Friday, December 20, 2013

So Much Love!

Before I tackle a post for the girls 4th birthday, I have to pause and thank everyone who reached out on the anniversary of James' passing. I posted a picture on Facebook and received a lot of well wishes. We have the best friends and family out there!

December is a month of mixed emotions... the stress of the holidays and birthdays, the JOY of the holidays, birthdays, the realization how thankful we are for the girls' and Will's health, and the sorrow and gratitude of the short life of James. Sometimes I just need to stop and go for a run.

The girls are NOT triplets in my eyes, they are quads. I am not offended or sad when people call them triplets, but in my heart I know they are quads (if you have called the girls triplets, know that I am not upset with you!) The girls already know they had James as a brother and that he was too sick. They are too young to understand and too young to have lost someone that early in life.

Thanks for listening and I hope to post soon with a 4 year update! (Not much to report, just my favorite portraits and what they're up to!!)

Friday, December 6, 2013

November until Now

The longer I wait in-between blog posts, the more I need to catch up on!

We had a great Thanksgiving minus some illnesses. The bug started with Will the Saturday before Thanksgiving and it spread to the girls by Monday night/Tuesday (Plus, we all seem to have a never-ending cold). This stomach bug was still around Wednesday morning but seemed to be gone by after nap so we decided to still have our first Thanksgiving that day at my brother Ben's house in Minneapolis. Thanksgiving on Wednesday was nice- my brother Jon couldn't make it but everyone else was there. We had a mini-birthday celebration, so the girls got to open a couple fun presents!
Langager clan (picture courtesy of Andy, along with all of the Langager Thanksgiving pics below)
Getting a ride from Uncle Ben!
With Uncle Andy! 
Oh, just chasing Uncle Ben (who has quite the outfit on, by the way)
Working on a new puzzle from Grandma and Grandpa 
Thursday morning we trekked to Duluth for Dan's side of the family's Thanksgiving, and Friday we had another mini-birthday celebration with presents and cake. Duluth had snow at that point also, so we did some playing outside (since then, they were pounded with more than two feet of snow during a recent storm!) The girls have been spoiled so far with their birthday, because yesterday for lunch we brought them to the Rainforest Cafe at the Mall of America. While eating there, we realized that was the first time we have been out to dinner at a restaurant with just our family! We had to celebrate the girls' birthday early because Dan will be out of town for their real birthday. They will open their presents from us when Dan gets back. We tried not to spoil them too much.
The kids on Thanksgiving day!
This doesn't give justice to the mess they made at the kid table!
Josie acting goofy- she was quite proud of herself!
4 Candles each! (M, S, J)
Mmm birthday cake!
Catching a quick Christmas show with Grandma before heading home.
A couple weeks ago, Josephine and Madeline went in for their mandatory preschool screening. This was Madeline's second attempt. It looked like it was going to be another lost cause until the teacher who was screening told them they could take home a new book if they cooperated. We checked out the books, and of course the girls got excited about them. SUCCESS! They both passed-phew! It seemed beneficial to have at least two together as they are usually more confident with a sister there. I wish we could have squeezed Sofia in but there were only two appointment slots at the time. Unfortunately, she gets a tougher test because she will be 4 when she tests (while the others got the 3 year old standards). She may not do well on certain parts. Hopefully she will still pass. I am going to bring Josie with to boost her confidence.
At the Rainforest Cafe. It was slightly scary- Will didn't like the thunderstorms, and Madeline didn't appreciate the swinging gorillas.
The girls' preschool conferences went well! They are doing how we suspected. It was fun to hear the teachers' perspectives, though. Apparently, they need to be reminded to keep their hands to themselves, as they can get rough with each other, and with a boy named Caden. They also need work on helping clean up (oh really?!- how shocking- not!) We learned that Josie is the most likely to try something new even without the back-up of her sisters. Madeline is the least likely to.
Got the tree up! (J, M, S)
Love between Josie and Odin!
Madeline had fun with Will in their "boat".
Sister picture! (M, J, S)
So much love under the occasional excluding, hitting, and petty fights!
Will is doing well- he is 11 months old! He's not doing anything new really besides standing with his back to the sofa without getting nervous about it. I think he wants to wait to walk until he is confident he can do it. He seems pretty content crawling around! His favorite activity is to "play catch", where he
throws to someone and we roll it back. I hate to brag, but he has a pretty good thrower's arm! He almost always throws with his right arm- if he is holding the ball with his left hand, he transfers to the right. I don't remember the girls being into that activity at all!
Mr. Will
I forgot how useless babies are in snowsuits. He had a fleece snowsuit,  plus this outer one and he could NOT move. 
This guy is so jolly, he still gave me smiles under those conditions!
I will do another update soon for the girls' 4 year birthday! Hope everyone has been doing well and keeping warm!
The girls and I went to a preschool field trip today- the play Cinderella at the Children's Theater. It was their first play and they did well- a little squirrelly towards the end, but overall it was a huge success!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Will is 10 Months/ Halloween!

