Dakota just turned BIG 6!!!

Wow!  I look at my little baby girl and she is not such a baby anymore… There are so many things I can be thankful for when it comes to our family and Dakota is a biggie!  I see such a willingness to love on her brothers and help mommy all the time with Chase and will randomly take Chase on a walk through the store so that I can concentrate on shopping or whatever (within my vision, of course).  This year has been a  year of so many firsts……  She lost her first tooth and has been so excited.  She has been waiting for this to  happen and ran into us when her Dad and I were taking a Sunday nap and had an amazing excitement in her eyes as she showed us her tooth!!  That night we broke the news that there wasn’t really a tooth fairy, that is was just Mommy and Daddy, she seemed okay for it and was just excited and called us Mr. and Mrs. Tooth Fairy the rest of the night.  We sprinkled fairy dust all over her pillow and filled her tooth box with a couple dollars that she decorated with stickers and put in a note: Dear Tooth Fairy, Can you please take my tooth.  Love, Dakota….

She began kindergarten and went to school for the first time and did an incredible job most days working 5-6 hours/day on homeschool days–not by my choice.  She began her journey this year at Northridge Community School – sort of like a Homeschool Christian co-op, but she is actually taught at the school 2.5 days/week and then I would homeschool her the other 2.5 days.  It was a grueling year for me and truly for her too.  We went from light structured days to grueling  hard full school days.  Spent way too many hours for a poor little kindergartner to have to go through.  But her willingness to push through many days without a complaint, dealing with a mother that was not always the best teacher and not always excited as we would embark on are 4th hour as my other two little ones are going nuts.  It was a difficult year and she shined through and is an amazing reader and has great initiative to become better at everything she struggled through, phonics, coloring, penmanship, math.  It did not matter if the standard was hard, she was determined to do amazing.  She made great friends, as I did as well and loved her teachers so much!  Mrs. Mersch and Mrs. Hixson were her kinder teachers and she absolutely loved them!  She would come home often with such excitement about her day at school and what new thing she learned or got to do.  She took many field trips and had lots of class parties with me as room mom- a tough job for a new homeschooler-  part of the intense year. She loved it when zero the hero would come bearing gifts for the class- a little yellow happy faced man who always left gifts on every 10 days of school all the way to 100!  She loved going to lunch with her teachers when she finished all her sight word lists.  She won 1st place in the Speech Meet for her kindergarten class as she recited “Three Guests by Jessica Nelson North”.  She was one of the few that represented her class in the spelling bee, only to get out on the first try- very sad moment.  I think the word was “drip” and she spelled it with “t” instead of “d”.  She had opportunities to dress up in a chicken costume for Harvest Day and an indian girl on Thanksgiving Feast Day.  She was mentored by one of the graduates, Hannah Mersch which she loved.  She got to run her first Jogathon with a few laps with both Mommy and Daddy but mostly holding hands with Amelia the whole time as they ran.  Christmas, Teacher’s Bdays, Valentines Day, Easter Parties, End of Year Parties GALORE!!  I know she will miss NCS for first grade, but we recently broke the  news to her that she would  not be returning next year so we can give homeschooling full time a shot.  I thinks she is most dissapointed that she won’t be with her friends and that she doesn’t get to buy a roller bag for first grade next year- something she has greatly looked up to the 1st graders for all year and not have to take naps as well.  Most have told me it will be much easier than what I endured this year and so I am open to trying it and seeing.  I am not  excited that she will miss out on fun times and moments with her friends and teachers and opportunities that will be missed by not going to school.  I am just praying that I be faithful to be the best teacher for her that I can be and be sure she has playdates and is involved in sports and outside activities with other children.  So Dakota has graduated Kindergarten with flying colors and a true hard worker and determination awards along the way.

In the land of many firsts, she learned how to ride her bike the same day her little brother Chase began to walk.  She comes running inside and says Mommy, I rode my bike all by myself!  I asked her where her training wheels were and she had gotten a wrench out of Daddy’s toolbox and took them off herself and had been practicing out front until she could do it!  She just got a new shiny bike for her 6th bday from Grandma and Grandpa.  Days before her bday she would remind Mommy and Daddy that she really hopes she can get the Barbie one because that is her absolute favorite, but if we have to get her a different one, she guesses that will be okay giving us few options of which bike should we get her?  She first learned how to read and write all by herself this year and is a great reader!  She even came out one morning so excited that she had put her very first ponytail in her hair- and it sure did look cute!!  She first learned  how to swim this year as well at her swim lessons this summer with Mrs. Casey.  She learned how to tumble and dance at the YMCA.  She learned to count to 100 even.  Its all the things we already know how to do, but so precious seeing her do it for the first time and get this sweet excitement in her eyes that she did it!  This truly has been an exciting year for Dakota.

I am truly excited that I see a desire in her to learn and know more about Jesus. She will ask her Dad and I questions all the time and ask us to read the bible to her- pretty amazing!  I pray that she will come to know the Lord at a very early age!  She is so faithful to pray for others all the time whether it be Grandpa or a friend at school or even me.  The other day Hudson and Dakota were at the table eating and after she prayed, he said, “you did not pway for me to obey my swim teachaws”.  As you can see she even prays for Hudson to “close his eyes while she is praying” and often prays for Hudson to do the right thing.

She makes me want to be a better Mom because of the amazing daughter she is to me.  She loves me so unconditionally and serves selflessly all the time doing things to help me even when I don’t ask her to.  She has such joy in her and the cute giggles we get when we tickle her or play with her is so fun.  She is a sweet special gift to her mom and I love her so much. I can’t imagine the joy that will be missing when she is off on her own one day, I ache for that day already.  She makes heartfelt cards for new friends, some that she barely even knows.  Like when we went to the Chea conference last weekend and she saw two girls from a bday party she had gone to last month and met for the first time.  She made them a cards on the way to the conference the second day. I asked her why she was making them cards and she said because she was so sad that she would not see them again after the conference was over.   It took her 45 minutes to make them cards on the drive and wrote them each a a sweet note.  She did the same for Sophia and Samantha Eisman because she felt sad that she would not see them as much since we were moving.  In the card she wrote “I love your family” with lollipops taped onto the outside of each card that she took from her own little candy stash.  With her bday money she bought herself a remote control car and one for her brother so they could play together.   I love her heart and her desire to love her family and friends so preciously and tell them how much she loves them as  if tomorrow  may never come.

Lately I love how when I tuck her in she gives me eskimo kisses with her nose crinkled like a little piggy.  I love it!  I love how she has to give me hugs and kiss me goodnight at every single naptime.  I love how forgiving she is even after I yell at her in anger.  I love that she will remind me to reconcile with her when it is needed.  For her bday she got a guitar so she could learn to play like Daddy and she asked on the way home from Toysrus…. “Daddy can I use one of your toothpicks when I play my new guitar?”

In the lists of favorites: Favorite movie of the year: Repunzel- 1st movie I have ever seen her cry at….Favorite song:  Repunzel soundtrack, favorite food: “juicy chicken” otherwise known as tempura chicken, favorite dessert is always candy, favorite toys: Loves to ride her bike, play legos, play repunzel, play barbie and she would make woodsy salads outside a lot, slipnslide, lincoln logs, read books, color, play plethora of games with her Daddy for sure.. Her most favorite is computer time playing PBSkids.org or the bunny, mystery game, or even mario cart.


Let’s go for a pony ride…

You know, I never realized that I would be so excited about these little things, but once you have kids, everything is absolutely exciting, including this fun pony ride we went on at the Farmers Market last week.  Dakota loved it and it made me go back and remember when I rode this pony at about her age and my saddle was falling off the pony and so I was practically sideways on the pony; holding on for dear life…

She could not stop giggling, it was so cute…

The small joys in Dakota’s life…

Dakota’s favorite thing to do is go out with Daddy to fix his stereo in his car.  She will bring her purse, bible and Lambie and Doggie and strap them all in the seat belts in the back seat and sit back there with them and pretend to drive until she is horribly sweaty from sitting in such a hot car.  Mommy has issues with this because she doesn’t realize how hot it gets in that car while it is baking in the sun.  But I can’t turn her down when I see her excitement when she asks Daddy every day “can we go fix your car?”

