Sunday, February 28, 2016

Home is where the heart is!

Home is where the heart is! And we've been knocking out some projects to make it feel like home! Nicholas did a fabulous job on the start of our built-in entertainment center! I love it!! (He ha plans for a bookcase and over the TV shelving, too!)

And I finally got organized enough to head up our "gallery wall" project. It took even longer than I had imagined, but I love the results! Nicholas did the final hanging, which took a lot of time and was much appreciated!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Being the oldest is hard

Here's a shout out to the oldest child in the family--my family, your family, each family. I am recognizing that being the oldest isn't easy! Poor Olivia is our little experiment as Nicholas and I learn how to parent. I am realizing that I both expect too much from Olivia and also don't expect enough. Olivia has made such wonderful strides this year in Kindergarten--yes, in reading, math, and science, but even more importantly in doing things independently, in being away from home for seven plus hours a day, and in making good decisions. Nicholas and I are so proud! She has never clipped down in her class (an incentive in her class for good behavior), her teacher tells us what a good student and good role model she is, and she is increasingly having many more good days than bad, even though she gets uncomfortable when she has a substitute and she has one at least every Tuesday afternoon due to teacher meetings. Olivia's reading and writing skills have REALLY taken off, and I can tell she is excited to be able to read on her own.

Class starts at 7:40, but learning starts before and since carpool is crazy and they won't bus our neighborhood since we are so close, Nicholas and Olivia try to get out the door at 7:05. Sweet Olivia and her big backpack!

Back for one more hug!

Proud of her work!

And her school work:

(Polar bears are the tallest bears on earth. They are 10 feet tall. They are as tall as 2 Mrs. Longs on top of each other.)

And her cheerleading/tumbling:

We are working on the being too hard and not hard enough, and I think everyone is happier! So, here's to my big girl forging her own way in this family and in the world!


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Leo's stitches

Leo fell in the woods while we were walking home from picking up Olivia on Thursday. Thank goodness we were walking with our neighbors. Jessica held Jason and strolled her nine-month-old and walked Olivia, Lucy, and Asher home while I picked Leo up and ran home. I could tell the cut was bad, but I did not realize quite how deep and debris-filled it was until we got to the doctor. To understand how tough this kid is, picture this: I wrapped his hand in two clean cloth diapers after cleaning it as best I could. When the doctor said he couldn't be seen for an hour and forty five minutes, I put him on the couch with a show and a snack and put Jason down for a nap. In the mean time Nicholas came home and I changed Leo's muddy clothes, all the while hearing no complaints from Leo. Olivia and Jason stayed with Nicholas, thank goodness, and I carried Leo to the car and then into the doctor. Poor thing had a lot coming--it took thirty minutes to get all the debris out and about twenty to get the stitches prepped and in. They used Lidocaine, but he felt a lot of the pain. He was SO brave! He cried some, but never screamed or pulled away his hand. 

The doctor called the next day and recommended Leo have a splint made so he doesn't bust out his stitches. I definitely think it is helping protect his hand, as the morning after without the splint, he accidentally put weight on it and hurt himself. He may get his stitches out by Friday! Yay for our amazing bodies!

Jason is walking!

Starting on Super Bowl Sunday, Jason has been walking independently! Yay, little dude! He's motoring everywhere now! Here's a video from Marbles Tuesday:

Plus, he had his first dentist appointment last week! He was a little angel letting the dentist count and brush his sixteen teeth for about two minutes!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Jason's one year pictures + smash cake!

These were delayed due to the ice and snow, and they are hilarious because Jason just wouldn't smile at our photographer, but I love them anyway!!


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Leo is FOUR!!

Leo, our dear middle child, is four!! That sounds so big to me!! We celebrated on Sunday with a small at-home party. Leo picked out all the decorations and the party favors and requested I make a rainbow cake, and was super excited to have his two best friends Danny and Asher over to play! (We told the kids that we are having small birthday parties this year so we can save for Disney!!)

The kids had a great time!! Here was the set up:

A room full of light up balloons to play with!

And the party was full of super hero jumping (I made capes that morning from extra fabric for everyone--the girls decorated theirs!):

And bike riding, and snacking, 

And more eating:

And cake!

Then on Monday Leo got to celebrate his birthday at school:

and home!

So many presents!

He loves them all! Thank you, family!!

Quick facts about Leo!
1. Leo loves his toys, and can independently play with, for example, his helicopter for thirty minutes at a time making up stories that he acts out! This amazes me!
2. Leo Loves Jason! He often gets in the car after school and asks, "Did Jason miss me?" He also wants to touch Jason because Jason is "so soft!"
3. Leo loves Olivia and wants to play with her so much that he often allows her to boss him around. They very often sleep in Leo's bunk beds so they can keep each other safe!
4. Leo has four or five books memorized that he "reads" to us: Peter Rabbit, All Hands on Deck--a Lego book, Easy Street. He also knows his letters and their sounds. He can write his name, but not all the letters of the alphabet.
5. Leo is a champion sleeper, and although he doesn't nap, he consistently sleeps from about 7:30pm to 6:30 am without waking. He likes for me to rock him before bed and sing him "all the songs [I] know." Then he goes to sleep on his own.
6. Leo rides a balance bike like a champ and rides his big boy bike with training wheels.
7. Leo weighs 40.5 lbs (83%) and is 42 inches tall (85%).

And now for the annual birthday quiz! I ❤️ his answers!

1. How old are you? 4
2. What makes you happy? Building 
3. What is your favorite animal? Elephants 
4. What is your favorite thing to eat? Pizza
5. What is your least favorite thing to eat? Grass
6. What is your favorite thing to do? Build
7. What is your favorite TV show? Max and Ruby
8. What are you really good at? Building 
9. What is your favorite movie? Cars
10. What is your favorite color? Orange
11. What is your favorite song? I Just Can't Wait to be King (Lion King soundtrack)
12. Who is your best friend? Asher and Danny
13. What do you and your Mom do together? Build
14. What do you and your Dad do together? Do puzzles
15. What is your favorite sport? I can't tell
16. Where is your favorite place to go? Kids Together Playground 
17. What is your favorite book? Run Home Little Mouse
18. What do you want to be when you grow up? A kid!