Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for both girls!  They woke up early and excited.  After getting dressed we came downstairs to find special notes for each of them from Daddy (who left for work early before the girls got up) giving them a pep-talk and wishing them a great first day.  As they ate Handley was giving Harper advice on how to meet new friends in her class.

When we got to school they both buzzed around chatting with their friends in the lobby while waiting for the classroom hallway doors to open at 9 AM.  As soon as Handley saw the doors open she literally took off running!  I had to remind her to wait for me.  We dropped Harper off at her classroom first and I wasn't surprised when she walked right in without looking back.  I grabbed her for a quick hug and then she was off, but not before flashing me the biggest smile.

Next it was Handley's turn and just like Harper, she walked right in without looking back.  I walked back past Harper's classroom to peek in before I left and found that all of the kids in there were crying...except Harper who still had a big smile on her face.

When I picked them up this afternoon both girls were eager to tell me all about their day, their classrooms, and all of the fun stuff they did.  Handley was especially excited to tell me about all the "special" things her class will get to do this year.

They played school all afternoon and outside after dinner I was appointed the teacher as they played school some more.  As I was putting Harper to bed it occurred to me that I needed to let her know we would be taking Handley to school tomorrow, but that she would be coming back home with me and Hudson.  She was NOT happy about that and kept saying, "Me go to school too" over and over.  I assured her that after one day at home with me she would get to go back to school on Wednesday.  I'm so happy that they both had such a fantastic day!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Last summer lake weekend

The weekend started off with Harper's gymnastics class.  She gets so excited about going and even though it's a mommy and me class, she really wants nothing to do with me once we are there and prefers that her teacher, Mrs. Rita, help her with everything. 

After gymnastics and a quick lunch at Chick-fil-a we made our way to the lake for the last summer lake weekend.  The house is rented for the weekends the next month so we wanted to be sure to enjoy it while we could.  Jen, Justen and Parker came up with us and the girls were just thrilled to have another baby around.  Parker is a lot more fun than Hudson right now since he is way more interactive and they couldn't get enough of him.

Handley is such a little Mommy.  She does so great with the babies and is so sweet with them.  I love listening to her talk to Hudson and I know he is going to idolize her (just like Harper does) as he gets a little older.  Handley also dressed up Parker in her pink hat and gave him baby dolls to play with all weekend.

We had fun grilling out, spending time on the boat, swimming, and having lunch at the Tiki Hut where the girls enjoyed the duck feeding frenzy.  Who knew ducks liked left-over french fries!  Gigi and Papa joined us up there last minute on Saturday too so we had a full house that was full of fun!

This picture of Harper and Papa cracked me up when I saw it.  Harper definitely has the "wind-blown" look and you can tell it was past nap-time with her tired eyes and her thumb in her mouth.

The girls have their first day of school tomorrow so we spent the evening preparing lunches, picking out clothes, and getting everything in order for tomorrow!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sneak Peek

Today was sneak peek at the pre-school and the girls got to go meet their teachers and see their classrooms.  Both of them were really excited.  When we arrived Harper got her new red school bag and she carried that thing around proudly!  Last year she would always want to carry Handley's for her so I know she was thrilled to have her very own.

We went into Harper's class first and right away she found the baby dolls.  She went from one thing to the next looking at all the fun toys her class has to offer.  Handley also kept showing her items in the class and telling her how much fun she would have.  Harper was very friendly with her teachers, Mrs. Deborah and Mrs. Jennifer and seemed so comfortable with them.  Handley was in their 2 year old class a few years ago and we just LOVE them.  They are super sweet and so much fun.

Writing more H's

Next it was time to walk down the hall and find Handley's classroom.  Her teachers this year are Mrs. Mary Ann and Mrs. Tamika.  When she walked in Mrs. Mary Ann gave her a Pre-K survival kit (including all sorts of cute items and candy with special meanings) and she and Harper went off to explore the things in the classroom.  Handley's teachers seem great and I'm so excited about this school year for her.

Note: Yes, that is Hudson being held by Mrs. Mary Ann.  He started fussing right when we got in the class and she noticed that I was juggling him as I was trying to sign up on various forms.  I wasn't about to turn down her offer to hold him for me.  She swayed back and forth and got him right to sleep for me. 

