Connor: Trying to put on a grumpy face, but you can totally see the smile getting ready to break through. 

Isla: Showing off her owl from preschool. Oh, and we have now heavily entered the I-refuse-to-cooperate-for-pictures phase

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

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What makes you happy, makes me happy

It's funny how things my kids look forward to become things I look forward to. From the first week of school, Connor wanted to bring Curious George home. The day that finally happened, he was so happy and so was I. I knew how much he was looking forward to that. The same thing happened with the "c" vest. Each kid gets a letter vest to decorate with things corresponding with that letter. Ever since Connor found this out, he has wanted the "c" vest, just like his name. Now, there are a handful of kids in his class with names that start with a c, so I didn't know the likelihood that he would get it. So, when he came home with it a week ago, I was overjoyed for him. When it comes down to it, it really is the little things in life. And anything that brings a smile to my kids faces, brings a smile to mine.

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The Baby's Corner

We live in a three bedroom house. So no matter how things land, someone will be sharing a room. For many reasons, I like the idea of kids sharing a room. In fact, I was actually toying with the idea of putting Connor and Isla in a room together when I found out I was pregnant. I was so serious about it, I had actually already combined all their clothes together in Isla's room and had rearranged her room so Connor's bed and toys would fit in as well. I was toying with the idea because I had heard that a shared room really helps for sibling relationships and at the time I was really tired of all the fighting. There still is fighting, but the two of them have really turned a corner and actually play much better together. Anyway, back to the baby. Ian threw out the idea of still putting the kids together and giving the baby it's own room. But I really felt that eventually this baby will land up with either Connor or Isla (depending on what it is) and didn't want to constantly be redoing and rearranging bedrooms in our house. Plus, with me nursing, I realize the baby will be in our room most of the time anyway. So, I decided to just make room for baby in our room.

We don't have a large room by any means and with this being our third, I have been doing things simple anyway. I went with colors that would already match our room. In fact, the crib sheet and changing pad cover match our comforter so well that someone thought I bought them together. But I didn't. Our comforter was purchased at Target back when we upgraded to a king size bed and the baby's stuff is from Land of Nod. The dresser my mom picked up on the side of the road and I painted grey and added the mismatched nobs. The mobile I actually saw on etsy, but couldn't bear the thought of paying that much, so made it myself. It took a lot more time than I expected, but I really like how it turned out. Everything else hanging on the walls was sourced from other parts of my house. And pretty much all the newborn clothes that fill the baby's drawers are things I kept from Connor and Isla. I have had an itch to shop, but really am going to wait until the baby comes and I know what it is…of course, then I will be overwhelmed with a newborn and two other kids, so it still may be a bit before I do some damage ;)

That's really it. Simplicity really is key this third time around.

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Connor: He had his birthday party this weekend and I am pretty sure loved every minute of it. He is so social that being surrounded by his friends is so his thing.  

Isla: Just a mustached girl and her mustached kitty. Her stuffed kitties really are her favorite and most played with toys. 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

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Connor {6 years}

I feel like the last year has seen so much change in Connor. Kind of like how drastic the first year of life is. He really has taken off over the past year and the change has been enormous. He is just so much more independent. Connor's love of learning is huge. Even his teacher noted this to us. He really does have a thirst for knowledge and constantly asks questions that I really just don't know the answer to. The amount of knowledge he has is huge and very soon we will no longer be able to spell things out in front of him. 

Some of Connor's favorites include his legos, playing dress up and really anything that has to do with the solar system. He has developed a love of Curious George ever since he came home with us for a weekend. He has gotten really into nonfiction books and asks me all the time for books that aren't "made up"…like I said, a thirst for knowledge. He plays school almost every day with Isla and if Isla won't participate, Ian or I are his students. Connor still has a sweet tooth like no other and will always choose junk food over other food. But he also loves pears, yogurt, all things made with (yellow) cheese and ramen noodles. 

Connor still likes someone to lay with him at night when he goes to bed. But, more often than not, he stays in his own bed these days. And this kid will wake with the sun…actually, because of the shorter days, he will wake before the sun. Sometimes I can convince him to go back to sleep, other times not. I really think it has to do with him waking from Ian's alarm (at 4:40am) and not going back to sleep…awesome. But, he has gotten really good at quietly playing in his room, if I can't convince him to go back to sleep. 

