Newsletter – October 2014

Hello children!

Back to our newsletter catchup! We’re on to October, a month full of fun fall activities and of course Halloween! We all had a blast this year. When I asked Peanut what she wanted to be for Halloween, she knew immediately that she wanted to be Merida from Brave, so I made her costume before Banana was born. I thought that Twig might want to choose something for herself, but she was happy to go along with Peanut’s idea and be one of the little brother bears, so we went with a full family theme. I was Queen Elinor (as a bear), Banana was a little brother bear too, and daddy was King Fergus.

Peanut, you are just so amazingly smart. I’ve always thought you were ahead, but wasn’t sure if it was parental bias. Well it’s confirmed that you’re really just smart. It’s all your teacher can tell me over and over. You’re just zipping through the books that you get to take home from school to learn to read. You love school in every way (except getting ready in the morning) and you love learning.

You also started basketball this month. This is sort of an “intro to basketball” class that you take before the actual Junior Jazz season starts. You caught right on to defensive stance and want to show anyone who will watch. You’re so excited to start playing basketball like daddy.

Twig, you love being my little helper around the house while Peanut is at school. You’re following me around the house helping me with every little task the whole time she’s gone. You especially love washing dishes, though try to insist that you need the good brush even when mommy needs it.

You’re turning into such a little person. You’ve started drawing real circles. It seems like such a simple thing, but it’s really the first time that you’re able to think something in your head and make it come out on the paper like you want it to. You also love music. You’re always telling me which songs you like and don’t like on the radio and you’re happiest when we’re playing music in the house. You also really got Halloween this year. Like you understood it was coming (though had a fuzzy concept on how long it would be until it came), understood what was happening, and got super excited to actually go out and trick-or-treat.

Banana, you are growing so fast. You started laughing this month. Listening to you laugh is one of my favorite things. You’re such a happy little baby. And you absolutely adore daddy. You just light up every time that you see him like you’ve really been missing him all the time he was gone. He’s the one who makes you laugh the most too. And of course you love your big sisters. Peanut loves to hold you and begs to do it all the time. And of course they’re always trying so hard to make you laugh. I can already see how much you adore them and I’m so excited to watch how that relationship grows.

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

Newsletter – September 2014

Hello kids!

On with catching up with our newsletters! For us September meant being a new family of 5. We started to find our routines this month and everyone had fun getting to know our new baby.

Peanut, you love your new little brother so much! There were many days where you asked not to go to school because you had to miss out on time with him. Of course you still went, but it made you feel better when I told you he mostly naps while you’re gone. You made up a little song for him that goes “hush little Gideon hush, hush, hush” to the tune of Hush, Little Baby. You sing it to him every time he cries.

Even with asking not to go, you really do love school. You come home every day just thrilled to tell me what you did that day. You’ve even gotten excited about doing some extra math online on Khan Academy with daddy. It’s amazing how quickly you’re picking it all up.

You painted this completely of your own accord.

You’ve also decided that your favorite color is no longer pink. Now it’s blue. No surprises that your inspiration is Elsa from Frozen. Almost the moment you decided pink is no longer the favorite, little sister decided pink is now her favorite! It’s like the torch was passed.

Twig, you are just so ridiculously cute. You decided that “oh my GOSH!” is the appropriate response to just about everything. Big emphasis on the gosh part.

You also love your little brother immensely. Every time I put him on the floor you’re getting down right next to him. You kiss him more times a day than I can count. We’re still working on being gentle with him (sometimes you try to move his head to make him look at you and stuff like that), but that’s to be expected for your age.

You love to spend every day running around with mama while Peanut is in school. Like I said earlier, Banana mostly naps while she’s gone, so it’s just me and you. You love to help me with chores, run errands, or pretty much just do anything I’m doing. It’s pretty nice to get quality time with you while still being able to accomplish what I need to in the small window your brother is sleeping and your sister is at school.

Banana, you decided to roll over front to back the first time on your one month birthday. It was funny because daddy thought it was a fluke and said you had to do it three times for it to be real. I set you on the floor and joy proceeding to do it three more times in less than five minutes. So that was that! And you started to smile shortly after. Baby smiles are the best.

