Freeze. please.

Friday, January 14, 2011
{12/365}



When Kate first came home from China she was like most babies who come home from China...a little high maintenance. That is normal. She had to get to know us. We had to get know her. We had to build trust. We had to lovingly and very slowly teach her how to sleep...in a crib...in a room...without us. That took a long (exhausting) time.  We had to teach her that she could trust others and that we would come back if we ever had a sitter (which was rare that first year).  It was like most things in life that are rewarding.  It was hard work.  On those very tough days, I would joke that the happiest day of my life would be the day she started kindergarten.  I know it sounds awful to read that but when you are exhausted and overwhelmed, sometimes you say awful sounding things. I am human.

Well, I am eating my words. Kate will be in kindergarten in August and I don't feel ready.  You see...4 is the MOST delightful age in the world.  I LOVE 4!  Kate is absolutely charming right now.  The tantrums of 2 and 3 are pretty much non-existent.  She has been potty trained for a long time.  She does not need a nap.  She can communicate so well. Four is the age of bubble baths and tutus, princesses and fairies, the color pink, bows, giggles, wonder and delight.  I have always enjoyed all stages with my peanuts and I try to look for the positive in each stage but I cannot express how lovely a four year old girl can be!!!


DSC_7520

It is a magical age of dress-up and make believe and learning to read and write.  She has such faith in everything. She looks at the world though trusting, positive, faithful rose colored glasses. Yesterday, Kate made me this gift (above) ~ a drawing wrapped up with a pink satin bow from one of her tutus~ because she said that "You love me so so so so so so so so much and you are so so so so so so so so smart, Mama." Sigh.  My 10 year old and 13 and 1/2 year old sons do not think I am so smart.  Four year olds still think their parents hung the moon.  I am so afraid that will change when she gets to kindergarten. I know it will start to change.  

I have read on a few blogs "what's in and what's out" among girls just a tad older than Kate and they make me hyperventilate.  I don't want to trade Miss Spider's sunny patch friends and Super-why for Sponge Bob and I-Carly (although she does love those when her brothers put them on).  I don't want to trade baths for showers.  I am not ready for her to lose a tooth.   Most of all, I don't want her to stop calling me  "Mama."  I don't want Kate to lose her magical innocence.  Just thinking about it makes me cry.

Every morning Kate and I have a "snuggle-cuddle"  She climbs in to my lap and we snuggle chest to chest in our PJ's and it is by far one of my favorite parts of everyday.  I am not a particularly touchy huggy person.  But snuggling with my little girl is heaven.  I dread the day she is too big to crawl into my lap each morning.

We have the most delicious conversations every day on the way to pre-school.  Yesterday she asked me if God had a bath.  I said, "What do you mean?  She replied, "Does God have a bathtub in heaven?"  I told her that I don't know but I doubt we get dirty and need a bath in heaven.  She went on to say, "I think God has a BIG beautiful GOLD bathtub with sparkly silver bubble bath."  She also told me that she thinks there is no dinner in heaven...only dessert!  I never want these precious conversations to end.  And I know they do.

I adore my boys but our conversations are very different.  I have never been one of those Moms who cried on the first day of kindergarten.  I was excited for the boys.  They were ready. I was ready.  This time I am not sure if either of us are ready.  I just wish I could freeze Kate at 4 for a little longer.

MomandK7165

The darling silhouette shirt on Kate in the second photo is from Dear Lillie.  I have one in black too.
They have the cutest things.

70 comments:

  1. Oh, Kim! I KNOW what you're saying... I can't believe my Sophie Lu is about to turn SEVEN! I can't stand it!!
    Those pictures are just precious... in a way you are capturing her at this magical age, through your words and your photos, and doing so beautifully :)

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  2. i still call my mom mama and snuggle with her on the couch or bed when we watch a movie.

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  3. What a darling post. :) I am not a mother yet, but your blog makes me extremely excited to become one.

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  4. I remember four. I had a poem that my sister cross stitched for me...and let's see if I can remember whet it said:

    "Oh who will lick the icing bowl when school days have begun? Who'll make mudpies in the yard and cook them in the sun? Who will have friends in for tea and dust the window sills? And tell me if the mailman left anything but bills?."

    This cross stitch hangs on my wall till this day. I love four!

    That first picture is lovely. And the last one...priceless.

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  5. Shelby also goes to Kindergarten in August. I cried when I read the announcement in the paper for the informational meeting! My 10 year old son asked why and all I could think about was losing my baby girl to the big bad world! I think about how much I want to squeeze in just girl things! I know she's ready, I just don't know that I am! Good Luck!

