Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bella Bday Pics!

And now all the fun pics from Bella's actual Bday!
Her update is in the post below.
The day started off with me being able to go with Bella to school! Since I had family in town, I had people to watch the littles while I hung out with my big girl!
Could she be any cuter?!

I had my mom come in as the mystery reader that day too. Here is Bella watching while everyone was guessing who it might be.

The minute she realized....
After school Bella wanted to go to Potbelly's for lunch. Here she is waiting for her daddy to arrive.
She loves her daddy.

She insisted on wearing her bday hat all day. A Potbelly employee noticed it and, on her own, brought Bella over a little sundae and had the live musician lead the restaurant in singing happy bday to her.

She loved it! :)
That night we let the girls open their gifts from Mormor and Poppi Domier.
This is hilarious.
Bella was super excited to open hers. When she opened it she saw she got a new carseat from them....
Ha! She went from yea to wait, a carseat?!
Once I pointed out the girly design and big girl features, then she was excited again. :)
(I have to apologize for the remaining pics, but every time I edit them something happens to them and they won't load. So these are not edited, so red eyes and all! :) )
Next we let them open the other gift from them, a trampoline, a much more exciting gift!

And that night we sung happy birthday and had some cupcakes. Yes, I gave up on cake making, plus we had had 2 in the last week or so! :)

Love you baby girl!

Isabella Kathryn is 5!!

Aww, My sweet Isabella Kathryn. Here is an update on Bella and I'll post pics in another post so this doesn't get so lengthy.

Bella stats are: 40 inches and 38 pounds

No way has it been 5 years since that day I went in for a normal check up, and ended up in surgery having a baby a month before she was due! Bella is still the sweet, sweet girl she has always been. She has such a passion for learning. She is constantly asking me how things work and why it’s that way. She loves, loves, loves to write words and always wants me to spell things out for her. Her new joy is reading. She's definitely at the beginning stages but she's doing really well with it and likes to do it as much as she can. Since she wanted to read so badly, I've started giving her 5 words every week or two to memorize (we called them sight words in first grade- the ones kids just know- the, at, like, I , etc.). Her favorite thing is to point these words out when she sees them out in the real world. I've got some easy readers I got before I left teaching that she is already mastering. Can't believe my baby is beginning to READ!

We just registered her for Kindergarten- again that's crazy! We love her school- we're already there for speech. The office already knows and loves her. :) One of her dear friends from preschool will be going there too, so we are hoping and praying we can get them in the same class. She is super excited about Kindergarten but not interested in taking the bus, not sure where this fear is coming from but daddy assured her she didn't have to if she didn't want to- mommy and daddy aren't too thrilled about the bus either. It’s just not supervised enough and one way would be with older kids, yadda yadda yadda...

Although I have always felt truly blessed with what a wonderful little girl Bella is, I also want to be honest and try to address and work on areas where she struggles. One area Bella really struggles is being selfish. She has always been a master manipulator, especially with her sister. And she is usually always looking out for herself. At one point Bella used to be a terrible soar loser. She was very competitive and HATED to lose. We worked very hard with her on proper etiquette on game playing with others. And now she's terrific. She lets others go first, she celebrates if others win, and is a gracious winner. It took practice but she got it. So I'm hoping to take that same attitude and work with Bella on selflessness. It’s proving to be a hard one but in time I know she'll come around. :)

Bella knows all her letters (and most of their sounds, its great to hear her trying to sound out words already) and numbers to 20 (can count out loud higher). She can write and read her name, mom, dad, Brynn, Brooke, for, no, to, at, I, a, me, my, like, we, yes, up, down, am, stop, and the. She absolutely LOVED the study of dinosaurs she did at school. She is also currently enjoying the space unit. They are also discussing Jesus' miracles. She loves the story of the fish and loaves of bread.

Lets see what else......We just put a clock in her room and told her that her and her sister have to play in their room until 8 (they usually wake no earlier than 7:15-7:30 so its not too long). It has worked quite nicely!

