Tag Archives: baby

Pregnancy #4: 36 Weeks

20 Apr

Only 1 month left! I waffle between being totally ready for baby to be born (and to be done being pregnant), and wanting baby to wait until we can get some more stuff done. Not like I have much choice in the matter though!

OB Appointments

I went in at 32 weeks, and my OB told me I didn’t have to come back in until 36 weeks, which honestly surprised me a bit. I feel like I had more appointments with my other pregnancies, but oh well, they are most often pointless until the end anyway. I have my next appointment this Friday, when they will test me for Group B Strep. I tested positive during all my other pregnancies, so am guessing I will during this one too.

Symptoms

I’m still having a lot of Braxton Hicks, but they have been very obviously not real contractions, so I haven’t worried as much about going into labor early. I still have quite a bit of downward pressure, and when I go to bed at night, it often seems like baby is trying to escape by punching my cervix and bladder. Everything I read online says that baby doesn’t drop in subsequent pregnancies until you go into labor, so I must just carry low, because I really am not sure how baby could get any lower without being in the birth canal.

My inner thigh/pelvic pain hasn’t been bad the last month. If I use my legs to move or close something, or carry something that is too heavy, it comes back with a vengeance for a few days, but otherwise, I’m feeling pretty good. Unless I have to pee. Then I can barely stand up and have to walk like a grandma to the bathroom.

I’m actually sleeping pretty decent at night — I’ve been taking 1 mg of melatonin, and it is a lifesaver! I have also been using my wedge pillow for the entire night. I sleep mostly on my back, and alternate with my sides a little too.

Similar to pregnancy #3 with Corbin, there are times when it seems like the skin on my belly cannot stretch any further. I see a few new stretch marks around my belly button (boo). I’ve gained about 25 lbs so far. It’ll be interesting to see how big baby is when she’s born. Emma was 7.7 and born on her due date; Annabelle was 7.15 and born at 38 weeks 2 days; and Corbin was 8.15 and born at 39 weeks 3 days.

Clothes

The number of shirts that fit over the belly continues to decrease. I have 4 pairs of leggings and 2 pairs of pants, but only 4-6 shirts that I wear at this point. I actually just broke down and bought a pair of maternity yoga/bike shorts to wear underneath the maternity dresses I have (just in time for winter to return, go figure!). It seems like wearing some type of bottoms helps hold the belly up, and it is just a good idea with kids (I had actually started wearing shorts under dresses even before this pregnancy). Hopefully the weather warms back up soon.

Food/Cravings

I have reached the point of pregnancy where nothing sounds good, and I just wish I had a personal chef to make all my meals. If someone else is making the food, I am fairly easy to please. But alas, even my husband who enjoys cooking is currently too busy with work to think about dinners, so we have been eating a hodge podge of frozen food and easy dinners. Whenever I get busy or tired, dinners are the first thing to drop off the priority list. I don’t mind going grocery shopping; I just don’t carve out the time to plan the meals. Fail to plan, plan to fail.

I do still have a fairly strong sweet tooth, though (and with the kids’ 3 birthdays back to back, we have eaten a lot of cake in the past month!). For breakfast every day, I have been eating an English muffin with PB & J with a glass of milk.

Nesting

The nursery is FINALLY set up. It’s not 100% done, but it’s so very close. The only thing I really have left to do in there is hang a couple shelves above the changing table. I will post more pictures when that is done. I am really loving how it has turned out so far though!

I also set up the baby swing that we borrowed from a friend, and pulled the rest of the baby stuff we’ll need right away (like the infant bathtub, Rock ‘n’ Play, baby toys, etc) out of our utility room. (It is very exciting to think that I will never be putting that stuff back into storage. Once baby is done with it, it’s gone!) I also got all her NB and 0-3 month clothing washed and put away, and bought a box of size 1 diapers at Costco (it seems like we always come home from the hospital with enough NB size ones — babies grow so fast!)

The next thing I need to get done is start packing my hospital bag, and make a list of all the last-minute things to pack.

Other things I want to get done before baby comes are:

  • Decorate the girls’ new room (there’s nothing on the walls in there yet)
  • Deep clean the house
  • Finish school/do standardized testing. That’s on the schedule for the first week of May.
  • Get the barnwood up on the new wall we built in the basement
  • Organize Travis’ office (it is still a disaster from moving upstairs for a couple months and then moving back to a different room in the basement)
  • Make a run to the dump
  • Find places to store the stuff I got from my dad and stepmom

I’m guessing that we won’t get all of that done, but having things to get done helps me be more patient in these last weeks of waiting.

Pregnancy #4: 28 Weeks

22 Feb

Hello from Florida! As of today, I am 28 weeks and in the third trimester! Only 3 months to go.

OB Appointments

I had my follow-up ultrasound on January 20, and even though Baby Girl still didn’t completely cooperate, the technician and my OB felt like the views they got were better, and good enough to be satisfied. The only thing they noticed on the ultrasound was a “small echogenic focus of the left ventricle”, which apparently could be an indication of Down’s Syndrome, but the genetic test for that came back negative, so neither the radiologist or my OB is concerned.

I go back in on March 8 for my gestational diabetes test. Even though I’ll be 30 weeks by then, and they usually do the test between 26-28 weeks, my OB said that since all my previous pregnancies have been healthy, and I’m at a healthy weight and blood pressure, she wasn’t concerned about waiting.

One other praise here is that when we had first gotten the genetic testing done at 13 weeks, we got a bill from our insurance for $1,100, saying they didn’t approve it because we didn’t get pre-approval. But the genetic testing place resubmitted it and somehow got it fully approved a different way, so it ended up being no cost to us! That’s a relief.

Symptoms and Exercise

I’m probably going to jinx myself but honestly, most days I feel pretty good. I do notice that if I overexert myself, my pelvis starts to hurt, making it hard to stand from sitting and I walk like a granny. There was one day down here in Florida that we went to a state park where the walk to the beach was 7/10 of a mile, mostly through loose sand. Travis was working, and Corbin wasn’t cooperating, so for quite a bit of that walk both ways, I was carrying Corbin and a 15-lb backpack. Uff da. I definitely felt it the next day. Thankfully it went away after a day or two. That unfortunately means running or even long walks are out for me from now until giving birth. But I am still getting 8K – 10K steps in a day down here!

I had been pretty consistent with doing my Prenatal Barre workouts on Beachbody a couple times a week from 20-24 weeks, but since we’ve been in Florida, I’ve only done one Beachbody workout — for two reasons: 1) We are on the second floor of a condo building, and our downstairs neighbors have complained about the noise, and 2) The Beachbody workouts are effective but also tiring, and I need all my energy just to keep up with these kids who are constantly wanting to go swimming. I definitely think the workouts have given me more core strength at this point than I have had in previous pregnancies, though, so I will getting back into those workouts once we get home!

Other symptoms I’ve had besides the occasional pelvic pain are occasional hamstring tightness, more stretch marks on the belly, a few varicose veins (getting old is a b!tch!), and some acne. Sometimes my belly feels small and manageable, other times it feels like it has its own zip code and weighs a ton of bricks.

