Sunday, June 22, 2008

Take Cover!

I can't remember a storm season as crazy as the one we've had this year. For the past month or so we have been under some kind of severe thunder storm warning or tornado watch at least once a week! A couple of weeks ago the weather forcasters on all the stations made a huge deal out of how the weather conditions were falling together in a pattern eerily similar to a terrible tornado that struck our town thirty some years ago. Everyone kind of went into panic mode and kept their eyes to the sky. That night we got some heavy rain and strong winds, but nothing to get overly excited about.

After those storms I decided that it would be a good idea to put together a little "emergency kit" to keep in the cabinet in our basement guest bath, which is where we would go in the event of a real weather emergency. I put diapers, wipes, a few days' supply of Avery's meds that we import from Canada, some granola bars, a flashlight, candles, matches, and a case of bottled water in the cabinet underneath the sink. I assumed that once I did this, we probably wouldn't go back in the basement for a storm until next spring, but boy, was I wrong! Last Thursday night the tornado sirens went off, and we heard on the news that a tornado was on the ground just south and west of our house! We were directly in its path!! Things looked and sounded pretty scary, so we headed to the basement and waited for the storm to hit. We waited . . . and we waited. . . and we watched the radar on t.v. which seemed to show that were directly in the line of the tornado. Fortunately the funnel cloud stayed in the sky and never touched down.

When we go to the basement, we try to make it fun, and stay calm so that we don't completely freak out Kaylen. Right now, she thinks its kind of cool to "take cover," so we will have to teach that storms aren't a game. I don't think Avery has a clue one way or another. We explain that the storms could be very dangerous, but that we are fortunate to have a safe place to go, and that she doesn't have to worry about it. You can tell from the pictures below that she doesn't seem too concerned!

The seizure helmet and daddy's football helmet come in handy!

Here's everything we need in case we get stranded in our basement for a while!

O.k. well not, everything. . . we had plenty of warning about this storm, so I did what any good mommy would do, I gathered up the new Gymboree clothes that Avery hasn't worn yet, and brought those down too! (Some people would gather pictures and valuables, ours are mostly all in the basement to begin with, but my/ I mean Avery's Gymbo were sitting ducks!)

Here's another little Gymbo outfit that she has worn, but it seemed like it deserved to be rescued as well. The backpack contains jammies, shoes, and a couple of days' worth of outfits just in case! It was still packed from last week!

As long as we have our ba ba and each other, we'll be o.k.!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

O.k. not entirely wordless. One word.


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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lazy Hazy Days of Summer

Last week, while Avery and I were in Kansas City for school, Kaylen spent the day with her sweet friend, Morgan. Morgan's mommy, Nikki, took these fun pictures of the girls enjoying some fun by the pool. I'm so lucky to have friends who are much better photographers than I am! Right now, many of my favorite pictures from the last two and a half years are trapped on our home computer that has finally crashed -we think a bolt of lightening finished it off. We still don't know if we will be able to recover any of the pictures stored on its hard drive, so I really treasure any pictures of my girls that I come across these days.

Kaylen is growing up to be such a beautiful little girl. I love these pictures because they're of Kaylen, just being Kaylen. Usually when I try to take pictures of her, I get the fake cheese grin.

Notice Morgan's hair is soaked and Kaylen's is still perfectly dry. Morgan is an amazing swimmer. She is part of a swim team, and already goes off the diving board and swims to the side by herself. Kaylen doesn't even dog paddle. She likes to splash and wade in the shallow, but prefers to keep her face and hair dry. We've got some work to do this summer. . .

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Libby Lu

Last week Kaylen's friend Rylee celebrated her sixth birthday by taking three of her best friends to Libby Lu at the Oak Park Mall in Overland Park. Her mommy rented a fifteen passenger van so that us mommies could tag along with our girls .

I used the hour and a half trip to rest up for the big day. Thanks, Nikki, for capturing this flattering shot of me :)

We enjoyed lunch at the Rainforest Cafe before heading to Libby Lu.

Then it was off to get glamorized at Club Libby Lu!

Party like a rock star!

Making sure it's just right :)

After all the girls got their makeovers they headed out to the mall to get their groove on. It was too, too cute!

Here they are dancing to "I got all my sisters and me."