I haven't updated in one whole month. Life is busy and we're on the go a lot! We just ended a weekend in Duluth and deer season starts this weekend. (OK, not my favorite time of the year, but I do appreciate the venison :) )  School feels like it's solidly in our routine (just two days a week). Today is picture day and in a couple weeks we have conferences! How cute is that? It will be fun to go to our first ever conferences. One of the teachers told me they were "testing" the kids today on stuff like cutting, writing their names, colors, shapes, etc. I doubt there will be any surprises but it will be to interesting to hear how they're doing from the teachers' perspectives.

The girls have a new friend they play with each day at Preschool. Her name is Liesel and I finally got to see her last Tuesday when we did a mini-trick-or-treat at their school's backyard. She is such a cutie with bright red hair (like her grandma- my mom- used to have). I so wish I could be a fly on a wall and watch them play with her!
I took the girls and Will to an apple orchard for a Preschool outing.
Josie refused to get in on the here I am with almost all of my kids at the apple orchard.
The petting zoo was their favorite part of the field trip.
Josie was so excited about this sheep!
Madeline posing with a pig.
The girls are so inquisitive lately and I love to hear their questions and ideas. They asked where the sun sleeps at night when we were in Duluth the other night and I told them the sun was on the other side of the world. Their response: "In Oakdale?" (our home). How small their world is that Duluth feels like the opposite side of the world from Oakdale.

Another new thing going on in our house is the girls' imagination, but Sofia's imagination in particular. She will make up this whole idea/plan and will get so into it and is heartbroken when it can't happen. An example is last week when she decided that Tinker Bell gave her pixie dust and turned her into Santa. She wanted me to go to the store to get her a Santa outfit, then she started packing things she needed in the North Pole (which included, but not limited to, her new pink sweater, her stuffed reindeer "Blitzen", and a small decorative sleigh).  When I said we can't go to the North Pole for real, but we can pretend, she had a meltdown. I have to sidetrack her or divert her when things get intense but it's getting harder.

Sometimes, I'm not even Sofia's "mommy" because she's a mommy to a baby in her tummy and she doesn't need a mommy anymore. The daddy to her baby is at work- making money- and her baby is going to come out in the hospital at 6. And she's going to go and live in her pink house. NOW. And I need to bring her there. It can be exhausting! (Entertaining as well, of course.) When I told her we couldn't just go find a pink house and squat there, it was an epic meltdown.

At the other end of the spectrum, Will is pulling up like nothing and cruising around furniture and being a very happy-go-lucky guy like usual. He is doing better with solids and is eating more normal foods. Now, he is only getting up 1/3 of the nights, but I haven't let him cry it out yet. He turned 10 months last week- I can't believe we're only 2 months shy of one year. It's fun to look back at my pregnant belly and newborn pictures. He has been so easy to fall in love with and I love him more each day!
Madeline was happy to try on this wig I found when I was digging through old stuff.
I had a mini-photo shoot for Will's 10 are my two favorites...
Such a happy guy!
Halloween was fun. I let the girls decide on their costumes. We have a bunch of animal costumes and princess dresses to chose from, but they chose their standby animals- cat, dog, and cow. Last year, Sofia and Josie traded dog and cat costumes last minute, but this year they stuck with their favorites. They regressed when it came to actually saying "trick-or-treat" or anything at all. They even went to a lot less houses because we gave them an ultimatum to get them to talk but they didn't take it. (But they also decided they had enough candy already and didn't really want to go to anymore houses.) They told us that they will say "trick-or-treat" when they get bigger, but I reminded them they said it when they were smaller! I think it's just a phase, but talking to people (more so adults rather than children) is a pretty apparent cause of fear and anxiety. They definitely open up when they are comfortable so I'm not worried yet.
Uncle Ben helped gut the pumpkins!
The kiddos dressed up! Sofia is a dog, Will a monster, Madeline a cow, and Josephine a cat.
Another shot.

Madeline (she wears this costume at least a couple times a week lately)
Josie the "meow-meow"

"I think I see a UFO!!!!"
Nope. Just a chickadee.
Our beautiful jack-o-lanterns

Trick-or-treating (Uncle Pete joined us too!)

Dan and our monster
 Here are a couple randoms...
Our first spaghetti photo with Will!

A little disappointed that this is the messiest he got with it. Slacker! (But more imporatantly, he loved it!)

A family pic at a recent 5k I ran (and beat my 19 year old self- yes!!)

Here are some pics from our recent Duluth trip.

Cousin pic (Josie, Sofia, Madeline, Peter, Will, Dane) at Lake Island (where Dan's parents are getting the land ready to build a new home- exciting!)
Will looking super cool in shades
Will and Me!

The kids climbing a massive log pile
Cute pic of 4 grandkids with Grandma Klopp

Uftda that was a long post/photo bomb! Have a good week everyone!