Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Hudson!

Dear Hudson,

What a fun 8 years it has been with you. You started out this tiny little baby who slept perfectly and almost never cried, grew into a pretty wild toddler and pre-schooler, and have grown up into a sweet, independent full-on-grade schooler.

You are a kid who really has two sides. You are sometimes shy and quiet. I see you sit back and wait to see how something is going to turn out before you try it. You have no interest whatsoever in doing anything up in front of people. What is so funny is you have that laid-back sort of charm that you can't teach someone. It means that other kids are drawn to be with you because you sort of make them work for your attention.

It is the second side of you that is why they want your attention. You can switch from being quiet and shy into this silly, outgoing, pretty wild kid. You will laugh loud, talk a ton, and play really hard. You live to play with your friends. You come home from school and just want to go outside to find Colby.

I've noticed in the past year that you are really pretty artistic. For a kid who didn't really pick up a crayon until kindergarten this surprises me. You really like to draw right now. One of your favorite things to do is have me print out pictures of things on the internet (star wars characters, snakes, eagles...) and then you try and copy them. You shade colors well and have good perspective. Your handwriting... well.. that is another story. It could use some work!

You are really into the Oregon Ducks right now. You are definitely starting to align yourself with your daddy. You've of course always loved and looked up to him, but it is becoming different now. He's your role model, and he loves Duck football- so you do too.

I marvel at how completely "boy" you are in everything you do. Your whole birthday is a great example. This was your family party year so last Saturday we went swimming at the North Clackamas Aquatic Park. You took Jackson Glover with you and the two of you had an amazing time. You did the slides over and over and had crazy amounts of fun. You and Camden shared a cake that day, and you guys picked a dirt bike hill cake. For your birthday dinner tonight we had meatballs shaped like footballs, salad and bread. To top it off the cake you wanted was a bomb. I'm doing my best at parenting boys Hudson, so I did my best at making you a bomb cake. It said "boom" on the side of it and an actual smoke bomb on the top.

Your doing great in school, not that you tell us anything about school. You love your class and love going, but don't have much to report despite my probing questions. It is interesting because when you are in the right mood you can be very chatty and tell us lots of things, but on a normal day you don't tell us much about what you are thinking. You are in Mrs. Terveens class this year and she is a great teacher for you. It is pretty funny that you are in her class because I was job-sharing with her in a second grade class when I was pregnant with you!

My biggest worry for you is that you can be a bit of a follower. It is probably because you and Ainsley have always played so well together and she directs what your doing so it just comes naturally. One of my biggest prayers for you is that you will choose right and stand up for what you know to be true.

You are really a super sweet kid. From someone just hanging around with you initially they might not initially see how gentle and kind you are, but you have a soft, tender little heart. You are getting so tall and so grown-up, but you will still snuggle in my lap, even though you don't fit. That reminds me- I can't believe it has taken me until almost the end of the letter to mention how much you eat. Man, you are ALWAYS hungry. You eat so much and then are still hungry an hour later. It is crazy. I can't imagine what you will be like as a teenager because as a 7 year old you about ate us out of house and home. Your the tallest in your class and are taller than some of the kids in Ainsley's 5th grade class.

Daddy coached your soccer team this year and it was great. You did really well, and so did your whole team. It was so fun to watch you play and do well. What you are really excited about though, is basketball. You love basketball and are so excited to play. Daddy is coaching Ainsley's team and you go with them to practice most times. Your doing great. Last Friday night I went and watched a Barlow boys game and thought about how someday I will probably see you out there playing in high school. It is going to be fun to see what you do.

You are a wonderful boy Hudson. It is such a blessing to be your mom. I pray that God will fill in all the things that your daddy and I miss as we are caught up in the day-to-day work of parenting. My prayer for you right now is that God would grant you wisdom to make good choices and see that walking a life with the Lord is the greatest and most fulfilling way to live. Proverbs 16:17 says, "The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life."

Hudson, your daddy and I couldn't love you more. Thank you for being such a wonderful son and sweet brother to your siblings. We love you so much. I hope your eighth year is a wonderful one.

Love, mom.

This was outside setting off the smoke bomb from your cake.

Grandma and Grandpa gave both you and Camden remote control cars for your birthday and you love them!

The dirt bike hill from your shared party!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A hand-full. (as in 5)

Dear Camden,

Today you turned 5. And sweet boy, now you are officially a hand-full. And I couldn't love you more. As I sit down to write this, I don't know exactly what I will say, but with you I'm thinking it will pretty much write itself.

