Friday, September 27, 2019

Scarecrow Farm fall fun.

We visited a new pumpkin patch/apple orchard and it was amazing! It was in the nearest bigger town to us, so we had to drive 45 minutes but it was so worth it. It was so cool! So many fun things to do. My parents were visiting for the weekend, so they got to come too. We also celebrated my sister Kayla's birthday (who goes to college in our town), so she got to come too.

Three cuties on the hay bale swings!

Trying out the trikes.

Norah riding the big ones with Kley.

The sweetest tractor driver ever!

Norah helped Lucy climb up the netting to this slide in the sweetest day. What a great big sister!

I was amazed at how many neat things this place had! They had a corn maze, pumpkin patch, obstacle course, zip line, pirate ship, hay bale swings, several different playgrounds, big trampoline jumper, corn pit, tractor rides, hay rides, and probably even more that I'm forgetting. The girls loved the horse swings too!

Tractor ride! I love that Kley and Norah are making peace signs at the same time. :)

The corn pit was huge and in the shade, so fun!

Love that my parents and Kayla could come too. 

Jumping- we all went on and it was super fun, almost everyone said it was their favorite thing!

What a super special day!

Lucy loved this tire swing tunnel that was part of the obstacle course. It was pretty big and she did it twice.

Hay ride through the apple orchard.

Family time is the best time! Fall is awesome! :)

Monday, September 23, 2019

Lucy and Ellory recently.

Lucy and Ellory are 2.5! They are seeming so grown up, especially now that the big girl bed and potty training transitions are over. Sleeping is so much better than it used to be, and we are so thankful! The first few months of big girl beds were tough. Most times are pretty good now, occasionally we still have to go in there sometimes, but it's not a daily battle like before. Ellory takes a bit to fall asleep, but thankfully is usually quiet and not disruptive. She usually still naps, but has a couple days here and there where she doesn't. Lucy falls asleep quickly, but occasionally wakes up in the night. Thankfully that is better than it used to be too and she goes back to sleep easily with a quick drink and hug. She occasionally wakes up earlier in the morning and sleeps for another 30 minutes to an hour in our bed. Potty training is going well! There is still an occasional accident, but they are rare and they are doing well. They still need help in the bathroom, but Lucy is getting pretty independent! They are going about every 1.5-2 hours. Sometimes they will tell us when they need to go, but it's still a lot of our guidance to go as well. They are fairly regularly dry after nap time, but still sleep in a pull-up and are wet in the mornings (though a couple mornings Lucy has been dry!). Ellory had a yeast infection back in July, which was very difficult for a few days because it hurt to go so she would try to hold it and scream and cry whenever she went, but thankfully the cream helped and cleared it up quickly. Ellory still struggles with constipation and takes her awhile to get it out. We tried a laxative (per doctors advice), and it didn't seem to help much so we are going to try a different one. If we gave it to her occasionally, it didn't do anything, and if we gave it to her everyday she swung opposite and went straight to diarrhea.

On June 4, Ellory got her top two two-year-old molars. On June 11, Lucy got her bottom left two-year-old molar. On June 15, Lucy got her top left two-year-old molar. On June 29, Lucy got her top right two-year-old molar. On July 9, Lucy got her bottom right two-year-old molar. Also, I realized that I put their two-year wellness check stats on their stats page in their books, but not on the actual update, so I'll put it here: Lucy was 24 lbs. (16%) and 35.5” (93%) and Ellory was 27 lbs. (55%) and 35” (87%).

Lucy is independent and loves to try to do everything herself. She is pretty good at getting herself dressed, likes to go to the bathroom by herself, and can put her own shoes on. She also loves to cuddle at other moments too. She loves to help and is pretty good at cleaning up (when she wants to be). She doesn't mind getting dirty. Her language has exploded and she is saying so many things and using longer sentences. It's so fun to hear! Lucy loves to ride her strider bike outside and is really fast! She also loves her new scooter and wearing her helmet. She is really sweet with babies (dolls and real), loves to cook in the kitchen, push around the stroller, and loves when Kley comes home. Some days she enjoys screen time during the allotted time, and other days she'll watch for a bit and then just play.

