Monthly Archives: September 2015

Mom & Baby: 4 Months

I can’t believe how much has happened since I last updated on Kyler almost a month and a half ago! He turned 4 months old on September 22nd, and my last update was when he was 12 weeks old. Life has been VERY busy for both baby and myself. In fact, I’ve been working on this post for over a week now but haven’t had the time to finish it until now. Here are all the details!

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Baby

First and foremost – the growth! Kyler has grown so much! While both of my boys seem to be on the tall and thin side, Kyler continues to exceed his older brother in length and height at this age. He didn’t have a well check at 3 months but I did take him to the doctor because I was concerned about the side of his head being a little flat (more about that later). At 3 months he weighed 13 lb. 3 oz. and was 24.5 inches. At his 4 month well visit he was 14 lb. 5 oz. and 25.5 inches. He’s following his growth charts consistently and is 3 pounds bigger than Kevin was at 4 months!

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We just moved him out of 3 month clothes and into the 6 month size. It makes me sad to pack away the smaller sizes, knowing that we most likely will never put another baby in clothes that little ever again. I go back and forth about whether or not another child is in our future. Some days I want one and other days I feel done, but we’re not ready to decide for sure.

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I feel SO LUCKY to have such an easy baby this time. Kyler has been laid-back and low-maintenance since birth. I mean, he did wait 2 1/2 weeks longer than his brother to come out, so I’m not entirely surprised! He lets Kevin play with him and pull on him and act like a toddler all around him and isn’t even fazed. It’s going to be so fun to see them grow up together.

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He is a good sleeper too. Since my last update some new sleep developments have happened though. We now put him to bed in his crib between 8 and 8:30 and let him sleep rather than waking him up for a dream feed. He will usually sleep somewhere between 7 and 9 hours, waking anywhere from 3 to 5 AM, yeah! During the day he takes about 2 longer naps and a couple shorter ones here and there. We don’t have him in a set daytime routine yet when it comes to naps but I am sure we’ll get there eventually.

Fell asleep while playing on his mat!

Fell asleep while playing on his mat!

In the last week or so his sleep has been a little more inconsistent for a few reasons. 1) He learned how to roll over and wants to practice it all night long, 2) Rolling over means we can’t swaddle him like he likes us to, and 3) He’s had a couple little colds since I returned to work, which make sleeping and breathing a bit difficult at times. I know it’s just temporary and it’s already starting to get better but ugh, I can’t wait for it to get back to how it was! Despite less sleep and a snotty nose, he’s still as happy as can be. Look at that smile! It puts me in a good mood instantly!

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Since we dropped one night feeding Kyler eats 7x a day very consistently. He has pretty much fallen into his own schedule. He has his first morning feeding between 3 and 5 AM, and then I feed him again before he goes to daycare, around 6:30 AM. At daycare he gets three bottles (4 oz. each), at around 9:30, 12:30, and 3:30. Once we are home I feed him around 6:00 and 8:00 before he goes to bed. He is still a GREAT eater, and has no issues switching from the boob to the bottle anymore. I also pump before I go to bed, around 9:45-10:00.

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My supply is amazing this time around. I know we’re only 4 months in, but by this time with Kevin I was already supplementing so I feel really good about that. I am pumping on average 20 oz. a day and he eats 12 oz. so I’m able to put quite a bit away. I have over 400 ounces frozen right now – woo hoo! It’s pretty obvious that breastfeeding is going better this time around based on the cheeks, belly and rolls this kid has!

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Kyler has gotten really interactive with people and with his toys. His hand-eye coordination has improved and he’s really good and grabbing things and holding onto them. He has also started putting everything he can get his hands on in his mouth, and he’s drooling like crazy.

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Kyler loves his floor time, especially now that he can roll in both directions (back to belly, belly to back). We really amped up his tummy time after the doctor pointed out that the side of his head was a little flat, due to him preferring to sleep on that side. When I brought him back to the pediatrician to get it checked at 3 months, she said the muscles in his neck were also starting to get tight from him always turning his head to that side, so we were sent home with a bunch of stretches to do daily and started doing a lot more tummy time at home and daycare. At his 4 month appointment our pediatrician was really happy with the improvement, which is great news. I was worried because having a flat side can cause the skull and brain to develop incorrectly, but it seems as though we’ve fixed the problem, thankfully! He also loves doing little mini-crunches when he is lying down on his back, like he’s trying to sit himself up. He’s a strong boy!

