Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Weekend

Hi everyone.  Halloween this year has been SO much fun with my two little monkeys.  

Hayden has been especially excited to celebrate, and picked out his "Super Why" character costume very early in October.  "Super Why" is a television character on a show, who has super reading powers.  Of all the super heroes he could have picked, with their big muscles and exciting traits, he chose a little boy who can spell haha.  And he was so incredibly proud of his costume.  I imagined that no one would know who he was with his cape and mask, but wherever he wore his costume, kids would be calling out "Hi Super Why!", which just thrilled Hayden and made him feel so special.  I can't say that Pierce was quite as thrilled about his Brobee costume (a character from Yo Gabba Gabba), but I think he still had a fun time through-out the Halloween festivities, mainly eating chocolate!

The celebration started early, on Thursday, when Hayden got to wear his costume to pre-school for a fall festival.  He arrived and was all puffed up with pride in his costume, showing the pre-school director and his teachers and classmates his "Super Why" pose with a HUGE grin, and posing for a shot with his good buddy, who was a dragon.  After partying all day, we headed over to our local grocery store, where they had some fun games set-up, and a bounce house.  Although Pierce was officially Brobee this year, my friend had loaned us her absolutely adorable zebra costume, which had to be worn for a photo op, so my little Pierce went as the cutest zebra ever to Kroger.  Seeing your child wandering the aisles of a grocery store with a balloon, in a zebra costume, is pretty priceless :)


The festivities continued on Friday, when our good friends Colin and Chalna invited us over to carve pumpkins.  Well, you can imagine my confidence level at carving pumpkins with a big group of 1-3 year olds, but shockingly, the kids did great!  Hayden was thrilled to help scoop out the pumpkin seeds, and Pierce was practically falling into the pumpkin, trying to get a better look.  Very very cute.  We haven't actually put a candle in and lit it up yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing the boys' reaction tonight when we celebrate.  And amazingly we got ALL of the kids to line up against the fence with their pumpkins, and no one was screaming or crying or being held in place for the photos!  So cute.


On Friday night, Nate and I went to an adult Halloween costume party with all of our best friends, and WOW, I've never laughed so hard.  We had a simply fabulous time, and all of our friends really pulled out the stops with their amazing costumes.  It was a night to remember, and Nate and I creative with our own costumes, going as a pumpkin, and Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater.  I guess I have to include this photo, since it's Ruthie's first costume haha - painted as a pumpkin!  And my good friend Lindsey has her little boy, Nolan, dressed up as a basketball!

Finally, we had our official neighborhood Monster Mile on Saturday night, which as usual, was a total blast.  Hayden has been leary in years past, because there are a lot of life-size characters handing out candy along the street, but this year he was thrilled to pose for photos with all of his favorite TV friends.  His favorites were probably Diego and Clifford - wow - how thrilling!  Pierce was decidedly less than enthusiastic about putting on his HOT Brobee outfit on a warm evening, and that, coupled with a very short nap, made him rather cranky.  So we didn't push the costume issue, and instead just let him ride along in the wagon, while he stuffed his cute face with chocolate!  Sounds like my kind of evening :)




I'll wrap up with a montage of my cuties on Halloweens from years past.  HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

2006 - our little Hayden was conceived haha

2007 - Winne the Pooh - 3 mos   2008 - Spider - 15 mos


2009 - Pierce the spider 6 mos                  Hayden the dinosaur - 2 years


2010 - Brobee 18 mos, Super Why 3 years, Ruthie 24 weeks!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Broken Bow, OK

Back in January, we took a family trip to an area of Oklahoma called Broken Bow, with a group of friends.  Even though it rained and was cold all weekend, we still had a blast, and we decided to get even more adventurous, and invite seven families along this time!  This works out to 14 adults, 6 pre-schoolers, and 7 toddlers.  Wow.  

We arrived on Friday afternoon, after a surprisingly enjoyable 3 1/2 hour drive in our new mini-van!  I was nervous as we pulled up, because I had kind of organized the trip and found the lodging, and I was really hoping that it would be as good as it had seemed online.  I didn't want 7 families looking at me like, WHAT, we drove this far with little kids for these crappy cabins?  But thank goodness, the 3 cabins were super cute, the land was covered with beautiful big trees that were starting to change colors, there was a perfect little toddler playground, and a large fire-pit.  What more can you ask for?

So I'm not going to lie, the weekend was filled with chaos, crying, whining, falling, tantrums, etc...all the usual things that go with having small children, but increased tenfold because we literally had an entire TEAM of children.  But it was SO FUN!!  The older boys all got along so well, and were happy to just play with each other, and run around the property exploring and laughing and smiling.  The dads also took them on their first fishing excursion, and from what I heard, they caught some whoppers (ok they may not have been huge fish, but the effort put forth was huge!). The babies were thrilled to have a slide and a swing and STAIRS to climb up and down constantly, requiring us parents to always be on the look-out, naturally.  But really, for having 13 children on this vacation, it all went remarkably smoothly.  And honestly there could not be a sweeter, cuter group than this one.