The thing that stands out about the last year is you starting pre-school. You are a Bruin Buddy. To say you love going to school would be a colossal (one of your favorite words) understatement. We didn't really know what to expect as far as how you would act at school, but evidently you are quite the little rule follower. You listen and obey. We are feeling really good about that.

You like girls. You play hard and wrestle and have lots of playmates who are boys, but you also love girls. You don't necessarily play with them, but you really like to take care of girls. We have had to have conversations about not hugging girls and holding their hands at school. You also love your cousin Eleison so much. Tonight after talking to her on the phone you cried at bedtime because you want to see her so much. A month or so ago we went to the Woodards (from church) for dinner and as we were getting ready to leave you asked if you could wear a pink shirt. We were so confused, because of course you don't own a pink shirt. After questioning you about it you explained that Abigail (their 5 year old daughter) likes pink so you wanted to wear pink so she would like you. You settled on drawing a pink flower picture for her. So cute.

You are a thinker Camden. Your mind is always going and trying to figure everything out. This has led to some interesting theology. You do fully understand that God should be the most important thing in our lives. You frequently say, "I love you, but not as much as I love God." Or you will say, "This is so great, but God is the greatest."

A good word to describe you is passionate. I know it is cliche, but about you it is true- if you are going to do something, you are doing it 110%. Good or bad. If you have something to say or do you usually feel very strongly about it and it is hard to stop you. You are SO opinionated. If you believe something, your mind rarely will be changed. This year for our Sunday School Halloween party daddy and I dressed up as Samson and Delilah. When we came out and you saw us you said, "I know what Samson and Delilah look like and it is not like that!" In the past few weeks you have been saying, "I have some advice for you." Then you let us know what you think we should be doing differently.

Your crazy smart. You love numbers and doing math problems. You are sounding out words and continue to shock us with your vocabulary. It is amazing. You are strong and coordinated. You came home from playing at Jalen's house this fall and said, "Hey, I can ride a bike without training wheels." Sure enough, you had gotten on his bike and without us ever teaching you, you took off riding.

You are an awesome kid Camden. Nothing with you is ever boring. People say to us all the time that it is going to be fun to see what you do with your life. Whatever you do it won't be something dull. You have more personality packed into your now 5-year-old body than most people ever have in their whole life.

Your choice for your birthday dinner tonight was hot dogs and Cheetos. It was interesting. That pretty much that sums up your whole life. You, my little love, are always interesting. I'm not sure we have ever worn you out. Your energy is without end. I so hope that your daddy and I can be the kind of parents that you need and deserve. As long as we can help you channel your energy and passion in the right direction, you will be amazing.

Happy Birthday Camden. It is such a honor that of all the moms in the world, God chose me to be yours.

"Grow in the grace
of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ.
Get to know Him better.
Give Him glory
both now and forever.
2 Peter 3:18

Friday, November 18, 2011

School Days

School pictures:

Ainsley the 5th grader
Hudson the 2nd grader
Camden the big preschool guy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Reagan Joy!

