August 14, 2015
I feel like I blinked and a year went by. This year has been unbelievably busy, so busy (for me), that I didn’t have time to write your 66 month letter, so this one will be extra long.
5 was such a big year for you; kindergarten, traveling (a new state!), learning, growing, loss, a new pet, new interests, new friends, etc. Truth be told it was also a hard year for you. You had a lot of big emotions and had a hard time dealing with them. Year 5 we saw some epic tantrums. You also had a really hard time adjusting to school. We thought you would love it, but the school had a hard time challenging you and keeping you interested. It was hard for you, you were miserable and bored.
Eventually school got more challenging and you eventually started to love going so that you could see your friends (but keeping you challenged in the classroom was a year long problem. One we are hoping to fix with changing schools this year). We also discovered you have some anxiety issues when things change or when new things happen. I think it has gotten a lot easier now that mommy and daddy are figuring out how to deal with your emotions.
Don’t think that you spent your entire 5th year miserable, you didn’t. You are still an awesome little kid. You are a happy, goofy, fun loving kid.
You discovered some new interests, and started cooking classes and recently voice lessons (I will get back to voice lessons in a moment). You don’t love cooking as much as your brother, but you did like going to class and would even occasionally try the food you made.
You still love to dress up and have you own very unique sense of style. You hate pants, absolutely hate them. You are willing to wear leggings… under a skirt only. You only like dresses and skirts, the fancier the better (you like fancy things so much, you were fancy Nancy for Halloween). You still wear crazy headbands, and your teachers all quickly learned that about you. Although as I look through the photos that I’ve added you are mostly wearing tiaras, you really like tiaras, but you wore plenty of other ones!
One of the hardest things you did this year was say goodbye to Pico. He was always there, we got him before you were born, so you grew up with a Pico always there. At the end of last year he got sick, we aren’t sure exactly what happened (we suspect after recent events – Both Tibi and Dax being bitten by a rattle snake – that perhaps Pico was bitten as well). One day he was fine, and then the next he started having problems and he deteriorated quickly. He only lived about a month after he started having problems. You seemed to take it okay at first, but there moments when you would just start crying that you missed him. Death is never an easy lesson, and at 5 its hard to understand.
We have since gotten another dog. And you have had all kinds of adventures with having a puppy. This time instead of you growing up (as a baby) with a dog, the dog grew up with you. He was only 3 months old when we got him and he has wreaked all kinds of puppy havoc. Like eating your shoes, so.many.pairs.of.your.shoes! Seriously, I think I bought you a new pair of shoes every week for a month. And by the way, shoe shopping with you is exhausting! You have very strong opinions on shoes. Even though he eats your shoes, you love him and snuggle him every chance you get.
But the queen of dog snuggles is still Tibi. Tibi adores you, and you adore her. You too are often curled up together on the couch, either you using her as a pillow or her using you as one.
We discovered one cold winter day that you and Tibi even wear the same size, at least shirt wise. Which of course led to you putting clothes on her. I don’t think Tibi minded one bit.
You and Tibi have a special bond. Tibi and I have talked and I explained to her that she needs to stick around a long time, who else would take care of you when you are sick? You help feed the dogs, and you help walk the dogs. You are such a big helper with them. They know it,and love you for it.
You love going to the theater, especially going to see musicals. We saw soooo many musicals this year; Frog and Toad, 3 little pigs, Beauty and the Beast, and Annie. Seeing Annie actually got you interested in taking voice lessons. Over the summer we signed you up for classes and it took about a month for you to get used to your teacher, once you did you really opened up in class and are having a lot of fun. Im pretty sure the teacher wondered why I was making you take voice lessons because you seemed miserable. And then 1 day a switch flipped and you ran into class and started singing, your teacher was so happy when you finally started participating. Now you teach her new songs each week; songs from Annie, Wizard of Oz, pop music, and ones that you make up (those are your teachers favorite).
Not only do you like to sing, buy you like to make music as well. Those songs you make up? They need musical accompaniment. I have found you strumming the pink guitar that your daddy got you while singing some made up song. Its adorable. One time you had me write down the lyrics while you sang, so that you could fine tune them. I felt like I was getting a glimpse into the future. A brief glimpse of who you might be someday.
You love to read, preferably on your terms. But your an avid reader, and read way above grade level. Most of the things you do at school are above grade level, hence the difficulty in keeping you challenged. When we worked on stuff at home you loved it, and your face lights up when you discover something new.
You are a very active kid, and a fabulous runner. Your intimidated by team sports, but running with mommy isn’t a team activity. Its you, me, and some music. And in the case of the Diva 5k; you, me, music, and a whole lot of pink!
It was the largest race you have ever participated in (largest people wise, not distance). There were thousands of people, and for the first time, quite a lot of girls. There were alot of mothers and daughters running together. You held my hand and we ran/walked and sang for 3.5 miles. You crossed that finish line with a tutu, tiara, boa and a smile on your face. You have been asking since the race if we can do it again.
You also discovered jump roping. The jump rope for heart event came to your school and you practiced your little heart out. You got really good at it too. Its another solo activity so you did great at it.
Another activity you love is swimming. You were able to ditch your floaties last year and learned how to swim. This year your confidence has grown so much in the water. I am still obviously at the pool with you but I’m often not near you and sometimes I don’t even get in. I make sure I can see you but otherwise you are off doing your own thing. Mommy was a swimmer growing up, so I love watching you. You love pretending your a mermaid and flip around in the water.
You became a little more adventurous this year. Nothing crazy, your not going to go riding that motorcycle your self or anything. But you willing to sit on it, and let someone push you.
Or preferably let someone else do the driving entirely. Your cautiously adventurous.
For example you love to ride on your dad’s motorcycle, as long as he doesn’t go above 35 mph or go more then a couple of miles. You like excitement in very small, safe doses. At least I will never have to worry about trying to jump off of buildings to test some contraption you built… I might have to worry about you convincing your brother to do the testing…
You, of course, would run a ll of the numbers to make sure it was safe. Because you are an amazing big sister. You hold your brothers hand, you help him with his work books, you play with him, you hug him when he is sad. Don’t get me wrong you also fight, bicker and slam doors in each others faces. But for the most part you are an amazing sister. You cheer your brother on (especially when it is something your too cautious to do), but you will celebrate his braveness and cheer for him.
