How old are you?
P: 8

How tall are you?
P: 4’9″

What grade are you in?
P: Second

Who is your teacher?
P: Mrs. Seifert

What’s your favorite thing about school?
P: art

What is your favorite color?
P: teal and sea foam green.  and purple.  and pink

What are you really good at?
P: reading

Who are your friends?
P: Ariana, Gabby, Parker, Cecelia, Sawyer, Sierra, Krin, Zayleigh

What do you like to play with them?
P: awesome stuff

What do you like to do at home?
P: American Girl

What is your favorite movie?
P: the Angry Birds movie and Teen Beach 2

What is your favorite book?
P: Whatever After and Thea Stilton

What is your favorite food?
P: Hawaiian pizza

What was the best thing that happened to you when you were 7?
P: going to Great Wolf Lodge (in Wisconsin Dells)

What do you think will be the best thing about being 8?
P: having Mrs. Seifert as my teacher

What do you want to be when you grow up?
P: veterinarian, or a pop star

Where do you wish you could go on vacation?
P: Paris, France

What would you buy if you had $1,000,000?
P: a mansion

Who is your favorite person in the whole world?
P: Mommy, Daddy, and family

If you could have a wish, what would it be?
P: to have a cat and a phone

(only a month late!)

How old are you?
C: 10

How tall are you?
C: 4’10”

What grade are you in?
C: 4th

Who is your teacher?
C: Ms. Born

What’s your favorite thing about school?
C: cello days

What is your favorite color?
C: green

What are you really good at?
C: video gaming

Who are your friends?
C: Evan, Owen, Andrew, David, Jack

What do you like to do with them?
C: XBox, Legos

What do you like to do at home?
C: play with Legos, read, XBox

What is your favorite movie?
C: Ninjago

What is your favorite book?
C: Summer of the Wolves

What is your favorite food?
C: pizza

What was the best thing that happened to you when you were 9?
C: getting the Lego Dimensions game for the XBox

What do you think will be the best thing about being 10?
C: the last day of school

What do you want to be when you grow up?
C: an inventor/gamer

Where do you wish you could go on vacation?
C: Hawaii

What would you buy if you had $1,000,000?
C: all the Dimensions characters! plus a ton of other random stuff

Who is your favorite person in the whole world?
C: mom!

If you could have a wish, what would it be?
C: to be awesome!

How old are you?
P: 7

How tall are you?
P: 4’7″

What grade are you in?
P: First

Who is your teacher?
P: Mrs. Rypka

What’s your favorite thing about school?
P: art

What is your favorite color?
P: purple, pink, white, and blue

What are you really good at?
P: being loud

Who are your friends?
P: Emma, Ariana, Gabby, Krin, Parker

What do you like to play with them?
P: pet shop

What do you like to do at home?
P: art

What is your favorite movie?
P: Cinderella (the new one) and Frozen

What is your favorite book?
P: Frozen Fever

What is your favorite food?
P: corn dogs

What was the best thing that happened to you when you were 6?
P: getting my American Girl Doll

What do you think will be the best thing about being 7?
P: having Mrs. Rypka as my teacher

What do you want to be when you grow up?
P: teacher

Where do you wish you could go on vacation?
P: Florida

What would you buy if you had $1,000,000?
P: another American Girl doll

Who is your favorite person in the whole world?
P: myself

If you could have a wish, what would it be?
P: to have a baby sister {not happening, ever, sorry kid}

How old are you?
G: 4

How tall are you?
G: 3’6″

What pre-school did you go to?
G: Kids Korner

Who were your teachers?
G: Ms. Kenda, Miss Tracy, and Miss Shelly

What’s your favorite thing about school?
G: riding the bus

What is your favorite color?
G: blue

What are you really good at?
G: playing with cars and playing with Paw Patrol stuff

Who is your friend?
G: Wyatt

What do you like to play with him?
G: all kinds of toys

What do you like to do at home?
G: play with toys, just Paw Patrol stuff

What is your favorite movie?
G: Paw Patrol shows

What is your favorite book?
G: Lego books

What is your favorite food?
G: apples

What was the best thing that happened to you when you were 3?
G: riding the bus to school

What do you think will be the best thing about being 4?
G: now I have lots of Paw Patrol toys

