Saturday, January 20, 2018

favorite fall festivities

Throughout October Cecilia was working to recover from her ankle injury. Having a six year old with a broken ankle definitely causes a shift in daily activities. She was instructed to avoid putting any weight on it for the first few weeks. That is not a rule a six year old wants to follow. After the cast came off she was given a walking boot and that made life much easier for our girl. It took a week or so for her to feel comfortable putting weight on her foot again, but she was cruising around in that boot in no time. Since she was able to move around on her own again we wanted to be sure to squeeze in some of our favorite Fall traditions. Last year we took the girls to a corn maze/pumpkin patch that they really enjoyed and Cecilia couldn't wait to go back. Olivia was busy that day but Cecilia was excited to be enjoying some freedom from the cast!

The corn maze was full of Halloween blow-ups that you had to try and find and check off your list. The walking got to be a bit much for Cece in the boot so we ended up carrying her through most of it. It was an extremely warm day for mid-October, but no complaints here. We were just happy to be running around without big coats on while enjoying some sunshine. Even more...we were thrilled that Cecilia was on the track to a full recovery!

Another activity we were glad Cecilia could enjoy while injured was the Zoo Halloween. The girls look forward to this event every year. This year the walking boot was the main accessory of Cecilia's Super Girl costume! No winter coats covering up their cute Halloween costumes, as the weather was still unseasonably warm. It's always more fun being able to show off your costume! My Pink Lady and mini-super girl had a great time collecting their treats and enjoying the zoo's decorations. Their pumpkin creations were pretty impressive!

By the time Halloween rolled around Cecilia's ankle had improved greatly. She was able to walk around most of the night in her boot, which made trick or treating so much easier! We celebrated the holiday with The Douglass Family once again. It has become a tradition for our kids to trick or treat together. This year we had quite the group of misfits. The Pink Lady, a Veterinarian, a Green Blob and T-Rex. As you can imagine our group turned quite a few heads!

It was chilly evening, but not freezing which was a relief. That meant we were able to walk around for quite awhile, which equals tons of candy for the kids! These guys are pros at collecting candy! You should have seen their bags at the end of the night. It was another fun Halloween with the Douglasses!

With Halloween over we immediately switched gears and prepared for Olivia's birthday! It was a fun weekend of celebrating our girl turning 11! We kicked things off with our annual dinner at Takaoka. The girls look forward to this birthday tradition and we look forward to sharing it with them.

Todd's Mom is kind enough to treat the girls to this fun tradition on their birthdays and it's one of the highlights of their birthday celebrations. They love getting dressed up, they love the restaurant and of course they love the show! The food is amazing and we leave feeling stuffed beyond belief. Cecilia leaves with a belly full of white rice. Her idea of good food is slightly different than the rest of us. The best part of this tradition is that we get to celebrate their birthdays with family and make lots of wonderful memories!

The next day Olivia had a joint birthday party with her friend Maggie. Maggie is one of her dance friends that has a birthday within days of Olivia. They decided to celebrate together and invite all of their dance friends. They settled on a Harry Potter theme for their party and they pretty much planned the entire thing on their own.

They planned games, crafts, a pop-up candy store and of course an impromptu dance party. Olivia has gained some pretty great friends during her years at the dance studio. Having the party at the dance studio surrounded by her dance buddies was a great way to celebration turning 11!

The day of Olivia's party was her actual birthday. So after a full day of celebrating we enjoyed a quiet evening with just the four of us, taking our girl out for dinner out and spoiling her with presents at home. The weekend may have been all about Olivia, but Cecilia managed to find a way to pull a little of the attention over her way when she lost her first tooth! She was pretty excited knowing the tooth fairy would be visiting her on her sister's birthday!

Olivia's birthday continued into the next weekend when we had a small little party at the house with her soccer buddies. The two most important things in Olivia's life are dance and soccer. The weekend before she celebrated with her dance friends and I promised her she would celebrate with her soccer pals as well. There were crafts, cookie decorating and of course, lots of silliness. 

We opted for soccer cupcakes instead of a big cake and they were perfect! After singing "Happy Birthday" at the top of their lungs, her friends spoiled her with some lovely presents! Olivia welcomed her 11th birthday surrounded by the people most important to her, in all areas of her life. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that she is 11, but if she must grow up at least she is doing it while making us very proud!

Although the first part of November was all about Olivia, Cecilia was forging ahead in her 1st grade year at Peace Montessori. She adjusted quickly to the lower elementary classroom and began to process in many areas. I have been nothing but impressed with her teacher too. She sends me regular updates on her progress and pictures of her hard at work. Nothing makes me smile more than seeing my girl trying her hardest at school.

At the end of the month, on Thanksgiving weekend the girls both performed at The Embassy Festival of Trees with the dance studio.This is something I did every year growing up and I love that I now get to watch my girls participate in this tradition. This year each girl performed 3 dances in the show. One of them they were even in together. 

After they perform we always take time to walk around and see all of the beautiful trees. The girls were extra excited because their pals Audrey and Avery tagged along with us. There is bravery in numbers which came in handy when it was time to visit Santa. Cecilia tends to be a little hesitant unless her sister is with her, so having her buddy Avery with her made it much easier. The Festival of Trees is usually the official kick off to the holiday season, and that meant lots of fun traditions and activities were to come in the month ahead. By far our favorite time of year!

Friday, December 08, 2017

it's just a broken ankle

School may have started back up in August, but the pool was still open, which meant there was a small glimmer of summer out there. We had a final day of fun before the pool closed for the season. These kids were sad to see it close (especially Cece, as you can see), but that just meant it was time to start counting the days until next summer.

