DisneyWorld, Kate, Lexi, William

DisneyWorld—Epcot (Day 4)

Lexi, Badgie and Katie,

You went to 3 DisneyParks in 1 Day. Not to shabby for three kids under 7. We started our last Disney day at Epcot, spent an hour or so in Animal Kingdom before wrapping the night up at Magic Kingdom for extra magic hours.

One of the reasons we made the switch to the Wilderness Lodge hotel was of how convenient it was supposed to be with transportation. Well it didn’t work out so well for us.

Similar to the other days, the plan was to get up early and get to the park just as it was opening. Since Epcot has tiered FastPasses, I had a FastPass to Frozen, but not TestTrack, so I was planning to go straight to TestTrack and ride before the line got too long.

We left around 8:15, about 15 min later than I was hoping. First, we took a boat from the lodge to the Magic Kingdom area, where we then took a monarail to the transportation center, making a pit stop at the Contemporary as the express wasn’t running. Once we were at the Transportation center, our plan was to jump on another monarail to go to Epcot. Well that monarail wasn’t running either, so we had to get on a bus. All this took much longer than expected so instead of getting there at 9, when it opened, it was closer to 10, which meant the line for Test Track was much longer.

Additionally, when we arrived we discovered we had a broken stroller, Test Track, was down and Frozen was down so we went to stand in the hour line to meet Anna and Elsa. It was by far the longest time we waited for anything, close to an hour. But the girls were thrilled to meet the princesses. Daddy and Wiliam worked on fixing the stroller and William even scored some fast passes for being such a good helper to Daddy.

By the time we got through the line to meet Anna and Elsa, the Frozen ride was back up and running and we used our 11:00 FastPass to jump through the lines. This ride is super cute and low key and I loved that our whole family could sit in one row of the boat. When we were done with the frozen ride at about 11:30, and the world showcase was starting to open so we began our journey to very quickly skim the world. You kids did not have the patience for mom and dad to fully enjoy it. It also happened to be the first day of the Flower and Garden Festival so we spent time looking at all the amazing topiaries, which I adored. They smelled amazing and it was fascinating to see how they created characters from different kinds of flowers.

About half-way around, we stopped to meet Jasmine, which was a princess we hadn’t met before. Similar to meeting Daisy, these pictures are brought to you by a dum-dum sucker bribe for Kate.

By the time we were done seeing the showcase, the crowds were really starting to build and our fast pass for mission space was about to run out so Daddy took William and Lexi on that. You guys went on the Orange mission space ride, which Daddy said was pretty scary for both him and Lexi–but William seemed to think it was pretty cool. Go figure? In the meantime, I took Kate over to check out the aquarium and the Finding Nemo ride. Of course Kate feel asleep on the way over there so I explored the aquarium, the Journey to Imagination and ImageWorks by myself with a sleeping baby.

Test Track was back up and running by the time you were done with Mission Space, so Daddy, Lexi and William headed over to ride it. Unfortunately, the ride broke which extended the wait time, but they got it up and running again quickly. You guys went all the way through building your car and were about to test your car and it broke and they shut it down again for the 3rd time that day. We did get some extra fastpasses out of the deal to use at any park on any ride (with the exception of the big rides–Flight of passage, Slinky Dog, StarWars, Seven Dwarfs).

It was about 2:00 at this point, everyone was hungry and the heat was starting to take a toll. We decided to head back to the hotel for a swim instead of exploring any more of Epcot. We stopped at the gift shop on our way out and you each picked out your souvenir. Lexi and Kate picked out Anna and Elsa doll toys and William got a real Buz Lightyear. 

One the way back to the Wilderness, we debated our next steps and the roller coaster junkie was begging to ride Everest at Animal Kingdom. So we booked a FastPass for 7:00 and one for the Dinosaur ride at 6:10 and were going to use our bonus FastPass and the Navi’s River, which always has a long line and one we didn’t get to ride last year.

