Thank you all for sharing in the lives of our three amazing children- Mairead, Jack, and Ben. We hope you visit often!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Four. Seriously. She is four?

Though it feels like just yesterday that I met her, it is hard to think of my life without her in it.  Was there really a time when I was not a mother?  It seems like a whole new life began on this day four years ago.  The nurse lay my darling girl on my chest and she opened her eyes wide and looked right into mine.  From that instant, I was connected to her in a way I never knew was possible.  Now, I am watching her grow into a beautiful girl who amazes us every day with all that she can overcome.

It was about 24 hours after this picture was taken that we discovered that our baby girl was going to be a big sister. We had no idea, of course, that she would be a big sister times two! 

At her second birthday party, I felt like I had blinked and she wasn't a baby any more.  With tiny little brothers around, she seemed so big and too grown up already!

Three was a tough birthday for us because all of the wonderful services she had through EI ended.  With all the turmoil we faced this last year in terms of her education and support, I wondered how we would ever get to four!  She has been incredible, though, enduring the changes of starting school, changing schools three times, taking a bus, and learning so many new things.

Now, at four, I look at her in her beautiful flower girl outfit and feel like if I am not careful to savor every moment, I will wake up and she will be walking down the aisle herself.  We have so much hope that Mairead will be able to do or be anything she chooses, and that no dream will be out of reach.  We hope that we can do everything in our power to help her accomplish anything!

Happy birthday, Mairead.  We love you so much!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

And so it begins...

Jack is in love for the first time.  I can't say as I blame him, though. I have raved about how great our babysitter, Stephanie is, and it's clear that the kids adore her.  Jack, in particular, just loves her.  She babysat Tuesday night and on Monday morning, Jack was wandering around the living room saying, "I can't find it,  I can't find it, Mommy."  I said, "what are you looking for, Jackie?"  He replied, "I can't find Stephanie."  Ben jumped in asking, "Step a bee?  Where is she?"  I'm so glad they love her... just don't tell them that she already has a boyfriend.

New England Aquarium

On Monday, we made a big family trip to the New England Aquarium in Boston.  We had plans with two of my friends and their three year old daughters, and thanks to my friend Lisa's passes, we were able to bring all of the kids for free!  Thanks, Lisa!  The kids loved it!  Mairead had a great time exploring with Lisa's daughter, Kacey, as they held hands and ran from exhibit to exhibit.  The boys were a little overwhelmed since the aquarium is very dark, loud, and crowded, but they warmed up to it and loved seeing the fish.  The giant sea turtles were the hit of the day.

Ok, the sea turtles and lunch were the hits of the day.

This is Jack snuggling up to my friend, Lisa.  He had just finished telling her that he wanted to swim in the tank and that he needed his float.  So then Ben said, "Need my floapt, too!"  He was saying "floap" so I tried to emphasize the 't' sound and say "float," so now he pronounces it "floapt."  I love it.

A bit later in the morning, my friend, Jenn, and her husband and daugther, Elizabeth, caught up to us at the top of the tank.  It was great to see Mairead interacting and having fun with Kacey and Elizabeth!

Thanks to our friends for a great day!  The kids told everyone all about their day and what they saw- they had such a great time!  We are trying to make the most of this summer since Mairead (and hopefully Dave) will be heading back to school before we know it.  And, with the exception of a few sweltering days, the weather has been fantastic.  We have a lot more adventures planned in the next few weeks so we hope to see more sunny days!

Quite the Artiste

Mairead loves to draw, paint, color, write, or create pretty much any kind of project.  She loves the art table in the office and spends a lot of time there working on her masterpieces.  Just about fifteen minutes ago, she came down to the kitchen where I was working and said, "I have something very special for you.  It's in the office."  I followed her up the stairs as she instructed, "Close your eyes!"  She led me by the hand to the art table where she showed me her latest creation.  She said, 'It's a family!"  She named each person in the picture.  If you can't tell, from left to right we have Ben, Jack, Mairead, Daddy, and Mommy.  So proud of her!

Most of the time, she has multicolored fingers, paint marks on her clothes, and random traces of marker on her arms... but she's still beautiful!

