William

William’s First Day of Pre-K Preschool

Dear Oats,

As we were getting ready to drop you off this morning, I expected tears, nervous and you to be very clingy to my legs. You shocked us and were confident, at ease and seemed like you had done this many times. You found your locker, put your backpack in and had to remind you to give us a hug goodbye–you just went straight in and started to find some toys to play with.

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You switched schools this year from Bright Beginnings to St. Vincent’s. You are there all day–so from 7:30 – 1:30, the same time that Lexi is there, which makes it one less drop off and pick up for Daddy. Originally, we had signed you up to just go Tuesday and Thursday but felt that you could really benefit from another day of exposure to really help you learn your letters, numbers and exposure to more social elements with kids. Since you are there all day, you eat breakfast, lunch and take a little nap too.

Prior to your first day, we did have a little orientation day where Mom and Dad had a little meeting with Mrs. Winn, your teacher and you got to learn about the classroom and all the fun toys and activities for you.

The 6:30 am wake up call was a bit of a shock for you. You groaned and pulled your blankets over your head.

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After reminding you of your breakfast of choice, pigs in a blanket–you hopped down the stairs cheerfully. Like most mornings, it was chaos, getting out the door. Similar to Lexi, Daddy made you this awesome sign about all things William. We snapped a bunch of pictures and headed to drop off.

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After you got home, you were so excited about your day. You proudly told us you had lots of fun and were excited to go back.

I am excited to see how much you have grown and how much more confident you’ve become and all that you are going to learn this year. Have a great last year of preschool buddy cause next year, its Kindergarten!

Love,

Mama

Lexi

Lexi’s First Day of 1st Grade

Lexi,

It is amazing how different one can feel about relatively the same experience a year apart. This time last year, everyone was a ball of emotions: excited, nervous, emotional. This year, it felt like we have been through this a bazillion times already.

We tried to keep plans on Sunday and Monday pretty minimal so we could get the house back in order and start the year off on a good and organized note. My to-do list is always longer than what is reasonable but we did get many things done.

On Monday evening, we continued our tradition of ‘last day of summer ice cream’ at the ice cream factory. Over the summer you have branched out a bit and explored some new flavors: Lexi–Birthday Cake, William–After Dinner Mint, Kate–Watermelon Sherbet.

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We took baths, read books and were all in bed by 8:30, which is pretty remarkable considering your summer bedtime was often 10:00. Daddy made you a super awesome sign describing all things Lexi 🙂

The morning went fairly smooth. Lexi requested cinnamon rolls for breakfast and ate 3 and was requesting more!

After a few quick pics, we hopped into the Van, headed over to school to get there just as the bell was ringing.

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Lexi, you are going to have an amazing year. I’m so excited to watch your grow, learn and continue to mature into a smart 7-year-old/2nd grader over these next few years.

Love,

Mom

Kate, Lexi, William

Summer Dreams

Tonight was one of those nights that will be impressed into my memory forever. I would call it a top 10 weather day. It was sunny and about 80 degrees with no humidity or wind. It was perfect. Daddy grilled while you three kiddos rode bikes up and down the sidewalk and played on the swing set. There were lots of squeals and giggles and almost no arguing, whining or tattling.

Lexi optimistically suggested going to the Ice Cream Factory for dessert and requested we ride bikes. Initially, the plan was to have William ride in the trailer with Kate, but he insisted on riding his green bike. We gave it a go, but figured he would get tired and need to ride in the trailer and throw his bike on it.

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Oats, you rocked it. Your little legs were petaling a million times a minute but you rode all the way there AND back!

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You each enjoyed your ice cream and even switched it up from the usual:

  • Lexi: Birthday Cake
  • William: Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Kate: Watermelon Sherbet

So grateful for this weather, these memories and most importantly these sweet peeps that make us a family

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Love,

Mama

Kate, Kate monthly posts

Kate is 2!!

‘Night-night Oats,’ you yell down to William as we’re walking up the stairs to go to bed while waving excitedly. He barely pauses and responds, ‘Night, Kate. Love You.’ And you respond ‘Wuv you too’.

What an adventure these last two years have been. Watching you grow to adore your big brother and sister and watching their love grow for you has been my biggest joy. One of the first things you do when waking is ask for where Lexi or Oatsie is. You love to be with them, wrestle, play and pretend you are as big and mature as they are. Similarly, if they hear you talking in your room, they come and ask if they can get you out of bed. Lexi loves to read stories to you, regularly asks to have matching clothes and can’t WAIT for the two of your to share a room. William will stop whatever he is doing to give you hugs and kisses, loves to share snacks with you and is the most patient little 4-year-old to all of his creations you destroy. It is truly a joy to watch the three of you interact and love each other.

