Difference in Life Stage

Today, being Monday I work from home so that I can take care of Kylee. I use to take her to work with me and work in the nursery at the church. It became evident quite fast that I was going to need to do something different once she started being able to open doors and go where she wanted. Things have been working out a lot better for the both of us to be able to be at home during the day. Kylee does take a much longer nap that is still much needed at her age here at home. At the church it was a struggle to even get her down to take a nap.

This evening I was taking Halee out to WSU for her oboe lesson and we were talking a little the way back home, as we were talking I had one of those moments that may be hard to describe. It was a facing reality of the life changes that we are going through at this stage in life. There was an issue with her phone that I for some reason was not able to figure out. I took it to Verizon to see if they would be able to help and the guy helping me asked a question that prompted this thought that it me later on. He asked, “How old is your daughter that locked up her phone?” After a quick thought I said, “13”. At that point in the store I just laughed, but then as we were driving and talking about friends at school it hit me. (On a side note Verizon wasn’t going to be able to help the way that I wanted, got back home and had one more thing that I hadn’t thought about and we got it resolved fortunately.)

Spending the day with a 2 year old and going through everything that she is going through at her age, then turning around and spending some time with a 13 year old made me think of just how blessed I am. There are still times when I am amazed that we have Kylee, when Kristee and I were both at the place in life in which we were good with just 2 kids. As we drove and these thoughts of just how drastic the difference in life changes that my 2 daughters and son are going through all at the same time is absolutely wild. I am so grateful for God blessing us with a 3rd child, even though she gets into everything and very much wants her way. I am amazed daily at both Halee and Gavin as they are into and approaching their teenage years.

I thank God everyday for giving me such wonderful kids, even through the frustrating things each of them can do at all of their different ages. I must treasure each day that I get with them because time has flown by too fast already. It is hard for me to fathom what life will be like with these 3 in the next 5 years. But I look forward to getting to invest in each of them, and enjoy the mess out of all 3 kids.

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Potty Training

Potty Training
We are now in week 2 of potty training with Kylee. I have to be honest in saying that last Monday when this all started I wasn’t all that excited that we were starting on my day with Kylee. But part of it was out of my control. She made the decision on the day after we got back from Colorado that she wanted to wear underwear and not a pull up. So obviously since she was ready, I had to be ready.

Day one she did quite well, except for an accident that was my fault. I put her down for a nap without a pull up. The 2nd accident was later in the day and it had been awhile since we had gone. The rest of the time we did a decent job, but it definitely felt like I was the one always asking if she needed to go. It had been so long since we had done this whole potty training thing that I had forgotten that the first couple of days was more of reminding her that she might need to go potty.

Fast forward to the rest of the week and she begins telling us that she needs to go. There have been a few times when she tells us, but she has already gone. But in reality those were very few incidents. The weekend went quite well with her coming to us more and more.

So as we begin week 2, I am far more optimistic as I have seen quite a bit of progress made. Even starting out today was great. She has done it all and just as she finished the week, you can see the excitement in her with going and using the potty.

I must admit, now that we have made great strides it has been really good to not have to deal with diapers. (other than nap and night-night) I know we will look forward to not spending as much money on buying diapers.

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I Love You ________

Kylee has really started putting together little sentences. Halee has been working on getting her to say

“I love you Halee”
So Kylee has started saying several little phrases like that over the past couple of days.

Today as she and I were getting ready to leave for work, she looked back at Bentley and said,

“Bye, Bye Bentley”, she paused then said, “You want a hug” (with her arms open wide)
She went over to Bentley and gave him a hug and said,
“Bye, Bye Bentley, see you later”

It is too cute to see her start to put these little words and phrases together. She is getting better at pronunciation although there are still a few things that she says and I don’t have a clue, but it is clear that she is trying to tell you something.

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Gavin decided that this summer he wanted to play baseball instead of playing summer league basketball. It all seemed to start when the Royals were making their run to the World Series last year. Plus on top of that he was over at Nana’s house during the summer playing ball with a neighbor across the street.

