Yep, he's four! Can you believe it? It seriously feels like yesterday God made us a family by blessing us with this
And four years later we are blessed every day by this kind, funny, sweet, stubborn, sensitive, smart, silly, snuggly, handsome, loving little man.
Nicolaus, I seriously don't deserve you. You have taught me so much about life, love,selflessness, happiness and forgiveness. Through you I am living out good works and discovering God's plan for me and our family. Every day I am amazed by you and am blessed to be your mom and help you to discover God's plan for you.
Really, they do. One supporting piece of evidence comes from this weeks big Announcement! Drum Roll Please! Nicolaus is no longer wearing diapers! He has been daytime potty-trained for some time, but usually soaks a diaper at naptime and by the time he wakes up in the morning. But something in his little body has obviously clicked. He has been dry for over a week. He told me yesterday evening after his bath that he doesn't want to wear them at all anymore. Whoohoo for saving about $350/yearmy big boy's milestone!
And here's the kicker! Not only is my little man no longer in diapers, but somehow I have to face the fact that he will start pre-school in September. Several people who know me well have commented about how I better have a box of tissues in the car, and my response has been how he is ready and Mommy is ready too. But today as I was laying in bed with him at naptime rubbing his back and listening to him ask me if I could just stay there and sleep with him...my heart completely melted and for the first time realized my baby is growing up. I mean REALLY growing up. I was able to hold back the tears this afternoon, but come that first day of school, I'm not so sure. On the one hand, I am excited and eager for him to go out on his own to learn, grow and discover. On the other, I just want to preserve the kind, sensitive, happy, loving and outgoing little boy who will always be my baby.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for blessing my family with love, health, and happiness. Be with us as we meet milestones and continue growth individually and together. Give me the strength to "let go" and allow my children to discover their true selves. Help me to foster in them a continued desire to know You and live a life lifted up by Your Grace and faith in what You have promised. I/we can't do it without You. Amen
Carleigh is growing right on track. She is in the 50th percentile for height and the 25th percentile for weight (she certainly doesn't get that one from me!) She has even grown 2 inches since her 18 month appointment. Perhaps that explains the spell of grumpy, tearful nights we went through.
You are sweet and sassy, smart and determined...some have even called you a diva. You love your "bankie," babies, petting Roxy and giving kisses. My little social butterfly, it is hard to believe you are the same baby who would barely let anyone besides your mommy hold you. You enjoy "booming" your brothers army men and taking the toys he loves, yet cannot go to sleep without giving him a kiss and hug. You are brave, seeming fearless at times. You climb to the top of the highest slides at the playground and squeal with delight going down. Nicolaus won't even do that! Mommy wishes you would eat and drink a little more, but it doesn't seem to keep you from growing. Don't grow up too fast my baby girl! Tonight after stories you asked me to rock you too sleep. I'm so happy you did, it means you're still my baby girl!
* 24 lbs
* Sleeps 10-12 hours at night
* Naps 1.5 - 2 hours during the day
* Goes on the potty, though not potty trained 100%
* Speaking in 3 and 4 word sentences
* Despises shoes and walks on tip-toes
* Loves dresses and galoshes
* Enjoys singing
* Counts to 15
I'm thrilled to be linking up with Harper's Happenings HOTT for the first time! If you've yet to check out this blog, you should because its one of my faves and Harper is just the cutest little thing ever.!
Ever since John and I completed Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University (Thanks Dad!) and became debt free (yeah that's right!) a little over a month ago, I have become completely cheap thrifty when it comes to buying clothes for the kids. Especially at this age when they grow so fast and make a lot of messes have so much fun every day. There is one particular kids consignment store I frequent here in town that for the last 5 days of every month they have a 50% sale where certain items have color coded stickers marking them down. Last week I scored everything pictured below for $28.99...including that super cute Baby Gap dress with diaper cover! And old school sit-and-spin. That makes each item less than 3 bucks! I was especially excited to find a few things for Nicolaus because, lets face it, there's just so much more out there for girls. yard sale season is upon us, so I hope to be posting about some more terrific finds soon!
