Fabulous. Independent. Vivacious. Energetic.
Today, we went to Busch Gardens. It always surprises me that you are so fierce and strong-willed, and yet you are afraid of so much. You beg me to let you watch scary movies, like Scream or Jeepers Creepers. Yet Daddy had to force you on the carousel (which you liked, by the way, once you realized we didn't lie to you and it didn't go fast). In your defense, and my surprise, we convinced you to ride Roman Rapids (I might have lied and said it was just a boat that floated in circles). But you absolutely loved it. Sometimes, you can be very stubborn and set in your ways.
You love the bumper cars, the swings, the airplanes, and the hot air balloons. That's about it.
A few things about you these days.
You are THE pickiest eater. You're more of a snacker. It worries me.
You love to go grocery shopping, especially since Food Lion now has these little carts for the kids to push around. Except you tend to sneak things into the cart when I'm not looking.
You loved staying home with me this summer. We had a blast, and I am so thankful for this time with you.
You (finally) love swimming in the pool. All of a sudden, you overcame your fears and just started swimming. And jumping in, even going under. Something I've realized about you -- you do things in your own time. You don't like to be pushed. And you are hard to persuade.
Lately, we're struggling with your attitude. You are full of sass and very demanding. You don't ask for a drink. It's just "I want a drink!" If you don't get the answer you want the first time, or the second, you will ask the same question repeatedly. Over and over. And the whining. For the love of God, this is the worst. I don't remember this ever being an issue with the boys. You whine about anything and everything. And then there's my personal favorite, when I ask you to do something, ie "We have to take a bath, Bella", and you respond "Nope. I'm not doing it!" with your arms crossed over your chest and that petulant look on your face. I have to remind myself I'm the parent, the adult. Because I really want to lunge at you and....well, it drives me crazy.
And I HATE to brush your hair. You fight tooth and nail the entire time. But, in the end, I prevail.
But for all the attitude, your cuteness surpasses it all. You are truly unique. And you are the funniest little girl I have ever met. Everyone loves you. You make us all laugh. With your outfits. Your dance moves. The hoarding (or stealing). The way you always remember where you put something. And your mannerisms. It's the headbands, the several outfit changes per day, the duck lips, the peace signs, the way you know every word to all the songs (Drake or Florida Georgia Line), the dab, the rain boots, the eyeliner and lipstick. You're exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time.
You love fiercely and I love that about you. You make me see life through a different perspective. I have to remind myself to take a step back and see what you see. Your excitement makes my heart burst.
Did I mention you love strawberries?
Happy birthday, baby girl!
Your birthday is in 4 days. You will be 4 years old. I asked you what kind of party you wanted to have and you replied, "a strawberry party". So that is what we are doing. And if anyone asks what you want, "strawberries and grapes".
About 2 months ago, I made a life changing decision. With support from Daddy, I decided to quit my job as a cardiac nurse to become a school nurse. This is a very big change for me, and I will admit, I'm a little nervous. But I know it will be the right decision. For me. But especially for my family. You and the boys. Because I started to see how quickly time is passing. And it's time that I can't ever get back.
I have been home for the Summer now the past 2 weeks with you and your brothers. It has been great. There isn't as much time as I had originally anticipated. But I've learned to let go of some of my expectations and just live and more importantly, relax.
This time off (and being home and always together) has been a transition for all of us, and you've become very attached. Especially at bedtime. I'll take the blame for this as I have not been very strict with this and have gone to bed with you (or at least laid down with you until you fell asleep) more often than not, thereby encouraging this bad habit. I keep telling myself that I will have time at the end of the summer to work on getting you back to a good nighttime routine.
Baseball season has finally wrapped up and this has freed up some time for us. We spent a weekend in a hotel in North Carolina for Cameron's All Stars tournament. You were in heaven with all the other kids. You love going to baseball games. You get filthy dirty, you rarely wear shoes, you love the "session stand", and you especially love all the attention from the older girls (letting them dye your hair, paint your nails, and put makeup on you).
You are such a busy little kid. You'll insist on getting in the pool or hot tub, but after less than 10 minutes, you are done and ready to go back inside. You don't do one thing for very long before you've moved on. My house is always in a state of chaos. You ask the same questions repeatedly, always wanting to know what we're going to do, where we're going today, who's going to be there.
These days, you are coloring a lot, and we spend time together doing this. But I've had to take away your markers today because, after telling you over and over again, you not only colored on your stuffed animals, but yourself.
You also love play-doh and playing with your babies. You always ask to play with my phone. You like to watch youtube videos. You will play songs and dance for me and Daddy. You can rock some Whip & Nae Nae and your favorite song is Chandeliers by Sia.
You are starting preschool at Barefoot Kids in the Fall. I'm excited to see how much you'll grow and how much you'll learn. I'm not looking forward to the those first few weeks. It's going to be an adjustment, especially after the time we've had off together. And it's another milestone that I'm not sure I'm ready for. It's cliché, but time has flown by. Some things are getting easier, and I welcome that. But with this, it just means you are getting older and more independent. We have 4 more weeks home before it's back to the real world.
Happy birthday, Baby.
I wish there was more time.
You are growing up way too fast. Today, I realized that this Fall you are going to start preschool, the same preschool both your brothers attended, but there were much younger. I was always ready with them. Ready for them to start preschool. Ready when they started kindergarten (even Jackson; he was so independent and more than ready to "leave the nest"). With you, it's different. Not sure if it's because you're a girl. Or because you're my baby, my last. I can't stand the fact that you are growing up. It physically hurts my heart.
