Category Archives: Milestones

Double Digits for Chloe!

My baby girl is 10! How did this happen?! I can still remember those long, hard nights her first year – bouncing and singing to her at all hours of the night in hopes she’d sleep for just a bit on her own. I can remember the endless chatter when she first started talking and the hours she’d spend on the swings during her toddler years.

These days, she’s writing her own original stories and reading chapter books that are hundreds of pages long. She can bake homemade buttermilk biscuits by herself and make her own lunch (when she feels like it…) I’m thankful there are still many times when I see the kid in her – when she comes in from playing outside covered in mud or spends hours playing a game with her brother, full of made-up family members. But sometimes it catches me off guard when I see glimpses of the adult she might become!

For her 10th birthday, we told her we would take her on a trip anywhere she wanted to go. AND that we would leave her brother at home. Eventually, she decided on New York City, because she wanted to go to Carlos Bakery in Hoboken, NJ (from the show Cake Boss.) We also asked 10 friends, family members and teachers to write her a letter and we shared those with her throughout the trip. Mine started with:

“There is something about you turning 10 that has me feeling all kinds of feelings. I’m sure you haven’t noticed this, because I’m keeping it well hidden, but it’s true 😉  As you get older, you’re gaining independence, but you’re still a kid, which I know that isn’t always easy to balance. There are some things I want you to know and remember as you get older. Hopefully some of it helps.”

I followed this with advice, most of which she’ll probably forget, but I’m hopeful that bits and pieces of it are floating around in her brain now and will come in handy someday. It was fun watching her discover who the next envelope was from (and it was a great distraction, at times!) and I hope that years from now, she’ll look back and appreciate the letters even more.

This girl is a creature of habit, so even as we were in the airport on the morning of her birthday, she was asking me when I’d ask her the 20 birthday questions. She has the love of planning and the memory that pre-kids Blakely had 🙂 Thanks to her, we got the questions answered on her birthday.

  • What is your favorite color? Purple and aqua blue
  • What is your favorite toy?  Dollhouse
  • What is your favorite fruit?  Pear
  • What is your favorite TV show?  The Voice
  • What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  Mac & Cheese and fish sticks
  • What is your favorite outfit?  Anything with Harry Potter on it.
  • What is your favorite game?  Codenames
  • What is your favorite snack?  Nutella banana wrap up
  • What is your favorite animal?  A fox and a dog
  • What is your favorite song? Rewrite the Stars –from The Greatest Showman
  • What is your favorite book? Land of Stories and Harry Potter
  • Who is your best friend? Nya
  • What is your favorite movie? The Greatest Showman
  • What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Play in the mud.
  • What is your favorite drink? Vitamin water with sparkling water mixed in
  • What is your favorite holiday?  Halloween
  • What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Tangled blanket and dog
  • What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  German pancake with butter syrup and strawberries
  • What do you want for dinner on your birthday?  Ribs with mac and cheese
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? A baker or a writer

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Chloe is 9!

Oh. Chloe Mae. I cannot get over the fact that this is your last year in single digits. A friend pointed out that you’re halfway to adulthood, and I would have preferred if she’d kept that piece of information to herself 🙂 You wear size 6 (!) shoes, love to remind me that your hair is longer than mine, and are ready to jump on the “I’m almost as tall as you” bandwagon any day now. You fit the role of big sister well. You’re a great caretaker, a rule follower and can be a little bossy at times.

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You enjoy traveling and seeing new things, but can be a creature of habit like your mama. You ate cheesecake for 4/4 desserts on the train ride out to San Francisco! We spent your birthday trying to cram in a few last sights before our trip ended – and filled it with yummy food, including crepes and rolled ice cream.

I know the coming years will be trying at times, as you perfect the eye roll and test the limits of your independence, but I can’t wait to see who you become!

  • What is your favorite color? Purple
  • What is your favorite toy?  Drawing stuff.
  • What is your favorite fruit?  Raspberries.
  • What is your favorite TV show?  The Voice
  • What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  “Anything that’s not leftovers. Just kidding. Maybe fish sticks and mac and cheese. That’s better than leftovers. Unless the leftovers are leftover brisket. Then that’s my favorite. Remember when I ate that as a leftover for lunch like 5 days in a row?! Ok, that might be exaggerating. But still.”
  • What is your favorite outfit? My sequin flip shirt and Justice jeans.
  • What is your favorite game?  Clue
  • What is your favorite snack?  Nutella banana tortilla wrap up
  • What is your favorite animal?  Monkeys….and dogs. And flamingos.
  •  What is your favorite song? Rewrite the Stars and The Other Side– both from The Greatest Showman
  • What is your favorite book? Cupcake Diaries series
  • Who is your best friend? Nya
  • What is your favorite movie? The Greatest Showman
  • What is your favorite thing to do outside?  “Play cowgirl. It’s me and Devon’s game.” A few questions later… “Will you go back to the outside question? Put down floating steps. I like doing those too.”
  • What is your favorite drink? Sparkling lemonade iced tea
  • What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas
  • What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  “Tangled blanket and George. And Olaf. And my pillow.”
  • What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Bacon and…. bacon.
  • What do you want for dinner on your birthday?  Biscuits and gravy.
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? A baker.