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He loves cuddling and being close to us, either in our arms or in a baby carrier. He is also super ticklish and cracks up when we put his socks on his feet, take off his onesie or change his diaper.

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Babywearing at the Farmers Market

Babywearing at the Farmers Market

Kyler is totally infatuated with water and loves taking baths and showers. He smiles the entire time and puts on a pouty face when it is time to get out. He’s my little water baby, which is awesome since that’s where he was born!

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Here are a few other pictures from the past month that I love!

Bouncing himself in his seat

Bouncing himself in his seat


Kyler loves going for walks outside

Kyler loves going for walks outside


My boys are already totally attached to each other :)

My boys are already totally attached to each other 🙂


Hanging out with his friend Autumn- the daughter of my running buddy Laura who is 4 months older.

Hanging out with his friend Autumn- the daughter of my running buddy Laura who is 4 months older.


Kyler got to meet Leighton & Chanda when they visited from Germany!

Kyler got to meet Leighton & Chanda when they visited from Germany!


Dressed by daddy

Dressed by daddy

Body

Since my last update a little over a month ago I have gone from 137 pounds to 133, putting me 3 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. I think I’ve lost a few more pounds for a couple reasons. First, I have been so hungry and eating so much. A lot of the time what I’m grabbing isn’t the best food because I’m so busy, so it’s pretty unbelievable that I’m losing weight at all. Second, now that I’m back to work I am moving literally all day long. It’s pretty crazy how active I am this year. Finally, I have been running more as I work to increase my mileage and build up a base for marathon training later this year. It’s hard to fuel the body enough for running and breastfeeding and working, but I’m a work in progress! I totally forgot to take a 4 month postpartum photo of myself, so I’ll do that tomorrow and insert it below!

In other body news, in the last month I ran the Hartwood 10 Miler, my first longer distance race after baby. It was a good race that got me really excited for the fall racing season. As the weather cools down and time passes, I am starting feel like my pre-pregnancy self more and more. My “easy” run paces and speedwork paces are slowly getting back to where they were and it feels great! I’m still listening to my body to ensure I recover fully and don’t do too much too soon, but I’m also starting to push myself more and I love it.

And the not so good side… post-partum hormones really do a number on me! My skin is going crazy and breaking out, right on my chin which is where I always get hormonal acne. I’m also losing big chunks of hair. Pretty soon I’ll be sporting the lions mane as it starts growing back. I also have those little keratosis pilaris bumps on my arms and legs, that my dermatologist is a result of hormones and will go away eventually. So glamorous! But the good thing is that I know it’s all temporary and will eventually go away as my body continues to get back to normal. And these cute little faces are worth all of it!

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Mind

My biggest challenge emotionally this month was going back to work. It was a huge adjustment for me when I had to go back after Kevin was born at only 8 weeks postpartum. This time around I had another month, since Kyler was born at the end of the school year. Having that extra time made it a little easier, but it still broke my heart to drop them at daycare the first couple of weeks. It still does hurt sometimes when I think about how I’m spending the days with other peoples’ kids instead of my own, but I have accepted that this is how it is for now and that they’re very much loved and well taken care of – even if it’s not by me. Plus, my days are so insanely busy this year that the days fly by super fast, and before I know it I’m holding my boys in my arms again.

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Along with going back to work comes pumping. Oh, how I have a love/hate relationship with pumping. I love it because it allows me to stay connected to Kyler while I’m at work and give him the healthiest food for his little growing body. But it’s just so hard sometimes to find the time and energy in my super busy day to pump 3 times. However, not having to worry about supply (yet) is a huge blessing and I’m so thankful for that. I’m pumping more than he eats right now, which is amazing. I just need to make sure I don’t let myself get too stressed, and remember to drink water during the day and I think I’ll be good.

Pumping in a storage closet!

Pumping in a storage closet!

As if a new baby and a demanding job wasn’t enough, I decided to take on yet another challenge this year by taking a class. We meet on Tuesday evenings after work from 4:30 – 7:30. I really love what I’m learning about and I know it’s making me a better teacher, but it’s still hard to be away from my kids for basically an entire day. There’s no way I could have done this without my amazing husband, who encouraged me to go for it. He knew I had been waiting for an opportunity to take part in this course for a long time, and when my principal offered it to me I couldn’t turn it down. So while I’m off learning and when I’m doing work in the evenings, daddy is holding down the fort at home – and I must say he is great at it! I am a very lucky woman to have him as my partner!

