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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lennon is here!

Yes my new little nephew is finally here!  To everyone's surprise, even Matthew and Erin who had nothing with them, when they went to the hospital for what they thought was just going to be a check up and ended up with the doctor deciding it was time for Lennon to meet his Mama and Dada.  

Coming three and a half weeks early, he was born on May 13th and came in at 6.4 pounds and 19 inches in length.



Once Matthew, Erin and Lennon came home the kids and I went down to Riverside to meet their new cousin.  Madden didn't give Lennon much attention.  He said "baby" a few times and didn't care too much about him until I was holding him and he got jealous and linked onto my leg and cried until I put Lennon down and picked him up.  Skylar seemed scared and nervous around Lennon.  She didn't want to get to close and wouldn't even give him a kiss on his head.  She did tell us that Lennon was the same size as her baby at home and when we left she told me she wants her cousin Lennon at her birthday party next year.  


As we all know, a new baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.  We couldn't be more in love with Lennon and are completely thrilled for the new parents.  I know both Erin and Matthew are going to make incredible parents and will fill Lennon's life with just a enormous amount of love.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Madden is 2 Years Old

Yes we are entering the two’s with you Madden and I must admit I’m a bit sad.  You have already turned into Mr. Independent that I don’t know I can take you growing up anymore then you already have. 

So speaking of being Mr. Independent you are at the stage where you want to do everything on your own.  We can’t help you with anything.   You get upset even when I sometimes move your chair closer to the dinner table.  You want to do it all on your own.  From buckling yourself in your car seat (which you can’t do), to drinking water out of mom and dad’s cups (which you can do), you want to do every thing on your own.  Putting on your shoes, diaper, and clothes are all tasks you want to do that takes so long for you to realize you need our help.  You want to get into your chair at the table, you want to climb in the bath by yourself, and you want to brush your teeth (which really mean eat the toothpaste off your brush).  You are constantly telling me “No Mama…ME,” always demanding to do it on your own.  For awhile, whenever you would say ME, you would pound on your chest at the same time, but I finally got you to stop that because I didn’t want you to hurt yourself.


 Your vocabulary has improved from your last 18 months update, but it’s definitely not where I was hoping it would be at.  You have your core words like, “mama, dada, no, me, mine, big, and ball”. Those are the words we hear on a normal basis, which are very clear.  You are trying to say new words like “dog” which comes out like “god”, “ph-own,” which means “phone,” and “bib bar,” which is “fig bar,” your favorite snack.  We can’t get you to say “yes,” it’s usually just a node of your head.  Just over the past few months you are putting 2 to 3 words together so you are trying to form some sort of sentences.  We really want you to give your sister a name, but right now you just call her “hmm.”  There is still a lot of pointing and waving when you are trying to express what you need.  But even being a man of few words, your mind is still sharp as a whistle. 


After about 6 months of swim class things drastically went down hill.  You started off so strong by moving up to the intermediate level so quick.  You were the student all the new kids looked up to, but then one week out of nowhere you refused to participate.  You riverted back to crying and screaming and to having a death grip on me during the whole class.  Not too sure what made you flip the switch because whenever we are at our pool you are non-stop in the water.  So I recently stopped tormenting you and we quit swim class and started up Mommy and Me gymnastics.  Gymnastics has been a great experience and you seem to love it.  It only took one week of class for you to warm up to the instructor and now you are running over kids to have your turn on the trampoline with her.  This was how swim started, so I’m hoping you don’t go south anytime soon. 


 Your personality has certainly blossomed.  You still have your lovable, sweet moments with everyone.  You still love to blow kisses goodbye and give big hugs.  At night you pretend like you don’t want a kiss from Dad, but you cry if he doesn’t give you one before bed.   We have also seen a bit of a bully side out of you.  A lot of it has to do with your dislike to share.  It’s begins with you assuming something that isn’t yours, is, and a lot of you shouting “mine, mine!” and usually ends with you pushing someone down.  At one point I was starting to get embarrassed to take you places because no matter where we went you we were putting hands on someone.  We were at the botanical gardens looking at the train and when a little girl went up to push the button that starts the train you ran up to her and shouted “mine” and pushed her down to the ground.  Or the time we were at Pizza Port and you and a bunch of kids were playing in the arcade game.  I turned around to you repetitively pushing a 2 year old boys head into the side of the game.  That time your Dad had to apologize to the boy’s parents who told him “what is your kid, some kind UFC Fighter?!” Thankfully, recently you have cutback a lot of your browbeating.  I’m thinking a lot of it has to do with your friendship with your best buddy Johnny.  You and Johnny are just the sweetest together and seeing you play with him puts a smile on my face.  The two of you love to run muck around the neighborhood.  You can be so sweet to him and are always giving him hugs and kisses.  I think you now having a little friend your size has made you more considerate of others, but don’t get me wrong, you still have your moments of weakness.



