Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rocking the Weekend

Yikes!  We've been crazy busy, just the way I like it.  Now that I'm back to work and Sylvain is officially a Stay At Home Dad, we've been packing all of our family fun into the weekends!  Some exciting happenings are as follows:


What an old man.  If there were ever a man who has "grown old gracefully," it's this guy!  Poppie is the bomb and we love him.  We went to his farm to celebrate with our favorite cousins, Charlie and Claire.  All the aunts and uncles were there, too, of course.  Happy Birthday, Bird!

Mommy Daughter Date!

I have no pictures, but I took Sylvia to the Reds game Friday night along with Mamie Brigitte, who came to visit for the weekend.  It was delightful!  Sylvia was loopy and high on sugar by the end of the fourth inning, and we had a BIG Saturday planned, so we didn't stay for the whole game.  Which was good because next up.....


Mamie wanted Sylvia to run in The Color Run 5K with her this weekend, which we knew Sylvia would absolutely love.  We finally agreed to ALL do the race, but since I am no sort of runner (more of a leisurely walker), Sylvain and I pushed the stroller while Mamie and Sylvia ran ahead of us.  If you're not familiar with a Color Run, you basically wear white while volunteers toss "color" on you.  The color is made of dyed corn startch, so it's safe and all.  Sylvia had a bandana to put over her face because breathing it was probably not ideal.  I thought I'd be able to keep Margot clear of all color dust, but I couldn't.  She's had blue boogers for two days!  Oh well, we all had fun!  I suppose one day of colored corn starch won't kill anybody, right?  Here are the awesome pics:

Early morning protein before we hit the road.

We were one of the last groups to start, but we hardly had to wait at all!

All clean and pretty before the race!

Practicing with her bandana.

The cutest color runner you ever did see!
Matching tutus!

We covered the stroller with a sheet and cut holes for the straps.  Boy, am I glad we did!

See ya, ladies!  Sylvia ran almost the entire 5K!

First color station: blue!  Her favorite!

We've been hit!

Entering the Pink station.  I should add that music was blaring in each station.  Like a giant party.  It was awesome!

The course doubled back a few times and I was able to catch our running friends as they passed.

Yellow spots!  And a post-color-station snack.

Sylvia dumped the orange color packet on her own head at the Finish Festival.  This is when the color got really crazy.
When you put all the colors together and rub your face a bunch, it just turns black. 

After!  Best family portrait ever!

Then we had to clean up.
A Red's game and a 5K are enough fun for one weekend, right?  WRONG!  We came home, had lunch, took some naps, and headed to Gran and Grandpa's house for...


These pictures aren't that great, especially since I didn't get one single picture of Evan.  But let me tell you, the party was a blast!  Jordan's band played, the drinks were on ice in a canoe, and the cupcakes looked like the American flag!  And there were fireworks.  Best party ever.

Sylvia's new BFF Cohen.  They played so well together!

Cupcake icing....mmmm....


Dancing, playing, having fun.

Watching fireworks on the greatest summer night ever.
I didn't get any pictures of Margot, but that's because I spent all night chasing her around while she crab crawled, pushed a lawn mower, and walked while she held my fingers.  That girl can MOTOR!  Both girls stayed up WAY past their bedtimes, but they had a blast.  Sylvia probably had four Capri Suns, two cupcakes, and some candy.  So, when she asked for a carrot at 9:15, I was shocked!  That was our sign that it was probably time to go.  After she ate her carrot, of course.

Despite two late nights in a row, my girls were still awake at 6:30 this morning.  They are in surprisingly good spirits (you never know when the Crankies will arrive), so we've spent our day doing laundry, running to Target, taking loooong naps (halleluiah), and now we're watching a movie.  I know, it's beautiful outside, but we've been outside for two straight days, so I think a little lounging is in order!  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

More Catching Up...

Evan came home last Saturday for his two week leave from the Army!  He left Afghanistan toward the end of July and went to Tacoma, Washington for a while before coming HOME HOME HOME!!!!  It was a great day.  His plane landed at 6:30am and we were all there, waving flags, wearing our fourth of July best, and biting our nails until we could see him (or maybe that was just me).  Sylvain took a ton of pictures, but we didn't white balance the camera (I guess???) and the pictures aren't great, but here are a few just to give you an idea....

We all got out of bed and met before the sun came up, which was really exciting, to be honest.  We don't usually see this many family and friends at that time of day!  Then we sat in the lobby until he called Sally's cell phone to say his plane landed.  Then we waited....and waited.........and wwaaaiiiitttteeeedddd.....................

