Thursday, December 31, 2015


It has been a while and we've done a lot, so this is going to be a long post. The girls are having so much fun at gymnastics. They get to go on the big beam and do pullovers on the bars. Catherine can climb the rope like a monkey and Sam loves trampoline and her cartwheels are getting great.

We took the girls to the state fair for the first time and they had a blast! We did the big slide (mommy's favorite with her daddy way back when) and the girls rode their first roller coaster. It was a long day, especially for poor Jake, who is too small to ride just about everything except the merry go round. I had to pry his little fingers off the pole, he had so much fun and didn't want to get off. 

We went to Duke Gardens and took pictures under our favorite tree. Samantha is still our ever sunny, ever questioning, ever singing little girl. Dave and I are still in awe of how happy she is when she first wakes up, it can't be normal ;-) She loves school and has learned the "Our Father" already and how to count to 3 in Spanish and the days of the week and months of the year (sung to the tune of "Calendar Girl" of course). I think she will be class president, or mayor, or something because she hugs everyone she meets and makes them smile. She can't walk through the gym in the morning without hugging all my "big kid" students. 

Catherine loves school too, but it is completely different. She has a few close friends, most of which seem to be in Sam's class, and she knows all the things that Sam does, but she is not as quick to show it.  She has the best teacher for her though, they both love Minions! Her favorite classes are art and PE, big surprise, right? They both went to Mass with their buddies this week for the first time and did so well sitting quietly and paying attention. And when we take pictures I will only get a nice one if I take silly ones first.

Jake is starting to sleep without his paci. It is rough going and he needs some rocking with a book before he goes down, but we are making progress. Speaking of progress, he is talking with real words all the time now! Most of them are centered around food, but not all, and he's getting good a please, which makes us happy. He's like Sam in the morning, so she's not the only odd one around here. He's getting great at doing the stairs by himself and he knows way more about the iPad than he should. He loves his sisters very much and giving raspberries is his new favorite thing. As soon as you lie down he pulls up your shirt or finds your arm and it is really slobbery.

Catherine loves to help me cook and clean. We've been working our way through the Disney Princess cookbook, I have the cleanest kitchen stools in town. And there is lots of  sibling love and silliness all the time around here.

For Halloween the girls were Elsa and Minnie Mouse. They wavered back and forth and were settled on other things for weeks and then changed their mind last minute and were really happy. They had a blast at the school carnival and we also trick or treated at a few houses on our street. I need to stop taking pictures with Sam closer to the camera, the effect makes Cat look smaller than she really is.

They loved their Minion pumpkin! The other was a cat. Jake was a monkey and he was so adorable! When he walked his long tail bobbed behind him. Thanks to Uncle Mike and Aunt Alyssa for buying this for him over a year ago and realizing how awesome it would be.

Jake is really strong, strong enough to move a kitchen chair with Catherine on it, but not quite strong enough to push her in the laundry basket. It must be something about the angle, but he keeps trying.

And it finally stopped raining long enough to rake the leaves in the font yard. They are such good helpers!!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

August and September, holy cow!

Well, August flew by and suddenly we were in school, how did that happen? So, how did we finish up the summer? Well, Jake got sick with hand foot and mouth and the girls learned to stay away from him as much as possible and became excellent hand washers. 

We played in the stream until it dried up. Samantha has been really excited about school, especially recess ;-) She is mostly excited because Catherine will play with her now. I think it is because they are not in the same class all day, they get a break from each other so they enjoy each other's company when they are together. This is a main reason why I split them into 2 classrooms and I'm so excited it worked!

Catherine is so much more talkative about school now and that is the other reason why I split them up. She gets in the car and talks about her daily job what she did with her friends. Her favorite classes are art and Spanish because she gets to dance the salsa in Spanish. She now always says "hola, buenos dias" to SeƱora in the hall.