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And Just Like That, She’s 8

Oh, my. Every year I’m taken aback by all the feels on my kiddos’ birthdays. I so enjoy watching them grow and change, but I’m not quite ready for the getting older part that comes with it!

My little girl (she’s still little – okay?!?) is in limbo these days – wanting to be treated like a “big kid” and enjoy all the perks that come with being big, but still not quite ready for all the responsibilities that come with it. Being in this limbo comes with a lot of big emotions – that we’re all learning to deal with.

These days, Chloe is most passionate about art, cooking and baking. Pretending to cook and bake, as well as playing outside (when it’s warm – she totally gets that from me!) and reading are also high on the list. She loves time with friends and enjoys playing with her little brother, about 75% of the time 🙂  When we have littles over to our house, she is nurturing, loving and entertaining. When we have bigs over, she is full of energy and loves to play elaborate games.

While she sometimes has lofty goals, she still loves the little things in life. Today, she loved the candle in her biscuits and gravy at breakfast. We had lunch at Daddy’s work, and stretching out in a lounge chair was one of her favorite parts. On the way home, I stopped at Caribou on campus and she was thrilled to get her very own hot chocolate. Her presents from us included an outdoor rocking chair and a toothbrush that lights up for 2 minutes. They were both on her list of 8 things for her 8th birthday and she was ecstatic. We finished the day by celebrating with some of her friends at Hickory Park. Her favorite part was making up names for her french fries before eating them.

I am thrilled to have such a wonderful, smart, silly girl to be raising. Listed below are the answers to the 20 questions we ask every year – more silliness and simplicity.

  • What is your favorite color? Purple
  • What is your favorite toy?  Kitchen stuff
  • What is your favorite fruit?  Bananas
  • What is your favorite TV show?  Odd Squad
  • What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  Leftover Pizza
  • What is your favorite outfit? Dresses
  • What is your favorite game?  Clue
  • What is your favorite snack?  Cheese and crackers
  • What is your favorite animal?  Dog
  •  What is your favorite song? Shake if Off – sang by Rosita and Gunther in Sing
  • What is your favorite book? Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew
  • Who is your best friend? Nya
  • What is your favorite movie? Sing
  • What is your favorite thing to do outside?  “Play cooking things in the sand”
  • What is your favorite drink? Lemonade
  • What is your favorite holiday?  Halloween
  • What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Tangled blanket, George and Monkey
  • What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Biscuits and gravy
  • What do you want for dinner on your birthday?  “Maybe breakfast if we weren’t going to Hickory Park.’
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? A cook 

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Momcomplishment – Eating a Hot Breakfast

In typical mom fashion, I rarely get to eat a hot breakfast, especially on weekdays when Daddy isn’t here as back-up. So this morning as I sat down with my pancake (reheated from the freezer) and saw that C had quickly scarfed down all but one bite, I sighed and said, “I suppose you’ll need me to get back up and get you more food?” It wasn’t my best moment, but I was hungry! So when C responded with, “No, I’m okay.” I was relieved that I could eat my food.

Then 20 seconds later, she told me she was hungry. *sigh* I suggested that she get a banana to split with her brother. That bought me a minute. Really, just one. These kids can eat very quickly (when they want to.) But then something amazing happened.

C got down from the table and walked over to the freezer. As she was opening it she said, “Are pancakes 30 seconds?” I was confused at first. “What’s happening here? What is she talking about?” Then I realized – microwave time. So I told her yes, then grabbed another bite while I watched her reseal the ziploc bag and close the freezer. I took a drink of my tea as she moved the step stool over to the microwave. She opened the microwave, put her plate in and closed it back up while I had another bite of pancake. Thirty seconds later, with some more of my breakfast gone, she opened the microwave and came back to the table with her second pancake in hand.

