Saturday, February 24, 2018

Norah Update: 5 years old!

I'm really behind on updates for each of the girls (as in I still need to do Lucy's 3 year update from June😬). But since Norah just had her update last month, I figured I'd bust them out before I forget all the sweet details from each of their ages.

We went to the doctor for Norah's 5 year checkup and everything looked great! I couldn't find her growth charts that I set aside, but she was 42 inches tall and 42 lbs, so around 30th percentile for height and 60th percentile for weight! The doctor said that he guesses she won't be very tall as an adult based on her height patterns for the last few years. 

For Norah's 4 year checkup, we had the option of doing her kindergarten shots a year early if we wanted, but I opted to wait the extra year because I just felt bad about her getting shots. So this year was the dreaded time. I didn't tell her anything about shots until the nurse came in and was preparing everything right before. She suddenly realized what was about to happen and wailed in protest. It was so sad, but luckily the nurse was really quick. 

She wasn't very happy about it for a long time and wouldn't let me near her arm and leg to try and get the bandaids off. She kept saying, "you can take them off when [__insert future time period here_]". Eventually I just had to pull them off before she noticed what I was doing. 😬

The rest of this post is in no particular order, and definitely not chronological. 😝

I took this picture of Norah after nap time one afternoon, and I think it will be one of my favorites for a long time. 

Norah and Lucy are so fun to watch together. I was using my tripod one afternoon to take some photos, and once I was finished, they used the tripod as a microphone and were pretending they were in primary giving talks. They took turns whispering in each others' ears, prompting the other what to say next. 

After thinking about it for over a month, and for a few different reasons, I decided to take the girls out of preschool for the rest of the year and just teach them myself at home. We loved Mrs. Stephanie and how she was so kind to both of the girls.

Norah has pretty much taught herself to write. I've worked with her on reading, but she sounds out the letters herself and writes them. It's so sweet to see all her notes that she is constantly writing to me and everyone else. 

My Aunt Theresa is undergoing treatment for breast cancer right now and I was talking to Norah about it, so she decided to write her a note for Valentine's Day. It says, "Norah loves Theresa. I hope u feel better. Happy Valentine's."

The second note is when she and I were going to the store for a few things so she decided to write them down. Mushrooms, milk, onions. πŸ˜‚
She is constantly writing notes that say "I luv mome (mommy)" πŸ˜‡

Pretty much the entire month of January, someone was sick at our house. The girls got the flu and poor Norah was throwing up constantly. One morning, everyone was feeling really lousy, so we turned on some movies and took turns snuggling on the couch. It was getting close to nap time, but when I looked over I saw Norah asleep like this, bowl ready in case she needed to be sick. 😒

Just before Christmas, we had gone to the mall to get some pants for Ryan and so I was just browsing around with the girls while we waited. We went up the escalator and Norah immediately saw this red dress that she just HAD to have. She kept begging me to buy it for her, but after looking at the price tag, I definitely didn't want to get it. So I grabbed something for me to try on and told her that she could come in with me and try hers on too. 

It was so darling, and she just loved it so much. I told her we weren't planning on buying it that day and that we'd have to put it back. Oh boy, did she lose it. She wanted that dress so bad and said she would NOT take it off and even tried to run out the dressing room and away from me. I was able to get her back into the room and she finally just sat and cried at her reflection. 

I really wish I had just bought the dress for her, it was so sweet how much she loved it. But perhaps I will take her shopping and she can choose one to make up for it. 

Norah's favorite thing to do right now is play barbies all together. I always have to play Ken, and we usually end up putting on a concert for all the other barbies. She will take a tune and then put in random words. She usually is shy about singing by herself in front of other people, even me, but if it's her "barbie" singing, then she usually doesn't care, especially if I go first. haha One of these days I will have to try and catch it on video, her little vibrato is just too sweet! 

She also has loved playing games recently like Spot It and Mancala. She loves when she and I are able to sneak away for some "Special Norah time" and play one of these games before Lucy and Jane find us haha. 

