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

Kate, Kate monthly posts

Kate 18 Months

Kate,

You have made up a silly little game and you love to play it with Dada. It’s pretty simple, you yell, ‘Da-da’ and he responds wherever he is in the house, ‘Kate-Kate’ and then it repeats. But it will honestly get repeated 20 to 40 times. Occasionally, you’ll throw a ‘Where-are-you’ (which you pronounce as whe-ah-ya) into the mix but for the most part you guys just like to call back and forth to each other. It is very sweet.

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This was a big milestone month where I noticed lots of changes. The biggest change was you started nodding you head yes when I ask you a question. Do you want milk? and you nod yes and walk to the fridge. Seriously, this is a game changer as it is less of a guessing game of what you really want, because you’re always ‘peas-ing’ for something.

You’ve started to say a lot more words this month too: Dada, Mama, hot (aht), up, uh-oh, wow, bubble, bowl, baby, ball and poop. Some of these are more distinguishable than others, but we all know what you’re saying.

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You had a rough cold at the beginning of the month and also popped your bottom two eye teeth through. As soon as your teeth were through, we took away your pacifier and you didn’t even notice. With the removal of the paci, you have become much more attached to Bunny. You always want him to come out of your crib with you and you get SO excited when you see him. You’ll run over to him with this big smile and just snuggle and nuzzle him like crazy.

IMG_2683-COLLAGEYou’re now officially transitioned out of the two naps and will sleep for 2.5-3.5 hours every afternoon. Many days, you’ll fall asleep on the way home from getting Lexi, but you do a good job transitioning to your bed. After nap time or even in the morning, you’ll often play in your crib and babble to your stuffed animals for a good 20 minutes.

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You’ve also become much more affectionate and snuggly with me. After reading books at night, we lie in bed and sing Christmas songs and you always find my hand and take it to rub your belly and will just lay and snuggle (and have even fallen asleep a couple of times). You also will just come and give me hugs in the middle of playing for no reason.

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You’re also showing a bit of a stubborn streak with a temper built in–deadly combination. You will throw a cup or food if it isn’t what you wanted and sometime putting clothes or a jacket on you is like dressing jello. You are squirming and whinning all over the place.

Your big sibs are passing their love for footie jammies onto you as you point to them in your closet and will pull them off the hanger and beg to have them put on. But you love to accessorize. I put a cute little outfit on and you waddled into Lexi’s room and pointed to her necklaces and demanded to wear one. I gave you one that you didn’t want and you threw it on the ground. scary behavior for an 18 month old if you ask me.

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Happenings this month:

  • Decorated the the house for Christmas and you did really well and didn’t really touch any of the ornaments or the tree.
  • We visited Santa and you HATED him. Classic pic!
  • You loved seeing all the Christmas lights everywhere.
  • You loved Thanksgiving dinner–especially the rolls and Grandma Terri’s Raspberry Jello salad.
  • You are also a sweet tooth. You loved taste-testing cookie dough and frosting but could take or leave the finished cookie

Nicknames: Kate, Katers, Kate-Kate, Katers-the-taters, Taters, Getty

My sweet babes, this past year and a half have been the hardest, most exauhsting, but utterly fabulous, priceless time of my life. I love every little inch of every part of you and your big personality. I’m so grateful to have you and am SO excited to watch you grow over the next 6 months.

Love,

Mama

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Kate, Kate monthly posts

Kate 17 Months

Kate-Kate,

If your love for shoes is any indication of the future, we’re in trouble girl! You love to get them out of your bin and bring them to mama or dada to be put on. You also regularly put on your brother and sister’s shoes and clomp around.

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You still love food and demand to feed yourself with a fork and spoon. You also regularly pull on my legs and outright push my body to face you so you can point to the cupboard, rub your belly and say ‘peees’. Thankfully, you’re also obsessed with brushing your teeth. You carry toothbrushes and toothpaste around on the reg and beg to have the toothpaste opened.

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You also love to look at books (especially the touch and feel ones) and if mama or dada read really fast, we can usually get through a book without you ripping it out of our hands.

