Archive for the ‘So I don’t forget’ Category

Jilly is 5

August 31, 2016

All About Jillian – Age 5

Mommy and Daddy’s special names for me: Jilly, Jill, Jilly Bean, Bean, Boo Boo Chicken

Biggest accomplishments in the last 6 months: Taking a shower, learning more of her letters, writing her name very well, and coloring inside the lines.

Favorite foods are: Fruit snacks, mac-n-cheese with broccoli, sweets, cheese curls, fruit – especially mandarin oranges, pancakes, waffles.

Don’t like to eat: Meat. She is still not a big meat eater. She’ll eat chicken nuggets, hot dogs and Lunchables on occasion, but she is pretty much a vegetarian.

Favorite toys: Anything she can color or draw with, her iPad, her little princesses, and her newest obsession is Shopkins and blind bags.

Favorite books: She still loves all books, but her favorite book we have is Ten Little Puppies because the first dog in the book looks like Maxie.

Favorite things to do outside: Ride her scooter and play ball with her dad and brothers.

Favorite things to do inside: Play her iPad, watch Netflix, color, and cuddle with mommy and daddy.

Vocabulary includes: The things that come out of her mouth are hysterical, but some of her funniest sayings are when she uses big words. Like, “That is hideous.” Or when she sees something that will be exciting to her or her family she says “My brothers would freak out if they got that game.”

Likes to “help” Mommy & Daddy around the house by: Helping with the laundry, helping to cook dinner, basically anything we ask her to do, she will. She’s a big help when I need something and I ask her to go get it. She’ll bring it right back. No detailed directions like her brothers would need. Ha!

Loves to travel to: Mexico and New York City

Favorite movies are: Ninja Turtles, Zootopia, Inside Out, Frozen

Favorite TV shows: Odd Squad, Fuller House, Goosebumps, My Little Ponies…basically a lot of what is on Netflix.

Couldn’t live without: Her iPad, having her back patted at bedtime, juice and fruit snacks in the car, hugs from mom and dad.

Doesn’t like: Having her hair pulled up in a pony tail, having her hair brushed, getting up early in the morning for school, and boys stuff.

Favorite characters: Ninja Turtles (mainly Raphael), Disney Characters (Princesses, Dory, Judy Hops, Anger), Cookie Cookie (Shopkins), Pinkie Pie (My Little Pony)

Right now she’s learning: The last of my ABCs, letter sounds, counting to 20, and my sight words.

She gets very happy and excited when: She gets to go grocery shopping with Dad, it’s the weekend and she has stay at home days, new coloring books, opening blind bags, she gets to go somewhere new.

She gets mad when: I have to wake her up for school, she has to stop what she’s doing to take a bath.

She is scared of: Monsters, zoombies, skeletons, and spiders.

The best part about being 5 years old is: She gets to go back to Disney. She always asked when she turned the number 5 if she could go back to Rella’s Castle. And she is…Disney is book for Halloween time!

During the next year she hopes to: Learn to read, count to 30, write and spell some words, basically master Kindergarten.

Comments from Mommy & Daddy:
Our Favorite “Jilly-isms”:

  • How she loves to sing in the car.
  • Her imagination, especially when she is playing in the bath tub or pretend talking on the phone.
  • How she still reaches up for my hand when were in a parking lot or in a store. I never have to ask her.
  • How when I pat her back at night she always like me to scratch her bare back under her shirt, never through it.
  • How she will ask me if we can do something together, just her and I for “quality girl time”.
  • How she always wears her rain boots to play outside, even if it’s not raining, or snowing, or if it’s 90 degrees outside.
  • Her love for bows. When we went to NYC the main thing she was concerned about was that I packed her bows.
  • How she says she’ll protect us with her Ninja moves! 😉

And just like that, my baby girl is a whole handful – 5! Jillian, you have no idea how much you are loved. You have stolen my heart since the say you were born and fill my soul with unmeasurable happiness. Because of you I laugh a little harder, cry a little less, and smile a whole lot more. I thank my lucky stars every day for the gift of you in our lives.

These pictures from your birthday night sum up your personality perfectly. You are silly, sassy, a princess, our comedian, and you continue to be our breath of fresh air. Happiest of birthdays to you our dear Jillian!

Last Sleep as a 4 Year Old

August 29, 2016

One of my favorite traditions with this little girl… her “Last Sleep Before Her Birthday” picture. The next day our Jilly Bean woke up as a 5 year old.

