Kid updates

October 9, 2013

Joe is frequently putting 2-3 words together.  “NO NO NO, Dada.”  “Mama shoes!”  That sort of thing.  His sisters are Tah-tih, Day-del, Lah-lih, and he calls himself Doe.  He says his own name more than I remember the girls saying theirs at this age, but I suppose his name is simpler.  He walks into school every day and hugs every lady he passes- usually Miss Shirley, the baby teacher, Miss Teresa the cafeteria lady, Miss Joyce the Magic Wizard, and Miss Bridget from K2.  His teacher, Miss Judy, says she wishes she had a class full of him, he’s such a sweetie.  He’s into the girls’ ponies and can say most of their names, but gets mostly excited about Spike “PIKE!” the dragon.  (He has two stuffed Spikes of his own.)  We’ve got to get him out of the crib before he climbs out- need to figure out the bed situation.  Loved swimming lessons with Joe Bob at the YMCA.

Alice- hitting the f-you fours, though we’ve strung together a few good days in a row.  Anything she doesn’t like, she whines really high and gets all anxiety/defiant/ignoring… it’s hard to explain.  She doesn’t tantrum often but when she does, it’s epic.  She is recently enjoying falling asleep on the hall floor outside her room and it’s best not to bother arguing.  I do best with Alice if I can make her want to do things… if you ask/tell her to do something and she resists at all, best to distract because she will dig in and escalate FAST.  But man, is she ever cute and charming and charismatic.

Rachel is blowing away kindergarten.  Consistent blue in behavior charts, no problem understanding anything, her teacher loves her.  I’m told she’s taken a little ESL girl named Emma under her wing and is helping her with everything.  Ms. Branch says she’s like Catherine in that she takes care of others, but C was more interested in justice for all while R is more mellow and caring.  (And of course quieter.)  She’s so sweet and cuddly, but is also sort of in a way the funniest of the kids.

Catherine is doing just fine in first grade.  We haven’t heard much so far but I know everything she has brought home is below her level.  We were asked to give permission to test her for the gifted program and did, but nothing yet on that.  She’s still such a people-pleaser and in particular seems sensitive to me complaining about having too much to do and wants to help.  Which makes me in turn feel guilty that I am so incapable that a 6yo feels responsible for helping.  I love her.  We recently had an evening date and the best part was taking her to a Sephora and seeing her face light up when she saw all the pretty colors and cool makeup.  She loved it.

Next weekend, Hog Jog.  Going to run the 5K with the older girls.

We had the animals at the vet lately.  The cat, at age 14, is in fine health.  The dog, at 9 or 10, is not.  She’s been sneezing blood and it looks very likely she has nasal cancer- there is effectively nothing we can do.  We’re planning on riding it out as long as she seems comfortable and happy, which she does at the present, but we’ll probably be letting her go before too long.


Poison Control

September 11, 2013

Add this to the list of milestone firsts.  We put the kids to bed.  Alice, as she is recently prone to do, laid down on the hallway floor with a pillow (minus case- she removes it every time I put it on), Pinkie Pie, and a Strawberry Shortcake book she’s been reading for about a solid two weeks.  I almost trip on her every time I walk by.

However, discovered that this time she was also holding a half-empty tube of toothpaste in one hand and the cap in the other.

This was a brand new tube tonight.

So…. I called poison control.  First time I’ve done that.  Turns out you need to eat 3-4 oz of it to do any harm (possible she did.  It’s a 7.5 oz tube, half empty).  But if she were going to have any problems, they would have been immediate (if she was asleep, this was a while ago) and would be obvious… she’d be throwing up, not sleeping peacefully on the floor.

All’s well that ends well.  Another point for Alice.

And School Begins

September 2, 2013

I’m way overdue for an update.  So I’ll try to go brief, youngest to oldest:

Joe: Talking like crazy.  Alice is called “lah-lah” and they’re all “sissah!”  Was sitting in a shopping cart today at Lowe’s, faceplanted into the handle, and somehow cut his upper gum and bled like a stuck pig, but hardly cried.  I was proud of the tough kid!  We are a totally baby-gate-free house as of about a month ago when I got comfortable with him going downstairs.  FINALLY.  Loves his toy Spike from My Little Pony.  Through a fortunate turn of events, he wound up with two Spikes, loves them both.  Still uses a tootsie at night and for nap at home but it’s not a big deal.  Loves to brush his teeth.  Loves toys and babies.  Gets excited when planes fly over and when he sees a light he likes he’ll point it out.  Interested in Superman.  Staying in Toddler class.