After dealing with your sister and her being such a troubled eater, it’s so refreshing to sit down and have a meal with you.  We can’t put a piece of broccoli in front of you and you will eat it, but you are still miles ahead of your sister.  Your favorite fruits are still bananas and strawberries, with the occasional orange.  Since we are hiding vegetables in most of our meals because of you sister, you are getting your veggies from that.  You love fish and chicken, but steak is still a stretch.  If you see a vegetable on one of our plates, you just point at it and say “eeew.” You have a much wider range of options for breakfast than your sister.  You will eat oatmeal, eggs, bacon, and sausage.  The only problem we have at meals with you is that you don’t always like to sit and eat so sometimes breakfast will take forever for you to finish.  We usually try and feed you first since we can get you to eat a bit healthier because we know once you see what Skylar is eating you are going to want whatever she has.  Snack time is your favorite part of the day.  You and Skylar have this game where you like to go into the pantry and pick out a snack.  You put it behind your backs and make us guess what you picked.  99% of the time you choose a fig bar.  You love them and if I don’t bring them with me when we go places where snacks would be involved it usually means meltdown.  I think you would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you could and we try and limit you to one pack a day.  When I buy them at Costco in bulk I usually have to buy two boxes because you eat them so quickly.


Your admiration for Skylar is such a charming thing we get to view daily.  Your big sister is your best friend and you love her so much.  You want to do everything she does.  When she is playing board games you want to join, she rides her bike and you beg to ride it next, she is driving her car and you want to drive hers instead of yours.  She loves to give you hugs and lift you off your feet, which you will beg her to do over and over again.  When we drop her off at school she lets you put her name up on the board each day.  It’s been such a great year for you both when it comes to playing and growing together.  Watching the two of you interact together can melt my heart at time.


.  There is so much ahead for you in the next year. We hope to get you potty trained, that you will be talking so much that at times I will look back and treasure the days of only those few words, and as long as the potty training goes well you will be able to start preschool next summer.  Madden you are independent, loving, and impressive… sometimes a little intense, but you have completed our family and have taught us the true meaning of unconditional love

Happy 2nd Birthday Bubbas!


Skylar is 4 Years Old

Yes you are 4 years old, sometimes I feel like going on 14 (tear, tear).  It has been such a year of big growth and development for you.  From your vocabulary, to your personality, and even your taste buds, you have taken big strides this past year.   You have been in 2-3 activities weekly and are close to finishing up your first year of preschool.  I feel like you are our little busy bee who is definitely keeping us on our toes.


You love going to school.  Never once were there any tears, just you flashing me your big smiles as I would drop you off in your class room.  I must admit I have used the line “then you can’t go to school,” when you are begging to wear some completely miss-matched outfit and you refuse to wear what I pick out, and it works.  You have always been a little shy, but being at school has definitely made you more out-going.   You have made a ton of great friends from your class room, Emma, Madeline, Summer and Daniel, just to name a few.  You are pretty quiet when it comes to telling us about what you did in school each day.  Sometimes we will get you to tell us which book you read or song you sang, but it’s pretty rare.  For some reason you like to keep your school day to yourself.  I like when you play the game tell me one thing you did at work and then you tell us one thing you did at school.  At school this year you participated in Spanish and art class weekly.  “¿Cómo estás?, Hola, and Rojo” are some of your favorite spanish words.  I think you know a lot more then you like to speak to us.  Art class is keeping your playroom filled with beautiful wall art.  You love coming home and proclaiming you made this for Mama, this for Dada, and this for Madden.  Recently you learned to write you name, which was very special.   It’s so nice to hear your teachers tell us how sweet you are, and how well you take directions from them.  Miss L recently told me she is really excited for next year for you and thinks you are just going to continue to develop into an amazing student. 



