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

Chirstmas, Kate, Lexi, William

Christmas 2018

Merry Christmas Lexi William and Kate!

We were busy, but in an enjoyable sort of way throughout the entire Christmas season. This year, Christmas feel on a Tuesday. I took the Monday, Christmas Eve off from work and we started the morning with homemade buttermilk pancakes, homemade whipped cream and bacon. They were the best pancakes I have ever made and this will be a tradition moving forward.

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Most of the morning was pretty low key. Lexi and William were giddy-excited that Santa was coming tonight. Lexi exclaimed,’Ahh tomorrow is the day I get my Barbie Dreamhouse!’ I had to remind her that just because you ask for something doesn’t mean you get it. You two were so excited, you were pretending it was Christmas morning and opening gifts and acting surprised. William goes, ‘I got a Mickey!!! Lexi shrieks ‘I got a tablet!!’ LOL!! I died! Where do you come up with these crazy ideas?!?!

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I started getting ready at like 10:30, because it takes a long time to get myself and 3 other kiddos ready 🙂

Kate took an early nap and we were out the door around 2:45 to head to Church. We met Grammy & Papa, Grandma Terri, Grandpa Bill, Great Grandma and Auntie T there.

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After, we headed over to Uncle Pats for Christmas Eve with the Tansey’s. It was a fun celebration as all of the cousins were there, so you kids had a blast running around with all the other kids. Santa made a surprise appearance and brought each of you an early gift. William and Lexi were in disbelief and Kate was terrified. Santa brought William a Paw Patrol set, Lexi a LOL surprise Pearl set and Kate a Minnie Mouse purse and cell phone.

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We headed home around 9:30 and since Pat’s is so close to home, nobody fell asleep. Both Lexi and Kate went right up to bed and were out in a couple of minutes. William helped set out cookies and milk for santa and some carrots for the reindeer. Daddy was also outside flooding the ice rink and William wanted to make sure he had the Grinch dust (green glitter). He says, ‘Dad, the grinch isn’t real–he’s just a character.’ Dad responds, ‘I know, but we’ll spread it around just in case’. William yells through the crack in the door, ‘Ok, Don’t forget to get the roof! You are so sweet buddy!

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Christmas morning, I was Shocked that you all slept in past 8:30, especially considering how excited you were. You came into our room and Daddy got the camera set up before we headed downstairs! William b-lined for his Heatwave and transformer trailer for Santa and Lexi was excited about her new table and desk chair and her Barbie’s and Hatchamals that Santa brought her. Lexi bounced around she was so excited and wanted to just rip through everything that had her name on it. However, she was very pumped to give everyone the gifts that she had picked out for them. She searched through the piles to find the items for her and requested that everyone open the gifts from her first. William was much more methodical and wanted to open and play with everything before moving onto the next. Kate was in the kitchen most of the morning eating, while everyone else was opening gifts. Girls gotta eat! She did come in every once in a while and loved her new Minnie Mouse doll, stroller and Unicorn Fingerling. Lexi’s was over-the-moon excited about the Lego hospital kit she received.

IMG_2570-COLLAGEWe spent a good 2 hours opening gifts before eating breakfast, cinnamon rolls and fresh fruit. Then we spent the next several hours putting together Lego kits (Lego hospital and the fire truck) cleaning up and getting ready before heading over to Grammy and Papa’s house around 4.

There we visited, ate some meat pies and enjoyed the next round of gifts.

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Then, on the 26th we were hosting the Sampson’s at our house for our Christmas celebration so we started cleaning the house and getting ready for Christmas celebration #4!

All-in-all it was a jam-packed couple of days, but filled with so much love, gratitude and so much to be thankful for.

Love,

Mama

Chirstmas, Kate, Lexi, William

Christmas Activities 2018

Dear Kiddos,

Christmas was no shortage of magic. The anticipation of the season is so exciting to me and I love everything about it. I love the lights on the houses, I love the decorations, (and actually decorating) the baking, the shopping, the music, the process of thinking about gifts and finding good deals, going to church, coordinating adorable outfits, wrapping gifts–everything about it is magic and I hope that you feel the magic and enjoy it as much as I do.

This year, we hosted Thanksgiving so I resisted and didn’t put the Christmas tree up until after Lexi’s birthday party, but the rest of the decorations came out on the evening of Black Friday.

I didn’t haul all the bins out until you were sleeping but then popped my earbuds in and listened to Christmas music (Jim Brinkman’s Piano Instrumental–my fav) and had the house twinkling in delight when you woke up the next morning.

