Sunday, February 19, 2017

Kacey: 19 months

Kacey hit 19 months on February 1. I love this age. She is learning so much so quickly, her personality is starting to burst out, and she is able to play by herself and with her sisters for a bit. Though with that comes the illogical tantrums and a busy, busy body. But just about everything she does is so innoncent and extra cute.

Kacey is a jabber-mouth. She talks all day long. I took her to the doctor for her 18 month check up and the doctor asked how many words she has, if I had tried to count them. She suggested that the average number of words for a child her age is 5-10. I laughed... oh she has way more than that! Honestly, I don't think I can count them all. It seems that nearly everyday she has a new word. She attempts to repeat most everything she hears. She has just started putting two words together, most commonly "where (fill in the blank)?". Her phrases include, "Where'd it go?" "There it is!" She also might be the most polite toddler ever. She nearly always asks "please" for an item, and without prompting responds with "thank you!" She recently has picked up on "more" which she pronounces so well and "mine" and "no" have slipped in. I'd rather she didn't know those two, but with two older sisters it was bound to happen. Kacey is able to communicate most everything she needs, which is so helpful! Though that vocabulary could still grow. We do play the guessing game from time to time while Kacey simultaneously signs and says "please", with no context to back her up.

All three girls share a room. Typically Kacey goes to bed an hour before the older two. However, sometimes the three of them go to bed at the same time. When that happens we often hear Kacey in the bedroom loudly repeating, "Hailey. Hailey. Hailey!" or "Keira. Keira. Keira!"

She has started getting into pretend play, especially with baby dolls. She brings a baby and a blanket to me, asking me to wrap up baby, then she hugs baby and shakes rocks her. She puts her finger to her lips, "shhh..." and pretends to feed baby a bottle. She also has picked up on pretending to eat the play food from the play kitchen. Of course it's absolutely adorable when the puts a toy purse in the crook of her elbow and waves "bye-bye" and walks away.

Kacey loves books. She is a book monster. If I mention books she drops what she's doing and literally runs for the bookshelf. She grabs a book and pats the couch where she wants me to sit down. Kyle and I look forward to the day that we can sit on the couch and just sit. While we love to read books to Kacey, sometimes you just want to sit. Anytime we take up residence on the couch Kacey comes running over with a book to read and often throws it in our face. 

She loves to push the stroller around. She doesn't just walk with it, she runs. She zips all around the house and over obstacles on the floor. She has a toy lawn mower outside that she loves to push around too.

Kacey has become quite possessive of any objects she has been playing with, or wants to play with, or has looked at it in the past 24 hours. If the girls touch anything she thinks she has laid claim to she erupts in screams. 

Kacey's eating habits vary day by day. Somedays she will gobble anything up I give her. Other days I'm not sure what she's eaten. The only sure foods she'll eat are fruit. She LOVES fruit. And yogurt. She has a daily gogurt and apple sauce pouch- she'd live on those if I let her. She loves snacks and sprints for the pantry at the suggestion of it. She also will routinely devour eggs.

I recently took away Kacey's pacifier. She had gotten to the point where she would sneak it from her bed and run away and hide with it. She also talked with it in, or sometimes took it out to talk. It was a hard first few days, she was very sad to not have her pacifier with her. But she has moved on. The only problem is if she wakes up at night (which still happens often) I don't have the pacifier as a quick way to help her back to sleep.

Kacey's latest trick is jumping from the stairs, off the couch, and off the window seat in her bedroom. She has no fear and does it over and over and over. Maybe I should stop her so she doesn't get hurt, but it keeps her entertained and helps her burn some energy. She loves to jump on the trampoline at my parent's house and also gets both feet off the ground when she jumps from the floor.

Of all three girls Kacey is the least of a people person. She is scared of faces she doesn't know and is clingy to me. She screams and cries while I check out at Costco and the grocery store. Men with beards especially terrify her. She is not a fan of nursery. She stayed for the first time last week. When I checked on her I'm pretty sure she was whining and crying next to the door, but at least she wasn't screaming. So that's a success!

