3 Years Old...NO WAY!! Please make it stop. I can't believe my little girl is growing up so fast right before us. I remember pulling out of the hospital with Skylar in the backseat and Jake driving 45 mph the whole way home. She was our precious baby girl and we were just so in love from the moment she arrived. She has had such a big year and conquered so many milestones from 2 to 3 that we couldn't be more proud of her.
Skylar, this past year with you has been incredible to watch. You had so many changes and handled them all so well. You spent your first full year of your life in one home. We moved 3 times since you were born and now you finally have your permanent home. You went from a toddler bed, to a full size bed with no problem. You did fall out of the bed your first night in it, but we can blame that on Dad since he didn't put your railings up. Thankfully you are still napping about once a day, but you definitely have the days when you refuse nap. You will just jump out of bed, exit your room and proclaim you slept already. I can't lie, the days you don't nap make me want to rip my hair out. You still love to read books. Some of your books you have practically memorized and you can read them back to us. You are so smart, sometimes your Dad and I don't know where you come up with some of the things you say or do.
You have quite the social/activities life. After doing swimming since you were about 15 months we recently decided to take a break from it. But before that you were swimming almost across the pool by yourself. Since January you have been doing gymnastics at the YMCA and you just love it. You follow direction so well at class and when you finish a move or a tumble you always let Ms. Tracy know by shouting "I did it Ms. Tracy, I did it!"
You are such a good friend. You love to list the name of each of your friends over and over again. Last Fall we had new neighbors move in and just your luck they had a little girl your age. You and Sophie have become the best of friends and you ask to play with her every day. You guys are two peas in a pod and watching you guys play together is so much fun. I love seeing how sweet, kind and generous you are to all of your friends.
When you were about 2 1/2 I decided it was time to start potty training you. We did a 3 day, stay at home boot camp and you were potty trained by Sunday. I couldn't of been more proud. Our biggest struggle with you is your eating habits. You are such a picky and stubborn eater it drives your Dad and I crazy. You refuse to try anything new. Even having a fruit or vegetable on your plate can cause you to have a complete panic attack. We try to hid the smallest pieces of veggies in your food and you still seems to find them and demand we take them out. You can even be picky with certain crackers or chips. If they don't look familiar to you, you want nothing to do with them. Your favorites things are pretty much any carb or sweet you can get your hands on. You eat waffles, pancakes, peanut better and jelly, and chicken nuggets for most of your meals. Thank goodness for Trader Joe's, because you will only eat Trader Joe's yogurt and Trader Joe's squeezes. "MILK, MILK!!" is another request we hear from you with every meal. Half glass of milk is never enough, you always want it filled to the top of your cup. Your Dad and I are hoping this food strike is just a phase and that you will grow out of it soon.
The most thrilling thing we watched from you this year was you becoming a Big Sister. The love you show for Madden makes my heart melt. You are his little protector and his best friend. Getting into the car you have your special routine where you have to wait for Madden to get into his car seat and than you give him a hug and a kiss and say "I love you so much Madden," then you will allow me to buckle you in. You tell anyone and everyone who will listen that this is your little brother Madden. You love to try and teach him new things and when he learns something new you are his biggest cheerleader. It's not always a loving relationship between the two of you. You definitely have times when you want nothing to do with him. That usually happens when you are watching a cartoon or playing with your girlfriends. Since he has become so much more mobile he is playing with a lot of your toys and that is something you don't like. On an average you probably make him cry once a day when you take toys away from him. You may still be having some trouble understanding that he is a lot smaller than you because you have had many push and shove moments with him (and you have drawn blood a couple of times). But despite the typical brother and sister spats, you are the best big sister Madden could ask for and I have treasured watching you nurture and care for him the first year of his life.
Skylar, I feel so lucky to have you as my daughter. Each day with you is more special than the next and watching you go turn into a little girl has been mesmerizing. I'm looking forward to this upcoming year for you. You will be starting preschool in the next few months, and I know you are going to learn so many new and interesting things and I can't wait for you to share them with us. As I said earlier, I wish time would stop and you could be my little girl forever, but I'm also ecstatic to see all the new strides you are going to make this coming year.
When did my little baby turn into a little man!?!?!?! I can't believe that Madden is now one year old. I can still remember those first few months and me just counting down the days until he was no longer an infant. He was so tough in those early months and I was constantly telling myself the older he got the easier he will be. But now that he is one year old and I sometimes miss that little baby boy.
Madden, you have turned into the sweetest, most adorable, easy going little boy we could ask for. The most common thing we hear about you from people is "look at that smile," "he is always smiling." Which is so true, the smile on your face is never ending.
You are finally down to two naps a day. You are an early riser, up no later than 6:30 am every day. You have been walking since you were 10 months old and you just love it. You walk around the whole house causing chaos. You open up every drawer or cabinet that is within your reach and throw everything out of it. We pick up after you all day long.
