Lexi’s First Day of Preschool

Little Bug!

Today was your First day of preschool! (Technically, you have been in preschool for two years already as you were in preschool classes at daycare and learning tons of stuff, but for simplification purposes, we’ll call this your first day.)

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Last week, we went to your school (Bright Beginnings) for a little open house and you met your teachers, Mrs. Magner and Mrs. Hanson who seem so sweet and lovely–everything you would want for a preschool teacher. You were able to see the room and play with the toys and it was a good way to get all the nervs out before today.

I was a little nervous how the morning would go as it was also my first day back to work after having Baby Kate so mama was feeling all the feels there were to feel, but it was a pretty smooth morning. Daddy created an awesome little sign for you on the chalkboard, I put a headband braid princess hair in, there were no arguments about clothes and you generally seemed pretty excited.

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Daddy stayed home with William and Kate and Mommy took you in before heading into work. You were a little shy walking in and I started to get a little emotional, but as soon as you went into your classroom and found your name on your fish name tag, you were pretty excited. You found some playdough to play with gave me a hug and that was it! I was a little surprised at how well you did but so proud at how much you have grown over the past two years from when I dropped you at daycare for the first time.

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Daddy picked you up at 11:30 and told him all about your day! I have a feeling it is going to be a great year and am so excited to see all that you learn about.

Way to go Lexi!

Love,

Mama

(Side Note: When I asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, you were a little puzzles, so I listed things off like a teacher or a doctor or a nurse or a dancer. And you asked, what I did, and I said I’m in marketing, I make commercials. And you sat there for a minute and said, I want to be a lap girl with lots of excitement. Recently, you’ve been riding the mini bike around the yard with daddy, and you love to stand on the swing set with his phone and time how fast he can do the mini course he has made up)

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Lexi’s Tonsils Removed

Dear Lexi,

You have officially joined the ‘no more tonsils’ club, along with your Papa, Grammy, Uncle Joe, Auntie Sheila, Grandma Sampson and Auntie Beca!

The whole process started about 2.5 years ago. I noticed you asking us to repeat things a lot to you or not reacting when I was talking to you from a distance, more so than what I felt was normal for the average 3-year-old. So the Dr. checked your hearing at a well child visit. You failed in your left ear, specifically for low tones. They suggested that we wait and test it again as sometimes the office is too noisy or young kids aren’t able to follow the directions.

It was tested again at 4 and same exact results and recieved a referral to an ENT. In between the well-child and the ENT, you were also tested at the early childhood screening with the same results.

So off to the ENT we went and they tested your hearing in a sound proof box and asked you to repeat words instead of raising your hand. Again we had similar results. You can hear great out of your right ear and high and mid-range noises in your left, but low tones are very gargly–similar to what things sound like underwater. To be sure you didn’t have any hearing loss, they checked the nerves in your ear to make sure they were reacting–pretty cool they can do that! All was good there, so we went to go meet with the Dr.

When the Dr. went to check out your ears he couldn’t see a darn thing in either one of them as they were full of wax. Sorry sister, looks like you got that one from your dad. Then he went to check your throat and chuckled and said, ‘you have some dangerously large tonsils’ and continued to ask if you snore (check) and joked he wondered how you could even swallow with those monsters. (Side note: your Dentist also commented on how large they were every time we went and even had said they would struggle to get a tube down your throat if they needed to do an emergency surgery for anything–which we had also brought up with the pediatrician)

Next we went into a little procedure room and they cleaned all that wax out of your ears (you were so brave!). Maybe a little TMI, but there were some pretty big chunks in there! After they were clear of wax, the Dr. peaked inside and sure enough your left ear was full of fluid, which to me kind of looked like a tiny mirror or aluminum foil in there, and your right ear was nice and pink. He proceeded to explain that you likely had an untreated ear infection and fluid never drained because your tonsils and potentially adenoids were blocking the tube in your ear. He suggested we remove those tonsils not only to help with the ear, but also the size of them wasn’t ideal and also suggested we put a tube in your left ear to help the drainage.  He also explained how this is a very routine and simple procedure, but the recovery is a BEAST! It is a good solid 10 days of recovery with little to no appetite or activity. Given that I was 7 months pregnant with Baby Kate at the time, I asked if this was something we could do while I was on maternity leave. He said it was, but he wouldn’t recommend it as the recovery is tough and she’ll need a lot of attention and it might be challenging to also care for a newborn.

So that put a little wrench in our plans as we were trying to figure out when to schedule this with vacations and weddings and how we would use vacation time. Ultimately, we decided that Daddy would transition to contacting earlier than we thought and we would schedule the surgery on June 20th, 3 weeks before the Kate was born, so you wouldn’t have to go back to daycare and would be fully recovered by the time Kate arrived.

Driving home from the Dr., you asked me, ‘Mom, am I going to get my tonsils out?’ You had no idea what that meant, but you could sense that it was scary and you didn’t like it. We talked about why we were doing it and how it would make you feel better and hear better and how you would get to eat lots of ice cream and Popsicles. We even talked about all your aunts and uncles and grandparents that had their tonsils taken out. But you weren’t buying any of it. You cried on the way home and told me you didn’t want to have them taken out. You were pretty emotional about it for a good 2 weeks and would even wake in the middle of the night crying telling me you didn’t want them out. Finally, I told you that Daddy and I needed to talk about it and we might go see another Dr. and see what the recommend to help ease your worried little mind.

