Monday, May 26, 2008

Catchin' Some Waves

Is it possible? Can summer finally be here? Well, it sure felt like it Sunday! Even though the temp wasn't warm enough to take a dip in the lake, we had a great time out on our friends' boat. We spend many happy summer afternoons, cruising the lake, swimming, and just hanging out with our good friends who are always so sweet to invite us out boating with them. The girls had so much fun! This was the first time Avery really "enjoyed" herself on the lake. Last summer I think she was too little to really get it, but despite the frigid water temps she did have a blast splashing around with the little kids in the inflatable "island" that acts like a floating baby pool on the lake.

Who gave this girl a license to drive?

How do you make this thing go?

I wonder what happens if you push these buttons?


Captain Kaylen, full speed ahead! (She really is "driving" here, with some backup from Uncle Loren)

Look at me Mommy!

Hang on Sissy!

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Get Your Groove On

Last night was the big night! Kaylen's very first dance recital! Holy cow! Talk about intense! I don't know if I was fully prepared to be initiated into the club of full fleged "dance" moms. There was a lot of running (literally) around to pick up Kaylen from back stage, running to a dressing room, changing at lightening speed into the next costume, touching up makeup and hair, and then running back to back stage to get ready for the next number. Phew! I truly worked up a sweat, and to be honest . . . don't really remember watching either performance. We weren't allowed to take pictures or video during, so we will have to wait for the professional's videos and pictures to come back and then probably shell out big bucks to actually watch our sweet girls perform. I can only imagine that the older they get, and the more competitive they get, the more "high stress" it gets. We'll see if we make it that far. . .

At home before the recital.

Backstage right before her second number. A tap routine to the theme song from the Andy Griffith Show.

After the performance waiting with her sweet friend Brittany for curtain call.

Curtain call. The only part of the show I really remember! I was finally able to take a deep breath. It was soooo cute. The big girls walked the little girls on stage and they all waved and took their final bows. You probably can't find Kaylen up there, but she's up there!

The thing that really shocked me, was how well Kaylen took the "pressure." This was no little production. It was at Albert Taylor Hall (a big auditorium) on the ESU campus. She performed in front of hundreds of people. A full house. She performed perfectly with a big smile on her face, like she had done it hundreds of times. She didn't even act or look nervous! I have never done something like this! Ever. Let alone doing it at the tender age of six! She just amazes me!

Afterwards we celebrated with some ice cream and Kaylen's best friend from dance and Kindergarten, Miss Megan! The two of them make quite the pair!

Let's get out of here!

Phew! Done! Let's eat!

I am so proud of Kaylen! She is already talking about next year. Sigh. What a whirlwind month it has been ! Now it's time to rest and relax for summer and think about next year a little later!

Way to go Kaylen! Mommy and Daddy and Sissy are so, so proud of you! You are simply amazing!

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Flashback. . . Fast Forward Friday

The first day of Kindergarten August '07

The last day of Kindergarten May '08

My baby is a first grader! Gasp!

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

So much to Blog

so little time! Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Last week we celebrated Kaylen's birthday (twice), she and I baked and decorated homemade cookies for her class birthday party, she had dress rehersal and pictures at dance, I ran over her bike and ruined a tire on my new car (costing me $225!), and on top of it all, I had a big, very profitable garage sale on Friday and Saturday. Then on Monday of this week, Avery and flew to Cincinnati for her hospital stay. She was hooked up to video EEG monitors (a bunch of wires glued to her scalp) to try and catch the seizures she is having on video and EEG monitors. She had a lot of seizures so the tests were successful, although not necessarily what we wanted to hear? We flew home yesterday, and it was a pretty stressful trip for reasons I might explain later. . .

So that's my excuse for lack of blogging. Fair enough?

I will leave you with some pictures of Miss Avery hooked up and looking so adorable in her little hat at the hospital.

Stay tuned for lots of fun updates. Kaylen's field day, dance recital, the story of how Britton and I met in honor of our eighth wedding anniversary, and tons of cute Avery pictures! I can do it, it will just take me a few days! Keep checking back!!!

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Kaylen Rose!

Six years ago today I became a mommy.