I won't lie, you are one messy eater. I have to hose down your high chair and sweep up the floor after every single meal. The good thing is you love to eat. For months now you refuse to let us feed you off a spoon and only want to feed yourself. You love pasta, bananas, meat loaf, tacos, crackers, eggs, and pretty much anything we put in front of you. Your relationship with your bottle is a love/hate one. You are always throwing your milk after only drinking a few ounces and letting it spill all over our floors. I told your Dad we are going to have to have our carpets cleaned because of the numerous milk stains you have left.
It was a tough first year when it came to your health. You have had too many colds to count, several coughs, a couple fevers, and even the stomach bug, but you have been a trooper through all of it. It may be a boy thing, but you are so much more needy than your sister was at this age. You will walk over to us and just beg to be picked up and held.
Outside is where you love to be. You will scream and cry when we bring you in and close the door. You will sit at the backdoor and just knock on it waiting to be let back out. You are already climbing up the slide all be yourself. We can't turn away for a minute because you will be at the top of the slide. You love riding on your roller coaster down the alley and playing in the play room. You have destroyed several tea parties your sister has tried to have. Your admiration for your big sister is so cute. You want to do everything she is doing, eat whatever she is eating, and play with whatever toy she is playing with. I can't tell you how many purses and princess wands you walk around the house with. You love to laugh and dance with Skylar as well. Whenever we are playing music or your sister and Dad are having a dance party you are right in there with them doing your little bounce move. We also recently starting going to the pool and you have really enjoyed swimming. You will sit on the edge of the pool and fall into my arms. Skylar loves when you do it because she likes to think you are jumping in the water like she does.
My sweet baby boy! The past year with you in our lives has been so amazing. It had its tough times, but all the long nights, the crying (from the both of us) has been totally worth it. You make me a better person and a better mom. You brighten up my life every day. I can't wait to see what the next year brings from you.
Skylar and Madden's birthday are only eleven days apart, so I figured a joint birthday was the best way to go. With it being Madden's 1st birthday and skipping out on a party for Skylar last year, I knew I wanted to go big. I was thinking something very neutral and unisex. I'm sure Skylar would of loved a Princess Party but I didn't think that would of been fair for her little brother, so I went with a Circus theme.
For weeks I was going on my lunch hour at work to different stores to pick up all the decor, hours on pinterest to come up with ideas and constantly reassuring Jake that I wasn't spending too much money (wink, wink). After all the hard work, running of errands, and stressing out I'm happy to say that the party was perfect. I scheduled the party to start at 10:00 am because it was a party for a bunch of toddlers and toddlers nap anywhere from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm so the time crunch in the morning had me a little uneasy. I was up at 4:30 am cutting marshmallows for the cupcakes because I wasn't sure if we would have enough time in the morning for everything, but thankfully to my amazing husband, my in-laws, and my Mom, we pretty much had it all done by 9:30 am.
My dessert table was something I was extremely proud of. I put it together all by myself. Made the cupcakes on my own which I thought were the cutest part of the whole thing.!
I decided to hire a clown to help keep the kids entertained and she did a fantastic job. She was worth every penny and worked the entire party. Her name was Bubbles and she was young and not scary looking what so ever. She brought bubbles for the kids to play with, face painting, and did balloons for all of them. I think the bubbles were the biggest hit.
We also set up a ring toss, bean bag toss, and put the roller coaster out in the alley. The coaster was definitely a huge hit for all the kids.
I must give a huge thank you to Jake. I told him I wanted to do a photo booth for the party and he went above and beyond on what I was thinking. I thought something very simple, made out of a cardboard box, but he had something else in his mind and put together an awesome booth. I must also give a ton of credit to his mom who hand sewed a lot of the backdrop to the booth. I thought it turned out perfect.
To keep with the Circus theme for lunch everyone dined on hot dogs, corn dogs, turkey dogs, potato salad, and fruit salad. Of course, Skylar was having too much fun and didn't want to eat anything but candy off the dessert table.
Cake time!! I ordered little smash cakes for both Skylar and Madden and loved how they turned out.
Just as I thought, by noon most of the toddlers were getting tired and started heading home. They didn't get to leave without the wonderful favors my mother in law Suzie put together for all of them.
I can't tell you how much Jake and I appreciate all of our wonderful friends and their children who came to celebrate such a special day. We can't say THANK YOU enough to everyone. I must also thank my wonderful in-laws who drove nine hours to come to the party and to my mom who put together the side dishes and arrived at our house by 7:00 am to help set up. In the end it was a wonderful party and I can't find one thing I would change about it. After seeing how much fun Skylar and Madden had it made all the stress worth it.