Bella is still totally into princesses but she also enjoys Phineas and Ferb, My Little Ponies, Littlest Pet Shop, Barbies, knock knock jokes, playing house, reading, puzzles, LOVES Art- she has actually shocked me with her talent lately, playing outdoors, her friends, and her baby sister- she could try making her laugh all day.

Another area of struggle is with Brynn. Sometimes they are the best of friends. Coming up with creative games with each other and playing so nicely. But lately there seem to be more fights than moments of fun. Like I mentioned Bella can be manipulative and selfish and before Brynn would just take it and let it go. As Brynn has gotten older, she puts up with less and then of course a fight and tears break out. Brynn also has learned just how to push her sister's buttons so that doesn't help. :) Any suggestions??!!

Sorry to get so lengthy! Again I can't believe my baby is 5, sigh. I love you baby girl. You made me a mommy, my favorite job ever, and I will always love you and be thankful to you for that! Keep your sweet, tender, fearless, outgoing, and inquisitive personality always!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Miss Brynn's 3rd Birthday (Feb.15)!

You guys leave so many great and nice comments. There are so many times where I want to respond to you. So I've added the Disque commenting system. I hope it works! :)

Sorry this post is so lengthy, but I like to have it as a record for my Brynnie Boo some day! :)

Brynn's stats: 37 inches and 33 pounds

Ahh, my little firecracker. I have had quite the year with this little one. Let me tell you a little bit about Brynn. Generally, she is a very well behaved young lady like her big sister. However, more and more she has been known to push the envelope, something her big sister just never attempted. Thankfully, it usually only requires a stern re-direction or talking to to bring her back but it has been a definite new experience for us. Another thing about Brynn is one minute she is the sweetest, fun loving, humorous little girl and the next she is grumpy, moody, unfriendly, and a down right rude individual. The thing with Brynn is you never know which Brynn you will get, she can switch on a dime. One thing I've started doing is before we go some where just reminding her to nicely say hello when someone says hi to her. I know its probably just her shyness but if you don't know her it comes off quite rude. I want everyone to know the sweet, adorable, funny little 3 year old I know so I want to try to break her out of her shell a bit.
Brynn also struggles with whining. I know it's probably an age thing but its driving me crazy! I know we went through this with Bella (and still are at times) but I don't feel like it went on this long. :) We are just constantly reminding her to use her words.
Also she is really good at pushing Bella's buttons and causing fights. This is just exhausting for me everyday and I could really use suggestions if anybody has them! :(
I don't want this post to be rag on Brynn post but we have just been going through a really hard period with her and I'm really looking forward to putting it behind us. In the midst of these hard times she brings many rays of sunshine. She can be down right silly. She has such an extensive vocabulary and acts so much older than her age. Her laugh and smile is down right infectious. She is also super snuggly, when she wants to be of course. She's always good for a sweet hug and smooch. Brynn has a huge compassionate heart. It seriously breaks her's to see others hurting or crying. She constantly wants to make sure I'm happy.
Brynn is SO smart. She catches on to so much. She has always been good at picking up on what we say, something Bella never really did or does, so we have to very careful about what we say around her! :) She knows how to count to 15 most of the time, recognizes numbers to 10, knows just about all her letters already and even some of their sounds! I can't believe it but she just picks up so much from her sister. She's even picked up on a couple of Bella's sight words that we've been practicing. She has also mastered some of Bella's easy reader books (they're just repetitive books, so she's got them memorized, but still amazing!) One night Bella was having trouble with one and Brynn took it, read through it, finishes it, hands it to Bella and goes "see." It was hilarious! A firecracker I tell ya. :)
