Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dance Dance Dance

Since we are currently evacuated for hurricane Isaac, I thought I would do a little blog updating.  (as an aside about Isaac: we left Monday night after it was announced that school was canceled for Tuesday and Wednesday.  D has to work and stay at the refinery and I did not want to just sit around the house and wait to see if the storm got bad and possibly lose electricity...heat in the south with no air. no thank you.  So a quick 3 hour drive and we arrived in MS for a mini vacation to see the grandparents.  Unfortunately as our bad luck would have it, Audrey seems to have come down with some mysterious illness as she had a temp of 103 this evening. yuck)

I have decided that the girls can do one extra curricular activity at a time - both for convenience and cost.  The options are more limited here than in Fairfax and I refuse to drive into Baton Rouge to do an activity for a 4 year old.  So I presented the girls with their options of soccer, dance, and tae kwon do.  For a couple of weeks they went back forth and were constantly changing their minds about what they wanted to do.  Fortunately the possibility of doing different things did not enter into the equation (Hooray for the sisterly solidarity!) The time we drawing near and the girls needed to commit and make a final decision.  They selected dance.  The final push to make dance the winner: costumes.  When they discovered that they would be in a recital and would have costume changes, they were sold.

So Tuesday nights from 6 to 7 we have dance class.  Thirty minutes of ballet and thirty minutes of tap.  They LOVE it (though to be fair it is clear that Brooke really loves it more and is totally committed.  I think Audrey is 70/30 for it - but she says that she loves it).  The teacher is awesome!  And they have already done so much.  It is amazing.  Again I have zero dance background but it seems like they are learning a ton.  Their favorite part (and mine too) is when they yell Hello Bar as they turn and face the bar.  For some reason it is just so cute!

Here are some, well a lot of, pics of them from their first couple of weeks.  They are so silly and cute and they love to pull their skirts up...for some reason that is just hilarious to them!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Swim Fun

The girls have made huge improvement in swimming this summer.  They have totally abandoned their floaties and are full of confidence in the pool.  We are still working on breathing while swimming.  Basically they totally stop, look up to the sky, and have their legs pointing down at the bottom of the pool.  It is a total momentum killer and it takes a while to get a good breath and start back up.
She's always a star
Brooke showing me her injury (legitimately bad as she got her finger slammed in a door)  after her band-aid fell off in the pool.  Always funny to get flipped off by a 4 year old.

Riding on the alligator with their friend Anya.  The rides were very short as they would all topple into the water within seconds!

Here is a video of Brooke doing her backward and forward flips.  I took them on my phone and I don't know how to make them fatter.  Anyone know?
I also took a long video of them doing synchronized diving (both synchronized and diving being very loosely defined).  Unfortunately I can't seem to upload the video here, so I put it on you tube (my first time doing that).  So to the best of my understanding, if you click this link it will take you to the video.  We shall see. The Haddens as Olympians  It is over 6 minutes so I am not totally sure who would be interested in seeing it anyway. Well I don't think that the link above worked so I will but in additional information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kf5-Mnxl344&feature=youtu.be
or if that doesn't work maybe this will: http://youtu.be/kf5-Mnxl344
Can you tell that I am totally tech savvy?

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Day of School

The girls started Pre-K at the Zachary Early Learning Center (aka ZELC) on Friday August 10.  It was just girls that first day. But other than that it was a totally normal day.  They rode the bus there and back.  They took their lunch and bought their breakfast.  And it was a totally great day!  No tears from any of us.  I may have misted up slightly after they left....but perhaps there was just something in my eye.

Audrey at 7 am.  Sadly I had to wake her up to go to school.  Even more sad, this is in our bed.  For some reason, ever since we moved Audrey seems to wake up a few times a week and she is WIDE awake.  And apparently she thinks that Mom and Dad must be much more interesting and down the stairs she tromps. Ugh.
Brooke at 7 am.  Also sad that I had to wake her up for school.
 The obligatory first day picture outside the front door.  LOVE the uniforms.  I want them to wear them for all of their schooling. Audrey is in the orange circle class and Brooke is in the yellow circle class.  Could Audrey be any cuter??

 Their bus pulling up (finally) to take them to school.  They hopped right on and barely looked back to wave to me and D.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Last Two Weeks of Summer Vacation

That's right.  Today is the last day of our summer vacation!  Where did it go?  Apparently when you move, go on week long beach trips - twice, take two weeks of swim lessons, and one week of VBS the summer just flies by.  Tomorrow the girls will go to their first day of Pre-K.  (I am totally not counting the "schooling" that they did in VA as it really was more mother's day out than anything else).  They will be wearing little uniforms, riding the bus at a quarter til 8 in the morning, eating breakfast and lunch there, and will be riding the bus home - scheduled to arrive at 4pm.  They are excited.  Especially about the bus.  And hugging each other on the bus.  Though I am not sure that they totally get that they are going to be gone basically all day, every day.  Tomorrow I will certainly have some cute pictures of the first day.

But today I thought I would recap our busiest last two weeks. 

