Three Kids and a Dog

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Peyton Learns to Read

When I was a child I loved to read. I still do to this day although I don't have as much time to do so with young children a foot. But, I still get the feeling of peace and bliss when I walk into a bookstore or a library or even a card store.  I love being transported in my mind to another place and time and seeing the story unfold on the TV in my brain.  

So it is with great pleasure that I tell you that Peyton is reading. She started a few weeks back and has been encouraged by her effort and breakthrough that she is always asking us if she can read to us now. She has been reading so regularly now that she has quickly moved from the A level to the B level in reading at school. Her books are getting longer and the words harder but still she doesn't give up! 

The other piece of reading is the comprehension. I still do read to her too, and we just finished the book selected by the PTO. I read it to both Austen and Peyton, and I have to say Peyton scored as well or better than Austen in explaining the story and answering questions about it. 

To say I am not worried in the least by this child moving on to first grade is an understatement. She's going to do just fine!


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hailey is Shy

Hailey is probably the most verbal of all three of our kids especially at this age. However, most people would never even know it as she really doesn't talk and act like her normal self when other people are around.

Her teachers at school asked me if she talks at all at home. I replied that she talks nonstop and is forming complete sentences already and has been for awhile.

She is the third child so she picks up on a lot of words and their meanings and then uses them correctly in a sentence too. I sensed that they maybe wanted to recommend her to a speech therapist or something, but I reassured them that she doesn't need speech. She just needs socialization and that's why she's going to school!

In fact, just today, Peyton had on this new caramel-colored faux leather jacket. We were getting ready to leave the house when Hailey kept touching it and then out of the blue just says to Peyton, "I like your jacket."  It was so funny and amazing that at just age 2, she was not only able to decide that she liked this article of clothing, but then was able to articulate how she felt about it. For a moment there, I had a glimpse of what the future may be like with these two sharing clothes!

I wish she wasn't so shy with people. It definitely takes her awhile to warm up even to her teachers who I don't think really even know the true Hailey...yet. Maybe next year she'll let them in.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Spies

The other night, Austen got his first dose of what it's like to have a little sister who now goes to your school. As we are eating dinner together, Peyton says nonchalantly, "Austen, why were you at the nurse today?" Austen, obviously, stunned by Peyton's question, looks rather sheepish and doesn't answer. Tom and I raise our eyebrows curiously. "What? You were at the nurse?" we ask.  He still doesn't say anything but judging by his face he knew this wasn't going to be a good conversation.
Usually, most people might be concerned that their child was at the nurse, but Austen has decided to take a trip to the nurse every so often so he can get out of class.

"Elsie saw you at the nurse this afternoon when she went there," proclaimed Peyton, breaking the silence. Elsie is Peyton's friend and classmate. She has maybe met Austen twice but she knew who he was enough to tell Peyton that she saw him in the nurse's office. Now Austen on the other hand surely didn't recognize Elsie or he may have been more worried that she would tell Peyton that he was at the nurse when he shouldn't have been.

"What happened?" I demanded to know.

"I hurt my ankle," he said. His ankle looked fine to me and he just got done playing 90 minutes of soccer on it. I gave him my best, "you've got to be kidding me" looks.

"Well, I had a stomach ache," he admitted.

"Why did you have a stomachache?" I asked. Usually, when he has a stomachache he has to go to the bathroom.

He says nothing so I follow up with:
"Didn't you go to the bathroom at school?"

"I don't like those bathrooms," he says, "they are so small!"

Small? Really? Dirty maybe but who cares if the bathrooms are small, this isn't your personal restroom! After telling him he better be bleeding or have a broken arm the next time he sees the nurse, he sheepishly nods, okay.

And, Peyton smiles smugly. Although, she better be careful because I bet there will be way more instances of Austen sharing what Peyton shouldn't be doing at school or elsewhere in her future.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Predictions

Tonight over dinner, I said to Tom that at least every few years we should document what we think our kids are going to be when they grow up. I think it's so cool to see them show such an interest in something or be very good at something and this is the kind of interest I want to foster. I want them to love whatever they do in life because they chose it and they love to do it. I saw so many of my friends in college major in things that they didn't love only because their parents thought they should.

Tom said he knew at age 8 that he wanted to be an architect and I knew probably by age 10 that whatever I did had to have something to do with writing. So I think Austen is at the right age for this prediction. Peyton and Hailey may be a little young but it's still fun. So here goes...

Austen:  At age 9, I predict Austen will do something sports related. Maybe he'll be a sports writer or an announcer. He loves the stats, knows all the players and watches ESPN every morning so he can tell us the scores from the day/night before. He's a pretty good speller and editor of so maybe he'll be a journalism major like with an emphasis on the sports.

Peyton:  At age 6, she's not a fan of dolls. She uses her American Doll clothes to dress up her stuffed animals. Most things that she has are related to animals. School is definitely easier for her than Austen so maybe she'll be a vet.

Hailey: Age 2, she will be our most athletic, most verbal, best all around child. Smart as a whip, very verbal (although shy) and very coordinated. She's probably going to be a combination of Austen and Peyton (but all of their best qualities). She likes to build with Legos and figure out how things work/fit together and she does not want you to help her. She likes to figure things out on her own. Maybe she'll be the one to take over Tom's architecture firm.

