(i started this before having Macky and just got around to finishing it.... better late than never, yes?)
~Nora Grayce Burns~
~Nora Grayce Burns~
Oh my little princess. Being very pregnant, conversations about my others littles as babies have come up a lot. It's funny when i think back to the first few months with Nora how much things have changed. With H and D there were distinct things about them as babies that still hold true to their personalities today. Nora is a different case. That fussy, unpleasant, not snuggly baby is gone. Nora is incredibly sweet, funny, giggles all the time and she loves to snuggle. She honestly makes our home a happier place.
She truly cares for her family--she's always trying to help out and she is turning into quite the "mother hen" around her brothers--keeping them in check and helping them however she can. I can't wait to see how she will be with #4. She already kisses my belly every day, tells baby good morning and good night and she has lots of questions about babies in general. She's also started playing "babies" more than she used to. Definitely getting ready!
Speaking of helping out, Nora has some chores she does now and she's really quite good at them. They've been making their bed for a while now, but i swear she does it as good as an adult. She also sweeps the floors, sorts laundry, helps fold and then puts her clothes away. She is also becoming a help in the kitchen with getting lunches ready. She would love to help cook every meal and really i should be more willing, but sometimes i just want to get it done with less mess and turn down her offer. Although when i do have time to let her help she just loves it and I love having her there with me. She can help unload the dishwasher and that's really great. Daddy did have her vacuuming some, but that backfired recently when she sucked up some clothes from the laundry pile and we had to replace the motor in our vacuum. Haha. I'd like to add here that she still enjoys doing these things to help us out. I figure that will change soon, but for now that big smile and "sure i can help" attitude really makes a momma's heart happy.
And don't worry there is still PLENTY of play time around here. And here's what she's into these days.... Princesses, Dress-Up, Barbies, My Little Pony's, Baby Dolls, Stuffed Animals and Drawing. Pretty typical girl interests and with all the other boys in the house i really am glad she's a girly girl. Nora also LOVES playtime with other girls. We have neighbors with 2 little girls that Nora has a great time with and then her best friend, Adelyn, from preschool. When these girls get together it's all princesses and dress-up. They crack us up singing "Let It Go" at the top of their lungs thinking they are just as good as Elsa herself. I haven't broken it to her yet, but i'm not so sure singing is going to be one of her fortes :)
On the other hand, Nora is a pretty good drawer. She spends quite a bit of time drawing things she sees around her and making pictures for family and friends. We've also recently gotten into painting. I find that while she struggles some with more structured things she really excels in creativity. She has a great imagination, a good eye for making things pretty and she does really well with understanding color and simple drawing skills. I love that we can share this interest together.
We've seen quite a bit of improvement in her schoolwork this year. They both still attend preschool just 2 mornings a week, but this year class is a lot less play and more learning. Nora seems to learn things like letters, sounds, and numbers at a slower pace, but things are starting to "click". She does however love to learn other facts whether its about animals, bible stories, the weather or plants. She obviously listens intently and always has something new to tell me when she gets in the car and it usually starts something like " Momma did you know that...?".
As for activities/extra curricular things she's doing right now, we still have her enrolled in ballet/tap, she did her first season of soccer this past fall and she goes to Awana's Cubbie program at church. She absolutely loves her dance class. She is learning her ballet positions and other moves along with their correct names. She comes home every once in a while read to show me something new. Last year she was learning to skip and roll...this year we're doing plie's and chasse's!
~Holden Reece Burns~
Holden, our big boy. He grows constantly. I can't keep him in pants. I buy them, he grows out of them. I buy more, and he grows out of those too. He's going to be tall-- but if he keeps growing at this rate, he may be a giant!
Holden is a different kind of kid, full of contradictions. He's both serious and silly. He feels deeply but keeps it all in. He's likes to please us yet he's extremely stubborn. He's smart as he can be but struggles with common sense situations. He's very curious and studies everything but at the same time he's able to completely tune us out and spends quite a bit of time off in his own head not paying us any attention. We never really know what we're gonna get with this one.