The following Sunday, we headed over to Ivy and Claire’s house to do some cooking baking. We made sugar cookies and some peppermint cookies. You all had a great time, but honestly probably had more fun just playing with your cousins.

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IMG_2187-COLLAGEThe following weekend, the whole family went over to Grammy and Papa’s house for breakfast and Christmas Jammies. Grammy created a scavenger hunt for each of the kids that took them around the house and ultimately led them to their Christmas Jammies.

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The following weekend, we set up the Christmas tree. I usually like to do this by myself as it is a process to put the lights on and then the ribbon and then the ornaments, but figured I would give it a go with you awake and let you enjoy some of the fun too. Lexi was into it for about 5 minutes, but William helped the entire time and loved every moment of picking up the ornaments and finding a spot for it on the tree.

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In the past our elf, Sparkle Minnie has arrived on December 1st, but this year she was sick and didn’t arrive until about December 10th, and she brought a friend, Sparkle Mickey, to keep an eye out on you guys. She also brought you a book, the Giving Tree and asked for your to do a Good Deed everyday as a reminder that the Christmas season is about more than getting gifts, but being thoughtful and considerate towards other people. Lexi definitely understood the concept and we would talk each night about what good deed she did throughout the day. Some days it was sharing her magenta marker with a friend at school or playing with someone who was feeling sad. Other days it was doing William’s chore of unloading the dishwasher, or throwing away Kate’s diapers for mommy and daddy. It was so encouraging to hear how you were being intentional each day about how you can be thoughtful towards others.

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December 8th, we went to Breakfast with Santa at Lexi’s school. Uncle Dustin, Kenzie and Grammy and Papa joined us for some pancakes and crafts. Kate hated Santa, but William asked for a Heat Wave transformer and Lexi asked for a Barbie Dreamhouse.

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We also baked cookies a couple of times and decorated a gingerbread house. We made pretzel hugs, spritz and molasses cookies.

IMG_2380-COLLAGELexi and William both helped pick out gifts to give each other and loved helping wrap them up. Lexi picked up a green lego car kit for William and William picked out a Barbie car for Lexi. We also listened to a lot of Christmas music and would sing Silent Night and Away in a Manger each night before bed.

William had his first Christmas program at Preschool. You looked so handsome and I was proud you actually sang a little bit.

IMG_2396-COLLAGELexi had her annual Dance program. So fun to watch you dance–this is the first time that I’ve seen you smile while you were dancing. In the past, you have always been very focused on the moves and the teacher, you haven’t been able to smile so it was fun to see you ‘perform’

IMG_2453-COLLAGEThen, Lexi had two program’s at school. The first one was just for kindergarteners and you had a little saying you had to memorize and say during the program, ‘B is for Bethlehem, crowded and old, birthplace for Jesus, prophet foretold. Then, there was another one in the afternoon with the entire school where you sang a couple of songs. You also had an advent party in your class and I was able to volunteer for it. There were 4 stations that groups traveled to and I ran a game: pin the nose on the snowman.

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Whew! Lot’s of activities, but so much fun! I’ll create another post for Christmas itself.

Love,

Mama

Lexi

Lexi is 6

Dear Lexi,

One of our family’s favorite books is The Hungry Caterpillar. We love to read it and watch the caterpillar explore all the different foods, build a cocoon and morph into this beautiful butterfly. That book is a perfect metaphor for you over this last year.

Your shy, scared and reserved personality diminishes a little bit every month and you’re blossoming into this brave, friendly and adventurous little girl. It is so fun to help guide and encourage you through these milestones and watch you transform before my eyes.

In October, you were Star of the Week at School, and you colored this amazing poster, all about you, and I think it is pretty accurate.

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Your big heart and nurturing personality couldn’t be any clearer in your relationship with your brother and sister. You adore them and they look up to you the way a mom could only dream about.

You are gentle and kind with Kate. You love to give her hugs and read books to her, make her laugh and generally make her happy. You beg to go see her the moment you hear her rustling in her crib.

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William is your BEST friend. The two of you play together for hours everyday and are pretty much attached at the hip all day long. Rarely do you two argue. You have figured out how to play with each other and integrate each of your toys into whatever you are playing. You will be playing with your Hatchamals and he will be playing with his Transformers, but you’re always playing in the same scene or house (doll house, Micky garage, magnatiles creation) and each of your toys interact with each other.

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While playing, you are definitely the ring leader and suggest where you are playing or what your characters are doing and 90% of the time William just follows your lead.