As you guys get older it is so much easier to do things together. Neither you or your brother are babies any more. You help more around the house, you whine less when we do stuff (note, I said whine LESS, you still whine. Your hungry, your tired, the world is going to end. But I figure I’m going to have to deal with that for at least the next 10 years), as a result we do more stuff.
This was easily the busiest summer ever for you. We did soooo much; kayaking, swimming, schlitterbahn, go to musicals, hike, have picnics, go on a safari and feed zebras, go to two other states, etc. And this was all before your birthday half way through summer! It is nice to be able to get out and do things with you (you may not always like it the first time, especially since you get so anxious when ever we do something new).
You graduated kindergarten. Amazingly enough you were in class with your two best friends. I say amazingly, because there were 8 kindergarten classes at the school you went to, but somehow ended up with your two best friends. Kindergarten was made easier with your bestie there. You are fiercely loyal to your friends. I can see recreating this photo in about 12 years.
When asked what you want to be when you grow up you often change your mind; doctor, teacher, or princess. Which is why you always wear your tiara. You are always ready to become a princess. Your daddy and I have explained that yes there are princesses in real life, but they have to be really smart, because they help manage and direct countries. If you whine about homework we tell you that princesses have to study hard. Occasionally that actually works to get you to do your homework…occasionally.
You are much more of a goofball then your brother. You play pretend and drag him along for the ride. He is starting to have his own opinions on what happens but for the most part he will play along.
I adore you kid, you may drive me nuts, but I love you. Your growing up into an awesome little person. The next year will be an adventure, new school, new friends, new accomplishments. I look forward to experiencing them with you and helping you to stretch your wings a little more.
March 17, 2015
Stop it! Stop growing so fast! I feel like I have blinked and you have turned into a kid. A opinionated, fun loving, fairly serious kid. And you have grown and changed so much over the last 6 months. Your interests have changed, but your temperament is still the same (thank goodness!). Your willing to try new things (mostly) and have no problem experiencing things on your own.
There was two life changing events for you in the last 6 months that have changed your interests and shaped who you are right now; your first cooking class and going to the space center.
Fiona took the occasional cooking class, and at the beginning of the school year we decided to re-enroll her for a session, and since you were 3 (the minimum age) we decided to sign you up too. To put it mildly you loved it!
It probably helped that you were the only one in the “mommy and me” class. So you got one on one instruction from a fabulous teacher that you adored. You happily tried new foods, and developed a love affair with avocado. We never kept avocado in the house because Pico was allergic to them, we now have several at all times. Avocado on your quinoa salad, yes please. Scrambled eggs topped with avocado = yum. “Space” sandwiches are not complete without avocado. You shovel guacamole in to your mouth by the chip full. You will happily eat it on things or by itself.
Cooking class didn’t just introduce you to avocado, you tried so many new foods; pimentos, quinoa, peppers, hummus, etc. If Miss Shae put it in front of you, you tried it. You have become a little foodie.
Its not just at cooking class that you love to cook. If I mention that I need to cook dinner, or make cookies, or do anything in the kitchen, you are running for your stool to help. For Christmas we got you your own set of knives and potholders and you were thrilled. You try to convince me when we are at the store that you need more cooking supplies too. I love how much you love to cook. I love that you are willing to try new foods, and that most of the time you love them. You eat foods that most grownups don’t eat, and you will happily tell people that you made it.
In October Daddy had to go to Houston for a conference, and since we had recently watched an early morning eclipse that you and your sister were both intrigued by, I decided to tag along and take you guys to the space center.
I had no idea when I took you that it would have such an influence on you. We got there right when it opened and were there almost until they closed. You wanted to see everything. You climbed on things, pushed buttons, watched space shuttles launch, and even sat patiently on the tram ride learning all about the history of the space program. You and your sister both amazed me with how well you did. We came home and you wanted anything and everything space. We have a large stack of space books, and some of your favorites are more text books versus story books. It drives your dad nuts when you ask to read a space science text book for a bed time story. You also love space songs, who knew there were that many! You go to bed happily wearing your space pj’s, snuggled up with your stuffed space shuttle, under your space blanket, listening to space stories, looking up at your Saturn poster. Currently you want to be an astronaut when you grow up.
You have favorite planets; mercury (because its the smallest) and Jupiter (because its the biggest). You love watching space video’s and eating “space” food. We watched a video of an astronaut making a sandwich in space, where he used a tortilla (because bread leaves crumbs), and thats what you ask for, along with freeze dried fruit.
You love learning not just about space, but about everything. After a parent/teacher conference with your teacher we started working with you on letters and writing. You happily do your “homework” along with Fiona. You teacher moved you up to the 4’s group (and we have talked to the principal about starting you in kindergarten early as well!), so we try to work with you at home.
You are making your way through your pre-k workbooks so that you are prepared for next year. You love the patterns, and the “game” pages. The ones where you think its fun, but really you are learning. The workbooks are sneaky that way. You were so excited the day we got your workbooks that you came home and did 11 pages in a row! You get to excited when you accomplish something new. You cheer for yourself when you complete a circle or a shape “oh yeah!”
You play so much more now, and your imagination astounds me. You build elaborate block towers and tell me all the things it can do; this is the part that shoots things, and this is where the wheels go so that is can move, etc. You showed no interest in legos or blocks until fairly recently and now you shut yourself in your room building things.
You also play with your sister. While your daddy and I sleep in or work we hear the shenanigans you two are up to. You guys play school, cooking class, princesses, construction workers, etc. You battle monsters, some times you are monsters, you explore space with your robot pal, ride your blastboards (those last two are mostly thanks to a new tv show that you and your sister are obsessed with;’ Miles from Tomorrowland), and pretend to be animals.
For Halloween you chose your own costume. I was trying to convince you to be a robot, but you heard your sister talking about being a ghost and that is what you wanted to be. You changed your mind once to a kitty, but it was quickly back to a ghost. You had so much fun running around yelling “boo!”.
Sadly a few months ago we had to say good bye to Pico (a dog that has been around longer then you). We told you that he passed away and you seemed fine with it. Fiona took it hard and would randomly cry, but you seemed fine. That was because apparently you didn’t really understand what had happened. We told you that Pico had died at the vets, and I guess you just assumed he was still there. When we went to the vets to pick up the paw print they had painted, and as we left you stopped and asked “where Pico? We can’t leave without Pico”. It broke my heart to realize that you thought he had been at the vets all this time. You stood there and cried when I tried to explain that he wasn’t ever coming home.