I got to sit for several minutes in a row and eat my still hot breakfast! I just knew it was going to be a good day 🙂

To be fair, right after C sat down, I had to get up and help D make himself another pancake ‘all by himself.’ But the promise of kids who can do for themselves is there. This might just be the first in a long line of hot, fresh meals for this Mama!

**In other news, by the looks of this picture, C had learned the art of the duck face.**

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Filed under Eating, Milestones, Parenting

“I did it myself!”

While I was feeding Devon on the couch this morning, Chloe went back to her room to play.  After a while, she called that she needed help with something.  I asked if she could come out to the living room or if I needed to go back to her room.  She didn’t answer, so I asked again (and again.)  Finally, she responded “I do it myself, mommy!” with quite a bit of attitude.

When I got done feeding Devon, I went to his room the change his diaper and she ran past the door.  I wasn’t quite sure what I’d seen and asked her to come in his room.  She was wearing this outfit:

She proudly informed me that, “I did it myself!”  She even got the socks on herself – a first for this little girl.  Despite the cool temperatures, I decided to let her wear this outfit (she has a tank top on under her sweatshirt) because she was so proud of her accomplishments.  I think it’s just time for this Mama to put the tank tops away 🙂

At lunch she got her shirt dirty and decided to switch to pants instead of capris under her skirt.  She also added her super special butterfly wings.  So this is the second outfit of the day, that she did all by herself.

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Another First

Today was Chloe’s first ‘one pair of underwear’ day.  I certainly know we’re not done having accidents and we still have a long road ahead of us, but I feel like we accomplished something at least.  We have several completed sticker potty charts and are working on a third.

Chloe Mae likes getting her stickers, and is getting the idea that she has to fill up all the squares to get a ‘big girl prize’ as she calls it.  We even worked on her counting skills tonight – she needs 5 more stickers.

But the biggest motivation for my strange, adorable, little girl – she gets to wash her hands after she goes potty.  Gotta love her!!

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Did we survive?

Indeed, we did.  Although we’re exhausted.  I’m going to blame part of this of the fact that while we spent the weekend potty training Chloe, she was dealing with a summer cold.  She was okay during the day, but had a rough time sleeping.  That means we had exhausting days and sleepless nights.  But… our days of potty training were fairly successful.  So that’s a plus!!

Saturday, Chloe made it to the potty about 15 times, including both times she needed to go #2.  We were accident free through the morning, but had 3 accidents in the afternoon.  However, all 3 time she stopped herself and ran to the potty to finish her business.  I was pretty darn impressed!!

This morning, Chloe filled up her sticker chart and got to pick out her first prize.  From all her options, she chose play-doh.

The Prize Bucket

Playing with her first prize.

Ironically, while she was playing with her play-doh, she had an accident.  Overall though, she had another good day with at least 10 successfull trips to bathroom.  We ventured out to Wendy’s for dinner (we wanted to leave the house, but didn’t want to do anything outside in a 100+ degree heat index – including grilling our dinner as planned!).  Chloe was doing well, but she was distracted by all the people in the restaurant and taking forever to eat.  As she was eating the last bite of her dinner, she started peeing all over her chair.  Awesome timing.  I ran her to the bathroom and got her changed, without any toilet paper or paper towels to help.  If I hadn’t just been ready to go home, the restaurant staff would have gotten a piece of my mind.

We spent our days reading books about going potty, sharing whenever one of us us had to go and constantly talking about the potty.  There was much celebrating when she went and lots of talk of how proud we were.  When we changed activities, I’d ask Chloe where the nearest potty was – especially when we changed levels and the location of the bathroom had changed.  I encouraged her to actually run to the bathroom to show me where it was and we talked about what she’d need to do when the time came.  Although we tried not to force her to use the bathroom at any point, we did try to pay attention to the signs and figure out when she needed to go.  We’d then bring up the potty as a reminder to her or ask if she needed to go.  And once or twice we may have reminded her that if she went potty, she’d get a sticker and evetually get a prize 🙂

Now the real challenge starts.  Five of the six misses we had over the last two days were in the evening. I don’t know if Chloe lost interest by that point in the day, if we as parents became less observant or a combination of both, but we’ll obviously need to figure that out. I’m hoping it’s not a sign of what’s to come this week, because we go back to our real lives tomorow.  Chloe goes to MissK’s and we have Tumblebugs (a toddler gymnastics-like class) in the evening.  I’d love it if we could make it through the day with no more than, or even fewer, accidents than we’ve had the last two days.  Realistically, tomorrow is a whole new battle, so I have no idea what to expect.

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