Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 5

I can't believe that we have sprouts on day 5 after planting the seeds!! The sunflowers, peas and beans are coming up quickly - I can't wait to get more going!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Magic of Cinderella

Today was the first time in a long while that we watched Cinderella. Aoife and I are still recovering from nasty colds so Emmy benefits in the TV watching. Emmy loves Cinderella and we had watched it so much that I think we overdosed at some point. She pulled it out of the DVD cabinet today and asked to watch it. From the moment it started, Aoife and Emmy were transfixed. I think it was the quietest hour and a half that we have had in months. They sat curled up together on the couch with their eyes glued to the TV. Every once in a while Aoife would ask Emmy a question and Emmy would answer and then they would go back to watching. It is strange to realize that Aoife is getting old enough to understand things more and more. It was also really nice to see them enjoying being together!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sleepy weekends

It's Sunday again. It's now been 6 weeks since Brendan left for Afghanistan. We are getting into a new routine and things are going pretty smoothly. I'm really proud of us. The kids are doing well considering everything. They love looking at pictures of Brendan and watching videos of him but have gotten so that they aren't sad throughout the day. Brendan calls once during the middle of the week and we try to Skype once on the weekend. Sometimes the kids want to see/talk to him and sometimes they aren't interested.

A few weeks ago Aidan told me that he wanted to talk to the guidance counselor at school because he was feeling really sad about Daddy being away. I set up a meeting for Aidan with her and since then she has created a little support group that meets weekly. Aidan likes going and he seems to be doing a lot better. They do things like coloring, bringing in their Daddy Dolls, singing songs and talking about what they like to do with Daddy.

Unfortunately, we have all come down with a bug during the past week. I thought that I was going to avoid it but instead I got nailed and have been really down for the count since about Thursday. This is not good since it has taken Aidan about 10 days to really seem better. Emmy got better more quickly but Aoife and I are still really sick. I feel so badly for poor little Aoife. She's having a tough time!

Here are the girls this morning - we stayed in jammies until about 10:30 when we got dressed so we could all go to the store to get milk.

Hiding!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Planting

Since we've been stuck home all week with the creeping crud - now I have it too *YEAH*, we've had to find things to do other than watching endless episodes of Phineas and Ferb. I'm a fan but you can only take so much and you know it's bad when even Aoife is singing along with the songs!!
The kids love to garden and since it's getting warmer here and the risk of frost is 99% gone, I decided we would start our summer garden. We got some flowers and new mulch for the front flower beds and even bought some potting soil and seeds to start plants for the vegetable garden. Since the soil around here is 100% clay we will be doing container gardening - but it will still be fun. Emmy and Aoife picked out seeds at the store for beans, peas, sweet peas, pumpkins, carrots and giant sunflowers. The girls helped me fill the starting pots and plant the seeds although actually getting the seeds into the dirt proved to be more difficult than I had anticipated since Aoife kept trying to EAT them! Yikes!! We did eventually get them all planted and labeled. Hopefully we'll see some action in a week or two!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Visit from Grama

My mom came to visit us this past weekend. I had all these plans to have picnics, go on walks, go to the museum etc. The kids all got sick as soon as she got here. It derailed everything and we spent the whole time in the house dealing with fevers, coughs and lots of mucus. We did manage to get out of the house on Monday for a few minutes to go to the park. Although it was really nice for me to have an extra set of hands and someone to talk to over the age of 6 - it surely wasn't an ideal visit. I promise that if she comes back we won't be sick again!
Aoife's baby taking a slide:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day - late as usual

I did take these pictures on St. Patrick's Day but I'm late in posting them - like always!
Emmy wore this to her St. Patrick's Day party at school on the 16th - I thought it was also pajama day - unfortunately I was wrong. Pajama day was Friday... *sigh*

Girls in the garden

It's really starting to look like Spring! The daffodils and the crocuses are blooming. The girls had a great time the other day playing on the front porch in the sun and looking at the flowers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Aoife

A photo of Aoife as a preview of tomorrow's post - and in the spirit of transparency - here is the image before and after processing with Photoshop. My camera doesn't take good pictures - I do - with the help of the computer!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bunk Beds