Check out last year:

First Day of School

August 23, 2016

It seemed like I had a long time to wait until all three of my kiddos would be in school. But man, did those 5 years fly. Jillian was born on Owen’s very first day of Kindergarten and as I laid in the hospital looking at my newborn baby girl, time was on my side. I had months and years before I had to send her off to school like I did that day with her big brother. Well, this week that day finally came. I wasn’t emotional when I sent the boys off to school. I was with her. Weeks leading up to the first day of K I’d find myself shedding tears. For almost 5 years she went with me daily to work. I got to carry her or hold her hand into and out of work every day. I got to listen to her stories and her songs on our commute. Once I sent her off to school, it was the first time in 7 years that I had a future ahead of me of a daily journey to work solo. Before Jillian there was the boys and even then, I use to commute to work with Mike. The car is very lonely now.

And not only did I have to send my baby girl to Kindergarten, I had to send my big guy to Middle School. A whole new world of lockers, changing classes, organization, waking up earlier to catch the bus, etc. I was just as nervous for Owen as I was for Jillian. I knew Benny would be fine. He’s got EPE down pat. This was the first year the first day of school had me filled with more nerves and mixed emotions than the kids.

They all did fine. Benny held Jillian’s hand as they walked onto the bus and as the bus pulled away she had a smile on her face awaiting the adventures of the bus ride.

The only big positive of all kids being in school is no more daycare payments. But that money now just gets funneled to pad the savings account back up after paying for braces, etc.

So, here are my 3 little loves on their first day of school. No pic of the boys together this year. Since they are no longer at the same school, that picture is now of the two EPE kids.

Jillian now gets her own daily communication folder!

Her spiffy new backpack and lunch box.  Unicorns and rainbows of course.

On the boys first day of school I bought them cards.  Well, they can read and Jilly can’t so I had to come up with something different.

I made a note like was in one of the “First Day of Kindergarten” books we read.

And this was the first year I had to buy Owen school supplies.  The elementary teachers always supplied them at EPE.

3 Back packs. CHECK. 3 Lunchboxes. CHECK. 1 Chromebook for Middle School. CHECK.

This years new kicks… a Men’s size 8!

And he wanted a new backpack for Middle School. First day of school outfit matches too!

Time to quickly get some pics of all 3 together before the Middle School bus comes.

Benny – off to 3rd Grade!

He loves neon and he wanted high tops really bad for back to school, so mom granted his wish!

And if the other two got new backpacks, so did this guy.

And here she is… our Kindergartner!

Excited and nervous all at the same time.

And of course, our Croc lovin girl got new PINK crocs for the first day of school.

Ready or not. Here she comes.

The two Thomas kids of EPE.

Silly picture is a must!

My baby girl graduated from preschool on Thursday. I can’t believe it. I was pregnant with her at Owen’s graduation and that seemed like yesterday. My head and my heart are having a hard time dealing with the fact she’s almost done with her time at PHEAA. The years have gone sooooooo fast. She’s such a special little girl and her teachers love her. She’s so well behaved and she’s such a joy to have in class. They tell me all the time at pick up. I did shed some tears during the ceremony. But, I put the big smile on my face because my girl was so excited for her graduation and on Thursday, the night was about celebrating her. A bittersweet time for this mommy, but a “super happy” (in Jillian speak) time for her. Gosh I love this little girl.

All dressed and ready to go!

She was so excited, but a little nervous…normal for our shy girl.

Her graduation head shot. LOVE. So so pretty.

The Class of 2016

Her favorite thing in class “…doing art.”

When she grows up, she want to be “…my Dad. He cooks and drives.”

The graduation had a Lego theme because it’s a popular toy in class. Jilly’s pink Lego and picture of her with her Lego creation.

The stage is set.

Here they come.

She was showing her nerves and shy facial expression.

Then she saw mom and dad and smiled.

This is her saying “Hi, Mom.”

She was happy to see us.

Big sigh of relief.

Singing songs.

Taking their seats.

Getting her Friendship Award.

They asked the kids in class what makes a good friend and said their response during the friendship awards. Most kids had abstract answers like “I play Legos with my friends.” Jillian’s answer was perfect and so her. She said “Being kind to others makes me a good friend.” Ahhhhh. And her teacher commented on how kind she really was.

Proud of her medal.

Getting her diploma.

Proudly showing off her certificate.

Don’t know what this look is for, but it’s hysterical.

Yellow carnations for a special surprise.

What will it be?

The kids sang “You are my Sunshine” then gave all their moms the flowers.

Jilly gave me the biggest hug when she gave me my flower. It was perfect, and made me cry.

All the graduates.

Our graduate and her family.

Mom and Dad are so proud of our girl.

Mimi and Pop Pop.

Grammy and PeePaw Thomas

Grammy and PeePaw Park.

Proud Big Brothers

This pic was Jilly’s request. She wanted a pic with her flowers (gift from Dad and Brothers) and Bear (gift from the daycare with a TRU gift card).

