The holidays were wonderful and full of joy! Once everything is over there is always that few days of letdown. You spend the entire month of December preparing for and anticipating Christmas, and just like that...it's over. The girls had an amazing month and watching them enjoy everything brought me so much happiness. Another downside to the end of the holidays is knowing that there is still 2-3 months of winter ahead of us. Luckily the girls are always busy, which helps to pass those cold, cold days.
On New Year's Eve weekend Olivia and a few of her soccer teammates played in a fun little tournament. Olivia plays soccer with a great group of girls and they are slowly but surely improving their skills. They may not have won their tournament, but they sure had a good time!
Something sort of a miracle happened at the start of 2015...Cecilia broke herself of her pacifier! Yes, you heard that right...she gave it up on her own. Cece has always been very obsessed with her wah-woh (her made up word for her paci). I thought Olivia was attached to the paci, but I was convinced it would be harder to break Cece of this habit. Well, all of a sudden she decided to call it quits. She no longer asked for it or needed it at bedtime. She no longer wanted to walk around the house with it in her mouth just because she could. I could hardly believe it, but was beyond grateful that she did this on her own. That is just one less battle I have to face with Miss Cecilia. Way to go, big girl!
A big part of winter is school delays. We are lucky as the girls go to a private school with no buses. That means we rarely delay, and if we do there's a really good reason. I must admit I like the fact that the girls rarely have to miss school because of weather. It keeps us on schedule and from having to make up days at the end of the school year. But a school delay here and there...not so bad. A delay means a little extra time with the girls and time for donuts!
Cecilia had another big milestone this winter. She said goodbye to her daybed crib and hello to a big girl bed! This was an exciting adventure as we picked out her new bedroom furniture, mattress and bedding. The hard part was convincing her to sleep in the bed and not on the floor next to the bed. As she started to grow out of her last bed she gradually started sleeping on the floor. She didn't seem to mind it and I would often find her on the floor when I would check on her at night. After a few weeks she was settling into her cozy new big girl bed and I was having a hard time understanding how she got so big so fast!
Despite staying busy the winter just seemed to drag on and on, so Valentine's Day helped to break up some of those winter blues. This is a fun holiday with the kids, so we go all out. Our big tradition is making heart shaped pizzas. I love doing this with the kids and they seem to enjoy it too.
Olivia really got into the whole process, carefully spreading her sauce and placing her toppings on her "heart". Cecilia's attention span is a tad bit shorter, but she participated and that is about all I can ask for. I love this Valentine's tradition with the girls and I look forward to doing it with them each year!
The pizzas looked amazing right out of the oven and they tasted great too! We enjoyed our Valentine's themed dinner as a family and used the holiday as a way to show how much we all love one another. A sweet treat immediately followed, but we were pretty stuffed from the pizza. One must have a little bit of chocolate on Valentine's Day!
The holiday wouldn't be complete without presents. I couldn't resist picking up a few little goodies for the girls. Books for Livie from one of her favorite series, and a firetruck for Cecilia from one of her favorite shows. The little things can often put the biggest smiles on their faces. Our quiet little Valentine's celebration was perfect...full of fun and love!
Late February brought another round of snow. Surprisingly, up until this point Olivia had yet to go sledding. Her friend from school, Ellie had been asking her to come over for weeks. She has an awesome hill in her sprawling backyard, which is perfect for sledding. It was all about finding the prefect weekend to do it. It's hard to tell if they had any fun.
We were lucky to make it through the majority of the winter void of any sickness. Well that winning streak ran out mid-February. All of us had something at some point in the month, but it hit Cece the hardest. That poor girl had about every symptom in the book. Throughout the month I think we visited the doctor 3 different times and overall she was on 3 different antibiotics. As the days passed I just kept praying that she would get well and feel better again. Because one of her many symptoms involved vomiting, we spent a few nights in a make-shift bed set up in the closet, just in case of any accidents. She actually enjoyed sleeping in there and it took a few days to get her used to sleeping in her bed again. By the end of the month the cloud of sickness that had been hanging over our family finally dissipated. Thank goodness!
As things finally started getting back to normal we were able to get back into our regular routine. That routine involves dance, soccer, gymnastics and of course school. Olivia has been having an amazing 2nd grade year. She continues to excel in all areas of her study. When not working hard at math, language and science she gets to enjoy more laid back activities like art.
Cece has also been having a great year. Although we are dealing with difficult behavioral issues at home, I am assured regularly by her teacher that she is excelling at school. Her teacher recently blew me away by showing me how Cece does the "silence work". This work requires that they use their concentration and stay quiet through the duration of the work. I could hardly believe my eyes when Ms. Linda shared these photos with me. Is that really my crazy, wild girl?
Cecilia has also been working on her handwriting at school. She mainly traces letters that have been laid out for her, but she's making strides. Recently she was sent home with homework for the weekend and we spent some time working on her handwriting. I was surprised by how willing she was to work on this task at home. I was pretty impressed with her letters. Anyone that knows Cece knows that we have a horrible time getting her to show us anything she knows or has learned at school. So, I was pretty relieved to know that she is, in fact listening and learning something.
The first couple months of 2015 felt like a roller coaster. Fun at times, but also exhausting...with the feeling it may never end. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The temperature is starting to rise and the sun is out more often. Nothing ever slows down for us, just more exciting adventures.