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At two years old, your independence, stubbornness and knowing what you want are in full swing. You exercise each of these attributes multiple times a day. I’m not going to lie, it can be exhausting, and we cave in far more than we should because sometimes it is just easier. But it has gotten out of control, and we are being much more diligent to not just give you whatever you want because you’re throwing a tantrum. Praying this is just a phase and really doesn’t last all year long or worse throughout your entire childhood/teenage years.

You put up a fight around bed/nap time about half time. If you are putting up a fight, once we get to your room, you’re fine. If you can say goodnight to everyone, it usually helps avoid a melt down.

You’ve started to enjoy books and will actually listen to them some of the time. When we’re finished, you request to go lie in you bed. I’ll sing a couple songs to you and you’ll sing if you know the words to the songs (Twinkle Twinkle, Row Row Row your Boat, Baaa Black Sheep). Then, I request you to say, ‘I love you mommy’ and you respond Wuv u mommies. I walk out and then you’ll chat and move things around in there for up to an hour.

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You take one nap for two to three hours most days, usually around 2:00. Lexi gets picked up from school around 1:30 and sometimes you fall asleep on the way home, but transfer very well into your bed.

For bedtime, you go to bed around 8:00-ish and (falling asleep around 9-ish) and then wake up around 7 am.

Taters, you love to eat. In fact, I would go so far to say you are obsessed with it. All Day. Long. constantly requesting to go into the food cabinet for ‘taaters AKA: Crackers. You love any and all cheese. Fruit is sent to you from the heavens above. And you could give two hoots about meat. You’re awesome at drinking from a regular cup and we almost never give you a sippy anymore, and you rarely spill. In fact you probably have spilt less than 5 times in total. You love eating with a fork and spoon and I can’t remember the last time we put a bib on you. You’ve even started to eat cereal with milk in it!

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Baths are iffy. You love playing in them and will tolerate being cleaned, but the ONLY way you will cooperate is if you stand up and I poor water over your head to get your hair wet or the bubbles out. You 100% refuse to lie down on your back. Note to self: I really need to work on that with you this summer in the pool and boating.

You do this hilarious quiver when you get really excited or want something. You used to do it before you would get a bottle too so it isn’t new, but it hasn’t gone away and now you know that it is funny and you’ll sometimes fake it.

Being heard is not an issue you need to overcome. You figured out being kid number three does not mean you are forgotten about. You demand to be heard. like demand! I’m hoping it is just the age you are, but holy smokers. You will yell my name 6+ times in 10 seconds. I’ll have responded to all of them, but you just keep yelling ‘Mommies!!’

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You are stubborn. You have your mind made up and you won’t even listen to someone else talk, just demand what you want. Lexi will come to say goodnight to you and you won’t have anything to do with her and push her away, but then William will come up and you’re all hugs and kisses with him. Then 5 minutes later, it has reversed. You will also throw the fit of all fits if Daddy tries to unbuckle you from your car seat when you want Mama to. Or heaven forbid I pick out the wrong pair of underwear.

“I do it!” you yell as I try and help you out of your carseat. The independence of a two-year-old is coming through. However, you can be very clingy. You love help or to hold my hand when you go downstairs and say, thank you mama and if I’m on the floor for some reason, you are climbing all over me. Nuzzling and giving me hugs but never sitting still for more than a few seconds.

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As stubborn and opinionated as you may be, you are also pretty shy around new spaces and people. It takes you awhile to warm up and start talking in front of other people–even  your Grammy and Papa from time to time. You will rarely wave to people in store or never will answer anyone’s questions if they talk to you–you just bury your head into me and try and become invisible.

You know the different sounds of the different alarms to go pick up the big kids from school. When you hear one, you know you need to go put your shoes on to go see Badgers, or that you are going to pick up Lexi.

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You can identify Mickey and the characters and request to watch it, but you’ve never really sat down and watch it or really any other kind of show. You are always moving. Where you’re going and what you’re doing is a mystery to all of us as you don’t ever sit down and play with toys or read books. You just wander, get into things, pick something up carry it to another room in the house and drop it.