Connor is so incredibly social. He is the complete opposite of me. His ideal day would be surrounded by friends every waking hour. I feel like because of this, he has gotten real good at playing with Isla. They fight less and play much more together these days, which is really nice. Outside of Isla, he has started this thing about only playing with boys and not girls…he actually will play with girls, but will tell me that he only wants to play with boys. Not sure what it's about, but it's funny to watch these things just develop in kids. 

I am so proud of this kid. He is so incredibly energetic, yet is such a rule follower (for rules other than his parents make!). He is so social and friendly. And his thirst for knowledge is incredible. I am so enjoying watching him grow up and seeing the person he is becoming. 

In case you want to take a walk down memory lane with Connor, here are his updates from years past - 5 years, 4 years, 3 years, 2 years, 1 year and 6 months

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37 Weeks

I'm nearing the end of this pregnancy and kind of can't believe it. Just within the past few days, my body is starting to scream for me to slow down. When I overdue it, which I have now done two days in the past week, I am greeted with nonstop braxton hicks contractions all evening, making for a super pleasant evening. The problem with needing to slow down is, I have also recently realized I need to actually prepare for the very soon arrival of this little babe. I have finally gotten my butt into gear. I am making lists. Figuring out what truly needs to be done. And what truly still needs to be bought. I am thinking about packing a bag for the hospital. And cleaning out my car so I can install the car seat. I made Ian go test drive bigger vehicles with me this weekend so we can make the decision on a bigger car…but that won't happen until after the baby comes, so I still need to make room in my car for now.

The kids got to see the baby put on a show for them the other day and they both were completely fascinated watching my belly move in all sorts of directions. Isla generally has been uninterested in feeling the baby move and now seems to think she can feel it on demand whenever she wants. Both kids have come up with plenty of names for the baby. Connor said to me, "Wouldn't it be cool if we named the baby R2D2 or storm trooper or skywalker, mom?!" He also suggested his teacher's name and half the kids in his class's names. And he has suggested numerous times that we should name it Connor, just like him.

As I've dealt with a couple serious bouts of braxton hicks, that did a great job of lighting the fire under me to get things done, I also really want/need the baby to stay cooking a little while longer. I am pretty sure I never pleaded with my other children to stay in just a bit longer. But this time, this time I really need it. We have just had so much going on and continue to have stuff until just after Thanksgiving. So, come November 29th the baby can arrive. Actually, I would probably like a day of rest, so the 30th would be perfect ;) But, I am also keeping the mindset that I could go past my due date, just like I did with both Connor and Isla.

At my doctor's appointment the other day, she told me this baby is sizing up a bit on the small size and if it continues to grow as it has, she estimates it being around 6 1/2 pounds at birth. This made me pretty happy. I remember when I was in labor with Isla and the midwife was feeling my belly. She was telling me how it was a good sized baby in there and I was like, "No, I would really like a smaller one." and she told me no such luck. So maybe I will have such luck this time.

After all this rambling, which is really for me to be able to look back on and remember how things were, I really don't care when the baby comes. Plans can be changed, though it would suck to miss Connor's first school performance. Things can be bought while I am holed up in the hospital giving birth…or I could go out in the next day or two and actually buy them. I am just excited for the arrival of this little one. I am excited for Connor and Isla to see the babe they have talked so much about (and I guess see the reality of what a baby in the house is like!). I am excited for Ian and I to lay eyes on this baby and decide on a name for it. I am excited for squishy newborn cuddles. And those sweet little cries that only a newborn can make, you know, the ones before they find their voice. I am just excited for it all.

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Connor: This was his idea for a pose and I kind of love it because of that smile on his face. He had a big week this week. He came home with an award from school that I didn't know much about, then found out that it's like student of the month. Later he told me he was excited because he always wanted to get it. Also, his birthday was celebrated at school, hence the crown on his head. He got to bring home a special birthday book, a birthday award and got a birthday pencil. Big stuff when you are in kindergarten. 

Isla: This girl can be such drama, but her sweet spirit and her sweet little voice can make my heart mush in an instant.  

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

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An Interview With Connor {6 years}

I didn't expect this, but I really had to keep at it with trying to get answers to these questions from Connor. He would answer "I don't know" to almost everything. And, a couple of the 
questions I asked numerous times and finally just gave up because I couldn't get a response. Maybe this is a preview of the teen years…eek! Anyway, here's Connor at six years old from the perspective of Connor. 

