Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Birthday Presents Galore!

Addie patiently waited for everyone to arrive, and Rudy was right next to her, standing (or sitting) watch.

I was very deliberate with Addie's Birthday wish list, and tried to get her things that she really needs and enjoys.

Mrs. Amy bought Addie Play Doh, and I can't count the number of hours I spent making one creation after another.

Books from Aunt Nonna

were perfect.

Amazon has more than just my address memorized,

and they played a big part in Addie's Birthday.

From the monster water bottle, 

and more books from Aunt Cissy and Gabi.

A paint set from Uncle Howard and Detra

brought lots of smiles,

and a few gifts from us.

Little Silly Monkey,

and her never ending collection of babies.

A paint set needs an easel (and a gallon of extra strength clothes detergent).

This beautiful Baby Girl of mine, full of joy, made for one very special night.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Years Eve

Our New Years Eve started out like it has the last eight years, getting ready to celebrate the day with this Little Monkey.
She was still sleepy and only halfway agreed to a birthday morning photo - but had to include the reindeer antlers.

Our first stop of the day was to have our nails painted
for Addie, that meant stuffing her cheeks with the complimentary peppermints from the table nearby.

It is so cliche to even say that I can't believe how quickly the years have passed, but it is so very true.
Just when I think I have nothing else to tell about Monkus, she surprises me with a new word or phrase or does something that just stops me in my tracks.
We are absolutely amazed at her level of understanding.
There is so much that she doesn't understand and so many times that she becomes so frustrated that she cannot communicate what she wants to tell us, but then, almost out of nowhere, she will make me see that she understands a new phrase or she sings a new song.
She is amazing, my Little Miracle Monkey.

Addie loves to be a helper and loves to feel like she can do what every other child can do.
A couple weeks ago, Addie was assigned a job in PE.
Her job was to walk up and down the rows of kids and make sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing (apparently this is one of the jobs that a child is assigned to each week).
It was so neat to see Addie's face light up when I would ask her about it every night, and I knew that she understood my questions!
The funniest part is that her aide wrote on her daily sheet that Addie, "takes her job very seriously"!
I bet she did.
Addie is such a people watcher and knows when someone is doing something different or something they shouldn't be doing.  
When we are out in public and we see someone misbehaving, she always looks to me with a look of knowing and I can see there is a part of her that wants to go and scold the child herself.
She is a Little Mommy - for sure.
Don't get me wrong, that certainly doesn't stop HER from misbehaving in public!

I am just so humbled every single time I see the look of understanding on her face.
It melts my heart to know that she continues to learn and continues to be so proud of each of her accomplishments!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

According to My Sixteen Year Old Child

...Julien was super excited to tell me about his day.
According to him, after school today, he single-handedly changed a flat tire for another student
helped another student jump start his car.

Considering I had it on my list of things to do, I had yet to get around to actually showing Julien how to change a tire or jump start a car.
He said he knew just by instinct.
That, AND he got some really good genes from his Momma and Grandfather.
Just sayin'

A Sunny January Day

It has been an incredibly stressful week.
Addie has had a mystery illness that dominated the last five days.
Even the doctor didn't have a solid answer for us.
Troubleshooting my Little Monkey is harder than it ever appears.

Addie also lost yet another tooth - literally.
She is so proud of herself for extracting her own teeth, and this time, she woke up happy and excited to show me the vacant spot in her mouth.

AND, yes.
I do think the loss of that little tiny tooth had a bit to do with her absolute misery over the proceeding days.

Addie is feeling better and with this beautiful sunny January day upon us, we had to get out for a while.
We started the day with a doctor's appointment for Julien and me.
This very quick and painless appointment had Addie on maximum stress overload.
Any new doctor's office causes an extreme amount of anxiety for Addie, even when the appointment isn't for her.
After the traumatic start to our morning, we proceeded on to things a little less stressful.

I needed to do some quick shopping and my little helper was all about paroozing every item within her reach.
When she was adamant about trying on this swimsuit, I didn't give it a second thought because I knew it would buy me at least a good five minutes of my own trying on time. 

Yep, she was rockin' it.

Later in the day, we enjoyed some downtime and hijacked Julien's ENO.

