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Kinsley at 2 Weeks

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Today Kinsley is 2 weeks old.  It is also my due date.  That seems crazy to me.  One, that she is even that old and two that I wasn't even on thinking about having her until this upcoming week.  Connor and I agreed, though, that the timing was perfect.  And I had two weeks less of being pregnant.  I can't complain about that.

Yesterday, Kinsley had her two week check up and the goal was to get her back to her birth weight.  We succeeded because she was 6 lbs 8.4 oz!  (Her birth weight was 6 lbs. 1 oz.)  Two funny things about that: Connor and I had a bet going of how much she would weigh.  Connor guessed under 6 lbs 9 oz and I guess over that.  He BARELY beat me.  Also, right after she was weighed, she did a poop.  Connor and I were curious to then see how much she weighed and she was exactly 1 oz lighter.  We couldn't believe a tiny little thing could quickly lose an ounce of poop just like that.  With how many times she poops a day, I'm surprised she has gained any weight at all.  

Her stats at the doctor:
6 lbs. 8.4 oz
19 1/4 inches (that's 3/4 inches growth)
34.2 cm head circumference

Her doctor also commented on how strong she is.  She tried to get Kinsley to bend her legs and she was having none of that.  

Another thing, Kinsley has the blocked tear duct(s).  At about 1 week one they both were REALLY bad.  Now one looks a lot better and the other is looking better.  Unfortunately, I'm not confident that it will go away anytime soon since both our boys it lasted a year or more.  

Her belly button cord fell off around 4 days old.  It was the middle of the night and I got up to feed her and I changed her diaper and it was attached.  I started to nurse her and when I went to change sides I noticed it was off.  It took me a while to find it all up in her jammies.  But it's been nice not to have to deal with that at diaper changes anymore.

Her first week of life she was smiling a ton while she slept but those have seemed to be less frequent now.  I'm excited for when the real smiles come though.  

She is a grunter which was very similar to Cason, but for some reason at night when she is sound asleep she doesn't grunt which helps ME stay asleep.  

She's not really on a schedule but sort of.  She does eat about every 3 hours (sometimes less) and she has one long 5 hour stretch of sleep at night.  She usually sleeps ALL day long, but we have been working with her to try and get her to stay awake for a little while in the evenings so she can sleep better at night.  At first it was really difficult to get her to stay awake but I think now she is able to do it a little more on her own.  I don't think Corbin and Cason were as sleepy as she is when they were born.  I'm not necessarily complaning, it's just different.  

We love her and getting to know all the little things about her.  It will be fun to see what personality emerges as the days, weeks, and months go on.  

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A Mystery


This morning we found this very cute gift for Kinsley on our doorstep.  There was no card and we can't think of who it is from.  So…. 

To whoever it is from,

Thank you SO much for this thoughtful and cute block.  It was a such a surprise and it we are very touched to be thought of.  

If you just FORGOT to leave a card, let us know who you are so we can give you a proper thanks!

Either way, we are very appreciative and absolutely LOVE it!


The Duke's


I wrote a post after Cason was born about how we chose the names of our boys.  I'll add Kinsley to this so we have that recorded as well.


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The day I found out we were expecting a girl, I started looking up names that day.  We already had some names we liked from previous pregnancies but they weren't feeling quite right this time.  I found the name Kinsley on a baby name list and wrote it down.  I showed Connor the list and he liked Kinsley as well.  I think the spelling was different on the list though, Kinslie.  Connor's weird thing with naming our kids has been that he hasn't wanted a common name.  My weird thing is I didn't want any letters below the line (i.e., p g j y).  (Mine was weirder, I know.)  But when we were discussing the spieling, I didn't like it spelled IE at the end.  Y just seemed to look better to me.  We definitely did not decide that would be her name instantly though.  We kept going back between Kinsley and Kelsie.  We both liked the names equally and neither of us could make a decision.  Finally, when we were in France, we were sitting at a cafe, I told Connor that we needed to decide on her name right then.  Connor didn't hesitate and said, "Kinsley."  So we chose her name while in France.  Her middle name is Violet after Connor's maternal grandmother and since my favorite color is any shade of purple, Connor thought it seemed fitting.  Now, of course, I can't imagine her having any other name but Kinsley.