What do you want to be when you grow up?
G: be the policeman on Paw Patrol

Where do you wish you could go on vacation?
G: see Thomas in Duluth

What would you buy if you had $1,000,000?
G: real rocket boosters that make fire so I can fly

Who is your favorite person in the whole world?
G: doggies

If you could have a wish, what would it be?
G: for a pet dog

How old are you?
C: 9

How tall are you?
C: 4’8″

What grade are you in?
C: 3rd

Who is your teacher?
C: Ms. Davis

What’s your favorite thing about school?
C: read to self time

What is your favorite color?
C: green

What are you really good at?
C: reading

Who are your friends?
C: Evan, Owen, Andrew, Jack, Donte, Orion

What do you like to play with them?
C: Minecraft, Lego Movie game, build with Legos

What do you like to do at home?
C: create things with my Legos, read, XBox

What is your favorite movie?
C: the Lego Movie

What is your favorite book?
C: the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series

What is your favorite food?
C: pizza!!!

What was the best thing that happened to you when you were 8?
C: going to the aquarium and Lego store at the Mall of America and seeing fireworks for the first time

What do you think will be the best thing about being 9?
C: learning how to play more on the recorder in music class

What do you want to be when you grow up?
C: scientist and inventor

Where do you wish you could go on vacation?
C: Antarctica to see the penguins and the ocean to see sea turtles

What would you buy if you had $1,000,000?
C: all the Lego sets in the world

Who is your favorite person in the whole world?
C: Ms. Kleinschodt

If you could have a wish, what would it be?
C: to have a pet green sea turtle

How old are you?
P: 6

How tall are you?
P: 4’4″

What grade are you in?
P: Kindergarten

Who is your teacher?
P: Ms. Meaney

What’s your favorite thing about school?
P: art

What is your favorite color?
P: purple and white

What are you really good at?
P: reading

Who are your friends?
P: Krin, Amelie, Molly, Lauren

What do you like to play with them?
P: Ice cream shop

What do you like to do at home?
P: play with my princesses

What is your favorite movie?
P: Beauty and the Beast

What is your favorite book?
P: Frozen (my new one that Aunt Becky made)

What is your favorite food?
P: corn dogs

What was the best thing that happened to you when you were 5?
P: going to see Thomas the train

What do you think will be the best thing about being 6?
P: going to the frozen yogurt shop with Daddy

What do you want to be when you grow up?
P: bird scientist

Where do you wish you could go on vacation?
P: to the North Pole

What would you buy if you had $1,000,000?
P: the whole universe, I would be queen of it all

Who is your favorite person in the whole world?
P: Mom.  And Daddy

If you could have a wish, what would it be?
P: to have a pet unicorn, and to see a real live mermaid. And her name would be Ariel

my little princess At least she lets me be the queen.

my little princess
At least she lets me be the queen.

not a fan of waiting, especially for presents

not a fan of waiting, especially for presents

the epic cake fail She requested a castle; she received a mess.  It was so ugly I couldn't take a picture of it!  Some day I'll surprise her with a better one

the epic cake fail
She requested a castle; she received a mess. It was so ugly I couldn’t even take a picture of it! Some day I’ll surprise her with a better one.

 

I’m making progress, this time we’re only half-way through the next month!

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This kid.  Seriously, I could not love him more.  I love all my kids, in different ways, for different reasons, but this one puts little fireworks in my heart.  And after finally falling in love with a baby, he is trying so so hard to grow up!  He turns in circles, seeking out his toys, and inchworms along for a little ways.  Just like the other three, he can’t be still!  He kind of scrunches up his legs, then stretches forward, just like a worm.  The other kids think he’s a total riot and scream out “he’s crawling! he’s crawling!” whenever he moves a fraction of a sliver.

Bennett has gotten so wiggly, we had to kick him out of our bed.  I love sleeping with our new babies between us, listening to them breath, watching them dream, smelling their sweet baby smells all night long.  But there came to be too many mornings when I found myself sleeping on the outer three inches of our mattress, with my pillow completely on my nightstand, because Bennett had wiggled his way over to my side of the bed.  So we moved the crib into our room so he could still be close to me.  We also had to discontinue napping on the couch.  He doesn’t make any noise to say “hey, I’m awake,” but just starts wiggling around.  Nothing bad ever happened, but I didn’t want to invite him to fall off the couch.  Now we have a pack’n’play in our dining room.  Makes sense, right?

