Showing posts with label Gwendolyn's 2nd Year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gwendolyn's 2nd Year. Show all posts

Gwen Is Two




Gwendolyn is two years old!  I can't believe my sweet baby girl is two already.  That went by fast.

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Gwen is such a little whirlwind, in the best possible way.  She rarely sits still, and is always on the go, checking out everything around her.  I would say her personality is sweet and spunky.  She is not afraid to let us know when she needs something, whether it is attention, water, or whatever, but she does it in such a sweet, cute way.  Even at two years old she is so good at saying "thank you" whenever someone gives her something.  It is adorable.

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In some ways she is a tomboy - it is inevitable that she would be, smack dab in the middle of two brothers.  She loves cars, and she keeps up with Wyatt so well!  She runs and plays and falls in the dirt and then bounces right back up without so much as a whimper.  She is a tough little thing.

On the other hand, she has a side of her that is undeniably girly.  She loves her hair bows, and she reminds me when I forget to put one in her hair.  She feels pretty in dresses and parades around, twirling, and beams when people tell her how nice she looks.  She is becoming more and more interested in her dolls, and she will grab her baby doll and carry it around the house with her.


She is definitely more sensitive than her brother, and if something hurts her feelings she'll run down the hall to her room, crying, as if to say "No one understands me!".  When I go in there to find her, I give her a hug and she gives me a "mmmwah!" kiss, and she is as happy as can be again.  She apologizes and forgives so easily, and I hope she never loses that.

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She is so vocal and smart.  She repeats everything we say, and most of the time it is really understandable, even the longer sentences.  She combines three-word sentences on her own already, and we have had comments about how she seems older than she is because she is so articulate for her age.  She loves pointing out things that she knows, and facial features are her favorite.  Eyes, nose, mouth, ears - we go over them every night, with her sweet little finger gently touching my face.  She likes to sing along with the songs I sing to her, and when we pray at night she closes her little eyes so tight, scrunches her face into a big grin, and says her own little prayer, followed by an enthusiastic "amen!".



My Baby Doll Girl is such a bundle of enthusiasm and sweetness and spunk and innocence.  I love everything about her.  It is hard to believe that it was only two years ago that she was born in an ambulance in a panic, but from that first moment I saw her the panic turned to joy, and she has given us so much joy ever since.


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Sweet Gwen-Girl,

You are two.  I can't believe it.  You are such a gift, my beautiful girl, and I am so thankful God gave you to us.  

The other week I felt like we needed some girl time, so I took you to a Christmas party with me.  You had so much fun, showing off your party dress, snuggling next to me in our chair, and helping me pick out a gift.  You spotted a nativity scene at one point in the evening, and you pointed to it and stated in your sweet voice "Baby Jesus".  I was so pleased that you picked that up, and it reminded me of all the exciting things we have to come!  I can't wait to teach you more about Jesus, and I love seeing how you are already starting to learn about Who He is.  

You are so sweet to me, and I can't believe it was two years ago that you were born.  It still seems like it was just the other day sometimes.  You are growing up so fast, and I love it, but these little days with you are so special to me too.  Slow down, will you my precious girl?

I love you more than all the snowflakes in all the blizzards in all the winters,

Your Mama 

A Day Of Christmas Surprises

I have a feeling Christmas time is just going to get more and more fun as the kids get older.  This year Wyatt especially is really aware of what is going on, and he is so excited about his presents.
I want Wyatt and Gwen to appreciate other things beside presents at Christmas time, so I decided to plan a fun "surprise" day for us.  Both Wyatt and Gwen are so into "surprises" lately, and I thought it would be fun to do something special for them as Christmas approaches.

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First up, we made Snowdrop cookies!  These are some of my favorite Christmas cookies, and I thought they went with the wintery theme I was going for.  I shared the Snowdrop Cookies recipe last week, in case you want to try them yourself!

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After our cookies, I had a plan to make "snow dough" for the kids.  I had a mix for homemade play doh that I got from MOPS last year, so I used that - then I realized it was actually pink, not white, and it seemed a little sticky.  I was ready to call the recipe a bust, so I broke out some white Play Doh and added some glitter to it for our "snow dough".  Then I realized that I could thicken up our homemade attempt with some flour, so we used that too!  I have to ay that it smelled good, and it was nice knowing that if Gwen ate any it wouldn't be bad for her.

