We had a very nice holiday today. We had our friends come over. We each made some things for dinner. We ate a lot and just had a relaxing day.
Ashtyn got to wear the same Thanksgiving outfit her sisters wore. She seemed to like it. She's our little turkey.
This morning was the first morning that my feet were cold on the bathroom tiles. I guess fall has finally found AZ. It was still in the 90s at the beginning of the week, but the temperature now is 43! That's a big difference.
I thought I'd share some fall photos for the occasion. It's great to be outside in the fall in AZ. We went to the zoo. Avery and Ryann rode the camel together this year. They also like riding bikes and playing in the park behind our house.
Halloween was fun. It was Ashtyn's first one. We crammed her into the same pea pod suit that her sisters wore, even though she's more than a month older than they were at Halloween. :0) Grandma was here for Halloween this year. After trick-or-treating, Ryann & Avery helped her pass out candy. They seem to have eaten quite a bit too.
Ashtyn's fall news includes 4 teeth and being able to pull herself up and stand. She's become a cruiser. She loves to get into trouble. She can crawl, but it's new to her so she prefers to drag her belly on the floor and go as fast as she can to the nearest thing she shouldn't have. It keeps her sisters' messes in check. They're always trying to keep their stuff away from Baby.
Yesterday was Ashtyn's half birthday. She's officially six months old. I can't believe how fast she's growing up. She can hold her bottle, sit up for a little while, and almost crawl. When she sees something she wants, she gets there. It's not a typical crawl, but she's getting there. We're going to introduce the pack-n-play to keep her out of trouble. She goes to the doctor in a week. I can't wait to see her new stats.
Ashtyn is getting to be such a big girl. I've started letting her sit in the high chair now. She's too much trouble in the Bumbo seat now. She likes to squirm and twist and grab everything in sight. This is her sitting with me while I work. Sunday afternoons are usually work time in our dining room. She keeps me company sitting or swinging.
I took Ashtyn for her four month check up last week. She weighed 15 lbs 5 oz. That puts her in the 84th percentile for weight. The doctor said to her, "you like to eat!" We've started her on baby cereal now. She isn't great at eating yet. She only gets 3/4 of it down each time. Maybe once she eats food better it'll help slim her down a bit. She's gone to the 76th percentile in height so that's better. If she has anything to say about it, she'll crawl soon. She rolls to her tummy within seconds of being placed in her gym. Then she propels herself forward with her legs. It can be rough on her face since she doesn't really use her arms yet. She doesn't seem to mind. She just wants to get moving. I think she's just the cutest. She's always happy and has a way of melting my heart with her big slobbery, toothless grin. She's awesome.
Our little RyRy is now in school. She is an official kindergarten student at my school. It's a little strange for me as my worlds collide. She seems to like it.
After the first day, she explained to us that she has manners now, follows rules, and can spell the word "red." I guess we should've sent her to kindergarten a long time ago. :0)
The only problem is her comfort level at my school. She acts like she's at home sometimes. She's been spending time there with me since she was born. Today her teacher wanted to talk to me after school about her running around and being loud in class at the end of the day. She was apparently off the wall. It sounds like a typical day at home to me. We need to work on separating home and school. I guess keeping her there 12 hours some days doesn't help. :0(
I guess we'll figure it all out. We've never been kindergarten parents before. I did attend my first PTO meeting as a teacher/parent this week. Weird!
Ryann and I went to get our back-to-school haircuts together today. She was very concerned about her hair being cut too short. She didn't want to look like a boy. We ended up cutting about 4 inches off and she definitely still looks like a girl. It may not look like much of a change, but it was big for her. I think it's much neater looking. She's all ready for kindergarten now.
Not only did our summer dance classes create a monster, swim lessons created two monsters.
Ryann and Avery finished their 8th swimming lesson on Thursday. It was the most progress I'd seen so far. I debated trying to continue them, but with school starting and finances limited, we decided against it.
Scott took them in the pool yesterday and they wanted to practice. I was impressed that they were doing things without their teacher. Here are pics of their back floats. The scary part is when they want to swim from place to place alone. Ryann kept swimming to Scott without warning him. Avery tried to copy Ryann by swimming to the step but was under too long. They haven't figured out how to come up for air yet. They scare me, but I'm glad they've made progress. We'll have to keep working at it.
My poor kids are going to get a complex from me laughing at them. This is a picture of Ryann and her "old maid vegetable soup." She also made "old maid applesauce like Grandma makes." I giggled and asked her to repeat what she said. She asked what I was laughing at. I tried to explain to her about "homemade" cooking. If nothing else, kids are entertaining.