At first I was a little confused and a little concerned. Gavin played baseball 2 years in a row about 3 years ago. The 2nd year we actually made him play. This was the year that I made an attempt to coach and ended up getting whooping cough. Anyways he thought baseball was boring and wasn’t interested in playing again. The last year he played it was machine pitch.

Gavin does have a natural ability to pick up and play most sports without much issue. He really does have a pretty good arm that is fairly accurate with his throwing. Considering he really hasn’t thrown or caught a ball much over the past several years he is really good at picking it back up. Honestly he has gotten way better and is far more confident in catching the ball. I feel like I don’t have to worry about how I throw the ball with concern to him getting hit with the ball.

The other thing that has been interesting to me is my interest in the sport again. If I was completely honest, when he said he didn’t want to play basketball for the summer and play baseball instead I was a little disappointed. (Part of me was concerned about it being boring for him again.) At one time baseball was my sport, back when I was his age. I absolutely loved playing baseball. I even remember when I heard that we were going to the Dominican Republic to become missionaries I was so excited because I was going to a baseball country. But between leaving the US and getting to the DR I met a couple of guys in Costa Rica who were obsessed with basketball and quickly fell in love with the game of basketball. It has been my sport ever since. I tried playing baseball in the DR, I still enjoyed the game. But unfortunately our school only had softball as a sport and not baseball until my senior year and by that time I was far too involved with basketball and volleyball to play baseball.

Over the years my interest in baseball dropped tremendously. The year that I coached Gavin’s team was only because Kristee volunteered me. I felt unqualified to coach, but fortunately they were very young and still learning the basics. The only time I would watch baseball was during the World Series. I would watch interesting stories from time to time depending on what was happening. But there wasn’t much interest beyond the World Series. My interest came back last year, just as I mentioned in a previous journal entry, when the Royals were making their run towards the World Series.

Following the Royals brought me back to my younger years when we lived here in Wichita and I was a fan. But I didn’t think it would go much beyond watching their run. Leading up to baseball season I kept double checking with Gavin to make sure that he really wanted to play baseball. Sure enough that is what he wanted to do. We got him signed up and he started practice two weeks ago. We bought him a new glove along with one for me. The only glove that I had was a 14 inch softball glove, which works, but I have wanted to try a much smaller glove to see what that is like. I went with a 11.5 inch glove which is significantly smaller. It didn’t take me long to get adjusted to this new size and I think it is much better all round.

I have had so much fun getting outside and playing catch with Gavin. Watching him practice takes me back to the days when I was playing at his age. Everyday I look forward to throwing the ball with him and working on different aspects of throwing and catching. One thing that was quite evident at his first practice, was that he has one of the better arms on the team. (This is a 6th & 7th grade team, I think it is for those going into those grades.) A couple of things that I noticed about his arm compared to some of the other boys: He has a very natural throwing motion, he can throw it straight with a lot of velocity, and can hit his target, not to mention he can throw it pretty far. The coach even came up to him during the first practice and told him he has a really good arm and wondered if he had given any thought to pitching. My first thought (and Gavin’s) was that he didn’t know much about pitching at all, especially since he is just now getting back into the game.

When we got home after the first practice I had Gavin throw a couple of pitches to me to see where he was at without the pressure of a coach and teammates. To my surprise he was throwing it quite hard and on target a decent amount of the time. There were a couple of things that I had him adjust just to give him a stable starting point. We have worked on it several different times and I must say that I am impressed with him. It is crazy to think that he is just now picking this up after so many years. The last practice the coach had him and a couple of the other boys throw some from the mound to a catcher. Coach had to explain some basics of pitching to Gavin, pertaining to the mound and the rubber. It took him a few pitches to get comfortable and then he began throwing some pretty nice pitches. Obviously it is going to require more practice and work to get him use to pitching. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gavin get the opportunity to be one of the main pitchers on the team this year. As long as he can keep himself from getting rattled and frustrated with himself I think he could be good.

It has been an absolute blast playing ball with him. It does take me back to when I was his age. I remember loving to play catch with dad. I got to spend some time pitching myself along with catching most of the time. Gavin has been quite interested in my playing days when I was his age. Not only have I had an absolute blast playing with him, but I have found myself watching baseball. Which is unheard of, I have never cared about baseball this early in the year. They have such a long season and it is such a slow game. But I have really enjoyed putting a game on and watching, especially if the Royals are playing. I already know that Gavin and I will go and watch some baseball games this summer.