I can't believe Kaylen is six, because that beautiful day feels like yesterday! My baby is six! I can still remember driving to the hospital that morning, (to be induced), and thinking how surreal it felt to know that sometime that day, other people would be holding the baby I had all to myself for the last nine months. I remember feeling her kick twice on the way to the hospital and thinking that I would really miss those kicks. I knew that I would not miss the sixty pounds that I gained during pregnancy! Yes, sixty! My labor and delivery were pretty easy for the most part, thanks to a great epidural. I had been 5cm dilated for over a week, so I really didn't have that far to go, and once they started the pitocin it was only a few hours before Kaylen arrived. My parents, and Britton's aunt spent the day with us, talking to me, keeping us company, and before we knew it Kaylen was ready to make her grand entrance. We were all shocked to see her tipping the scales at 8 pounds 8 ounces! ( I remember seeing all of her black hair and being so excited that she had lots of hair!! )

Yikes, look at all those chins. (All mine.) Her hair really was that black. Not brown, jet black!

For the first few days, she slept exactly like this. . . with her hands tucked in the same position, so precious. . .

Kaylen has the most expressive eyes. People were always making a fuss over how beautiful she was when we were out and about, and I think it was because of those big, brown eyes!

Tonight I have been looking through the boxes and boxes of photos we have from Kaylen's first two and a half years, before we 'went digital' and I started making a pile of pictures I wanted to share. Before I knew it I had a little pile of at least fifty pictures, and I wasn't even through her first year! I should have started this project a week ago and turned it into a video montage, but I was busy 'living in the moment' getting everything ready for her birthday parties, and trying to make this year really special for her. I'm so glad that I've had time this evening to reminisce. There are so many memories, layered upon memories, and I realize, that even though it breaks my heart to admit it, I'm starting to forget "baby Kaylen." She is so grown up these days, and looking at these 'old' photos of her, reminds me of what a beautiful, happy baby she was. What a chunker she was! And oh, what an easy baby she was. Unlike, ehhhemm, another sweet little Hart baby I know.

She was always such a ham for the camera. It was never hard to coax a smile out of her for the camera!

On the day of Kaylen's first birthday, Daddy received his Master's degree, so we had a lot to celebrate!

It is easy for me to see, looking back at the first months of Kaylen's life, the beginnings of the amazing little girl that she is growing up to be. Early, early on she was a loving, compassionate toddler. Long before she could talk, she would 'comfort' someone when they were upset by coming over and patting them or laying her head down on their lap or shoulder. She always wanted to give you some of what she was enjoying, be it a bottle, or a mushy cracker. She has always loved to share and give things away. One of her favorite games to play with Grandma, has always been "Christmas." They 'wrap up' little gifts and deliver them to everyone.

Just recently one of Kaylen's little neighbor friends walked over in the rain to see if she could play. Unfortunately we were getting ready to go somewhere or do something so we had to send her back home. Pretty soon, I saw Kaylen on the couch crying softly. When I asked her what was wrong, she really started to sob, and said, "I just feel so bad, Gracyn walked all the way over here in the rain and now she has to walk all the way home in the rain. She must be so sad." Talk about melt my heart!

Then just yesterday morning, I smacked Avery's little hand when she turned on the gas stove for the umpteenth billion time. Instead of Avery breaking down into tears, you guessed it, Kaylen started to cry, and said, "She doesn't understand! Don't hit my sissy." She came over and wrapped her ever protective arms around Avery, who was oblivious to the drama. I felt terrible. I tried to explain that I worry about Avery burning her hands, or the house down, but still. Where did she learn this kind of compassion and empathy?

I could write forever about the ways I love my Kayleybug. She is truly a blessing straight from heaven.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

I Scream, You Scream. . .

We all scream for ice cream! Today was the kickoff of Kaylen's whirlwind birthday week - she doesn't actually turn six until Thursday but she has one more party, a trip to the circus, Chuckee Cheese, and roller skating all to look forward to this week.

As some of you know, I love to plan my kids' birthday parties. I don't mind a good Chuckee Cheese party now and then, but I love to open up my home to Kaylen's friends and get creative with a theme. I usually pick the theme several months (sometimes a year) in advance and buy things as I go. I had SO much fun with this theme! I made a homemade happy birthday banner, fun little dangly ice cream cones, and a "pin the cherry on the ice cream cone banner." The kids loved playing this game!

These are just the first "teaser" pictures, mainly to tide Bethany over until I upload the ones off of the good camera. Britton took a ton of great "action" shots and I want to share those too!

My favorite. . .

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Flashback Friday

Here is Kaylen's first class picture. I thought it would be fun to look back at one of my first class pictures to see if there is any resemblence. Kaylen is in the second row in the pink - click on the picture to make it bigger. Bethany, look closely. What is wrong with this picture?

We both have that fake "I'm smiling because you told me to" smile on our faces, but other than that, we really don't look that much alike?! Can you find me?

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