Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Life Lately

When you have three kids, there are lots of surprises. LOTS. They're good and bad. I find myself constantly learning and lately, I'm learning that life without being pregnant or having a small baby is so easy. I was pregnant and/or had a small baby from 2009-2014 and while those moments are precious, I'm so glad that the kids are getting a little older. I've also learned that siblings are the BEST, which I already knew but everyday it gets better and better. Their bond gets stronger and the little ones are growing and maturing, able to do things they couldn't just a few months ago. Here's an update on each of the kids this summer. 

Age: 5 years, 2 months

Words cannot describe how quickly Madelynn is growing. To me, raising her is the toughest because every stage that she's in is a stage that I've never experienced as a parent. She keeps me on my toes, but it's such a magnificent experience. Madelynn has a HUGE imagination and is constantly displaying that with her stories, plays, concerts, and how she plays with her siblings. She has never met a stranger, so she makes friends instantly with whoever she sees. She's fearless, stubborn, loving, cuddly, smart, wild and super fun. Kindergarten starts in less than a month and she is thrilled. She has also asked to start playing soccer, so we're looking into getting her registered for fall. She has a passion for Jesus and is always asking so many questions about him and she learns so much at church. On Saturdays, we go to the Farmers Market together and she's my salesman for Madsy Bella Boutique. She has a gift, seriously. I hate that she's getting older, because that means that she's getting a year closer to being grown up, but I love that she's getting older. Our conversations are deeper, she's learning so much, we're seeing her personality develop and a little lady take over. It's a privilege to raise her. It really is. 

Age: 3 years, 3 months

Annabella is one of a kind. She's easily the loudest person we've ever met! We constantly laugh at how loud she gets when she's excited. She is slightly timid, but she'll try just about anything after a little convincing. Once she's tried it, she decides immediately whether she likes or dislikes it and if she dislikes it, she's done for life! But that's good, because she's decisive and knows what she likes. Her relationship with Madelynn has always been special, but her relationship with Noah is growing. As he gets older, he's able to play with her and they are spending more time together as Madelynn goes off and does big girl things. We're seeing huge changes with Annabella as she gets older. She's becoming more confident in social situations and is completely comfortable playing with other kids, even when her sister isn't there. Which is great because she'll be starting preschool part time in the fall. Her imagination is huge also and we love listening to her stories and imaginative play. She loves tiny little toys and we always laugh at her love for her plastic jungle animals. So far, she hates sports! She's the sweetest, cuddliest little one of all. She loves nothing more than one on one snuggles and will curl up like a baby right in our arms. She'll fight tooth and nail over a toy with her sister, but if she has something her brother wants, she'll give it right to him with no argument. She's a caretaker, a lover, cuddly and amazingly sweet. Raising her is an honor. 

Age: 17 months

Noah. Where do I start with this one? He is so curious, wild, stubborn, funny, smart, sweet, independent, and challenging. Raising a boy is so different than raising girls. Now that he's able to do so many things on his own, he is adamant about doing almost everything on his own. He's determined to be a big boy. He climbs, jumps, grabs, and helps. Something sweet that he does is take the girls juice to them. When he sees their cups sitting down, he grabs them and takes them to his sisters and it's so sweet. He plays, runs, chases and squeals right along with them. He has no idea he's as young as he is. He rarely wants to be held or cuddled anymore unless it's night time. Jonathan and I put him to bed in his crib every night and we hold him for a few minutes and sing to him before putting him down. He hugs and squeezes us while we sing to him in the dark. It is by far my most favorite part of the day. I think that Jonathan and I secretly try to be the one who gets to hold him before bed because of how precious that moment is right before bed. He will break out in a dance in no time and he loves doing anything that makes us laugh or smile. As challenging as raising him can be, it's so incredibly amazing. 

As my kids are getting older, I'm seeing that I'm starting to gain some of my independence back. They're happy playing in their playroom in the basement or upstairs in their rooms without me. They dress up, have tea parties, build, draw, run, squeal and have a blast together. I'm somewhat dreading how the dynamic will change once the girls go to school. Life will be very different and I don't like when my schedule changes, but life does that. Life is full of moments-periods that you think will never end-but they do end. And before you know it, your babies aren't tiny babies anymore. I know that sounds crazy because Noah literally is still a baby, but because he has older sisters, he's more mature and independent than other kids his age. When the girls were 17 months old, I was 4 months pregnant with their newest sibling. Not this time. I think we've decided that we're done having children and we're comfortable watching our precious babies grow and flourish, just the three of them. God has truly blessed me and I could not be more grateful.

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