Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy 4th Birthday, Gerry!

I can't believe my boy is 4 years old!  It went so fast, and I'm constantly amazed at Gerry's sense of humor and how he makes his presence known.

He's in a  phase now where "potty talk" is just hilarious.  He constantly blurts out words like "Fart!", "Toot!", "Poop!" and then cracks up afterward.  It's decidedly not my favorite time, and I'm hoping it passes quickly.

He's still all about making people smile and laugh.  Gerry's got the sweetest, goofiest personality, and he loves it when something that he does causes other people to laugh.

He's becoming more self-aware these days, and expressing himself more.  Lately, he's been wanting to "gel his hair like a rock star" (which is crazy difficult because his hair is so damn thick and I have yet to find a gel that will actually hold for more than a few minutes), and he prefers to walk around with no shirt on.  He's huge into Superheroes and Spider-Man is his favorite these days.  We had family over for cake and coffee tonight, and he asked if I could make him a Spider-Man cake.  It wasn't perfect, but I tried and he loved it.

He woke up this morning to a room full of balloons and a small present from us...superhero play-doh!  Then he got to spend the day with his daycare friends, who sang happy birthday and ate cupcakes with him.  I pretty much let him do whatever he wanted for the day (it was his birthday, after all!), and then all the grandparents and cousins came over that night to celebrate again.  He had a great day, and he was SO EXCITED to see everybody tonight!

The balloons might have been for Gerry's birthday, but they sure kept Lincoln entertained for awhile!

Gerry asked for a bowling party this year, and we've got that scheduled for Saturday.  He's crazy excited because he gets to celebrate again with all of his non-daycare friends and he gets to go bowling, which he loves.  I love, love, love that he doesn't hold back his happiness or excitement, and I can't wait to see his reaction at the party on Saturday.

I still can't believe that this boy is 4 years old already.  It's going too fast for my liking...the video below is one I made from some of my favorite pictures over the years.  :-)


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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Holidays 2016

You guys.  This whole "having 3 kids" thing is seriously cutting into my blogging time.  I've got quite a bit to catch up on, so here goes.

We started a new holiday tradition.  Every year, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the town holds a Tree Lighting Ceremony.  There's music, cookies and hot chocolate, fireworks, Santa, and they light the big tree by the police station.  In all the years we've lived here, this is the first time Scott and I have ever gone and we loved it!  We bundled the kids up and met up with some friends, and they had such a good time.  The kids got to shake Santa's hand, which was just pure magic for them, they danced and goofed around with their friends, and we watched the fireworks after the tree was lit.  I can't believe we haven't gone before, and we'll definitely be making it a tradition from now on.

Santa came to town!

Lincoln, Maddie, Bailey, Gerry, and Gavin

We shook Santa's hand!

More friends!  Chase and Addie were at the tree lighting!

We had all of our friends over for a Pajamas and Gingerbread Cookie Decorating party.  And the kids had a blast!  Everyone wore their jammies, I set out all kinds of cookie toppings, and the kids went to town.  It was messy but so much fun and I know we all loved getting together with some of our favorite people.

We decorated for Christmas.  And it looked fabulous...for less than a day.  Lincoln was a beast this year, so much worse about getting into things than Bailey and Gerry ever were, and he tore the tree up.  Everything he could get his hands on was fair game and by Christmas our beautiful tree looked like it had been attacked by some feral creature.  Which, I mean...I guess it was.

Bailey and Gerry were in a Christmas pageant at church.  Bailey was part of the Cherub Choir with her cousin Maddy, Gerry was an animal (he chose to be a donkey), and Karley played the Angel Gabriel (on Drew's shoulders).  It was adorable and they were so excited to be a part of it!

This was the best one I could get of Bailey...those cherubs move fast!

Gerry the donkey...blurry because he's never ever still.  ;-)

Karley as the Angel Gabriel.  And Drew underneath her gown holding her on his shoulders.  

We sat on Santa's lap.  And there were no tears!  Lincoln was completely, 110% uninterested in any of it, but Bailey and Gerry were in awe.  If you look closely, Bailey got to sit on Santa's knee and Gerry got to hold his magic keys!  They were so excited!

