these girls

It’s been a year since I stopped writing updates about the girls on the blog so I thought I would do a little bullet update on both Little Bug and Sweet Pea for all my faithful readers who have been reading this blog since they were itty bitty!

These girls are NOT itty bitty anymore. It is crazy to think we’ve gone from this 0014

to this

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in just three years!

Little Bug:

  • She’s a mess. Nothing’s changed there!
  • Little Bug turned five in May and had a Ninja Turtle birthday party in which she made the invite list (7 friends from her class at church).
  • She LOVES stories. She has always loved books and being read to, but we are talking a boarder-line addiction here now.
  • She could listen to stories all day long, and practically does: after breakfast, during rest time, during our daily reading time, before rest time and bedtime, in the car.
  • She currently loves to listen to Jim Weiss stories on CD, “Wolf Stories” that Gramps tells her, “Flopsey and Mopsey” Stories that Grams tells her and chapter books that I read to her.
  • A close second to her love of books is the Ninja Turtles. She discovered my brother’s Ninja Turtle figures that he had as a boy at Grams and Gramps’ house and that was all she wrote.
  • Little Bug has done quite a lot of maturing over the past year. She can be trusted to not get in to stuff like she would if left alone for 2.5 seconds as a toddler. I never thought I’d see the day, but, behold, it has arrived!
  • She officially moved to having a daily “rest time” instead of naptime right before she turned five.
  • Turning five must mean that you suddenly accumulate toys with a bazillion tiny pieces…princess figures, My Little Ponies and who knows what else but it is a million little pieces of toy everywhere it seems. But she loves to play imaginatively with all these little figurines she has collected so I don’t mind the tiny pieces everywhere.
  • Little Bug is still a little girl who can go outside to play and be covered in dirt, head to toe, in no time at all. But she also still loves to dress up in her princess dresses and be “fancy”.
  • She is having to learn right now to do things without arguing and complaining. Oh, the arguments this child can muster. God’s going to use this talent one day…or else I will for real pull my hair out!
  • She completed her preschool years and will officially be a Kindergartener in the fall.

Sweet Pea:

  • Sweet Pea was the happiest little baby I had ever seen and now she is the happiest little girl I’ve ever seen. She is always smiling.
  • Except when she says, “I’m sad.” which is one of the cutest things she does.
  • Except when she attempts to see if this tactic will stall her bedtime. Little stinker! As I carry her to bed she says “I’m sad.” and then carries on and on. What is it with 3-year-olds? Seeing as this is my second 3-year-old I wasn’t fooled and it took two nights of her fake crying for 5 minutes for her to realize she’s got her work cut out to fool this Mommy.
  • Funny thing is, this girl loves her sleep and always has. She still naps 2.5-3 hours daily, but occasionally she will just not sleep a wink for a nap and then I just put her to bed early.
  • While Sweet Pea has grown up significantly in the last year, she hasn’t let go of all things “baby” yet, which is just fine by me because I know when she is ready, she will grow up. She still wears diapers 100%, sucks her thumb, sleeps with her “night-night” (receiving blankets for newborns that she LOVES to sleep with!) and calls herself a “baby”. I probably baby her which doesn’t help any of this, but…she’s my baby!
  • If Sweet Pea wanted to be potty-trained she would be. Many times now she has declared she wants to pee or poop on the potty and then proceeds to do so and is quite proud of her accomplishment. But if you ask her if she wants to wear diapers or panties, it is always “diapers”. The day will come… (hopefully soon!)
  • Sweet Pea loves to go on walks in the neighborhood and she holds my hand the entire time, which is just absolutely adorable.
  • She talks up a storm now. Hard to believe I was ever told she might need speech therapy.
  • Sweet Pea walks with determination in her step. She is a quiet one, but she is going to have an inner strength that will drive her to do great things in life.
  • Speaking of her being a “quiet one”, she isn’t always shy anymore. She has come out of her shell considerably in the last month or so. To the point that she has asked complete strangers (other kids) their names when we are standing in line at the store! That is HUGE for Sweet Pea.
  • Sweet Pea will start PK3 with Mommy this fall, just a few weeks after she turns three years old!

almost FOUR!

Oh my Little Bug! She is around the corner from turning FOUR!

I remember taking this picture like it was yesterday. Little Bug was exactly one month old and I had finally gotten her to sleep and laid her down on the bouncy chair. I can remember just looking at her and taking her in – she was my baby!! I wasn’t babysitting! I was actually a mother to this adorable baby girl!