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Kyler & Daddy

Kyler & Daddy

This next month should be an exciting one for us – we have our annual trip to French Creek coming up, my first post baby #2 half marathon and more coming up. But for now, this tired mama needs to get to bed!

Previous Mom & Baby posts:

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Kevin’s 3 Year Update

On September 12th, my oldest baby boy turned 3 years old! A lot has changed in his world since my last update when he was 2 1/2. He impresses and amazes me, exhausts and tests me, and I fall more and more in love with him every day. Here are all the details about Kevin at the age of 3 (it’s a long one!).

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Toddler

At his 3 year appointment on Friday Kevin was 39.5 inches tall (90th percentile) and 32 pounds (50th percentile). He’s still a tall and skinny kid! He held steady at 31 pounds for a good 7 months or so, and finally gained a little more weight. He wears size 3-4T in shirts and pants, depending on the brand. Since he’s so tall and thin, we’ve been needing to use the pants that adjust in the waist, especially now that he’s not in a diaper anymore (yay!).

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Yes, my boy is POTTY TRAINED! Woo hoo! We’re still wearing diapers during naps and at night, but the rest of the time he’s in underwear. He’s only had a couple accidents (knock on wood). He was showing interest in the potty before Kyler was born, but then had a regression after the birth. We thought that might happen so we backed off for a little while. He started showing interest again a couple months ago but was really inconsistent- some days he would want to and some days he wouldn’t. We decided to go for it one day about a week before he turned 3, and told him we were going to try no diapers for the whole day. He did AMAZING! He was a little afraid to poop on the potty for a few days, but now he is good to go. I’m so proud of him! He’s been waking up dry some days, so we’ll start slowly transitioning into not needing any protection at night or during naps next.

So weird to see his little butt in underwear and not a diaper!

So weird to see his little butt in underwear and not a diaper!

In Kevin’s 2.5 year update I mentioned we had moved him to a regular-sized mattress on the floor of his nursery. Since then we have made him his very own “big boy room” and the transition has been great. Like potty training, I’m learning that if you wait for your child to be ready to take these big steps, it is a lot easier (shocker, LOL).

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His sleep has been pretty good over the past 6 months. He still goes to sleep between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. and we get him up for daycare around 6:30 a.m., so he gets 11 hours a night on average. Naps have been a little more hit-or-miss these days. Some days he will nap for 2+ hours, some days he won’t nap at all. I thought maybe he was dropping his nap, but when he doesn’t take one he is absolutely miserable, so I think he still needs it. It’s harder to get him to nap when he’s at daycare, probably because he doesn’t want to miss anything. We can always tell when he hasn’t napped though, because he will usually fall asleep as soon as we start driving. The photo below was taken when he told us he didn’t need to nap anymore because he was a big boy… yeah right, kid. LOL!

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Since he’s in his own room now he’s allowed to read his books and play with his stuffed animals before he goes to sleep or if he wakes up early. We also let him have “quiet time” in there if he refuses to nap. It’s pretty cute and funny to watch him on the monitor “reading” to himself and playing imaginary games!

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I thought the jump in verbal skills/vocabulary was huge between age 2 and 2.5, but over the last 6 months it has exploded like crazy. The sentences he’s putting together and the new words he’s learning are amazing. He loves to tell stores, ask questions, repeat things he’s heard us say (oops, gotta watch what we talk about a lot more these days!), talk about things that happened last night/week/year (seriously, he has an amazing memory). He pretty much never stops talking. Tonight at dinner he said, “Actually I want my cheese separate please, Mommy”… what?! Is he 3 or 13?

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Speaking of food, Kevin is a pretty good eater most of the time. His appetite still tends to come and go and varies by the day. He still loves all fruit, dairy products like milk and cheese, eggs, pancakes, peanut butter, beans and roasted chickpeas, pasta, avocado, and green smoothies. He does like more veggies these days which is nice. He’ll eat zucchini, broccoli, spinach, asparagus and peas. He does have his picky moments, but we’ve stopped catering to them as much. He knows now that he gets what we’re having for dinner and that’s it!

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Loving his broccoli

Pancake breakfast with daddy!

