Monday, January 22, 2018

Grace at 2.5

Man oh man I had no idea I would have a child with as much personality as Grace. This girl is hilarious and crazy and just such a goof ball. I love her energy and spirit. She is the queen of hand gestures and her facial expressions always leave us laughing.

 I think since she got introduced into the land of make believe so early with Vi, she is just over the top with everything. Almost every day she is asking me to call her queen or pretend that she is a princess or ballerina. She will have the most serious face while she dances, with her arms above her head and her feet flying up in the air. She is always trying to mimic dancing that she has seen from different movies.

 The first thing she will do in the morning is ask Violet if she will pay pretend with her. Even when Violet is gone she will sit at her castle or dollhouse and play with her princesses. She rarely wears regular clothes, unless we are leaving the house. She always has a tutu, headband/crown, dress up shoes and probably 3 other accessories wrapped around her in some way and then 20 minutes later she is in a totally different dress up. 

She likes to lip sync to her favorite song and pretend that she is belting it. This usually consists of her closing her eyes and throwing her head back while she opens her mouth as big as she can. I will hear her singing in her crib almost every day and she doesn't hold back. She will literally sing at the top of her lungs whatever song she is feeling that day.

She loves to read books and will bring me books all the the time to sit and read with her. She knows all her letters and the sounds they make. She is super bright and picks up on expressions and phrases very quickly. People at church and at Violet's school always think she is so much older than she is because of how much she talks. She is the only one her age in nursery. All the other kids are quite a bit younger than her. So she kind of runs the place and chats it up the whole time. Anytime she is around other kids her age you can tell a big difference just in the extent of her vocabulary. I think it helped a lot that she had a super chatty older sister during the time that her speech exploded. 

She adapts really well to things and is by far the most rational of our children thus far. If she wants to do something and you explain to her why she can't do it, she will just go, "ughhh okay mom" and that's that. It has been so nice. She isn't one to throw tantrums. She cried and gets over things really quickly. She is good at brushing it off when she gets hurt. Lots of times she just needs a little snuggle and then she will say" okay mom i'm fine". I seriously love her for that. She is a screamer though and it drives Mike and I nuts. We have been really trying to stop it the past week or so. It is her natural reaction to everything and it's the worst. It is so loud and it will drive you crazy. Hopefully we can get her out of that stage real fast. 

She still takes a 2 hour nap every day and then lots of times she will sit in her crib and play for a bit after she is awake. We never hear her in the morning until about 8:00 and she is still in her crib. I am a firm believer that if they aren't trying to get out then don't take them out. So I'm hoping we still have a few more months of her contained in there.

 She is also our picky eater. She is not a fan of most things we have for dinner and will only take a few bites of it. We don't make her anything else for dinner and she doesn't ask for snacks, so maybe she just doesn't have as big of an appetite in the evening. She was a lot better at trying things when she was younger. Luckily Vi has gotten a lot better at trying what we have for dinner, so maybe they are trading places for a bit.

 Grace is always making funny faces and doing silly voices. She is naturally just very funny. Mike and I find ourselves laughing all the time at her. It's also not just us that find her funny. A lot of our extended family and friends seem to think she is hilarious too. She is such a fun kid to have and I love the dynamic she brings to our family. Vi and Grace are best friends and I love seeing how close they are and how much they look out for each other. it is a sweet thing and it is very much what you hope for with your children.

We love our Grace Face and I am so excited to see how her personality develops at this age.

Violet at 5

I missed doing a full update on Vi turning 5. I really just stunk at blogging once I got pregnant. Hopefully I can go back and play catch up with all of that.

 Vi started preschool this last September and it has been so fun to see her independence grow. She of course was very nervous going into it. She has always been my cautious child and she usually needs a lot of reassurance with things. I was so impressed with how she handled our move to Georgia. It all brought on a lot of change for the whole family and she just really took everything in stride and adapted very quickly. She loves her teacher Mrs. Pam and she has made some really sweet friends at her school. 

Violet has been really excelling at reading. She has graduated pretty quickly through all her pre reader books and keeps getting more familiar with sounding out tricky words and memorizing sight words. I have been so proud of all her efforts to get better. She really loves learning. We have a little program on our computer called ABC mouse and she loves doing the art pages and math. There are dozens of songs on the program that teach all kinds of things like seasons, letters, money and continents. Her and Grace love to listen to them. Our kids in general really pick up things when they are taught in song form.

 We got Vi a little scooter this past fall and she loves to scoot around on it. She was never very interested or motivated to ride her bike, but she really loves her scooter. She also loves going into the backyard to play soccer with Mike. We really want to get her signed up for soccer this spring. She loved dance last year but the recital seriously stressed her out and so she hasn't shown much interest in dancing since then, other than around our house.

She is our theatrical one and loves to put on a performance. She has really rubbed off on Grace too because they constantly want to wear tutus and sing and dance. Vi loves to play pretend with any toy pretty much. Her and Grace could easily sit around for hours playing some imaginary game. I love to listen in on it and pick up on all the funny things they say while they are playing. There are always pretty crazy storylines going on with their princesses and since we don't really have any princes or boy toys in general they have to get very creative in how they play.

She is still our lover of art. She could color and cut and create everyday. She really has a talent and I love watching her imagination come out with her pictures. We have an endless assortment of pictures getting put on our refrigerator. She has gotten a lot better at writing too. She loves to write all of our family member's names on all her art. She mostly draws princesses and fairies or pictures of our whole family. Vi wakes up earlier than all of us, so most days she goes downstairs and colors until it's 8:00 and she is allowed to come into our room.

