Four Year Doctors Appointment

Hadley had her four-year doctors appointment on Monday. Here are her stats from the appt:

Height: 40.25″ (62nd percentile)

Weight: 37.2 lbs (68th percentile)

BMI: 16.14 (73rd percentile)

Blood Pressure: 90/52

Last year our beloved pediatrician passed away suddenly from pancreatic cancer so we had to find a new pediatrician. I polled my mom friends, made a spreadsheet (as one does), and finally decided on a new doctor for my girls. Since we haven’t had any health issues in the last several months, the first time Hadley was going to be meeting her new doctor was for her annual appointment. She was a little nervous to be going to an unfamiliar place, meeting a new doctor, and the ever looming threat of shots. But as soon as we arrived at the office the girls were instantly at ease. They ran around checking out all the new toys, books, finding Nemo in in the fish tank, and searching for all the hidden items in the giant wall mural.
Finding Nemo in the fish tank
Finding pictures on the waiting room mural
When it was our turn to be called back, the nurse stopped Hadley just beyond the waiting room doors to check her height.
Checking her height
Then she did an eye exam. Hadley was very entertained by the blacked-out glasses and initially told the nurse she couldn’t see the shapes on the wall. When she asked about each shape individually, Hadley was able to correctly identify them all. I think she was just thrown off by “losing” her vision in one eye. They said her visual acuity is 20/40.
"Look at these silly glasses, Mama!"
Eye Exam
Then we went into the exam room and started with the hearing test. Understanding that four-year-olds don’t often get the concept of raising your hand when you hear the beep, they prefer to have children point out the word being said on a chart. Hadley thought it was a fun game but made the mistake of talking during her test and since they don’t have the ability to pause the test she got a little confused. But ultimately the nurse assured me that her hearing was just fine.
Hearing test time
Taking a pictorial hearing test
Then it was time to meet our new doctor. He came into the room, impressed to see that between Ana and Hadley they had assembled all the jumbled puzzles in his basket. He talked to me and Hadley for a bit and then moved on to his assessments. He asked Hadley if she wanted to draw a picture. She was very excited about this! He drew a cross (in green) and asked Hadley to do the same (in red…it was as close as she could get to pink). So she did. Then he drew another shape, asked Hadley what it was, and to draw one as well. She quickly said it was a square, and did her best rendition. Then he asked her to draw her mom. She looked excitedly at me and set to work, paying special attention to my hair. When she decided she was done, the doctor held the picture next to my face and declared that Hadley had done a lovely job. Then in a low creepy voice Hadley said, “Zombie Mama!” I giggled nervously and said “Well, it was just Halloween…” The doc raised his eyebrows but just laughed.
Hadleys's Drawing
All in all, we had a lovely appointment. We really liked the pediatrician we selected and the girls already can’t wait to go back next month for Ana’s annual exam. Hadley is perfectly healthy and after getting her MMR booster was informed she doesn’t have to come back until her appointment next year.
Waiting to see the doctor

Three Year Doctors Appointment

Hadley had her three-year doctors appointment this morning. Here are her stats from the appt:

Height: 37.25″ (50th percentile)

Weight: 32.4 lbs (60th percentile)

BMI: 160 (60th percentile)

Blood Pressure: 74/40
3 Year Appt
Hadley was VERY excited to come to her doctor’s appointment today. From the moment I told her about it this morning she has been asking for bubbles (which, I’m sure, the doctor uses to sneakily test things like coordination, dexterity, and physical abilities). Regardless of WHY he does it, she remembered and was looking forward to it.
3 Year Appt

We started the appointment with the nurse handing me the dreaded urine cup and asking me if I thought Hadley could get her a sample. We sat in the bathroom, Hadley perched on the toilet, me kneeling before her holding the cup between her legs. She flexed, pushed, and strained, but nothing came out. So the nurse gave Hadley some water to drink and asked us to try again before we left. No big deal. Then we went off to weigh, measure, and take her blood pressure. All good and normal. So she left to get the doctor.

