Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Break 2015!

Spring Break this was a lot of fun!  And soooo needed!  It was wonderful to sleep in until 7-7:30 every morning.  So so wonderful!  But there's something to be said about a schedule and routine.  I get so much more accomplished when I have to get the boys up and ready so Jackson can get to school on time.  Plus, we get to spend the morning with Jim when we all get up early. ...but sleeping in a little was so nice.

Here's some of the fun we had during our spring break:

Monday was kind of a loss because the boys were acting a little crazy and I was very tempted to sell them all to the highest bidder on Ebay, so we won't talk anymore about Monday...

First, it was St Patrick's Day.  The boys were so stoked for St Patrick's day for the chance to pinch people who weren't wearing green.  They're a sadistic bunch.

The Science Spectrum!
The boys hadn't been in awhile, so we let them loose to play and explore.

I completely forgot that they have a little area set aside for little crawlers until the last 20 minutes or so that we were in the preschool area.  Harrison LOVED all the fun stuff at his level.

Happy Birthday, Austin!  Wednesday we celebrated Austin's birthday and the boys spent the night at grandma's. See Austin's 4th birthday here.

One of Austin's gifts was a little Mickey piano that came with some books.  However, Harrison has decided that the piano is his and often finds the piano and takes it over.

Thursday was a beautiful day!  It was a perfect day for the park!
First, the boys fed the ducks, but apparently the ducks were well fed during spring break because they weren't very hungry.  They kind of ignored us.

It was a big day for Harrison because he got to swing for the first time.  He is the first of my boys not to freak out on the swings for the first time!  He loved that swing!  He might be my first brave child yet.

After playing on this slide for awhile, Austin's hair got a bit static-y.  So cute!

Friday was a good day for a craft.  The boys made these cute little bunnies.

Spring Break 2015 was relaxing and fun!  It was a nice little stay-cation.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy birthday, Big Poppa!

I remember looking at this handsome boy when he was born.  He had such dark features.  Austin was born with dark hair and dark eyes, and I remember being so excited that I had a baby with dark features.  I remember looking at his perfectly round little face and thinking how grateful I was for him.  Jim and I had really struggled with infertility and we were ready to start really invasive fertility intervention when we found out I was pregnant.  Austin has been such a blessing, a miracle, since the moment we knew he was on his way to us.

Austin has always been a little snuggler.  He loved to be held as a baby, which was a total contrast to Jackson.  I loved every minute!  I loved being able to rock him and love him and stare at him.  Jackson was such a drastic life change for me and everything was so new that I don't feel like I took the time to stare at him and smell him and memorize him as I did with Austin.

Austin has always been silly and he LOVES attention.  He loves all eyes on him all the time.  He loves music and dancing.  He seriously is the best little booty-shaker that I've ever seen!  He loves to dress up and pretend.  When he was 2ish his very favorite thing to do was to steal Jackson's underwear and wear them on the outside of his clothes.  He did it all the time!

Austin has always been very physical too.  From dancing and snuggling, to hitting and punching (we're working on that) and everything in-between.  He seems to be a kinetic learner, so it makes sense that he must use his body for everything.  Even his face is very expressive.  He makes the most funny faces when he talks- you can almost tell what he's saying just by watching the faces he makes without hearing a word.  As a baby he turned over and crawled quicker than his brothers because he's always been a mover and a shaker.

I'm so blessed to be his Austin's mommy.  He's my little lovebug, my thinker, and my little sweetie pie.  He's extremely emotionally intelligent, and he spoke very early.  He likes to express himself and he constantly surprises me with what a huge vocabulary he has!  Just recently he told me a dream that involved the words:  resume and the Texas Broadcasting System.  What?!?
What 3 year old talks about the Texas Broadcasting System!?