Yesterday's work was this picture that she did completely on her own.  If you can't read it, it says, "
I LOE DAD" with a heart and a picture of Daddy.  She is too sweet!
It's hard to believe that this little girl will be four years old tomorrow!  Time has gone by so (too) fast, but it's hard to remember life without her in it.  She has already overcome so many challenges and she continues to amaze us every day.  I just wish I could slow things down sometimes before I blink and she is all grown up.  Her height also makes me feel like she is on 'fast forward' since she does not look like a four year old.  At the playground yesterday, another mother of twins asked me how old the boys were and then asked about Mairead.  She asked, "and that's your daugther?  How old is she, 6?"  I said, "Uh, no, she will turn four on Friday."  Three mothers went on for five minutes about how they just couldn't believe that, and what a tall girl, etc.  No matter how tall she is, she is still our baby girl!

Random Kid Stuff

I have not been taking a lot of pictures lately.  Not because the kids aren't doing cute things, but because we are so busy!  And, most of our activities involve sand, water, dirt, or a combination thereof, and the camera has to be safely tucked away.  The kids are doing and saying so many adorable things lately.  I am trying to hang on to every moment since I know that they won't be little for long!  The boys have started wearing size 2T clothing.  Do you know what that means?  No more "months" clothing sizes.  Which means no more shopping in the baby section.  I really can't wrap my head around how this happened so quickly.  With all the drama surrounding both Mairead and the twins' births, I feel like I blinked and missed the baby phase.  Or maybe I blocked it out.  Or maybe it is all just a fog since I was so sleep deprived!  Anyway, I want to share some of the moments lately that have made me smile.

We were at an indoor playground yesterday to try to beat the heat and there was a bouncy house that the kids LOVED.  Ben, especially, wanted to stay in it all day.  At one point though, he came to find me and said, "Want Jackie in the bouncy house, Mommy.  Where's Jackie?"  So we found Jack and convinced him to go into the bouncy house.  As both boys were launching themselves all over the place, Ben yelled to me, "Mommy!  Jackie's in the bouncy house!  It's Jackie!"  How cute that he loves his big brother so much?

Mairead and I were in the car the other day and encountered some roadwork.  She asked, "What are they doing?  What you think it could be?"  When I told her they were making a new road, she said, "A new road?  I can't believe it!"

Jack has been talking a blue streak, but not all of it has been true.  Isn't he too young to even know how to do that?  Anyway, a month or so ago, we had a few incidents of Mairead pushing Jack out of the way while they were playing.  Jack would come find me and say, "I scared of Raid. Raid push you."  So, of course, I would go and deal with the situation.  Now, he says it whenever he wants something that Mairead has.  And the other day, Dave reprimanded Jack for something so he came running to me saying, "I scared of Daddy."  I said, "Oh, yeah?  You're scared of Daddy?  Why?"  "Daddy push you."  Apparently, he figured that if he told me that, I would go upstairs and set Daddy straight.  Nice.

The other night, the boys were babbling away to each other after I put them to bed.  Their cribs face each other with about 8 feet of space in between.  Ben was pretending his stegosaurus was stuck and saying, "Oh, no!  Stegosaurus stuck!  A rescue!"  So the conversation went:
Jack: Stegosaurus stuck, Ben?
Ben:  Yeah, Jackie.  It's stuck.
Jack:  Want help, Ben?
Ben:  Yeah, Jackie.
Jack:  Arms, Extendo!  (a robot on tv says this to make his arms extend a la Inspector Gadget)
Ben:  You got it!  Thanks, Jackie.

A few days ago, the kids were supposed to be napping but no one was.  Ben was whining the most and we eventually got all three kids up since it was obvious no one was going to sleep.  Later, I noticed that Mairead's special bear was in Ben's crib.  She must have put it in there when he was crying.  What a sweet big sister.

Mairead is doing so well with becoming more independent.  She has learned to put her dish in the sink after meals and to throw her popsicle sticks in the trash.  She is doing really well with going to the bathroom all by herself, and even remembering to put her underwear back on when she is finished.  For a while, she insisted on wearing pull-ups in public- she just didn't have the confidence to go without.  Now, though, she insists on wearing underwear all the time.  It took a loooong time to get there, but she did it!

There are so many other cute things-- they all give us a run for our money, for sure, but they are so funny and smart, and always entertaining!