He came in and started chatting away with Hadley. He asked her favorite color and she said, “Pink. Me and my mom like pink. But Ana doesn’t. She only likes green.” To which the doctor raised his eyebrows at me and I nodded in agreement. Then Hadley tacked on, “And my Daddy? He likes blue!” The doctor said it was great that she was so focused on detail and gave Hadley her first high-five of the appointment. Next he whipped out this little card with colored shapes on it and I instantly started to sweat. I had not prepped Hadley on shapes. Sure she knows the basics: circles, squares, and triangles; but this had pentagons, hexagons, and octagons. No way were we going to ace this. He asked her to point to the square and she pointed at the first square-ish shape she sees (I think it was the pentagon) and I know I have failed as a mother. Then he asks her to point to the circle then triangle, which she does. So he asks again to find the square. This time she gets it right. Then she points to the octagon, twists up her face, and says to the doctor, “I don’t know this one…but I think these are all in the same family.” and she points to the rest of the polygons on the sheet. He laughs out loud and says, “I think you are right!” Gives her another high five then nods at me and says, “She’s amazing.” Oh yeah. I may not have failed after all!!

Then he goes to check her nose, eyes, and ears. For the ears, he always meows when he checks in one ear and says he is looking for a kitty, then barks in the opposite ear, looking for a puppy. He made the cat sounds, then he and I started talking about something else while he checked her other ear and he didn’t make any animal sounds. Hadley stopped him and says, “That ear says ‘woof!’” The doctor paused, realized what she was telling him and said, “I can’t believe you remember that from last time!” This time she got a double high five!

We talked a little about if she was right handed and I said I was pretty sure she was. He asked if she could draw a circle and Hadley chimed in, “I can! I can draw a person!” so he busted out a sheet of paper and Hadley starts drawing a horizontal line. Then you could see that she remembered she was suppose to draw a circle (for the head) and she flipped the pen over in her hand and said, “Oh no! No eraser!” So he gave her a fresh piece of paper and she drew a circle (head), line (body), a couple legs, then went back to the circle, added a couple big circles connecting them with lines (glasses) and proclaimed, “That’s my Daddy!”

He finished up the rest of her physical exam, continually amazed at the things she was able to say, do, and recall from previous exams (I swear, much as I joke, I did not prep her for any portion of this appointment!). Then it came time to the physical test, jumping, hopping on one foot, then the other and Hadley was really excited because she knew the bubbles were coming. So the doctor filled the room with bubbles and let her dance around popping them.

Then he was finished and said he would send the nurse back in to give Hadley her flu shot. I knew we had a couple minutes so I took Hadley back to the bathroom and tried again for the urine sample. This time she totally did it! I thought she was going to fall off the toilet because she wanted to watch as she peed, for the first time ever, into a cup. Ahh the joys of having girls! Then Hadley didn’t even cry when she got her shot. Later she admitted, “That shot hurted, Mama.” but the nurse gave her a sticker and a sucker, so it was all instantly forgotten. All in all it was a very entertaining and successful annual exam. Can’t hate that!

