Joshua Manuel: 4.5 years

Joshie, my Joshie, I love you my Joshie.
Today, marks 4 1/2 years of Joshua Manuel Pollard. It's incredibly hard to believe that you will be turning 5 years old this year! FIVE seems so old to me. Five is big kid. Five is school and no longer being a baby. I'm equally parts terrified and excited to see what FIVE will bring.

But here today, at four & a half, you are my Joshie. I still hold you and kiss you every chance I get because I just don't know how much longer I'll be about to do that. You weigh 44 pounds & most 5T clothes are too small for you.

You love to dance & sing & be the life of the party. Goodness, your dancing is probably one of the best parts of our lives right now. You love your family. You and Asher are growing into the best of friends and it is so much fun. Kennedy thinks you hung the moon and stars and you are always first to make her laugh. You love to have WRESLEMANIA, play/shovel in the snow, and go to church/youth stuff with Daddy. You often are a great help to your Momma. You're doing great at school and know how to write your name all by yourself. You love to draw and write notes in a little notebook I got you for Easter. You are also really fond of drawing all over your body.

As Kma put it, your favorite word is probably "actually" because you "actually" always know the right way! You are still a big fan of sticking to the plan. Recently we've been dealing with some talking back/ disrespect issues - this parenting thing is no joke! And as the oldest, you have the privilege of going through everything first.

At 4.5 years old, some of your favorites include:
  • wearing little booty shorts/ boxer briefs to bed (no matter what the temperature) because that's what Daddy wears
  • playing "Mom/Son" "Dog/Owner" etc with your brother
  • being outside in the snow 
  • Legos
  • Shows- any NEW show, Despicable Me, Garfield, Inspector Gadget, Croods, Scooby Doo
  • Food- noodles, apples, fried eggs
  • Toys- Blue Monkey, Beary, your "secret spy" wallet, cars, fort building 
  • Friends- Asher, Lily, Caleb, Jocelyn (via Facetime) Eliya 
Joshua, I really just enjoy being your Momma. Sure, there are hard days and days when you just don't stop talking and days when it seems really difficult to chose obedience. But I love spending time with you. I love watching you love on your brother & sister. I love watching you "perform." I love watching you be a friend and loving on others. I love how you stick up for your family. I love how much you care about what you are wearing & how it often includes a dress shirt and tie. I love watching your draw and write and color. It is such a privilegde to be your mom. There are so many things I am praying for you my son, but mostly I pray that you chose to live a life that glorifies the Name above Names, the King, the Almighty, our Everlasting Father, Jesus Christ!

we love you more and more every day! 
your momma

things I don't want to forget: April 2016

man, these are the days. the days that are so difficult. the days that are so wonderful. the days that make me want to pull my hair out. the days i want to cry with thankfulness. the days where i feel like i have nothing left to give by the time the sun sets. the days i just want to squeeze them and hold them because i do know soon it will be over- all the squeezing and holding. the days i feel like i just might lose my mind. the days i don't want to forget.
everyday there are moments, moments i don't want to forget. so as Kennedy takes her morning nap & Manny, Joshua & Asher are outside shoveling and planning in the snow i will take a moment to pause & remember...

Kennedy standing on her tip toes staring out the window into the big backyard. 

the time i was about to walk out the door for work, opened Kennedy's door, where all the kids where planning only to discover the boys had smeared a half a jar of aquaphor onto their heads. how Sarah showered them & washed their hair three times with shampoo- didn't come out. how i tried baking soda, corn starch, and 3 blue dawn washings- didn't come out. i'll let you know how this one turns out... 

the way Joshua sings & dances. 

Asher cuddles after nap time. 

the time Joshua drew all over his entire body with sharpie: i was working downstairs during Kennedy & Asher's nap time and Joshua was watching tv upstairs. i heard him open the back door so after a few minutes i came up stairs to see he was at the fence talking to our neighbor Mark. he turned around and their was a sharpie "mask" all over his face and Mark thought it was o so funny. we came inside to shower & found sharpie on every inch of his body. it took weeks to come out of his belly button. 