Each year Olivia and her soccer team wrap up the summer (or kick off the Fall season) with the Puma Cup tournament. This year her team had changed up a bit due to the ages of some of the girls. It was an adjustment, but the girls played well together and won their age division. They were pretty stoked!

At the very end of the summer the girls and their friends did a small cheerleading camp together. It was held at our alma mater high school, and the girls got to show off what they learned at one of the first Friday night football games. Olivia and her friends Audrey and Ella, as well as Cecilia and her BFF Avery all became little cheerleaders for a night. Olivia and her pals took their cheers quite seriously, and looked adorable doing them too!

Cecilia and her bestie, Avery were just adorable. They remembered their little cheers for the most part, but mainly they just stood there and looked incredibly cute. I think they were more interested in the excitement of the game, than their cheers. Either way, it was a fun experience for the girls and a glimpse as to what lies ahead as they inch closer and closer to high school. Yikes!

In mid September we headed to California for a long weekend to attend my cousin's wedding. Cecilia was asked to be a flower girl so we trekked cross country to see lots of family and enjoy the beautiful event! We stayed at the wedding venue for the weekend, which was in the Santa Cruz mountains surrounded by redwood trees. We had our own little cabin and lots of forest to explore all around us. It was gorgeous and Cecilia was beyond excited to be in her first wedding!

Soon after arriving we were off to the rehearsal. Cecilia met the other flower girl, Claire and had an immediate friend. They spent the entire weekend attached at the hip. They practiced their flower girl duties before running off to play. The other flower girl just so happened to have a big brother Olivia's age, so she had a pal for the weekend as well. The next day we had a bunch of free time before the wedding so Olivia and Cece got to swim with their cousins and we took a really long walk through the redwood forest.

Then Cecilia was off to start getting ready for the wedding. I didn't see her again until right before the ceremony. She was stunning in her little white dress and was on cloud nine, as being fancy is Cece's favorite thing in the world! She was taking her roll as flower girl very seriously and was loving being in the middle of all of the wedding preparations!


When the time came to walk down the long winding steps to the alter the girls turned on their biggest smiles while dropping their flower petals. At the bottom of the stairs a small little petal fight broke out as they decided to throw them at each other. They definitely got a laugh from the crowd.

With the ceremony complete, it was time to party! Cece had been waiting all day to twirl in her dress and as soon as the music started she was out on that dance floor. She danced with the groom, my cousin Ryan, the bride and her new BFF and fellow flower girl, Claire.

It was a beautiful wedding, a fun weekend and a great chance to see family we don't get to see very often. I think Cecilia's first go as a flower girl was everything she could have imagined!

We were only able to go to California for a few days since the girls were in school, but we did manage to squeeze in one extra day to have some fun before heading home. After we left the wedding venue we hung around Santa Cruz for the day. This is the area my aunt used to live so I am a little familiar with the places we would frequent when we would visit. Our first stop was the Santa Cruz boardwalk to see the sea lions and put our toes in the sand!

Next we headed to lunch at one of our favorite places...The Crow's Nest. The girls would love to eat here whenever we would visit because it is right off the beach and it's just a super fun place to go! After a fun day running around Santa Cruz we headed to our hotel for a little pool time and relaxation before heading home in the morning. It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but it was definitely memorable!

So things were going so smoothly with the start of the school year and getting back into our after school activities, until Cecilia had a terrible accident on the playground. Her leg got caught up in a piece of playground equipment, breaking her ankle. I was out of town the day it happened and I rushed home just in time for my sweet girl to come out of surgery. Yep, the break was so bad she needed to have some temporary wires put into her foot to keep the bone in place. Seeing her lying in that hospital bed just broke my heart, but she was incredibly brave and I just knew she would handle this like a champ!

Her injury happened on a Friday so we had the weekend to adjust to this normal. Her leg was in a cast from the knee down and she was instructed to not put any weight on her foot. The first few days the pain was pretty rough, but that subsided and she quickly adjusted to the cast and having us carry her everywhere! She was off to school on Monday, wheelchair and all. After a weekend of doing nothing but sitting on the couch she was ready to go back to school. Plus, all of the extra attention from her friends and teachers didn't bother her either. 

Even though Cece couldn't get around on her own we made a point to still do some fun things this Fall. We wanted to do whatever we needed to in order to keep her spirits up. This is a girl that runs and jumps all day long. To suddenly have to stop walking, dancing and doing gymnastics can bum a girl out pretty quickly. We were having some beautiful Fall weather so we took Cece to the zoo in her wheelchair. We had a great time, and didn't let the broken ankle slow us down!

One of our annual Fall traditions is visiting the apple orchard and picking our own apples. So we busted out the wheelchair once again and pushed our girl around the orchard. She desperately wanted to run around and pick apples, but she had to settle for being a spectator this time around. We were able to get her close enough to pull a few apples of her own off the trees, but she was pretty content just being pushed around while enjoying some delicious apples!

It was a gorgeous Fall day and we made sure that even though Cece couldn't walk she could still enjoy our annual tradition. As Cece was getting more confident with her cast and begged to get out of her wheelchair and hop around a little. As nervous as this made me, I knew my girl just wanted some freedom to move around like she hadn't been able to since her accident. She knew how important it was to be very careful with her leg so she could heal quickly and get back to her super active self.

After a couple of weeks in the cast the doctor did an X-ray and was pleased with her progress. He decided to take her cast off and put her into a walking boot. The removal of the cast, and more importantly the wires that were in the leg, was incredibly traumatic. But having the freedom to put weight on her foot again made it worth it. We headed back to school after her appointment and she was able to walk her into her class, instead of having us wheel her in. One stop closer to recovery!

It was a crazy start to our Fall, but Cecilia was on her way to a full recovery and we were looking forward to Halloween and Olivia's birthday. Broken ankle or goes on!