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At first we made snowmen, and I used a toothpick to make a smiley face on them.  Then Wyatt commandeered my toothpicks and made his own creation - he is so artsy.  Gwen got in on the action too!

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To top off our fun day, I pulled out one of our new books from Tommy Nelson, "A Star For Me".  In this book, a young camel named Ollie sees a new star in the sky, and he is just sure that God has a surprise planned for him!  He and his family take off across the desert to see what gift God has for them.

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This book is so sweet.  I new Wyatt and Gwen would appreciate it, since they love their own "surprises".  One thing I really liked was that Ollie counts his own blessings as he is traveling to find his new surprise.  It's been my goal this year to try to impress upon the kids the blessings that we already have, instead of just focusing on presents, so I like that this was incorporated into the book.

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And of course, the best Christmas present in the world is Jesus himself.  More than anything, I have been trying to teach the kids about Jesus's birthday, and the gift that Jesus gave us by being born so he could save us from our sins.  This book ended with the message of Jesus as the greatest gift of all, and I love it for that.

Overall, I think the kids enjoyed our day of fun, and I had fun thinking of little things they would enjoy!  I might have to do another "surprise day" for them again soon.

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(Gwen was feeding Clyde and reading him a "buh-bul stoh-wee".  She is so cute.)

For more cute pictures of our day of surprises, check out my Instagram or my photo blog!

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Note: I received a copy of "A Star For Me" from Tommy Nelson for free in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

Clyde At Eight Months

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Clyde is 8 months old!  He is officially an older baby.  It makes me kind of sad.


This month was a big month for Clyde - he learned to get up on his hands and knees on his seven month birthday, and since then he has gotten more and more comfortable with it.  He has moved his legs forward and his arms forward, but just not all at once yet.  He is so close to learning to crawl!  He loves being on his hands and knees and looks so proud of himself as he rocks back and forth.  He also does this little hop sometimes to get his knees underneath him, and it is so cute.

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Clyde also got his lower two front teeth!  He got the first one on November 29th, and the second on December 3rd.  He seems to be proud of his two front teeth, and he grins and runs his tongue over them all the time.



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Clyde is still loving his solid food, and he eats more than either Wyatt or Gwen did at this age.  He especially enjoys his baby food, and he gets upset if we forget to feed him.  We've got him up to three meals a day.  The other day we decided to see how much he would eat before he was done, and we counted three bowls of oatmeal and a baby food jar of apples!  He is also on formula, and takes probably 5-6 8 oz. bottles a day. We gave him his first Mum Mum "cookie" on Thanksgiving, and he enjoyed it - but instead of gumming it and letting it dissolve, he kept chomping down on it and breaking off big chunks, so I think we're going to have to find a more sturdy cookie for him.



Sleep is a little all over the place - he usually goes a 7-8 hour stretch, but it might be from 7-2, and then we still have to wake up in the night to feed him.  I am working on weaning him off his 2:00 feeding, because he is old enough that he could probably drop it.  I think he wakes up at that time more for snuggles than anything.  Which I kind of love, but it would be nice to sleep a little longer too.





I've been working more since Derek has been unemployed, and I can tell Clyde doesn't like not seeing me as much during the day.  Some days he just won't be pleased until I pick him up and spend a little time with him.  He goes to sleep quicker at night if I lay him down.


His personality is just adorable!  He is always so happy, and he smiles so quickly.  His new smile with his two little teeth just melts my heart! Sometimes if you pay attention to him he'll give you this grin and lift his eyebrow at you - it is the cutest little expression.  He still sticks his tongue out sometimes when he smiles, and I love it.


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My Sweet Clyde,

I cannot believe how old you are getting!  It seems like just yesterday that you were born.  You are such a sweetheart, my boy, and everyone loves your little personality.  I would call you social, but a little bashful too.  When I am holding you and people talk to you, you lay your head against my shoulder and give a big grin.  I can tell when you are in a playful mood, because I'll say hi to you and you'll grin, stick out your tongue, and raise your little eyebrows - it is such a mischievous little look.  When you are tired at night, or before your nap, I can tell because you will relax against me, and then your little fingers will grab my arm or collarbone, and you just gently pinch and need my skin with your little hand.  It's the cutest thing, and my signal that it is time to lay you down.  Every now and then you will still fall asleep in my arms, and as I look at your little face I can see the hints of the toddler to come, but I can also see my tiny little newborn hidden in your face.  It's happy and sad to me, because I know we have so many fun times ahead, but I also know that the baby will fade out of you all too quick.  I'm glad you are still my baby for a while longer.

