Flugtag and Sushi

From Sep 21 – 29…..

A little Friday night shoe shopping.  The taller, the spikier, the sparklier – the better.

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On Saturday we met the Godbys down on the river for Flugtag.  Brent and I had been years and years earlier (pre kids) with some other friends and figured we should keep our Flugtag attendance record perfect.  Flugtag is an event sponsored by Red Bull that travels the globe and teams put together things they think will soar far off the ramp before crashing into the water.  The plane that soars the furtherest wins.  They also have costumes, dances and a lot of creativity to put into it – and bonus points for how many other team members will jump in the river.

It’s a fun and silly event to watch.  (And free.)

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This time it was a lot more comfortable to watch on the much more developed East bank.  It’s amazing how much the East bank has developed over the last few years.

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They also had food trucks downtown and other things to walk around and look at.

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The only problem was the INSANE heat and lack of shade.  A group near us gave us two frozen water bottles just to help keep the kids cool by placing on their necks.  It really was just plain uncomfortable and on our way out we saw a woman pass out from heat.

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I think the heat kept the crowd turning over more often, so we really did have plenty of space.

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When we left we went over to the Godbys house so the kids could play.  I’m pretty sure they enjoyed that more than Flugtag.  Especially since by the end Abbi was taking her shirt off just to get cool.

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We went out to dinner at Greko, a new Greek Street Food place in East Nashville.  I love their outdoor patio, and by this time eating outside wasn’t as unbearable (except the flies!) This restaurant is owned by some friends who went to preschool with Lilli.  They also moved from East Nashville to Brentwood and we occasionally run into them.

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Abbi was pretty much heat stroked out by the time we got home that night.

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She loves to help me mop.  I’m still unsure how much our floors can take before they rot.

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We went through a stuffed animal purge.  Both kids are actually underneath all these stuffed animals.  It’s insane how much stuffed everything they have.  TOO MUCH.  And most of it never gets played with.

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I got to work right as a fire drill started so I got really lucky that day! From my spot on the 24th floor it took nearly 10 minutes for people to get down and out.  So basically I hope we never have a fire because those odds aren’t so great!

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On Starbucks double stars day I took my friends out for a Mocha Frappucino.  I order a medium and have them split it to two cups for them.

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It was Spirit Week at school for Lilli and this day was “Dress your Best” so she wanted to wear a Daddy-Daughter type dress outfit.

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Friday night I decided I wanted sushi to kick off my birthday weekend.  So we took the kids to my fave sushi place where the sushi comes by on a conveyor belt and you pick what you want.  They LOVED it.  They like Chinese food and there was plenty of things there they enjoyed.  Abbi liked several of the actual sushi rolls and ate more than one spring roll.

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Lilli is a bit more picky but we ordered one thing of chicken tempura for them and they loved that, too.  They’ve declared it their new favorite place.

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Fried bananas!

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The only downside – keeping Abbi from just grabbing anything and everything that goes by – and from just randomly touching everything.  Nobody wants sushi that’s been put on and off the belt over and over again by a 4 year old!

It was a really fun night and a great way to kick off my birthday weekend!

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A Lot of Lilli

From Sep 11 – 15…..

I got my first ever call from elementary school that Lilli wasn’t feeling well.  It’s remarkable that we’ve gotten all the way to 3rd grade and haven’t had a single call from the school nurse! Lilli was walking in from recess and somehow pulled her neck – we’re not entirely sure what happened, but her neck started hurting and her teacher could tell she was in pain so she sent her to the nurse.  The nurse thought she might be a new student since she literally didn’t have her in the computer! The nurse checked her over, called me, and said she thought it was probably a strain of some sort.  Poor Lilli was crying and in lots of pain so I went and picked her up.  We grabbed a Sonic Slush, pillows and ice, and she rested.

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I had already planned to have lunch with her the next day and work from home, so I was able to taker her some pain medicine at lunch.  And her sweet teacher had checked in on her later that day and was able to position her chair more comfortably where she didn’t have to turn to see the board.

When you visit for lunch the child can pick one friend to eat at the “visitor” table with them.  She picked Kaitlyn to eat with us.

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Beefy nacho day with my buddy!

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I bought a book on local hikes for us.  This picture does not motivate me to try out this hike.

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After dinner at Waffle House we went to Target to look at Halloween and get ahead of the curve for getting costumes.  Of course Abbi and I had to try out the big heads that Target sold this year.

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The fries…..

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This tooth was hanging by a thread.  Literally.

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She ended up pulling it herself, thank goodness! And the tooth fairy paid us another visit that night……


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The Final Frontier/Greek Festival

From Sep 10….