When we got home and looked through the paperwork I was telling Handley about her "homework" that she will have to do for Pre-K (finding show and tell items corresponding with the letter of the week and cutting out pictures from magazines for the letter of the week).  This put the biggest smile on her face and she just loved the idea of having to do real homework for school. :-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"H" is for Harper

In order to get Handley to practice writing her name using lower case letters I told her that when she went to Pre-K she needed to be able to write her name correctly.  That was several months ago and I haven't really brought it up again.  Tomorrow is meet the teacher at school.  This afternoon she came into Hudson's room where I was changing his diaper and seemed exasperated.  "Mommy," she said, "It's just a disaster.  Tomorrow I'm going to see my Pre-K class and I still am having trouble writing my lower case e's and d's for my name!"  I went into the playroom where she had taken it upon herself to practice her name and saw that in fact, she was doing a great job and only needed a little help to get the e's facing the right way.  Then, Harper told me she was going to write her name, which is usually just some scribbles.  I don't know why, but for some reason I just haven't ever thought to really work with Harper on writing any letters yet.  Today was the day though.  I showed her one time how to write an "H" for her name and she went to town writing them all over her paper.  She was SO proud of herself and we were SO proud of her too.

 Looking at this sweet little "H" just makes me smile. :-)  I can't believe my baby girl is growing up so fast and getting so big!


Handley will be cheering for the Upward Angels this fall and I couldn't be more excited about this extra curricular activity!  When I found out that 4 year olds could participate I was thrilled.  She is on the 4-5 year old squad and they cheer for the flag football team games on Saturdays starting in a few weeks.  I feel like it is the perfect sport for Handley.  She is loud, she loves to jump around, and she has lots of spirit. :-) Also, because I grew up cheering and have many great memories of cheering in high school I know how much fun it can be.

Her first practice was tonight and she was so excited to go.  They did some stretches, learned the different cheer motions, practiced a jump and learned one cheer.  She also got her uniform tonight including a megaphone and pom-poms that she can't wait to use.

Upward Sports is a Christian sports league and has a great emphasis on character, self-esteem, and really aims to be a positive activity for the little athletes.  Tonight her coach explained how the girls can earn special star stickers for their megaphone by demonstrating various qualities (spirit, effort, leadership, etc.) at their practices and games and they also discussed what each of the different traits meant.  At home tonight she told me she was going to get a spirit star for smiling a lot and a leadership star for helping out some of the other girls.

As I was getting ready to tuck her in tonight she kept telling me she wasn't tired so she got up and did her cheer a few more times so Hudson (who was also in the room with us) could watch her.

Not to leave Harper out, she enjoyed running around the field tonight and playing in the dirt.  She also enjoyed watching on the sidelines and trying to learn the cheer motions with the other girls. I can just see her being the little mascot because I'm sure Handley will teach her all of the cheers.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dinner Club

I've mentioned this before, but we have a group of friends that has formed what we call "dinner club."  It's 6 couples and we get together once a month and rotate who hosts each month.  We've been doing it for about 2 1/2 years and while kids have always been welcomed, at first we were the only ones with kids.  Now, all but 2 couples have little ones so it's been so much fun to watch the group grow and change.  Now, instead of starting appetizers and drinks at 6 or 6:30, we start at 4:30 or 5.  Funny how things change.

Last night we got back just in time from the lake to make it to dinner club.  Lisa had the great idea to take a picture of the moms and kids because we didn't have one yet.  What we really needed was a picture of all the guys jumping up and down while making silly faces and crazy sounds to get everyone looking in the same direction.  

I'm hoping that the other two couples will be adding babies to our group before we know it (because S/B and S/T, we all know you would be AWESOME parents).  :-)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The start of fall activities

Last week Handley's summer ballet class had a parent observation so we got to see what she had been learning all summer long.  She took the class with her friends, Avery and Annabelle, and they were all so cute.

Handley did a fantastic job and although she is not the most graceful thing, she certainly tries her hardest and has the most serious look of concentration on her sweet little face.

While she enjoyed her summer ballet class, I think she was a little bored with it by the end.  For the fall I registered her for a ballet/tap combo class at a different studio.  She was very excited about starting tap.  The friend from school that she is taking the class with wasn't able to make the first class last week.  After the class Handley told me she was a little nervous that she didn't know anyone, but still had fun and really liked her new teacher.  As soon as we got home she wanted to show me what she had learned and enjoyed "teaching" Harper some new moves too. 