Last Monday D and I had preschool orientation.  It was great!  We are very excited about the year.  When it was time to split up and go with the teacher's to get specific information about each class, D went for Audrey and I went for Brooke.  The teachers seem to be awesome and they are right next door to each other.  Audrey's teacher is a little more sweet and mom-like which I think will be great for her.  Brooke's teacher is Mrs. Favaloro and Audrey's teacher is Mrs. Mestayer....which is pronounced - wait for it.....Mat-ee-ay.   How kids in Louisiana ever learn to pronounce things phonetically, I'll never know!

Last week we also had a quick visit Monday to Wednesday from my sister Amy and one of her sons John David.  We swam, went to the zoo, went to the capitol, went to the mall to ride the carousel and of course watched the Olympics!

Then Thursday we had a fun night out at the circus.  The girls were still talking about the circus from last year so we really thought that they would love it again.  And they did!  D and I did not think it was that great this year as it was on a much smaller scale and seemed to be themed toward side show type acts.  Audrey's favorite act was the motorcycles that drove around in a ball.  Brooke's favorite was the strong man - he laid on the ground and had a board placed on him and a jeep holding 7 people drove over him.

That weekend we had our friends from Houston, the Bridges, come to visit.  We had a great time hanging out (and of course watching the Olympics).  It is so great to have friends that you can pick right up with - even if it has been years since you've seen each other!

Monday to Wednesday, the girls and I headed to MS to see the grandparents for a quick trip before school started.  One of the highlights of the trip was going to the Children's Museum - which is surprisingly great.  Audrey had been talking for weeks about going to the museum with the turtle and she was thrilled to do it first.  The girls LOVED moving the logs.  They did it several times and did it for quite a while each time.  They also discovered a love for Uno.  And we played it (as Brooke would say) a million times! One of my highlights was getting to see my friend Vallie from high school.  She was in town from CA visiting family too!  Very serendipitous for me.

We drove home Wednesday so the girls could go to their meet and greet.  They both liked their classes and seemed to like the school overall. I have been trying to coach them on their teacher's names.  Unfortunately they frequently will name each other's teacher.  Hopefully they will get it all straightened out soon.

Wednesday was also the first day back for Wednesday night services at church (can you tell we are going to a Baptist church?)  The girls and I ate dinner there.  Then the girls had choir practice (how cute is that?) and then they had Mission Friends....which I am helping to teach!  We shall see how that goes :)

And that brings us back to today...our last day of summer vacation!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hilton Head 2012

The Olympics are killing me!  We are up late every night watching them and it is making it almost impossible to keep up.  Unrelated to Hilton Head but I have loved watching the Olympics with the girls.  They are just so funny about it. And of course they are both going to be in the Olympics when they are older.  Brooke in swimming and cycling and Audrey in running and swimming.  And to hear them talk about the different countries is a hoot.  For example, during the diving the girls keeps saying things like "Oh China.  They are always so good."  And "That China flag looks a lot like Turkey."

So on to the actual post.  We got back from our annual Hilton Head beach vacation a week or so ago - time is so arbitrary during the summer!  It was a great trip from beginning to end.  On the road trip out there we took our time and made it a two day event.  And we stopped in Columbus GA and ate at a branch of the restaurant that I worked at in college and got to eat some yummy wings and spicy chicken skins! and no it was clearly not a Hooters :)  The week had fabulous weather - though the last couple of days were quite windy - and wonderful family fun.  On the drive home we stopped to see D's Granny and the next day we ate lunch in Biloxi.
The girls with their Great Granny
Me and the girls!  I wore this suit the first day and was greatly harassed by the family due to the fact that my belly was super white.  Apparently I have the mom-tan from all the tankinis. 
Love this picture of the three girls heading out (on their own) to boogie board.  They are so big!

Waiting on unsuspecting family members to come back from the beach so they could squirt them.  Though they had to ask first to make sure they were not holding any valuable electronics!
D's new trick with the girls.  They are practicing to be cheerleaders....though I am not sure how this will help them in the band :)
The whole family!!
Love this one of Brooke!!
Brooke was showing me one of the crabs that the girls caught and it was making an escape up her arm.  Kayla, which very little actual assistance from the girls, collected 20+ crabs one day.  The girls had them in a bucket in a wagon and were walking up and down the beach showing people.  It was hilarious!!
Love this picture of Audrey.  She looks so proud of her sand castle and her little dinosaur that was living on top of it!

We went on a dolphin watching cruise one afternoon.  We saw several dolphins which the girls were quite excited about and the boat had a cute furry dog co-captain.  The captain was very chatty but he was nice to let all of the kids on the boat (which was just the girls and their cousins Kayla and Paul) drive the boat for a little while.

We did our annual photo shoot that I make us do.  My hope each time is to get a great photo of the family so that I can use in on the Christmas card and not have to stress about that toward the end of the year.  Unfortunately we waited until the latter half of the trip and that was when it was super duper windy.  So we are all totally wind blown and disheveled.  And while they are not card worthy, they are certainly blog worthy....as my standards are much much lower here.
Hello America's Next Top Model - toddler edition
Papa and Weecie with all the grandkids
They are so sweet to each other!! Melts my heart!
The four of us...and won't it be funny when this ends up as our card!