A month and a half later we decided to get a new pup, so we adopted Dax. You adore Dax, and Dax can often be found sleeping with you. I look forward to watching you grow up with Dax.
You are full of personality and you have your own style. You normally like to pick out your own clothes (which if you have anything to say about it, it is usually a space t-shirt) and are often found with accessories; hats, scarves, mittens, ties, etc.
We saw Paddington Bear a few weeks ago and you loved it. The part that made the biggest impression; that Paddington kept a sandwich in his hat for emergencies. Lately you started keeping things in your hats too (luckily not sandwiches!), often times I will find cars and other small toys tucked up in your hat.
You are super chatty, I guess to keep up with your sister you have to be. Your also really supportive and cheer people on. Those two are related… you often tell me things are “awesome!”, or if someone does something cool you usually say “that is crazy!”. Crazy for you is good. You also crack me up when people tell you thank you, instead of the usual “your welcome” it is usually ” no problem!” or “it was nothing”. You describe things as adorable and sweet, which is adorable and sweet. You started saying recently is “oh craters!”. When I ask you to do something you don’t want, or you do something you didn’t mean to (drop something, break something, etc.) you respond with “oh craters!” (that is also thanks to Miles from Tomorrow land). You used to say “oh gosh!”. I think both are equally adorable.
Not surprisingly you have been really busy growing the last 6 month, like REALLY busy growing. We moved you up to a big “big boy” bed. You no longer fit in your toddler bed, so we moved you up to a full. Hopefully you will fit in that for awhile🙂 You had a lot of fun picking out your bed and your bedding (space of course).
Unofficially (meaning I measured you myself) you are 42 inches tall! Which oddly is an inch for every month old you are. Lets not keep that up, otherwise you will be a giant when you reach kindergarten. When I tell you to stop growing so fast you tell me “no, I’m going to be as tall as the sky!”. And you weigh 36 lbs. You are really leaning out. Even your adorable chubby cheeks are slimming down.
Happy 42 months kiddo, before I know it you will be 4, and doing so much more!
March 2, 2015
This update is a wee bit late (like 6 months late), so I will do my best to update just on what you were doing up until you turned 3. Which I still can’t believe that you are 3. You have grown so much and are much less of a toddler and more of a kid. The last 6 months brought big changes; you talk more, you do more, you traveled more, and your potty trained! The last one might be my favorite. As of your 3rd birthday you are fully potty trained, and it is awesome. Yes you still have accidents but they are getting better.
Not long after you turned 2 1/2 we packed our bags (by the way you packed your bags often over the next 6 months – you are such a great traveler! You only recently stopped falling asleep on planes. Our trip right before your birthday was the first flight that you were on that you didn’t fall asleep. Part of me was a little sad about that) and headed to Disneyland!
You thought Disneyland was awesome! I realize the picture doesn’t show just how excited you were, that was taken while you had to sit out a ride because you weren’t big enough. And you were NOT happy about that. You would have happily gone on every single ride if you could have. Your sister was a bit more cautious, not you! We rode the Mater ride 3 times in a row and you wanted to get right back on.
You got to meet the cars, and they talked to you (what???!!? Talking cars? You were a little weirded out by that).
You ran around, you drove the cars (Papa says you a re a terrible driver, its a good thing you have 13 years before your behind the wheel of a real car), you met characters, you got toys, you ate mickey shaped snacks and you loved every minute of it. You still napped (oh those were the days!), and would pass out exhausted either in my arms (I held you for 2 hours one day while waiting in line to meet Elsa and Anna from Frozen while you snoozed) or in the stroller. And when you woke up you were ready to go some more. We had to call it quits every night by 7 because you and your sister were so tired from all of the fun. Maybe next time we go we can watch the fireworks from some where other then our hotel room.
After Disneyland we headed to Northern CA, to go play at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and had a fun day exploring San Francisco. You loved the aquarium (you had so much fun playing in the touch tanks I had to buy you a new shirt, because you managed to soak yourself!), and loved playing at the beach afterwards. We need to go to the beach more. We are rather land locked in Austin and all of us love the beach.
Holidays are so much fun now that your a little older. You so much more into everything. At Easter we had 3 egg hunts (when the easter bunny hid eggs at our house, a neighborhood hunt, and ones that our fabulous neighbors did for you) and you loved them all. You and Fiona practiced for weeks. She showed you how to find the eggs, and it kept the two of you entertained for hours. You are still so excited about everything, and love any and all gifts that you get. Even when the easter bunny gives you a book you are excited about it🙂
You still love being a daredevil. And sometimes when Fiona was at school you and I would go hangout at the skatepark together. Your not brave enough to ride standing up, but you love going down on the ramps on your knees. We found a little skatepark in Budda that is pretty much empty during the day so you would have the whole place to your self to ride your skateboard and Fiona’s old scooter.
Since you love things with wheels so much we decided to get you your first bike. It took a few tries but you got good pretty quickly. You are not that fast yet, but that will improve. I think you still like the scooter best, but you seem to like all things with wheels.
Speaking of things you love, you love all things water; water slides ( you experienced your first at the Disneyland Hotel), pools, sprinklers, etc. If it involves water then you are all about it.
You became a little fish over the summer. You still need your floaties (although you ditched them at the end of the summer. You couldn’t get very far without them, but you were determined to try. I bet this summer you will be able to swim without them). Much of our summer was spent at water parks and the pool. Which was just fine by you. Your dare deviledness carried over to the pool and you would happily jump in with no fear. And you take after mommy; you tan. But the time summer was over you were fabulously brown with a white little tushy.
We also packed our bags again and headed north to Oklahoma (yay! a new state to cross off your list!). We went with Mommies friend Kim and her kids; Sofia and Foster. This is also when you decided to potty train your self. The day before we left you started using the potty! We had a lot of fun playing in Oklahoma, we stayed with family of Kim’s that have a pool, so of course you guys wanted to swim every day🙂 We also went go kart racing (you loved it! your sister did not), and you tried to climb a rock wall. You had trouble with the rock wall, you weren’t heavy enough to counter the weight of the rope so when you let go you just hung there (truth be told, you STILL aren’t heavy enough).
