Anna is Two!

Happy Birthday to our sweet Anna Catherine! I can’t believe it’s been two years since she entered the world. We did a low-key celebration this year since we were just back from our trip to the cabin. Anna was thrilled to have a yummy dinner, cupcakes, and presents! She is starting to understand what this birthday thing is all about and it was so cute to watch her enjoy the celebration.

Official two year stats:

Weight: 28 pounds, 4 ounces (71st percentile)
Height: 34.5 inches (69th percentile)
Head circumference: 50.8 cm/20 inches (100th+ percentile)

Her pediatrician said she is doing great! The only milestone she’s a bit behind on is expressive speech. We had her evaluated at about 18 months and she was delayed, but not enough to qualify for speech therapy. Her doctor said to go ahead and have her evaluated again to see if she qualifies now, but that there’s not a correlation between expressive delay and long-term issues, so she wasn’t too concerned. Thankfully Anna’s receptive speech is great so we know she understands what’s going on! We also did a hearing test to rule out that as a contributor to the speech delay, and she passed with flying colors.

At two years old, Anna loves to play with her baby dolls and stuffed animals–she puts diapers on them, “sings” to them and tucks them in bed, gives them rides in the doll stroller, and brings one along any time we go somewhere in the car. She loves shoes, jewelry, and has opinions about her clothes–the teenage years will certainly be interesting! Despite not saying a ton of words, she has no problem getting her point across and letting her opinions be known. She can say “blue” and “red” and seems to recognize other colors as well. Any time she sees something with writing or letters she says “E, O, E, O.” She says the numbers 8, 9, and 10. Anna loves to eat and enjoys a wide range of foods. Particular favorites are most any fruit, homemade meatloaf, and avocado. She naps maybe once or twice a week, otherwise spends her “rest” time walking/jumping in her crib, talking, and playing. She sleeps 11-12 hours at night. She’s learning the art of the stalling technique, asking for a drink or signing “diaper change” when it’s time for lights out. She doesn’t take kindly to harassment from her brother, she will screech loudly or shove him away if she doesn’t like what he’s doing. And she’s figured out how to push his buttons. He’ll say, “Hi Anna” and she’ll grin and say “Bye!” He gets increasingly upset, saying “Say hi! Make her say hi!” as she keeps repeating “Bye.” But she adores him no matter what and wants to try whatever he is doing. It’s so cute watching them talk to each other, and Max is quick to help when she needs assistance.

Here are some pictures from Thursday. Happy Birthday, sweet Anna Boo!

Enjoying meatloaf for dinner. We also had pizza since that’s Max’s favorite thing to have for a birthday.

Cupcake time! She managed to blow out both candles by herself. The frosting was her favorite part.

The other birthday guests:

Opening presents. Max helped. She wanted to try everything right away–the necklace, bracelet, and tutu/wings went on, doll was opened, and toys played with, without delay.

She kept trying to look behind her to see the wings, so cute:

Happy girl!

Maxwell Four Year Pictures

I realized today as we were doing family pictures for Anna’s second birthday that I never posted the ones we did in early April to celebrate Max turning four! We took them a few weeks late since we were in Florida and then had his party. Kudos to Justine for getting great shots despite the fact that it was really cold out and (unknown to us at the time) Anna was nursing a double ear infection. And thank you to Woodland Meadows Farm for letting us use their location for photos!

Last Day of School

Dear Maxwell,

Thursday was your last day of preschool for this year. This was your first year of preschool and you are sad to be leaving Ms. Megan’s class. You love Ms. Megan and are a bit nervous about changing to Ms. Betsy’s class in the fall. We hear great things about Ms. Betsy from friends who have her now, so I’m confident you will come to love her too, but I understand that change and new things can be a little scary sometimes. Remember how it was a little hard to start preschool back in September? You really wanted me to stay with you the whole time, and you cried a bit at dropoff for months. But you were so brave and you got to know Ms. Megan and the other kids in your class, and after a while you didn’t cry at dropoff any more, and you were excited to go to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and see what the letter or number of the day would be. We are so proud of you for going to school even when it was hard. You have learned so much this year! You can write all your capital letters and you are working on lower case. You are starting to recognize some words; when we are reading books you will point to a word and say, “What is that ‘no’ doing there?” I can’t wait to show you the wonderful adventure of reading.