Little Kate decided to mess up my plans and I was diagnosed to Cholestasis and the Dr. wanted to induce me on June 20th, the day of your surgery. As soon as we learned this, we tried to see if there was any possibility to squeeze this surgery in before Kate arrived, but decided that we needed to wait until after she was born to do the surgery. Not ideal, but it was also too risky to do it before.

Once Baby Kate arrived and everyone was home and healthy, I scheduled your surgery for August 1st. It was right after Soccer/T-ball finished so you wouldn’t miss any of those, also after the 1st cabin trip and  far enough ahead of the 2nd cabin trip so it wouldn’t be impacted.

Leading up to the big surgery, we bought a book called Goodbye Tonsils. It was a really fantastic book that walked through the different steps leading up to the surgery to help you understand what to expect and make it less scary. After reading the book, you seemed much more comfortable with everything and almost started bragging to people how you were going to get your tonsils out.

Before the big day, you and I made a special trip to the grocery story and you picked out two different kinds of ice cream (chocolate and mint chocolate chip), crayon Popsicles, fudgsicles and ice cream sandwiches. I also got you some special presents: clothes for your american girl doll, Tsum Tsums and new pajamas! Grammy also sleept over as she was going to stay with the little kids while Mom and Dad took you to the surgery.

You surgery was scheduled for 7:45 that morning and we were asked to arrive at 6:30. Once we arrived, we filled out some paper work and then were brought back to a little pre-op/recovery room.

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You took of your jammies and put on the little blue gown they had, and some fuzzy socks that had a smiley face on them. We talked to a couple of nurses as they confirmed some details with us. The anesthesiologist came by to explain how you would go under and then the ENT Dr. stopped by to talk about the ear tube, tonsils and a little about the recovery. Thankfully, they had a little TV in our room and you watched PJ Masks and the beginning of a Mickey and the Roadster Racers to keep your mind occupied.

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When it was time to head back, Mommy put on some scrubs and held your hand as we walked to the operating room together. They even let you keep Giraffee with you so you wouldn’t be scared. We arrived in the room and I picked you up and put you on the table. Immediately, the anesthesiologist started asking you questions about who your pal was and if you had any brothers or sisters. You chose to have some strawberry scented stuff in your sleepy mask. They put it over your face and you took a couple of breaths and you were out and then Mommy left and went back to wait with Daddy.

You were so brave and didn’t cry and tell me you were scared at all, but Mom was. I even cried a little bit as I was walking out of the room. Of course I was worrying about so many things going wrong, but mostly about how you would react to anesthesia as I have never been under so I don’t know if there is any weird reaction I have to it. Fortunately, your Dad is pretty funny and kept my mind off things.

About 30 to 45 minutes later, the Dr came back to us to tell us you were out of surgery and in the recovery room. Everything went well. You adenoids looked good so they didn’t take them out, but he did say it was a really good thing they removed the tonsils because they were infected. They were hard and lumpy opposed to healthy tonsils that are soft and squishy. We talked a lot about your recovery and the importance of keeping you hydrated. He also suggested to medicate with children’s Advil or Motrin before using the prescription as it causes upset stomach, constipation and vomiting.

A few minutes later, you started to wake up and the nurses wheeled you back to Mom and Dad. You were pretty out of it, but had your giraffee with you to help you be brave. When you arrived in our room, you said you felt like you might throw up, but I really think that is because they kept asking you. In general, you were pretty sleepy and just cuddled against my arm and dozed in and out. You ate a couple spoonfuls of ice chips and a freezie and then asked to go home.

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You asked to sit on my lap in the wheelchair on the way down to the car, and I sat in the back seat with you on the way home and you complained about it hurting and wanting to sleep and see Grandma.  When you got home, you fell asleep for about 30 min, took some medicine and within 15 min, said you felt all better. You were up, walking around and talking.

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You ate a couple Popsiclea, bowls of ice cream and ice cream sandwich and complained about how you wanted to eat pizza with the rest of us. Throughout the day, you played lots of Tsum Tsum’s with Daddy (you got 3 new packs) and watched a lot of YouTube on the iPad. Although you took your first round of meds good, each subsequent round was more challenging. We were giving you Motrin every 8 hours and Tylenol in the 4 hour gaps between. We tried mixing it with water and apple juice and jello and you sort of bought into this as you would take it, but there was lots of complaining and procrastinating throughout the process. GAEX2758

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That evening, you slept on the couch with Daddy. There was lots of moaning throughout the night but for the most part it went well. Daddy woke you up to take your meds and you took them, but complained about it.

