31 December 2011

Where in the world...?

Aunt Melissa and Uncle Mathias (parents of the wonderful Atticus and Emmeline, of internet fame) gave Resli this amazing huge world map that shows all different animal species and where they live.
Once we found a place to hang it up, they spent some time finding animals they recognized. Resli loves science and animals and learning about their habitats, so this is an excellent gift for her.
(Even though it was for Resli, Lela enjoys it too. And Resli lets her. For now.)
Thanks, guys!

Winter in Gainesville

Winters here are mild, as you may remember me mentioning a time or two. (I miss real winters...) So the things we do on vacation days may not be the same things the rest of the country does in late December. For example, yesterday we went to visit the butterflies. 
Resli and Lela were sure to wear shirts with butterflies on them in hopes of attracting some winged friends.

Resli immediately grabbed one of the booklets so she could tell us what we saw.
We all took some time to rest on the bench. There are tons of tiny birds behind us, but you can't see them.
We looked at the huge fish and the tiny baby turtles.
And look who attracted a blue morpho! (I give Kennedy all the credit.)
Before I could move, I got another one...
and then the morpho was back too! 

Just inside they have these beautiful butterfly benches. 
Lela refused to sit on the other one. I don't remember what the problem was, but there was something she was grouching about.
But everyone perked up when we went to the kids' Discovery Room. The wind tunnel was lots of fun.
And magnets and magnifying glasses are always good for learning and entertainment, right?
What a lovely way to spend a spring day. Oh, wait, it's supposedly 'winter.' Whatever.

30 December 2011

Aha! Another use for the Pack-n-Play!

Enjoying some of the Christmas gifts

Resli and Lela both got awesome -and hip- knee socks (from Frosty), and they look super cute. They also got wonderful fleecy jackets from Aunt Liz. Here's Resli showing all her stuff off. (In the background are the lounge chairs Grandma and Granddaddy got them, also a huge hit!)
And here's Lela having a temper tantrum because a) the socks are "itchly;" b) the jacket doesn't have a hood and apparently she only likes jackets with hoods (?); and c) her brand new awesome big girl sneakers are too tight (in spite of being a size 12.5). A morning wouldn't be complete without one of these fits.

Grandpa gave Resli this wonderful easel with art supplies, and Lela got a smaller version. They both enjoyed playing artist, and graciously switched from paint to whiteboard and chalkboard. (The big easel stays outside, the little one from the Metropolitan Museum of Art can come inside.)

Kennedy's walker, which was a day-after-Christmas purchase at the consignment store, made for a perfect spectator spot. 

On the fourth day of Christmas...

They continued to act silly!

EXAMPLE 1: I got out of the shower yesterday and didn't know where Resli and Lela were. It was quiet... too quiet... When I opened the closet door to get dressed, I discovered them!

EXAMPLE 2: Kennedy got this walker that she just loves, and even more fun is when her sisters wheel her around. Yes, I've told them repeatedly not to do it, but Kennedy squeals with delight, so it's hard to insist too much.

EXAMPLE 3: No words needed.

Vacations can be so much fun. Especially when everyone is almost 100% healthy again (except for Mom and Dad)!

26 December 2011

Those elves have got some good fashion sense!

Thanks to some talented designers up at the North Pole (also known in some areas as L. L. Bean...), the three Ward girls have some stylin' new dresses to show off. 
And yes, it does look like everyone is feeling a bit better, doesn't it? They're well on the way to healthiness. 
For what it's worth, Kennedy seems to be very interested in trying to crawl. She rocks back and forth on her hands and knees, and whenever she's sitting she does this leaning forward thing, like she wants to take off.
It's exciting, although I'm not sure I'm ready for the increased mobility.

25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

On top of the fact that our house is home to four million germs, I misplaced the camera for approximately 36 hours, so we have very little documentation of this year's Christmas celebrations. 
As we feared, the girls were unable to participate in the pageant at church, and we had a quiet day at home on Christmas Eve. For dinner everyone rallied enough to wear their Christmas dresses, at least - only after much Ibuprofen. (And I did have to bribe Resli and Lela, 25 cents each, to put on their dresses.) But the result was well worth it:

Today, Christmas Day, everyone is feeling mostly better. Still shaky and not quite right, but they're all in much better spirits and after about noon nobody had a fever. Whew.
So we enjoyed the morning at home and then went over to Grandma and Granddaddy's house for dinner. Like I said, they're not 100% yet, so there weren't a whole lot of smiles to go around.
(Check out Lela's new snazzy dress, which goes splendidly with her rockin' cowgirl boots!)

Kennedy is feeling the best I think, she's almost back to her usual happy self.

So, apologies for our lack of health and mostly our lack of photography, but now that I have found the camera you can look forward to lots of fun and exciting updates. (?)

23 December 2011

He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're ... really sick.

It's been a rough week for the Ward girls, lots of germs floating around these days. (If it gives you any idea, I've spent in three figures on pediatrician visit copays in the last four days alone...) 

We'll start with the youngest. Kennedy has had a cold for about a week, runny nose and cough, etc. Recently it became much worse, with her breathing getting labored and wheezy/rattly, and her respiratory rate going up. She sounded like she was panting all the time. So after three pediatrician office visits and several phone consultations, they sent us to the ER, where they tested her for all kinds of horrible things. This was the chest x-ray torture device used to keep her still.
Luckily, she does not have pneumonia or anything else scary. Just a really nasty cold, bronchiolitis, and what we will probably look back on as the precursor to some asthma. Like her sister...

Lela has also been having a rough time of it lately. She had the same cold/bronchitis as Kennedy, but with a much worse cough. She's also had a very high fever since Monday, which rises and falls throughout the day but when it peaks (around 103.8 in the late afternoons) nothing can get rid of it. Her asthma, luckily, didn't flare up but the cough was so bad we've been doing breathing treatments with her too.
She was still so not-right that I took her back to the ped this morning, to discover that both ears are "impressively infected" (doctor's own words). No wonder she's been in such bad shape. Isn't this just pitiful?
Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in and bring some relief soon. (Although we're already preparing her for the likelihood that she will not get to be an angel in tomorrow's pageant as planned.)

Resli has some congestion and a bit of a cough too, and the ever-present fluid in her ears. However, she does not have a fever (excuse me while I reach for some wood), and seems to be in relatively good shape!
She's a little upset that everyone is getting more attention, but I can't blame her for that. Hopefully she'll stay strong and healthy. I've been calling her Last Sister Standing, which she thinks is amusing.

Harvey is a bit congested and I have a sore throat and a touch of a cough, but we're not complaining (*yet*).

So, dear Santa, please bring us some good health!

18 December 2011

Behind the scenes of a great photo

Resli and Lela were so excited about their Christmas outfits that I let them have a dress rehearsal (ha ha, get it?) today. And because they looked so darn cute, I had to take a couple pictures. 

Normally, my post would end here. However, because it's the holiday season and all, I'm feeling particularly generous. So I thought I'd let you in on a little secret. Below are all the pictures I had to take  in order to get the one and a half decent ones above. 

Thank goodness for digital cameras!

Lela's school performance

Last week Lela's school had their holiday performance.  Everyone got all dressed up (mostly everyone...) 
and they sang a few songs. 
The first song was "Away in a Manger."
Sorry for the wobble, the intensity with which they began singing startled me!
There was some dancing in between numbers.
The last song they did was "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." 
Then everyone took a bow. (Which I didn't capture on film.)
It was a wonderful show. Doesn't Lela look so grown up all of a sudden?