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  6. This post was perfect. Kate is precious and I don't blame you one. bit. I adore her and she isn't even mine! :)

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  7. If it makes you feel any better, I am 30 and when I go home I crawl up on the couch and put my head in my mom's lap and she rubs my hair the way she did when I was a kid. And much like they did my entire life, our best conversations still happen in the car. In fact, there are times we will just say to one another, "Want to go get a slushy at Sonic?" and we will sit in the car, drink our slushy and talk for over an hour!

    The conversations may change, but the bond between a mom and daughter is irreplaceable.

    Oh, and I still call her "Mama"

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  8. I know exactly what you mean. In fact I just posted something very similar on my blog this week. Four is such a magical age.

    I think, and I'm sure you'll understand, that because my children are 12 (almost 13) and four I have seen how quickly it ends and it makes me cherish this second chance at four even more.

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  9. Absolutely lovely and oh so true:)

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  10. Oh how I can relate to this post. Being a mother of grown kids and now being blessed with a now 3yr old, it seems like a I relish these moments even more than ever. I love the "innocence" of her conversation, the need to always have that hug in the morning, the spontaneous "I love you momma", the many compliments of "I like your hair momma" *even though it feels like a rat nest* :)Nothing like a 3yr old to BOOST your confidence.

    I really laughed the other day as I was watching a program on TV and the "Dr was holding a skull" and she wandered in and wanted to know "what happen to that "man". As I carefully chose the right "logic" for a 3yr old, I said "oh, he was probably really old and died", she looked back the screen and with a look of concern said "if they get batteries for him, maybe his skin will grow back!"! HA!!


    I love Kate's vision of God in a gold bath tub, with silver bubbles!! Love looking at the world through their eyes! From someone who has BTDT...cherish these moments!! Soon they will be grown and gone!

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  11. Chiming back in to ask: Where did you find Kate's shirt!! LOVE IT!!

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  12. What a sweet post - I also think 4 is a magical age of make believe, simple times and pure love... I really enjoyed 4 with our eldest and am looking forward to that stage with our baby girl.
    Thanks for sharing this "moment in time" with the rest of us!

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  13. oh, i can understand, kim!! molly is only 2, but i don't want to even think about sending her to school in a few years. we've had 5 magical days at home thanks to some snowfall and i've enjoyed every minute of it! kate is so precious!!

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  14. Hi, This is the first time I read your blog and I love it! Agreed that girls are sweeter than boys...in most of the cases :)

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  15. This is the sweetest post! I so know how you feel -- my girl is still at 9 -- a little snuggler and I love that. She still holds my hand and it makes me feel like I'm walking on air! Enjoy every single minute -- I know you do!

    Janet

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  16. This is so sweet. I especially love the top picture with the tutu and the window.

    Much love,
    Future Mama
    http://expectingablessing.blogspot.com/

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  17. I so know how you feel. I was so ready when my boy, now 10, started K. He was ready. I felt he could handle himself and handle the school. But my little girl is 4 now, will be 5 in May. She will start school this fall and my heart is so sad to know that she will be gone from my side all day every day as she learns. It is hard to realize that I am the one who is not ready. I look at her and wish for her to stay this way and 'freeze' in time and just be this sweetheart forever.

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  18. Hi Kim! Oh I kinda know how you must be feeling...my one year old daughter has suddenly got very "snuggly" with me in the morning too and more frequently only mummy will do! Can't bear to think of the day all that may end...but you have to look at the plus side...she is going to be such fun when you do older mummy and daughter things...long lunches, shopping etc! Dx

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  19. oh, this is just the sweetest post. i have a four year old starting kindergarten in the fall and i feel the same way! i stumbled upon your blog last night- we are in the early stages of adopting from china through the special needs program- and your blog has been SO helpful to me. I stayed up most of the night reading your adoption posts. thank you so much for your honesty and candor. it means a lot!

    -erika

    www.theurthmama.com

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  20. I still have most of what you are saying with Sophia and I treasure those moments too. With Emmie, there have been some rough spots, but she is now coming back and all the things she did as a little girl just come in a different way. She might not do a lot of snuggle on my lap, chest to chest....but I love it when we sit side by side on the couch or I give her a hug good night, or she just walks up to me and says....I need some love.....I believe if they grow up knowing they can come to you with anything....even during the crazy teenage years....after those pass, they always come back to their Mama! ;)

    Hugs,
    Steffie

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  21. What a sweet post. Although I am not to that point, I do look back on the last year and see where I have lost my baby girl. She's a toddler on her way to finding indepence. =(

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  22. Well...there will be a time that Kate will test you. There were a few years where mom and I would fight a lot. The sweetness comes back around. I still will climb in bed with my mom and put my head on her lap so she can play with my hair.

