Big Mac is beginning to read

At 4.5 years old, I’m surprised. I was thinking I’d try to have him able to sound out words before kindergarten, but I hadn’t put in any formal work yet. I’d had him try sounding out words a few times, but he hadn’t gotten it the last I’d tried. I tried again a few days ago because he had gotten quick at his letter sounds, and because I wanted to try to justify the decision my heart had already made to take him out od preschool.

He’s been in preschool this year, but he doesn’t like it. Since I didn’t do preschool with kins and never regretted it, I figured we would try with big mac, but not force it if he didn’t like it. I thought he would end up liking it. And it was convenient because the school where kins goes has a preschool. He seemed to enjoy school after the fact, but never enough to agree that he was glad he was in preschool. He kept asking me to take him out. And cried some every drop off, not a lot, but he never got to enjoying it. We decided it was silly to pay to have him not like it much, considering he doesn’t need it academically, and I stay at home so can take him out as often as we please. Anyway, one rambling story later, I tried reading again and he just started sounding the words out without much problem like you see below. He is very proud. He got a lot I guess from us reading to him pointing to the letters and sounding words out regularly, so when  he had mastered his letter sounds and sat down with me to try, he found he could do it. 

Fall pictures and a few random

We heard of a trail called Willow Heights this fall. It turned out to be a perfect hike that the kids could do without being carried to see aspens changing. It’s not even quite 1 mile to get to Willow Lake, and there are ducks there that the kids enjoyed watching.


She is getting more willing to hike.


6 year old Kins.

Here she is showing off her first missing tooth. 


We put a light over her desk in her room and a shelf over that. She uses the desk often so it made sense to improve it.


Willow lake during the fall change is breathtaking. 


Kins updated this drawing. The original is on one of Tim’s shirts. The pentagon originally is crying because he doesn’t fit in. This made kins sad. She cried, but felt better when she realized she could just update it to have a happy ending.


Kins asked me why october is named the way it is when it’s the 10th month, not the 8th. I had never thought about that. Turns out there was some tampering with the the calendar along the way and October was originally the 8th month. 


Enjoying fall colors at a lower altitide with my parents and baby z.


The Alpine loop. 


11 months

Baby Z is 11 months old. She is almost always in a good mood and rarely cries. She says “Hi dah” all the time. It’s how she addresses everyone. We don’t know if it was originally hi dad or hi there.¬† She also says what sounds like both here go and thank you when handing things back and forth. She has the eyes of a hawk when she sees something on the floor to eat. She is a good eater of normal food too, although she only weighs a dainty 15.5 pounds. Even though she is small, she enjoys eating, and does so much more easily than Kins at the same age. She crawls quickly, sits herself up easily, and gets up on her knees often. She dislikes being held too much now, she struggles to get down and explore. She can pull up to standing now.¬† She’s not very steady that way yet, but she does it fairly often.

zz-standing-copy zz-grrr-copy

She was exclusively a mama’s girl for awhile. This past month, she has branched out. Now she will sometimes even resist Tim handing her back to me. zz-dad2-copy

In the carrier on a hike. She enjoys being in the carrier or in the stroller for at least an hour, she gets bored if it’s a lot longer than that.willow-zz-carry-copy

I am trying to enjoy every moment of baby I have left with her, it won’t be long now before she becomes a toddler.willow-zz-me-copy

A cardigan on a baby, so cute. We are enjoying all the hand me down clothes we have gotten from April.zia-cardigan-copy

Zz loves her siblings. She gets very excited when she sees one of them after being apart. They still aren’t as careful or gentle with her as would be ideal, but they’ve all got a sweet dynamic.sisters2-copy sisters-1-copy sisters-2-copy

Hiking with me on a day when Big Mac is in preschool.clarks-fall-copy



Kins has her first adult tooth growing in. And the baby tooth is hanging by a thread still, but can’t last long. She is desperate to lose it at school, because she claims there is a special chart for kids who lose teeth at school, but you don’t get to be on it if you lose it at home. I’m guessing it’s for lost teeth regardless of the place though. 

And, a very, very, exciting new thing, baby z has started waking only 1x over an 11-12 hour night. A month ago she was waking 3x or even more. We finally tried cry it out, which I had dreaded because it did not work with big mac. He basically turned the tables on me, let me cry it out, and successfully trained me to feed him however many times he wanted overnight until he was about 2 and I weaned him. With baby z, it was much better. She cried for 2-5 minutes and went right back to sleep. This did repeat itself a few times until 1am when I decided she could really be hungry. Then again at 4 am we tried, but she was up at 5 so I fed her. And so she began waking 2x a night with that easy training and I decided to leave it alone since it was better sleep than I’d gotten in awhile. And then, with no explanation  (unprecedented, in my experience, sleep changes do not just happen on their own) she dropped to once per night. It’s been 4 night now, so I’m beginning to believe it may be our new and thrilling normal for awhile.

When we were all sick baby z learned to cough socially. This has turned into a quirk of hers. When she is excited, she does a quick couple of coughs while grinning. She does also laugh properly, but not nearly as often.  It’s hilarious and so cute to me that without fail, every time I get ready to nurse her, and she sees it’s about to happen, she wiggles frantically and does the excited cough. 

Hiking with the kids: old millcreek road and lake solitude 


Being goofy after getting to the meadow at the top of old millcreek road, about a 2 mile 

My littlest hiking buddy on our way to Lake solitude. 

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The hike to Lake Solitude is gorgeous. It’s hard to push the kids along and they don’t enjoy it nearly as much as we do, but hiking with them is still well worth it. 

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Here is another picture from the old millcreek road hike. Kins is getting to be a decent hiker. Big Mac is more whiny about it, but he does enjoy it some, especially when he gets a few minutes to play in the dirt.old-millcreek-2 old-millcreek-girls

They are the best of friends. old-millcreek-hug old-millcreek-mama-kids old-millcreek-mama-zz old-millcreek-zz old-millcreek old-red-mill-family

Sometimes they get too tired and Tim has to pull a superman.