Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday!

We have had an awesome Memorial Day and Birthday weekend so far! The kids 3rd birthday party was on Saturday and was a great success. The weather held out even though it looked like it might rain for most of the morning. At party time, the sun even poked through a few times. The kids again got tons of present... thanks everyone! We got to spend a bit of time visiting with friends and family that we never get to see often enough. After the party Grandma and Grandpa Murphy, Uncle Ed, Uncle Joe with his kids, and Aunt Kathy hung out for a while. The kids all watched a movie which was so cute to see the cousins hanging out. We made some sandwiches for dinner and before we knew it, it was way past bedtime! Yesterday was the kids actual birthday and we all woke up and went downstairs where the kids got their new bikes! They were so excited about them and the fact that Aunt Kathy stayed the night with us. They love having her here. The kids tried out their new bikes and played with their new toys while Pat and I worked on cleaning up the aftermath of the party. After lunch and birthday cake we then went over Grandma and Grandpa Murphys house to visit for a while. The kids were so tired from 2 days without naps that all they really did was lay on the couch and watch their new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse dvd. Today we're off to a bbq at my Uncle Ken's house. Good thing we go back to work tomorrow. We're all going to need the rest!

Helena in her new princess crown

Seamus swinging at the pinata

Katie at the ice cream sundae station

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Birthday Cake

KMM's grabbing a snuggle at the party

Helena and Shannon looking cute

Seamus and Keiran watching Toy Story after the party

New Bikes on Birthday Morning

Singing Happy Birthday!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Katie's 3rd Birthday Letter

Dear Katie,

I can’t believe that you are another year older. In 6 days, you will turn 3 and be officially a little girl. No longer a baby or a toddler, you are becoming so grown up. As we look back at the last year, it’s amazing how much has changed. You no longer sleep in a crib, you are potty trained, can drink from a big girl cup, can dress yourself- even though you don’t like to, went to the ocean for the first time, and can put on your own shoes. I can’t believe you were the first one to be potty trained, especially since you didn’t want anything to do with potties up until the day you decided you wanted princess underpants! You love to be funny and are by far the loudest in our family. That’s saying something because Daddy talks just like a Murphy as well! You like to be in charge and can get a little bossy at times with your brother and sister. For the most part they let you, but when they’ve had enough they let you know. Usually one of you ends up crying but that’s okay, you love each other. You are also very caring. You are the first to comfort anyone who is sad and give hugs saying “it’s okay.” You still love to carry around your dolls Baby Mary with hair and Baby Mary with no hair. You told us she has no hair countless times on the way to see Aunt Kathy Murphy in NC. You love princesses, nail polish, and the color pink, but also like to be a tom-boy and run around playing in the bushes and the dirt. If only we could get you to stop breaking out into itchy rashes because of it! Playing in your tunnel and with blankets building forts make you happy. You also like to play with your cousin Drew. You are bigger than your brother and sister and end up getting most of the new clothes. We had to run out and buy you new shorts because you outgrew most of yours from last year! In gymnastics class you were the most cautious of trying new things. Even though you could do everything, including walking on the balance beam, you were sometimes afraid to try. Don’t be afraid to try new things in life, Katie! There’s nothing you can’t do if you are just willing to try. Speaking of trying, you are becoming quite the picky eater. You like fruit, dessert, and ham and cheese sandwiches, but don’t like very many veggies right now. Let’s hope that changes soon! You are still Mommy and Daddy’s big helper and are the first one to help us clean up the toys at bed time. You love to help us fold clothes and helped us redo the landscaping by carrying us wood chips in your little shovel. Katie, we love you more and more every day. As you get older it is wonderful to see the amazing and beautiful little girl you are becoming.


