Saturday, August 29, 2015

Summer is Winding Down!

We've started to wear sweatshirts when we go out at night!  Hard to believe that summer is almost over!  We went from a drenched June... to a Hot, Dry July... to an Autumn-like August... and onward we go!  I have to admit, I am kind of looking forward to the changing leaves, crisp air and pumpkin decor!  Though that does mean we're moving closer to my baby's first birthday.... yikes!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Her First Hair Cut!

Oh, the craziness that has been Eloise's hair!  

She was born with practically NONE.  

 Then it started growing in around her first birthday... very, very slowly.  

By the time she was 2, and Dinah had arrived, it was filling in down the middle... 

Gradually over the next 6 months she ended up with a faux hawk!  

And finally, we've ended up with this crazy mass of uneven 
curls that you can't brush without making it ten times more crazy!

Never in my wildest imagination would I have expected to have a child 
with such crazy hair!  BUT... I have to admit, I am so thankful to have a 
little girl (and now 3!) with hair to comb, brush, play with and put clippies in!

So, let me tell you a little story.
Over the past several months I have been constantly thinking about needing to cut my hair.  I decided that I'd like to take Eloise along for a trim to even hers out... and hopefully make it less crazy.  For the majority of my life, except for maybe TWICE, I have gone to my Aunt to get my hair cut.  Since she retired a year or two ago (I can't keep track!), I have put it off.  I *did* go to Holiday Hair one time, for lack of knowing where else to go, and got a teeny tiny bit trimmed off.  For the price they charged (I went with a wet head, they didn't even do anything but barely trim!), I vowed never to go back there!  So I set out to find a hairdresser in the area.  I asked around to my mother-in-law, neighbor and a great aunt.  No one really had any suggestions as they all kind of go "here and there" depending on what they want done.  Of course, I'm sure my aunt would have done it, had I begged her!  Haha!  But I know she is busy, and honestly we don't get to my hometown much these days, so it would be crazy trying to set a time/day.  

This picture was taken the other day.  
You see how long my hair is?  


Yeah, that did it for me.  I love long hair, but upon seeing that picture, I knew I needed to make an appointment.  So my husband told me about a shop he'd heard good reviews about from people at his work.  So I called.  I had to leave a message.... and she called me back a couple of hours later (she was out of town).  I have to admit, her phone manner put me off a little, as did her price!  But I thought Heck With It!  I would just go and if it didn't go well, we wouldn't have to go back!  So we set a date and time.  Meanwhile Cory and I had been trying to "talk up" the soon-to-be hair cutting experience to a nervous Eloise.  She honestly didn't know what to expect.  She'd never had her hair cut.  Never seen me get mine cut, or anyone else for that matter.  I showed her a YouTube video just to kind of give her a clue.  She would waver between being OK and being nervous.  Couldn't blame her, really. 

So the day came (that was her nervous mug shot above in the pink striped shirt!), and I was texting my aunt asking if I should leave a tip and all of that rot.  Like I said, I never really went anywhere else... and I heard you aren't supposed to tip a person who runs their own shop??  I didn't want to do the wrong thing!  My neighbor came and watched the two younger ones and Eloise and I left with time to spare.  Thank goodness.  As I drove by the person's place, there were only TWO parking spots.  Both of which were filled!  So I drove around and around, not sure where to go, hoping one of the two vehicles would leave by the next time I looped around.  Finally, I HAD to park because I didn't want to be late.  I called Cory and he told me to go up a couple of streets where you could park on the road... so that's what we did.  And we walked to the shop.  Thankfully it was a gorgeous day, and hey, I won't complain about getting to hold El's hand! :)

She was nervous.  I was nervous.  But we walked in and had a seat.  There was a gentleman there getting his hair trimmed and another lady under the dryer.  When it was El's turn, I picked her up and sat her on the seat... and she just gave me a look.

Yep.  That look.

And... then there was that.

But after a couple of minutes, she realized it was OK
.  She liked watching in the mirror and said that she was happy with the results!  

Look!  A smile! 

The hair stylist was nice enough and I was pleased so far... except for her putting "product" in El's hair.  We are very much conscious of the beauty products we use and try to follow the EWG Skindeep site to find less toxic products.  But I know that one time won't hurt!

