Moving Along In a New Year

Things have just been flying by this year. We started the year out with RSV. That is the respiratory infection that strikes fear into the heart of every parent of a preemie. RSV at the worst kills preemies and at best lands them in the hospital in critical condition. Of course, as they get older, the effects are often less severe, but not always. Fortunately, it ended up being more of a bad cold with wheezing for our kids. No fun, but a blessing that it wasn’t worse.
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/The kids still love preschool….when they get to go. I swear they’ve missed more than they’ve been. Like most preschoolers, our kids seem to catch every sniffle that walks in the door. We try not to pass it around, but sometimes you don’t know they’ve got it until it’s too late. They are learning so much with their teacher, and talk constantly about their classmates. Caisen gets very sad when everyone else gets out of the car for school. He’s also smitten with Sharon, and wants to go in and have fun. Sometimes at the end of the night when I ask him what he did that day, he tells me he went to preschool. Since she is his nursery teacher at church, he knows how great she is and that he is really missing out. He’ll get to start next year.
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/Other than preschool we play outside, riding trikes and playing in the backyard. Caisen got a small trike for Christmas because he was constantly hijacking all the other kids’ trikes. Now that he has his own, he wants nothing more than to sit on the little push car he found so intolerable before. In the backyard they like to play with dirt. And mud. They are always digging in the mulch and mixing it with rain water that collects in their buckets. This week they were making mud piles on their picnic table and molding and shaping it with their sand toys, making food.
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/The last few weeks we’ve had a terrible cold, fevers, ear infections, sinus infections, and for mommy, bronchitis. Lucky daddy has a fabulous immune system and didn’t get it. We are just getting over it, and hopefully I can shake the last of it before little sister makes her arrival next week.
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/Brinlee
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/Brinlee hates getting dirty, but after we told her it was ok to get dirty, she said, “I can?” It was a complete paradigm shift for her. She actually had mud all over her pants and hands and arms. She won’t even pick up food with her hands. This is an all new Brinlee. She has completely embraced this whole getting dirty concept and is completely uninhibited with dirt now.
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/Brinlee is embracing her femininity. Their toys have mostly been gender neutral until now, and being the only girl, she has just been one of the boys. She is our number one train fan, and loves the boy toys as much as the boys do. For Christmas she got some girly toys: 2 princess dresses, dress up shoes, tiaras, a new doll, a Barbie, a feather boa. Did she like it? Not at all. It all got shoved in a toy bucket. Since she got them, the boys have played with her stuff some, but she could care less, until the last couple of weeks. Lately she has been putting on her princess dresses and high heels over her pajamas at bedtime. She click clacks around the house and says she’s a princess. She also comes and asks me to make her hair pretty every day. She loves her pink cowgirl boots (thanks Guinn girls), and chooses to wear those just about every day. The only day she chooses a different pair of shoes is on Sunday when she likes her black patent Mary Janes, but they also go click clack on the floor.
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/We went through a period recently where she wouldn’t obey anything we asked her to do. We finally figured out that Brinlee wanted more independence. She was constantly asking to do things by herself, including things that no three-year-old is allowed to do. Because we are constantly in a hurry and trying to get 4 kids through each part of the day, we weren’t letting her do even the things that a three-year-old CAN do. We started giving her every opportunity to do anything possible by herself, and our sweet, helpful Brinlee came back. She is the first to start dressing herself completely every morning.
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/Kimball
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/Kimball is becoming a mountain climber. What mountains, you ask? Any mountain he can build. We have 5 foam building blocks that stack up to about six feet. He likes to stack them in any corner, in any dangerous configuration with all four of their shopping carts and anything else big and bulky and stack them precariously so he can climb. He is getting more fearless about just about everything. He likes to climb along the back of the couch or anything else he can scale. As rough and tumble as he is, he is still a cuddle bug. He loves to wrestle and tumble, which is not so easy for a very pregnant mommy. Every night when I tuck him in, I ask if he wants a kiss and where. He directs me to each cheek, then his chin, his nose, each eye and each ear. Then I get a super slobbery, oh let’s call it a kiss, on my cheek.
