Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Owen!

Five years ago right now, we were in the hospital preparing to become a family of four- today our little man Owen turns FIVE years old!  I can not even believe it!  When he was born, Owen fit inside my Christmas stocking and now he is very much a BOY... he is 45 1/2 inches tall and weighs 45 pounds (not so little anymore)! 
Owen is doing awesome!  He is in Pre-K this year and loving it!  His teacher used to be Avery's day care teacher- which I think helped Owen's adjustment to school as he can sometimes still be extremely shy.  He is starting to come out of his "shell" more often though, which is really nice to see!  He is doing so well in school- he has a best buddy and they are cute looking for each other every day.  Owen loves puzzles (and is really quite good at them), dinosaurs, trucks, and superheros. 
For those of you who haven't heard- Owen recently tested the laws of gravity- he thought he could stand on Maddie's plastic toy ballet barre... turns out that he can not!  He fell and broke both bones in his left arm clean through- he's done amazing with it though- he's met the ER staff, OR staff twice, 2 Ortho doctors, xray staff 6 times now... and now 5 weeks later the cast is OFF already.  I was a bit skeptical (maybe I still am) but he's doing great and using his arm a bit more each day... I just hope he doesn't test the strength of the healing bone by falling again anytime soon!
Again I had a hard time choosing a song for Owen's video this year.  I almost used "The Walk" by Sawyer Brown but it didn't quiet fit as Owen is becoming more and more outgoing everyday.  After narrowing down a medium sized list, I chose "The Riddle" by Five For Fighting.  I usually choose a song because something in the words reminds me about the particular child or something that hits home from the past year... I've had this song on my "mental list" for a few years now and I guess I just thought it seemed like the right time to use it.  That said, I actually made Owen's video earlier in the month and wasn't sure exactly what I was going to say about it in regards to Owen but (without casting a shadow over the celebration of Owen's birthday) listening to this song today made me think of the senseless tragedy that happen in CT last week and somehow the words were more powerful to me today.   This song makes me think of a father and son- the son asks the father "Dad, what is the sense in this life?" and the father replies "catch a Dylan song or some eclipse of the moon, let an angel sing and make you swoon, then you will see... you will see"- as if to say "don't worry, enjoy being young- you will grow up soon enough... you will see".  The dad does still plant the seed of thought (a riddle)- "find the answer, there's a reason for the world, you and I".  The song shifts and that son has grown and is a dad himself now.  He says that even though we are big, we are still small in this world... there are secrets and mysteries and we don't have all the answers.  His dad gives him a clue "I love you free". 
When I think about the father-son relationship I want for my boys, I think about Ben and his dad.  I can't speak for their relationship while Ben was growing up but from the stories I've heard, I think it was mostly good!  And now as adults, they talk several times a week about everything.  I can see that already with Ben and the boys, especially Owen.  He idolizes everything that Ben does.  Any bit of praise, especially from Ben and Owen literally beams from ear to ear!  And so it is my hope that this "seed" of father-son relationship blooms into what Ben and his dad have... I know it will!  And Owen, you are one of MY reasons in this world.  I love you and I hope someday you will understand how much!  Happy Birthday Bud.  We love you !

Monday, June 25, 2012

A new milestone!

Hooray!  After much anticipation (and drama this evening)... Maddie has lost her 1st tooth!  She immediately  put it under her pillow in the box she and Ben made (and painted, and decorated)!  She is super excited to find out what the tooth fairy is going to bring her!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Springtime Shenanigans!