Speaking of names, I thought I'd make a list of some of their nicknames they have so far.  


Little man


Case master blaster
Littlest man


Little girl

Cason's Little Gym

Cason had his very last class of LIttle Gym today.  Of course, I had thought I would be the one to take him but since Kinsley surprised us by being born, Connor ended up taking him.  

Cason was funny during Little Gym.  He was always shy towards his teacher, Miss Michelle (actually the same teacher Corbin had when he went) but he tried a lot more than Corbin tried and was definitely more into doing what the teacher asked.  Since he is afraid of heights, he never liked the high uneven bars, and only started warming up to the high beam near the end.  

I was glad that I was able to do this class with Cason before the baby came and it was fun to watch him learn and grow.  

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Big Brothers

I definitely don't want to leave them out of this story.  And especially I want to record how they have been adjusting to life with a little sister.


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The only negatives I can say about Corbin is that he hasn't been wanting to go #2 in the potty anymore and he has been a little more sensitive and emotional.  Other than that he has been GREAT.  He absolutely LOVES Kinsley.  He wants to hold her and kiss her.  He talks to her so sweetly.  He'll come up and pat her gently and say, "Hi baby girl.  You sweet little girl."  He has also been really helpful and pretty obedient.  He is still showing me lots of love even though we haven't been spending as much time together.  I'm not sure if he has been so good because of his age or that is just his personality.  Either way, he has been amazing.  We love this sweet little man so much!


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Cason has actually been pretty good too.  His only negatives, at first he wasn't sleeping the best at night.  He'd fall asleep late and wake up early, like before 5am early.  Then he has seemed really to be taking it hard that he and I aren't spending as much time together.  He doesn't want to come to me hardly at all.  He wants his dad to do everythng for him and goes to him for cuddles or kisses when he's hurt.  He's also actually told me he doesn't want me to go with him places.  I know that he's only 2 and he's adjusting like we all are, but this has actually hurt my feelings.  I'm sure it hurts more while going through hormonal changes as well, but it still hurts when you're "baby" doesn't want you anymore (for at least right now).  Cason also really loves Kinsley and wants to see her and kiss her. Of course, we are working on being gentle and not being so loud right in her face.  Cason is so sweet and we love him!

Kinsley's Birth

It all started on Friday at my 38 week check up at the doctor at 11:45am.  I was actually seeing the Nurse Practitioner for the third week in a row since my doctor was out of town.  The 4 of us went to the appointment and everything seemed find.  The nurse even said I was the perfect patient.  She said I was measuring the same as I had been the last few weeks but sometimes that is normal at this stage.  She checked to see if I was dilated and how far down the head was.  She said she was still up pretty high and I was only dilated a finger tip.

She told me everything seemed fine.  I went to go make an appointment with my doctor since he would be back the next week.  All the sudden the nurse came out and asked if she could talk to me.  She said after she started thinking about it she was a little concerned about the lack of growth and wanted me to get an ultrasound to just make sure. She told me not to worry but to try and get it done within the next few days.  

I went down to schedule the appointment and at first they told me they didn't have anything until the next Thursday but I had a doctors appointment before that so I thought that seemed pointless.  He then told me they could squeeze me in at 1:45pm that afternoon.  Luckily, Holly was able to come watch the boys because Connor had to get back to work.  

I was nervous waiting to go to the appointment but thought everything would turn out fine.  (I had to do this with Cason around 32 weeks or so and everything was fine.)  I had also decided to see if the ultrasound tech could tell me for sure if she was a girl since I still wasn't convinced.  I got to the appointment and the tech was showing me everything but I could see the computer show she was measuring at 34/35 weeks.  That was making me the most concerned.  But she did tell me she could tell for sure it was a girl.  That was exciting to find out!  They told me I would probably hear from the doctor by my next appointment on Wednesday.  So even though I knew she was measuring small I was trying not to be too worried.  

I came home and made us a dinner of German Pancakes.  I hadn't actually made a real dinner in a while so I was proud of myself.  Connor was cutting up some peaches for us to have peaches and ice cream for dessert around 6pm and I was telling Connor how I guess it was a good sign that I hadn't heard anything yet.  He agreed and said no news is good news.  About 5 minutes after that conversation, my phone rang and I could saw it was the doctors office.  It was the nurse practitioner who said she sent the results to the perinatoligist and that doctor said to go ahead and to get me induced.  She said the hospital would be calling me to tell me when a bed opened up so I could come in and get induced.  I asked her if that would be that night or the next night and she said it would be that night so that I should finish up the last minute things to get ready.  