Ellory would rather have help with most things and we are practicing doing more independently. She loves to cuddle only occasionally and loves words of affirmation. She would rather stay clean and usually doesn't care to join in Norah and Lucy's chasing/wrestling. She loves praise when she listens well. She is very sweet with babies as well (dolls and real). She likes to build legos, read books, color, and her favorite outside activity is chalk. She loves when Kley comes home! Ellory's language is extensive and she says so much! Ellory recently thinks that freckles are nipples, which has been quite funny to explain. She also saw a picture of a man with a mustache and thought he had poop on his face, gross but funny! Ellory loves cheese pizza and macaroni and cheese. She loves her allotted screen time each day! Ellory likes to have short breaks throughout the day and either cuddle her favorite fuzzy blanket in her bed or to lay in Norah's bed (when she lets her), and often likes to sleep with a stuffed animal. Ellory loves to pray, which is basically like quiet mumbling, but it's the sweetest thing and she closes her eyes and yells, “Amen!” when she's done.

Both girls recently discovered that everyone has eyebrows and they think thats hilarious and love to point them out. Both girls love to “scare” Kley at the door by roaring at him when he comes home. They both love milk and are good eaters. Lucy eats the most of the three girls. They like taking their vitamins and usually like brushing their teeth. Recently they've started liking big ponies and pigtails more, which is adorable. They are wearing 3T clothes and size 7 shoe, almost ready for size 8. They are very excited to go to preschool next year, as now they watch Norah go- they love to talk about how they can go “next year when they are big and three.” We love you so much, Lucy and Ellory!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Norah recently.

Can't believe that Norah is almost five years old already! A whole hand, as Norah as said. What a gift! Norah, being your parents is a blessing. We love you so much and are so proud of who you are.

Norah is smart, kind, and funny. She is a protective big sister and is a big mother hen. She loves to look out for, and sometimes bother, her sisters. She is so good with babies and really loves to help younger kids. We watch a friend's baby one day a week and she loves to hold her and help with her. Sometimes she talks about having an imaginary brother; not sure where she gets that from. Norah started preschool, Sunday school, and Kindermusik again recently and has done well with them all. She is a bit hesitant starting new things, but does well with talking about what it will be like and what will happen, and it has helped her this year that she already knew a couple kids in each class. She is more comfortable in smaller groups- bigger groups, especially if there are lots of older kids, make her nervous. She seemed ready to go back to preschool and we are thankful that she is excited to go and has good things to say when we pick her up. It has been so good for her! I'm amazed at all the things she is picking up already in just a couple weeks time. She is exploding in letter learning, in identification, sounds, finding letters in words, etc. She can correctly identify most of the letters and knows words that start with many different letters. She knows some of the sounds too! She is even picking up on exceptions to the rules, like the other day she asked me what letter Phoebe (my sister's dog) starts with and was confused how it could start with P when it didn't make the “puh” sound. I want to practice writing more letters than just the ones in her name. She knows all of her shapes, colors, numbers, etc. She can count to 29, but then sometimes gets mixed up and starts counting by tens. She also likes to pretend to speak Spanish. She knows a few words, but then just makes up things (our neighbors speak Spanish). We did a few pages each day in her “school books” this summer, like preschool workbooks, and she did a great job of doing it joyfully- a great way to keep practicing and learning!

I was thinking recently about different phases Norah has gone through. Sometimes it doesn't seem like a big deal until it's over and then when you think about it again later you miss it. Norah went through a big Coldplay phase awhile back, and has asked to hear a couple of their songs again. Last summer Norah loved to take bags outside and go on nature hunts and put random stuff in it. She hardly ever did that this summer, but asked for a bag once this week and it made me so happy to remember/revisit that stage again. Norah used to always ask me to help her change the clothes on her dolls, but recently I've noticed her dolls in different outfits, so she's doing it herself! When she was three, she said her favorite color was dark blue, but all of this year it's been pink, sometimes pink and purple. She used to like to sleep with socks on, then not for awhile, and now likes to again.

A big excitement for Norah this summer was learning to ride without training wheels! We worked on it for a long time, and she was so close, but was too afraid of falling so she never really took off. We let it go because she wasn't showing much interest and we didn't want to force it, so she didn't even try for a couple weeks, but then at a friends house she just picked up a bike and did it! It was like it just clicked. She loves to ride bike now. She also got a new “big kid” scooter with two wheels (her old one had three), and has liked riding that as well. Norah loves to make creations with sand/mud/water in the backyard with the sand toys and dishes from the play house. She loves to play with Elizabeth, our neighbor friend, whenever they are out together. She loves to go to the park.