 The busy bee that you are, you have myself, Dad, or Maria (your nanny) driving you to something at least 5 days a week.  It’s either school, gymnastics, dance, or t-ball.  I’m not complaining, I really love seeing you spread your wings and try and little bit of everything.  You are never difficult when it’s time for one of your activities and are always delighted to be going.    T-Ball is more of a social hour for you and your friends.  You love just sitting on the bench and goofing around with Zoe and Sophie, but when it is time for you to swing the bat you definitely mean business.  Sadly, I don’t get to see much of dance class or gymnastics, but from what I hear you are doing very well in both, and I will see the finish produce at your first dance recital next month.  This Fall we are going to change things up and see how you do in soccer. 



 Your personality has definitely taken a bit of a turn.  You are still your very loving, sweet self most of the time, but the bossiness in you can sometimes bring out a bit of a mean side, which can be a little frustrating for your Dad and me.  It usually only happens with the people closest to you; Madden and your BFF/sister Sophie, which is something we are going to need to work on.  Your vocabulary has improved vastly that sometimes we wonder where you learned all your new words from.  By the grace of god, your eating habits have improved a great deal.  Your williness to try new things has made meals with you such more enjoyable.  You will eat fish and chicken any day of the week.  For about one month you ate corn and told everyone it was your favorite, but that quickly came to an end and now you refuse to eat it.  So we are back on a no vegetable/no fruit diet.   You will eat slices of salami but not a strawberry.  You recently freaked out because your brother had banana on his hand and touched you with it.  You were at a birthday party and wouldn’t even eat the cake because there was a strawberry filling.   Your Dad and I have reverted back to pureeing food so little do you know you have been eating waffles and pancakes with cauliflower, pizza and spaghetti with carrots, chicken enchiladas with spinach, and cheese quesadilla with lentils.  But hey, you have made a ton of headway in the food department, so we couldn’t be more relieved.  Sometime around 3 ½ or sooner you stop wearing pull-ups at night and recently asked to take the railings off your bed.  You have pretty much given up on your naps.  I can usually get you to nap every 3rd or 4th day, but for the most part you prefer to not nap, unless you are in a car, you will pass right out.  If you do nap you get to stay up later with mom and dad and watch your new favorite TV show, Full House. 


It’s been a nice turn around for you when it comes to your big sister role.  Last year was a tough transition with your little brother beginning to move more and play with your things, but this year you have embraced it.   Don’t get me wrong you definitely have your moments with Madden, but seeing the two of you run and play together always warms my heart.  You love to always tell us, “Madden always wants to do whatever I do.”  Fashion shows with mom’s high heels are one of your favorite things to do with Madden before bed time.  You play hide and seek together, and you love being the one to unbuckle his car seat.  You are definitely an older sister with a younger brother because when you have your girlfriends over it’s always “No Boys Allowed,” when you are playing in your bedroom.  We have special activities we do during Madden’s nap time such as board games, coloring, and painting.  Things you don’t like to do when your brother is around.  We have notice that Madden is always your go to when you are nervous or shy.  When you are introduced to someone new or asked your name by someone you will put on your shy face, step back and put your arms around your brother and introduce him, and not yourself.  Nicknames for Madden are a fun game for you.  I swear you have had 100 different nicknames for him, and they are pretty silly; pacheetos is the only one I think I can actually spell.  You definitely have your bossy, big sister moments, directing Madden, “Do this Madden, not like that Madden, Madden give me that now!” are just a few of your favorite phrases.  All in all you and your brother have a very sweet and enduring relationship and I know that he just adores his big sister.


 You are all about the girly things in life.  Your love for princesses and anything princess has doubled since last year.  Playing dress up, wearing only dresses, painting your nails, and doing your hair are some of your favorite things to do.   Speaking of your hair, it’s become your latest obsession.  You are constantly checking out your hair to make sure you don’t have any, as you like to call them, “fly aways.”  Whenever we do your hair we have to douse it with water and brush down all your fly aways or you are not a happy girl.  You freaked out Maria one day when you came down from a nap crying hysterical because you had too many fly aways.  I’m really hoping this is just a small phase for you.


These are just a few of the things you accomplished this past year Skylar and we are looking forward to what is head for you during the next 365 days.  You always ask for us to tell you a secret before bed which usually has to do with how much we love you. "We love you more than words can describe, numbers can count and the forever growing universe can discover."

Happy 4th Birthday to you Skylar!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Skylar's 4th Birthday

Skylar has been going to so many big birthday parties the past few weeks and every time we come home she tells me she wants a big princess party, a minnie mouse party, or a dance party.  I felt bad that this year I decided against the big party, but I still wanted her to feel special on her big day.  With Madden's birthday being a week earlier I decided on doing a little combo celebration for them both.  The night before, Jake and I were up late setting up for the next morning.  Jake was up putting together Skylar's bike and Madden's jeep, and  I decorated their bedroom doors and had put together a little path for them to follow down to their presents.  


