Newsletter – May 2015

My Darling Children!

We’re on to May! What an exciting month! We’re having so much fun this spring playing in the water, going to lagoon, and playing at home. It’s so much fun to be outside after the cold of winter, but it’s already starting to get hot!

Twig, you’re a hoot. We’ve been talking about spelling your name and you love going around chanting M-E-R-E and even finger spell it, but you insist that Mere in your name, not Meredith! Every time I try to say your full name is Meredith, you politely disagree. Then maybe not-so-politely disagree. Clearly, that silly birth certificate thing is wrong.

You also really started playing with Banana this month. Mostly you like to sit back and let Peanut do the big sister stuff, which is fine, but over this month something shifted. Now you love to be the one to make him laugh. You ask to have him sit in your lap, which is pretty comical for how big he’s getting. You pick him up, which is both comical and terrifying from my perspective. He just adores you too.

Peanut, you finished kindergarten this month! It’s pretty bittersweet because we both just loved your teacher, but you’re super excited for next year. You already met your first grade teacher and you thought she was just great. I also think you’re enjoying being at home over the summer, though you often complain of being bored.

You also lost a tooth this month! Your very first one, that has been loose for ages. I noticed that your adult tooth was actually coming in behind the old one, so I told you that you needed to wiggle it a bunch and started wiggling it myself too. I think you were avoiding wiggling it because you didn’t like how it felt. Anyway, all that wiggling finally paid off and it came out. You even took it to school to show everyone. Then, of course, we realized the one next to it was loose too!

Lastly, you started reading aloud to your sister. I just love it. She doesn’t always stick around when you take a minute sounding something out and sometimes you don’t want her to listen, but other times I come upstairs to find you both enthralled in a book. It’s awesome.

Banana, you hit a lot of milestones this month! Out of nowhere you started clapping and waving, both of which you just love to do. You smile so big when you’re clapping your hands! You also really got your pincer grasp down, which means nothing is safe! You find every little thing on the floor and, of course, it all goes straight to your mouth!

We also discovered that you love watching videos of yourself this month. At first I thought it was just because it’s a baby, but you don’t enjoy videos of other babies on the same level. You especially love videos of yourself laughing. I wish I could get a video of you laughing at yourself laughing!

Love you all!
Mama

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Newsletter – April 2015

Childrens!

April! It’s spring! We had so much fun this month. We spent a lot of time at the Treehouse Museum, Lagoon (got our season passes!) and just running around having fun. Both of the girls started gymnastics this month and have been loving it.

Banana, you had a really fun month too! You turned 8 months this month and you’re really turning into an older baby, if that makes sense. You play games with us now, you show obvious preference in people (like getting super excited when daddy comes home), and you do pretty funny stuff. My favorite lately is when you crawl around with something in your mouth like a puppy dog. So cute! You also love “feeding” people food (or anything else!) in your hands, blowing raspberries back and forth to each other, and starting cruising on furniture this month. Slow down with this almost walking stuff!

You wanted to dress up like Elsa to go pick up Peanut from school.

Twig, you’re pretty awesome too. Your favorite song is Kitty by Presidents of the United States of America and you request it virtually every time we get in the car. Then, of course, you sing along as loud as you possibly can. It’s adorable.

You also started drawing real pictures of people this month. People with bodies and legs and eyes, not just squiggles like before. I can see the gears turning in your head when you’re drawing. Actually thinking about how things look.

In sadder news, you got stitches this month. A freak accident of you falling over half asleep and perfectly hitting your cheek so it split right open. I felt so awful. You, after getting past the initial pain, were a real trooper though. You held so perfectly still for your stitches and even for removing them when he had to dig a little to get the stitch knot that was under a scab. Now we just have to spend the summer keeping your scar out of the sun and hopefully it’ll go away with age.

Peanut as a baby owl in a “Participlay”

Peanut, you’re obsessed with getting a “moving robot.” I knew that you wanted one, but I had no idea the extent of your obsession. When I was volunteering at your school, I saw back in February (as part of Dr. Seuss week) that you said you’d tell Thing 1 and Thing 2 to take you to Target and buy you a moving robot. You’ve been finding things you can do to help people and earn more money towards your robot (the one you originally wanted was $100, but you’ve since researched with daddy and found the one you like best is $70-something). You’re so excited to get one!

You also got a library card of your own this month since you can really read now and you’re taking full advantage of it. Every week, instead of going to story time with your brother and sister, you go to the children’s section and sit and read. Then from reading you choose 10 or so books to take home (often more with holds). You also choose to just sit and read a lot of the time. It’s still a struggle to get you to read anything “assigned” to you, but you love reading in general and are above average with your ability. It’s so much fun to watch you grow into an avid reader, just like mom and dad. Speaking of being just like mom, you also insisted on cutting your hair short like mine this month. And it’s crazy cute on you.

