kennedy is four

What a big year this has been for our Kennedy Jane!  This girl is gentle, kind, compassionate, and I love watching her grow and learn.  Kennedy continues to LOVE babies and will sit and play with a baby the whole time we're having a play date.  I'm hoping she likes her baby brother as much!

Books: Harry Goes to Day Camp, Ten Tiny Fairies, Fairytales, she also loves when I make up stories for her.

Foods: Brussels sprouts with bacon (this is what she requested for her birthday dinner!), pizza, salad, fishy crackers, ice cream sandwiches.

Games: Playing "family" with whoever is around, board games, princess laptop computer, taking care of babies.  Kennedy plays pretty well by herself these days and often will go into the playroom and be lost in a game for long periods of time.

Kennedy can identify and write most upper case letters.

Kennedy started preschool two days a week in September, and it's been mostly good.  She has one of her best buddies in her class and loves the activities, but she has a hard time remembering how much fun she has there when we're getting ready in the morning.  We're going to stick with it through the end of December and decide if we need to try something different.

She's my big helper while Violet naps.  We cook together (although this has become less common during pregnancy), and work on other big girl projects.

This girl is such a joy to hang out with.  As she gets older, we have been having more mommy daughter dates and have been able to do some really fun things together.  For her birthday, we had "girl time" and got our nails done, went to the mall, and went to Yogurtland (all her idea.)  We wore matching outfits, and she realized we had forgotten to put on lipstick as we were leaving the house.  Seriously, this girl kills me.  She is growing in her faith and has many questions about sin, the holy spirit, the trinity, and it's such a joy to get to teach her and watch her blossom.

baby brother

Surprise!  I'm currently 35 weeks pregnant with baby number 3.  It was a big surprise to all of us.  A "how did this happen?" sort of thing, but here we are, and we are really excited :)  I'm a total space cadet and didn't realize that I was pregnant until I was eight weeks, so this pregnancy has gone by particularly fast.  Our baby boy is due on my sister's birthday, but we're having we have the baby before the end of the year for tax reasons ;)

violet is two

Happy Birthday to our Vivi!  Violet is hilarious, fun, and good spirited.  She is an encourager and a peace maker.  This girl has so much spunk!  She speaks really well for her age, and provides entertainment for us all with her stories and songs.  Also, I'm obsessed with her fine, straight, super blonde hair.  It just kills me!

Height: 35" (90%)
Weight: 27lbs 4 oz (75%)

Books: Richard Scarry books, How Do Dinosaur books, Ladybug Girl

Foods: We took Violet off of dairy about 5 months ago, ad it seems to have really improved her rash. Bummer is, she totally loves dairy, so it's limited her diet quite a bit.  She still loves ribs, french fries, watermelon, hamburgers, and ketchup on EVERYTHING.  
Songs: Old McDonald which she always ends with "All through the town."  It's amazing.  The Wheels on the Bus.

Games: Leap Frog School toy, dressing up like a bride with her sister, going for "walks" with her baby stroller around the house.
Violet meeting Think at a friend's birthday.  

Places: Twinkle Twinkle kids cafe and Kids Concepts- both indoor playgrounds

This girl is a brave little thing.  She will go down big slides, jump off of things, and climb all over.  She still isn't always very aware of the space around her and frequently bumps into things because she is so enthusiastically throwing herself around.

Violet adores her sister and they play so well together.  They will actually sort of play make believe together.  Violet is usually the baby and will crawl around or be pushed around the house in the doll stroller.  It's just in time for the new baby to come!

Violet is still sleeping like a champ in her crib.  Her early morning wake up is a bit of a bear but I can't complain about her naps or the night time sleep.

Violet and I did a Mommy and Me ballet class while Kennedy was in preschool.  It was so much fun!  She loved doing "tippy toe twirls" and the teacher gave them a special prop every week to use like a crown, wand, doll, or feather duster.

She still does the "cheeser" smile so natural pictures are hard to come by these days.  But I sure love that face!!!

Miss Violet, what a blessing from the Lord you are to our family!

kennedy three and a half

Kennedy Jane is three and a half!  Three and a half is so far very good for us.  Kennedy is patient and kind (for the most part) with her sister.  She is a thoughtful, gracious daughter, and we are so blessed to have her in our family!

Kennedy finally moved out of her crib and into a toddler bed.  She had pretty much stopped napping awhile ago, but I would keep her locked in her crib for 45 minutes every day.  I assumed that if she was in a bed, that would go away.  Fortunately, we have been able to work out a system where she *mostly* stays in her room for 35 minutes every day.  She gets bribed with a show or MnM's if she makes it the whole time.  She sleeps usually from 7:00-7:00 at night.  So far, she has never come out of her bed once she's in it for the night so that is a huge blessing.

Kennedy really enjoys playing with her friends these days.  If we spend the day with a friend (most days), she will interact with the other children the whole time and not require much from me.  Of course, I have to break up arguments, make sure that she is being kind, etc, but she's a lot more engaged with her peers.  She plays a ton with Violet now, and I can usually make dinner in peace.  Kennedy will be started preschool in the fall two days a week 9-12 at our church, and I think that she's going to love it!