Lambie is quite popular these days, I will find her in all kinds of places.  When I put Dakota down for a nap the other day, I noticed Lambie was in the exersaucer peaking out, it made me laugh…

Dakota is funny lately with bugs, she likes to kill them and be the one to pick them up with a tissue, she is not my daughter!  I don’t know where this fascination came from?  She is becoming very smart, when a toy is broken she will go get Daddy’s screwdriver set and sit intently and try to unscrew the battery cover and replace the batteries on her own.  I think she gave up on Mommy doing it.

“I don’t want to” and “why” are the two newest phrases around this house and it about drives mommy bonkers!  And before bedtime, she says… “I am hungry and I am thirsty and my tummy hurts and I think I am going to throw up and my eyes hurt too”  ANYTHING to get out of bed at night time.

Are you sure its time for bed?

She loves to feed her brother fruity puffs, one at a time and he loves being fed by his sister, it is so cute how he opens his mouth wide for her to insert puff please.

She still loves to dress up and dance around the house to oldies music singing the lines she knows and humming to the rest.  She loves to mimick the clapping cheer at the Dodger game we took her to last month: clap, clap, clap-clap-clap “Lets go Dodgers”.

the dancin queen

the dancin queen

He is so excited to sit up and enjoying interaction with his sister especially. She dresses up in her princess outfit and shoes and dances for him while he stares at her in his exersaucer. It is the sweetest thing. He will giggle every now an then when she spins or jumps.

He is so excited to sit up and enjoying interaction with his sister especially. She dresses up in her princess outfit and shoes and dances for him while he stares at her in his exersaucer. It is the sweetest thing. He will giggle every now an then when she spins or jumps.

We just started giving her allowance because she wants new toys all the time, so we want her to save her money.  So about everyday she asks “can I buy that car for the dollhouse” and we reply well you get a little bit of money each week and you need to save it until you have enough to buy the dollhouse car, and she replies “can we do it today, can we save money today and buy the dollhouse car… today???”  She has not quite gotten the concept of saving money yet, that’s okay, neither has her mommy….

You forgive me, mommy…

Wow, it is one thing to have accountability by your husband or friends, but when it is your own child…  Yesterday I was not being very patient with Dakota and was getting tired of her not listening and disobeying me when I would ask her to do something.  So finally I just lost my temper with her and yelled at her to go pick up the rest of her toys and shoes in the living room before she was to go take a nap.  So she looked at me and did what I asked then she went potty and as I was scurrying around picking up things before naptime, I heard her saying to herself while she was on the potty…
“You forgive me”, so I thought that was interesting, was she finally going to ask me for forgiveness for not listening to me all on her own.  We go through it every time she disobeys, but did she finally get it?   So I went in the bathroom and sat down on the stool and asked her what she said and she said it again, “you forgive me, mommy” and so I said you want me to forgive you, she said no because you were were yelling at me with the saddest face ever.  I about died.  I couldn’t help but smile and she says to me, “say, I am sorry, mommy”  I looked at her and said “You know what you are right, I have not been patient with you and I did yell at you, I am sorry, will you forgive me?”  She said, “I forgive you”.  Well she did finally get it, she got that Mommy was in sin and needed to ask for forgiveness.  Pretty amazing what you model for your children will eventually stick.  I have had to ask for her forgiveness a number of times for yelling at her with my lack of patience and now I truly have accountability.  Thank you Lord for sanctifying me through my children…

Dakota is Three!!

Wow, I can’t even believe my little baby girl is not a baby
anymore, she is a little girl growing up each minute. She
has quite the funny, bubbly personality and is a cheerful
soul. On our way to home from AZ, she would play peekaboo
with her brother and exclaimed “Lambie poked me in the eye”
as she wimpered. Her lambie is her favorite new stuffed
animal that goes everywhere with us. Lambie and her get a
long usually great for the most part, I guess the long car
drive was getting on Lambie’s nerves. Whenever she can’t
find Lambie, she says “where is her”? I don’t even correct
her because it is so cute, I want to hear it more.

