Three Kids and a Dog

Sunday, December 28, 2014


I love fall but there is something about the Christmas season that edges out fall for my favorite time of the year. Maybe it's the holiday music, the lights, the trees lightly dusted with white powder, walking in the crisp air with a hot beverage and just spending extra special time with friends and family.

This year, here are a few of my favorite moments:

Walking to our town's holiday lights festival. It might be small but there's something about the sense of community and seeing all of your neighbors that makes this event special.

Helping in Austen's classroom for his holiday party. As one of three room moms for his class, I've enjoyed spending time at his school getting to see him interact with his friends, getting to know his teachers and his classmates.

Driving around our town and the neighboring towns looking at Christmas lights with our family. Okay, so maybe about 1/4 the time the kids are interested but Tom and I love to do this.

An impromptu walk around town with some hot chocolate. Peyton already has the pose down.

Listening to Christmas music the entire season all the time. From the moment our station changes to Christmas music that's what we listen to at home and in the car. We have it on constantly. I love it.

Spending time with close friends. It's nice to have some wine or a beer and celebrate the season with some of my closest and longtime friends. Most have been around for 30 years or so now!

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with family. Beyond the presents (and my parents go all out), it's nice to spend time with those you love and catch up. We may tell the same family stories each year but there is something nice about reliving these memories with the only other people who shared these moments growing up with you.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Is Hailey Walking?

That's the question I get almost regularly now. So for the record, at almost 14 1/2 months, Hailey still is not walking. She has started to stand on her own from a sit for almost 20 seconds or so.  Not sure she'll beat Peyton starting to walk at 15 months. Austen was 13 months. Several months ago, I predicted 16 months for her so we'll see who wins. 

If she were my first, I might be worried but all of my kids walked when they were ready.  She's almost there as she's displaying all the right moves to walking.  For now though she is the fastest crawler - of my three anyway. That includes on the stairs! She's very fast going up them and scary fast going down them. In fact, she'll slide backwards on her belly almost the whole way down. And, she thinks it's fun! Maybe she will be my daredevil who doesn't bat an eye at riding roller coasters or going in Haunted Houses. One thing I know for sure, she's going to be able to hold her own. She may be the youngest of my three but she's already very vocal when one of the other two are bothering her! Case in point, I'm driving the car one day as Hailey was eating a little snack (yes, I can see her in her mirror). Peyton was sitting next to her on her way to school where they eat lunch first. All of a sudden, Hailey starts shrieking. I look in the backseat and Peyton is grinning from ear to ear and eating Hailey's goldfish. Hailey wasn't too happy about sharing her food and Peyton was only too happy to annoy her! Best of friends when they get older or worst of enemies? Not sure yet. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Peyton Ties Her Shoes

Four is the magic number. It's the age when I learned how to tie my shoes and it's the age when I taught Austen how to tie his. It is one of my earliest memories and one that involves my beloved grandmother who was visiting us in New Jersey after the birth of my little brother. No one had any time to tie my shoes for me so my grandmother calmly showed me how. Each time I teach one of my children, I fondly remember her and our time together.

So it's only fitting that Peyton too learned how to tie her shoes at age 4 (okay so she squeaked it in about a month before she turned 5 but hey, I've been busy). Like with Austen, I bought her a brand new pair of tie shoes and I told her she could not wear them to school until she learned how to tie them and do a double knot. Austen learned in about a day or so at least it felt like that - he was a quick learner. Peyton could have been a quick learner too but her stubbornness and lack of patience made it take about a week since she would only practice with me about 5 minutes each day. As soon as Hailey would go down for a nap, I would suggest practicing tying her shoes together. But, she was much more interested in getting me to play dress up with her animals or playing by herself in her room. It took a little bargaining on my end to get just five minutes with her to teach her and have her listen. Finally, we succeeded after many "I already know how to do its," when she clearly didn't. But she finally learned.  However, she won't be wearing her new shoes to school anytime soon because she was much too busy to allow time for me to teach her the double knot. I may have to save that one for when she's 5!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

First Haircut

Hailey has the best hair of all three of my kids. She was born with a head full of thick, dark hair that didn't fall out like the other two. As she grew older, it only grew in thicker and the back sprouted these perfect little curls. Also of note was the fact that she was the only one to escape my signature cowlick in the front. So I really was hesitant to take her for her first haircut. Tom kept asking when we were going to do it. I kept putting it off because I didn't want to touch her hair but slowly realized that even the best hair needs a little clean up now and then. So off we went.

I took all three kids for haircuts that day as Tom was out of town. The older two, when it was time to get their first haurcuts, went to a kids haircut place, sat in chairs shaped like cars, received keepsake locks and photos. 

Hailey went to Great Clips. She sat in my lap. There were no special first haircut packages. In fact, she was lucky to get a selfie photo with me. She outdid the other two though. No tears. She looked down when she needed to and looked in the mirror with curiosity as the stylist snipped away at her hair. Perfect third child. Easiest first haircut ever.