Familiar friends

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We had a special treat today at Church. Big brother’s dear friend who he hasn’t seen in months was at the same Mass as we were. And we happened to be sitting in a nearly empty pew, so there was plenty of room for her and her Mom to sit next to us. Big brother couldn’t stop smiling! He was soooooo happy to finally see her! We have been trying to get together since Christmas with her for a playdate, but it seems that someone has always been sick (either one of our kiddos or herself).

At any rate, lots of hugs were had all around, and we are starting to make plans to get together for spring break. Needless to say, they didn’t want to leave, but we got to spend a little time chatting and playing in the parking lot of Church before we said our goodbyes. Such little sweeties. And, yes, this is the little girl that big brother refers to as “my wife”. So cute!

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Look in a book

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Our kiddos have seemed to inherit Momma’s love for theatrics and costume. Today was world book day/Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and so they kids had another ‘dress up’ day at school. Little sis kept asking me what day it was all weekend because she knew Monday was the day she got to wear her “costume” to school. The kids got to dress up as their favorite literary character. Though many of the recognizable book characters aren’t as familiar to our older kiddos, there were quite a few we were trying to decide on to dress up as today. Though Captain Underpants is big brother’s current favorite series, it isn’t exactly appropriate for school. Today, he dressed up as a character from one of his favorite books as a toddler. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?” was one of the very first things he asked Santa for when he was a little older than 2. It was the first time he was old enough to actually ask Santa for something, not just sit on his lap for the picture. He had (and has) every line memorized.

Little sister dress up as ‘Sister Bear’ from the Berenstein Bears series. They both got to bring their character books to school, and their classes read them and talked about them. Ironically, Sis just got a Valentines Day Berenstein Bears book on Valentines Day, but it must be a newer book because Sister Bear wears a pink jumpsuit in the book, rather than her pink overalls she wears in every other book. So, she brought in a different one from the series.

The kids had a blast getting to dress up, and seeing what characters their friends choose to dress up as. Not everyone participated today, but the ones who did had fun. Of course, Daddy said there were a few ‘cheaters’ today. I wasn’t sure what he meant, but apparently there were a quite a few girls dressed up as Elsa, or another Disney princess. A boy in big brother’s class just wore a super hero t-shirt. Either way, when you wear a uniform every day to school, getting to dress up differently sure is extra fun!

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Productive day

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Though the rest of the country is dealing with bitter cold and snow, we are having unseasonably warm weather here. I had been planning on cleaning out the garage this weekend, but Daddy was’t exactly thrilled with the thought of staying indoors with our rowdy kiddos while I started the long process. So, we brought the kids outside so they could play while we got some work accomplished. Ya Ya came out with baby Lyla as well, and they all enjoyed bubbles, sidewalk chalk, ‘fencing’ with Daddy with pool noodles and nerf swords, and of course the warm sunshine.

Earlier in the day, Momma and baby brother headed to the Shriners clinic that was in town so we could get another check on how his feet are doing and get him some bigger boots. His feet had completely grown out of the boots, and though I had hoped they would just send us the next size up, they had wanted us to wait for the clinic to come to town. We weren’t thrilled with the idea of meeting with the doctor we don’t like, but the orthopedics department told us to just come first thing in the morning to avoid him. Well, we got an appointment automatically set up for us and the confirmation in the mail, so I just decided to have the doctor take a look. I knew it was going to take awhile, and thankfully a very cranky baby fell asleep on the way to the appointment. He slept for about an hour in his carseat while we waited in the waiting room, then it was about another 45 minutes later before we saw the doctor. Took all of about 10 minutes for him to say his feet are “looking great”. Good news, yet annoying have to wait so long to hear it. At any rate, we then went to the ortho department where we realized that baby brother hadn’t just gone up a size in his boots, he had gone up 2 sizes! He had jumped from size 0, to size 2. They are definitely big, but the size 1’s were too small, so hopefully we won’t need to change anytime soon.

We were cleared by the doctor for a 6 month checkup, so we probably won’t need to have to see them in June. That is when their next clinic is scheduled to come down here to our town. However, I’m not exactly thrilled about having to drive the 5 hours to get to the hospital for a 10 minute “looking good” either. Of course, it IS always nice to have confirmation by the doctors that everything is going well. Plus, who knows, we may need another shoe/boot change before then anyway.

All in all, it felt like a productive day. Hopefully this momentum will continue as we have another week and half of clear skies and warmer Spring-like weather. And, we are prepping for a GIANT garage sale to make room in our house for us to live comfortably again. We have WAY too much stuff! Of course, with a family of 5, who doesn’t have too much stuff?

