Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Christmas Post

Happiness: Visiting M-F, Hanging out with my family, playing games all evening after the kids are in bed. It is good. Here are the kids with my parents on Christmas Eve~
Here are the kids on Chrismas Eve tracking Santa. So cute.
Eleison and Camden - little partners in crime. Today they were dumping out the entire Blokus game. When I talked to them about it Eleison said, "it was fun."
Thanks Strandbergs for the Gingerbread house to decorate. It was so fun, and some of the candy even made it on the gingerbread house!
My mom and dad made Christmas gifts for us. This was ours, my mom cut out and painted a Nativity set for us. I love, love, love it!
Look how cute it is- it will be so fun to put out every year.

For Nathan and Tennille they made windows for their house. They will look amazing. Say a little prayer that shipping all three of them back to Minnesota is successful.
One of my favorite quotes from Christmas is courtesy of Hudson. He got $20 in his stocking (good for the kids when my dad does the stocking stuffers). The $20 was tied in popularity as the favorite stocking stuffer with a little plastic gum ball machine from the dollar store. I asked him what he was going to do with his $20, which is about $19 more than he has ever had in his life. His response was classic: "I think I'm going to buy 2o more of the gumball machines."
Ready for bed Christmas Eve- How cute are my girls?
And finally, here is Reagan in her Christmas dress.
Hope your Christmas was as great as ours has been.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Three already???

Dear Camden~

You turn three today. THREE! I can hardly believe how big you are! You tell us all the time that you are a big boy, yet you love to get out of the shower and have me wrap you in a towel and, "carry you like a baby" and even rock you all snuggled up like that.

I started blogging right after you were born, so much of your life is chronicled here. You have led a life these first three years that has given me lots and lots to write about. I don't see that changing any time soon.

You have a personality that just doesn't stop. You make us laugh constantly and amaze us with the different things you figure out. You talk ALL THE TIME. As in CONSTANTLY. Something crosses your mind and it is out your mouth before the thought could possibly be finished in your little head.

You want to do everything your older brother and sister do. This year that included school. Since Hudson and Ainsley were both in school this year we had to do something, so when they started school this fall you and I started "potty school." You told everyone that you were going to potty school. It actually worked quite well, until you learned that you couldn't ride the bus and that was a bit of a problem.

You love the letter C and anything that has a C in it you think is yours. Other children with boxes of Crayola Crayons are a bit of a problem because there are two C's you can find, so clearly they belong to you alone. When Grandma Arlene told you that you had earned an "A" in potty school you were stressed and told her that you had a "C," at first she tried to tell you that an A was better, until we realized you were wanting a "C" because that is the best letter.

A few of our favorite things you do are:
-put your fingers up over your eyes to make little circles like they are binoculars when we are out on a walk and you are looking at something special.
-you save face when something has not gone quite right by saying in this cute little voice, "oh yeah, sorry, that was just and ac-s-dent."
-every book you read is your favorite.
-you call Reagan's blanket that is like your blue blankie her "pink-blue blankie."
-daily you exclaim that Reagan is, "so cute!"
-you will try to do just about anything.
The last few weeks since we had Reagan have been a bit challenging for you. You had a good run as the youngest in the family, and it is a tough position to give up. If I am nursing Reagan you sit on my lap too, if I'm holding her you suddenly have a tummy ache, and you are putting her binkie in your mouth and chewing it- you haven't used a pacifier since you were 6 months old so you don't even know how to suck on it! Despite being a bit traumatized right now I know it won't be long before you don't remember life before Reagan and that you are going to like having someone younger than you in the family and another person to play with.

Your energy level can totally wear us out, but we wouldn't change it for anything Camden. We love you so much and have so much fun watching you grow and develop. This last year has brought us so much joy in watching you change from a baby into a little boy.

We can't wait to see what this next year has in store for us with you. We know it won't be boring with you around. Most of all we are excited because we know this will be the year you start to know and understand more about the God who made you and loves you.

We love you Camden.

Here you are with your soccer ball birthday cake.
We went to Mt. Scott pool to celebrate your birthday.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I interrupt your day...

for some cuteness~

doesn't it make you want to go snuggle up and take a nap?

Yep, we are Hudson.

I was up in the attic getting Christmas stuff down and Hudson of course followed me. I don't know what exactly what it is about the attic that he is so drawn to, but he loves it up there. It could be the pull down ladder, the bins of mysterious stuff, or the slightly dangerous feeling he has up there, but for some reason he loves it.