Alice: Starts K4 tomorrow with Miss Chae, who reminds us of… Alice.  Has a speech impediment we’ve narrowed down to using a “d” sound for “th” and eliminating or using a “w” sound for “r”.  Best example of both is how she refers to me as “Mudda!”  (For Mother.  I have no idea why it’s Mother instead of Mommy or Mom.)  Got bubble gum in her hair this weekend, fortunately not badly, but this led to all three of the girls getting a couple of inches trim.  She’s still curly and gorgeous.  She’s the bravest of the girls in the swimming pool, when my parents take her to the YMCA.

Rachel: Starts kindergarten tomorrow!  after a long saga, we did manage to get her into Ms. Branch’s class (C’s teacher from last year).  She’s a little nervous, I can sort of tell, but gave Ms. Branch a big hug at orientation and passed her screening with no problem.  She’s a smart cookie and reads more than C did at this time last year.  She’s still the quietest and mellowest of the four but has chosen “being super annoying” as her weapon to push Catherine’s buttons.  She also finds toilet humor more funny than her sisters do.  Heh.

Catherine: Starts first grade tomorrow with Ms. Morgan.  Very helpful and people-pleasing still. It’s a story about her which prompted this post- we were walking through the mall today past a piercing/jewelry kiosk and Sean jokingly asked Alice if she wanted a piercing.  (Alice, of course, said “YEAH!”)  I noted that she was a little young and suddenly Catherine jumped in and said, “I want my ears pierced!”  Sean and I had both more or less agreed we were fine with it whenever she asked, but she’s so spooked of needles I thought it would be forever.  I was impressed with her “bravery”, so we went and asked a few questions, waited around… and did it!  She yelped at the first side, then sort of whimpered and held my hand to do the other side, but it really wasn’t her normal drama.

They’re metallic pink with a little jewel and look very cute and I am super proud of her.  She’s been basking ever since and talking on and on about how to care for them.  I think this may usher in a new era of hand washing in our house.

Joe randomly pointed to a picture of a dog and said “oof oof”.

Me, curiously: “Joe… what would a kitty say?”

Joe: “eeeeowwww” Me: “Joe, what would a cow say?”


Me: “What other animal…”

Joe: “Uck.” Me: “What would that say?”

Joe: “ACK ACK!”

I LOVE it when they surprise me with something like this.  I also got a marginal horse noise out of him that sounded like a laugh.  He also knows yellow.  And also can say blue, orange, purple, and pink…. but liked to call everything “ello”.

SO SO CUTE.  All tonight.  I love these surprises.  Right up there when I realized that C’s rhythmic babble was the pledge of allegiance or when Alice was counting to 10 in Spanish.

He also happily slid down the waterslide yesterday all by himself- he’s going up the ladder and down the slide on the climber- and he’s starting to willingly mix it up with the girls.  He, and the rest of them, will also sit quietly and watch Catherine use her new computer.

Oh, Catherine can e-mail.  A selection of her e-mails over the last few days:

i  love you mom. you are the best

i love you mom. love catherine








i love you. you are the best. i love you mom. i love you dad. i love you rachel. i love you alice.  i love you joe. love catherine

can i have a hug and kiss mommy derpy. love catherine   xoxo

i love you. i love mom. i love you dad. i love you joe. i do a lot of math at school. i love you mom. love catherine

Language Explosion

May 13, 2013

Joe went to Toddler class about a month ago.  Since then, his vocabulary has gone from probably 10 words to probably 50.  Some recent ones:

A bunch of body parts, including identifying eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, and toes.  (And head, which is my favorite, because he gets excited and whacks himself in the head.)

A shrug accompanied by a sound that means “Dont know” if you ask him where someone is who’s not in the room

Lola, kitty, Catherine, Rachel, Alice, Daddy, Mommy, Nana, Joe (probably his favorites are Mama, Daddy, Lola, and Alice)

Cup, milk, more, mine, all gone, water, cheese, bread


Sock, shoe

I have NOT heard him count yet, which is interesting because I remember 1-10 being some of Catherine’s very first words

Up and down (these are VERY big)

Some word that refers to his blanket (starts with a b, not sure what it actually is), bed

He hugs and kisses (hugging is very new) and loves to climb all over me.  VERY affectionate, maybe more than the girls were around this age?  Loves the cuddling.  But won’t sit still longer than a moment.