Dear Reagan,

Here it is. TWO. As in technically not a baby. It doesn't seem possible that we have been this little family of 6 for two whole years. But much has happened since your last (first) birthday letter. Lets get to it.
You are a love. Always have been. So patient with so many people wanting to give you love and attention. I'm still amazed at your siblings devotion to you. I thought that this would be the year that someone (especially the someone closest in age to you, ahem...) would get frustrated and mad at you because you would get into their stuff and mess it up. You have of course become very mobile and capable of destruction this year. Amazingly there is almost no irritation with you. I try hard to protect your siblings creations to protect your relationship with them, but even when I fail as protector and you destroy something, for the most part there is no frustration. They all just love you so much that they want you to be with them. Amazing. Crossing my fingers it continues.
There is irritation when you scream in the car. Sometimes you just don't want to be pinned down by that darn car seat and you go ahead and let everyone know how you feel. Loudly. This brings great irritation because you drown out the radio/adventures in odyssey and make it difficult to read. It also produces in Camden the need to scream, "beeeeeequiiiieeetttt!!!!" which does little to stop your screaming. Just had to throw this part in so you don't look back someday and think it was all sunshine and roses everyday!
Ever since you started walking you have been a hand holder. Not really out of needing to be connected, but to bring one of us over to do whatever you want. When you bring us over you then shove our hand on whatever it is you want. Often it is to the pantry or refrigerator. Lately it is becoming to bring me to a book you want to read. There has even been a time or two that you bring me over to show me something that you just got into that you know you shouldn't have. Yeah for developing a conscience! For awhile when you first started walking you wouldn't let two people hold your hand at the same time. I think it was way too confining. That was before your siblings taught you the joy of, "one-two-three-WHEEE!" and now you love to hold two peoples hands so you can swing away.
Speaking of swinging, I think we have a little dare-devil on our hands. Faster and higher is better. And big wild slides.. you love them. It is fun to take you places because you will try anything. You definitely think you are a big kid. You think jumping on beds, couches, and if someone will lift you on, the trampoline is great fun. Your sweet little laugh is intoxicating!
You are also the first Pate child to learn how to climb out of your crib before the age of two. That sort of threw me at first. However you and I have come to an agreement that if you climb out, you get put in your little pea pod tent. You don't mind it, it is where you sleep when you are away from home, but you prefer your crib when here. Consequently you don't really climb out. I am still a bit shocked! Nice that you caught on quickly.
You are still a binkie and blankie girl. Two blankies to be exact. The funniest thing you do is when you are tired or needing soothed you put the little fringe part of your blanket up under your nose. I guess you are smelling it. Adorable.
"Dada" was your first word, but "mommy" wasn't far behind. You understood what we were telling you quite awhile ago, but saved talking until the last few months. Every animal until about 6 weeks ago was a doggie. In the past month you have been stringing words together to make little sentences. Your first sentence was, "where'd my binkie go?" Great. That is going to be fun to take away. When you call your siblings by name it melts their heart.

Your favorite foods are pizza, spaghetti and pancakes. I hate to admit that you have discovered, thanks to Camden, that you love the tv show Curious George. You lead me over to where the tv remotes are and say, "show" and "monkey." You do love books, or "bookies" as you call them. You don't really have a favorite book, but we try and keep you away from non-board books right now because you are fond of ripping pages of paper books and then bringing them to me and saying "open." Evidently you are a little confused between things like raisin boxes or granola bar wrappers and books.
I think our favorite thing about you that we have discovered this year is your funny little personality. You like to laugh and make us laugh. You know when you are doing something funny and delight in it. You are also so pretty and cute. People stop me all the time to tell me what a pretty little girl you are. Daddy especially loves your soft, golden blonde hair.

This morning your siblings woke you up so we could have breakfast as a family and open presents. You weren't super impressed with the whole thing. Tonight when we had birthday dinner and opened gifts with grandma and grandad gave you a birthday cake toy that you were obsessed with. You loved it so much you wouldn't open up anything else. It was great practice so you knew how to blow out the candles on your cupcake!
We love you so much Reagan Joy. It is so fun to watch you grow. You are so cute and fun right now that I want to freeze time and keep you this way forever. However, I know that I'm going to love what you turn into. I love every minute with you sweet baby girl.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you.

May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.

Happy second birthday Reagan Joy.

Love Mom.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Our family actually did all the following October events in a period of six days. It was a busy end of the week/weekend! Here is the recap:

Camden's preschool class took a trip to the pumpkin patch last Wednesday. Gramma Arlene got to go as a chaperone with him. It was a beautiful day and he had a great time. How cute is his little class!?!
This was his High School buddy for the day. Each kid had their own high schooler with them, and each group of three kids/high schoolers had one adult chaperone. The kids were well watched!

After trying to find a day we could go on our annual trip to the pumpkin patch with Gramma and Grandad and Auntie Kate we finally were able to go on Friday night. Unfortunately Grandad had plans so he couldn't come. I almost said that it was unfortunate that it rained, but actually it wasn't bad because most of the stuff was actually indoors (we don't actually pick out pumpkins at the pumpkin patch) and there were NO lines! Ainsley's friend Sydney came with us- here they are in the acorn pit:
Reagan is the family animal lover and so she loved the goats and chickens.
There isn't much I need to explain about how Hudson feels about the giant swings.
Reagan loved the swings too.
Auntie Kate helps out Camden on the swing.
Saturday was the Sunday School Harvest party at the Strandbergs. Whoever ordered the weather did a great job. It was super fun. Strandbergs are pretty much the best ever for letting us all come over. In a rare moment of boldness Andrew and I dressed up as Samson and Delilah.

