Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sound Asleep

Check out these pictures of Hudson, sound asleep on the living room floor.  He doesn't like to miss out on the fun and today instead of catching a quick nap before Handley's gymnastics class he powered through and kept himself awake in the car by singing.  During her class he had fun visiting with all of the people there and begging me for more snacks.  He finally crashed on the way home.  I let him sleep in the car for a little while, but wanted him to wake up so he'd go back to bed tonight. I brought him in and put him on the floor with a pillow so he could start waking up.  He got comfy and cuddled up and stayed asleep for another half an hour until I woke him up.

We had an awesome day.  I went to chapel with the girls at school this morning and Hudson did great.  Sometimes he can be loud and I spend most of the time trying to keep him quiet, but today he was really good. He loves singing the songs, clapping his hands and giving Mrs. Cindi, the preschool director, a high-five on the way out just like all of the "big kids" do.  After that we had his tumbling class and he just loves the teacher Mrs. Rita.  So much so that as we are trying to leave he is still trying to walk over and wave good-bye to her, for about the 4th time.  Next up was lunch with our friends where he managed to turn over the entire big trashcan.  Thankfully it was pretty empty so nothing actually went spilling all over the place.  All I could do was laugh!  In the past few days I've been trying to get him to say his name and if I'm not asking him to do it in front of anyone he will say it.  So cute!  He doesn't like to perform though and gets shy if I ask him to tell someone. He can also blow kisses and give knuckle bumps now...both of which he likes to do over and over.  I just love this little guy so much!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Duck and Cover

Today's dangerous weather provided lots of excitement for the kids.  We were finishing up breakfast and getting ready to leave for school when heard the weather sirens and I got a text from my friend, Sarah, asking if I knew about the tornado warning for our area.  Well, I didn't, but I immediately turned on the news and saw that we were in the direct path of a tornado that had touched down.  I talked to a few other friends and realized that all of the county's schools were under duck and cover so needless to say we waited until the warning had lifted before heading on to school.  I explained to the kids what we would do if there ever was a tornado near us and what they would do if it happened when they were at school.  They had fun imagining it was a right over us, taking cover under pillows and tables.

Pretending that the tornado is on its way. 

The weather was eerily calm the majority of the time they were at school.  On the way to pick them up I heard on the radio that our county was under another warning and when I went into the school the parents were all informed that the tornado sirens had gone off and all of the kids were following their tornado warning procedures and were in duck and cover position in the hallways and bathrooms...and singing songs like Jesus Loves Me to pass the time.  I just LOVED hearing that.  We waited just a few minutes and then they decided to proceed with dismissal as they normally would so that everyone could get home before the worst of the storms arrived.  When we learned about the 100 cars that had been overturned on one of the interstates as a tornado ripped through a city several of the moms decided to just stay up at the church for a little while.  I could have taken Handley home early, but because I felt safer at the church with concrete block walls surrounding us I decided to wait with some of the other Kindergarten moms for things to ease up.  On the way home Handley and Harper were telling me all about how they had to take cover in the hallways and bathrooms and they were so excited about it that they demonstrated the position the position they took to everyone else we saw tonight at dance.  Thankfully the rest of the day just rained and hopefully it will all be gone by tomorrow.

I decided that instead of doing my own things around the house (chores) during Hudson's nap time this week I would instead do some fun things with the girls.  One day we made rice crispy treats and today we wrapped up day two of working on their Valentine's.  Harper wasn't thrilled with writing her name 16 times, but as soon as I offered the bribe of a conversation heart for every card she finished she was asking if she could do more!

And I just have on other thing I want to share because it made me really laugh.  Earlier in the week I was doing some lunges, leg lifts, squats, etc. since it had been a rainy day and I couldn't get outside to walk/run.  Handley thought it was great and joined in because, "she just loves doing her exercises and needed to do her work-out for the day" (seriously, her words).  Harper looked at me funny asked if I'd been to the gym anytime recently.  I told her no and that I had canceled my gym membership right after Handley was born.  She thought for a minute and asked, "Do you even remember how to do those things," while pointing to me doing my lunges.  I don't know why, but I found that so incredibly funny.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Oreo Filling

While waiting at Handley's gymnastics class yesterday I was chatting with one of the other mothers about our kids, schools, etc.  She asked Harper how old she was and discovered that she was the "middle sister." She went on to tell her something that someone once told her middle daughter...that she was the Oreo Filling ~ the sweet stuff sandwiched in the middle that holds it all together.  I LOVED that analogy because it describes Harper perfectly.  She is so sweet and always hugging and loving on everyone.  Since she was a tiny little thing she would crawl up into any free lap and to this day she still goes around hugging just about everyone, waving at strangers and winning everyone over with her sweet smile.  I love my sweet as sugar middle child!