DSC_0028

Bennett has turned into quite a chatterbox.  I think he might talk more than Graham!  He definitely has learned how to be loud.  He likes to blow bubbles and stick out his tongue and charm the pants off everyone he meets.  He keeps on growing, up to 27 inches now and 16 pounds.  He’s a chunky little fellow, for sure.

As Ulland babies go, he is way too easy.  We’ve been out and about more with him in tow than we ever were with the other kids.  Heck, we even took a road trip!  (more on that soon)  It’s amazing what a full night’s sleep does for us.

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Ha!  Here we are again!  The night before Ben’s 4-month mark, writing about him at 3 months.  Hopefully you weren’t holding your breath for this.  I can’t even count the number of times I started to sit down to write this and was interrupted or distracted or the computer was in use by other smaller people—if I have free time it usually means the kids are busy playing on PBS Kids or Disney Jr.  Let’s see, if I attempted this at least twice a day (a moderate estimate) for the past month, that means 60 times I tried and was denied.  I just want to log some memories, kids, is that so much to ask?!?!

July 14

I finally get it.  That baby bliss thing that moms talk about.  Being so in love with their babies.  Honestly, I thought they were lying.  I didn’t know how that was possible.  Babies, I thought, were miserable.  A crappy 12-month mess to muddle through until toddler-hood, which was way cooler.  The other three kids, I couldn’t wait for them to get out of the baby stage, to finally be sitting up on their own, finally sleep more than 2 hours at a time, finally walk, talk, be a functioning little person instead of a lump to dote on.  But now I get it.  And I am so in love with my little man.  And I don’t want him to leave the baby stage!

DSC_0147

The biggest difference, I’m sure, is that Bennett is a fabulous sleeper.  He has started blessing us with a full night’s sleep every night!  He sleeps from about 9 pm to 6 am!  That was our biggest worry when we found out we were having another boy; the other boys didn’t sleep long at night until close to a year.  It was torture, actually.  Being a parent qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment.  Penelope was sleeping all through the night by the time she was a month old, but I didn’t get to enjoy her fully because of my untreated postpartum depression.  This time around, I got myself medicated early enough so that I could fully appreciate the awesomeness of this little baby boy who sleeps for 9 glorious hours at night.  Now, if Aaron and I would only put ourselves to bed on time, we might win parent of the year.  Okay, maybe not.  But at least we might have energy to get the dishes washed and laundry folded.

If I had to use one word to describe Bennett it would be tolerant.  He is one very go-with-the-flow-and-all-the-noise baby.  What choice does he have, really?  He was born into a family with 3 loud kids, and there’s not much to be done about that but tune it out (that’s what I do, winky face).  They scream in his face, and he sleeps right through it.  They stomp around next to his pack-and-play, and he doesn’t flinch.  They smother him with hugs and kisses, and he carries on.  I have a sneaking suspicion that he actually enjoys it.  He recognizes them now and smiles at them endlessly.  Especially Penelope; she has that high-pitched mother-ease way of talking, and he loves it.  He even seems to hug Graham back, cuz Graham is constantly hugging him.

just getting some love from Graham

Graham always has to kiss the least convenient cheek

If I could use another word to describe him, it would be happy.  He is one super smiley guy and generally content.  He’ll let me know when he’s tired or if I’m taking too long to fix his bottle or if he is done with tummy time, but generally he coos and squeals and smiles and is delightful.  Did I tell you I love him???

even his eyes are happy

even his eyes are happy

He refuses to stop growing, as much as I tell him not too.  He grew two more inches this month, up to 26 inches.  And it is all in his torso.  He is 3-months-old and busting out of his 6-month onesies!  So we got month’s use out of those.  I’m thankful they were mostly hand-me-downs.  They got a grand total of 7 months of use, since all the kids started wearing them at 2 months.   Baby clothes can be such a waste!  Bennett also gained about 2 more pounds; he was at 14 pounds, 9 ounces, holding steady near the 75% percentile mark.  Skinniest one of my kids!  But still rocking the massive chunky thighs.

How you doin'?

How you doin’?

