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So, it’s been a solid two months since I’ve posted anything here. This is going take a while. Backing allllll the way up to the beginning of November, I know we already talked about Miss Haylee Rose’s birthday party, but as a gift, we bought her a ticket to Disney on Ice. We gathered two of our little mouseketeers and headed to downtown Sacramento for a magical evening of entertainment. Coen was a little scared of the fire-breathing dragon (personally, I thought it was the best part!), but overall, the kids were amazed.

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Please excuse my lack of transitions, or coherent thoughts, but there’s just so much to post! Did I tell you about Addie’s crazy anxiety this school year? She’s nervous about everything to the point of tears. Her school has these projects they have to do a couple of times a year. Her first project was to invent something that solves a problem. After a couple not-so-doable ideas, we decided she should make a blanket to help her calm down when she felt anxious. Thus, the good-smelling blanket was born! I took my sewing machine out of the box for the first time to make our Halloween costumes (I’ve had it since before Addie was born, I think!). Since I was learning to sew, why couldn’t Addie, too? I had a box of sewing and quilting supplies from my Grom, which had these pre-sewn quilt squares (come to find out, they were extras from a quilt Grom made for Alyssa years ago…so awesome, right?!). We pinned together and Addie sewed all the sections together! Then she concocted a potion of essential oils and water to spray on her quilt.

And, while we’re on the topic, Beckett had his first project, too. Make something useful out of candy. We brainstormed with Addie who decided on a coaster made of twizzlers and pez. While he didn’t exactly make it on his own, he did taste the candy. I’m not sure he was a fan! Each student in his class presented their project and after answering questions, they’d each bring their project to Beckett’s tray so he could get a closer look. One student was on her way to show Beckett, then realized she forgot to answer questions, so turned back to the center of the room, and Beckett let out a yell as if to say, “no, come show me!”.

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Their school also had their first community performance. Each grade prepared some songs to drum along with and sing with their music teacher, Mr. C. They were so darling and Addie even got to present her class with her friend Jaxon.

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We had a super fun afternoon at the theater watching my all-time favorite, Beauty and the Beast, with friends. Meeting the characters after the show is always the most fun for the girls! Then Addie spent a day playing with some old Brookfield friends at Mila’s birthday party. She had a little anxiety, not knowing who would be there, but she ended up having the greatest time!

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Addie had a crazy hair day, in which we had to research style options for days before settling on a flower. Then, we spent way too long perfecting it as the first attempt wasn’t up-to-par for this girl’s standards! I must say, it actually turned out great and stayed in place all day. And, she was happy, so that’s all that really counts, right? Beckett just had is naturally crazy ‘do. Boys aren’t nearly as fun for crazy hair day.

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And, that brings us to Thanksgiving. A last minute change of plans gave us two days of over-eating, one spent with my family in Reno and one with the Gibson gang in EHD. Auntie came to town and we had a delicious dinner Sunday at our house. My super chefs helped prep! Then we spent a couple days in EDH. I promise, no one was killed on the basketball court. Just chalk art taken to a new level! Cousin Bina came prepared with an awesome turkey hat craft for the kids, which we still wear around the house on occasion. And, poor RJ. His days of post-holiday meal floor napping are over. Do not lay on the ground unless you’re prepared to pretend to be a horse. These cousins always have such fun being wild together. IMG_2649IMG_2660IMG_2666IMG_2675IMG_2676IMG_2678

One month down! I know I said I planned to cover it all in one, but there’s so much in December! Stay tuned…

Holden’s First Steps

Oh, one more, one more! There’s always one more. Perhaps the biggest and best development of the last month, Holden’s finally walking! At his one-year check up, I asked about time frame for walking, as I did with Coen, and the NP said if not by 16 months, and the Dr. said if not by 17 month, then she’d suggest getting him evaluated. Around 16 months, he could stand pretty solid, but too cautious to move his feet. Around 17 months, he could go from sit to stand without using support to pull himself up. A week before 18 months, he finally found the courage to take steps! It took another week or so for him to enjoy it and still needed lots of encouragement to use those walking feet, but now, he’s walking all over! Yay! One less worry in my life! I wish I could post the video here of the first real steps, but for some reason my account no longer lets me post videos. So, just a picture of this cute little dude!

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Oh, shoot! With all the things happening lately, I almost forgot this little gem…Beckett lost his first tooth last week! When we were in EDH for Haylee’s birthday, I noticed his bottom two teeth were beyond wiggly, one just barely hanging in there. A week later, it finally came out! Hooray for gap-tooth smiles!

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Halloween Happenings

Halloween! It’s become one of my favorite holidays…getting to dress up with these tiny humans is a highlight of my year! This year’s family costume was a tricky compromise. Addie was dead-set on Alice In Wonderland (which I swayed her away from last year. I thought Holden’s first Halloween costume would be cuter as a scarecrow and not the Cheshire Cat.). Coen was convinced he was going to be pizza. Then, a Minion. The Trolls movie is in constant rotation on Netflix, so we had a talk and all agreed, Trolls it was.