Last week was "bring a friend week" at dance class. Ryann grudgingly let her sister come. Now, Avery asks every day if she's going to dance class today. Ugh... So much for one at a time. I called and got her signed up today for the remaining month of the summer season. These girls' hobbies are going to break the bank. :0)
Scott and I have been wanting the girls to take swimming lessons, especially since we have the pool now. Every time I looked into it, we either had no money or the schedule didn't work. Well, I finally got serious and started searching for something to get them started. The YMCA classes were all full so I called Hubbard Family Swim School. I was surprised to find out that the cost was similar and they had openings! The schedule is perfect. The girls go 30 min. each day for 4 days. I signed them up for 2 weeks so we'll be done before I go back to work. I know they won't be real swimmers by then, but it's a start. It's like 8 weeks worth of Saturdays without the stress of working in between. :0)
Avery does whatever the teacher tells her and she had fewer skills to start so she seems to be making more progress. Ryann is very timid in the water so it'll take time. I'm just glad we got them started. We can build from here.
Ryann has begun taking dance classes at The Little Gym. She really likes it so far. Her class includes tap, ballet, and gymnastics. Sometimes she spends a little too much time looking in the mirror so she misses the teacher's instruction, but she does ok. I'm happy that she isn't too shy to talk or participate. I think she's getting better about that. She may not have a lot of skill yet, but she looks super cute in her dance outfit. She'd better. Those shoes might make us bankrupt if she continues to dance and grow.
Ashtyn is 3 months old already. Where has the time gone? She JUST started sleeping through the night on a regular basis. I feel like she's still a newborn. I guess not, since she has now outgrown her newborn clothes. Overall, she's very happy and smiley. She is pretty entertained by her sisters. I spend most of my time trying to keep the two of them off her. They are constantly hugging her, kissing her, patting her, poking her, and so on. After she was sick when she was so small, I've become a bit paranoid about the kids sharing their germs with her. We took her for her 3 month pictures today. The other two were maniacs. Avery even ate a gummy thing she found on the floor. I had to wrestle her to get it back. Maybe there's still hope for Ashtyn. :0)
Life with 3 kids is quite an adventure. I'm off for the next 3 1/2 weeks. Whether or not my sanity will be intact by the time I go back to work is questionable.
It's hard to believe 10 weeks have gone by already. Our newborn is now over 2 months old. She's getting to be lots of fun. She smiles and cooes at us. She really likes to socialize. She's very independent, though. She'd much rather swing or lay on her own than be held most of the time. She still wants Mommy to walk her and cuddle her when she's cranky. She still doesn't sleep through the night most of the time. It's been a shock to us because Ryann and Avery were great sleepers from the start.We're just trying to appreciate her being little, since she's our last one. :0)
Ryann is an official pre-K graduate. On Friday, May 18, we went to Ryann's school for graduation. We were fully anticipating her hiding her face and refusing to sing again. She had promised not to be shy and to do her best, but we can't always bank on her promises.
When she saw us, she smiled and gave a hug as they walked by. Then she got up on stage and put her head down, as expected. Once the music started, we were pleasantly surprised to see her join in. She didn't do the hand motions, but sang along with every song. When it was her turn to receive her "diploma" and tell what she wanted to be when she grew up, I expected her to clam up. She didn't clam up, but I was surprised by her response. She usually tells me she wants to be a library. I'm assuming that means librarian. Sometimes she says she wants to be a doctor. This was the first time I heard this one...
Yes, ....a cheerleader. Let's hope her aspirations change in the future.
To celebrate the graduation, we went to Johnny Rockets for dinner. "Kids eat free." However, Moms' and Dads' meals are ridiculously overpriced. The girls had fun , though. :0)
On Saturday, May 12th, we had Ryann and Avery's birthday party. This year we did a Hello Kitty theme. I kept the cake a bit simpler this time. It had a pink and white checkerboard inside with pink fondant and Hello Kitty picture.
We had about a dozen little friends come over and bounce in a Hello Kitty bouncy castle. They had cake and tore the house apart. A good time was had by all.
Ryann had a hard time understanding that she was not getting another one for her real birthday on Wednesday.
We just returned from a trip to Washington. It was quite an adventure. We left on Wednesday, May 2nd. It was Avery's 3rd birthday. We drove for about 11 hours, but we stopped at Applebee's to celebrate Avi's birthday. We also had cupcakes and presents in the hotel. We spent the night just north of Salt Lake City. Ryann & Avery love hotels. We arrived at Scott's Dad's house in Cheney around 7:30pm on Thursday, May 3rd. The next 2 days were spent visiting with family. It was nice to catch up with everyone and introduce Ashtyn. She got to meet Grandma Dobbins, whom she was named after. Sunday was Bloomsday, an annual 12k race in Spokane. Scott, his brother, and his dad all ran in it. It was Scott's 12th time running it. Ryann and Ashtyn spent the morning with their aunt, uncle & cousins while Avery and I went to the race. Avi got to ride the carousel while we were waiting to meet Scott. Riverfront park is really scenic. It was a fun day. Scott ran well, so he was happy. We went out for Chinese food after the race. I was glad to be able to experience Bloomsday after hearing about it for so many years. Monday was our last day there. We spent some more time with family and got packed. We headed back on Tuesday morning. We decided to stay at the same hotel on the way back. Avery insisted it was her birthday again. We arrived back home around 8:30 last night.
