Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lunchin' at the Park

As part of preschool Halloween celebrations, we decided to have a lunch celebration at the part today.  Our family was definitely ready for it; Annabelle LOVES when she gets to go to preschool with Jared.

AND since it was lunch at the park, we were able to invite friends who aren't apart of preschool--- which means only one thing in our family:  Alex & Caleb were able to come.

Annabelle & Alex spent most of the time running after each other, while Jared & Caleb did the same.  They even created a new game on the swings:

Obviously they thought it was HILARIOUS. (it was)

Luke was the good little baby that he is and enjoyed lots of cuddles in the Ergo (still love it).

Now to get ready for the barrage of visitors who start to arrive TOMORROW for Halloween, Greg's work picnic and Luke's blessing!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Fun!

The kids were so excited to decor their pumpkins when we got home from the farm that they actually painted their pumpkins that night.  They got so messy that they had to be striped down for an early bath.

Yesterday, after church was pumpkin decorating time.  I say 'decorating' because the kids won't go anywhere near the pumpkin guts.  Greg doesn't like to touch it either; so it isn't too hard to guess what my job is, when the time comes.

The most surprising thing about this year was that Jared did get brave enough to scoop a little bit out... but he still wouldn't touch it.  Oh well...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fiesta Pumpkin Patch

Since we didn't go to a pumpkin patch last year, I really wanted to take the kids this year.  Greg's only stipulation was 'not a lot of driving involved,' so we met half-way and went to a pumpkin patch just down the street from us.

Friday night, a big storm rolled through (with a cold front), so, Saturday morning, we debated not going to the patch and just getting pumpkins at the store again, but decided we should at least try to go.  It ended up being a wise-choice because we had the farm all to ourselves.  It was so nice, we realized we should've invited our friends along as well--- maybe next year (wink, wink).

Other than things being a little damp, we had a great time.  We fed bunnies, goats and pigs; we even had a little piglet follow us around the whole time we were there (I nicknamed him Wilbur).  Jared plucked up enough courage to get in the sheep pen and pet a couple (Annabelle just stayed at the door).  Right before we picked our our pumpkins, the kids each had a pony ride (they're experts now).

Funny Story:  We were walking around the farm, looking at the animals and we see the turkeys.  Jared turns to us and asks, "are those turkeys the same ones we eat?"  Our response: "yep"  He pauses for a moment and says "yummmm"  Just don't let the turkeys hear you say that, buddy.

We saved the pumpkin-picking for last.  Since I have a family full of pumpkin-guts haters, we only picked out one pumpkin to carve.  Annabelle picked out two little pumpkins for the same price (she said one was for Luke), as Jared's pumpkin (they were both adamant that their pumpkins were NOT going to be carved).

During the short car ride home, the kids asked if we could come back.  Glad to know they had a good time.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

This Week

We started the week off with a little bit of Baseball playoffs.  We made a Pistachio cake right before crushing Game 6 and finished it off the next day during brutal Game 7. : (

Greg & I voted early (funny sign at the station reminded everyone to turn off all SMART, DUMB, or PRETTY phones)...

Luke slept...

Jared grew...

So did Annabelle...

We played with friends...

cleaned the house...

Luke slept some more...

went to the pumpkin patch yesterday (post to follow)...

and I made a costume (no reveal until Wednesday!) today with plans to have pumpkin fun tonight!  What a fun week and this is only the beginning!  Next week is Halloween, followed by LOTS of visitors for Luke's Blessing.  Hopefully, we sit back and enjoy the end of the year OR we'll blink and it'll be January...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cool 'Smile' Luke

Luke has hit the baby phase of 'smiles-all-the-time-but-Mommy-can-never-get-it-on-camera.'  Frustrating, but oh so fun because he's starting to show his little personality.

Anyway, since I've been determined to get in on camera, I've been taking lots of pictures of Luke (let it never be said that this kid has less pictures than his brother and sister), so I FINALLY got some smiles.

Isn't he a HOOT?!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Friendly Weekend Hike

During the week, while enjoying our semi-annual adventures in consignment sales, Kim brought up the idea of going on a family group picnic/hike at Eisenhauer Park.  The group consisted of a first-grader, six preschoolers/toddlers and two babies---- plus all of the parents--- so why not?!  Even though we had so many little feet along for the ride, we had a great time.

