Five Year Doctors Appointment

Hadley had her five-year doctors appointment last Thursday. Here are her stats from the appt:

Height: 43.07″ or 3′ 7.07″ (64th percentile)
Weight: 44 lbs (76th percentile)
BMI: 16.68 (84th percentile)
Blood Pressure: 94/40

We started her appointment with her usual weighing and measuring. Then we moved on to the eye exam. Hadley was excited to pick out the shapes on the wall and they said she did great.
Hadley's Eye Exam
Then once we were in the exam room, the nurse checked her blood pressure. Hadley was very interested in watching everything that was happening.
Checking Hadley's Blood Pressure
Then she got to do another game, er, test. This time it was to check her hearing. Once again she did great…so there are no excuses for not listening to me when I ask her to clean up her toys!
Hadley's Hearing Test
Then she got to get into the Looney Toons gown (which she was very excited to model for me) to get ready to see the doctor. Our regular doctor was out because he is recovering from back surgery, so we saw a different doctor who is actually a friend of ours. It was fun seeing her for the first time in a professional setting and it really made Hadley feel relaxed and comfortable. They were able to chat and go over all the usual appointment checklists without Hadley feeling uncomfortable or nervous.
Hadley Modeling the Looney Toons Gown
Eventually our time with the doctor ended and it was time to send in the nurse with Hadley’s immunizations (IPV and DTaP) as well as her flu shot. Knowing she needed three shots did not go over well with Hadley. After the first one, she let any pretense of bravery go and burst into tears. But she was happy to wipe the tears away as soon as the box of prizes came into view. She picked a tiny purple slinky and it made everything better. Until next year…

Breaking Bones

On Friday, March 6th Ana was out playing on the trampoline. And she fell off. But before you get all high and mighty about how unsafe trampolines are, she wasn’t even being wild or dangerous. She was walking backwards and thinking she was closer to the center than she was, stepped off the side. She landed on her back but managed to break the fall with her right arm. It could of just as easily happened stepping off a curb. She was more shocked than anything else and barely cried. Simeon sent her inside to take a break (poor choice of words, in hind site) and before too long she was back to playing as if nothing had happened.

Then about an hour after we put her to bed she came downstairs crying. Thinking she had a nightmare or woke up disoriented, we comforted her and tried to get her back to sleep. We tucked her back in and gave her water (as parents do) and it wasn’t until that moment that she mentioned her arm was hurting. As we had gone through all the “wiggle your fingers,” “does this hurt?” “can you bend it?” like we see on movies or TV and everything checked out ok, I figured it was simply bruised. Maybe sprained. But since it was now close to 9:30pm the doctor’s office and Urgent Cares were all closed and the only option would have been the ER. None of us wanted to spend the night in the emergency room, so we gave Ana some Children’s Tylenol and put her to bed explaining that we would see how she felt in the morning.

The next day, Saturday, she got up and went about her day as usual and didn’t mention her arm once. We figured that was the end of it.

Sunday morning I took Ana to her sacramental prep class and I went to mass. Then we decided since it was just the two of us (Simeon and Hadley were at home) to run by the mall and do some shopping. She was happily picking out clothes to try on and it wasn’t until she was sitting on the ground trying on jeans that she tried to push herself off the ground with her right arm. She dropped to the ground, wincing in pain, and started to cry. It was then I realized that maybe it was more serious than we realized.

After a few frantic texts with Sim, I called our pediatrician’s office. They have Urgent Care hours on the weekend by appointment. Until noon. I looked at my watch and it was 12:10pm. Naturally. So I called around to the Urgent Care’s in the area to see if they had imagining. The last thing I wanted to do was take her somewhere only to be sent somewhere else for X-rays. Luckily Scholls Immediate Care was just down the road and they had imagining. It wasn’t until I walked in the door that I realized it was the same place I took Hadley for her broken leg. Ana was very nervous but they were amazing. Before we even finished checking in they told us they were ready for Ana in X-rays.

Ana's First X-Ray

The X-ray tech was awesome. He explained everything he was doing as he went so Ana would know what was happening. Then he asked her if she wanted to see her bones. Who would ever turn down that offer? So he showed her which bones made up her arm, her wrist, her finger, etc. I snapped a picture with my phone and sent it to Sim. He instantly replied back “Great! Nothing is broken!” But I replied that I didn’t know how to read x-rays so I wasn’t getting my hopes up.

Nice bones!

Then we were taken into the exam room and they took all her vitals and asked a bunch of questions. The doctor came in, looked at me, and asked Ana if she brought her fan club. I explained that I was simply the chauffeur. Then she pulled out the X-Ray and I instantly noticed the little arrows she had drawn on the paper. I uttered “Uh oh.” and Ana’s eyes opened wide in panic. I said, “Do you notice anything that wasn’t there before?” Then Ana saw it too. So the doctor explained (to Ana, since she was the patient, after all) that children’s bones aren’t hard like adult bones. They are soft because they are still growing. And since her bones were soft, they can break and not be as obvious as a crack or line on an X-ray. In Ana’s case, she pointed to the little “bumps” on the outside of her radius bone (one of the large bones in the forearm) on the X-ray, her bones were leaking microscopic amounts of fluid. They consider this a fracture. Since it wasn’t a severe break, all we needed to do was to stabilize it with a splint or a cast. The doctor was incredible. In my experience, people tend to dismiss children and talk over them. But she talked TO HER and explained everything so Ana knew what was happening. She didn’t dumb it down or talk down to her. She just told it like it was. It put Ana at ease and I was very impressed with the doctor’s bedside manner.


