Monday, February 27, 2012

Officially a soccer mom

Tonight, I officially became a soccer mom.  Handley is playing her first season of soccer and is absolutely thrilled.  She's on a team with several of her girlfriends and leading up to today's first practice she had been kicking the ball around in our yard and asked me a ton of questions about the actual rules of the game.

She was really excited about her pink cleats, pink shin guards, and pink soccer ball.  She kept telling me how cute they all were and I wondered how she would actually do playing if all she cared about was her pink gear.  She also changed outfits 3 times tonight before practice, because the first two just didn't look cute enough.  :-)

However, when we got there, she did great!  She tried her hardest to keep up with the more experienced kids on the team and loved being their with her friends.  Her coach discovered about half-way through practice that she is left-handed (and left-footed), which is why she kept trying to kick with her left foot when he was showing them different things.  The perfectionist in her showed through, too.  She may have been just behind the other kids, but it was only because she wanted to get it just right.

Her team is co-ed, but I believe there are 8 girls and only 2-3 boys. I feel like it's a great mix for her first time though.  I was so proud of her and can't wait for their first game on Saturday!

Harper had fun playing with the younger siblings and enjoyed kicking around the soccer ball and pushing her baby in the stroller.  She kept telling me she wants to play soccer and I had to assure her that next year she will be old enough to play.

One other funny picture to share of Harper napping this afternoon.  Poor thing was so worn out she fell asleep standing up!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Redneck Fun

There's nothing like a little redneck fun on a Sunday afternoon.  Leave it to Robby to come up with an even better way to do Turtle Toppin'.  Those that have been reading my blog a while might remember when Turtle Toppin' began and if you don't just click here.

I was inside getting things together for a consignment sale and heard all kinds of laughter and squealing going on outside.  I just had to peek out and see exactly what was going on.

Once again, we've managed to find a great use for the golf cart. :-)  They were making laps around the house and then decided to head across the street to have more room.

The girls wanted to hold Hudson with them on their ride, but I had to draw the line somewhere.

Our friends from down the street saw what was going on and they came up to join in the fun, too. Annabelle loved riding with the girls and Hudson was happy to have his friend, Emerson, keeping him company.

The girls were completely covered in dead grass by the end of their fun.  Keeping in our redneck afternoon, Robby decided the best way to get the grass off was to break out the blower.  Seriously.

We ended our day grilling out a delicious salmon recipe I had pinned earlier this week and hanging out on the deck.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

He's back!

The happy Hudson is back!!!  I don't see that any of his teeth have actually cut through yet, but he is much happier than he has been in a long time, is smiling more, is content again, and sleeping great, too.  We are all happy that our sweet little Boo-Boo is back.  (By the way, he's got lots of wacky nick-names: Boo-Boo, Bugga-Boo, Bubba, or really anything that rolls off our tongues.)  He's also starting to experience separation anxiety and really loves it best when we are all very close to him and in his line of sight.

I just had to share this cute butterfly snack idea I found on Pinterest.  We made it it for our playgroup today, and they worked great because we played outside and this way the kids could have their snacks and run around at the same time. The girls loved helping with this and it was really simple to do.

1.  I clipped the clothes pins on a plastic bin and let the girls paint them. (I did this so they would stand up straight and could be painted on both sides quickly instead of letting one side dry, then painting the other side.)
2.  After they dried I drew eyes and a smile on the part that grips.
3.  Next, I cut a pipe cleaner in half and wrapped it around the back side of the part that grips and formed the antennae.
4. Clip a snack-size baggie in the center with clothes pin and then fill each side with snacks.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The circus and the zoo!

We have had an exciting couple of days.  Yesterday we got to go to the circus!  The Atkinsons invited us to attend with them and we were all looking forward to seeing "The Greatest Show on Earth."

The second I told Handley about it she remembered from two years ago that they have cotton candy at the circus and asked if she could have some there.  She also remembered that the perk of going with the Atkinsons is that the seats are in a suite and there are all sort of yummy snacks and drinks to go along with the show.  She drew a picture of the things she wanted to get a the circus including a drink, popcorn, and cotton candy.  As we were getting ready to leave the house she ran to get her picture, and kept it with her the entire car ride there and even folded it up nicely and put it in her coat pocket to bring in with us.  She is so particular about certain things and once she had it in her mind that she needed that list, she wasn't about to leave it behind.

The best part of the circus was getting their early and going down on the floor for the pre-show.  We were up close and personal with the clowns, horses, ponies, and an elephant that does painting.  It was pretty impressive!

A BIG thanks to Tiara and Trevor for inviting us to attend with them!

Today the girls were off school for President's Day, so I had wanted to do something fun with them.  We ended up at the zoo with our friends, Jen, Parker, Lisa and Leah.