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  23. This post was so sweet. Miss Kate is an angle and I think you have the most amazing bond that will always be there.

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  24. It's great to hear what a wonderful relationship the two of you share.
    And now I can't wait for all the baby girls I know to turn 4!! :)

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  25. Kim,
    I am sorry we did not get to finish our conversation today. It ended with me dropping my phone in the snow! :) Anyway, your post is beautiful. Each picture is so precious, and shows the beauty of who Kate has grown to be. Just like her Mama, sweet, precious, loving, generous, thoughtful and so smart. I know next fall will be hard. But, she is going to blossom next year even more. And, she is always going to want to snuggle in her PJ's with you. It's a special bond you two have. I know that will never change. Enjoy every minute of today, and tomorrow too!

    Love ya,
    Di

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  26. Don't tell the Tongginator, but four is my absolute favorite age as well. It's one of the major reasons I became a transitional kindergarten teacher. (I worked with children who were still "four" in a lot of ways, even though they may have technically been five.)

    Kindergarten was difficult for me. I won't lie. The start of first grade was even harder. But I am learning to love each and every thing about my "big girl." She is becoming more and more her own person, with each passing day. It's a blessing to watch.

    And something that may be a comfort to you - my nearly-seven-year-old still snuggles with me EVERY day, sometimes for as long as 30 minutes.

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  27. If it makes you feel any better....Elisabeth (age 23) still calls me Mommy and James (age 27) still calls me Mama. No worries:)

    I understand exactly what you mean though my friend. Some days I am ready for the girls to mature some (we, unfortunately, are not past the tantrum stage at the age of 6) but in a lot of ways...I want them to stay my babies.

    Big hugs...oh and by the way...I think you are SUPER SMART!!!!! :)

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  28. I completely agree Kim with the magic age of 4...Lucy was one month away from turning 4 when we brought her home, and I really do think a big part of her cheery little self was being 4....I will say that today even at 6 and a sweet little Kindergartner, there is nothing sweeter. I still cling to bath time, and pretend cooking...it really was different with my boys. I had Lucy enrolled in all day Kindergarten, I knew she would be fine, but I ended up putting her in half day, and I wouldn't have it any other way...I LOVE our time together before the Boys come home...it is so special.

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  29. Love that little tutu! She is adorable!

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  30. Such a sweet post...and that gives me hope for Emma! ;) At 2 (in 10 days she will turn 3), she is a handful and all sass - it is cute but very trying!!!

    Kate is just adorable.

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  31. Four is so magical and five was full of more wonder as my daughter soaked up all she learned.

    I too want my daugther to enjoy the appropriate things for her age so I am reading a book called 6 Ways to Keep the Little in Your Girl by Dannah Gresh. My darling Anhui firecracker is 7.5 and some of her friends [because of their parents] are pushing them so hard into things they are not ready for.

    I went to HS with Vicky Courtney and she has written such incredible books on tweens. I purchased the 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter as a companion book.

    Thank you for another lovely post!

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  32. I know how you feel. My older two did full day kindergarten but I kept my youngest in half day kindergarten for the first two months of the school year. I just wasn't ready for him to be gone all day and he wasn't quite ready either.

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  33. Four is awesome--no doubt about it. And it's all the more precious since Kate is your youngest and last child. Enjoy every minute!!!

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  34. Hi Kim,

    I read your post about Kate being old enough for kindergarten soon and how you remembered the hard times of adjustment when she first came home from China. I would love to ask you a few questions, as we just returned with our daughter 7 wks. ago and are dealing with the whole sleep issues! If you have a moment, please email me: susanlsims@gmail.com

    Thanks! Susan

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  35. I love four too...my favorite age of all my children. I wish I had it in me to homeschool so I could hold on to their sweet innocence a little longer. I just hate that they would rather be home with me and I have to send them to school. I just know myself and know I couldn't do it!

