Sunday, March 26, 2017

Family Updates

Kate and Edwin are growing up so fast! Kate is 4 years and 9 months old, while Edwin will be turning 3 in just five days :) Having them close in age has helped them be great buddies. I love seeing them giggle and play together.

Kate: 4yrs 9mo & Edwin: 2yrs 11mo

We went to the Sacramento Zoo to celebrate Jon's dad's 65th birthday this weekend, and the weather was spectacular!

The kids had a blast, eating ice cream and popcorn, riding the train, and seeing fantastic rescue animals: lions, red pandas, flamingos, zebras, giraffes, lemurs, apes, monkeys, reptiles, an anteater, and even a tortoise that they could pet. :)

Kate and Edwin's cousin AnnMarie got to come with us too. She loves helping the kids, and they think she is just the greatest!


When we're not having exciting adventures like going to the zoo, we keep pretty busy at home:

Kate is super spunky and into BRIGHT colors. She mixes and matches her outfits and definitely knows what she likes :)

She is a little sponge, learning more and more each day. Kate knows all her letters and can count well. She has been pretending a lot lately that she is writing stories and letters to people, and we have begun to sound out words together as we write.

Kate is also becoming more independent and sassy each day. It's crazy to me how strong willed and determined she can be.

Striking a pose for the camera!

She is very thoughtful, but almost demanding in her insistence that she gets to help others in the way that she has pre-decided they need to be helped. Kate always wants to serve food to people at dinner, butter their toast at breakfast, and pour their juice. She likes to pick out my shoes, and put the toilet seat covers down for me in public restrooms, and wants to turn the lights on for me when I enter a room. She doesn't always seem to understand why others occasionally want to do something for themselves, when she is right there volunteering! haha. But we are working on better communication and helping her see that while she has GREAT ideas, she also needs to respect others' ideas and personal space. We can't read her mind, after all, so we help her see that she needs to share her plans if she wants us to all be in on it with her ;)

Edwin is such a dear little man. He is very articulate and absolutely hilarious! He is also very sensitive and emotional.

He still needs a good solid nap each day, but we feel like he'll be cutting back soon. Right now he naps a good two hours around 2-4pm. If he skips a nap occasionally, he gets REALLY grumpy by 5pm. Although he will be 3 years old next week, I am still very grateful for his naptimes, and that I can occasionally share them with him ;)

Edwin loves to help out around the house, especially with cleaning.

He also enjoys seeing how things work, and definitely has a little engineering brain.

Having big kid bunk beds has been going great! (or, as great as it could be with two rambunctious children under 5.) They pretty much stay in their beds once we say prayers and give hugs and kisses goodnight. A few days a week they ask if they can have a "sleepover" and either Edwin will climb up into Kate's bed, or she will climb down into Edwin's and they will lay there reading books and laughing wildly together until they either pass out, or get super cranky and have to be separated again, haha! :)

I'm really enjoying their room lately.

It is full of fun things to play with (like a mini trampoline, reading tee-pee, tons of legos and stuffed animals, and a play kitchen), as well as personal artwork, and glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. The big kid beds give them room to grow while still having lots of extra floor room that we didn't have when there were two cribs in the room. I love that Edwin's mattress is on the floor, because he is all over the place and rolling around constantly when he sleeps. Kate seems to enjoy her private loft, and the bed is designed great so we have no worries about her falling out. I like that it isn't a full, tall bunk-bed height. The toddler height is perfect so that I can stand at the edge of Kate's bed and talk to her and give her hugs without even having to stand on a step stool. ;)

Kate and Edwin have also both figured out how to use our Google Home and love to talk to her about everything. "Hey, Google! Do you like me?" "Hey, Google, what's a shamrock?" They will have her set timers, play music, and answer questions all over the place. Their most requested soundtracks are Toy Story, and Mary Poppins. :)

Kate and Edwin's biggest obsession right now, though, is MOANA. We saw it in theaters a couple months ago, and then got it on DVD the day it came out... we have now seen it at least 12 times. HAHA Good thing it is such a fun movie! They have never been so into anything before, so this is a new stage for us. They love the music, and pretend play that they are characters from Moana all the time. They like to talk to their friends about Moana and ask me constantly how things relate back to the story... "Is this like Maui's fish hook??" "Is it being silly like the ocean??" "I have a flower in my hair like Moana!" "Look, we run into things like Hei-Hei!"

So far it's been pretty cute, and I think I like the movie and music just about as much as they do. ;) It's a win-win. (for now)

The last time that I asked Edwin what his favorite dinner food was, he said lollipops... but I actually think he is partial to potstickers, burritos, and pizza. Kate still speaks highly of spaghetti and meatballs, although any food we eat is very much devoured based on her mood at the time. We can definitely count on her stating that she doesn't like whatever xyz we are eating before she ever tries it. AND she is not very interested in sweets. Kate always seems to like the idea of desserts, but will typically take one bite of something and then say she is done. Yeah, I don't get it either ;)

The kids continue to have a few words and phrases that they say incorrectly, and I love it! Banalalas (bananas), and Chimera Flag (American Flag), for example.

Meanwhile our family is loving the California sunshine and the taste of Springtime. While winter brought a TON of rain this year, we have had a few days in the 70's recently, which has made for some nice bike riding and empty-field exploring. :) We were even able to have a Family Home Evening picnic up at the temple with some great friends a couple weeks ago:

We're hoping that the warm weather will continue to stick around! Right now we're toggling back and forth between long sleeves and wool socks, and t-shirts and flip flops.

One thing's for sure: more adventures from the Alston family, coming up!