I love you more than all the snowflakes in all the winters.

Love, 
Your Mama

Holly Jolly Coffee


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Christmas time is officially upon us!  We actually decorated for Christmas a little early this year.  Usually we wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving, but this year we decorated the weekend before.  Wyatt and Gwendolyn enjoyed putting the ornaments on the tree, and I love the little clusters of ornaments on the lower branches.

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In honor of the start of Christmas season, I wanted to share a recipe for Holly Jolly Coffee!  My mom re-introduced me to Holly Jolly Coffee last year, and it is the perfect hot drink for this time of year.  I like it almost as much as peppermint mochas!

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Holly Jolly Coffee

1 cup of hot coffee
1 hot chocolate mix packet
1/4 tsp. orange extract
Whipped cream (optional)

1.  First off, you should brew yourself a pot of hot coffee - whatever strength you like.

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2. Pour hot chocolate mix into a mug.  Pour in hot coffee and mix well.

3.  Add in the orange extract and stir.

4.  I like topping mine with whipped cream, and a dusting of cocoa powder makes it pretty.

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It is a super-easy recipe, but so good!  I think it seems so Christmasy to me because of the orange flavor.  Anything orange reminds me of Christmas.  It's perfect for Christmas decorating, or Christmas card addressing, or present wrapping, or anything else Christmas related!

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Have you decorated your house for Christmas yet?

Gwendolyn At 21 Months


Gwendolyn is 21 months old now, and I thought it was time for a quick update.


I feel like Gwen's speech has just exploded since I last wrote an update.  She says so many words, I have lost count, and she'll even combine two-word sentences now.  My favorite words from her are "more" (sounds like "mar"), "ice water" ("ICE! wah-er"), "pop-tart" ("pah-tert"), "Bible story" ("bie-bull sto-wee"), Wyatt (sounds about right, except super-cute - I can't explain it), and "Baby Clyde" ("bebe" *pause* "Ckg-lyde" - think German accent).  I also love how she answers questions with "yep".  I'm not sure where she learned that, but it's adorable.

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Gwen is in mostly 24 month/2T clothes now, though most of the pants are big around the waist - story of our lives.  I've been looking for the pants with the elastic and the buttons because then I can tighten them up for her.  She is really getting interested in her clothes, and she is particularly fond of leggings and shoes.  She desperately needs new shoes, so I think a shopping trip is in our future.  She also loves her hair bows, and sometimes she asks for one if I forget to put one in her hair.  I think she feels extra-pretty when she has a bow in her hair, because she always parades around the room after I put one in.

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She still plays with cars (the other day she had a car, and I picked her up to take her to her room, and she "drove" the car up and down my arm and head - complete with car sound effects), but she also likes playing with her baby dolls.  I can also tell she is gravitating toward pink things, so while I think she could be described as a tom boy in a lot of ways, she definitely has a girly side too.


She is such a little ham - she loves attention, and she hams it up whenever she knows people are watching her!  She knows how to steal the show.  I think this is a really good thing, since she is a middle child.  The other day, Derek was "wrestling" with Wyatt in the living room, and Wyatt was giggling and having fun - so Gwen goes over and tries to nudge Wyatt aside and says "my turn".  It was so cute, and I was glad she let us know when she needed a little more attention!  I try to make sure the kids each get equal time, but Wyatt and Clyde generally need more from me right now, so I think it's good that she can start to speak up for herself too.


She does so many cute things that I don't think I am going to remember them all, but favorites lately:
Spinning.  She'll just randomly spin in place, and it's so girly and cute.


Her blanket.  It must go with us everywhere, and she gets upset when I have to take it away to wash it.  She also gets upset if I try to spread her blanket over her in her crib - she likes it bunched up in a ball.


Her praying face.  When I say it's time to pray she slaps her hands together, gives this huge grin, tilts her chin up, and squints her eyes so they are not quite closed.  It is the cutest thing!  She also reminds us to pray when we forget, which I love.


Her singing.  She has started "singing" Jesus Loves Me with us.  Her word still sound a little gibberish-y, so the most noticeable parts are the  "me-e-e-e" and "so-o-o-o".  She looks so proud of herself when she sings with us, and it just makes me smile every time!