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Your brother and sister continue to be your fav buds. You love to chase them around the house and all giggle and scream ear-shattering pitches.

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You had your 2nd Halloween, you were a sweet little piggy and hated everything about it. You hated the costume, the hat on your head, the pictures–everything. The only thing you did enjoy was waving to the other trick-or-treaters that would come to the house.

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Development

  • You climb up the slide and say ‘weee’ when you go down.
  • You climb up and down couches and off of our bed, which is pretty high
  • You say the word ‘that’ as in, ‘what’s that’
  • You love to play peek-a-boo. You cover your hands over your face and pull them and yell ‘P-a-boo’ and die in laughter
  • You pooped on the potty a couple of times now. I’ll catch you mid-poop and run you up and sit you on the potty and you’ll finish. So it isn’t like you’re really going, but the fact that you will actually poop while sitting feels like a win in my book, especially after the epic potty training battles of William.
  • You’re starting wear 3T clothing as that belly keeps popping through on your 2T outfits and are in size 5 diapers
  • You despise the bath as you don’t like to lay down and get your hair wet

Katers, we love you so much. We love watching you grow, learn, laugh and develop strong relationships with your brother and sister.

Love,

Mama

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Kate, Lexi, William

Halloween 2018

Dear Kiddos,

I threw in the towel this year on coordinated costumes. sigh. I love them and think they are awesome, but you guys had different ideas on what you wanted to be, I didn’t want to spend all the money and William needed to wear the dinosaur costume this year as it wouldn’t fit next year. So Lexi was Elsa, William was a green dinosaur and Kate was a piggy.

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William had his Halloween party at his school on Tuesday and I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer at it. We had two crafts, two games and a snack. I coordinated one of the crafts and we created cotton ball ghosts. You also painted a paper pumpkin, golfed into pumpkins and played pin the candy in the bucket. I loved being there and seeing how happy you were to have me there. Later that night, I asked what your favorite part of the day was and you said making ghosts with Mommy.

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Then on actual Halloween, Lexi had a spooky lunch and party in the afternoon. Originally, I was not planning on attending, but after talking to my boss about it, she convinced me to go. I am so grateful to work for a company that supports family activities during the work week and a supportive boss. When I arrived in the cafeteria to surprise you, you were so shocked to see me as you didn’t think I was going to be there. It was so awesome to see how proud you were to have me there and SO worth it! For your spooky lunch, you had gobblin fingers (pizza slices with no sauce) and the cafeteria was decorated with purple and orange lights bat lights floating around on the walls and lit up pumpkins on each table.

After that, Daddy, Kate, Badge and Great Grandma arrived while you changed into your costume. Then, your class had a little parade to the older classrooms to show off your costumes and then had a party in your classroom for the rest of the day. So happy I was able to be there for it!

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That evening, you guys all got dressed up and we headed out to trick or treat around 6:00. Near the end, William started to get pretty tired and needed me to carry his bucket as it was too heavy. We were home probably just after 7:15. The kids sorted and counted their candy, ate a couple pieces and then headed up to bed for the night.

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Kate really didn’t like her costume at all and wanted the head off right away. She trick-or-treated to the neighbors house and then had fun waving to all of the trick-or-treaters at our house.

Another fun halloween in the books! Now to start thinking about Christmas!

Love,

Mama

Kate, Kate monthly posts

Kate 16 Months

Katers-the-taters,

My heart sank when I received a text from Grammy about how sad you were when Daddy, Lexi and William left without you. I was out in LA for a work trip and Daddy and the two big kids met me out their for a fairly impromptu trip to Disneyland while you got to spend some one-on-one time with Grammy and Papa. When Daddy dropped you off at their house and then proceeded to leave with the two big kids, you waddled over to your gold shoes, jacket and brought them to Grammy fully anticipating to leave with everyone. And when you didn’t I think you kind of went into a mini depression. Grammy said you spent a lot of time with your Paci and snuggling your bunny and barely ate a darn thing (which is always an indication for you that something isn’t quite right) and just weren’t yourself. I’m sorry sweet girl. I didn’t mean to make you so sad and feel terrible, but it is good to know how much you love us. And don’t you worry, this was just a quick little trip that you wouldn’t have gotten anything out of and I promise, we will go take a big trip to DisneyWorld when you are about Lexi’s age.