It was quite a trip. We love spending time with family. Scott and I have always enjoyed traveling. It's a bit more stressful to do with 3 little kids. We look forward to future trips, especially as the girls get a little easier to transport. :0)
On Monday, I took the girls for their first pictures together. Ryann is almost 5, Avery is almost 3, and Ashtyn is 1 month old. Strangely enough, they were very cooperative with the photographer. Everyone smiled and followed directions. The trouble came at the end when Ashtyn had a stinky diaper and was crying for food. Then, when I was trying to order the pictures Ryann and Avery started fighting. It's just another day in the life of a mother of 3. Ugh.
I did think the pictures were cute, though.
It's official. Summer has arrived early in Phoenix. The pool was up to 79 degrees this week. Scott swam. Ryann and Avery splashed around on the shelf. Ashtyn and I opted for some poolside relaxation. We're holding out for 85.
Wow! Things are so chaotic with 3 kids. Ashtyn is a typical newborn, needy and depriving me of sleep. The other two are maniacs. They are either fighting or into mischief together. I really enjoy having either Avery or Ryann at home without the other. Preschool is quite a blessing.
Things have been even more interesting lately. Avery has strep throat. I tried to keep her and her cough away from the baby. The results of my efforts are Avery's hurt feelings and Ashtyn's new case of RSV. That's scary because infants sometimes need to be hospitalized with RSV because they can't breathe. I sleep even less now. I'm nervous about her breathing. I have to suction her nose frequently to help her breathe. Ugh! Stressful!
At 2:21am on Wednesday, March 28, 2012, Baby Girl Dobbins #3 arrived. Her name is Ashtyn Belle Dobbins. Her middle name is after Scott's grandma, Flora Belle. She was 8 lbs 13 oz and 18 inches long. She looks just like her sisters did at birth. We think she's perfect. :0)
She was scheduled to arrive via C-section on Saurday, March 31st. As with all my kids, she had her own plan. I went to bed Tuesday night with no contractions or anything, and I woke up around midnight as my water was breaking. I called the doctor and Scott and I scrambled to get packed and ready. I was completely unprepared. By the time we got to the hospital, I was having major contractions and not enjoying it one bit. Luckily, it was pretty quick. I had a different doctor than planned, but he did a great job. Everything went as well as possible. By 6 am, we were in our room with our new baby girl.
Ashtyn is so sweet. She's snuggly and content most of the time. She's a very good little eater, just like her mama. :0) We didn't sleep much on Wednesday or Thursday night because she was a bit switched around. We came home Friday and we're already in a better routine. We got a good night's sleep last night and feel much better today.
Ryann and Avery were very excited to meet their sister on Wednesday afternoon. They were both gentle and loving. Friday, the jealousy settled in a bit for Avery. She's been a bit naughty and rough. It's an adjustment. She's trying to be a happy big sister. I think she's just a little bent out of shape right now.
Overall, things are going very well. We're incredibly blessed and grateful.
I can't believe it's been so long since I've written anything! The time goes so fast when you're busy!
After Thanksgiving, I got busy with the holidays, then had a tremendously busy third quarter at school. Since I will be out most of fourth quarter on maternity leave, I had a lot of work to get done ahead of time for my mentor job. I had to make sure I completed all the necessary evaluations for the year. At the end of the quarter, Avery, Ryann, and I all took turns with a stomach bug. That was fun. Now I can say my car seats are clean. They are no fun to tear apart and wash. Let me tell you.
Finally, I'm on Spring Break. I've been trying desperately to catch up on everything I've neglected at home as well as prepare for a long-term substitute for fourth quarter. The next quarter begins March 26th. Our little bundle is due to arrive on March 31st. Before she arrives, I need to get her room ready. This entails getting Avery out of it. :0) Avi and I have chosen furniture and bedding for her new room. Now I'm vacating my craft room, getting ready to convert it to Avi's room. Then, I'll convert the now toddler room back to a nursery.
Thanks to my friends at work, I do have a few diapers and outfits for the new baby. Scott and I are still struggling with a name for her. I hope it just hits us when we see her. In the meantime, I'll be scrambling to get ready for her and to be out of work. This pregnancy has certainly been more challenging than the other two. I'm too old for this. :0)