When I moved Christmas tubs around to reveal our outdoor nativity set he looked at it and said, "OH! I forgot about that!" (Christmas decorations are so fun with kids, I love how they seem so new and exciting, but yet elicit memories for them at the same time.)

Then he said after a pause, "We are really big fans of Jesus aren't we?"

That is pretty high up my list of my favorite things my kids have ever said.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Christmas Tree

There are lots of reasons I love living in Damascus. One of my favorites is being able to walk to Thompson Farms to get produce. It really benefits us every season because they have 8 acres of Christmas trees growing just across from our greenway. It made me giggle to think of the years we drove for miles to get to a you-cut tree farm. Here are the kids next to the tree we picked.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Proud Siblings

The adjustment to having a new sibling is going pretty well. Bringing Reagan home from the hospital to meet the kids was so fun. They were waiting outside for us and rushed up to the car, we had a hard time even getting her out of the car because they were so excited to see her.
They had made a big sign to put on our garage with my parents. It was so cute.
Ainsley is just so happy to have a sister. When we were at the hospital she wrote a song for Reagan that she sang over and over to her on the phone. When we got home she had written the song out on a little poster- this picture is when she was singing to her in person for the first time- the pink paper is the song.
The big surprise has been how Hudson just adores Reagan. He went from telling us he wasn't going to hold the baby if it was a girl, to BEGGING to hold her all the time. He is absolutely in love with her.
Camden is the one that has had his world rocked a little more with the new member of the family. This doesn't surprise any of us, being that he is the one who has had his position in the family changed the most. While he is being really clingy, he does exclaim at least 5 times a day, "she's so cute!" so at least he does enjoy her. He also has tried biting my feet, legs, and shoulder telling me that I'm feeding him, so we are for sure dealing with some issues.
I took Reagan in to the kids school so they could show her off. They both were so excited to show their friends how they could hold her and how little she was.

Everyone asks if Reagan looks like the other kids, she does. Her face is a little narrower than the other kids at this age, but she looks like Ainsley's baby pictures. She even has the same amount of hair. I'm so happy that they all match!

Turkey Bowl

As long as I'm trying to catch up on blog photos I thought I'd also jump back to Thanksgiving. One of our neighbors (thanks Katz family!) organized a Turkey Bowl out in our greenway. Hudson has been excited about it since Halloween when we heard about it. He wanted to practice all the time. It was flag football, but he practiced tackle, "the real way" he insists.

Ainsley was originally drawn to the event by the promise of donuts and hot chocolate, but ended up loving playing football. She found that her soccer skills transfered over and she did a great job of kicking off- perfect straight, long kicks!
It was pretty wet and cold, so Camden stopped about half way through, but daddy, Ainsley, and Hudson had a great time to the very end. Can you see the chocolate smeared all over Camden's face? Our kids didn't need Thanksgiving dinner- they were happy with their morning treats.
I would be a negligent wife if I didn't mention that Andrew scored not one, but two touchdowns. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Baby catch-up post

Okay- It has been three weeks since we had Reagan, and since I posted anything on our blog. It is not for lack of blog material- it is for lack of time, as anyone who has ever had more than one child can imagine. Someone at church told me that when you have one child you are a couple with a child, when you have two kids you are now technically a family, when you have three kids and you are now outnumbered and life really begins. I am adding that when you get to four kids it is a whole special kind of crazy.

The good news is so far it hasn't been very crazy- but come March when it is raining all the time, tennis season is underway, and my mom is not here all bets are off.

So, while I have the time here are some pictures to catch you up on little baby Reagan.

Here I am with her right after she was born:
I am so happy that I don't have to be pregnant again, but I will miss not getting to do "delivery days" ever again. All four of my babies births have been so wonderful- Reagan's birth was so calm yet exciting. What a blessing to get to have babies!

Here she is having her first bath, which she didn't appreciate much.
And here she is all dressed for the first time- in hospital clothes- see more about that below.

And here we are with her the next morning after she was born.

Andrew went to Lloyd center to buy clothes for her- we didn't have any infant girl stuff. Evidently 8 years is too long for me to keep clothes without giving them away. We discovered the night before going to the hospital that we didn't have girl stuff. I'm pretty sure that was Murphy's Law kicking in and that is why we ended up with a girl :) So actually that worked out well. (Although actually we are crediting Ainsley with the girl because she said she prayed every day in the shower the whole time I was expecting that the baby would be a girl. Her teacher told us that she told her whole class about her prayer schedule.)

