Friday, April 29, 2011

Miss Ruthie - 10 weeks

My little girl is 10 weeks old!  How did the time fly by so quickly?  Before I know it she will be crawling and walking.  Literally....this lady is advanced!  Ok ok so I am clearly biased, but she is so mature and I'm worried that she will grow up too quickly, which is not what I want for my 3rd and most likely last child!  But it's also pretty amazing to see her growing and changing and enjoying her world.

She is 10 1/2 weeks old, and is just about the most pleasant child you could ever imagine.  Neither of our boys was a terribly challenging newborn (although Pierce had some colicky issues), but Ruthie is just a super content baby, and an excellent sleeper.  Her normal bedtime is between 8 and 9, and she normally sleeps until at least 5 am, and more often than not until 7 am or so.  I mean this exceeds any expectations for a 2 month old.  However, Hayden also slept like this as a newborn, and unfortunately it didn't last - teething and unswaddling got in the way at about 5 months.  So I'm not too hopeful that my nights of uninterrupted sleep will last forever, but I'm certainly enjoying it while it lasts.

I've mentioned the word content, and that definitely describes her perfectly.  Since she is the 3rd child, she probably doesn't get nearly the amount of mommy time she deserves, however she is happy to hang out in her swing, on her playmat, or in her bouncy chair.  I'll often find her smiling and "talking" to her mobile, and she falls asleep EVERY time I put her in her chair in my bathroom while I shower.  And she falls asleep without even fussing!  It's like some sort of infant miracle.  She is so low maintenance, which I think makes me want to snuggle and cuddle her even more - because she demands so little of me!

At this point she is nursing almost exclusively, which I love, but she also takes a bottle of (very hot) breastmilk a few times a week from grammy or daddy.  But at least we have those 4 or 5 times a day where we get to relax together, and she'll usually grab my hand or my shirt, and look into my eyes with love.  And yes, I am TOTALLY cherishing these kind of moments with her, because I suspect they are my last with a newborn.  And a perfect, lovely, sweet newborn at that.

Her brothers continue to be completely in love with her.  The other day I heard her wake up in her crib, and I asked Hayden to go in and tell her I would be right there (she responds to his voice already).  Belatedly I thought to myself that he would probably get IN the crib to relay the message, and sure enough, two seconds later I was watching him on the video monitor as he gently climbed into the crib, turned on her star mobile, and rubbed her head like I do to calm her down.  Despite the fact that he could have landed on her head (!), it was a super sweet moment.  He loves her deeply, and is always the first to worry about her when she is crying, and holds her every chance he gets.  Pierce likes to arrange his chair next to her swing and push it (often higher than I would like!), and he climbs onto her playmat with her (despite my constant worry).  He loves her, but Pierce is not known for his gentleness!  So we are working on that haha.

One last mention - I LOVE dressing this girl!  I'm having so much fun with a girly wardrobe, and bows, and skirts.  She is getting to smily and alert, and she actually looks cute in all the clothes I make for her, and all the adorable outfits my friends and family have gifted her with.  Having a girly is JUST as much fun as I thought it would be :)

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pierce Turns 2!

Well my littlest man turned 2 last week, and wowee did we celebrate!  How could we not?  This little guy brightens each and every one of my days with his goofy grin, silly sayings, and constant laughter.  I am addicted to snuggling him and can't get enough of his big blue eyes, and plump little cheeks that shake and jiggle when he runs.  I love love love him to bits, and am so grateful to have him in my life.

We started his birthday festivites on April 7th, with an old tradition that we had in my family growing up - decorating his bedroom door in streamers to surprise him when he woke up.  Of course he was THRILLED when he saw this, and burst through the streamers with all the energy of a new 2 year old, beaming from ear to ear, racing into the living room to discover his new toys and gifts.  And as you can see from the photos, ice cream was the theme of the day!  Big brother Hayden got to stay home from preschool so we could all go to the Rain Forest Cafe for lunch, where he was serenaded with "Happy Birthday", and treated to a large ice cream sundae with a candle to blow out.  He couldn't get enough of all of the rainforest animals, and we just had the nicest family lunch.  Later that evening we cooked his favorite dinner, and Grammy and Hayden made him a homemade ice cream cake with oreo cookie crust - YUM!