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Where do I even begin in describing this girl?!

The days are long but the years are short is a good start, I think.

Little Bug’s strong personality becomes more apparent with every passing year. She is a smart, confident little girl that never meets a stranger. She befriends everyone – and age does not matter. She has “best friends” who are 100 years old (her great-great-grandma who passed away last spring) all the way down to the little girl she “met” while sitting on the toilet in the restroom at Cracker Barrel.

Let me tell this story:

We walked into the restroom, entered a stall and Little Bug became aware there was a “friend” in the stall next to her. So she said (as she sat on the toilet), “Hey!! How old are you?!”.

And the little girl replied, “Six! How old are you?”

Little Bug said, “Free!” {Three}

And then they continued to talk about whatever 6 and 3 year old girls talk about while peeing in a public bathroom!

The little girl was finished before Little Bug and left the restroom before Little Bug was out of her stall and Little Bug was so forlorn that she did not get to see her new friend.

Whereas some kids shy away from adults, Little Bug does not. If the person is Mommy or Daddy’s friend, Grams or Gramps’ friend, they are her friends too! And any kid who comes to the neighborhood park is automatically Little Bug’s friend. Little Bug captivates everyone she meets. Her spunky, talkative, charming personality draws people to her.

She is an extrovert through and through. She is not an introvert at all.

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This larger than life personality leaves this Mama feeling run down many days because with her spunk comes a stubborn streak that can make for some very long days! There is never any question or doubt about what Little Bug thinks about anything. She has an opinion about everything!

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At nearly four years old Little Bug loves: dress up, Disney, princesses, FOOD (more on that in a min), orange juice, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, parks, outside play, being around family, building forts, pretending to put people to sleep in her bed and picking flowers to give to Mommy.

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I cannot keep this girl full!!! She literally eats all day long – from the time she wakes up until the time she goes to bed. She will get up from a meal after eating adult-sized portions and say, “I’m hungry! Can I have a snack?”!! As a general rule, my kids don’t snack much because snacking can make a child not eat their meals well for lack of hunger, but Little Bug is always hungry so I am always feeding her it seems! As long as the snacks don’t interfere with her three daily meals, she can snack all she wants to be able to get the food she needs. It is amazing how much this girl eats! I guess she is in some major growth spurt because shirts that fit her just a couple months ago are now too short on her!

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Little Bug loves books. She always has. She loves to be read to and, recently, she has figured out that getting a large stack of books and reading them on her own is very fun, too!

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At almost four, she is still napping daily. There is the occasional missed nap here and there, but when she does not nap, it shows, so we still have a daily naptime. She naps usually 2-2.5 hours. Bedtime is 8-8:15pm and she gets up around 8am.

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It’s a little hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I have an almost four-year-old. I remember the days wondering if I’d ever be a mother and here I’m almost the mom of a four-year-old!! It’s been a wild and crazy four years with this girl and I look forward to many more adventures with the little girl who made me a Mommy.

A Real Big Girl Bed

Little Bug now has a real Big Girl Bed – a twin bed made by her great-great grandfather. It was Dave’s bed as a boy and then it was our guest bed until December 16th when Dave moved it into Little Bug’s bedroom.

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The space in our house where she slept in her crib and then toddler bed is now where her dresser and some toys are. I left her name hanging above the dresser.

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This switch came at a perfect time because Sweet Pea was ready to have Independent Playtime in her bedroom instead of the pack n play. We sold the white crib months ago and now Sweet Pea sleeps in the big crib. I loved the white look of her nursery, but there was no way I was getting rid of this crib and one had to go!

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The furniture is now finally matching as well. This dresser had still been in Little Bug’s room, but it matches the crib.

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This is where the twin bed had been. It really opened up Sweet Pea’s bedroom when we moved the twin bed to Little Bug’s room. Sweet Pea has enjoyed her “room time”.

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Little Bug wasn’t home when we made the switch. She had gone to nap at Grams and Gramps’ house, which was a HUGE blessing. It would have been difficult to do this move when the girls were awake.

When she came home she was SO excited to see her new bed.

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Checking out her new bed:

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She really is a big girl now. Smile

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And now we need to find her some big girl bedding!!

Little Bug is 3.5 years old!

Halfway to FOUR?

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Yes. Little Bug is half way to FOUR, but she thinks she is all grown up and ready to conquer the world.

Little Bug loves preschool. She attends twice a week and always wakes up ready to go. Daddy takes her in the “new car” and she loves the ride. They apparently listen to music on the way to school and then Dave prays with her before she gets out of the car. It’s another one of their special Daddy-Daughter times.

