Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Moves Faster than My Hips on the Dance Floor

16 days ago I decided to stop eating sugar for awhile. I say "awhile" because the thought of putting a deadline on the thing makes me nervous and the whole point of the exercise is to help control my anxiety. Some of you may be thinking, "Heather! YOU have anxiety? I never would have thought!" And to you people, I say, "Hello random person reading my blog from France. I've always wondered who you were."

Because anybody within a 3 mile radius of me knows that Heather Jolley knows how to boogey with the Anxiety Monster.

So sugar increases anxiety. But lack thereof increases crankiness. My family is going to have a vote this weekend to see which mom/wife they prefer.

In an effort to have a treat to look forward to, I have started freezing yoplait yogurt for popsicles. I realize that it sounds just about as good as that ice cream-made-from-bananas deal that health nuts are always trying to push you to make, but it is a bit better than that.

In other news, Dan's braces came off Monday! Happy Day! He wore them for 20 months and was more than excited to get them off. Especially because he is already quite youthful looking and adding braces to that beautiful baby face has meant that he has often been stopped at the temple and other places to see if he is one of the youth (ages 12-18 in our church) instead of an actual, bona fide adult chaperone.

Worth every penny!

Gwen turned 2 yesterday, and the phone on my camera decided it wouldn't focus for anything, so these pics are the best I can do unfortunately.

Gwen's nickname at our house is "Destructo". There is not a sand castle in the state of Florida that stands a chance of survival when she arrives at that beach. She does, however, like to help clean up toys, and that makes up for the fact that she has ripped up more library books and colored on more walls than I currently care to discuss.

She is sweet and cuddly and just likes to be included. She runs across the room just to throw her arms around my neck and wants to stay there a long time. It's wonderful. She hates being stuck inside and still loves to carry around a good stick when she can find one.

I've been lucky enough to sub in nursery the past few weeks, and typically we only have Gwen and her best friend, Aaliyah, come. It's a pretty sweet deal for me.

My nursery rules are as follows: no one hurt anyone and let's have two snack times.

June continues with swim lessons, and I totally enjoy the free show that comes with it. Her teacher is a saintly college kid who swam competitively for the best swim school in the country, and yet I don't think he's ever had as challenging a time in the pool as he does at 8:30 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays with June. She LOVES the water and LOVES swimming, but struuggglllessss following directions and leaving her lala land personality behind. He often asks her, "June, do you understand what I just said?" to which she replies, "Yes!" but we all know that she doesn't. It's comical. That being said, she's actually learning a TON and is a pretty darn good swimmer.

And the miscellany. Lots of trips to the store, library and playing in water continue. We were able to take a couple of friends to the library a couple of weeks ago, and the girls aren't as satisfied with the experience without them now. Dan is obviously the fun parent who goes out and does the fun things and I sit inside and watch. I wonder why the prefer him? I'll never know.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Worst Part Was When They Closed Their Eyes

Today's winner receives $200 Heather Bucks for naming the movie the today's blog title comes from.

This summer has been terrific and terrible. Exhausting and exhilirating!! Great and full of His Grace.

First up, we had June evaluated by a child psychologist because she struggles in so many different areas. June is 4 years old and cannot use the potty, cannot jump with both feet off the ground, struggles in her communication and loves playing by herself in her own world. After debating back and forth for two years, we finally decided to have her tested for a bunch of different things. The verdict? June was diagnosed with autism. She's in good company because she has two cousins--Heidi's son Reagan and Steve's son Joshua--who also have autism. It wasn't much of a surprise when she was diagnosed. Oddly enough, it was a relief to hear a licensed professional say that she saw what I saw. I have literally been losing my mind trying to figure June out.

Now that the words have had time to settle a bit, I have moments where I'm sad. But there are so many things that June is super good at, and she's honestly the most enjoyable kid I've ever met. So I know I'm lucky to have her. She adds a lot to our family.

Shortly after finding out, we headed to a Beck Family Reunion, which is probably the best thing we could have done. Unfortunately, I never take a lot of pictures at important things, so this is all I have:

The drive from Tampa to Destin. We stopped in Tampa to hear a couple of Dan's young men give farewell talks. I don't know if I've ever seen him so proud. Even after all of the eating contests I've won.

The house my mom rented was divided into two parts, but she rented the whole thing. The downstairs crew used this staircase to come up to the common area where everywhere hung out. Downstairs crew included Heidi's family, my family and Steve's family. The party group, you might say. Or the loud group, you might more accurately say. I can see why we were placed in the basement.

And of course, we had to document this important moment in Heidi's life. Deflating a water toy during the last hurried hours of the last morning. The day that Heidi and I were really stressed out about cleaning everything up and moving everything out and our kids couldn't understand why they couldn't go to the beach and swim and mess everything up again. We are such meanies.

Other aspects of our summer:

Lots of time at the library. We brought a friend with us that day and he stretched out and read and June sat there and read and they were both content for a really long time. It was awesome.

Summer hours catch up with us quick. June has been found sleeping on tile at 6 p.m. more than once this summer.

Gwen's cute new haircut. The guy at Great Clips recommended an a-line haircut, and it's so adorable.

And plenty of time in timeout. For both girls. At 7 a.m.