Thursday, June 25, 2009

Caroline's Turn

"And when I hurt...the hurtin' runs off my shoulders. How can I hurt when holding you?"
-Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline'

The last two posts have been heavy on the Aly-updates, so I wanted to dedicate an entire posting to our Sweet little Caroline. She has really come into her own, and makes us laugh constantly as she is our bulldozer in a tutu. It's so funny to have two girls because it makes it really easy to see very distinct personalities. And the things that I love about Aly I find the complete opposite in Caroline...and love those opposites just as completely!

Here are just a few of the things I love about Caro:
1. She loves to kiss. We call her the "kissy monster".
2. She runs everywhere. Not fast, but runs.
3. She always has a runny nose and drool. Refer to #1.
4. She is super-tough. She runs into things and hits her head all the time, then gets right back up.
5. She loves to cuddle, but can't sit still. This must be very confusing to her.
6. She will sit still at the library for puppet shows, which she LOVES and looks forward to all week.
7. She loves flirting with strangers.
8. She didn't give Chad the time of day until about a month ago and now she can't get enough of him!
9. She LOVES boys.
10. She plays hard, and almost always falls asleep in the car before we get home, even on a 5-minute drive.
11. She dislikes ice cream and loves cookies.
12. She ALWAYS wakes up happy.
13. She has already fallen out of her bed 4 times...and cried less than Aly each time.
14. She taught Aly to go under water in the bath tub and pool.
15. She is just a mess! When she eats, when she plays, when she walks...but she is just such a stinkin' sweet mess!
16. She asks to take a nap when she's tired.
17. She will find the dirtiest part of a public restroom to play with: the sanitary napkin dispenser, chewed up gum on the side of the trashcan, cigarette butts behind the toilet seat...these are all prized toys to her.
18. She loves Aly so so so much.
19. She smiles with her entire face: eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, teeth.
20. Anytime she hears the name, "Jesus", she starts repeating, "Heart, heart, heart" and pounding her chest.

"Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" (may take a little imagination!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Curtain Call, Kind of...

Well, Dance Camp was everything Aly dreamed of, and the final show was Friday. Aly and Lizzy were the youngest in the class, but did a great job holding their own (I'm partial, of course!) Here are a few pictures and videos of the 'recital'. Being the good mom I am, I didn't think to make sure the video camera was charged before the show (it wasn't). Oops. Good thing we have these cool video clips to mark the special occasion. The last picture is of sweet Caroline next to the fairy outside of the dance studio. Before walking in everyday, she ran up to it and pointed and said, "Me, me!" She obviously takes fairy-picture-taking very seriously!

Ballet-"The Clock Song" (she says she likes ballet best!)

Tap- "Whatcha Got-a-Cookin'"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dance Camp...FINALLY!!

I don't know how long it will last, but Aly's fascination with ballet began when I took her to the Nutcracker back in December. We really went because I wanted to see it and had always gone with my mom... little did I know that it would captivate her the way it did! Since then, she dances everywhere she goes, she checks out books about ballerinas from the library and tries to learn the "moves", she wears her hair in "ballerina buns" everyday, and she wears a leotard and tutu at least twice a week. Not to mention the fact that she has two invisible friends she talks to all of the time -Clara and Fritz- and the only music we are still listening to in the car everyday (in late June) is the Nutcracker. With all that said, we have been counting down the days until Dance Camp. I was secretly a little worried that it would be a let-down after what this girl's vivid imagination must have made it out to be, but the moment we stepped into the studio and Ms. Meredith bent down to these little girls' level and said in almost a fairy-like whisper, "Are you all ready to be beautiful ballerinas?" I could tell in Aly's eyes that we were in the right place. She hasn't been able to fall asleep at night before about 9 or 9:30 in anticipation of camp the following morning, so who knows what her state will be by this weekend... but right now she is in pure ballerina bliss. (and finally some pictures, thanks to Shana who stopped by Monday morning!!)

Strike a pose!

Sweet Sisters (Aly, my nail-biter!)

Aly and Lizzy- Forever Friends!

Ms. Meredith- I love the way Aly is locked in! She told me after the first day, "I love her voice!"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

After-Hour Activities

Still no memory card. Maybe after payday! But I do have a picture that relates to the post... Caroline being in a big bed has given the girls a sweet new way to bond. We discovered it one night as we walked by and glanced into the room to discover that Aly was not in bed. We looked over at Caroline's bed to find Aly covering her in stuffed animals as she lay perfectly still, something like this familiar picture:

I asked, "What are you doing, Aly?" She replied, "Making Caroline cozy. I do it every night. She likes it." We walked over to remove some of the animals, and sure enough, Caroline liked it and did not want the animals moved! Aly continued, got back in bed, and it's become a tradition (before bed) from that night on.

And then a few mornings later... Chad got home from working out and walked past the girls' room on his way to take a shower. Again, Aly not in bed. He came into our room, thinking that she must be with me, but she was not. We both had one of those strange shots-of-panics in the 5 steps it takes to get from our room to theirs'. We looked in and found the two girls cuddled in bed together. Aly casually asked, "Is it morning-time yet?" Coincidentally, that is how we have found them every morning since for the past week. We have always followed a pretty strict rule of "once-you're-in-bed-you-stay-in-bed" but we seem to have made an unspoken exception of "unless you want to cuddle with your sister!" I'm not sure what a 3- and almost 2-year-old lay and talk about in the early morning hours, but I hope that they treasure it forever. I know that we will.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I interrupt this summer with some pictures...

...from A MONTH ago! So, if you have been a friend of mine for any length of time, you have gotten your share of texts, phone calls, or e-mails from me saying, "my phone broke/ got lost/ got run over...please send me your phone number again!" This seems to be the story of my life. Something is always getting lost or broken when it is in my possession. Most recently, my e-mail. I am one of those sad people who fell for the (blatantly obvious) schemes, gave away my password to my e-mail, and lost every contact in the process. Quite coincidentally at the same time, the memory card for my camera lost it's, well, it's memory. Out of the 170 pictures that I took from our amazing vacation to the beach, only about 25 were salvagable. So between the e-mail, the camera, our poor dilapidated house with blue-tarped roof, hanging gutters and falling siding waiting to be repaired from the fallen tree, I have taken a bit of a vacation from technology. I've been enjoying, instead, the simpler and more predictable parts of my life that this summer season has offered: sprinklers, cook-outs with friends, swimming pools, puppet shows, sidewalk chalk, popsicles, playgrounds... none of it has been documented by a camera or sent to waiting grandparents by e-mail (sorry Nana and Papa!) but none of it has broken- which in-and-of itself seems to be a victory! I suppose I'll buy a new memory card this weekend, and I now have a new e-mail address. We should be choosing a contractor to start fixing our poor house this week, and the tree has finally been removed. But I've been reminded that you are truly a blessed person when it's only the "things" surrounding you that are broken, and the people that you surround yourself with that keep you filled! And my cup 'runneth over'.

As for these pictures...
Chad's amazing Athletic Director has a beach house in Dog Island, FL which he lent us for a long weekend. It is literally an island. We grocery shopped on the mainland on Thursday, someone took us over by boat, dropped us off, said GOOD BYE, and then we didn't see another sole until we were picked up again on Sunday. It was awesome. We had perfect weather and wonderful family time. I am really trying to celebrate the twenty-something pictures I have instead of mourning the 45 I lost! Here are just a few:

Chad and Caroline- headed out to Dog Island

Our Un-packing Mule