Isla, the Dancer


Isla had dance pictures this past weekend. She is finishing up her fourth year dancing and says she wants to move on. She actually told me she knows all there is to know about dancing, but I thought saying she wants to move on sounded nicer...haha! The funny thing is though, her getting all done up for pictures had her saying, "Well, maybe I will do it again." The girl likes her some fancy and some performing, so the end of the year at dance is just her thing. 

A week ago, they called all the parents into the dance call to talk about picture day and the recital that is coming up. They announce that girls can wear a small amount of makeup if wanted. Isla literally throws her hands up in the air and yells "I love makeup! I love makeup!" She certainly doesn't shy away from the limelight. Thankfully, Isla has been with the same group of girls for a few years (even went to preschool with a few of them!), so they all know her. In fact, she attended one of their birthday party's last month. I dropped her off and when I picked her up, I was told by a mom that stayed that Isla was the life of the party. Oh man. 

This girl. She is sweet. She is spicy. She is comfortable in her own skin and I just love and admire that about her and hope she never looses it.




Also, for the record, these poses are ALL Isla. I never have to pose this girl. She just gets in front of the camera and works it! Haha!


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Connor's Band Performance


There's a place in town that puts together kid bands. They practice for eight weeks, then put on a concert. Connor's band, Storm, stayed together for a second session in a row. The drummer left and Connor moved from the piano this last time to the drums for two songs and the bass guitar for one song. Their performance was this past weekend at the Gallo Center. 

My favorite song they performed this time was So What by Pink. It helps that Pink is one of my favorites, but also, it was their strongest song. But seriously, every time I heard the little girl say "tool" in the chorus, I couldn't help but chuckle. Quite the word for a little kid.

Connor really enjoys music, so this has been a really good thing for him. It is an activity he always looks forward to and never complains about...which is big for a kid that normally doesn't like leaving the house! He is going to do another session in the summer, so we shall see if Storm stays together or not.





In case you missed it and want to see photos from his last band performance, you can see them here


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Callum the Helper




Callum is going through this stage where he wants to "help" with practically everything. 

Cooking? 
Yep! He pulls out the stool and wants to help stir ingredients or even help cook. That one makes me a little nervous with hot items, but so far, so good. He will even run to the playroom and find his little oven mitt when I am baking. 

Cleaning?
Yep! He always says "I help" and proceeds to get out his tool kit and hammer the floor close to where the cleaning is happening. Haha! Though if there is any spray involved, he is more than welcome to spray. 

Watering the plants?
Yep! He is all over this one. I am happy to let him go to town watering the plants in the front and the back yard. And they certainly get plenty of love. Inside the house is a whole other story. 

Laundry?
Well...kind of. He loves putting things in the washer or switching them to the dryer. But when it comes to putting away the clean clothes, he really just likes playing in them...and gets mad when I actually put away the clothes!

Washing the car?
Yep! Callum loves helping Ian wash his car. He will scrub it and rinse it off. I take my car to the carwash and he loves handling the vacuum. 

It really is a cute stage. And though it can slow me down and sometimes I just want to tell him no, I also don't want to discourage helping out, so I try to let him help in some way whenever he wants. 


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School Open House


The kids had open house at their school this past week. It happened to be the same night as Connor has band practice on, so we knew him and Ian would be coming at pretty much the end. I was planning on going late so I didn't have to entertain the other kids there for a while, but Isla was super excited (and all hyped up) about going and wanted to get there as soon as it opened. 

We started in Isla's class. She showed me everything and just as we were finishing up, her bestie came in. They looked around in the class for a bit, then went to get shaved ice together. About then is when Ian's parents showed up, so we went back to Isla's class. Then Ian and Connor arrived. Isla went to the playground with her bestie and the rest of us went to Connor's class to check it out. 



^^ Isla was very proud of the fact that they typed up their reports on their animal all by themselves. She chose a peacock to do a report and diorama on.