However, the real celebration came on Sunday, when we had most of his very best friends over for pony rides and a petting zoo!  As always, my parents were extremely generous to offer up their house and yard for the party, and Nathan and I poured our hearts into all homemade decorations, food, and birthday cake.  Pierce has always loved animals, particularly cows and sheep, so we decided to stick to a barnyard theme.  My friend Lindsey, who is incredibly creative, helped me put together the cutest barnyard themed Happy Birthday banner, and Nathan and I constructed a pretty cool little cake out of cookies, rice krispie treats, and a vintage collection of Fisher Price farm animals.

The petting zoo was probably my personal favorite part of the party.  Whenever I go to the zoo or aquarium, I always think there is a fine line between enjoying and exploiting the animals.  This was another such case, however the family that provided the petting zoo for us was so obviously loving to these animals, and the animals seemed surprisingly calm and at ease with the whole event.  And the smiles from Pierce, Hayden, and their friends were worth a million bucks!  They had baby sheep (that the kids were able to bottle feed), as well as goats, little pot belly pigs, bunnies, chicks and ducks.

Mercedes and Dayton were also welcome additions to the party.  Cute little ponies!  They were so gentle and sweet with the kids, who all took turns riding them around the yard.  This year none of the kiddos seemed afraid, although Pierce was mildly concerned the whole time and never really cracked a smile!  Even Ruthie was able to take a little ride :)  The owner of the operation, Coalson's Corral if you are in the DFW area, was so complimentary and said that usually the animals and the employees are frazzled after an hour with a bunch of children this small, but that our kids were gentle and good listeners, and it had been a pleasure.

After the animals packed up to head back to the farm, we ate a delicious BBQ dinner, and then sang Happy Birthday and blew out the candles on the Barnyard Cake.  Nate was pretty innovative with his construction of the barn and silo, and I researched ways to make a little pond (turns out melting blue Jolly Ranchers worked best).  There was a lot of love in that cake!

The evening ended up with a rousing impromptu game of Blastball, as the sun went down on Pierce's 2nd birthday.  It's a day I know I will never forget, and I sure hope the Pierce will hold fond memories as well.  As the evening wound down and all his friends left, Piercey opened the backyard, looked around, then said forlornly to my mom, "Jimmy, where all my friends go?"  I think that was a pretty good indication that our little man did not want the night to end any more than we did!  I'll never forget him waving into the dark saying, "bye bye friends!", with his ice cream covered face, and farmer overalls.  Sweet sweet boy.

We are so blessed to have the family and friends that we do, who are eager to celebrate these milestones with us, and who are so generous with birthday gifts, and time, and love.  WE LOVE YOU!

And finally, before this post ends, I want to cover a few things that define Pierce at this fabulous and fierce age of 2!

His favorite foods are macaroni and cheese, pizza, bagels and cream cheese, popsicles, cereal and milk, ice cream and mandarin oranges.

He can count to 10 easily, and can actually count objects, not just recite the numbers.

He knows his alphabet and loves to sing his ABCs.

He struggles constantly with his colors and I think he likes to tease us by telling us things are always PINK!

Every night before bed I have to sing the "Tiger" song to him (from a baby Einstein CD), and Do a Deer from the Sound of Music.

He is totally and utterly obsessed with his pacifier (plapi) and giraffe minky blanky.  He is allowed to have them only in his crib, but he is constantly sneaking into his room to grab them, and then will pop his head into the living room with his contraband in hand, then run back into his room giggling like a mad man when we scold him.

The pantry is his favorite room in the house, and he will frequently grab whatever snack suits his fancy (usually shredded wheat), bring it out to his new rocking chair, and proceed to feed himself and the dogs straight from the bag.

The swing is his favorite toy at the park and he will literally sit in it and demand to be pushed for hours on end.

He loves his "Bradoo" and tries to do EVERYTHING his brother does.  They are attached at the hip!

His favorite shows are "Bubble Guppies" and "Go Diego Go", and he loves all the characters from "Cars" and "Thomas the Train".

He's a total ladies man - his best friends are Hannah, Brooke, Annelie, Scarlett and Tatum.