It was a beautiful day and although the zoo was busy today, it never felt too crowded.  We saw the animals, had a picnic lunch, played on the playground and rode the carousel.

Handley loved the petting zoo, but Harper was not too interested in touching any of the animals.

She did love the carousel though and was sad when that ride was over.

We spent about 3 hours at the zoo and it was a wonderful day.  The girls were on their very best behavior and when Harper wasn't trying to wander off and take "a shortcut" (her words) or trying to make friends with random people, I felt great having all three of them on our little outing.  Hudson was such a trooper and was happy in the stroller until the very end when he was just done.   As expected, he fell asleep in the car before we even left the parking lot.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Hudson - 7 months

I feel like this past month my sweet laid back baby boy has been acting like a different baby.  His teeth have been bothering him so much and are taking FOREVER to come in.  He's getting more on the bottom and his top ones are making their way in too.  I'm praying for some relief for him soon.  I want my happy baby back!  Don't get me wrong...we can always get him to smile, but he has definitely been much more fussy and whiney than he has ever been.

A 7 months he:

  • takes 2 naps a day.
  • cuddles with anyone holding him and loves to give hugs and kisses. 
  • lights up when he sees Handley and always has smiles for her.
  • eats breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • is able to feed himself puffs and cheerios now. 
  • LOVES graham crackers, but makes a total mess of them so I only give them to him at dinner before he's going to get a bath.   
  • wears 6-12 month and 9 month clothing.
  • loves going to bed early.
  • is pretty attached to his blue lambie (lovie) and still covers his face with it when he is sleepy. 
  • isn't too interested in drinking water from a sippy cup, but I keep offering and today he actually drank a little so maybe he will start liking it more.  
  • sucks his paci when he's tired and when he is going to sleep.

I have one quick story to share.  This afternoon I babysat Parker for a little while and all three of mine were excited to have him here.  At one point we were all upstairs and I needed to change Hudson's diaper.  Because we no longer have a gate at the top of our stairs, I put Parker in Handley's room with Handley and Harper and closed the door so he wouldn't be able to get near the stairs.  The girls had instructions to keep him in there until I was done with Hudson and I would be right back.  A few seconds later the door opened and right behind Harper came Parker shooting out the door.  Handley instinctively ran in front of him and stretched her arms out reaching either side of the hallway and did the same thing with her legs.  She screamed out to me, "I'm a gate!  He can't get past me!"  She then called for Harper to be a "gate" too.  I was watching the whole thing and laughing out loud at Parker trying to climb under their legs and through their stretched arms trying to get past them.  It was pretty funny.  

One other cute thing was that Handley referred to all four of them as the "4-lets" (sort of like triplets). :-)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lots to smile about

We had lots to smile about today.

1) Last night Hudson slept 12 hours (with the exception of me going in his room to give him his paci around midnight).  This is a major change from what he was doing!
2) It was sunny and in the mid 60's, which meant we got to spend the afternoon outdoors at the playground.
3) Tonight Handley read me several books from her easy readers and I was SO impressed with how well she is reading!
4) And, for the first time in a few weeks, this little guy seemed to be happy and feeling more like himself again.

I thought his teeth had finally cut through, but still not yet.  His nose is still running like crazy and the drool soaks through multiple bibs and outfits each day.  He's been incredibly fussy, but today was a different story.  After his long nap this afternoon he sat happily in the stroller and watch the girls play at the playground for about an hour, he ate all of his dinner, without fussing and kept wanting more (he hadn't been too interested in eating due to his mouth hurting) and he was happy outside for about 30 minutes after dinner tonight while we took these pictures.  All major things in my book and having a happy baby, means a happy mama.

As an added bonus I made my first Pinterest craft project...a new spring wreath for our front door. :-)


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  We started the day with Handley's party at school.  Sheila watched Harper and Hudson for me so that I could really focus on Handley during the party and she was really excited that it was going to be a "just you and me thing."  They ate lunch and then I had the same activities for her class that I had for Harper's party yesterday.  The heart ring toss game was, by far, the crowd favorite.

 Handley and her sweet friend, Grace, were by each other's side all day and I'm so happy that she has such a close friend in her class.

When we got home Handley loved looking through all of her valentines and checking out all of the candy. Oh my goodness, the candy is out of control in our house right now.  We're going to enjoy it for a few days and then it's all going to be put away!

