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The rest of our Spring Break

Today is the first day of having everybody back to school and I can't put into words how much good it did me to have a couple hours of peace and quiet this morning. The weather is beautiful today with overcast skies and a cool breeze, so after I took Raya to school, I put Piper to bed for her nap, opened the doors & windows, and just soaked in the silence. It was fabulous. I did start off my day by listening to this talk:

It was exactly what I needed to hear today. I have felt swallowed up by all of the things I need to do and want to do, and have allowed myself to start feeling guilty and putting too much of my self-worth on the quantity of my to-do list that I don't check off often enough, and this helped bring me back to a better place. I'm glad I decided to push the play button.

Spring break was wonderful. We really did have a nice break. It was busy and exhausting, but it was really nice. Our neighborhood had a spring festival last Saturday so after Donny & the big kids got home from their karate class, we loaded up and walked over to the park for lunch. We learned our lesson from last year and brought a blanket so we could sit in the shade to eat this time. The HOA did a great job of putting it all together. Lunch was yummy and there were all kinds of activities for the kids. The older kids went up and down the climbing wall several times and finished out the afternoon on the zip line, and Raya played in the bounce houses and had a little pony ride.

 After the party, we came home and got some cleaning and yard work done. I took Ashtyn shopping for her birthday and we picked up a few things that we needed for the weekend. While Donny and the older kids were working in the back yard, I had one of those little "moments" when saw the little girls watching out the door. Before Raya, I never would have given it a second thought, but I looked over and saw Piper on her knees and the thought that popped into my mind was, "Well how about that, some kids CAN hold a tall kneel position without months of physical therapy."
I don't feel like I was ever unappreciative of my other kids meeting their developmental milestones on time and without intervention, but now that I have a more detailed understanding of those milestones and what it entails to have developmental delays, there is a different kind of joy that I find in watching my baby meet them. (on her own timeline, but she's meeting them)

On Sunday, we went to church and then came home and finished getting the house ready for company. My parents flew in that afternoon for a visit and we had a small birthday party for Ashtyn that evening. The kids were really happy to see their grandparents. We hadn't seen my dad for a little over 2 years and my mom for a little over a year so we were happy to have them come.

 On Monday, the kids rode scooters & bikes to the park. The weather was gorgeous and sitting in the shade with the breeze blowing was heavenly!

Piper ventured into the sand for the first time:
 And ate sand for the first time:

 Tuesday was Ashtyn's birthday. She and I got up early and had a morning out all by ourselves. It was a special day and I was grateful to have a chance to get away alone with her for a while.

After the temple and breakfast, we went home and got ready for Raya's marathon of appointments. She had her usual OT and feeding therapy appointments and then we headed to the allergist. When I scheduled her allergist appointment 4 months ago, I didn't realize the kids would be off on spring break or I would not have scheduled it on Ashtyn's birthday. By the time I realized it, rescheduling would have meant waiting a long time so we just went ahead and did it. I had my fingers crossed that it would be as quick as our last appointment there but it was not. We ended up being there for 2 1/2 hours. I felt bad that Ashtyn and my mom had come with us because it turned into a very long and boring afternoon. I was really glad that I had been able to leave Piper home though. We sat in the waiting room for a long time before they called Raya back to get vitals. Then they sent us back to the waiting room because there were no exam rooms open yet. Thankfully Grandma and her Kindle Fire helped keep Raya happy while we waited.
Then we waited for a while in the tiny little exam room. We left Grandma and Ashtyn in the waiting room because the exam rooms are really small so it was just Raya and me. We got bored really fast and she passed time by alternately being silly and crabby.

She kept telling me how bored she was (me too) and my phone battery was dying so we couldn't do anything entertaining with that either. I felt like I had a lot to talk to the doctor about and didn't really get to go over everything I wanted to because he was running so far behind.  We did agree that after 2.5 years, it would be reasonable to do some allergy tests with a few foods. That was a giant flop. First, I felt bad for springing it on Raya like we did. She had no idea what the nurse was going to do until she poked her arm with the histamine control. After that swelled up, we decided to go ahead with about 10 foods. Absolutely ZERO of them were positive. Even the ones that she has had clear and obvious reactions to. It's really irritating. We are obviously not going to just trust those tests because scratch tests have a fairly high failure rate and we know she IS allergic to some of those foods based on previous reactions, but we are going to move forward with adding a couple things into her diet to see how she does. We are going to start with chicken (ha ha, because she's totally going to eat chicken just because I tell her she can...) and then if the chicken goes well, in a couple weeks we will try oats. (IF I can find some certified wheat-free oats because we know she is allergic to wheat.) 

After 2 1/2 long hours, we finally got off on our way and went home to get ready to go out for dinner to celebrate Ashtyn's birthday. We went to Chili's and probably won't go back. The food was not impressive and they have these automated screens at the tables now, which kind of made things awkward with the server. BUT we had fun and Ashtyn was happy. We picked up some dessert on the way home and sang to her before we sent the kids off to bed.

Wednesday, my parents and I took the kids to play golf at the hideous but fun new golf place. (hideous might be a strong word but it was much more attractive as hay fields) It was SO MUCH FUN!! We had a blast and the kids all got to play. 
The kids can't wait to go back there again. Now that the soreness is gone from all of the shoulder & upper back muscles I didn't know I had and hadn't used since my pole vaulting days, I would love to go back too. :)

In the afternoon, we took the big girls to get their hair cut. Raya wanted no part of it. Her hair has never been cut (not even a trim) and is now below the waistband on her pants. She gets upset if I ever mention trimming or cutting it, so for now I'm not going to fight that battle.
We grilled flank steak for dinner and then took a few pictures before we had to take Grandpa to the airport. 

Thursday and Friday were very low-key. Donny and I took advantage of having Grandma here and went out to dinner Thursday night. Friday we just relaxed and enjoyed each other's company until it was time to eat dinner and then take Grandma to the airport. We had a nice week!

Our school district always does a professional development day on the Monday after fall & spring break so the kids didn't have school Monday. By this morning, I was ready to have a couple hours of peace and quiet in the sanctuary of my house while Raya and the big kids were at school and Piper took a nap. It was a great spring break and I can't believe school will be out in 2 months!


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