Norah loves anything to do with art. She goes through so much paper with all the coloring, painting, and writing she does. When I showed the pediatrician a picture she drew while we were waiting for him, he was really impressed and said that he normally wouldn't see work like hers until kids get into first grade or so. But we do have many artists in the family, so I'm not surprised, just proud! 😊

Norah is a big helper around the house. The other day I was feeling extra tired after getting up several times in the night with each of the girls, and I told Norah I was just going to lay down on the couch for a few minutes before starting to clean up and make dinner. But then Norah turned music on the TV and cleaned everything up all by herself! It was the best little surprise and I was so grateful for her thoughtfulness!

She is such a momma's helper when we are out running errands or at the children's museum. The other day we were at the museum and I gave the girls lots of notice before it was time to leave. I try and prep them at the beginning of every outing and ask, "what do we say when it's time to leave?" and they'll respond, "okay, mom!" Well, when we were trying to leave this particular day, Lucy was starting to resist and Jane was copy-catting, so I asked Norah if she could be a good example and help me get them to the car. It was funny to see her try and help me and, once she realized that she couldn't physically help get them off the floor, sort of look bewildered. It was almost like she understood a mom's frustration when her kids throw tantrums. Anyway, she is so helpful with things like that and is always very cheerful about it. 

I love our sweet Norah girl and I'm so proud of her! ❤️

Monday, February 19, 2018

Valentine Party!

Valentine week was so fun! We were invited to a little valentine party at our friends' house. We had a Christmas party with them and it was so fun, so the girls were really excited to get together again for some goodies and fun! 

We dipped treats into melted chocolate and since it was such a nice day, the kids mostly just played outside on the trampoline. 

Norah told me "this is the best party ever!"

The kids were all so cute diving into the chocolate and making a giant mess haha. 

Jane eventually cut out the middle man and went straight for the chocolate. My kind of girl! πŸ˜‹
She stripped off her shirt and went naked the rest of the time haha.

All the moms chatted and it was such a perfect way to celebrate the holiday! 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Goodbye Elder Taylor Brand!

On Tuesday our cute little Petey left for a two-year church mission to Santiago, Chile! He was to report to the Chile MTC, so we planned a big family breakfast before dropping him off at the airport. 

We had our traditional crepe breakfast with everyone who could make it and gabbed until it was time to leave.

I love this one of Taylor and Jane looking at each other. πŸ’—

We sure love Uncle Tay Tay!
Just before we left, my dad gave Taylor a blessing and we all went around the circle and said why we thought he would be a great missionary. Norah said she thought he would be a great missionary because he is sweet. 😭 And then Lucy said she thinks he will because he wants to go on a mission. 

The girls and I said goodbye to him at the house (with everyone watching me while I held back tears😒😭) while everyone else drove to the airport with him. 
Taylor has always been so sweet and sensitive and we will sure miss him while he is gone!

He's going to be a great missionary and I can't wait to hear about all his experiences! <3

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Zoo Lights!

For Christmas, Ryan's brother and his family gave us tickets to see the lights at Hogle Zoo! We layered on the warm clothes, and carpooled up with Brooklyn and Matt! 

We saw the carousel going and the girls asked if they could ride it. Ryan and I initially said "no" because it cost extra (though it wasn't that much and I don't know why we even said no haha) and then Ryan ran to the bathroom for a minute. While he was in the bathroom, all three girls started sobbing at the thought of not being able to ride the carousel. Like complete meltdown. It seemed like Lucy and Jane were mostly just copy catting Norah, but either way, they weren't letting us leave without a ride. haha 

So we bought tickets and they were immediately happy again. 

Lucy waved to Brooklyn and Matt every time we passed them.

The lights were pretty, but it was a lot darker than I thought it would be. 

Jane loved walking around, but attempted to run off on her own more than once. It started getting really cold, so we called it a night and headed home for bed!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day 2017

Christmas this year was so good! For Christmas Eve we went to my parents' church and then headed home for naps all around, then met up again at my parents' house for a Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange between all my siblings. 

We thought about doing crepes for dinner, but I said we should make pizzas because it would be easier....? I don't know why I thought that because I was seriously in the kitchen almost the entire night making dough and putting toppings on. haha It was yummy though and fun to be together. 

Missing Katelyn and her family, Aubrey, and Brittney's kids!

We went home to put the girls down and left some cookies and carrots on the counter for Santa and his reindeer. Then Ryan and I watched all The Office Christmas episodes while we wrapped presents. 

The next morning we all snuggled in our bed for a minute and then headed out to open presents! The girls loved their stockings from Santa, especially the new underwear haha!