Day 2 was pretty similar to Day 1 with the medicine battle becoming more and more challenging. At one point, I was so desperate for you to take the meds, I promised to get you a Splashling (your new favorite toy learned from YouTube). You played lots of Tsum Tsums, watched YouTube and just hung low. When you did talk, you had modified your voice to sound like a baby as you said it hurt less to talk like that and even mentioned that your voice was playing tricks on you sometimes. On this day, a fairly normal appetite returned as you ate a jelly sandwich, more ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, Popsicles, noodles, starburst and Tootsie rolls.

Day 3 you straight up refused any medicine. We tried to syringe it into your mouth but you spit it out everywhere so we quit trying and just let you go. On this day, you ate soft pretzels, more noodles and also took a nap for the first time since daycare ended.

Day 4 you started to complain about ears and throat hurting. Daddy blended up a freezie for you with the immersion blender and mixed some medicine to help give you some relief and you really seemed to like that! As long as you were medicated, you were pretty good. I could tell when the medicine was starting to wear off as you would get really clingy and just want lots of hugs. Although you were taking medicine through the slushies, it was challenging to get you to finish the whole thing. You only wanted to take a couple of sips and then be done so we had to sit there with you and bribe you to drink it all.

Day 5 was supposed to be the worst day, but you seemed to be doing well as long as you were medicated so all five of us headed out to Mitch and Teresa’s for a day on the lake. You floated around on some floaties and went for some kayak rides with Daddy and were very content with not wanting to go swimming like the other kids. However, that night was rough. You woke up several times crying in agony, even though you were medicated.

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Day 6 & 7 were pretty similar. You had low energy and didn’t eat much.  You complained a lot about your ears hurting but refused to chew gum like the Dr recommended. The only thing you would do was put ice packs on them. Apparently, this is normal for your ears to hurt as the nerves in your ear are interconnected to your tonsils and they swell during the surgery causing the pain. The next few nights, I let you sleep in my bed as those were the hardest points of the day. You would wake up crying and request slushies and ice packs. Poor thing. There were a couple of times that you said, ‘I’m scared mommy’ because it hurt so bad and my heart just broke for you. While giving a slushy, you insisted on watching YouTube to help keep yourself distracted, and always wanted to watch a show about people opening up these little toys called Splashlings. (You’re going to laugh at this one day when you’re older because it is as ridiculous as it sounds to watch videos of other people opening toys, but no joke, it is one of your favorite things to do).

Day 8 – You only took 1 round of medicine in the slushy but still had pretty low energy and complained about your ears hurting a lot. I can’t remember what day(s) it was, but you did eat Fritos, which is pretty remarkable considering they are crunchy and have TONS of salt on them, but seemed to do just fine eating them as long as you were medicated. During the night-time, you only woke up once and were able to go back to sleep with just a couple of snuggles.

Day 9 & 10-You were pretty much back to normal, occasionally complaining about your ears. You knack for the dramatics kicked in and you would pretend things hurt so you didn’t have to eat what we were eating or just get attention. You even admitted to doing this my super honest little babe 🙂

And that is it my sweet little girl. You (we) made it through this and I am so proud of you. I read from other people that during those tough days, it feels like glass is in your throat and is very painful–and you were one tough cookie.  Bonus: you no longer snore when you sleep and hopefully your hearing is all good now too (although, there are still several times where you ask ‘what’ 3 times and tell me you can’t hear.)We head back to get the hearing checked in early September so we will find out then.

Love,

Mama

Last Day of Daycare

Lexi And William,

You just finished your last day of daycare and your hormonal mom is a tid bit emotional, very similar to your first day, but for very different reasons.

Growing up, I always had a negative connotation of daycare. Most of my cousins and my friends grew up with stay at home moms and the kids that did go to daycare weren’t always the most well-behaved. I’m sure there were other reasons for this, but I had always made the connection that it was because they went to daycare (I know, not very logical!)

So when the time came for you to both go to daycare I really struggled. Lexi was 2.5 and very shy, timid and reserved and I was so worried about her feeling abandoned and lost and not being able to make friends. William was 4 months and was just sad he wasn’t going to get to bond with Daddy in the same way Lexi did.

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My fears about Lexi were spot on. She experienced all of those things and would scream and cry every morning before leaving. There was bribery and me trying to distract her on the ride there (airplanes in the sky, the tunnel, trains, and lots of listening to twinkle twinkle) to help make the situation better. I set up playdates outside of school so she could become more comfortable with friends in her class. After many talks with the teachers, we figured out she really struggled in the transition moments–going from group time to activity time or to lunch time and pinned it down to her not knowing what to do in those moments and probably feeling lost and confused. As a result, every night we reviewed our day from the beloved daily connect app to look at all the fun she had and review what her schedule looked like each day. We also talked about it every morning on the ride in to help her learn what to expect at each moment throughout the day. In general, I felt like it was a pretty tough transition and took several months.

However, after that transition, some amazing things started to happen. Lexi started to recognize her name and then she could spell it and then she could write it. She started to make friends on her own and discovered her love for art projects. Her confidence grew, she learned how to tell stories, participated in group time, talked to people she didn’t know and learned about complex things for a 4-year-old like symmetry, ecosystems and the world’s wonders. And William, your time spent there was different, but it will impact you in different ways. You know how to stand up for yourself and don’t let other kids push your around. You’re independent and insist on doing everything yourself as that is really what the teachers encourage. You can put your pants/shorts/shoes on and off by yourself, do really really well drinking from cups and using adult silverware and kicking and throwing balls.