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Her "happy dance".  When she gets really excited or happy, she'll stomp her feet really fast and giggle, and it makes me laugh every time!


She is such a sweet girl, and I am so glad she is mine!

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My Precious Gwendolyn,

You are growing so much, Baby Girl!  I am just loving this stage with you.  You are such an active toddler, but you have a little baby left in you. You have an independent side and you like to do things yourself, but sometimes when you are tired you just collapse into my lap and sit with me a while, and it reminds me that you still need me too.  You have so many special qualities, and I just love watching you grow and develop into the person that God made you to be.  I can't wait to see what He has planned for you!  You are amazing to me, Gwen-Girl, and I am so blessed to be your mama.

Love You Always, Baby Doll.

Mama


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Our Bedtime Routine

Today I thought I'd share our bedtime routine with the kids.  I feel like our bedtime routine continues to evolve as the kids get older, but it is fun to look back and see what we always did before tucking the kids in for the night.

When it's just me by myself, it takes some strategy and juggling to get three kids under four years old to bed on time!  I always shoot to get the kids in bed by 7:00 PM.  When Derek is home we like to have a little time together in the evenings, and we usually go to sleep ourselves between 9:00 and 10:00 PM.  I guess we're early-to-bed kind of people.  If Derek is traveling, the evening is still my best time to get things done around the house, so an early bedtime works well for us.

For simplicity's sake, I'll share what I do when it's just me, but when Derek is home this whole process is a lot faster and easier!

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If it's not a bath night, around 6:00 or 6:15 I start getting them ready for bed.  I have to start early, because it seems like there is always some extra mess to clean!  I have them help me put their toys away, and then I get Wyatt and Gwen in their pajamas.  Wyatt is becoming so helpful, and he'll get me a diaper for Gwen and pick out his own pajamas.  He can partially dress himself, but for the most part he still prefers me to help him, and I don't really mind.  Clyde is usually playing on the floor during all this.

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After I get the kids dressed I take Wyatt and Gwen to the bathroom and brush their teeth. I let them brush their own teeth, but they obviously don't do a good job by themselves, so I take a turn as well.  Gwen is really into brushing her teeth right now.  She actually cried the other night because I almost forgot to brush her teeth!  She always wants water on her toothbrush too.  I think it's so funny.

Wyatt uses the bathroom, and then I get Clyde and we all pile onto Wyatt's bed to read a Bible story.  The kids are so cute about Bible story time - they love reading a book together, and I hope it's something we always do as part of our bedtime routine.  I usually read them a story from one of their Bible storybooks, and I like to read a devotion for them too when we have a good one.

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The devotion book we are using right now is "Devotions For Beginning Readers" by Crystal Bowman.  I love this devotional for this age group!  My kids aren't reading by themselves yet, but the devotions are really simple and perfect for preschoolers.  Since the language and word choices are geared for young readers, they are also easy for younger kids to understand.  The illustrations are really colorful and cute, which is very important for the kids right now.  If a book doesn't have pretty pictures, they aren't interested, so I like the illustrations that are included on each page. This is a devotion that can really grow with the kids during these early years - it is easy for Wyatt and Gwen to pay attention and understand now, and it will be a great book for them to practice their reading skills when we get to that point too!  We haven't finished reading it yet, so I can't vouch for every devotion in there, but so far we love it.

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After our Bible story and devotion, we pray together.  The kids know to close their eyes and fold their hands, and Gwen's praying face is so cute right now (yes, I peek at them sometimes).  She scrunches her eyes shut so tight and tilts her chin up, with a big grin on her face the entire time we are praying.  It cracks me up!

Wyatt is really getting good at praying by himself, and I love hearing him list people he is thankful for.  I close our prayers with thanking Jesus for dying on the cross for us, and when Wyatt prays he does the same thing - I love hearing the gospel in his sweet little voice.

Then we sing a song!  It is almost always "Jesus Loves Me", and both Wyatt and Gwen sing along with us.  We are off key and off tempo, but it's probably my favorite part of our routine.  I love listening to the kids trying to sing the words!  It won't be too long before Clyde can add his attempts to the mix.

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I make sure the kids both have water.  I lay Gwen down in her crib, with her blanket bunched up into a ball on top of her (she does not like it spread out).  I tuck Wyatt under his covers.  Then I tell them goodnight and I love you, and "think about Jesus", and they usually repeat all three phrases back to me.