Mommy and Daddy

Seamus's 3rd Birthday Letter

Dear Seamus,

May 29, your birthday as you love to tell us is in less than a week. You will be 3 years old and be right when you say, “I’m a big boy now.” You’re not the little baby who liked to lay like a frog on Mommy and Daddy, and you’re no longer the toddler who was constantly on the move. You still love to get into EVERYTHING, especially things we’ve told you not to touch. Your listener still gets broken sometimes when you’re tired or hungry. You almost can’t stop yourself when it comes to anything that opens- doors, windows, closets, cabinets, it doesn’t matter. You are the main reason we still have child locks on everything! That’s okay though, we hope you always keep that inquisitive nature. It’s good to ask questions in life! Seamus you love to push people’s buttons as well. One of your favorite pastimes is annoying your sisters or trying to make Daddy feel like his head might explode. Even though you like to tease us, you also like to put the family’s names into songs and sing about how you love your sisters, Mommy and Daddy. You are very athletic and were the first one to be able to do all of the exercises at gymnastics. Even your coach was impressed. You are also very brave. You went to the head doctor for more appointments and tests than Mommy and Daddy would like and you were good for every one of them! We still need to work on some of your pronunciation of words, but if you slow down we can understand most of what you say. Many things have changed for you this year, you have your own room and a big boy toddler bed, you are potty trained, can drink from a big boy cup, can pick out your own clothes and dress yourself, can put on your own shoes, went to the ocean for the first time- even though you cried because you weren’t sure you liked walking on the sand at first. You are so skinny! Daddy thinks you need to eat more, but Mommy thinks it’s because you never stop moving. You love food, except for breakfast and your favorites are French fries, yogurt, and chicken nuggets. You are very handsome and love to wear your “work shirts” and ties. You also love anything with Buzz and Woody or Sponge Bob. Your favorite color is green so anything green makes you happy too. You are the one who likes to have stories read to you the most still, and are the first to ask Mommy or Daddy to play with you or build a “Buzz and Woody” House. We love when you ask us to play, it makes us feel important! Playing with your red ride-in car or on your big wheel outside and swinging on your swing are some of your favorite activities. We just have to make sure you’re not running over your sisters! Seamus, we are proud of the little boy you are becoming and love you very much.


Mommy and Daddy

Helena's 3rd Birthday Letter

Dear Helena,

In 6 days you will be 3 and a big girl, not a baby or a toddler anymore even though Mommy likes to say that you’ll always be her baby. You have grown up a ton this year. You have a big girl toddler bed, can drink from a big girl cup, you pick out your own clothes and dress yourself, can put on your own shoes, and are even potty trained! You were our holdout and wanted to wait until you were 3 as you liked to tell us, but you decided to be a big girl and did it! You also went to the ocean for the first time and went roller skating. You did really well on skates and didn’t even want anyone to hold your hand. You are still our cuddler, and like to be held when you wake up from naps and while you have a few minutes of quiet time to yourself. Good thing because Grandpa, Mommy, and Daddy would miss that special Beana time! You are so smart and know all of your letters and numbers. You can even make your letter H and love to draw it on everything, including the driveway with your sidewalk chalk. You like to play by yourself or with Katie and love to read books and color. You like to pretend that the round building blocks are cups, and like to play with the plates, forks and spoons to bring everyone food, and then ask “You like it? Want more?” This makes Mommy and Daddy see how you can be creative and care about everyone in the family. Baby Deer is still your favorite bedtime pal and we’ve had to have talks with you about him keeping you awake because you have to sing to him. Silly Baby Deer, he even jumps out of bed sometimes and makes you lose your blankets! Gymnastics has been fun for you, you love to run around and be silly. Sometimes the listening and following directions part of it were tough though. By the end, you had gotten much better and could run around like crazy and still come back to do the exercise you were on. You love the water and want to “swim” in the bathtub all the time. You are so excited to go see Yogi Bear this summer and swim in the pool. We even have to stop you from playing and splashing in the puddles after it rains. You also love to swing on your swing outside. Helena, you are still the most sensitive and get very upset when you get in trouble. Keep that sensitivity, it’s a good quality to have if you can keep it in check. You can also be the most stubborn which sometimes works against you. Blame Mommy for that! Your favorite color is purple, and you love anything "cute" or with Tinker Bell, especially your purple earrings, nail polish, and dresses. Mommy and Daddy love their little Bean very much and are proud of the beautiful little girl you are becoming.