I called my mom and she seemed just as worried as I was when I told her I needed her to take the boys over night.  When I heard her worried voice is when I lost it and started crying.  It was just so unexpected and so fast and I wondered if the baby would be all right.  Connor then gave me a blessing.  My mom came and got the boys and I was able to get a picture of us the last time as a family of 4.

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Also, my last pregnant picture.

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Connor and I were getting stuff ready and waiting for the call.  We did as much as we could and then sat down to wait.  I was really anxious and felt like it was taking forever for them to call.  I then decided I would go take a shower and shave my legs.  After the shower, we were still just waiting and it was approaching 9pm, I asked Connor if he thought I should call and find out if we should go to bed or what.  Connor said we should wait until 9:30.  Right after he said that the phone rang and it was the hospital saying a room opened up and I could come in.  We left shortly after and got all checked in.  I remember looking at the clock around 9:30 as I was getting into the hospital bed.  They were going through all their questions and check in stuff that they didn't start the IV of pitocin until 11pm. 

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They also said I was dilated to a 2 not a fingertip.  The nurses kept telling me how active she was and was wondering if I drank a lot of caffeine before I had come in (I hadn't) I just had a REALLY active baby.  They kept having to move the monitors to find her heart beat.  After the pitocin the contractions were hardly there.  It was very similar to with Corbin.  They kept turning up the pitocin throughout the night.  Connor slept on the pull out chair and I tried to sleep through all the monitors and interruptions from the nurses.  At about 6:30 the doctor came in and told me they would break my water.  Literally a minute later, I started feeling the contractions.  This was exactly the same as with Corbin.  I started to just breathe through them but they were definitely getting stronger and stronger so after about a half an hour or 45 minutes after my water broke I asked for the epidural.  I think at this time I was dilated to a 3.  

Once I was given the epidural, I felt SO much better.  It was such a relief.  (I did just want to get the whole thing over with and I prayed and asked Heavenly Father if he would let me have the baby before noon.) I think after about 1 1/2 hours I started to feel the contractions on my left side.  This was the same as with Cason.  I tried to just bear it for awhile but the pain was starting to get worse and so I asked the nurse if they could up my epidural.  She did and said the anthiesteioligst would also add something more too, I can't remember.  I then started to feel lots of pressure so we called the nurse to check me.  This was about 10:25.  She came in thinking I would be fully dilated but I was disappointed to find out that I was only a 6.  But she said I was completely thin and effaced.  At this point my whole body started feeling the contractions and I felt so much pressure.  I was telling her, I'm surprised I'm only a 6 because I feel such a strong urge to push.  At this point, probably about 10:35/10:40 she checked me and said, yes you are at a 10.  I could not believe I dilated from a 6 to a 10 in a matter of minutes.  So now she was telling me I could push but that the doctor was in a c-section.  I was worried because I knew that they would tell me to stop pushing if the doctor wasn't there.  So I did push and sure enough they told me to stop.  The nurse even told another nurse that they may have to deliver the baby without the doctor.  But they told me to stop and I was in SOOOOOO much pain,  The pitocin was still going which makes contractions stronger and closer and now I had no epidural.  The nurse told me it was probably too late for the epidural to do anything now.  Finally the doctor got in and it felt like they were taking FOREVER to let me push.  All I can remember is pretty much rolling around in pain and saying I need to push, I need to push.  Connor asked if I wanted him to video it and all I could do was shake my head no.  Finally the doctor was there and they let me push.  They told me I could rest and wait for a contraction but at that point I didn't feel like there was any down time in between contractions, it was just all pain.  So I think I pushed a few times and then she was born.  The relief of that severe pain was so great. For the first few seconds that was all I could think about but then I realized I had my baby on my tummy and that was awesome.  