A Letter: Thirty-six Months

Dear Hadley,
Last week you turned three years old. THREE. I am still in shock how quickly time has flown by. I feel like there is no possible way it could have been that long since I was pregnant with you, since you were born, learning to crawl, taking your first steps and then breaking your leg the next day, speaking in complete (and non-stop) sentences. The list of milestones completed over the course of those 1,095 days is far too numerable to mention. All those thing have happened in the blink of an eye yet are such impactful moments that they have dramatically shaped the person I am today. And I am so grateful for it.
Band-Aid Nose
We let you open a few gifts on the morning of your birthday. Then later in the day, when anyone would ask you if it was your birthday, you would say, “No. I already had my birthday at home.” You thought your birthday was literally opening gifts and didn’t understand that you got to celebrate ALL. DAY. LONG. Silly girl. Don’t worry, I’ll teach you how to maximize your birthday celebration.
Opening Gifts
We had your birthday party on Saturday… and I am still recovering. I don’t exactly do things half way and I tend to go a little overboard with details. Plus, your birthday is suppose to be all about YOU and I wanted it to be BIG because you are BIG. (You tell me this every day–except on days when you don’t want to be potty trained, in which case you tell me, “Mama, look at how tiny I am!”) So you picked the theme, Tangled (aka Rapunzel), and I ran with it. We had floating lanterns…
Hanging the "floating lights"
Pascal Cupcakes (green is happy, red is angry, and blue is melancholy)…
Pascal Cupcakes
Pascal party blowers where the blower was his little tongue…
Pascal party blower
Flynn Rider and Mother Gothel accompanied our Rapunzel cake as the table centerpiece…
Tangled Centerpiece
A long braid of “hair” (yes, I made it myself, and yes, it took forever) as the centerpiece for the kids table which acted nicely as a barrier to absorb all the spilled drinks from the “fancy glasses” you requested…
The Kids Table
Mini cast-iron frying pan party favors…
Frying Pan Favors
It was pretty awesome and it made you uncontrollably happy. So it was a win on all accounts.
Tangled Party Time
Hadley and her birthday cake
Normally I have a rule that we only have first birthday parties at our house. Once the kiddos are mobile we need to do them anywhere but here. The only reason I allowed us to have a party in our less-than-spacious abode was that we found a way to have the entertainment portion of the party outside of our house. Enter THE TUMBLE BUS.
The Tumble Bus
The Tumble Bus is this fantastic bus that has had all the seats removed and is filled with gymnastics equipment. So you and all your favorite friends were able to jump, swing, bounce, and well, tumble, but not inside my house. Genius. Everyone had a blast so we deemed the birthday a smashing success. So much in fact that Daddy and I enjoyed bottomless mimosas the following morning to celebrate the completion of such success.
Balance Beam
Jumping Girl
Earlier in the month we made our annual trek to the pumpkin patch and you loved it. You loved running though the corn maze holding hands with your best buddy, picking pumpkins straight from the vine, and all the fair-esque attributes like fresh kettle corn, caramel apples, and face painting.
I found my pumpkin!
Sparkly Bat Face
This year you were a monkey for Halloween. The costume was actually left over from when Ana was little (back when we still bought gender neutral costumes in case we ever had a boy) and ever since it came down from the attic in the 2/3T bin, you had your heart set on being a monkey. You were such a trooper at Trick-or-Treating too! You walked the entire time, carrying your own candy bag (shaped, of course, like a bunch of bananas), and when you weren’t too distracted by peoples costumes or decorations, you even remembered to use your manners. There were several times that we would be off the front porch and half way down then driveway when you would suddenly turn and run back to the house and shout “thank you!!” at their closed door. Better late than never!
Our Little Monkey
A couple weeks ago, while we were sitting around the table, doing “homework” (or rather Ana was doing homework while you colored on your dry erase paper) I asked you if you wanted to write your name. We had never tried, but a friend of mine had just posted about her child, who just started preschool, writing his name for the first time and I wondered what you could do. So I wrote your name slowly, in nice bold capital letters, telling you the name of each letter as I wrote it and asked you to write your name. Then you shocked me by actually doing it. I was very proud of you!
Hadley wrote her name!
First time writing her name!
Another momentous thing that happened during the last month is we decided it was time for your “Big Girl Bed.” Or rather you decided that you could just as easily climb in and out over the edges, so we safely removed the front panel to utilize the “toddler bed” portion of your convertible crib. You have been amazing at staying in bed and when you wake up in the morning you slowly open your bedroom door, peek out, and whisper, “I’m all done sleeping. Can I come out now?”
No more bars for Hadley
In her "big bed"
Hiding Under the Covers
While you can be quite silly, you are also very literal. The other day I said to you, “Are you my silly monkey?” And you responded in all seriousness, “No. I’m Hadley.” We then had a little talk about how you can be lots of things at once. Like you can be Hadley, you can be three, and you can also be a silly monkey. Sometimes language can be tricky. But, hang in there, I know you will get the hang of it.
Hiding
Oh, Hads, you are just such a character and I love every aspect about you. I love how you love to whisper in my ear, anything from “I love you, Mama” to “That noise was just my butt.” I love how your favorite word is “Oh” and you say it after I have answered any questions you have asked me. Most kiddos your age have started the “Why?” phase, but you my dear, still accept everything I say as fact. I love that you call “Big Al’s” “Wreck It Al’s” (like the movie, Wreck It Ralph) and I have no intention of correcting you anytime soon. I love how much you love your sister; you run up to her every day we pick her up from school and you two hug like you haven’t seen each other in a week, rather than just eight hours. I love that the other day you asked your Dad if he was a girl and when we asked why you thought he was a girl you said, “because he has eyelashes and only GIRLS have eyelashes.” I love your innocence, your simplicity, your complexity, and your enthusiasm. I love your snuggles, your cuddles, and your kisses (even if sometimes the only place you will kiss me is on my knee because you are “all out of the other kisses.”) I just love YOU. Happy birthday, baby girl. (And yes, I can still call you “baby” even if you are a “big kid now.”)
Birthday Girl
All my love,