Then we were given instructions to follow up with a orthopedic specialist but until then Ana needed to wear a temporary splint. A nurse came in and wrapped Ana up.

Getting a temporary splint

Ana smiled and giggled through the entire process.

Splinted up with her X-Ray

We weren’t able to get an appointment with the doctor until Tuesday afternoon. The splint was cumbersome and left her right hand nearly useless. Ana had to do everything (eating, writing, etc.) left handed. Let’s just say, we were very anxious to see the doctor.

Enjoying the waiting room fish
Synchronized sipping

Since we had already taken X-rays we just had to wait for the orthopedist to make a decision about what to do next. He came in and talked with Ana and explained that she would need to wear a cast for one month. It would stabilize her arm and allow it to properly heal.

Waiting to talk to the orthopedist

Now it was time for the fun part! She got to pick out the color cast she wanted from a bright necklace of cast samples. Ana quickly decided on purple. She declared it was a lucky cast color.

She picked a purple cast

The tech slid a sleeve over Ana’s arm and proceeded to apply the cast material, shaping and molding as she went. Hadley and I got to just sit back and watch the show.

Prepping for her cast
Putting on the cast

We had to admit, the purple cast was pretty badass.

Pretty purple cast
All patched up!

After wearing that wrapped splint for several days, Ana was thoroughly impressed with the increased mobility the cast offered. The tech purposefully applied it low on/around her hand so she would be able to use it. As soon as we got into the car, Ana put it to the test and happily reported she could write with her right hand again!

She can still write!

Our next stop was Fred Meyer to pick up some Sharpie’s (metallic colors, since the cast was so dark) so her friends could decorate her cast. This girl was feeling the love and every single inch was filled with friends wishing her well.

Signing Ana's cast
Graffiti Love

Skip ahead to one month later (and numerous skipped baths) it was time to get her cast off! We had the same friendly tech who, upon seeing Ana’s nervous expression, explained that it was a special tool that just vibrated enough to cut through the cast but NOT skin. She even demonstrated on her own arm. It was loud like a vacuum and made Ana giggle through the entire process. Before we knew it, the cast was off! And Ana was free…to wash her hand for the first time in a month! She promptly washed (twice) and was feeling much better!

Cutting Off the Cast
The Cut-Off Cast

Then she was sent off to take another set of X-rays to make sure everything was better. So we waited for the doctor to come back with the verdict.

Snuggles Waiting for the X-Ray

He came in and proclaimed Ana’s arm healed! But he said she still needed to take it easy for awhile longer. He wanted her to wear a brace for the next month when she was at school or playing, simply as a reminder to her–and her friends–to protect her arm. But she was happy to hear she could take it off to shower and sleep.

Brace Time

I was very impressed by the whole situation. It could have been so much worse and we really got off easy. I’m mostly impressed with Ana for being so brave and handling it all like a rockstar.

Charlotte’s Web

Ana has been in a beginning drama class at Journey Theater Arts Group in Beaverton since January. Tonight, to wrap up the session, her class performed a final “showcase” of Charlotte’s Web. Ana was cast as Charlotte. It was her first time ever performing in front of an audience and she was nervous but you would never have known. She did an amazing job and I am so proud of her. (Pardon the wobbly recording; I was holding my iPhone up in the air in an attempt to see more of the show while Hadley was sitting on my lap!) Enjoy!

Eight Year Doctor Appointment

Ana had her eight-year doctor appointment on Thursday. (Between the delay with her six year appointment and her pediatrician passing away this year, she never had a seven year appt.) Here are her stats from the appointment:

Height: 51.57″ (71st percentile)
Weight: 60.2 lbs (63th percentile)
BMI: 16 (53th percentile)
Blood Pressure: 100/72

8 Year Check Up
Ana was a little nervous about having a new doctor, but having been to her sister’s appointment last month she was a little more at ease. He came in and asked her a bunch of standard questions (Do you wear a bike helmet? Yes. Do you eat fruits and veggies? Yes. When do you go to bed and wake up? 8pm, 6:45am Do you play sports? Soccer, swimming, biking, running. What is your favorite things about school? Math, science, spelling.) which she responded very thoroughly. They talked back and forth for several minutes and then he looked at me and said, “well, I am obviously not concerned about her. Clearly she is just perfect. I don’t even have anything to recommend!” Then he gave her a “healthy high five!”

Ana was very happy to find out she didn’t need any immunizations at this appointment and ecstatic to find out she won’t get one until she is 11! But both girls did have to get flu shots so the appointment wasn’t entirely without needles. Ana didn’t think it was a big deal. Hads on the other hand left the office in tears. Oh well. You can’t win ’em all.

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.
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,


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
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,

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,

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.