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Crafty cuties

DSC_0264 DSC_0270Along with our ‘lounging around’ the house and relaxing, our older kiddos enjoyed getting to be creative and crafty this weekend. Daddy and big brother put together a mold of a volcano (from a kit from Papa and Grandma), and big brother painted it today. It needed to dry and set overnight, and while big brother painted, little sister molded and shaped items in play dough. Baby brother happily sat in his high chair and nibbled on snacks and watched.

They also colored some pictures together, and made cards for Daddy and Momma throughout the evening. Once the paint had dried on the volcano, we all watched as Daddy made it ‘erupt’ with baking soda and vinegar. It wasn’t quite the lively explosion big brother had envisioned, but we told him we would work on it and try it again tomorrow.

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Free weekends

It seems like we have been on the go non-stop since November, and we are always busy on the weekends. Mostly because we like to enjoy family time together, but also because there have been parties, activities, family events, and Holidays. Well, the past two weekends we have been able to literally just lounge around the house and enjoy each others company. The weather still isn’t great, though both Saturdays have been super sunny with a strong, clear-blue sky. I suppose we could have ventured outside, but sometimes you just need to just sit around and relax! Ok, we haven’t exactly just sat around, but you get the idea. In fact, last weekend, little sister had Daddy doll up her hair. All by himself! He did quite a good job in fact. She picked out a handful of clips, barrettes, and hair bands, and instructed him to brush it and braid it. Though he was nervous about it, he managed to enjoy himself and she was quite happy with the results. You just never know what the weekend will bring.

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Rounding out the week…

IMG_0446Wednesday day was “ditto day” at school, where you could dress like one or more of your friends. Of course our kiddos had to dress like each other. Big brother also went on a school-wide bowling trip. Every grade level went on the field trip, and two of the parent chaperones in big brother’s class bought them pizza. It was a good day.

IMG_0444 IMG_0443This orange shirt has been big brother’s favorite shirt since he was nearly 2 years old. In fact, he loved it so much, Papa and Granda bought him the next size up when he started to outgrow it the first time. At some point, we also acquired the size after that, and then I randomly found yet the bigger size after that when I was at a kids consignment shop about a year ago. It was perfect timing because big brother had been looking at some old pictures of himself wearing the shirt and had asked if he was too big for the shirt (which he was at the time). It was quite the shock to see that very same shirt hanging on the rack, in the very size we needed. So now we own the shirt in pretty much every size it was made in. Unfortunately he really is too big for it now. Though it fits quite snug, at least he was able to pull it off for Wednesday.

Thursday was an early release day, and happened to be “best dressed uniform day”. In the past, this day was usually ‘best dressed day’, and they didn’t necessarily have to be in their uniforms. Fancy suits and dresses were worn on that day. However, the school attended a special Mass and the Archbishop was a special guest, so I assume that is the reason for adding in the school uniforms to the day. Though we don’t exactly have fancy versions of the kids uniforms to wear, both kiddos sure looked sharp and very polished and put together. And as an added bonus, big brother said he had a very good time at Mass, and his teacher said he was very well behaved! What a wonderful week!

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Rainy day pumpkin picking

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Yesterday, big brother’s class went on a field trip to the pumpkin patch. Initially I had planned on going and bringing baby brother with me. However, rain was in the forecast, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to chance it with baby brother. Especially since it was to a place I hadn’t been before. Well, the weather cooperated, though I ended up not going. It was cloudy and overcast, but big brother had a good time. And it didn’t rain. His class came back on the big yellow school bus (the 2 kindergarden classes and the first grade) just at the same time I was picking up Sissy from school. He was in good spirits and wasn’t upset that I ended up not going.

5Today, not wanting to miss out again, decided I was definitely going to meet Sissy’s class at the pumpkin patch (one I had went to last year with big brother’s class) with baby brother in tow. Well, today it DID end up raining. It started out drizzly, then the drops got heavier. The air was very moist and sticky. Most of the kids were uncomfortable in the muck and mud. A few times, one of the kids would get their rain boot stuck in the mud and step right out of it. Of course, a parent would yell out “Don’t take another step!” A few kids would topple into the mud. It was almost comical.

4While in the field at the farm, the kids got to pick and eat their own kale and grape tomatoes. Sissy sure enjoyed the tomatoes. She and big brother love to pick and eat the tomatoes off the vine at Grammy’s house, so she was happy to enjoy some here.

