We gave Heather a pedal bike on her birthday last year, but she still needed to improve her balance before she'd be able to pedal. So I took the pedals off so she could focus on balancing (she had outgrown her balance bike). Last weekend she was ready to level up and add the pedals back. She really improved her balancing ability and lifting her feet to the pedals went off without a hitch. She is greatly pleased with this new skill and enjoys riding laps around the neighborhood at every opportunity now.
Okay, the first thing to know about our break is that we've been sick almost the entire time. Heather threw up on Christmas Eve, and Corinne started a fever on Christmas afternoon. But Heather was mostly fine after throwing up, and Corinne's fever cleared up after a day. After that, it was basically just a cold for each of them: congestion, coughing, runny noses...you know, the usual. Nothing too dramatic. And there were plenty of up times in between the periods of misery.
(Also, a lot of these pictures are not great. They're mostly candid shots of the girls in their natural states of frenzy, which lends itself to blurriness. But I wanted to get them blogged anyway.)
We've had some fun playing with different arrangements of the fort (I learned that blocking the TV is not ideal, but they found a way around it regardless):
Heather gave Kyle Wii Sports Resort for Christmas. I think he's played it for a couple of minutes so far, but she's dedicated quite a bit of time to it:
By the 28th, this kid was not looking great. She was snotty and eye-goopy and coughing and all-around yucky. Her mood was a bit improved, though.
We had made a date to go to the zoo with the Spencers on the 29th, and we figured the girls were doing pretty good, health-wise. Heather seemed to be mostly recovered from her cold, and while Corinne was still a bit yicky, she was going to be in the stroller most of the time anyway. And we knew everybody needed to get out of the house, so off we went!
The zoo was Thursday. Kyle spent Friday-Sunday at death's door. I was also sick, but not as bad. (My biggest issue was the migraines flared by the congestion.) Aaaand the girls got worse again. New Year's Eve was Heather's turn to spike a fever, so we didn't do any special festivities that night.
Corinne is currently obsessed with moving her food to other containers. Also, practicing her spoon technique.
January 2nd, we got the girls in to see the doctor. Corinne's fever was gone by then, but this virus was just dragging on forever. Both girls were still super snotty and coughing and lethargic, though Heather was showing real signs of recovery. Corinne was diagnosed with the first ear infection either of the girls have had. Very special! So she started antibiotics and started improving very quickly.
I don't know if it's clear what Corinne is doing here, but it's one of her current passions: feeding the critters.
Wednesday morning, Heather was bopping around, happy as a lark. That night, she crashed pretty hard. Thursday afternoon, she had a fever. Thursday night, she had a coughing fit so long and hard she was vomiting and I had to call the nurse line for suggestions to make it stop so she could eat (pro tip: there are basically none).
So this was us back at the doctor's office again on Friday, where Heather was diagnosed with an ear infection. Same ear as Corinne, even! The doc pointed out that that's one thing they really didn't need to share.
Both girls are doing much better now. For reals, I think. [fingers crossed!] Heather still wakes up very congested, and she didn't go to church this morning. (Actually, none of us went to church on Christmas or New Year's Day. And Kyle missed 2 full days and 2 half days of work this last week. This illness has been a beast!)
I'm hopeful that Heather will be able to go to school tomorrow, but I'm not 100% certain it'll be a great experience if she does. I'm envisioning her coughing for the first 2 hours and crying/screaming for the rest because she's worn out. But she'll be devastated if she has to stay home. So I guess we'll see how she is in the morning!
Heather loves The Magic School Bus and had been asking to be Ms. Frizzle for Halloween for months. Luckily Grandma was willing to take a crack at making her a costume. And it came out amazing! Thanks, Mom!
Heather wanted to look like Ms. Frizzle in her favorite episode, the haunted house episode about sound. Here is the source material:
And here's the result:
Corinne got to make her Halloween-costume debut in the blanket costume Jess made when Heather was smaller. I like this pictures because Corinne is so excited she's vibrating (since she's blurry, but Heather's not).
Heather was a little hesitant about it at first, but she loved it. And her new "Liz" is one of her core-group stuffed animals now. Liz is always next to her in bed and is always taken out to the family room every morning.
The above pictures were taken a couple of days before Halloween. Here's a day-of picture. Heather's face paint was from the Halloween party they had at school.
I got my ghosties up again and bought some batteries to light them up properly with LEDs. Still needs some work, but they're getting better:
This was Corinne's first experience trick-or-treating. She caught on pretty quickly. As soon as a door would open she would try to climb inside and reach for any candy she could see. We did 5 or 6 houses with her and then dropped her off back at home while Heather and I did some more.
We got most of the street trick-or-treated before it started sprinkling. This caused most people to head inside, even though it stopped before we made it back home. But we were a bit soggy and Heather was worn out so we called it a night.
This was Heather's first year celebrating a birthday around a school schedule. So when I got home from work we opened presents.
(We finally got around to using the cookie cutters to make Christmas sugar cookies.)
The USB microscope camera is a hit. Fabrics are pretty interesting to look at. I found some kind of animal bone in the parking lot at work that we still need to look at which should be interesting.
I put together another treasure hunt this year (Heather was very vocal about hoping there would be one). It wasn't up to the same level of quality as last year's, however, due to the lack of time between returning from our trip and her Birthday. I'll have to try to make up for it next year.
The treasure hunt led her to the garage where she found a shiny blue bike! (After months of lamenting that she didn't have a pedal bike. And she's outgrown her balance bike.)
We did presents first so she would have some time to ride her new bike before it got dark (and apparently this is the only picture we have of her on the bike that day....).
Having been gone for a month she was quite out of practice balancing. We still need to find some time to get outside so she can practice, but it's actually been cold (by Livermore standards, highs in the 50s) and/or raining quite a bit lately.
After riding around for a bit, we went to dinner and then came home for cake.