Thursday, June 22, 2017

BIG days in May.

May was really an eye-popper for celebrations.

Mother's Day

May 19, also known as the day in which we celebrate our birthdays.
Eight years old. Gah!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't even believe it.

Our celebration was pretty low-key this year but we returned to the same place we celebrated Ella's first birthday. It was perfect and Paco can't hold both girls in his arms anymore!

We celebrated our final Brownie meeting with a cook-out at the park.

I volunteered a few hours at the annual field day at Ella's school. Ella didn't have any fun at all.

And just like that, poof...second grade was ending. We both took her to school for drop off that day. For as grown up as she has become, she's still cool with holding hands.
The kids spent most of the day at the bowling alley on their last day and this girl had a better bowling score than me! (not saying a whole lot)

We had to do this too - say good-bye to the teacher who has impacted Ella's life in ways I can't even fully realize. They've been together for two glorious years. She didn't cry but dang if I didn't.

It only seemed fitting to remedy all that with a sleepover. So we did.

Let the summer fun begin and fun it was with our first neighborhood family group kids n' cocktails. Mama Michelle hosted the kick off and in usual form, outdid herself with good food. She made that fun layered rainbow jello stuff? You know what I'm talkin' about. My daughter ate square after square after square..

...and then downed it with massive amounts of lemonade with Piper.

You may have heard my applause a few weeks ago when Ella had Deb do this to her hair. Six inches later, and the entire hair situation is now a breeze. 

She looks 10 years older and certainly shed a few pounds with that haircut. We love it!

This summer will be a different one for Ella and Roz. Here they are with their matching broken heart BFF necklaces to keep them close to each other. Roz already has one two week vacation under her belt (Ella nearly died), is off in two days for another vacation and will leave again in July for another ten days. This is absolutely absurd in Ella's mind. We are thrilled they get to travel so much this summer, however. (Even though I am going to miss Katie horribly too.)

So, there's a lot more of Ella hanging with me this summer at home, while I work and on our adventure days (Thursday). Thank goodness my parents are still up to the task of keeping her busy two days a week where she spends too much time bossing them around.


Talk about a tough crowd.

In a move that I may question for some time, we answered the call from our Humane Society to try to turn the corner with four babies. Let me just tell you, toughest crowd ever. They hissed and spitted and hid and ran...even Ella couldn't get them to turn the corner. Except Pudgie, the runt. Pudgie stepped out the kitten carrier that first day all wobbly-legged and crawled up on Ella's lap like he'd been there forever.

Kay, Nick, Louie and Pudgie spent about 6 weeks with us DURING the last few weeks of the school year which really means it was an awful lot of chaos. 

Ella worked her magic and I spent hours on end trying to get Pudgie to the 2 pound mark, while his siblings were well on their way to 2.5 pounds. Before it was all over, she had done this.

Pudgie was never far from her side.

And they all looked like they could have been our own Mavis's little babies!
A check up for Pudgie

Socializing taken seriously: school drop off duty

Kay (L) and Nick (R)
It was time to let the two fat ones go to start their new lives. Nick and Kay left us first and were adopted within the first hour of the Humane Society being open! We have connected with Nick's family (thanks to Social Media!) and will be visiting him very soon.

The dreaded hour came when we took Pudgie and Louie in for a check up. We had been weighing them daily at home. Ella did not want to let go of her little runt even though we had met the wonderful couple who was going to adopt BOTH OF THEM together. 

But we did it.

And we really didn't cry because we knew we'd meet again so very soon.

Two weeks later, we were reunited in their new home. The new 'parents' even kept the names we gave them. We get texts every week so that Ella knows how her little ones are doing.

These four nearly broke me, people. But we did it! What started out as a foursome that would end up as part of the barn cat project took a delightful turn.

Ella still asks almost daily, "Can I go get Pudgie?"


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Homestretch on Second Grade.

15 days. As of tonight, Ella has 15 more actual days of class with her beloved Mr. H. 

The days pass slowly but the years fly by. And when we are in the day-to-day where she is brushing her teeth at the kitchen sink whilst washing her feet at the same time (see above), it is going slowly, people. Trust me. 

But when she spoons in next to me in our bed for pre-bed snuggles and then proceeds to talk with her hands as she explains the daily events in class, I see my 16 year old daughter. It is going too fast. 

Ella and Lillian hanging with me during a school delay
Summer break will be a mix of good stuff this year. My parents and Ella will hang out together again. I've got a long list of things we will be exploring during our time together, including her coming to work with Larry or me a bit more. She doesn't know it yet, but I intend on having her own desk (ie card table!) set up in my office so that she can do her own 'work' without taking over my desk. 

I figure by Week #3 of summer break, she and I will be pushing each other's buttons.

 A few weeks ago, we got to celebrate Mama Brooke's big 4-0 by screen printing our very own t-shirts.

Our neighborhood has a new independent coffee shop. I hit the library for the last book recommendation my Aunt Kay gave me, a cup of java and a comfortable chair in the corner. It was some of the best 45 minutes of solitude!

 We had to prep Panda for out-patient surgery. (He is thread bare in so many places.)
 We all enjoyed a new local Cuban restaurant.

And then we did this, because they needed love (a lot more than we had thought, it turns out) and we had love to give.

More on these four furballs later.

As Roz was gearing up for her grandparents' big move from Florida to just two blocks away from her, we did our part in planting some seeds to get her Grandma's vegetable garden going.

My dear friend Pamela gifted Ella and Roz such incredible books. Each page of the book highlights a rebel girl. Pamela and I share a huge love for books. She can still read 40 books to my 1 but we often are texting each other about books that 'must be added to the list'. I am so happy she shared her love of reading, and is encouraging them both to be rebels along the way.

And our veggies are growing!

 We took out my Mama for her birthday a few weeks ago and then woke up the next morning to Easter!

And then Ella and I had a fantastic stay-cation spring break. I took time off work and we hit the town.

I needed a vacation from her spring break vacation before it was all over.

It was worth it, a thousand times over.