Monday, August 29, 2011

You Can't Keep Them Forever

The day has come. From the first held her I knew this day would eventually be here. Eventually I would have to take my little girl by the hand, walk with her to her first day of Kindergarten, give her a kiss on the cheek, tell her to do her best and then stand back and watch her become her own little person.

Even though I knew it was coming eventually, it didn't make it any easier when it was finally here. The couple of weeks and days leading up to her first day of school were rough on Mama. I found myself tearing up all the time. I just couldn't help but feel like letting her go to school was like losing a part of her. It is hard leaving your little girl for such a long time. School is from 7:55 - 2:15. That's a long day on anyone, especially a 5 year old and her mama. It makes me sad being away from her that much of the day. I feel like I have lost so much time to just Be with her, enjoy her, listen to her thoughts and watch her play. Perhaps I now appreciate and cherish my time with her in a way that I didn't before. Sure, it is quite a bit easier getting my errands and shopping and running around done with 1 less kid in the house. And I do very much enjoy my time with the boys....the chance to have more one on one time with each of them. But we all miss her energy and her spirit in the house when she is gone.
Makenna did great on her first day of school. She was definitely ready! Ready for the stimulation, the friends, the socialization, the learning. She had gotten a bit bored and stir crazy towards the end of summer which made it easier to accept her going to school.
The night before school started we found out the she was going to be in Mrs. Folks class. From what I had heard, Mrs. Folks was known to be an amazing, very good teacher with a lot of experience, and also a bit on the strict side. Mrs. Folks has high expectations of her students and their behavior and does not take a lot of slack. Initially I was a bit worried about this, but by the time we found out that this was going to be her teacher both Todd and I felt strongly that Mrs. Folks was actually the best fit for Makenna. And we both felt very blessed when we found out that she was in fact in her class. Makenna is the type that likes to push the line and test her boundaries. The idea of her having a teacher that makes her lines and boundaries Very clear and sticks to them is a great thing for Makenna. Plus, she is a very sweet and loving woman!
Kenna did good going to school on day one. She did get teary eyed a number of times (not too unlike her mommy, but her mama's tears were a little more in secret). She wanted to stay close to Todd and I, didn't initially want to go sit down with the other kids and had a hard time when she needed to say goodbye when the mommies and daddies left. But she recovered quickly and did well. She made a friend or two that she was able to stay close to and was able to dry her eyes and go be the big girls she was supposed to be. Since then she does better and better every day. She always gets a touch clingy and sad right before she needs to go to class, but with a kiss and some encouragement and as soon as she spots her friends she is off and on her way with perhaps only one or two looks back.

We are now about 2 weeks into Kindergarten. By Makenna's report is sounds like she is doing really good. She has made a couple of friends, Kara and Elli and gets excited to see them every day. She says that she has fun and that everything about school is exciting. She does complain that it takes "so long" and doesn't like that she has to go Every day other than the weekend. Like I said before, it Is a long day and I can understand her dislike for how long it is. But she seems to be doing good work, behaving well and having fun. She has a smile on her face every day when I pick her up and that to me is a good thing.

I do think that today we hit the "overtired, emotional kindergartner" phase. Everyone warned me about this and up until today she seemed to be doing pretty well. But from first thing this morning she was just tears after tears. Anything was offending her and making her sad or upset.

Of course today she did get in a little trouble once and was quite sad about it on our way home. Then tonight while we cuddled together in bed she told me a teary rendition about recess - That her friend Kara knows how to go across the monkey bars but she doesn't. That most kids don't know how to, but the monkey bars are her favorite thing and Kara is her best friend and it's not fair that Kara can go across and she can't! She continued to tell me that the teacher (duty) out during recess won't let her go on the monkey bars because she keeps falling and she might break her arm. But Makenna tries to go on them anyway and then keeps ending up on time out for not listening. She was upset because "if they never let me try then how can I learn? It's not fair!" (nothing is fair in Makenna's eyes these days!)
I did see her point, but I told her that she had to listen to the teacher and that it's not okay to be disobedient. I promised her that we would go to the park and practice until she could do it on her own. It may have been a dramatic re-telling, but I did feel bad for my little girl. And it was strange to hear about the struggles and battles she has when I am not there to help or intervene. But I guess that is all part of stepping into herself and growing up.