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I could still feel the stuff going on but that pain was so minimal compared to just before that it was much easier to handle.  Connor had everyone in the room make guesses on her weight.  He guessed 6 lbs. 1 oz.  I guessed 6 lbs 2 oz.  The doctor guessed 6 lbs 5 oz and the nurse guessed 6 lbs even.  They weighed her and Connor was correct.  They also changed how they did everything and her first bath was in the room with me.  Kinsley didn't leave my sight at all which was so different with Corbin and Cason.  They also let me nurse her right away which I didn't get to do with Corbin or Cason and she latched on right away.  My mom brought the boys to come see her around 11:30 and they were so cute.  They wanted to see her and touch her and kiss her.  It was so nice to be able to have us all together so quickly.  

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Cason was a little wary of me and didn't want to come give me a hug or kiss or anything.  I think it was weird for him to see his mom all hooked up and in bed like that.  Corbin has no problem though.  Around 12:30 they got me ready to move me to my room.  They told me how lucky I was to get a private room because they were completely full.  A couple women who had delivered a couple hours before me were in shared rooms.  I just happened to deliver at the perfect time to get the private room.  So they wheeled me to my room and Connor wheeled Kinsley with us.  They also put this new GPS tracker on the babies so if they get close to the elevator or doors then an alarm sounds.  I felt pretty decent the rest of the time in the hospital.  It was just hard having a million people (not visitors) come in ALL the time.  The next morning the doctors said we could go home that day and so we jumped on the chance.  

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We sure love this sweet angel!

Kinsley Violet Duke

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                                                                               Kinsley Violet Duke

                                                                                   June 16, 2012


                                                                                     6 lbs. 1 oz

                                                                                     18 1/2 in.

School has ended!

Today was Corbin's last day of preschool.  

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Even though the school year is over, Corbin actually only has a week of summer vacation before summer school starts.  Since he loves school and I will probably love a break, we decided to sign him up again for the summer.  He will now be going 3 days a week instead of 2.  

We've had a lot of fun watching Corbin grow and learn.  It's hard to believe how fast time really flies by.  

Here is Corbin's school picture from this year.  


We went to Corbin's open house earlier this year and they asked all the kids what they want to be when they grow up.  Here's Corbin's.  We thought it was pretty hilarious. (Another response from a girl in his class that we thought was pretty funny was "I want to make lists like my mommy.")

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He also received a "report card" this year which I thought was pretty cute more than informative.  Especially since he had the highest marks on pretty much everything.  There was only 2 that were kind of the A- of the list.  

They had a little promotion ceremony for his class.

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He had fabulous teachers this year, Ms. Anita, Ms. Debbie, and Ms. Chitra.  (Actually Ms. Chitra's position was held by 2 others througout the year but the kids didn't seem to mind the changes.)

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After the ceremony, we all headed to a park and had a little picnic. 

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I know he will miss some of his friends but I know he will make new ones in his new classes.

Time to Brag!


(Note:  I've already emailed family AND posted this on Facebook so pretty much anyone who reads this already knows, BUT I also wanted to add it to our blog since this is basically our family journal.)

As a wife and mother, I think there are a few people I get to brag about.  My kids of course and also my husband.  Connor has been working and working and working and working A LOT for the past several months.  It has been crazy.  Here has been a typical day for him:

6:00-Get up and do some work
6:45-Take a shower and get ready to actually go into work
7:00-Get the boys up, dressed, and they all eat breakfast
7:45-Leave for work
5:30-Get home from work and we eat dinner
6:00-Play with boys
7:00-Get boys in bed
7:30-Work (either at home or back at work)
Sometime between 12:00-1:00-Go to bed

Obviously, it's great he can be home for dinner and to help put kids to bed.  BUT his day is so consumed with work, that he definitely has NO time for himself.  I'm not even sure he knows what time for himself is anymore.  And he really tries to balance out his life with church stuff or spending time with me even though work has become so demanding of him.

But sometimes, work that is done turns out really awesome.  And I couldn't be more proud that an idea of his was used AND very publisized.  Here's a link to the video.  If you start at 3:12 you can see where Connor's stuff is talked about.

MacBook Pro 

Corbin's Baseball Season

Corbin finished his baseball season today with the closing ceremonies where he got his trophy.  It's a nice time to reflect upon this season and see how far he has come.

We decided to sign him up after a friend posted on my "Happy 4th Birthday Corbin" status on Facebook that we he was now old enough to.  This friend helped us get into the league even though we were late signing up.  Since we were a little late, we missed a couple meetings and practices but once we got everything worked out, we were IN.  

