Monday, September 5

Crazy K!

Dear Noelle and Ty,

On August 27th, you guys ran in your very first mud race! It was half mile long and had several obstacles, including a big mudpit at the end. You guys were so intense; I loved it! I started out running with Noelle, but you were SO FAST that Daddy had to switch with me because I was holding you back :-) We all wore bandanas and had an absolute blast, despite losing Ty in the bubble slide! You both won your age division by over 2 minutes each! We are so proud of you!! Here are some photos of the race (Noelle the first one is of you, but we can hardly see you!):

 Mommy and Daddy after our 5k race.  Our team was "The Crew" and it was one tough race! I'm thinking next year I should actually run a little bit before we do the race :-)

I Wonder When...

Dear Noelle, Ty, and Alexis,

I wonder when I will stop getting up in the middle of the night to check on you, tuck you in, and give you a smoocher?  I don't plan on it anytime soon, but I promise I won't be like the mom in your book I'll Love You Forever who drives over to her kids house when he's 30 and uses a ladder to sneak into her kid's bedroom.  Love to all three of you, my sweet, sweet babies!

Love, Mom

Sunday, August 21

Our Second Home

The pool was seriously our second home. I was a bit unsure how things would shake out having a newborn this summer, but I found pool time to be quite successful. The tot time from 9-11:45 each morning was perfect for my little kiddos for several reasons. First, only the kiddie pool is open during that time, so no worries about Noelle and Ty walking too far into the deep end. There are so self sufficient, I was rarely bothered until the need for food arose...they got along swimmingly, pun intended, and I only had to break up a few fights over toys.  What more could a mother of three ask for?!

Second, it is a zero depth entry, which means the kids could enter and exit with ease. Not that Ty needed that, as his choice of entry was often a belly flop!

Noelle chose for the more reserved jumping in.  Less belling flopping, more cannonballish.

Third, the pool had a kiddie slide that provided numerous hours of squeals and laughter.  One of their tricks was always to throw a toy and slide down after it.  Not sure why that was so awesome, but they sure did love it!

Fourth, there are spray features that helped keep thing entertaining.  Noelle was determined to jump in between each fountain without touching the water.  At the beginning of summer, it was pretty tough, but the last day she was able to do it, and do it super quickly too! The coach in me was excited...cause you know plyos really round out an athlete :-) It's was like the fun version of ladders! Awesome!

The last two pics are of my crazy son Ty.  If ever got too cold, too tired, or too hungry, he would cover himself up with his towel and lay in the sun until his battery recharged.  Which brings me to the fifth and final reason why tot time is awesome- it wears them out.  Woot woot for long naps for all!!

  Most days Alexis was either eating or sleeping in the shade. On a few occasions, she sat with her feet in the water to cool off.  I'm looking forward to how Alexis will do when she's toddling around next year. I'm sure big bro and big sis will show here the ropes! Until then!!

Saturday, August 20

Pee Wee Farmers Recap

One of the MANY reasons I love our town is all the fantastic programs they run for kids.  I've enrolled the kids in pee wee farmers since Noelle's first summer.  It's the only thing that the park district offers for kids under 6 months, so I was totally that mom with the newborn the first year..and Noelle is finally about the right size for the shirt she got that first summer :-) 

The kids love the program and this year was no exception. Ty and Noelle are so independent that it makes doing outings with all 3 kids pretty seamless.  We'd usually arrive a little late (hey, I said outings are seamless; getting out of the house and arriving at our destination on time...well that is a whole 'nother story!) and the kids would have to hurry to get their crafts done before snack.  Each week had a theme and so the craft, snack, story time, and game were all geared toward the animal of the day. I absolutely loved watching Noelle and Ty race around, excited about about the new things they found.  Some of the highlights...

*Ty proclaiming with much adoration "Llamas are beautiful!l"
*Noelle panicking as a baby chick slipped under a fence away from her Mama.  The Mama duck was squawking and freaking out to be separated from her baby.  Noelle's concerned rivaled Mama duck's :-)
*Ty and Noelle getting to meet "AppleGobble".  Do be sure and ask Jeremy about the story sometime.
*Noelle and Ty making the cutest bunny faces.
*Nursing Alexis in the shade on beautiful summer mornings as her brother and sister explored the farm.
*Noelle and Ty getting to meet, pet, and hug a brand new baby calf.

