Three Kids and a Dog

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Austen vs. Peyton

Be nice to everyone, I told Peyton the other day. If you do, you will have a lot of friends like your brother. Be nice to the boys, be nice to the girls and be nice to the new kids too. I want to embed this in her head early on so she never thinks it's cool to be the "mean" girl. Although she does have a little clique of friends at school and her teachers have already told me that they weren't so nice to a new girl recently. So we had the talk. And, I am glad we did because the new girl is one of their good friends now.

Austen on the other hand is so different. He's nice to the boys and the girls. In fact, he was one of only three boys recently invited to a girl birthday party and the other two boys couldn't go so he ended up being the only boy there. He didn't mind one bit though. These were his friends. It didn't matter if they were boys or girls. When I went to pick him up, he was having a blast with all the girls. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body and could never intentionally hurt someone else's feelings (unless it's his sister Peyton). I'm sure a lot of girls will break his heart some day because of it but I'm sure Peyton will take care of them:) 

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Toughest Boss

I have a new boss these days. She's very demanding, pushing me to do things outside of my comfort zone. Things that I never thought I would do or want to do. Tough bosses bring out the best in us and make us believe that we are better than we actually are at the jobs we take on.

My new boss is 5 and her name is Peyton. She's my middle child who is very much into crafts. Now don't get me wrong, before I had Peyton as my boss, I loved all those cute ideas on Pinterest that I would find but I would gladly hand those over to my husband to execute as he is the more artsy one in our family. Heck, I don't even like carving pumpkins. But, being at home now with a daughter who loves to do art has pushed me to find activities for her and me to do in the mornings before she goes to school. I started slowly with a simple craft or two and then ventured out to our local art store to purchase a bunch of art supplies so we might be able to create anything we wanted at a moments notice. Fifty dollars later, I had a great base for any art project. So Peyton and I started doing a few together then we would have play dates with some of her friends and I would have a craft or two planned for them to do. Peyton loved this and so did all of the other girls. In fact, late one night, Tom came home from a meeting to find me hard at work creating crafts for a big play date (four girls and their moms - a different kind of networking now!).  And, just last week, I tried my hand at making homemade play dough. It actually turned out great. I can't believe I am one of those moms now! But, I see how much Peyton loves it and it makes me feel great that we can share these special projects together. In fact, when Austen gets home from school he often wants to create what we worked on that day too so now I am making extras for him to do too.

So far my tough boss has given me great reviews on these crafts so I think I am doing all right and adjusting to my new way of working. Check out some of our masterpieces.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Hailey Can Read

When I took Hailey for her 15 month doctor appointment, the doctor asked me how many words Hailey could say. She said 5-10 were normal. At that point Hailey was well over ten. She's like a sponge. Say it a few times and she'll remember it. So it's only logical that after we read her a bedtime story, she tries to read one on her own to us. The video below shows it all - her tone, inflection and her ability to not waver even when her brother or sister are being loud enough to distract her. I thought she was going to be my quiet child but I don't think that's true either.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Girls Trip

So last weekend, Peyton and I headed to Boston for a little girl time. Some thought we were crazy venturing there in February when they already had seven feet of snow and more coming but it seemed like a good time for a change of scenery and a visit with my aunts, uncle and cousins. I took Austen to Boston on a trip with me when he was five so I thought it was only right that Peyton have her turn too. I wasn't sure how this trip was going to go. Peyton seems a whole lot needier and less mature than Austen was at age five. She was either going to be great for me or a royal pain in the behind. It was a toss up. So off we went.

We had an early morning flight and took a car service to the airport. Peyton was so excited she talked my ear off the entire car ride and then on the plane. I asked her later if she was tired and she said, no, and that I shouldn't be either since I slept in the car and on the plane! Ha! I was trying to sleep in the car and on the plane but Peyton kept talking.  It wasn't until I put a video into her mini DVD player that she finally stopped. She was a great little traveler though and she didn't even have to go to the bathroom. As soon as we got into Boston that was the first thing that Austen had to do!

I always like going to Boston. There's a lot of history there for not only the U.S., but for me too. I was born there and although I lived there only for a short time, it connects me to my childhood. Because I spent many holidays and summer vacations visiting my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, we spent a lot of time there. I have great memories of those times and I feel close to my family there so much so that I have enjoyed taking trips back first with my friends and now with my own family.