In other news, Catherine lost her second tooth (the other bottom center) and it was lost.  Possibly swallowed with a cookie.  Alice loves to sing lately and is super cute when she does.  And Rachel’s graduating preschool like, REALLY soon and Catherine’s teacher is stalking her.


April 1, 2013

Yesterday, on Easter, Catherine came up to me while I was sitting here at the computer to again show me her SUPER LOOSE tooth.  I was allowed to touch it if I promised not to pull, so I promised to only touch with one finger.  Can’t pull with one finger.

So I pushed instead.  Back and forth and out it came, into her lower lip.  She was sort of bracing herself and I pulled it out and told her.  Catherine, you just lost a tooth.

There was much excitement.  The new tooth is already coming in and very visible.  She couldn’t put it right under her pillow since she spent last night at Nana and Joe Bob’s house and the tooth fairy doesn’t come there, so she put it under her own pillow tonight.  The tooth fairy has left her $5.  She doesn’t know it yet.  I expect much more excitement.

Cute: Rachel was sleeping in bed with her tonight when the tooth fairy crept in.  Were they setting up an ambush?

In other news, Joe is now saying “Nana” to my mother as well as regards bananas, and Alice has been a handful lately.

Kid updates

March 19, 2013

Catherine’s first tooth (bottom right center) is REALLY loose.  Sob sob, it feels like just yesterday she GOT that tooth!  There’s an actual gap widening between it and the next tooth (probably since the new one’s forcing its way in) and her gum is a bit swollen and painful.  I told her that won’t improve til she gets it out.  Sean has offered to pull it so she won’t let him near it.  Aww, just like my dad!

Rachel went with me Sunday morning to Sean’s half-marathon at the beach.  It was cold and very windy and she was a total trooper and good company.  Glad I took her.  Favorite part (besides seeing Sean) was watching the marathoners start.

Alice had an epic fit yesterday because I wouldn’t let her wear a dress she dropped in the toilet.  Oh, Alice.

Joe can now say Mama, Dada, NO, banana, uh oh, uh uh, vroom, bye bye, cup, and some semblance of his sisters’ names.  He’s so flipping cute and charming.  Can go upstairs but not down.  Still taking two GOOD LONG naps per day most days.


December 4, 2012

Joe: Walking, fast.  Climbing table and sofa, and mostly getting down safely.  Says “Dada” and sometimes “Mama”.  Smiley as heck.  Sensitive skin- gets rashy.  Such a flippin’ adorable smile.  Love certain people, gives the side-eye to others.  Still a hair puller and mouth grabber.

Alice: 3!!!!!  Speaking much more clearly and articulately.  Sweet and happy and still mostly just skipped the 2yo tantrum phase.  Still having accidents, though, and I use the word “accident” loosely, because I saw her pee herself very much on purpose the other night.  Obsessed with Pinkie Pie.  Behaved lovely at our family Christmas photo shoot.

Rachel: On/off behavior issues. Claps her hands over her ears melodramatically whenever anyone speaks to her sternly.  Has been very sweet the last few days and she’s quieter than the other two, which can be nice.  Goes on and off being the well-behaved one.  We don’t hear much about school- her teacher’s not quite as into it as C’s was last year.

C: Doing great at school.  Her sight words work have advanced and she’s passing AR tests at 0.7, which I suppose is 7/10 of first grade level.  She wanted me to send her friend Aubrey’s mom a letter asking her to have a playdate, which I did, but now more than half her class is down with the flu.  SHE’S NOT!  Yay for the flu shot!

Athletics: PF is not good.  It’s bad.  I’m going back to the podiatrist Thursday and telling him I’ll do whatever it takes to GET RID OF IT.  I’m enjoying Crossfit and would be happy to do that for a month while I stay out of running.  Sean’s doing well and adjusting to the new treadmill.  We had a lot of fun doing the Busch Gardens race- running through the park was awesome.

Christmas: Lots of Etsy shopping for the ladies, some crafting (including blankets) for the kids, and I’m not saying what for Sean.