Here's a video clip of two of the sessions.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 18

Whatever You Dream, Dream Big

Alexis is 4 Months!

Dear Sweet Little Alexis,

You turned four months on August 12th and we celebrated your 1/3 birthday in style!  We went to the Cardinals game and you got "beaked" by Red Bird.  You had on an adorable little Nike STL onesie and were just about as cute as can be! You didn't seem to mind when he held just kept gnawing on your fist without a worry in the world. 
It's been a great month for you in terms of miles stones.  You rolled over from back to belly for the first time (at 3 months, 4 days), and about two weeks later, you rolled from belly to back.  You'd think it'd be the other way around, but you actually like tummy time, so I guess you're thinking there is no reason to put all that effort in. Your big brother and sister were SO THRILLED to see you roll for the first time; I loved watching them watch you!
You're pretty much a pro now and we often find you just a roll away from smashing your head on the wood floors.  The only problem we run in to is when you roll yourself over at night and scooch into the corner of your pack 'n play and can't get out. You usually make little whimpers and twist your head from side to side.  I guess you just can't muster up the strength at night to flip back over.  I understand though, because you weigh 13lbs 15oz, are 24.5 inches tall, have 5 rolls from your hips to your knee, and it's tough to tell where your chins stop and your neck begins.  I love your chub!!
Despite the few traffic jams you get yourself in, you sleep like a dream.  Around 9:00 each night, you start to get a little fussy and I know you are ready for bed.  We have a good nursing session and then you are out like a light.  You wake up anywhere from 5-6, with a big 'ole grin, ready to start your day....until you finish eating breakfast and you fall asleep again until 8:30/9:00.  You not only learned how to laugh (especially when your feet or thighs are tickled), but you've also found your voice! Sometimes, we'll hear a huge pterodactyl-esque noise that surprises everyone, including yourself!!

Other things you like to do....the exersaucer is still a favorite and I no longer need to stuff blankets around you to keep you from leaning forward.  Your neck is super strong, you love to spin around (sometimes by yourself and sometimes with the help of Ty), and you're already tall enough to be on the 2nd level.  Another favorite of yours is the bumbo chair.  We always have you join us at dinner and you should see the buckets of drool that pour out of your mouth!  I can tell you are getting ready to eat big girl food, but you'll just have to wait 2 more months!!  If it makes you feel any better, we'll introduce the sippy cup to you at 5 months. I'm curious to see how you react to it!  You like to be read to and get huge "wild bear eyes" when we read any type of interactive book.

The bumbo chair makes you happy....

....but too much bumbo chair makes you tired.

Part of the reason you get yourself stuck at night is that you are always looking for your lovie, Zebra.  You are attached to Zebra like no other and LOVE to cover your face with the soft material.  You still refuse to keep any blankets on, but will fall asleep almost immediately when Zebra touches your cheeks.  I happen to think it's one of the most adorable thing in the world!  Our good friend bought that for you, and I'll have to find some more so that there isn't a crisis when Zebra starts to disintegrate. 

Tummy time makes you happy....

...but too much tummy time makes you crabby.

Alexis, you are such a happy and content baby!  You absolutely adore me, Daddy, Noelle, and Ty and always have a smile ready to give. A smile is almost guaranteed when Daddy sings his song to you: "Alexis leebers... jeepers, creepers!"  I can't wait to see all the new things you learn this month.

I love you baby girl.

Thursday, August 11

The Face of an Angel

Sweet Summer Bliss

Summer is about to come to a crashing halt when I return to teaching on Monday.  In late May, I made a list of things to do with Noelle, Ty, and Alexis, yet when I recently brought out that list, there wasn't a whole lot I could cross off.  We definitely had a busy summer - always on the go, taking little trips, tons of pool time- so I wasn't sure how we never managed to complete the "to-do" list.  A lot of our days and nights were made up of little things- special moments captured with one or two pictures yet creating memories that I am certain will last a lifetime for us and the kids. 