Every year I like getting pictures by this wall at the school. I have done it every open house, though apparently when Connor was in kindergarten, I didn't get in the photo too. But, I want to continue taking pictures with whatever kids are students at the time in front of this wall. I think it will be a fun comparison over the years. Which, I figured out that I will have a kid at this school for 17 years in a row. CRAZY! Also, I will be pretty dang old by the time we move on from this school...haha! And I will have two kids in college by the time we are done with elementary school too. Like I said, crazy.



I like these pictures of Connor and Isla because it totally is a representation of their personalities. Connor, a bit more reserved and will do what he is told. And Isla, full of life and lover of attention.


It's hard to believe that another school year is almost behind us. They always go faster than I would like. But I really am looking forward to the summer. Not having to set an alarm, hanging out with friends, pool time, family time, popsicles and more! 



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A Sisterly Comparison


It's no secret that I love a good sibling photo comparison. I've done a lot throughout the years. But the one I can do with Willa in the same outfit as the other three kids is still a few months off...and the poor girl will have to put on a warm winter outfit in the middle of the summer for it too! Sorry girl, but its gotta be done. So I decided to go back through old photos of Isla and see what outfits we still had hanging around. I was actually surprised how few outfits we have left that I have pictures of Isla in. But we still had this one AND the pictures are from around the same time. Perfect. And, perfectly enough, we also still have the same chair. 

I tried to get Willa to sit in the middle of the chair like Isla was, but it could not be done. She must not have the core strength yet. Which I also found photos of Isla sitting up in the bumbo at this age and I don't think Willa is quite ready for that either. So I settled for the side of the chair. Willa smiles so easily, so naturally it is a photo of her smiling. For the next photo, I did one of them laying down. I apparently should have looked at the photo of Isla first because I have Willa laying the opposite direction. Oh well. It's still a fun comparison. You can't tell from this picture because of Isla's big bow, but Isla actually had decent amount of hair at two months, whereas Willa pretty much just has some fuzz. 




Though the girls look similar, I still think Willa looks way more like Callum as a baby than the other two. It will be fun to see what she looks like and who she looks more like as she gets older. Her hair isn't as dark as Isla's was, so the jury is still out as to what color hair she will have too. But the doctor said at her two month check up that chances are she will keep her blue eyes, as they haven't started changing yet.


Here are a few of my favorite comparisons of the older three over the years - 8.5 months old, in the monkey outfit and in their crib at 19 months old. In the last one, I can't believe how much more hair Connor and Isla had compared to Callum at the same age. Connor's hair was just perfect. 


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Helpers





People are always making comments about how the older kids must be such a big help with the baby. In my head I am usually rolling my eyes at them and think about how it's not like they are doing all the laundry and making dinners and such. But then my perspective changed a bit the other day.

Callum was acting like, well, a three year old on the walk home from school and was requiring ALL my attention...and both my hands. Connor instantly offered to push Willa's stroller. When we got home, Callum still needed me. Isla jumped in and asked to hold Willa. All the sudden, I realized they help in small ways that really add up. And I really need to not overlook those little things. Without asking or prompting, they will put Willa's pacifier back in her mouth if she starts fussing. Isla loves talking/playing with her. And lately, at bedtime, Willa and I have been laying down with Isla. Both Isla and Willa fall asleep, then I get up and put Willa in her bed. It really has become a special time for me...and hopefully for them as well.

Now if only I could convince one of them to change poopie diapers ;)


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A published author & illustrator in the house


Isla's class published a book of short stories. Each kid in the class got to write a short story and draw a picture to go along with it. The stories were to be about visiting another country. Isla chose Japan, which is no surprise. She has been obsessed with Japan for a couple years now. It started with the colorful outfits and hair colors she saw. But ever since then, she has talked of visiting and even moving there some day. My favorite part of her story might have been her using a rainbow to get back home. I LOVE kids imaginations. 

Everyone in Isla's class had submit a picture for the cover of the book, then the class voted on a winner. Isla won. Given class votes haven't gone well in the past for our family (cough, cough, Connor demanding a recount when he lost a contest in first grade), I was a bit nervous about this process. But, she won...so it's all good. Her winning made me glad I decided to order the book! We had to order before the vote, so I paid before even knowing. 

