Friday, September 28, 2012

School Days

We seem to have fallen into our school routine now.  

Tyler is out the door by 6:40 and has football practice or a game after school every day.  So far, his grades are great and I hope he continues to do well.

Collin and Reagan have enjoyed walking to school.  Sometimes they take the bus for fun, but this week we have walked every day.  It is ridiculous that we even have a bus for our neighborhood; it takes us less than ten minutes to walk to school!

For some reason, Kate always grabs Collin's hand and holds on to his finger the entire way to school.  He has to pull his finger away when we get there.  It really is sweet.  Notice the marker in her other hand, it keeps her quiet.

Last night was Back to School Night for Collin and Reagan.  We are very happy with their teachers and expect they will both have a great year.  

This self portrait was waiting for us on Reagan's desk.  

Reagan's teacher, Mrs. Machado, has a detective theme in the class and the kids can earn "detective dollars" for good behavior.  They use the dollars to shop from the prize box.  

Collin's teacher, Mrs. Ashton, uses plastic links for her behavior system.  When a child earns ten links, he or she gets one ticket toward a prize.  They keep the links in their pencil boxes.  Also, each child has three links (one red, one yellow, and one green) attached to his or her chair.  If the child has all three links, he is "on green" (good behavior), but if he "goes on yellow", he has to remove the green link and so on.  The teacher said the act of removing the links really works for stopping bad behavior.  I have no idea why I am writing about the behavior stuff because Collin and Reagan have both been on green every single day of school since Kindergarten.  I just thought it was interesting, I guess.  

I still find myself surprised that Collin is in third grade.  Gone are the days of cute self portraits waiting in the classroom, he's a big kid now.  We did get to write a note for his bucket though.  His teacher is using the bucket system, just like his second grade teacher did last year.  The idea is to write positive notes for classmates to fill their buckets instead of negative things that may dip from their buckets.  The idea comes from the book, Have You Filled A Bucket, Today?  

We borrowed the book from the library last year and I think the concept is great.  We still have a note from one of his classmates last year; it says:  

Speaking of being a great mathematician, last week Collin had his first Spectrum Math class.  He is one of eight third graders in the math enrichment program and he loves it.  Also, thanks to my friend Natalie, we have been thoroughly enjoying Bedtime Math.  Every night after dinner, we check out the latest math problem on the website.  I love that each problem has different levels so that Collin and Reagan can each answer a related question, and Collin LOVES the bonus questions.

I am looking forward to the school year.  Collin and Reagan seem very happy with their teachers and classmates, and Tom and I were impressed with everything we saw and heard last night. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Pirate Girl's Treasure

We had so much fun with The Pirate Girl's Treasure, An Origami Adventure, by Peyton Leung and Hilary Leung.  The pirate girl heads out on a quest to claim the mysterious treasure left for her by her pirate grandfather.  She has quite the adventure full of obstacles like a mountain, lightning, a shark attack, and more.  The book is fun, but we loved that the last few pages include directions to retrace the steps of the pirate girl's adventure in origami.  

The book was perfect for our small celebration of  Talk Like a Pirate Day.

She Stands Alone (like the cheese)

Kate just recently started standing on her own.  I was able to capture the process from crouching to standing.

That is a package of sage leaves that she grabbed when I opened the refrigerator door.  I am still wondering why we have toys.

This morning, Kate ate her first bowl of Cheerios with milk.  Until now, she has only had them dry.  She did so well with the spoon and she seems to love Cheerios again.  The last few weeks, she hasn't been interested in the cereal, but the addition of milk made them extra special today.  Other than in her cereal, she has not had any milk to drink.  She does not like the taste at all; she gags and throws the cup to the floor, it is really quite dramatic.  Collin and Reagan were the same way and they still don't drink much milk.  I know previous generations think that cow's milk is an important part of the diet, but it really isn't necessary - there is more calcium in leafy greens; also, the kids all like cheese and yogurt.  I have been mixing blended spinach, strawberries, and yogurt for Kate at lunch time and she thinks it is delicious!

Kate has had a hard time with teething the last week or so.  She has one molar in and a few trying to come in and they certainly make her cranky.  I think she has had more trouble than her siblings.