When I go, I usually like to frequent the places of my childhood like Canobie Lake amusement park; the many beaches where I spent long days in the summer; my old houses and of course Friendly's ice cream for one of their sundaes with lots of jimmies. Peyton and I didn't get to do those things this trip as we are saving all of those things for our visit there this summer with the rest of our family, but we did get to spend lots of time with my aunts, uncle and cousins - most of whom I hadn't seen in three years. But, I did get to talk a lot with my aunts who took me down their memory lane as they recalled living in Italy during World War II when their father (my grandfather) was fighting with the U.S. I remember my grandmother telling me the stories of how the German soldiers knocked on her door in the middle of the night and how when she tried to buy some time for her and my aunts to get away, they shot at her on her balcony. I never captured these stories she used to tell us and I wanted to for our family history.
So now I have a good start on it thanks to our trip.

It was a quick 48 hour trip, but we did manage to eat some lasagna; (thanks to my cousin who makes it as good as my grandma used to and that's saying a whole lot since I don't even order lasagna in a restaurant anymore); get our nails done and visit a toy store for Peyton. It was a nice taste of a longer visit this summer and the best part was that Peyton proved to be a good traveling companion too!

Peyton on the airplane - of course she had to bring her bunny.

We've arrived and we landed early! Yay!

 Helping to set the table for a good old Italian meal.

Look, I got my nails done!

Killing time in the airport since our flight home was delayed 45 minutes.

Monday, February 23, 2015

I Have a New Friend...

Each night we gather around the dinner table to eat and share what happened during our day. We usually ask Austen and Peyton who they sat next to at lunch or what was the best part of their day. Tonight, Peyton was very eager to share what happened at school today. She said:

  • a new friend started today at her school
  • he was from China
  • he wore golden shoes
I then asked how old he was. She said five and she told me his name. She then proceeded to ever so innocently tell me that he makes these cups. And with that, she picked up her plastic cup full of milk and looked at the bottom.  You see, Austen has been on a mission lately to find out where everything is made  and he has mentioned that these cups are made in China. I could barely contain my laughter as I explained to Peyton that her new friend likely didn't make the cups just because the cups were made in China. In fact, I went on to explain that there are many things made in the U.S. (okay maybe not as many as are made in China!) and that doesn't mean that we made them. She looked a bit confused but I really hope she doesn't ask her new friend tomorrow if he makes cups!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

16 Months

She did it. She finally started walking at 16 months. The latest of the three to start walking but I wasn't surprised. She did everything later - sitting up, crawling and now walking. I predicted 16 months once I
saw her pattern of doing things a bit later but I never really thought it would take her until 16  months. We had her doctor's appointment this week and they said she now is 75th percentile for weight (although she still seems small to me) and 25th percentile for height. Although I think those are a bit off based on her age and the fact that she wouldn't let them properly weigh her. Still she's doing great. The doctor asked if she had at least 5 or 6 words and I said she had more like 10 but thinking about it later her vocabulary is more like 15-20. She is a very verbal kid.

Her eye-hand coordination is also spectacular and she can throw a ball like a pro. This weekend she even started dribbling a soccer ball! I was floored! She just started walking now she's dribbling a little ball in our basement. I think she's showing her desire to play sports even earlier than Austen. But she has a little Peyton in her too. She's feisty that's for sure and she loves to read. Just wait until my next post on this topic. Hilarious!

Anyway, as soon as she started walking it's a whole new world for her and more work for us! She constantly wants to climb stairs and stools and her brother's bunk bed ladder. She keeps me on my toes all day that's for sure since you need to keep an eye on this one!  But at the same time it's so great to see her grow into a toddler and interact even more with her siblings. Watching her and her brother and sister growing up just keeps getting better even if it means I'm getting older too. 

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Is She Walking Yet?

She is. Sort of. She keeps taking lots of steps and then dropping to her knees.  Although she is not walking consistently, each day she walks a little more. At almost 16 months, Hailey definitely took the most time out of my three to learn how to walk. 

But, I also think she is a smart little cookie. She understands far more than even I actually realize. I tell her things like give me your pacifier or out your blanket in the crib and she does. Today, we caught her in the pantry with a lint roller pretending to take the dog hair off her pants! She knows where her nose, head and mouth are located and is learning animal sounds. Her favorite - meow! I think Peyton has brainwashed her already!

She has more words like baby, snack (pronounced 'nack'), bow (and her hand flies up to her head to show me she understands her bow goes in her hair), more and milk. 

She loves looking at pictures and often lays on her back on the floor looking at them or a book. She definitely has her own voice and makes sure that her brother or sister don't exclude her. She may be our youngest but she may be by far our toughest.