Pancake breakfast with daddy!

First time eating corn on the cob

First time eating corn on the cob

So… I have heard that the terrible twos were nothing compared to the “threenage” years, and we’re already getting a glimpse of that. We have a ton of really good days. But with that comes some difficult days as well. He has developed quite the little attitude, especially if things don’t go his way. We’re learning how to deal with it and implement fair and consistent consequences, but it’s a work in progress.

Throwing a fit because his chalk broke and he wanted me to put it back together...

Throwing a fit because his chalk broke and he wanted me to put it back together…

Note from daycare...

Note from daycare…

And another one... sigh...

And another one… sigh…

But the good days and the sweet moments are SO good! He is so affectionate and loving. Over the last few months he has started to tell us he loves us out of nowhere, rather than just in response to us. He also has started telling us we are his best friends. It seriously melts my heart.

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Along the same lines, Kevin loves to help us any way he can. He will help us clean up, cook, do laundry, and work outside in the yard.

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While he loves to be with us and have us play with him, he can also be fiercely independent and stubborn like both mommy and daddy, and want to do things all by himself. I really like giving him independent playtime each day for this reason. He has taught himself how to do puzzles and build awesome creations with blocks and legos. He got a ton of new puzzles and legos for his birthday and is so excited about them.  I like to think he’s going to grow up to be some kind of engineer or something!

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He also loves to do arts and crafts and creative/imaginative play. He’s really into painting, drawing/coloring, play-doh and playing pretend with his kitchen, stuffed animals, doctors kit, and other toys.

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Painting with his friend Stephanie

He learned to draw people and then drew his family :)

He learned to draw people and then drew his family 🙂

Sidewalk chalk with Sharyn (my dad's girlfriend)

Sidewalk chalk with Sharyn (my dad’s girlfriend)

Kevin loves to be outside, whether it’s in our backyard or around our house, going for walks around the neighborhood as a family, playing at the playground, hiking in the woods… I really think he’s happiest when he is outdoors.

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One thing that makes me extremely happy and proud is that he’s showing an interest in running. He loves to go to the track each week to play and run around with me. He’s pretty fast for a little guy (although not as fast as his friend Stephanie – you go girl!) 🙂 He also loves running with daddy. He can run up to a mile now!

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He even participated in his first race! We did the Great Train Race – a children’s event in Fredericksburg – back in May shortly before Kyler was born. He did the quarter mile Caboose Run and had an absolute blast. He loves wearing his medal around the house and is always asking when we can do another one.

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He also loves the water, and we tried to let him play in it as much as possible this summer. We went to the pool, splash pad, and the beach. I was really surprised to see that he remembered a lot of the skills he learned back when we had him in swim lessons last year!

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He still loves music. Dancing and singing are two of his favorite things. We went to a wedding and he seriously broke it down on the dance floor. I loved it! We also found out the other night that he knows how to whip and nae-nae from a friend at daycare. He always has us cracking up. Here are videos of both 🙂

Kevin has had his share of bumps and bruises over the last few months. He’s super clumsy and his legs are covered in battle wounds. He had his first black eye when he fell into a table, and I’m sure there are more where that came from.

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He had his first dentist appointment as well, which actually went better than I thought it would. The place we took him was not a children’s dentist, but they were super accommodating and great with kids. They let him wear cool glasses and explained everything in kid-friendly terms (like brushing the sugar bugs off his teeth). They let him watch the TV while they worked. He did a great job, and ever since then he hasn’t fought us when we brush his teeth. No cavities either! Yay!

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He also had surgery this past July with a pediatric urologist to repair a hydrocele/hernia he had developed that was causing him pain. It was so unbelievably scary and nerve-wracking to know my little boy would be having surgery and have to go under anesthesia. He took it like a champ though and I was so proud of him!

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Obviously, the biggest thing to happen in my little boy’s world over the last 6 months was his transition from only child to big brother! Before the baby came, he was very aware of the fact that he was going to have a baby brother. He was so sweet and would rub my belly, talk to him, and tell me all about how he was going to play with baby Kyler once he was here.

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Once Kyler was born, it was like he grew up overnight. It was pretty amazing actually. All of a sudden my little baby boy looked like a big boy. We had a rough couple of weeks while our family transitioned from 3 to 4, but for the most part Kevin is so sweet, caring, and protective of his brother.