The girls have been in their bunk beds for a while now and they really seem to love sharing a room. They play well together - when it's just the 2 of them! After baths tonight the two of them piled into Aoife's bed and were pretending to sleep - so cute! Aoife has decided that she can get out of bed and play while they are trying to go to sleep. For the past few nights I have gone in to check on them and Emmy was sleeping and Aoife was sitting on the floor next to the nightlight looking at a book. It is a good thing she is so adorable!!
Here's Emmy in her new St. Patrick's Day jammies:Aoife cuddled up with her baby:Lying in bed together:Goofing off:Curly headed little girls:Aoife and her baby who desperately needs a bath!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Brighton's 1st Birthday

On Saturday, we went to Brighton's 1st birthday party. Brighton is the daughter of our friends Steph and Josh who we have know since we lived in Colorado. She is their first and although Josh is in Afghanistan with Brendan Steph still threw a great party!
Aidan, Emmy and Aoife sitting with Steph's neice:girls running around in the backyard:Egg and spoon race - Emmy and Aidan had a distinct advantage since he was the only one over the age of 3!Aoife taking whack at the pinata!Brighton and her cake

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Family Photos

I've been wanting to get professional family portraits taken for YEARS now but I've either been pregnant or recovering from a pregnancy for almost 7 years! We're finally at a point now where it was a good time to get them taken and since Brendan was leaving, there was a time constraint - which ended up being a good thing. I called the photographer that had taken Emmy's school portraits and it turned out that she had a few openings during the week before Brendan's departure. So the Wednesday before Brendan left, we all went over to the photographer's house where her studio is. When she said that her studio was in her walkout basement I was dubious. I envisioned something kind of thrown together but I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived. Her house was gorgeous and huge! Her walkout basement was probably bigger than the entire downstairs of our house and beautifully decorated.
I had agonized over our outfits since I got the appointment. Her recommendation of no prints and matching black, white or beige tops was definitely not what I was thinking. I wanted color and prints that coordinated but didn't look matchy. We showed up in our outfits, although I brought two or three extra options for all of us. The photographer, Daphne, seemed doubtful of my outfit choices at first but I really wanted to give it a shot. We got all set up in the studio and Aoife started to totally freak out. She wouldn't stay in the frame or smile or even look at the camera. In most of the shots I think she is lying on the ground crying. It took about an hour to get all the shots she could before Aoife really really lost it. Daphne was so wonderful with all of the kids - patient and really kind. I tried to schedule it for the morning when Aoife is usually at her best - but you never know with kids!!
We had to wait about 2 weeks before the images would be ready for viewing. My friend Steph came over and watched the kids while I went back to Daphne's house and saw the pictures. I was really nervous that she hadn't been able to get anything good. It's not like we could re-shoot! Luckily she had been able to get a lot of cute shots - more than I had expected. I am so happy with the pictures. I can't wait until I get my big framed prints for the wall. We are going to treasure them!
I've posted some of the images she took - there is also one of Brendan and me that came out great but you'll have to wait until I get the prints. I'll take a picture of it up on my wall!
If you are in the Clarksville/Nashville area and you want some gorgeous portraits call Daphne's Portrait Design. I'm sure you'll be as happy as I am!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Daddy Dolls

The kids have been doing really well with Brendan not being here but this weekend has been hard. It's been 3 weeks now and I think it's starting to sink in for them that this is going to be a long road. Aidan's behavior this weekend has been worse than usual and he's been bursting into tears at the drop of a hat. I pulled out these Daddy dolls tonight. I have been waiting to introduce them until I thought that we needed them. The kids got to pick a picture of themselves with Brendan and we printed it out and slipped it inside a little pocket in the face. They were instantly delighted! All of them are sleeping with their Daddy dolls right now and bedtime seemed a little easier than normal tonight - I'd like to think it was thanks to Daddy's face next to them on the pillow.
I'd like to thank both Hugs to Go, the company that makes the dolls, and Operation Give A Hug who provided these dolls to us and over 350,000 other children of soldiers deployed around the world at no cost. Many thanks to Susan Agustin, the founder of Operation Give a Hug who has volunteered her time for the past 8 years to bring comfort to children across the country!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Emmy at the dentist

Emmy went back to the dentist last week for her 6 month check up. She was a great patient again and, I'm happy to report, had very healthy teeth. She forgot to bring her taggie and unicorn into the dentist with her and didn't notice until I pointed it out as we were leaving. I told her that she was such a big girl and that I was proud of her for being brave all on her own. You should have seen her puff up and she said, "I AM a big girl!!!" During her last appointment she clutched taggie and unicorn like her life depended on it although she was excited too. It's amazing what 6 months can do!