These were the stirofoam packaging that wrapped Daddy's computer, but they instantly became cars for Lambie and Dakota

These were the stirofoam wrapping that Daddy’s computer came in, but they instantly became cars for Lambie and Dakota.

Dakota was running a fever about a week ago and she said “my eyebrows hurt” meaning, I have a headache. I wanted to just pinch her cheeks she was so cute, but instead I just held her and gave her some tylenol to soothe the pain.  She loves Mou-Mou, she chases him and Chase, our other kitty around the house and once in awhile I will see Mou-Mou chasing her around.

When she eats she says “thats to big for the bite” when her fork is overloaded with food and the bite does not fit into her mouth. Meaning that is too big of a bite, what Mommy and Daddy actually say to her.

thats to big for the bite!

thats to big for the bite!

She had cherries the other day and I don’t think I have ever seen her this messy on this side of 2 years old…she is very particular about her hands and how clean she stays when she eats…

Yummy Cherries!!

Yummy Cherries!!

Her translations are absolutely priceless and at this rate, her
vocabulary will be like this when she is twenty years old,
because I am not about to correct her, she is way too cute.

She had a week long birthday, her party went well, she
played in the pool, opened presents, hated the pink cupcakes
mommy made for her after she had been asking for pink
cupcakes for her birthday the last month, oh well.

She got a dollhouse that she loves to play with and a doctor set and playdough set and a new doll to dress. Lots of fun toys.
It is amazing how you live vicariously through your daughter
with all the things you may of not gotten as a child, you
make sure they have it all. When Zach and I were getting
the dollhouse, I wanted to fill it with all the rooms and
Zach only wanted a few, and I about died thinking how can
she live without this room and that room. I have to teach
myself contentment with God’s blessings way more than I need to teach her. She is content with three rooms and that is great. On her actual birthday we took her to the new
Northridge Pool and Mr. Schimke joined us. We went to
McDonalds afterwards so she could play in the play area. We
had fun swimming until they made us all leave the pool
because the water was unihabitable. Yuck! Have not been
back since. She opened presents and had a ball! Then we
had a little celebration for her in AZ with Zach’s family,
she went swimming and we sang happy birthday as she sang to
herself and did not like Nana’s cake that she made for her
and was sure to say loudly…”I don’t like this cake”- oh
boy!! She loved all the presents she got there too! She
got a doctor set and that has been her favorite, she checks
lambie and brother all the time, it is so cute.

We actually had a birthday party for her at home with all her playgroup friends; but lost all the pictures when our computer crashed 😦

She is taking swim lessons with her playgroup this summer and that is going interesting. She won’t go to her instructor and her instructor does not want me to be hands off, like I want to be. I went and bought her a pair of goggles thinking that they would help her be more comfortable in the water…

Hudson likes the goggles!

Hudson likes the goggles!

so much for that theory…

We recently found out she has asthma and have to do
breathing treatments on her a lot while she is sick, but
sometimes a couple times a week. The albuterol makes her so
awful, she is the most whiny, disobedient child when she is
on that medication and I feel like I cannot deal with it or
I am going insane by the end of the day. When she is off of
it, God’s grace is there, I realize… thank you Lord that
my child isn’t always like this.  So I pray for her and her salvation and
that she will continue to be an obedient child and she is an
absolute joy to our family. The day she marries or leaves
the home will be a very sad day!

Her best friend Abby just moved away and she is understanding that she won’t see her again and that makes her sad, they were best buds and have grown up together these last three years.  She was sitting in the corner the other day and I asked her what was wrong and she said she misses Abby.  This was the first time I have seen her truly sad.

Abby decided it would be fun to get into Grandma's makeup

Abby decided it would be fun to get into Grandma

Mrs. Schimke passed away in June and Mr. Schimke comes over to spend time with our family. She was playing playdough with him the other night and it is a joy to have an adopted Uncle around our home, we look forward to more giggles with Mr. Schimke in the future and praise God for Mrs. Schimke’s joy and love and kisses to Dakota while she is here with us. I told her that she is up in heaven now.  I miss her so much.