What's your full name? Connor Thomas Booth Grimbleby
How old are you? 6
How tall are you? I don't know
What color are your eyes? blue
What color is your hair? Let me go look in the mirror…brown
What day of the week is it? Saturday, my birthday

What is your favorite…
     color - blue
     food - candy
     drink - apple juice
     ice cream - blue raspberry
     toy - my skeleton (a decoration from halloween)
     book - I don't really have one favorite, I have lots of favorites. Like my outer space books.
     song - Welcome to New York and Day One
     show - I'm not going to tell you (I tried asking three different times)
     thing to do - Go to Rockin Jump
     game - minion operation
     sport - tball
     animal - bird

Who is your best friend? Nixon
What is your favorite thing about yourself?

Three things that make you special:
     1. I was born in Scotland
     2. My name starts with the letter C
     3. That I lost two teeth before sissy

What makes you happy? When I get what I want
What makes you sad? When I have to go into time out

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Learning, Learning, Learning

It's been fun watching Connor's love of learning take off this year. He gets truly excited when he masters something we have been working on. And he truly loves homework. The ironic part has been watching Isla get jealous over Connor having homework and her not. She will talk about her homework and get out a notebook to draw in, while referring to it as "homework". Or I will set her up with some crafts while Connor does his homework. Finally I had the idea to let Isla do a workbook while Connor did his homework and it was great watching her eyes light up when she mastered various letters. I don't know how long this love of learning will last for my children. I hope for a long time. But, in the mean time, I am loving how much both of them have a thirst for knowledge and a true love of learning.

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Connor: When he wants to play tball, he puts on his entire uniform. It's pretty dang cute. And now his sister is starting to play with him, which helps him not have to play it on his own…though those two, playing with a bat together does leave me worried at times.  

Isla: No one ever accused her of lacking in personality. What you can't see here is the full outfit that she picked out herself. Her leggings were pink with cats printed all over them. She claimed the leggings and shirt match because there is pink on the leggings and pink stars on the shirt…and of course pink on the beanie and pink in the most colorful light up shoes you have ever seen (that she came home with after a shopping trip with her Papa and Grammy). 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

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Nesting is one of those funny things. We aren't doing a nursery this time. I decided to just set up for baby in a corner in our bedroom. And I haven't done all that much…I will show what I have done later, but would really like to get on making that mobile that I bought all the supplies to make first. But, back to nesting. I find myself focusing on and doing things that don't have to get done, but consume my thoughts. Things like organizing the playroom, getting rid of old toys. Trying to clean the rugs…I say trying because I pulled out our steam cleaner from the garage and can't get it to work…grrr. Going through cabinets and purging things. Oh, the constant purging. I had a garage sale at the beginning of October and have already made a couple trips to drop stuff off at our local thrift store since. I seem to be ruthless lately and just want to get it all. 

Instead of spending my time doing things I actually should be doing to prepare for this babe, I spend my time researching baby milestone cards and baby carriers. Like I said, nesting is a weird thing. I wouldn't give it up for the world, because, well it gives me the drive to focus on some of the most random areas and things in my home. But I could use a little drive to focus on getting a little more in order for the baby before it comes. Maybe I should make a list. Lists have been my friend lately.

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Halloween Recap

We actually started our halloween festivities a day early, by dressing up the kids and taking them to a haunted house downtown. I really use the term "haunted" extremely loosely. This was definitely geared for younger children and even Isla, who is afraid of everything, never got scared. Both kids actually really enjoyed themselves. Each room we went in asked for people to participate and each time, Connor and Isla volunteered. At the end, there was a little carnival, complete with games, face painting and crafts. It was quite the cute little "haunted" house.

On Saturday, we took the kids to the festival at the church where Isla goes to preschool. I always love this festival because not many places do them anymore and it is really nostalgic to me because it is the type of thing my parents took me to when I was growing up. We went through at let the kids do all the games. Then, they played in the bounce house and raced each other in an obstacle course. Connor saw a climbing wall and really wanted to do it. So did Isla, but she was too small…technically, so was Connor, but they said he was fine. After that, we headed back to our neighborhood to do a little trick or treating because Connor really wanted our neighbors to see him. Then we headed out to Ian's parents to show them the kids in their costumes, before heading home and getting the kids in bed…not too much past their normal bedtime. And they passed out quickly due to all the stuff we did. It was a good evening.

^^ Headed to the haunted house

^^ Racing to see who could eat their doughnut the fastest…they both took a couple bites, then were over it!  

^^ That moment when someone says they captured the perfect picture and Isla looks like this. 

^^ Fireman Connor trying out the climbing wall. 

And, because I am a sap, here's a look back at some of the past Halloween's - 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010

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