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Not only did you both thrive, I loved having you be so close to me throughout the day. Being able to nurse William instead of pump was a Godsend. I loved the lunch dates I had with Lexi. As maddening as it was some days, majority of the time, I loved spending 2 extra hours with you in our car rides. You would tell me about your days, what made you happy and sad, what you learned about or the books you read and would often play games like ‘I spy’ and ‘Is this a truth or a lie?’

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The teachers you had were so amazing and dedicated. They did such a great job of pairing up personalities to have one teacher that is a little more firm and lays the law down with another who is a little more affectionate to play to the different things you need throughout the day.

Overall, I’ve realized that daycare can be an amazing thing and you have both learned and developed in ways that you never would have at home and am so grateful for the wonderful experience we all had.

Onto out next phase which I’m sure will bring equally amazing opportunities

Love,

Mama

Christmas 2015

Lexi and William,

Merry Christmas! What a fun holiday season we had with both of you! Each year gets more and more fun.

This year seemed a little more relaxed than years past. Fewer places to run to and people to see. This was the first year that momma’s cousins and aunts and uncles on Daddy’s side didn’t get together. It was a little sad not to see them, but hopefully we’ll find another time to all get together.

We started setting up our Christmas decorations a little before Thanksgiving this year as mama was very busy at work and needed a little more time to do them this year. Lexi LOVED getting the boxes out and looking at all the decorations and trying to decide where to put everything. She would say, ‘This is a great spot for this, isn’t it mama?’ There were also lots of ‘Owws and Ahhs’ as we took things out of the bins.

I had asked Lexi several times if she wanted to go sit on Santa’s lap and the answer was always a strong NO. You liked to talk about him, but had no interest in seeing him or sitting on his lap. He even came to visit at school one night. Lexi stood next to him and gladly took a candy cane, while William sat on his lap and cried. We did also see him from a distance at the mall one night, but that was about as close as we got to physical interactions with Santa. One evening, we did write an email (or as Lexi refers to them: emu) to Santa in which Lexi asked for an Elsa palace and an Elsa and Anna doll. He responded back with a video, which Lexi was thrilled about–much more comfortable with the virtual interaction.

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Throughout the season, we thoroughly enjoyed listening to Christmas music. Lexi loved Away in a Manager and O Holy night as those are Papa and Grammy’s favorites. She also really likes Jingle Bells, Rudolph, Frosty, Let it Snow and Winter Wonderland. They were top requests of songs to sing and books to read at bedtime.

We also enjoyed some cookie baking with Grandma. Lexi loved wearing her Santa apron and using the rolling pins, cookie cutter and sprinkles–an absolute fav!

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The official celebrations started the weekend before Christmas. We went over to Grammy and Papa’s house with all of your Aunts, Uncles and Cousin Ivy. We had our traditional meat pies and had so much fun playing with cousin Ivy and opening the mounds of presents! Lexi got a Frozen puzzle, princess matching game, pajamas, James the train, a train switcher and many other things. William got an ornament, pajamas, a basketball hoop, Little People Zoo and several other things. It was so fun to watch each of you open gifts. Lexi requested that we do ‘teamwork’ in opening all of her presents and William loved all of the paper and boxes to wrinkle and climb on. He was also super into the zoo and the noises that all of the animals were making. Lexi also LOVED handing gifts out to everyone–and then telling people what was inside before they opened it.

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On Christmas Eve, we had a fun and relaxing morning at home playing. Then after naptime, we headed over the Grandma and Papas to celebrate Christmas with Grammy’s side of the family. It was an off-year as most of grammy’s siblings were with their other side’s of the families so there wern’t any other kids there, which was pretty disappointing to Lexi. After William feel asleep at Grammy and Papas, Mommy, Daddy Lexi and Auntie Sheila went to church. Going to church on Christmas Eve is one of my favorite traditions in Christmas. The church is decorated beautiful and the choir is there singing songs and everyone is so happy and friendly. I loved that Lexi wanted to come with us. She loved singing along to the Christmas songs and was so proud holding the candle when they shut the lights off to sing Silent Night. When they started to sing, her eyes got HUGE and lite up when she looked at me and said, they’re singing Papa’s song! You’re sentimental mom teared up several times throughout the service as I was reflecting on how blessed we are to have such a good, safe life and to have two beautiful, healthy and smart little people.

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After church, we headed back to Grammy’s said goodbyes and headed home. You both were sleeping when we got home.