When I was telling this to Robby tonight, Handley overheard and immediately grabbed onto Harper and Hudson to make their own Oreo with Harper in the middle.

This morning they invented a new game they call "Run Around the House."  It's exactly as it sounds...just a bunch of running laps around the house, all while they are squealing and screaming with laughter.

Tonight after we put Hudson to bed the girls and I played nail salon.  They were so excited to get to stay up late and get a mani/pedi.  We listened to music and picked out fun colors to try on our nails. They are topping off that fun with a sleepover in Harper's room.  Love those sweet girls and how much they love each other.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Babies Don't Keep

With having the shower here on Saturday, dinner club here on Sunday and a few house showings between Friday and tomorrow I have been doing a lot of cleaning.  Like, every day for the past 4 days I literally feel like all I have done is clean, clean, clean.  It's exhausting, but also a good workout, so I'm trying to look at the bright side.  On Sunday afternoon I was trying to cook and clean and for some reason Hudson, who usually goes right down for his naps, was crying in his crib. He's been sort of going through another round of separation anxiety and I have a feeling this is related.  Although at night he is going to bed fine. However, at nap time he is screaming in a terrified way until I walk in to check on him.  Then he is practically leaping into my arms and pointing to the chair for me to rock him.  He settles immediately and cuddles up to be rocked and calmed down.  Yesterday he had fallen asleep, but I just couldn't put him back in the crib. I knew I had tons of chores to be getting done, but having him lay on my chest, sleeping so peacefully just made me want to cherish that moment. I had my phone with me so I snapped a picture to remember how sweet he is and how I love him more than anything! 

You can tell he loves his pacis more than anything.

I was immediately reminded of the poem that I have hanging in Handley's room.  The one that was cross-stitched by my mother and that was originally hanging in my nursery, over 30 years ago.  

"Babies Don't Keep" 
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow, 
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow. 
So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep,
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep. 

Today was a big day for Handley and Harper.  My cousin, Bryn, asked me if she could take them to do something fun today.  I knew they would just love that idea and kept it a surprise until last night when I used it as a bargaining tool to get them to go to sleep.  

She came over to get them before lunch and kept them practically all day!  They went to Chick-fil-a for lunch, then to Piedmont Park where they met one of her friends and her dog and got to watch at the dog park. Then they visited the playground there before heading back towards our house.  Apparently the girls weren't ready to come home yet so they hit up Target to just have something else to do. :-) They came home with little Valentine's treats from Target and lots of stories about their day.  A HUGE thank you to Bryn for absolutely making their day.  

While they were off having some fun girl time, Hudson and I got reacquainted with the jogging stroller.  It had been WAY too long.    

Next up was a quick nap for him and cleaning for me before a showing this afternoon.  We ran a few errands to kill the time and then came home and I had the most fun playing outside with him.  We played with the hula hoops, his little bike, push car and football.  He is talking so much now and I just love communicating with him.  We took a long walk down our street and he pushed his lawn mower the whole way. I kept asking him if he wanted to go back home, but he just said, "walk" and kept on going.  When we finally decided to turn back it took us twice as long to get home, but we had nowhere to be and I was loving seeing the world through his eyes.  He stopped to observe every little thing.  Stepped big to smash a pine cone that had found it's way on the side walk.  Pointed to the house that he heard dogs barking earlier and imitated the barks.  He was also very interested in trying to remove the leaves from everyone's driveways and toss them into the street.  Only problem was that as soon as he would throw it to the street, the wind would blow it right back.  It was a tedious job, but he was happy to do it.  Maybe it's the mother/son bond that so many of my friends told me about and I know it might have just a little something to do with him being the baby and the last little one I will get to do these simple things with, but I am trying to soak it all in and remember every moment with him during this stage.

He is loved on and doted over by ALL of us...including his sweet big sisters who share all of their toys with him and enjoy teaching him all sorts of things.  Like the importance of safety first with a helmet when learning to ride the scooter.  :-)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stefanie's Baby Shower

Today we celebrated the upcoming arrival of my first niece, sweet baby Sophia, at Stefanie's baby shower.  Jen and I hosted the shower and the girls were great little assistants.  They were thrilled about being able to attend and took their jobs very seriously.  As the shower began they greeted all of our guests and collected the gifts from them for Stefanie to open.  All week they helped me with preparations, decorations and gifts.