Baby Girl has overall been super active — seemingly more active than my other pregnancies. Or maybe I just can’t remember.

Sleep

Sleep quality has been hit or miss. The first couple nights we were in Florida, I slept amazingly because we were so exhausted. Since then, I haven’t been sleeping the greatest at night. My back and hips start to ache, I roll over every hour or so, and anything in my bladder makes me feel like I’m going to pee my pants, so I sometimes get up to pee 3-4 times a night. Several nights, I look at my watch to find it’s 1 AM and feel like the night is lasting forever (but that could be because I’ve been going to bed with Corbin between 7:30 and 8:30…). I still take a 30-60 minute nap with Corbin each day when he goes down (Travis manages the girls while he works).

Food and Cravings

I really have missed being able to drink copious amounts of coffee and wine. There’s just something about relaxing with a beverage! I’ve been drinking more coffee than I probably should… 2-3 cups a day. And I’ve been eating too much candy and doughnuts. (Maybe that’s why Baby is so active?!) But hopefully the extra activity cancels that out… ?? I don’t have a scale down here, so it will be interesting to see how much weight I’ve gained when we get home!

Nesting

Before we left for Florida, I bought a floral swaddle and matching headband on Etsy, as well as a few adorable outfits that I couldn’t resist (but since we have all the girls’ old clothes, I’m trying to behave myself and not buy much more). Since we’re out of town right now, I haven’t been able to do any nesting or buy anything, though I have looked at ideas for family picture outfits a bit.

But when we get back at the beginning of March, it will be game on and T minus 2.5 months!

Pregnancy #4: 20 Weeks

2 Jan

I was 20 weeks this past Monday (halfway!!), and just had my 20-week ultrasound on Thursday. The ultrasound tech confirmed that Baby looks like a girl!

OB Appointments

We are moving life to Florida for the whole month of February (!!), so I had an OB appt in the middle of December and a short follow-up after my ultrasound this week. Baby Girl didn’t cooperate for views of the heart (though everything else looks great!) so I will have to go back in sometime in January for another ultrasound. Then I’ll go back at the beginning of March for my gestational diabetes visit (I’ll be 30 weeks by then, which seems crazy!).

Symptoms

Travis and I both tested positive for COVID-19 right after Thanksgiving. We quarantined for the required 10 days, and kept our kids home from things for another 10 days after that (they never had symptoms, and the girls’ tests came back negative, but it’s what the CDC says to do). Travis’ symptoms were body aches, low energy, and loss of taste and smell. I had a low-grade fever, headache, mild cough (that might be more related to acid reflux than COVID), upset stomach, and low energy. It took us pretty much the whole 10 days to feel back to normal, and even then, the lack of energy lingered some. But it wasn’t too bad for us. My OB wasn’t at all concerned with me getting COVID (since it wasn’t serious for us), and said that it was actually better for me to get it now than in later pregnancy.

Other symptoms I’ve had since my last post at 13 weeks have been constipation (my biggest issue with all my pregnancies), a hard time falling back asleep in the middle of the night, and exhaustion. I pretty much take a 30-45 minute nap every day when Corbin goes down for his nap. The girls either watch iPad or just continue playing downstairs; Travis is available if they need anything.

Name

We have pretty much narrowed our first name options down to two that we both like, and we know what Baby’s middle name will be. Not sharing yet though!

Maternity Clothes

I have been wearing maternity pants since about 8 weeks. Between the constipation, bloating, and this being my fourth child, I probably looked just as pregnant then as I do now!

I still have several pre-pregnancy shirts I can wear, because I have bought quite a few longer, looser tops over the past couple of years. Which is good because my style has changed since having Emma (my first) and some of my original maternity clothes are meh to me now.

Food and Cravings

My biggest craving this pregnancy has been Asian food. I have been loving chicken fried rice from Costco (freezer section), chicken or pork dumplings, and sushi (the cooked kind!). I have also eaten McDonald’s more often than I should, though I am trying to behave myself. I bought an 8 lb bag of crinkle fries from Costco hoping that might satisfy my craving for French fries at home.

Travis has lamented that our once-healthy diet has morphed back into more processed and frozen food, but it is so hard to eat what you “should” and not what you WANT when you’re pregnant!! I do enjoy big salads, though, (with lots of dressing!) so trying to eat those more often, instead of what the kids are eating for lunch (usually mac & cheese, quesadilla, or PB&J).

Exercise

I haven’t been exercising as much as I would like, but I have been doing the Prenatal Barre videos on Beachbody 1-2 times a week. I really like those videos because the instructor is super encouraging (even if she does talk maybe a little too much) and I can tell my core is stronger at the halfway point than it has been in previous pregnancies when I’ve only done cardio for exercise.

Last weekend, I walked/jogged on the treadmill for the first time in 3-4 months, and it actually went really well. So hoping to do that some more too!

Sleep

My sleeping habits so far haven’t changed a ton from pre-pregnancy. I start the night on my wedge pillow (for acid reflux) sleeping on my back or side. Usually somewhere around 2 or 3 AM, I get up to go to the bathroom and ditch the wedge, keeping my two main pillows. Then I sleep on my stomach until morning. I’ve still been getting away with sleeping on my stomach by rolling slightly to one side and propping myself up with the opposite leg, but unfortunately I don’t think that’s going to last much longer. Sad day.

Nesting

I boxed up all our boy clothes that Corbin has grown out of almost immediately after we found out we were having a girl, and was able to organize the girls’ bigger sizes (we were running out of room and totes!).

Then Thanksgiving weekend, we sold a bunch of stuff on Facebook Marketplace, moved the girls’ beds and dresser down to their new “room” in the basement, and started repainting their old room. We (I mean, Travis ) just finished painting it this past weekend and he’s now trying out that room as his office. If he stays there, Corbin will move down to his old office, and Corbin’s current room will be baby’s. If Travis decides to stay downstairs after all, the newly painted room will be baby’s. We will decide all that after we get back from Florida!

I would LOVE to finish off the girls’ new room (the space could be a legal bedroom, but the previous owners didn’t make it one) before baby comes but that ball is really in Travis’ court. It’s a big project – we need to build a wall, fix and add electrical, do a bunch of sheet rocking, replace the flooring, and then paint. He has already prepared me for it to not happen before then so we’ll see!

Pregnancy #4: First Trimester

12 Nov

We are expecting our fourth child in May! My official due date is May 17, two days before our wedding anniversary. But since our first three kids arrived either early or on their due date, I highly doubt the date will be shared.

That means I am 13.5 weeks along. So far, this pregnancy has been very different than any of the others, not so much in terms of physical symptoms but in mental experience. (Though I am showing much more at 13 weeks this time around!!)

Back in June, I had an ectopic pregnancy. We caught it before it got bad. I had had weird bleeding for a while, then when I started having stabbing pain, I took a pregnancy test. It was positive, so I went to the ER pretty much right away. I had surgery within a few hours, and went home the next morning. Because of COVID, I was in there alone. It was a lonely experience but I felt God increase my faith and reliance on Him.

They took out the whole Fallopian tube that was affected, but assured me I could still get pregnant with just one. I didn’t know how long it would take, but after waiting two cycles to try again (what the doctor had told me to do), we got pregnant that first month. I took the pregnancy test on September 9 and it was positive!