Ainsley trying to eat a donut on a string.
Sunday was pumpkin carving day. Andrew did a great job. Ainsley made Minney Mouse
Camden wanted the bird from angry birds. How awesome is this? It is better in person.
And Hudson represented the Ducks. Don't be fooled and think that is a drawing of a duck on top of the "O". It's not. It is a bat. Because that makes sense right?
And finally the culmination. Halloween night. I didn't actually get any trick-or-treating pictures because have you ever had four kids trick or treating that all walk? We hadn't either. Turns out that keeps you busy. We went with a whole pack of kids from the neighborhood. The big group of kids along with no streetlights in our neighborhood (okay, in our whole town) make it really tricky to keep track of your kids. Hudson's goal was to be the first kid at every door. Ainsley and her friend made their way a little slower. Reagan wanted to walk, but of course couldn't keep up. She made it up to three doors total. I carried Reagan on and off and tried to keep my eye on the older two.
Hudson-Jango Fett, Camden-Buzz Lightyear
Andrew was with Camden who enjoyed every minute of Halloween. Camden saw no reason to hurry through the event. He didn't keep up with the other kids. With Andrew watching him he would go up to each door alone, having been left in the dust by the pack. He would procede to have a long conversation with each person who opened the door, about everything from their house, their Halloween decorations and how he thought they could be improved, and their candy selection. Andrew said it was hilarious. Two times the person didn't come to the door fast enough and Camden opened the door to try and let himself in. Andrew explained that he couldn't do that because we don't know those people. Turns out that wasn't the best explanation because at the very last house which was our next-door neighbors who Camden loves he opened the door without even knocking as he was yelling to Andrew at the driveway, "this is okay because I know these guys!" I will have to do a whole post on Camden and our neighbor Chuck. Funny stuff.
After much debate over a costume choice for Ainsley she ended up going with tennis player Maria Sherapova. Not only is it her favorite sport, but Maria wears necklaces and dangly earrings. Getting to buy new jewelry to make up a costume was the icing on the cake.
Reagan was the fourth Pate child to wear this giraffe costume. She wasn't a big fan. I finally got the costume on, but never was successful with the little hood/head part. Oh well, she is plenty cute without a giraffe head.
As you can see no one lacked for candy.

My friend Tara made these shirts for the kids, and Gramma and Grandad grew the pumpkins with each kid's name on it. I just tried to get everyone to look at the camera at the same time. Fail. Super fun and successful Halloween for everyone!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Facebook and my blog had a fight...

It is accurate to say that Facebook sort of ate my blog. Facebook is faster, a bit more interactive, and if forces me to be more concise. However, one of the main reasons I write my blog is so our kids will have a little glimpse back into our lives. I have had the blog printed into a book. Facebook you can't do that with. I am probably being super 20th century because of the need to have it printed into an actual paper book... but whatever. Just in case my kids do in fact read the paper book, I actually spent two hours going through my facebook account from my post a couple days ago all the way to when I joined FB in 2008. It was actually pretty fun. I copied the postings that I though would be good to remember. Here they are, going in backwards chronological order. Fun little snapshots into our lives.

Facebook October 2011- 2008

Hudson, "It sure is easy that jeans match everything, huh mom? It makes it less confusing."

If every time the over timer dings your almost 2 year old yells, "Cookies!" you might need to change your cooking just a little. Maybe.

I just took Reagan and Camden with me to a u-pick tomato farm. They spent the whole time holding hands walking up and down the rows amassing a collection of caterpillars. It was so cute it made my day.

Camden spilled on his shirt, Hudson says, "Hey, that used to be mine. Don't ruin it. It has been around for generations." (Laura Holleman Terveen I think "generations" was a vocab word at school right?)

Camden, "I'm going to be a Chinese spy when I grow up. And a missionary too."

Reagan was just *ever* so helpful and removed almost every single item from the finished dryer and put it back in the washer.

Wise words from Hudson this morning, "I liked it better before Reagan learned to yell the word no." (we made it to almost 2 before she said "no" and now in the last 4 days she has made up for it.)

Reagan doesn't have many words, however "COOKIE!!!" is clear (and loud) as a bell.

Camden to me, "I love you more than all the dancing magic trees in the whole universe." Thanks sweetheart.

Hudson, "So I'm going to get straight A's so then I can have any job. What is the worst grades you can get?" Me, "I guess straight F's." Hudson, "Then your only choice for a job would be an artist." (apology to any friends I have that are artists :) )

Reagan's new plan is to open the door and let the dog in the house. Not acceptable in our house. The delight of letting the dog in seems to override any discipline. Good times.

My girl is home! She loved camp seems about 5 years older. It is good to be a complete family again.