She’s official.

A little party for her at home.

She picked out this cake.

Kindergarten Here I Come.

Opening a few gifts. Her brothers helped read the cards.

SU Homecoming

December 5, 2015

September 19th was my 15th Homecoming Reunion at Susquehanna! Say what?!? I clearly just graduated didn’t I? Oh wait…I may look pretty much the same, have the same handsome man by my side, but then I remember after my few second daydream that it is 2015 and I have job, mortgage, a 9 year old, a 7 year old, and a 4 year old. Yup… definitely out of college 15 years. I hadn’t been back to campus for quite some time and neither had Mike, so we decided to make it a family affair and take the kiddos back to where it all started and give them a proper tour of SU…or at least what still remains the same as a lot has changed over the past decade and a half.

The boys loved it. They thought it was so cool. Owen wanted to spend the night but I told him it’s not a hotel. As much as I love the school, I miss what it was and am sad at what is becoming. It would be neat for the kids to follow in our footsteps, but the community culture, administration, and hefty price tag are going to steer them elsewhere. But it was fun to dream for a day. Dream of what the place meant to us and reminiscing on all the good times we had there, and dreaming of what the experience would be like for the kids to go to SU. But reality set in once we hit 11/15…back to Enola and thankful not only for our SU memories, but for how far we’ve come since our days there.

The kids checking out the new chairs. They are now scattered all over campus.

Owen by our freshman year dorm.

Mike going back to his tour guide days and showing the kids around.

Encore is now Benny’s Bistro.

Jillian liking the computers in the lab. I use to be a monitor in that lab 1 night a week for a work study job.

The whole fam.

Owen sitting in our favorite classroom in the BCO.

Benny liked this room too.

The kiddos at the entrance.

Our anniversary weekend back where we met.

Playing games at the kids tent by the football game.

Testing out the upgrades in the remodeled library. Study areas with white board walls and lots of pillows on the table benches.

The boys had such a good school year we wanted to reward them. They earned it. Ben accidentally broke his 3DS. We told him he was going to have to save money for a new one. He even asked me how he could earn money around the house. HA! So, deciding what to get for him was easy. We didn’t know what to get Owen until my Mom spent a weekend with us and he was on her iPad ALOT Face Timing Alex. It was awesome. It was like they were in the same room but were miles away. The original iPad mini just went on sale so that is what we got him. To say he was excited was an understatement. Watch the video for yourself!



And that iPad has been worth every penny. It a P.I.T.A to hook up. Kindles are so much easier, but seeing Alex and Owen text and Face Time is priceless. It’s a much more personal way to keep in touch and keep them close across the miles. Gotta love technology.

Jilly’s First Hair Cut

January 25, 2015

Unlike the boys, Jillian wasn’t at the salon by 10 months old to have her first hair cut. In fact, at her first birthday she didn’t have that much hair. I decided with my girl I was going to let it go for as long as possible. Her third birthday had come and still no hair cut. Her super long curly locks were beautiful. But once the cold weather set in, her hair got stringy and tangled easily. I knew it was time for a trim. So, the day after Christmas we went to my hairdresser to chop off a few inches.

Jillian is VERY shy around adults she does not know. We knew this could be a problem and it was. She was OK at first because Whitney gave her a lollipop, but she refused to put a cape on or sit in the chair. Mike had to sit with her clung to him for dear life. She cried and cried. Poor thing. But it had to be done. Whitney did a great job and was very patient. She was able to cut 2 to 3 inches off. It makes such a difference now when we wash and comb he hair. Although her ringlet curls at the bottom are gone. 🙁 Just a few waves is all that is left.

Our last major first is now in the books. Babyhood is well behind us. The next big first for Jilly will probably be her first lost tooth and I have some years before that happens.

Here is her hair two days before her haircut:

The big day – first hair cut. 3 years, 3 months and 27 days in the making.

Our boys don’t want for anything. And they really have never been into toys. Just video games. But they love spending time with family. When thinking of ideas for Christmas presents Mike and I could get the boys, we wanted to give them some experiences, not just material things. So, one of their gifts was a night out with us to the Hershey Bears game.

The boys loved it. Owen had been to two games before, but this was Ben’s first time. Owen got a foam bear claw at one of this first games, so we were going to get Ben one too, but he picked out this super cool foam bear hat instead. And our wallet thanked us for picking a night that was Dollar Dog Night. Last time Owen at 7!! This time he toned it down to 3, although he probably would have eaten more if they didn’t run out!

It was an action packed game. 5 fights, 2 ejections, and lots of penalties. I thought the boys may get bored but they were the exact opposite. They watched intently. They cheered and were really loud when the screen said to “Make some noise”. Benny was hoping the blimp would come drop money on our seats but no such luck. However, they did get free t-shirts for having seats in the Reeses section.