I remember when Jackson started pre-k, I couldn't imagine Austin being big enough to go to school.  Then I feared he would be my child that would scream and cry when I left him at school just like he screamed and cried when we took him to nursery the first time, but by the time primary rolled around he was off and running!  And when Jackson started school last year he told everyone that HE was going to school and that he was in preschool.  He fully believed that he was going to school and it was quite heartbreaking when he didn't get to go to class when Jackson did, but next year is HIS year!
I can't believe he's old enough for preschool.
Time flies!

So here we are, Austin's 4th birthday.
He's ginormous!  He weighs the same as Jackson, if not a pound or so more and he's only 3 inches shorter (but he's 2.5 years younger).  This last winter he grew several inches and climbed from a size 4 to a size 6.  Even his feet are huge!  He started the winter season in brand new size 11 tennis shoes, 3 weeks later they were too small!  We just bought him size 13 tennis shoes a few weeks ago.  I am amazed at how much he has grown in such a small amount of time!  This summer he and Jackson will be sharing clothes.  Jackson is in size 7 pants/shorts for length only, but Austin is biting at his heels in size 6.  They'll be sharing shirts and dress clothes.  I feel very confident that Jackson will be wearing Austin's hand-me-downs in just a year or two.
It's insane!

So on to Ausitn's 4 birthday celebration(s)!
His birthday usually falls around Spring Break.  My only child who does not have a summer birthday.  This year he had is party before his actual birthday because it was during spring break and everyone was off work/school.  4 is a simple year, so we had a very simple party at home with just family.
First, he decorated his cake- a new tradition that the boys really look forward to.
He told the baker exactly how he wanted the cake decorated, colors, swirls, and all!  Then he added his own creative touch to it.

I love his tongue hanging out.  He was really concentrating!

We wore party hats, we ate cake, and opened presents!
Harrison actually kept his party hat on!

And took lots of pictures!
Notice his "smile" was the same in every picture.  I'm pretty sure he was sick of taking pictures.

Maggie hugs always gets real smiles!

Fun times with grandma-

And there were presents...
He was so cute!  He was genuinely excited and grateful for every gift!  He kept saying, "Oh, I weawy weawy wanted you to get this for me!" or "Oh, I have wanted this forever, since I was a baby!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Then we went to the Jumpin Jungle to let him play and jump!  Remember, he's super physical, so I just knew it would be the perfect place for him!
Yeah, I was wrong.
He was terrified to jump or climb.  He's so adventurous, I don't know what happened!?
Usually, if there's a bouncy house he runs to it and jumps right in (pun intended, I'm so clever), and I have to threaten his life to get him out OR I have to get my big butt in the bouncy house and drag him out kicking and screaming, but that day he was terrified for some reason...
Basketball was about the only "safe" fun he was willing to have.

Daddy finally forced him into a bouncy thing and he just screamed and cried.
Happy birthday to him...

Everyone else had fun, though!
Even Harrison!

I forgot socks!  Thank goodness Sarah was prepared!  She played with Harrison while I searched for socks.

Harrison had a blast bouncing!
That's me with him, by the way.  I bought some socks from the bouncy place.

Daddy even took Harrison down the big slide!
Austin refused.  :(

Guess what...?
In the last 30 minutes or so that we were there, someone started to play!!
He wouldn't stand up to jump, but he was at least having fun.

I love this picture.  Austin and Jackson having a little brother pow-wow.

To finish Austin's day off, they got to spend the night at grandma's house!
Austin could not have been happier!

On Saturday night Austin got to have a birthday date with grandma.  Grandma takes the boys out on individual dates to whatever restaurant they want, but they always choose Casa Ole (a tex-mex place).  Austin got the royal treatment!  The staff not only sang to him and brought him a sundae the size of his head, one waitress gave him some quarters for the coin machines in the front of the store and another waitress brought him 4 dollars and pinned them to his shirt.  I am super impressed with how Casa Ole celebrated his birthday and I will be writing to tell them.

Back at home, Jim grilled burgers while Jackson blew bubbles for Harrison.