I had a teacher conference with Mrs. S back in October. It was a new experience for me since I’ve conducted countless teacher/parent conferences before but until this one, I had never been the “parent” and had always been the “teacher”! Mrs. S reported that Little Bug is performing above average or average for all prek-3 skills. Some assessments she was not able to do on Little Bug (such as an assessment to see if Little Bug knows her shapes and colors) because if Little Bug knows something she is done, she wants something else to do. I have noticed this during our Learning Time too. Once she masters a skill, she doesn’t want to do it anymore. She wants something that will challenge her.

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It is amazing to me how Little Bug and her Daddy share not one strand of DNA, but they are seriously identical. Dave tells me all the time, “I was just like her when I was little.” It’s funny to me because when we first learned we would not have biological children I told myself, “Well, I don’t have to worry about raising a strong-willed kid like Dave.” HA!

Little Bug loves her Learning Time with Mommy. She is always eager to have this time and often asks if we can do this more than one time a day. I love teaching Little Bug, doing crafts with her and watching her have so much fun with our activities. Her smile today when she wrote the letters P and M was priceless!

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Little Bug is either the sweetest big sister in the world to Sweet Pea or she is the biggest bully to her! Poor little Sweet Pea. Smile I know these girls already have a deep bond because if Sweet Pea gets hurt Little Bug is right there to check on her. She will bring her sippy, a toy and anything else that will make her sister feel better. And then…two seconds later, she could be found knocking her sister down! I don’t know what makes Little Bug want to do mean things to her sister. Right now, we tell Little Bug to “show love” to her sister and that usually snaps her out of the meanness.

Little Bug LOVES to take Sweet Pea into her room (or Sweet Pea’s room) and play with her. And they usually play pretty well together like this. I keep my eye on them when they do this but try to stay “out” so they can have that time for sister play. The sweetest sound in the world is to hear them both laughing hysterically about something!

Little Bug still loves to read and play outside. She is not understanding why we can’t just set up the pool and swim even when it is cooler outside! Instead of siting and reading for a huge chunk of our day, we read several times throughout the day. We often read books during our Learning Times, before nap and bedtime, and then after bath time, Dave usually reads with her while I am getting Sweet Pea to bed.

Little Bug does Independent Playtime in her bedroom 3-4 times a week and her new favorite thing to do during this time is to read books in bed!

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We are having to work on just saying “yes mam” & “yes sir” when we ask her to do something because this girl is FULL of excuses about why she doesn’t need to do something or what she thinks is a better idea. And while we are more than happy to give her choices in some areas of her life, there are some areas that simply require first-time obedience.

And can we say emotional? Wow. Sometimes I am thinking to myself “If she is THIS emotional at THREE, what is it going to be like when she is THIRTEEN?” Dear me. I think I will have to attach a bucket to her neck to catch all the tears. It is not unusual for her to wake up extremely grumpy even though she is getting the perfect amount of sleep! On those mornings I have started sending her back to bed for a re-do. I tell her she can wake up when she is ready to face the world. It works every time to snap her out of her grumpiness.

Little Bug is obsessed with “Jesus dying on the cross”. She spots every single cross on every single church building and she always asks if that was the cross that Jesus died on. She can sing the old hymn “The Old Rugged Cross”. She wanted a “cross song” and that is the one I sung to her and now she can sing it herself. When we read the Bible with her at night she always wants to see the page where Jesus died on the cross. She is understanding that Jesus died to pay for her sins. I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing the truths of God’s Word taking root in the heart of my little girl. That is the ultimate reward of parenting and makes the frustrating times of disobedience and stubbornness all worth while.

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I guess I can finally report that Little Bug is no longer a “messy eater”! She does a pretty good job these days of leaning over her plate and keeping her messes to a minimum with most meals. There are some exceptions, but she is only 3.5. Smile

Little Bug has entered the phase of wanting to pick her own clothes. To save a lot of tears and frustration, when I get her up in the morning, I announce if it is a morning she can pick what to wear or if it is a morning where Mommy will chose what she wears. I pick if it is a pre-k day and if it is an “at home day” I let her pick her clothes.

Little Bug has definitely started the nap wean. There are some days where she just doesn’t fall asleep and I know this is perfectly normal for her age. We still have a daily naptime where she is expected to sleep (and most days she still does sleep), but I do realize that there are just going to be some days when she won’t sleep. On these days when she does not nap, she goes to bed early. When she does nap, she usually sleeps two hours.

