Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Can't Touch This

Oh, the fun days of summer!

We got to the pool a few minutes early. There is a small splash pad off to the side. So we let Ashton enjoy while waiting.

She's doing better on her floating without trying to cover her ears, but the jump is still a challenge. We only have a couple days left. And I think we get her report card tomorrow. 

After swim practice, neighbor Mr. D and Ashton played outside together for a bit. They had chased and Ashton fell and scraped her elbow So we got a band aid on it and she went to put on her knee pads. Not her elbow pads mind you. So she played wearing her knee pads, running around. It was so cute!

Now Ashton and Mr. D look so sweet together. But mind you he just turned 5. He's only 3 month older than Ashton and almost a whole head bigger! It just surprises me how tiny she is, as I see her as perfect and all other kids as giants!

Then off to the grocery store, and Ashton was humming along in the cart. Find out she's singing "Can't Touch This". She's never seen the video, but a fly sings a bit of it from a movie called "Racing Stripes" and she's hooked. I showed her the original song on YouTube, and she didn't find it as good as the fly version. Ha! And I was hoping she'd want to learn the hammer dance!

Needless to say, Ashton was in a precious, sweet mood all day. So refreshing. So she got rewarded with staying up late (she is on summer break after all, no daycare to wake up early for) and playing a game of Mario Kart together. I hope we have more sweeter, listening, not getting into trouble Ashton days to come.
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Monday, June 27, 2016

Party to Lock Down

Friday we had our usual swim lesson scheduled. I left work picked up my girl and got in the car when I saw I had a voicemail. It was her swim center saying that her instructor was sick and we'd have to reschedule. I'm glad I caught the voicemail in the nick of time. Ashton was so bummed.

So we got to have some down time before we had to pick things back up and go to Chinese dance class.

When we arrive Ashton was in a mood. She only laid on the floor as if sleeping. I kept giving her the stink eye but she wouldn't participate. I then talked to the instructors about her behavior. They said it was normal for a girl so young. I said it was. They said yes, she was only 3. I said, she's almost 5! They were shocked. She was so small. I said I knew. So I took Ashton aside and spoke to her. I asked if she wanted to stay, she said yes. I said she had to practice and participate or we would go home.

Then magically she listened and she participated and mimicked their movements.

While there a mom of a 7 year old wanted a play date with our daughters on Sunday. Absolutely. So we agreed to meet at their house. She told me to bring my husband and she'd cook us dinner.

Saturday came and we had a birthday party next door to go to. I don't know why I didn't take photos. Maybe because it was of all the mud. They had a bounce house in the back yard that had a later and slide into a pool It was really cool. However, it our wooded backyard, things got messy fast. So the water was mud and the kids were kinda yucky. But as long as they had fun. I tried to stay away from the splash zone.

I had Amadeus in my lap, we sat in the shade and watched our kids have a blast. There'd be the occasional cry, but they'd get over it quickly and resume playing. Ashton was very shy at first and tentative about going. The bigger kids picked her up and carried her into the bounce house. She eventually joined in and forgot her shy self.

They had water cannons and where shooting each other while coming down the slide. Ashton only took a break to watch Mr. D open his gifts and eat cake. Otherwise she was fully engaged inside the bounce house slide pool the entire time. We hoped it would tire her out.

We then headed out for dinner. We were too tired to cook. While eating out Ashton had to go to the restroom. Under the bright lights I saw Ashton's eyes all red. I mean SCARY red. I had my hubby come in the restroom to check her out under the bright lights. He had us leave immediately.

We drove to the nearest store and got eye drops. We thought the mud really irritated them. We also sent her to bed early.

When we got up for church her eyes were swollen and oozing! I knew she had pink eye. I don't know if it came from the mud or a kid or what exactly. But I called Mr. D's mom to tell her to call the other kids parents just in case. I also called our Doctor and texted her a photo. She called in the medicine to our pharmacy.

So we cancelled church and I had to cancel her play date. In 24 hours she should be okay. She complained all day of her eyes itching. Poor thing! But we got great family bonding time!

So not quite the Sunday we planned, but it could have been a lot worse!

Now Ashton is starting her summer break from daycare. She's got the whole week off and is spending it with her daddy. I wish I could join, but I don't have enough vacation days. It'll be good daddy and daughter bonding time.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Going Indoors

Earlier this morning Ashton wanted to show me the lego spaceship she built with her Dad. I had gone down early for the night with a migraine. So she was eager to show me when we got up. It's actually pretty good and she told me it was very pretty. So here she is with her pretty spaceship.