When we ask you about school we get pretty short answers, but we’ve learned more from just listening to you talk or from playing school with you. We’ve learned about the daily routine, which kids have a hard time listening to the teacher, what happens at snack time, and the process for waiting your turn to ride the swings. You starting preschool was a little hard for me, too, because it was the first time you were away from us and we didn’t know exactly what happened the whole time. So it was a year of growth for both of us.

When you started school you were three, and now you are four. You have grown so much! Here is a picture of you on the first day, and one on the last day:

On the last day your school sent home a binder with some of your drawings from the year. Mostly they are lines and swirls, but here’s one from June of a house. The description from you made me smile. I can just see you telling Ms. Megan it’s a house and her asking whose house it is. Then you explain to her that you don’t know whose house it is because you can’t see inside. I love the way your mind works!

Here are a few more pictures from your last day.

You had an ice cream party for the last day of school. You were excited to have a cone with sprinkles on it!

We took some pictures of you with Ms. Megan. I’m so glad you had a teacher you love.

Of course we had to take one with silly faces too!

Field Trip, and a Visit from Shani

We were very lucky to have my cousin Shani here visiting this week. The kids loved having her here and she is missed already! She and I always say we wish we could make our cities closer together so it would be easier to visit more often. The time went so fast, come back soon, Shani! Max enjoyed ordering Shani around in typical four year-old fashion. One night we were sitting down to dinner and Shani was joking with Max about something, just being silly. After a minute Max looked at her and said, “Maybe you should just eat your dinner.” No beating around the bush there.

I have a few pictures from Shani’s visit but first will share a couple from Maxwell’s last preschool field trip of the year–a ride on a school bus! We met up with his classmates and teachers at a local park and then took a ride in the bus. Max told me he didn’t want the bus to go too fast, thankfully we weren’t anywhere near highway speeds, so that request was met. Emmeline sat with us and Angel and my mom stayed at the park with the little girls.

The ever-popular “funny face” picture:

Fun times with Shani!

I’m not sure what’s going on here…claws maybe?

Max wanted to make funny faces as usual, Anna didn’t do it right away…

But then she proceeded to stick her tongue out and didn’t want to stop, causing much hilarity:

Love you, Shani!

Fun in May

A friend was teasing me the other day that it’s still Mother’s Day on my blog. Since Father’s Day is around the corner, I better get another post up here in between! This one is just some assorted fun we had in May. There are pictures from a walk and picnic in the park that I did with the kids, a get together with some friends for Jeff’s birthday, and a few randoms thrown in. It was really fun to do Jeff’s birthday with Max this year. The highlight for Max was definitely the food, but he was pretty excited about the birthday in general too. About a week beforehand Maxwell told Jeff, “Daddy, your birthday is next Saturday, I’m so excited!” Just as Jeff was feeling touched, Max followed up with, “Because we get to have pizza!”

Max helped me pick out a couple of Jeff’s presents. We chose a book that he wanted and some yummy loose tea from a local tea shop. I emphasized that we didn’t want to tell Daddy what he was getting for his birthday, we wanted to keep it a surprise. Max seemed to get it, but had an alternate suggestion: “I won’t tell him what he’s getting, but I could just say it’s something to read and something to drink.” So we clarified that we shouldn’t give clues either.  

Pictures from our walk through the woods and picnic in the park:

And a couple from another park visit. Max recently mastered climbing the “oval ladder” and is very proud of himself:

Anna loves the big kid swing:

Eric, Angel, Emmeline and Penelope came over for dinner on Jeff’s birthday. The weather was great so we played out in the yard for quite awhile:

Then some inside playing after dinner. The big kids read books:

Meanwhile, we looked over to see the little girls trying on each other’s shoes:

Jeff blowing out the birthday candle:

And opening presents, with Max’s eager assistance:

And finally, a typical moment in Anna’s day: Wearing jammies with her brother’s shoes, sitting in the doll stroller: