Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017

Dear Lexi, William and Kate,

This was my favorite Christmas yet. It was so fun to celebrate and see all joy and excitement through your eyes.

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Usually, I’m super eager to get all the Christmas decorations up (well before Thanksgiving) and this year I just didn’t feel the rush. Life is pretty crazy with 3 little kids, throw in learning a new job and life is just hectic. I officially gave myself the pass to be low key and not feel like I need to do everything and be OK with that. The holiday season kicked off for us on Thanksgiving when Grammy B gave matching Santa Jammies to the three of you and Ivy and Claire. IMG_9304

Then the following week, Santa and Mrs. Clause visited mom’s work and you got to sit on his lap and take a picture. Lexi asked for Hatchimal Collectables and William talking Spiderman. They also had cookies to decorate, pictures to color and could meet Dancer and Blitzen.

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We eventually got the decorations out and Lexi and William LOVED helping set everything out and put ornaments up on the tree. Eventually, I replaced most of them so they were more dispersed throughout the tree (I’m OCD like that) but it was so fun to listen to Christmas music and see how you get into the spirit of the season.

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Our elf, Sparkle Minnie returned again this year and of course got into some mischief.

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Lexi and William had fun playing Santa and his reindeer

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Then, on December 15th, Lexi had her first school Christmas Concert. I cried. I just couldn’t handle all those sweet, young innocent voices up there. It just made my heart so happy.

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Then the following day, we headed over to Grammy and Papa’s to celebrate Christmas with the Bothwells. You kids were SO SO SO excited to see Claire and Ivy and give everyone the gifts we had picked out. It was a great relaxing afternoon/evening filled with lots of Papa Flashlight Tag, Ya-ba-da-ba-do’s, nummy food and laughter and matching spiderman jammies. IMG_9444 IMG_9456 IMG_9471 IMG_9467

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Later that week, Lexi had her Christmas dance recital, we decorated a gingerbread house, had snowman pancakes for breakfast on Christmas eve. We went to the Christmas Eve celebration at Open Door with the Sampsons (William feel asleep) before heading over to the Menter’s to celebrate with with the Tanseys.

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Then, on Christmas morning, you miraculously slept in until about 7:30 and were just giddy with excitement. We have you come straight into our room without getting a peak of the tree so we can all see it together.

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Opening presents was SO much fun. Kate was not having any of it and ended up back in bed around 8:00 and missed it all, but Lexi and William each took turns and were so excited for the gifts that each other received. William wanted to open and play with each toy as he opened it, which really extended the gift opening time while Lexi wanted to open as many presents as fast as she could.

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Couple of highlights include: William: Talking spiderman from Santa, Beatuy and the Beast Lego Kit, Digger Set, spiderman slippers, magnatiles, a sled, spiderman lego kit, Mickey’s garage, Mickey little people IMG_9582

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Lexi: Hatchimal collectables from Santa, Stephanie house lego kit, magnatiles, hot-loops, stain glass art kit, Minnie and Daisy Little People, Aqua Beads, Osmo Creative Kit for the iPad, pants, underwear, socks, puzzles

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Kate: backpack, some new spoons, sippy cups, bathtub toys IMG_9599

We spent the rest of the day lounging in our pajamas, eating snacks, playing with toys and putting together legos.

The following day, we hosted the Sampson’s for Christmas. We had some nummy food, laughed a lot and had fun exchanging gifts with each other.

One of the funnest things about the season was Lexi starting to understand the true meaning. She spent a lot of time in school learning about Jesus and the story of his birth. Our elf brought has a little people manger set and some good books about the Christmas story that we really enjoyed reading.

Merry Christmas my little angles. I love you.

Love,

Mama

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Happy 5th Birthday Lexi

My sweet little Lexi,

While swimming with Papa in the pool in Florida, you lean over to him and ask ‘Papa, can I be friends with that girl over there?’ And you swam over to her, introduced yourself and played for a little. The girl was so sweet to you considering she was 12. She played awhile before going and doing things for kids a little bit bigger.

Although this event technically happened a couple months after you turned 5, I feel like it is the perfect example of the little girl you are becoming. Long gone are the days where you were shy and would cling to my leg and not make eye contact with people. You are social and LOVE to play with anyone you meet. You are confident and silly and love to laugh and make others laugh.