 I really can't find the words to explain how it felt.  The best I can do is to say that from the minute he left the airport last fall to the minute he was in my sight on Saturday morning, it was kind of like I was living underwater.  There were times when it was downright hard to breathe for a while, which is why I stopped watching the news.  I just made Sylvain promise that he'd keep up with what's going on over there and tell me if anything serious was happening in Evan's general area.  The days leading up to his leave were kind of like Christmas combined with the first day of school combined with the day you bring a new baby home from the hospital.  Just a whole lot of excitement and anticipation and a little bit of nervous energy everywhere.  It was awesome.

Then there was this and I cried a little.....

I've looked at this picture a hundred times in the last two days because...oh my gosh.  A mama and her baby.  Except he's not a baby, he's a full grown Army Man, but he's still her baby, right?  Right?!  It's the moment every Army Mom waits for and when he hugged her it was like I could finally breathe again.  Phew.  He's home.

We went out for breakfast and Sylvia kept thinking that the "airport" was the "army" so that was funny.  It was nice to sit next to him and hear him talk about all the things he planned to do, to see him laughing with my brothers and my dad and my husband.  Like the missing puzzle piece was put back into place, even if just for a little while.

Anyway, that's really the biggest event from the last couple weeks, but there's also some other things of little to no importance.  Such as....

I got bangs.  Not sure how I feel about them still, but I don't hate them.  I can't decide if I look like an old lady who's trying too hard or if I actually look my age.  I do like how I can wear them in lots of different ways: straight and in my eyes (which I've grown to like, really), swooped to the side, or pinned back like they always used to be.  They're growing on me (har har).

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of our big event from today, I just have to get some off of our phones first.  Sylvain took Sylvia on a Riverboat Princess Cruise and let's just was the greatest day of her life. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Quick and Dirty...

The very last thing I should be doing tonight is writing a blog post, but it's been so long and I have so much to say!  Here's the quick and dirty version of what's happening at our house:

1.  Today was my first day of school.  I'm so glad to be back, but oooohhhh my word, we have a lot of work to do.  I love my kids, but they are BABIES and I miss last year's class.  I wasn't around for the first day of school last year, so I forgot how this felt.  I should hire a sub for the first six weeks every year, especially if it's Kim from last year!  She was awesome and I miss her.  On a happier note, I have a student teacher!!!  She's amazing and helped me stay sane today. Phew!  It's going to be a long year, but I'm READY!

2.  Sylvain had a job interview yesterday, which made us so happy, but then he took the girls to Kroger today and they picked out flowers for Mommy.  He dropped off the flowers and Starbucks at school to celebrate my first day so....he's kind of NAILING this Stay-At-Home-Dad gig.  He did the grocery shopping, gave the girls lunch, took them to the ZOO, put them down for naps, and had dinner on the table when I got home.  I could really get used to this, and to be honest...he totally loved it.

3.  Margot - whenever I get concerned about the things she can't do yet (like walk or point to her belly), I decide that she makes up for it in cuteness and snuggles.  This girl will lay her head on my shoulder and KEEP IT THERE for minutes at a time, any time of day.  She is the SNUGGLIEST of babies and I love her for it.  She likes to climb onto the ottoman and Sylvain has enforced a strict "don't save Margot" rule, which means I'm not allowed to catch her when she rolls off onto the floor and hurts herself.  He thinks this will teach her to not fall off....she has two bruises on her face and she was sitting there this morning, so I think she has proved him wrong.  I totally catch her when he's not around.

4. Sylvia - she's about to start preschool two days a week at our church.  I'm not sure if you understand how important this is, so I'll just tell year she's in Pre-Kindergarten and then the NEXT year, she's in REAL KINDERGARTEN!!  She picked out a purple backpack.  She met her teachers and some of her classmates after mass last Sunday and I have a feeling she's going to be best friends with Adeline - the OTHER girl wearing all the dress up clothes at once.

Sylvia's ballet class continues to be the highlight of her week, and I'm telling you....that ballet teacher is the very best teacher who ever lived on the planet ever in a million years!  We talk about Ms. Kelly all week long.  Then on Tuesdays, we get to SEE Ms. Kelly and tell her EV.ER.Y.THING about ourselves. There are six other girls in the class, but Sylvia absolutely talks the MOST and now Ms. Kelly might as well be our Nanny, because she knows ALL about us.  It's fine.  I was prepared for this.