Another reason this pregnancy has been different is that we had wanted to start trying back in the summer of 2019. Unfortunately I had been on the depo provera method of birth control, and I discovered after going off of it, it can take up to 18 months to get pregnant. It took 9 months for my period to come back. And then I had the ectopic. So this pregnancy/baby was waited and longed for far more than any of my others. We had given ourselves until the end of this year, and if I didn’t get pregnant by then, we figured we were meant to have only three biological kiddos. (Which is still a huge blessing, don’t get me wrong!)

Another way it’s different is that at age 37, I am now of “advanced maternal age” and insurance (supposedly) covers extra things like genetic testing at 12 weeks, and a detailed ultrasound and fetal echo at 20 weeks. We have already done the genetic testing and know that we are having another GIRL. Honestly, we were hoping for a boy to even things out, but we trust God’s wisdom. And baby is healthy so I am incredibly grateful about that.

Because of my history with the ectopic pregnancy, I had ultrasounds early. My first was at (what we thought was) 6 weeks. But unfortunately, only the gestational sac and yolk sac were visible. The tech explained that it could just be too early — maybe my dates were off. (I do think that I ovulated slightly late.)

So I had a couple of HCG tests to make sure things were trending in the right direction (which they were, but I had had a miscarriage back in 2017 so this was bringing up bad memories and lots of anxiety), and we went back for another ultrasound a week later. That was such a long week!! This whole first trimester has felt like waiting on pins and needles for more information. We hadn’t planned on telling anyone for a while but I needed my friends to know what was going on and to pray, so I told my Bible study ladies and another close friend.

Thankfully, at my second ultrasound, there was baby with a heartbeat. Baby measured 5 days behind where we thought I should be, but apparently you have to be more than 5 days off at that point for them to change it. So my original EDD of May 17 was kept.

Physically, I felt sicker with this pregnancy than my others, but I have noticed a correlation between being really active (maybe “overdoing it”) and feeling sick, so I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact that this time around, I have 3 kids, am homeschooling, and am just that much older (Corbin will be a couple months over age 3 by May).

My cravings, on the other hand, have been practically the exact same as my other pregnancies — salty foods and fruity things (including fruit itself). Probably my number one craving is Asian food, followed very closely by French fries. Sweet things have lost a lot of their appeal.

My acid reflux is NOT loving my pregnancy cravings. Interestingly, since getting pregnant, my acid reflux hasn’t manifested itself in a burning in my throat, but instead, my chest just feels tight and it’s a little harder to breathe. Which also makes it hard to know when I’m having acid reflux. But I will say it’s a lot more comfortable.

My biggest goal in this pregnancy is to keep exercising, even when I don’t think I have the energy for it. I found a Prenatal Barre program on Beachbody that I’ve been doing, and the best part is that the instructor has a whole bunch of 10-minute workouts (the regular workouts are 30 minutes long). I’m hoping/planning to do one of those 10-minute workouts most days. They are definitely effective, even if they’re short!

My other goal in this pregnancy, and the main reason for finding out gender so early, is to purge clothes and organize our utility room. Clothes take up so much room! We need more space for other things.

I’m also trying to convince my husband that we should frame and drywall a wall to close off our extra bedroom space downstairs so that the girls can move into that space, and baby can have her own room. (Corbin would keep his room.) We’ll see how it goes.

Emma and Annabelle are totally pumped about having a baby sister (they’ll have just turned 8 and 6 when baby arrives). Corbin is just starting to notice my belly is getting bigger. I think he’ll start to understand more when I’m obviously not just getting fat.

We did a piñata gender reveal for the kids, but apparently Emma had overheard Travis and me talking earlier that day, so she already knew it was a girl. (Stinker!) The girls still had a blast hitting the piñata— and getting the pink candy!

Emma Grace: 7.5 Years

7 Nov

Man, time is flying. My oldest baby turned 7.5 years old back on October 7. She’s in 2nd grade this school year! I haven’t posted an update on Emma since she turned 6, so there’s a lot to cover in this post!

Emma turned 7 on April 7 (her golden birthday!) in the midst of the COVID-19 quarantine. We had wanted to do a special family party for her in the Cities at a waterpark or something, but that did not happen. Instead, we played outside, put the kiddie pool at the end of the slide, ate Culver’s drive thru in our car, and played FaceTime hide and seek with Nana and Papa. #lifeinquarantine

We did celebrate all 3 kids’ birthdays (since they’re all 2.5 weeks apart) with Travis’ family in August at my in-laws’ cabin, but another birthday celebration is definitely in order.

She got a smart watch from Nana and Papa Kluthe. We bought her the singing Elsa doll.

Size

Emma is still tall and thin. She is 4′ 3” tall (that’s 4 inches taller than she was at age 6!) and weighs 56 lbs. She is wearing size 7 or 7/8 clothing (most of the pants are somewhat baggy on her, though they are the right length), and size 13 or 1 shoes.

Eating

Emma is a great eater, and is almost always one of the first ones done with dinner. According to her, her favorite foods are spaghetti, watermelon, cantaloupe, McDonald’s, french fries, pumpkin pie, and ice cream. She also frequently asks for PB & J’s, clementines, turkey sandwiches, cereal, quesadillas, chocolate milk, applesauce, popcorn, and berries (frozen or fresh!). And of course, she still loves sweets of any kind, but mainly ice cream, popsicles, Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs, Ring Pops, and those baby bottles with the sucker on top and sugar inside.

She loves making Christmas cookie cut-outs.

This past summer, Emma FINALLY lost her first tooth. We were up at my in-laws’ cabin in Voyageurs National Park. Emma’s tooth had been wiggly for weeks. One night, she ate a snack and brushed her teeth, and the tooth was gone. The tooth fairy did not come for that tooth. But about a month later, she lost the other bottom middle tooth, and the tooth fairy gave her $1, half for each tooth (sister also got a quarter for being supportive). But then Emma told us she knew we were the tooth fairy, so that’s that.

Sleep

Emma still sometimes has a hard time getting to sleep at night (we’ve started giving her melatonin to help with that), but other than that, she sleeps like a champ. She usually gets up to pee once a night a couple hours after going to bed. The girls go to bed around 8/8:30 these days, and get up between 7 and 7:30.

Emma still enjoys sleeping places other than her own bed, and several times, Emma and Annabelle have slept in our master bedroom closets, downstairs in the guest “room”, once in the tent that we set up downstairs (it was too humid and buggy to camp outside), and a couple times under the stairs.

Development

Emma is such a creative girl. She colored two pictures of gingerbread houses in school last year, made little people to go with them, and then she and Annabelle played house with them. For her Barbies, she has made miniature moving boxes and lockers (cut and taped together from real cardboard boxes), tiny magazines and Valentine’s Day cards, drawn and cut out tiny school supplies… and so on. After watching YouTube videos of kids playing with Barbies, she started making her own amateur videos. She also still loves drawing and writing (though her spelling could use some help!).

We read The Boxcar Children this past summer and Emma had the idea to create a brook and swimming hole for her Barbies (see picture below).