AND, to top off the day, we had a spur of the moment visit from ToTo!!!!
He spent the day at the groomer's, and my sister detoured on the way home so we could spend some time with him.
It has been a really long time since we have seen him
these last few weeks have been very, very difficult on Addie.
She has had several very tearful moments of missing her GaGa and ToTo
seeing ToTo again made her so very happy!

I made a makeshift collar and leash for him so Addie could walk him outside.

His little leg still isn't back to normal after his surgery at the beginning of September, but that didn't stop him from playing with Addie.

A perfectly beautiful - sunny and rare - January day!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Julien's Baby

I spend most of the Blog time talking about Addie, and for Julien's sanity, minimize the amount of focus on him.

However, he is rather proud of the mini-makeover his baby received, and it's worth sharing a photo.
His Jeep recently got a new lift and suspension and for Christmas, a new bumper and fenders.

We are trying to take very good care of his Jeep, because we need it to take very good care of him.

Monday, January 12, 2015

After Christmas Madness

The days after Christmas are always a little maddening. 
 Trying to clean up , reorganize and find some semblance of a routine can be a little daunting.

In the midst of it all, this Little Monkey was happy to make messes quicker than I could clean them.

She loved playing with her new toys and Rudy was a - mostly willing - participant.

The poor cat got more shots than I could count!

When he wasn't receiving multiple injections, he was lounging around with Addie's baby.

The menfolk were happy to stay outside and disassemble Julien's Jeep in preparation for a mini-makeover.

Nothing beats enjoyable downtime with my crazy little family!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Christmas Morning

Chris and I didn't even make it to bed until 2:00 a.m.
It's not that we even had a lot to do to prepare for Christmas morning, but we still managed to be up past our bedtime.
Even Thomas and Alley were trying to figure out what was going on.

It wasn't Addie's Baby that kept us up, she was sleeping soundly.

However, this Baby woke me up just a few hours later - well before the break of dawn.
Just like years before, Chris and I went downstairs to enjoy Christmas morning with Julien - so he could have our undivided attention.

Julien was one very happy boy.

This Little Monkey slept way past the break of dawn and allowed us a few more hours of sleep.
Once she was awake, she was so excited and couldn't wait for Julien to hurry up and bring her downstairs.

Addie was so enamored with her new baby! 

She was so sweet!

I had to tell Addie that she could pick up the baby before she would even attempt to.

It took a bit of encouragement, but she finally left her baby so she could open the rest of her presents.

Addie got new outfits and diapers for her baby, which means that I have spent a LOT of time changing a baby over the last couple of weeks.

This sweet girl and her babies keeps me busy!

Rudy was done.
Poor cat - never a moment of peace and quiet.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Baking for Christmas

Addie loves helping in the kitchen.
I just have to make sure that I am prepared with lots of towels, extra ingredients and patience.
She's a taste tester, and if I turn away for even a second, things like this happen.

Reason number one why I don't typically bake for other people.

Monday, January 05, 2015

There's Always Something...

Addie always manages to come up with something that will put a smile on my face. 
Many times, she doesn't even know it. 
Then there are times when she makes me laugh even when a part of me isn't sure I should, but she is just so stinking cute, that I can't help myself. 

After several days of dreary weather, we headed out to soak up some sunshine. 

Upon seeing these little beauties, Addie delightfully said, "Kitties!"

I replied, "No, they're little monkeys", to which Addie responded, "Quack, quack, quack". 

Yep. Quack, quack, quack says the little monkeys. 

...and these are The Days of My Life. 

I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Christmas Eve - Continued

One of the best parts of Christmas Eve is forcing the kids into a group photo.
It's almost impossible to get one good photo, but the outtakes are always priceless.

My Mom had told me at the beginning of September that for Christmas, she wanted to focus on educational items for Addie.
So, I bought an organizer and several various educational items to fill the drawers and we gave it to Addie on Christmas Eve.

All of the kids had a gift from their GaGa, because at some point or another, conversations had already been had about gifts for this Christmas season.
Everyone but Addie knew who the gifts were from, and it was better that way.
Each day is still very difficult for Addie and we are trying to prevent additional confusion for her.

She loved her gifts and I know my Mom would have approved.
Mom loved reading to Addie

and any activity to enhance Addie's learning is always a perfect gift.

After everyone left for the evening, Addie sprinkled the reindeer food - on the stairs.
In years past, the reindeer food killed the grass, so not only do we need to make sure we keep the reindeer fed, but we need to make sure we keep Addie's Daddy happy.