October always flies by for us. Jeremy normally has to be out of town a bunch for work, football season is in full swing, our school routine is down.

This October was especially exciting for me because I took my first girls trip away from the kids in a looooooong time. I went to Napa with great girls and my sister and had a wonderful time, sleeping, reading, catching up with everyone, eating, drinking wine (of course), and just generally enjoying not having any responsibilities. Getting away for a few days gives me a fresher, calmer perspective and approach with my children…I think I need to start doing it more often. šŸ™‚

Bella –

She is really starting to learn all of her letter sounds, and is working really hard to learn to write them. We have been practicing ALOT. She has a hard time with her fine motor skills, but I feel like all the practice is really starting to pay off. Earlier this month, she went on a cleaning spree in her room and gave Audrey her doll house as well as quite a few other toys she felt she had grown out of. (She is VERY into organizing and sorting things right now.) To fill the empty space in her room, we got her a desk. It is very simple, and just her size. I am hoping its presence will encourage her to independently work on her writing as well. Ā She also took back her little chair and created a reading nook. I’m flabbergasted daily by how much she has grown, just in the past 6 months. She looks taller right now, like she just had a growth spurt. She’s got these long bird legs – and her hair has thickened and she seems to have lost any of the “babyish, toddler” chub. She’s no longer a cutesy pie – she is beautiful.

As usual, she is SUPER excited about Halloween. We’ve been working on making the house “scary”. She has a whole plan for her costume this year. She is going to be a witch (“the scary kind”) and her costume is quite simple as a black dress, but we are planning to paint her face all kinds of scary. And she helped a ton with the “planning” for our annual pumpkin carving. She made mummie pizzas, peeled tons of clementine “pumpkins” and cleaned up the whole patio in anticipation of her guests. Ā As a kid, I don’t remember being so much into Halloween, but I’m glad she is – it makes the whole month pretty exciting.

Bella has also gotten back into swimming. She excels in it – and she really loves being in the water. Her teacher says she is a little mermaid…I hope we can stay healthy enough to keep her in it for the whole year. I would love to start her in a swim team this summer.

Audrey –

Audrey is full on talking in sentences! It is crazy. She is super sweet, very independent and just brings loads of joy into our house. She is LOVING gymnastics. She is SO strong, and hangs and climbs on everything. <She is also very tough – doesn’t normally cry unless it is a pretty big bump or blood.> She loves her baby dolls. She almost always has one with her. She also loves little tiny figurine toys. She carries around this little bunny – and she’ll say “look mommy, bunny yabbit is eating” and then she will share her food. I remember when Bella used Y’s for L’s – I am just relishing all this sweetness…I want to bottle it up somehow. Jeremy keeps saying I need to video more. I’m trying really hard to do that – he is right…I don’t want to forget how innocent and sweet she is at this age.

Tonight, I got a stain on my shirt, and I said “awwwwwww man” and pointed to it (for Jeremy’s benefit really – I am always telling him how my clothes are constantly stained). I think she thought it was a boo boo (it was redĀ pomegranateĀ juice from some seeds I was putting on Bella’s dinner plate). She leaned over, looked me in the eyes and said, “Mommy, can I kiss it?” It was just so sweet – I said sure (of course) and she leaned over and gave me the sweetest kisses. Moments like that make me want to laugh and cry at the same time. So perfect.

We’ve been on fall break from school the past week and this week. We were supposed to go up to Pismo last week for a few days, but it didn’t happen because Audrey was sick and Jeremy was a bit busy with work. I was pretty disappointed about that at first, but now despite the fact that we haven’t done anything “vacationish?”, I’ve been having a great time just hanging out with the girls – not being so rushed to go to bed at night or wake up early and get breakfast going, not having big plans for our days, just playing together around the house and neighborhood. I think it makes me more relaxed for the weekends, too. We had a lovely day last Saturday heading up to Bruce’s house to pick oranges and then went to Bate’s Nut Farm to check out the pumpkin patch. Totally on the fly, but it was such a wonderful family day.

I feel so lucky sometimes when I think about what I have, how blessed my family is to get to spend time together and enjoy each other’s company. I often think, what did I do to deserve this? How did I get so lucky? I like to think sometimes it is some of the luck my Dad always had rubbing off on me.