Kacey loves to color. On anything and with anything. So far the worst has just been pencil on the wall and dry erase marker on her shirt. I can't sit down and write without her hovering asking to color. "Color. COLOR!" 

Kacey loves to run and hide. Her favorite spots are behind the couch in the living room, behind the curtain in her bedroom, or just in the middle of the room either standing or laying down with her hands covering her eyes. She runs away at the mention of bedtime and brushing teeth, and of course while I'm trying to get her dressed- that can be a wrestling match.

While she may be busy, she helps keep us on our toes and sure is entertaining. It's fun to have another personality in the house to add to the chaos. :)  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hailey is 7

Hailey turned 7 back in November and I can hardly believe it. Seriously, just today I asked Kyle if he thought it was crazy to think that we have 3 kids. We both agree... totally crazy. And on top of that the oldest is 7. 7 years ago we became parents!

Hailey is a fantastic girl. She plays the part of oldest child exceptionally well. She nurtures and cares for Keira and Kacey. She tries to keep them in line and sometimes I have to remind her that she isn't the mom. But she loves her sisters and is always willing to help whenever I ask. She plays with Keira and reads with Kacey. This morning I was pleasantly surprised to come out of my bedroom to find Hailey, Keira and Kacey all downstairs in the kitchen, Hailey with a bowl of cereal in hand for Kacey. Hailey had been kind enough to drag help Kacey out of her crib and make her breakfast. What a great way to start Saturday morning! 

Hailey has lost 2 teeth. Her second one she lost at school while I was there eating lunch with her! Currently, her top two teeth are loose and have been for months. We're just waiting for those two to fall out!
Just this past week we had parent/teacher conference at Hailey's school. She has two teachers, one for homeroom who teaches math and science and the other for language arts and social studies. They had nothing but good things to say about her. We couldn't be more proud of her! Her reading fluency is well above 1st grade, in fact it is near where it should be at the end of 3rd grade and her comprehension is 2nd grade. Her math level is 2nd grade as well. Somehow in the car we got into a discussion on multiplication, a topic she could definitely grasp with just a little practice.

Hailey is our scientist who currently aspires to be a geologist or a meteorologist. She has an interest in learning, which I admit, we need to do more to harness. She loves watching science videos on YouTube with Kyle. Their latest video was on mosquitoes and malaria.

Hailey really is a sweet girl who tries her best to do what is right. She offers the most sincere and thoughtful prayers and is quick to keep us in line for evening family prayers. She really is a pretty easy going kid who loves everyone. 

Here are a few Haileyisms from the last year:

1. A conversation between Hailey and Kyle about a copy of the Book of Mormon we have: 

Hailey: "Dad, where did you get this book?" 
Kyle: "Probably the MTC."
Hailey: "The empty sea?"

2. It was raining and Hailey said that the clouds must have put on their thunderwear!

3. I love that kids mix up words based on what it sounds like to them. Hailey said she wanted to "bury her testimony".

Keira is 4

Keira turned 4 in December and she's already planning for her next birthday. 

Keira is proof to me that all children come with pre-programmed spirits, full of individuality. She is her own unique fun person. In some ways I see similarities between me and Keira, mostly in our worries and fears, but her personality is all her own.

She loves music and she loves to dance. According to Keira, she has to dance. One Sunday morning we had church music playing. Keira heard the call to dance and ran upstairs to change her clothes. She came down in her finest dress and announced that the show was about the begin! Kyle and I told her not on Sunday. Her response was that because the music was playing she HAD to dance. Just last month I took her to the doctor for her yearly check up and the doctor asked if she could walk on her toes. She happily obliged by gracefully spreading out her arms as she tip toed around the room like a ballerina. It is so entertaining to watch her dance, she puts on a performance- and is serious about it. She moves her body with a purpose and her face is serious, yet you can tell she is enjoying herself.

