Thursday, September 22, 2016

School Days 2016

First days of school- one of my favorite things as a student, then a teacher, and now a parent! The excitement, the unknown... Eek! 

Now that I have kids I still get excited, but I also become terrified as well! Will they have fun? Will they make friends? Will the teachers notice them? But it's also the thoughts of a new routine (!), new kids to meet and moms to become friends with (!), the growth that I know will come over the year (!)... So much! 

Anyway, you heard all about Jay's first day (because his was the biggest CHANGE for us), but here's another pic just so I can have them all in one spot! 

And now onto my brand new Pre-K gal! Oh my, this seems so old for her. I think I will forever think of her as a three year old for some reason! 

I was worried so much about this one. She struggled the most with the change of a new baby. She became increasingly clingy and attached and so very emotional. She would cry just thinking about school and I was not looking forward to the daily battle of getting her to school. But two weeks before her school started, we had a playdate with her old friends from her class last year. And really, the rest is history. But seriously, just seeing them and remembering how much fun she had with them was all it took- after that she was confident again and getting back to her old self. 

A week later we had another playdate just with some of her girlfriends, had her meet the teacher, and I knew we were set! She hasn't cried or complained about school once! In fact, when you ask her how it was, she always replies, "AWESOME!" ThankyouJesus!

And Molly. Oh, Molly. She has had the hardest time (understandably so). She cried at meet the teacher. The first day she was ok (well she technically missed the first day due to an infected spider bite... Sigh). But she was ok getting out of the car (it's a carpool drop off) and supposedly cried on and off all day. 

The second day, though? Oh. My. Gosh. She cried all morning "I just want to stay with you, momma!" while we got ready. We get in the car and she cried the whole way there. And when we pulled up she literally ran to the back row of the suburban and held onto her car seat screaming as th teachers had to pull her out!!! It was horrible! 

Now to backtrack, I would not send her if she was miserable all day. I got pictures of her happy and painting and laughing. But the initial separation has just been so hard on her. 

Anyway, the third day she willingly got out when she saw her teacher. And the fourth day she told me she wanted to walk in like a big girl. So when we pulled up I told the teacher who got her out and Molly walked in alone and was happy as can be! And no tears at all that whole day! Woohoo! 

So it's been a bit of a whirlwind, but we have all survived and are figuring out this new routine! 

And just because, here is littlest bit on the first day(s)! 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Three Months Old... The Last Chapter!

Oh Hallelujah!

Our last baby has hit three months old and we are officially done with the newborn phase forEVA! This momma wants to throw a party!!!

I know y'all think I'm crazy, but seriously, as soon as Kelsey hit the three month mark, she woke up and all of a sudden became this precious, sweet baby!

At three months old, she is...
-Smiling and talking all the time. She has the sweetest smile and dimples and big blue eyes.
-Wanting to be upright! All the time. She is fine laying on her playmate or in her bouncy seat, but she always try to pull her head up (like an eternal crunch). Our cleaning lady thought this was hysterical! We have now been sitting her in the bumbo or the walker or ANYthing to keep her up.
-Wearing size 1 diapers (though as soon as these are finished we are moving up to size 2!) and size 3 months clothes. She is pretty tall, and the length of newborn or 0-3 month don't work for her!
-Weighs almost 12 pounds! Petite little lady!
-Sleeping... well I have no clue. It's our fourth kid and honestly, we aren't creating any good habits at this point. She is with us in bed and if she wakes up I just nurse her back to sleep. Don't care at all. This is our last and it won't last forever. I'm getting some sleep and that's what is really important! She will go down for the night around 8/830 and usually wakes up for the day around 730
-Rolling over both ways
-Eating about 20 min every 2 1/2 hours.
-Basically cat naps all day. She will get one big stretch of nap in the late afternoon/early evening
-Loving the Baby Bjorn. She loves to face out or snuggle up and nap facing in. She does not love the Moby like the other girls, though.
-Hates hates hates hates hates the car seat. She's gotten SLIGHTLY better- like we will get maybe 5 minutes in the car without screaming- but seriously, just hates it. That's tough when you are a fourth kid and on the go all. the. time.
-Really prefers momma and knows when it's me vs someone else. She has really warmed up to Daddy recently and even Grandeb some! Otherwise, she's not very happy with anyone else... sigh...
-LOVES her siblings. Watches them and smiles at them all the time.
-Absolutely loving the bath. Probably her favorite time ever. She is so calm and relaxed and happy. And she could sit in there forever!

She really has become the sweetest baby. We will seriously go days without crying now (except for the car!!) as long as I've got her and we have our little routine. She will eat, be awake anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours, fuss a little, then I'll get to her sleep by bouncing her, and then she can be laid down or whatever. We've definitely got a good thing going now.

But probably my most favorite thing ever is when I hear her wake up from her nap/night. I will go in there and flip on the lights and talk to her and she just gets the biggest, sweetest sleepy smile. I hope I never forget that look!

Kelsey, it was a rough start, but girl, you are a DOLL now! We love you so much and can't wait to watch you grow!

