Saturday, June 30, 2012

Beach Trip 2012

We just got back from our family beach trip in Destin, FL.  We went with our friends Jen, Justen and Parker and had a WONDERFUL week.  It was so much fun!  I had originally intended on blogging each night, but because we had adjoining rooms the adults were able to enjoy each other's company at night after the kids were in bed.  I ended up not even getting my computer out all week.  I've got tons of pictures to sort through and I plan to do a recap of each day over the next day or two so check back for more pictures and stories, but for now here's just one of all of us on our last night there.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sleepover and a 5 year check-up

Last night the girls had their friend, Annabelle, over for a sleepover!  This was Annabelle's first time trying a sleepover, but you never would have guessed it.  She made it all night and all three girls had a blast.  We had lots of fun stuff planned including playing outside, making brownies in the Easy Bake Oven, and playing nail salon.

I let them stay up a little late watching a movie in the hopes of getting everyone really sleepy before bedtime.  It didn't work.  Annabelle had a little fold out mattress that we set up on the floor in Handley's room and my girls slept in Handley's bed.  They were all so excited that they just had a hard time settling down to go to sleep.  Handley was surprisingly the first one to nod off, followed by Harper.  I kept texting back and forth with Carrie, Annabelle's mom, to keep her informed and two hours after we started the bedtime routine Annabelle finally drifted off.  She was totally fine the whole time...just super excited about being over at our house.

No one slept in this morning and they woke up ready to play.  After chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, they were ready to play another round of nail salon before it was time for Annabelle to head home.

The bed-heads enjoying their breakfast.  

After Annabelle left we got ready to head to Handley's 5 year check-up.  Her stats were:

weight - 40 lbs. - 40th percentile
height - 44.5 inches - 90th percentile

Just as we knew...she's tall and skinny, but healthy as can be and she did great.  Because she didn't shed one tear for the two shots she had to get, we stopped by the bakery for lunch on our way home and she and Harper both picked the biggest possible cookie they could find.

One more quick note about Hudson.  I am trying to get him to drop his morning nap before we head to the beach and today is day 4 of him only taking an afternoon nap.  It seems to be going great and I love this schedule much better.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Handley's Birthday and Father's Day

Five years ago, Handley was born on a Sunday, the day after her due date.  That day happened to be Father's Day 2007.  In a hospital room in Orlando, Florida we celebrated Handley's birthday and Robby's first Father's Day.  She being born on Father's Day just seemed to seal the deal that she would be a daddy's girl.

Five years later her birthday fell on Father's Day again.  We had a great day celebrating both of them on their special day.  My parents left bright and early, but I was happy that we could at least see my dad for a short time on Father's Day.  We spent the afternoon at Gigi and Papa's house.  We swam at their pool and grilled out for dinner.  We should have headed home after that, but Robby laid down in the middle of their family room and all three kids decided to jump on him and start going absolutely crazy!  They were all laughing and squealing with joy so I couldn't be the one to break up that fun...even if it meant us not getting home until at least an hour past bedtime.  That's what summer is all about though, right?!?!

I've absolutely loved watching Robby as a dad these past five years.  He is fun, silly with the kids, and dedicated beyond measure.  They all absolutely adore him and it's easy to see why.

Handley at five years old is awesome.  I love the person she is becoming and wouldn't change one thing about her.  She is sweet, silly, stubborn, and smart.  She's incredibly responsible, independent and 

At five years old Handley: 
  • is a night owl and has such a hard time getting to sleep at night.  Just like her momma, she can function on very little sleep. 
  • loves music and is constantly singing/dancing.  When I let her use the ipad in the car all she wants to do is put on her headphones and listen to music.  She has a CD player in her room and I let her listen to it at night after I put her to bed, but before she is ready to go to sleep.  She'll play in her room and dance around until she is tired.  She'll also play in her room during the day with her music on and tell me that she's doing her exercises as she jumps around. 
  • loves routine and predictability.  She's got a lot of type A tendencies in her and a little OCD that comes out at times.  However, she is learning how to control her emotions when things don't go just as she has planned and it has become easier to deal with this part of her personality. 
  • is a people person and loves being around friends. 
  • has a kind heart.  She's always concerned for others and genuinely cares for other people. 
  • talks non-stop. 
  • ask questions about everything.  She wants to make sense of everything that happens around her and is very observant. 
  • is such a big help to me around the house and with Harper and Hudson.  She possesses motherly traits that she uses on her siblings and on younger friends. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hudson - 11 Months

Today as we were celebrating Handley's birthday, we were also taking note that in exactly one month we will also be celebrating Hudson's 1st birthday.  He's 11 months old today and he just keeps getting more and more fun.