I try to think of a time with Little Bug wasn’t a part of my life and it is hard to remember life without her! It is hard to believe that there was life before Little Bug and it is hard to believe she has only been in my life just three and a half years. And then, it is also hard to believe it has already been almost FOUR years since Tracy placed this baby girl with our family and my journey of motherhood began.

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These 3.5 years have been the best 3.5 years of my life. The birth of this special little girl gave me the title I had always dreamed of having. I love nothing more than spending my days with her (even the hard days) and I stand in amazement at all she is becoming at the tender age of just 3.5 years old.

She is one of my greatest blessings in this life and I can’t imagine any other little girl on this planet being my oldest daughter.

I look forward to the future with my big girl.

What Little Bug is up to at 3 years, 4 months old.

Little Bug’s imaginative and pretend play has really taken off since her 3rd birthday. It has been so cool to watch this. She is always talking to “the Disney friends”.

In the car, she will ask for a certain song and then, without fail, she will say in one breath: Disney friends, are you singing with me? Uh-huh!

Her imagination has revolutionized my role as her mother – I no longer have to entertain her every.second.of.the.day. She finally plays independently at times (or with her sister) allowing me to clean up the kitchen from a meal or throw a load of laundry in the machine…in peace!

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Little Bug loves our learning time! We do this after her roomtime and she usually leaves her room asking me, “Mommy what activity are we going to do today?!”.

I love this time too. I love teaching my girl and seeing her learn. It is special time for us.

Even though she is going to preschool this year, I still plan to have learning time with her on the three days a week she is not in preschool.

Little Bug loves to play Hide-N-Seek!

Little Bug and Sweet Pea are interacting more than ever now that Sweet Pea is mobile! Little Bug loves her dearly, however, she tends to be rough with her! She loves to lay on top of her. Sweet Pea doesn’t seem to mind but I’m afraid she will get hurt. We did go through a phase where Little Bug would want whatever Sweet Pea had. It didn’t matter what it was. If Sweet Pea had it, she wanted it. We had to teach Little Bug to not snatch from her sister and that she shows love to her sister when she shares with her.

Little Bug watches out for Sweet Pea. And she does love to do things for her, like get her a sippy of water or feed her some bites of food.

I look forward to seeing these two play even more together in the coming year. They start their mornings by playing together right after breakfast!

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Little Bug still LOVES the outdoors. She has loved the outdoors since she was a baby! It is just so hot right now that our outside time is so limited. She begs to go to the park but the heat is seriously unbearable unless it is very early or very late and those times aren’t always convenient for going to the park. She loves her little pool in our backyard and the water table so we try to stick to those “cool” activities outside for the time being.

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Little Bug has improved significantly in her “mess making”. I started making her clean up her own messes and that helped her to not make a mess for the sake of making a mess (with toys).

Little Bug could win an award for “Messiest Eater” but not anymore! Unless it is just a “messy” type of food, Little Bug has gotten very good at keeping her meal time messes to a minimum! I thought I’d never see the day!

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Little Bug’s spit-fire personality becomes more and more apparent the older she gets! She is a master manipulator. She knows I’m a “tough Mama” and expect her to obey the first time. Yet, she is a master of dragging out the bedtime routine, no matter how much we just stick to her routine. And, as only Little Bug could do, she has figured a way to drag it out even more as, up until this point, I was able to squelch all her attempts to prolong bedtime. She has started calling me back for “one more hug and kiss”. In a way this makes me feel very good because she knows her Mama loves her endlessly and will never deny her hugs and kisses…but the turkey is using this to HER advantage!!! Knowing I would never say “no” to one more hug and kiss, I now go back twice to give her one more hug and kiss but she knows that is IT and after the third hug and kiss the door is closed and it is time to go to sleep!

I find myself saying “that girl” a million times a day!!! God knew she needed a mother who would pull the reigns in on her, but yet help her channel her energy and zest for life into good, productive things. That is the type of mother I strive to be for Little Bug. I want to see this little girl grow up and use these skills she has for God!!

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She is one special kid with potential that reaches beyond the skies. I saw that in her as a tiny baby and I cannot wait to see what God does with this little firecracker who already at the age of three KNOWS what she wants and how she is going to accomplish it.

At 38 months she moved from her crib to a toddler bed and did very well with the transition and her new Sleep Time rules.

She sleeps 11-11.5 hours at night and takes a 2-2.5 hour nap in the afternoon.