So many amazing things happened this year for you, but my favorite, by far, was watching you grow and develop relationships with your siblings. Kate was born when you were 4.5 and there was an instant bond between you two. The love you have for her is fierce. You sing her a songs when she is crying, you read her books, you feed her bottles, and you love to play with her and make her laugh. Nobody can make her laugh more than you. And her feelings are reciprocated right back. The moment she sees you, her eyes twinkle and a huge smile appears on her face.

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One morning I went to wake you up for school and you asked if Beetle was awake yet and I said no, and you just rolled over and said, well I’m too sleepy then, come get me when she is awake. I pray every night that this bond only continues to grow stronger each day.

Another day, Kate had been crying while napping and you quietly opened her door, walked to her crib, sang her a couple of songs, put her paci back into her mouth and tip-toed out. You proudly came downstairs and announced that Kate had woke up from her nap, but don’t worry, I put her back to sleep.

Then, there is your best friend, Badger, aka William. The two of you are the best of pals 90% of the time. You two play together for hours on end. You love to play legos, dollhouse, squinkies/shopkins/hatchamals, Mickey Mouse, Barbies Frozen, the list goes on and on. You have your ‘girl versions’ of all of these toys, and Badge has the dad or the brother or the Dog or spiderman and you two have imaginative play wherever you are. I love to sit back and listen to you two play. You’ll often be playing and asking ‘Mom, do this’ and if I respond, you’ll say, ‘Not you, I meant the Mom I’m playing with’. There were many days this summer that I would suggest we go to the park or ask if someone wanted to run to the store with me and you two will often decline and say you just want to stay home and play with your toys.

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Last spring, you performed in your first dance recital. I was worried you would get nervous up there with the lights and all the people watching you but you ROCKED it and were one of the best performers in your class. That evening as I was putting you to bed, you cried because you had so much fun and were sad that you needed to wait another whole year before you could perform again.

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Outside of dance class, you also love to dance at home. Whenever music comes on, you stop what you’re doing and just bust a move. I can tell, you feel the music and you cant help but boogie. Your moves are quite entertaining and I’m still working on catching them on video so you can laugh at yourself later.

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This past year, you learned how to ride a two-wheeler bike, had your tonsils removed, had your last day of daycare, and your first day of preschool. You are only half way through and are learning so much. I’m amazed at how much they pack into 3.5 hours! You love going each day and are proud to tell me what you learned each day. You have done a great job of making friends and Mrs. Hanson and Mrs. Magner were shocked when I told them how shy you used to be as they have never seen a glimpse of you being shy. You’re learning how to write upper and lowercase letters, learn all of the sounds they make, identify and write numbers, working on addition and subtraction. You have an excellent memory and are learning all sorts of sight words, recognizing and creating patterns and your fine motor skills are advanced. You do a really really good job of staying in the lines while coloring. IMG_9246

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You share many of the characteristics of other first-born children. You are a rule-follower and I never have to worry about you running out of my sight and announce whenever anyone breaks a rule (yourself included). You can not get enough attention from mommy, Daddy or your grandparents. If we tell William he did a good job, you say, ‘well I did XYZ too’ or ask ‘are you proud of me too?’ You are an excellent helper, particularly with Kate. When we’re getting ready to leave the house, you’re running around the house filling up the diaper bag to make sure we’ve got food, toys, diapers, extra clothes and paci’s for Kate. VYSZ7333

You also love to talk. Like non-stop. Whether you are playing or just hanging out or we are driving, the questions are non-stop or just announcing what is going on around you. Your daddy is a talker so I think this trait comes from him.

This past spring, you started sharing a bedroom with William. You sleep on the top bunk and Badge sleeps on the bottom and you both love it! It has also simplified bedtime. We read stories together and you no longer need us to be with you until you fall asleep as you have William there to keep you company. Initially, you chatted a lot before bed, but now you fall asleep within 5 minutes of use leaving.

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You are a great little swimmer. You have taken 3 rounds of lessons and love to swim underwater and are learning your front crawl. This summer you also did a T-ball and soccer combo class for the first time and it went OK but you didn’t love it. Hoping that next year you’ll be open to trying them again and going into a program that is a little more structured. IMG_8554

You really love all of your toys and like to constantly switch things up. You love to play with the dollhouse, squinkies/shopkins, little people, barbies, Legos, your Chelsea doll, barbie dreamhouse, puzzles (100+ pieces!), coloring, games on the iPad (including YouTube–you love to watch other people play with toys or open them, I think it is weird, but you love it) and any kind of craft there is.

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You tend to be a bit of a follower, you want to eat whatever everyone else is eating, even if you like a different option better. Or I’ll ask you if you want to ride your bike and you’ll say, no, but then see a neighbor kid doing it and you’ll suddenly want to ride. We’re working on doing things that you like to do and not being influenced by others, which includes me not bribing you to do something because thats what someone else is doing. #badmomhabit

Lexi, you are amazingly talented, have a ridiculous memory, a heart as big as a rainbow, an imagination to the depths mermaids swim and make me so proud and grateful to be your mom. I see so much of myself in you and I pray that God will continue to give me the strength and wisdom to help grow and blossom you into a wonderful little girl that you are becoming. Mommy and Daddy love you so much. Thank you for being everything a little Lexi Bug is supposed to be.

Love,

Mama

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Halloween 2017

I cringed when Lexi requested to be a princess for Halloween this year. My years of cute animal coordinated costumes were over and was so disappointed that I wouldn’t even get one year with all three of you in them.

As the weeks went on, Lexi was insistent on being a Princess, Repunzel to be exact and claimed she had been growing out her hair for a whole year for this. However, William had developed a very odd attachment to the Beast (and would often roar at people the way the Beast did when he was angry, from Beauty and the Beast)

I used this to my advantage and planted the seed that Lexi could be Bell, William could be Beast and Katelyn could be little Chip. They were thrilled with the idea and I was thrilled I could have them at least be coordinated–even if they weren’t in adorable animal outfits.

I bought Lexi’s because there is no way I could make a decent Bell costume. There weren’t any decent Beast costumes to buy so I pieced the outfit together and bought a Beast Hat. Then Daddy’s artist skills came in handy as he drew Kate’s Chip face on a onesie and I paired it with Lexi’s 1-year old Tutu.

It was pretty chilly out this year so we didn’t make it as far as last year, but the kids had a great time and LOVED all of the candy they got!!

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Love,

Mama

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)

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

Lexi learns to ride a two-wheeler

Dear Lexi,

You are officially a two-wheel bike riding machine! About a month or two ago, we bought a bike for you. Previously, you had a strider bike, but never really got into it. You kind of understood the balance thing, but were essentially too tall for it.

Your new bike came with training wheels. Previously, I didn’t even want you to try it with those because I just new you would become attached to them and never build up the confidence to learn to ride without. However, we did let you ride with them on to get you used to the idea of pedaling and learning how to turn while pedaling.

You got the hang of it pretty quick so we removed the training wheels and you were so scared and never wanted to ride. So we put the wheels back on, but put them up pretty high to force you to learn to balance. This worked as you learned pretty quickly to ride on the main two wheels. However, when you did shift your weight a little to rely on the trainers, it was too much of a shift and you would often tip over. So the wheels came off again and we would hold onto the back of the seat and run next to you while you pedaled. You did awesome going down hills, but would often stop pedaling when on flat ground or up hills and tip.

Fortunately, we had just watched Finding Dory and there was a quote Dory would repeat ‘Just keep swimming, just keep swimming’ so we started saying that ‘Just keep pedaling’ to keep you going. As soon as you figured that out, it was a cake walk for you! You’re still a little shaky on your steering, but you can get yourself going and stop all by yourself!

There was also a little bit of bribery that went into this too 🙂 We promised to take you to the Ice Cream Factory when you learned, AND i let you pick out a new Shopkins, which was really the icing on the cake.

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I also realized you need some tough love to give you the confidence to do new and scarier things like this. Daddy always made much more progress when he worked with you. When I would work with you, there was lots of ‘I can’t’ and excuses and whining and I just can’t put up with any of it or show remorse to you as it just feeds into it. You really need me to be tough with you.

Regardless, so happy and proud of you Lexi!!

Way to go!

Love,

Mama