You had so much fun dancing in Fiona’s dance class that we decided to enroll you in one over the summer. It was a superhero dance class and you LOVED it. Seriously you adored that class. You got to learn moves like spiderman and batman.
Not only were you into dance, you started loving music. We bought you a pair of “big boy” headphones (without the volume limiter. The limiter made the headphones worthless on planes, and since we travel alot, you needed headphones that you could watch movies with and jam to your songs with). You still love the batman song, and all things frozen, but you also love listening to the storybots and the soundtrack from planes and turbo.
At the end of summer we packed our bags again (I did say you did that alot the last 6 months!) and this time we headed to New Jersey (another new state!). Mommy and daddy were leaving you for the first time and you were staying with the Heisers in New Jersey. It was a little chaotic since they were in the middle of a move but you guys still had a lot of fun. You adore the Heiser boys (they introduced you to soccer those many months ago. A sport that you still love and play every week). You did fabulous without Mommy and Daddy, I was both proud and sad. It was the first time we had ever left you overnight. You took it in stride and saw it as an adventure. The Heisers also finished potty training you. So it was a REALLY big trip for you; a new state (you are up to 12!), first time without mommy and daddy, and potty trained.
Another really big life event for you; you started pre-school!!! You took it far better then I did. You ran off to class with your backpack and lunch box with barely a look back. Sigh, I can’t believe you started preschool. You started out going 3 days a week, and you came home talking about playing trucks and diggers with your friends.
For your birthday you wanted a bumblebee boy party. You are really into Bumblebee boy. Superhero of all kinds, but really into bumblebee boy. You *might* have worn your bumblebee boy costume when we traveled to New Jersey. Everyone at the airport *might* have thought you were adorable. I think you love Bumblebee boy for the same reason your sister loves Ladybug girl. He is a superhero that you can relate to and copy. Batman is awesome, but you can’t really fly and save the day. You can however battle monsters and aliens, or chase bank robbers.
You sweet boy are tall. Like off the growth charts tall. You are 40.5 inches tall! They estimate you being almost 6’8″ by the time your done growing. I hope for the sake of clothes and shoe shopping that you aren’t that tall, but your dad is rooting for an NBA star in the family.
I adore you. Your sweet, and caring. Your uncomplex (this is mostly a plus because your sister is exhaustively complex). You go with the flow (most of the time), and are eager to try new things. And you do everything with enthusiasm. Happy (belated) birthday little boy!
July 31, 2014
Fiona your five. Five! In a few short weeks you will be starting kindergarten and a whole life independent of us will begin. Your ready for it. Im not sure I am… but you little bird are ready to fly.
You have done so much and accomplished so much in the last 6 months. To celebrate your birthday we went to Disneyland! But we went early, because your birthday is in the middle of summer. And hot summer days + long lines does not = fun. So we went in April, but before we went we gave you the chance to earn your own spending money. You had picked up some bad habits and and basically we paid you to behave well. You could earn up to 2 quarters a day for remembering to use your manners and for not throwing tantrums (lets just say you didn’t always earn that second quarter…). You also earned money working at a friend of ours donut truck.
You worked their twice and earned tips. You were adorable, you handed Miss Kim the bags, you would tell the customers how much they owed and put into the billing system. If they gave you cash you would count it out and make change. People loved you and you earned a surprisingly large amount of money for disneyland. You went with $100 to spend on whatever you wanted. And spend you did. You bought yourself a ton of souvenirs. Sometimes I would offer to buy something for you, but you insisted on buying it yourself. You even saved some of your money for the rest of our trip when went to Monterey and San Francisco.
You had so much fun at Disneyland. You weren’t overly keen about meeting the characters, the only ones you wanted to meet were Elsa and Anna from Frozen. So I spent 3 1/2 hours sitting in line (holding your brother while he slept) waiting for you to meet them. And when you finally did, you completely froze. The pressure of seeing your favorite characters come to life was a bit too much. But hey, at least you met them. And luckily after that i didn’t have to stand in a single line to meet a character (other then Mater for your brother). A really good friend of mine joined us with her son (Aiden) and you two had so much fun together. You guys would ride on rides together and ditch us grown ups. And he made you a little braver. Some of the rides made you nervous. I was so proud of you for going on as many as you did (even though you made me drive the cars).
After 3 fun filled days at Disneyland and California adventure (you liked California adventure more by the way, because it had your favorite ride; soaring), we headed north to Monterey to the opening of the Tentacles exhibit at the aquarium that my friend had spent the last several years working on.
One of your favorite parts of the trip was the day that we went to go see the Ladybug Girl musical. Another of your idols come to life! You and your brother had a fabulous time, and you got to meet the characters afterwards. You each got posters and Lincoln wanted everyone to sign his, you only wanted Ladybug girl, Butterfly girl and Bingo.
The last day we spent wandering around San Francisco (mostly because mommy had a quick client meeting up there, so then we just stayed up there and hung out before flying home). As usual you were a fabulous traveler and for the most part handled the whirlwind trip fabulously.
You love going to the the theater to see plays and musicals, so the day before mothers day, I took you to your first ballet. Other then wondering what was wrong with them, since they weren’t talking you enjoyed it. But it was a LONG ballet and we called it quits after 2 hours when you started squirming. Speaking of the theater, we also took you to see Cat in the Hat as well and you loved that. Your full of drama, so I guess it makes sense that you love the theater🙂
We used to fight over what to wear in the morning. So you started waking up before us and getting dressed before we are even awake. You used to take the stool out of the bathroom everyday and it drove me nuts (trying to potty train your brother without a way from him to climb up onto the potty was not fun), so after several mornings of me getting irritated about the missing stool I finally asked why you kept moving it. You said that you couldn’t reach your dresses without the stool and you were trying to get dressed all by yourself. That afternoon we went and bought you a stool just for your closet. You have your own sense of style. I do not claim to understand it. For example in the photo above you are wearing what looks to be a belt, but it is really a super hero mask that you tied around your waist. So on your tummy is the mask. Since you dress yourself I try to give you the freedom to wear what ever you want as long as it is weather appropriate. I get odd looks often, but its just not worth it to fight with you. And it gives you a sense of independence.
Your an active kid. You played both basketball and soccer this year, as well as take dance class. Wearing you out is exhausting. You love to ride your bike and your scooter. And of course you still love to run.