Kennedy's sweet kisses & cuddles when she is feeling a bit shy. her little personality is coming out more and more and she is just hilarious. she loves to get at her brothers. she is letting her opinion be known. she tries to blow her own nose, on her own terms. she's got the best laugh. 

these are the days. the crazy. the hard. the beautiful.

Kennedy Maren: 12 months, 1 year

 Kennedy Girl! 
You are one year old! We are just as smitten with you. Everything about you, I want to remember forever and just love!
At one year old... 
Height: 24lbs, 95%
Weight: 30.9in, 95%
Size Diaper: 5 
Size Clothing: 18months
Favorite Toy: your lovey bunny 
Favorite Food: probably beef stew 
Favorite Time of Day: right after lunch 
Favorite Past Time: being held by Momma all the time! 
Nap times: usually 9-11am & 1-3ishpm 
Bed time: 7pm 
Dislikes: getting dressed, being separated from Mom, most sweet food
 Words: UH OH, bye, (sometimes) hello

 Your funny little personality just keeps coming out more and more. You do this funny like squish face when you think are funny or want to make me laugh. You think it is hilarious to just lean backwards; sometimes onto one of your brothers, sometimes against someone's legs, and sometimes just onto the floor. You only suck your thumb when you have your bunny and are about to fall asleep. You hate getting dressed but are very good about getting your hair done. You are officially a walker now! Still a little wobbly but you now choose to walk over crawl.

To celebrate your first birthday... 
On your actual birthday--- Kma took you, me & your brothers out to breakfast, we had a few friends over for a brunch/lunch play date, and then when Daddy got home ate dinner, went on a walk, and came home to have cupcake! The next Saturday, we had family and a few friends over for a BUNNY BIRTHDAY! Per the usual you wanted to be held by Momma the whole time, but I didn't mind. You also had the perfect birthday dress thanks to Auntie Karla! 

Kennedy Maren, you are a dream come true. We are so very thankful for you. You are the perfect sister to your brothers and the perfect daughter to me & your daddy. 

we love you more & more everyday!
your momma & daddy 

Kennedy Maren: 11 months

O Kennedy Girl, you are 11 months old! I might just be tearing up right now thinking about how you are, so soon, not going to be my baby. I mean, you'll always be my baby. But goodness, you are just growing up so much! 
We are seeing more and more of your personality every day & it is just wonderful. You've got the very normal almost-1 year old- attached- to- momma thing going on. You stand up, cruise, and/or try to take a few steps all the time. You love being with your brothers. You have the funniest curious/mischievous smile that just makes me swell.
You are by far our worst teether. But to give you some credit you gained 4 teeth this month, in the strangest order- middle left and the one next to it & then a few days later middle right and the one next it it. You are definitely the typical cranky, not sleeping, want to be held teething baby. So we've put you to bed extra early and I've spent a lot of time with you on my hip.
 Your favorite foods are still anything savory, but you are warming up to a couple fruits including apples and blueberries. You don't eat a ton when your teeth hurt, I think. You still only drink about 6oz of formula, made very warm. You enjoy baths and hanging out in the ergo, but are starting to refuse to fall asleep in the ergo or really any where besides your crib/ pack n play that's in our room. You are fiercely attached your bunny, I'm pretty sure you can't sleep without it. 
This month was pretty much full of lots of snow & cold plus a few warm, sunshine days. I left you for the first time when I went to Tennessee to celebrate Kaci's birthday. You got to stay with Kma & I'm sure you loved all the spoiling and cuddles! It was so nice to be away, but I have happy to have you back in my arms! 

My beautiful girl, 
Thank you for your sweet smiles and all that bunny love. You surprise us with your little funny ways. We are all smitten with you and just can't imagine our days without you. 
We love you more and more every day!
love, your momma

a good word:

last weekend I had the privilege of visiting Kaci, to celebrate her 30th birthday & enjoy time with her family. i can think of nothing but utter thankfulness for the time. on Sunday we went to their church and their pastor was speaking on "Relationships: Ruin & Redemption: A Sermon About Mommy Guilt," specifically Ephesians 6:4,
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, 
but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

He gave such a good word that I feel like I must write it down! 
The is a distinct difference between Guilt, Conviction, and Condemnation. 