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  36. Kim, You are so right, 4 is awesome. My sweet Goddaughter will turn 7 in Feb and she has just lost her first tooth. She now reads to me, rather than me reading to her. I told her mother the other day, that I just want to bottle up this time and keep it...it has gone so fast. Oh thank heavens for little girls.
    Norah

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  37. This sure is a sweet post Kim and it reflects the special relationship you have with your baby girl.
    I can't believe it's time for Kate to go to K already, I'm not ready for that either! :)
    It wasn't long ago that she was wee-tiny and sitting in a Tiffany's box!
    xoxo

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  38. Kim, you really spoke to me tonight. I feel the same way about our Piper. She turned 1 on the 8th and I could hardly keep from crying at her party. She is changing everyday and getting prettier by the minute! I know every mom must feel that way!

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  39. Reading you think about little girls growing up made me think about little girls growing up and made me cry! I'm holding onto to the knowledge that some days I need my mom now as much as I did when I was 4... so maybe my girls will feel the same! (and your too!)
    Stacy

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  40. My most favorite stage of parenting was when Rebecca was 3 and 4. Little girls are wonderful! Kindergarten was great (and much needed for moi!) but she started to grow up and lose that sparkle that makes little girls so incredibly special!

    She is now 12 and wonderful, but sometimes I wish she'd just put on that tutu or pick up the wand... for old time's sake!

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  41. It's so true! We spend much of our time waiting for the next thing...sitting, crawling, walking, playing sports...and then it hits us - STOP! Slow down! Life is too fast! I have to agree with all of your thinking in this post!

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  42. I have to admit, the conversation about God's bathtub has brought me to tears. That innocent, imagination is so precious. I know you are going to have a lifetime of special years. Just think about this one as an amazing moment in time :)

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  43. I can so relate, Kim. Just counted it out yesterday...Emma will start kindergarten in seven short months. I'm so not ready! We can cry together when it happens :(

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  44. Tears running down my face...I miss my babies! My girls are now 6 and 9. It is so hard for me to realize how fast time goes now. Every age brings great joys and struggles. Enjoy every moment with your precious Kate. My girls still thirst for my attention and call me Mama. Well, except for the little one that sometimes calls me Deb - ha! I adore my children and would love to do it all over again. Take LOTS of photos, as I'm sure you do, and you can always remember these moments even if just in a memory. Blessings to you and your beautiful family.

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  45. Four IS FUN for boys and girls. But my J is 9 and he still jumps in bed with me every Saturday morning!

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  46. Oh I totally relate!! I have a four and five year old and I just can't get enough of either of them. My four year old is still so cuddly and adorable, I just hate to see this cuteness end!
    Blessings!

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  47. Bring her back to Virginia - I'll take care of her in kindergarten, I promise. And don't worry, Kim, the innocence stays for a little bit longer. I remember the first nap I had with Kate when you weren't there. It's amazing the difference you have made in her life. We miss you greatly...

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  48. Just this week as I was watching the girls I too decided that 4 is the sweetest age. I love the innocence, the sweetness, the curiosity, the excitement and everything else that comes with being four and I suppose too comes with being a little girl. I try to enjoy every minute and know that it won't always be this way but look forward to the future as well. I love all of the sweet pictures of Kate. Enjoy every moment with your sweet girl -especially the morning pj time- my very favorite time of the day!

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  49. I love your blog! I, too, have two bio children and one Asian child (boy, S. Korea, age6), and I am dreading his growing up. My 3 are 16, 15, and 6, so I KNOW as you do, how fast time goes! Your children are so cute and I check your blog every day! Kate is just precious. Truly. I can feel through your words how much you're enjoying having a daughter!

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  50. i love four too. it is truly a sweet precious age.
    however, i love almost all the ages my girls have been. 13 & 14....ummm...not so much, but honestly, i LOVE smk's 17 year old age. she is awesome, mature and we have a super connection now. my 14 year old still calls me mama. and last year she initiated holding my hand in public...i feel certain it will happen again soon :)
    cek will turn 10 soon & each morning her little warm butter biscuit smelling self climbs into my lap ( i'm usually in my comfy chair with my laptop) and we snuggle. every morning.
    i love four but you and that kate will have sweet precious moments at every age....well, except maybe 14. wink

    xo

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  51. & how cute are you
    miss skinny minny
    in your jcrews?
    xo

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  52. Kim, what a great post that is so real. Not sure how Emily is 8 today, and I know I will cry like a baby when Shaelee goes to Kindergarten. It all goes by so quickly, which means, I guess, enjoy each and every moment. Kate is beautiful. God bless you and your sweet children.

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  53. My two still like princesses and fairies. They still love to snuggle but they've been calling me "Mom" or "Mommy" for way too long. Michal will sometimes call me "Mama" and it literally makes me smile every single time she does!