We also started elimination communication this month. I had given myself a “pass” on trying of this time around. In the past I couldn’t ever get it to work and it just added to my stress. Well you developed a really bad yeast rash that wouldn’t go away even with the yeast cream the doctor prescribed, so I decided to give it a go. Turns out you really, really prefer to go in the potty! Especially the poops. You caught on to EC really quickly and we’re still doing it part-time to this day. And there’s no rash in sight. Yay!

Til next month!
Love, Mama

Newsletter – August 2014

Hello Children!

This month was a woozy. The end of summer, Peanut starting kindergarten, and of course Banana being born! Let’s get started!

Twig, you are really starting to get a personality! Your favorite thing to say this month was “Dats what me do sometimes. I TOLD you.” in a very exasperated voice. Like jeeze guys, don’t you know this already?! You also won’t take any bossing around from anyone, including your big sister. You are making it very clear that you are also big now and can do what you want!

Speaking of you being big, you started singing the ABCs and it’s so incredibly cute. You sing them all correctly (I’m not sure if you really connect that there’s letter that go along with them though) except lmnop and w, which you completely skip. Not even mushing them together like some kids do, you just skip them.

Peanut you’re growing up so much too! Of course you started kindergarten this month. The first couple weeks of this month were kind of crazy because you were such a ball of nerves. Luckily, the moment you started school all those nerves turned into pure excitement. You absolutely love going and your teacher loves you. You love to get in the van and tell me all the exciting things you did that day.

You also taught yourself to snap this month and pump on the swings. With the snapping, you decided you just wanted to learn, so you practiced constantly until you got it. It’s amazing what you can do when you sent your mind to it. With the pumping on the swings, something just clicked for you. We spent a lot of time at the park this summer and one day you got on and just started to do it. You were so excited and proud of yourself and you’ve been able to swing by yourself ever since (though you don’t mind a push from mommy sometimes too).

Both of you girls made a friend down the street this month too. Right at the end of last month we got a big dumpster from the city so we could clear out some stuff before the baby comes. The city does a program every summer where you can get a dumpster for free for a few days. We told the whole neighborhood they were free to use it and someone up the road came to put a stump from a tree they cut down in. It turned out he has a little 5 year old girl (who also was starting kindergarten, but she’s going to the local school). You three have been playing all the time ever since.

Of course you both were incredibly excited to meet the baby. Both of you loved putting lotion on my belly and rubbing it in. Peanut spent quite a bit of time talking to my belly. Twig claimed she could “see” the baby through my bellybutton. Peanut still wanted a boy (though said she’d be happy with either, little diplomat she is) and Twig still wanted a girl. When we set up the birth pool you took turns playing mommy and midwife and delivering each other’s babies.

Then, of course, on August 21st (not the 20th, as we had been hoping for/attempting to get) I woke up at 2:00am to some crampy pains and contractions (not unusual for the last few months). A mere one hour and forty minutes later I was holding my baby in my arms. A little boy. Gideon James, who will be known on this blog as Banana. We were all so very happy to meet you and your big sisters are absolutely enamored.

Well that’s all for this month. Love you girls (and boy)!

Mama

Newsletter – July 2014

Hello children!

We’re still in our catchup of newsletters (I swear I’m going to make it! Only a few more months to go!) and now we’re on to July. Another wonderful summer month full of sun and swimming and parks and awesome. Seriously this summer was amazing.

Peanut, we read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone this month. Every year I have a tradition of re-reading the Harry Potter series right around my birthday (and also Harry’s) and this year I decided to involve you in the fun. We just read the first book and you loved it. I couldn’t read more than a chapter, sometimes two, at a time without you getting antsy, but you wanted to read it every day. I love that you can get really interested in stuff like this now.

You also learned all the coins this month to go along with your address and phone number. It was another thing in your Miss Binderkarten book that you should know before entering kindergarten, making it the last thing we had to check off. It was a little more tricky for you than the phone number and address, but you got it down pretty quick. Now we get to play fun games like “Would you rather have…?” and you get to choose which pile gives you the most money.