There were thunderstorms all day long, so Ashton's swim lessons got moved to another facility (longer drive) which had the pool indoors. This time my hubby was able to tag along. We got to watch her through a window.

I didn't know if being indoors would make her unsettled or make her shy again. When they called for the next wave of kids, she got nervous going through the door into the pool area. Her Dad had to help her up to the pool edge and get in the water then he ducked out. Luckily, she was only scared for about 30 seconds. Then she was good. She didn't freak when her daddy left.

Class was about the same as the first class. But this time they were able to add 1 new activity - picking up rings.

I tried taking photos and video, but with the window having lots of residue, it was hard to really see much clearly.  So I just got video of something she hadn't done before which was "dive" for rings.

She's still really sensitive about getting water in her ears, she says it tickles. And she's still cautious about putting her face in water for bubbles. But she's already come a long way since 3 flotation devices to get into the water.

She's loving classes and loves leaving daycare early to go to them. I asked her which she loved better indoor or outdoor. She couldn't decide. I do like the indoors for not getting sunburned, but obviously with rain that wouldn't have been a problem that day. But I prefer the outdoors so I can roughly hear the instructor. Reading lips isn't my forte.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

1st Day as an Anglefish

After her assessment a couple weeks ago, Ashton finally got to begin her swimming lessons. She has been asking about them almost everyday! She was very excited to go!

We bought the goggles there at the swim center from the instructor who swam with her a couple weeks ago. She was happy to see Ashton again, and told her she'd do great! We ended up buying the LAST pair of goggles. Pink and purple wouldn't have been Ashton's first choice. She told me she wanted green or ones with sharks on them. But luckily she didn't mind the pink and purple ones.

Her new swimming partner and buddy is Miss L. She's almost 3. And then there's my girl almost 5.

She did really well for a lot of it. Ashton's biggest hurdle was she didn't want water in her ears. So much so the instructor Miss D asked if Ashton had tubes in her ears. I told her no. Hopefully over time Ashton will relax.

She seemed to really be enjoying herself. I told her to be brave on the jump as I know it was the scariest part for her last time. She did the wall crawl like a pro.

When it came to the jump, she still needed to be brought in and was very hesitant, but did much better than last time.

After class was over she sat down with the next class ready to swim some more. We had to pull her out of the water. But she understood it was the other kids turns. She told me she couldn't wait to go again. 

We return Wednesday for more swimming!

I'm really glad were doing this and I think Ashton is too!

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Scooter Queen

So with the sunburn and two cars in not best of use, we didn't make it to church today. The SUV still wasn't fixed it was giving problems. So Ashton and I spent the day cleaning the kitchen, sweeping and mopping and washing the windows and table. Ashton did a pretty good job. She really wanted to help. But then after the chores she was ready for some fun time! And she wanted to learn "stunts" on her scooter.

So while my husband spent Father's Day working on the SUV, I would go back and forth between watching Ashton and pressing on the brakes for him. Ashton and I even cleaned out my car a bit. So we did try to be proactive.

Ashton loved running about on her scooter. But then we had to head in for lunch and her nap. While she napped I tried to help by pressing the brakes on and off trying to find what was wrong with the SUV. 

Ashton woke and we played ball in the front yard for a bit. Then it was more scooter time. During all this, I did my best to stay in the shade as my sunburn burned! And somehow I ended up with tons of chigger bites! I usually pick them up in our backyard, but not front yard. So we'll have to go and get spray to kill them out. After tour cars are fixed! Between my neck burning and feet itching, I feel miserable!

What's sucks is that my husband worked endlessly on this SUV, and can't figure out why the caliber isn't working. So he'll need someone to come by and take a look on it Monday.

Well, with the way things are, he'll have to borrow my car for work on Monday, since his is jacked up. And he'll have to go to the tire place to get my tire re-patched up sometime during his lunch hour at work! And then he'll have to pick me up early so we can get Ashton early because Monday is the first day of her swimming class and it starts right at 5pm! And all this not even with time for him to work on his car! He's hoping to have a friend come by and double check what it could be. But with our schedule... it's not going to be easy!