We started to teach Jake new things, like how to dance well, how to do forward rolls, and how to sing. He LOVES to sing and he loves to climb and get into everything he can. He understands almost everything you say to him, it just depends on whether or not he wants to do what you ask. Usually if you are asking him to stop doing something the answer is "uh huh" and then he cries. He cries and walks around without looking where he is going and bumps into stuff and then has a legit reason to cry. Sam used to do the same thing. He is very observational, like Cat, and wants to do everything the girls do and gets mad when he can't. We're working on talking. He is right on the cusp of a breakthrough, but currently he still only has about 10 words or so.

Cat and I, yes she wants to be called "Cat" often, dressed like twins.

We went to Ripley's aquarium in Myrtle Beach. We got to touch jelly fish and go through the shark tunnel, which was awesome because not only did Jake get to see everything as it swam overhead, but we got to see a saw nosed shark!

Then we got to walk with the shark mascot, and he ate Cat's head! OK, he was giving her a hug, but I got a great angle on it.

Our first day of school, all 3 of us in the same building!

We squeezed in a late night trip to Duke Gardens this week as the weather got cooler and we could walk around without getting sweaty. We got to feed the ducks and had them eating out of our hands. Well, not the girls, they were too scared, but Jake thought it was funny.

"We're sisters, you mess with one you mess with both of us!"

Thursday, August 6, 2015

July was busy!

Lots of butterflies around our house this month and Dave was able to get some good shots. The girls really enjoyed watching them and running away from the bees at the same time. Oh, and the hummingbirds showed up at the feeder, but I wasn't able to get a shot of them.

We visited Uncle Mike, Aunt Alyssa, and Lily in D.C. and went to the Air and Space Museum and it was awesome!!!

(Catherine didn't want her picture taken.)

Gymnastics is really paying off for our girls' coordination! They showed off their skills at Lily's park. Samantha has been trying to find out where the 'line' is this summer, and then she looks at  you and smiles this sweet smile and you know you've been manipulated. She loves her little brother, except when he 'gets in trouble', which means he took her stuff. She has quite a lot of site words and can read whole stories to you verbatim from memory, it's amazing!

The fireman's pole was awesome!

Lily got daring and Uncle Mike let her, but he was also a little scared ;-)

Aunt Mary Anne came to visit and there was lots of swimming, sand, and shenanigans, naturally. Catherine the summer has decided she wants to be called Cat. She continues to be such a big help around the house cooking and cleaning and being a big sister to Jake. She has gotten so very expressive  with her hands, facial expressions, and tone of voice, mostly in a good way that it makes me smile all the time. Her math skills progressed this summer as did her coloring, especially when making Shrinky Dinks. Fearless on her bike, she can do backward rolls, too!

Jake helped Dave fix the bench, first with his magic wand, and then with the correct allen wrench. He's so helpful.

Jake has been amusing everyone in the house, including himself. He has such a personality! He knows exactly when to smile at you and make you laugh, he can be a drama queen when you take away something he isn't supposed to have (not sure what the boy term is for that), and he loves to feed the dog by taking her food out of her bowl and giving it to her piece by piece. Either that or from his own fork, both of which are highly discouraged but he doesn't care. He can run and he tries to fly by putting his arms out behind him. He likes to think he can drink from a cup, but he can't really. He is getting good with his fork, though. 

We visited Dave's family at the beach: 2 sets of 4-year-old twins running around a beach house causes a lot of noise, but they had a great time.

The 2 blondes, and the 2 not-so-blondes.

We played putt putt for the first time. Sam got a hole in one! She's actually better as a leftie, which makes Dave happy. Then, on the very next hole all 3 of us girls' balls went around the cup and out, boo.

At the pool one day Catherine suddenly decided that she wanted to jump in by herself. We were shocked and proud and soon they both were doing it nonstop.

This is Jake's beach cover up. It is a trifle too big, and Dave says he looks like a Jawa from Star Wars. If you don't know, those are the ones that say "Dink Dink" in Spaceballs.

We ended the month with everyone getting sick, especially Jake. So we'll leave you with this picture, because we did this a lot. Shhhhh.