Norah loves to make crafts with paper, colors, scissors, and glue sticks. She likes to draw/write notes on her clipboard and play restaurant. She enjoys reading books, dolls, building things, and helping cook or bake. She loves to play golf, help in the workshop, and make sandwiches with Kley. She enjoys her allotted screen time each day watching the PBS app. She recently started sleeping with her closet light on (along with the nightlight), which she never used to do, but thankfully is a good sleeper. She occasionally wakes in the night to use the bathroom, but falls asleep easily because she rarely naps. She has rest time in her room and she does very well playing quietly. If she does happen to nap, it takes her a long time to fall asleep at night. She still needs encouragement to take her vitamins. She has always done well at the dentist, but last time did especially well and sat so still, did everything they asked of her, and even did x-rays! We did have a few follow up hearing checks because Norah didn't pass her preschool hearing test last spring, but it was just some fluid that thankfully went away on its own and everything is okay. At the beginning of the summer, Norah switched to size 6/girls small clothes (goodbye toddler section!) and just switched to size 11 shoes at the beginning of the school year.

Norah is intuitive and has an incredible memory. She loves milk and her favorite food is macaroni and cheese. She has been praying more, which is incredible, and almost always thanks God for babies and bounce houses. She doesn't like to say goodbye or Facetime, I think because it makes her sad or miss them. She loves when Kley comes home and wants to be around him. Kley and Norah recently started reading bits of Little House on the Prairie before bed. One of my favorite moments of the day is reading books with just Norah before rest time in the afternoon after we lay Lucy and Ellory down. Norah is a pretty good rule follower and listener. We love you so much, Norah!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Fields of Fun 2019.

Our community had a pumpkin patch for 30 years in the area called Pumpkinland, and they announced last year that they were closing. We were super sad, because we visited there often and it was one of our favorite places! But, thankfully we heard amazing news a few months after the closing news that a new place was opening this year called Fields of Fun- yay! The girls and I headed to check it out on a beautiful morning. I am treasuring this time together so much, as it feels like they will all be in school before I know it!

The girls loved the corn pit, seeing the animals, and pushing little wheelbarrows around and filling them with mini pumpkins. Ellory said three different times in the car on the way home that she had so much fun! :)

Love my girls!

The donkey was by far the favorite animal!

They are open September and October, and I'm confident we'll be back again a few times!

See our Pumpkinland trips here- 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015. It's so much fun to see how our family grows each year looking back on posts like this- love it!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Labor Day weekend fun with friends.

My college roommate and her family came to visit us over the Labor Day weekend and we filled it with lots of fun activities! We hit up the park a couple times and played outside when we could, but Saturday was raining all day so we headed to the closest bigger town to us for some indoor fun. We went to Drop Zone, which was our first time there and we said we'd definitely go back some time this winter when we are looking for activities. It's an indoor trampoline park/arcade/laser tag but they have a special kids area for ages 1-5, which was absolutely perfect for our girls. They had a kids kangaroo jumper and a pretty big jungle gym climber. They loved it!

Then we headed to Chuck E. Cheese's. I have so many fond memories there from when I was little, so it's special to take my girls there! Also fun that both of these outings weren't too expensive. We got a $10 thirty minute card (the cheapest option), and I think we definitely maximized that card because we did tons of games.

Their ages are super fun because they just enjoy the experience and don't worry about the tickets. They liked getting them, but they mostly spent their time on the little rides (where you didn't even get tickets), and were totally thrilled with getting a small piece of candy as their prize at the end (out of the smallest prize categories). I will be sad when they grow up and a tootsie roll is no longer an amazing prize to them, but for now I will relish it. :)

Everyone loved these two space rocket rides!

Norah loved this simulated roller coaster ride where you watched it on a screen and the seat vibrated and moved. So fun! Thankful she loves rides and will be my buddy, as Kley doesn't like them.

We ended the day with Chick-Fil-A. Sunday we went to a nearby lake and the kids loved playing in the water and sand. I remembered to pack my camera, but unfortunately forgot to take a single photo. Oops. It can live on in our memories I guess- means we were having so much fun I didn't even think about it!

Love this group photo! So fun to watch our kids play together, as they are similar ages, and so neat to stay connected over the years. Thanks Joe, Jackie, Daniel, Noelle, and Thomas for visiting us!