Hello, we hope that everyone is doing well!  We have had a very busy spring!  We have enjoyed some nice weather but have also had a lot of rain!  Maddie has been very busy with end of the school year things at school, ballet recitals and such- so most of these pictures are of her!  Owen, Cole and Avery have finished daycare and now all 4 kids are at home with a babysitter (an old day care teacher) when I am at work.  I am still working only 2-3 days a week so it is not so bad.  We started off the spring by finishing up our house renovations (which I just realized I still need to post pictures of)!  We celebrated Maddie, Cole and Avery's birthdays-  the first pictures below are of Avery's birthday!  Maddie had her 1st ballet recital as well as a class play where she was the "big" billy goat in 3 Billy Goats Gruff, alphabet parade at school and also played soccer!  Owen was signed up to play T-ball but decided that he absolutely, under no circumstance, was interested in playing- or swimming which he was also signed up for... I guess we'll wait until he's "really ready" to do those kinds of things... our terribly shy boy!  Cole also decided that he was not at all interested in swimming lessons... oh well.  (Another reason that all the pictures below are of Maddie)!  Maddie also received, for her birthday, a gift certificate for a horseback riding lesson- which we redeemed yesterday... Maddie LOVED it!  She met a very nice horse named Oley, that she rode for an hour.  Maddie was quite comfortable- "a natural"- now she wants a horse of her own (not if we have anything to do with it)!  Enjoy the pictures below.  (Sorry there are so many, I couldn't decide between them.  Also I don't care for the single file nature of them- this is a new way of downloading them that I haven't figured out yet...)  Enjoy and Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Avery's birthday

Avery enjoying a popsicle

Our Billy Goat

Our little "toddler"

"M is for mint, many and Maddie"

Sleepy Cole

Our little ballerina in her ballet recital "Peter Pan"

playing soccer

"Off I go"

Horseback riding with Oley!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

It hardly seems possible that a year has past and that Avery is turning ONE!  Maybe it's because our house has been under renovation and we've been preoccupied with that or because we have 3 older kids to keep us busy, but it seems like just the other day that we were bringing Avery home.  Avery is amazing- She is such a joy!  The older kids LOVE her and she just adores them!  Avery has been, yet another, easy going baby.  As a 4th child I suppose she has no other choice!  The only thing that stands out in my mind is that she absolutely REFUSED the bottle until she was 10 months old!  She didn't fuss too much about it though, but rather just turned her head and wouldn't take it.  In fact, she wouldn't drink anything all day long while she was at day care- I even tried sending breast milk in a sippy cup when she was just 5 months old- that didn't work well either!  I guess she's had a stubborn streak from the beginning!  It's fun to watch Avery- we can see a little bit of all the kids in her, yet she is her own person as well.  She is happy, funny, shy, snuggly, loving, energetic, outgoing... the list goes on.  She says Mama, Dada, baba (bottle) and ba (ball), and she shakes her head yes and no appropriately.  She just started taking a few steps on her own last night!  I thought for sure that she'd walk before any of the other kids as she started sitting up on her own the day she turned 4 months old- but that goes to show that Mommy doesn't know everything.  Avery's 1 year well child check isn't for a few weeks so I don't have any stats to share at this time, but I do think she is the most petite of all the kids.  She was able to use her infant car seat until just a few weeks ago... more because I refused to give up the convenience of it, not because she is actually that small!  At times I feel twinges of sadness knowing that Avery is our last baby, especially now that she is on the go, exploring things on her own, taking her first steps-  she is much less dependent on me.  That said, I look forward to being able to do things as a family, like travel and other things, that are simply just too hard to do with 4 kids under age 6!

The song I chose for Avery's video is "Handprints on the Wall" by Kenny Rogers.  "Days go by so quickly, summer turns to fall, seems like only yesterday, that you began to crawl.  So don't be afraid to take that step, I'll catch you when you fall.  I don't mind if you leave behind a few handprints on the wall".  These words remind me that time does go by so quickly.  When I think about how much we've done in the last 6 years it makes me wonder where the time has gone.  The words also reminds me of something that I try to remember everyday... it is the little things in life that matter- they are really the big things, like spending time with my family and enjoying story time with the kids- the everyday stuff, even if it may seem boring or a nuisance at the time- these are the things that matter!

And so Avery, my hope is that we will always be there in your time of need to catch you when you fall- whether it is learning to walk or something much bigger.  Know that you are loved very much and we are so happy that you are in our lives.  Happy Birthday our Little Goose, we love you!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Cole!

I can't believe that our littlest man is 3 years old today!  Just like Maddie, Cole is doing great!  This past year, and really just in the last few months, Cole has made the transition from toddler to little BOY!  He knows his ABCs, can recognize and name most of the letters, can count to 15, and knows his shapes and colors.  He has been attending day care 2 days a week this year and seems to really enjoy being with his teachers and friends there.  He is an awesome big brother to Avery and she just adores him- she beams from ear to ear when she sees him!