Mama

A Letter: Thirty-five Months

Dear Hadley,
Earlier this month you turned thirty-five months old. You are such a sweet little ball of energy that it is so much fun to be around you. I am so happy that I get to keep you at home for another year before I have to share you with the educational system!
Mama I look just like Cinderella!
Not that we don’t keep busy! You recently started gymnastics class and you absolutely love it! You are able to log roll, somersault, tip-toe across the balance beam, flip on the bars and swing on the rings and somehow still have energy to spare! It’s been great having a specific (and safe!) place for you to get all of your wiggles out but I kind of worry that allowing you to perfect your abilities will just encourage you to want to do it more…and I do not need you trying to balance beam across the back of the couch!
Ready for Gymnastics
Ring Master
You have also started taking a lot more interest in school. Since Ana is back into the swing of things, homework is a daily activity in our house and you do NOT want to be left out. When Ana sets up at the table, you settle in right beside her to work on your letters or just practice drawing. You have been particularly focused on filling in your pictures and trying to stay inside the lines when you color.
Drawing Pictures
Writing letters
When homework time is over, you and Ana like to play games on any number of our electronic devices. You are partial to the iPad or iPhones, since the mouse is still hard for you to navigate on your own, but you don’t mind snuggling up next to Ana when she is on the laptop so you can play games with her.
Working with Sister
But your absolute favorite thing right now is puzzles. You are obsessed! We only had a couple different puzzles and I quickly tired of doing the same ones over and over so we made a trip to the dollar store and stocked up on a variety of characters, shapes, and difficulties to end the monotony. (I actually really enjoy puzzles, but there is only so many times you can do the same puzzle before it makes you go crazy.) When we got home you quickly picked a puzzle and wanted me to help you put it together. I had to start dinner and told you once I got it in the oven I would be happy to help you out. When I finally came over to help, you had completed the entire thing. By yourself. And it was your first time doing a puzzle without straight edges. I was beyond impressed. And in the picture below, you can tell that you were pretty proud of yourself too.
Puzzle Princess
You are still something of a hoarder. Anytime you have something, you need to have the complete set and carry them all around together. It can be quite cute, watching you scurrying around with a pile of tiny stuffed animals like a little mother hen with her chicks. But it can also be quite annoying when I’m trying to buckle you into your carseat and I can hardly find you underneath your “entourage.”
Traveling with her Entourage
Hoarder
Part of being a little sister, is getting to tagalong to all of her events and activities. You became quite a pro at being a “sideline sister” this soccer season. You like to cheer on the girls, but you are also happy to play a game on your phone or run around with the other little siblings in the field.
Waiting for Rain
You have fully reached that phase where everything is better if it’s pink, purple, or covered in princesses. History has proven that this won’t last forever, so I am currently embracing all things girly and foofy and we are just going to roll with it. You insist upon only wearing dresses? Fabulous, toss some leggings underneath and we are good to go. You only want to drink from the pink or purple Camelbak? Fine with me. We have three to pick from. You will only watch a movie if there are girls in it? Easy peasy. We may be hard pressed to find any shows with an all male cast. I have been through this all before and you haven’t been able to throw anything at me that I can’t handle.
Cake Pop!
Sticker Obsessed
This age can be tricky. You are stuck in this spot where you and I both have a hard time deciding if you are big or little. If you don’t want to wear underwear/pull-ups, you tell me you are too little. But then in practically in the same breath you say you are too big too wear a bib (when there stops being food in the catcher portion of your bib THEN you will be big enough). I have a hard time with it too. I don’t ever want to rush you into anything before you are ready, but I also don’t want to hold you back either. I figure my job is to present you with the options and when you are ready, we can conquer it at that time. If you want to grow up, be a big kid, and assert your independence, that is fine with me. But if you want to be small, curl up on my lap, and just snuggle, just know that I will never stop you.
Beaded Beauties
All my love,
Mama