First thing's first, we had to have the picnic part of the adventure.  We didn't want to have hungry kiddos on the hike.

After food, it was off to the races.  The gaggle of kids had fun taking turns running ahead, falling behind and riding in the stroller (that Michelle was smart enough to bring--- genius!).  Half-way up the hill, we stopped for a water/rest/duck-duck-goose break.  Luke mostly needed a break from getting too sweaty in the Ergo (I know I've mentioned this before but--- BEST baby carrier EVER--- seriously).

Once we were all re-hydrated, we were unstoppable, until we arrived at our destination--- the lookout tower.  The kids were all so excited to have a tangible 'woo-hoo, look what we accomplished' destination; not to mention, the view was gorgeous.

We all took some time taking pictures.... even tried to take a family picture (with a few extra kids).  In the short time we rested at the tower: Annabelle (and the rest of the girls plus Alex) tried to find the best rocks to take home, Caleb tried fervently to woo Abby, Jared planned our route back (the kid really likes to hold and look at maps), and the babies did what babies do best--- slept through it all.

Going up the hill, we were all pretty much together the whole time.  Going down the hill, we were much more spread out.  Greg and Josh tried to explore off the path with Annabelle and Elise.  After he caught up, I passed Luke to Greg because we were both wet from all of the sweat (because of his outfit Greg couldn't resist a pose or two--- after I taught him how to do it correctly).  Annabelle then asked if she could be carried, so I tested out the Ergo's back-carrying capabilities.  Totally passed; I was really amazed at how little pressure I felt on my back.

After our tiring journey was complete, we decided the best way to celebrate was by getting some frozen custard.  Greg and I have continually said how grateful we are to have a great group of friends.  We feel very blessed to have them in our lives.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baseball Fever

I think it's genetic--- and I've never been more excited to pass something down to the kids. :)

We've seriously enjoyed the last week of watching our beloved Cardinals on TV.  We only have the basic channels, so throughout the season we've caught a game here-and-there (and even in the hospital when Luke was born).  It's only been since the beginning of the NLCS that we've watched them frequently.

Jared, particularly, gets excited when the Cardinals get a hit or run.  Since he has to go to bed before the game ends (even yesterday because of the rain delay), he asked me to remember to tell him if they won or not.  The other morning, after they won Game 1, I came into his room and woke him up like this:

Me: Good Morning, Jared.
Jared: Good Morning, Mommy.
Me:  Guess what, Buddy?
Jared (cautionously excited):  Whhhh--at?
Me: The Cardinals WON last night!
Jared (SUPER excited):  Woo Hoo!  Go Cardinals!  I love baseball! (Okay.... I added the last one)

So cute!  He still has a little bit of a hard time understanding the game, but nothing a little T-Ball next year can't cure!

The pictures are when we dressed all three kidlets in their Cardinals gear. 

Go Cardinals!  12 in '12!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mema Visits: Park Fun

One of the kid's favorite things to do when Mema & Deda visits is go on outdoor adventures.  So, we went to the park a few times while Mema visited.  Mema even took Jared and Annabelle out a few times, so Luke and I could catch up on some much needed sleep.
Mema: The Professional Swinger
Slides are more fun with friends

The two park trips that I went on as well were lots of fun.  First, we went to the 'Big Park' (as my kids like to call it) for a lunch park playdate with our closest neighbor friends.  Annabelle & Alex had a monopoly on Mema pushing them on the swings.  It was really cute.  Jared & Caleb pretty much spent the time running around oblivious to Alex, Annabelle, and Elise chasing after them.

Another day, Mema & I decided everyone needed a few moments outside, so we ventured over to our small neighborhood park.  I wore Luke (as a sort of practice for Super Saturday) and the big kids ran around and played while Mema & I talked.  Besides chasing each other around, they really liked to test their arm and grip strength by playing 'monkey.'  One guess as to who named the game (*cough cough* Annabelle).

My favorite part of that adventure was when the kids wanted to be chased so Mema & I turned into Mema & Mommy Monsters (even while wearing a sleeping 6 week old).  It was so much fun chasing them around.  It's the simple moments of being a Mom that really are the best.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mema Visits: Playdate Fun

 When Mema was here, we thought it would be fun to have a lunch playdate with the kid's friends, so she could see them play together.  One of the best parts about it was being able to use the patio set we inherited from some great friends.  We had a great time watching the kids play and see who would eat which food.

