Riley: You had a very big September; you turned 5 years old! No one was more proud than you. You were telling everyone you were almost 5, and now that you are 5, you proudly hold up your little hand and spread your fingers out when asked how old you are. You are so happy to FINALLY be five years old.
Your birthday party was at a local park. You've seen this park from the road many times but we've never been able to stop and play. So, to have your party there was a wish come true! You had several friends who were able to come and celebrate, most importantly, your best friend Mollie.
I took cupcakes to your classroom on your actual birthday. This was a big deal.
You are extremely mature, generous, and smart. You help tend to your brother and sister more than most five year olds would. You love to play with both of them. With Nolan, you like to play pat-a-cake. He cackles when you play with him. Seriously, he thought it was really funny and it's just about the only thing he laughs at. You are a tremendous help with him, whether it's running to get his pacifier, getting me a burp rag, or picking out his outfit, infants are so much easier to care for with you around! With Ella, I don't even know where to start. She is your shadow and you are hers. You love to play with her and you are very watchful over her. For instance, the street we live on gets very little traffic. It's only used for the four houses that live on it. We were outside raking and Ella wondered into the street. I was watching her and thought it was ok for her to be in the street because you and I were both right there. You almost had a heart attack running to get her from the street.
You take the role of Big Sister very seriously. Sometimes I do have to tell you to mind your own business or remind you that I'm the mom. I don't want you to feel pressured to take care of either of the babies. I know sometimes in the car and at home I do ask you to do a lot, but I want you to know it's ok to be just a kid.
Ella Rae: Sister, you are a handful! You are definitely the child that I will turn around for just a second and look back to see you hanging from the ceiling fan. You are a climber. Your newest favorite is to climb on the hearth and toddle back and forth. You're smart, and mostly only do this when I'm feeding Nolan and can't get to you. You don't play with toys. We have a basketful in the living room and for the most part they go untouched by you. You will play with them if Riley play with them. But only then. You just don't play with toys. You like to play with non-toys: my breast pump, my keys, phone chargers, Nolan's bottles, etc. So this creates an issue and you do not like to be told no.
You are at your sweetest with Nolan. Some days, you will spend 10-15 minutes just kissing him over and over again. One day last week you and he were in the same room all day at daycare. The ladies said if he started crying you would run over there and put his pacifier in his mouth. You're so sweet! But in the same breath, if you find his pacifier laying around at home, it goes straight to YOUR mouth. I guess you thought you were in charge that day at day care.
Mostly because you are always on the move, I have fewer pictures of you. If I do take a picture of you, it's usually very blurry like the one above. You are a busy little girl! Your favorite place to play is Riley's room. With her new birthday presents she isn't as willing to let you play there. You sat right in the middle of her doll house and this really upset Riley. Because of this, she keeps her door shut all the time, even if she's not in there. You will toddle back to her room and find the door shut. Enraged, you come screaming back to the living room. After this, you want to be entertained by me and I'm usually messing with Nolan. Thankfully he's started going to bed on a regular schedule and I have 20-30 minutes of alone play-time with just you. It's really nice and you love the attention. It's your favorite thing to sit in my lap but that time is hard to come by.
Nolan: You are growing like crazy. It's easy to see just how much when I look at pictures. I take the most pictures of you, mainly because it seems like I am always holding you. You require a lot of attention! I try and remind myself that both the girls got this much attention when they were little.
I snapped this picture of you during tummy time. You hate tummy time. It's fine with you to be held where you can watch your sisters, and really, that's about all you do at home. I don't have many opportunities to lay you on the floor and watch you wiggle around. By the time we get home it's time to cook, then baths, then feed you, and then you go to sleep. Your nights are getting better with each passing week. Sometimes you wake up and need your paci, but you usually go right back to sleep. You don't wake up to eat anymore. It's nice!
You get drug around everywhere we go. Riley's friend's birthday parties, Ella's doctor appointment, the grocery store, etc. As long as your paci is somewhere near you are usually pretty good on our outings.
While it is hard taking care of two babies and a 5 year old, it's not all that bad of a job. There is a good deal of work involved, but there's beginning to be more free time. Mornings are my weakness. I rarely oversleep and we are still late sometimes. I just have a hard time making myself wake up at 5:00 a.m. just to work, work, work before I go to work. Getting 4 people ready in the morning is hard. I like to sit down and eat breakfast but am not always able to. I like to put my make-up on at home, but that doesn't always happen either. Today, I had to paint my toe nails when I got to work. I've learned to put Ella's shoes on when we get to day care because she will just take them both off when we get in the car. When we get home, usually around 4:15, I have to start cooking. Ella likes to eat at 4:30. Demands is more like it. Hopefully things are going in my favor and Nolan is asleep while I get supper ready and eat. When he isn't, I just have to ignore a little crying from someone. Once supper is fixed and we eat, I give Riley and Ella their bath. They would prefer to sit and play for a while, but that doesn't always fit the schedule. I am sometimes able to fold clothes or clean the kitchen up just a little bit while they are in the bath tub. After they are out and dressed, it's Nolan's turn for a bath. He likes baths and is very calm. His is a short one and all business, though. He gets fed for the last time after his bath and is usually ready to go to sleep about 6:30. Then for 30 minutes or so I can play with Ella. Sometimes she is fussy and has to go to bed at 6. I hate putting her to bed that early but have to remind myself that it's better for her to be well rested. (And sometimes better for me to not deal with the constant whining.) When the babies are down for the night at 7, I get the cleaning, laundry, and yard work finished. Yes, I have time for yard work some nights. I shower after my chores are finished. Next, I can watch a television show, read, or start a movie in my room. Most of the time I go to bed around 9:00. At the end of most days I am exhausted. My floors don't get mopped or vacuumed as frequently as I would like, and there is quite a bit of dust build-up in different places, but I am happy and have a happy family.
Love my husband.
Love my kids.