You know the way you feel when you see an ultrasound of your baby for the first time? The relief that it is there and is fine? That is how I felt this morning when I saw this picture- my baby is there and looks like she is doing fine. (not that she has sent me a letter to tell me that!)

Ainsley and Emma waiting to be assigned to a cabin- they look (and were) stressed. Hoping that it is all good now. Not that I will know for 6 more days! Kid better write.

Just dropped off my firstborn at Trout Creek Bible Camp... I'm sure she will be fine-but wow Saturday seems like a long ways away!

Camden's prayer at bedtime: Dear Jesus, help Reagan to grow up. Amen.

If your trying to stop smoking, hang out with Camden. He has announced loudly twice now in front of a stranger lighting up, "Hey, that guy is "cigaretting" and so he is going to die!"

Ainsley at bedtime last night, "Mom, you really need to get Reagan back on a sleeping schedule. She has been really crabby since we have been in Milton-Freewater." Kid will make a good mom.

Reagan is on a hunger strike. The only thing she wants to eat is corn and black bean salsa. Three bowls of it (no chips- just eating it with a spoon/her hands) before 9am. The breakfast of champions.

Hudson says to me, "You know what I learned from camping?" What? "It is not a good idea to collect sticks, then put them in the fire, then let them touch your skin." You had to go camping to learn that?

Today is my amazing dad's 70th birthday! We are surprising him by meeting him in Hood River for dinner tonight. If you live in M-F stop by C21 and wish him Happy Birthday.

Last weekend we showed up to the church retreat with a child with a black eye, (he actually ran into a wall) this week we are showing up to church with one that went to urgent care today for a cut above her eye (toddler meets fireplace hearth). And to think summer hasn't really started yet.

About to head out for the 4th grade "over-nighter." I will not be sleeping on the gym floor. I will be going home as soon as the kids settle down and are asleep. Hoping I'm home by 1.

Camden: "When you guys laid me was I cute?" Me: "What?" C: "Like when you laid me out, was I cute?" Me: "Like when I lay you down on the floor?" C: "No, like when you laid me out like when I was an egg." He is missing a little information.

We have gone from all winter Reagan's goal was to take her shoes off to use as a chew toy. Now she has discovered that shoes equal getting to go outside, and are consequently wonderful. She wants them on ALL.THE.TIME. She napped today with them on because that is what worked.

Just got a text from Andrew who is on a field trip with Hudson's class. Sounds like wandering through the forest with a bunch of first grade boys in the cold and rain is super fun *insert sarcastic tone*. Pretty happy he decided to pick up this field trip rather than me!

Learning the difference between showering to get wet and showering to get clean was the lesson today in the Pate household.

I take back what I said before about not liking the caterpillars that were soon to be butterflies. The caterpillars and their cocoons were gross, but the excitement the kids have over getting to watch them open up into butterflies makes it worth having bugs in your house.

‎"Hudson, change your shirt- you can't wear an orange shirt with red shorts." "Yes I can mom, I look cool like fire!"

There are some parts of parenting I'm just not cut out for. Case in point: we got a butterfly kit for Easter. I was okay with the little caterpillars in the cup at first, but now that they have grown bigger and their "waste" has accumulated in the cup I'm gagging every time I look in their direction.

The lesson Reagan learned today: Mommy is right, even though the orange peel looks better than the inside part, it really isn't as good. Only took three times.

I put on my sunglasses and Reagan looked at me and started freaking out. That is the definition of, "It has been raining too long."

Ainsley and a couple friends are out in our front yard trying to do a lemonade stand (finally a sunny day!) . She just came in and said, "We are going to do a buy one get one free, we have to do something to drum up some sales before we just drink it all ourselves." Drinking it all yourselves is a profit killer.

Andrew to Reagan as she falls (again): "gravity is your enemy." Glad I was clear he was saying it to her, not me :)

Andrew just sent me a comic strip that says: "Give me the best sunscreen you've got." (persons hands over a piece of paper) "What is this?" "Directions to Portland."

Over half way through the Hubble IMAX movie Camden whispers to me, "Mom, is this real?"

Our sweet 19 year old neighbor girl told us that last week she called the police because our house was all dark and there was a flashlight going all around. She went outside to look closer while on the phone with the police and saw we one of us in the window so the police didn't come. Good thing- we were playing sardines with the kids and everyone had a flashlight. Need to remember to close the blinds next time!

Cousins ETA: any minute. Excitement level in our house: off the charts.

As Camden is putting on shoes and socks, "Mom, I can't wait until it is summer and I can wear naked feet with sandals."

