Monday, August 29, 2011

The babies 1st playdate

Today was a very special day for all of the babies! They had their very 1st play date all together! Of course, the little ones slept through most of the chaos which blows my mind since we had 23 people in my tiny house, including NINE 2 year olds! WHEW! 

If I had thought about this earlier, I SHOULD have gotten a picture of all of the big siblings together (or at least the backs of their heads because that's what a picture of a 2 year old looks like) and then a picture of all of the babies. I did get the baby picture though! My vision (if you know me I have grand visions and they work out 10% of the time and then I get disappointed... another blog for another day...) anyways, my vision was to make onesies for the babies that coordinate and then take a picture in order of birth. Well, as you know by now, it takes me 2+ hours to get Avery to sleep and then she sleeps for 20 minutes so I accomplished 2 of the 5 :(  Nonetheless, here is our precious picture of our precious babies in Avery's precious crib. There's a lot of preciousness going on in this picture:
In order from newest to oldest (if you can really consider 16 weeks "old!"). Landon (11 days), Shiloh (16 days), Marshall (3 weeks... maybe 4), Jonah (14 weeks), Avery (16 weeks).  Precious right?

It took me 16 shots to get this one picture! Marshall is wearing my "vision" because he peed on his outfit so he got to wear the one I made! Such a boy! Here are some out takes.... notice who is the shot ruiner...  AVERY MADISON!
All of the other babies being sweet and Avery has her finger up Jonah's nose!
You can't really see it well on this little photo but Avery is basically flipping Jonah off. Such a classy lady.
Notice Shiloh nursing Marshall's elbow! I'm pretty sure he's pooping in this picture as well. Avery also looks like a sumo wrestler.
 The photos made me laugh because it's like the evolution of newborns. Landon was still all curled up and wombish and you'll notice the babies progressively less curled up. Ahem... Avery... Miss legs spread and arms open!

While the babies napped and posed for pictures, the big kids played in the backyard, bounced in the bounce house, played on the swing set, played with every toy we own and had lunch. They always have a blast together and I cherish time with my mom friends! Fun time had by all!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The BEST part of being a parent!

There are parts of parenting I REALLY dislike.... discipline, tantrum management, blow out poop, spit up on a clean shirt... you know what I'm talking about. THEN there are parts of parenting that are AWESOME! Today was one of those days! I took a morning nap with Avery thanks to Daniel who played with Parker, put up dishes, folded laundry and straightened up the kitchen... I know... A-MAZ-ING! Man, did that start the day off right! Our new dishwasher came at 11:15, only 45 minutes after our time slot which I consider a success, was installed and is now functioning! WOO HOO! After lunch and naps, we headed to Carowinds! YIPPEE! 

This is where our day got SUPER fun! We've had some not so wonderful experiences at Carowinds when Parker won't ride anything but today he was fearless! Back to the title... one of the best parts about being a parent is reliving fun childhood memories through your children's eyes. It is SO gratifying to watch them enjoy something that you also enjoyed as a child (or maybe still do!). 

We started at the water park:

I promise this is Parker swimming, not drowning. He's fearless in the water!
Our awful but best attempt at a shot of the kid's matching swim suits.
Then we headed to Parker's beloved Snoopy train:

Of course, no Carowinds experience would be complete without a spin around the carousel. Parker searched long and hard for the girliest horse he could find!

 We took MANY rides in the boat! Always the yellow one, of course!

The kids were FANTASTIC! Not even a single whine from either of them! Super dad Baby Bjorned (yes that is a verb) Avery for a while when Parker and I re-rode (also a new verb) the rides over and over. 5-8 is a great time to go. No lines! Super dad and I had a great time and so did the kids! Fingers crossed for a WONDERFUL night's sleep! Tonight is Avery's 1st night in her crib (well... at least she's starting the night in her crib.) 1 1/2 hours so far! That may be a record!

Questions I'm pondering

Why does this child not sleep for more than 20 minutes without someone touching her? 
Seriously, ya'll. She'll sleep longer, but you have to be laying next to her to rub her head or back right when she wakes up to get her back to sleep... or hold her.  I can spend over an hour trying to get her sleep and she'll nap for around 20 minutes. It's just a phase, right? I hope so! It's a good thing that she's a cutie!

Why can't Parker say his own name? 

He is the most well mannered child. He says "please" and "thank you." He knows Avery's name, all of our family members names(except Kelly) and most animals... but CANNOT (or WILL NOT) say "PARKER!" It drives me nuts! I really wanted him to be able to say his name before he goes to preschool. So instead, I'm sending him with a monogrammed backpack, lunchbox and closet full or appliqued/monogrammed shirts. Sigh.

