First Day of School 2016-17

All three kids have been enjoying getting into the school routine. I am very fortunate that all three really enjoy school!

Parker, our extrovert has really loved getting to see his buddies again. He loves his teacher, and he has been able to reconnect with his friends from last year on the playground, and he has a few kids he knows from his Kindergarten class. We are also lucky to have quite a few great kids in our neighborhood that he enjoys playing with.

Parker was a great big brother to Mason at school, showing him the ropes and walking Mason to class.  Parker enjoys math, science, and has started reading the Magic Tree House series to us at home. He’s also very active and has enjoyed soccer, running, and playing in the woods when he gets home from school. Homework has been MUCH better this year. He enjoys most of it, and quite a bit of it he does on his iPad. Times have changed!

Mason loves school, but had a bit of a hard time transitioning into Kindergarten. I get it, it’s a big leap from preschool! He’s also more sensitive to change and unfamiliar environments. He’s a bit of an extrovert as well, but definitely has to warm up to you first or it has to be on his terms. He loved that he already knew his teacher- which was the same teacher that Parker had last year. He sits with Parker on the bus, which has helped ease his fears quite a bit. Mason does very well in school. He’s a great listener and he follows directions very well. He’s really been enjoying all things creative lately. At home, he’s been doing quite a bit of painting, crafting with paper and popsicle sticks,  you name it! Of course he still loves legos, but it’s been fun to see him use his creativity in other ways, too.

Sienna’s preschool started a few weeks after Parker and Mason’s school. She is just going 2 days, but man… she sure wishes it was more. Almost daily she asks if its a school day. So, all that to say, she pretty much loves school. Every bit of it! She’s our super social extrovert that really gets her energy by interacting with other people. She is still learning her letters and numbers. She knows her colors and shapes. Quite honestly, she could care less about all of the “school” things she should learn. She’s there to see how many people she can interact with and play with. That has been her main focus right now.  I’m okay with that. The learning of her letters and numbers will come later, I’m sure of it. I’m just thankful for her positive and encouraging attitude towards life and I’ve loved having time with her the days she’s not in school.

Sienna’s First Ballet Recital

This past Spring, Sienna had her very first ballet recital. She was such a doll and had a wonderful time. Creative Movement doesn’t make a huge production out of the recital, which I love because Sienna is just three, and I think that would be too much for her. It was a small, more intimate performance which made it really sweet. She got flowers from me and her Daddy, and new ear rings from her Nanie. We had a great time watching all the she’s been learning in ballet each week!

Pre-K Graduation, and Fun in the Sun Field Day

What a fun busy school year it has been! This was the first time that we’ve had all three kids in school at the same time and it has had its challenges for sure.  Just keeping all of their schedules and events in order has taken some organzational trial and error, but fortunately I haven’t dropped the ball on anything major this year, which is good!

Mason…. my sweet Mason graduated Pre-K, and is ready for Kindergarten in the fall. Well, I don’t know that I’d say he was fully ready. On the way to school on the last day I said, “Mason, it’s your last day of PRESCHOOL, can you believe it?”  and then he responds and says “Mom, will you be able to come with me to school, because I’m a little nervous about Kindergarten”. For realz… cue tears!  I went on to tell him that I would join him for an orientation, but then he was lucky because he has a big brother that can show him around the school.  I think that made him feel a bit better, but we’ll see once August creeps around the corner.  He’s done such a great job in PreK, and the teacher has had nothing but wonderful things to say about him during his parent-teacher conference.  He also became the Star Student last month, and we were super proud of him!IMG_0619

mason graduation

He had a really sweet graduation ceremony and end of year program. Of course, I was super emotional. My last sweet boy is leaving preschool!  I’m going to certainly be a mess when Sienna leaves since we’ll be leaving the school for good. Aaaah!  Graduation night Mason and Sienna both had sweet little singing performances with their class, and of course, Mason walked for his graduation. We enjoyed watching them and enjoying ice cream as a celebration after!

 

Mason and Sienna had their last day of school this week, and they were a lot of fun! They had a great time playing, loving on animals, celebrating with their classmates, and saying their goodbyes.

We closed out the 2015/16 Preschool school year with a bang! We’ve loved all the teachers and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for Seinna’s first time in preschool! Mason has really enjoyed his teachers and has thrived this  year, and that makes me so proud. Another great Preschool year at Parkway!

Disney On Ice Presents- Frozen

Sienna and I had a fun girls night with some neighbor friends. We went to see Disney on ice at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth.

What a fantastic show! Disney never disappoints and this show was no different. Our seats were decent being only a few from the first row, and pretty close to the center.  Sienna was in her element with all of the singing and ice skating. A few times she sang along and got out of her seat to dance. It really was a great performance. I was also impressed with all the ice skating tricks. There were also a few short characters in costumes that were on stage that I had to wonder how they were skating so low to the ground. The ice skaters were very talented!