We ran another 5k together, and then you ran a 1k with your brother. Amazingly you still had tons of energy after running the 5k and literally ran circles around your brother during the 1k.
A big milestone for you was graduating pre k. Your dad and I are so proud of you. And you were so proud of you. Your class had practiced hard on learning a couple songs to sing and you proudly belted those lyrics out! What amazed me even more was that your teachers told you that one song was a surprise for the parents and to not tell us. Shockingly you were able to keep quiet about the surprise. Afterwards you kept asking us if we were surprised and if we liked it. Yes and yes!
At the moment you love school, lets see if it stays that way once you start kindergarten. But its probably a good thing that you love school since you currently want to be a doctor. Your teachers asked everyone what they wanted to be when they grew up, I figured you would say a princess or a unicorn. But nope, you chose doctor (and don’t think that your teachers tried to direct you, because after all you can’t really grow up to be a unicorn. But judging by what some of the other answers were they wrote down exactly what you said). You love going to the doctors and are sad when Lincoln “gets” to go to the doctor and you don’t. I assume at some point you will change your mind, maybe you will want to grow up to be a unicorn after all.
Since we are discussing school… lets discuss some things you learned in the last 6 months.
You learned to read. These are all of the books that you have read so far. And no I did not set up this photo. I was planning on having you stack the books, like this:
But when I went into your room to take the photo, I found you laying out every book and sitting in the middle of them. You are so proud of the books you have read. And you should be, look at that huge stack! Some of them took us a long time to get through, and some you read in 15 minutes. Now you have what you refer to as your “easy” books, and you read those to your brother.
You also learned how to swim… without your floaties!
You have officially ditched the floaties and jump on it. I only make you use them when we float on the river (not the river at the water park, the real river) or at the wave pool (those waves can get big!). Otherwise you are floatie free and loving it. Most of the time the pools are shallow enough for you to stand if you need to, but you can doggy paddle in the deep end and dive to the bottom.
You have really loved going to the pool this year. And we got passes to the waterpark up north and have gone almost once a week. Im a little jealous of your summer (Im usually right there with you, but then once you go to sleep I stay up and work until the wee hours and then get up early to have another adventure).
Speaking of adventures… we decided one weekend to go on a road trip to Oklahoma with your best friends (and one of mine as well). You got to see a new state, and refused to fall asleep until we crossed into Oklahoma.
We have been very busy this summer. Most days we are out and about at the waterpark, movies, Thinkery, aquarium, cooking classes, pool, playground, friends houses, mini golfing, picnicing and all around adventuring.
You and your brother have become best buddies lately. You guys play together all day. Yes you occasionally argue, but for the most part you guys get along great. You read to him, you play pretend together, you help each other. Your such a great big sister. You cheer him on when he does something your not brave enough to do (like ride your bike down the big hill), and you appointed yourself his potty coach. You would sit in the bathroom playing toys with him while he sat on the potty and cheer when he went (you also demanded a treat if Lincoln got one because you “helped”). I love that you guys get along so well together. When I have to get some work done you guys will disappear into one of your rooms and play for a few hours (yes, I said hours!).
Your nickname is monkey (well monkey doodle… no I don’t remember how you got it. Perhaps because your a monkey that likes to doodle?). And you are a monkey. Not in the sense that you climb everything but that you like to goof off and monkey around. You discovered riddles just before your birthday (they were part of your birthday party) and you LOVE them. Occasionally pages in your workbook have riddles at the bottom and you get really excited about them.
Your curious, and fiercely independent, and you have strange tastes in food (you prefer multiple cereals in one bowl for breakfast because a single cereal is just boring. And don’t get me started on what kind of things you dip in your yogurt – but pirates booty and carrots are perfectly acceptable dipping foods to you), you love to learn (reading, cooking, rocket making. I t doesn’t matter, you want to learn about it). You have grown so much in the last 6 months; emotionally, mentally and physically. For the most part it has been a pleasure to watch you grow and become the little person that you are.
March 27, 2014
Fiona I will apologize. 1) This is really late, but I will do my best to only discuss things that you were doing up until 54 months. 2) I apparently haven’t used my “real” camera enough, so I think this might be the first time I have posted photos from my phone. They still count as photos though! Months 48-54 were busy, we did more traveling. We went apple picking in the North East and added Maine to the list of states that you have been to. We also headed back to California just before Christmas. You are a fabulous traveler. You pack your own suitcase for the plane, and I think you might be ready to pack your own clothes too. Maybe I will let you try for our next trip. You learned to ride a bike. You got one for your birthday, you got on it and took off. We have rode all over the neighborhood. I can’t wait for your brother to get better at peddling so that we can go on family bike rides without either of you on my bike. And see that cape you are wearing? Yeah… so you like to dress up. Alot. For Christmas your big present from your dad and I was a dress up station. Your dad made it, and mommy shopped (along with Papa) for costumes. You wear all kinds of fun costumes. Skateboarding unicorn, check. Flaminco dancer for breakfast, check. You also LOVE to dress as a princess. I never know who or what you are going to be when we leave the house. A big thing that happened to you, was that you broke your arm. You went to the playground with daddy and fell off the slide. At first we didn’t think it was broken, but after awhile of you not using it we knew something was up. So you got a fancy pink cast that was decorated and sparkly but the time you were healed. You are my kid, so it was bound to happen eventually. Now that it has happened lets try and see how long we can go before you break something else shall we? You also had your first sleep over. It was a very big deal for you to have someone sleep over. You and your bff were so excited. You helped me design and make the invitation. You guys ate ice cream, watched a movie, and giggled until late. Your friend wasn’t sure she wanted to stay the night, but her mom came over and we read a few more stories and you both eventually passed out. Sleepovers are such a big milestone, sigh you are growing up bit by bit. You have been bugging me to have another one, which will probably happen over the summer. You also had your second recital (which involved two performances. 