He has to do EVERYTHING himself, including getting into the car, climbing up into his carseat, and closing the mini-van door using a little button (then he yells BACK BACK BACK as he runs at top speed up the driveway - since I always tell him to get back so the door doesn't shut on him haha).  Whenever I try to help him with something he'll push my hand away and yell, "Wubby do it!" or "My turn!".  Mr. Independent.

Love him!  Happy Birthday Pierce!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sports Legend in the Making!

Well spring sports season is upon us, and once again, Hayden has chosen to play on a Blastball team.  For those of you not familiar with the term, it's basically like t-ball for preschoolers.  Our good friends had all played on the same team for a different league last year, and they thankfully talked us into joining them for this season, so Hayden could play with all his best buddies, and Nate and my dad are still helping coach, along with some of the other parents.  This league takes the whole business a little bit more seriously, consequently we have really been able to have some fun with it and get involved.  And obviously, because all my friends love their kiddos and are so excited to finally be getting into sports, we've gone ALL OUT with both the boys, and their cheering section siblings.  It's over the top, but just about the most fun thing I've been involved in to date as a parent.

For the entire month of March, we were busy practicing each Thursday night with the boys, teaching them batting and fielding the ball.  Each practice would start with stretching and running the bases, and it was SO cute.  The boys at first were really getting emotional over the game, and crying when they didn't get the ball, for example, however by the end of the practice season, the coaches had seemed to be able to instill a good "team" attitude, and there were lots of high 5's going around.  I was extremely proud of Hayden for his attentiveness, and good listening, and for the most part, his good sportsmanship.  Darling!  Here is a little collage of our most recent practice.  Blastball ready!

On Friday night we had the opening ceremonies for the baseball season in our town, complete with a parade through the ballpark, where each team was announced, and then they all gathered on the field for the National Anthem.  All the boys were dressed in their 'Longhorns' uniforms for the first time, and they looked so adorable.  Our team mom, Tanya, had each of the boys tell her what number they wanted so she could get it printed on their shirts.  So we had Hayden with his requested number 1 (are you surprised), and then several of the boys had their parent's old sports numbers, and some just picked totally funny random numbers - hilarious.  The t-shirt given to Hayden hung down past his knees, and he looked like such a peanut in his equally far too big for him baseball cap, marching out onto that field.  How did he turn into this sports-playing little man?!

The siblings got involved in the fun of course, although I suspect Pierce would have rather been on the field!  But alas, our little almost 2 year old was stuck on the sidelines with a group of VERY pretty little cheerleaders.  He was all geared up in his Longhorns outfit to support his big bro, and I sewed a little dress for Ruthie out of Longhorn fabric, so she could be part of the team too.  Tanya made all the girls adorable little bows to match their outfits, and we were stylin. 

Game day arrived on Saturday, and the boys were excited and ready to play!  I spent most of the game either nursing Ruthie, or trying to keep Pierce off the field as he yelled "Bradoo I'm coming!" and would take off haha.  But in between those tasks, I managed to snap a few shots of my little blastball player in action.  All of the kids did such a great job, and I was so proud of our little Longhorns.

Ruthie of course has to have several outfit choices for all the games we have coming up.  I made her a little dress first off, since I couldn't find any cheerleading outfits in her size.  It turned out super cute, however a girl can't wear a fancy dress to EVERY game.  So I used some scrap fabric to sew some ruffles onto a plain white onesie, and then I used iron-on adhesive to add the Longhorns logo to the front of the onesie.  Such an easy little project that turned out pretty adorable - for those hot day games that will be coming up soon!  Gotta support the team :)

In addition to being a fantastic little blastball player, Hayden has also taken up the game of golf, which THRILLS his father and grandfather.  I'm pretty sure Nate has been dreaming of taking Hayden to the driving range since the day we found out we were having a boy, and his dream finally came true last weekend.  Hayden has been playing a lot of Wii golf, and Nate figured they should hit up the actual course.  I didn't have the priviledge of tagging along (this was a special poppy/daddy/son thing), but I sent Nate off with strict instructions to take lots of photos.  Apparently Hayden took to it easily and was super enthusiastic - so much so that Nate ended up buying him his own little set of clubs that he has been showing off to everyone who will look (including his mammaw via skype!).  I hope he sticks with it, and this can be something special he shares with his father and grandfather!