A Letter: Thirty-four Months

Dear Hadley,
A few days ago you turned thirty-four months old. And with that, it feels like you became this little person. You talk, well, constantly. In complete (if not rambling and never-ending) sentences, no less. You are always throwing out words that two year olds don’t typically use like “actually” and “apparently” and surprising everyone by using them correctly. Maybe some of that comes with having a sassy older sister. But no matter, it makes you a source of constant surprise, entertainment, and comedic relief.
Ice Cream Smile
Lately you have been totally obsessed with puzzles. Anytime we are hanging out at home, you beg me to sit with you on the couch and put together a puzzle. And, of course we have to watch the TV show or movie of whichever character is in the puzzle. It’s a Rapunzel puzzle? Then we watch Tangled. If we then complete the puzzle and move on to a Sofia the First puzzle, we must also switch the show we are watching. Naturally.
Puzzle Girl
We have officially entered the phase of “all princesses, all the time” so it could not be more appropriate that you simply love dress up. And since we happen to have quite an impressive dress up collection, you are constantly oscillating between the popular princesses and parading around the house, leaving a steady trail of glitter in your wake.
Dress Up Time
You are still resistant to potty training. Every once in awhile you will tell me you want to use the potty, and for one glorious day you wore thick cotton training pants and managed to use the potty for the entire day, but for the most part you are really against the whole idea. Earlier this week, on a day I knew we would be home (read: constant potty access) most of the day I asked if you wanted to wear underwear. You said no and insisted on a diaper, but about an hour later you came up to me asking if you could use the potty and wear underwear. I was thrilled, instantly took you up and set you on the potty, then let you pick out your undies. I kept asking if you needed to potty and you kept telling me no. Then we had the following conversation:

Me: Ok, you need to go sit on the potty now.
You: No, I don’t. I just went.
Me: In the potty?
You: No. I’m wet.
Me: WHAT?!? You can’t just pee in underwear. You have to use the potty.
You: No. I want to be a baby. I want a diaper.
Sigh. So I will try again soon. And pray that you don’t insist on going off to college sporting your Pampers Cruisers.
Big Girl Undies
Oh yeah. I'm cool.
While you can sometimes act (or demand to be treated) like a baby, there are other times when you totally surprise me with your bravery and independence. We were playing in the hotel pool the last time we were in Bend and you wanted to try “swimming” (read: laying across an inflatable pool noodle) all by yourself. So you positioned your body perfectly on the noodle, stepped off the step, and proceeded to kick around the pool. Sure, you were always within arms reach of an adult, but you did it by yourself. Voluntarily. And you kicked ass at it. I was totally blown away with your awesomeness.
Swimming Girl
Water Baby
Your physical prowess extends out of the pool as well. You have started experimenting with what I refer to as “crib gymnastics” where I am constantly finding you in various acrobatic positions, aided by the bars and railings of your crib. You are partial to the headstands, but have been known to sneak in a few somersaults and from the sounds coming from your room when you are suppose to be sleeping, some form of donkey kicks. Needless to say, I have enrolled you in your first gymnastics class and I hope to keep your gymnastics at the GYM.
Crib Headstand
Crib Gymnastics
Reach those toes
A couple weeks ago you were playing in Ana’s room, found one of her pens, and decided to draw all over your body. I was out of the house, but you gave your dad an opportunity to have the “pens are only for paper” talk. We later discovered that you also added some decorations to Ana’s comforter and butterfly throw pillow. I know this is something all kids must do, so I was glad it was relatively minor vandalism, and I pray you got it all out of your system. Just next time you use your body as a canvas try using washable marker, ok?
Body Art
Lately you have this new thing where in an effort to distract me from something you are doing that is less than favorable, you say, “Mama, I just love you.” The other day, you insisted on standing on my bare feet while you were wearing shoes. It did not feel good. I asked you, “Why do you want to stand on my feet? That hurts me.” And you responded, “Mama, I just love you.” Just know that despite your intentionally doing things that hurt me, coloring all over your body, and doing acrobatics in your crib that nearly give me a heart attack, no matter what, Hadley, I just love you too.
Pouty Face
All my love,
Mama

The First Day of First Grade

I love this time of year. The weather is starting to cool off, the return of Pumpkin Spice to Starbucks, and, of course, Back to School. I love having everything new, clean, and crisp. Fresh folders, newly sharpened pencils, and shoes free of scuff marks. I try hard to make the transition from the freedom (or chaos. Whatever.) of summer to the structure and routine of fall to be exciting for my girls. If Ana’s attitude about today was any indication, I have truly succeeded at my mission. She was so excited to start school today and I could not be happier to have such an amazing FIRST GRADER.

Ready for the first day of school
Ready for school.

Traditional pic by the sign.
Standing next to the SPX sign. She has gotten so tall!

Sitting at her own desk
In her very own desk.

Then once we got home from an amazing first day, (“Mom! It was awesome. I love everything about First Grade!”) Ana and I sat down for our annual first day of school interview:

First Day Interview
All in all, it was a great first day of school. She can’t wait to go back.