1 at the YMCA and the other at the Trail of Lights downtown. The second one was in front of hundreds or total strangers). You did not disappoint. You listened to your teacher so much more this time, but of course you had to show your own personality. At the second performance there might have been some giggling because you ended every move with a jump or a spin. You were also in your first play. Your school put on a performance of Twas the Night Before Christmas. You were one of the mice. And you made a darn cute mouse. I look forward to many more of these performances. Goodness, so many firsts. You also ran your first 5k. At 4 years old. I was so proud of you that I could have cried when you finished. Total strangers cheered you on, you were the youngest kid running (your brother was in a stroller, so he doesn’t count). And even though we finished almost last (it was a small race), people that you passed cheered for you. You were tired and you wanted to stop sometimes. But we would play one of your favorite songs and skip for awhile. I didn’t care how fast you were (but you did finish in just under 45 minutes), all I cared was that you tried. I have no idea if you will continue to run, but for now you enjoy it. You also enjoy helping me in the kitchen. I have started teaching you to cook. You can make a tasty breakfast; scrambled eggs, toast and fruit. You will help make meals; chop things, stir things, and carry them to the table. You and your brother often fight over who gets to do what in the kitchen. Your a little easier to get along with lately. You have less tantrums and are better about using your words. Your a total goof ball most of the time and you love to be silly. Your also much more helpful and independent. You want to buckle your own seat belt, roll your own window up and down and open doors all by yourself. At least you are polite and will hold doors open for others. I would also like to mention your headbands. If you notice you are wearing a different headband in every photo (Except the one where you were cold and wore a hat). Some how you have become obsessed with headbands, and it all started with this butterfly one. You wore it ALL. the.time. Eventually I got sick of seeing the same one, so I bought you a few more. Next thing I know you have over twenty and the majority are… shall we say eccentric? You wear butterflies, bows (big and small), bunny years, hats, pigtails, pirate ships,flowers, skulls, antennas, crowns, and the list goes on and on. It is a strange accessory, but one you have made all your own. Since we are talking obsessions… lets chat Frozen shall we? It is the ONLY movie I have ever seen in the theater 3 times. 3. And you loved each and every time we went. We bought the movie the day it came out, and I have lost track of how many times we have watched it. You can recite parts, sing along and even dance to it. Luckily its a good movie, so I don’t mind terribly So big, and so full of spunk. You can be a dramatic handful and super caring. You continue to grow and amaze me in so many ways.
March 25, 2014
Oh goodness it has been a long time since I have posted, life and work have gotten in the way. I had 2 of my biggest projects ever back to back. So it has been an exhausting few months.
Somehow in the midst of all my crazy work schedule you turned 2 1/2. The last 6 months have brought so many changes for you.
You got to travel…again. And now that you are two you have your own frequent flier number. Congrats. You are a seasoned traveler and will get a lot of use out of that number. Right after your birthday we headed east and you got to go to Massachusetts, Main, and New Hampshire (you are headed that way again in a few months, maybe you will be able to check off a few more states). We also went back to California just before Christmas and I got to show you a few more of the things I did growing up, like Christmas in the Park. It was so much fun to see it through your eyes. The wonder of it all was so exciting to see. Your always so excited to see new things.
While we were in Boston our friends kids introduced you to soccer. It was pretty much love at first kick. We came home and enrolled you in soccer cubs (mommy and me) and you loved every minute of it. You did so well in fact that they bumped you up to big boy soccer. You are the only 2 1/2 year old in the class. You get a little intimidated, but over all I am amazed at how well you do considering how young you are. For probably the only time in your life, you are in the same soccer class as your sister. Every time we drive by the place you play soccer you get excited and talk about how you kick the ball. You aren’t playing games yet (that will start this fall) right now its just drills and ball skills.
You have become much more coordinated. You have been crashing your sisters dance class every week. Luckily Fiona has a very understanding teacher and lets you dance for the first 10-15 minutes and do warm ups with them. You call it your dance class and look forward to it every week.
And your a lot like your sister; you tend to dance to your own beat. Although you do a pretty good job of following along when you can. Your favorite parts are at the beginning when they warm up, because that usually involves music that you know like itsy bitsy spider (one of your favorites!) and twinkle twinkle. You have become interested in music lately. Usually on the drive to school Sofia and Fiona take turns picking songs that we listen to, now you pick too. Your favorites are Turbo, Batman, What does the Fox Say, Lion King, Itsy Bitsy Spider (we have a dance/pop version), Superheros, a song from Wreck it Ralph and of course anything Frozen. You can belt out “let it go” rather impressively.
Fiona has pulled you into her world of pretend. I love listening to you guys play pretend together. You have picnics on the living room floor, you are superheros that fly off to save the city, and are pirates that sail around making each other walk the plank and look for treasure. You also like being animals, kitties and frogs are favorites. And of course you like being batman. For the longest time you refereed to your self as Batman. “Can you say Lincoln”, “No, I batman!” or “me, hero!”. You did eventually learn to say your name (while mommy was traveling for work, I got to hear you the first time over video chat), but you still like to be Batman. You also love to pretend to nap while Fiona “reads” you stories, and you like it when I pretend to nap. You like to shake me and say “mommy, wake up, it morning time!”
It has been a really cold winter, with several episodes of what the weather people like to call the Polar Vortex. Weather people don’t have lot to get excited over and really like to hype things up with names. Anyway it has been a colder then average winter and we had several “snow” days. Only one of those snow days actually got any “snow”, and even then it was just lots of ice that we scraped into snow. But you still thought it was awesome. You helped me build a miniature snowman and then slide down the driveway on a tray; “wheee!”. You are so much braver then your sister. Sometimes not in a good way. I’ve watched you drag the stool from the bathroom to about 2 1/2 feet from the recliner, then you launch your self off the stool at the recliner so that you can jump on it and make it spin. I now keep a case of ice packs in the laundry room… just in case (okay, they are more for your overly dramatic sister, but you have used your fair share).
Dare devil stunts aren’t just for the living room. You got a skateboard for Christmas (and pads thankfully) and love riding it. We have taken you to the skate park a few times and you LOVE it. You also love riding your sisters pink radio flyer scooter around the skate park. You are working your way up to one of the bigger ramps. You ride up and down the little one and then get to the edge of the big one and change your mind. Im going to be cheering loudly the day you get brave enough to go over the edge, and then I will be buying more ice packs and probably be enlarging the first aid kits I carry with me at all times. I will be proud of you and worried about you all at the same time. So even though I warn you to be careful I will cheer you on as you master something new (even if that something new scares the crap out of me).
