Our Last: Toddler Words

wrap Light Rainbow  Nola Mae snow

We are in the beginning stages of “Lasts” in our family.  Nola Mae is our last baby as she keeps growing she will be the “last” of a lot of things around here.  I may have to start a series of blog post of  “lasts” and maybe “firsts”.  One milestone that I missed this past year for “firsts” was that Robbie is the first to get to double digits in age now that he is 10!  And soon he will be the first to drive and a few other “firsts” will happen that I don’t care to think about now.

Nola Mae is my last baby I will be pregnant with and give birth to, she will be my last baby in diapers, the last baby I will ever breastfeed, the last baby I will carry, and the last toddler in our house. I love toddlers, so I will be very sad when this stage is over.

I love the way toddler brains are absorbing everything around them. I love how they see something done once and they can do it themselves.  I love watching them explore new things or figure out things on their own.   I love watching them play and interact with others. I love it when they are being silly and they know it or when a big brother is being silly and they copy them.  I love the innocence they have.  I love it when they are jabbering away and you don’t know what they are trying to tell you. Or when someone else’s toddler is talking and all you hear is a foreign language and the mom translates for you and it all makes perfect sense.  I love it when they start repeating every thing they hear.

Robbie amazed us with his baby sign language when he was a toddler.   I think he had at least 50 signs in his vocabulary by the time he was 24 months old and by 26 months he was talking in sentences.

Charlie was a good-natured toddler, easy-going, didn’t use many signs and started talking before he was two years old and stuttered until he was about four.

Henry was so easy. He was a good-natured toddler and had two older brothers to help him with anything he needed.  I really can’t remember when he started talking, one famous quote of Henry’s with my family was when he was about two years old he walked into the living room, full of my siblings, and said, “Me love donuts!”.   I do remember trying to start baby signs with him.  I stopped trying when they started making up signs for silly things and doing other hand motions for the signs that I wanted to work on. I just didn’t have the energy to take that on.

I am really bad at record keeping in the area of milestones!   I have always wanted to write the number of words our kids could say at a certain point in their toddler years.   I have a list somewhere of all the signs Robbie knew at one point. I don’t know when their first teeth came.  If I thought really hard or searched my blog we could figure out when Robbie and Charlie lost their first teeth.

There are benefits to being the oldest and the baby of the family!

I have spent the last few days writing down the words I have heard Nola Mae say, without me trying to coax her.  I really need to get this post done because her list of words is getting longer as I keep editing my words here in this post.

At 21 months:

Nola Mae can say everyone’s name in our family.  Mama, Mom, Papa, Robbie, Charlie, Henny, Shadow, and Chili.  Other names from our extended family:  Granny and Susie.  If you want to be on this list you will have to spend more time with us!

Nola Mae’s words:

  1. Fart
  2. Money
  3. Wake (Wake up)
  4. Leeping (Sleeping)
  5. Room
  6. Nurse
  7. Bus
  8. Marker (points to the marks on her head)
  9. On
  10. Potties
  11. Wipe
  12. Shoe
  13. Sock
  14. Boot
  15. Teeth
  16. NO!
  17. No (I don’t know and shrugs her shoulders)
  18. Nake (Snake)
  19. Done
  20. Hand
  21. Milk Please
  22. Thank you
  23. Milkies
  24. Down
  25. Hi/Hello
  26. Candy
  27. Ummy (Yummy)
  28. Son (Some as in “I want some”)
  29. Snow
  30. Look
  31. Fast!
  32. Pockie (Pocket)
  33. Get it
  34. Fix it
  35. Happy (Help me)
  36. Found it!
  37. Fun
  38. Button
  39. Buckle
  40. Sure
  41. Bove (Glove)
  42. Skiing
  43. Eew!
  44. Pokie
  45. Bee (any kind of bug)
  46. That
  47. Phone
  48. Ah-oh
  49. Eat
  50. Cheese
  51. Poopies
  52. Fire
  53. Hot
  54. Ride
  55. Nose
  56. Eyes
  57. Ear
  58. Head
  59. Neck
  60. Balance
  61. Ta-da!
  62. Pants
  63. Shirt
  64. Apple
  65. Apple (Pineapple)
  66. There
  67. Hurt
  68. Bite
  69. Excuse me
  70. Butter
  71. Wait (with her pointer finger in the air)
  72. Worm
  73. Hand! (Dirty hand)
  74. Pennel (Kennel)
  75. Footers (Slippers)

The one word I am most proud of (NOT) is:  76. Shit

77. Stuck (see my Mom’s comment).

Nola Mae has a few two-word and an occasional three-word sentences.  And some of the words above are used in combination with each other.  For example, “Pants on.  Marker head.  Butter ummy!!!”

