Kinsie Kay is FOUR!

My beautiful, crazy, spunky, sweet and sassy girl is four years old today! I’ve become closer with her over the past few months since I’ve spent so much time with her, and every day I discover more about her and how amazing of a little girl she is. She is so smart and loves to learn. She loves to read, and even when one of us can’t read to her at the moment, she’ll either read what she had already memorized from that book, or just make it up. She loves to use her imagination, and is teaching Brax to love it too. She could talk all day…and often does. When she gets home from school, she will tell me every detail and every dialogue of her entire day. Then when Ryan gets home from work, she will go through the whole story with him. I love discovering the way her mind works and seeing her little personality blossom more and more each day. She has become my little sidekick and my helper in our new life in Arkansas. Brax is her best friend and he wants to do everything she does. Even though she can be very rough with her brother, she is very protective of him and would do anything for him. She challenges me every day and makes me a stronger person and a better mom. Her sense of adventure forces me out of my comfort zone. She made me a mom, and I will always be grateful to her for that.

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Kinsie has changed and matured so much throughout the last year. Here are some updated stats on my four year old girl…

  • She has always been a bit verbally advanced, and continues to be so. She talks like an adult. I often forget how young she is when we have conversations.
  • She has a special relationship with both Ryan and I. She will have spurts of being a “mommy’s girl” or a “daddy’s girl,” but overall, she doesn’t discriminate.
  • She’s a total outdoors girl. She would probably sleep outside if she could. I have a hard time getting her back inside even when she has sweat dripping down her face and mosquito bites all over her legs.
  • Her favorite animals are hippos and dolphins.
  • Her favorite color is still pink.
  • Her favorite TV show is Paw Patrol.
  • She loves everything Disney. She has always loved Mickey and his crew, but recently we’ve been watching all the Disney classics together. Right now some of her faves include Dumbo, Beauty and the Beast and Toy Story.
  • She loves to learn new things and thrives on positive reinforcement. However, she is very hard on herself (just like her mother). She expects to do things perfectly when trying them for the first time and gets frustrated with herself when she can’t.
  • She can spell various words such as Kinsie, Brax, zoo, dog and cat.
  • She can add small amounts together.
  • She’s getting pretty good at drawing. You can actually tell what she is trying to draw.
  • She wants to be a teacher and a doctor when she grows up.
  • She still loves soccer and gymnastics. She is playing soccer in a program in our town, and we plan to enroll her in a gymnastics class in the winter.
  • She loves meeting new friends, but is horrible at remembering their names.
  • She loves school. She participates, listens very well, and is a great helper. Her teacher said she is always happy and bouncy!
  • She has been my saving grace throughout the move. She has stayed positive and open minded about all the changes. Even though she misses our families, she has handled the transition so well and has loved the opportunity to explore a new place!

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Happy 4th birthday, my sweet girl. The world is a better, brighter, and more exciting place with you in it!

Kinsie Kay is THREE and a HALF!

How did this happen? It feels like she JUST turned three…then suddenly I blinked and she is halfway to FOUR! We have noticed a huge difference in her lately…she is so grown up! All of the sudden she isn’t a toddler anymore, but a little girl. Every day, we continue to be blown away by our daughter. She is such an amazing little girl and she is SO much fun to be around. She has a tender, sweet, gentle side, yet she is spunky, sassy and crazy. I love every part of her and I love getting to see her change and grow each day.

Here is a glimpse of my girl at three and a half…

  • She LOVES to learn. She can recognize all of her numbers and letters, and loves learning how to write them.
  • She can spell and write her name.
  • She can do very simple addition.
  • She LOVES to read. We read a ridiculous amount of books each day, and her teachers at school say that all she does at school is read. She memorizes a lot of her favorite books, so then she can “read” them to Brax.
  • She is currently playing soccer and doing a gymnastics class.
  • Favorite animal: hippos
  • Favorite color: pink
  • Favorite movies: Moana and Trolls
  • Favorite books: Dr. Seuss books
  • Favorite food: protein bars and pickles
  • Her favorite people to hang out with are her cousins and her brother.

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Happy half birthday, my beautiful girl!