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Clyde's routine is the most simple right now.  After the older two are in bed, I feed Clyde his bottle - this is our one-on-one time during the day, when the older two are in bed.  He usually looks up at me while he is eating, and he likes to play with my shirt or hair.  Sometimes he will fall asleep in my arms - if not, I lay him down when his stomach is full.  Occasionally I need to snuggle him or walk him around a little before he will relax enough for me to lay him down in his crib.

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As I'm thinking through our routine, I realize how much I really do for the kids right now - they still need my help with so many things.  I dress them, I get them food and refill water cups, I brush their teeth, I help them find their blankets.  It might sometimes seem like a lot, especially when I have had a long day, but every night I try to enjoy it.

I looked through my baby box once, and found some old letters my mom wrote to me when I was a toddler.  One thing that stood out was a letter where she was sad because I had started dressing myself - and she was trying to enjoy the little things that I still needed her to do for me.

I can already see this happening with Wyatt - he is doing so much more by himself.  One day he won't need me to help him get his shirt on or brush his teeth anymore.  Even though doing all these things for our young kids is work, it is such a brief period.

They will never need us like this again.

Oh, they'll always need their mom, but not in the same way that they do right now.  I want to enjoy this time when my kids still need my help - because someday they won't.  And I might think back and miss being needed so much.

Note: I received "Devotions For Beginning Readers" from Tommy Nelson in exchange for a review.  The opinions expressed above are my honest opinions.

Clyde At Four Months

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My sweet Clyde is four months old as of this past Monday!



The biggest accomplishment this month - Clyde can roll over both ways!  He has been rolling all over the floor since he figured it out, and he no longer sleeps on his back - both of those things freak me out a little.  I can't quite tell if he likes the rolling or not, but I think he is doing it on purpose.  At night he usually rolls over to his side now, and then sometimes over onto his stomach - I usually try to turn him back if I see that, but he doesn't always stay on his back.


He is laughing so much more this month, and it is adorable!  He thinks it's funny to be surprised, but only if he is expecting to be surprised - so peekaboo is a big hit.  If he is not expecting to be surprised, like with a sudden loud noise, he cries.


He is totally a mama's baby - he loves me.  As long as I'm holding him he is happy as can be, and he calms down almost as soon as I pick him up.  When I put him down, his eyes follow me around the room, and as soon as I look back and talk to him his face just lights up, even before he smiles.  Sometimes when I'm trying to feed him, Clyde can't focus because he keeps looking up at me and grinning in the middle of his meal.  I kind of love it that he only has eyes for me!  I only have a little time while that's still true, so I'm taking full advantage.


Even though he is very attached to me, he is also really attached to Derek.  The other day Derek handed him off to a family member, and Clyde was just bawling, so Derek took him back and Clyde calmed right down.  He definitely loves his daddy!  I love seeing his eyes light up when Derek plays with him, it's so cute.


Clyde also loves playing with Wyatt and Gwen.  I feel like he is even more aware of them this month, and when I lay him down on the floor with Wyatt and Gwen while they are playing, he is happy as long as they are in sight.  They also like playing with him - I caught them trying to "tickle" Clyde the other day (he was loving it). Wyatt shows Clyde his cars by stacking them on Clyde's stomach.  The other day I had Clyde in his car seat while I got things ready to go, and I came back to find that Gwen had given him her doll to hold.  Wyatt and Gwen both love their little brother.


I think Clyde might be a little musical, like Wyatt.  I was singing to him the other day, and Clyde was just giving me the biggest smile.  Wyatt has always loved music, and I'm wondering if Clyde is going to be the same.


He is using his pacifier less, and sucking on his fingers more.  He hasn't found his thumb - I'm not sure if he's going to.  His knuckles seem to be doing the trick right now.  He has this little blankie that is similar to the one Wyatt is so attached to - and Clyde loves his blankie already.  He loves having it touch his face while we are driving around.


Sleep has been okay - he has been waking up a little more.  He probably goes a 6-7 hour stretch at first, and then another 4 hour stretch or so - not bad, he has just been waking up for that first feeding earlier.  I feel like he has been doing way better when I first lay him down though - if I put him down awake he will cry for a little while, but then he'll go to sleep by himself.  For a while there he either had to be nursing or have his pacifier to fall asleep, so I am happy that he is starting to figure out how to fall asleep without that.