On Christmas morning, you both woke up around 7ish. Lexi comes into our room like any regular morning and says, “Mama, it’s morning time.’ I responded, that ‘It’s Christmas Lexi! What does that mean? And you lite up, ‘Santa came!!’ I quickly fed William while Daddy got the video camera set up. We made it two steps down and you peaked through the spindles and stated very deflated, ‘There’s no Elsa palace?’ I quickly reminded you that maybe Santa wrapped the Elsa palace. We should go take a look. We headed downstairs and you went to the biggest present there and said, This is my Elsa palace.’ We read the tag and it said to Lexi from Santa, so we started to open it, and sure enough, it was the Elsa palace. Lexi was so excited and kept banging on the box. As soon as I said, we could open it after we opened all of our other presents, Lexi was quick to start looking at other presents. Lexi also got Frozen dolls for the palace, more Frozen puzzles, Minion puzzles, some clothes, dry-erase board and markers, Minion movie, books, more Thomas the train cars and a whole slew of other things I can’t remember. William got a Little People Farm set from Santa, a backpack, some pajamas, a Thomas engine and Inside Out. You also both got a lot of train tracks and train accessories to share. Although Lexi loved opening gifts, she wanted ‘teamwork’ with most of them and had just as much fun handing out gifts to all of us. The rest of the day was spent building train sets, watching movies, doing puzzles and playing with toys in our pajamas. It was a super relaxing and fun day!

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The following day was celebrating with Daddy’s family. Everyone came over around 5. We enjoyed some appetizers, delicious  Chicken Wild Rice Soup made by Grandma and lots of other nummy food.  Then we all passed presents out and opened them at the same time. It was a little crazy but also fun. You each received a piggy bank, lots of coins to put into it and Thomas the train gear. Lexi also received a Thomas plate and cup, T-ball set, Annie and Clarabel cars and a talking Gordon. William received some cars, egg shakers, balls and rattles. Everyone had lots of fun visiting and creating videos on their phones where they switch faces with another person. It brought lots of laughs and entertainment.

That wraps up Christmas 2015. It is such a magical time of year. I have such strong memories of Christmas and the traditions we had growing up and hope that Daddy and I are able to create the magic for both of you. I tried to help involve you in the process of picking out gifts for others and want you to learn that gift giving is often more fun than gift receiving. I also hope that we can instill the magic that comes for the true meaning of the season and celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Merry Christmas my two sweet angels!

Love,

Mama

Lexi is 3!!!

My sweet Lexi,

I’m not even sure where to start this letter. So much has happened in the past year and you have grown and changed an incredible amount. I had every intention of writing a 2.5 year letter, but that time also coincided with me going back to work after William was born, daddy starting a new job and you going to daycare for the first time and life just got away from me.

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So let’s start out with how much I absolutely adore being your mom. It is without a doubt my favorite thing I’ve ever done in my 30 years of life. You bring me so much joy and I genuinely look forward to seeing and being with you every moment I can. I love watching you grow, develop personality, and experience challenge and joy. I can honestly say I never look back on past days and wish we were still in a different ‘phase’ because each new phase you graduate to is a favorite to me. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and I need to stop and remind myself what a remarkable life we have and how blessed we are. Life is pretty great!

IMG_4911 Let’s chat a little about your development. At 3 years old, you are a great counter and can count to 20 (with an occasional hung up between 14 and 17) and can easily identify the numbers 1-10. You know almost all of your ABC’s and are starting to learn the sounds that they make. You have been spelling your name for over 4 months now and regularly point out letters on store signs when we drive by. ‘Hey, Mom, there’s an ‘A’, that’s me!) You do a pretty good job of dressing yourself but do still ask for a little bit of help. You like to have a say in what you wear most mornings and like your underwear to match your outfit. You’ve learned the flip trick for putting on jackets/sweaters and insist on doing it every time and refuse to put it on any other way. You’re also learning to zip up your jacket yourself. You need a little help getting it started but can finish yourself. You do a pretty good job of putting your shoes on the right feet and match the curves of the shoes up to your feet. You love to sing songs and know the words to most nursery rhymes. I love listening to you play independently and hearing you sing songs to yourself or your babies. We were at Grandma B’s house and you were playing with the bus and the school house and were singing the Wheels on the Bus as you were playing by yourself. It was just a sweet moment to listen you play. You love to color, play with stickers and do art projects. You regularly ask me, if I want to color with you–in which you proceed to boss me around in telling me where I can color and what color I can use. The conversation usually goes like this:

Lexi: Mama, want to color with me?

Me: Sure

Lexi: Ok, come sit here mama. Ok, what color would you like to color with?

Me: Hmm, how about Blue.

Lexi: Ummmm,,, how about purple. That’s a good idea, isn’t it mama? You like purple.

Me: Ok ( I proceed to start to color)

Lexi: No, not there. You can color here. O-K?