Guilt is from PEOPLE
This is SOMEONE making you feel like you don't add up to their expectations. 

Conviction is from the HOLY SPIRIT. 
The Holy Spirit living inside us, becomes uncomfortable with our action(s) of sin. The Holy Spirit lovingly and gently points a finger at an ACTION and says that was not lovely, pure, of me, etc. 

Condemnation is from SATAN. 
Satan says YOU are failure, I hate YOU, YOU have ruined everything. Your action is not condemned, YOU are condemned.

And what I'm dealing with everyday is not "mommy guilt," it's mommy CONDEMNATION and it is of the Enemy. The lie I am believing that my children's well-being, in this life and the next, is based completely on my performance as a mother. 
It is a lie that must be combated with the Truth of the Word of God and the love of the Gospel! 
The Word says, "For there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
The Truth says, Jesus Christ is my child's Savior, not me! 
The Gospel says, I do not have to be a perfect parent. I need to a broken parent that ushers myself & my children to the throne of the King. They need a sinner parent who knows that they deeply need Christ. We have a Savior who never slumbers or sleeps and who loves my kids way more than I love my kids. As I fail, He is more than sufficient. 
The Truth is: 
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

if you want to listen (and I highly suggest you do if this is something you struggle with) here is the link.

Kennedy Maren: 9 & 10 months

Well, my dear sweet girl. I did it. I officially have not done one your monthly "letters" and am having to combine two months. But goodness gracious you are wonderful. You are sweet and gaining the funniest little personality. You say "uh oh" at all the right moments. You can clap and wave- only when you really want to. You are "cruising" along all the furniture and spend a lot of time sitting on your knees. You are wearing 18month clothes & have the most wonderful thighs. Your hair is growing in- light brown, I think. You're eyes have turned more gray than blue. You still love hot bottles and are on formula all the time now. Most of the time you sleep through the night, but every once and a while you like to get up around 4am- keeps us on our toes. You love playing with your brothers and Joshua's dancing always makes your laugh. You're doing pretty good at the food thing, favorites include pirates booty, stew, and noodles. You still don't really like sweet stuff or fruit, but have recently enjoyed strawberries & oranges. You love to hang upside down. It does not matter how tired you are, you do not sleep in the car. You still love, love, love your little bunny and sucking your thumb when you fall asleep.

During your 9th and 10th months we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving was of course all about the food at Auntie Karla & Uncle Dan's. O and the dogs. YOU LOVE THE DOGS. It was so fun having watching you enjoy your First Christmas! You got a stocking, some new moccasins, lots of clothes, a couple fun "girl" toys, and your brothers picked out a cute shirt for you. You loved being around all of our families and Kaitlynn was super sweet to you on Pollard Christmas. I am praying your sweet, special "only-girl-Pollard-cousin" relationship continues!

You still only have 2 teeth and I thought for certain by now your front two teeth would pop through, but alas they have not. You got a mild cold, but nothing too serious. You take two naps and most of the time wake up in the middle of your afternoon nap to just be heard then fall back asleep for another hour. Your bedtime is pretty strictly 6:45 or 7pm, but if we are out you quietly observe and don't fuss too much. You are usually awake right about 7am.

Just the other day, you totally surprised me and starting climbing up the stairs at small group. I didn't even know you knew how to go up stairs! I am very thankful- you never pull out your bows or hair ties. I've even given you your first "ponytail," right on the top of you head! The cuteness is almost more than I can bare! You enjoy bath time with your brothers, until you don't, then you really don't! You love love love your grandmas!

9/10 month Stats: 
Height: 30 in
Weight: 21lbs 10oz
Head Circumference: 17.5in
Size Clothes: 18months
Size Diapers: 4

 Kennedy Girl, we love you o so very much. You are sweet and lovely and we are so thankful for you!
we love you more and more everyday! 
love, your momma