We had to start supplementing with formula this month, because my supply is just not keeping up with him.  I'm thinking about trying the tea to see if that helps.

My favorite thing about Clyde right now - his smile!  My mom calls it his "million dollar smile", and it really is - his smile just fills his whole face! I love it.



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My Sweet Clyde,

Little Guy, you are just so precious!  This month you seem to be doing much better as far as the colic goes, and I am seeing more and more of your personality.  You definitely love attention, and you are happiest when someone is holding you - and when you are happy, you are really happy!  You have such a great smile, and you are generous with it.  I love that you are so smiley, and seeing you grin at me makes my heart jump a little bit.  I think you look a lot like your daddy, but I can also see bits of me in there too. You are such  perfect blend of the two of us, and I can see that more as you grow, but I think your smile is your dad's.

I love that you are a snuggly baby, and those quiet snuggle times are some of my favorite moments with you.  You have these dark eyes, and you are always watching my face, with a scrunchy nose smile ready whenever I look your way.  You make me feel like the most important person in the world with that smile.  I love you, Sweet Boy.  I love these little days with you.

Always,
Mama

A Day In The Life With Three

2:00 AM - Wyatt hears a noise and wakes up.  I bring him downstairs to sleep in my room.

6:00 AM - Clyde wakes up - I go into his nursery to feed him.

6:15 AM - Wyatt comes into the nursery to find me.  I tell him it's not time to get up yet, and I bring Clyde back into bed with us so he can finish eating.

6:30 AM - I put Clyde back down in his room.

6:35 AM - I go back into Clyde's room to give him his pacifier.

6:40 AM - Wyatt tells me "I'll be right back, I need to go get my stuff".  He comes back a few minutes later with multiple noisy toys.

6:47 AM - I go back into Clyde's room to give him his pacifier again, and realize he has a dirty diaper.  Change diaper.  Put the pacifier back in his mouth.

6:50 AM - All the kids quiet down, and I get a little more sleep!  It is cloudy and rainy, and that make it seem earlier than it is.

7:33 AM - Gwen starts making noise from upstairs while I drift in and out of sleep.

7:50 AM - Wyatt turns on his noisy toy.  Clyde wakes up.  Gwen starts getting upset.  I roll out of bed.

8:04 AM - I get the kids some oatmeal for breakfast, and go downstairs and listen to a sermon podcast while I finish brushing my teeth and fixing my hair and makeup.  Clyde starts crying, and I get him up and dressed.

8:15 AM - Get Gwen out of high chair, and find oatmeal in her hair.  Try to clean it out with hand soap.  Her hair is sticky and stiff for the rest of the day.  Wyatt chooses his favorite shirt to wear.

8:30 AM - Teeth are brushed, makeup done, hair fixed.  Kids are dressed and fed.  I sit down with a cup of coffee and a FiberOne breakfast bar. Gwen sits at the table with me and shows off her vocabulary.  Wyatt plays with toys and talks to Clyde.  Clyde lays on the floor and observes and coos.  I read Compelling Interest off and on, because Gwen is distracting me by blowing kisses, and I return every one.  One of our few peaceful moments during the day.

9:15 AM - Clyde is hungry.  I settle down with my book and cover to feed him.  Gwen decides to climb on the table and drink the last of my coffee.  Wyatt starts drawing on a paper (and his shirt) with my green highlighter.

9:45 AM - Clyde falls asleep in my arms, so I finish my book.  Wyatt dumps the toys out of his toy basket.  Gwen is up to something suspicious in the bathroom, and I tell her to come out.  Wyatt decides to change back into his pajama pants.

10:15 AM - I put sleeping Clyde down, and pick up the toys that were dumped everywhere.

10:30 AM - Clyde is awake again.

10:45 AM - I take off Wyatt's highlighted shirt and spray it with Shout.  Start a load of laundry.  Write quick Goodreads review of Compelling Interest.

10:53 AM - I decide that we're going to go visit Grandma at her work.  Change Wyatt back out of pajamas.  He decides he wants to wear his winter football hat, and I let him.  Put Clyde in carseat.  Grab a trash bag to take bathroom trash to the dumpster on the way out.  Find the roll of toilet paper completely unrolled on the floor.  Gather up the toilet paper and put it on the bathroom counter for later use (it's still clean, right?).  Get kids into car.  Ralphie jumps in the car while I'm strapping the kids in, so I just decide to bring him.  Run back inside, change into a more presentable shirt, throw a couple bobby pins in my hair.