Ainsley this morning, "Wow! It is Friday already? People are right, when you get older time does start to just fly by!"

Snowy-rain, windy, cold... must be the first day of tennis season. Want to re-think which sport you coach Andrew Pate? Or re-think coaching altogether?

After the 3rd trip to the bathroom (swimming at Great Wolf Lodge) in an hour Andrew tells C he has to quit drinking the water. "I can't, it keeps pouring in my mouth!"

Off to Great Wolf Lodge after church today. Fastest my kids have ever gotten ready for church. :)

Hudson about going to a girls birthday party, "I want to go, but I'm not watching her open presents 'cause I don't want to see all the girly stuff."

‎"Mommy since it is snowing we should get presents!"

My prayer this morning was, "Please Lord let him learn to use his gifts for good not evil." And also, "Please answer this prayer quick."

Must take a picture of Reagan playing peek-a-boo by covering her ears. Brings new meaning to cute.

I always pray that my kids would get caught when they do things wrong. I think I'm going to pray that for this week they just wouldn't do things wrong...I need a break.

Beginning to re-think not putting baby latches on the cabinets because "it is our last baby and why go to the trouble for just one" plan. Do you know how much trouble "just one" can get into?

The word "Hey" spelled out in fish sticks on my front porch this morning tells me it is time for Christmas break to be over because the High School kids are getting bored.

Just completed another level in the game of parenting boys. I decorated a birthday cake camouflage. The addition of army men and weapons will make for a happy little 7 year old.

Impromptu vocab lesson in our house this morning was courtesy of a Christmas carol: "offspring of a virgins womb."

Making a bowling ball and pin birthday cake with Hudson... he tries to convince me to let him put army guys all over it. Perhaps we should have gone with lazer tag rather than a bowling party? (his stocking goodie bags do have army guys in them, so we aren't going to be unarmed at the party.)

Dear feaverish, fussy, high-maintance baby: Please bring Reagan back.

Camden this morning, "Mom, how many days until my next birthday?" Me, "364" him, "Oh no."

Camden says in the middle of a discipline chat, "but mom, some days I just forget that your in charge of me."

If a child runs in, while you are showering and yells, "THERE IS A SNAKE IN OUR HOUSE!" you might initially panic. However, if they continue with, "it is pink and I think it is changing into a dragon," you will probably relax and go back to enjoying the shower.

Got Reagan's first birthday letter written and posted with 34 minutes left of her birthday. It was a great day and great birthday for her. Except for the little thing of one of her siblings throwing up at the table during her birthday dinner. This is the family your in little one!

Last year at this time I was on my way to the hospital to meet Reagan Joy. Astonished it has been a year already. What a love she is!

My plans this evening? Snuggling on the couch watching election returns. It is an exciting life when you are married to a Political Studies teacher.

Camden, "How much longer until the next Halloween?" I had to be the bearer of bad news.

I think my kids brought home approximately their weight in candy. I might leave the front door unlocked tonight in hopes a candy burglar is out in the neighborhood. If that doesn't happen, my plan is two pieces a day until Wednesday or Thursday. Then after a big, really healthy dinner, the message will be: eat everything else you want because after that it is going to Daddy's school kids.

How cold does it have to be before my boys will decide that the uncomfortableness of pants is better than the coldness of shorts?

It is possible I have a vampire baby. Hug her and she snuggles her head down in your neck, then bites.

Multitasking=monitoring one child's time out at your feet, helping one child fold a cootie catcher, quizzing another on spelling words, all while nursing a another child.

‎"Camden, where are your clothes?" "I was putting on my watch." Mutually exclusive because...???

‎2 1/2 hours in Urgent Care to end up with the glue stuff instead of stitches. Don't get me wrong- happy A didn't have to have stitches, but can I just buy that glue? I know I could do what the doctor just did, and I wouldn't glue my glove to the child's forehead...

‎"Don't tell the baby to 'fetch.'" "But mom, it is her favorite thing to do!" Sadly that is true.

Camden trying to teach Reagan to sing the alphabet just made my top ten cutest things ever list.

Not what I expected. Currently C. is out riding his bike. He has been up since 2 am seriously bouncing off the walls. Evidently Tylenol with Codine takes my very active 3 year year old and turns him into an indescribable ball of energy.

Home! Little boy is doing great. As we were giving him little sips of water he asked for french fries. So... he has now had cookies and french fries. Go figure. They said (and we have experienced before) that day 4 and 5 are often the worst- so I'm going to enjoy the drug induced okay-ness of today. Thanks for praying for him!