Keira wears a skirt or dress nearly everyday. I cannot get her in a pair of pants, unless they are leggings. She has a plethora of clothes handed down from Hailey that sit in her drawer. I've given up on the fight. As long as she somewhat matches I try to let it go. 

Keira loves to have books read to her. She loves to go to the library to check out new books. Her attention span for storytime doesn't last long enough, but she is more excited to grab a new stack of books and sit on the couch in the library looking through them. 

I've always felt a little guilty for not spending as much time teaching Keira as I did Hailey. I guess it's a little bit of middle child syndrome- the first gets the attention, and then the middle child gets a little lost while the third gets even more attention. Even with that, Keira is a smart girl and is picking up on her letters and letter sounds. She is able to recognize every upper case letter and the vast majority of lower case letters. She knows the letter sounds for a good number of them as well. Sometimes it's hard for me to know just how much she understands, because she is the child who knows more than she lets on. Or even knows more than she realizes. This year we have done a once a week co-op preschool with friends and it has been so fun to do. Keira is learning and playing with friends. We love it.

Keira likes to play by herself. Not all of the time, but often I will find her in the playroom with the door closed. Granted, that is mostly to keep Kacey out. She isn't so much of a fan of playing with Kacey because she destroys her play. Hopefully in the next year or two that will all change. There are many times though that Keira prefers to play on her own, and I think it's good for her. Sometimes she just needs some space to herself.

She does love to have fun. She is a fun girl. And funny. So many times we've had people tell us how much they love Keira. It's because she is just fun. While she can be quite dramatic, her dancing, singing, and down right silliness draw people to her. 

This picture is her in every way possible. The outfit, the pants tucked into the socks, and the pose. She stood like that for a minute or two posing for a picture. Thanks to Brittany for capturing it for us!

A few Keiraisms from the past year:

1. "Mom, if we go to Lagoon everyday this week I will give you a quarter out of my piggy bank."

2. One time while bowling, each time before her turn to bowl she had to put her face in the air blowing up from the ball return. Even in between her two bowls. I guess it was her good luck charm of the day.

3. One afternoon while our two neighbor boys were over playing Legos, Keira went upstairs to her bedroom and changed her clothes. She gracefully walked down the stairs dressed in a nice dress, a necklace, a ring and had spent sometime in the bathroom brushing her hair. She came up to Camden and Tate and fished for a compliment, "How do I look? Do I look pretty?" Haha, poor girl, the boys hardly looked up from their Legos to take in her look. 

4. Apparently we order too much pizza from Papa John's. Keira refers to Parmesan cheese as Papa John's cheese.

5. Fairy Potter = Harry Potter

6. While at Cafe Rio the ladies working were speaking Spanish to one another. Keira turned and said to me, "They don't talk very good."

7. In a way that only a 4 year old could so innocently say, Keira told my mom, "I'm getting bigger and you're getting old."

Thursday, February 2, 2017

2016 RECAP- PART 2

Because updating an entire year was just too much for one post, here is PART 2 of our 2016. 
(PART 1)

JULY was a party. Kyle, Kacey and I drove to Washington (with Brittany too!) and celebrated Kacey's first birthday. We enjoyed the 4th of July by avoiding the crowds and hung around Papa and Rara's house. 

The next day we packed up and took off for the Oregon coast with Aunt Jen, Jill and Jaden. We stayed in Seaside in a house right next to the beach of an inlet to the ocean. 

All 11 of us rode together on one bike, we explored the ocean and Haystack Rock, and had a blast just relaxing.

I think we all wished we had stayed longer! 

Hailey and I spent some time sewing for our self declared sewing week. Hailey sewed a small messenger bag for a friend, a belt, some bookmarks, and a lunchbag for her upcoming school year. 