11:08 AM - We depart.

11:13 AM - Forgot my jacket (it's raining), my purse, and Wyatt's "little blankie".  Now we depart.

11:15 AM - Forgot Clyde's wubbanub.  We depart (really).


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11:20 AM - Stop to get mail, half of which is soaking wet from the rain.  Note to self: Get a waterproof mailbox.  I received two new books!  Wyatt thinks one of the packages must be books for him, and I have to tell him they are books for mama.

11:24 AM - I see UPS guy in our neighborhood on the way out and hope they aren't going to my house because I left Harvey out.

11:35 AM - Arrive at mom's work.  Spend a few minutes visiting while the kids dig into the box of toys they keep in the lunch room.


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11:45 AM - My sister shows up to visit with my mom too!  Great minds think alike.  Spend some time visiting with my sister while mom gets back to work.

12:05 PM - Mom leaves for lunch.  I decide last minute to go grocery shopping today instead of tomorrow morning like I planned.  Maybe if I hurry the kids can still get a short afternoon nap in.

12:10 PM - I leave mom's work and turn on Rush for the drive to town.

12:14 PM - I pass a truck on the way up the hill and realize it's my dad.  I don't think he recognizes me.

12:30 PM - It occurs to me that if I don't get back in time for naps, I may not get to take the bath I was wanting to take during naptime today.  I step on the gas a little.

12:46 PM - I arrive at the grocery store just as a close spot opens up - score!  I open the back door and remember that I have Ralphie with me (he is so quiet back there).  Thankfully it's a cool, rainy day, so he'll be safe in the car.


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1:05 PM - Wyatt talks me into cinnamon donuts and new sippy cups for him and Gwen.


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1:20 PM - We check out.  Clyde is crying now.  I get sympathetic looks from passersby.  The clerk talks to Wyatt and tells me how cute he is, and I wholeheartedly agree.

1:25 PM - We stop at the in-store McDonald's and I get the kids hamburgers with no ketchup (to save their shirts - learned that one the hard way).  I get a frappe and spicy chicken sandwich.  Gwen licks all the whipped cream off my frappe before I even touch it, but it's kind of cute, so I let her.


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1:35 PM - Kids are loaded in car with their hamburgers, groceries are loaded in car. I feed Clyde and check Facebook.  Get Clyde buckled back in and and head over to Target to get a present for Danae's baby shower.

1:55 PM - I hear a screech and glance back to see that Gwen has spilled her entire cup of water on her lap.

1:59 PM - We arrive at Target, and I get another close spot!  What are the odds?  I open the car door to tiny McDonald's onions and pickles spread all over the back seat.  Gwen is in a surprisingly good mood for being soaking wet.  We proceed into the store.

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2:12 PM - I find what I need pretty quickly, and we wait in the checkout line.  Clyde is crying again, but I know he'll be fine when we get back to the car.  "Look mama!" is repeated over and over as Wyatt shows me multiple toys and candy bars that he finds in the checkout aisle.  I exclaim over each one, but remind him that we have donuts in the car.  As we walk back to the parking lot I tug Wyatt's hat down around his ears, and he is excited when I tell him I am going to look for a new winter hat for him.  I grin at his enthusiasm.

2:19 PM - We are back in the car and it occurs to me that Clyde might need a diaper change.  I realize I forgot the diaper bag at home since we were originally only supposed to be gone for a half hour.  I cross my fingers that he'll be okay until we make it home.


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2:35 PM - Last stop - the Christian bookstore for a book to add to my gift.  We form our usual "chain" on the way into the store - me carrying Clyde's carseat, Wyatt holding my hand, Gwen holding Wyatt's hand.  Wyatt finds a bunch of toys and movies that he loves, and I secretly wish I could buy everything for him.  I add a new Bible song movie for the kids to my cart.

2:50 PM - Kids are packed in the car.  Clyde looks at me as I'm lifting his carseat and laughs.  We finally head home!  I play Seeds of Faith for the kids and listen to a podcast with my earbuds.

3:25 PM - I glance back and see that Wyatt is asleep.  Gwen is wide awake.

3:44 PM - Gwen and Clyde are asleep, and we arrive home.  I unload groceries, unbuckle the kids.  I would really like to wash my hair because Derek is coming home tonight.  The kids are cranky, so I try to put them down for a short, late nap (after peeling off Gwen's wet clothes).  I get Clyde out and change his diaper, and I discover that he has indeed had a diaper leak .  I rinse out his clothes and remember that I need to throw the laundry in the dryer.