It was about 4:00 by the time we arrived back at Wilderness. We quickly ate some food and Mom and the kids went swimming while Daddy napped. They had a super cute mini waterpark for little kids with a few slides and then had a bigger waterslide in the big pool. Lexi and William loved the big-kid slide and just kept going down it over and over again while Kate enjoyed watching them and kicking and splashing in the pool with me. After a quick 45 minute swim, we headed back up to get changed and head over to Animal Kingdom,

We waited over 45 min for a bus so instead of getting to the park at 6:00 like we thought, we got there at 7:15, 45 min before it was supposed to close. We took a quick family pic in front of the tree of life, lite up at night and then high-tailed it to Everest.

We got to Everest just as River of Lights was ending. Daddy and Lexi used their FastPass and then Mommy and Lexi went. Lexi was just beaming and loves this ride so much. She was so proud to have ridden it at night in the dark.

We had to skip the dinosaur ride since it took so long to get there and Bill thought we should skip the Navai’i River as there was no way we could make it from Everest to Pandora in 9 minutes. Challenge accepted. I turned on my good old speed walking pace and we arrived there at 7:55. We were the second to last people they let on the ride. The Navi’s River is a super mellow ride through a little river–what makes it cools is the entire ride is dark but glows with black lights. The whole land of Pandora is just amazing. I wish we hadn’t been in such a rush and could have enjoyed it a bit more–especially at night. They have black lights everywhere and the sidewalks and trees are lite up to create this super cool environment.

By 8:30, we were on a bus to Magic Kingdom to soak up our last few hours with Extra Magic hours.You kids were starting to get tired, so I gave you a few suckers to give you a little sugar kick and keep you awake.

Daddy and Lexi headed over to Space Mountain while Mommy, Kate and William went on Winnie the Pooh–another favorite ride. After the ride was over, I knew we had pushed as far as we could with the two littles. They were tired and crabby. We grabbed some ice cream as we walked over to space mountain to wait for Daddy and Lexi. We did a quick rider switch and Lexi got to go on Space Mountain again with Mommy. Although the ride was pretty fun. I was fairly nervous for my Lexi. We were going pretty fast, couldn’t see anything and I was worried about her head bobbling around to much and getting some whip lash.

At was just about 11:00 as we walked off the ride. Lexi climbed into the stroller and was sleeping in less than 5 minutes.

What a day! What a trip! What an experience. Daddy and I took our time walking down main street and just enjoying the beautiful way everything is lit up, listening to the chatter of people reminiscing their days and the smell of the home-made chocolate as we walked down Main Street.

Although we only had 3 days in the parks, we filled them to the brim. We are exhausted and looking forward to the second part of our trip, which should be much more relaxing. But our hearts and our memories are so full. It really was the experience of a lifetime. We have every intention of going back when Kate is older and can go on almost all of the rides and it will be magical then too. There is just this different level of magic, to watch your kids experience this for the first time, the awe from giving characters a hug or having them go on their first roller coaster. It is something I hope to never forget and am so grateful to be able to experience this.

Love,

Mama

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 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

Kate

Light switches

“Doooddl, Dooooddl” I wonder what the heck Kate is trying to say as I’m putting clothes away. I keep going about my business, but she keeps repeating herself and looking at one object so clearly she isn’t just babbling…so I stop for a moment to try and figure out what she is saying, and it dawns on me. She is trying to talk to our Google home, and is saying, “Google” I pull out my phone to record this epic moment and then continue with the laundry. As I’m hanging cloths, I’m thinking about the situation that just unfolded and think about the implications; there is a good chance that this kiddo will live in a world without light switches (one of the main things we use the Google Home for in our bedroom). This blows my mind a little. How could my own child grow up in a lifetime that has lights that are only voice or motion activated? This technology advancement seems so future state, but is it really? Considering smart lights and voice activated devices weren’t even a thing when Lexi was born…the adoption of this technology over the next 5 years could mean Kate may very well live in a world without light switches. Small concept, but kind of mind blowing at the same time.

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Love,

Mama

Kate, Kate monthly posts

Kate 21 Months

Dear Katers,

I’m afraid we may be entering the terrible twos a bit early, which is new territory for me as I don’t feel like Lexi and William really experienced this. You fall apart into an angry little snake if you don’t get something your way. For example, you’ll want a bowl instead of a plate or I say no to a snack right before dinner.

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I’m not sure if you’re going to be feisty, or if you’re just almost two and that is just what kids this age due. Time will tell. BUT, you did get into markers several times this month. Lexi and William leave them out and you climb onto things, grab one, run off and then color over the carpet, furniture or the walls. For the most part, the markers have all been washable so they have been pretty easy to clean, except for this one where you found the one non-washable marker we have and drew all over the wall.

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I’ve noticed you have huge swings in personality. At one moment you’ll be in a store waving to people, shrugging your shoulders and putting on a huge cuteness show. Then 3 minutes later you are giving people the death glare and won’t make eye contact.

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You’re also showing a strong affinity to me. And by strong I mean nobody else can look or talk to you without a snarl when you are in a mood.

I also think you’re very close to potty training. You almost always tell me when you’ve pooped and want to be changed immediately. You’ll run over and get wipes and a diaper to let me know we need to take care of this situation. Over the past couple of days, you’ll announce to me either while you’re going or right after you’ve gone that you’re peeing. You say poop, but there is nothing there–just a wet diaper. So hopefully in the next couple of months we can ‘see-ya’ later to diapers.

Vocab continues to grow; Tate (aka Kate), Badger, sure, grammy, milk, turtle, fish, blue (and can identify the color often too)

At the beginning of the you’re month, we took a family vaca to Florida. After lots of flight drama, we ended up in Orlando so we spent a day in Disney and then drove to PCB to stay with Grammy and Papa for the rest of our time. You did really good on the planes and surprised me by falling asleep.

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You also really love to play at the beach. You could have sat there and filled buckets with sand for hours. The weather wasn’t great, so we didn’t swim as much as I would have liked, but you did do OK in the pool–still refuse to lay on your back, but we’ll keep working on it. By far, your favorite thing to do was go for walks. You begged to go and  love sitting in the stroller (which you call it babies)

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Katelyn Ann, you challenge your Daddy and I everyday with your constant requests to eat, hanging and climbing all over us and lack of patience to get exactly what you want when you want it, but you have both of us wrapped around your chunky little fingers more than you can every understand. You flash that cute little smile and twinkle your eyes and we have forgotten how tiring you can be. We love you to bits sweet girl.

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Love,

Mommies (as you like to call me)

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Kate, Kate monthly posts

Kate 19 months

Dear Kate, 

This was a VERY uneventful month, and my lack of pictures are proof of that. I’ve got a bit of the January blues going on, but Florida is 1 month away so at least there is something to look forward to. 

Everyone had some icky colds this month. You got it twice. But, I’m convinced our usage of essential oils dramatically reduced the severity and length of our symptoms. So grateful I gave these things a try. 

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Your top two eye teeth cut through the skin, and you were a hot mess for a couple of days with that, but now that those are through, our silly babbling little Katers is back. 

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Your comprehension and vocab get a little better everyday. When we has you to stop, or to sit down or to give something back, you actually listen. 

Words: mama, dada, baby, hot, please, sis-a, bro-a, wow, NO, yeah, up, baa (ball) (and I’m sure there are more that I can’t remember. But your favorite is Poop. Your big siblings ask you to say it all the time and you happily oblige. 

You had your first-ish experience with snow this month and you weren’t too impressed. 

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You love to push your baby in the stroller, read books, get into whatever your brother and sister are playing, eat, snuggle with bunny, wear sunglasses, carry things from one part of the house and deposit them in another location, wearing footie jammies (you call them mammies), roll oils on your chest and make your brother and sister laugh. 

You hate baths. Like really hate them a lot–particularly washing up. You refuse to lay down or have a major freak out if we poor water on your head. 

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Love,

Mama

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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