Kyle and I busted out our longboards for date night and cruised to dinner at Station Park. It had been way too long- it was so fun! 

Curtis came to town at the end of the month for a dairy conference in Salt Lake City. We were so lucky to see him 3 times in one year! 

For Pioneer Day my parents took the girls and I on a hike around Silver Lake- it was perfect for the littles.

AUGUST 1st Hailey lost her very first tooth! It had been loose all summer and finally popped out while eating lunch at Cate's house. 

In an attempt to get in some last of summer fun, the girls and I explored Wheeler Farm with my mom one afternoon. 

Of course we also tried to squeeze in as much Lagoon time as possible! 

Hailey started first grade! What did she say was her favorite part of her first day? Eating lunch at school. :) 

Jeanie came from Washington to visit family and we met up and went to Music and the Spoken Word at Temple Square together. We need to do that more.

SEPTEMBER was a fun filled month with first Kyle's parents visiting over Labor Day weekend. Second our fabulous friends the Hague's came to visit! That was awesome, having them stay with us. We went to Frightmares at Lagoon, toured around BYU and ate J-Dawgs, hiked around Silver Lake up Big Cottonwood Canyon, and just enjoyed being together.

 At the end of the month we learned that Hailey had been accepted to the local charter school. 

It was a hard and quick decision whether to move her. She had already been in first grade at the neighborhood school for 4 weeks- we were just starting to adjust to the new school year. We decided to try out the charter school because it has some neat programs that could expose her things she may not experience otherwise. She adjusted quickly to the change. It was harder on me than it was on her. Keira started preschool at home with two other friends in our ward. It's fun to be involved in her learning, but she still gets to interact with other kids during the week.

I turned 32 in OCTOBER. I'm still not sure how that is possible, but it happened. 

We drove up to Snow Basin to cheer on a neighbor in his high school mountain biking race. It was a beautiful day for a picnic and enjoying the mountains.


My mom and I took the girls to the pumpkin patch over Hailey's fall break from school.

I started hosting Science Friday once a month for the girls and their friends. In October we experimented with dissolving canding, producing carbon dioxide gas with baking soda and vinegar, and played with dry ice bubbles. 

Of course we ended the month with Halloween: Honey Lemon, Batgirl, Robin, and a jedi.

Hailey turned 7 and Kyle turned 32 in NOVEMBER.

Kyle went to Colorado for a weekend hunting trip with his uncle and cousins. For preschool Keira and I went with our friends to the Living Planet Aquarium and hit up Chick-fil-A for lunch. 

We celebrated Thanksgiving with Kyle's familiy. His parents flew in and spent the week with us while his siblings came up to visit for a day or two. I ran my first official 5k on Thanksgiving morning. I far exceeded my expectations and ran the whole race in 27:31. We rode the FrontRunner to SLC to see the lights at Temple Square and grabbed some hot chocolate from Starbucks on the way home. 

The end of the month we had our first big snowfall of the year.

Keira turned 4 in DECEMBER.

The month flew by and before we knew it Christmas was here. Kyle and I spent Christmas Eve at the car dealership buying a new van. Hooray! Straight from the dealership we went to my parents house to spend the evening with them and Corinne and Taylor eating dinner and opening presents. 

We woke up Christmas morning to a new coat of snow. It snowed all day long. The girls had a blast playing outside and we enjoyed the nice quiet day at home. 

2016 was pretty great, but we're looking forward to an awesome 2017! Hopefully I can keep up!

2016 RECAP- PART 1

Happy New Year! 2017 is here... and I have missed out on documenting the majority of 2016. I swear, every year time moves faster and faster. The girls are getting older and busier, which means I'm getting busier and busier. I often find it harder to keep up with the things I used to spend my time doing, like reading, sewing, crafting and learning with the girls, and blogging. But it's a new year! And a great time to redirect my focus. Hopefully I can keep up better this year. :) (Let's hope I pick it up. I started this post a month ago, hence the Happy New Year.)

