ellie was so excited about her program and practiced the songs in the car for WEEKS. She not only practiced her songs but she also practiced the songs all the other classes were singing too!

My sweet Ellie. She loves preschool so much. She smiled her way down the hallway every morning greeting everyone she saw. She loves her friends and teachers. I had been emailing with her teacher the night before the program and Mrs. Jessica happened to mention that she had been getting extra Ellie hugs this week and that she thought Ellie was a little sad to be leaving preschool. I'm so glad I had the heads up because we got in the car after the program and my sweet girl was so so sad. We definitely had a few tears. I know that Ellie is going to love kindergarten and her teachers and friends but we sure are going to miss our preschool family next year! (I'll have a whole year with nobody in preschool!) I just hope that Ellie gets a teacher next year who will give her big hugs like her preschool teachers!

Here's Ellie on the first day of 4k. She has grown up so much!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dirty Piggy

Whenever Ruthie is a mess I call her a dirty piggy. Well recently she's started singing a little song about being a dirty piggy and now she accuses all of us of being dirty piggies!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Dance Recital

For ballet they danced to Little Town from Beauty and the Beast

For tap they danced to Fabulous Feet

Emmie was VERY into the whole makeup thing this year. 

Emmie was my only dancer this year (much to Ruthie's dismay...she REALLY wanted to dance...her turn is coming in the fall though!). Emmie did tap and ballet. She LOVED ballet but about half way through the year she said she didn't want to do tap anymore. It took me awhile to figure out what the problem was but I finally pulled it out of her that she didn't like tap because she was having trouble learning the steps and was frustrated. What a great opportunity to teach so many lessons! We talked about how some things come easy and other things don't and we have to work a lot harder. We talked about how, even when things are hard we still have to stick with them for the time period we commited for. I told her that she had to keep doing tap until the recital and then in the fall she could do jazz instead. Well, after the dress rehearsal this past week she told me that she wanted to do tap again in the fall! I was shocked! I was also so proud of all the things she had learned in tap and ballet this year and I'm proud of her for working extra hard to learn her tap steps! I have a feeling that when it comes time to sign up she'll still end up switching to jazz but we'll see!

hanging out backstage with Evelyn, her school and dance friend!

She had her recital today and she had a GREAT time. She loves to be up on the stage! Even more special was that she got a trophy this year because it was her third year of dance! She has been waiting 3 years for that trophy (and talking about it every single week). It was also her very first trophy! She was so, so proud of it and it now holds a special spot on the bookshelf!

We're so proud of our little dancer!

This is the sibling picure you get when said siblings are 6 and under!

All the grandparents came to watch! (Ellie was not having the whole picture thing...)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

On the Move!

Watch out world! JP is on the move! He's been trying to crawl for about 2 months and has FINALLY figured out how to move forward! I hesitate to call it's more of a hop...but it is forward progress!

Swim Lessons

Ruthie has taken swim lessons at Palmetto Aquatics the last 2 weeks. She was only signed up for one week but she did so well and enjoyed it so much that I went ahead and signed her up for a second week. All of mine have started with Palmetto Aquatics and I just think they're wonderful for kids starting out. They are very no-nonsense which is exactly what I want when my kids are learning to swim! I would rather them cry a little (for certain children...cry a lot) and learn to hold their breath and kick to the wall than have them have happy happy swim lessons and not know what to do if they fall in the pool.
I was THRILLED with how well Ruthie did. She can go either way in situations such as this...either she'll put her foot down and not do it at all and scream bloody murder or she'll have a great time. Thankfully she decided that swim lessons were great and while we would get the occasional tear she was excited to tell everyone about her swim lessons and came out of the pool with a smile on her face everyday! She also had great instructors. She had Ms. Sara the first week and Ms. Laney and Ms. Caroline the second week. We loved all of them!

The most amazing thing is that Ruthie won't even be 2.5 until the end of June. She was such a rockstar! It helps that she has great motivation...she wants to swim with her sisters!

Here are the videos from the end of the first week. When she started she only kind of knew how to hold her breath under the water.

Ms. Sara

And the end of the second week.

Ruthie with Caroline and Laney

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Noah's Flood

A few weeks ago our church put on a children's opera called Noye's Fludde by Benjamin Britten. It was written just for children and all the children's choirs at our church participated. The parts of Noah, Mrs. Noah, and the voice of God are played by adults and all the other participants are children. Even almost all of the musicians were children as well! Emmie and Ellie are part of the cherub choir and Ellie decided that she was not up to all of the rehearsals (two 2hr rehearsals and one 2.5hr rehearsal) so just Emmie participated.

Emmie had a GREAT time. She was a bird :)
Beautiful birds and sweet friends!

The performance was great. Ellie was greatly opposed to even going to the performance but once it started she LOVED it!
The picture isn't super clear but if you look closely you can see that the kid on the end is playing MUGS! How cool is that?

