Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

The girls each decided to be her favorite character this year.  Elyse was Doc McStuffins (the latest craze among five year old girls!) and Madelyn was the "beautiful princess" Bell.   

We started with a Halloween a party at Mommy and Me.

We went to the playground afterwards to get a few pics.

Elyse didn't want to cooperate and I got a lot of this:

So I put her in a position where she wouldn't be able to cover her face.

Our friend Raegan also dressed up as the Doc.

Here's Elyse's class all dressed up in their costumes.

And then our girls with their buddies Raegan and Shiloh for some trick-or-treating.

Lots of parties, costumes and sugar...made for a great Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Exciting News

So, there’s a good reason this blog has taken a back seat lately.  For the past few months, I’ve been exhausted.  I’ve taken every advantage I have to nap or just sit around lazily.

It’s because baby Katolin numero tres is on the way!

Right  now we’re about 14 weeks along (three months as Dennis would say…he hates counting the pregnancy by weeks).

We’re doing great.  I felt tired and gaggy the first trimester.  I didn’t really feel like cooking and I cried my eyes out every time we watched Parenthood.  But I think we’re past all of that.

We told the girls and they are super excited.  We’ve named this baby Neptune.  We name our fetuses after planets…Elyse was Jupiter and Madelyn, Pluto. 

We have a super cool doctor and have gotten to see the baby a few times.  Last week, we went for an ultrasound and got to see all of little Neptune.  I never had such a thorough ultrasound with the girls so early and it was so awesome to see everything.  I am truly amazed that the baby can be so little and everything is there. 

The ultrasound tech guessed boy but that’s what we heard with our last kid too at this point and that certainly did not come to be.

We are all super excited about this new addition to our family. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Photo Challenge this week-Stillness

Madelyn didn't want to eat her dinner the other night.  She whined for awhile but eventually just laid her head down on the table.  Minutes after that, she was completely out.  We let her snooze while we finished up.  She started drooling.  After we couldn't do anything to wake her, we took her up to bed for the night at 5:30.  She slept until 7 the next morning.  (If only serving peas could make bedtime that easy every night!).

With her sister asleep, Elyse walked hand in hand around the neighborhood, enjoying the cool night and some boats in the harbor.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


A few months ago, I took this online photography class.

I highly recommend it.  It's taught by a professional photographer, who is also a mom.  She understands the purpose of photography for moms is to capture the everyday moments with our kids and to make them as beautiful as possible.  After being kind of in a rut for awhile, I was inspired and learned a lot.

After the course, I decided to continue with the alumni group.  It's a great way to stay in the loop and keep pushing my photography envelope.  Each week we have a theme, and submit a photo related to that theme.  Although life has gotten in the way and I haven't been great about submitting one each week, I wanted to share the ones I have shared.  It's always great to get some feedback...I learn more each time I submit one!

Here they are:

Back to school: We hadn't started school yet but I thought Madelyn looked rather studious in this one.

This theme was "independence."  I interpreted this as a girl who didn't want to nap during nap time but fell asleep an hour later on my bed.

This one is love life.  This was just a few days after Dennis came back from Afghanistan and he was up with the girls making breakfast.  (That cute cup on the counter was destroyed only minutes later by a 2 year old who didn't want to eat her oatmeal and pushed across the table, knocking over my cup!)

This theme was "you".  Dennis took this picture of the girls and I together.  I love this one.

This theme was shadow.  My plan was to go out in the evening and have the girls make big shadows on the ground but I waited too long and the sun was too low.  Oh well.

This last one was "friends".  Elyse found her buddy Raegan on the the first day of school.  Can you tell she was excited to see her?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Madelyn at 3!

Madelyn is three!!!  What a wonderful kid she is!

She is really becoming her own little person and figuring out who she is.  

Madelyn's imagination is astounding!  She loves to pretend she is a character.  Her latest obsession is Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  She has a costume too now, that she would wear every second of the day if we let her.  She loves to play with little figurines (Pet Shop and Little Pony are current favorites) and can be all on her own, acting out the interactions between her toys.  Maybe it's a second kid thing, but Madelyn is completely happy playing on her own.  Maybe it's nice for her to be in control a bit without her big sister around.  

In addition to playing with all her toys, Madelyn will sometimes interact with an imaginary friend. The other day, she was playing tag around the house with some imaginary person.