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Tale of the Potty (Version 3.0)

In true Squillante kid fashion, Molly declared a few weeks ago that she was ready for potty training.

I mean, not exactly in those words, but for two consecutive days started telling me every single time she needed to go teehee and demanded I take her to the potty. Now, this isn't totally abnormal- with two older siblings she knows this is the drill and likes to pretend to be a big kid every now and then.

But this time was different- she did it EVERY time she needed to go and did it for two days. So on Monday, August 22 (yup, the same day Jay started kindergarten and the same day I realized Kelsey could roll over), I decided we probably needed to try out potty training since she seemed ready. For the record, I was NOT ready to do this, nor did I want to even a little. I have enough on plate that I do not need to be worrying about running someone to the potty in public and remembering to have her go before we ran errands- oh and school was starting for her in two weeks. What a nightmare timing-wise!

But I also know kids well enough that if they express a legitimate interest, then you can't pass it up because it might be your only "easy" chance.

And away we went!

I was totally unprepared because I literally had no idea this would be happening now. No panties for her, no prizes/rewards.. nothing. Luckily she can wear her big sister's panties (or her big sister can wear her size.. whatever). So we stayed home pretty much all day Tuesday and Wednesday to do try it out. She was pretty much just naked both those days. And the crazy thing was, I NEVER asked her if she needed to go. She just would stop playing, look at me, and say, "I gonna go potty, mommy." And that was that. By Wednesday she wouldn't let me help her in anyway at all, "No, I gonna do it mysewf!"

By Wednesday, we had had zero accidents and had successfully made it through two separate nap times without a diaper and waking up dry. We were committed by this point. We had one outing on Wednesday (meet the teacher) and so we put on some little panties and went about our business. While we were in the room she told us she needed to go so we showed her where everything was and she did it by herself.

But Friday was the real test. We were driving to Dallas to meet my newest niece (!!!!). Four hours in the car, around nap time... Oy. I tried to make her go before we left, no dice. She just was not going to go. So we stopped halfway to let her go (and load up on snacks and feed Kelsey), and she would NOT go. She tried and tried, bless her heart. She just wasn't going. Finally, we got to Dallas to my sister's house and played for a bit and she finally decided to go! She held it for like, FIVE HOURS!

The next few days were totally fine and accident free. I just knew we weren't going to be so lucky driving home on Sunday (how do you get that lucky two different times?!). But alas, the exact same thing happened this time. She held it the whole trip and went when we got home. Unreal!

We've now been at this a little over two weeks and in those 18 days, we've had two MINOR accidents- both times she teeteed the teeniest little bit and then realized what she was doing and stopped herself and ran to the bathroom! She also is pooping perfectly fine- the first time she was a little nervous to go and got on and off the potty a thousand times. She finally went once and it was a piece of cake from there on out!

And not only have we conquered naps, but she's without a diaper at night and only had two MINOR accidents there (forgot she was asleep and went the smallest amount- like didn't even soak through the sheet, then woke herself up and finished on the potty!).

Needless to say, Molly is a rockstar as far as potty training goes. I will fully 100% admit I had NOTHING to do with this. It was all her. She decided when she was ready, she tells me when she has to go to the bathroom... it's all HER. I am pretty shocked it was as easy as it was, and I'm extra shocked the naps and night time was so smooth. Both my big kids were pretty easy as well, but I'm thinking this was the easiest transition yet. And all without a plan and rewards and well, anything!

So, I know what some of you are thinking... You are a jerk and a braggart. And I know this because I read people's blogs about people whose kids potty train easily and I recently read a Facebook status from a  college friend about not particularly liking people whose kids get it right away. Lest you think I'm a jerk or braggart, I'm just gonna be real... I DESERVE TO HAVE IT EASY HERE. You know why? Because I have really hard, really loud-crying, really bad-sleeping, really really BAD NEWBORNS. So I'm just going to go ahead and take something that comes easily to my kids and OWN IT. That's right! I'm going to shout from the rooftops that we caught a break and this worked out really really well. I'm going to do this because I just had FOUR kids at home all summer long- one of which was an awful newborn, another was a typical two year old, another was a confident child who suddenly became scared to be in a different room from me, and the other was a child who never stopped talking ever. So yeah, it was a sucky summer and I want a reason to celebrate (other than the kids and me actually surviving).

Anyway, I'm so proud of Molly. I'm thankful I had enough of a coherent mind to go with it when she showed she was ready. Here's to you, girl! You deserve it all (and have asked for nothing except independence!)!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The First Week Down!

Welp, we survived the first week of our first kid going to kindergarten!

Look, I know it will seem like less and less of a "thing" with each subsequent kid. I think the reason it's SUCH a big deal with your first kid is because it begins the transition to that next phase of life. The phase where school actually counts, the phase where you can't just take the off to go to the zoo, the phase that puts you one step closer to an empty nest... it just changes things when your first little bird leaves the nest (even if it is only to kindergarten). Things will just be different from now on. And of course, that's not necessarily bad, it's just, well... different.