Anyway... while I was getting my hair cut, the hairdresser and I were chatting... the topic of school came up, where I explained we are homeschooling... which brought up El's severe food allergies and talk about that type of stuff.  Then, moving on... the woman started telling me about her low blood sugar.  She doesn't have diabetes, but her doctor recommends eating protein filled snacks.  And since she works off a room of her home, she says she is more of a snacker than a meal eater.  I can understand.  When you're in between clients, it's probably easier to just grab something real quick than prepare a meal.  However... then she proceeds to tell me how she eats peanuts all the time.  Keep in mind, we had JUST had a conversation 2 minutes beforehand about how Eloise has a LIFE THREATENING FOOD ALLERGY TO PEANUTS.  I could feel my heart rate go up.  I kept glancing at Eloise just to watch her for a reaction.  I know it may sound ridiculous... but if that woman would've gone in and grabbed a handful of peanuts before she saw us, then handled Eloise's hair... then Eloise ran her hands through her hair after getting it cut (there was no washing involved, just spritzing of a water bottle)... we could be in for a serious reaction.  I know I can't live in constant fear of the unknown... but there I was, having just told her...and she started going on about how she eats peanuts and candy coated peanuts all the time.  I couldn't get out of there fast enough!!  I was actually pleased with the results of our hair (sorry, no "after" picture for me!)... but I just don't know if I can go back.  The panic and fear I would feel knowing that she is a regular eater of peanuts, it's just too much.  Granted, there are TONS of people we encounter who eat peanut products on a regular basis, I'm sure.... but when I can control a situation, I will.  So I don't know that we'll be going back there.... But on the positive side, Eloise didn't come in contact with peanuts.  AND... we had a good experience.  I even saved some curls!

Me and My girls!

9 Months and Counting...

This little sweetie pie turned 9 Months old!

She doesn't have a specific "favorite" toy, though she does enjoy sitting by herself while her sisters play and exploring anything she can get her hands on (which are mostly books and baby toys).

She continues on Mama Milk and also eats a mixture of baby food purees and hands-on food.  She much prefers food she can get her hands on though!

She is *not* sleeping through the night.... but we're just taking it one day at a time!  Or night, I should say.  I do look forward to the time when I can get a full nights rest again... but I'm also still just trying to enjoy the "baby days".  They are leaving us oh-so-soon!

These little jeans are just too cute!  From Eloise... to Dinah... to Audra! 

Ahh, yes... and did I mention that THIS is happening??


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The beginning of the summer was WET.  
I mean, almost every day it rained.  
And rained.  And rained.  
I was wondering if our garden would drown, 
though thankful that I didn't have to go out and water it daily!

We've had a small little harvest!  
And actually, now we are hoping it will rain 
as things have really dried out the last several weeks!  

Here are some pictures from our little patch of sunshine! 

(This carrot looks like it exploded in the growing process!)


 Our spaghetti squash are about ready to be picked!


And this girl... all she wanted was a banana!

Monday, August 10, 2015

And so it begins....

Today was Eloise's big day... her first day of KINDERGARTEN!

Now, I have to admit she was not overly thrilled to begin school.  She actually threw a couple of tantrums (mostly just dramatic whining) this weekend when we would try to hype her up for it.  Always trying to spin it in a positive light, we would tell her how much she would learn and that she would get to stay home with me and her sisters, etc., etc.  Nothing we said could convince her that she was going to enjoy homeschool.

We even made graham crackers yesterday so we would have a "snack" prepared!

And this morning, after her special first-day-of-kindergarten breakfast of (egg free) French Toast and fresh fruit... she was just convinced this was the most horrible thing.  Starting homeschool and all.

But miraculously, despite a few bumps in the road, she survived and actually said she enjoyed it!  I'm thinking she was more glad she got it done and could go play... but hey, I'll take it!

Here are the girls enjoying their snack!

I'm hoping tomorrow goes as smoothly as today!
(And the next day and the next day... etc.  But I'm under 
no illusion that we will not have our *rough* days!)  :)

SO BLESSED to be able to stay at home with my girls and 
homeschool them!!

Monday, August 3, 2015

8 Months!

Audra turned 8 months!

 This girl has been on the go!  
Not only is she crawling, but she is pulling herself up and 
walking along furniture, letting go and holding her balance steady.  
She has yet to take any *real* steps, but I'm ok with that!

And!  She has two teeth!
Praise the Lord that those teeth finally broke through!
She was quite a bear for awhile.  

We do a mix of baby foods and finger foods.  
She prefers finger foods, but I admit that I 
am a little paranoid about her choking!  
So we are taking that a bit slow!

She does not like to be told "No" (as seen above)... 
and is developing quite her own little personality.
She is a bit of a ham when mimicking us!
And I LOVE her giggle!

The same day Audra turned 8 months, we also
had her dedicated at church.  My sister wrote up a post about it on her
blog, if you care to check it out!  I didn't get many pictures
since I was the one actually standing up front and 
busy with other things once we got home.
We hosted a small picnic gathering for family and friends
who attended the service.

It was a day to celebrate, however, also a 
day of sadness as we learned that a young man
that we know took his own life several hours after
the church service ended.
It has been a time of grief for our church family,
and will continue to be so for quite some time, I'm sure.

The day after the dedication, we celebrated my birthday.
Here I am with my girls!

Hard to believe that the summer is already winding down.
So thankful for the beautiful weather we've had
and the days and evenings of playing outside!