Once we were in, I started to have hesitations.  The t-ball league are ages 4-6 so clearly he was going to be the youngest and I wondered how he would even do.  There were at least 3 days a week of committment to this whether with practices or games and I thought it might be a little too much.  Then I started wondering if Corbin would be able to listen, or understand what to do, would other parents be upset that he wasn't going to be very good, would he be able to keep track of all his stuff (hat, glove, etc.).  I wondered if we were pushing him into this.

The first thing we did with his team was the team picture and his picture.  He was fine to do this and had no problem wearing his uniform or posing for the pictures.  We ordered him a bseball card version of his picture and thought it turned out pretty cute.



Connor took Corbin to his first practice and it didn't go very well.  I was still a little concerned but definitely didn't believe we could make a deciscion after just the first time.  Luckily after that first practice, things got a lot better.  He started to understand what exactly he was supposed to do, his coach was AWESOME, as well as his team mates.  He really started to love going and would always try and hurry me out the door when it got close to time to go.  

At his first game, I would say I was a little anxious since he seemed oblivious to the rules.  He had no idea where to run after the ball was hit and he seemed lost out in the field.  Connor reminded me that he was just 4 and we couldn't expect him to be as good as someone who was 6.  That made the rest of the season a lot more enjoyable and we could see improvement in him.  

By the end of the season, Corbin instinctively knew where to run after he hit the ball.  He even started hitting some pitches that were actually pitched and not just on the tee.  When his coach would tell the team to go pick a spot in the field, he actually picked a real position and didn't have to wait to be shown where to go.  While I can't say he was perfect in doing this all the time, neiher were the other kids, who were older.  I felt proud with what Corbin learned, and that he progressed, and seemed to have a lot of fun.

I have to also say how great of a coach he had.  He was SO patient and helpful and really helped Corbin learn.  His team mates were also very friendly and I think Corbin really felt part of a team.  He always calls his team mates his "good friends".  

Here are some pictures from the season:

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So at the end of the season, all I can think is what a good experience this was for Corbin.  I don't think I could have asked for it to have gone better than it did.  Here's some video clips of his season!

It was so cute at the closing ceremonies to see Corbin get his trophy and to be excited.  Connor and I joked about how long his trophy would last without getting broken.  I guessed not even 24 hours.  I think it lasted 15 minutes before he dropped it on the ground.  Connor had to fix it several times over the next day or so.  But now it is safely on top of his dresser.  Here are some pictures from closing ceremonies and a quick video of him getting his trophy.

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We were able to sign him up for next year!  We can't wait for another season of t-ball!

Father's Day Breakfast

Just like the Mother's Day Tea, Corbin's school did a Father's Day Breakfast.  Since school ends the week before Father's Day and there is lots of stuff going on that week, they do it a little early.  

I can't comment on how it actually went, since I was not there, but I don't think Connor will ever blog about it so I can take a guess as to how it was by the pictures and videos I MADE Connor promise to take.  

Here's the video of the actual performance.

Connor said they had really good coffee cake for the breakfast.  Here's Corbin giving the presents he made for his dad.  

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This is the hug between Corbin and Cason.  

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They are so funny.  Whenever they have been a part for even a couple hours they are so excited to see each other and give each other great big hugs.  This happens after Cason's nap, when Corbin and I pick up Cason from nursery after church, when I pick up Corbin from school, or any other time they are away from each other.  I'm glad they are such good friends.  

I think Connor had a great time and was glad he was able to go!

I'm Going To Scare You!

Connor has this nightly ritual before bed with the boys where he goes outside their room and comes crawling in on his hands and knees to "scare" them.  They love it and think it's the greatest thing.  Recently, all three have been taking turns to scare each other.  All three are cute, but Cason's definitely makes me laugh every time!

Happy 6 Years To Us!



Today Connor and I celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary.  That puts us at about 7 years of being together and 8 years of when we first met.  (All three of those were in June!)  I still can't decide if 6 years feels like a long time or a short time.  I think it really just depends on my perspective for that day.  Obviously, in the eternal perspective, it is really short.  But I still think it's still a significant amount of time that we have been able to get to know each other and become more "one".  