Should I make my own baby food or buy it?
 I always bought Earth's Best baby food for Parker. I stocked up any time I found it on sale at the store so I usually bought it at $.50-$.75 a jar depending on the size. I will definitely use some of these again for Avery such as when we're out for meals or for fruits and veggies too high in nitrates, or gross ones I don't buy for myself. Here's my dilemma... my desire to be super mom makes me feel like I should try to make my own food. I tried today. I made pears and peaches and I've gotta say, I'm not really convinced it's that much cheaper, if at all. It wasn't hard to do but I'm wavering between the convenience of opening a can of organic baby food or the satisfaction of knowing I prepared Avery's food from local farmer's market produce myself. Mamas... help me out? Anyone have strong opinions one way or the other?

Are these two going to cooperate for family beach pictures in 2 weeks?
I sure hope so! I'm dying for AWESOME family pictures! So much so that I hired a photographer to take them! I just felt so strongly that we needed nice sunset, matching outfit, beach pictures! Clearly, as you can see above, I'm not too fantastic at getting them myself! Yes, I was hoping up and down, laughing, making duck noises and asking "what's on my head?" and this is still the best I got.... Avery, eating Parker's foot and Parker playing with his juice box straw.. ah... real life. I so badly want a not real life shot where they're both smiling at the same time, looking at the camera, with no stains on their matching seersucker crab outfits, sitting in sand. Is that too much to ask?

Why is Parker so suddenly into Cars, Toy Story and Dora?
Goodbye Thomas, hello Dora, Toy Story and Lightning McQueen. I'm currently still tolerating the shows themselves pretty well... but the "stuff." Let me tell you about marketing... those boogers are smart. My son is currently sleeping with a Woody doll (that he tucks in), a plastic Woody figurine, a shake n go Lightning McQueen, AND... drumroll... a can of Campbell's Soup that has Woody on it, a box of Kraft Mac n Cheese that has Car's characters on it and a soup label I pulled off his dinner with Dora.... and 3 ducks. I'm not sure what grabs Parker's attention so much with these 3 shows but he's in love... and so are the marketers of these characters. NOTE: he will NEVER wear these characters and of that, I am certain! He can sleep with as many boxes of Car's mac n cheese he wants but he will. not. EVER. wear ANYTHING. with them on it!

Will the dishwasher installer ACTUALLY be here between 10-10:30am?
Is that not the most amazing time frame EVER from an installation company?! I was thrilled! I've been without a dishwasher for 2 weeks... and it's been a LONG two weeks! When Best Buy called me today to give me my time frame, I asked them to tell me again. What? No 4 hour window? If this is the case... I'll buy every appliance I ever need from Best Buy! 

I am pondering many other things... will Daniel's seersucker shorts I ordered online fit? Eeek, I hope so,.. no time to buy another pair before the pictures! Why do random women I don't know ask me if the coffee I'm buying is for me? Why yes... see the 2 year old crying on the floor and the baby attached to me... yes, the coffee is for me... and yes.. I'm nursing. Poor old woman probably went home and called DSS on me. Will Parker's preschool teacher like him? Is he going to cry when I leave him on his 1st day? At the rate we're going, Avery isn't going to sleep through the night until she's 14. Is there anything I can do at this age to help her? Or just accept some kids aren't great sleepers? Le sigh.

Man, I have a lot of questions!

There are; however, things I do know. I am loved. I am giving it my best. I don't have all of the answers.  I am happy. I love my family. I love my life. I am blessed.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thump Thump

That's the sound my heart makes when I see Parker and Avery interact. About 2 or 3 times a day, Parker will stop what he's doing and will go see Avery. He usually will want to hold her momentarily, lay next to her or show her how to play with her toys on the exersaucer, Twice he's wanted to pick her up which he now knows is a "no no" as is swinging her in the doorway jumper! BUT, overall... he's FANTASTIC with her! When Parker is holding Avery and he's done, he tells me "All done, mommy" which is AWESOME! I was so worried he'd just crawl away or chuck her to the side! Thank God that's not the case! While these are not the greatest photos, they sure make my heart happy!
Parker took Avie's paci out to kiss her
He decided HE would be the baby!
Clearly Avery would like her paci back!
Parker pats Avery on the head a lot. It makes me laugh!
That seems to be soothing her while big brother insist on keeping her paci
Is there anything sweeter than clean, snuggly babies!?! I suppose these pictures would be cuter if Parker wasn't wearing my "Everything is bigger in Texas T-shirt!" Parker has paci envy. He never took one and every now and then I'll find him walking around the house biting Avery's. He has no clue he's supposed to suck it. Bless his heart. That's when I know he needs a little one on one mommy attention! Avery is just infatuated with her big brother! She tracks him around the room and absolutely loves him to lay next to her, kiss her toes and play with her on the exersaucer! She tolerates being held by him for about as long as he's willing to hold her which is always less than a minute. 