Big C is out of surgery and with us- surgery went great- tons. and adn. were enormous. Now the fun begins...

They just took back Camden for surgery (tonsils) he was actually really excited. A ride on a rolling bed was very exciting. Please pray for our little guy!

Tonsillectomy tomorrow morning- Can we go through this again? Pray that it goes more like it went for the girl than it went for the boy last time!!!

Reagan learning to crawl solves two problems for me. I no longer have to take the time to feed her in her high-chair because I don't sweep anymore either. (just kidding-mostly)

‎"Camden why are your hands so dirty?" "Because I've been doing dirty things." Al-righty then.

It is possible I over did it with all the choking hazard lectures. Now if Reagan picks up a little piece of lint off the floor and Camden notices he starts shrieking, "SHE'S GOING TO DIE!!!"

Sometimes you just need another adult around to laugh with you. The boys were building competing docks this morning with legos, I overheard Hudson say to Camden: "Camden, size does totally matter!"

Hudson has entered a new phase. Wounds are no longer something to be upset over, now they are badges of honor earned in hard play.

Nothing jolts you out of bed faster than the sound of the child who crawled in bed with you a few minutes before throwing up. I should know, this is the second day in a row that it has happened to me. Different child each day. I should be really fast by #4.

There are the beginnings of two cute little teeth in the baby's mouth! She should look like a perfect little jack-o-lantern by Halloween. Wow do I love that little pumpkin.

At bedtime Camden just prayed for Reagan and said, "and I just bless (that means please in his little prayer language) that Reagan won't get hit by lightsabers anymore." ANYMORE??? Okay, what did I miss?

Today's best vacation comment by Ainsley, "I just love mini-marts. They have such an interesting variety of amazing products."

You know the next day is going to be busy when the night before you write your to-do list and it simply says, "clean everywhere, pack everyone, buy everything."

‎"Stop trying to teach your sister how to crawl!"

Camden appeared from his nap. "Camden, where are your pants?" Camden, "I don't know, but I didn't eat them."

Listening to Camden explain to his swimming teacher the "right" way to blow bubbles is priceless. Poor teenage girl is thinking they are not paying her enough for this.

Just discovered my kids outside "practicing" for field day tomorrow, with eggs and barbells. What sort of games do they think Mr. Lustig is planning?

Camden (after 90 minutes in his room to pick up one bucket of toys that should have taken 1 minute) "I'm all done!" Me: "great." Camden: "but just don't go check it." Yeah, right.

Reagan is already a multi-tasker. She scratch/pinches my back with one hand, tries (and often does) pull my hair with the other, flails her legs around trying to kick something, darts her eyes all around trying to see what is going on 360 degrees around her, all while nursing. Yep, she is another Pate child.

Watching the septic tank get pumped is major excitement for 3 and 6 year old boys.

I just put my daughter on a bus with her dad and 14 high school boys for a tennis tournament- 3 days, 2 nights. A good thing or should I have my head examined?

A & H are outside with tape and saran wrap trying to create a fake accident that they want to film for America's Funniest Home Videos. Nothing good can come of this.

I just helped Camden fill out his bracket. He believes the winning score will be, "winners 100, loser crying numbers." (there wasn't a spot for that in the ESPN bracket.) All three big kids took Duke to win, they love their daddy. (so did I :) )

Love when I'm doing something else and then look over to see the baby looking right into my eyes smiling, then when I make eye contact she squeals happily because I noticed her. If only making everyone happy was that easy.

Baby finds foot. Mommy finds 10 minutes of quiet.

‎10 acres of greenspace and a playground behind our house and my kids are playing football in the front yard because, "there's nobody in the greenway right now and somebody we know might drive by on the street." Honestly, my kids would probably love living in an apartment complex because of the social opportunities.

We have a houseful of new toys from Christmas and from two boys birthdays and what have Hudson and the friend he has over been doing for the past 40 minutes... happily wrestling and punching each other.

Camden's newest pick-up line, used liberally on women at church, his siblings friends, and random people in stores, "what's your species?" Perhaps we need to stop watching Dinosaur Train.

So amazing when you are feeding an infant and she looks up at you and makes eye contact, stops eating, and slowly a smile emerges. What a blessing to get to love babies. It also makes me happy when they start doing this because you know there is something going on in their little head after 4 weeks of sleeping and cross-eyed looks.

motherhood is not for wimps.