My boys have gotten so used to travel that bedtimes are a cinch, and sure enough, by 8 pm my crew was bathed, jammied, and happily in bed (if not totally asleep), and everyone else seemed to be right there with us.  And then some much needed adult time took place as we enjoyed grilling dinner over the fire, having some cocktails (except preggo me of course), and just laughing and telling stories.  GREAT TIMES!  I swear sometimes when I'm with this group my cheeks start to hurt from smiling and laughing so much.  We really are blessed to have found such amazing friends here in Texas.

We talk about making this an annual trip, but I don't want to wait another year!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bad Blogger!

Hi there.  Whew it's been awhile since I've posted anything.  And it's not for a lack of anything happening!  We've been SO busy lately, between fun fall events, more travel, and baby preparations.  Life is nothing but exciting these days.  I think I'll organize this big catch-up post into 3 parts for each of the three kiddos!


It's official, Hayden wins the prize for most affectionate child in the world!  He's always been very charming and sweet and cuddly, but lately he seems to need to be attached to me, and always telling me how much he loves me, and how special I am.  He regularly calls me "sweet pea", and asks for "really long cuddles".  I wonder sometimes if he senses that things may change when Ruthie comes, and that he needs to soak up mommy time while he can?  Or perhaps as he gets older and more independent, he feels the need to cling a bit to me?  I'm not sure, but I have to admit that I enjoy all the snuggles and hugs and kisses (never just 1 - usually closer to 10!).  He's become very attached to ritual lately, and we have our distinct morning routine (he comes out and finds me, and we curl up on the couch with no TV or music, and just talk about our dreams, and cuddle, while he sips milk and I sip coffee).  And at night he needs a very long cuddle on the couch, the 2 same stories (Golden Books "The Boy and the Tiger" and "Color Kittens"), and then he needs me to sing, in this exact order, "You Are My Sunshine", "Rockabye Baby", and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", followed by 6 hugs and 10 kisses :)  Love him!

Well Mr. Hayden is thoroughly enjoying pre-school these days, which couldn't please me more.  His constant refrain is, "staying home is boring and pre-school is AWESOME!".  Glad to hear that I am boring him to death at home haha, but no, honestly I'm so pleased that he has this attitude.  He has made two new friends - Grace and Brock - and updates me daily on all their adventures together at school.  Apparently they say Grace before meals at school, which is intriguing to him (and probably something we should implement at home!), and the sing a lot.  His teachers have nothing but great things to say about his behavior and attitude at school, so I'm one proud mama!

Sports have also become a big part of our life this fall, which is something I've been looking forward to for such a long time.  Hayden plays on a blastball team that Nate and my dad coach, and he's actually become a really great player!  There is absolutely NOTHING cuter than seeing him all dressed up in his "Rockets" uniform and hat, crouched down in the field in his "blastball ready" position, and a huge grin on his face.  He regularly tells me that he is "a great help to his teammates", and that "he is a really great blastball player".  Sooo cute.  We also have a baseball game on our Wii that Hayden has recently gotten really good at, and I'll often hearing him yelling, "foul ball", or "strike" in the living room while he plays.  sports have always been such a big part of my family, and it's fun to see my oldest starting to catch the sports fever!  He's already told us that he'd like to play soccer in the spring, so that's on the agenda.  Now if we can just keep him to WATCHING football, and not playing it here in Texas, life will be good.



Where do I even start?!  This child has me alternately giggling, crying and pulling my hair out.  I've never met a child with a bigger, stronger personality.  One minute he is running up to give me a kiss and a hug, with his sweet smelling wispy hair curling around his ears, and his rosy cheeks aglow, and the next minute he is throwing the world's loudest and most dramatic tantrum EVER (usually in public), and testing my every ounce of patience.  But honestly, I love his personality, and all his funny little quirks.

His speech is out of control - he can string 3 to 4 words together at this point into really coherent phrases, and he is such a little mimic.  Some of his favorite phrases currently are:  hey man, what, love you, oh no, thank you, please, where go, right there, help me, and he probably can say about 50 other words at this point.  He loves to double up his words - for instance applesauce is "sauce sauce", yogurt is "go go", waterfall is "fall fall", etc.  He can say most of our names (mommy, daddy, poppy), but he struggles with Hayden / brother, although I have heard him say it a few times, and with grammy (we think he calls her Ami).

There have been several changes in his life recently, which probably doesn't help his temper!  I recently decided that he is too old for his "bobble" (bottle), and that it was officially time to wean onto the sippy cup with milk.  Well let me tell you, THAT was a battle.  Frequently milk sippy cups were being hurled across the room, but finally we went on vacation to Bandera a few weeks ago, and the bottle simply did not come with, and he seemed to accept that.  His milk consumption has definitely gone down, but he is eating better at mealtimes now, so I think overall it's a success.  