At 11 months Hudson:

  • is incredibly fast at crawling and because of that the baby gates are back on the stairs. 
  • doesn't like crawling on the grass and often gets up on his feet and hands to avoid feeling the grass on his legs. 
  • can pull up if he's really motivated. 
  • loves to play in the tupperware cabinet. 
  • can wave and give high-fives. 
  • dances any time he hears music.  He does a little head bop then kicks his legs, then does the head bop again.  
  • says "Mama" and "more" so far and and can sign "all done." 
  • plays shy when someone greets him and likes to lean in to me to hide.  
  • is getting more teeth and has been waking at night, which is something I'm not used to since he's been sleeping a solid 12 hours.  
  • laughs like crazy at his big sisters and lights up every time he sees them. 

Handley's Spa Party

Today we celebrated Handley's birthday with 10 of her closest girlfriends.  We had a spa party and it was a hit with all the girls.  Handley loves all things girly, so this was the perfect party for her this year.

I was lucky enough to have a lot of help with the party.  My sister-in-law, Stefanie, and two friends, Lisa and Jen, Mimi and Gigi were here to help run the different stations and get the girls all dolled up.  We had manicures, pedicures, facials (face painting), hair and make-up.

After the completing the spa activities the girls all enjoyed some sweets and punch in special pink glasses rimmed with sugar crystals.  Handley was really excited about the glasses.

Then we watched as Handley opened up her gifts.  She got tons of great girly things and loved every single thing.

Handley's Bling!

Handley will turn five on Sunday and she asked to get her ears pierced for her birthday.  She's been talking about it for months and today was the big day.  One of the nurses at our pediatrician's office actually does it and I felt so good about taking her there because I knew it would be sterile and safe.  The nurse talked to me about how to care for her ears and answered all of my questions.

Handley had specifically told me she wanted "jewel" earrings and thankfully that is the kind they had.  I was honest with her about it hurting and she told me she was going to be brave.  She sure was!  When the nurse did the first ear she flinched a little and I could tell it hurt, but she did not shed one tear and in fact her eyes didn't even get watery.  I kept telling her it was OK to cry, but she was a trooper.  The nurse did the second one right away and then Handley was able to hop down off the table and rush to the mirror to see her new bling!

She was so excited to rush out to the waiting room to show Mimi, Harper and Hudson.  After leaving the doctors we made our way to the American Girl store so that Susie, her doll, could get her ears pierced, too.  I know what you might be thinking, but yes, they actually do have a "salon" where dolls can get a special hair-do and/or get their ears pierced.  From there we had lunch at the food court, rode the carousel and then came back to American Girl to have a special dessert.  The folks at the American Girl Cafe don't miss a beat.  When they bring waters for everyone at the table, they also bring pretend drinks and saucers for the dolls, too.  Handley ordered a "celebration milkshake" and it came with a candle.  The wait staff all sang "Happy Birthday" and made the day really special for her.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Swim Lessons

We are having the most wonderful summer.  I feel really good about my decision to keep the girls out of all extracurricular activities and camps for the summer.  They are playing together so well and enjoying all of the free time to play outdoors and spend our days at the pool swimming with friends.

We are on day 6 of 9 for our swim lessons and the girls are doing fantastic.  Last week Harper wasn't too keen on doing her lessons and shed some tears.  This week she figured out that she was actually able to swim by herself and since then has taken off.  Both girls are like little fish and Handley is swimming all over the pool independently.  Harper loves jumping in and swimming to me.

Hudson doesn't mind the water and has fun hanging out on the steps with some toys, but he prefers being out and able to crawl around.  His poor little red knees and the tops of his feet are all chafed because of it, but it doesn't seem to bother him and he keeps on crawling.

Today was the first day I was actually able to take pictures and video because my parents are in town for Handley's birthday and were there to help me at the pool today.

For Harper's lessons she is now focusing on learning to take a breath so that she can swim further distances.  She does very exaggerated breaths, but she's getting the hang of it.

During Handley's lessons she is working on her stroke form and endurance.  Today she swam the entire length of the pool all by herself!

Here she is making her final strokes to the end of the pool and on the right you can see how far she swam!

Click HERE for a video of Harper swimming during her lessons.

Click HERE for a video of Handley swimming around and having fun before her lessons started.