With your coloring, you like to scribble and make dots and circles. You hold the pencil/marker/crayon correctly and are starting to ask about writing letters. You attempt to write you’re name. It isn’t quite decipherable yet, but you are working on the motions of writing letters and are getting better at them! You know all of your colors and shapes. You can tell stories and easily identify emotions. You are incredibly articulate and have a wide vocabulary. When you’re upset or angry, you’re able to identify that emotion and use your words to explain how you’re feeling. ‘Mom, that makes me angry when you take that away from me’ or ‘That startled me, will you give me a hug’ ‘Mama, I’m feeling sad, can you help me stop crying’ or my favorite is when we’re in the car on the way to or from school and you ask ‘Mama, can you make me laugh?’ You regularly tell us how much you love us. You’ll come and snuggle in next to us and say ‘I love you mama’ completely unprompted.  You also love to tell me how much you love your brother. ‘I love Buddy mama’ or ‘We love our brother, don’t we mama?’ Since you’ve started school, you’ve became much more confident in some of your physical abilities. You’ve always been very capable, just timid. But now, you love to jump off curbs and some of the benches at school without me holding your hands. You can open doors and get yourself inside and out as well as unlock and lock doors, which is slightly terrifying. You can open the car door, climb into your car seat and have buckled yourself in on occasion. You love to dance and have some sassy little moves, you love to play catch, run outside, SWING, go down slides and LOVE LOVE LOVE the hippity hop at school!! You play on this everyday and when we ask you about it, your face lights up with excitement. You’ve made some good friends at school. You and Emma are best buds and you also really like to play with Jude, Estella, Mason and Elena. Girffee is still number one in your book. Whenever you are sad or get an owie, you ask to hug Giraffee. You love to talk to him and make him dance and snuggle with him. However, in the past 6 months or so, you’ve stopped carrying him around the house and into every room you go into and you’ll leave him in bed or in your locker at school. You do love him to have his own blanket and want him tucked in bed with you. IMG_5537

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Bedtime can be a hit or miss event. You definitely prefer mama to put you to bed and if Daddy puts you to bed, you need mama to come in after and ‘really put you to bed’. You love to read a book in your pink chair and then another in bed, and then look at your day from Daily Connect. You insist on brushing your teeth yourself. Once it is actually time for bed, you come up with every excuse to prolong saying goodnight. ‘I need water, I don’t feel good, I need a footrest, I’m hot, I’m cold, I need one more hug, I forgot to tell you…, can you sing me a song, etc…. The past couple nights I’ve been putting you to bed, I’ll be walking out the door and you ask, can you sing twinkle twinkle to me and rub my back. I’m not sure what it is about it, but it makes me tear up every time. I think it is such a sweet and gentle request and reminds me that although you sometimes act like you’re 7, you are only three and still need a lot of that gentle love and tenderness that a 3 year-old needs and I need to relax a little and not always be in such a rush. Most nights you’re sleeping by 9 pm and wake up between 6:30 and 7 am. On stay at home days, you nap for about 3 hours. At school, you nap for about 1.5-2 hours. Recently, you’ve even started to put yourself to sleep for nap time. I have yet to experience this phenomenon, but Daddy says it has happened several times.

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Personality wise, it is so fun to watch you develop who you are and even look back at last year or further and see how those characteristics were fluid then, but now are more defined. Overall, you are full of sweetness and innocence. You’re actions are so pure and honest and full of kindness. You’re oblivious to society and judgement and act and behave from the pureness of your heart without influences from others. And this just deepens my love for you and I hope you never loose this innocence. It is such a rare thing to see and I pray that you can always be this true to yourself. This is not a strength of mine and try to learn to behave more like this each day.  I even find myself trying to influence you in the types of clothes you wear to be more ‘put together’ with little jean jackets and cardigans or cute boots and you just don’t like them and I need to accept that and follow that advice for myself too. You are also very shy and timid. You don’t like a lot of attention on you and are a little more introverted. Just yesterday at your birthday party, we sat down to open presents and you kept saying, I’ll just stand behind you mama. You didn’t want to open the present with everyone watching you. I remember this being the same case at your first birthday party when everyone sang happy birthday to you. You were terrified as everyone was staring at you waiting for you to dig into your cake. That fear overwhelmed you and made you not want to dig into your cake at all. With that said, once you’ve warmed up to new people and a new environment you do just fine. When I drop you off at school in the morning, you rarely get sad and instead excitedly run into your classroom, find your friends and wave good-bye. However, going back to your shyness, you don’t like to look at people when you talk to them. We work on finding other’s eyes and looking at them when we speak. It is a hard thing for you to do. Again, I need to remind myself that this is just who you are. I want you to feel confident and be a leader, but need to accept that you can have those skills, but they don’t need to appear in the way that they do for me.

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With all that sweetness, you do have a little sass in you. You are testing your boundaries and trying to gain independence. Most things are ‘I do it’ and if we’re running late or you’re taking an extremely long time, I’ll step in and help out. Half of the time, you’re satisfied with this, the other half results in an epic melt down. You’ll often extend your arm out at me and put your hand up like a stop sign and say ‘Don’t touch me’ and yell ‘leave me alone’. You will also repeat phrases I’ve said like ‘I’ve asked you 3 times and I’m not going to ask you again, or ‘Did you hear my words?’. We often talk about being a good listener.

You also have what I’m sure is a very normal relationship for a 3-year-old and a 9-month old sibling.  You love to make him laugh and the two of you will have giggle fits over nothing. Overall, you really do love the little tyke and I often find you randomly hugging him, which is almost always too hard and irritates William. But you really despise him getting in your stuff or in  your way or taking mine or Daddy’s attention away from you. I’ll secretly be watching you and you will just push him over or lay on top of him and smother him. You’ll pull his hair or kick him if he has pulled himself up on the table and is too close to you. You usually have one or two time outs each day as a result of your misbehavior. Those time outs are hit or miss on our behalf. Sometimes you’ll get very upset that you’re going to a timeout and will start hitting and shoving me while I’m taking you there and other times you’re just like ‘whatever’ I don’t care that you’re sending me there (time out is the bathroom). Regardless, when we sit down and talk about why you went to a timeout you always know how you misbehaved.

