Thursday, July 24, 2014

Visiting WV and VA family

In the past week or so, we have done lots of packing and unpacking, visiting with family, and of course, a ton of playing with kids!  We traveled to WV to see Papa Ed and Nana Lois for a few days... We spent an evening in MD with some of my extended family... We spent most of Saturday at Jamie's family reunion... And the kids and I spent a few days with Marmee and Big Daddy.  Wow, was it busy and fun!!!  Thank you, ALL, for your generous hospitality!!!  We love you all and are so thankful for the wonderful time spent with family!!!  Now it's your turn to come visit us! :)

(Ok, so here's my disclaimer on the pictures... I forgot my memory disk for my camera, and my phone was too full of pics to take many more... Nope, i just don't have it all together. :)  So i'm waiting on family to email me some pics that they took of the fun...

1. Chillin' on the swing with Nana Lois and Papa Ed...

2. Thank you for the new books!  The boys love them!

3. Sweet girl at bedtime...

4. I can't tell you how much our boys enjoyed playing in the mulch and dirt with Isaac (my cousin Andy's little boy)!

5. Elizabeth following Callie and the ball around... :)

6. Uncle Jimmy, you look so much like my mom!

7. Check out that hair!

8. Callie was being silly at the mall play area in WV.

10. My sweet dad took the boys to a train museum (and on a train ride!) recently.  They had a blast!

12. STOP!

13. Precious, sleeping, sweaty, beautiful girl!

14. Goggle bath time! Ha ha!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Happy July 4th!

Lots of randomness.....
Cole had a well-visit with the pediatrician the first week of June.  So at 4 years 10 months, he weighed 44.4 lbs. (78%) and was 44.5 inches tall (85%).  This kid can eat!  He'll finish whatever food I've given him at a meal and often ask, "What else can I have?".  Crazy!

I try really hard to keep my eyes on Callie most of the time, but sometimes I assume she is with the boys when she's not.  Recently, as I was folding laundry, I thought Callie was in the office with Cole and Chase watching a video (She mostly plays with toys, but also watches a little.).  I heard a strange noise, and when I went to investigate..... She was splashing in the toilet water!  UGH!!!  (Just in case you're wondering, she also loves to unroll TP, and she's been known to eat a little too!) ;)  Toddlers are mischievous little critters!

Chase made me really laugh the other day.  I mentioned to him that Cole hadn't done a task "first thing" like I asked him to.  Chase asked, "Mommy, did he do it second thing?".  (I don't know why I found that so hilarious, but I did!) :)

Chase likes to antagonize Callie ALL the time!  He will follow her around, put toys in her face, poke her, etc.  He also loves to steal food off of her high chair tray!  And he still calls her "Cawwie."  But he's also sweet with her... He's usually the first to say he wants to give her a hug at bedtime.  Love these kids!!!

When Cole and Chase are playing nicely (with cars or blocks or something that they want "just right"), Cole will often ask Chase to "distract Callie" so she doesn't mess with their stuff!

I often try once or twice a week to do a little dusting with the kids (furniture, baseboards, etc.).  I usually give Callie and Bradey feather dusters (which they just play with); Chase gets a duster that can be washed (he starts out dusting furniture, but moves quickly to dusting walls and toys and then gets distracted and plays); and Cole and I really dust (ok, first Cole complains that he doesn't want to dust, I have to prod him, and he might dust for 2 minutes and then he also gets distracted and plays).  I obviously have no idea how to get my kids really involved in household chores... But I'm trying. :)

1. Happy 4th!!!

5. We finally got a new battery for the jeep... well, Poppy did. :)  Thanks, Poppy!  Lots of fun!

7. The kids had a blast a friend's July 4th party... Relays, riding toys, bracelet-making, and water balloons.  Woohoo!

8. Our Batman Spiderman Jake the Pirate???

9. "All aboard."

10. Yep, that's a sticker on Cole's nose. :)

11. Our sweet little Ladybug!

13. Chase was sick recently.  He fell asleep on the chair... Poor kid. :(

14. The boys enjoyed their first experience on a slip-n-slide at friend Lily's birthday party.  Yep, Chase thought it was good for the mower. :)  (And no, I didn't get a good pic of the birthday girl.)

15. Cupcakes, anyone?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Strawberries & more cousins

Saturday was a day that I apparently should have simply slept a little more. :)  I mopped my kitchen floor only to have some big spills, and I washed and put on fresh sheets only to have a little one (Chase, who was sick) pee on them. :(  It's definitely easy some days to feel overwhelmed with all that I think I "need" to do (and some days my efforts are futile because I have to quickly re-do what I've already done).  Such is the life of a parent, I guess! :)  (Chase is feeling okay, by the way.  He ran a fever Saturday, but has seemed okay since then.)