Until next month!
Mama

Newsletter – March 2015

Hi You Three!

March was another great month. Lots of time outside, lots of fun inside, and we even got our Lagoon season passes at the end of the month. We had a week-long spring break from Peanut’s school, so we got to just hang out and do whatever we wanted every day. It made me really look forward to summer. Of course this month was Peanut’s birthday and we celebrated by going out to her birthday dinners, the Natural History Museum of Utah, and watching Harry Potter all day (a girl after my own heart).

Writing your name for the first time.

Twig, you’re turning into a real person. Three is a hard age, but it’s also a cool age. You’re just making leaps and bounds in that little head of yours and I see how much you’re changing every day. You’re leaving toddlerhood behind and becoming a kid. One day this month when I was unbuckling your car seat I realized that you had an eyelash that had fallen out. I got it on my finger and told you to make a wish, then we pressed our fingers together to see who got their wish (whoever gets the eyelash). I didn’t really expect you to get it, but when I asked what you had wished for, you said a Daniel Tiger movie. That’s a real wish! You got it the eyelash by the way, so better get on that PBS. Another good example is when we were saying goodnight one night and I said something along the lines of “I love you to the moon.” We were going back and forth saying different places that we love each other to, then you said “I love you to my nose.” and started to laugh. You actually got that it would be funny. And it was funny!

 You’re making even more strides with letters. I decided to try it out just to see if you could and it turns out you can match most of the capitalized letters to their lowercase counterparts. You also love it when I read to you. You’ve always loved reading, but it’s a whole new level. I’m pretty sure that we could read all day every day and you’d be happy. You do get a bit bored when Peanut and I read chapter books, but you still listen along and want me to read them to both of you, just while you’re sometimes wandering off to do different things. And lastly, you nighttime potty trained this month. I expected it to be a big hassle of constantly changing wet sheets, but you’ve been good from the start. I think you’ve only had a full on accident (and a few wake-up-mid-pee accidents) once in the month you’ve been diaper-free at night.

Your poor nose.

Banana, you’re really zooming now. You spent the last part of last month in the “aww, he’s crawling!” stage and starting off this month with “How did you get to the dog water that fast again?!” You are getting into everything. You would think that three kids in our house would be pretty baby-proofed, but you’re still finding plenty to get that I don’t particularly want you to have. A downside to your newfound ability to crawl is that you keep falling on your face. Your poor nose actually got a blood blister (or something of that sort) that popped and it looked so sore. It never seemed to bother you though. And I’ve figured out that I have to get your pjs off immediately when you wake up so you don’t trip all over them. You still fall over quite a bit, but not as much.

Pulling yourself to stand at the bottom of the stairs.

One of your favorite things is to make noises with your mouth. I don’t know why, but one day you were getting upset and I started bouncing my hand on your mouth to make “ub-bub-bub-bub” noises. You loved it! So much so that you started doing it with your own hand too. It’s really cute. Here’s a video.

Peanut, you spent this whole month telling people that your birthday was coming up, then once it passed you told them how many days ago it was. You also told everyone who would listen that you were having a “My Neighbor Totoro/Kiki’s Delivery Service/Spirited Away/Ponyo” birthday party. You’re still loving Studio Ghibli. Honestly, we all love them.

You also have a newfound love of climbing trees.

This month you’ve started doing something that really excites me–reading for pleasure. You spend most of your quite time these days reading Elephant and Piggie books (your absolute favorite). Of course you still love it when we read to you (currently mama is reading you Matilda and dad is reading you The Hobbit), but it’s just so cool that you want to read all by yourself too. You’ll even read books to Twig sometimes, which I can tell is just the start of an awesome reading relationship.

Love you three!

Mama

Newsletter – February 2015

Twig playing in the unseasonably warm rain puddle.

Hello Kiddos!

We had a pretty awesome February. It’s been unseasonably warm around here, so we got to spend time outside. Our days were also spent going to the Treehouse Museum, story time, volunteering at Peanut’s school, and just hanging out at home. Life is great.

Peanut, I have a funny story for you. We were out to dinner and you started to complain about your mouth hurting. I kind of brushed it off, but it was a weird spot, so I decided to feel your tooth just to see. Well, that tooth moved and I let out a shriek of surprise that startled you too. You had a loose tooth! I didn’t even know that kids start loosing teeth this early, but a quick Google search told me that you’re a bit late if anything (Google also told me this is unsurprising give that you started getting teeth a bit on the later side). I was so sure that it was nothing and I would “just check to be sure.” Silly mama.

“Gideon is a firefighter but a baby firefighter. I am too.”