4:04 PM - I sit down and feed Clyde, hoping he'll drift off again.  Watch Mental Floss on a recommendation from Felicia.  Wonder why I have never heard of this before.

4:29 PM - Clyde is clearly done eating, and is wide awake, grinning at me.  We play for a couple minutes.  Wyatt comes out of his room, and Gwen makes a noise.  I give up on naps, settle the kids on the couch with Silly Songs Countdown and one powdered cinnamon donut each.  I buckle Clyde in the swing and hurry downstairs for my bath.

4:44 PM - Type up part of this post while I wait for the bathwater to fill.

4:53 PM - Hear Gwen knock on the bathroom door just as I'm about to step in the tub.  I wash and blow dry my hair quickly.

5:09 PM - Get dressed, take straightener upstairs so I can keep an eye on the kids while I fix my hair.  Gwen brushes her hair while I fix mine.  We dance around to silly songs, and I am thankful again that I get to stay home with my sweet kiddos most days.


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5:33 PM - Unload groceries, start boiling noodles for dinner.  Fill up bathtub again for the kids.  Throw laundry into dryer, start a new load.  Grab the baby carrier and strap Clyde in.

5:50 PM - Get kids in tub.  Blow bubbles for them and let them play for a little while.  Wash the stickiness out of Gwen's hair.


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6:25 PM - Kids are clean and eating dinner.  Clyde is settled back into his swing.  Wyatt asks me where Harvey is and gets upset when I tell him Harvey is outside because "Harvey is scared of the rain!" Kids love the pesto noodles and ask for seconds while I evaluate whether I should make more for me and Derek. Clyde falls asleep and I think I may regret it later, but I let him snooze for now.

6:45 PM - I try to call Derek to see where he is, but when he doesn't answer I decide to go ahead and get the kids ready for bed.  Realize that Gwen has pesto in her hair - decide I'll give her another bath tomorrow. Change Gwen and read her a Bible story.  Sing her "Trust And Obey", pray together, and tuck her in.  Wyatt wants his polar bear pajamas, but they are in Gwen's room, so the shark ones will have to do.  Read him a Bible book.  Read him an alphabet book.  Pray and sing him "Jesus Loves Me".  Practice John 3:16 and praise him when he says the whole thing by himself!  Kiss him goodnight.  Come back a minute later to help him "fix his tractor".  Kiss him goodnight again.

7:04 PM - Clyde is crying.  Feed him again while I read Let's All Be Brave by Annie Downs (review coming soon).

7:22 PM - Clyde is asleep, and I hear Derek pull up, so I sneak Clyde into his crib before the dogs bark and wake him up.  No such luck.  Ralphie barks right as I lay him down and his eyes fly open.  I smile at him and say goodnight.  He smiles at me right before I turn out the lights.

7:26 PM - Greet Derek.  Heat us up some noodles, and pour myself a glass of orange juice.

7:30 PM - Derek goes in to give Wyatt a kiss (since he's still awake).  Then we settle on the couch with our dinner and watch the Bachelorette finale that I didn't get to watch on Monday.  We cuddle, eat ice cream, and I draw Derek into discussions on whether Andi will pick Josh or Nick.  He humors me, because at least we're together, even if he does have to suffer through the Bachelorette.

9:30 PM - Bachelorette and After The Final Rose show are over.  She picked Josh (thank goodness).

9:45 PM - Brush teeth, use my semi-new facial products to wash and moisturize my face (more on that soon).

10:00 PM - Read in bed together before we turn out the lights.  I do my devotions now since I didn't do them in the morning today.

10:30 PM - Lights out.

11:05 PM - Clyde wakes up crying.  Feed him again.  He drifts off to sleep.

11:30 PM - Lights out for real this time.


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Note:  This was a busier, crazier day than normal, and I feel like it's so hard to get an accurate idea of a day in my life right now, because each one looks so different.  Still, this was one of our actual days with three kids under four years old, and I think it will be fun to look back on someday when I no longer spend my time picking up toys and trying to salvage rolls of toilet paper!  What fun these days are, even if I do collapse into bed every night.  It's a good kind of exhaustion - I'd rather be exhausted from spending a day with my kids than form anything else!
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