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IMG_5112 You’re also somewhat of a lollygagger. Nothing ever feels fast with you. You’re constantly chatting about something or getting distracted by something else. You love to put stuff in bags (ziplocks are you favorite) but also shopping bags and insist on grabbing anything in sight to bring with you to school each morning. Random papers, toys, cars, books, stuffed animals, PJs etc…) It is kind of funny to watch this each morning as you scramble to get your stuff. I’ll yell, come on Lexi, we have to go, and you’ll respond ‘I’m coming, I’ll be right there!’ 3 going on 16! You have since grown out of this, but around 2.5 you were very terrified of Bees, thunder, an old man (from it’s raining its pouring nursery rhyme) and every time we put you to bed, you would ask us to repeat, ‘Mama, say ‘no old man, no thunder, no bees’ and we probably had to say it 3-4 times. Not sure where this exactly came from but, I believe, you watched Winnie the Pooh and the bees were chasing him which frightened you and Thunder just startles you and you didn’t like the picture of the old man with a bug bump on his head in a nursery rhyme book. Random random random!

Favorites:

Books: Search and find and princess books Food: Any treat! Especially Circus Peanuts. You’ll often ask, can we go to ‘Benards’ and get some Circus Peanuts? You and Daddy love to go to Taco Bell together. You also really like cereal and greek yogurt, doughnuts and superman ice cream!

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Song: All nursery rhymes and Honey I’m good by Andy Grammer. (you’ll say, ‘Mom, can we listen to na, na, honey I’m good?’ Movies/TV shows: Dumbo, Despicable Me, Frozen, Curious George, Mickey Mouse, Little Mermaid, Thomas the Train. As of late, you’re super into watching YouTube videos of nursery rhymes or someone opening plastic Easter Eggs.

Activities/toys: Swinging, chalk, kicking a ball outside, playing princess castle or dollhouse, legos with daddy, coloring, stickers, Tag with William, boating, the cabin, sing

Sleep: Go to bed around 8:30-9:00ish and wake up around 6:30-7:00ish. On school days you nap for 1.5-2 hours and on stay home days you nap for about 3.

Clothes: Mostly size 4T. Pants are a little big in the waist on you but 3Ts are too short. 4T for shirts, but I’m even feeling like those are kind of snug and short on you.  Size 9 shoe (but you’ve been wearing the same size since last March, so maybe you’ll had just finished a growth spurt and will stable out a little?

Notes: You’re starting to grow out of your peanut allergy. We went to the allergist and had some blood work down and you passed that, but didn’t pass your skin test. Essentially, your body isn’t producing the things in the blood to make you allergic to peanuts anymore, but those things are still in your skin. Hopefully, we’ll go do another test in a year or so and you’ll pass the skin test and we can go on to do a food test! Stats: Weight: height: I’ve you’ve made it this far, high-five to not getting bored in learning about all things you at age 3! There is so much more that I could say and stories that could be shared, as it is impossible to truly capture Lexi at age 3 or express how much I love you. You are the light of mine and Daddy’s world. We love the way you make us smile, laugh and boil our blood. You are sweet, sassy and everything that a 3-year-old should be and we can’t wait to see how much you grow and learn in the next year.

Love, Mama

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First Day of Daycare

To my two little munchkins,

Today was your first day of daycare and you two blew away my expectations. To say I was nervous was a complete understatement. I was nervous about waking both of you up in the morning and how difficult it was going to be to get out the door. You both woke up super cheerful and were cooperative in getting ready and out the door. The drive in was a little long as there was some bad traffic due to an accident, but the carpool lane was A-Mazing and reduced our ride in by at least 15 minutes. I will gladly take that perk!

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Once we arrived to school, we dropped William off with his teachers and Lexi was very shy, just looking at the floor and hugging giraffee and not really talking, which is what made me so nervous.

Lexi, you are such a shy, sweet and timid little girl I was scared you were going to be terrified that I was leaving you alone, that you wouldn’t make any friends and would get plowed over by the more aggressive kids as I’ve seen happen at parks or with other kids. I was literally a blubbery mess all morning while dropping you off. You totally blew my socks off with how brave you were and how quickly you adjusted. Initially, you clung to my leg a little but you got comfortable really quick and were OK while I left to go check on William.

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Little William, although you are my little baby, I was only worried a pinch about you. You are such a happy and content little dude, I knew the teachers would love listening to you talk and die over you huge and frequent smiles. I was a little nervous about how you would do with the sleeping as we have been swaddling you for the past 4 months and they aren’t allowed to swaddle at daycare and you can get pretty worked up if you’re over tired. Fortunately, you did great and will just need to slowly ease into the new sleeping arrangements. Also, I need to mention how awesome it is to get messages throughout the day letting me know what you’re doing and when you’re hungry and I can just come down and feed you and then head back. I’m really hoping you start to get on a more regular routine so I can block my calendar to come down and feed and not have to pump! When I came down to feed you the first time, you saw me and instantly lit up and gave me a huge smile and it was the best feeling ever. It was just the reassurance I needed after I had been a nervous and crying ball of emotions for the past 4 hours.