So we survived drop off and leaving. Jay was WAY more nervous than I thought he'd be. Anthony stayed home from work that morning to take Jay to school. And if you know Anthony, you know this was a HUGE deal. He's not one to EVER miss work- especially not a Monday morning. He thrives on routine and to "go off" schedule is a huge sacrifice for him- and our kids know that. Jay knew it was so special that his daddy was skipping work to take him to school. It was so so sweet.

Anyway, we all set alarms and woke up early. I knew we needed to get out the door by 730, and if we had to get all of us ready, we had no time to waste. I woke up early and got ready and had all of Jay's stuff ready the night before. I may or may not have had the girls sleep in their clothes... ha! Look, if I'm having to get everyone up and moving and out the door AND looking presentable by 730, I'm taking any shortcuts I can!

We left by about 732 and made it to school. We walked in with the masses and said hello to a jillion fellow neighbors. I watched the nervous first time moms (those just like me). As we got to Jay's classroom and I swallowed the lump in my throat for the tenth time, I looked at Anthony and HE WAS TEARING UP! Wait, what?! I was so proud of myself for holding it together this far, and then Anthony gets emotional. That just did me in! I couldn't look at him or anyone else for fear of LOSING it! My goal was to not be emotional in front of Jay- especially because he was so nervous. I wanted him to know that he could be ok with this because we were ok with this.

We took all our pictures and looked around and then said goodbye. I tell you, I can't remember a time when I have swallowed back tears more times than I did this morning. He was nervous and I was nervous. He looked so big yet so so small. I just wanted to run in and scream, "He's not ready!" and bring him home with me. But the reality is, he is SO ready. I know he will just soar once he gets going in school. It's this mommas who is so not ready.....

So thankful he had some buddies in his class! 

He was so embarrassed that Kelsey was screaming! 

Love this one!
If you look closely you can see Daddy's red eyes :)

After the drop off!
This was with our sweet friends (and CK's BFF). 
Daddy duty is strong! 

As we walked out the door and through the halls, I was trying not to cry. This was purely selfish- I passed several other kinder moms who were walking out sobbing and made a mental note to NOT be that girl. And look, if that you was you, then no worries at all. I just knew I'd regret letting it all go with so many people around- that's just how I am! Plus, I looked around at the moms of older kids and they all looked so joyful! Maybe they were ready for their kids to be back in school (very likely), but I also like to think they were joyful because they knew how happy their kids were and how well they were going to do. 

We eventually got back to our car, and I got in and drove off. And that's when I let go and shed a tear or two (hundred). 

But there was really not a ton of time to feel sorry for myself. Kelsey was screaming in the car (seriously??!) and the girls were bickering about what DVD to watch. So we headed home and returned to "normal." I fed Kelsey and then we had plans for a playdate with all of CK's pre-k friends. But because our little area is awesome, one of the local restaurants had a "Back to school" special for the moms- mimosas (or coffee!) and breakfast tacos for CHEAP! A few of my girlfriends and I (and my sister, Jennifer!) met there (with the little siblings in tow!) and chatted and felt sorry for ourselves! Ha!

I'd like to think I looked better than this, but in reality, I didn't. 
Sweaty and tear-stricken aren't a good look. Whatever. 

We headed to our playdate and put the baby girls down for naps. We were just hanging out at home and passing the time until our JayBird got home. In a cruel turn of events, the same day that I sent my oldest to Kindergarten, my youngest hit her first major milestone- rolling over tummy to back! What?! TIME SLOW DOWN. 

That was the best picture I could get of it (I have plenty of video, don't you worry!). The best part of the picture is how happy she was to do it! It's also worth noting that this was her FIRST EVER tummy time. Whoops, totally forgot about that one, but I would say it didn't hold her back too much! Ha. 

Anyway, a few hours later we had this glorious sight!

I'm sure he was totally embarrassed that I was taking pictures! Whatever! 

He was a little off when he got off the bus. Not very talkative and just a little different. His buddy (and our neighbor) Braden came over to play and the boys were BOUNCING off the walls. Then we had dinner that night and Jay might have had a slight meltdown (over nothing). That's when I realized how nervous he had really been. Between the pent up nerves, the energy he was using/forcing down to just sit and be calm all day, and then no recess because of the rain, he was a wreck! But after a "normal" family dinner and finally feeling ready to open up and talk about his day (and never stopping once he got started), his little world fell back into place and he became himself again. 

These girls missed him SO much! They could not get enough after dinner! 
Kisses and snuggles and hugs galore! 
He acted like he didn't want the attention, but he wasn't pushing them off either :)

The rest of the week was SO seamless! Each day he was happy and excited to get on the bus and head to school, and each afternoon he bounded off the bus in a great mood ready to chat about his day. He was pretty exhausted by Thursday night, and Friday morning I had to wake him up at 7:15 (bus comes at 7:30!). 

Looking forward to week 2 and our new normal. It's been an adjustment for all of us, but we haven't let him come home yet without showing him how missed he was!