It is hard to believe she is nearly 3.5 years old!

3 Years Old

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There is nothing more amazing in life than watching your children grow, mature and learn through the years. It seems like just yesterday she started taking those wobbly first steps towards her Daddy so she could eat the cottage cheese he was trying to feed her. And now, here she is a beautiful, spunky, imaginative 3-year-old.

I will never ever forget the tiny weight I felt in my arms on the day of her birth has her birth grandma placed her in my arms. I literally could have sat there and held her and stared at her for 24 hours straight.

So, what’s new with this big 3-year-old girl?

She went through those couple of weeks of testing her boundaries and being a complete pill and then…she came out on the other side with a vivid imagination! Often times rough patches indicate growth and development and something definitely changed in this girl during those two weeks.

She NON-STOP talks and plays with her imaginary “Disney Character” friends! It started one morning when I got her up and she told me the “Disney Characters” were in her bed. Each slat of her crib was a character and from that day on, the Disney Characters go and do EVERYTHING with her. One day at lunch one of them was siting in the chair next to her and I was scolded when I sat on him! I told Little Bug he had moved to another chair and then Daddy was scolded when he sat on him in the other chair. So, that Disney Character eventually moved to the floor so no one else would sit on him. Little Bug was happy with that.

She talks to the “Disney Characters” constantly! She has even, on her own choosing, gone outside to play with them by herself and then one day at my parents’ house she went upstairs by herself to “play with the Disney Characters”. I am LOVING this new stage of imaginative play. It is so cute to hear her talking to her imaginary friends.

Little Bug has started to get into games. She likes to play Candy Land, Elefun and Hi Ho Cherry O. I have a lot of educational games that I bought on sale long before she could play them and we’ve started playing those too. Her attention span with games is still somewhat short at this age, but I expect that will increase this year.

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Little Bug continues to be Miss Social Butterfly. She doesn’t meet a stranger and will go up to anyone and start talking to them. When we are at the park, ANY child who enters, is an instant friend to her. No matter their age. She joins in with the “big kids” as if she is their age. I think she actually prefers to play with kids older than her, although she enjoys her Sunday School friends as well.

Her favorite things include: the Disney Character friends (of course), her Minnie Mouse, people, getting out of the house and going places, playing with her friends, making new friends, learning time and reading books.

Little Bug loves to wear dresses. Most mornings she requests to wear a dress. Her favorite is a little pink dress with flowers. She wears is all the time!

Little Bug participated in her first little dance class this spring. She seemed to really enjoy it. She pretty much stayed on task during class and would watch and do what her teachers were doing. She looked absolutely adorable in her little pink tu-tu!

Little Bug loves to read Bible stories. Every night as we go the rocking chair and as she drinks her milk, she says, “Don’t forget to read the Bible!” She is always full of questions and wants to look at the pictures over and over again.

Little Bug loves her baby sister. Their relationship is really starting to take off. Little Bug can get her sister belly laughing in a matter of seconds. They light up when they first see each other in the morning. Little Bug enjoys getting a basket of toys and bringing them to Sweet Pea so they can play.

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Little Bug is most certainly left-handed! She has preferred that hand for a while now, but now that is drawing and writing, she always puts the crayon/marker in her left hand. We have a leftie for sure.

We are loving our 20-30 minutes of daily structured learning time. Little Bug knows we usually do this after her room time and she will often ask, “What are we doing today, Mommy?” I love seeing her having fun while learning. She is a sharp little girl and I am going to have to keep learning interesting for her. She is able to do way more than I thought she was capable or ready to do. We have enrolled her for preschool in the fall. She needs some “outside of the house” activity to do weekly and preschool is it! I know she is going to have a blast at school two days a week.

Little Bug had those 2ish weeks when I wondered how in the world we were going to make it through age 3, but then, after she tested her boundaries and we were very consistent with her and made our expectations for her behavior very clear, she has been our sweet, obedient (for the most part) Little Bug since then. I am sure she will go through another time of testing her boundaries but as long as Little Bug is getting the appropriate amount of sleep, she is such a pleasant little girl to be around.

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After those two crazy weeks of testing boundaries constantly it seemed Little Bug matured somewhat in the area of making messes and not being able to be left for literally two minutes without getting into something. I used to have to put her in the pack n play just to take 3 minutes to go lay Sweet Pea down for a nap, but I have started letting her stay in the living room and she has done well with that. She will play or look at books. It is nice to finally feel like I don’t have to watch her every single second – although she does still require constant supervision. I also started making her clean up her room after room time instead of her cleaning about 20% and me cleaning 80%. I feel that has made all the difference in the world in her making messes everywhere she goes. Now she knows she will have to clean it up so I guess she figures she just might as well not make the mess to begin with!