What a fun day! I have to say that I'm pretty sure the mommies had as much fun (or more) on this trip. Can you tell that I was itching to get in on the action?

I realized on this trip, that since moving down here, I have had somewhat of a negative attitude about living in a "small" town. I miss so many things about 'city life' - late night Target shopping trips, Chipolte, Panera, the malls, Gymboree, just to name a few. Spending the day at a mall that I used to visit once a week with four fun moms and their girls was a wake up call. I wouldn't have had nearly that much fun had I gone to the same birthday party a year ago. It would have been just another party at the mall (or Chuckee Cheese, or Pump it Up, or _______ fill in the blank) but because it's not something we do all the time now, it made the day really special and exciting. This is one birthday party Kaylen won't soon forget. I hope Rylee felt the same way!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm back!

I have been taking a little blogging break these last couple of weeks. Kaylen is home from school for the summer, and with her activities and school in KC for Avery I just don't seem to find the quiet time to sit at the computer to upload pictures and update this blog like I did during the winter.

I find that I enjoy "being" a mommy more than "blogging" about it and so my blog updates are getting spaced out a little. I do love sharing pictures of my girls and the fun that we have, so I will keep trying to add new entries as often as I can. I created this blog for fun, not to add another "must do" to my to do list, and sometimes that's how it feels. I don't want to be a "bitter blogger."

I read some pretty "heavy" blogs, Confessions of CF Husband, Bring the Rain, and several others that really make me stop and think about everything in my life that I take for granted. These stories make me feel like some of the things I might share with the rest of the world are kind of trivial. I know, our life isn't trivial, we have our share of heartache here at the Hart house, it just feels that way sometimes.

I also read some pretty "light" blogs that make me feel like a pretty "boring" mommy, for lack of a better word. So many blogs I read, I find people sharing amazing crafting projects they've taken on, creative things they've done with their kids, or worse yet for me, how incredibly cute and organized their entire house is. Sometimes I find myself wondering "are these people for real?" or are they just painting a pretty picture to make themselves feel better? Do they 'do things' just so they can blog about it? Seriously.

You won't find either the "heavy" or the pretty picture here. What you see is what you get. The Hart of the Matter is that I love my girls (and their Daddy) more than life itself and they are my life. Not my craft room, not my projects, and not this blog. I love them so much that I want to share them, but not if it means taking time away from the fun we're having to blog about it.

I guess we all search for "balance" in our lives. Some people seem to be able to do incredible things every day and still find time to scrapbook, craft, bake, and blog. I think for most of us, we're just doing our best to keep it all together. The old saying is so true for my family, 'we may not have it all together, but together we have it all."

I did add a couple of new updates below and some fun pictures below so keep reading. . . and keep checking back! Hey, and leave a comment while you're at it. . . :)

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City Girls

Miss Avery attends preschool two days a week in KC which is an hour and forty five minutes one way from our house! As most of you know Avery has tuberous sclerosis and because of it tumors, seizures, and pretty severe developmental delays. Avery's school accepts children with all kinds of disabilities at two years of age (most don't start until three) and there she is able to get amazing one on one physical, occupational, speech, cognitive, music, and water therapies. It is just an amazing place and so we have found a way to make the long drives (and horrible gas prices) work.

Now that school is out Kaylen goes with me to KC twice a week. While Avery is with her class, Kaylen and I go on little adventures nearby. We lived in a suburb of KC for ten years and one of our favorite hangouts has always been Crown Center. I have been taking Kaylen there since she was about two years old. We love the fountains, the shops, and eating at Panera. Last week the weather was beautiful and we spent the morning sipping coffee (and juice) hanging out by the fountains, and just enjoying being back in the city for a little while!

I can't function without my morning coffee, aka orange juice.

That's better!

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Campin' Out

Kaylen had such a fun time at Daisy Scout Day Camp. It was a day of many 'firsts' for her. She got to cook lunch and dinner over an open fire, go hiking, pitch a tent, and of course, make smores! Daisies has been such a fun activity for Kaylen and she has made some sweet, special friends. Her Daisy friends weren't even in her Kindergarten class but they all just 'clicked' and will be seeing each other often over the summer. Thanks to their 'fearless leader' my friend, Nikki, they had an amazing year!

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