The other thing we celebrate today is my 36th week of pregnancy!  It's starting to hit me how close it is getting and I finally decided I better make my official list of everything I want done before she comes.  We'll see how much I actually cross off. 

Connor started the morning off going golfing with some friends.  The funny thing is, I realized that Connor had actually spent the morning of our wedding day going golfing as well.  So it seemed sort of fitting that he did that.

Then later that morning, Corbin had a baseball game that we went to.  We love going to these.  It is fun to see how much he loves it and how much he has improved in just a couple months.  (He only has a week left, so there will be a post on his baseball season coming soon!)

We had also been wanting to take the kids to a Giants game and as it turns out the best time for us to go was on our anniversay.  It was a 4:15pm game so right in between nap and bed time.  They usually only have one of those games a year and that is perfect for us.  My side of the family was also able to go with us so that made it more fun (and I would say a little easier to take two little boys).  Since we didn't take them to a game last year, it has been 2 years since their last experience there.  Cason was only 4 months old and Corbin was just over 2.  This was a VERY different (better) time than last.  While Corbin still didn't enjoy the loud screams, he is much better able to handle it on his own.  He would have his glove on one hand, and use his other hand to cover one ear.  They both were able to last through the WHOLE game just fine.  And the Giants WON!  Always a nice bonus when we go to the games.

Most of my pictures are of Cason because Corbin chose to sit farther away from us.

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My Boys

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Corbin and Cason are at an age where I am really enjoying nearly everything about them.  I'm also finding myself a lot more patient.  I think a big part of that is they both seem to be out of their whining stage.  I think I'm the least patient during lots and lots of whining.  

I've been really grateful for these last several months that have just been great with my boys.  I know there is going to be a huge change coming up here soon and I'm glad I'm getting to enjoy this last month of just our boys.  I wanted to record a few things that I'm loving about them lately.  


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-I love that he is so helpful.
-I love that he uses his imagination.  I love hearing his stories and his made up songs.  I love to hear his thoughts.  I love the convesations we have.  
-I love that he is an amazing brother.  Of course, there is fighting.  What siblings don't?  But he truly loves his brother.  They play so well together.  He gives Cason hug and kisses all the time.  He asks Cason to come sit in his lap.  They wrestle and genuinely seem to enjoy each other.  The funny thing is that it has seemed they have been figthting less since they started sharing a room.  
-He also really loves his parents.  I know that he loves a lot of people, but I KNOW that it is different with Connor and me.  He's also never really been into one of us over the other more than for a few hours at a time.  He can be a mama's boy for a couple hours and then the next couple hours is a daddy's boy.  
-He is incredibly smart.  (Okay, so I know most parents think this of their kids.) 
-He is so sensitive.  I would consider Connor and me to be pretty sensitive people as well so I'm sure this must have been an inherited trait.  I will say that although sometimes this sensitivity is good there are other times it is not.  I hope Corbin is able to better decipher what is worth being sensitive over more than his parents are able to.


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-He is incredibly smart. (See, all parents must think this of ALL their children.)  
-Cason gives the best hugs EVER.  He wraps his arms around our necks and just squeezes so tight.  It's the BEST feeling in the whole world.  
-I love watching Cason's imagination emerge.  He is pretty creative and can come up with fun things to do or make.  
-I love how easy it has been to get him to sleep in a big boy bed.  So far, it doesn't seem to have phased him in the slghtest.  He also takes naps there and has never had a problem with falling asleep right away (when Corbin is not with him).
-I love that he is pretty independent already.  He has no problem playing on his own but does also like playing with bigger kids.
-He regularly tells me he loves me.  He gets so excited to run up to me and jump in my arms, give me a nice big squeeze and says "I love you, Mom."  It melts my heart every time.  I also have a hard time resisting carrying him around even though it's getting harder.
–He has been making the cutest little face lately.  It's when he doesn't want something, he scrunches up his face and says "No, not ____________." as if he is very disappointed we even suggested it.
-He says some of the cutest things to me.  If he asks me where a toy is or something he can't find and I show him he says, "Ohhhh mommy"  or "Thanks mommy".  When I ask him to do something, he (usually) says, "Okay mommy."  It makes me smile EVERY time.

I love these two sweet boys!

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© The Duke Fam 2014