Other predictions:

Best Student: Hailey
Best Athlete: Hailey
Friendliest: Austen
Most Successful: Hailey
Likely to Go the Farthest Away to College: Peyton
Likely to Have the Most Kids: Austen
Likely to Be Our Biggest Challenge: Peyton

I wonder if these will change in the years ahead and how they will change. Either way, I'm sure when they are older, they'll get a good laugh out of them.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Austen Turns 9

Here's to the last year of single digits for my oldest!

"I can't believe he's 9," I said to Tom the other day.
"I can," he said. "He's been with us a long time!"

Yes, some days it does feel like he's been with us a long time and other days I just want to freeze time and keep him with us at this age for as long as possible. I mean how much longer until he's off with his friends most of the time and we never see him?!  And, just think in only 9 more years and he'll be off to college!

I don't want to even think about that so back to the present! Austen celebrated 9 with a friend birthday party at Top Golf - described as half golf, half bowling, half darts. Ever the social butterfly and the one who is kind to everyone, Austen's invite list was large and even so, he couldn't invite everyone. Nevertheless, he had fun golfing with his friends, snacking on gourmet bar food and eating his favorite chocolate cake. Almost all of the kids had never been to Top Golf before (including us) so I would say it was a hit for the kids and the parents (picking up their kids) alike.





Sunday, he was visited by his grandparents and got to open a present from his aunt/uncle.

Monday (his real birthday) brought presents from us and a special dinner from Chipotle (Austen's request) after his soccer practice so he could watch the Clemson vs. Alabama football game. That was his request (Tom and I didn't even know it was on).


I think he had a great long weekend of celebrating. Happy birthday buddy! We are happy you are 9 but mom and dad are also happy the birthday season is over for our family. Phew! We made it. 

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Peyton Turns 6

Peyton celebrated her 6th birthday with her very first friend birthday party. (Austen had already had two friend parties by the time he was 6 but hey, he's the oldest right?!) Never having a friend birthday party before she wasn't sure she actually wanted one. All she was used to was her family being here for her parties and she liked those a lot. However, after this one I think she may be requesting more friend parties! I think she had a lot of fun!

She awoke on her birthday morning requesting chocolate chip pancakes, bacon and to open her presents. We obliged and then it was off to her birthday party at Build a Bear with 14 of her friends (while her brother and sister stayed at home with a babysitter so we could give Peyton our full attention). If you know anything about Peyton, you know she loves animals and she does have a million stuffed animals so it only seemed appropriate to hold her party at Build a Bear where every child could make a stuffed animal of their choice and choose an outfit. Peyton loved greeting her friends, playing games, and making her Husky with a red sweater.

After her party, Tom and I took her to lunch before heading home. At home she spent an hour or so opening her presents and then Grandma and Papa came over to give her more presents! So many presents. I'm thinking about celebrating her half birthday next time as having your birthday so close to Christmas means way too many presents! Or I told her next time she'd have to donate them - maybe to an animal shelter. I think that would be right up her alley!

She ended the evening by going out to dinner at Chilis (her choice) and having us all sing to her twice (no candle at Chilis). Not sure what she wished for but I'm hoping 6 is a lot better for her than 5!

Happy birthday to my sassy P!

Birthday morning presents


Filling our stuffed animals with a heart and stuffing

Best party EVER!

Nothing like topping off lunch with Mom and Dad AND a sundae!



Papa came to celebrate with me and bought me Shopkins! Yay!

Grandma came too and bought me Ugly Pets!

Happy Birthday to P!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Have you recovered? I don't think I have yet! We are still putting away toys and clothes while reorganizing closets and bookcases to accommodate all of the Christmas presents! So much stuff! Our kids are so incredibly lucky to get so many gifts from our families but it's so much. Seriously, they have three Christmases at least!

Christmas morning Austen and Peyton were up early. Hailey wasn't so in tune to the fact that she was getting presents this year so she was much more into watching her morning Paw Patrol cartoon than going to check out the presents. We held Austen and Peyton off for as long as possible and then we dove in. Soon thereafter, I noticed that Peyton's pile of presents was really small in comparison to her siblings. I whispered to Tom, I don't think that's all of Peyton's presents. We must have forgotten a whole tub of presents in our hiding spot just for her since we separated them according to each kid. It just so happened to be that all of those presents were from Santa. Peyton had in fact counted the presents for each of them and did say Austen had more than her but she said this matter of factly so she knew something was up with her presents. Being our challenging child, I thought it was a bit humorous that we had forgotten only her Santa presents so I thought it would be a good opportunity to teach her a little lesson since we needed an explanation for why her presents weren't here. I then told her that Santa had not delivered any presents to her that Christmas so that must've meant she had not worked hard enough at being good. I wasn't sure how she would react but she took it on the chin and didn't say much about it as she watched Austen open his presents and Hailey. In fact, she was so good about not getting presents from Santa that it briefly crossed my mind that she was really growing up. She did have still quite a few presents from Tom and I but not many toys in that bunch. Anyway, I was so impressed that I couldn't bear to watch her any longer and announced that I heard my phone in the other room. I came back with a tub full of her presents and told her that the elves had called and Santa wanted her to have these presents this year if she agreed to be good for the whole next year. She quickly nodded. Tom and I told her how proud we were of her and how she handled the whole situation. Maybe 6 is going to be a good year for her! Finally!

Christmas morning

Helping Hailey unwrap her presents

Cousin love at Christmas #2

We tried to get a picture of all the cousins but Hailey was having none of it for the second year in a row. Sigh. Maybe next year.

Christmas #3. Hailey did great for it being such a long day and only napping for about 45 minutes.


Cousins at Christmas #3 with their respective doppelganger!