For Halloween in 2019, she dressed up as Poison Ivy (Annabelle was Batgirl and Corbin was Batman).

For Halloween this year, she was a princess/bride. Annabelle was Maleficent and Corbin was a shark.

Like I mentioned in Annabelle’s 5-Year post, the girls loved being pulled on sleds behind the snowmobile last year. We got 10 inches of snow in October this year, and they still loved the snowmobile rides. Sometimes it gets pretty intense!

They also got into pretending they were Odd Squad agents for a while during the quarantine…

And into making makeup and dresses for their Barbies out of playdough and paper…

And scrapbooking.

Emma likes helping with things only older kids can do. She has started to cut strawberries, carrots, and celery with a serrated paring knife (Annabelle does too). She helped mail our Christmas cards last year, she painted my toenails, and both she and Annabelle helped with my in-laws’ honey harvest for the first time this year.

Last summer (2019), Emma started getting comfortable with her head going underwater, and she jumped off the dock a lot. This past summer, she really embraced the swim goggles and started swimming without a life jacket. She really enjoyed throwing things to the bottom and diving to get them.

The summer of 2019, we took the training wheels off Emma’s bike and she went on several rides of 4-6 miles. In August, she biked from our house to Whipple Beach, which involves quite a few difficult hills, and is a 6-mile ride. I was very proud! This summer, though, biking was not very appealing to her so we didn’t do much (she would always complain that biking was too much work).

On a bike ride in Crow Wing State Park

Also in the summer of 2019, Emma got slime stuck in her hair. I am happy to report that we did not have to cut any of her hair off, though it did take a good 45 minutes to remove all the slime. Slime is now outlawed in our house.

We also did the VBS at Journey North in 2019, and in 2020, we did Summer Impact at our church. There were mixed emotions about both at the time, but they’re good memories now!

VBS “Roar” 2019
Quilt Pattern for Summer Impact

In the Fall of 2019, I ran the Brainerd Homecoming 10K, and Emma ran the Kids Race. It was a nasty day weather-wise, but I was proud of her!

Finally, a few silly photos just because…

And that’s Emma from 6 to 7.5 years!

Annabelle Lyn: 5.25 Years

25 Jul

Annabelle turned 5 years old back on March 22, during the COVID quarantine. By the time I am writing this, she is now a little over 5.25 years old.COLOR_POPIMG_6401 (Medium)For her birthday, we went hiking at an open space with my in-laws and then ate pizza outside while the kids played on our driveway. She got a Minnie playhouse from my in-laws, a Barbie airplane from my dad and stepmom (Emma’s gift too), and a singing Anna doll from us (and two weeks later, she decided she didn’t want it to sing anymore so she had us remove the battery).

Size

Annabelle’s well-child check was done over Zoom so according to my own measurements, Annabelle is now 3′ 8″ tall and weighs 40 lbs. (For comparison’s sake, Emma was the same height and 42 lbs at that age.) She is wearing 4/5 clothing and size 11 shoes.

It’s still hard for me to comprehend how big Annabelle is getting! She just seems so much like a little girl in my mind (probably because she’s still smaller than Emma) but she’s going to be a kindergartner this year!IMG_4624 (Medium)(Photo from Summer 2019)

Eating

Annabelle’s favorite foods are yogurt (her breakfast almost every day), scrambled eggs, bacon, mac & cheese, fig bars, applesauce, most fruit, cereal, quesadillas, pancakes/waffles, and muffins from Costco. She is still a master of snacks and it’s a battle to get her to eat dinner most nights. (Though as we realized when the girls were up at my in-laws’ cabin and we just had Corbin at home, Annabelle almost always leaves the table mid-dinner to play with Bud, which explains why she doesn’t eat. But it allows us to eat  our food while it’s still hot, so there are some benefits to that!).7F4CE411-989D-4E60-ABC4-61EAF0586719E6882C17-A2FB-4C53-8A60-FFE093E72052IMG_6078 (Medium)IMG_6872 (Medium)Sleeping

Annabelle still shares a room with Emma, and she now has her own twin bed instead of the toddler bed (I can’t completely remember when we got her a twin bed, but I feel like it was around the time she turned 4?). Last summer, we bought the girls matching mermaid bedspreads, though now Annabelle says she wants a unicorn bedspread instead (too bad!).7b2d24e2-719a-40f3-8c12-7457bc8fab43Annabelle has gotten much easier to put to bed at night. She still drags her feet to get jammies and lotion on, brush teeth, and go potty, but once she’s in bed, she’s usually out within 10 minutes or so (especially during the summer when she’s exhausted!). Similar to Emma, some nights she does the bedtime routine with minimal pushback, and other nights, it’s like pulling teeth.

Annabelle has been wearing undies to bed for probably the last 6 months or so (since age 4.75). She does still have occasional accidents, so we have a waterproof mattress cover on her bed, limit her fluid intake after dinner, and make sure to have her go potty every night right before bed (we tell her “Stink or tink!”, meaning she has to try to go potty hard enough that even if she doesn’t have to pee, she farts. HAHA!)

Emma and Annabelle go to bed at the same time (between 7:30-8:30), and usually wake up around the same time (usually 7:30 or so).IMG_4312 (Medium)Development

Annabelle went to Pre-K (School Readiness) in Pillager this past school year, and will be homeschooled for kindergarten this coming year (a decision we made pre-COVID). She really enjoyed preschool, and was really excited for kindergarten at Pillager. The night of Kindergarten Roundup, she really wanted to go, and wouldn’t accept that we wouldn’t be going (because we already knew we would be homeschooling). She got her jacket and shoes on after dinner, and when I told her that we had already missed it, she had the biggest meltdown of her life, which lasted a couple of hours. I felt absolutely terrible. Poor little Ducky.2C810EB3-5C6E-40FC-80BB-BDB0266FE6ECAnnabelle now knows how to spell and write her name (it’s a long one!), and knows all the letters of the alphabet (she still asks which letter is which sometimes, but I’m unsure if it’s because she’s being hesitant or if she really doesn’t know). We’re still working on writing the letters too. She can count up to 30, and knows all her colors and shapes. She also made a lot of progress in her coloring and cutting abilities this past year.IMG_6471 (Medium)Annabelle can be shy, and during her Christmas program for Pre-K, she didn’t do any of the motions to the songs. She knew the words and sort of sang, but otherwise, she stood there with no expression. Haha!IMG_5664 (Medium)IMG_5683 (Medium)Annabelle also started receiving speech services through the school district at the end of the school year for her trouble with pronouncing certain sounds.