You’re also getting better and better at writing things 100% for yourself. You’ve been writing letters for ages, but it’s always been “Mama, how do you spell…?” Your teacher said to encourage “creative spelling” and ever since I told you to start trying to spell things yourself, you’ve found every excuse possible to write things down. I love how you’re always writing me notes. I hope it never stops.

You also finished playing basketball this month. You went around telling everyone you spoke to (you have absolutely no qualms speaking to strangers out in public and everyone you meet thinks you’re awesome when you start chatting with them) how you love playing basketball. You were also pretty devastated that it’s over for the season. About a week after the last game I finally sat you down and explained that it’s not just that I’m mean and won’t let you play, but nobody is playing because the season is over. After that you calmed down a bit. You’re still adamant that you want to play next year though.

Speaking of little miss chatterbox, you came home from school one day this month with phone numbers and a couple of your little friends came home with your number. I had no idea that calling friends on the phone would start this early, but you love it. I’m amazed that you have so much to say to someone that you just saw an hour ago. It’s calmed down a bit since it originally started, but two months later you still ask to call someone on the phone most days. You just gave out your number to a fresh batch of friends too.

Banana, you’re just zooming on with development. This month you started to crawl! It’s not super coordinated yet, but you’re definitely moving forward with purpose. You usually crawl a couple of steps, then stop and get on your belly to see if you can reach what you’re going for yet. If you can’t, the process repeats. I call it lazy crawling. You also decided to pull yourself to stand at virtually the same time as starting to crawl. My goodness. Calm down! And you got your first two teeth this month, both of your bottom front teeth.

It’s really fun watching the sibling dynamic emerge. One of the most interesting things to me thus far has been how Peanut is some sort of pseudo-adult to you. You’ll stay happy if she’s playing with you a good majority of the time. You even fall asleep on her while watching TV (I think you just need something interesting enough to stare at while you drift off). It’s super cute.

Twig, on the topic of siblings, you’ve great with Banana. You finally got him to laugh this month and you just love it. For some reason you weren’t very interested in getting him to laugh before now. You also call him “boy” all the time. “Do you like that, boy?” “Where is boy?” If I ask you what his name is you’ll immediately tell me Gideon, but if you’re talking to or about him it’s always boy.

You’re also making strides with development, though yours is mental. It seems like overnight that you went from knowing a handful of letters to almost every one of them. You even know the sounds of a good majority of them. You know all the letters in your name in mostly the right order, though you mostly insist on just spelling Mere. Can’t blame you there considering that’s what we call you 90% of the time.

You also love going to Peanut’s school to volunteer. You’ve made real friends there who send you home drawings in Peanut’s backpack. You like to pack your own little backpack of things to play with a books to look at and you think recess is amazing. Your favorite thing is how you get to participate in the art whenever they’re doing a project. You think that Peanut’s teacher is pretty amazing too. You’re gonna love it when you get to start kindergarten.

Love you all!
Mama

Newsletter – January 2015

At Bear Lake on your birthday.

Hello My Children!

We’re still playing newsletter catch up here (so close!) and on to January. It was a surprisingly warm winter this year, so we spent plenty of time outdoors. We also spent a lot of time watching Studio Ghibli movies as a family. You both love My Neighbor Totoro. Really, you’ve loved all the ones we’ve watched. And of course, we celebrated Twig’s third birthday!

Twig, you had your first ever birthday party this month and you chose Winnie the Pooh as the theme. You loved being able to invite your own friends and being the center of it all. I had a blast planning it for you and everyone had a wonderful time. We got you some Calico Critters for your birthday because you love playing pretend with little toys. You really enjoy playing with them. On your birthday itself you were sick, so we took a long drive to Bear Lake as a way to celebrate without spreading disease. We had a lot of fun and you girls gathered tons of tiny shells.

You’re also learning more letters by the day. I wasn’t even aware that you knew any, then you suddenly started picking them up rapid fire. You love reading and especially love to read Press Here. It’s a silly book where you press the dots (and do other things to them) and it makes it look like you’re effecting the dots. You ask me to read it to you almost every night.

You also love drawing with your sister. Both of you have been drawing pictures from these videos on YouTube. I’m surprised at how well you both can draw. Twig, you made a daddy long legs that actually looked like a daddy long legs! And Dea, you can already draw just as well as I can most of the time. It’s awesome watching you two expand your artistic abilities.

Peanut, you are obsessed with black widows. Really it all started this fall. It was a warm fall also, which apparently caused a bit of a black widow issue in our area. We ended up finding about half a dozen throughout our property (thank goodness never in the house!). Ever since, you’ve decided you love black widow spiders. You brought a book home from the library at school that told you all about them. We checked out books at our library. We watched videos online. You just think they’re amazing.