5. EVAN'S HOME!!!!!  This should have been number one, but...yeah.  Evan's here!  In the FLESH!  I saw him with my own two EYES!  It was amazing.  I have pictures, which I'll post soon, but...for now I'll just say that having a brother in the Army has changed everything.  I'm so glad he's here.  We had dinner at Dad's house on Sunday and usually Sylvia hangs out in the garage with Dad for a while, but when Dad walked inside without her, I was confused.  Then I looked out the window and saw Evan pushing her on the pink plastic swing.  *Exhale*  All is right with the world.  Seeing them together....knowing that she went there willingly an didn't whine or cry for me or suddenly felt like we were all back to normal.  And it was heavenly.

Okay, the first day of school is over, but the SECOND day of school is tomorrow and I better get ready!  Goodnight!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

If I Had to Pick One Day...

Recently, Sylvain said to me, "If I had to pick one day as my Groundhog Day, this would be it."  The Groundhog Day movie has got to be my least favorite movie ever made, but the point was, he would repeat that day over and over again a million times if he could.  Today would be my Groundhog Day.  It was sublimely perfect in every way.  Weather.  Naps.  Food.  Smiles and snuggles.  It just can't get better than today.  There's no way it ever will.  Prepare yourself for picture overload, friends, because I had a hard time narrowing these down!

Okay, so, at some point this summer, SOMEONE told Sylvia about this magical land called DISNEY where all the princesses live.  She knows that people can go there and see the princesses and "The Castle."  I've been spending the last few weeks showing her pictures of REAL castles on the internet and explaining to her that there are a lot of castles in other countries, particularly France, and that someday we will go visit these castles.  That created a huge problem because now she wants to go to Disney AND France RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND!  There is no "someday" when you're three.  So, after much deliberation on the topic, we decided to surprise her with a visit to the Loveland Castle in Ohio!  Can I just say........the girl loved it.  And it was crazy cheap.  Win-win!

She explored "The Little Castle"in the parking lot, right in front of the big one.

We packed her Cinderella dress and let her put it on before we went inside.

Before we even got through the front door she was darting off around corners to explore.

Up the staircase to the "tower."

Looking over the balcony at "the little castle."


Margot tried to scale the tower walls.

Exploring the gardens.  Turrets and staircases everywhere!

Picnic lunch!  I always pack way too much food, but these girls ate a TON because they were worn OUT!

Oh look, she found a stage.  Surprise.  There was singing.  And twirling.

I made them go back to the balcony so I could snap a picture from outside.

We spent the middle of our day at the castle and then headed home for naps, which were long and refreshing after such excitement!  But our day of fun wasn't over yet.  At the beginning of the summer, Mom told us about Washington Park's Thursday night bluegrass extravaganza.  I've hesitated to go before for a few reasons: I know it's a nice park but it's in a terrible part of town, the show doesn't start until 7:00, which is bedtime, and until now it's either been too hot or too rainy to even try it.  But today we decided to go for it, since it's the last week of summer and we've had such luck with the little ladies already.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I'm so glad we went.  This park was AHHHHMAZING! 

I was really impressed with what they've done to this neighborhood in recent years. There are lots of great bars and restaurants, and it's also near Music Hall and a bunch of churches, which are absolutely beautiful.  The park itself was phenomenal - not just a pretty place to listen to music.  There was a playground.  There was a SPRAYground!  There was....wait for it.....a DOG PARK for my dog obsessed children.  Throw in the beautiful weather, snappy music, and picnic dinner from have my official choice for Groundhog Day! 

Sylvia loved the spray ground.  It was impossible to take a bad picture:

When I see this picture, I hear a symphony in my head.

I might blow this one up and hang it in our house!

Margot took some convincing, but once she got her feet wet....

 Let's just talk about Margot for a second - she will NOT walk by herself yet!  She loves to hold onto our hands and motor all over the place, but as soon as I let go, she falls to the ground and crawls.  I'm sure it won't take long for her to figure it out, but I got SOAKED trying to get her to walk to the water!

It was worth it...she was having a ball!

Just stand UP, Margot!  You can DO IT!

Back on the blanket, safe with the dou-dou bear.

Our view of the band.  Heaven!

All of my pictures from the dog park are on my phone, but trust me, these girls were going NUTS over all the dogs!  Sylvia asked every owner if she could pet their dog and Margot just squealed with delight at every furry friend!  What a great day!  I hope this weather lasts forever and that my girls never grow up.