We all had a much, much better night’s sleep Saturday night.  Total exhaustion will do that to you.  We all still woke up a few times to make the walk through the woods to the lodge and the bathroom, but overall we got a decent night’s sleep.  Breakfast was just as bad as the previous meals had been but the girls didn’t really care.  They just had the best time playing together and running around.  Amazingly they never once got mad at each other and all got along so well.  At times there would be tired hissy fits, but we were all worn out.  And hungry.

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Camp is good!

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We were the last group for trail ride and our only options were the Alpine Tower and the stand up paddleboarding.  It was kind of chilly and none of us wanted to get drenched before a horse ride, so we went over to the Tower.  It’s a slow activity going one at a time, so the girls went first.  Two of them went all the way to the top, one went just a little ways, and then Lilli went a little over halfway.

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Heading up…..

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And she got to this high point where it starts to get pretty tough for short people.  She decided she was ready to rappelle down from there.

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Coming on down……

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A picture of one of the moms at the top.  I think they said it’s 50 feet.  Regardless, I wasn’t interested in trying it.  The line was so long and it was nearly time for us to ride horses and one trauma a day is plenty for me.

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Our last horse ride was another trail ride.  We did a different trail and all rode our same horses.  Dubs had a few flies on him that day so he was shaking and kicking and I was so ready to be off that horse! We were the last thing standing between the horses and their lunch so they were all trying to pass each other and once we got close the horse behind me (with Livvy on it) broke into a full on gallop and starting running for the stables.  I’m just not meant to be a horse person.  Lilli had a great horse and the girls all had a lot of fun with their rides.

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They said their final good byes to the farm animals.

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We had such a fun time together on our mother daughter weekend. It was great seeing all the fun things she comes home talking about and it was fun just having some ‘big girl’ time.  It was a great way to get to know the other moms better, too, and build some deeper relationships with gals she’ll be spending time with for the next 9 years in school!

All the girls told us they want to do this “every” year.  A few days later we saw a Mother-Daughter retreat with nice cabins, boasting good food, and having activities like yoga, dance party and beach time.  We decided that might be our cup of tea for 2018.

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Meanwhile….back at home Abbi had somehow managed to start a free trial of the Starz channel on Amazon through our Fire Stick.

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The Greek Festival was also going on that weekend.  It’s our favorite festival in Nashville, so as soon as Lilli and I got home we headed over for lunch.  We got to see one of her old Pre-K friends dancing with the Greek kids.  It’s the one time a year we run into them, but it’s so great to see them.  They also live in Brentwood and the girls will be back together in Middle School.

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The petting zoo is always a favorite.

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They had some really cool chickens.

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And a llama.

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Abbi had a lot of fun in the bounce house.

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And then she wanted to race Lilli in the obstacle course a few times.

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We thought Abbi might need some help – but she proved us wrong and was the first one up and over!

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Face first, of course……

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And flying on down to the bottom.  I’m so glad we made it out this year – and was even happier to finally eat some good food after a long weekend of camp food!

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Save a Horse….

From Sept 9th-

Our first night sleeping in the yurts didn’t have nearly enough sleep in it.  It seemed to take everyone a while to fall asleep, and it’s been a LONG time since I’ve tried to sleep in a room with that many people tossing and turning and creeky bunk beds.  We’d all forgotten to bring a white noise machine and it was just hard to sleep.  I’m not sure what time I finally fell asleep, but it seemed like it hadn’t been long when one of the girls had an accident in her bunk, resulting in pretty much everyone waking up while she swapped beds, changed, and then a lot of us ended up getting flashlights and taking the walk outside to use the bathroom.

We had a packed schedule the next day and after a really, really bad breakfast we went walking around to explore camp.  We had certain times for our group to ride horses, and then within the overall schedule various times for activities.

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We got our first glimpse of the lake.

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The famous Widji stage where they sing lots of camp songs and see various skits.

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We were able to do the tie dye craft before our horse riding time.

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Our first horse session was an arena ride.  They went over the basics of telling your horse commands and making it stop, go, turn and she even made us do twirls and some other nonsense.  This was my first time ever on a horse and MAN they are big and strong and probably shouldn’t be ridden by humans.  My horse, Eduardo, had a distaste for the hot sun.  I can’t say that I blame him, I’d prefer the shade, too.  Somehow I was always the lead horse for our group of 4 (me, Lilli, Livvy, and Jen) and he’d stop in the shade and the other horses would pile up behind us.  Basically, horses are bigger and stronger and can do whatever they want, regardless of how hard I pull or jerk them around.  I’d say during the arena ride I decided I’ll never be a cowgirl.

I only got this pic after I was off my horse, since most of the rest of the time I was pretty certain I was about to die.

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The girls in front of the lake.