A Letter: Thirty-three Months

Dear Hadley,
A few days ago you turned thirty-three months old. I just turned thirty-three myself so for the next few weeks we can both enjoy being thirty-three! Not that I am anywhere near as adorable, inquisitive, or entertaining as you, but I find it amusing just the same.
Hads at the park
I know you are only two (though three is JUST around the corner) but your clothing requirements have become increasingly more high maintenance. Firstly, you insist upon sleeping in pajamas. Not just at night, but during nap time as well. (I actually get this one, because why wouldn’t you sleep in pajamas just because it’s the middle of the day?) But upon waking from your nap, you refuse to put on the clothing you wore that morning. On days when it’s chilly in the morning and hot in the afternoon, it makes sense, but most days I feel like I am just doing laundry to keep up with your four (or five, if you have a special activity, like ballet that requires specific clothing) outfit changes. Man, having a clothing diva can be exhausting!
Ballet in Blue
It’s no secret that we are big soccer fans. Timbers, Thorns, Pilots, we love them all. So it makes sense that you would get excited about soccer as well. One of the basic Timber’s Army cheers has a line, “When I root, I root for the Timbers!” and the other day I heard you singing in the car, ”When I root, I root for soccer!” I’m glad our enthusiasm has been contagious.
Sim and his Mini Me
Timbers Fan
You are such a determined little lady that sometimes I forget how little you really are. But you manage to hold your own and continually amaze me with the things you can do when you put your mind to it. If Ana jumps on her bike, you hop on yours. If she digs out her scooter, you drag out yours. You are very active and just love to keep busy!
Scooter Girl
Drink your water!
Last weekend we ended up with a free day so we decided to go to Seaside. As soon as I said “beach” you ran upstairs and grabbed your sand buckets. I wasn’t sure if the weather would allow for actual beach time, but you were so excited that as soon as we realized the day was going to be nice, we made it happen. You love the sand. And the ocean. And running across the sand into the ocean. The sheer joy and shrieks of glee allowed me to put aside my utter loathing of the sand and it’s ability to coat every single surface instantaneously, and just enjoy some time on the beach with my family.
Buried
Sandy
Running from the waves
Speaking of messy fun, the other day I let you play with Play Dough. I mean, really play with Play Dough. All the tools, all the colors, anything you wanted to do, we did it. I even let you play with multiple colors at a time and smoosh them together until they became a lovely vomit color (whatever you do, don’t tell Ana. I never let her play with more than one color at a time). It was fascinating to watch you alternating between being so serious and focused, to giggling as you squished the molding compound between your fingers.
Play Dough Time
Smoosh!
I love watching the excitement on your face when you learn something or figure something out. Knowledge is so empowering and I love that you get the satisfaction from it as much as I do. For example, you have always called “balloons” “babloons.” And while that is incredibly adorable and it made me smile every time you said it, it’s not correct. I know you can pronounce it properly, so I worked you with, breaking it down: “Say ‘ba’ now say ‘loon’ and try it all together ‘ba-loon’” until you could say it. When you finally said it, “balloon!” your face lit up, and you started clapping! I think you were more excited than I was. Now every time you say “balloon” both of us beam with pride.
S'More Face
Earlier this month us Bateman girls had the opportunity to spend the week at Girl Scout Camp. Originally I just signed Ana up to go as a camper, but the camp needed more adult volunteers. I said I couldn’t commit to being there for the whole week because I stay home with you. Siblings are allowed to attend the camps “Pixie/Widget” program, but they have to be three years old and potty trained. They said they would make a special exception to their rule if I volunteered to work with the Pixies (3-5 year olds) so you could be with me. I agreed, despite the fact that camp was from 8:30am-3:30pm and you still take naps, but I just made sure that your dad was on stand-by to come pick you up if you had a meltdown. But I never had to call him. You were amazing. You were the youngest camper out there and I could not have been more impressed with your positive attitude. You are such a trooper.
First Day Campers
Heading to Camp
You had a fabulous time at camp. You made friends, did arts and crafts, learned silly songs (that you and Ana still continue to sing every time we are driving in the car), went on nature hikes, made “armpit fudge” in cooking class, and just had an all-around fun time. It was exhausting, but it was totally worth it.
Holding Hands
Holding the prize
Camp Girl
We also made some time in our schedule this month to meet some friends for Oaks Park Chipper Preschool morning. We hadn’t been at all this year and I wasn’t sure how you would do on the rides. Most of the rides the parents can ride with you, but there are several that are just for the little ones. But you loved them all! On one of the rides a little girl sitting next to you started crying and you actually comforted her. Then when the ride was over and you were unbuckled, you reached over and gave her a hug! It was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen.
Riding a motorcycle
Pew! Pew!
Hadley, you are such a riot. You are always saying things that crack me up. I swear, I laugh or smile all day long when I am with you. You have such a positive perspective and I just love to see things through your eyes. Your kind heart, your silly nature, and the way you are so expressive of your love toward family and friends make me so proud to be your mama.
Hads and Mama
All my love,
Mama