She is still nursing in the night and has zero interest (probably less than zero) in weaning.  As a matter of fact, when I try to get her back to sleep without nursing, she hits, scratches, thrashes, and throws a fit.  This is all so weird to me because the other three kids weaned so easily without any trouble at all.  I think the nighttime weaning is going to have to be cold turkey and I think it is going to be miserable for Kate and me.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Begging for Food

Kate loves to eat.  I mean LOVES to eat.  She eats anything and everything these days.  The funny thing is that no one can eat anything without Kate begging for a piece.  She is like a little dog!!!  She makes her way over to whoever happens to have food and whines, whimpers, points, and does whatever else it takes to get a bite.

I think her favorite food is anything anyone else is eating!!!  The funny thing is that Reagan was the same exact way as a baby.  AND, I am not sure why I am saying Reagan was the same way, because she STILL loves to eat whatever anyone else is eating and she is known for sticking her fingers in Dad's food and stealing a piece.  Sometimes this drives Tom crazy, BUT I am convinced that Reagan is the best eater in the house (she eats everything, and has a very mature palate) because she likes to try what everyone else is eating and I hope Kate grows to be the eater that Reagan happens to be now.  Plus, Kate is so darn cute that no one can resist the way she begs for a bite.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Shadow

Kate does not like to be far from me.  She is constantly aware of my presence, and if I leave a room, she follows me; she is my little shadow.  Sometimes, being next to me just isn't enough; she has to be held.  If I am busy cooking or doing something else, she will hold me instead.  So, it isn't unusual for me to have the view in the above photo.  I am chopping vegetables or stirring something on the stove, and Kate is attached to my leg.  Now, I have a hard time looking at that sweet face and resisting the urge to just pick her up.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Katelyn's First Birthday

We had a small (grandparents, aunts, and uncles) birthday celebration for Katelyn this weekend.  As we were planning the party, I felt a little guilty because Tyler, Collin, and Reagan all had big parties for their first birthdays, but in the end, this party was perfect.  Kate truly enjoyed her party and she was so much fun the whole time.

Collin took this picture before the party.

We had pizza from Ma Raffa's and I made a banana cake with cream cheese frosting.  Collin and Reagan decorated the cake.

They loved having such an important task and took pride in the decorating.

They would have used more sprinkles and jimmies, but I had to draw the line here.

Kate thought the cake and ice cream was absolutely delicious.  She licked her plate clean!!!!!!!!!!

She had a lot of fun opening presents too, and she got excited about everything she opened.

Collin and Reagan have been pushing Kate around the house on this toy constantly; my back is thankful!!

Kate already loves clothes!  This one shirt with blue flowers was one of her favorite gifts.  She wouldn't put it down and she kept trying to put it on herself!

The party was a lot of fun and Kate was so precious all day long.

Later that night, we went to Grandma's house to watch the Spirit of Somerset fireworks.  Kate pointed to them in the sky and really seemed to enjoy the show.  It was a great ending to her birthday celebration.

Happy Constitution Day!

Collin and Reagan wore red, white, and blue to school for Constitution Day today.  I couldn't resist a quick picture before they walked out the door.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


One Month

Two Months

Three Months

Four Months

Five Months

Six Months

Seven Months

Eight Months

Nine Months

Ten Months
Eleven Months

I made pumpkin muffins yesterday and this morning we put a candle in one and sang Happy Birthday.

We are all so happy to have Katelyn in our lives.  I cannot even imagine life without her.  I hope she has many wonderful birthdays and I look forward to watching her grow.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fifty-two Weeks

Kate is particularly fond of the song, Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star; I often hear her "singing" it.  Even though she can't really sing the song yet, it is possible to hear some of the sounds and rhythm of the song in her voice.  She also does some hand motions to go along with the song, moving her fingers for "twinkle twinkle" and putting her hands up in the air for "up above the world so high".  When she says, "up above," I think it is very clear; Tom says it is only clear because I know what she is singing.

She is just starting to cruise a little.

Kate averages three one hour naps each day - one around 9AM, one after lunch, and one in the late afternoon.  Of course, Kate's naps all happen in the stroller or in the car so I am limited in what I can get done at that time.  I typically leave her in the stroller with the kitchen door open, so I stay in the kitchen and wash dishes or prep for dinner.

Most of her clothes are 12-18 months and she will fit in them for a while.

She gets very angry when I take something away from her.  This is what she looks like when she is throwing a temper tantrum:

It almost always results in her throwing herself down,

and sometimes it results in her biting me, but she isn't quite the biter that Collin was as a toddler.  I hope the biting does not get worse!  Collin used to bite to get a reaction; Kate typically only bites when she is very angry.

Luckily, there are not too many temper tantrums.  She is a very sweet, happy baby most of the time.