I'm very proud of Isla and I promise she is much more excited about this book than her face shows! She has already read the book to me several times. She also reads a short story, then makes me guess who in her class wrote it. Fun times ;)




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Willa {two months}


weight: 10lbs 3oz
length: 22.25"


Willa is such a joy to have in our home. This girl smiles so often. And when you see a big baby smile, it's hard to not smile yourself. Joy, I tell you. Pure joy. 

Willa is becoming a lot more interactive. She stares at her toys and mobile. In fact, she is happy to be on her play mat for longer periods of time now. She follows me around the room when I am walking around or talking from across the room. She is getting good at holding her head up for a few seconds during tummy time. And, though still wobbly, she is holding it up better and better when I hold her upright. 

Willa is taking a pacifier well and that makes me happy. I personally associate pacifiers with good sleepers, so yeah. And she is doing well in the sleep department. During the day, she doesn't really have a schedule. She sleeps and eats when she wants. She doesn't ever seem to sleep for any super long period of time. Usually just an hour or so. But at night is a whole other story. I put her down around 8pm, swaddled and fed and she has been sleeping until sometime in the 2am hour, waking only to be fed, then is right back down. 

Willa thoroughly enjoys being worn in the wrap and generally will go to sleep almost instantly in it. She prefers being held, but is getting better and better at being left on her play mat or in the swing while she is awake. 

Willa is still in size 1 diapers. She can still fit in some of her newborn clothes, mostly the onesies. And she is fitting well into her 0-3 month clothing. Though shoes are a whole other story! Willa has such skinny little feet and legs that it is impossible to keep any shoes or socks on her feet. Of course, now it's getting warm, so that doesn't matter so much anymore.




And for comparisons sake, at 2 months old, Willa came in third for weight (with Isla first, then Callum and Connor coming in last) and both Callum and Isla were longer than her too. I don't know where Connor stood there, as I didn't measure him.


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Little moments not to be forgotten









// monster truck playing //
// chilling //
// reading //
// car playing //
// swinging //
// more reading //
// tractor play //
// more chilling //


With the arrival of Willa and many a rainy days, we have spent a lot of time indoors over the past six weeks...of course, the beautiful weather the last couple days is changing that. But these photos are a representation of some of the times we have had recently. All of them are from in our house. Like I said, we have spent a lot of time here lately. Isla is exploding with her reading and now reading chapter books in one sitting. Callum is super into his cars and plays with them all the time...and we find them all over the house. And Willa, she is getting used to not being held or worn all the time.


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Columbia


The kids had spring break last week. Having a newborn and it being Ian's busy season, I knew we wouldn't do much, but I at least wanted to do something. Well, then Callum got super sick all week. It made it next to impossible to leave the house. But, on Friday, we left Callum with Grammy and went to Columbia. There was so much whining, complaining and fighting that went on in my house last week and I am happy to report that my kids literally did none of those three things on our trip to Columbia. 

We started off gold panning, which both the kids loved. Connor ended up finding several little pieces of gold and he was excited. Isla collected the gemstones (or colored rocks...?). Then we walked around the main street before stopping in a place for lunch. Both kids had ice cream and I had the most amazing fresh snickerdoodle cookie. Then we walked around some more. The kids wanted to go back to the gold panning, so we did that. It worked out perfect because I could sit and nurse Willa right by where they were gold panning. Then they climbed the big rocks for a bit before Isla ended up covered in mud...and when I say covered, I mean had to strip down for the ride home covered. And that was our sign to head home! 

It was seriously such a nice day, just watching the kids enjoy themselves and not complain or whine all day. It made me realize that they are often quite happy when we are out exploring and we should probably make sure to do it more often! Though I will admit, it's hard to do with Ian working so much, but we are on the count down...busy season is almost over!!!




^^^ A little gold on his finger than he found all by himself





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