A Letter: Thirty-one and Thirty-two Months

Dear Hadley,
Monday you turned thirty-two months old. And since you never miss a beat, you will probably have noticed I never got around to writing your thirty one month letter. I’ll be honest, the month got away from me. We were super busy making sure you had the best possible time, filling every minute with adventures, momentous occasions, and puppy kisses. So I am sure you will find it in your heart to forgive me.
Smiley Girl
Swim Suit Sweetie
Watermelon Girl
Even though it’s summer time, I am doing my best to keep you on your regular routine. You are still taking a ballet class, going to Gymboree, and keeping up with our regular play groups. And man do you look forward to the activities that are geared toward YOU. You love that you have classes to attend, schedules to follow, and places to be. Anytime we drive by the Cedar Hills Rec Center (where you take dance) you always point out the window and shout, “Look! There’s my school!” with pure pride.
Pretty as a princess
Flowers for the ballerina
The big news last month was our new puppy, Lucy. You and Lucy have bonded in a way I never expected. I didn’t think you’d like the fact that you were no longer the baby in the house, but you simply adore her. Maybe it’s that you two are the littlest, maybe it’s that you are both blondes, whatever it is, it’s adorable. You are always looking out for her, playing with her, and even though she will (VERY) quickly be bigger than you, it’s obvious that you guys are best buds.
Blanket Buddies
Picking up Lucy
My Two Blondes
You want to be involved in every aspect of Lucy, from potty training, teaching her to walk on a leash, or even just playing, as you call it, Tug-A-Rope. If Lucy pauses at the door and even starts to utter a wimper, you throw open the sliding glass door, walk her outside (often in your pajamas and without shoes, but whatever) and before I have even slipped on my shoes I hear you cheering, “Good girl, Lucy! Good potty!” I think I owe a lot of her potty training success to your doting behavior. Now if only you would show as much interest in your OWN potty training, that would be impressive.
Learning to Use the Leash
Tug-a-rope
But that isn’t to say that you ALWAYS like Lucy to be around. As with any best friend, you often need time apart. And you are quick to tell Lucy to go away (with your words, or just by pushing her away if it comes to that) if you need some space. We also found out that you don’t deal with watching Lucy eat or seeing her poop. Both events will cause you to instantly start dry heaving, and if we aren’t able to distract you in time, you will vomit. Yeah. We learned that one the hard way.
Pushing Lucy Away
Last month our family went to the Tigard Festival of Balloons. We got up at the crack of dawn to watch the balloons launch in the morning and stuck around to check out a few of the balloons. We waited in the Longest. Line. Ever. but your patience was rewarded because you were able to actually go up in a hot air balloon! It was tethered to the field, so the risk was minimal, but the experience was beyond anything you can imagine. I wasn’t sure how you would react to being that far off the ground, but you just looked around in amazement with the biggest smile plasted across your face. Needless to say it was an amazing day.
Hot Air Balloon Time
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Peeking Over the Edge
Up in the Air
Last week was the 4th of July, which in our house, reaches a level of excitement on par with Christmas. Since the weather was perfect, we were able to go to the beach, play in the sand, jump around in the waves, roast marshmallows, then relax around the campfire as the fireworks explode over the ocean in front of us. Yeah. It’s as perfect as it sounds.
Playing in the Sand
Running through the sand
S'Mores
It’s already been a fun-filled couple months, and the summer is only just beginning. We have many adventures ahead of us, experiences to treasure, milestones to meet, and love to be shared. I am so happy that we are blessed to have the life we do, where we are able to spend so much time together as a family. No matter what is ahead of us, as long as you are by my side, I know everything will be perfect.
Run Like a Mother
All my love,
Mama