Stefanie got a lot of really great gifts for her baby girl and I think everyone had a great time.  Handley and Harper were very interested in all of the gifts and Stefanie was sweet enough to let them sit right in front of her and help oversee the opening.  I let them each pick out some things for me to monogram to give Sophia and they were so proud for Stefanie to open their gifts.

Our dinner club girls were all able to attend the shower. 
When the shower was almost over I had the girls stand by our favors to make sure everyone grabbed one on their way out...another job they took very seriously.   

They are so excited about having a new baby cousin to love on and we all can't wait to meet her!

Hudson - 18 Months

Hudson turned 18 months old yesterday. It is hard for me to look at him see that my baby boy that has transformed into a full blown toddler in the blink of an eye.  Since his ear infections are finally all cleared up he has become the happiest little kid and I just love his sweet personality.

He is strong-willed and stubborn and like Handley always says about him, "he wants what he wants" and lets us all know if things aren't going the way he likes.  Like today at his doctor's appointment.  He was not thrilled with the idea of having someone check him out.  So much so that he was kicking the doctor away and trying to rip the stethoscope away from his chest as she was listening.  Any questions she asked him he just said, "NO," and didn't cooperate in any shape or form.  He can be so dramatic and was totally doing the fake cry until the examination was over and then hew as giving her hugs and high fives.

He is a growing boy!
weight: 26 lbs. 8 oz. (60th percentile)
height: 33.5 inches (80th percentile)
head circumference: 19 1/4 inches (75th percentile)

At 18 months he:
  • Loves throwing things in the trash.  Anytime he sees any type of trash he immediately looks for the closest trashcan to throw it out.  
  • Is an extremely picky eater and I isn't willing to try new things. 
  • Wants to be in the mix of things and copies a lot of things the girls do. 
  • Loves his big sisters and gets so excited when it's time to pick them up from school. 
  • Wants to play with them and with all the toys they are using at that very moment.  If he doesn't get it from them, he screams. 
  • Asks to watch a movie every time we get in the car.  He loves Baby Signing Time (and knows lots of the signs) and some Baby Einstein movies.  
  • Gets so excited about reading books before nap and bedtime. 
  • Goes to bed SO easily.  
  • Loves playing peek-a-boo.
  • Wants to eat all the time!  He gets out of his seat from a meal and heads straight for the pantry saying, "snack, snack!"
  • Thinks it is fun to brush his teeth and wash his hands.  He especially likes washing his hands in public restrooms because then he can get a paper towel and throw it away. 
  • Will act shy around new people at first, but quickly warms up to them and can be very social with people he is comfortable with. 
  • Has fun waving and saying "bye" to people.
  • Pretends to talk on anything that resembles a phone. 
  • Loves playing with golf clubs and tennis racquets. 
  • Has an ever expanding vocabulary and while he is no where close to where the girls were at this age, he is learning tons of new words each day. He also does a lot of jibber jabber, which I just love hearing because he says it so seriously like he knows exactly what he is telling us.  
  • Uses utensils fairly well and loves feeding himself oatmeal every morning. 

Today was pajama day for Handley's class and she was so excited to get to sleep in her pj's and wake-up ready for school.  They got to watch a movie and have hot chocolate, so it was a really big deal.  Harper was disappointed that she couldn't wear her pj's all day but her class will be doing the same thing in a few weeks.  

This evening Gigi and Papa came over for dinner and all the kids were thrilled to have them here.  We played outside for a little while even though it was cold since we were SO excited to have the sun shinning today after a week of rain.  The girls rode their bikes and since Handley is working on no training wheels, Papa showed her how it was done. Ha! 

I just loved this picture of Hudson with Gigi.  Even though he is becoming his own little person he still loves to cuddle and be held.  He ADORES her and this picture is so sweet to me.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Our fun weekend

Robby was gone skiing all week, so we had some fun this weekend.  Friday morning while I was getting ready Handley entertained Hudson by reading him a book.  He insisted on sitting in her lap and sat there for the whole story.  He loves books and I love that Handley can now read to him, too!

Friday afternoon before we picked up Handley from school Harper, Hudson and I stopped by Stefanie's house to pick up something and say hi.  As soon as we got home that afternoon Harper immediately stuck a baby doll under her shirt and started her usual role playing telling me I was the "friend" and I should ask her why her belly is so big. Then she tells me it's because she has a baby in her belly.  She totally feeds me all my lines and sets the scene before exiting the room and returning in character.  The "baby-in-her-belly" story is her favorite and the most frequent one we act out.