We love you Makenna. You are a good girl, a beautiful girl, a smart girl. We miss you so much but we are proud of you, what a good job you are doing and what a big girl you are becoming!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Our Big Con!

I don't know exactly what happened, but apparently when Conner turned 1 someone told him he was no longer a baby and that starting immediately he must behave like a toddler. I swear, it seems like practically overnight Conner put his infant ways behind himself and adopted a very big boy, 'nothings gonna stop me' sort of attitude.
I truly look at Conner sometimes and wonder what happened to my little baby. Conner is a wild child now! 100% boy all the way. Totally fits the stereotype for what you expect a little boy to be through and through! He is still sweet and cuddly and cute as can be. But now he is into EVERYTHING! He is smiley and funny and loves to laugh. He also loves to run around grunting and growling and yelling with glee. He loves to carry things around and hit anything and everything in his path....walls, the floor, the furniture, toys, siblings, etc. I'm trying hard to curb this impulse of his, but it's a bit tricky when he can't really be disciplined all too much at this age beyond telling him "no".
Conner is a climber! He started walking at 11 months and already at 13 months old the kid can climb on all my furniture, coffee table, bathroom vanity, all the way to the top of the playset, etc. It scares me that he is skilled enough to successfully climb but lacks the maturity and skill to know what to do or how to get down safely. He is definitely one that needs an eye on him All the time!

Here are a few things about Conner at 1
- Not just walking but running and climbing. Just learned the fun of playing chase and loves to run away from someone trying to get him while he squeals with delight!
- Says Mama, Dada, Dog and makes a "num num" sort of word when he wants to eat. Not saying much else beyond that, even though he does make a lot of noise!
- Loves to give high five and gives amazing kisses
- Very much a water baby! Loves the water so much...he acts as though he is ready for you to let him go and have him swim away on his own
- Weighs 24.2 lbs (70%) and 32 inches (95%)
- Hates getting dressed and getting his diaper changed
- Has 7 teeth....4 on top and 3 on the bottom
- In love with balls. Happily spends a large part of the day collecting, carrying and throwing balls around the house. And he has a good arm too!!
- Gets along great with both Makenna and Kellen. Wants bad to keep up with them! Would love to play outside all day long if he could!

Hanging with the big kids now. And he's even starting to look like one of them!
I just love this face! And that just kills me! That boy was blessed with a beautiful head of hair! Very lucky kid....
Look at this boy go! I feel sort of ripped off though! I was totally looking forward to that stage where you can let them run around outside and they can be just happy to run and play without having to worry too much about them getting into everything. Yeah, we sort of skipped that phase. I guess he's just an over- achiever!

Isn't he just so proud though?!
My happy babe with his baba and his blanky. I'm a bit of a push over with him! He may have his bottle a bit longer than his older siblings. He is just so sweet and cuddly when he has his bottles, I am sad to give that up!
The scowl! He gives this look a lot, but it is normally followed by a smile.
We just love our little Conner so much! He is as adorable as they come and has such a sweet heart. He is full of love and laughter and kindness. And at the same time he is a force to be reckoned with. Conner makes his presence known! He is full of like and spunk and attitude and knows how to hold his own. I can tell already he is not going to ever let anything stand in his way. We are so blessed to have his spirit in our home and have all the joy that he brings to each and every one of us. We love you Con!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Little Shag

Conner's cute and shaggy hair has inspired me to try and grow out Kellen's hair and see what other options are available with it. His hair is VERY different from Conner's. Kellen's is pretty thick and course, Conner's is thin and fine. Kellen's has a bit of a wave to it, Con's is straight as can be. Last time I had taken him in to get it cut the lady pointed out the way that his hair starts to get a bit wavy with length. What a better time to grow it out and see what it is like than right now when he is 2 and no one is really going to care what his hair looks like. For awhile it was going through that in-between stage that was driving me crazy, but recently the length has started growing on me and looking cuter. It still has a long way to go, but I am starting to see what it may end up being. He's adorable no matter what his hair is doing, but I am also enjoying the chance to have fun and experiment with him.
Kellen and I have had a lot more time together recently, and it has been such a blessing and so nice to have this special time together. Children are so different one on one than they are when all their siblings are around. It has been so good to have that time with Kellen again, to play together, just he and I. To laugh and be silly and enjoy time with each other. I feel like Kellen is really growing up right now. He seems to have gotten taller and more stretched out and is just looking more little kid like and less toddlerish. He gets smarter every day and I am always blown away by the details he remembers and the connections he makes with things all on his own. He is a great big brother to Conner and really loves be the leader when it is just the two of them and teaching him things, showing him the ropes and helping him out. He's just a good boy inside and out. I love my brown eyed boy!
This face and those eyes will always melt my heart!
He can be such a goon. I love his silly side!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What a Babe!