Of all three kids, you win the golden star for the most goose eggs and bruises to the head. It is hard to find you without one it seems. You are always walking into the corner of tables or falling off something. You for sure have had more bumps to the head than the other two kids combined.

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Things to do/toys

  • You LOVE LOVE LOVE to go on walks. It is one of the few times you’re quiet. You just sit and observe everything you see.
  • You love to go down the slide and call it ‘go weee’. You hate swings and request to get off the moment you’re on them.
  • Love to play with bubbles and draw with chalk
  • Chase after Lexi, William and ‘Lute’ in the backyard
  • Push your babies or ‘nonnies’ aka: bunny in your strollers
  • You have started to like to do puzzles and for the most part can figure out how to move the pieces around to get them to fit.

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After our initial go at Potty training in April, I gave it another whirl over memorial weekend. You had diarrhea so it didn’t go quite to plan, but overall you got the concept and you did poop on the potty several times, which I think actually helped you learn how to do it. It didn’t happen over 3 days, but I kept at it and I haven’t put a diaper on you (outside of a nap/bedtime) for several weeks. Last week, we were up at the cabin with the Sampson’s and you didn’t have an accident the entire time–including the car ride. However, you will not go on any potty without your pink little seat–not at home and especially not out in public.

You are in size 4T clothing (and have been for a few months!!!), wear a size 7-8 shoe and weigh around 33 lbs. (You aren’t far behind your big brother as he is about 37 lbs and in 5T clothing, but still wears his 3Ts sometime).

Katelyn, you bring everyone in this family so much JOY! You are difficult and challenging and I’m terrified for what this will mean in 13 years, but encouraged to how you can leverage the strengths of your independence and stubbornness to your advantage. I love you SO much sweet pumpkin. You make everyone laugh and smile everyday and we just can’t get enough of our little taters. Happy 2nd Birthday!!!

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Love,

Mommy

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Kate

Kate Potty Trains

Katers,

After constantly telling me when you were going potty and requesting to be changed as soon as you pooped, I knew it was time to say see-ya later to diapers! We had a weekend that was pretty plan-free so I removed the diaps and let your sweet checks fly. We followed the same methodology as we did with William. Let you run naked so you would start to learn the sensation of when you start to pee. You had 3 mini accidents, one with a little poop and then two when a little pee came out but then were able to pee one the toilet successfully 3 times. You were pretty scared and there were LOTS of false alarms. A Lot!

That evening we were going over to Uncle Joe’s house and you peed on the potty twice but also pooped in your undies. The next day you only had once potty accident, and really had to poop but refused–I think you were scared. The next week, while I was at work, you really didn’t cooperate at all for Daddy. You pooped in your undies many times and wouldn’t really pee for him either, so we went back to diapers. For the most part, you were telling us when you needed to pee so it wasn’t like you were really using the diapers except for pooping.

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Two months later, memorial day weekend, I thought I would give it another whirl since we had 3 days. First day went pretty good and you popped once or twice for me. The next day, you came down with some diarrhea, which made me very skeptical on progressing with this process, but you told me every time you had to go and I think the softness really helped teach you how to go on the potty verses pushing out something more solid.

Giving you a hug while on the potty was another little trick that really helped you. If you had to go, you would request huggie and I would squeeze your little torso, rub your back and tell you, it’s OK–just push your poopies into the potty. Lots of Good Job Kate, Way to Go, but it helped give you the confidence you needed.

My favorite was the way your eyes would twinkle when you actually went. You would look at me and say ‘Dood job mommies! Treat!

This weekend was definitely a turning point in the potty training journey for you. You’ll have a couple of accidents here an there but for the most part, are always wearing underwear (outside of naps and bedtime).

You will only go on a little kids potty seat. I’ve tried public restrooms a few times and one would have thought a stranger was trying to rip you out of my arms in the way you reacted. Hopefully, you’ll become more accustomed to them otherwise you’re going to be in a lot of pain holding it or it is going to be really inconvenient for all of us.

Three cheers to almost being diaper-free for us!

Love,

Mama

Kate, Kate monthly posts

Kate 23 Months

Katers,

As much as I dislike being away from while I am at work everyday, it sure feels good to hear you yell ‘Mommies’ and hear your two little feet stomping to run and meet me and dive into my arms. You light up when you hear the garage door open and are ecstatic to see me everyday. And the feeling is mutual. I love coming home to such a happy and excited little munchkin.