One thing we are working on is including your brother when others are around. When other kids are around, you have a tendency to ditch him for others or even play games where ‘he is the bad guy’ or just run away from him. I don’t think it is intentional and you’re not doing it to make him feel bad, I think you have such a strong desire to be liked and fit in, you’re willing to leave him out so others will like you. We spend a lot of time talking about what it feels like when others are running away from you or other friends leave you out and how that must feel to William when you do that to him. So far it hasn’t really sunk in yet as it happens a lot, but hopefully as you continue to grow and mature you’ll get it and start to stick up for him–or for other kids at school who may be getting picked on. This is by far my biggest worry for you as you get older. I worry that this desire to fit in is going to lead you down a bad path or get in the way of making decisions that are going to emphasize your strengths and get in the way of your happiness. I pray that Daddy and I and will be blessed with the right words and stories to help guide you on a path that is the best for you.

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Another fairly surprising characteristic to emerge this year is your competitiveness. It feels like everything is a competition with you. ‘Want to race up the stairs?’ ‘Who can do it faster?’ and, when we complement William on something, you always follow-up with ‘Well I did XYZ?’ or ‘What about me?’

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You are also quite the talker and can be bossy from time-to-time. It is rarely quite when you are around as you are always always talking about something (I blame your daddy on that one).

Activities

Last winter, you got a pair of ice skates for Christmas and spent a good chunk of time skating on the rink in the backyard.

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Last winter and spring you took Swimming lessons and can legitimately swim. You love to swim underwater, but still have a hard time making it down to the bottom of the pool to reach diving sticks or rings

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You completed your 2nd year of recreation dance and performed in another recital

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This summer, you played on your first soccer team and really seemed to like it. You even scored a goal (1 of 3 kids on your team)

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You also took gymnastics classes during the summer as you were begging to learn how to do a cart-wheel

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School

You participated in your first Christmas program at pre-school.

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Went on field trips to the Children’s museum and Como Zoo

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Graduated from preschool

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Then in September, you started kindergarten at St. Vincent’s. You made friends quickly, are learning to read and complain about how you don’t like Math. When you found out your teacher’s name, Mrs. Burke–you weren’t thrilled. You automatically envisioned her to be old, grouchy, with black hair and wrinkly hands (like Grandma T–as you described). She is the complete opposite and you adore her and she adores you too.

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Trips

We took our first family vacation to Florida to visit Grammy and Papa. You were giddy with excitement to ride on an airplane for the first time. You loved seeing the ocean (or the Gulf) and splashing around in the waves and swimming everyday.

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We went to camping to storybook island in South Dakota and you had so much fun exploring all of the different nursery rhymes

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Of course there were several trips to the Bothwell cabin which you just adore and a week spent with the Sampson’s up north.

lexi-sampson-cabinThen the big trip of a the year was a surprise trip to Disneyland in October. We had the BEST time and you loved the rides and meeting the princesses and characters and relished the magic that Disney brings.

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Favorites:

  • Reading & writing
  • Anything arts and crafts related
  • Legos–specifically Lego Friends (the toys, the books, the show)lexi-and-william-legos
  • Hatchimals
  • Dit-Dat (your giraffe)
  • Pajamas
  • Sweets/treats
  • Rice, chicken wild rice soup, Avacado
  • Watching YouTube
  • Swimming, riding your bike, playing with other kids
  • Being loud
  • Doc McStuffins

Lexi, you are growing into this thoughtful, helpful heart-led little girl. You are imaginative, animated, nurturing, smart and beautiful in every way imaginable. I am so proud of you and honored to be your mom.

Happy 6 sweet girl!

Love,

Mama

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family vacations, Lexi, William

Disneyland-Getting here

Lexi and William,

I was scheduled to go out to LA for a TV shoot and had suggested that Grammy and Papa fly out with Daddy and you three kids to meet me and do a quick visit to Disneyland. After Grandma T passed away, Grammy and Papa had to cancel their big trip they had planned so I thought this would be something fun to look forward to and lift spirits a bit. They decided to pass, but wanted to watch Kate and encouraged the four of us to go.

The whole trip was a surprise. So I left on my trip (with all of our stuff packed in my bag!) On Thursday, Daddy brought both of you to school like any other day. He picked up William and then surprised Lexi around noon and headed over to Grammy and Papas to drop off Kate. When asked where you were going, Daddy just responded, ‘to see mom’ You ate a quick lunch and then Papa brought you three to the airport.

As you were leaving, Kate went to get her jacket and shoes and was the saddest little puppy when she found out she wasn’t going.

Once at the airport, papa dropped the three of you off and Lexi goes, ‘Where is he going?’ she thought I was coming off the airplane and you were just going to pick me up. Daddy stuck with his story, ‘We’re going to see mommy.’

