Halloween 2016

Happy Halloween!  It feels like things stretched out for almost a week this year.  I helped with Mimi’s first Girl Scout Halloween party, we went to the party at N’s office, and I ran the snack station at E’s class party today. And of course we went trick-or-treating tonight 😉

E was a little ambivalent about picking his costume and went with Mimi’s suggestion of Robin from Teen Titans.  The kids watch cartoons on Saturdays after their chores are done and Teen Titans is usually on in an endless loop so the choice was apropos.

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Mimi loves all things rainbow and unicorns and was excited about this winged unicorn costume we found at H&M.  I liked that it was cozy and easy-t0-wear.

20161031_0057 20161031_0085 20161031_0112Happy Halloween!

Fall Colors

A month into school and we’re starting to settle into a groove.  Granted, it’s kind of a hectic groove but usually a happy one…at least that’s what I tell myself as we’re hurtling from one thing to another after school 😉

On Wednesday afternoon Mimi and I decided on the spur of the moment to drive up the canyon and check out the fall leaves…and we took her Korean hanbok with us!  It’s already a little too short on her and I wanted to get some pics before she completely outgrows it.

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I’m glad we made the effort to go up in the canyon because the first big storm of fall blew in and most of those leaves are probably gone now.  Just one more instance of the universe bonking me on the head with the message that time is fleeting.

I love this girl and these mountains  ♥

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First Day of Kindergarten!

Today was Mimi’s first day of kindergarten!  She’s been a little nervous and has had lots of questions, mostly about if she’ll make friends and whether the kids will like her.

The day we got her new backpack she spent 15 minutes trying it on and practicing her “nice smile” in the mirror.  She wanted to make sure the kids at Kindergarten “won’t be scared” and would know she’s friendly.

(That sound you hear is my heart breaking a little-oof.)

But this morning as I snapped a few pictures of her before we headed to school she struck this pose and declared, “I’m a super hero!”

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The extra-wide stance cracks me up but I couldn’t agree with her more.  All the heart-eyes.

Normally our carpool will drop the kids off in the morning but today I walked her into school.  She didn’t cry at all and neither did I.  We were both troopers 😉 

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She came home happy and looking forward to going back.  I’m so proud of her. 

E Starts 3rd Grade

We sent E off to his first day of 3rd grade today!  He had mixed feelings about going back to school (mostly concerns about how it would impact his computer game time, ha).

But fortunately he came home from school happy about seeing his friends and excited about his class.  We’ve had a great summer but to be honest I’m really looking forward to getting into our school year groove.  Our schedule feels like an advance level of Tetris and I kind of wish I could skip ahead to the end of September when I have everything fit into place.

The most exciting aspect of this year is that Mimi is starting kindergarten. *gulp*  It starts next Monday and both her and I have COMPLICATED FEELINGS.

Compared with the thought of sending Mimi off, today with E was pretty low-key.  He’s been at his school since kindergarten and we all love it.

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I’m looking forward to a great year with our smart, quirky, funny, enthusiastic third-grader 🙂

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Princess Party

For the past few years Mimi has attended an annual princess party at our local rec center.  I’m not in love with the mania that is princess culture, but she loves it and we try to balance things out by talking about how being strong, kind, smart, funny, etc… is more important that having fancy clothes.

But I still realize that it’s nice to dress up in fancy clothes once in a while.

Mimi’s little best friend ES went to the party with her. I had found these Cinderella dresses online at the Disney store on super-duper clearance so the girls could be twins.

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Delicate flowers, through and through ;)
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They have beauty school students come do hair and makeup for the attendees. Mimi loved it.

The party was very well-run.  They had stations set up around the gym with different Disney trademark-offending characters at each station handing out different prices (balloons, tiaras, stickers, etc…) and posing for pictures.  Each attendee also got a little autograph book and Mimi was driven about getting every characters’ autograph.  When she finally got every page signed she left out this huge sigh and smiled.

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So many Cinderellas
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Mimi with Ariel
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With Lilo from “Lilo and Stitch”

She had a great time but by the time we got home we were both done.  And then as we got out of the car her balloon escaped and flew away, tragedy!

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But then Mimi rallied liked the trooper she was.

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OIT: Milk Graduation!

We’ve had an exciting weekend–last Thursday E graduated from milk OIT which means he can now freely eat dairy!  At graduation E drank 300 ml of whole milk (with strawberry syrup in it, natch) with no problem. It’s truly amazing and our whole family feels so grateful.

We love Dr. Olsen. He always takes time to talk with E about whatever he wants to discuss which is usually computer games ;)
We love Dr. Olsen. He always takes time to talk with E about whatever he wants to discuss which is usually computer games ;)

After our appointment we went straight to dinner at The Pie.  They make great pizza and before it was the only pizza place we could go as a family because they would put Daiya non-dairy cheese on a pizza for E.

But on Thursday, E had his first piece of real pizza with cow cheese and cheese sticks AND an ice cream sundae for dessert 🙂

And he was fine!  Watching him eat all that dairy was AMAZING, almost like I was watching a magic trick and having trouble believing my eyes.