I’m going to keep this update pretty short and will go into more depth in your two (tear) post.

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You talk more and more everyday. You articulate words better, attempt more words and string simple sentences together, for example ‘I go weeeee’ (meaning you want to go down the slide) or ‘I want it’ (which is used VERY frequently)

You are obsessed with being outside and are on the go more than your brother and sister. Always moving, climbing over us, requesting to eat or getting into something (i.e. markers)

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You and your brother are really starting to build quiet the bond. You two just click and make each other laugh. You get into all of your brothers stuff and although he gets frustrated, he almost never takes it out on you and just loves you to pieces.

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You request to go potty about half the time and have pooped several times on the potty so I think I’m going to give the training another go in the next few weeks.

Thats it for this month. Look for a novel next month as I drown my sorrows in writing my last monthly post….

Love,

Mama

Kate, Kate monthly posts

Kate 22 Months

Katers,

I am so grateful to have spent six whole days with just you, Grammy and Papa. What a treat it was to have special one-on-one time with you and for you to have lots of one-on-one time with your Grammy and Papa. At the end of March you and I hoped onto a plane to Florida to have another special visit with Grammy and Papa. We had the best time!! You played in the sand, we went for walks on the beach and around the resort, you went to a park for the first time and lots of swimming. Mommy even golfed several times with Papa and enjoyed some relaxation in the sun while you napped. I can’t think of another time in your short almost-two-years of life where I have had so much quality time with just you. And let me tell you, you soaked it up too. You were all ‘mommies mommies mommies’ in everything you did, while still enjoying lots of hugs, snuggles and giggles with Grammy and Papa. For the most part, you did really well on the plane rides. You didn’t sleep a wink on the way down, even thought we didn’t get there until after 11 pm! You were a little wiggly  but it really helped having the flights be broke up into two short stretches. But it was your last free ride…from now on we’re going to have to pony up the cash to take you places.

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Your trips to Florida over the past two months have developed an obsession for walks. You call the stroller ‘babies’ and constantly beg to go for walks. You climb in and sit content as a little buttercup as we push you around. You probably went on 2+ walks a day while in Florida.

You’ve also shown lots of signs for being ready to ditch the diapers. In fact, while in Florida, you pooped in your diaper while in your pack’n play but didn’t want to sit in it while you napped so you took it off and put it in the corner. You would tell us after you peed and would go get a diaper and wipes and say ‘change’. So about two weeks after Florida, we had an uneventful weekend so I thought I would give the whole potty-training a whirl. We took of the diapers and let your toosh run free. You had two tiny accidents but were able to catch them pretty quickly and get to the potty, in which you peed on two or three times the first day. You had many many more false alarms where you told us you needed to go, but the moment you were on the can, you told us you wanted to get up. However, you didn’t poop at all. Later that evening, you pooped in your diaper twice as we were out and about. Day two, you pretty much peed on the potty every time, but still no poop. This proceeded for about a week–except you would poop the moment a pair of underwear would go on or someone would turn their back. After about two weeks and zero successful poops on the potty, we went back to diapers. For the most part, you keep your diapers dry and tell us when you need to go to the potty and are starting to get the hang of pooping on the potty, but are still more comfortable in a diaper, so maybe in another two weeks we’ll give it a try.

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One of my other favorite things this month is you singing songs. During bedtime, we’ll lie on the bed together and you’ll sing Twinkle Twinkle with me or Row Row your Boat. You can barely say the words, but you get a couple of them here and there and it is the sweetest to hear your little voice.

While you love to look at books before bedtime, you really dislike actually listening to the story. You pretty much always have a different book that you are looking at while I read another one. You love to look at ‘Goodnight Moon’, the baby body’s book, Colorful Monsters and the animals book.

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You do not have once ounce of patience in your little body. You yell and demand to be listened to right away. I’ll be making dinner and you’ll come in and move my legs so I’m facing you and can pay attention to you instead of facing the counter. You’ll say ‘mommies’ and if I don’t respond within a half a second, you are yelling ‘MMMMOOMMIES’

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You are saying more and more words and stringing phrases together. It is so fun to hear your little voice and be able to communicate with you.

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You celebrated your 2nd Easter and were all about the egg hunts and candy, my sweet tooth.

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As demanding as you can be, you’re also my sweetest shadow. You brighten my days with your huge grins and big hugs everyday when I get home from work. I love you to pieces Katers.

Love,

Mama