Lots more pictures and stories to come!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Here she is!

Woo Hoo!

Reagan Joy Pate joined our family at 5:16 pm today. She weighed 8 lbs and 1.5 oz. She is 21 and 1/2 inches long.
She is absolutely darling! She matches her siblings in looks, lots of brown hair.
We have had the name for the last SIX years, waiting for a little girl to give it to. If we had a boy we were in trouble because we were stuck between Beckett, Beckham, Baylor, and Tabor. We were probably going to go with Beckham Malachi.

She is a doll and my labor and delivery went great. I pushed for 10 minutes and it was simple and perfect.

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers. We can't wait for everyone to meet her!

Here we go...

Checked into the hospital this morning- we are very ready to find out who little Pate #4 is going to be!

Here is the obligatory picture of me for the LAST time looking like this! Woo Hoo!

And look, my cute painted toes- courtesy of a fun pedicure with Heather and Cyndi yesterday afternoon. Who could ask for better friends!
I will post as the day goes on...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Family planning

The upcoming arrival of #4 is the big point of conversation around our house. It is going to be interesting because Ainsley is desperate for a sister, Hudson says he won't hold the baby unless it is a boy, and Camden thinks the baby in his tummy is bigger than the one in my tummy.

One of our best conversations happened yesterday morning. Ainsley was brushing her hair in our room when the following conversation happens:

Ainsley: So both my grandparents had 2 kids, you guys are having 4, so I'll probably have 6.

Me: What if it is a doubling pattern instead of an adding pattern so you'll have 8?

Ainsley: No way.

(pause) Andrew and I giggle.

Ainsley: Well, I guess if this baby ends up being a boy and I have to learn to deal with three little brothers I could probably handle 8 kids.

Good. I'm looking forward to lots of grandkids. :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The differences between kids.

I know your not supposed to compare you kids, but it sure is fun sometimes to see how different God can make people even with the same genetic make-up. Ainsley and Hudson both going to the same school has highlighted these differences lately.

Our little first-born, rule-follower has NEVER in her entire school career gone to the nurses office. She has come home from school two times, ones in first grade and once in second actually crying because she was so sick but wouldn't tell her teacher because she was too freaked out to go through the trauma of being sent out of the room to go to the office and health room.

Our little second-born adventure seeker has managed to make his way to the nurses office twice already in 6 weeks of half-day school. The first time he evidently witnessed another child getting to get an ice pack because he had a headache. So the very next day Hudson convinced his teacher he needed to go get a ice pack. When he told me about it he explained that he did have a headache, "remember, back when I got my tonsils out." Yes sweetie, but that was in August. His second time he saw that someone else got a neon yellow band-aid and he thought that was cool. So he picked out one of the numerous wounds on his leg that are always around and suddenly needed a band-aid for it. What is especially funny about that is he wouldn't actually put it on the abrasion, he just wanted the band-aid. Ainsley has discovered, and shared the information with Hudson, that band-aids do not actually do anything to help the pain of a wound, and eventually inflict more pain when the band-aid must be removed. Consequently, they both would rather let blood gush out of a cut for hours rather than apply a band-aid.

Camden is not yet capable of understanding of this reasoning and would love to have his entire body covered in band-aids at all times. The problem with this is he is super sensitive to the adhesive in band-aids, so a week after the sore has healed he still has huge red marks where the band-aid was stuck. Figures doesn't it?

I drop Hudson off at school every afternoon. He recently revealed to me his little routine when he goes into the building. It turns out rather than go directly into his classroom, my little adventurer heads down the hall, then the wrong direction to take a stroll through the cafeteria. His drop off time is between the first and second lunch times so there aren't any kids in there yet, but he wanders through to see what is going on in there, see what is for hot lunch, and sometimes talk to the lunch lady. He said he also looks down the long hall to look for Ainsley, and then sometimes walks through the library. Ainsley would go directly from point A to point B, Hudson is on his own little self-guided school tour.