You and your sister adore each other. Fiona wants you to dance with her in class, and she loves chasing after you in soccer. She also cheers you on (safely from the sidelines, thank you very much). She waits for you to try new food to see if you like it, and then gives you all of hers if she doesn’t. For the most part you guys play great together. Don’t get me wrong there is plenty of “Lincoln took my toy”, and “YaYa (which is what you call Fiona, even though you can say her name) hit me”, or “Lincoln’s not sharing!”. I am going to enjoy this phase while I can because Im sure there will be some really impressive sibling rivalries in the future. So I will take the hand holding and hugs for now.
Your curiosity is a joy to watch, although not always a joy to clean up. You dragging the dogs water bowl outside to play in the water and make mud got old pretty fast. We went to the Botanical Gardens the other day to explore the faerie houses and you loved them “another faerie house!!!” and you would run off to see what kind of faerie house it was. That is one aspect of your personality that hasn’t changed; the joy and excitement. You still cheer for all kinds of things (cereal, yeah, that’s still pretty exciting). Cake. Cakes, gets lots of cheers. You always get excited and ask “me?” and your voice gets high at the end. “Disneyland, me?”, “soccer, me?”, “medicine, me?” and if I tell you no (like when Fiona is sick and she gets medicine and you don’t) you respond with “aw, man!”.
You also discovered Look and Find books and an obsession was born. You will spend an hour quietly going through your stack of Look and Find books in your room. We even went old school and got you a Where’s Waldo book for when you sit on the potty (potty training has begun!). That pesky Waldo is no match for your finding skills.
Your sweet, unbelievably sweet. Probably to make up for the times that you drive me nuts. But you give kisses, lots of kisses. Sometimes slobbery, but I really don’t care. If you kiss my check, you ask to kiss the other one (yes, of course. I am never going to turn down a kiss from you). You bring me flowers “for you!”. And you snuggle. “Mama, nuggle? Nuggle in my bed?”. I try, I really do try to snuggle in your bed, but it lasts about 5 minutes and then I give up and will happily pat your back if you want me to. Sometimes you need help falling asleep. Sometimes you think you are a rockstar and stay up until 10:30pm. Those nights drive me nuts. We are having to cut your naps short so that you go to bed at night, and you really aren’t happy about waking up “no wake up, me sleep.”. You are going to be a pain to drag out of bed in the morning for school when you are older.
You had your 2 1/2 year check up the other day. And this is as undressed as you were willing to get. Look you compromised, you took off your shoes and your socks. You also had to bring “chicken butt” with you. That orange chicken that you drag around behind you, you call it Chicken Butt. And no, thats not embarrassing at all when we are out. I blame your sister for that. She taught you all about chicken butt, and you think it is just hilarious. “Old McDonald has a farm E-I-E-I-O, and on that farm he has a…”, “Chicken butt!!!”, cue lots of laughter. You think your hilarious, and so does your sister. You guys crack each other up over the strangest things.
Not surprisingly your tall, you measure in at 38 inches (that is 3 feet 2 inches!). You are in 4T (!) tops already. You are so tall, most people think you are so much older then you are. You are in the 95% for your height. You are in the 70% for weight and weigh 32 lbs. You are still in 3T pants though, because you have no tooshie.
You have grown so much and so has your vocabulary (seriously, so.much.talking) in the last 6 months. You are such a sweet kid, and a total boy. There are many things about you that baffle me; cars, dinos, drums, and jumping on things. Oh and your tantrums, you have started those too. And to be perfectly honest they are hilarious, even perfect strangers can’t take you seriously when you jump up and down and flap your arms. But luckily those are rare. Mostly you are my sweet boy. Happy 30 months kiddo.
November 5, 2013
On our last day in Boston we decided to explore downtown Boston. Fiona has a book, Hello Boston, and we used that as a guide to determine where we would go. I had a thought that we could go to the places in the book and take a photo of Fiona with the book in the same spot. I just figured it would be a way to see all the touristy spots and that Fiona might be excited to see the spots from the book. I did not anticipate how excited she would be and how much fun she would have.
We spent the entire day running around all of the city and I took photos of her with the book. When we got home I had the photos printed, and then typed out the book with the words from the book matching up with Fiona holding that page open. Then I created a little book for her to take to school so she could show her classmates about her trip to Boston. She excitedly ran into class “I made a book!!!”. And she still likes to flip through it and “read” it.
We started the day riding the T, just like the ducks in the book. But this time we were smart and brought a carrier for Lincoln. And by “we”, I mean my fabulous friends still had a backpack carrier in their basement even though their boys are 12 and 10. Patrick carried Lincoln all around Boston, and Lincoln loved it! He would get out and run around, then come back point to the carrier and tell us “backpack up”. At the end of the day he even napped happily snuggled up in the backpack. We came home and promptly bought one.
After riding the T and seeing the capitol building we wandered around Boston Commons and Fiona made friends with the sculptures.
I love how she is showing the duck sculpture where he is in the book.
Lincoln thought that a Lincoln sized duck was pretty cool.
He then tried to ride the smaller ones.
Play Me I’m Yours (http://streetpianos.com/boston2013/) was going on in Boston while we were there. We found 3 different pianos. At the first one she sat down to play and showed us what she had learned in her recent piano class. She instantly had a crowd around her. She is such a little performer.
We had lunch at Quincy Market and then walked over got pastry not too far from Paul Revere’s statue. I think Patrick was just ensuring that we walked off all the calories from the lobster tail (my favorite pastry) before we ate it. We stopped in the courtyard where Paul Revere’s (or just Paul as Fiona refers to him. “Let’s go check out Paul’s house”) statue is and ate our pastries. Then the kids discovered leaves.
And it was game on. They chased each other throwing leaves at one another.
Lincoln loved throwing the leaves at Fiona, but Fiona would just threaten to throw them at Lincoln and not hit him. They wore themselves out chasing the leaves. Fall in New England is very different then fall in Texas. We all had a lot of fun eating pumpkin donuts, apple picking, eating soup, and throwing leaves.
Until next time New England!
November 4, 2013
I apologize for the 2 week break in posting these photos. The Heaps have had the stomach flu, a broken wrist and of course work and Halloween costumes to make.
After picking apples we headed down the hill in search of raspberries.
I think the kids may have liked raspberries more, just judging on the volume of fruit that was consumed.
Lincoln learned quickly how to find them and pick them.
I love that I have a very similar photo of Fiona doing this same thing (exact same pose) when I took her blackberry picking when she was little. My kids love berries.