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After a really, really pretty bad lunch (at which point one mom in our group ran out to the Kroger a few miles away and bought us some fruit and other snacks to get us through the rest of the weekend) it was time for our trail ride.  Lilli’s horse was super cute and really sweet.  She had a good little horse.

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This time I was on Dubs.  They call him Dubs because he likes to shake his head a lot like he’s listening to music.  Great.

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Me and old Dubs.  It’s also amazing how sore I already was from the one morning ride.  This time we went out on trails around the lake, all in a line, all 8 of us.  These horses could walk these trails in their sleep and even though we’re supposed to tell them what to do basically all you have to do is just sit there and hold on.  The only problem is that they want to pass each other and are impatient to get back to the stable and not have people on them.  Some of the horses wanted to stop and eat the trees, so we were supposed to keep them from doing that.  Good luck!

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We survived the trail ride and then it was time for Archery! Archery was SO much fun! After a quick lesson we all got several turns to shoot, and I discovered I’m actually really good at it and enjoyed it. It was a nice calming activity and really relaxing.

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And then – banana boat time! We’ve always heard about the famous banana boats and the girls were so excited.  Jenn and Sofia rode in the speed boat instead of the boat.  I had no idea what to expect until they started going.  Basically the speedboat pulls the banana boat as fast as possible while slinging you around and you have to hold on for dear life.  It was chilly that afternoon and MAN that water was cold.  I felt like I was back on the Niagara falls boat ride.  It was NUTS.  At this point, I think Lilli was getting really tired – we’d gone nonstop all day and were up to over 7 miles just walking on our feet! It ended up being her largest steps day on her steps tracking watch.   I didn’t even realize she wouldn’t pose for the picture before we got started.  Once one of the girls fell off she raised her hand to get off the banana boat and get in the speedboat, so we only did part of the ride in back.  I didn’t mind getting up in the larger boat AT ALL.

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After dinner we went back down to the lake for sunset and a bonfire with Smores.

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At the bonfire, we gave the girls all the letters we’d gotten from important people in their lives, and they surprised us with a letter they’d ridden us the night before during separate Mom-Daughter time.  Lilli was so surprised by all her letters and loved them all! She had letters from her teacher, her grandparents, me, her Aunt Nancy and Mrs Stephanie (Sofia’s mom and their Girl Scout leader), surprised each girl with a letter, too.

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When we got back they had snacks and a movie for all the girls in the lodge before bedtime.  It was a nice and relaxing way to wind down from a crazy busy day of activity!

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Meanwhile…..back at home Abbi and Brent had some Icees and a visit to the playground.

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After tackling some projects around the house they went to dinner at Noodles.

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And then did her favorite thing – sit in cars at CarMax! What else could she ask for on her weekend away from Lilli and I?

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The Yurt Life

From Sep 6 – 8…..

We had a pretty ordinary week back to school and work after Labor Day and then….it was time for Mother Daughter Ranch weekend.

Lilli has loved her time at Camp Widjiwagon the last few summers, and especially last summer when I added on a horse riding session.  When I saw they had a weekend just for Moms and Daughters, focused on riding horses, I thought that could be a lot of fun.  I reached out to a few of the other moms from school (whose daughters go to Widji with Lilli) and the timing all worked out for us to go.

We had assumed we’d be staying in the super nice cabins.  We assumed wrong.  Welcome to our Yurt.

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We’ve seen yurts on Tiny House Hunters, and they always look fun……for other people. It’s basically as simple as it looks – a giant tent like structure, with solid walls.  It had a skylight on top, two doors, a bunch of bunks and it did have a ceiling fan and climate control.

Those bunks.  They were as soft and comfortable as they look – which is not soft or comfortable at all.

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The girls – from left to right – Sofia, Kaitlyn, Lilli and Livvy.  Livvy and Lilli were in K together, Lilli met Kaitlyn through the after school program and Chinese class, and now they’re in 3rd together, and last year was Sofia’s first year at their school, and she got to know her through the after school program as well.  These girls have spent many hours together in summer camps and now Girl Scouts, as well as other outings and recess.  And even gymnastics from time to time.  They were beyond excited for this weekend together at their beloved Widji.

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The moms – Stephanie, Piyan, Jenn and me.  We’ve gotten to know each other pretty well over the years through class, field trips, all the extracurricular activities and all the camps we coordinate for their summers.  Our spreadsheets start in December to see who can overlap with whom to create the ultimate summer experiences for these lucky girls.

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When we got to the camp we got checked in and were given our schedules for the weekends.  We had a yurt just for our group, and in total there were probably about 15 mother-daughter pairs in 4 or 5 yurts.

Dinner was…..not good.  The food was the worst thing for the camp – not much veggies or fruit and everything was very tasteless. We had brought some snacks, but we know better for next time.

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First up was playing with the farm animals – they had pigs, goats, chickens and all kinds of ranch animals we could touch.