Meeting baby brother for the first time

Meeting baby brother for the first time

A lot can change in two months!

A lot can change in two months!

Loves to help feed his brother bottles

Loves to help feed his brother bottles

And reads to him to keep him entertained :)

And reads to him to keep him entertained 🙂

Kisses for brother

Kisses for brother

Joining him for tummy time

Joining him for tummy time

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Bath time!

He wanted to feed his Mickey like mommy feeds Kyler :)

He wanted to feed his Mickey like mommy feeds Kyler 🙂

I have tried my best to still give him a lot of attention and one-on-one time, because it’s important to both of us. I play with him when Kyler’s happy and doesn’t need me or when he’s sleeping, and I like to take him out places by myself. He loves to go on dates with mommy!

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Finally, we did a little bit of traveling over the last months. We went to Pennsylvania a few times to see my family and friends, and for my cousin’s wedding. He also got to take a special trip up to PA with daddy to Steelers training camp which he loved! We went to Myrtle Beach like we usually do to visit my in-laws, but we took a big step and left Kevin there without us for a few days for the first time. We also went to Raleigh for a weekend – a new to us city – and had a blast exploring together.

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Going on his first rides in Myrtle Beach!

Going on his first rides in Myrtle Beach!

I honestly cannot believe how quickly the last 3 years have gone. I’m so thankful to this little boy for making me a mommy and teaching me so much. He’s made me a better person and I could not imagine life without him. We love you Kevin Troy, and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

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Previous updates on Kevin:

Kevin’s 3rd Birthday

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My first baby boy turned 3 years old yesterday! I’m not really sure how that is possible, since it still feels like we just brought him home from the hospital last week. As many of you know, his birthday is extra special because he shares it with two other family members: his daddy and his grandma! Yes, my husband was born on his mom’s birthday back in 1987, and then our son was born on the same day in 2012. It’s still hard to wrap my mind around how that happened, but it’s true!

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This year we really wanted Kevin’s input on what he wanted to do for his birthday. He’s definitely old enough now to have more of a voice and he has a bunch of friends to help him celebrate. His celebration started the day before his birthday (Friday) when we brought some cupcakes to daycare.

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The next day was his actual birthday. We started the day off with a special pancake breakfast for both of my birthday boys!

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Since his birthday was on a Saturday we were able to have his party the same day. He requested a “Bounce House” party, so we reserved the Fun Zone at a local sports field house. The Fun Zone is perfect for toddlers and kids because it has three huge inflatable pieces, plus lots of room to run around and play.

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After two years of elaborate, Pinteresty, do-it-yourself parties I was ready to take it down a notch and let someone else do all the work! Plus, the weather turned out to be rainy with storms, so I was very thankful that we chose an indoor party this year. It was a big hit. The kids (and adults) loved it, and by the end of the hour they were sweaty and ready to eat.

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The littlest party guests!

The littlest party guests!

Even Kyler had fun bouncing!

Even Kyler had fun bouncing!

After our time in the Fun Zone was up we headed into our party room. It was all set up with everything we needed, including the food: pizza, fruit, water, and juice- nice and simple!

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Kevin had 10 friends (not including the babies) come with their families. It was a great number, not too many but not too few. The room felt full of love 🙂

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After eating we had dessert, which Kevin picked out (he loves tractors and John Deere). It was actually cupcakes on the bottom and a cake on top… pretty cool! Kevin loves blowing out candles so I made sure to put a lot of them on there for him.

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And then it was present time. Kevin was so excited about every single one. He got some great things that will be awesome additions as we move out some of the toys he is starting to outgrow. Lots of puzzles, books, and things to build with!

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And his favorite present of all was from his Mamaw and Papaw – a balance bike! He fell in love as soon as he saw it and has been practicing riding it ever since. It was a special day for a special little boy that I love so much.

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In the next week or so I hope to write an official 3 year update on Kevin. Things have changed a LOT in my little man’s world since the last update I wrote at 2 1/2! I can’t believe how big he is and that I now have a THREEnager! 🙂

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Kevin’s Previous Birthday Posts:

P.S. I have a long list of blog posts I want to write, but I haven’t had much time lately with school starting up again and passing colds and sicknesses back and forth between my family members. Now that we are past the first few weeks and getting healthy again, things should start improving around here! Thanks for your patience 🙂