Nola Mae Marker 1

A funny thing she has recently done is say  “Sshh!” to Henry when he is talking a lot.  Henry is the most talkative 4-year-old out of all our boys.  This makes me laugh, secretly of course, every time.  The first time she used  “Sshh!”  was when we were waiting in line at a store and a 3-year-old child was whining about something to the mom and Nola Mae started Sshhing her.  Thankfully, they didn’t notice.

Cross-Country Skiing with Kids

Jack and I moved to Iola in the spring of 1998.   We discovered Iola’s hidden treasure that following winter – Iola Winter Sports Club!  I spent many hours enjoying the cross-country trails over the years and in 2008 decided to give back to the community and share my love of skiing.

I started leading Iola Winter Sports Club’s Youth Ski Program in 2008.  The kids love coming out on Saturday mornings and learning the basics of cross-country skiing and then using those new learned skills on the trails.   It is my love of skiing that comes through in my lessons with the kids.  I hope to share that love as I encourage them to keep practicing cross-country skiing skills and have fun while enjoying the outdoors.

I fell in love with skiing when I had cross-country skiing in 7th grade Physical Ed. class.  My first pair of skis was a birthday present from my Grandma Nola, and I still ski on them 30+ years later.  Ever since learning to cross-country ski, I think about snow and skiing all year-long!

Our family has grown over the last few years.  We have three sons and one daughter.  Each of our children put on skis the first winter they could walk.

Robbie at 17 months old.

skis Robbie 1st time

Charlie at 17 months.

Skis Charlie 1st time

Henry at 20 months.

skis Henry 1st time

Nola Mae at 20 months.

skis Nola Mae 1st time

Henry and Nola Mae have gotten the most skiing in their first few years, in-utero, on my back, in a sled behind me and on their own skis.

2011 spring skiing w Henry

skiing w Lynn

I have shared my love of skiing with our children and it brings great pleasure to me when I see that love and joy of skiing in other children and adults.  There are times when our children don’t appreciate the beautiful trails we have access to or the quality family time we are spending on the trails.  We often have ski-derby, snowball fights, tackling and lots of complaining during our family skiing.

skiing Charlie snowball

2011 spring skiing brothers

In the end we have children who exercised, who are worn out and wonderful memories that will last my lifetime and hopefully theirs.

  Skiing four kids

December 2013 – Month 12

 December 2013 – Month 12

I forgot to add this one photo from our Thanksgiving meal at my mom’s.  I have no idea what Henry is so excited about, it was very difficult for Jack to get all the boys looking at the same time.  We are missing the two oldest grandsons in this photo.

Thanksgiving 2013

A couple of us got sick in early December.  Charlie came home sick from school one day and the next day he wasn’t 100%, so he stayed home, slept in, made four snowmen in our yard and shoveled the steps for me.

Sick Charlie day after snowman

When Nola Mae was sick she walked into the boys’ room, laid down and fell asleep for a couple of hours.  When Robbie and Henry came home from school they saw her like this and knew this was a very unusual sleeping spot for Nola Mae.

Sick Nola Mae

She was back to her old self again the next day, coloring on her legs with markers and getting into everything.

Nola Mae cooking

 I went back to my mom’s for our cousin’s cancer benefit.  All of my siblings were there.  Kayla and Becca worked on Christmas candies.

Candy making cremes Candy making Becca  Candy making snowflake oreos

My oldest nephew, Devin, came along and Nola Mae warmed up to him very quickly.  He has always been wonderful with little kids, since most of his childhood, Emily had an in-home daycare.

Devin & Nola Mae

 Nola Mae missed Henry.  My mom has an answering machine message saved on her machine from Henry.  Nola Mae listened to it often.

Nola Mae phone

I am in search of the recipe for this Chocolate Peanut Butter cookie.  Anyone know this recipe?