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This month, you really learned how to clearly articulate Dada and call for him ALL of the time. There have also been a few instances where I can tell you’re trying to say ‘where are you?’ based on the inflection of your voice but no words on that yet. You have said Mama a couple of times, but don’t do it regularly.

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You also know when you shouldn’t be doing something. For instance, William was going to the bathroom and you went to peek into the back part of the potty, but stopped looked at me and shook your head no.

You also understand direction like, ‘go get your shoes, or sit down, or come here’. You have mastered going down stairs on your tummy and slide a fast as a racehorse down them (thank goodness for footie jammie season so your tummy isn’t full of rug burns)

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As much as you like to move around all the time, you also have this incredibly sweet and nurturing side of you. You love to snuggle with pals and blankets or if William is snuggling with me or just laying down, you regularly come over and start gently rubbing his back or his hair to show your genuine affection towards him.

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Other events/favorites

  • We went to Uncle Dustin’s families Apple Orchard and learned that you can eat and apple whole (without it being cut up, peel and all)
  • Your favorite activity is to go into my cosmetic drawer or the find the big kid’s toothbrushes and carry things around the house and then drop it in the most random places. You love to put bottles or containers of toothpaste in your mouth and walk around with them in your hatch
  • We got rid of the rocking chair and the changing table this month and moved the single bed into your room and you seem to like reading/snuggling a tinch more than you did in the rocking chair, so it feels like a good decision.
  • Nicknames: William still calls you Beetle most of the time, but we do call you Kate a lot or Katers, which has turned into Katers-the-taters, or just taters

Love,

Mama

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Kate, Lexi, William

It’s so much more than a chair

I’m oddly attached to this $200 recliner wrapped in cheap synthetic ‘leather’. When I found out I was pregnant with Lexi, I knew I wanted a recliner that could rock and recline in verses a traditional rocking chair or glider. We spent a lot of time looking but had a hard time finding something that wasn’t super expensive and that also didn’t take up a huge footprint.

Low and behold, Menards had something. Daddy wasn’t sold on it at first. He was worried that it would get moved to a different location once we were done with it and it wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing piece of furniture. I assured him that I would get rid of it when the kids were old enough and didn’t need it anymore.

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rocking chair 3Just as Kate was about to be born, we started to notice some cracking and flaking near the head rest and the ‘leather’ quickly started to peel away. The spots grew bigger and bigger over the year, but for the most part we were able to cover it with a blanket. Around her first birthday, the seat cushion started to do the same thing. Little pieces of brown fabric were everywhere and it was driving me insane.

When I thought about getting rid of the chair, my eyes would puddle up. How can I get rid of something that has provided me with so much comfort and nurturing.

rocking chair 2rocking chair 5I vividly remember holding Lexi’s warm 10-day-old little body against my chest feeling her short little breaths tickle my skin while we rocked. And I thought, how could I possibly ever let her go to school? She was a mere 10 days old, when 20 six and seven year old kids were shot to death at school. The innocence of those children, the fear they must have had and lack of knowledge they had to know what to do. And don’t even get me started on their parents. I couldn’t. How could I ever let my heart walk out of my body and know there was a chance that something so horrific could possibly happen. So, I held your sweet, innocent little body next to mine and we rocked. And I prayed, a lot. And I still do today.rocking chair 1Every single night, for 5 years, i sat in that chair and nursed my babies, read stories and sang twinkle twinkle and snuggled for sometime hours on end while they fell asleep in my arms. I can still feel our two little bodies smushed between the arms, wiggling around to get comfortable. There were many nights that I slept the entire night in the chair with the kids to ensure they got some sleep while they were under the weather.rocking chair 4

So while I rationally know it is just a chair. It is so much more. It became a place of comfort for myself and the kids. It enabled memories to be created and bonds to grow.

So long chair.

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