November 5, 2012

Tomorrow’s Catherine’s first parent-teacher conference.  I’m nervous.  I never knew parents got nervous.  I am happy since she got her homework folder for the first time today, and it’s supposed to be customized to her abilities, and it’s just about what I thought.  Practice the easy words, work on some harder words.

Her class voted today for president, with voting booths.  She tells me that she voted for Mitt Romney, but Barack Obama won.  Her friend Seth voted for him.  She picks out Romney signs wherever we go.  She could not tell me why Seth or anyone else voted how they did, or what they were told to consider in making their pick.

We went to Sean’s half-marathon Saturday morning, the Virginia Running Festival.  I was extraordinarily proud of our timing.  Kids up about 7, play, breakfast, nap for Joe, clean up, shower, dressed warmly, and we headed out.  We got to Christopher Newport University, found a parking spot (not easy- I don’t know the campus well and I had no idea where the finish line was), strapped the smaller two into the stroller, and went looking for the finish line.  Wandered all the way across campus, eventually found where we were supposed to be, and the finish line was great.  Not crowded (they were funneling all the finished runners and families to a party area a field away), in the stadium on the track, and we could hang in the bleachers with other families.  It was a smallish race and not a lot of people there… most of them were just like me, wives with kids.  I could let the girls run around a bit, the Chik Fil A cows were there cheerleading, music, etc.  And we were there a perfect amount of time- 10-15 min- before Sean came in.  The girls got to run right onto the track to him.  He almost fell over and tried to hold himself up on Catherine’s shoulder, which was very cute.
Busy busy busy.  Church and visiting Sean’s office for family day yesterday.  Joe in church= hell.
JOE TURNED 1!!!!!  He got some baby toys (including a nifty multi colored flashlight the girls are all intrigued by), a car, and a bunch of clothes.  We had white cake with chocolate funfetti frosting.  HE ATE A LOT.

I did a turkey bowl for dinner on his birthday night and we shared it.  He loves the stuffing best… same as me.  That’s my boy.
He’s getting two molars on top.

He’s walking a lot.

He’s getting a rash around his mouth after eating.  I’m not sure what he’s allergic to, or if he possibly just has bad skin.


November 1, 2012

Catherine- was remarkably understanding about not getting to wear her costume to school.  They did dress-like-a-book character day Friday- she was an excellent Eloise- and yesterday they wore orange to school.  She had a party at school age class at preschool, too, so she was happy.

Rachel (who’s in the same f-you fours Catherine was in last year)- drove me nuts last night by peeling and eating the cheese from her pizza, then scraping it against the edge of the table, managing to get pizza sauce all over the tablecloth and her costume.  Just…. you know, it’s one thing to make an accidental mess, but playing with food in our house is a big no-no.  I was furious, and then she of course went crying to Sean that I was “Mean Mommy”.  I swear… she does things that are not just thoughtless, but purposely defiant, but she (same as Catherine) acts totally clueless of what she’s done.  No sassiness, not even slyness, and I can see slyness in Rachel.  It’s like 4-year-olds are just obnoxiously defiant without knowing it.
Alice- was super cute.  SUPER CUTE.  She’s at a great age.  If only she’d stop pooping in her pants.  She was right in with the big girls, as she has been a lot lately, running up to the houses, trick or treating, and saying in this high-pitched bubbly toddler voice, “THANK YOU VERY MUCH!” before scampering off.  OMG CUTE.  She was well behaved and delightful.  Now if only she’d stop pooping in her pants.

Joe- had a rough, rough day.  Started it by headbutting me and splitting my lip.  I literally have a round donut bruise on my lip itself and the shadow of a bruise above it.  I shouted and he started screaming and didn’t stop until we got in the car.  He didn’t even want a bottle.  Then I realized he was getting two more teeth on top- both first molars on each side.  He has four on top, four on bottom- now getting two more on top, skipping the incisors.  Was a mess in the morning and a mess before I picked him up- feverish, rash around mouth, bloodshot eyes…. BUT we gave him some pizza when we got home, a bottle, wiped him down, changed his clothes to his dragon costume (Alice kept calling him a dinosaur) and he pepped up and even kept his hat on quite happily.
We all made it down the street for a ways.  I wore my Rainbow Dash tutu.  We got compliments.  The girls had a blast.  Came home and got Joe down while Sean took the girls a bit further.  I was really pleased Alice did so well, especially.

Halloween is, as I told a neighbor, Catherine’s High Holy Holiday.  That kid and candy.