It’s been a few months since I last updated about the kids, so getting back our recent family photos seemed like a good occasion to make a new post. Life as a family of six seems very full, busy, and sometimes a bit hectic but in general we’ve been able to make the transitions involved pretty well. We have rearranged where the kids are all located in the house – Jonathan now has his own room again upstairs, with a loft bed and desk (seems very grown up). Hannah has moved into the basement with Abigail and she LOVES feeling like such a big girl down there. Noelle has moved into the nursery and we have our own room again. The days of co-sleeping with a baby are now behind us, and our queen bed seems much more manageable with only two of us in it. Jonathan has returned to school since I last wrote, and all 3 of our big kids have started Awana.
Jonathan [8 years, 10 months]:
Jonathan is so happy to be back in school. He really loves the social aspect, but he also loves learning and he’s excelling. He’s working with the school’s gifted facilitator to help propel him forward to new levels in reading, comprehension and will be developing a presentation based on a non-fiction book they’ve decided on together. The subject: cars.
Anyone who has been around Jonathan the last few months has come to know his love of cars. He had so much fun getting to chat super cars with his Uncle Matt last month, and we’re becoming regulars at Supercar Saturday at a local dealership. He reads about cars, watches YouTube videos about cars, and will name the make of every single car we see on the road. He has 146 Hot Wheels (most of which he inherited from his dad/uncles) and he loves to carry them everywhere in a backpack, line them all up, and categorize them by type (regular, trucks, muscle, sports, super, hyper and NASCAR). He even has some car decorations in his new bedroom.
From Jonathan: we’ve seen 26 RIVIAN R1Ts
I know a LOT more about cars than I did a couple months ago hanging out with this boy. The girls are also starting to call out the names of cars when we drive (though their accuracy is definitely not as good as Jonathan’s, by far).
We haven’t started up any new sports/activities yet, but he did great in his summer art class. He got to do clay and painting/drawing. He is a really talented artist and I loved seeing him explore the different mediums. We now have a great collection of his art in the house and it’s really fun to see what he can do.
Abigail [4 years, 4 months]:
4 going on 14. The biggest of the sisters definitely likes to be seen as grown up. She is interested in all things that are beautiful and pink and sparkly. She wanted to be a ballerina for Halloween and has spent the last few weeks gracefully and whimsically moving around the house. She still loves dressing up, accessorizing and all things girly. Dresses, hair bows, tea parties and “makeup” are constants in her play and she likes to be the mom when playing “Moms and Dads.” If there are ever choices of colors (cups, bowls, etc), it’s pretty well understood that the pink option is what she will choose.
I enrolled Abigail for Kindergarten a few days ago, and it hit me a lot harder than I thought it would. Kindergarten is a big step into a whole new world and Abigail starting begins the domino effect of the girls moving up. She asks at least once a week when she gets to go to school with Jonathan, Natalie and “Broke” (Brooke) when we do carpool pick up. She has loved Awana and is just the cutest Cubbie I have ever seen. She is amazing at memorizing her verses and has earned a few badges for her little vest. She’s really great at memorizing in general, and has the entirety of “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” memorized and “reads” it to Stephen at bedtime. Our current favorite Abigail-ism is that she doesn’t actually pronounce the L at the end of girl, so she is always saying that she’s “the big grrr” or “look, I’m a grrr, I have flowers.”
Hannah [2 years, 10 months]:
Hannah is just the sweetest little person in the world. She talks so much now, and her sweet little voice is everything. Some of my favorite things she says right now include “I got it,” “oop-ih-see” instead of oopsie,
“if you say so,” and “Wellie Cake” for Noelle. She’s still little enough to want to cuddle on occasion, but is trying so hard to keep up with her older siblings. She loves to be included, so when she realized that she got to go to Awana too, she was the happiest. Though every Wednesday is a mad dash to get everyone fed, uniforms found/on, and get to the church in time, the second we pull up and her angel voice yells “I get to go to CHURCH!” – it’s hard to stay frustrated. From week one, she has run eagerly to class, and this last week she walked in, flung her arms open and announced “I’m here!” I was a bit concerned that Hannah would have a hard time with new things after being a quarantine baby, but she loves getting to be part of it with Jonathan and Abigail. Her Awana class is the Puggles and the shirt has a duck billed platypus on it, which she lovingly calls her “ducky shirt.” It’s the only thing she’ll willingly take off her Elsa dress for.
Speaking of which, she is Elsa. She wears her Elsa dresses on rotation, can re-enact the entirety of the “Let it Go” scene and asks for “Elsa hair” always. I’ve had to get pretty decent at French braiding. Her favorite color is blue, and it’s not hard to guess why. This makes it really easy when Abigail has assigned herself to the color pink and Hannah has assigned herself to the color blue – we know whose is whose on most things. Hannah is still our beautiful Amazon baby and very tall for her age. I regularly forget she’s only two when I see her next to Abigail and they’re nearly the same size. They already share clothes and I have even been asked twice recently if they’re twins.
Noelle [10 months]:
Oh my sweet little Noellie Cake. The baby of a billion nicknames and a billion smiles. This girl is so loved. By her parents, definitely, but these siblings are slightly wrapped around her sweet little fingers too. Jonathan has a very tender heart for her, and will let her throw his cars (but will yell at Abigail or Hannah for getting too close to them). Abigail likes to call Noelle “her baby,” as she cradles her in her lap and rocks her. Hannah tries to hug her by laying on top of her, so we’re working on that. So far Noelle has 8 teeth and loves to use them for trying all the new foods. She’s very quick and can get across the house in the blink of an eye. She’s pulling up to stand and cruising along furniture like a champ. The older girls were about 10.5/11 months when they started walking so we know the day is coming soon when Noelle will just take off.
Noelle made the transition to her own room since I last wrote, and it’s gone really well. We have a nice little routine at bedtime and I’m just soaking in every moment of the cuddles I get in those brief moments we are alone. Knowing the days of babies snuggling into your shoulder are limited…it’s too sacred to not just savor every bit. She knows her people, and if I ask her “where’s Bubba” she will look right at Jonathan. She waves, she claps, she giggles and she is starting to play more independently, which is fun to see.
It feels really special to be coming into the holiday season with our family complete. I can’t wait for Noelle to get to experience it all – the joy, the wonder, the togetherness, and the beauty of this season for which she was named. It’s always been the best time of year, but having her on the outside this year will make it even better. I’m so thankful for these children we’ve been blessed with and to watch them together fills me with more joy than I knew possible.