He excels in a scheduled environment and thrives on routine. Change really bothers him. Big changes in life always affect his behavior and spontaneous changes in daily plans can wreak havoc with his mind and make him feel lost.
He seems to respond best when we spend a lot of quality/one on one time with him. Individual attention is the best way to get a smile on his face. He loves to go out to the store with Daddy, or help him do work outside. Working with legos, building complicated train tracks, or constructing ramps to jumps his cars from are his favorite things to do and he really loves it when we sit down and do those things with him. Holden was at his absolute best the month that Mike was home after Macky was born. I was afraid the change of a new baby would really throw him off, but i think instead Holden really benefitted from all the extra time and attention that Mike was able to give to him.
Holden is a very straight-forward kind of guy. Just like his routines, he prefers to do things exactly how they 'should be'. He's the exact opposite of creative. When he gets a new toy, he constructs it exactly like the picture on the box or in the instructions. I actually have a hard time getting those booklets and pieces of paper away from him. There are tattered paper booklets full of examples of what you can build with his legos or blocks stuffed in drawers everywhere in his room and he doesn't want me to throw them away. Nora will take those blocks and just start making something and it drives Holden crazy, if it's anything different from the original picture.
The one place that Holden is creative is with his food. He eats it into shapes and then tells me what they look like....chips, sandwiches, pancakes, pretzels....he's always turning them into something. It always makes me laugh, and don't you know Davis has picked up the game.
He's been doing Taekwondo for a while now. He started off doing a lot of standing in class and watching and studying everyone, but a few months later he's getting into it and doing really well. This activity seems to be a perfect fit for him. It provides structure like he likes, it's an individual activity and it provides a good environment to get out all of that litlte boy energy.
Holden loves to play with other kids but seems to do best with just a few at a time. He's not the kind of kid who will just walk up to another child and start a conversation, but if a child walks up to him Holden and starts talking and playing, Holden will jump right in. He usually plays one and one with other kids and i rarely see him participating in big groups. His current best friend in town is Daniel who is about 3 years older than him and happens to be Nora's best friend's brother. Holden looks up to Daniel and thinks he's great. Daniel is great with Holden too and loves to teach him about new legos, how to play games and lately Daniel has been reading to Holden when they are together, it's really kind of cute :)
Speaking of friends, he has struggled this past year with his other best friend, Jack, moving to California. Jack and Holden did everything together and i think when Jack left Holden felt a bit lost. He still brings Jack up a lot and tells me that he misses him. It's also not unusual for me to find him looking at his photo album of all the fun things they did together. Although moving this summer will most likely be hard on Holden, I am looking forward to him going Kindergarten and hopefully finding a good friend he can be with everyday.
Holden is also a great helper around the house. He also loves to help in the kitchen when he gets a chance, but his everyday chores include taking out the trash, helping with the laundry, and sweeping. He's also really great with Davis and is always willing to help Davis out--whether its getting dressed and ready to go, helping him put toys aways or helping him play with certain toys. They mostly get along very well together and Davis definitely looks up to Holden and tries to do whatever he does.
Holden is still very interested in super heroes but he has also picked up an interest in Star Wars this past year with the help of Daddy and Daniel. He also likes to build things--legos, blocks, tracks....he can sit and play with those things for hours. When he's not putting things together he is taking things apart trying to figure out how they work. This results in lots of broken toys and that really drives us crazy! Holden still reads/looks at books a lot and I think he's probably able to start learning to read now. He already puts letters and sounds together. I love that he loves books, I hope it is always fun for him.
Lastly, my big boy is still a great snuggler. He's got plenty of love and smiles to give on a daily basis. I love the way he will climb up in bed or on the couch and curl up by my side. He also will randomly during the day tell me he loves me or that i look pretty. Melt My Heart Every Time.
and speaking of melting my heart...these two love each other so much and i love watching them together.