Toootie Tootie…

She is a precious soul. She is asking the same questions
over and over and so we have had to beef up asking, “what
did we just say” so we are not repeating ourselves over and
over again. She loves to show everyone her owies and loves
to wave at everyone even if they can’t see her. She is so
good at blowing bubbles now, its so much fun to watch. She
likes to play with brother every once in a while which is so
cute because he loves her so much. She is a very obedient
child as long as we keep on her and don’t let her get away
with a lot.

She loves to sing. The other day we were out
blowing bubbles and she was running around chasing them and
she tooted a couple times and started singing tootie tootie
as she would giggle and run around and chase the bubbles.
We have taught her about quiet burps and farts and to say
excuse me. The other day Daddy taught her to say excuse me
when interupting us while we were talking and all the sudden
within a two minute period she said excuse me about 25 times
to tell us random things. At least she caught on…

She can’t get enough movies and that is hard at times when I
just want her to play. She is randomly telling her Daddy “I
love you Daddy”, I missed you Daddy” wow- how incredibly
precious and to the heart that is. She has not done it to
me yet, but then again when am I to be missed when I am home
with her all day. She still runs to her Daddy when he gets
home and I just know that makes him feel so special.

The newest thing around our house is her breathing treatments. She will sometimes say, “you have to keep it on your nose so you can feel better, like the bear” from her inhaler incident, it is getting heavily embedded into her mind. When we were taking a bath, she stuck the bubble bath bottle on the nose of her elmo and explained to him this is medicine for your nose.

The words that come out of her mouth are amazing.
The other day Daddy was having a conversation with her at her little craft table because she always brings up dirty hearts from kindergym. We were taught that we all have dirty hearts but God can make them clean again. She says…
Mommy has a dirty heart, Daddy has a dirty heart, and at
first when we asked her if she had a dirty heart, she said
noooooo, thats silly. But now she says she does too. So
Zach began to try to explain to her about how dirty hearts
can become clean when we believe and obey Jesus, and she was
really into the conversation, until she blurted out look a
star!! We will continue to try to witness to her even when
there is worldly distractions. Heee heeee.

She has an interesting habit forming around when it is time to
go to bed, she wants to cuddle with mama while I watch
american idol and since Daddy doesn’t watch it with me I let
her stay up and we cuddle while she watches it with me.

Hmmm wonder who formed that little habit??

Dakota being two!

Wow what an amazing girl we have. I am so proud of Dakota and all she has accomplished and become and she is only 2 1/2. She is so much like her mommy in so many funny ways from cleaning up so wonderfully and helping mommy with brother and housework. She finally potty-trained and now successfully goes poo and pee in the potty after a week of (it hurts….when I go poo poo it hurts). She says constantly “lets play dada, lets play mama” she has forgotten how to entertain herself, oh but when she does, it is so sweet, how she talks to her doggie and babies repeating house rules and songs to them that were just moments ago repeated to her. I love it when she gets really excited she begans to list off the what she is and is not allowed to do. No touch this and No touch that and “sometimes and probably” start most sentences. “sometimes mommy and daddy need help and sometimes they don’t”. When you put her to bed or before we eat..”lets pray dada, lets pray”. “hands dirty, I need a napkin please, she has a clean hand fetish like her father. I love it when she sings the clean up song as she cleans and believe it or not you would have never guessed how she puts everything away where it belongs after her roomtime. She is very particular about getting dirty and messes. She would walk into her room and say “ohh its messy”. She loves to boss around the kitties; especially saying “no chase, no, be nice to your bother” because she hears mama say it so much. Her laugh and smile will melt your heart and so will her favorite songs. Jesus loves me, Deep and Wide, Itsy bitsy spider. The other day she was watching Barney and new every single song and hand motion, I just sat back and watched her in awe of how fast she learns. She has many friends, as she lists them off one by one… Joey, Vinny, Abby (her best friend), Jianna, Samantha, Sophia, Wesley, Max and Silas, Kaden and then says “AAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL friends” She loves to go to church and in the car to see friends.

