Saturday, August 20, 2011

Six Months Old!

My little beauty is officially 6 months old.  To celebrate her newfound status, she woke up with her first tooth on August 16th!  How fitting for my big girl.  The second bottom tooth is not far behind, and is giving her some trouble, so I hope it pops through soon.  Aside from getting new teeth, Ruthie is starting to gather speed with all of her milestones!  After our vacation to the beach house with her 8 month old friend Nolan, she picked up his habit of clapping (which is my FAV milestone ever), and she is also starting to really sit up on her own with ease.  She is a little rolly polly and I constantly find her in places other than where I put her down, however she is not yet pushing up onto her knees, so I expect we still have a few months before she officially takes off crawling (no complaints there).  Although we have slowly started to introduce some "real" foods to her, she just thinks it's hysterical and blows bubbles and ends up spitting half her meal onto me.  So I am taking a little hiatus from table foods, and sticking with nursing for now haha.  We'll try again in a few weeks.  And verbally...well...she's taking after her brothers.  She is NOT a quiet baby, and frequently squeals (usually with delight) at the top of her lungs.  Clearly she does not want to be outdone by Pierce.  But all in all, she is a smiley, happy, perfect little thing!  I'm so thankful to have a daughter who is growing so healthy and big.
Here is a photo college of all three of my little ones right around their 6 month mark.  I think they look incredibly similar, and Ruthie definitely shares traits with both of her brothers.  They are all so cute!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Branson Family Reunion

Hey all!  We just got back from a week long trip with my dad's side of the family to Branson, MO, and I'm trying to fit in a post about the trip before we leave for our NEXT vacay - a beach outing with our friends on the Texas coast.  Whew - talk about a whirlwind!  A lucky, fun whirlwind, but we are busy nonetheless :)

My grandparents own a timeshare in Branson, MO, and since my parents didn't use their Breckenridge timeshare this year, they decided to trade it to get a week with my grandparents in the Ozarks.  For the first time in a VERY long time, we were able to vacation with all my aunts and uncles, my grandparents, and a couple of my cousins.  Having never been to Branson before, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I knew that no matter what I'd have a blast hanging out with my Wisconsin fam.

Well Branson exceeded my expectations honestly, mainly because it is an awesome family destination.  It reminded me a lot of the Wisconsin Dells, and had a lot of the same attractions that appeal to kids - go-karts, miniature golf, bumper boats, water parks, the Ducks, and lots and lots of theater and shows.  Hayden was absolutely addicated to go-karting, and my sweet cousins and poppy happily took him so that he was able to quench his need for speed on a daily basis haha.  It was a huge wooden track with tons of hills and levels, and he was hysterical, screaming and shouting "wooo" whenever we went down a hill.  Veyr dramatic and cute.  Riding the Ducks was another highlight, as it took me back to my own youth on the Ducks in the Dells.  Although it was a steamy 105 degrees the afternoon that we went, and we were literally pouring bottled water over our heads, it was still thrilling to go speeding into the lake and sending up a giant splash.  The kids were THRILLED!  They even got the drive the boat and get their captain licenses.  Pierce lost steam near the end of the trip and fell asleep, but all in all it was a good time :)

While all of that was fun for the kids, what really made it fun for me was beautiful Table Rock Lake.  It was our only saving grace in the 100+ degree heat, and we definitely took advantage.  The waters were deep, clean and clear, and even surprisingly cool and refreshing (a far stretch from COLD, but still nice!).  My all time favorite activity of the trip (and perhaps the entire summer) was renting a brand new pontoon with a waterslide on it.  All 15 of us piled on at 7 am (to beat the heat) for a 4 hour jaunt on the lake.  The pontoon had a powerful enough motor to haul a tube, so we all took turns tubing, and then we'd take swim breaks to cool off and go off the slide.  My boys were so brave and just jumped right in, despite never having swam in a lake before.  Hayden even went on the tube with me.  It was a perfect vacation activity and I just loved hanging out on the lake with my family.

We were also able to spend a day at the beach (Hayden's actual birthday), and it turned out to be somewhat rainy and relatively cooler, which was a blessing.  Hayden brought along his snorkel gear that had been a gift, and we built some sand castles, buried Hayden in the sand, and just swam and enjoyed a morning together. 

We spent the morning of Hayden's birthday on the beach, but what birthday is complete without a party and cake?  Per Hayden's request, I created a pretty cool little volcano cake made of confetti cake and rice krispie treats.  I regretted not having my hubby there for his creative genius, but we managed to pull it off, and Hayden was thrilled.  He got all sorts of great gifts from the family, and it was fun to celebrate with them this year.  It's hard having them far away in Wisconsin, and I'll always remember this birthday party as being very very special for us for that reason!

While all the activities were super fun, the best part of the trip was laughing with my cousins, watching my kids bond with my own aunts and uncles, seeing my dad with his parents and all of his siblings, and just enjoying this lovely family that I have.  I'm very very lucky and count my blessings each day!!

The Birthday Boy

One of the most special things about Hayden's birthday each year, is that I remember that he is the only person in the whole world who made me a mother for the first time.  He gave my first insatiable ice cream cravings when newly pregnant, his were the first tiny baby feet and fists that I felt in my belly, his flickering heartbeat, and beautiful profile were the first that I saw on the ultrasound monitor, and that appointment was the first time I heard the words, "it's a boy".  He was the first child that was born into the world as my own, and first little baby that I held and nursed myself.  The first child whose eyes my husband stared into with awe, as he became a father.  He was the first smile, the first giggle, the first step, and the first word.  I didn't know what kind of love a parent felt for a child until he came.  Unconditional, forgiving, all encompassing, at times overwhelming, "love you to the moon and back" kind of love.  So every year when he turns a year older, I become ever more thankful that he made me a mother, and especially that he became my little boy.

Happy Birthday to the most beautiful little 4 year old in the world.  I love you my sweet sweet boy.  You are perfect, and precious, and the absolute light of my life.