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/He likes to play with his siblings and invent games for them all to play. Kimball is very good about sharing and helping his siblings. He helps everyone find things and fix things. speaking of fixing things, one of Kimball’s struggles is that he likes to “fix” things with the hammer that came with Sawyer’s work bench. He thinks that fixing things includes beating them with a hammer. We’ve disposed of the hammer, but he finds other things to use as tools. He’s starting to get the message, but we have sustained some damage.
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/Sawyer
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/Sawyer has become my number one helper. He loves to help me do anything, and is so willing to do what I need. He loves to help, tease, joke and play with his siblings. He also continues to be my little foodie. I heart food, and so does he. Each night one of the kids gets to help me make dinner, and while they all love it for different reasons, he loves it the most. He moans while he eats because he just loves it. He is willing to try just about anything. For the most part he has realized that mommy and daddy don’t eat anything gross. We only eat the good stuff. We have been enjoying a lot of salads, and we have been experimenting with different dressings and vinaigrettes, which Sawyer likes to help me make. He has become quite a connoisseur.
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/He also has some very good manners. Every meal he says, “Thank you mommy for making yummy _______ for dinner!” He always tells me how yummy whatever he is eating is. When we make dinner together, he likes to sample all of the ingredients. He really likes dried onions, balsamic vinegar, raw onions, you name it. One thing he really likes to eat is dressings and sauces. Straight. With a spoon. He also likes them on his food, and is always ready to try whatever sauce is available.
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/Caisen
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/Caisen is just so big. As far as he’s concerned, he is just as big and capable as his siblings. In just about every way, he is. He speaks just about as clearly as his older siblings and uses complete, complex sentences. He has this sweet little voice, but he is so sly. He is an opportunist. He sees no harm in just asking, just in case. For a long time at bed time he would just ask for random things like a cookie, bread, cheese, cake, whatever. When we would tell him we didn’t have it, he would ask for another one. After four or five things, he would just laugh and lie down.
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/The king is still ruling his kingdom with a firm hand. The other night he asked for ice water in his bed (which he has most nights). When I brought the cup back, he shook it a few times, and said, “I need more ice!” The next night when I returned with his cup, I said, “Here’s your water,” to which he replied, “And ice.” Yes, and ice. Then he reached for it and said, “I need to shake it.” He shakes it to hear how much ice is in there, since it’s too dark to see. Another night he asked for his Thomas train (are you noticing that he always asks for SOMETHING at bed time? Yah, me too.), but I couldn’t find it, so I grab Edward, who, let’s be honest, looks exactly like Thomas even in the brightest light. I walk into his pitch black room, hand him the train, he holds it for a second and says, “This is Edward. This is Edward.” Ok, you caught me. Goodnight! I swear this kid has night vision super powers. He is finally cutting more teeth, his first since last June. Four eye teeth at once is no fun, but he handles it better than most.
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/During one of our illnesses, the kids just wanted to chill and watch a movie.
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/Caisen and Kimball sharing a couch.
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/Brinlee and Sawyer sharing the other couch.
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/The next day I found Kimball and Brinlee cuddling during the movie. How sweet is that?
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/For Valentine’s Day my dad sent me a delicious fruit bouquet. The next morning I pulled it out of the fridge for breakfast and told them I was going to share. They were giddy with excitement! As I went around the table to let them each pick something, they immediately found the only chocolate-covered items in the bouquet, and wouldn’t you know it, there were four of them! After they ate my chocolate-covered bananas, they started on the strawberries, grapes, pineapple and canteloupe. The little locusts ate the WHOLE THING for breakfast! I got…..nothing. Happy Valentine’s Day, kids.
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/Kimball has always loved wearing my shoes and walking around the house, but this winter has brought new footwear challenges, like winter boots and rain boots. He usually makes it 3 steps before doing a face-plant.
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/If they can’t play with their trains (because they were put up for misbehaving), they make a train out of anything they can, including themselves.
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/Princess Brinlee ready for bed.

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