I started the kids on a bedtime routine very early on, and I truly think this is one of the reasons they sleep so well. Our routine starts after I've cleared the dishes from the table and the kids have picked up all their toys--somewhere between 6 and 6:30. We head upstairs and I set out their pajamas and diaper/pull-up. The kids get undressed and use the potty as I fill the tub and then everyone in for washing and play. Depending on mommy's mood the day, a bath can last anywhere from 10 minutes to a half hour. Carleigh usually ends up being the first one out followed by Nicolaus. Once dry, they brush their teeth and I scoop up Carleigh to get her dressed. During this time Nicolaus is usually running, jumping, screaming, laughing, dancing, etc. After combing Carleigh's hair, I help Nicolaus get dressed and snuggle him into our bed to watch a show while I put his Sissy down. She must get a hug and kiss from her brother to even consider heading to her room. After she finds her blankie and chooses a baby or animal to sleep with, we read three stories, kiss goodnight and then she's in her crib for me to sing her a few songs. Sometimes she is asleep before I leave the room--sometimes not. After Nicolaus' show is over, we head to his room for three stories and then climb in his bed together with his truck blankie where I sing to him and tickle his back. He has just started to enjoy listening to music while he falls asleep (some of his favorites are Celtic Dreamland and the Narnia soundtrack). It never fails that he will scream for a drink or to be snuggled again before he falls asleep. The whole process takes about an hour and a half...
I'm usually heading back downstairs to clean the kitchen a little before 8:00 pm .
Carleigh has said good-bye to her Wuh-Wuh (or pacifier), and it happened without planning on anyone's part. Last week when John put her to bed, she fell asleep without it and we haven't offered it since. This makes the sixth day in a row she hasn't had it. She has asked for it only a couple times and I have successfully been able to distract her with a toy or food and she forgets about it. Hooray! I am so happy we will easily be able to capture her beautiful smile in pictures now instead of trying to coax the piece of plastic from her. Don't get me wrong, I am greatful to have used pacifiers with both my kids...they (or maybe I) needed them, but I'm happy when we don't need them anymore...except for the fact that it means my baby girl is growing up!
Yesterday Carleigh hit a big milestone...she got her first haircut! I think its pretty amazing because it seemed to take forever for her hair to grow even a little bit. It was only last Easter that I was able to put a bow in her hair and just recently she has been sporting pigtails (if I can get her to sit still long enough for me to do it). But because of her slow/sporadic hair growth, her hair was all different lengths. So yesterday Tara of Hairspray Salon in Woodstock, VA gave her a haircut! Just enough off the back to bring it all to one length and a bit of a trim in front so she has actual bangs. Our baby looks so much like a big girl now!
Waiting patiently while her brother gets his hair cut
We all have daily habits, little routines we are accustomed to following. Even my little ones, 3 and 21 months have certain things that must occur every morning or the rest of the day just doesn't seem right or even can suffer because of it. For instance, every day after they hug and kiss their Daddy goodbye, Nicolaus watches out our back door to see when John pulls his truck out of the garage. He shouts, "He's driving!" to Carleigh and we all race to the front door, open it and wave at John as he passes by, honking and waving right back at us. Every once in a while Nicolaus will get preoccupied by a yummy breakfast or pretend play with his trucks and forget to keep his vigil by the door. When he realizes he has messed up his ritual, the little guy just falls apart. Even once he is cheered up, throughout the day he will remind me in the saddest toddler tone "We didn't wave at Daddy this morning."
Prayer is like that for me. When I devote a chunk of time to praise, worship and petition God, the day is just better. I feel lighter, like I can go through my day with purpose and worry free. On the days when I let life just happen and pile up without me giving it all to God, something is just off. So in this 2012 Season of Lent, instead of giving up something like chocolate, soda or pasta, I'm adding something to my life. For the next 40 days I will seriously commit part of my day to prayer. I am embarassed to admit I already don't have a daily prayer habit, and most days I do say a little prayer here and there, and we always say a prayer at mealtime (Carleigh and Nicolaus don't let us forget that one). But I certainly do not have what one would call a daily prayer habit, or at least not one that will help me to know God and myself the way I need to.
Dear Heavenly Father, as I begin this journey to building a better prayer habit, help me to center my life around You and your purpose for me. Help me make the time every day to slow down and reflect on you, and remind myself that it is all about you, God. Help me to read the Bible with what it will take to truly know and understand You. Thank you for this life, your greatest sacrifice and all that is to come.
Tactile letters and numbers are printed with a textural component helpful for little learners. Kids just trace each letter or number with their fingers to develop pre-writing skills and letter recognition. Hopefully these will be a stepping stone for Nicolaus to writing.
You can certainly buy sets of tactile letters and numbers, but I thought making them would be a fun and easy project for Nicolaus and me. All we needed were basic flashcards I found at the Dollar Store, glue and sand John already had on hand from another project. I filled the shape of the letters and numbers with glue and Nicolaus piled on the sand. I'm pleased with the results and am looking forward to incorporating these into lessons for Nicolaus.