The second big boy change has been to limit his time with his paci and blankey.  I know a lot of people think it's cruel to deprive a small child of his comfort items, but I just couldn't handle seeing him sucking on that paci and holding his blankey up to his face 24 hours a day.  I love that he HAS comfort items, but I think there is a time and a place for them.  Furthermore, when he would get mad about something in the car, he would throw his paci and blankey in a fit of rage, and then continue to freak out when he didn't have them in his seat anymore (and clearly I can't get them while driving).  So....I decided to implement a crib-only policy for the paci and blankey, and after 10 days of the new rules, he is doing REALLY well.  When I go to get him out of his crib after night-time or nap, he knows to take his paci out and leave his blankey, and he'll do this all on this own.  Then in his sweet little baby voice he'll say, "bye bye blankey, bye bye plapi (paci)", and wave to them.  It about melts my heart!!  But I'm just so proud of him for embracing change and going with the flow.  He'll often still ask for his blankey in the car, and Hayden will chime in, "Piercey you know your blankey is in your crib at home", like any good big brother would, and that seems to satisfy him!



Yes - we've officially named our baby girl Ruthie.  Well her official name will be Ruth Eileen Roberts, after Nate and my grandmothers.  I imagine I'll call her Ruthie, or we figure she has the option of going by Ruth or Lena (short for Eileen) when she gets older.  Nate and I both love feminine, old fashioned names for girls, and the fact that we get to honor two such special people in our lives is really wonderful.  Not to mention the story of Ruth in the bible is very powerful - she was such a strong, honest, and loyal woman, just like my grandmother.  I hope our daughter grows up with the same strength of spirit and good, kind soul.

Ruthie has been starting to kick up a storm recently, which I love.  I have my anterior placenta, which definitely does act like a pillow to muffle the kicks, but now that I am going on 22 weeks pregnant, I can feel her more and more.  It's so comforting to get the movements and know she is healthy and active.  My stomach continues to grow rapidly as well, and I'm fully into my maternity wardrobe at this point.  Luckily I've only gained about 6 pounds, so I'm on track to gain similar amounts as with my boys.  I just do NOT want to have to seriously struggle to get the pounds off after she is born, so I'm trying to stay healthy NOW.

I don't have any photos of Ruthie yet, but I do have this adorable shot of Hayden holding up a little outfit that he picked out for her (with grammy's help) at Carter's the other day.  He was so proud to carry it around the store and tell the clerk that this was for his baby sister "Roofie".


We recently got home from our (now) annual trip to the Hill Country outside of San Antonio.  We stayed at the lovely Bandera Homestead, and really just kind of enjoyed the outdoors and nature for a whole week.  It was a BLAST and the weather couldn't have been more beautiful.  After a summer of heat heat heat, it was great to be able to actually be outdoors without being either wet or completely miserable.  We went back to our favorite alpaca farmers to see the new baby alpacas, and Hayden was lucky enough to head home with some alpaca fiber, lucky boy!  We also took a beautiful hike in Lost Maples Natural Area, where we got to ford a few streams, and throw some rocks in the crystal clear waters.  It was a great send off to summer and welcome to fall trip.



And finally, my favorite time of the year is upon us!  As much as I enjoy pool season at my parent's house, I am simply not a hot weather person, and I crave the beautiful weather that fall brings.  Despite the fact that we don't get gorgeous changing leaves, we do get tons of fun fall festivals and pumpkin patch outings, and the Halloween holiday with children is so exciting and fun.  And hot on the heels of Halloween comes Thanksgiving and Christmas!  Let the good times roll.

We've been taking advantage of temps in the 70's and 80's, and heading out to new pumpkin patches each week.  We've done train rides, bounce houses, hay mazes, haunted houses, petting zoos and hayrides.  Hayden also begged me to go to the costume store, where he picked out a "Super Why" character costume for Halloween, and coerced me into bringing a "Brobee" costume home for Piercey J.  What cuties!  Hayden took his clothes off IN the aisle at Party City before I could stop him, and began to put on his costume, which he proceeded to wear home that afternoon, and run around in for the rest of the day.  He is so pumped for Halloween itself, when he can wear it again, and "maybe all the kids will love my costume".  Awww.  What a sweetie.



I have to leave you with a blog post I read recently that really touched me.  I've had some rough days with the kiddos lately - problems with tantrums, and not listening, and I get mildly exasperated and wonder what the heck I'm doing with #3 on the way!  But then our sweet moments FAR out number the tough ones, and I count my blessings constantly, that I have these two healthy, happy, wonderful little boys in the my life, and a healthy little daughter on the way.  I enjoyed the blog and reminded me to be thankful and appreciate life as it is.....because I won't have these little ones forever.


I will eat a meal by myself and wish I had little ones to share it with.

I will take a lonely shower and wonder where everybody went.

I will miss the noise.

I will sit and knit without somebody tangling the yarn behind me.

I will go to the grocery store alone, and feel like people don't really know who I am because they don't know I am a mother.

I will have clean shoulders, but they will be cold.

I will wish for more to do around the house.

I will wake up in the morning after sleeping all night long, but the room next to mine will be empty.

I will finish the laundry.... and it will stay finished for a day or so.

I will have clean floors but will hear no pitter patters of little feet just learning to walk.

Someday I will have to rediscover who I am without the constant companionship of little people,

but not today.