I'm just thankful I do have a spare, and that I have a husband that knows cars to help cut costs than have to take it in to a mechanic, and that we can still get Ashton to a birthday party or swim class. I will look at the glass as half full not empty. But it has been a very stressful weekend. 

I can only hope it goes all downhill from here and that Monday will be resolutions for our vehicle problems!

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

With Time to Spare

Today was a crazy day. We had to get to a birthday arty early afternoon. So we planned to eat lunch early to fit in a nap. Because Ashton is cranky without her naps.

Well, my hubby's SUV was being repaired. He was working on the brakes, replacing the master something and caliber...I don't know. But it was involving.

Well, I was going to take Ashton to the party alone so he could work on it. Well, he needed a part, so I told him I'd take him quickly then drop him back home and we'd be on our way. She'd just have to nap in the car.

Well, we get to my car. A flat! 

So he hairs it up qucily and we drive my car to our tire place and I'm there talking to the mechanic while he's next door at an auto parts store getting his part.

I find out that I have a screw in my tire and they can patch it up, but there's 6 people in front and it'd take at least 2 hours. She'd be late by then and the party is on the other side of town an hour away! So I ask if there are any alternatives. He tells me of another store of theirs on my way that usually is slower and could do this in no time. He told me he'd call the store to let them know we're coming.

So hubby returns, no part, they didn't have it in. I tell him we're headed off to another store, as is he. 

On our way to the tire store, we pass another auto parts store and stop there. Ashton is still wide awake and very bored. She doesn't have her innotab back from loosing it earlier in the week and I think it's good for her to learn to be bored. But she climbs up to the front seat with me and we chat it up. 

After a while, hubby is back out and with the part he needs. We're now off to the tire store.

We get there and they whisk my car right in. While checking out the patch job, they tell me that my treads are showing on one other tire and it should be replaced. My husband and I check it out, and yes, they're right. So we get that done too.

By now we don't want to miss the party so hubby is coming with. He rationalizes that it's the hot part of the day now and it'd be better to work on the vehicle when it's a bit cooler.

So we head to the party. It's a pool party for the kids. And we adults were under a canopy with a mister. It was so relaxing. I don't remember a more relaxing party I'd been to for kids. It was perfect.

Ashton loved the cake and got a second helping of icing. She had a blast in the plastic inflatable pool. She kept running int he grass and jumping in the pool. But the plastic was so wide she had to stop and climb over, thus negating the run. But she didn't care or notice.

Finally we needed to go. My husband's SUV beckoned. So we got in my car and after driving past a couple houses, noticed that we had a flat again! The same tire. They did a bad patch job. So we had to pull off the tire and put on the spare. (And the tire store closed a 5pm and it was just past 5 and they aren't open on Sundays!)

I got sunburned the 10-15 minutes I was out helping change the tire with my hubby. Didn't notice then, but later in the night, the back of my neck was on fire!

So we get back home and he works on his SUV, while I see my wonderful yellow spare on the side of my car. It feels like it's been a terribly long day! I'm just glad Ashton didn't end up missing the party. She had a lot of fun!

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Songs, Art, and Dance

Asthton is a very busy girl. After daycare, we had a little time to eat and get ready for dance class. Ashton decided to sing and draw. She made up her very own song. It was about the sun and moon, and by the end a hot dog was thrown in there!

And look, the first drawing of our family by Ashton! She wanted to point out that she was standing on her dad's head!

Then we were off to dance class. There are 4 routines. A Chinese dance routing, a ballet routine, a sheep routine, and handkerchief routine. They are getting ready for a performance early July. However, since we have a family reunion that day, we cannot participate. But she's learning the routines anyhow.

She's having fun and warming up slowly. And even has a play date with one of the younger girls in a week's time!

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Ups and Downs of Trying to be a Good Girl

Since her meltdown on Sunday, things have been up and down for her as behavior and earning things back. The first day she earned a couple things back only to have all taken away again for bad behavior. And it's boomeranged back and forth.

Just last night, she left her room (after bedtime) grabbed markers (which she had to climb up on stuff to reach) and a bill (out of our desk) and colored all over it. In the process, ruining her bedsheets! She got stuff taken away for that.

As it stands all she currently has left is her Tauntaun, daisy, and Butterfly (the bat). Everything else is gone at the moment.

Today, before we took away half of what she earned back, we ate dinner with Mr & Mrs. M. Ashton loved seeing them. We caught up on what was going on recently and the weather was perfect. It was a lovely dinner together!