Random happenings... Callie cracks me up in her crib these days.  After crying when put in her bed (whether for naps or bedtime), she flips through a couple of her books and usually puts her blanket over her head several times before settling down. :)

Callie is walking great inside, and she's getting better on the uneven ground outside... But this means she wants to hold a hand while walking outside.  And of course, being the third child, she thinks she can climb on and off the boys' riding toys... which she would quickly fall off of or flip over if I'm not holding.  She's much more fearless than our boys so far!

Chase will surprise me some days by pointing out a few words in books, saying, "That is one of Cole's sight words." :)  It's amazing how quickly kids can pick up new information!

Have I mentioned that Cole loves to play "Angry Birds" on the ipad?  He would probably play non-stop, if I'd let him... which I won't. :)  These kids love watching videos and games, and I have to ration them!

1. Playing with Uncle Shawn is a favorite activity!

2. Yep, Shawn's look says, "Please help me." :)

3. This is what teenage boys do when given a toy tunnel. :)

4. Yep, we are one of "those families" that often bathes all 3 kids together!  They love it!  I don't know when kids develop inhibitions, but it's not yet. :)

5. Their daddy is definitely the favorite.  So much for their hard-working mama. ;)

7. Jamie and my dad took the boys strawberry-picking a couple of weeks ago.  As expected, they had a great time and LOVED eating the strawberries while they picked... and the ice cream afterwards too. :)

9. Yep, that's chocolate ice cream...

10. We also had a cousin of mine and his family come by for a short but sweet visit.  It was awesome to catch up a little and let the kids play.  Here's Callie with Ashley and Elizabeth...

11. Isaac was too busy playing to smile for a pic. :)  Our boys loved playing with a "new" cousin.

13. I just love Callie's grin as she's held by Andy!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Visit with Marmie & Big Daddy

Let me preface this by saying it is VERY HARD to get many pictures when we are busy chasing around 3 little ones... or 4 kids on the days that I keep Bradey (Callie is especially busy, yet still needy, at this stage... but all 3 still need lots of attention... This is what happens when you are outnumbered by your kids).  I wish I could have gotten more good pics of family and friends these last couple of weeks, but this is our life stage right now. :)  (Oh, and in case you're wondering why there seem to be more pictures of Callie than of our boys, it's because she's always with me, and the boys are often running and/or hiding from me!)

I feel like so much has happened in the last couple of weeks... Callie officially started walking around her birthday!  She really "got it" within days of her turning 1, and she is a pro now. :) She is still unsteady outside and wants to hold a hand, but she's getting faster inside.  And she is SO proud of herself!  She has such an infectious grin as she walks around!

Cole has done a fantastic job of swimming with his swim belt so far this summer, and he actually swam with NO swim belt for a few minutes yesterday!  Yay for Cole!  We also love to watch him jump in with his "scare goggles."  (The first few times we went to the pool, I had to drag Chase in, and he cried/screamed for a while.  Yes, I am that mom that drags her kid in crying... because otherwise, he would never get in.  Thankfully, Chase did great the last time we went, and kicked his legs happily with his swim belt and me. :)

As I was turning out the boys' light tonight, Chase said, "Mommy, I want to tell you something...".  He often says this, and it's usually just a stall tactic.  He's our child that comes down the steps every night to peak on us and see what we're doing after he's supposed to be asleep.  He takes a nap only half of the days now, so he thinks he can stay up later (but he often sleeps later in the mornings too).

Things are going well with me taking care of an extra little boy 3 days a week.  Bradey is a sweet, big 22-month old.  He usually plays nicely, eats well, and takes great naps. :)  He is with us all day long, and some days seem VERY long... But I think being home with just my kids also makes for very long days!  I'm very thankful that this new venture is working out well so far (7 weeks in). :)

 1. We had a quick visit with cousins at Smith Mountain Lake... beautiful, fun, and exhausting. :)  The kids LOVED it and can't wait to see cousins again!  (Cole has asked several times to go again.)
(L clockwise: Landon, Brennan, Jack, Cole, Macy, Molly and Jo)

2. Jamie with sweet Hudson...

3. Molly has the sweetest little voice.

 4. Our little walking girl.

5. We got together with our playgroup friends (including our dear friends that moved to Chicago a few months ago).  From L to R: Harrison, Lily, Eliza, Joshua, Jacob, Meredith, Chase, Micah, Cole, Russell.

6. Callie and Paige are only a few weeks apart. :)

8. Some phone pics...

9. Enjoying some yummy strawberries outside.. Chase, Cole, Angela and Bradey...

10. Nana agreed to read to the kids, but her expression says, "Please help me!" :)