You bummed around the airport and then it was time to board. Again, you two were confused as you thought you were waiting for me to come off of a plane. After boarding , you thought you were taking a plane to pick me up. LOL!

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You landed in LA around 5:00 and this is where the adventure really begins. Apparently, the car rental company I booked through wasn’t the one the airport shuttles to AND it was closed. So Daddy ended up renting a car for twice of what we planned.

Around 6:30 or 7, you were finally on the road to Disneyland, about a 45 min drive.  Unfortunately, there was a car crash on the freeway causing a 20 min delay and just lots of traffic resulting in lots of start stop and jerking. Additionally, you kiddos hadn’t eaten anything but candy in the last 9 hours or so, which didn’t help the situation.

About 3 miles from the hotel, William threw up all over himself and the car seat.

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Daddy stopped at a 7-Eleven, took you out of his clothes (thankfully, I had packed another set in the airplane bag in case something happened. I had all of their other clothes with me) and did his best to clean the carseat and finally to our hotel around 9:15 PST (11 CST). Both of you were passed out.

We transferred you to the stroller, and put you to bed.  Lexi woke up, went to the bathroom ate some Panera, played a couple games on the iPad and then feel asleep.

Thankfully, the hotel had washer/dryers so I was able to wash all of William’s clothes, the car seat liner any anything else that had gotten dirty. I had also purchased some 409 and a roll of paper towels to clean out the carseat and the car.

Finally around 12:30-1:00, I was able to get some rest.

Crossing our fingers and sending lots of prayers that William was carsick and not coming down with the flu.

Love,

Mama

Lexi

Happy 5th Birthday Lexi

My sweet little Lexi,

While swimming with Papa in the pool in Florida, you lean over to him and ask ‘Papa, can I be friends with that girl over there?’ And you swam over to her, introduced yourself and played for a little. The girl was so sweet to you considering she was 12. She played awhile before going and doing things for kids a little bit bigger.

Although this event technically happened a couple months after you turned 5, I feel like it is the perfect example of the little girl you are becoming. Long gone are the days where you were shy and would cling to my leg and not make eye contact with people. You are social and LOVE to play with anyone you meet. You are confident and silly and love to laugh and make others laugh.

So many amazing things happened this year for you, but my favorite, by far, was watching you grow and develop relationships with your siblings. Kate was born when you were 4.5 and there was an instant bond between you two. The love you have for her is fierce. You sing her songs when she is crying, you read her books, you feed her bottles, and you love to play with her and make her laugh. Nobody can make her laugh more than you. And her feelings are reciprocated right back. The moment she sees you, her eyes twinkle and a huge smile appears on her face.

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Lexi Kate 1Lexi Kate 2 One morning I went to wake you up for school and you asked if Beetle was awake yet and I said no, and you just rolled over and said, well I’m too sleepy then, come get me when she is awake. I pray every night that this bond only continues to grow stronger each day.

Another day, Kate had been crying while napping and you quietly opened her door, walked to her crib, sang her a couple of songs, put her paci back into her mouth and tip-toed out. You proudly came downstairs and announced that Kate had woke up from her nap, but don’t worry, I put her back to sleep.

Then, there is your best friend, Badger, aka William. The two of you are the best of pals 90% of the time. You two play together for hours on end. You love to play legos, dollhouse, squinkies/shopkins/hatchamals, Mickey Mouse, Barbies Frozen, the list goes on and on. You have your ‘girl versions’ of all of these toys, and Badge has the dad or the brother or the Dog or spiderman and you two have imaginative play wherever you are. I love to sit back and listen to you two play. You’ll often be playing and asking ‘Mom, do this’ and if I respond, you’ll say, ‘Not you, I meant the Mom I’m playing with’. There were many days this summer that I would suggest we go to the park or ask if someone wanted to run to the store with me and you two will often decline and say you just want to stay home and play with your toys.

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Last spring, you performed in your first dance recital. I was worried you would get nervous up there with the lights and all the people watching you but you ROCKED it and were one of the best performers in your class. That evening as I was putting you to bed, you cried because you had so much fun and were sad that you needed to wait another whole year before you could perform again.

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Outside of dance class, you also love to dance at home. Whenever music comes on, you stop what you’re doing and just bust a move. I can tell, you feel the music and you cant help but boogie. Your moves are quite entertaining and I’m still working on catching them on video so you can laugh at yourself later.