Tonight I was watching "Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta" and there were boy/girl twins. He had come with his sister to go shopping, picked out a dress for her and supported his sister's decision. It was SOO sweet. I've decided that's my goal for Avery and Parker. I want my kids to be so close that Parker WANTS to support his sister and go wedding dress shopping with her. Lofty goal... I know. It's not about the dress per say, but I want my children to love each other so much that they want to be there for each other's big moments in life, despite being opposite genders. So far, I think we're off to a good start!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Babies, Babies EVERYWHERE!

Our playgroup is OFFICIALLY complete! All of the 2 year olds whose mom's were pregnant are now BIG BROTHERS and BIG SISTERS! :) I got SO excited each time a mom was in labor! I couldn't WAIT to get the 1st text picture of the new precious pumpkin! I saved them all for this very post! So here's the line up!

Parker became a big brother 1st with the birth of Avery Madison on May 5th! She weighed 6lbs 13oz and was 19 inches. How bad is it that I had to look that up on her birth announcement! I don't have a text picture because I have a new phone since then but this will do!
Next was Zury's turn with the birth of her brother, Marshall Starks on July 28th! He weighed 7lbs 12oz and was 20 inches long. The 1st thing I noticed about Marshall was how much he favored Zury... especially with those kissable lips!

Lily became a big sister on August 12th with the birth of her sister, Shiloh Abigail! I think Shiloh looks like her mom! She was the smallest of the 4 babies at 6lbs 8oz and 19 inches but she certainly is a cutie! She was born insanely quickly just minutes after arriving at the hospital!

And last... but certainly NOT least is Landon Joshua, little brother to Logan! He was born less than 24 hours ago on August 18th at 3:57am weighing 7lb and 2oz and 20 and 1/4 inches! That 1/4 inch was VERY important to his father ;) He has the prettiest skin I've ever seen. 

I had the pleasure of taking Avery to visit her new friends in the hospital and have a new appreciation for the newborn photographers in the hospital. See what I mean:
Marshall, Avery and Landon
Shiloh and Avery
Shiloh and I
Me and Avery (14 weeks), Brandi and Landon (hours old!), Amber and Marshall (3 weeks)
 I am SOOO excited to watch these babies grow up as buddies! How lucky are we to be raising our children close in age together (both the 2 year olds AND newborns!)!?! I bet by 10 months, the boys will be bigger than the girls, even though Avery was born 11 weeks before the 1st boy (Marshall). We'll see! Congratulations, mamas! All of the babies are PRECIOUS and I feel so blessed to know each of you!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mommy Moments

There are defining moments as a mom that most every mom WILL experience. It's like initiation into a club. I am already a member of said club (Thanks to Parker) but Avery made sure I re-uped my membership... possibly sending me into a club leadership role on Tuesday. What club is this you ask? 

It's the "I've worn my baby's poop" club. The rest of this post is NOT for the squeamish!

We were on the boat, you see... which is prime "poop on mom" time because did I have a change of clothes? No. Did I have wipes? No. Did Avery have a change of clothes? No. Mom of the year, I know. Thankfully, I did remember a diaper and the boat is stocked with paper towels. So here's how it went down:

We were taking some pictures....

You see Avery's face? She KNEW what was about to happen!
 ... And then....

Here's the impressive part... it was BARELY on her pants and her diaper was almost completely clean! She managed to poop so explosively that it bypassed the diaper AND her pants and landed on ME!
The damage... that I sat in for about an hour and a half. THAT'S LOVE!
The good news... 
1. My sister dry heaved but didn't ACTUALLY throw up!
2. I believe this incident has served as birth control for her and many other young people still reading this post
3. Avery has been WAY less fussy! It's amazing what a good poop can do!
4. Spray n wash is awesome and you'd never know my dress was once covered in baby poop!

It's a good thing Avery is so darn cute!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

PBS Dance Party

SO... I know I've been a bit of a blog abandoner recently! SORRY! Life's a wee bit hectic right now with the kiddos, car problems, housekeeping (or lack thereof), summer fun and all that jazz! I've not been super great this week at snapping pictures but did shoot this short video of Parker dancing. He's not one to usually let loose as his idea of dancing is usually a modified version of raising the roof.. but... the kid does love organized dances. He's gonna be the KING of the YMCA and electric slide at weddings! This is Parker doing the PBS Kids dance party that comes on before Curious George. Obviously, his favorite part is to "leap like a lemur." :)