Brynn's newest accomplishment is being potty trained!! Since she turned 2 we've tried a couple of times but she just wasn't ready. After Brooke was born she was ready but I wasn't. :) So in coming up on her 3rd birthday I told her we had 2 things to accomplish. One using the potty and 2 leaving blankie in bed. I asked which she wanted to do first, and she chose potty training. Once I was finally able to get her to tinkle on the potty (she can hold it FOREVER) she got that down quick. Now for #2. I thought for sure this would be the easier of the two cause I always knew when she was going and she'd always make me change her right away, etc. Boy was I wrong. Brynn would hold it all day and save it for nap time and bed time literally every day. In an attempt to FINALLY break her of this (this had been going on for a couple of months) I put her to bed in underwear so she wouldn't want to go in them (biggest mistake EVER). So...she just stopped going. After 6 DAYS of her whining about needing to go but then refusing go in a diaper, underwear, toilet, anywhere, we knew we had to do something. We gave her a suppository. Very unpleasant for us all. But after an hour, she PAINFULLY went with a little assistance. So we finally were able to get her to go but of course it was super painful so of course she didn't want to go again. So again I had 2 or 3 days of constant whining every 10-15 minutes. Just imagine having that feeling but then pushing it away over and over. :( Thankfully my mom came in and I looked forward to getting some reinforcement. On our way home from the airport we stopped by Toys R Us to get Bella her good behavior award. While we were there I told Brynn she could pick hers out (she hadn't earned all her stars yet) and if she went poop I would just give it to her early. She goes "ok" we walk into the bathroom and she just goes!!! What?! I tried every bribe in the book and suddenly this time it worked?! She must have really wanted a Barbie horse. I thought maybe we'd go up hill from here now. Nope, back to usual. Again the next week consisted of constant whining and trying to get her to go #2 anyway she wanted to. We did another suppository sometime in there and she went immediately after, with more ease. After their birthday party, we were out to lunch and she started her whining and really needed to go. I took her into the bathroom - and TMI just to warn you- and said ok we're putting medicine in but instead just applied some pressure there with toilet paper and she went immediately! Ever since then she has been completely potty trained and going well on her own!! Every now and then she asks to me to hold her hands if its a little hard, but most of the time she does it all on her own! I just avoid constipating foods and give her a fiber cereal every morning. PTL! I think once we got her system cleared and she could go more easily, she got it. She even stays dry all night!! Sigh, we can not tell you how happy we are to have that behind us. That was not fun. I do not plan to potty train Brooke until she has to go to school. :)
Brynn, like her big sister, is totally into princesses, but also enjoys My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, puzzles, coloring, singing- she actually has a beautiful voice and has actual melody, I think some day we may have a singer on our hands, to snuggle, try to do knock knock jokes with her sister, being with mommy and helping out with baby sister, to do anything her big sister is doing, reading books, playing on her own and anything sweet to eat! :)
We finally got Brynn in to her first class! All these years of watching Bella in her classes like a champ but now it was her turn. Both girls are currently enrolled in gymnastics. I thought Brynn might be a little too fearful at first but she's taken right to it and its even helped a little bit with her fears! We're quite impressed! :)
So Brynn has had a tough year, becoming a big sister and the adjustments that come with that but she, and we, are taking it in strides. We love her very much and she cracks us up daily. We love what she brings to our family!

Here are the pics from her day!
Brynn's birthday was one of the worst she had with her #2 issues, so unfortunately we didn't do a whole lot. :(

Growing up we had the tradition that on our birthday we got to pick our own cereal to have in bed. While I'm not quite ready for them to have breakfast in their bed, we did let them pick their own cereal. So we said goodbye to Fiber One Honeynut Clusters for a bit and hello to Captain Crunch's Oops Berries. Which is captain crunch with ONLY the colored berries. Yuck! The girls loved it though of course. Warning!! TMI to follow: this lovely cereal turned their BMs BRIGHT GREEN. Can't be good.
Enjoying her berry cereal!
That evening the girls had their gymnastics class. Beforehand we celebrated with dinner at McDonald's with their buddies!
Later when we got home, we sang Happy Birthday and had some cake.

I carried on my lovely baking tradition. Look, it came out slanted??!! I have no idea what is up with me and cakes!
Bella goes, "Brynn let's blow out the candles together, ok?" Brynn of course obliges. :)
And big sis does most of the blowing. :)
The day before we popped some popcorn and watch Despicable Me. That movie was WAY cuter than I was expecting.
Brynn's birthday is the day after Valentine's Day so we were all dressed up in our V day outfits. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

She's 7 months!!