Annabelle has a special bond with both of her siblings, and they both love her.3F203ADD-DD63-402A-8BF7-C3D082F79E246DF53260-DC57-49FF-8FCD-EFF29F34B898 Emma and Annabelle are two peas in a pod, and play together 95% of the time. Overall, they get along great and have both made progress in compromising. They do disagree/fight over the same toys (“I need another bed for my mom!” “No, I do!”) or who gets to play which role (“I always have to be the boy!”) or who does the voice for which doll. Over the past year, Emma and Annabelle have:

  • Gone sledding behind the snowmobile until they fell off whipping around corners – they usually laughed about it but sometimes they didn’t:IMG_5768 (Medium)IMG_6309 (Medium)
  • Done imaginative play with Barbies, dolls, kitchen utensils, soap bottles, you name it. They even turned our minivan into a camper for a few days this summer. (See this post for some more details about what they were up to during quarantine.)3C9C9697-4326-4935-A9A1-B36B84B68650259E1555-DE39-49E4-A887-E7FB21DAE578EC17ED23-0645-4387-A9BC-20B712F726B7IMG_6584 (Medium)
  • Scrapbooked, used playdough to make clothes for their Barbies and pretend makeup, helped stamp and seal Christmas cards, and started drawing pictures with elaborate backstories or humorous jokes (like a dad farting).9B9ACA03-2CE6-4CA8-BCBA-F66BF8F5DD502450F84B-E812-4FA0-BF87-7AC98059E7ADIMG_4782 (Medium)IMG_6204 (Medium)IMG_6213 (Medium)

Annabelle also loves Corbin, and he loves her so much. He will run to her in the morning yelling, “Ducky! Ducky!” or even go wake her up if she sleeps later than Emma. Annabelle still shows her affection by tickling/pinching his cheek as she walks by. Corbin gives hugs sometimes, other times he throws something at her (#boys). Sometimes Annabelle muscles through with amazing resilience, and other times she melts into a puddle at the slightest injury (she does this with Emma too).

She will often disappear into Corbin’s room (“Don’t let him in here!”) to set up an elaborate tower for him to knock over.IMG_5273 (Medium)71552568-49E6-4561-9CF9-CFC2B32DF91EDBD4579E-9124-4FC1-BE3B-15A709798FABIMG_4399-EFFECTS (Medium)IMG_4855 (Medium)IMG_5084 (Medium)IMG_5253 (Medium)IMG_7166 (Medium)

The Summer of 2019, Annabelle learned how to pump on the swing. This summer, she learned how to ride a bike without training wheels. She also got her first salon manicure for my dad’s wedding in November 2019.IMG_5256 (Medium)IMG_5259 (Medium)Annabelle is still pretty silly, and has the most hilarious “duck” voice (which we have yet to capture on video). She still talks in a whiny voice often and will ask me the same request 3-4 times in a row thinking I haven’t heard, even when she can clearly see I’m in the middle of doing something, and sometimes even after I’ve acknowledged her but still haven’t gotten her what she asked for. 47F6A92A-F642-4748-ADCA-E4AA7C663AD0IMG_3900 (Medium)IMG_4002 (Medium)IMG_5272 (Medium)

We love our little Duckles! (aka Duck, Ducky, Fon Duck, or Duke-uhl-bear.)

Corbin Travis: 2 Years

20 Apr

Corbin turned 2 years old on March 22, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine. On his birthday, we went hiking with some friends at a nearby “open space” (as Colorado calls them), had brownies and ice cream at home (but Corbin didn’t eat a single bite!), and took Corbin on a car ride, one of his favorites right now.img_6329img_6340Size

Corbin hasn’t had his 2-year checkup yet because of COVID-19, so these aren’t official. But according to our wall ruler, he is roughly 2′ 10″ tall (just slightly taller than his sisters were at this age and in the 30th percentile for boys). And according to our bathroom scale, he weighs about 30 lbs (80%). He is still wearing size 5 diapers, though I plan to buy size 6 whenever I run out of my current stash because they’re getting a little tight. And he is wearing 5/6 shoes.img_6568Sleeping

Corbin has gotten into a pretty good napping and sleeping routine. His typical day looks like this:

7 AM – Wake up

1 PM – Down for nap

4 PM – Up from nap

7:30 PM – Down for night

Corbin almost always takes a solid 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon, which is great (now that I’m home with the kids in quarantine, that’s when I do some work for my job). And he now goes to sleep at the same time as the girls, which makes doing stuff in the evenings possible–except that now we don’t go anywhere because of the quarantine. Regardless, it is nice to get family time after Travis gets off work.

Corbin still has a hard time falling asleep in the car, and will only do so if he is absolutely exhausted.

Eating

Corbin still LOVES his baba (bottle). He gets a 4 oz bottle right when he wakes up in the morning, usually one mid-morning, one before his nap, one when he wakes up from his nap, and one before bed (and if he’s crabby around dinnertime, he gets one then too). He refuses to drink milk out of a sippy, and he is very comforted by his bottles. For the past couple of weeks though, when he asks for a ba-ba, he has been fairly receptive to eating something he likes instead, so we’re going to continue that. We might try water in his bottle too.

I feel like I can’t even give a list of foods that Corbin likes because it changes on a daily basis but for the last few weeks, he has liked: pancakes with maple syrup, toast, scrambled eggs, hot dogs, cheese, clementines, grapes, almond flour crackers, cheese pizza, applesauce, yogurt, fig bars, blackberries, strawberries, and banana. But often even when it seems like he likes something, he takes 2-3 bites, and then refuses the rest. Part of the problem is that he just can’t sit still long enough to eat. We’ve tried the highchair but he ends up screaming. I’ve also tried following him around and offering him bites. That sometimes works. But the thing that actually works the best is to get out his dessert (3-4 Skittles or something similar) and offer him a Skittle if he will take 1-2 bites of his dinner. It’s nice that he’s old enough to understand that now!img_6573If Corbin gets upset about anything though, he is more than willing to part with his food or eating utensil in the form of throwing it across the room, or smooshing it.img_65528f3a766a-349c-4272-bd66-a02e218e0ee2Development

Corbin LOVES books and at least once every day, motions that I sit in the chair in our living room to read him books. He is learning new words every day. His most-often used words are birdie, cookie, hone (phone), go, side (for either inside or outside), cocks (crocs), boots, Kayhee (Katy), Chowlee (Charlie), bath, and bah (iPad–not sure why?!?). When we are talking to family on Zoom or FaceTime, he will say hi or bye if we prompt him to. 675aa43d-f311-4e0c-a3ff-84ce9c8690c6He spent a lot of time this winter riding the snowmobile with either me or Travis while we pulled the girls in sleds, and LOVED it! I unfortunately do not have a picture of that.

Other things Corbin likes:

  • Playdough and coloringimg_6352img_6317
  • Sticks and puddlesimg_6456
  • Walking through the woods (there was a period of time when it had warmed up and then gotten cold again, so the top layer of snow was super crusty and hard, making it very easy to walk on, and we walked through our woods on game trails daily).c7edc741-4482-41a9-a74a-e7acecbaba96
  • The dock, specifically throwing sticks into the water off the dockimg_6389
  • Climbing and slidingimg_6649b74acc63-a996-4569-83fd-2b6bc57376b7
  • His familyimg_6161img_6326img_5946
  • Staring off into space with his baba and cakey img_6652img_6656img_6178
  • Playing with laundry and piles of blankets/pillows/clothesimg_6265
  • Making a mess (he really can’t be trusted with anything)img_6298ba66ca19-6625-4816-9861-40ce6b8eb9ca

Corbin is adventurous and fun! He can be a little stinker (he is often caught playing in the toilet, especially now that he figured out how to open the lids) and usually overreacts when we tell him no (it’s actually quite hilarious and adorable when he clenches his fists and growls…until he starts throwing things, then you need to watch out). He’s curious about everything, and has several enigmatic behaviors that keep us on our toes (like wanting to take a bath only to get out a minute later). But we love our little Corb man!