After the performance there was a reception. I happened to walk through while they were setting up. Chef Rich did an AMAZING job with the food and check out his ark! He put blue jello all the way around (this picture was taken before he was finished) and the ark even had little animal crackers in it!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

React with Respect: Food Allergy Awareness Week

This is food allergy awareness week and I love the theme this year: React with Respect. In the past year we have run into many different reactions to Ruthie's peanut allergy and, while so many people have been VERY understanding, concerned, and supportive, we have also run into people who think her allergy isn't serious or we're over reacting with our concern and these reactions hurt. A lot.

So, how can you React with Respect when someone has a food allergy?

*Take the time to listen. When your child is first diagnosed its HARD. Even a year later its hard. Having someone listen to me being neurotic or sad that Ruthie can't have a Reese's cup or sad that I can't have a Reese's cup unless I'm at work can make a world of difference in the rest of my day. I'm thankful for the people in my life who listen!

*Realize that food allergies are serious. Sure, some are more serious than others but generally ANY allergic reaction makes your child uncomfortable and none of us like to see our child uncomfortable. If you're not sure how severe a child's allergy is, ask! I love to have the opportunity to educate people on Ruthie's allergy. I figure the more people that know she has a food allergy, the more people who would know to act quickly in an emergency.

*Don't assume that we're crazy. Ok. I take that back. Go ahead and assume we're crazy. Because we are. Because this is our child's life. I try not to think about it too much but the reality is that people die from allergic reactions. So when Ruthie goes to school I will probably be the crazy parent and I'm ok with that. (JP and I will probably go eat lunch with her A LOT at the beginning of her kindergarten year!) I'm so nervous about elementary school that I've already talked to the allergist about it (and the beautiful thing is that he didn't act like I was crazy talking to him about how it will look when my child heads to kindergarten in three years). Also, I'm so thankful for our preschool for already making me feel good about sending her off in a year. Ellie's teachers are already so careful about making sure Ellie doesn't have peanuts so that we don't have to worry when she gets home and plays with Ruthie. (Also, the beauty of preschool is that all the food is distributed by the teachers so I don't have to worry about another child handing her something with peanuts in it.)

*Don't take it personally when I check behind you. Sure, you're telling me the pack of cheese crackers you're handing my child doesn't have peanuts but did you check or are you just assuming they don't? (Because why would cheese crackers have peanut in's real...thanks Keebler, also Wal Mart brand crescent rolls..really?) It's not that I don't trust you if I check behind you, it's that this is my child's life and I wouldn't be able to live with myself if something happened while I was standing there and I didn't check because I didn't want to hurt your feelings.

*If you've checked labels before we come over for a playdate or you asked the baker if there were peanut ingredients in the cupcakes for your child's birthday party then know that you have touched my heart. Even if something has peanuts in it, the fact that you checked and are letting me know ahead of time means the world to me! 
With preparations for my brother's wedding this summer, everyone has been so careful to make sure there aren't any peanuts and to ask me questions when they're unsure (like can she have tree nuts). When we had Easter with Paul's family this year, his Uncle Clyde sent an email out to everyone asking that they not bring anything with peanuts in order to protect Ruthie. Then his Uncle Sonny, who was bringing chicken, sent me an email asking me to double check and make sure the chicken from a specific restaurant was okay for Ruthie. I have been so moved by everyone's concern and their eagerness to protect Ruthie.
Fortunately NOT allergic to smurfs!

*Celebrate with us in our triumphs and be sad with us in our sadness. We have a friend who's twins are VERY allergic to many foods. They have recently started being able to carefully reintroduce some of those foods. I can not tell you how happy I get when I see her posts celebrating a successful oral challenge (giving a specific amount of the food, prepared a very specific way, in the doctor's office in case of a reaction). Just as much, I love seeing all the posts from friends who are sharing in their joy. There are also sad times. Like when we got the results of Ruthie's peanut protein blood test and learned that she could likely have an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts. That is scary. However, to know we have a community of friends supporting us in the ups and downs is amazing and we are so thankful for all they do to keep Ruthie safe.

*I've said it before and I'll say it over and over because it is a moment that will stay with me forever: when we found out Ruthie had a peanut allergy I posted about it on FB and the next day I walked in to take the girls to preschool and Ellie's teacher Mrs. Elizabeth came over, told me she saw on FB about Ruthie's allergy and she was so sorry and gave me a big hug. That meant so, so much to me and I will forever remember the compassion and understanding she showed while I was still trying to grasp just how life changing Ruthie's allergy was. I struggled for a few weeks with a lot of sadness and fear and then struggled because I thought I was being silly but that hug and her understanding words stuck with me through all the sad.

Since it's food allergy awareness week, I can't write a blog post without sharing some education about allergic reactions and epi pens! I hope you'll take just 4 minutes and 24 seconds to watch the might just save someone's life!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Little Froggy

JP has been trying for over a month to figure out the whole crawling thing. For a long time he's been getting up on his hands and knees and rocking back and forth.

I think he's finally given up on that method ever working. He's now moved on to "hopping". Every now and then he actually does move forward a little when he does it and it's pretty funny to watch!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Muffins with Mom

Ellie's class had muffins with mom yesterday. This is always so much fun and the teachers did such a great job making it a special morning. My favorite part is seeing what Ellie wrote about me!

I love that she was pretty spot on with everything she said and all that snuggling is so Ellie...she's definitely my snuggliest child.