Austin's birthday fell on a Sunday this year (another reason we had his party during spring break).  He requested bacon and eggs for breakfast, and pizza, mac & cheese, and tomatoes for dinner.  Dinner wasn't my favorite, but he loved every bit of all his favorites!  He opened a couple cards he got in the mail and a couple of small gifts that we set aside for his real birthday.
He even wore a "birthday boy" pin to church and got to pick from the goodie bag in primary!
I think he had an excellent 4th birthday!
I can't believe he's 4!?  ...Have I mentioned that yet.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Snow day!

I'm a rock star mom when it comes to some things, and other times I'm a not-so-rock-star mom.  Snow is the bane of my existence. It's one of the things that makes me a not-so-rock-star mom. I HATE snow.  I really really do.  I loathe being cold and wet and having to change clothes because I'm all cold and wet, then to drag my children into it- that's just a cold, wet process I don't want to deal with, so because of my hatred for snow, we don't play in it.  Almost ever.  But the boys have been asking to build a snowman- thank you, Frozen.  And since there was plenty of snow today, I knew it was time to weather the snow.  -did you catch that, oh yeah, pun intended.  Obviously hilarity falls under the list of rock star mom qualities.

2 things happened first:  1. I forgot that it takes 20 minutes just to get ready to go play out in the snow.
That was fun.
And 2. I realized I don't have correct sizes of gloves for my older boys, so we improvised with layered cheap 2 for a $1 gloves and it seemed to work for what we needed.
Finally, we ventured out into Lubbock Blizzsard 2015 and tried to build a snowman.
I say "tried" because it didn't happen.  The snow was far too powdery and soft that we couldn't ball it up.  Apparently, we aren't cut out for Arrendale or Olaf.
So, the boys made snow angels instead.
Jackson's angel looks more like a butterfly, but I appreciate that it reminded me of spring.

 And then they played!

And played!

And played some more!
(He's throwing snowballs at his mama, the nerve!)

Well, Jackson felt the need to clean off the window, "so we could see better".
I didn't have the heart to tell him the snow wasn't hindering our view.

Annnd about about 9 minutes later they wanted to come inside because they were what?
Cold and wet.
Of course.
So we went inside.
We all took warm showers and ate quesadillas for lunch before taking a nice nap.
Frozen Uno (seems appropriate today) and chili to follow.

And where was Harrison, you might ask?
Warm and snug, sleeping soundly in his crib.
I was more than a little jealous.

Harrison: 7 months

Well, since he's almost 8 months old, I should probably talk about his 7th month...
He's just growing so fast I can't keep up!

Here's a quick comparison of how much he's grown.  He's only about 2 weeks old in the picture on the right.

He's not very mobile because he's my lazy baby.  His brothers feed into his lazy by doing everything for him, but he can still get into things!  I brought him into the kitchen with me while I cleaned out the fridge, so he found a way to keep himself busy-

He's eating pretty much everything we put in front of him.  He especially loves quesadillas and carrots.  And he'll never turn down some bread.

He's beginning to play with his brothers!
He still cries, "brah brah" when they leave the room.  Here he is playing Legos with his big brothers.  The older boys had gone upstairs to play and he cried and cried while staring at the door they left through, so I decided to take him up to their room so he could see him.  As soon as he saw them he started giggling and screaming (excited screams).  So he ate a Lego while they built stuff.

His favorite toy is still an empty water bottle, but his jumperoo is a very close second.

This is kind of random, but I'm so so grateful Harrison will get to wear this shirt.  Jackson wore it, then Austin, and next, Harrison.  Austin's just about grown out of it, but it's my very favorite shirt, and I'm so grateful Harrison will wear it in a couple years.  I don't know why I'm so attached to this shirt, the boys have had several "I love mommy" shirts, but this one just makes my heart happy.

Harrison is growing so fast, it feels like the first 12 months of his life are merely 12 weeks.  I blink and he's one month older.  He's such a good, happy baby, so maybe that's why it's going so fast.  I don't know, but I wish it would slow down.
I love this face, he gives me this face quite often.  I think he thinks I'm a little crazy.
...he's probably right.