Seriously, that shaggy blond hair and those beautiful blue eyes make me smile and melt my heart every day. I just know this boy is going to be a hottie. Hands off my baby boy ladies!
Well Conner is learning what Chuck E Cheese is all about and this last time we were there he gave it a big nod of approval! This boy is into everything and Loves to try and run with the big kids. Chuck E Cheese was a great place for him to get to do that. It's crazy seeing my little man acting and being so big all of the sudden.

You see the wild in those eyes? I tell you, this boy has some crazy energy. Fearless. Brave. Total Boy all the way through. He can get onto just about any piece of furniture he wants to now. Thankfully he is pretty good about safely getting off the furniture too. He is just full of mischief and adventure. I swear any time I turn my back on him he gets into something. He is doing his best to keep mommy on her toes at all times and is succeeding in this mission to run his mama wild. Having 3 had been going so smoothly.....He wanted to make sure the 2 to 3 transition was really as hard as everyone had made it out to be. He has done his job, and some :)

This is Conner's fake little pouty face. Any time you tell him no, this is what you get. If he doesn't get his way, this is what you see. If his siblings are picking on him this is the face he gives them (along with a good high pitched scream!). Silly boy.
Makenna really just dotes on Conner. I can tell already that he is going to be here little baby that she always just keeps under her wing. I think that she and Kellen really view each other as equals and treat each other the same. Whereas Conner is definitely her "baby" brother and she treats him the way you would expect an older sibling to care for their little baby. He adores her right back and knows he can always get his way with his sissy. I just hope the two of them don't team up on Kellen....I worry. Makenna and Conner have very similar personalities and energy. One of them can be a lot to handle, let alone 2!

Moms Main Man

I love my little Bud Bud! I think Kellen is always going to be my little mama's boy. And I have to say I love it! He just brings such big smiles to my face, how sweet and loving and cuddling he is and the way he looks at me, smiles at me. The boy just melts my heart. Just the other day I was out at lunch with the boys while Kenna was at school (which we will be posting about soon!) and even though it was just he and I sitting at the table with Con in his high chair he still wanted us to sit on the same side of the booth. And then while we ate our sandwiches he kept his right hand on my leg pretty much the entire time. Once I had to get up to grab Conner's water that he had dropped and as soon as I sat back down he slid all the way over to me again and put his hand right back. What a little lover!
Kellen and Makenna are at the age of loving to mix their ice cream up until it is smooth and melty and delicious. I can't blame them....I loved it that way as a kid and still love it like that today. These pics crack me up though. I guess this is what Kellen may look like in another 14 years when he is trying hard to grow a mustache :)

Now that's some passionate ice cream eating!
We are finally passed (most of the time at least) the stage of not wanting to look at the camera. Instead I now get the totally cheesey, big smile, which frankly I love. I know it looks forced, but it is cute as can be anyway.
This boy is a snacker! Seriously, the kid wants to snack all day long. I think he would rather sit and eat snacks than do just about anything. And he has ALWAYS been this way, since the time he was old enough to have snacks. It was tempting him with snacks that finally got him crawling at 10 months, otherwise he would most likely be rolling around and army crawling to this day. He's a skinny boy though...far from chubby or overweight. And we keep his snacks healthy. He's just a silly boy with a love for food. I tell ya, he's a little chef in the making!
Dress up with Hanna Knoop. The mouse and the's a good sounding fairy tale, right?
Kellen and Conner getting into everything already. These two boys are such a contrast with one another. Very different looks, very different personalities. Both adorable, cute and funny. I actually think they will compliment each other well, and I do see them being quite a pair together. They both looked so big and cute together here. Love the little brothers!
Kellen loves to give. He is even willing to share his precious snacks with is fellow action figures and friends. This just made me smile.
And then there's the Makenna/Kellen tag team. These two are something else together. Sometimes they get along Wonderfully! They can spend an hour playing nicely together in the room, having fun, laughing, sharing, being good. Other times they will tease and torment one another relentlessly. Some days Makenna is Very mothering of Kellen and is happy to be his mentor and example and be a huge help with him. Other days the two of them feed off of each other so much, get all wound up and wild together and get into endless trouble. One thing is for sure though, Makenna does bring out the silly side of Kellen. I love this about their relationship, even when it does cause me grief here and there. They are good for each other and will always have a strong bond.