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All the Trolls costumes I could find online weren’t very cute, looked pretty cheap, and I just wasn’t feeling it. Plus, good luck finding 6 different Trolls! So, after a solid month of crafting, lots of long nights, and quite a bit of stress learning to use a sewing machine and make a Poppy dress from scratch (PS. the one-hour dress pattern took me a solid 3 days), we all made it in full Troll costume to Trunk-or-Treat…two days before Halloween!

Coen had a costume parade at school the Thursday before, and Fall Festival, so his costume was first priority. He was the cutest in the parade and had such good time being Branch!

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Addie had a costume birthday party for a friend, but refused to wear her Poppy costume. Full-on tears and decided to be Sleeping Beauty instead. In the same dress she worn for Halloween when she was 3. Then, on Halloween, when the whole school could wear costumes, Beckett rocked his King Peppy, but Addie refused again and went as Rapunzel. Which prompted Coen to dress up in full Ariel costume. Luckily he didn’t want to leave the house like this!

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But, finally, once it was time for Trick-or-Treating, Addie was excited to go full Poppy and the kids had a blast! We trick-or-treated at our friend’s house, and somehow Coen and Holden made it into the car with no shoes, which no one noticed until we got there…a solid half hour from our house. Yeah, it was that kind of night. But thankfully, our friends had a spare pair for Co and I stole his socks for Holden, who wanted to be carried the whole time anyway. We all survived and made it home with buckets full of candy. Covered in glitter, thanks to our little Guy Diamond, but home and happy, just the same.

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Oh, and pumpkins. We can’t forget about our last-minute, night before Halloween, pumpkins that barely even got lit for 2.5 seconds. Addie and Coen easily agreed on Minions, and while it was a pretty poor carving effort on my part, the kids enjoyed it and I roasted some yummy seeds. Success!

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School Days

So, I know I told you that Addie and Beckett are at the same school this year. While I still have days where I wish Addie was still at Brookfield, I really love the new school and how it allows Beckett to be fully included in a regular kindergarten classroom. We had some growing pains in the first two months that resulted in Beckett switching teachers two weeks ago, but now, I feel like his team is in a good place and he’s actually in a position where he’s ready and able to learn…yay!

Addie is doing great in her class. Her teacher is amazing! Most of the kids in her class seem pretty amazing as well. She’s excelling academically and seems pretty good socially. We’re experiencing some weird anxiety issues in all areas of life though. She’s performing in the Peanutcracker play this year, and while she loves it, she has crazy anxiety to the point of tears before almost every rehearsal. The older girls in the play have been truly wonderful in calming her down and helping her feel included. Then, piano. She’s taking lessons from our Pastor’s wife, and is having a great time, but the second she’s asked to do something outside her comfort zone (like a master class with other students) she completely breaks down. And in school, she’s been super competitive with this other brilliant little boy, always keeping tabs on how far along he is in their book or if he’s ahead of her in assignments. It’s driving me insane! Partially because I can completely relate to her people-pleasing, perfectionist tendencies and her need to always know what to expect going in to something, but also because I have no idea how to redirect these behaviors! Agh, parenting is so hard sometimes.

So there’s the update. And, while I have no pics to go with my rambling, Addie’s class had a special guest snake. Yikes!

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Fun Fall Festivities

October was filled with an overload of fall fun! We fit in our annual pumpkin patch visit this year with a friend’s birthday at Andelin farms. It. was. freezing. But the kids had fun going on a hayride, sliding on the hay bale slide, rolling around in a giant pipe. Yeah, good times! And cupcakes. Of course any event with cupcakes is a success.

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The next morning, Addie and I joined our dear friends to honor our friend Crystal’s memory in the Susan G. Komen walk. What a beautiful day and so special to share it with two of our favorite people!

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We took a little road trip to EDH for Miss Haylee’s birthday and managed to barely squeeze in a trip to Apple Hill. It was a busy Saturday morning, so didn’t venture to our usual farms, but the couple we did visit had enough to make these little ones happy!

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We had so much fun (and some meltdowns) at Haylee’s 4th birthday party! Ariel even made a surprise visit! Haylee has a super cool playroom, so between that and the bounce house, we didn’t see Coen for most of the party. Holden kept wandering off and getting picked up by random family members. We all managed to survive without anyone wandering out the front door. Overall, a success 🙂

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Trike-a-Thon

Backing waaaaay up to the end of September…I’m obsessed with Coen’s cute little preschool. It’s where Addie spent her days for two years and now, two years later, many of the teachers are still there and love Coen just the same. It really is my happy place! I wish I could spend my days there, too 🙂 Anyway, every fall, they have a trike-a-thon fundraiser. Coen isn’t big on riding bikes just yet, he only did a few laps (of me pushing him), then decided he was done, but he had a great day. And a month later, still asks when he can do another “bike”-a-thon. And, of course, trike-a-thon inspired quite a few outdoor days trying to ride our bikes (and things!) at home.

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