Cole has always been our "wild child", if you will.  He learned to walk earlier than any of his siblings and gives his Mommy grey hair any chance he gets.  He is constantly into everything... just yesterday we caught him playing with the motor oil- I have no idea how he even got the cap off but he poured it into the puddle in the driveway... more grey hair!  Cole is becoming very good with his words, and using them instead of hitting his older brother and sister.  I will hear him say "you're making me angry" or "I'M MAD"!  The other thing that Cole does that is super cute is he points his finger at you and shakes it while talking as if he's making a point about whatever he is saying.  

Someone once told me to pay attention to the way that the children entered the world (their actual birth) and see how that compared with their personality as they grow.  So far that has been true with (at least) the boys.  Owen is very laid back, content to watch others, "a man of little words".  Cole, on the other hand, is the total opposite.  He is loud, outspoken, energetic, intense, silly, fun but very loving.  He was born 13 minutes after we arrived at the hospital and he hasn't stopped since!  

For the life of me I couldn't decide on a song for Cole's video.  I almost used "Born to be Wild" but it didn't quite fit the video.  I was looking for an upbeat, fun song since that is what Cole is.  The song I chose "Johnny America" by Five For Fighting has no sentimental value as some of the other songs I've used have had.  It is just a fun, upbeat, kind of random song- just like our Coley!  Cole, you might drive me crazy most days but these traits that you have now are ones that I want you to have as you become older- so I hope you never change.  Happy Birthday Cole!  We love you!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Madelyn!

I can't believe that we have a 6 year old!  At times it seems like just yesterday that we arrived at the hospital for the first time.  Little did we know what we had gotten ourselves into or how wonderfully our lives were about to change!

Maddie is doing great!  She is in Kindergarten and LOVING it!  She has a wonderful teacher and a nice class.  She will actually have the same class and teacher next year too, which she is excited about.  Her goal at the beginning of the year was to be able to read a book and she is very good at reading now.  She likes to read all the signs she can and is very good about sounding out the words that she doesn't know.  Maddie is taking ballet right now and preparing for her 1st recital in June.  She loves dancing and all the girls look adorable in their little outfits.  Maddie has just finished a learn-to-swim week over the school vacation and is looking forward to trying soccer later this month.  She is an amazing big sister to Avery and the boys (most of the time)- she really takes pride in being able to help out with the baby though.

Maddie also recently took part in a talent show at her school, which I regret that we don't have any pictures of.  She and some friends hula hooped.  They were very cute up on the stage and did great.  At the beginning of the process it became apparent to me that Maddie did not actually know how to hula hoop but she wanted to do it anyway.  She practiced a little but then refused to practice any more.  As the show drew closer I wasn't sure whether to be embarrassed for her since I knew she didn't actually know what getting up in front of an audience was all about and all the other girls were good at hula hooping.  She didn't care though.  My MIL told me not to worry as Maddie was only in Kindergarten.  She was right.  The girls got up on stage, Maddie's hula hoop kept dropping to the ground and finally she looked at the other girls and picked up the hoop and spun it around her arm the rest of the time!  They did great and most importantly Maddie had fun!

I had a difficult time choosing songs this year.  The song I chose for Maddie's video- "This One's For The Girls" by Martina McBride I consider more for a high school age girl but the message is the same.  Be strong, don't let anyone tell you what to do, you are beautiful, be yourself.  These are all things that I want Maddie to know and remember as she makes her way through childhood encountering peer pressure and the unknown.  So Madelyn- Happy Birthday my beautiful, strong, independent girl- this one's for you!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

11 months old

Only one more month and our little munchkin will be 1! It's hard to believe! Avery is great! She has such a good nature and personality but definately has her likes and dislikes. She will shake her head yes or no to tell you what food she wants to eat. It's really quite funny. She has (finally) decided that she likes the bottle, but no longer will eat baby food (not even the homemade kind). I guess I can't really blame her. She will stand, briefly, by herself but has not taken any steps yet, though she will walk a little pushing a toy or walker around. She adores her big brothers and sister and they love taking care of her. Here are a few pictures until next month!