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No exaggeration here. After I dropped you both off and went to my car, I sat and tried to make myself presentable but kept welling with tears at every thought of you two kiddos. I finally managed to walk into the office, only to well up 7 more times as I thought about you or someone asked how I was doing. Honestly, couldn’t even get words out. So I went downstairs, got a mint hot chocolate, my fav., and worked on this post until I was able to feed William.

After feeding William, I peeked on Lexi quick and she saw me and excitedly yelled, ‘MAMA!’ came over and gave me a big hug and was jumping up and down and telling me all the fun she was having, which again made me feel 1000 times better. After a quick hug, Lexi sat down for lunch waved goodbye and were as happy as could be.

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Those were just the interactions and reassurance I needed to help relieve some of my anxiety and quit becoming a puddle of tears.

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The end of the day was just as good. Lexi was overjoyed to see me and was bursting with energy for the rest of the evening talking about the fun things she did.

I pray that tomorrow and the next several days go as well as today did.

Love,

Mama

 

Big Sister

Little love bug,

Congratulations my sweet bug, you are a big sister! You’re just over a month into your new role and absolutely adore that little brother of yours (as we all do!). You love to give him kisses and hugs. The hugs are a little rough, but you just want to squeeze all your love into him so we try to remind you just to be gentle instead of yelling at you for being too rough.

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You’re constantly asking, “Where’s buddy? What’s buddy doing?” and want to see him first thing in the morning. You’ll often go to his door before mama and dada’s. You also like to get right up in his face. Literally nose to nose and say ‘He’s wooking at you.’ You often ask for him to open his eyes if he is sleeping and like to beep his nose. For the first month, you were just about giving hugs and kisses and looking at him, but around 1 month, you started requesting to hold him.

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It is been interesting you watch your reactions to him change over the the past 5 weeks. Your first visit to the hospital, you didn’t give two hoots about him and were much more interested in playing with the buttons on the hospital bed. Subsequent visits to the hospital showed a little more interest as you were asking ‘Who is that? What is she doing’ (you referred to him as a she for the first week 🙂 Then every week or so, you’ve shown more interest in him and now you just can’t get enough.

Although you do know his name, you almost solely refer to him as ‘Buddy’ and will occasionally call him brother. When someone asks you his name you say Buddy. I’ll follow up and say, ‘What’s his other name?’ and you shyly respond, ‘William’.

You love to help mama take care of brother too. You received a ‘Big Sister’ book from Kelly and you love to read it and help me with things they mention in the book, like taking a bath, singing songs to William when he is crying (Twinkle Twinkle, Baa Baa Black Sheep and Rock-a-bye-Baby) and practicing tummy time. Upon completion of your task, you’ll tell me, ‘I help, just like Big Sister book’.

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As you’ve watched Mama and Dada care for brother, you increased your nurturing tendencies tenfold. You’ve shown much more interest in your baby dolls and feeding them and naming them (Baby Molly), but most of the time you prefer to take care of Girafee. You love to put him into the swing, strap him into the carseat and often tell us you need to change him. You’ve even taken care of Mrs. Potato head. She fell off the table and you ran to get her, cradled her in your arms and said ‘It’s Ok ‘Tato. It’s Ok.’ as you slowly rocked her back and forth. My heart fell out of my chest when you did this. So sweet.

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Through all your sweetness, you’ve also shown us some sass, stubbornness and independence. You’re struggling with the lack of attention that Dada and I are able to give you. You’ve had more potty accidents than normal, and just straight up don’t listen. It feels like the lack of listening happens most frequently when I can’t do anything to stop you. Example, I’ll be feeding William on the couch and you’ll climb up on the counter and open the cupboard doors to find yourself a snack. We tried to put you in time out, but you thought it was funny and laughed while you were there, you little stinker! You also love to steel William’s pacifier. I’ll be changing him, and it is sitting on the floor next to me, you’ll come and snatch it up, run away with it as I request to bring it back. It is slightly maddening you little one!

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Thankfully, you haven’t made the connection that William is the reason that you have less attention and you haven’t taken your frustrations out on him in any way. Occasionally, you’ll tell me to put him down that he isn’t hungry or he doesn’t need to burp, but for the most part you just love him beyond words.

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As a result of your frustrations, I decided to take you out for some special Mommy-Lexi time. We went to a little music class and then to an indoor play ground at the Learn and Play Cafe. You were devastated that William wasn’t coming with us and kept asking where he was.

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Mommy is so proud of you sweet girl and how well you have adjusted (are adjusting) to this big transition. You are probably adjusting to this transition better then I am. I love watching your nurturing side come out and hearing you talk to your babies and toys as you take care of them. It is so sweet and just makes me a puddle of mush.

Love,

Mama