Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Spotlight: Summer

 Summer is one happy-go-lucky 4-year-old.  She always has a smile ready.

I think her love language will forever be touch.  She just has to be touching someone all.the.time.

She absolutely cracks me up.  One thing I love about her is that she doesn't take herself too seriously.  If she does something silly, she's the first one to laugh about it.  The other day she got her hand stuck in the cup holder in our van.  When I got it out, she laughed and said, "WHEW!  That was awkward!"

She's very articulate for someone her age.  Her animated expressions take our conversations to a whole new level too.  One day when I gave her some cranberry juice to drink, she said in a very serious tone, "Mom.  I drank some of this red juice and my spit thinks it's yucky!"

A friend recently told me that Summer has such a creative mind and if she channels it just right, she'll change the world.  I sure hope so because right now she's just...crafty.  In the past month I've purchased 2 pairs of shoes for her that Summer claimed fit "perfectly" in the store but were suddenly too small once we got them home.  So when I bought her ballet slippers I told her that it was really important that they fit properly.  Our conversation this morning before dance class went something like this:

Summer: Do you remember when you said that I'd better not say my shoes don't fit?
Me: .... Yes.
Summer: Well, I'm not going to say that.
Me: Are you trying to tell me that your shoes are too small?
Summer: .... Um.... I'm not allowed to say that.

Her dance class features ballet, tap, and creative movement.  She LOVES it.  She's always loved music and-- maybe it's too soon to tell-- but I think dance is just her thing.

Her flair for the dramatic certainly helps.  There's a neighbor boy who still thinks Summer's name is Elsa because she insisted for so long that he call her that.

People of all ages are drawn to Summer.  She just radiates joy.  If I could be anyone for a day, it would be her.  You may not know it, but this is actually Summer's world and we're all just visiting.  Love that girl!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Spotlight: Jackson

Jackson had his 1-year check-up today.  He weighs 24 pounds {50th percentile} and is 30 inches long {75th percentile}.  He's gained less than a pound since his 9-month check-up and hasn't grown at all in height.  I think he might finally be slowing down!

While his growth might be slowing down, he is definitely not.  He keeps the whole family on their toes now that he's walking, opening drawers, and crawling up stairs.  He's a very busy boy!

Jackson has quite the fan club.  Everywhere we go people comment on his curly hair and bright blue eyes.

I've heard people say that having a boy is just... different.  And it is.  And I LOVE it.  

I love that he will wrestle around with other people but snuggle with me.  

I love that when he's tired or fussy, he immediately starts looking for me.  

I love that no matter what, I'm home base. 

And I should be.  Because we've been through a lot together, he and I.
I wish I had fond memories of being pregnant with him, but... no.  It really wasn't as glamorous as it may have seemed.  But I was incredibly excited to meet him!

And, boy, was he worth the wait! 

One look at that precious little face and I was hooked.  I knew right then that I would always have a special place in my heart for that sweet boy.

It's hard to believe that he's a year old already!  Here are some fun facts about Jackson:
  • Some of his nicknames are Jack-Jack, Action, and The Boy
  • He's been wearing 18-month clothes since he was 9 months old
  • He hates sand
  • He loves music
  • He only has 2 teeth, but he's got quite a few on the top that will be making an appearance soon
  • Peek-a-boo is his favorite game.  He could play for hours.
  • He likes anything that will make noise... or a mess.

He is such a fun addition to our family!  Love you to the moon and back, Jack.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Spotlight: Kylie

Kylie is growing up way too fast.  Just see for yourself...

                                     July                                             August

 September
 

 If she keeps losing teeth at this rate, she'll be drinking her meals through a straw in no time!

Kylie is absolutely loving first grade.  She continues to excel at math and reading.  I'm amazed that she can count money and tell time already.  Her teacher sent home a list of 192 sight words that the students should be able to read by the end of the year-- Kylie knows every single one of them.  
 

But regardless of how bright she is, she's always very quick to compliment others {myself included}.  The other day she said, "You know what, Mommy?  I think librarians are wise."  

Indeed.

She's recently developed a greater interest in her looks.  She is adamant that she needs to pick out her own clothes and do her own hair.  As she gazes at herself in the mirror she'll say things like, "I like having 2 teeth missing" or "I love having golden hair." 