After watching Handley get to dance all summer long it was finally Harper's turn.  Her gymnastics class started back last week and to say that she was excited would be an understatement.  She was squealing with excitement and wanted to pose for a picture with Hudson before we left.  

Last year all of her gymnastics classes were on days that Handley had school so Handley was really looking forward to getting to watch Harper.  She was so sweet and kept telling Harper, "I can't wait to watch you do your gymnastics.  I know you are going to do SO good, Harper."  Handley sat on the bleachers the entire time with Hudson sleeping in the stroller and watched Harper and I move around to the different pieces of equipment.  Handley had packed a little bag to bring with her and at one point she had her camera out taking pictures of Harper.  It was so cute to see how proud she was of her.

I was a little unsure how Hudson would do with the start of all our fall extra-curricular activities, but it didn't phase him at all.  He just goes with the flow and is happy to look around or sleep in his car-seat/stroller while the girls are doing their thing.

This weekend we went back to the lake and Hudson got to take his first boat ride!  Handley and Harper both were on the boat at 6 weeks old and Hudson beat them by a week.  Like the girls, the sound of the engine and the vibration/movement of the boat put him right to sleep.  Robby rigged up a fan that we aimed his way to help keep him cool when we weren't moving and it seemed to work great.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hudson - 1 Month

Today Hudson is 1 month old.  I can hardly believe that it's been a month.  He is still having some gas issues, but doesn't seem as bothered by it as before and we've had a good couple of days, so I'm hoping maybe we've turned a corner.

Last week he had his 1 month check up a week early because the newborn specialist at the pediatricians office was going to be out of town this week.  His stats were:

weight - 9 lbs. 1 oz
length - 21 3/4 inches

At one month he:

  • is usually content unless he is tired or hungry
  • loves the paci to sooth him when he is tired 
  • generally sleeps about a 5 hours stretch the first part of the night, wakes to eat, and then goes another 3 hours
  • has fallen into a predictable routine during the day
  • gets toted along with us everywhere we go and does just fine with that
  • has just gotten baby acne
  • likes to be in one of the front carriers I have and will nap in that or his car seat, if he isn't in his crib to sleep
Last week I had him on the floor to do tummy time, but he was just too tired and feel right asleep!

This past weekend we took the girls to the pool and Hudson stayed cool napping in his carseat.  My neighbor told me about these great stroller fans and now I don't feel so bad about him getting too hot if we need to be outside.

 My BFF, Jen, from At First Sight Photography did his newborn shoot a few weeks ago.  As usual, I love everything she did and she perfectly captured that sweet sleepy newborn phase. Below are a few of the pictures she took and to see more, check out her blog HERE.

The big sisters are still doing great and I've really be pleasantly surprised by how much of a non-issue Hudson joining our family has been.  Not in the since that the don't love having a baby brother, but that there has been no jealousy issues and not really any acting out either.  The one thing I have noticed is that they are just not used to being at home as much as we have been the past few weeks. Handley asked me yesterday how much longer we have to stay at home. Not really sure what she meant, I asked her and she said, "I mean, when can we go to school?"  I'm glad they are looking forward to school starting in a few weeks.  However, for now I'm trying to make the most of their last few weeks of summer.  Yesterday we had such a busy day.  We started with a walk to the playground. I put both of them in the double stroller and Hudson in the carrier.  It felt so nice out and it was great to have a break from the heat we've been experiencing.

After that we came home so I could feed Hudson and then we went to Target AND Walmart with all 3 of them.  If I can do that, I can do anything!  After naps I set up the pool in the back yard for the girls to splash around in while Hudson and I watched.

 One really wonderful thing I keep forgetting to mention is that my friend Sheila set up a meal calendar for me so every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for almost 2 months we are receiving dinner.  It has been SUCH a huge help to not have to worry about cooking dinner while taking care of these three kiddos.

And I know this has been a really long post, but I have just had a hard time finding time to blog.  I used to do it every night after the girls were in bed, but now that is when I am bathing and putting Hudson to bed and then I'm ready to sleep myself!  I'll be glad when he starts going down a little earlier so I can have some down time in the evenings.

Last thing I wanted to post were these pictures.  I keep getting asked who Hudson looks like and after comparing their 1 month baby pictures I think there is no question that he looks like his big sister, Handley.

 Sweet little Harper just had the biggest squeezable cheeks when she was a baby!