Kinsie-saurus’s Dino Party

As you already know, Kinsie loves dinosaurs. This started around this time last year when we took her to the Children’s Museum for the first time and she loved the dinosaur exhibit. Ever since then, her love for dinosaurs has only grown. This year, when I asked her what kind of birthday party she wanted, without hesitation, she said she wanted a dinosaur party at the lake. So that’s what we did! We invited family and very close friends and the party was a huge success!

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Grandma Bev helped make most of the food, Ryan carved the dinosaur watermelon, and Aunt Renata made the awesome dinosaur cookies! We ordered the cake from Shug’s Cakes.

 

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“Kinsiesaurus” shirt made by Aunt Megan!

Some of the entertainment for the kids included digging for dino fossils in the sandbox, and the bounce house. We also had a dinosaur pinata that was a big hit! Dean ended up busting out the candy from the pinata!

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Kinsie said her favorite part of the party was opening her presents. She got some awesome stuff! Ryan had to build new shelves in her room just so we could fit all her new toys in the house!

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Our girl was pretty pumped about her dinosaur cake. When it was time for cake, the spot that we had set up was right in the sun, and I didn’t want to be in full sun for the pictures…so we moved the whole set up to the shade. Ryan (my brother-in-law) and Nate untied the banners from the tree and held them up over our new set up so we could have them in the cake pictures! World’s Best Uncles!

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It was an awesome day! Kinsie had so much fun with the people she loves. Brax had a great time too in his little dinosaur hoodie! We are so appreciative to everyone to helped out and came to celebrate our girl’s birthday. We jammed out to her birthday mix CD the whole way home!

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Kinsie is THREE!

I am in complete disbelief that my first baby is three years old! She is turning into one of the most amazing little people that I’ve ever known…and I know I may be a bit bias, but I’ve heard other people say it too! She is smart, goofy, wild, observant, curious…I could go on and on. Sometimes as I carry on conversations with her, I forget that she is just a toddler. The way her mind works amazes me and I learn and grow with her every day.

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Here are some updates on my girl at three years old…

  • Kinsie is going to preschool 3 full days a week.
  • She is FINALLY potty trained! We started the process last December, and after a few months of little progress and lots of power struggles, I took a break. After Brax was born, she saw that he was a baby and he wore diapers, and she didn’t want to wear diapers anymore. Hallelujah!
  • She is currently playing soccer for Westside United, and we plan to start her back up in gymnastics later this fall.
  • Favorite color: pink
  • Favorite animals: Hippos and dolphins
  • Favorite books: Dino Soccer and Pinkalicious
  • Favorite movies: Rio, Finding Nemo, and The Land Before Time
  • Favorite food: PB&J, pickles, mac and cheese
  • Favorite songs: Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash, Shut Up and Dance with Me – Walk the Moon, Can’t Stop this Feeling – Justin Timberlake, All Star – Smash Mouth, and Happy – Pharrell
  • Favorite TV Show: Paw Patrol, Spongebob Squarepants
  • Other loves: dinosaurs, swimming, fishing, playing with her cousins
  • She knows all her colors and shapes
  • She can count to 20 on her own, and higher with help
  • She is getting much better at learning her individual letters.
  • She is a beast at doing puzzles.
  • She has an unbelievable vocabulary.
  • She absolutely adores her baby brother.

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Birthday Adventures

Ryan was in Cincinnati for a month-long rotation from the end of August to the end of September. He has had very few days off, so most of our interaction with him has been via FaceTime. The kids and I lived with my parents during this time, which was such a blessing, but Kinsie really missed her daddy. On the morning of Kinsie’s birthday, she woke up and was a little bummed that we weren’t going to the lake for her dinosaur birthday party that day (another post for another day), and she was especially bummed that her daddy wasn’t home and that I couldn’t stay with her at preschool for her birthday. I truly believe it was a God thing that Ryan actually had Kinsie’s birthday off, so he drove home for the day, and I took a half day off work. We surprised her and picked her up early from school. I walked in first and she was happy to see me, then Ryan walked in behind me and she beamed and ran straight into her daddy’s arms! We took her to the park for a little while, but it was pretty hot out, so we left and went back to my parents’ house to swim. My mom watched Briggs that afternoon, so Kinsie was in her happy place swimming with her cousin, mommy and daddy. Brax was with Aunt Renata for the day, so it was nice to just have some quality Kinsie time. Later, we took Kinsie to Pizza King for dinner (her request). After dinner, we went to Orange Leaf. Our girl had a wonderful birthday!