This week, you are going to start your first ever dance class. Not sure if you're going to like it or not. I think you will. You are such the entertainer. Your favorite Christmas present is the guitar and microphone stand from Mimi. I knew you would love it. You used to walk around here "strumming" on a small basket, mimicking your idol, Laurie Berkner. Now, night after night, you walk around playing your new purple guitar, singing One Direction into the mic (or your own original song, "the trampoline song" - it goes like this ... "daddy loves him, and Cameron loves him, and mommy loves him... but we don't wanna be like that!"). So, I knew it was time to put my little performer in dance. With Jack & Cam busy with basketball, and at 3 1/2, I figured you were ready to do your own thing.
Tonight, I picked up your ballet and tap shoes from a friend. You loved wearing the tap shoes and actually wore them around the house all night, refusing to take them off. You keep asking me if you're going to "go to class" tonight. You have no idea what it's going to be like, although last week I took you by the studio and you were in awe of the little girls in their tights, tutus and buns walking around and I almost couldn't get you to leave. Yeah, I think you're ready.
You're so darn cute and entertaining. Everybody who meets you falls in love. Every little girl thinks you are the coolest; which helps me out because they love to hang out with you at basketball practice and keep you entertained so I can watch your brothers.
The weeknights are exhausting. As soon as we get home, you change into some ridiculous outfit, which often includes a skirt or tutu, pajamas, knee high socks, boots. And often layering tutus. Or a bathing suit. You constantly ask for a "snack", one after the other. Dinner schmminner. Bedtime is even worse. You ask for "two more minutes" or "one-twenty minutes". You beg for Mommy to lay down with you. You usually end up in our bed in the wee morning hours. And then you insist on taking showers with me every morning.
I absolutely love this age. And you. You are so much fun. Even though you are the messiest child I have ever had. And the most dramatic. You make us all laugh. Even your brothers. No one can stay mad at you.
Love you. Momma (I love it when you call me Momma).
P.S. As I type this, you have somehow finagled yourself out of bed (almost an hour after Daddy put you in your bed) and you are downstairs on the ccouch with me and Cameron (your partner in crime) watching Full House (your new favorite show, thanks to your cousin, Syd).
This past weekend was a strange one. You and your brothers spent several days in Hatteras with Honey and Pop Pop, without Mommy & Daddy. This is by far the longest stretch of time I have ever been without my kids. And I decided I don't like. A day or two I can handle. But I went 5 days without seeing you. And Cameron and Jackson are still in Hatteras and it will be a whole 8 days before I see them.
I got to talk to you on the phone every day. You were in absolute heaven at "the beach house" and when I asked if you wanted to come home to Mommy, you would always respond, "No, I wanna stay at the beach house!" I knew you were going to be upset about coming home, and I didn't blame you. I would love to live at the beach house everyday, too.
But, I was so excited for you to come home. Your daddy went down to Hatteras to pick you up and bring you home. That night, I waited impatiently, checking out the window every few minutes for Daddy's truck to pull into the driveway. I have to admit, I was very disappointed with our reunion. It didn't go quite as I had imagined it. To say you weren't happy to see me might be a little bit of an understatement. Not only would you not let Daddy put you down, you wouldn't let me hold you at all. You cried if I even tried to take you out of Daddy's arms. After a little while, I persuaded you out of his lap by offering to paint your fingernails. But as soon as he made a move to leave the room, you flipped out and ran after him crying, "I want my Daddy!" Totally out of character for you, especially in my presence. When I asked you if you wanted to sleep with Mommy in "Mommy's bed" that night, you vehemently responded, "No! I sleep with Daddy in Daddy's bed!" None of my kids have ever referred to our bed as "daddy's bed". Daddy, of course, was quite amused by all of this and totally eating up the attention from you.
Eventually, I won you over playing kitchen and by the end of the night, things had returned to normal. You even followed me to the bathroom a few times, and I wasn't at all annoyed by the lack of privacy (for now). When it was time to go to bed, you asked (as is your routine), "you lay down with me? in mommy's bed?" But of course!
Yesterday, we had our carpets cleaned, so when we came home, we spent the first half of the night putting all the furniture back. We didn't make it to your room, and your bed was covered in toys, your toy box and LOTS of babies. So, last night, when it was time to go to bed, I told you you had to sleep in mommy's bed. "Will you lay down wish me?" You asked. "Not right now. Mommy and Daddy are going to watch t.v." I put you in my bed, left the door open at your request. One thing we've noticed is that you have become very comfortable in your own bed. Unlike your big brothers, you actually prefer it over my bed. The only time you'll stay in my bed is if I'm in it with you. But at that time, I didn't feel like cleaning off your bed, so I put you in mine, hoping you'd stay.
A few minutes after I had returned downstairs, we heard some noises upstairs, and then a lot of banging. Your daddy looked at me, and I knew exactly what was going on. You were cleaning off your bed so you could sleep in it. He went upstairs to help get the rest of the stuff off of it, and you told him, "I don't wanna sleep in mommy's bed." In your bed you went, and that was the end of it. Back to our old routine.
My name is Kaci. I am a working mom of 3. Wife to Josh. Mom to Jackson, Cameron & Isabella. My life is dinner, homework, baseball, basketball, grocery lists, laundry, middle school, wine, video games, and schedules. I started this blog because I love taking pictures, and I needed a place to document our life. I wanted a place to write it all down, to remember little details so easily forgotten in the mad rush that is the life of a family of 5. Through my photos and words, I endeavor to capture our story.