Friday, February 10, 2017

Birthday Treats

We made treats to bring in to celebrate Sarah Graves turning 7!
She can pretty much bake a cake on her own now! She loves to work the mixer, but is scared to get near the oven. Probably a good thing!

I frosted these and thought they came out so well!

The birthday girl invited Lovie to come share treats with her class at lunch!

She had daddy there too!

These sweet friends were so excited for her and loved the cupcakes!

I love how this girl knows how to celebrate! She has been making our life exciting for 7 years!

Celebrating Hard Work!

During the fall, Sarah Graves was really struggling in school. Spelling was a real challenge for her; she was having a difficult time completing her work in class; during a conference with her teacher she noted the difficulty with fidgeting and impulsivity; and she was struggling to get positive points for doing things like working hard and staying focused Not only was she not learning as much as we knew she could, it was really affecting her self esteem. She would tell me she just wanted to be one of the smart kids. It broke my heart to see her feel so bad about herself. I could see the problems she had while doing school work with her at home. Every noise, every movement, every thought was a distraction for her. I decided we had to find out what was really happening for her.
We went to a psychologist and had an educational evaluation done. I was prepared to hear that she had dyslexia or some other learning disorder. I knew she was bright and just not processing the information the way she needed to to be successful in school. The evaluation came back suggesting that the issue was attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 
Sarah Graves has a wonderful teacher, Ms. Muller! She offered lots of options to help Sarah Graves be successful like things for her to fidget with, a wiggly seat, and extra reinforcement for her good behavior before we even thought about the educational evaluation. I think she suspected what the issue was, but never once mentioned it or put pressure on us. She was very supportive in working with the psychologist. 
Knowing what the issue was helped. Then, we had to decide how to help her. In kindergarten I started using a combination of essential oils to help with focus and calming, but they didn't make a dramatic difference. We suspect that diet is a big part of it since Sarah Graves eats a high carb, high sugar diet. We met with a nutritionist who had lots of good suggestions, but Sarah Graves was not willing to try most of them, particularly the supplements. Fearing that the longer we waited to do something, the bigger the hit to her self-esteem would be, we met with our pediatrician who considered our input as well as her teacher's and agreed with the psychologist that she has ADHD. We decided to give medicine a try and started with a very low dose around the holidays. 
The low dose of medicine combined with her desire to do well in school was all she needed! After Christmas we got into a great routine and it is amazing what she has accomplished! She is doing great work, earning lots of kudos for her hard work and focus, and feeling so confident in herself. I am most grateful for that, she feels good about herself! That is what I wanted most for her. Even the head of school commented to us on how Sarah Graves just exudes confidence in class now. 

When her report card came and she had great marks in everything, we had to celebrate that accomplishment! 

This little monkey is a bright boy, too!

80's Girl!

My girl was invited to an 80's dance party for friends She had a great time and was totally impressed with the black light on the dance floor!

My Two Chefs

These 2 kiddos love to help me cook - mostly bake! They are getting pretty good too!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Kicking Off the New Year!

 I think we had a good start to 2017! Charlie woke up feeling better, we did some early morning shopping at the Dillard's New Year's sale, and then enjoyed a tasty dinner at Lovie and Pops' house.

Charlie finally felt well enough to show MiMi how his new Batman helicopter set worked. You know, she bought it and wrapped it for him, but needed him to teach her all about it!

The Orbeez hand spa was quite the hit with everyone!

New Year's

Grandaddy and MiMi came to visit for New Year's! The kids were really excited to have them visit! It was also our last extension of Christmas.

They made special cards for Grandaddy and MiMi.

Of course, the kids were very excited to open more Christmas presents!

This was the Christmas of the mermaid for Sissy! She loves mermaid tails and was super excited to get some for herself, her doll, and a blanket one!

 Everything was going great, until Charlie was in a cranky mood and then I touched him and realized he had quite a fever going. We got him into bed and later checked on him to realize his fever was over 104 and I was getting nervous! He was pitiful and felt rotten all afternoon and most of the evening. Poor guy missed most of New Year's Eve.

MiMi and Grandaddy gave Sissy a sewing kit and she was really excited to put it to use. MiMi showed her how to get started and they made a pillow for her dolls!

I like for the holidays to feel fun, so we decided New Year's Eve should feel like a little party. We made fun appetizers for dinner and had some yummy treats along with a tasty champagne punch and Moscow mules!

Poor Charlie didn't feel his best, but he woke up for a while and tried to have fun! At least we were at home so he could get in bed when he wanted to.

As the evening went on, Sissy decided she needed a fancier dress on for the occasion!

We needed to pass the time until midnight, so we played some bunco and this funny game where you balance the dice on a popsicle!

Sissy lasted until about 1 am and then she was a sleeping princess!

I'm so glad we could ring in the new year together!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Winter Camp

The kids had a great time going to a dramatic arts camp over their break. The camp focused on teaching the kids singing, choreography, production, and having a great time putting it all together! 
Charlie was adorable stepping up to the microphone and introducing himself to the crowd of adoring parents. 

Sissy was in her element loving the dancing and singing!

A Little More Holiday in the Park!

The day after Christmas we headed back to Six Flags for more Holiday in the Park!
Sg and Livy rode the boat first. SG sweetly put her arm around Livy when Livy was scared.

Charlie only wanted this boat and he wanted to drive, so he waited in line until he could be first and get his pick of boats! I think he thought it was worth it!

Charlie wanted nothing to do with this elf, but Livy and Sissy were eager to have a picture with the elf and thought she might be going to see Santa!

Aaron caught this great shot of Charlie and me riding Wonder Woman.

                                                                                                          Cute gingerbread girls!

 Sissy was eager to ride the Joker's Chaos Coaster, but once she got on she remembered she is not a fan of this looping ride that leaves you dangling upside down!

The carousel was fun for everyone!

This guy plays hard and has fun, but usually falls asleep as it gets dark and he gets tired.

Sissy and Lovie look like they are ready to take off!

Peppermint lane is one of Sissy's favorite parts with the spotlights that make peppermints on the walkway.

Nay took this cute pic of just me and Aaron.