Yes, Little Bug is 3-years-old and still in her crib. And, I have changed my original plan of moving her to a bed at her 3rd birthday. I KNOW my girl and I KNOW the battles we would have, and I am just not ready to go there. She still fits comfortably in her crib and she still needs those boundaries. I know I will know when she is developmentally ready to not have the boundaries of crib rails and she is just not there…yet.

Her schedule hasn’t really changed much since age 2. She wakes up around 8am, but doesn’t get out of bed until 8:15ish. She has breakfast and then room time from 9:45-10:45. After that we do learning time and then she gets to watch a 20-30 minute show. Her favorites are Word World, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Dr Suess. On Saturdays we sometimes let her watch some of Charlotte’s Web. After TV, she eats lunch, plays outside and then naptime is from 2-4/4:30pm. Her bedtime is 8:30/8:45pm. We are going to have to adjust her schedule slightly in the fall when she starts preschool because she will need to be at preschool by 8:30am.

Little Bug continues to be a very good eater. We continue to limit her intake of sugar. She loves to chew watermelon gum and calls that a “treat”. She loves milk and still has “milk time” when she wakes up, after room time, after nap and before bed. It’s our time to snuggle and I am going to have “milk time” with her as long as she wants because I know a day will come when she won’t run to the fridge and get her milk cup and come running to the rocking chair for “milk time”.

This precious girl changed my life in more ways than I ever imagined. I am forever grateful God chose me to be her mother. It is one of my greatest privileges here on earth.

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Happy 3rd Birthday, Little Bug!!

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Little Bug’s birthday was a TON of fun this year because, for the first time, she truly understood what the day was all about!

She was excited from the moment she woke up and put on her birthday shirt and skirt for church that morning.

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After church, Little Bug opened her birthday presents from us and my parents. She actually had a few things that she wanted for her birthday this year and she was elated when she saw that we had gotten them for her!

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She wanted a fishing pole and…

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…a scooter!!

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She is already a pro on the scooter!

Little Bug was such a hoot opening her presents. She got puzzles, 2 dresses, books, a game and then my parents had a surprise for her in the garage!

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A sand box!

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After lunch and naptime, my mom threw a family birthday party for Little Bug!

Little Bug opened more presents!

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Dave’s parents got Little Bug this cool, glow in the dark tent that you can write on with a special pen!

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Aunt Amanda had a bag full of fun things: a golf club set, a Minnie Mouse (a new favorite toy of Little Bugs), clothes and a matching pj set for both girls!

At Little Bug’s request, my mom made her a lady bug cake for her birthday!

It was so adorable!!

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She LOVED her cake!

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And we sure do LOVE this girl!

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She is such a special little girl and I am so glad we were able to give her a special 3rd birthday celebration!

We will celebrate again in a couple weeks with a Minnie Mouse Birthday Party with all her friends!

The Minnie Mouse theme is also at Little Bug’s request!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Little Bug!!

Has it really been 3 years?

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It is interesting to me how God woke me up today at 7:09am – two minutes before Little Bug officially turned 3 years old.

At that exact time, three years ago, I was sitting in the hospital waiting room when my cell phone rang. It was Little Bug’s birth grandma, who told me to come on to the delivery room because it was time for Little Bug to be born. I popped my contacts back into my eyes and then, all of a sudden, I felt this urgency that I needed to RUN to the room.

Ignoring the nurses who were telling me to “please walk!!”, I kept running because I was not going to miss Little Bug’s birth!

I arrived at the delivery room at 7:11am – just in time to see Little Bug slip into this world.

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My life has not been the same since that day.

Little Bug (and her sister Sweet Pea) truly are my heart on the outside.

3 Until 3

In just three months from today, my (oldest) baby girl will be THREE YEARS OLD.

Something about having a 3-year-old makes me feel really old. Smile

I wasn’t planning to do an update on Little Bug this month since I did one last month, but in the last couple of weeks several big things have happened for my almost 3-year-old girl.

Little Bug can now ride her tricycle!

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We gave her this for her 2nd birthday and she at first couldn’t reach the peddles so she would push herself along with her feet on the ground or…

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get someone like Grandpa to push her!

But now, she can ride her tricycle like the big girl that she is!