I really wanted to get the them exiting their rooms on video and I don't know how it happened, but the timing was perfect.  Madden was up first, so I had Jake change him in his own room since I knew Skylar would hear the commotion and would more than likely wake up as well.  So I stood out with my video ready and got the perfect shot of them both. Skylar looked scared for about one second and then was so excited.  Madden loved it and I think would of kept running back and forth hadn't we told him he had to come down to open presents.




I think we were spot on with their gifts.  Their smiles say it all!





Jake mentioned a train set for Madden and I was a bit worried that he would just end up throwing all the tracks, but I was dead wrong.  He loved his train set!


All Skylar asked for was a wedding dress, so she was pretty happy when she opened it.



For the birthday girl's breakfast we made sprinkled filled pancakes.  The kids only took a couple bites and wanted to go right back to all their new toys. 


 I put together a day of beauty for Skylar and Sophie which included hair and nails.  Before the girls  appointment Sophie put on a special birthday performance for her bestie.  Sophie got her and Skylar matching dresses and hair bows for her birthday which the girls wasted no time putting on.



The girls had appointments at the blo dry bar where they got to pick out which hair-do they wanted.  Skylar has been really into hair braids lately so of course that is what she requested.  



They girls really were enjoyed getting pampered and having everyone in the salon telling them how cute they looked.

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They both got pink hair chalk and glitter spray as well.




To continue the celebration we invited a small group of friends and neighbors over for homemade pizza and cake.  The kids had a blast together.  Skylar and Madden were so happy the entire night and that really made the day.  

 



I know it wasn't a big birthday bash she had been asking for, but at the end of the night she said it was the best day ever, and then asked if there were going to be more presents in the morning.






Monday, May 12, 2014

Strawberry Picking

Knowing how much Madden loves strawberries, I wanted to make a point of taking the kids to the strawberries fields to pick their own.  When we arrived I saw kids in rain boots and I immediately realized the kids were in the wrong shoes.  Skylar in her white jellies and Madden in flip flops, but I didn't want to go home so we just went for it. We paid for our bucket and picked a path to walk down.  Madden was for some reason freaked out at first and of course only wanted me to hold him.  Skylar, who doesn't eat any fruit, refused to touch a single strawberry and would only carry the bucket.  So I was carrying Madden and doing all the picking.....great

Luckily Madden loosened up and started walking on his own and picking some strawberries.  I think Skylar starting see how much fun Mama and Madden were having that when the bucket got too heavy for her to carried she decided to actually touch a strawberry and started picking.



We filled up our first bucket and Skylar starting begging for another bucket to pick more. Getting a little hopeful that Skylar may actually taste one of the strawberries I purchased another bucket.  


This time around Madden didn't want to help pick and just started eating all the strawberries Skylar and I were picking.  I think he had to eat at least 10-15 strawberries while we filled up the bucket.  I really don't blame him, they were some of the most delicious strawberries I have ever had.  Of course, he ended up covered in all the strawberries.


We got back to the car and all of our shoes were caked in dirt and strawberries, and Madden's shirt was pretty much done.  Even though she didn't taste one, I was still very proud of Skylar for taking a big step and actually touching the strawberries.  It started off a bit rough, but the kids ended up having a good time and I definitely think we will be going back to the fields, just not in sandals.


Moms & Muffins

As most preschools do, last week Skylar's school invited all the moms to celebrate Mother's Day in the kids classrooms.  I was very excited to spend some quality time in her classroom with her.  I asked Jake to stay home in the morning to watch Madden so Skylar and I could have some one on one time. 


When we arrived to the classroom they had all the gifts that the children had made wrapped and sitting at the tables.  Her teachers had the kids hand out plates of fruit and muffin to their moms.  Skylar made me a card with a smiley face inside that she drew and a beautiful painting of a bouquet of flowers made from her hand prints.


(Photo courtesy of Skylar)


After we ate our muffins, Skylar showed me around her classroom.  I saw their small ant farm, hung out in the coffee shop and we read a couple books.  Before it was time to go the moms and kids got in a circle and the kids sang us two special songs.     


 It was a special morning for me and my girl and I feel like the luckiest mom in the world !!