Friday night Stefanie came over for pizza since Trey was on the ski trip, too.  We had fun chatting about the upcoming arrival of her baby girl and watching my three kiddos play and be wild.

Saturday night my cousin, Bryn came over and the girls played waitresses and then got into some karaoke action.  They were cracking me up with some of their moves.

The highlight of the night was when I relived the days I competed in Miss Georgia (part of the Miss American Organization) and let the girls stay up late to watch Miss America.  They dressed up in their fancy night gowns and grabbed crowns from the dress-up clothes to complete their look.  I even pulled out my old crowns to let them play with and wear while we watched.  In usual Handley fashion, she had a million questions about every aspect of the pageant, but loved watching and told me she wanted to be Miss America when she grew up. :-)

Today we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned to get ready for a couple of showings and then picked up Robby from the airport this afternoon.  We were all happy to have him back home!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hudson's first class

We have slowly gotten back into the swing of things this week with school and extra curricular activities staring back up.  It has been a challenge to get everyone dressed and out the door on time and I can't even imagine what next year will be like when Handley has to be at school before 7:30 AM.

This month I signed Hudson up for his very first "class."  He his doing a little mommy and me tumbling class at the community center. Both girls did the class when they turned 18 months old and I figured he would love it, too.  It's the same teacher the girls had and some of our friends are in the class, too, so I was excited to see how today would go.  As soon as we walked in he kept saying, "Play! Play!" and immediately ran out to the equipment.  I was so proud of him!  He followed along the course with me (for the most part), tried every single piece of equipment and had a huge smile on his face the entire time. He had a blast jumping on the trampolines, climbing under and over the obstacle course, hanging from the bars and trying to balance on the beam.  The first time Mrs. Rita, the teacher, helped him walk on the big beam he tried looking away from her and acting shy, but quickly that became his favorite station and he kept running back over to walk with her again and again.

At the end of the class Mrs. Rita gives all the kids stickers and I couldn't get over how big he seemed seeing him walk right up and wait on his sticker.  He kept looking at the sticker on his shirt and it stayed on there until I took it off tonight.  I was shocked.  He was so proud to show the sticker to Handley and Harper when we picked them up from school.  As we were getting ready to walk out of the class he took off in the opposite direction and I couldn't figure out what he was doing, but he marched right up to Mrs. Rita and gave her a hug before we were on our way.

Checking out his sticker

Seeing how he did today makes me thing that maybe, just maybe, he will be ready to start pre-school in the fall...something I have been worrying about recently since he will have just turned two when school starts.

The rest of our day was busy as ever.  We had our regular quick come home after school, get Handley ready, and then rush off to gymnastics routine.  Hudson stayed entertained by me chasing him from going in the bathrooms over and over and he loves flirting with the older girls who are there waiting on their class to begin.  There is a small group of them that have really taken to him and seek us out every week so they can play with and dote all over him.  Harper also looks up to these big girls and likes pretending she is one of them.

I'm glad to report that Hudson finally seems to be feeling better and this antibiotic he is on is doing the trick with his ears.  He is much happier now and back to his sweet self and eating better, too.  I have to hide the Oreos in the pantry, because if he even spots them he goes crazy saying, "cook-cook" (his version of cookie) over and over.  As soon as I give him one he ask me to open it up and how he figured that out is beyond me because no one in our house does that.  However, he will lick the frosting off, hand the actual cookies back to me and tell me he is all done.  That boy is a mess!  And speaking of mess, that is exactly why his shirt is off in these pictures.  We had breakfast for dinner tonight and his choice was oatmeal.  He usually does a really good job of feeding it to himself, but tonight I think more of it ended up on his shirt than in his mouth.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weekend Recap

Friday morning we got up early and got to the pediatrician's office in time for walk-in hours to see what was going on with Hudson.  As soon as we got there he was running around and having a grand ol' time. I was hoping that it hadn't been a mistake to make that trek through rush-hour traffic, but it turns out he has a double ear infection.  Could be that the ones he had before Christmas never healed or these could be new.  No way to know, but he is on a different antibiotic and numbing ear drops to help him feel better.  He is already acting more like himself and in a much happier mood, so I'm praying this will knock it out.