Corbin Travis: 22 Months

22 Jan

I had great intentions of posting about Corbin at 21 months (I was trying to do every 3 months until age 2) but he was 21 months 2 days before Christmas, so that didn’t happen. Corbin is 22 months as of January 22 (does that count as his silver birthday??)IMG_5873IMG_5079Size

Corbin goes back to the doctor at his 2-year checkup, so stay tuned until then. But I can say that he is still wearing mostly 2T clothes, though some 18-month pants. He wears size 5 shoes and size 5 diapers.

Sleeping

In terms of going to sleep, Corbin is the easiest kid in the world. Give him his “cakey” (blankie) and “baba” (bottle), and he will go right to sleep. How long he sleeps, though, is highly variable.

In general, Corbin goes to bed between 5 and 6 PM, and wakes up between 5 and 6 AM. But sometimes he decides that 3:30 AM is his time to wake up, even though he wakes up super grouchy and is ready to go back to sleep after an hour or 2. That’s what he has been doing this week. Uffda. Luckily, he’s done this before and I know it’s just a phase.

The other slightly odd thing about Corbin’s sleep habits is that he pretty much dropped his afternoon nap, and kept his morning nap (the opposite of most kids). He is almost always ready for a nap 3 hours after he wakes up in the morning–which means a lot of days, he’s taking his nap by 9 or 10 AM. He naps for a good 3 hours usually, putting him awake when most kids would be going down for their naps. Luckily, Corbin is pretty easygoing, and we can push him past his naptime if he’s having fun/being active (but put him in a shopping cart when he’s tired, and the world is ending!).IMG_4897IMG_4936-lowIMG_5253IMG_5624Eating

Man, Corbin is a picky eater. If it was just that there were only certain foods that he would eat, I could deal. But his food preferences change at every meal. It is a gamble every single time I give him food, because I honestly do not know if he will eat any of it. I realized a couple of weeks ago that I had stopped presenting him with food (but was instead just letting him indicate to me when he was hungry and what he wanted), which I realized probably wasn’t the best thing. But honestly, I am so. over. guessing what he wants to eat, giving him several options, all of which either go uneaten, or more likely, get thrown on the table, floor, and/or walls. Because Corbin gets mad about random things, and when he gets mad, stuff goes flying. I tell ya, it’s a good thing he’s so darn cute.

We’re taking it one day at a time. It’s so bad that when he’s actually eating something, I’m like “No one move. No one breathe. Just stay where you are because Corbin is actually eating what I gave him!!”

Since Corbin is still alive, you say, he must be eating something. Yes, he ingests calories. He is not wasting away. But I can’t speak for how healthy his choices are. His favorite food by far is milk, and he is still very much attached to his bottles. His second favorite food is fruit snacks, followed closely by candy and cookies. You would think with his sweet tooth, he’d be all about the fruit, but he isn’t!!! What kid doesn’t like fruit?!?!? His fruit consumption is hit or miss. Though he is newly fond of applesauce and goes gaga over blueberry muffins from Costco. He has also occasionally liked broccoli, shrimp, banana, yogurt, grapes, strawberries, fig bars, veggie straws, PB&J sandwiches, smoothies, and hot dogs. But again, you really can’t predict what he will eat.

Part of the problem for dinner is that if he is tired, he refuses to eat. He only wants a bottle and to go to bed. So I try to feed him a pretty substantial, as-healthy-as-he-will-tolerate snack (which is, in reality, his dinner) after we get home from school/work. Corbin’s eating habits are definitely the most challenging thing about this little dude.IMG_5246IMG_5627Development

Corbin’s vocabulary has really taken off in the past couple of months, and especially just in the past couple of weeks. He can now say Mama and Mommy, Dada, Ball, Tower, our dogs’ names Katy (“Kayhee”) and Charlie (“Chowee”), Bye, Bottle (which is sometimes still baba), wawa for water, cakey for blankie, and uh oh. But what encourages me most is that he’s more and more willing to try to say new words, whereas before he wouldn’t try. He does know the sign language signs for More, All Done, and Please, so he uses those a fair amount too.

Corbin continues to be an adventurous, daring child who loves going down the slide, climbing, and jumping off of things. He loves the snow, especially riding the snowmobile with me or Travis. We also took him sledding down a real hill for the first time, which he liked, except for the face-full of snow that he got blasted with on the way down. #notafan

6FF45B74-E11E-4CC0-9FC6-40012630B672AB828256-8436-4D87-B628-D0448954579FC6E7B447-7B5D-41B0-BAFD-DEBC33DCBD62This past fall, Corbin developed a really weird skin rash every time he went outside for a period of 3-4 weeks. It would go away once he came inside, so it was obviously an environmental but we took him to the doctor just in case.IMG_5076IMG_5071Some other things we’ve done since my last post on Corbin at 18 months:

Halloween – Corbin dressed up as Batman (Emma was Poison Ivy, Annabelle was Batgirl, I was Catwoman, and Travis was the Joker). It was extremely cold for trick-or-treating, so our costumes were much better displayed at the Pillager School Fall Festival and our Chili Cookoff the weekend after Halloween.

IMG_5093-loPumpkin Farm #1 – On fall break, we went to Farm on St. Mathias for the corn maze, and also went on a fairy walk in town. Both times, Corbin did not want to stay on the trail. ::sigh::376192B2-DE1C-4438-A039-08738BC3AF56IMG_5003-lowIMG_5009-lowPumpkin Farm #2 – Corbin’s favorite thing by far at Carter’s Red Wagon Farm was the mini golf course. He carried that club and ball around for a long time. He also played in the corn pit, which at first freaked him out, but he eventually warmed up to it (and then it was time to go).6FA9AC72-C574-4DE8-9B70-4876CA09CD07IMG_5035Beach Day in October – It warmed up to almost 70 degrees one random day in early October, so we went to the beach. The kids were loving it!IMG_4905-lowIMG_4907Puzzles and Books – Mr. Bud’s obsessions for most of November and December were puzzles and books. The puzzles: he would get one out, bring it to the kitchen table, and proceed to throw all the pieces onto the floor. The books: he would grab one and then come pinch your pant leg to pull you over to the chair. Sometimes he’d let you actually read the whole thing, sometimes not. If he really liked a book, he’d make the sign for more when you were done, to have you read it again. So cute.C4332A92-C889-4921-B0CA-A98F1DD40AF6IMG_5604-lowPhone – Mr. Bud’s most recent obsession is playing a toddler game on my phone. At first, he just wanted to watch me play the game. But now he has figured out how to play it himself, and he’s actually pretty good at it for a child who’s not even 2 yet! He also knows where I usually keep my phone in my purse, so he’ll go hunting for it if he wants to play. He also acts like a complete maniac if I get my phone out for something else. Case in point: IMG_5845IMG_5862Santa – Corbin was definitely NOT a fan of Santa.IMG_5632Snow! – We have a LOT of snow this year already so there’s been a lot of opportunities to be in it.IMG_5363-lowIMG_5366IMG_5367And finally, one other random thing that Corbin enjoys doing is dumping out clean or dirty laundry and swimming in it.IMG_5878-lowHe’s a funny little guy!