Their shirts say "Never naughty, always nice"

We were sick for Christmas.  Every last one of us caught a stomach bug this year, and it was awful.  Luckily, Lincoln caught it the day before Christmas Eve and it was fairly fast-moving, so he was okay for Christmas.  But...man...he threw up all night long and it was just the worst.  Scott and I got no sleep, I ended up covered in baby vomit multiple times, and Lincoln freaked out because he didn't know what the hell was going on and was choking on his own puke half the time.  Gerry was the next to get hit.  He woke up at 3am Christmas morning, came into our bedroom, and threw up on my shoulder.  Talk about a nice wake-up call.  The poor kid spent the next 24 hours puking in between opening presents and playing with his new toys.  Bailey and I were next, and it wasn't pretty.  We both got hit with it at the same time, which made for some pretty interesting bathroom trips.  We were both violently ill Christmas night and through the next day.  There came a point where Bailey was on the toilet and I was throwing up in the tub at the same time where I just laid my head down and though, "You know what?  I've lived a good life.  Bring on death!"  It was that bad.  The day after, I felt like I'd been hit by a bus.  I was so exhausted I couldn't even get out of bed and the one time I managed to drag my ass downstairs wore me out so much that all I could do was lay on the couch.  The kids were such troopers through it all, though.  There were no freak-outs, not much complaining.  They just went about their business in the midst of being sick, and I'm kind of in awe of how well they all handled it.  It was definitely not the greatest holiday we've ever had.  But, we were together and Scott and I got to watch our kids' eyes light up when they saw their presents under the tree Christmas morning, and Lincoln had a pretty decent first Christmas.  Not half bad.  :-)

Now that Christmas is over, I'm in the depressed funk that I go through every year at this time and I'm just trying to power through it.  New Year's is in a few days, and I'm hoping that 2017 is good to us.  I know 2016 has been.  Here's to family and good fortune!

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Christmas Pictures 2016

Thanksgiving is three days away.  Three.  Days.  Away.  For me, it's the start of the holiday season and I actually really love it, stress and all.  I love getting together with my family, Christmas gift shopping, listening to Christmas music on the radio, watching holiday movies, decorating the house.  It's my most favorite time of the year.

And one of the things I love most about the holidays is getting the kids' Christmas pictures taken.  Sure, we take them to the mall to sit on Santa's lap and get a quick photo while we're there.  But I love taking them to Target for our Christmas card photos.  In years past, I've dressed the kids in Christmas pajamas {which I LOVED, by the way} but this year we went more formal since it's Lincoln's first Christmas.  And I must say, even though I'm hugely biased, I absolutely adore the way they all turned out.

Bailey and Gerry were surprisingly patient and well-behaved while waiting our turn, and they took direction from the photographer really well.  Lincoln, who is my little smiley guy, pretty much just stared blankly the whole time we were there.  We had to work to get the smallest grin out of him, but we managed to get a few and I'm in love.  These are just a few of my favorites.

My favorite little people

Lincoln, 7 months

Gerry, almost 4 years

Bailey, 6 and a half years

My Little Loves

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

It's Been Too Long

You guys. Life with three kids is crazy. There have been so many times when I've wanted to sit down and write out a blog post, but then I get distracted by one thing or another and just never get around to updating. Next thing you know, four months has gone by and I've yet to write out a single thing. So. Here's a quick update on what's been happening in our little world. 

1.  Bailey started first grade. And she loves it. And she's doing so well!  Her teacher says she's a good student, polite, and well-behaved. And, really, what more can I ask for?  We just got her school pictures back and I can't get over how grown up my girl is looking!  She's growing up fast (too fast) and has developed her own sense of style and attitude. She's just incredible, and I love watching her grow into her own person.

2.  Lincoln is now 6 months old.  That's right. My tiniest baby is half a year old already. He's 22lbs of happy sweetness, and I love him like crazy. He's sitting up on his own now, and trying so hard to crawl. He has two teeth, but isn't a fan of solid foods just yet.  He's our little love.

3.  Gerry is still as goofy as ever. My sweet little boy. I worry sometimes that he gets overlooked as the middle child. Lately, his behavior leaves something to be desired, and I wonder if maybe that's his way of making sure he still gets attention. Of all the kids, Gerry is my little clown. His goal in life is to make people laugh, and he's constantly testing out new material. He loves to laugh and be active, and when he asks to snuggle up with me you can bet that I'll drop whatever I'm doing and snuggle. 

4.  Scott and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary this week. Holy crap...it still feels like I walked down the aisle a week ago. 

 That's it for now. I can't believe I was actually able to write this much without one of the kids interrupting...it's a miracle!  



Monday, June 27, 2016

Happy 6th Birthday, Bailey!

My very first baby is 6 years old today.

Six years old.  Let that sink in for a minute.  She's officially closer to being 10 years old than she is to being a baby again, and I almost can't handle it.  I say this on her birthday every year, and I'm sure I always will, but I still so very vividly remember the day she was born, and I can't believe that six years has passed.

My girl, on the day she was born
Bailey is, and always has been, an amazing kid and she astounds me every day.  She's got an abundance of sass and spunk, but can be so caring and loving at times that it almost hurts to watch.  Her smile...well, her smile just lights up my whole world.  She grins with her whole face, missing front tooth and all, and it completely transforms her.