Lastly, you did swim lessons this month. You were both excited and nervous about going, but just really excited once they started. Every weekday for two weeks we went to the pool for your lesson. I was amazed how much more confident you became in the water. Now you’ll put your whole face in no problem and do so in the bath all the time. You’re really excited to continue with your lessons next year when you’re 6.

Twig, you had a really fun month too! This month you had your first sleepover at Oma and Opa’s. I was really surprised that you weren’t upset or anything. You haven’t had once since though because you always change your mind about staying at the last minute.

You also decided that you adore cows. Every time we go out to the farm to get milk you get so excited. Even if you were about to pass out in your car seat, pulling into the farm makes you wake right up and start waving and yelling “hi moos!” at the baby cows. Then when we leave you say “bye moos! Love you moos!” and “bye mama moos!”

You also started telling me this month that Peanut is your best friend. Whenever you’re mad at me you go running to her for a hug. And you even tease her saying “I see your gina!” whenever you see her changing.

Banana, your sisters are so excited to meet you! They give my belly hugs and kisses every day (and multiple times a day!). This month you’re still plumping up and getting ready to join us on the outside. A big milestone was at the end of this month you reached full term. Of course that doesn’t mean I was going to rush you out or anything, but it was a big reassurance that you were big enough to be born at home now. Less than a month until your birthday!

Love you all!
Mama

Newsletter – June 2014

Hello children!

More catch up and summer is finally here! This summer we had our little weekly routine of going to our Summer Movie Clubhouse (Tuesdays), story time at the library and 50 cent tacos at the park (Wednesdays), and swimming (at least once a week!).

We also spent time preparing Peanut for kindergarten with your Miss Bindergarten book. You aced your kindergarten placement test (3 wrong on the whole test, and even mama didn’t know what a rhombus was), but we still decided to do all the things on your checklist. As part of the checklist, we helped you memorize your phone number and address. Surprisingly it wasn’t difficult at all! I just tried to ask you at least once a day and we put a little sign up in the hallway to help you remember to do it yourself and you had the phone number within a few days and address in maybe a week. Next we worked on the different types of change and they took a little longer, but not by much. You have a fantastic memory!

Twig, you started to understand how counting really works this month. Surprisingly you get the first few numbers correct even, though I don’t think you have the concept that these numbers correspond to anything. You like to count “1,2,3,4,5,7,18,14…” and so on. You always get one-five correct and then start skipping around. It’s really cute.

Both of you are getting super excited to meet Banana! Banana, you’re a real hiccupper, so we watched mama’s belly twitch with hiccups all the time. Both girls got to feel really hard kicks and big movements this month rather than just the “was that really it?” kind of stuff. They wanted to feel my belly All The Time.

Peanut really loved to read books about babies and watch birth videos on YouTube. Of course Twig did these things too, but Peanut really loved it. Twig, you talked constantly about the baby in my belly. Telling strangers, telling people who already know, talking to the baby, talking to mama about the baby. It was clear that you really understood that a baby was in there and were getting excited. Mama was getting pretty excited too!

Until next month! Love you three!
Mama

Newsletter – May 2014

Hello Tiny Humans!

Back to more catch up on our newsletter. Now we’re on May. We spent this month having fun at home and starting to get outside in the warming up weather. Yay for almost summer!

This month Peanut took on a whole different part of the role Big Sister. Everywhere we went, you made sure Twig was involved in whatever game you and your “friends” (mostly kids you just met and decided to play with, but would tell me are your friends). And when a kid was being mean to her, you let them have it! You are Twig’s protector and it’s awesome. You also make sure that she’s not doing things that can get her in trouble or hurt, which is extra helpful for mama.

You also seemed to really leap developmentally. For a long time it was really hard to get you to do quiet time. We’d try to do an hour every day (since you don’t nap anymore) whenever we were on break from school, but you’d like fight it like mad. Now though, you seem like you really need and enjoy it. That break in the day is really helpful for all of us.