Bennett is a rock star when it comes to tummy time.  I know a lot of babies hate it, but mine never did, and this one seems to really love it.  He usually has company, Graham, who practically lays on top of him!  He also loves sitting up perfectly straight on our laps, watching the circus in our home.  He needs our help, of course, but it won’t be long before he’s doing it on his own.  This one I want to stay a baby, and he just won’t!  However, I know it means that soon he’ll be able to interact more with Graham, who really really wants to play trains with him.  These little boys are going to be best buds.

I love them they love each other love it all

I love them
they love each other
love it all

 

and we didn’t move!

Can you imagine what a relief that is?  Moving in July had started to seem like “our thing,” a new insanely crappy summer tradition.  And not doing it was the best thing that could ever happen this summer.

After moving two Julys in a row, trust me, we got the itch.  We felt this strange urge to start purging, organizing, and sprucing up.  For sale signs popped up around town, like they do during the summer, and we found ourselves poking around realtor.com, checking out the local options.

Crazy, right?  Why would we do this?  There is no logical explanation for it.  We certainly have no interest in moving for many many years.  It’s like we are Pavlovian dogs, trained to find a new house when July rolls around.

Old habits may die hard, but we are so happy to have broken this crazy little tradition of ours.

See you next year, July.  We are staying put!

I promised myself I would write about Bennett’s second month before he turns three months old.  And seeing as how that happens tomorrow, I’m down to the wire here.  Of course, I have my excuses.  It was a very busy month with lots of visitors and family gatherings (more on that in another post) and—for unrelated reasons—a very hard month.  And this current month has been a very sleepy month, so we haven’t accomplished much besides catching up on sleep.

DSC_0021

(May 15-June 14)
The second month of a baby’s life is always a fun one—they start smiling and really interacting with their families.  Bennett was no exception.  He flashed a few smiles when he was five weeks old, and by six weeks, he was really grinning all the time.  It was perfect timing for all those visitors and family gatherings I mentioned.  Every one got to see his adorable dimples!  Bennett loves smiling for his siblings; somehow he still seems to like them after all the smothering they give him.

Now that he was spending a little more time awake, we had to break out the baby toys, which of course the siblings love.  What is the allure of baby toys?  They don’t really do anything, and yet my kiddos love them.  I will never understand it.  As long as Bennett enjoys them too.  He would lay around on the fishy mat and started batting at the hanging toys.  Sometimes Graham squeezes in there with him too (you can see that in Graham’s birthday post).

We also broke out the swing for Bennett.  We bought a baby swing when I was pregnant with Carter, about 9 years ago, and Bennett was our first kid to actually use it for any length of time.  The other kids just did not enjoy swinging, but Bennett loved napping in there.

Mostly Bennett spent the month growing.  Remember how he wouldn’t grow those first couple of weeks?  Well now he is all caught back up to the same percentile from his birth.  He measured 12 pounds, 14 ounces, and 24 inches when we had him checked.  His cheeks got round and his thighs are getting chunky.  He is getting to be one very strong and sturdy little guy!

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Stay tuned, maybe if you’re lucky I’ll write about him turning 3 months old tomorrow!

from Sabrina

Cutest little shoveler that ever was 60 on Wednesday, 10 inches of snow on Friday. Fun times, either way Couches are overrated On a date with Penelope to see the OHS performance of The Little Mermaid. Loving how they "swim around" on Heelies. And don't tell Ariel, but Ursula stole the show! Popsicles outside in February. What kind of wonderful madness is this weather?!? I used to wear Keds all the time as a kid. They were the only shoe that fit my big, wide feet. Putting a new pair on 20-some years later kinda feels like saying hi to an old friend.

from Aaron

This morning's drive was pretty smooth going even with 5-7 inches of snow over the weekend. But... it turns out the cold was not so good for my car. Not sure what happened but this is what is left of the rear window!  Sounded like a shotgun went off in the car!  Thankfully I didn't have kiddos sitting back there today!!! Penelope made a snowman!  Her Olaf used most of the snow in the front yard!  She is very distressed that Olaf may not last the night... Tooth number 2 is out!  And it didn't get lost this time!  I've never seen such a big smile when someone suggested "helping" the tooth come out. Ryder Cup. Amazing sight. ( the picture doesn't do it justice at all! ) Remember kids... Always wear your hard hats in a construction zone!  Safety first! Out with the old, in with the new. Annie the Escape served us well but it was time to upgrade a little. Say hello to Susan the Fusion!

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