Corbin Travis: 18 Months

1 Oct

Corbin turned 18 months on September 22. This is such a fun, exhausting age!221777CF-DDCC-4D5E-954D-A15870AD64505EF0D4CF-21DE-4923-B62F-8C826297F19B19BF6AB7-9F49-40F8-ACAF-883F3DBCBE31Size

At his well-child check yesterday, Corbin weighed 26 lbs, 14.7 oz (85%) and was 2′ 8″ tall (32%). His head is now in the 99th percentile for circumference. He is still in size 5 diapers but now wears mostly 2T clothing (except for pants, his legs are still shorties!) and size 5 shoes.

Sleeping

Corbin is still a very good, easy sleeper overall. He has gone through periods of not sleeping as well–when we can’t figure out why, we just blame teething. 😂 During those hard stretches, we’ve tried having him sleep in our bed or having us sleep on the floor with him, but he won’t go for it–instead, he just thinks it’s time to play! The only time he’s actually slept in my bed was up at my in-laws’ cabin. So our only choice is to let him cry in his crib. 😞 Thankfully, he eventually goes back to his normal sleeping habits.

He still takes two naps a day when given the chance. The first is usually 2 hours after he wakes up in the morning, and the other 3 hours after he wakes from his first nap. But he is getting better at stretching his awake time between naps — daycare is helping (forcing) that too. He gets there at 8:30 and only has one nap opportunity from 12 to 2 (at first, he only slept 20-30 minutes, but now he has stretched that out to 90 minutes or so).

He goes to bed between 5 and 8. It really depends on his naps.

Since Corbin started going to a daycare center at the beginning of September, he has been noticeably more tired. He will often lay down on the ground sucking on his thumb, even if he woke up less than an hour ago. He has also let me rock him to sleep more, which is just heaven! I didn’t appreciate it when I had kids who wanted to be rocked a lot, but since he’s rarely allowed it, I cherish it now.54EBCD61-537F-4A54-A5CD-B1EFAC90529AEE885603-08DD-4F5D-A819-FC47296F6206Eating

Corbin is a pretty good eater. He has learned how to feed himself with a spoon, but is still working on the fork (confession: I never remember to give him a fork!!).

His favorite foods are by far crackers (graham crackers, goldfish, Belvitas), French fries, and chocolate. He has a major sweet tooth! He also loves yogurt, applesauce, grapes, clementines, and strawberries. He can now eat small pieces of raw carrots and apples, and take bites of whole crackers on his own (instead of me breaking them up).

Other foods Corbin likes: shrimp, turkey lunch meat, chicken, hot dog, cheese, popcorn, broccoli, banana, avocado, and PB&J sandwiches.

But in general, he’s a moving target. And for the past couple of weeks, he’s been having blowouts several times a day, so we’re wondering if he’s lactose intolerant like Annabelle. (He usually drinks lactose free milk but we had run out and bought some regular milk from the gas station near our house. And now he’s also drinking regular milk at daycare.) But it could just be a diarrhea virus he caught at daycare. We still haven’t figured that one out.

I can’t really remember when it happened (#thirdchild) but Corbin now has all his teeth (minus his 2-year molars). He got all 4 molars and all 4 canines at the same time! 😩A31BE5C6-E288-4CF2-89B7-90BE968BA61CF79A5AC4-B846-41F7-85FF-1B5D9EC8FB17Development

Corbin continues to keep us on our toes. In the past 3 months, he has turned into a climber. At first, he’d climb on top of the girls’ vintage school desk. He had a special shriek to alert us that he needed someone to come help him get down.

Then he figured out how to climb the stool in the bathroom and soak rolls of toilet paper in the sink. (Which we blamed on the girls at first… whoops.)

Then we put the stool out by the futon so he could climb onto that by himself. But he’d climb onto the arm of the futon, and also unzip the futon mattress and pull out the stuffing.

His most recent obsession is climbing on the kitchen chairs to get on the table. He loves playing on the table. Why is that so fun?!

Corbin is very determined, and if you thwart him, he lets you know he is not happy about that by screaming and sometimes throwing himself on the floor in a dramatic “woe is me” pity party. He also will cover his eyes with his hands and pretend that he’s crying if he’s sad about something (which is pretty much the cutest thing ever!). We like to joke that he is a drama queen.  But even if he gets upset, he usually moves on pretty quickly.CDE714BB-5D18-4A90-841C-60CFEA42E385E07659C1-ACE2-4E00-91A2-53817C16C5F9Corbin has learned to go down the slide correctly (on his bum instead of headfirst). He still refuses to go down stairs backwards (though he CAN if needed). He can get on and off the girls’ beds on his own (they’re pretty low to the ground) and loves climbing on Annabelle’s to see out the window.

In general, his common sense and judgment have gotten better but he still occasionally walks off the edge of something without thinking through the consequences. Thankfully it has happened when I’ve been there to catch him! (That may be more than coincidence… it does seem like he has less sense–or he’s more daring–when I’m around.)

Just in the past couple of weeks, Corbin has started to sound like he’s trying to say some words. He’ll hold the baby monitor to his ear and say “Ha.” He’ll throw a ball and say “Ba.” He consistently says Mama and Dada to refer to me and Travis. And a few times it sounds like he has said the girls’ names.65B4C3C0-1074-4CB9-B8FB-79DD602278A588C7DCF7-BF3D-433B-A596-C494F6315100Corbin loves anything to do with water and getting dirty, and EVERYTHING goes in the mouth. His outfit almost always has to be changed after he plays outside because he is soaking wet. He always finds the water, whether it’s a puddle on the rollercoaster, or a bucket filled with rain water. AFB4DBA9-F39B-414E-9D2D-998C41637BFEA0122600-A242-42E6-8692-4FB5A7DA322535CE0801-D61D-47FA-BBC4-FE58C4CF3F56Speaking of throwing things, Corbin LOVES balls (all kinds but especially basketballs, golf balls, and footballs) and he LOVES throwing things (not just balls). He actually has a pretty good arm! But sometimes he throws things that shouldn’t be thrown…C5045E96-78A6-48BD-BE5A-9940A5192745You would think that would mean he likes baths, but it’s really a mystery. He will act excited to take a bath, but then want to get out after two minutes. When you actually do take him out, he’ll try to run away naked, and scream when you wrap him in a towel. I don’t get it. 🤷‍♀️

He did really enjoy the beach and lake this summer, but August was actually too chilly for the beach. In July, he got a sore throat and fever from drinking too much lake water. 🤢 #momfail

Corbin still loves the dogs. He also loves playing with the dog food. It’s actually super cute, even if it does make a mess. He’ll get 5-10 pieces in the measuring cup we use and shake the cup until they all fly out. Or he’ll try to feed the dogs, though he doesn’t quite understand tipping the cup yet. So he’ll shake it into the bowl too.039597FD-3316-48BF-BA15-124A679B08FCOur girls were actually kind of scared of loud noises, but Corbin seems to like them–at least, they interest him. He likes riding the lawn tractor with Travis and just stares at Travis when he’s using the leaf blower. He also likes to play on the lawn tractor when it’s not running. 68FA3B8A-4D8B-4B13-8A96-D290BB613BD3B1BF8DF8-F236-4244-B471-8F5890B45A85For all of his energy, he actually enjoys sitting in the stroller for walks (for 15-20 minutes) and is a fairly good sport about bike rides in the bike trailer too. We don’t go on many walks or bike rides these days though. We did go on a hike with Corbin in the hiking backpack.0DD4EF9A-3A20-42BF-9FCF-3DED448683A9D7716500-C41C-4BF0-A730-608E91A6A916And that’s Corbin at 18 months!