A Letter: Thirty Months

Dear Hadley,
Last week you turned thirty months old. It’s crazy to think about but now that you are two and a half you are closer to three than to two. I love the clever way your mind works and the silly things you say. You and Ana have been endlessly playing with an empty diaper box to the point that it was literally falling apart. So I finally snuck it out of the living room and into the recycling bin. A day later you noticed it was missing and asked for it. I explained that it was broken but the next time we got a box I would be sure to give it to you. To which you replied, “Mama, can we go to the box store NOW?”
Smile!
In honor of your half birthday, we decided to do a little baking and whip up some cupcakes. I couldn’t decide between these adorable little Oreo cheesecakes or indulge your whimsical side with these owl cupcakes I saw on Pinterest. I decided the cheesecakes would be more appropriate for the adults and the owls were more suited toward the kiddos… so we made them both. And it was a good thing too, because there is no better way to celebrate being two and a half than with a cupcake in each hand!
Happy Half Birthday Girl
Half Birthday Cupcakes
You are quickly becoming quite the little homemaker. You just love helping me with everything I do. You are my assistant when I’m cooking, you push the buttons on the washing machine and you even love helping me clean. In fact, the other day I took you to the Dollar Tree and said you could pick any one thing you wanted to bring home. We walked up and down every aisle in the store and what did you decide to buy? A monkey scrub brush. Then as soon as we got home you went straight upstairs and started “scrubbing” bathroom floor. (Now before you go and blame my OCD, I am fairly certain you got this notion from Cinderella because I have never in my recollection gotten down on my hands and knees to scrub the bathroom floors!)Helping Mama BakeScrubbing the floors
When you aren’t cooking or cleaning, you are always preparing to embark on an adventure. You grab a bag, fill it with the essentials (usually a few Polly Pocket Princesses, a couple books, and a blanket) and tell me, “Mama, I ready to go!” And now that you know how to open doors I make sure to keep a watchful eye on you so you don’t actually go!Ready for an adventure
While you are a lover of all animals and characters, you certainly have your favorites. Right now you are partial to Care Bears and the Chipmunks. And while we have several of the Beanie Baby sized options of both critters, when you play with them you have to play with ALL OF THEM. You are not happy unless you are carrying around the entire set. As you stagger around the house half-hazardly carrying six chipmunks in your arms you have quickly blurred the lines of “collector” and settled firmly on “hoarder.”Chipmunk Hoarder
We have had a pretty good run of weather lately and so we have been spending a lot of time in our back yard. As a result, you have become quite the trampoline aficionado. (Well, once we set up a stool so you could actually get on and off of it by yourself anyway.) You would bounce all day if we let you. It makes you so happy to run in circles, do somersaults, and just jump with all your heart. I love nothing more than to look out the kitchen window while I’m making dinner to see you bounding across the trampoline, your hair wild with static, and a look of sheer glee plastered across your face.Static Queen
When you aren’t testing your extreme sport abilities, you have recently become quite fond of princesses and dress-up. When you select a movie to watch you like to dress up like that character and act out the scenes along with the characters on the screen. You can twirl and dance with the best of them!
Her Royal HighnessPrincess Cinderella
We recently went to the beach for the weekend and stayed at Grandma Nana’s house. Since it’s not too far away, we generally just go for the day but we decided to extend our mini-vaca to an over-night adventure. Grandma doesn’t have a crib and since you are too big for the Pack-N-Play, we decided to let you try sleeping in her toddler bed. The only “real” bed you’ve ever slept in is a hotel bed with your sister so we weren’t sure how this adventure was going to unfold. Sure enough, you surprised us by being an absolute pro and never got out of bed the entire night. At one point I came in to check on you and you had actually slid out of the bed onto the pillow I had placed on the floor for this very reason. Not wanting to disturb you, I just covered you with a blanket and let you sleep on the floor. But at some point in the night you woke up, realized you had slid out, and just climbed right back into bed. Like I said: PRO.
Sleeping in a toddler bed
While we were at the coast the weather was amazing so we decided to go play on the beach. You’ve been on the beach before (and much to my dismay, sneak off to play in sandboxes every chance you get) but this was your very first time to play in the ocean! You absolutely loved it. It took everything in my power to convince you to walk back to the sand just to let your feet warm up from the freezing cold water. But as soon as you walked back to the warm sand you would turn right back around and bee-line for the ocean.
Riding the skimboard
Running on the beach
In the waves
Hadley, it has been another amazing month with you by my side. We have such similar personalities sometimes I feel like I am watching my own childhood play out. I know that because we are so alike, it is inevitable that eventually we are going to butt heads. But that’s ok. I want you to stand up for what you want, believe in what is important to you, and never let anyone tell you that you are anything less than perfect. Because, Hadley, perfect is just one of your many defining characteristics.
Tulips with Mama
All my love,
Mama