The rain seemed to pick up, then taper off a little and eventually many of us parents were able to close our umbrellas. I finally got baby brother secure in the wrap I was wearing, and I was able to break out my camera and get a few pictures…before the rain started up again. Sis found her pumpkin, managed not to fall in the mud, and baby brother was very cooperative and barely made a peep the whole time. We left before the rest of the class, so she didn’t get to have the special snack they bring for all the kids, but she did get to ride the big yellow bus for the first time. She said she had lots of fun, and they sang “the wheels on the bus”. She got to sit near her friends, and was happy to share her experience of her first field trip with her big brother. The rain didn’t seem to bother her, or ‘dampen’ her experience.

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Smarty pants

Our older two kiddos have been doing so well academically, and it feels like I never have enough time to celebrate it lately. There is always going on with 3 kids, especially when one of them is a small baby. Thankfully, both Momma and Daddy always make it a priority to talk with the kids everyday about their day and things they are proud of. We also like to FaceTime, text, and call many of you family out there, so at least many of their accomplishments don’t fade away or get lost in the shuffle of life.

Big brother scored a 815 out of 900 on his reading assessment test (the highest in his class), and reading at a 1st grade level. Sissy is very social and has a large group of friends at school, and is very good at coloring in the lines. Here are some of my favorite images from the past week or our wonderful kiddos and their accomplishments and creativity.

Big brother's class on a field trip to the firestation.

Big brother’s class on a field trip to the firestation.

Sissy's foam 'haunted house'

Sissy’s foam ‘haunted house’

Big brother actually reading. I can't tell you how proud it made us feel to watch him read not only the words in the book, but use proper punctuation when reading aloud commas, periods, and exclamation points!

Big brother actually reading. I can’t tell you how proud it made us feel to watch him read not only the words in the book, but use proper punctuation when reading aloud commas, periods, and exclamation points!

Sissy having fun with her class at the Maze-a-thon fundraiser.

Sissy having fun with her class at the Maze-a-thon fundraiser.

School principal Sissy her Maze-a-thon medal.

School principal giving Sissy her Maze-a-thon medal.

 

Babies X2

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Today, little sister and I got to have fun playing with 2 babies! Baby brother, and our new little cousin. Ya Ya had an appointment and used our family car, so she also got to pick up big brother from school later in the afternoon. Baby Lyla was here for about 2 hours, and she had so much fun with her Auntie and cousins. She had so much fun in fact, they tuckered her right out and she literally passed out when her Mommy came home.

Both babies fell asleep in the beginning, then both woke up around 20-30 minutes later. We played for the next hour, mostly on the floor. Baby brother sat up (with Momma sitting behind him), and I held baby Lyla on my shoulder. Then we changed diapers and both babies happily watched Sissy play with the baby toys. After awhile, both babies started to get restless and tired. I had to alternate holding one or the other. Baby brother was mostly just fussy and wanted snuggles, while Baby Lyla was wanting her Mommy and to nurse herself to sleep. Thankfully, it was only about 10-15 minutes of crying before Ya Ya came back, and by that time, I had almost managed to get Baby Lyla to sleep. Thankfully, it went much smoother than it could have been. Sissy and Momma had fun tickling the tummies of the babies, and playing with all the colorful, squishy, and jingly baby toys. Because both babies nurse on demand and get held for most of the day, I was worried that they would both need to be constantly held. To my surprise and delight, they were happy just to be in the company of each other. All in all, a very fun few hours with some super cute kiddos.

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Big kids

This has been a hard week of rough sleep and sniffles. As hard as we tried not to, a seasonal cold seemed to travel through our family of 5. Thankfully, it only lasted a few days each. Even though the days seemed to overlap each other, we managed to get through. A little grumpy, tired, and sore, but we made it.

Now that we are officially in Fall, it seems even more apparent just how big all our kiddos are getting. Even though it has only been a few short weeks, our older kiddos seem to have absorbed so much from school and are enjoying practicing their new skills and sharing it with each other and will us all. We hear them singing songs together, talking about their friends together, and playing with and talking about their day to baby brother. If we are going to have to suffer through the sniffles, at least we are doing it while bonding.

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Playing all day is tough work!

Playing all day is tough work!

Big brother working on his Spanish homework on the IPAD

Big brother working on his Spanish homework on the IPAD

Listening intently as big brother pronounces his Spanish vocabulary.

Listening intently as big brother pronounces his Spanish vocabulary.

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Baby brother's very first time in the big stroller.

Baby brother’s very first time in the big stroller.

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