Mommy and Daddy

Gymnastics Class

The kids had their last gymnastics class this past week and we finally managed to bring a camera. They've all come a long way since that first class months ago. They have perfected their log rolls, egg rolls, and forward rolls. They can also bear crawl, crab walk, and Spider-Man walk with the best of them on the bars. The balance beam is finally all of their friend and they all love to jump on the trampoline. Next winter if they are still interested we'll probably register them for the next level class. This weekend brought about many firsts. The most important being that Helena is finally potty trained! She didn't want to wait until she was 3 after all. Once we started using her new potty chart she really seemed to get the hang of it. We did have a few days of jealousy from the other two, but I think we can officially say that we are ALL in underpants permanently! Yay!! On Saturday we took the kids roller skating for the first time for Aunt Christi's birthday. They all did really well. Helena even tried doing it without holding any one's hand. Seamus and Katie did a few laps around and were very brave about it. I'm just happy that I didn't fall, it's been been over 20 years since I've been on roller skates! On Sunday we went out on Grandpa and Uncle Steve's new boat for the first time. We all had a really good time. I was nervous at first because last year Katie was terrified of boats. Maybe it was the larger size and more stability of the new boat but we were all laughing and smiling into the wind while we zipped around Lakeville Lake. Uncle Steve even went water skiing. The only drawback was on our way back in, somehow we snapped a blade off the prop. Guess we're bad luck... Hopefully it'll get fixed soon and we'll be able to spend time out on the water this summer. The kids are super excited for their birthday party on Saturday. Say a prayer that the weather cooperates!

Hee-Haws on the bar

Helena doing donkey kicks

Seamus walking the "S" course

Katie on the balance beam

Playing parachute with Coach Keith

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mother's Day and Beyond

Last Sunday was Mother's Day, and we started off the weekend by going to breakfast on Saturday morning. We went to the Pantry and we all got some delicious food before taking the trio to Home Depot to make tulip holders. All three of the kids got to make one, Helena gave hers to Grandma Murphy after picking out a purple flower to put in it. Katie picked out an orange flower and gave her project to Grandma Huddas. Seamus got Mary a red flower and gave his holder to his Mommy. When we got home Grandpa and Grandma Huddas came over with their trailer, and Grandpa, Seamus and I went to pick up 4 yards of wood chips and two bags of sand (for the sand box). After about an hour or two of work Grandpa, Helena and I went to get 4 yards of wood chips and two more bags of sand. Our estimate of materials may have been a little off. We proceeded to work outside on landscaping the entire day, but we got it all done, which was nice. The next morning we woke up and gave the kids a small breakfast before giving Mommy her card we made for her and going to church's Mothers day breakfast and service. After church we went to visit Grandma Murphy and Grandpa Murphy at their house. The kids had a good time visiting and playing with Uncle Ed. After we got home,the kids relaxed to a movie. We ate some dinner and Mary and I worked on filling out the forms for the kids playing soccer in the fall. At this point the kids were running around and playing, and poor Lena was running through the kitchen and talking to Katie. She wasn't really watching where she was going and ran full speed into the cabinet. She had a huge bump on her head that oddly was the shape of an ice cream cone. After a lot of tears, some ice, and singing songs she stopped crying. We checked her eyes with a flashlight and asked her how she was feeling a few times and decided we didn't need to take her to the "head doctor" like Lena and Seamus thought we would need to. After a weekend of having Katie and Seamus make it through extended excursions without potty related accidents, Mary decided to step up the training for Helena. Mary made Lena a chart where every time Lena uses the potty, she gets a sticker. After 5 successful potty trips Lena gets a prize. Lena's first prize was to get some toes painted purple. Katie got her nails painted pink as a prize for waking up dry. Lena's second prize was Mickey Mouse sand toys. It seems to be working because she is filling that chart up with stickers. After a long week of work where Mary had some meetings for late nights, we finally made it to the weekend. Saturday Mary went to Uncle Steve's graduation from U of D Mercy. After a morning cooped up in the house on a rainy day the kids and I met everyone at Dave and Buster's for dinner. After we ate we were successful enough in winning tickets to get a Princesses and Tinker Bell pencil case for the girls and a Buzz and Woody 'Toy Holder' (lunch box) for Seamus. Today we went to Great Lakes crossing to get some shoes for the kids. Katie went up 1/2 a size to 9 1/2, Lena went up 1/2 a size to 8 and Seamus went up a whole size to 9. We stumbled onto a good deal at the Sketchers store and found a good deal at Kmart and ended up getting six pairs of shoes today. On the way out of the mall Helena wasn't watching where she was going and walked right into a sign at Burlington Coat Factory. I think we discovered who the accident prone one is...

Seamus showing Mary where to read the card to him, Katie and Helena

Helena showing off the lovely picture of me on Mary's card

Helena's Potty Chart

Helena a few days after her mishap