When she goes to sleep at night and you say I love you, she yells “I love you, have a good day”, what daddy would say to her when he would leave in the morning. She covets her playtime with Daddy at night and runs to him in excitement to hug him. We would play hide and go seek and she would go hide while daddy counts and then jump out at him, not grasping the idea of hide and seek. I got a taste of that treatment when I would go to the grocery store and she would run to the door and yell YAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY, mommy’s home!! I would get a big hug, there is something about that special excitement I don’t ever want to go away. She loves tv way too much and that is my own fault for letting her watch it too much. With two in order to get anything done, I put her in front of the tv and she is entertained. These last few days I have had it off so she can learn to play on her own again and she asks me every five minutes “What doin mama” so the other day I asked back, what doin dakota and she just smiled. I had an eighties party to go to and I have found some bright hot pink boots and legwarmers and she was watching me put them on and went in her room and put her pink shoes on and came and asked me for some tights for her pink shoes. She is so precious with her mannerisms. When I loose my patience with her and she knows it. I will tell her mommy got too mad and did not treat her good by yelling at her and she gets weepy and gives me the biggest hug ever and says “yees” when I ask her to forgive me. She is very big on reconciling, does not like to be unreconciled.

Our biggest battle is her not eating. She is not much interested at eating, she is a little 24lb girl who does not like much. She loves hot dogs, macoroni and cheese, fishies (gold fish crackers) as she corrected her father the other day, raisins, juice, fruit (peaches, apples, grapes, oranges). She hates vegetables, but I finally got her to eat carrots the other day for a special snack! She loves playing outside in the back yard with her baby and doggy as she rides in the car and on her first bike back and forth along the concrete yard. We look forward to a wonderful backyard with grass someday. She finally started not crying when we put her down to bed in her big girl bed. She loves it and has always stayed in her bed when we told her to. She is overall a very obedient girl because her mommy and daddy have demanded that out of her, going through growing
kids gods way, we have been blessed with wisdom and knowledge on how to deal with toddlers. She loves to help me cook dinner, upon her stool, it makes me slow down and understand I am teaching her how she will love her family in the future, by cooking meals for them. She loves to color, cut papers with mommy’s scrapbook scissors and play with her kitchen and read lots of books. She is wonderful when I leave her with babysitters or others, never crying and excited to play with someone new. She loves to cuddle with Mouse and chase him around the house and he chases her around too. Daddy is constantly in her face taking  pictures and she has become so photogenic, telling brother smile! when daddy takes his picture.

When we were decorating the tree for christmas she called this hedgehog ornament a “hedgecog” it was so funny. Dominoes became “nominoes”. Words are becoming so clear now and she makes you laugh. “my bum hurts” is a constant saying around here because she gets constipated and holds her poop. I praise God she has been so healthy minus a few colds here and there. She loves to talk to Nana and Papa and Grandma and Grandpa on the phone, explaining to them what she is doing. She has her favorite binky and blanket and hoping at her 3rd birthday we can get rid of that binky. “hiiiiii baby brother” in a high shrieking voice is the sweetest thing to hear. It is a form of endearment towards her brother. She is doing great at alomost dressing herself and putting on her shoes by herself. SHe loves to take walks with mommy and bring her stroller with her baby in it as I push Hudson in his stroller. She loves the movie Ratatouille, Elmo, Silly Songs, Barney, Clifford, and Tigger and Pooh, Mickey Mouse, and Curious George. She still takes 1-2.5 hour naps or just stays in her room until naptime is over. She loves to ride in Daddy’s car, sitting in the front seat as he moves it out of the driveway, onto the street. She loves to play “peggle, mommy’s game” on the
computer. She doesn’t cuddle much or give many kisses unless we ask her to and it is probably because it is not modeled much for her. We aren’t very touchy feely family, I hope to instill more of that in her life. I want her to learn the fun in cuddling and kissing and hugging more. It is amazing how much you model for your child gets passed down into her traits, I love and hate some of the traits I see in myself and see in her. I will definitely strive to be more godly mother and be more patient. I definitely remember times of just screaming at her to vent my bad day or dislke of being interrupted or hormonal. Or when she would do something that I would get so mad about. I am striving to end that frustration and anger in me. To be a better, more patient mother. I praise God for her and daddy and I agree, this is the best stage yet!!!