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Then we got to meet the horses.  We learned how to lead the horses around, brush them, and take care of them.  Then we got to throw glitter on them and brush it out.  Seriously.  This horse is Dubs. I also had no clue how much we’d get to know each other.

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After that we got to go over and jump on the big “KJ” the infamous Kangaroo Jumper and also zip line.  It was completely dark so we had no clue where we were headed, but it was fun to zip line through the trees at night and find our way back with glue sticks.  Definitely one of my favorite things we did all weekend.  The scariest part was just stepping off the ledge but once we were going it was so fun.  From there it was back to our yurts for a night of “sleep”.

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Meanwhile….back at home Brent and Abbi were having a much better dinner of Wendy’s and having fun together in their warm and cozy beds.

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Labor Day Weekend

From Aug 31 – Sep 5….

Labor Day weekend kicked off with the leftover hurricane moving through our area for several days (I think it was Hurricane Harvey or possibly Irma).  We kicked it off with tornado warnings right at bedtime – with them showing the camera at our intersection!

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Friday night Reese came over for a sleepover.  The girls had a great time watching movies, playing Barbies and giggling.

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The rain finally moved out overnight and they had a nice morning to run and play outside.  Abbi was their shadow, and for the most part they all got along really well.

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Just three girls driving a Jeep around.

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The storm did some damage to our already very damaged fence.  Luckily we have a dog who has no desire to just walk out to freedom.

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Later that afternoon we took a trip over to the zoo to check out some of the newer areas and enjoy the pretty day.

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Lilli is always our resident zoo expert and tells us every back story on every animal – she knows where they came from, their names and all kinds of facts from her annual weeks at Zoo Camp.

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Just a girl, after church, wishing someone would turn WiFi back on on her phone so she can text random letters and numbers to people.

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Sunday afternoon we headed downtown to enjoy the Frist Art Museum.  The kids just wanted to play in the KidsQuest area.  They did all kinds of paintings, screen prints, drawings, and animations.  It’s such a fun space for kids to be creative.  I’m so glad we reactivated our membership.  It’ll be a great place to play this winter when it’s cold out.  Abbi’s drawing is so cute.  Especially compared to the very talented guy she was next to…

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Lilli doing some art creations digitally….

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Family selfie downtown.

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We had wanted to tour the special war boat that was downtown for the weekend – but the line was CRAZY, so we ended up skipping that.

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The girls had a great time playing at the Cumberland Park – running up and down the hills, rolling around, playing in the sand.

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They also have slides, a rock wall, and other fun things to climb.  I think this may have been Abbi’s first visit.  They also have a splash pad but they didn’t want to get wet that day.

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City girl.

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The next day Abbi was Brent’s helper at Home Depot.  Who knew they had so much Halloween decor? Just her size, too!

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We also spent the afternoon shopping for a good rain coat for me.  I learned quickly with my downtown job and a long walk in each morning that a good raincoat was going to be essential! I didn’t get this one, but I love this color!  Otherwise we had a nice and relaxing Labor Day at home.  We love traveling, but it’s also nice to have an extra long weekend at home to explore our city, too.

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The Staph….

From Aug 22 – Aug 30….

Abbi’s staph infection was definitely not getting any better.  Any progress it had made was headed the other way, and we’d noticed more and more spots popping up.

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We made her an appointment with our pediatrician and on that day happened to notice that normal paper cuts on her hands were turning into staph, along with any little cuts she had.  Her doctor told us to keep using the cream, but also added an oral antibiotic.  I’ll insist on that every time from here on out, once she started taking that she was getting better very quickly.

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Nothing like finding a big stick bug in the yard!

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She’s definitely entered her fancy phase.  She still doesn’t care that it’s Cinderella’s dress, she just likes the “fancy blue dress”.

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We headed to the consignment sale half price day at our church, where I was selling tons of our old things.  It’s a huge sale and I always do really well there.

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Abbi decided she wanted to take ballet this year at school.  They offer it during the day, once a week an instructor comes in and the kids who have signed up leave and dance for an hour.  It’s a pretty “serious” program with a certain color leo and tights she’s supposed to wear, and specific tap and ballet shoes we needed.  So we went to our neighborhood dance shop to get her things.  You can see all the band aids on her legs from the staph infections she had….

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Lilli’s BFF Reese had mailed her a letter, so Lilli wrote her back.  They see each other at school every day, but there’s something fun about mail. She says they are half sisters because we went to college with Reese’s mom.

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Brent took the girls to the park – I was not feeling good from a UTI and was getting some rest at home.

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Lots of fun running around on the ampitheater stage and putting on a concert for the crowds.

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Maybe one day they will be doing a routine for the crowd in Brentwood!

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