Santa also brought some bounce balls for each of the girls. Norah has really been the only one to love it, but hopefully Lucy and Jane will grow into them and they will all hop around together.

Ryan and I were in charge of each other's stockings and the only requirement was to have an ornament in there. I kind of failed at the ornament part and just got him an ugly dog to go along with his shih tzu ornament my mom gave him a couple years ago. 

He, however, found me the best ornament ever! I forgot to grab a picture of it myself, but here is one I found online of the same ornament. Hahaha! He accidentally ordered two, so Brooklyn got the extra one. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ 
Image result for whats opera doc ornament

The girls were really excited about this gift from Grandma Jeanne and Papa, but I missed their initial reaction.

Ryan and I promised each other that we wouldn't do gifts besides our I thought I would be sneaky sneak and get him a frame with pictures of the girls because he had mentioned before that he would like some of them. But I failed because Ryan also had the idea of breaking that promise, and he went way overboard and got me a bunch of new things including a new backpack to carry all my camera gear! 

We kept the gifts pretty minimal, but the girls still ended up opening quite a few things with Ryan's family sending things for them. It ended up being a good amount and not too overwhelming like last year. 

We got a family game, but when I ordered this, I didn't realize it was only a one player game. I have seen other people post pictures or videos of their families playing the two person game so I didn't know this was what would be coming in the mail. oops. It ended up not working very well and the whip cream barely even got the end of their noses, so we had to take it back. :(

Norah was really apprehensive about testing it out, but the cream didn't even end up getting her at all. Lucy and Jane didn't want anything to do with it. haha

We had lunch and then settled down for a long Christmas slumber. I love this picture of Jane shoving in the watermelon. πŸ˜‹

We met up with my family at a Chinese restaurant, where Taylor has worked for the last couple of years, and ordered a bunch of food. The girls were loving it and shoveled it down, hardly breathing between bites. I normally don't care for Chinese food, but it tasted good, so I was also going at it. Then that evening, we ate leftover gingerbread candy and went to see a movie with popcorn and chocolate. So you better believe my tummy was hurting. I wanted so badly to throw up, but it wasn't happening. I decided right then and there that I would 1. Never have Chinese food again and 2. Slow down on my sugar intake!
The following morning was spent helping Norah as she threw up any leftover Chinese food sitting in her stomach. Once she felt better, we headed back over to my parents' house to bum around with Brooklyn while she was still visiting. We were in the middle of chatting with my dad about finances when Lucy sat up on the counter top and threw up ALL over. πŸ€¦‍♀️
But she immediately felt better and my resolution to never have Chinese food was only reinforced. haha

It was a fun, memorable holiday and I'm so glad we spent it together as a family!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

🎢If You Just Believe🎢

When my mom taught preschool, she always did a little Polar Express activity every year with the students. Since she retired from teaching last year, I decided to continue the tradition ourselves and just do it with the girls. 

I made them some little nightgowns and forced them to wear them even after Norah complained about them looking ugly. πŸ˜’πŸ™„ haha I wasn't about to let all that sewing go to waste. So on Christmas Eve, we heated up some hot chocolate, topped it with whipped cream and let them go to town.

I initially was going to let them drink their hot cocoa while I read the book, but it was a little too distracting and there were spills all over the place. 

Jane spilled all down the front of her nightgown and pretty soon Norah and Lucy followed because they kept trying to lick off all the whipped cream.

Jane's little pigtails were completely killing me and Ryan. It was the first time I've ever done pig tails in her hair and she looked so old! 

Haha Norah's mustache! πŸ˜‚

Ryan was right there to wipe up any spills.

Once they finally finished their hot cocoa, we began reading together. Jane lost interest pretty quickly and just starting running around the chairs, trying to annoy Lucy and get her to run around too.

Norah was really into the book though. She kept making the funniest faces.

I love how Norah was so absorbed in the book, it made it more fun! Lucy was pretty good and probably would have listened the whole time if Jane hadn't been poking her and running around. I'm sure next year Jane will like it more!

As I got toward the end of the book, I realized that I forgot to get little bells for each of them haha, but luckily I spotted a bell hanging on the Christmas tree and just had Ryan shake it so they could hear it ring. 

These three girlies are so fun to have around during the holidays!