I read an article in the paper the other day, where a grandma was discussing her summer fun and it was eerily similar to what our very own summer consisted of.  It was as if she was looking in our backyard while she wrote, and I love how she eloquently captures the summer the Noelle, Ty, Alexis, and I experienced when she writes the following expert:

"They are suspended in an age of bliss, where summer is a series of leisurely delights- walks with mommy to the park, a snack cup full of Cheerios, and the joy of crushed ice.  All they care about is that Daddy is rolling up his pant legs and wading in the pool.  They shriek with glee.  Their 3 month old baby brother (in our case, baby sister, so I'm changing the he's to she's :-) ) lives in the summer bliss with them.  She has to be the easiest-going baby of all time. She is carefree and simply happy to be.  She is incredibly alert, appearing to listen to conversations and taking mental notes.  It is as though she wants to say something but is wary of frightening the adults. Although they don't own a single electronic between them, need an upgrade on anything, and have no idea who Harry Potter is, they feed on discovery.  Their joys are simple and their delights inexpensive."

Thanks for a perfect summer Noelle, Ty, and Alexis! I love you!

Wednesday, August 10

Going For A Ride

At the end of June, Daddy came home from work and indulged Noelle and Ty in a jeep ride.  He buckled them up and took a few spins around the subdivision, while I nervously called out to be careful.  We ended up moving Ty to the inside spot since I was convinced the little squirt would open the door in transit.  After they got home, we BBQed, got some DQ ice cream and took a drive out in the county to watch the sunset.  Yes, the scenery was beautiful, even with Noelle and Ty fighting like cats and dogs in the back during about 90% of the ride :-)

(taken 6.27.11)

Wednesday, August 3

I Think It's Finally Over

Dear Alexis,

Holy crap child! You just went through the LONGEST growth spurt! You started this craziness two nights ago at 1 am.  I knew something was up since you have been sleeping through the night for a while now, so I had a hunch you were starting a cluster feed.  Well, you were up every hour to nurse after that and then nursed ALL day every 1-1.5 hours yesterday.  I was about at my wits end!  Your last few growth spurts, you would cluster feed only during the night and by morning you would be back on your normal schedule.  Not so much this time around.  I couldn't believe how much you were nursing and you didn't sleep a wink through it all either.  No sooner did I take you off the breast and lay you down, you'd be crying and rooting around almost immediately. Wow, it sure was frustrating!!  Probably more so for your tired, hungry self :-(

At about 9 pm last night, you nursed and then I had Daddy give you some milk too, which was gone in about 5 minutes.  You were finally satisfied and were out like a light after that huge feeding! You didn't wake up until 6:30 this morning and are now back asleep after eating.  I bet you are super tired Alexis!

The funny thing is, is that I can tell how old you are by your eating habits.  I've never been the mom who knows your exact age in weeks/days...didn't know it for your brother and sister or any of my pregnancies either.  I mean, I have a general are about 3.5 months, but once that growth spurt hit, I knew you were 16 weeks old.  Sure enough, I got out the calendar and counted.  16 weeks old, almost to the hour!  (you were born at 1:37 am).  Pretty amazing!

Well sweet Alexis, I hope you plan on waking up soon because we all know how supply/demand works and I've got a ton of milk ready for you!!

I love you big girl!

Saturday, July 30

Brotherly Love

Ty is so in love with his little sister and it's the cutest thing ever! Here are some of my favorite pictures taken back on May 6th.  Can you just feel the love pouring out of the picture below?

Here he is keeping Alexis company during tummy time.  It's nice to have him and Noelle around to entertain her, that's for sure!  It definitely extends her time on the floor, which in turn has made her one strong little girl!

Another adorable picture of Ty gazing at Alexis! Moments like this melt my heart!

 Ty decided to try and catch the "lady bug".  He got his bug catcher and put it on her head.  Alexis didn't seem to mind the extra attention.

The day wouldn't be complete without Ty showing the lady bug how to do some forward rolls.

I had to draw the line when he brought out the bat and ball to show her how to play baseball.  I was a little concerned about the safety risk involved.  And as cute as he is, Ty has a fierce, slightly uncontrollable swing and I just wasn't up for a trip the ER that day :-)