Monday, November 28, 2011

Gobble, Gobble!

I've been trying to tell my mom for a few weeks now that I am hun-gry. And since she seemed unimpressed, and since Thanksgiving seems to have a lot to do with feasting, I decided it was time to up the ante.

In the last week, I've taken to lunging at food of all kinds. If it's on the table, I am going to get it. I am so over a liquid diet.

Mom may be slow on the uptake, but Nana and DD got me. As I was lunging for a dinner plate this week, Nana pulled out a box of rice cereal. I didn't know what it was; and I didn't care. It looked like food. Time to eat!

I gnawed on the box as if to say, "Yes! This! I'll take it!" ...And mom relented. Next thing I knew, I was getting spoonfuls of rice cereal. I heard that for most babies, a first feeding is like a learning experience - some of the food accidentally ends up being swallowed but most of it isn't. Not me! I wasn't going to let one precious drop of the cereal go to waste - I gobbled it right up.

So, as my family sat down around the table on Thanksgiving day and enjoyed the feast, I had a feast all my own. Sure, the sweet potatoes and turkey looked a lot tastier than my rice cereal, but a girl's gotta start somewhere!

Reese Gobbler McClinton

Monday, November 21, 2011


Ever since Baby Kyle was born, the three oldest granddaughters have spent a lot of time together. That's a lot of time to influence each other.

Amelia taught Kate and me, "Isa, Isa, turn the wheel..." - a song we like to sing on Nana's back swing set. It's from Dora. Then, in an act of true brilliance, Uncle David and Amelia taught us the song and dance to "I Like to Move It, Move It" from Madagascar (which previously I was way too afraid to watch but now I think I might like it, you know - since Amelia does). We danced and sang and jumped on Nana and DD's bed for a very long time to Move It.

We haven't left Amelia without new tricks, either. For one, Amelia has long refused to wear anything remotely dress-like and especially not dress-up clothes. Enter Princesses McClinton. A week with us and Amelia has a whole new appreciation for strutting her stuff in full princess garb. And, you know, make-up. But that goes without saying, doesn't it? If you're going to be a princess, you're going to be in make-up.

Kate also taught Amelia to announce loudly, "I'm all full!" anytime the food on her plate was unappetizing. A good trick, I must say.

And lastly, we taught Amelia about SUPER HIGHER. Super Higher is a phrase that must be yelled/sang while swinging. If the adult on swinging duty loses interest or doesn't give the push of the swing enough umph, we yell, "Super Higher!" - meaning, try harder. If the adult does a good job and we feel like we're flying, we yell, "Super Higher!" - meaning, "Great job!"

One night when we were all spending the night at Nana and DD's and we were supposed to be going to sleep, Nana walked in on Kate and Amelia laying in bed, their legs going up and then back down... up... and then back down. Nana asked what they were doing. "SUPER HIGHER!" But of course.

Influence is a powerful thing. Mom and Dad hope that it will always be innocent, beautiful things that we teach each other. But for better or for worse, we have a pretty sweet deal going on with such a special cousin.

And Aunt Amanda, if you ever find yourself wishing that Amelia wouldn't smear your make-up all over her face... remember, we've also been trying to influence Amelia towards potty training. Does that make up for it at all? :)

Avery Big Cousin... Big Influence McClinton

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cousin Kyle!

This week my new baby cousin was born! Kyle Jospeh was born on 11-7 and weighed 9 pounds 10 ounces!

Kyle was born amidst chaos: Nana had surgery last week from a broken arm and DD had a business trip he couldn't miss in Atlanta... not to mention the chaos that comes along with 4 grandchildren in the family already!

But Kyle said, "Ready or not, here I come!"

Avery had to go to big girl school, but Reese, Mommy and I headed out to The Woodlands to wait for the baby's arrival and to meet him. When I went into the room to meet Kyle, he was getting his first bath and I wasn't sure about all that crying. You'd think I'd be used to it with a new baby of my own, but crying babies are unnerving. Luckily, he's a mostly chill baby so I've had lots of chances to see him happy or sleeping since then.

DD got back in town the night after Kyle was born and Nanny came in town to play with Amelia and help out a bunch. Nana's arm is feeling better, too - and Avery and I took turns spending the night at Nana and DD's with Amelia to 'help'.

The party at Nana and DD's only gets rowdier and more fun when you add more grandkids! Christmas this year is expected to be a sugar-excitement-cousin raucous!

Cousin Kate

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Four Months, Reese!

During the last month, I got a strong sense that Reese is going to grow up so quickly that I'm somehow going to miss the milestones while I'm focusing on another kid. As if she read my mind, the little angel waited until I was sitting on the floor with her to roll for the first time. It was such a blessing and a reassurance that although we're busy, Little Miss Ree is very much a part of our busy-ness and her milestones will be just as crucial and precious as the other girls'.

So, Reese currently rolls from her back to her front over her right shoulder. Occasionally, she'll roll back, but usually she just ends up stuck on her belly.

She is so much fun and such a classic baby. She hits milestones in exactly the way text books describe - she gurgles and coos and found her toes and this week she started batting at objects and grabbing them, and she does it every single time she sees something dangling above her.

Which leads me to: this is a frustrating phase for Ree. She grabs the objects on her mobile and then gets angry with it for not moving. She pulls her pacifier out of her mouth and then gets angry that it's gone. She rolls to her stomach and then yells for someone to roll her back to her front. Poor baby girl can't keep up!

We also laugh because it would seem that Reese is a 6 month old in her mind's eye. She tries to sit by crunching her stomach muscles but of course isn't able to yet... she throws herself towards the table for big person food... she's the size of a 6 month old...