Little Bug rides her tricycle

Little Bug absolutely LOVES to paint!! I will be incorporating paint into her learning activities since painting really grabs her attention.

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Little Bug has started pretty frequently saying, “Mommy I want a bed like yours!!” Yes, Little Bug is almost 3 and still in a crib. She is just safer that way! My plan has always been to move her to a big girl bed for her 3rd birthday, which is why we bought a second (much cheaper) crib for Sweet Pea (of which she does not sleep in, but that is another story for another time).

Instead of going ahead and making the crib to bed transition, we gave her a pillow and, let me tell you, Little Bug thought that was the coolest!

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I am looking forward to redoing Little Bug’s nursery into a big girl room! I think we will go shopping and let her pick a bedspread for her big girl bed (the twin bed that is now in Sweet Pea’s nursery that was Dave’s bed growing up!). Then, she will get the bedding for her 3rd birthday and we will redo her bedroom and move furniture around in early June.

As long as the pillow continues to serve as a good distractor!

I am just worried I won’t sleep a wink knowing Little Bug has free reign of the house when we are sound asleep! I plan to teach her that her big girl bed is like her crib in that Mommy will come and get her when it is time to get out of bed. It still makes me nervous that she could get up and do who knows what in the middle of night while we are in bed! Hopefully I am worrying for nothing and she makes this transition well! I know most kids make this transition way sooner than age 3 and do well.

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Little Bug continues to far exceed my expectations on potty-training! She has a bladder of steel, I am convinced. We will be riding in the car and she will say, “I need to go pee-pee!” Then she will say, “Mommy is there a potty in a car?”. And I will say, “No, so hold it and we will be home very soon!” She’s made it every time!

She is very good about knowing she needs to go and running to the potty. She has had several accidents, but no where near the amount of accidents I was expecting!

We bought her some pull-ups to wear at nap and bedtime and she was so excited about this. She said, “My friends wear these too!!” She was happy to not have to put on a diaper for naps and bedtime.

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In the last couple of weeks, much to my complete surprise, Little Bug has started playing on her own (some) beyond just the time she plays in her room daily during Independent Playtime! It started with her really wanting to go play in the backyard one day. I needed to be inside so I could fix our lunch. That is always a challenging part of our day because I am needing to fix lunch but Little Bug is insistent on me playing with her! So on this day I told her I needed to fix lunch but she could go outside and play in the backyard if she wanted too. (I can see the backyard from the kitchen windows.) She didn’t want to do that, of course, because she said she would be by herself. I told her Pup would go with her, and off they went!! She played outside while I fixed lunch (in peace)!!

Since then she has gone out to play several more times (always with Pup). And I have found her entertaining herself more with toys and books while I am taking care of Sweet Pea or fixing meals. It is so nice to see her reaching this point.

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This independence has also brought on some “terrible two” behavior. I don’t really like that word choice, but Little Bug has certainly started stating her strong desire to do something, or not do something, her desire to wear a certain outfit or pair of shoes, and if things don’t go her way, she can let it be known that she is NOT happy about it.

This is very tiring on Mommy! But I just try to remain consistent and patient, which some days is VERY hard to do!

Two and three year olds are just interesting little creations. They are trying to exert their independence, yet they still need SO much guidance and instruction from their parents, and often times, the fits are a result of her independence going a little too far, too quickly.

I feel like my life is a balancing act of not hovering and constantly saying “no”! I want her to find some independence, but at the same time, I am her mother and it is my responsibility to set limits and boundaries for her. So I just try to live by this motto: Say yes when I can and no when I have too. (from Babywise…yes Babywise is more than just about eating and sleeping! It’s about character development, too.)

For example: Her first painting experience. She wanted to paint herself up to her elbows. Did I really want her to do that? Not really…it was a big mess to clean up right before dinner! But, it was something I could say yes too. She wasn’t going to hurt anything doing that. And, most importantly, she was having fun! However, when she went to try and paint the table and her seat, I said “no”. She needs to learn there are boundaries of where it is acceptable to paint and where it is not acceptable to paint.

I see some very challenging times ahead with Little Bug as she continues to exert this newfound independence, but I also see a tremendous opportunity to continue to mold and shape this little girl into the God-fearing woman I pray she becomes one day. I love being her Mommy and taking on these responsibilities, even though many days it leaves me counting down the minutes until bedtime (or when Daddy comes home)!

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Almost three years old.

It is hard to believe there was ever a time in my life when this girl wasn’t a part of my every day life!