Books: Thumbelina, Fairy Tale Collection, Ladybug Girl Books

Foods: Mac and cheese, peaches, goldfish, sausage, hamburgers, pizza

Songs: Let it Go, Part of Your World, Music Together Songs, The Grand Old Duke of York

Toys:  Painting supplies, trampoline, baby swing that she loves to push Violet in

Kennedy draws people with all of their parts most of the time.
She recognizes most letters.
Kennedy loves to hop on one foot and do other "tricks."  It's so cute!
Fully potty trained including nights.

As I mentioned in Violet's post, we went to Florida this month for Jimbo and Emily's wedding.  Kennedy was so cute as a flower girl.  She walked down the aisle slowly and carefully, smiling at everyone over her shoulder as she walked.  I'll have to do a separate post once we get all of the pictures, but we had the time of our lives!  Kennedy had a blast at Disneyworld, and even enjoyed a few of the thrill rides.  She LOVED meeting the characters.  She's still obsessed with suited animals.  She was confused by the princesses because they weren't cartoons, but still had a fun time meeting them.  I am enjoying watching this girl grow so much, and I am so honored to be helping shepherd her little heart.

Matching "white mustaches"

violet nineteen months

Baby Violet isn't a baby anymore!  Violet is such a spirited little lady.  She is very determined, loves to laugh, and can be very mischievous at times.  She is very physical and loves to slide, climb, swing, and go upside down.  We have been having so much fun with our little Vivi lately!

Weight: 25lbs (80%)
Height: 33.25 inches (90%)

Goes to bed on her own like a champ!  Usually sleeps form 7-6:30 and naps 12-2:30.  Violet loves her pillow, Simba, blanket, and a water cup with ice.  Unless she has all four, she will ask for whatever she is missing until she gets it.  Thankfully, she goes to bed ridiculously easy once she has everything and almost always sleeps through the night.

Violet loves to play with Kennedy these days.  The two of them chase each other around the house, Kennedy will read books to both of them from memory, and they love to snuggle.  Violet has a harder time with kids her size; she sometimes gets upset when other kids are playing with her toys or in her space but loves to be a part of things and play peek-a-boo.

Books: Nursery rhymes, Hop and Pop and all Dr. Seuss, Mr. Paint Pig, Ladybug Girl books

Foods: Yogurt, cheese, blueberries, peaches, grilled chicken, goldfish, and quesadillas.  We've discovered that strawberries and raspberries irritate her rashes, so we've stopped giving them to her.

Songs: Let it Go, Music Together Songs, ABC's, Row Row Row Your Boat

Toys: Violet LOVES pushing strollers around.  She will do this for long periods of time!  She also loves looking through the pictures of books.  Another favorite is the Disney Princess Little People Castle

Violet started speaking in three word sentences this month which is so nice.  She is such a determined little girl and gets so frustrated when we can't figure out what she's saying.  She loves repeating lines from books that she knows and can count to 10 with help.

Violet loves to scribble and draw, but still puts EVERYTHING in her mouth.  This makes for a challenging art time.

Has peed on the potty once.  And speaking of bathroom stuff, this girl poops in the bath fairly frequently.  It's so bad!  It really upsets her, and she has been screaming when I bathe her lately.  Poor baby :(

Violet climbs onto everything including the kitchen table, couch, etc.  Fortunately, she doesn't tumble off anymore as often...

Loves to say "Amen!" after we pray.

Speaking of praying, when I was praying with her a few nights ago, I said "Thank you for Violet" and she chimed in, "For Mommy!"  Heart explosion.  Definitely cried.

We are pretty obsessed with Miss Violet, or Vivi as she calls herself.  Violet loves to speak in third person and LOVES her daddy.  We got back from our Disney World trip a few weeks ago, and had a blast!  Violet loved seeing all of the characters, going on the rides, and napped like a champ in her stroller.  She is still talking about the "fire" she saw at the lion king show and meeting Ariel.  She loved the waterslide at our hotel which we went down probably 100 times.  We love you Violet Girl!

house updates

While I'm on a roll with blog posts, I thought I'd do a little house update.

The biggest thing we have done is our backyard!  We got all of the trees removed, took out the flagstone patio and fireplace, built a retaining wall, bulldozed, and lay sod.  It's a complete transformation, and we are loving the space to play!

 Here are some before pictures:

And here it is after!  Can you believe it!?!  It was A LOT of work, and man, are we glad it's done!

As for the inside, the main things we've done are rearrange the living room and worked on Violet's room.

I don't love our cabinet.  I would liketo paint it another color.  Possibly white or gray?

New additions to gallery wall.

I would like to put a new piece of art above these chairs and relocate the ocean scene.

I bought gray curtains for these windows that will hopefully be hung this weekend.  I love having the couch centered under the window!

I made a tassel garland and some art for Violet's room.  We also hung the little shelf.