At her doctor's appointment, Reese weighed 14 lb 8 oz (68th percentile) and was 24.25 inches long (48th %tile - although her head only measures in the 22nd %tile!). Everything looked great and she took the shots like a champ, although she was extra fussy for the rest of the week. I swear it's teething as well, but nothing has definitively popped out yet so I guess we'll wait and see.

And, going for an all-time low on nicknames added in any month, she's only accrued one more: Reetie (sometimes Reet).

Our little pile of rolls, giggles and smiles. We adore you, Reese Sue. Happy four months!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


It was bound to happen. And it did. It's too hard for Mommy to get our names right every time she talks to us, so instead, Daddy has dubbed the three sisters "KAveReese". It works, too. A perfect mash-up.

Although it's hard to keep our names straight, God saw fit to give us each very different personalities, needs, and for now... worlds.

Take, for example, Avery. Her world right now consists of new friends, sight words, homework and new academic knowledge. The hat Mommy wears most often with Avery is Support. Support in volunteering at the school, helping with homework, and giving long hugs when Avery sometimes needs to feel safe and child-like in the midst of her big-girl world.

Avery keeps Mommy and Daddy on their toes with her quick wit, perceptive judgments and tender heart. Yesterday I heard her tell Mommy, "Mommy, I'm ready to start the ball."
"What ball?"
"You know, Mom, the ball."
..."Avery, I have no idea what you're talking about. Can you use different words to help me understand?"
"Mooooom. The ball. Like the soccer ball or the other kinds of ball."
Last night when we were setting out our clothes, Mommy found bobby pins and rubber bands lined up to spell "Love". And, as she tells us often, "Love is love. That means I love you more than love." Mommy and Daddy have taken to using her phrase. After all, love IS love.

For my part, Mommy wears her most often-used hat: Pre-School Mom. These years are the ones she's been Mom through most, and I fill her days with my world of pre-school, playgroup, gymnastics, and constant questions. Although Mom has done pre-school before, my pre-school world is all about squeaks, chirps, aggressive love for the baby, silliness, pushing boundaries and gentle redirection. I can't handle conflict (which comes up a lot with a strong willed big sister!), I can't handle stern words, and I don't like pressure. I either revert to silliness or I break down and cry until I've been held, comforted, and reassured. There's lots of hugging going around these days and I want in on as much of it as I can get! (Mom says I am not allowed to mislead: I still disobey plenty, it's just in a quieter, silent-stubborn way...)

Ree-Ree's world is not even on the same plane as our two worlds. Ree's world is about discovering her feet, batting objects with her hands, smiling, cooing, giggling and rolling. She doesn't like the car seat or the stroller and so Mom's Reese-hat is Carrier. Reese is mostly happy and only cries when she gets way too tired... or when I lay on her or poke her. Mom's not such a fan of my love when it wakes her up (always) or makes her cry (usually), but that Reese is just so chubby and happy that it's hard to resist. I call Reese Ree-Ree or Ree, Avery calls her Reesie Poo, Daddy calls her Reesie and Mommy calls her That Baby (as in, "I'm just going to eat That Baby up!"). Whatever we call her, she smiles and acts like she's just so thankful to be in our lives.

It's a good thing that we are all in such vastly different worlds. Mom says she's convinced that each of us doing different things and needing different types of love right now will help her rememberus individually once we're grown. What can I say? We aim to please!

Kate "Kavereese" McClinton

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Oh Halloween. I love it. Dressing up in fancy dresses is a part of my daily routine anyways, but when you add candy and parties and pumpkins - now that's what I call a good time!

The celebrating this year started with a playgroup party for my pals and me while Avery was at school. We listened to a story and then painted pumpkins. The mommies ate like queens. The joy of potluck parties.

Next came my school fall festival, which I enjoyed with Avery and Amelia. The best part was when we got to pick out the bake sale item. Nana, Amanda, Mommy and Daddy were eyeing the brownies or the cookies or the neatly decorated cake. But we found the greatest prize of all! Strawberry iced cupcakes! Never mind the icing was stuck to the saran wrap; never mind that other children had stuck their fingers into the saran wrap and left prints in the cupcakes; never mind that Amelia carried the cupcakes all around like they were a bag of apples. Those cupcakes were worth every penny!

For Daddy's birthday, I wanted to go to the Children's Museum. BUT we discovered that the whole place was turned into a Haunted Mansion and Daddy and Mommy decided a trip to Dewberry Farms would be more fun. It was! We love that Daddy, who willingly celebrates his birthday with kid-centered activities.

Avery had a costume parade at school and decided to be Pinkalicious (it had to be a character from a book). I was so jealous of her cool pink hair that Mommy said I could be Pinkalicious for Halloween trick or treating if I wanted. And I certainly wanted.

But first, we got to play at Avery's playgroup party. Thankfully, we agreed to wear our actual Halloween costumes and looked divine in our snow princess dresses. Avery picked her white costume out and when we couldn't find a white snow princess in my size, Mom explained that sometimes snow princesses wear pink.

On Halloween night, Avery and I both decided we needed to be Pinkalicious. We got to trick or treat with Nonnie and Daddy (who said only one person knew exactly what we were supposed to be). We got back to the house to help pass out candy, and you know what? That's almost as fun as trick or treating! (Avery said not to tell, but when Mom and Dad were handing out candy, she would grab handfuls and stuff them into her own pumpkin. Pretty clever if you ask me.)

Happy Halloween, everyone!
Pink-Snow-Princess-Pinkalicious Kate