I asked some of the girls in the neighborhood if they wanted to join us. I’m trying to get Sienna around other little girls in our neighborhood in hopes that she can make some little friends. She had a sweet little friend of hers move away recently, and she now doesn’t have many buddies to play with. It was also nice to enjoy time with the girls Moms. Us Mamas of girls need to stick together. We’ll need each other once those teen years hit!

We had the same sparkly aqua dress that Sienna got for Christmas along with the an Anna costume, but Sienna wanted the sparkly dress that looks similar to Elsa’s dress. She is obsessed with it!

She wanted to do her hair in an Elsa braid, and add glitter to it. So, that’s what she got! She looks super cute, I must say!

I feel blessed to be able to do these fun little outings with my sweet girl.  Sienna and I really connect well and I hope our relationship continues to flourish as the years go on!

 

Preschool is in Session

Mason and Sienna started preschool a few weeks ago.  This is Mason’s last year of preschool before big kid school next year! This is Sienna’s first year, and she has really enjoyed going to school, making new friends and getting lots of attention from her sweet teachers.  It’s been nice having a few hours to myself a few times a week for the first time in many years!  So far, I have been volunteering some at Parker’s school a few days a month and running a few Thursdays with a friend, so that has been great to be kid-free for.

We have enjoyed the preschool quite a bit, but the only challenge has been that it’s (I feel) not ideal for families that have multiple children attending.  They have staggered pick-up times, and that has been an adjustment having it be a 10-15 minute process each time I pick up both kids, but hopefully as everyone gets into the groove of school, it’ll get easier.  We love the teachers so far and the kids, above all, are happy and love telling me about their day.  We are thankful for that, and looking forward to a great school year for these two {Super-cute} Preschoolers!


Spring Photos!

I’m still learning about photography, and one of my favorite subjects to practice on is my three sweet kiddos! Here are some recent photos that I took with my Cannon 70D 28mm lens. I had the F stop at about 2.2. The F stop goes to 1.8 but I seem to get a lot of motion blur if I’m not focused enough and when I’m dealing with wiggly kiddos! My ISO is set low at about 100. I’m still learning about shutter speed, so I’m not exactly sure what that was set on. I’ve recently been “practicing” with Manual although I’m more comforable in AV mode simply because I feel I don’t know enough about shutter speed to know what I want to set it at in relation to lighting.

Nevertheless, I had a great time capturing my sweet three in their Easter attire a few days before Easter!

Parker, 5
Mason, 4
Sienna, 2

No more diapers

Over five years of kids in diapers in our house, and we’re finally done. Santa left some potty related items under the Christmas tree and we thought the holidays would be a great time to get her interested.  Dan is home from work for two weeks, we’re stuck mostly indoors because of chilly weather and a plethora of toys, so selfishly WE decided it was the right time.

She took well to it. Not right away, but after some persistent persuasion she complied. A few “Frozen” jelly beans may have helped a bit.  After day three, we could put her on the potty and ask her to go and she would try.  She’s still working on going poop on the potty, but she’s got the peepee down!  We can take her to the gym or anywhere out and about, and she’s good to go for the most part.

 

After years of kiddos in cloth diapers it feels strange to not be using cloth, and to leave the house without diapers! It seems like my sweet baby girl is growing up so fast, and has turned into a big girl overnight.  I’m so proud of her for mastering this milestone! She’s one amazing girl!

Sienna Turns 2!

I can’t believe my baby girl is so big! She truly has come into her own in so many ways over this last year. Just looking at her pictures from last year where she was just a tiny baby with barely-there hair on her head, to full locks of curly blonde hair in no time flat! She is quite the spunky girl!

Sienna's Golden 1st Birthday last year

Sienna’s Golden 1st Birthday last year

A few things about Sienna:

1. She loves to give hugs, kisses, etc. Very affectionate. She can get pretty possessive over Mommy and can be quick to nudge her brothers if she thinks they’re taking up her Mommy time. This girl loves being with her mommy. She’s truly a Mama’s girl and I love it. She splits salads with me when we go out to eat, and she climbs in my lap any given moment.

2. She loves story time before bed. Her favorite books are Sandra Boynton book and her current favorites are the Little Pookie series. It never gets old to her!

3. Similarly to number 2, she loves story time at the Library. Listening, clapping, dancing, getting attention and having fun… she’s all about it.

4. She’s a fan of music and dance parties. She is quick to shake her waistline to the beat of fun kid songs in the playroom, or even jam out in the car to her latest pop music fave. She’s a clown.