The other thing that I think about when it comes to him being interested in playing baseball is the fact that both of his granddads love baseball. I know that both of them will be interested in seeing him continue in the game if he enjoys playing this year. (I know they are interested in anything that he does, but I would guess that baseball might have a little more of a pull at their heart.) I am very excited for this summer to see how things go as he re-enters into the game of baseball.

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Kylee 18 Months

Looking back it has been since Kylee’s 11 month old post that I really updated anything about her and where she is at in life. Reading back through that post I realize that she is doing so much now it is amazing to me. She is now in that stage of life in which she is becoming more and more independent. I am just waiting for her to look at us and say, “I do it”.

Kylee is walking/ running all over the place. She is getting more and more stable at her “higher” speeds. The only real issue is that she loves to wear shoes and there are a few shoes that she really doesn’t need to be running in. But it sometimes doesn’t stop her from trying even when she falls down. Without a doubt she thinks she is quite the big girl and feels like she needs to keep up with her older siblings.

We recently decided to take down the gate that prevented her from going down into the basement. I know that we were all happy to see it go. I will say we were a little concerned about her going downstairs and getting into all kinds of stuff. The one good thing that we have noticed (as long as we keep all the bedroom and bathroom doors closed) she won’t spend a whole lot of time down there when we are not down there. She has taken a few tumbles down the stairs. Most of which have just scared her a little bit and a few that she has just bounced right back up from. Too be honest I think that they scare us a little more than it scares her. Needless to say, when the kids are all down there playing she feels like she needs to be down there and in the middle of it all. Halee and Gavin do a good job of “dealing” with her when she is wanting to participate in whatever they are doing with their friends.

She is now eating just about anything that we are having and even wants to use a fork or spoon. She is getting better at using utencils, but still is much better at using her hands. We have now moved her from her high chair (she kept standing in it since the strap was broken.) and she is sitting at the bar in one of the stools. It is crazy how much older she looks when you see her sitting there with Halee and Gavin eating what they are eating. One of her favorite things to “eat” is anything that she needs to dip. Whether it is fries, carrots, or chips she loves dipping them into a dip or sauce and think just suck the sauce or dip off the food item. I would say she definitely double dips, or I guess you could say triple or quadruple dip. Sometimes I am not even sure that she takes a bite of the food until she has dipped it several times.

She has a smile that will light up a room. She has so many little teeth and will make some of the cutest little faces. Early on she understood that shaking her head back and forth meant no (she hasn’t said the word yet), she has finally added the nod of yes. Which is good she can now communicated what she likes and doesn’t like. Although she definitely goes to the “no” head shake more often than the “yes” head shake. She understands much of what we tell her and has her way of communicating with us. Sometime she will talk to you saying all kinds of different things without even a clue as to what she is saying. I usually just sit there and talk back without having any idea as to what she is trying to say to me.

There are a few words that she seems to say on a regular basis, but sometimes it seems that they might have multiple uses. One is Da which is what we think she uses for Dad. Ma for Mom. There are several things that I think she is saying in the form of phrases, but sometime I wonder if I am just hearing what I know she is trying to say. One example is she has a way of saying “shut the door”, (She loves closing the doors when they are open.) She is good at closing the door, and fortunately not able to open the doors yet.

It is amazing to see just how much she has grown and how many more things that she is doing everday. I am sure that I have left out a few things that we get to see on a regular basis. I hope to do more frequent updates to her developments as she continues to get older.

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Yankee Doodle?

Halee was practicing her oboe and playing Yankee Doodle. I began to sing the words to Yankee Doodle and got to the part of

stick a feather in his hat and call it macaroni.

They both looked at me and laughed. Then they said, “did you make that up?” They had never heard the words to the song Yankee Doodle. Even when I said that was one of the lines they still didn’t believe me until they looked it up on YouTube.

Absolutely hilarious!! They thought I was just coming up with goofy lyrics to be funny.

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