My firstborn.

She taught me a love that we can only learn from being parents.

The past three years have been filled with tremendous joy as I have watched that tiny helpless, constantly overstimulated, five pound baby girl grow into a hilarious, smart, beautiful, spunky, chatter-box almost 3-year-old girl! God is going to use this girl in mighty ways. I am privileged to be her mother and to be able to have an intricate part in helping to mold her into the woman God desires her to be.

Side Note as I am posting this today: Poor thing is not doing well. I think she has bad seasonal allergies. Every year when the pollen starts, she gets congestion and all the allergy symptoms. She has had congestion and a little cough on and off for about a month now (which is when pollen started), but this past weekend things got really bad for her. She had so much congestion that it was making her throw up. Poor girl. She spiked a fever which worried me. I called the doctor and she said if she is still running fever on Monday to bring her in. I am taking her in today because I want to make sure all the congestion hasn’t started some infection. Please pray she feels better soon.

Little Bug at 32 Months

In short, this girl wears me out. Smile

I find myself longing for the day when she is just a teeny bit older and then I stop myself because I know I am going to blink and she is going to be school-age.

I also find myself wishing I could bottle her up and keep her as a 2.5 year old forever.

She provides everyone who knows her with endless entertainment.

I think the best way to record what my Little Bug is up to at just over 2.5 years old is to do a bullet post, so here we go:

  • Little Bug is simply hilarious. She makes us laugh every.single.day. She is such a jokester and has been since she first started talking.

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  • Little Bug still makes a royal mess when she eats. Seriously. This is something I am totally over and will be so glad when she is past this stage. There is a mess everywhere when she eats – on the table, her hands, her whole face, her booster seat. I have tried everything to help her eat a little neater to no avail. It’s just something I’ve let go, telling myself she won’t (hopefully) still be a messy eater when she hits school-age.
  • I still have to watch Little Bug like a hawk because she is just a magnet for trouble. She can (and will) make a mess in 2.5 seconds flat or get into something if am not right there to stop her.

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  • During the day, when Little Bug is awake and not in her room doing Independent Play, she is right with me doing whatever I do. Which is both good and “bad”. It’s good because I love spending time with my girl and I am tremendously blessed that I get to stay home with her every day. It’s “bad” because sometimes I just wish she would for once just go off and play with something on her own so I could do something without her under foot! I cannot set her up at the table to color or do Play-doh by herself while I go do something for 20 minutes or so. Why? Because she won’t have it. She will not sit and entertain herself. OR…she would do things she is not supposed to do with the crayons/play-doh. Remember the bullet about constant supervision necessary?!

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  • She LOVES dancing with her Daddy which is the most precious thing ever!
  • Little Bug loves to sing. She can’t understand why the Christmas music is off the radio now. She will tell me, “I want to listen to Christmas Music.” while we are driving in the car and I have to tell her that the radio isn’t playing much anymore because Christmas is over.
  • When we tell Little Bug we can’t do something she is wanting to do she will say, “But that’s otay, we can still…”. It’s the cutest thing because when she says that she is usually trying to stall bedtime by saying she need to do this and that.

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  • She loves to be the center of attention when surrounded by family. She was twirling the other day in front of a group of family and she would stop to make sure everyone was watching her and then go back to twirling.
  • Saturday mornings Little Bug and her daddy get up and make French toast together!

 

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  • Little Bug always asks her Daddy to share a smoothie with her after dinner. They go to this spot in the living room and share their smoothie.

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  • She still loves to read books. She has gotten to where if you pause while reading she will finish the sentence in many of her books! Her Grandpa Roy is actually the one who started doing this with her. He reads a story book to her and it amazed us what she had memorized from that book. Words that are not normally in a 2-year-olds vocabulary.

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  • She still has 4 milk times a day. I love it because that is the only time she will sit and cuddle.
  • She sleeps 11ish hours at night and takes a 2 hour afternoon nap.
  • I would say she is probably around 30lbs now since she was 28lbs at her 2 year check up.
  • I love the way she puts her little feet on the chair while she eats.

 

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  • There is never a dull moment when Little Bug is around. It is hard to imagine her being anywhere but with us!

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  • The biggest news with Little Bug is that she is completely daytime potty trained!! She was ready and she trained in less than a day (on January 16)! She has had two accidents, but only two accidents in 11 days is pretty good!

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It is sometimes hard to remember a day when this girl wasn’t a part of my life. It is hard to believe she has been my daughter for almost three years.