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Birthday muffins for breakfast!

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Pizza King and Orange Leaf. Brax was having fun too! 🙂

Happy third birthday my beautiful girl!

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Full of Laughs at 2 and a Half

My little girl had her 2.5 birthday not too long ago! Yes, my family somewhat celebrates 1/2 birthdays. We don’t go all out, but we acknowledge the day and sometimes have a small treat and present. My mom always celebrated our 1/2 birthdays, so my sister and I have tried to keep up the tradition with our kids. Kinsie’s half birthday falls on the same day as her Papa Tim’s real birthday, so we usually try to do some kind of little celebration for the two. This year, we all got together at Aunt Megan’s and Uncle Tim’s new house and had dinner and ice cream cake. Kinsie had a BLAST chasing their pup Ali around, and getting to see some aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins.

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Whenever I do a development blog update on my girl every 1/2 year, I am amazed to look back and see how much has changed in the last 6 months. Her development has just exploded in every way. She is no longer a baby, and sometimes doesn’t even act like a toddler…but an actual little girl. She is spunky, sassy, stubborn, sweet and silly. She completely exhausts me, especially right now while I have little energy to start with, but I can’t even imagine my life without her sweet little smile!

Updates on Kinsie Kay at 2.5 years:

  • Kinsie is officially out of the crib and sleeping in a toddler bed. She is doing great, other than falling out here and there (and not even waking up in the process)!

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  • She has been pacifier-free since last October.
  • She is still potty training. The process is taking longer than I expected, but I know that she’s slowly making progress. She definitely KNOWS when she needs to go, she is just too stubborn sometimes to stop what she’s doing to go sit on the potty. She does great at home, but has a harder time other places where she is usually playing more or with other kids.

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  • She is in a major “mama’s girl” phase. This is unusual for her, because she’s usually very independent, and will happily go with anyone she feels comfortable with. She must sense the fact that the baby is coming soon, which makes me a little nervous for when he actually gets here. She still loves her daddy time, and loves playing with and climbing all over him when he’s home!
  • She has pretty much given up naps. The only time she’ll nap now is if she rides in the car in the late afternoon, then she passes out.
  • She has an unbelievable imagination. I love watching her when she plays by herself… she comes up with the most creative games and dialogue between her toys!

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  • She speaks in full sentences that are (usually) grammatically correct.
  • She can count up to 20.
  • She knows all of the main colors and shapes.
  • We are trying to teach her the individual letters of the alphabet. She knows some of them, but usually she doesn’t have the attention span to sit long enough to actually learn them. Just lately she has had more interest in letters, asking what letter a word starts with, or asking for a word that starts with a specific letter.
  • Favorite colors right now: green and pink
  • Favorite animal: hippopotamus
  • Favorite foods: pickles, yogurt, and any kind of “snacks” (just like Uncle Ry Ry)
  • Favorite movies: The Good Dinosaur, The Land Before Time, Lilo and Stitch
  • Favorite song: The Olaf “Summer” song
  • Favorite books: Biscuit the dog books, “Gallop,” and “Waddle” by Rufus Butler Seder, and anything that incorporates Spanish
  • Her two biggest obsessions are Olaf and dinosaurs.
  • Currently in gymnastics class, and will start up soccer again this weekend.

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  • She is officially signed up for preschool starting in the fall.
  • She loves “tattoos.” She is always wanting them on her hands and arms, and if we gave her as many as she wanted, she would have tattoo sleeves.
  • Other things she enjoys: Stamps, play-dough, playing outside, jumping, playing with her cousins, climbing on daddy, reading books

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This girl brings us more joy than I ever thought was possible. I can’t even begin to fathom the added joy that will come when our little boy gets here in May. I pray that Kinsie adjusts well and will be the best big sister ever!

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