Emma Grace: 6 Years

1 Jun

Emma turned 6 back on April 7. You can read my last post about her at 5.25 years old here.IMG_5198 (Large)img_4092img_4106Size

At her well-child checkup right after her birthday, Emma weighed 44.5 lbs (49%) and was 3′ 10″ (66%). She wears some 5T, some size 6 clothing in big girl’s sizes (single tear) and size 12 shoes.

Sleeping

With Emma being in Kindergarten this year, she has been pretty much exhausted by bedtime, so if we follow the bedtime routine of books and tick, she’s pretty easy to get to bed. She almost always sleeps through the night. She’ll get up once or twice to pee. If she gets up to pee just a couple hours after going to bed, we go help her, because she’s so out of it that she often can’t figure out how to open the door or where the toilet is (and has accidents as a result). The funniest accidents she’s had is that we once found her peeing on Annabelle’s bed (and incidentally, on Annabelle as well – she didn’t even wake up!) and then sitting on the chair of the vintage school desk they have in their room. But if she goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night or morning, she can get out of bed and back in without help. She usually goes to sleep at 8 PM, and wakes up around 6:30/7 AM.IMG_9793IMG_9790Eating

Emma is a good eater, as long as it’s foods that she likes and can recognize. She’s not the most adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. She’s motivated to finish her dinner by the knowledge that she’ll get dessert if she does.

Her favorite foods are fruit (clementines especially), toast with PB and honey, PB&J sandwiches, pizza, milk, Shakeology, waffles, cereal, mac & cheese, and jello. She says her favorite foods are tacos and chili soup. She doesn’t like pepperoni or spicy things. She went through a period of not liking grapes but then the other day she told me, “Grapes used to be yucky, but now that I’m 6, I’m just going to deal with it.” Her favorite restaurants are China Garden (“China Buffet”) and McDonald’s.0070BF2F-5C19-4705-B093-AD0D6F21EB42IMG_0029 (Large)Development

Emma loves, loves, loves drawing, coloring, and writing. She uses probably 15 sheets of paper a day. I can’t keep up with the papers! She loves making gifts for her friends and grandparents, and loves writing her friends’ names. She can often be found drawing unicorns, mermaids, makeup, jewelry, dresses, high heels, and pictures of her friends and family.IMG_0054 (Large)She did well in Kindergarten at Pillager and can read sight word books fairly easily. She also likes to pretend to read books, making up her own story to go with the pictures. She has also started sounding out words and writing sentences on her own. The harder words aren’t spelled correctly, but I love that she is trying! She’ll even repeat slowly things that we say, and I can tell that she’s thinking about how you would write that.

She seems to have a group of friends at school that she enjoys playing with. We invited five of them over for a unicorn birthday party at our house; three came. It was a fun time – we decorated t-shirts with fabric markers, played unicorn bingo, ate turkey and cheese croissant sandwiches and cupcakes, and opened presents. Emma got a Pomsie, Twist-a-Pet, nail kit, and a couple mermaid Barbies from her friends.

FBCC7B04-D26F-4FBA-A214-F747B38AA100IMG_3108IMG_3110

Back in the fall, Emma threw all-out tantrums quite often. Kindergarten was a hard transition. But in the spring, things went much better. There were still mornings that Emma didn’t want to go to school, but she’s usually a pretty good trooper. If we tell her to go get dressed, she is pretty good about listening and going to do it herself. And when school ended, she said, “I don’t want school to be over!”IMG_0124 (Large)IMG_0070 (Large)In February, Emma got strep throat and Influenza A at the same time, and she did nothing but lay on the couch for about a week straight.

Emma struggles with telling white lies about things, ranging from who used the bathroom and didn’t flush, to who ate the snack and left the wrapper on the floor, to who used Mommy’s makeup without asking. She almost always comes clean when we press her about it, and we’ve tried explaining to her that her lying makes it hard for us to trust her, but it seems like lying is almost a knee-jerk response.

Emma loves makeup, and all things girly. We’ve had to make a rule that she can’t wear makeup to school or church, just when we’re at home. Last winter, Emma decided kind of out of nowhere that she wanted to grow her bangs out (which meant of course Annabelle did too). After making sure they both understood that they’d have to wear ponytails in their hair everyday, I agreed that they could grow their bangs out. And they’ve actually both been really good about it. Previously, they had both hated having things in their hair, but this hasn’t been a battle. We didn’t even really need the sticker chart that we made!IMG_0066 (Large)She has gotten better about praying with us at dinner. She used to refuse to fold her hands and would just keep eating, but now she’ll stop, fold her hands, and even sometimes offer to pray for us.

Last fall, Emma went duck hunting with Travis out on the river. She collected all the empty shell casings from other hunters and put them in a pile.

Emma is generally very helpful and generous. I can ask her to do me favors or help Annabelle or Corbin with something, and she almost always does it (she does flake out on occasion). Annabelle on the other hand…

She still loves to make messes (aka take out all the toys and books we own), though now her messes are organized and intentional. They still take a while to clean up (and she’s not always the most willing participant in cleanup) and they annoy me to no end, but I’m glad she’s using her imagination.IMG_9854 (Large)She loves playing with Annabelle, and is still usually the boss and mastermind behind their activities. They can totally be two peas in a pod, but they can also be at odds with one another. One day recently, Annabelle had set up her outside kitchen stuff and was pretending to cook mud pies. She walked away momentarily and Emma came along and started using the kitchen, putting things in a slightly different spot. When Annabelle returned, she started crying and collapsed into a puddle, looking at Travis. When Travis didn’t intervene, Annabelle went and got a stick, and started hitting Emma on the back with it. Undeterred, Emma played with one hand, and blocked the stick with the other, telling Annabelle halfheartedly to stop it.

Just a few weeks ago, Emma started riding her bike with no training wheels. She’s also been learning how to paddleboard on our river (Travis follows her in the canoe). We are so proud of her bravery, especially since Emma tends to be on the more timid side for things like that. When she first started riding a bike at age 4, she ended up rolling backward and falling off, and refused to get back on it that year. And every spring, she is terrified of boat rides, but usually loosens up by the end of the summer. This year, though, it only took one ride and then she has been all about it!073BB29E-52F2-40E6-9373-09DB9ABAC7FB06ABDC78-4670-4BFD-8C40-709B51C3E5C0A9486619-94EB-46CD-A1FA-C252839F3C38And that’s Emma at 6 years!