She loves stuffed animals too.  She never grabbed on to a specific one but equally loves all.  Anytime we see a stuffed thing in the store she asks to pet it and then gives it a hug and a kiss before we part. 

I think we might see Madelyn on stage in the future.  She can carry on an act for a long time.  She makes perfect facial expressions (sad, happy, surprised) when asked.  

She's still a lovey little girl.  She loves to hug and kiss and cuddle, although unfortunately the cuddles don't last as long as they used to.  She is really in tune with the emotions of others.  If a kid is crying in public, she notices immediately and usually provides a reason (such as "She wants her mama.")  She notices emotions in us too, and always asks what's wrong if we seem less than happy.  She's right there with a kiss if any of us get a bump.

She's a sweet friend.  She sticks up for herself in social situations.  She's still a mama's girl.  

Potty training is a work in progress but we're making serious progress.  

Madelyn is smart.  She can count to about 15 (but skips 13 and says 14 twice...Elyse used to just skip it all they know it's an unlucky number?!).  She knows some of her letters.  She can draw that first person kids draw (the circle with stick arms and legs coming cute!).  She goes to Mommy and Me and loves it.  

Lately, she likes to hold up a certain number of fingers and ask us "how many is this?" and now is starting to get it on her own.

She is crazy funny and says some silly things.  Often times, she knows she is funny and keeps a straight face.  She loves to say, "I have a secret" and then whisper "I love you" in our ears.  She loves her big sister and says she misses her when Elyse goes off to preschool.  

Madelyn is a true joy and we are so happy we get to share our lives with this beautiful soul!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Elyse at 5!!

Hopefully there are some readers out there still, because I know we've been MIA lately!  

I thought the perfect reason to return to blogging would be to record the wonderful 5 year old we have living in our house.  

Five seems like a big age.  It's a real kid. 

Elyse certainly fills those shoes.

How hard it is to summarize this little person we love!

She lives her life with a lot of passion.  She puts her full heart into what she does.  She calls herself an artist (the best one in the world!) and doesn't settle for imperfection in what she makes.  She's a loyal friend.  She's in love with preschool and is fully invested in what she does there.  She's a rule follower and a creative thinker.  Her brain is always moving, trying to understand how things work or how they could work.  And what she comes up with is astounding!

Back to the art.  If given an option, art is still what she does.  Everyday I pick her up from preschool, she carries with her a pile of her creations, often gifts for those she loves.  When given the choice during free time at school, she always spends time at the art table.  She loves pens, notebooks, and glue...anything that lets her create.  She also incorporates commerce when day during nap she set up her own art studio, complete with price tags on each picture (see photo below!).  She does love money.  

Writing and reading is another thing she loves.  She loves making her own books.  Elyse can read a bit too.  We haven't really "trained" her in that department, so it still astounds me when she's able to read a sentence.  And it makes her really proud too.  

One issue we're working on are what I call "freak outs."  Elyse is a bit of a perfectionist and if something isn't how she likes it (especially with her art) she has a bit of a tantrum.  This especially happens if someone (like maybe her little sister) does something to mess (even so so slightly) with one of her creations.  We're working on perspective and I hope she can learn this lesson soon and keep it with her the rest of her life!

Elyse calls herself the number one DocMcStuffins fan.  Many of her birthday toys were of her favorite character and she plans to be the Doc for Halloween.  It should be cute.  

She's a great big sister and  takes care of Madelyn when needed.  She's getting really great about sharing and the two of them can play together for awhile.  It's great!  Sometimes at the "Y" they go to separate childcare areas and Elyse gets really sad when she has to be away from her sister.  

Her preschool has choir and Elyse wasn't interested at first, but we signed her up anyway and had a blast on the first day.  She's a kid that needs almost forcing to try something new and then loves it!  

I love talking with her at the end of preschool about what they did that day.  Her favorite job is to be the teacher's helper.  She loves telling me about her day too and I hope that lasts forever.

She has a silly side too.  She loves to dance.  Sometimes at church she goes a little crazy with the end song.  We love to dance around the living room.  She cracks up at her sister's comedy routines and the silly things her pappy does.  She has a smile that can light up room.  She makes up her own silly songs.

She is a good, good kid with a big heart.  She takes care of those around her and is passionate about what she does.  We are so smitten and in love with our Leesy-Loo (although she prefers to be called Elyse).   Check out the pictures below.