After a smoothie treat for everyone as we waited on his prescriptions to be filled we set off to meet Gigi.  The girls spent the night with Gigi and Papa on Friday night and they took them to see Medieval Times dinner and show.  They were really excited and turns out they LOVED it.  When we got them back the next morning they couldn't stop telling us about the knights, horses, and how much fun they had.

Friday afternoon Hudson and I went over to see Stefanie and take her a carload full of baby things!  Clothes, gear, toys and more!  We are getting so excited about the upcoming arrival of their baby girl.

Saturday we got to help Harper's BFF, Reece, and her twin brother, Jake, celebrate their 4th birthdays.  All three kids loved jumping, bouncing, sliding, and zip-lining.  As soon as we walked in Hudson kept yelling, "play play," and could hardly wait for me to get his shoes off.

Later that day we took a family outing, while our house was being shown, to get Hudson a haircut.  Usually, his haircuts have happened at our house with Tricia, the sweet friend that does my hair.  However, he was needing a trim so we took him to a local barber shop.  I gave him a lollipop, held him in my lap, and hoped for the best.  He screamed through most of the experience.  Miraculously, his cut still looks pretty good, given the circumstances.  Looking back, I think he was scared of the man that was doing the cutting and the fact that he was using the buzzer on him.  Previously he has just had scissor cuts and it was done by a female.  This guy was nice as could be and so patient with him, but next time I will stick with a female for sure and  if it doesn't work out for Tricia to do it I may even take him to one of the high dollar kid cuts places where he can sit in a little car while getting his cut.  I really think the few extra dollars would be worth a happier experience.

As we are nearing the end of Christmas break I am so impressed and happy with the way the kids have gotten along and played together.  I'm sad that we only have one more day until they start school. I have had so much fun having the girls home and am already excited about summer break!  Handley and Harper have played so well together and are at such a good phase right now.  They have taken turns having sleepovers in each other's rooms practically every night and I love hearing them listen to music, read books to each other and giggle.  There have only been a few times that I have had to get firm to make them actually go to bed.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pink stroller parade

Today some friends of ours were already planning a trip to the American Girl store and asked if we would like to tag along.  I knew the girls would be excited to go and after staying around home all day yesterday, I felt like an outing might be good for all of us.

Handley had thought she would like to use some of her Christmas money to take her new doll, Grace, to get her ears pierced at the little boutique they have at the store.  When we were talking about this in front of Robby he told her she should save her money and he could pierce Grace's ears.  I was a little worried about him ruining such an expensive doll, but didn't really want to pay the $14 it would take at the store to have them make a hole in her ear and stick in some earrings that we already owned.  Handley quizzed him to be sure he knew what he was doing and then picked out one of the extra pairs of doll earrings to put in.  It looks exactly like her other dolls' ears do, so I guess he did it right! That saved money is burning a hole in her pocket, though. She wanted to use it to buy something else at the store today, but I told them both before we even decided to go that they had just gotten a lot of things for Christmas, we were not buying anything, and that I wanted them to save their money until they really wanted something special. We went with a plan to look at the new accessories and check out the new doll of the year, but that was it.  They were both OK with that, but left there already starting a wish-list for their birthdays.

All four of the girls brought strollers for their dolls and after making our way through a very crowded American Girl, we made a quick stop at another store before getting lunch in the food court.  Sounds easy enough, but you wouldn't believe the parade of pink strollers we were corralling through the mall.  It was so cute and the girls had the best time pushing them around!  After lunch we let them (and their dolls) ride the carousel and topped off all that fun with some ice cream before heading home.

Hudson was such a good sport.  He had fun on the carousel and thoroughly enjoyed his ice cream treat.    He has not been feeling well this week and I have a strong suspicion that his ear infection from before Christmas never really healed.  We are heading back to the doctor tomorrow to see what's up, but getting out today was a nice change of scenery and a good distraction for his otherwise whiny and clingy ways of the past few days.  I sure do love that my little guy wants to be held by me 24/7, but at the same time, I want him feeling better and back to his happy self.

Tonight at bath time I started the water in the bath for Hudson and left him playing in one of the cabinets to tell the girls to get ready for the shower (for at least the 4th time).  Their rooms are directly beside the bathroom where Hudson was so I wasn't gone 10 seconds, but when I returned I found Hudson in the bath, clothes and all, pouring water on himself and splashing around.  When he saw me he kept grunting and acting like he was trying to get his shirt off.  Haha!  I'm sure it felt weird for him to be soaking wet with his clothes on, but I guess he got tired of waiting on me.   All I could do was laugh...and ask Robby to bring me my phone so I could snap a quick picture!