Ainsley has had hot lunch at school exactly one time, in kindergarten. She vowed she would rather not eat than ever have hot lunch again. It is gross, and even worse, it takes too long to get so you don't get to chat at the table as long or go to recess as early. The first long Wednesday when Hudson got to eat at school he of course wanted to try hot lunch. He of course has asked for it every time since. I've explained that he can have it every once in a while, but I'm not paying $2 routinely for him to eat a sandwich on white bread and chocolate milk. Fortunately he ran his new little plan by me before actually executing it (I hope). He told me that no one would notice if he just went and got a chocolate milk, and he thinks it is okay to just go and get one because it is "just like getting a drink out of the drinking fountain." Uhhh... no honey, you have to pay for the milk and your not having chocolate milk. It was like talking to a wall for a little while to try and convince him he couldn't go and just help himself to milk. He honestly couldn't quite grasp that it would be stealing to do so.

Ainsley lost a tooth at school once and it was a traumatic event. So traumatic that it turns out the tooth fairy will leave you $2 for a tooth that falls out at school rather than the $1 that you get for a tooth lost at home. Hudson has his first wiggly tooth, and our little capitalist-attention seeker has decided that he is ONLY going to wiggle it at school so it will fall out there where all his friends will see and he will get more money. Can't argue with that logic!

It is so fun to watch kids grow-up.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

So if we just give lessons to the first ones...

...then they will teach the little ones, right? These pictures are from a couple of months ago, but I just found them. Makes me ready for summer again. Hudson and Camden are in our backyard and Hudson was actually trying to give Camden a tennis lesson. How cute is that? Look at him in the middle picture showing him how to have the right grip. :) They figured out if they hit the ball on the roof it would come back down and they could then try and hit it again. Consequently there are probably now lots of interesting things on our roof I don't know about.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Too funny...

I know consistency does eventually lead to sanity- but this is just sometimes too true!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Conversations with a 2-year-old.

Sometimes conversations with Camden leave you scratching your head.


Daddy: Do you have to go potty?
Camden: I already did.
Daddy: When?
Camden: Halloween. (today is October 18th)

Mommy: We got you some books at the library. (said in a nice voice by the way)
Camden: Okay, Okay, you don't have to be so mean.

Driving in the car, at about 10am
Camden: go left and we will drive to the dark time.

Camden: Mommy, is the baby in your tummy getting bigger than the baby in my tummy?
Mommy: Yes
Camden: NO IT IS NOT! IT IS NOT! (very mad)

Monday, September 28, 2009

A couple of Ainsley's punchlines

Two funny things Ainsley said this weekend:

We were out to dinner at Red Robin (overstimulating restaurant, lovely because kids can be loud and no one can hear them over the other noise) and they had this advertisement in the middle of the table that was shaped to be like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Andrew explains to the kids what the real Leaning Tower of Pisa is and tells them about when he walked up the stairs inside of the building. He then tells them how engineers are trying to keep it from continuing to lean more because if they don't eventually it's center of gravity will be too far off and it will fall over. Ainsley pipes up with, "The news people will love it when that happens."

My parents were here this weekend and when ever they leave it is TRAUMATIC for the kids. Camden screamed, and screamed, and screamed when they left. As Ainsley and Hudson were telling them goodbye and Camden was freaking out Ainsley says, "This is going to take me years of therapy to get over."

No drama around here.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mouth Jewelry

As if poor Ainsley didn't have enough trauma to her little mouth lately (tonsillectomy) she got braces this week. She loves how they look, but is not enjoying the way they feel. Fortunately, the attention at school for having braces might make up for the pain.

Friday, September 18, 2009


It was a very long week and a half after Ainsley started for Hudson to wait to start Kindergarten. Finally on Tuesday he got to go to his "gradual entry" day and yesterday was his first official day and now we are on the every day schedule. He is in afternoon so waiting all morning is a bit long too, but I like only getting one ready in the morning. (and I'm also going to enjoy the next 8 weeks before I have the baby of the afternoons with both big kids in school and Camden taking a nap!) Here he is before school:
Camden needed to be in a picture too (he is doing "potty school"- happily that has been really easy. Talk about a blessing for me!)
How cute is he?! He had a great day and loved his teacher. A funny coincidence is that both A & H have student teachers in their class, and both of the student teachers at one point had Andrew for a teacher at Barlow! Small world.
Here he is in his classroom:
Here he is coming off the bus THE FIRST DAY! Riding the bus home with Ainsley is the part of school he has been anticipating the most. So cute!