Cookie Chocolate Peanut butter

Santa came to Henry’s school for the parent outreach activity.  He told Santa he wanted a robot.

Santa w Henry

We traveled to my Mom’s for Christmas.  We also celebrated my triplet sisters’ birthday.  All three are intelligent, kind, loving, hardworking and beautiful inside and outside!

Siblings Danna  siblings Kayla  Siblings Becca

I decorated this rainbow cake for them.

Cake rainbow Sisters

I built a fort for the little ones to play in.

Fort at Granny's

We introduced my nephew to skiing.  He was a natural!

Kale skiing

Robbie loves Grandma Hanna’s raspberry jello. Granny made it for our Christmas dinner and Robbie got to clean the bowl.

Jello Robbie

For the last few years my siblings haven’t exchanged Christmas gifts.  This year I suggested we do an ornament exchange.  They could be homemade or bought and we needed 7 ornaments (one for each sibling, mom and self).  All my siblings participated and made their ornaments for the exchange.  I think they all had fun and I hope that we can do it again next year.

Ornaments Sibling exchange 2013

A long and late drive home.

Sleeping in the car Henry


Our Christmas Day family photo.  (Notice the size of the tree behind Jack.)

      Family photo outside Dec 13

I was looking for photos of Java and found this family photo, taken in early January 2004.  We are standing where our wooden fence is now.  Same tree behind Jack.

Family photo outside Jan 04

Nola Mae has her own cape.

cape Nola Mae

All of our kids got a wooden vehicle for their 2nd Christmas from Papa.


 Jack’s homemade Quarto game.

          Quarto Homemade

I was in the kitchen cleaning and noticed it was quiet.  I grabbed the camera and found all these kids playing nicely and quietly.

Quiet children 1


Quiet Children 2


Quiet Children 3


Quiet Children 4

 Santa found this brand new snowboard for Henry at St. Vinnie’s.

snowboard Henry

The older boys got a bigger snowboard to share from Santa.

snowboard Robbie & Charlie

The boys were outside playing and I was upstairs at the computer and heard this conversation:

Charlie:  Do you think Santa really watches us?
Robbie:  Yes!
Charlie: He knew our snow board broke.  He knew we loved it.  And then he gave us a new one.
Robbie:  I know.
Charlie: Yeah, he is totally real!

Our family went skiing the day after Christmas.


My dog, Java, who was almost 12 years old started looking pretty old this past year.  She died on January 30th.   I posted a “This Moment” post with a photo of our first two dogs who are both gone now.

java puppy

This is Robbie when he was a baby.

Java w Jenny RW

It will be a long time until I have another dog that I will love as much as I loved those two dogs.

On a happier note, the rest of my December…

A cold morning at breakfast.

Cold at breakfast

My sewing projects this month:

Upcylcled elephants for a friend that is having a baby this winter, made from table cloths from her wedding.  I am planning on making her a ring sling from one of those table cloths.

table cloth elephants

I made these two child size Mei Tai for a friend.

Mei Tai butterflies Henry  Mei Tai Nola Mae

I made these two sweater owls for my youngest nephews for Christmas, upcylced from wool sweaters.

 Owl Kale  Owl Brooks

I also made one for each of our kids.

Owls sweaters w kids

One of the best gifts anyone can give me is time in my sewing room.  Jack and the kids stayed busy upstairs, eventually Nola Mae found her way down to the sewing room and sat nicely on my lap while I sewed the binding on the denim Rail Fence quilt that I made for Jack many years ago.

Quilt denim binding

Quilt denim Jack's

I label all my quilts and when this quilt was close to being finished I anticipated finishing it in 2005.  In case you don’t remember in 2002 we had no kids, just two dogs.  Robbie came in 2003 and in the summer of 2005 we moved to the garage, gutted our old farm-house for remodeling, lived in the garage and Charlie was born two months before the house was finished.  This quilt got worked on off and on over the years.  My mom inspired me to finish this one.  She has made some very beautiful quilts over the last few years and I felt like I needed to finish this one before starting any big projects.

Quilt denim  label Jack's

Skiing with Friends

Skiing with Friends

Our Christmas break has ended and the boys are back in school today.  One of our biggest highlights was skiing with friends.  My dream is to make this happen every Christmas break.   Three out of the five friends never skied before, by the end of the day they were skiing like they were born to ski!

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