Ashton ate her dinner very well, but sitting and just talking at the table was very boring for her so she kept getting up and moving around and "stealing" napkins that weren't being used anymore. She got to color for a bit and that worked, but again, it's all about entertainment. When she's not doing something she starts to wonder and get into trouble. I'm trying to get her used to downtime where she doesn't need to be entertained every second. It went so-so. But I'm hoping it will only get better.

We did have only 1 successful night of her not peeing in her pull-up overnight. But only 1 night. I'd really like to get this back on track.

But as far as eating dinner in half an hour or less, that is working out well. She hasn't messed that up yet and is eating all on her plate in record time. It's so nice not to have to sit with her for another half an hour or more waiting for her to be done. So with this accomplishment, I'm very proud.

So I think we're headed in the right direction, just slowly. If she has to work on her patience, so do I. All good things will come in time.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Registration Is Up Online!

If you are in the greater Indianapolis area - please consider joining the short 1 mile walk. If not, consider donating!

Register | Donate | Share  

Date: September 10, 2016
Registration: 9:30 AM
Walk Begins: 10:00 AM
Registration Cost: $10 per person/walker, ages 12 and under are free
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Sunday, June 12, 2016


Today was tough. We didn't feel up to going to church or going to a violin recital. We just wanted to be left alone and mourn Dawson. However, life goes one and we had things to do. Luckily, we kept Saturday a lazy day for us to grieve.

I was able to get a snapshot of her with her violin outside right before church. She just looked so precious.

Ashton got lots of compliments at church with her dress and curled hair. But she was in a mood. I mean she ended up spitting on the church floor then running away from us! I don't know if it was from her dealing with Dawson's death or just one of those things. But she was a brat. We took her home and told her how bad she was a church and told her to go take her nap and that she'd eat lunch later. We really hoped the nap would help her from being so nasty.

I had to wake her early as the violin recital was soon. She was very grumpy. We gave her some food to eat in the car along the way. She through it everywhere! She was still being a pill!

We arrived and the buildings A/C was broken. It must have been 89 degrees outside and hotter inside. We were all dying! Everyone was melting. Ashton was being a wiggle worm, but seeing the "band" of Star Wars characters brought a smile to her face.

Ashton's teacher decided to start the recital early so we wouldn't all die from heatstroke. Ashton was first.

Ashton can play this piece all by herself, but with the heat, her mood, and her stage freight, she didn't play too well.

Regardless I was proud of her getting through it. Then she had to sit and watch all the other students. However, she wasn't patient. She was making noise and jumping around. Not sitting still like a good girl. I understood it was hot and hungry, but she needed to wait. She wouldn't have been hungry if she ate her food in the car, rather than spilling it. (But I did bring some bummies and water for her, but that wasn't enough). She wouldn't stay quiet or still, a(nd I felt she was disturbing those around her) so we had to leave early.

And man, did she throw the worst tantrum when we got outside. She kicked her shoes off and wouldn't stop kicking or screaming; she was being terrible! She screamed the whole way home!

When we got home, we went in her room and removed EVERYTHING. WE took away all her stuffed animals, her decorations, her piggy bank, anything that was sitting on her bureau or table, gone. We took away her comforter and everything. All she got was 1 pillow and sheets on the bed. Everything else went away.

We told her she was to stay in bed, bored the rest of the night. She threw a fit and eventually passed out.

She woke up hungry and we let her eat in her room on her bed. She wasn't allowed to leave.

There were moments when she tried opening her closet and pulling out books, or sneak out her room to grab a can of pledge and used it all over her floor. It was quite a night. But by the end, 4 hours later, she wanted to be good and talk about what she had done.

Later we sat down and talked with her about respect for others, and patience. We told her that her attitude at church and at the recital were uncalled for. We told her that she could earn back her stuff if she sat and acted like a girl rather than a savage. We told her that we decided when and what she earned back depending on her behavior, but she couldn't ask for any of it back or it didn't come back. The only time she could know and ask for something back was during dinner. If she eats her dinner under half and hour and stays seated during that time she can choose what she wants back. Other than that, we decide when and where based on her attitude and keeping things clean and doing chores.

So today she earned back her daisy (blanket) and her Tauntaun, for listening and understanding and agreeing to the terms. We'll see how she does tomorrow.