Before 2017 gets away from me, let's recap 2016!

JANUARY and FEBRUARY are a blur. Kacey turned 6 months old and I finally began to feel myself again. After a difficult transition from 2 to 3 children, life finally began to normalize again. I made a resolution to be more organized and create a more healthy routine for our family. I made chore charts and began paying out quarters for extra jobs done and gave the girls the option to buy back candy they are given at school and church. Hailey and Keira quickly cashed in on a new Lego set!

MARCH brought memories and lessons of eternal families. My mom and I took the girls to the Provo City Center Temple open house. A few days later my Grandpa Park passed away. Though it was sad to lose him here in this life, it was happy to know he is finally with my Grandma who he missed so much. 

This month Hailey took her first session of ice skating lessons! She loved it and by the end of the three weeks was skating on her own across the whole rink.

The girls and I (plus Chelsie) took a spring break road trip to Washington to visit friends and family- a must needed getaway for me! 

In APRIL I flew to North Carolina with Kacey and my parents to visit Curtis and Chelsea. I had a blast touring NC State, going to the flea market, taking in the green scenery, and exploring the ocean and the Outer Banks. Kyle was a trooper for letting me take off for the week and his mom was super kind for agreeing to stay at our house for the week to help watch the girls.

In MAY Hailey learned to ride a bike with 2 wheels! It took maybe 30 minutes to build up some balance and confidence and then she was off! She hit just about every obstacle in her path; bushes, mailboxes, even her sister! But she did it and became a bike riding enthusiast! As soon as she came home from school she would throw down her back pack and take off on her bike. 

Hailey also played another season of soccer.

The end of the school year came the first part of JUNE. Hailey said goodbye to kindergarten and was excited for all the fun summer would bring. The girls took a session of swim lessons at the city pool and we began to really enjoy being outside again.

Kyle and I went bow fishing for carp in Utah Lake- I even caught one! 

Papa and Rara Hill drove down and picked up Hailey and Keira and took them back to Washington with them for two weeks. The girls did another session of swim lessons and lived in their swim suits. They also went to the planetarium, broke open geodes, and had the time of their life without us. Meanwhile Kyle and I enjoyed some quiet in Utah with just us and Kacey.

TO BE CONTINUED...Check out PART 2 for the second half of the year. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016


Kacey is 1 (plus 2 months)! Two months ago our baby burst into toddlerhood. She already fills the roll well.

We celebrated Kacey's birthday in Washington this year. Unfortunately (or maybe not unfortunately) for her, her birthday falls near a holiday, and this year especially fell on the weekend. We took advantage of the weekend and holiday and drove to Washington to visit Kyle's parents. We arrived the evening before her birthday and partied the next day. She wasn't feeling especially fantastic that day. She had a bit of a fever and was cranky. Poor girl. She perked up for some cupcake- but didn't really get into it as much as we had hoped.

At 11 months Kacey picked up on walking and she hasn't really stopped moving since. She walks and walks and walks. And gets into everything. I really love that she walks now. I don't have to carry her everywhere and she can entertain herself more easily. This also means more messes to clean up and a more constant watch over where she is. "Where's Kacey?" is a common phrase around the house. 

Our house isn't set up well for baby gates. So, I just don't put any up. Instead upon being mobile our babies learn to go up and down on their own. Kacey is proficient in the stairs- which also means she is all over the house. Up and down the stairs she goes, all day long. Usually she wants to be where her older sisters are, even if they might not want her around. Keira's latest complaint: "Kacey is super bugging me." She tries to close Kacey out of the playroom so she won't mess up her play. Soon enough these two will be buddies and Kacey will stop "super bugging" her.