Jared and Caleb thought it would be fun to show her a new skill they learned...

I guess Jared weighs a little more than Caleb.  Random Mommy Moment:  I can't believe they're going to school next fall!  Yikes!

Jared's look says it all:  Mom, why are you taking a picture while I'm eating?

The fall here is really great.  It's the time where we can do activities and not feel like you're in the process of melting.  Here's hoping we remember to have a couple dinners outside before it gets too cold (for our Texas weather-weenie children).

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mema Visits

We had so much while Mema visited this past week.  She left, yesterday, in the middle of Super Saturday (another one--- DONE!) and we're so grateful for the time she came to visit.  We...

went for walks (or rides), had a lunch playdate (own post to follow), went to two of our favorite parks (own post, as well), made cookies, got aquated by cuddling with the new grandson, did art activities, and, of course, read.

We're so glad Mema came and we can't wait to see her in a few weeks for Luke's blessing.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Conference Weekend

Each conference weekend, our goal is to try to get the kids to do something that gets them excited about what's going on, and maybe even pay attention a little.  This time around, I think we found what works for our family.  I guess we'll see if it works again in 6 months.

We talked about the apostles and prophets in FHE the week before and talked about why we have conference.

Then, I made cards for the 15 brethren.  During their talks, the kids had to listen a little bit to figure out what they might be talking about.  If they find something, they put the picture under the topic card.  Then, we get to do an activity.  We had memory, coloring pages, snacks, etc.

We also set up the tents Zakie & Krystal got them for Christmas last year--- you know, King Benjamin style.  Daddy even got in. :)

All in all, it didn't seem like this huge fight this time around.  AND, half way through the weekend, we got a new visitor.

Now, we've got a fun week ahead with Mema!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Big Boy Playdates

One of the hardest parts about adjusting to having a new baby this time around has been regarding Jared.  Jared is getting to the point of not needing, wanting, and generally all out refusing his naps.  It's now become more rare for him to nap.

So, my wonder-neighbor-friend has graciously opened her home to let Jared come over during naps; she also happens to be the Mom of Jared's BFF, Caleb.  The goal is that I try to figure out some kind of groove with Luke while Annabelle sleeps (and maybe, just maybe, have some alone time).

Here's the meet-up in pictures.

So, neither of us have to leave the homes, we both head outside while Jared walks runs as fast as he can to see Caleb (Jared and I are the dots crossing the street).  Caleb usually meets him as some point and they run back together, ready for new adventures.

They played outside, made crafts and forts, had snacks and, this time around, played 'construction.'  I'm so grateful for thoughtful friends willing to help however possible.  It's been so much fun watching their little friendship grow, and it'll be a blast to see how it changes in the future.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Month of Luke

STATS: Weight:  9 lbs 14.5 oz  (75%)  Length: 22 inches long (70%)  Head Circ: 16 cm (50%)

SLEEP:  All the time.  He is only a month old.  After his last late night feeding, he only wakes up once a night, in the early am to eat--- we're counting that as a victory since we get a six hour block of sleep.

FOOD:  Just Mama milk around seven times a day.  He's a great eater now and, so far, no problems with me.  Woot.

PLAYING/TOYS:  Annabelle still thinks he's a toy, but other than that, no toys for the month old yet.

PERSONALITY:  So so chill.  He still hasn't really cried.  When he's upset he'll grunt and whimper, but that's about it.  His personality is perfect for adjusting to having three kids.

MILESTONES:  Sleeping six hours. ***First infection/medication ***First bath*** Using his swing ***  First Restaurant visit*** He's trying to work on his head control, we'll see if he's still trying.

RANDOM:  We'll see just how much he changes, but right now, he's great. Right now we're getting ready for his first grandparent visit.  Mema is coming to help for a week.  It'll be fun to see her.

Announcement & Newborns

In case you didn't get a physical copy:

Here's the whole shoot. (All of these pictures were taken by an amazing friend).
gathbysgirl's Newborn-Luke album on Photobucket

A couple weeks before Luke was born, one of my friends asked if she could practice taking newborn pictures on him.  Hmmm... free nice pictures of my new baby.  Um, yes.  One of my goals with Luke is have lots of photographic proof of him (not too hard in the technological age).  So, we brought little one-week-old Luke over to their house and took some cute pictures.  We were even lucky enough to get some good pictures of all three kids and the family.

I'm loving our little family of five.


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