Last staycation of 2014 summer

Lately most of the time we are sequestered in our air conditioned house but we do get out every few days, lol! Recently we went and stayed at the Hyatt with some friends and had a luxurious experience complete with turn down service and other amenities.





I gotta say, life is pretty good!

10 Years!

We’ve officially been runnings this blog for 10 years today. Kind of amazing when you think about it… honestly, I can hardly believe it. All of it… the fact that we have had this blog for that long and that the big girls are almost 10, too. Crazy! A huge thank you to Mystique who has really kept the blog going all these years. Here’s to the next 10!

Everyone is an individual

It is so interesting how the older girls develop so differently in all aspects. I know this is to be expected since they are basically two different girls who just happen to share the same birthdate. One super exciting development (well an exciting one for me) is personal care. Piper has reached the point where she can wash her own hair and condition it (and get it all clean and the soap out) and last night she got up and got the finger nail clippers and clipped her own nails!! Wahoo! She has been doing great taking care of her teeth too. Sigh, such a happy day!

Front Row

Phoebe has been taking a little movement class this summer. At first I thought she would not like it because there were more 2 year olds and no 4 year olds. That did not turn out to be the case. Each time we went she was quiet and shy to get started but she always warmed up and had a great time.

Here is a pic of her up with the teacher in the “front row” where she seemed to like it best;)


A moment with Piper

Our homeschool year has begun. We have been spending this week getting our new rhythm established and it might take more than a week for it totally to mesh. I did a lot if prep work to get us here but we still have some adjusting to do.

Piper and Lela have started on a topography project where they will learn about the area where we live. One thing we needed to do this week was to observe our area. Taking advantage of a cloudy evening the girls and I hiked up the mountain a bit and settled in to do some sketches. Once they were settled I was helping Lela and had my back to Piper, when I turned around this is what I saw:


I was so struck by how at peace she was and how she seemed to be “getting” just how big her world was becoming. Luckily I thought to snap the picture. The sun was setting behind me which made her physically light up as she mentally lit up. After I took the picture she said , “Mom, I could sit here all day.”

I really believe she was in awe and filled with wonder. That moment has stuck with me all week. I am grateful that I was there and mentally present. She is growing up.


Is it July already?

It’s not just July but the middle of July! Where has the summer gone? Never in a million years would I have guessed an Arizona summer could go by so fast!

We have been busy taking art lessons, gymnastics, ballet and magic camp. We have also been swimming a lot at the gym. We had a staycation at a local resort with some of our best friends too.

We have two more staycations planned and even a trip Monterrey, CA to meet up with friends for a long weekend. Before I know it it will be Sept and I’ll be running 50 miles in Wisconsin!

The girls are outside right now jumping on the trampoline oblivious to the fact it is 100 degrees. Such is life in the desert.

Goodbye, Buster

Today Buster is finally able to join his fellow Austin dogs in a nicer place.  The last of our original Austin dogs died today after just hitting his 13th birthday.

So many memories of Buster and all of our originals, really.  He was such a great dog… if I were to describe him in one word, it would be loyal.  He loved Mystique… tolerated me, but absolutely would go to the end of the world for her.  I like to think that the girls got that from him by default… we were incredibly cautious with Buster and the girls, but never once did he even give me the slightest indication he was going to do anything at all.  Not even a bark or a growl in irritation.  Nothing.  That’s what he did… he never changed, he stayed true to the dog that he was.

So that’s how I’ll remember Buster.  Just a wonderful dog that stayed with us, no matter what.  We’ll miss ya, Buster… go find your best friend Tess and grab some shade.

DSCN0011 DSCN0058

Hi honey, how was your day?

Here is a look at my day. Got up around 715, still sleeping in my hobbit bed with gnome number 4. Did a FaceTime call with Jason so he could say good morning to the littles. Got up and roused the troops. Made breakfast, cleaned up breakfast and got everyone ready for ballet.


During ballet I read to the girls in the hall while Landis colored. The. We collected Phoebe and headed home for lunch. I started making lunch while the girls played. We ate rice, edamame and egg rolls and then we packed up for art. We headed to pick up the girls friend Maya on the way and went to art.


After I dropped the bigs at art the littles and I headed to Kierland for some fun. We hit the bookstore, bought a book, got a cookie and an iced coffee and went to the splash pad.



After that we headed to pick up the girls from art. From there we went to the gym so I could run 6 miles and they could play. Check!! Then we went to Costco for pizza and smoothies.


Then we gassed up the car and headed to guitar lessons. We dropped Landis (dad is picking her up) and the rest of us headed home. I showered, fed the dogs and bathed Piper (we generally group shower but this week we are shift showering;). Now I am going to do one load of laundry (the folding, the washing was done earlier today) and hit the hay.


We did do a couple of other things like repot a plant and sweep the front porch but all in all that was our day.

Sleeping Beauty

Well I have had it. After sleeping with Landis just shy of 7 years I was done, finito!! So about 13 days ago I decided she would sleep in her own room, in her own bed by herself! I knew this would take a major effort on my part but I was finally up to the task.

So I cleaned their room and pushed the two twin beds together. I have transitioned now to the beds apart. I am sleeping on the edge of Phoebe’s bed. I can honestly say it has sucked…big time!! But I can also say that progress is being made. The last several nights Landis has slept all night, no nightmares, no sleep walking and no wake ups!!

I am hoping that this sleep training is helping her see how comfortable and safe her bed and her room are. She is still afraid of being alone, dark rooms or going off to the other side of the house alone. Hopefully those fears will get better soon too. My plan is to do this for the magical 21 days and then my plan is to lock my bedroom door (eeek). I have to lock the door because I don’t hear her come in.

If this were a perfect world Phoebe would stay in her bed too but I will settle for one less monkey in the bed. Landis is very hard to resist just look at this face;


Starting to click – Piper

Things are starting to click for Piper. She no longer “hates” writing and she is starting to really read, she is moving from almanacs (which she still loves) to chapter books. She is also starting to realize how big the world is and that people die so that means she is afraid and she knows she is afraid and she doesn’t understand why she is afraid of things today that she didn’t fear last week.

Having been down this road with Lela already I kind of feel like an old pro. Not that I actually know what I am doing but at least the territory feels somewhat familiar.

On the book front piper is really in to reading books about anything pet related. She has been reading the Animal Ark series but I think she needs to step up to some more serious books. Every single night she comes in to my room while I am sleeping to tell me about some grammatical error she has found in the books. So I am thinking if you are a better editor than the book publisher maybe you should step up the quality, just saying;)

The other day she said she wanted to be a vet. That was a bit of a surprise because neither of the twins have ever proclaimed a profession, at least not since they have learned what professions are and why you need one. Lela has said she wants a farm but I don’t really see her as a farmer, lol.