Taking a bath in the sink when Oma and Opa watched you.

Banana, you are putting in a valiant effort to crawl. You’re trying really hard to get up on all fours and you can even do it if you get your butt wedged up against something. You can tell you’re so satisfied with yourself when you get up too.

You’re also very loud, just like Twig was. You love to just yell and yell, even when you’re happy. Something that’s different though is your pitch. From pretty much day one, you’ve been really high pitched! And when you get happy you’re literally squealing in delight. It’s so ridiculously cute. You’re also mad when you’re mad though. You don’t get angry often, but when you do, you sound like a fire alarm. We tried to leave you with Oma and Opa for the first time so mommy and daddy could go on a date, but we ended up leaving half way through The Hobbit because you were so angry. It’s alright though, mama doesn’t mind being with you all the time.

Speaking of you being happy, there’s one song from our music class that you just adore. We call it “Open and Shut Them” though I’m sure there’s a more correct name. Every time you’re upset, we start singing it and you get happy again. It works when you’re in the high chair while I make food, while you’re getting your diaper changed, anything. We start singing and you immediately start smiling.

Love you all!
Mama

Newsletter – December 2014

Hello You Three!

On with the catch up! This time it’s December. Christmas time!

Twig, you’re such a hoot. This month you’ve been obsessed with “beating” everyone at everything. You race to the car when no one knows we were racing. You announce that you won a game, even when you lost. You’re so cute!

You started doing a preschool co-op this month. You’re pretty shy about interacting with the other kids, but tell me you like going. Mostly you stay right next to me, which I’m completely okay with. I think being shy is just part of your personality and you’ll figure out how to interact with time. No reason to push things.

You also revealed and known skill to me this month. I drew 10 smilie faces on a piece of paper and asked you to count them for me, just curious how high you could go. Turns out you can reliably go all the way up to 10! I figured when I was doing this that I was writing way more than you could do, just to test. Proved me wrong!

Banana, gone are the newborn days. You’re a full fledged baby! You hate it when mama yells (even if it’s just calling someone’s name) and it makes you cry every time. Anyone else could be yelling right next to you though and you could care less. You’re also rolling over from back to front now too and sitting up without any support at all.

Your favorite toys are your caterpillar mirror and your own hands and feet. And you are the most high pitched little baby I’ve ever heard. It’s super cute when you’re happy squealing. Not so cute when you’re mad screaming.

Peanut, you’re still doing great in school and your teacher has nothing but wonderful things to say about you. In the program you do every day at school (since the school is technology based), your teacher says you’re already well into the first grade material. Reading your books from school is falling a little out of vogue for you, but your teacher said that’s completely normal and not to pressure you.

You made a Frosty the Snowman from playdough.

You just love your new baby brother. Sometimes too much! You recently decided that you should pick him up, which luckily hasn’t led to any dropping, but quite a few conversations with mama have sprung from it. Just about needing to ask first and not doing things like carrying brother up and down the stairs. He’s already a third your weight for goodness sake! You also love reading to him when he’s in his swing to keep him happy. Really, you love to do anything to make him happy.

Love you all!
Mama

Newsletter – November 2014

Playing board games with mama while Twig naps.

Hello Children!

We’re playing catch up with newsletters still and today we’re on to the month of November!

Peanut, your brain seems to be making leaps and bounds lately. You keep astounding me with things I wasn’t aware you could even come close to doing. This month, it’s finger spelling. I’ve known for a long time that you know the whole alphabet in ASL, but I had no idea that this so easily translated to spelling. You’re just starting to really spell words and one day, out of the blue, you started finger spelling them too. You can sound out words as I finger spell them too. I’m amazed.

You also like to spend time teaching letters to Twig. You sat down and wrote on your calendar a different letter to teach her every week day, then a number. You haven’t remembered to work on it every day, but when you do you two have a lot of fun with it.

You’ve also been working hard trying to make Banana laugh ever since he started to do it. This month it finally paid off. It’s already so clear how much he loves his big sisters.

Twig, you want so badly to be like your sister. Lately you keep telling me you want to read like her and you’ll actually sit down and “read” books. You even get mad if I interrupt you while you’re reading me a book.

You’re also loving working on your letters. Like I said earlier, you’ve been working on them with your sister. You like working on them with me too. You recognize the letter M and point out that your name starts with M. You’re staring to catch on to more though.

Banana, I forgot how quickly babies grow! In just a few months you’ve started showing your own little personality. You’re fascinated with your sisters and love sitting in the high chair watching them. You also have started really holding onto toys. Which, of course, means they’re going right in your mouth.

That’s all I have for this month! Love you all!
Mama