Kacey is a bookworm. She loves to read books. All. Day. Long. Which is fantastic. Except for when I'm busy trying to make dinner or something and she doesn't understand the need to be patient. Otherwise, there are almost always board books pulled out on the floor. She's quite funny to watch her select a book. She pulls out books and drops them on the floor until she finds one that interests her. Of course she has her favorites, which are usually full of pictures of animals, or Dr. Seuss's The Eye Book. For a time any book she wanted to read she would bring to us repeating "eye... eye..." 

Kacey wanted to read, but I was occupied in the kitchen at the moment.
Keira was kind and volunteered to read The Eye Book to her.
Slowly Kacey is starting to talk. She has said uh-oh for a while now, she also says baby (dada), up, and hi. She has a few signs she uses consistently: all done and water (which is her multipurpose sign for any drink and sometimes even just a signal that she wants something.) Kacey also knows a good number of animal sounds: dog, cat, fish (open/close lips), rabbit (sniff), snake, cow, horse, sheep, duck, pig, gorilla (beats chest with fists), elephant, lion, bee, penguin (waddle). 

She is obsessed with animals. If we are at the park and someone else has brought their dog, I can hardly peel her away from them. It is a constant game of pulling her back, otherwise she won't leave them alone. She just gets so excited to see animals. 

Kacey loves to drag any of her swaddle blankets around the house, and often will have two or three in tow. She also loves to carry around any baby doll and will give them hugs and pat their backs. Just last week we discovered how much she enjoys balls. She loves to throw and chase them, but she also does a pretty good job dribbling them around. She will be entertained for a good 20-30 minutes by kicking the soccer ball around the living room and down the stairs. She also enjoys being destructive with the girls' Legos, which of course they don't appreciate so much. Especially Hailey. We hear a lot of "No, no, Kacey" from Hailey.

I've found the best way to entertain her is to give her a container with something in it along with a second empty container. She will transfer the contents from one to the other and back again. That started when she began to pull down the fruit strips or granola bars from the pantry and put them in the recycling container. Now I most often give her a bag of pom poms and a round utensil holder to put them in. It makes a huge mess, I've been finding them all over the house, but it keeps her entertained for a little while when I need it. She also loves lids. On again, off again. It's good fun.

She also loves to sit herself in a seat: on the stairs, in a chair, in Keira's kitchen booster seat which currently sits on the floor next to her high chair. Stand up, sit down, repeat. Fun and easy entertainment.

With her blossoming toddlerness has come mild tantrums. If she doesn't get what she wants she will throw herself backward onto the floor, or sometimes to whatever is behind her which of course only makes things worse. She knows how to whine/fake cry. It's kind of hilarious to me to see her pull that one out, it's so obvious she's trying to milk it.

She is a pretty good eater, as long as she hasn't snacked too much throughout the day. She loves any type of fruit and will drop everything for it. If she is eating something, but sees something else she wants more, she will spit out the food in her mouth instead of finishing chewing. A few times she has tasted something and didn't like it and immediately tried to wipe it off of her tongue with her hand. She does eat most anything, as long as she is in the right mood. If she isn't, she will dump it all off her tray onto the floor. Hailey isn't a fan of sweeping the kitchen after Kacey has eaten, there is usually plenty to clean up.

Enjoying a post-Lagoon popsicle.
It looks like she fought with the popsicle more than she enjoyed it.
There was even a bit in her hair on the back of her head.
Kacey loves to be outside. If she wants to go out she will bring her shoes to me to put on. She loves to walk along the side walk and explore. She has also discovered how much fun it is to ride Keira's (soon to be Kacey's) scooter. She stands with two feet and holds on with both hands while anyone with the generosity of killing their back pushes her around. We went all the way around the block one day- she held on the whole ride. Recently she has been introduced to slides and the playground. She loves the slide and enjoys climbing up and down the stairs. Pushing things, anything, is a blast. Usually it's her stroller or her bubble lawn mower, sometimes it's even me.

Of course we love Kacey. Honestly, we feel like we have blinked and suddenly she isn't a baby anymore. Though the older she gets the more fun she becomes.


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