It was such a nice time. As many know, the boys have issues so many times we end up dealing with the ramifications of the disorders when we go out and about. Not Sunday. It was one of those rare instances where we can just be a family having fun. No flapping, no yelling, no disrespect, no screams, no tears. It was like 2 normal kids having fun with their parents at a hockey game. I cherish these moments as they are too far and in between. The game was a wonderful gift… not just for the boys, but for Mike and I as parents. I’m so glad we decided to take them.

And just like that she’s 3!

September 2, 2014

My dear Jillian –

It’s hard to believe you’re 3. But what a wonderful three years it has been. You are my constant ray of sunshine. You make my bad days good, you are the source of so many of my smiles, and you make my world a more wonderful place.

Life with you is so easy and simple. You listen. You want to be a helper. You communicate so well with us. You have this energetic spunk that makes us laugh. Your facial expressions and the funny things you say never make for a dull moment. Your personality is overflowing. You love colors and know which one is everyone in the family’s favorite. And you always tell people you LOVE the color pink. You like to count, collect rocks, and watch Princess movies and almost everything Disney. I love how you call your favorite princess “Rella”. You are a singer, even though it drives your brothers nuts. Over the past year we’ve heard every nursery rhyme you learned at school, the theme songs to Sophia the First, Doc McStuffins and Little Einsteins, Let it Go from Frozen, and several songs you made up all on your own. And how could I forget how you love your Maxie girl. She’s not my dog, or dad’s dog or even your brother’s dog. She is YOUR Maxie girl and you make sure to tell everyone who comes to visit.

You’re growing to be such a big girl, but I have no idea how. Your taste for foods is limited to bread, pasta, cheese, pizza, fruit and some veggies. When you eat an occasional hot dog or chicken nugget we are in shock because you usually refuse meat. And you love yourself some cheese curls! They are your favorite snack. Peas are your favorite veggie and “graybis” (aka: grapes) are your favorite fruit.

You guard your hugs and kisses. We only get them when you are willing to give them out, and when you do I treasure the moment and soak it in. But you sure do love to cuddle and sit on laps. I love that about you and as you get older and bigger and can’t fit on my lap I think a piece of me will melt. You sit on my lap to read stories, watch movies and just to reconnect after a long day apart. And I love the comfort you find in holding my hand. I never really have to ask to hold your hand when walking in a parking lot, in a store, or just up the stairs for bed time. You instinctively reach up for my hand and look at me with a smile when your hand interlocks with mine.

I wish I could just bottle up your wonderful, carefree spirit to carry with me forever. That little quiet giggle/chuckle. Your big belly laugh. The way you pull your hands to your face with excitement just like I did as a little girl. The way you twirl in a dress and say you’re a princess. I wish you knew how many times this spirit of yours overflowed your daddy and I’s hearts with love and we just looked at each other with big smiles and said, “I can’t believe this amazing little girl is ours.”

I just adore the little person that you are Jilly. Life has not been the easiest the last several months, but you are one of only a few things that gives me peace. That gives me hope. That brings me comfort. God knew exactly what he was doing when he gave me you, my beautiful, Jillian. You are such a blessing and I count my lucky stars everyday for my sweet, sweet girl.

My love always –

…and yes – thanks to your brothers you already call me Mom at 3.

Movin’ On Up

March 2, 2014

Two weeks ago we decided it was time to take the front off Jillian’s crib and turn it into a toddler bed. It went well. She didn’t try to get out of bed and snuggled right in with her blankies.

But the second morning we found her sleeping with her blankies on her bedroom floor and the third morning Mike found her like this (she is sleeping).

Mike and I looked at each other and realized that the big girl bed could not wait until she was 3. She needed one now. She’s just too big for that little mattress. So, I got to hunting online for the best bed option and big girl bedding. It was ordered and yesterday, just like that, our last baby got her big girl bed.

We went with a daybed to maximize the space in her room so she can still play and so we could keep her room layout and decor exactly the same. I love blue and pink bedrooms but always see them with blue walls and pink bedding. I did not want to paint her room again so I took a chance with this bedding from Pottery Barn Kids and did the opposite – pink walls, blue bedding. It’s perfect. It looks better in person. It’s girly and matches her personality perfectly.

And she likes it. I saw the light on in her room last night when Mike was putting her to bed and saw this… him reading her The Sleep Book. <3

And today I didn’t hear here and went to see where she was. She shut her door and put herself to sleep for her nap. 🙂

No more cribs in the Thomas house. And I’m not sad. I thought I would be. Maybe it just hasn’t hit me yet or maybe I’m just so darn happy with the big girl bed transformation I can’t be sad.