Vi has started to get a much better handle on her emotions. She has always had a hard time with getting angry and frustrated. This is something we have just had to constantly work on with her. This past year has been a huge time of growth for her. She is learning to talk more instead of letting her emotions get the best of her. 

She is just the most amazing sister. She is so great at including grace and helping her. Don't get me wrong they fight all the time and sharing of course is a struggle, but they have really done a good job of working together and taking turns when they play. Some days are always better than others, but I have just been really impressed with how Violet treats her sisters and her friends. Hopefully we can still make progress with the anger and the drama. 

She has grown a lot in the last 6 months. She is a true 5T and can't wear most of her 4 T things because they are just too short. In the past she has been able to wear the size below her age for some time, but this time around she just grew straight out of them. She is a bit of a bean pole right now and her legs are just getting longer and longer. He foot still grows at a snails pace, but her pants are almost always high waters these days. 

Also, to go along with all the dress ups and dancing, Vi is constantly singing and making up songs. She sings to Ginny all the time and lots of times it puts her to sleep. It is the sweetest thing. She is such a fun smart girl and it has been so fun to see how much she has matured lately. 

We love our sweet Vi and I love seeing her really take responsibility for her actions lately. She has been an ideal oldest child for our family and is turning into my mini mom. We love our girl to pieces.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Virginia at 1 Month

Ginny is such an easy going baby. It has made my transition to 3 so much smoother than I thought it was going to be. About 3 days after we brought her home from the hospital I had my first little moment of anxiety about having 3 kids! I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed. Luckily that was right when my mom came and she was here for a full week to help us transition it all. Then after that I only had to make it about 2 weeks until Mike had Christmas break and we had a few snow days thrown in there too. All of those things lowered my stress level a lot, but the biggest factor by far was Ginny. She is just the most easy going baby. She is a great eater and a champion sleeper. She was just always so content and her older sisters are the greatest help. They bring me diapers, wipes and blankets whenever I need them. They will also bounce her in her bouncer and sing to her if she is sad. Our biggest struggle was picking up Violet from school. Its just a bit of a circus, but I feel like we are starting to get the hang of it. So far she doesn't hate the car and that is a big relief too. She is our little chunker and I just love seeing all those cute rolls on her. She is officially out of newborn diapers and some of her newborn clothes are getting a bit tight on her. We are just so grateful for this sweet baby in our home right now.

Christmas 2017

This was our very first Christmas without visiting family. I was pretty sad going into it knowing that we would miss out on all of the festivities with family. I think it is always hard to be away from family on a special holiday. I think that having a new baby adds to that too. You want everyone to get to meet her and celebrate with you. It was fun for us to decorate our house and get a Christmas tree. Our girls are at such a fun age for Christmas. Violet is old enough to really start to understand the Christmas story. 
We spent a lot of time this Christmas trying to focus on the Savior. We participated in the church's light the world campaign. The girls loved watching the videos associated with it and trying to come up with ways to accomplish each of the goals for the day. We made cookies for our neighbors, videos for our great grandparents and sent texts to people for a few of the days. We watched the movies about Christ's life on too. We tried to sing a lot more Christmas songs and talk less about Santa. 
Of course we did all the fun things like Lou Lou the elf. The girls get such a kick out of him and all the fun things Mike does with him. While my mom was here we went to see a Santa with Susie and Javi. Violet really wanted a Jasmin toy this year and Grace never had anything really good. A few times she said cookies and then she would always just tell us what Violet wanted. We drove one night to see a house that had Christmas lights timed to music. The girls really loved that. Mike put icicle lights on our house and that got the girls very excited too.  Our ward Christmas party got snowed out by the snow storm that hit Georgia. It was really fun for the girls. They got to play outside with Mike in makeshift snow clothes since all our stuff is in Utah. They had so much fun and built a big snowman and went sledding on garbage bags down our hill. We tried to watch all the classic Christmas movies with the girls. 
On Christmas eve we went to our church for sacrament and then our ward put on a Christmas eve program with musical numbers and video and speakers. The girls were not really on their best behavior but it was still a good program. They wore their Christmas dresses from grandma and it was Ginny's first time at church. We came home and I had a pretty quick dinner. We called my parents to chat for a bit. Kate read why Christmas trees aren't perfect to the girls over the phone. We watched the nativity on our TV and set out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. We talked about Jesus and put everyone to bed. Luckily Mike and I had done most of the setting up and wrapping the night before so that all we had to do was arrange things. The next morning I made a big breakfast and we jingled the girls out of bed at 8:00. It was so fun to see them come down the stairs and get excited about everything. The dress ups were a hug hit this year. They also got a dollhouse and castle to play with. My mom and dad got vi a boogi board writing toy that she loves. The new princesses were also a pretty big hit. We opened stockings first and then ate our breakfast. We opened everything slow and let the girls play with things as they opened. It was so nice to take our time and just enjoy the morning. We got the game Guess Who and Violet has loved playing that with Mike. At noon we went over to our friends the Weir's house and had lunch and let the kids play. It was so nice to have someone to get together with. Then we went home and kept playing with toys and called family. I had big intentions of making a large dinner, but in the end I just didn't feel like it. So we had our Christmas dinner a couple days later. It was a really great day and I just love getting to see our girls so excited and using their imaginations and loving life. It was a great parent moment. Ginny was a champ and slept through most of the day. It is really special to have such a small, sweet baby at Christmas time.