5. She loves pretty much every toy. She likes little lego men quite a bit. She’s fascinated by the fact that you can take the legs off and put on different ones, and she likes that they’re small. She also loves baby dolls, dogs, Sophia doll, her kitchen set, little people, star wars characters- especially Darth Vader (Daaat- Vaaadaa) Who knew? She loves outside toys, balls, tball, her scooter, her pink coup…etc. This girl can get into it all. She loves girly toys, but can hang with the boy’s toys too!

6. She doesn’t really watch a lot of TV, she’s usually playing when the boys are watching a show, but she does love Dora. Occasionally she’ll sit through a whole show while I clean the kitchen or get some chores done, but she mostly likes the opening song. She also likes to watch Sesame Street sometimes and she’s starting to get into Sophia the First. She loves the opening song, but hasn’t sat for the entire show.

7. The girl can eat. Like I mentioned in number one, she loves to split a salad with me. The boys never liked salads, but I just love that about her. She’s my side kick at Zoe’s kitchen, chowing down on almost half of my quinoa chicken salad. She isn’t a big breakfast eater, but makes up for it for lunch and dinner. LOVES to steal mama’s food, so it’s a good incentive to keep it clean so she doesn’t eat junk! Her favorite snack to steal right now is pistachios. She’s my little side kick. I hope that never changes.

8. Rough housing with Daddy and brothers is a big favorite. If I had to name one thing she loved doing most with the guys in the house, it would have to be horse playing! Whether it’s with foam light sabers, piling up on Daddy’s back, or having silly tickle sessions… She loves it all! She can dish it out, too!

9.She loves to talk! I think she is pretty advanced in her verbal skills, and may even be ahead of where the boys were at this age. She is pretty darn good at communicating her needs, and can throw on the drama and emotion when needed! The girl is even starting to get opinionated about the clothes that she wants to wear. “NO, MAMA, I want SOPHIA dress!” Hmmm… It’s 30 degrees, you’re wearing pants, doll. We’re in trouble!

10. Every. Where. I. Go. “Aw.. Isn’t she cute?!”… “What a pretty little girl”… “She’s adorable!!”. I know I’m bias, but she is quite possibly the cutes little 2 year old girl EVER. I get reminded of it every where I go, but I already know it. I love her sweet smile and her spunky spirit. She’s so beautiful to me inside and out!

The morning of Sienna’s birthday, we went in and surprised her with some Dora balloons and started singing to her. She was super excited about her special day!

For Sienna’s party, we decided to do a Build-A-Bear party. She loves stuffed animals, and has enjoyed being in the store before, and we thought she would be old enough to enjoy the build-a-bear experience. She had lots of opinions about the animal she wanted to pick, and didn’t like almost anything I showed her. She ended up with the Hello Kitty animal, and didn’t want to get any clothes on her. I think she just wanted to keep her soft and cuddly! I think the boys had more of a good time than she did, but it was still a lot of fun.

The party continued upstairs near the carousel. We sang to Sienna, everyone enjoyed a homemade cupcake, and most of the kids rode the carousel. I was surprised that Sienna knew what to do for her birthday candle. She blew it right out. I remember practicing this with Parker before his second birthday because I was afraid he wouldn’t know what to do… but then while everyone sang, he was trying to blow the candle out instead of waiting until the end. So this time I didn’t bother trying to teach her, but she was smart enough to see her buddy Walker blow it out first, and she followed the lead!

When we were at the mall last week, we saw that they had little stuffed animals that you could rent and ride on. Seriously… How cool is that? So, we told the boys that maybe we would try it for Sienna’s birthday. So, that’s what we did. The boys got a tiger, and Daddy and Sienna got a Rhino. Aunt Amanda took a turn for fun too. They all had a blast!


We ended the evening with Sienna opening some amazing gifts from some generous friends and family. Sunday morning was spent playing with all her fun toys since one kid had a belly ache (probably too much sugar over the weekend) and Mommy was nursing a sore throat and we didn’t make it to church. It was also very chilly out, so Daddy enjoyed building us our first fire of the season. Overall, a fun birthday weekend!


Placemat Learning

We bought some placemats from Amazon for the kids called painless learning and they’ve worked out so great! It has given them something to do while waiting for their food and everyone is learnings! Sienna still needs more teaching and direction, but she’ll get there! Parker has learned several more site words since this video was taken and he has really enjoyed sounding them out. Once he gets all the site words well, I add a few new ones for him to practice. I try to have him understand the phonics involved instead of him just memorizing the word itself. Mason has really enjoyed learning the states, and he too knows more (mostly western) states now. It’s worked out great in our family and I certainly recommend them! They have quite a few on amazon; Counting, anatomy, science, astronomy, ect. So fun!