Friday, April 30, 2010

Children Learn What They Live

This beautiful lesson was sent to me by my Uncle Dan. I absolutely love it and read it daily. It is a poem by Dorothy Law Nolte about raising children. We should all live by these rules:

If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.

If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.

If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.

If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.

If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.

If children live with fairness,
They learn justice.

If children live with security,
They learn to have faith.

If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.

If children live with acceptance and friendship,
They learn to find love in the world.

Thank you Dan for reminding me about the important things in life. We'll do our best with Sierra.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Visiting With Friends & Family...

My dear friend Kara Hrkach, her husband, Phil, and son, Cameron, drove to Florida from North Carolina to visit this week. We were fortunate enough to spend time with them during their stay. Sierra, Cameron and Victor played nerf football in the house tossing the ball back and forth. Sierra loved the action and sat laughing between the two boys.

Admiring the fun and entertainment, my mother Mary Nan and Kara's mother Betty watched from the sofa.
Continuing the game on the porch, we discovered what a beautiful day it was.
Kara and Phil posed for a snapshot...

Cameron and I took a break from tossing the ball for a quick photo too.

Shelby, Kara's nephew, stopped by to say hello and show off his new truck. His huge truck had massive mud tires and a lift kit that elevated the truck's frame to about 3 feet off the ground...very tough. and impressive.

Cameron enjoyed the truck most of all. Guess who's driving to Aunt Kris' & Big Bad Jim's house?!
* * * * *
Thanks for visiting Kara! I loved seeing you again and catching up on family life. By the way, Sierra says, "Thank you" for her wonderful school house toys and books. We read them all the way home from Betty's house & loved "George and Martha's Stories" most of all! Love, Dawn

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Playing Around the House...

We love being home with Sierra. She is exploring the house and discovering new play areas. For example, her new private "fort" is in the center of our dining room table. It's the perfect spot to hide from Mommy and Daddy.

Daddy chases Sierra and when he catches her, it's either upside down time or belly tickle time...Sierra loves both!

Taking a time out with Mommy on the porch.

Sitting with Daddyis fun too.

Bathtime is always fun too. Sierra loves to splash around in the water and play with her rubber duckies and friends.

Sierra continues to learn about the fun and softness of toilet paper...

Is this the beginning of the terrible two's? I'm sure she will keep us laughing for years to come. We love you Sierra Grace!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Learning to Swim is Not Fun!

Teaching Sierra to swim has been a priority for Victor and I since Sierra was born. Now that it is Springtime and Sierra is walking and exploring the outdoors, we decided it was time to enroll her in swimming classes. The course is 4 to 6 weeks long and is ISR (Infant Swimming Resource) certified.

As a Mommy, I have learned that learning to swim is not fun. It involves submerging under water, stress of the unknown, overcoming massive fear, and lots of crying. Honestly, I'm not sure if it's harder on Sierra or Mommy (most likely, Sierra!)

But, for now, it breaks my heart everytime I hear her cry for Mommy or Daddy. Knowing that the crying and fear will only last a week or two gives me comfort, however, watching our sweet girl cry for help makes my heart hurt.
After Sierra's first week of classes, she is learning to swim toward the wall for safety. The goal of the first week is to gain trust in the wall and praise her for touching it with both hands. This may be painful to watch....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mimi's Springtime Visit to see Sierra...

Mimi arrived this past Wednesday, and planned to stay the entire week to visit her darling grand daughter. At first glance, Sierra obviously remembered Mimi from her previous visits and took to liking her right away.
They had a lot of fun together reading and playing together. Mimi loved spending time with her and seeing how much Sierra has grown and developed.
They have a special bond that will last forever!

Toward the end of her visit, we drove to see her Gigi, and Sierra enjoyed a fun afternoon of playing the piano, looking around every nook and cranny of her home, playing with the boxes Gigi set out for her, eating a delicious early dinner of lasagna, organic cheese and watermelon!