We hated being so extreme, but she wasn't caring what she was doing and she wasn't valuing the things around her. So we took it all away. We'll find out over the next few days if it sinks in and worked.

Now we have boxes of her stuff in our room. I'll be curious to see how this arrangement works.
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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Goodbye my sweet, Big Baby

Friday night I was seconds away from taking Ashton to her Chinese dance class when my husband called me upstairs. Our sweet Dawson who turned 15 years old on the 3rd of June was dying.

Arwen gave us an unexpected goodbye earlier in March, but we knew Dawson would probably go sometime soon, just like Fancy did months before Arwen.

It was a rough night. I cancelled class and I spent the night staying up with him in my arms. He was slipping away.

This dog is an amazing dog! He was so sweet and so loving! He begged for food and attention constantly.

Where Arwen's was a surprise, his was not. But it didn't make it any less painful or hard.

I always called him Doting Dawson. He was such a charmer. He loved to give kisses.

This photo is one of the last few I have of him. He isn't as alert or his fur as full, but still loved attention and to be cuddled.

That night he didn't pass, so we made an appointment with the vet to help him out. We didn't want to prolong his death. No one should have to go through that, and he could of hung on for days. He couldn't stand, he could barely raise his head, he stopped eating, but his heart was strong.

We all gave him kisses and held on to him as he took his last breaths. It was a very tough weekend.

And as Arwen's was quick, Dawson's death was all night, and Ashton would come in asking if he was dead yet, and if we'd bury him. It was very tough to take while being there for him. But we did our best to answer her and let her know that it was a very sensitive time.

She says she misses him, but she has brought up Arwen a lot saying how much she misses her.

These things are never easy. I'm just gals we were home to give him love and companionship until the end.

We love you, Dawson!
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Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Bird and the Grabber Thingy

I love the imagination of children. It's always so rich and inventive. I can't wait as Ashton blossoms into her imagination and share all her ideas!

Case and point, the bird and the grabber thingy (which I think is a crane). But it's best if she explains it to you!

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Swimming Assessment

Today was Ashton swimming assessment to determine which level would be best for Ashton, Angelfish or Pufferfish.

We took her to the pool and she was nervous about getting into the water without a life jacket, even sitting on the steps. So Daddy sat close for extra comfort the first few minutes. She called for him often.

It took a few tries to build up her trust issues. For a girl that can be so fearless when she SHOULD be scared and then so nervous at times I'd think she'd go crazy and wild. It's so strange. But that is the perfect explanation of a 4 year old.


Her teacher from daycare kept talking up Ashton all day to put her head in the water and blow bubbles. I can't say she really put her head int he water, but her mouth was and a couple bubbles made. Regardless I was proud of her.

I loved that though she was very nervous she did listen to the teacher. She didn't just run off. I'm very proud she was working through her fears. She always went last in the group so she could observe everyone else doing it. The first two kids were all in. I thought they'd drown for how long they'd put their face under water and float all by them selves. Then the taller girl in the pink beside her was more hesitant. But she was a whole year younger than Ashton! But I thought it was good that these two girls were hesitant and it wasn't just my girl, though mine was the more fearful of the two.

Ashton learned to kick out behind her, float on her back, scoop the water with her hands, and wall crawl.

You may think, she warmed up after a time per usual. And she did. However, not to her typical level of crazy. All the kids loved jumping in the pool after the wall crawl. Ashton would not. The instructor picked her up and "jumped" her in very slowly. Funny for a girl that told me she wanted to do competitive diving.


But in the end look at that proud face, she was begging to go back into the pool when it was all over. She had so much fun! And it did my heart good knowing she loved it. She can't wait to start lesssons!


In the end she deserved a treat for her bravery. She got a blow pop for her efforts.

After talking with the instructor, it was her recommendation that she go to the Angelfish class. Ashton was just too scared and hesitant and she'll get more one on one time with the teacher. In Pufferfish there are 4 students. In Angelfish there are only 2. She'll learn pretty much the same stuff but with more focused attention.

So we'll be back in just under 2 weeks for swimming lessons. Ashton keeps asking if it's happening tomorrow. She just can't wait. My silly Angelfish.

We celebrated by buying another swimsuit. I picked three out and let her pick her favorite from the three. Of course I would have picked a different one, but I think she loved being able to do so herself. We have to get goggles next. I'll have to find a green pair if there are any in her size.

I'm looking forward to her upcoming Angelfish swimming lessons!
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