I still have to pinch myself sometimes.

Brooklyn is the sweetest, most well behaved baby ever.
Smitten with her big sis.
I thought I got lucky with Bella, and even Brynn was a good baby, there's no way I'd get a third angel baby. But I did, and if its possible, she's even better then Bella and Brynn.
Since she was 8 weeks old she has gotten down to only waking once in a 12 hour stretch. Around 6 months she started regressing and waking up more often. Like I've mentioned before, I intended to let her cry it out. Unfortunately, all she does is scream for an hour and a half and ends up throwing up. :( I'm also torn with not wanting her to suck her fingers so I've been putting it off.
Recently, I had gotten her to make it though the night by just sneaking in there when I use the bathroom and popping her paci back in. Although lately I can't seem to wake before she does, and the paci just won't do for some reason. So now she's back into waking and insisting on being fed. Sigh. Just once though, and she ends up sleeping till 8-8:30, so its not so bad. I just feel she's in some sort of transition right now and we just have to figure it out.
Some day I'll sleep again. :) It also could be teeth (which I tend to avoid saying since Bella didn't get her first till 15 months).... I feel like if I can make it to the point where she can roll and get her own paci, we'll be able to let her go. She also is so stuffy right now I know if I let her cry she'll just gag and end up throwing up.
So anywho, that's my only struggle right now, I'll take that any day! :)
Right now Brooke's schedule looks like this:
8-8:30- wakes and nurses
9-9:30- Breakfast- cereal with jar of fruit
10-12 Nap
12- Lunch- cereal with a jar of veggie
1:30- Nurse
2-4 Nap
5- Dinner- a meat and fruit or veggie mix
6-6:30- nap
8-8:30- nurse and bedtime
5-6 am- quick nighttime feeding
I'm trying to break her of her 3rd nap so bedtime can be a little sooner but then she tends to wake another time at night, so I'm just leaving it for now. Its nice because the big girls go to bed at 7:30 so we have special alone time with our baby girl. :)
So as you can see we're going through some transitional stuff with naps and bedtime and just trying to figure out what works best. Other than that Brooke has gotten better at sitting up on her own. She can for a little bit but then tends to throw herself backwards. She still hates tummy time and has done the tummy to back twice but that's it. The other night she started pulling herself up on to her knees, NOOOO, its too soon! Just this week, she has started to not be in her crib where I originally lay her. So I know her being mobile isn't too far off. :( She says Dada all the time, grrr. We're working on mama. :) She's also says baba and gaga. :) She has also recently started this whole loud growling thing. Its quite hilarious. She eats like a champ. She loves solid food, I think a little more than me these days. :( She can put puffs and yogurt melts into her mouth.
Brooklyn loves, loves her sisters. She puts up with and enjoys all their craziness. Bella is pretty much the only one that can get her to belly laugh, she still likes to stifle her laughs. Interestingly enough being lightly tapped in the face is what gets her to laugh the hardest. She's drooling like crazy these days but no teeth.
She loves her exersaucer. Whenever I lay her down she is constantly crunching, she much prefers sitting up then laying down. She used to hate bath time but now as long as the water is right, sisters aren't too crazy, and she is sitting up she actually quite enjoys it. :) She hates having poopy diapers (the other two were never bothered by it) and she actually giggles when you change her.
Someone is super ticklish! :) She is super squirmy, constantly kicking her feet. Nursing is getting a little difficult cause she's easily distracted and the hooter hider drives her crazy. She loves to be held and the minute she gets eye contact she'll flash you world class smile!

Other than that I'm just trying to soak up every minute, enjoy her endless snuggles, and bask in the glow of her massive smiles!
Our family is all the better now that she's a part of it!!

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    I used to be an elementary teacher but am now a stay-at-home mommy with three sweet baby girls. Bella is 6, Brynn is 4, and Brooklyn is 1. We also have a sweet Golden Retriever named Beckham. I have been married to the love of my life, Vincent, for almost 12 years. Although I hate the cold I am a Chicago girl through and through. And thats about all I've got!

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