Gigi even set up a special chair for Sierra so she could sit at the dining table just like all of us! It was a wonderful afternoon full of good food, great conversation and chasing Sierra around the house. Thanks mom for a wonderful day!

The 1st Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Sierra's House

This Easter we had the honor of having Victor's mother, Linda, in town for Easter. We planned a grand Easter celebration with Sierra as the center of all our attention.

On Easter Sunday alone, Sierra wore 3 beautiful sundresses. The first was a cute red and pink plaid dress with a big cherry on the front - it lasted about an hour before we put her in the cute white dress with zoo animals all over the skirt.

We let her open her presents from Gigi and Victor and I early in the day. She got a wonderful animal songs book from Gigi which featured the song, Pop! Goes the Weasel, one of Sierra's favorites. We always let her say the punch line...POP! and she giggles as she plays along.

Her favorite part of the gift was the fuzzy bag. When she saw it, the first thing she did was put her cheek to the pink fur and feel it's softness.

She loved the book and read it to her several times per day.

We also made Easter cookies the night before...carrott cake bunny cakes with icing and carrott shaped candy decorations, as well as the traditional sugar cookies with all sorts of glittery, sparkly, colorful toppings.

Sierra chose the bunny carrot cakes as her choice desert after lunch!

The entire mini-cake was gone in seconds! Sierra loves sweets.

Our Easter egg hunt was the highlight of the day. She had the opportunity to practice at the zoo the day before, so she knew the routine...gather as many eggs as you can see and put them in your basket.

Sierra loved the hunt. We hid candy eggs, specialty surprise eggs and hard boiled colored eggs. Her favorites were the hard boiled ones with bright colors. They were cold and colorful, perfect for licking and eating. She accidentally dropped one and to her dismay, it smashed. Oh well, at least the squirrels and birds can share in our fun and eat the broken ones.

Sierra's disappointment with dropping the egg was easy to see.

By the end of the day, Sierra had changed into her 3rd Easter outfit (above). The colored eggs not only colored her lips and fingers, but the pretty dress too. Happy Easter everyone!

A Hippity Hoppity Adventure at the Zoo!

This Easter we heard about the, "Hippity, Hoppity Adventure" at the Central Florida Zoo on Saturday. The day was filled with fun from the moment we arrived...

Just as we entered there were live bunny rabbits at the gates ready for loving and petting. Sierra was shy at first, but once the crowds diminished, she was very happy to meet the cutest black bunny rabbit.
She found a comfortable seat on the ground to give the bunny all her attention. She has never met a live bunny rabbit before, and her favorite stuffed animal with magical powers is a bunny rabbit, so this was a very special moment, not only for Sierra but also for her Mommy.

Sierra was all smiles and the bunny seemed to like her a lot.

We arrived just in time for the Easter egg hunt. Sierra had no idea what to expect, but with Mommy showing her the way, she quickly learned to search for the Easter eggs hidden in the grass. She found 6 total and was very happy with all the other surprises she won along the hippity hoppity path around the zoo.
We stopped to visit all the animals, like the tortoise...

Maude the elephant at the zoo...

And all the fun Easter decor along the way. Below Sierra and Mommy pose for a photo opp.

We saw beautiful parrotts, condors, vultures, monkey's, porcupines, cheetas, aligators, and all sorts of birds and lizzards at the zoo.

Mimi, Victor's mother, enjoyed seeing Sierra so captivated by the animals.

The best part of the hippity hoppity adventure was the last bunny stop, where we changed into our bathing suits and played in the water park.

It was a warm afternoon, and the water was fun to cool off under.
Sierra and her Daddy played in the fountains. She also took a seat on the friendly aligator sprinkler and had tons of laughs.

The hippo was a lot of fun too.

It was very crowed so Sierra stayed close to her Daddy and let him give her the entire tour.

He was completely soaked by the end of the day and it was so much fun for all of us!

Happy Easter everyone!