The end of a successful t-ball season with the Rockhounds

She just graduated Kindergarten and she's so damn smart.  So smart.  She's reading and writing and doing simple math.  She loves to draw and sing and play outside.  She wants to be a mom when she grows up and her favorite color is "all of them".  She likes to play sports, and her interests in that respect range from t-ball (see photo above) to dance to cheerleading, and now she's decided that she'd like to try gymnastics.

She's brave.  So much braver than I ever was or could hope to be.  She's outgoing.  She makes friends easily.  She's funny and sweet and so much more amazing than a simple blog post could ever hope to convey.

Bailey and her bff's

On the day she was born, I didn't know what to expect.  I knew that there would be sleepless nights and dirty diapers and temper tantrums.  I expected smiles and boo-boos and some 'tude as she grew older.  But nobody prepared me for the absolute, raw love that I would feel.  The pride I would discover in being her mother.  The happiness that she would bring me every single day {yes, even now that she's 6 and has the attitude of a PMS-ing teenager some days}.  I didn't expect that.  I didn't expect her.  She is so much more incredible than I could ever have imagined.  So much more incredible than I could ever be, and I love her with every single piece of myself.

Six years ago, she made me a mommy.  And she hasn't stopped amazing me since.

Happy, happy birthday, Bailey!  "I love you more than anything else."

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Congratulations, Graduate!

Back in August I wrote this post on Bailey's very first day of school.  Yesterday, she graduated.  From Kindergarten.

You guys, she's going into 1st grade.  How did this even happen?  She's going to be 6 in just a few weeks, and I'm honestly floored.

Yesterday morning, I helped Bailey prepare for her graduation much like a mother helps her daughter get ready on her wedding day.  She sat up in bed just before 7am and I heard her yell, "Yay!  Today is a special day!"  There was the slipping on of her graduation dress, oh so carefully.  The buckling of her dressy sandals.  The curling of her hair.  The sweep of gloss that she just had to have on her lips.  Every step of the getting-ready process was an exciting one for her, and when I dropped her off at school she couldn't get out of the car fast enough, so eager to meet her classmates and get the graduation show on the road.

Our family took up an entire row in the gym.  Before the kids started their procession, a slide show played for the parents.  Picture after picture of our kindergarteners throughout the year set to music that {I'm sure} was meant to be upbeat and happy, but that made me tear up instead.  Sending her off to school this year was one of the hardest things I've done as a parent {silly, I know} and I used to worry about her every day.  Is she having fun?  Is she making friends?  Is she eating enough?  Drinking enough?  Does she miss me?  Is she sad?  My anxiety was relentless.  But then here was this slideshow with picture after picture of my girl and all of her friends.  Playing on the playground.  Holding the baby chicks that their class hatched this spring.  Wearing smocks in art class.  Dancing around the classroom.  Reading books.  In every picture of Bailey on that slideshow she wore a smile on her face.  Every one.  She was fine.  More than fine.

Pomp and Circumstance played.  Honestly, how do parents hold it together when their kids march to that?  It was adorable.  One by one, our 5 and 6 year olds processed through the doors to the gym and down the aisle to take their place in front of the stage.

There are four kindergarten classes, and each child was called on-stage individually to shake hands with the principal and to hug/high five/shake hands with their respective teachers.  Bailey's name was called, and she walked across that stage like she owned the place.

The kids performed a few songs for the parents, complete with hand motions and shimmying of the hips.  Bailey was, strangely enough, shy for the first few songs but once the third and final song played she got into it.  It's her favorite and the one she'd been talking about and practicing at home for weeks.

The entire ceremony took less than an hour and the kids were all dismissed right after.  Bailey was so proud of herself, and I'm so thankful to her teacher.  Ms. Bono doesn't know it, but I was hard on her this year.  In the beginning, I didn't agree with the way she handled some issues in the classroom.  I complained about the lack of information she gave us, and generally started the year off being one of those pain in the ass parents that I hate.

Growth is a process.

In retrospect, I was wrong.  She is a good teacher and she was good to my daughter.  Bailey loves her and has nothing but positive things to say about her, and I wish that I had spent the beginning of the year listening to the wonderful things Bailey had to say about her rather than letting my own worries and anxieties color the way that I felt about her.  Bailey had a fantastic Kindergarten experience.  She learned so much and made so many friends and has become such a confident learner.  And I have her teacher to thank for that.  Because of the experience that Ms. Bono gave her in Kindergarten, Bailey is looking forward to first grade.  She's excited about school.  She's reading and writing and becoming a more creative and thoughtful thinker, and for that I'm grateful.  I'm happy...thrilled, even...that Bailey spent this year with a teacher who saw her for the amazing little person that she is, and fostered that in her.  I only hope that Bailey is as lucky in the teacher department next year.

There are just 2 half days left in this school year, and then she'll officially be a first grader.  She's come so far in the past 9 months, and I truly can't wait to see what she does next year.  I know she's going to be incredible.  Look out, world.  Here she comes!

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