Catch Up

Well somehow July turned into a totally insane month! So much happened, so many pictures were taken and I feel like I got completely behind! So here is my attempt to play catch up, one kid at a time. We will just go in birth order, since that's what you do, right? :)
Grammy and Makenna had the chance to go on a fun little date together. Grammy surprised Makenna by taking her to the circus! I have to say I was a bit jealous....I would love to see the circus! They had a ton of fun together and I was really happy for them to have the chance to have some special time with each other. One on one time is not always the easiest to come by. Grammy has pics from the circus that I still need to get from her, but aren't they cute together?
While we were up visiting Sarah for the day Bicky got home from work right as we were getting ready to go and offered to take the kiddos on a quick quad ride. Kellen decided to wait until next time to try it out, but Kenna got up there instantly. She had so much fun and was raving about how she got a turn to help drive it. She is always asking when we can go up there and she can go on a "really long ride this time!" Kenna loves her Uncle Bicky!

So about a month after tooth number one had to be pulled we had another tooth incident. I know what you are thinking - "What wild thing was Makenna doing this time that knocked her tooth out?" But believe it or not, she wasn't even being wild when she damaged tooth #2. She actually hardly hurts herself doing daring things. It's always the ordinary kid stuff that damages her, go figure. Anyway, we were just finishing up in the pool and as she was lowering herself into the water from grabbing a toy off the pool side she smacked her mouth/tooth right on the pool edge. Sure enough it was bleeding like crazy and was loose as can be. I knew instantly that it was a goner. And sure enough a few days later the dentist took it out. On the bright side she looks Very cute with her 2 front teeth gone, she now has 2 gold coins from the tooth fairy, she will have a Great Kindergarten picture this year and she will have a fun song to sing for the next couple of Christmases!
Kenna with Ashley's little boy, Baby Evan. She was in love and in awe. She keeps wanting to know when we get to have another baby. I keep reminding her that we still have a baby. I'm not ready to call Conner a toddler yet!
Sissy takes such good care of her baby brother. She really adores him and he totally matches her wild energy. These two little blondes are going to be total partners in crime! I see it now!
Makenna, London and Gwyn. No reason why a swing for 2 can't have enough room for a 3rd. Trust Makenna to find a way to make it work!
I love my crazy Goon!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Papa Time

Since Papa moved up to Utah a few years ago we have not gotten to see him nearly as much. The kids miss him. He is so incredibly young at heart and knows just how to get down on the ground with the kids and play with them in just they way they enjoy. While I was in post-surgery recovery we decided it would be a great time to have Papa come down for a visit so that we could see him, he could spend time the kids and provide them some entertainment while I was getting used to getting around again. It was great to have him hear, to have him spend time with the kids and get the chance to be together. We had a lot of fun times and some great memories. We love you Papa!
Any time I think of a harmonica this is the image that comes to mind....Papa. He always had his harmonica out playing songs while I was a kid. And now my kids love to sit by him and listen to him play as well. It's a very sweet thing to see.
Kellen giving it a shot....still hard to say if he has the natural talent or not :)
Papa and the Con! It was nice for them to get to spend time together and get to know each other more, since the last time they were together Conner was just a newborn.

The kids tried to help Papa fly his kite. Unfortunately the wind was just not the best, but they had fun seeing him try anyway.
If you look closely you will see that Kellen is in between Papa and Makenna somewhere.
A child at heart :)

Papa was able to be here for Conner's birthday party as well. It was nice to have him here to get to celebrate this fun time with us as well. We love you Papa!