Fiona loved picking them as well. There was many exciting shouts as the kids ran up and down the rows finding the ripe berries.
After Lincoln filled his basket (okay I filled his basket, he was too busy eating them) he plopped down and started eating. Im amazed he had any room left for lunch after all of the fruit they ate.
Mmm… fresh raspberries! I often think we should plant berries. But I know I would never see a single berry. My kids would eat them all.
Fiona was proud of her raspberry stash.
I once again handed over my camera and had my friend snap a couple photos. Was there a single one where the kids were actually looking at the camera? No, there were far more exciting things to look at. Im just happy that they didn’t have mouths full of apple.
After our fruit picking we headed to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It was a very picturesque, typical New England town. Mark said that it was a little weird how everything looked like the town in England where he grew up.
My little boy looked so grown up on the trip, he is leaving toddler behind and becoming a kid. Sigh. He talked so much while we were there and has continued to be a little chatterbox since we got home. And he still thinks the trick of hiding his hand is hilarious.
Only one more post from Boston!
October 16, 2013
What is a quintessential fall thing to do on the east coast? Go apple picking. So of course we had to go while we were there.
The kids slept late on Sunday worn out from all the fun on Saturday. As Lincoln slept we realized that perhaps it was more then him just being tired that was causing him to sleep late; he was running a fever of 101. So while Patrick was out getting James from his sleepover he picked up some childrens ibprofin and we dosed Lincoln up when he finally woke up. Then we headed to the apple orchards.
By the time we got there Lincoln was feeling much better and even agreed to walk… for a bit. All of the kids were eager to get started picking the apples, and more importantly, eating the apples! We headed to the top of the hill and Fiona and the older boys ran ahead to get started. Fiona quickly perfected her apple picking technique. “Mama, there are three ways to pick an apple. 1) You pull 2) You twist 3) (holding fingers up for emphasis) You pull and twist.”
Being the fabulous big sister that she is Fiona eagerly showed Lincoln how to pick apples.
Lincoln thought apple picking was awesome; snacks are just hanging on trees waiting for him to come along and eat them.
We warned Fiona not to pick too many right away. It was a big orchard with a lot of varieties of apples, and it would be a long way to haul a heavy bag. But she eagerly filled it (and insisted that we bring it home with us. She has been giving out apples to people since we got home. Trip to the dentist? She needed to take them an apple. Her friends and teachers needed apples as well).
Lincoln was not so interested in filling his bag.
Lincoln may be tall for his age but compared to everyone else there he was little. So I handed off my camera and hoisted him up so that he could pick some of the higher fruit. And by pick, I mean eat.
This was the gorgeous view from the top of the hill. And it is also the point where Lincoln, Heather and I got ditched. Lincoln was starting to slow down and insisted on being up, so we walked along the ridge while everyone else went exploring. They came back with a ton of variety of apples; all of them were delicious.
It wasn’t all bad being ditched. Along the top of the hill there was a wide open space an picnic tables set up (all which were full, it was prime apple picking season after all). Lincoln and I snuggled up while we waited (and I once again handed over my camera so Heather could snap a photo of the snuggling).
Once we all met up again on the other side of the orchard we headed down the hill to pick raspberries. Which will be another post, because ummm… I take a lot of photos.
October 15, 2013
Saturday morning Heather’s boys both had soccer games. So my kids got to watch actual games, instead of just kicking a ball around. Since donuts (especially Dunkin Donuts) are huge on the east coast we picked some up before the game. Fiona chose chocolate, and I got some pumpkin (widely known fact; I heart all things pumpkin) ones for Lincoln and I.
Delicious, delicious pumpkin donuts. Lincoln ate most of his, and then when we weren’t looking sneaked two more munchies (donut holes) and ate those too.
The kids had fun watching the games, and as far as I know both boys won. Since they played at the same time we watched half of Eric’s game and then went and watched the last half of James’s game (luckily they are at the same place). However a trip to the bathroom with Fiona meant I missed almost all of James’s game, so I could be wrong whether he won or not.
After the games we rushed James off to a sleep over and then headed to the coast so that the kids could see the Atlantic and “dip their toes in”… we all know what happens when Fiona says that…
We stopped in a little town called Woods Hole and got lunch; mmmm lobster tacos! What we didn’t realize was Lincoln was coming down with something, which meant he was unbelievable clingy. Mostly to me. He would sob “mommy up, mommy up!” I could only do so much carrying so Heather’s fabulous husband, Patrick, offered to take him (I should also say that Mark tried to take him, but none of us would let him. Mark had his gallbladder removed and several hernias repaired a few weeks prior and still wasn’t suppose to lift much). Lincoln finally agreed that Patrick was an acceptable ride and settled in on Patrick’s shoulders.
We wandered around Woods Hole for awhile and ended at the aquarium, we got there just in time for the seal feeding. Which the kids LOVED. The seals swam around, did tricks like jumping through hoops and knocking balls of sticks.
Then we headed to the beach. Which was surprisingly warm.
The kids climbed on rocks, splashed in the water, and collected shells. Eric tried to show Fiona a crab and put it in her shell cup and to put it simply she was not impressed. She quickly dumped the whole thing out and started to cry. Poor Eric had no idea what he did wrong.
I handed over my camera to Heather so that she could snap a family photo of us. Proof that all of us were there, at the same time!
Then Fiona was off and running down the beach pretending to be Ladybug girl in the waves.
Darwin got to come to the beach too. He wasn’t so sure about the waves though!
As you can see Lincoln has come a long way from being the crying baby on the beaches in Hawaii. Now he thinks they are pretty cool. And as you will note, he is soaked. He decided to sit down in the water.
Fiona, as usual, loved the water. At one point she stops splashing and pulls off her (soaking wet) skirt and hands it to a baffled Heather and told her that she “didn’t want to get it wet”, a little late for that kiddo.
Fiona had so much fun playing at the beach, we really do need a beach family vacation soon. Somewhere warm preferably.
Not that the non tropical weather slowed Fiona down at all.
Lincoln mostly wandered around on his own scooping up water and pouring it on himself, because I guess that is what boys do? Really, I have no idea why.
After a full day at the beach and soccer field most of the kids fell asleep on the way home. They did however wake up when we stopped at a local dairy for ice cream. Apple pie frozen yogurt; I love fall!