This afternoon we had our playgroup Valentine party.  Carrie did a fantastic job as the hostess and didn't miss any details.  There were crafts (including glitter, which all the kids were SO excited to use), cookies, cupcakes, goodie bags and balloons for everyone.  The kids all had fun playing together and the moms enjoyed a glass of wine and good conversation.  That was my kind of playgroup. :-)

This was possibly the best Valentine's Day I've ever had because my house is cleaner than it's ever been.  As a thank you for dog sitting last week, my AMAZING mother-in-law sent over the lady who cleans her house to do mine, too!!!  I can't even begin to thank her enough.  Not having to do it myself is such a treat.  THANK YOU HELEN!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Harper's Valentine Party

Today was Harper's Valentine party at school.  She didn't really know what to expect and didn't quite understand the whole passing out valentines thing, but she was excited to prepare her Mickey Mouse cards for her friends and teachers.

The kids ate lunch including Chick-fil-a nuggets, heart shaped cheese slices and heart shaped strawberries. Then they did a little painting craft and played a heart ring-toss game.

I loved getting to watch Harper interact with her classmates and especially with her best bud, Parker.

She's been talking about her birthday and her birthday party (which is still 2 months away) and I asked her which school friends she wanted to invite to her party.  After naming everyone, she then told me that really she just played with Parker the most at school.  I talked to Mrs. Deborah today and asked her the same question and she confirmed that those two are a pretty tight duo.  In the beginning of the year Harper loved him and he didn't really seem to show much interest in playing with her.  However, now he seems to feel the same way.  Last week when she got to school I watched him run up to her and try to help her take her coat off.  It was the cutest thing!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Early Bedtime and Hudson's Sleeping Habits

Don't let this smile fool you.  This was taken right before bedtime for Hudson.  I'm all about early bedtimes, but he would go to bed at 6:15 if I let him.  It doesn't matter if he's just gotten up from a 2 1/2 hour nap or not, he still starts acting tried around 5:30 and between 6-7 PM he is pretty fussy.  It's not an easy time of night, especially when I'm trying to feed the girls and keep him happy.  This is what he usually looks like:

However, between the girls being silly with him and bath time, which he usually enjoys, we can hold him off until 7 PM, when he usually does go to bed.

Thankfully, he is sleeping better at night.  His teeth still haven't come in, but I started sleep training with him and it's going pretty well.  He was in a bad habit of waking between 10 PM - 12 AM and it was taking him forever to get back to sleep.  I finally decided enough was enough.  The past few nights I've gone in and checked his diaper and then put him right back to bed.  He isn't always thrilled with this idea and cries some, but after a few minutes I give him the paci again and he has been going back to sleep.  He's still waking around 4:00 AM, too, but I figure I will deal with that waking after I break him of the earlier other one.  This is way better than he was doing, so I will take it!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Just Me and You Thing

Handley has coined the term, "a just me and you thing."  She will say it anytime that just the two of us are together.  It could be something as simple as being alone in the bathroom together when I'm fixing her hair or something a little more significant, like when I come to her school parties alone.

Recently, I feel like she has been craving individual attention and I have a really hard time being able to give it to her.  She's in school every day and with Harper and Hudson needing my attention as well, I often feel like I am putting Handley last because she is the oldest and because she is the most independent.  I also feel like I unfairly expect perfection out of her.  That and the fact that our similar personalities often have us butting heads, I sometimes go to bed feel extremely guilty about the way we have interacted during the day.  She loves the role of "helper" and really does make things easier for me around the house when she helps Harper do things or keeps Hudson happy when no one else can.  However, I don't want to expect too much out of her and certainly don't want to forget that she is only 4 and deserves me to be as understanding and patient with her as I am with Harper.  I've really been making a conscious effort to reconnect with Handley and to do some special things with just her.

This afternoon we started working on the girls' valentines for school and between Harper ripping hers accidentally and Hudson starting to get fussy for dinner, it just wasn't happening.  I promised Handley we could try a little later and it could be a just me and you thing.  She LOVED that idea.  Hudson and Harper both went to bed early so Handley and I got started on her cards.  It was so simple, but because she had my undivided attention, she was so very happy.  I'm going to continue making time for just me and you things so that she can have the attention and the one-on-one time I know she needs.

I was impressed that she was extremely focused and excited about writing each of her classmate's names on their cards (all 20 of them!) without complaining or even asking once how many more she had to do.  Her handwriting skills have improved so much and she really loves writing.

I have one quick tip to share, that my friend, Chancey, shared with me.  Most of the store bought valentines are small and the "TO/FROM" space is really, really small.  With kids, who generally write big, that makes it tough.  Chancey had the idea to glue the valentines to construction paper and let kids write their friends' names on the construction paper instead, giving them more space to write.  After tossing out a few valentines because Handley ran out of room while writing someone's name, I decided to bust out the construction paper and do the same thing.  We made little cards out of the construction paper and she wrote the "TO/FROM" party on the front.  Then on the inside we are going to glue the store-bought princess valentines and the candy she picked out to give her friends.  They turned out great and it's something I never would have thought to do. Hope that tip can help someone else, too.  :-)