We're officially outnumbered 2 to 1 and the house is still standing, so all is well.

is falling madly in love with a little 8 lb bundle of delicious newborness. Thanks for all the well wishes and comments yesterday everyone. I'm going to print them and put them in her baby book.

Here she is! Woo Hoo!

Getting ready to push, and still debating three boy names. Nothing like waiting until the last minute...

At the hospital: check. Epidural: Check. Now it is nap time!

enjoyed our kids soccer season, and enjoyed the thunder that ended the game we were sitting through in the POURING rain! Also pretty happy I get to meet #4 in about 48 hours!

forgot to avoid a power struggle. He has to know I'm going to win, but he would have to give up his almost 3 year-old status if he doesn't give it a shot.

Just said to a friend, "a week from now I won't look or feel like this." She said, "no, a week from now you'll look and feel even worse." Thanks- but it has to get worse to get better!

I love my daughter- she is currently sorting all her candy by type, has weighed it (4 pounds worth), and counted- 80 pieces. Hudson is wondering if his "atomic fireballs" will blow up if he puts fire on them or throws them on the ground really hard. Is it any surprise my kids are mixing up Halloween and 4th of July?

I'm helping in Hudson's class today and will be there when school lets out. I explained to him that I would take him home because I would already be there, suddenly he was on the verge of tears because HE WANTS TO RIDE THE BUS! No problem bud, ride the bus home! So cute!

overheard in the car on the way to the library: Hudson, "Ainsley can you tell me how you puked that one time when mom made you eat more salad, because I want to do that tonight with the stew."

it makes my day when Camden runs up, lays on the floor in front of me and says, "if you tickle me, I will laugh."

waiting for Ainsley and Hudson to come home from school- Hudson for the first time- Hope his first day of kindergarten was great. I have his requested peanut butter cookies currently in the oven.

It is amazing how cranky kids can be even when they are not saying a word. It is also amazing how mad a 2 year-old who is used to having two older siblings always entertain him can be when said playmates are not up to their roles as entertainers.

Progress- 3 hours of sleep in a row. The the longest since as Ainsley wrote (because she won't talk), "they ripped part of our bodies out of our mouths!"

Tonsillectomies don't make for the best weekends ever.

Home from the hospital- other than throw-up in the car on the way home they are doing pretty well. So after a pretty engaging, positive summer, we will fry their little brains with lots of TV and ice cream right before school starts. Oh well- thanks for praying the surgery would go well!

Praying and waiting.... one in the recovery room, the other currently in surgery. Darn giant tonsils.

My kids loved our trip to the store today, we purchased ice cream, jello, pudding, and juice. They won't be as happy tomorrow- both A & H are getting their tonsils taken out. If you think of it- say a little prayer for us!

took Ainsley on an adventure to Powells this morning. She then made herself carsick reading on the way home. Oh well- happy that I have a child that passionately loves to read. One down, three to go.

is getting ready to go out for the night with Andrew. Camden is at the door yelling, "Cheri, where are you? I wanna see you." God bless babysitters and thank goodness my children would prefer to have a babysitter over for the night than have me stay home.

is enjoying having a cell phone again, and also enjoying that Camden has his blue blankie back. Nothing like leaving a special object behind for a week to point out that really a little piece of fabric is far more comforting than a mother.

is wondering what diseases her youngest will get from alternating feeding chipmunks by hand and then eating the peanuts himself. Never mind the ticks he is probably picking up from the deer that he is PETTING! Aren't these wild animals?

just got back from the "big" ultrasound. Sweet, wiggly, big, baby. For the fourth time we didn't peek. We figure we will know if it is a boy or girl for the rest of our lives. Might as well keep it a surprise for these short (long) nine months.

peeked in on #4 again today. In keeping with Pate tradition at 12 weeks it measures 2 weeks bigger than it should. I should have married someone smaller if I didn't want big babies.

Is off to pre-school Mother's Day tea after being informed that, "Dads and donuts was way better than this is going to be mom, because tea is not as good."

Ainsley just made a batch of muffins by herself- followed the recipe perfectly. The spilled cinnamon may never come out of the grout in my floor- but oh well.

was happy to see a little wiggly body and heartbeat today. What a miracle.

is happy to be excused from Jury Duty. I said I could come if I could bring my 2 year old. Wonder why they excused me?

just walked in from taking Ainsley to the bus stop and found Camden up at the table eating butter.

was happy that when she told her kids that we were staying in M-F and our presents aren't here Ainsley said, "well, Christmas isn't about presents anyway."

is happy that Mr. Clean magic erasers take sharpie off cabinets- Thanks Camden.