September 6, 2017


graham: first day of 3k.

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Ever since his brothers went back to school at the beginning of August, Graham has been itching to get back to his own school. Every morning that we did school drop off for the big boys usually ended with the question of when he would go back. At three, it's really, really hard to understand time and calendars!

But the day came! And Graham was still excited. We met his teacher last week and when it was time to go, he just didn't want to. I was hoping the excitement would carry over to the first day of school, and as far as drop off went, it looks promising. I'll admit, I was a little concerned about drop off. It's Graham's first year to do a carpool line. I guess I was worried that he'd pitch a fit and refuse to get out of the car? I mean, his first drop off in 2k last year didn't really go all that well... But he did awesome! Didn't look back at me once!

Me? I cried. I mean, what? It totally caught me off guard too. I was talking to Tatum on the way home and just kind of broke down in tears. But I'm all good now and looking forward to hearing all about his first day at big kid school.

August 14, 2017


first day of third and first grade, 2017.

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Every year summer seems to get shorter. There were plenty of things on our to-do list that simply didn't get done. But I think it's okay; the boys seemed to have a great summer, so we'll let those things slide. And possibly save them for winter break.

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We now have a kiddo at the intermediate school. I kept paying attention to see if Cayden was showing any apprehension about heading into third grade at a different school. But if he was nervous about it all, he certainly didn't show it. He was excited, even. And he's still excited almost a week in. Perhaps it's because they've started changing classrooms for certain subjects this year. Or perhaps he likes new adventures and changes (he must get that one from his daddy!). Also? I'm pretty sure he grew more over the summer than he did in the entirety of the school year last year. I'm not going to recognize him at the end of third grade, am I?

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Sawyer ventured into first grade on his own this year. He's still at the elementary school and he told me this morning that he really misses Cayden on the bus in the afternoons. But short of that, I think he's going to enjoy first grade. He has a couple of friends from last year in his class – one even sits right next to him – so I think that's helped him transition better without his brother as backup. This year is such a big learning year for him and I can't wait to see what all he learns. And he was reading was already going well; I know this year he'll be unstoppable with all the new vocabulary. And again, I think he grew a lot over the summer. How is that fair?

August 8, 2017


white, gold & pink: tatum's first birthday and party.

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We were fortunate to have all of our family come over to help us celebrate Tatum's first birthday this past Saturday... on her actual birthday. That hardly ever happens! It was cool because her birthday and party got to be on the same day. Not so cool? She only had one day to wear her birthday outfits. Or can we use the entire month of August to wear those? Yes? Perfect.

Anyway, the day was so much fun. We don't exactly know what Tatum's favorite foods are yet (um, she eats everything), so we just guessed as to what she would enjoy on her birthday. Eggs for breakfast, hot dogs for lunch and some Mexican food for dinner.

Oh, and a cake. All for herself. Which I'm fairly certain she enjoyed. Too much? Perhaps. But hey, it was her party and she got to do what she wanted.

First birthdays are always a little bittersweet. And with us fairly certain this is our very last baby (only a miracle from God would we conceive another – Sawyer's convinced [!]), celebrating Tatum's was especially so. But I love the years that are ahead of us. The first year is always a little hard for me. But now? When she's starting to become more independent and can communicate better? I have no complaints!

So a little one year update on our sweet girl:
– starting to stand up and take a few steps
– has 4.5ish teeth (and y'all, her two side teeth came in before the two front teeth; it's awesome)
– eats three solid meals a day and at least one snack
– still nurses four, sometimes five, times a day
– sleeps through the night (with an occasional random wake every once in a while)
– takes two naps a day – a longer one in the morning and then a shorter one mid-afternoon
– says dada and mama... but definitely prefers saying dada
– maybe has other words, but they don't mean much yet
– loves her brothers fiercely; they are her biggest fans
– loves her daddy but still slightly prefers her mama
– gets into everything. EVERYTHING.
– climbs on top of things she shouldn't
– is in a size 4 diaper (our boys never wore above that when potty training at 3!)

And I'm sure I'm forgetting some. Mostly? She's a sweetheart and we all love her to pieces. It was so fun to see so much pink at a birthday party around here. Even Cayden was confused for a bit on the girlishness of everything. But we were all super-okay with it and loved celebrating our sweet tater tot.

July 17, 2017


sawyer: first lost tooth.

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The Tooth Fairy is going to be busy around these parts for the next few years. Sawyer has started the tooth-losing process. Finally.

See, his lower two front teeth have kind of been wiggly. Not super loose, but not unmoving either. About a month ago we looked in his mouth to discover that both of those permanent teeth were already making their way in. Fearing that we would need to get the baby teeth pulled, we made a trip to the dentist to see what he said. He assured us that this happens all the time, to enjoy his shark-like double row of teeth and to just keep working on them.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and one of them proceeded to loosen up after biting into a stick of cheese. I am NOT the tooth-pulling person so I made Sawyer wait until Jeremy got home to take a look. It was definitely looser, but still not quite ready...

... until yesterday. We noticed that the gap between his two lower teeth was getting bigger, and a small touch to the tooth showed that it was much, much looser. After lunch, Jeremy reached in to get a feel and as he was going to push on the tooth, Sawyer snapped his mouth closed. Jeremy felt the tooth flick, Sawyer had a look of surprise on his face and all of a sudden, Jeremy was saying, "Spit it out!" Sawyer spit and there it was. The first lost tooth.

Not at all how we pictured that first tooth coming out, but a great story nonetheless! A couple of years ago when Cayden started losing teeth, I went on a hunt for a tooth fairy pillow. I fell in love with the one we found. And after seeing Sawyer's wiggly teeth, I went on a hunt to make sure we could still purchase a similar pillow. Thankfully the Etsy shop was still around and I went ahead and purchased tooth pillows for The Allen Four. They are so adorable and easy to use.

And thankfully they hang on the outside of closed bedroom doors. Making it easy for the Tooth Fairy to sneak in a dollar at 5:15 in the morning. What?!?! She was running "late."

June 28, 2017


sawyer: lego batman movie party.

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For some reason, every year when Sawyer has a birthday coming up, I'm in complete denial. I don't know what it is with him. Cayden gets older? Fine. Graham has another birthday? Awesome. (I won't even talk about Tatum's upcoming birthday because she's going to stay a baby forever.) But Sawyer? I just can't even with him getting older.

Tomorrow he turns six. Six! Two hands now; can't make six fingers on one hand. He's had such an awesome year. Five was really good to him – we're hoping six is just as nice! Kindergarten was so fun. And learning to read has been so entertaining for him. (And us. And also sad as he learns to say words correctly.) We recently discovered that he has two permanent teeth sneaking their way in behind his bottom two baby teeth. He's adopted a new nickname because of it: Shark Boy. (No worries, the dentist says the baby teeth should still fall out on their own. But sadness because he'll already have full-size teeth replacing them. We'll just keep our fingers crossed that his top two teeth give us a nice, big gap one day!)

But anyway, this past weekend we celebrated the upcoming birthday Lego Batman Movie style. We have quite a few Lego Batman pieces, so it was pretty easy to decorate. And I had leftover Lego party supplies from Cayden's party last year. (As a note, having three boys? Has taught me to save birthday decorations. Chances are we'll have a repeat of something at some point.)

We spent the morning slipping & sliding, playing with water guns and throwing water balloons. After everyone dried off, we came inside, sang Happy Birthday, ate some cake and let Sawyer open his gifts.

Tomorrow we're looking forward to our bi-annual trip to Chuck E Cheese to celebrate our favorite second-born. He's a pretty amazing kid and we're fairly certain six is going to be a fun ride.
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