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This past year, you learned how to ride a two-wheeler bike, had your tonsils removed, had your last day of daycare, and your first day of preschool. You are only half way through and are learning so much. I’m amazed at how much they pack into 3.5 hours! You love going each day and are proud to tell me what you learned each day. You have done a great job of making friends and Mrs. Hanson and Mrs. Magner were shocked when I told them how shy you used to be as they have never seen a glimpse of you being shy. You’re learning how to write upper and lowercase letters, learn all of the sounds they make, identify and write numbers, working on addition and subtraction. You have an excellent memory and are learning all sorts of sight words, recognizing and creating patterns and your fine motor skills are advanced. You do a really really good job of staying in the lines while coloring.

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You share many of the characteristics of other first-born children. You are a rule-follower and I never have to worry about you running out of my sight and announce whenever anyone breaks a rule (yourself included). You can not get enough attention from mommy, Daddy or your grandparents. If we tell William he did a good job, you say, ‘well I did XYZ too’ or ask ‘are you proud of me too?’ You are an excellent helper, particularly with Kate. When we’re getting ready to leave the house, you’re running around the house filling up the diaper bag to make sure we’ve got food, toys, diapers, extra clothes and paci’s for Kate.

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You also love to talk. Like non-stop. Whether you are playing or just hanging out or we are driving, the questions are non-stop or just announcing what is going on around you. Your daddy is a talker so I think this trait comes from him.

This past spring, you started sharing a bedroom with William. You sleep on the top bunk and Badge sleeps on the bottom and you both love it! It has also simplified bedtime. We read stories together and you no longer need us to be with you until you fall asleep as you have William there to keep you company. Initially, you chatted a lot before bed, but now you fall asleep within 5 minutes of use leaving.

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You are a great little swimmer. You have taken 3 rounds of lessons and love to swim underwater and are learning your front crawl. This summer you also did a T-ball and soccer combo class for the first time and it went OK but you didn’t love it. Hoping that next year you’ll be open to trying them again and going into a program that is a little more structured.

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You really love all of your toys and like to constantly switch things up. You love to play with the dollhouse, squinkies/shopkins, little people, barbies, Legos, your Chelsea doll, barbie dreamhouse, puzzles (100+ pieces!), coloring, games on the iPad (including YouTube–you love to watch other people play with toys or open them, I think it is weird, but you love it) and any kind of craft there is.

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You tend to be a bit of a follower, you want to eat whatever everyone else is eating, even if you like a different option better. Or I’ll ask you if you want to ride your bike and you’ll say, no, but then see a neighbor kid doing it and you’ll suddenly want to ride. We’re working on doing things that you like to do and not being influenced by others, which includes me not bribing you to do something because thats what someone else is doing. #badmomhabit

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Lexi, you are amazingly talented, have a ridiculous memory, a heart as big as a rainbow, an imagination to the depths mermaids swim and make me so proud and grateful to be your mom. I see so much of myself in you and I pray that God will continue to give me the strength and wisdom to help grow and blossom you into a wonderful little girl that you are becoming. Mommy and Daddy love you so much. Thank you for being everything a little Lexi Bug is supposed to be.

Love,

Mama

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lexi

Lexi’s First Day of Preschool

Little Bug!

Today was your First day of preschool! (Technically, you have been in preschool for two years already as you were in preschool classes at daycare and learning tons of stuff, but for simplification purposes, we’ll call this your first day.)

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Last week, we went to your school (Bright Beginnings) for a little open house and you met your teachers, Mrs. Magner and Mrs. Hanson who seem so sweet and lovely–everything you would want for a preschool teacher. You were able to see the room and play with the toys and it was a good way to get all the nervs out before today.

I was a little nervous how the morning would go as it was also my first day back to work after having Baby Kate so mama was feeling all the feels there were to feel, but it was a pretty smooth morning. Daddy created an awesome little sign for you on the chalkboard, I put a headband braid princess hair in, there were no arguments about clothes and you generally seemed pretty excited.

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Daddy stayed home with William and Kate and Mommy took you in before heading into work. You were a little shy walking in and I started to get a little emotional, but as soon as you went into your classroom and found your name on your fish name tag, you were pretty excited. You found some playdough to play with gave me a hug and that was it! I was a little surprised at how well you did but so proud at how much you have grown over the past two years from when I dropped you at daycare for the first time.

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Daddy picked you up at 11:30 and told him all about your day! I have a feeling it is going to be a great year and am so excited to see all that you learn about.

Way to go Lexi!

Love,

Mama

(Side Note: When I asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, you were a little puzzles, so I listed things off like a teacher or a doctor or a nurse or a dancer. And you asked, what I did, and I said I’m in marketing, I make commercials. And you sat there for a minute and said, I want to be a lap girl with lots of excitement. Recently, you’ve been riding the mini bike around the yard with daddy, and you love to stand on the swing set with his phone and time how fast he can do the mini course he has made up)