    When you figure out how to freeze them, let me know!

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  54. What a beautiful post! You are such a talented writer! There isn't anything like a little girl, huh? Kate is so precious. I adore that first shot of her and you look so cute in that last one! I hope you are having a most wonderful weekend!

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  55. She is sure to be precious at any age! I love these photos, especially the first and last ones. Although I've never been one to wish my girl to be older, four does sound like fun.

    Gin =)

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  56. I can soooo relate to this post! I love age 4 too! It's such a fun age. Kamree is also starting Kindergarten this year and I am a bit sad.

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  57. oh I know how you feel. I have a 17 year old and next year she will be going off to college and I have a 4 year old and she will be starting Kindergarten. Time flies by so quickly it really is just amazing. I also have a 12 year old son he will be making his confirmation next year and graduating 8th grade. I just want to hol donto my little girl a bit longer I know what the future holds lol Love your blog thank you for sharing your ideas and thoughts.
    Many blessings
    Shannon (if I could remeber my google account I would put my id lol )

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  58. Kate is at such a precious age! Enjoy this time but don't despair as it passes because I think you will enjoy Kate more and more as she grows up.

    Dots is 13 now, and it is such fun to go shopping with her, to consult with her on my wardrobe choices, to discuss books and movies and current events, etc. I'm just holding my breath about the next few years because I'm sure she will begin to pull away, but so far so good.

    Hoping to see you next weekend! xoxo

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  59. Found my google account lol. Also wanted to thank you for sharing your story about the 5 point car seat. I moved my daughter back into her Britax seat.
    Shannon

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  60. i will tell you kim that i completely relate to this post. bradley is just so much fun right now. from 3 1/2 to 4 have been my most favorite stage. he still will watch sesame street, but he is starting to love spiderman. it makes me so sad. i almost cried when we were at the toy store and he asked for a batman figure. i just don't want the innocence to end.

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  61. Do you ever wonder how moms hung on to special times like this before there was blogging? This was just a beautiful post. I think it would be a great gift for Kate someday. If she ever thinks that she could've been a better daughter (as so many of us do after we grow up, right?) this post proves just how much joy she's brought you.

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  62. You are so right! Kim, I have them from age 11 to 9 months, and 4 is my favorite age. They are soooo sweet and fun. My sweet Mallory is 4 and starts in August . I am not ready for that either.

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  63. What a sweet post. If it makes you feel any better...Livi is 8 and still loves long baths (except she now needs a bath bomb from Lush LOL)...hates i-Carly, loves Max&Ruby..her favorite computer programs are time4learning and brainpop..Addison is 5 and I tell you it's my all time favorite year!!! She does think Spongebob is hysterical....will pretty much only wear dresses & skirts...always needs something pretty in her hair. Loves her American Girl Dolls and barbies...and can careless about Hannah Montana & i-Carly. Both girls love to cuddle...thinks I'm pretty smart...and that their brothers and Daddy hung the moon.
    Nothing to worry about...although you can't change the tooth issue..but you can find a beautiful tooth fairy pillow on etsy (I know I did) and if your little one is anything like my Livi...she will pull her teeth out on her own to collect the money from everyone (tooth fairy, mommy,daddy, brothers, mailman etc)
    xoxo

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  64. What a touching post. I know exactly how you feel, though. I have a completely different relationship with my boys than with my girls. I love them all the same, but there is just something about and mother and daughter.
    Kate is an absolutely beautiful little girl and sounds just darling as well.
    I love, love, love the first picture of her looking out the window. Too cute.
    Oh, I also just ordered the silhouette shirt for Mylee, I can't wait to get it. Thanks for posting the link.

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  65. I just love this post Kim.

    4 is such a magical and wonder-filled age.

    Love it that she snuggle hugs you.

    Hope all is well in your world.

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  66. hi Kim! that first photo is so touching and poetic, I absolutely love it.
    what a sweet dear time it sounds like four is.... oh, and I still call my mother "mama"

    joan

    p.s. yes, just a little, thin extension rod. I think I did a 2.5 times the width for that amount of gather. you'll love it!

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  67. Love it! My daughter is 3 and while 2's and 3's have hard times, I still love these days! I have heard 4 is perfect and I am looking forward to it (although not too fast!) Kate is precious-your whole family is beautiful and I love reading your blog! Enjoy every moment ( I Know you do!!)

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  68. How did I miss this adorable picture of you and Kate?!?!? Look at you in your ripped jeans!!! LOVE it!!

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Thank you for your kindness.