You also seemed to start to really understand reading. I got a Hooked on Phonics app that went on sale (for free!) and you just took right to it. You’ve known all the letters and their sounds for a couple years now, but putting them together into a word just wasn’t clicking for you. This month, with the help of this app, you started to get simple words just by saying their sounds. This proved super helpful later in the year when you started kindergarten.

The baby goat is eating your hair!

Lastly, you started to cook simple recipes completely on your own. You’ve always loved to help in the kitchen, but now you’re doing recipes from start to finish with very little assistance. You started with crepes and now do pancakes and French toast too. We’ve also done muffins where you did everything except grate the carrots. And of course you still love to help with steps in other recipes like chopping veggies and measuring ingredients.

Twig, you also love to help. You want to get the laundry out of the dryer with me, pick up rooms, load the dishwasher, and everything in between. Sure, these tasks take a lot longer with a two year old helping, but you love it. I’m also hoping it instills some good habits.

You’ve also started listening to my belly with the little play stethoscope from Peanut’s Doc McStuffins set. Every time you put it on my tummy and listen, then offer the ear pieces to me to let me listen, just like they do with the fetoscope at the midwife’s office. It’s so cute!

Both of you girls have been preparing for the birth too. One day in the tub I heard you two having a long conversation about anatomy and babies. Peanut taught Twig all about how girls have vaginas, boys have penises, and how babies come out of their mom’s vagina or sometimes get cut out of their tummies. Twig just absorbed all of it and immediately started talking about all of it as if she knew it all along.

27 weeks 4 days

Banana, not much to report for you. Still kicking away and growing away. Your big sisters are getting so excited to meet you!

Love you all!
Mama

Newsletter – April 2014

Hello Girls and Baby of Unknown Sex!

Peanut at story time.

Back to our catch up of newsletters! This month mommy and Peanut finished up the semester (ending preschool and getting excited and nervous for kindergarten in the fall!) and we started spending every day together! It was stressful at times, but overall it’s been a great change.

This meant that we started to do fun things like going to story time. The last time we went, Twig was just too nervous to go sit on the rug. Now though, you love it! You love to sit right next to Peanut or on her lap and Becca, the storytime teacher, is one of your favorite people.

Speaking of books, you were obsessed with Green Eggs and Ham. All Dr. Seuss books are great in your eyes, but we read Green Eggs and Ham EVERY night before bed. You also adore Winnie the Pooh in any form.

Twig’s new tea set.

We started giving you allowance this month too. I wasn’t planning on starting so soon, but you get upset every week when Peanut would get hers, so I finally gave in and let you get it too. You definitely don’t get it like Peanut does, but it’s only $1 a week anyway (half your age) and 25 cents goes into your piggybank. You surprised me though and actually bought something you really love, which was a tea set. You had a little jump start to your allowance with the money from Easter (just change that we put in the eggs) so you actually had enough to get a secondhand porcelain tea set. You still play with it all the time too (though a few pieces have been hot glued now).

Practice run for your Merida hair.

Speaking of Easter, you were awesome with it this month Peanut. We asked you not to grab every egg you found so your sister could find some too. You took this as you should help her find eggs. And not only that, but you alternated back and forth with every egg between you finding it and Twig “finding” it. It was so cute and considerate of you!

This month I asked you what you want to be for Halloween so I could get started on costumes before Banana was born. I asked you this month so you could have some time to decide, but you immediately decided you wanted to be Merida from Brave and you stuck to it! For a moment you pondered being a hobbit, but it was only a fleeting thought. You even talked Twig into going as one of the little bears, so we’re doing a full Brave themed family costume! More details to come. 🙂

Another great thing this month is that I felt you move on the outside Banana! That also meant that your sisters and daddy could feel you of course. Problem is that you just would not kick Peanut! She was so excited to feel you, but every time that I got her to come over you’d stop kicking! We told her that you just loved her too much to kick her. We also had an ultrasound to check on you (after our bleeding scare in the beginning of mama’s pregnancy, I needed the reassurance) and continued to not find out your sex.

Well that wraps up the month of April! Love you all!
Mama