Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The New Playmates

Since Gabe and Cooper have both gone back to school {I should say, Gabe has gone back to school and Cooper has entered the world of full-day kindergarten,} the dynamics have changed a bit around here.

During the summer, Chloe would tag along with her older brothers, and they were {usually} pretty good about including her. But with them now in school, Chloe has been left to find other forms of entertainment...

Enter Gavin.

Poor, poor Gavin.

Certainly not the first boy with a sister to adorn all things girly, but definitely a new development in our household.

You see, Chloe has always been a bit oblivious to her younger brother Gavin. When he was born a year ago, I expected Chloe to either absolutely love him, or absolutely wish we could just leave him at the hospital. But instead, she was indifferent. It was as if he had always been in the family, and it made no difference to Chloe. Her world still turned as it always had.
But the past few days, Chloe has started to pay quite a bit of attention to Gavin.

Maybe it's the fact that he's finally at the beginning stages of walking, and he's becoming more interactive. Or maybe, he's her last-resort playmate. Either way, Gavin is loving it, and Chloe is too.

I've found Gavin in some places I know he couldn't have managed to get into by himself, like in his new toy wagon...

And here...

...where I'm fairly certain Gavin did not position himself between the pig twins on Chloe's bed or choose to wear Chloe's very girly pink hat, again a victim to his sister's fashion stylings.

Chloe has also been taking advantage of her captive {literally} audience by singing to Gavin, which causes him to do this every time...

And I mean, every time. Chloe had her 3 year check-up for preschool the other day. The doctor asked her to sing her ABC's, and as soon as the singing kicked in, Gavin's hands went right over those ears. Hilarious.

Quite hilarious, really. But Chloe just keeps singing, and Gavin just keeps covering his ears.
That is, until the singing just becomes too much, leading to this...

What can I say, except that life with only two of my four is still just as interesting as always around the Sanders household.

Yet in addition to the 'torture'... er, I mean 'play'... that Chloe subjects Gavin to, she can also be an extremely sweet and kind big sister. The other day, I took them outside to get a few photos. Gavin was crying about the cat running away {he loves the cat} so Chloe jumped right in to console him...

And he proceeded to pull her hat over her face...

At which, they both broke out in hysterical laughter...

Oh, the love of siblings.

Now what is going to happen when Chloe heads off to preschool in a few weeks?

Well, Gavin will get a break two mornings a week. But somehow, I think he may miss her a bit...

Friday, August 20, 2010


{Click on the collage to view it larger. Just do it!}

Chloe has such a fun spirit. And at the tender age of three, I've found her sense of humor has really started to develop. She's always looking to get a laugh out of someone.

Yesterday I was editing photos, trying to get caught up from being on vacation. She came over to me at the computer and asked, "Mom, where are we going today?"

This is a common question from Chloe, as she's always ready to tackle the day and go somewhere.

I answered, "Mommy has to edit photos today. Sorry, Chloe, but we are going nowhere."

First a frustrated look came across her little face. Then, as I waited for a meltdown from my little girl who did not like my answer, I instead saw a little smirk develop across her lips and a gleam in her eye.

She then replied, "No, Mom. Don't you remember? We're going 'yeah-where!"

Clever! Not 'no-where' but 'yeah-where!"

As I broke out in laughter, so did she. I can always count on Chloe for a break from my work, and a happy heart! Oh, how I love the age of three :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten: Cooper

The verdict is in: Cooper LOVES kindergarten.

Cooper headed off to his first day of kindergarten today. In our school district, the kindergartners start two days after everyone else, using the first two days for meet & greet conference times with their teacher. Cooper has anticipated this day for a long time. Once we woke the boys up for school, Cooper got dressed and was waiting on the stairs to head outside for the bus in two seconds flat...

Once outside, Gabe proceeded to tell Cooper how he'd watch out for him today and show him the ropes as they watched for the bus to come down the road...