She still prefers to play with boys rather than girls.  Believe it or not, she doesn't give me a whole lot of information about her time at school but she does tell me that the boys chase her at recess :)  She's looking forward to playing a sport in the spring.  Kylie has always loved nature and still has a passion for plants, flowers, and bugs.

If I had to describe Kylie is just one sentence I would say that she is small in stature but big in heart.  She's very petite {the shortest kid in her class} but is very sensitive to the feelings of others.  The other day she discreetly wiped away a few tears as we discussed the story of Abraham and Isaac.  

I have no doubt that she'll always be a kind, sweet girl because that's just who she is at heart.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kyle & Chelsea / Jackson's Birthday

My brother and his fiancee came for a visit last week.  We had such a great time catching up, playing Euchre, shooting dart guns... you know, the usual.

It's so fun to watch Kyle and Chelsea interact with the kids.  The girls had been anticipating their visit for weeks and were practically beside themselves with excitement when they arrived.  Jackson took to Kyle right away and -- I kid you not-- I think he recognized him from FaceTime. 

Jackson seemed to gravitate toward his Uncle Kyle every chance he got.  These two even rocked out together during a THUNDERstorm.
video

While Chelsea was here, I enlisted her help for a little project: cutting Jackson's hair.  It wasn't easy...

But with the help of a little ice cream {and a lot of patience on Chelsea's part!} we got it done.  He got at least an inch taken off but you'd never know it.  His hair is still curly as ever!

 Kyle and Chelsea headed up to Michigan for a few days to do all sorts of other fun things, but they were able to come back on their return trip just in time to celebrate Jackson's birthday.
Photo: Heading to the Tigers game. Can't wait!

  This guy slept better as a newborn, I tell you.  At 3:30am he was ready to party.

But he would have to wait a little later for that.  In honor of his first haircut, we had a Barber Shop themed celebration.




Jackson didn't seem to mind that his sisters "helped" open up his gifts.


By the time we handed out the cupcakes, Jackson was pretty tired.  He wasn't really into the cupcake deal at all.  I'm sure he'll get a second shot at it soon.

It's hard to believe that a year has gone by already.

"When you took your first breath, you took ours away."

 
I couldn't possibly pick just one thing that I love most about Jackson, so here are several:
  • He's a mama's boy.  And that's how it should be :)
  • His smile lights up his whole face.  And those two little teeth on the bottom are so stinking cute!
  • He holds his own.  His sisters already try to dress him up and put headbands on him, but he takes it all in stride.
  • He's very determined.  If he falls, he gets right back up again.
  • He's very happy.  Most of the time he's content exploring on his own and observing whatever is going on in the room.

I'll include some of his stats and milestones after his check-up next week but here's one for the books: he's walking!
video

 Happy birthday, handsome boy. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Preschool

Ever since Kylie went back to school in mid-August, Summer has been dying to go to preschool.  

Last week we visited her classroom and met her teachers, Ms. Sarah and Ms. Nami.  They made her feel right at home.



Yesterday was finally the big day!  She woke up before 7:00 and kept asking me if it was time for preschool yet.  To slow her down a little bit I prepared rainbow pancakes for her and snapped a few pictures.  It's hard to believe I have two kids in school now, even though Summer will only go twice a week from 9:00-1:00.



Summer was a little worried that Jackson would miss her so she spent extra quality time with him before she left.



When I dropped her off, Summer was so excited she hardly managed a goodbye.  She was so excited!  And I was excited for her.  No tears on either end :)
 

She walked out of the building much like she walked in that morning: with confidence.

After school we stopped by Josh's work so Summer could tell her good friend Carrie {Josh's co-worker} about her first day of school.  While we shared chocolate chip cookies she shared all the details. They read a book about treating friends kindly.  She had a snack and got to make a special necklace out of Apple Jacks.  Her favorite part of the day was lunch because she got to sit by her friend, Eli.  At recess she mostly played by herself. She cried a little bit because she missed-ed me SO much but she'll try to be brave next week.  {That totally melted my heart...}.  Yup, my little girl is growing up!