First bite of real cheese pizza!
First bite of real cheese pizza!
First bite of real ice cream and whipped cream!
First bite of real ice cream and whipped cream!  Mimi was almost as excited as E was.

We’ve been going a little crazy since Thursday crossing off things off of E’s dairy wishlist.  He went to Taco Bell for the first time, got the free soft-serve ice cream at Dickies (which both kids have been talking about for months), ate buttered popcorn at the movies, and ate enchiladas with real cheese.

First visit to Taco Bell! He loved the nacho cheese.
First visit to Taco Bell! He loved the nacho cheese.
Free-not-very-good soft serve never tasted so good!
Free-average-tasting soft serve never tasted so good!

It’s such a trip to see him eat things with dairy.  I keep taking pictures.

E’s still allergic to eggs, peanuts, nuts and shrimp but at graduation we got some good news which which I’ll fill you in on later.

If you are interested in Oral Immunotherapy for food allergies I  recommend our doctor, Rocky Mountain Allergy Asthma and Immunology without reservation.  And this Facebook group, OIT 101, was helpful in answering a lot of my questions.  If you have questions about our personal experience I’d love to hear from you in the comments or in email.

Also, let me know if you have any dairy suggestions of things for him to try!  I’m going grocery shopping today and am getting real cream cheese for bagels, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Cozy Shack pudding, and whatever else dairy catches my eye.  I’m giving us a week to go a little nuts and then we’re going to find our new (creamy, dairy-licous) normal.

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Girls’ Camp at Zion National Park

I’m still trying to figure out where June went!  E went to two weeks of a coding camp to learn how to use Scratch, a programing language invented for kids; I took Mimi to the annual princess party at our rec center; and I went to Zion National Park with our church girls group.

It was HOT (upper nineties) so our hike up The Narrows was a lot of fun.  The water was pleasantly cool and it was fun to pick our way along the river bed.  In some places the water was up to my hips!  We just had about a hour to hike up and back, but I’d love to come back with N and the kids and spent a few hours going further up the river.

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The girls had a great time swimming in the river.  I really enjoyed spending time with them.  I just got called to work with them at church a few months ago so it was a wonderful opportunity to get to know them better individually.  After spending a few days away from normal life tromping around in nature (and in the heat!) with them I’m happy to say I’m now rock-solid on all of their names 😉

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Hiking the Timp Cave Trail

I’ve been trying to improve my health lately.  My teacher for the women’s weightlifting class I’m in (which is really fun BTW) told us about a program for hiking the Timpanogos Cave trail.  Since it’s the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service there’s a program where if you hike the trail up to the cave 100 times from May-beginning of Sept you get a free jacket.

I’m a sucker for big ideas and for about a week I was SO PUMPED to earn that jacket!  But then I counted the days I had to hike and it was something like 115 at the time which meant I would have to go at least 6 days a week  or do it twice a day which just wasn’t going to happen :/

I don’t have time for that!  It takes me 2 hours to drive from my house to the trail, hike up and down, and then drive home.  Most of the people whom I see hiking it multiple times are older (and probably don’t have little kids at home).  So my friend Amy decided we would get ourselves our own reward when we hiked it 50 times 😉

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It’s a pretty good hike: 1.5 miles up gaining about 1,100 ft.  At times it’s really steep.  I keep waiting for it to get noticeably easier but I just hiked it for the 13th time this morning and it’s still really hard in places.  But I’ve shaved a few minutes off my time up so that’s good.

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I normally leave the house at 6am so I’m back by 8 for N to leave for work, but last Friday my friend Amy and I took our kids with us around lunch time and went on the cave tour.  It was fun but afterwards I was wiped out.  Turns out it takes a lot of energy to cajole a whining 8-year-old up a mountain.  It took us an hour and a half to get up to the cave when it normally takes about 43 min, ha!

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I was looking forward to sleeping in this summer, but I have to get up even earlier than normal when I go hiking.  But I love it!–I definitely love it more on the way down than on the way up–but I feel so invigorated and ready for anything.  It usually wears off around 2pm when all I want to do is crawl in bed for a quick nap, but it’s nice while it lasts 😉

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Mimi’s Gymnastics Show

After E’s final soccer game of the season on Saturday we booked it from the field over to our town’s rec center for Mimi’s gymnastics exhibition.  Her exhibition was scheduled for the same time as E’s soccer game but I was able to have her attend at a different time so we could make it to both.  Last year we had a similar soccer/gymnastics scheduling conflict and I bungled the dates and we missed her exhibition and she was so disappointed and I felt like the worst mother.  She has since forgotten about it but I don’t know if I will  :/

Anyway, this year’s exhibition was ADORABLE.  The kids were between 3 and 5 and they were so darn cute.  N’s parents came with us and we all cheered for Mimi together.

20160521_0058  20160521_006420160521_0034_BWMimi was so excited to get her shiny participation medal and have everyone cheer for her.  She was grinning from ear to ear and in the car on the way home she kept exclaiming, “I’m so happy!  I’m so happy!”

My heart swelled with contentment.  It was a lovely moment.  The kids started bickering and it passed but it was nice while it lasted 😉