These two brothers have such a great friendship, and it's heartwarming to see it in action on days like today.

I held back the tears as I took a few photos of Cooper by himself. Seeing my big boy through that camera lens as I recounted all the photos of years past in my mind was almost too much for this mom

And as the bus pulled up and I watched my two big boys board it for a full day of school, the tears let loose...

I kept myself busy today playing catch up with my photography business and of course, watching Chloe and Gavin, all while anxiously awaiting the boys' return. Cooper arrived home with a big smile on his face and many stories to share. Stories of riding the school bus and eating lunch, of playing on the playground and finding his locker. But inter-weaved in all the stories was his brother Gabe, who really stepped up to the plate today and took care of his little brother. Gabe took account of where Cooper was sitting during lunch and made sure to give him advice on emptying his lunch tray. Gabe played with him at recess, helping him climb those big monkey bars. And he sat with him on the school bus until Cooper's friend, Grayce, boarded the bus, then scooting over to make room for her. I was so proud of them both as I heard them share stories of the day. It's so rewarding to see that these aren't merely two brothers raised in the same house, but two great friends.

I took one final photo of Cooper after school today. Doesn't he look exhausted!

I asked Cooper what the meaning of the number on his shirt was. He replied that it was so he didn't forget his bus number. When I asked him what his bus number was, Coop said, 'Ummm. Whatever bus Gabe got on.' I guess that's the most important thing ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Day of Second Grade

It's that time of year again. The time of year when kids sport new shoes adorned with dewy grass as they wait for the school bus to arrive...

When boys and girls arm themselves with new backpacks, or in our case, the same backpack Gabe has had for the last four years...

{Click here for the best backpacks ever. Gabe has worn his through two years of preschool, kindergarten and first grade, and it's still like new!}

And it's the time of year when all of those bittersweet feelings overwhelm {sensitive} moms like me. The feelings of excitement for a new year and happiness that my son is so very confident and capable to handle the year ahead of him. And the feelings of sadness, the creeping loss of a son who is another year older, another year wiser, more independent, and less in need of his mom.

But although I battle these bittersweet feelings at the start of every school year, I know that by giving my son over to the Lord, He is in charge. He knows best, He will guide us and take care of us, and give us all the tools we need to handle anything this school year will bring our way. And He has given me a son who is independent and confident, but at the same time a son who gives his mom a hug and reminds me he'll miss me while he's gone....even if it is more to comfort me than it is actually true ;)

I am so thankful for the peace and comfort that only comes from the Lord, and for a son who lets the light of Christ shine through him everyday.

Happy first day of second grade Gabe. May you be blessed, and be a blessing to others this school year.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gavin's 1 year photos

I have been a bit absent from blogging. Okay, very absent. With Jason going on a mission trip and leaving me a single mother for 10 days, and with our family then heading to Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. for vacation, I've had little time for the blog. Actually, my business blog has been getting a lot more attention than this family blog. If you aren't already, become a follower here and you'll get a lot more posts from me ;) But I digress.

As I shared in a previous post, my youngest, Gavin, turned one recently. He's growing like a weed and changing everyday. He's still not walking, which is quite a change from my other three kiddos who were all walking well before the age of one. But really I'm not anxious for walking...Gavin gets into enough trouble just crawling around the house! And with him being the fourth, I'm savoring the baby stage before walking begins.

I think it's about time I posted some more photos celebrating Gavin's one year milestone. We haven't officially had his party yet. I was all ready and decorated for it, cake & all, but then the poor guy came down with a fever. The two-tier cake went into the freezer for the rescheduled party, but I did manage to get a few photos of him with his cake anyway. And we had a photo shoot a few days prior to his scheduled party as well. Here's a few of the images celebrating Gavin's one year birthday! Okay, not a few...try, a bunch! If you are friends with me on facebook, then you've probably already seen most of these. But he's so cute, I don't think you'll mind looking at them again, right?!? Still can't believe my baby is one.