Sunday, December 4, 2016

9 months!

Jack is 9 months old today!  9, long, months old.

He has really come a long way this last month.  He started crawling confidently and can now get to where he wants to go.  This has helped immensely in the the crying-and-screaming-all-day department.

He is the first baby for which we've had to buy outlet covers.  We have never had to baby proof our house before. Hopefully we won't have to get cupboard locks and all that stuff.

Because of all the stress and work and busyness of moving,  and all the time I had to leave him with baby sitters all day while I worked on the house, my milk supply is practically non-existent.  I also think it doesn't help that I pretty much can barely stand this kid and so I have none of those lovey hormone feelings that are normal and helpful when breastfeeding.
This boy is HUNGRY and has been eating regular table food for a good month or two already so it's not a huge deal but of course we had to buy formula.  I am both sad about this and happy.  I know I could work at building my milk supply up again but I'll just be honest - I don't want to.  Mostly because I simply don't have the time. A few months of formula won't kill him and I am enjoying the freedom of actually taking medicine when I am sick for the first time in 9 years.

He is starting to be a happy guy and takes really nice long naps - I'm talking 6 hour naps.  He actually wakes up and plays in his cribs happily and then goes back to sleep.  He seems happiest when he is in his crib alone.

It is like that scene on Back to the Future when Marty goes back to 1955 and meets his jail-bird uncle as a baby.  Standing over the play pen the mother says "He cries whenever we take him out, so we just leave him in there all the time."

He of course loves all the attention from his sisters.  He and Claire have a special connection. 
 They are cut from the same cloth, both in looks and personality. (yay, I was hoping to have two children that are so completely different from me that I can't understand them at all)  He has every one of her traits so we believe that he will be severely pigeon-toed as a toddler like she was.  
(Yes, this is really Claire - her feet corrected themselves by the time she was two)

But like I said, this little guy has made progress this month. 
 He can even put food in his own mouth now! #winning. 
He eats SO MUCH, I don't know how he is staying so petite.  
That's how Claire was though so.....

His two top teeth are coming in so he constantly has his hands in his mouth.

 Oh little Jack.   We love you in spite of yourself and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.  A glimmer of hope on the horizon.   3 more months.....til the long awaited first year mark.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Autumn Apples

 It's that time of year again!  
 The time when we make caramel apples and try to get a good picture of everybody eating them - which, if you are new to my blog, is impossible.
 This was Jack's first taste of caramel apples. 
He loved them!
But only having two bottom teeth put him at a disadvantage.
 What nice sisters he has to share with him. 

That's it!  This is the last time a new member is added to the Autumn Apples picture tradition.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Compassion Walk

This past weekend Josh was away with the youth group and it just so happened to fall on the same weekend that my mom had asked us to come over to do the Compassion Walk with their church.

So while Josh was away we spent the night at my parents' and the next morning headed to Freestone park for the walk. 

It was really neat and the girls loved it! 
Before the walk there was live music, a bounce house and booths.

The walk was only a mile and a half with 6 interactive stations.  At each station you watched a video that went along with it.  The videos followed a boy in India, his name was Sandeep and he talked about the lack of food and how sometimes he had to look through piles of trash to find food.  There were visuals of what the average American child eats a day and what children in poverty eat.  It was slightly ironic that we were slamming down free donuts and popcorn while learning about people in poverty.
The second station talked about home size across the world,

  Next was the water station. 
 The girls had to haul water up the hill.

At the next station Sandeep talked about finding money on the street and had to choose if he should give it to his parents so they would not be kicked out of their house, food, or medicine for his mother (who was sick from drinking the water) 
Everyone got a coin and had to choose where to spend it.   Claire went back and forth on this one but ultimately they all decided to buy food. 

Then last two stations were about Sandeep becoming a Compassion sponsored child when he was 6 and how he was given hope. 
 We were told there was a special surprise and the end and it was that Sandeep was there!  He talked to everyone who wanted to ask him questions. ( he is in college now)

Afterward the girls bounced 
and got their faces painted
 and of course Claire made a friend.

Jack was sick and not feeling good but he liked being outside and managed a few happy moments throughout the morning.
He still looks miserable though.

This was the biggest Compassion walk there has ever been, with the most money raised.  Claire got the most out of it but the younger two still had a great time. It was definitely worth while!

Sunday, October 30, 2016


This year is STAR WARS year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Dun dun dun dun ....DUN, dun dun dun DUN!
  Dun dun dun dun DUN! Dun dun dun dun....  and so on.

A few months ago was Claire's (and therefore the younger girls') first viewing of Star Wars.  Of course we did it the right way letting her watch 4,5, and 6 a few times before showing her 1, 2, and 3.  and finally 7.

Of course Claire wanted to be Luke for Halloween

 and Joy fell right in line wanting to be Leia. 

 We convinced Paige to be R2D2 
which she was actually very excited about 

 and Jack makes a perfect Ewok
 - especially since that meant I could reuse Claire's bear costume from her first Halloween.


The girls then decided that Josh and I needed to dress up.  Josh had a Darth Vader mask so that was obvious and if he is Darth Vader then it was a given that I had to be Padme.  The only problem is that I don't dress up.  Ever.   Unless it would break my children's hearts so I have to.
I like Padme though, we have some things in common.  I can be both feminine and tough,  I am independent, I was good with a gun the one time I went shooting, and if I ever had twins I would die too - but for different reasons.  

We had tremendous luck finding everything we needed at Goodwill.  Man, how do people live without Goodwill?!  It took a few months of searching for just the right items but that is part of the fun and it is SO exciting when you find the perfect thing.   Each costume was under $10 except - Jack's, his was free.
It is so hot this year that Josh didn't end up wearing a Darth Vader costume - especially since he had to run around all day being in charge of the church festival so I made him this shirt instead.
We had a fantastic time at the church festival and the girls can't wait to go trick-or-treating in our new neighborhood.

Happy Halloween!  May the force be with you!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Beach Trip

We just got back from our annual beach trip.  We went with my parents again this year - we had so much fun!

The first day, my mom and dad drove straight from AZ to visit their friends from yesteryear, while we drove straight to the beach.

The girls were ecstatic.  It seemed like a LOOOOOONG drive.  Everyone did pretty well  -  minimal screaming from Jack.

We spent the afternoon at a beach near San Diego and then continued up the coast to our hotel near Huntington.  The hotel was very fancy.  It had a beautiful atrium and glass elevators which the girls loved.

There were big fish and turtles swimming in the little ponds and you could feed them if you asked for fish food at the front desk.

The only bad thing about the hotel is that it was FREEZING inside.  The rooms temps were contolled by the hotel and apparently if the weather is between 50 and 70 they don't use the air or heater!  Anything below 78 warrants a jacket in my mind.

Luckily, I packed everyone 1 jacket or sweater so we wore those whenever we were in the hotel. Silly Arizonans!

 We had a suite so these three slept on the pull out bed while Josh and I had a room with Jack.

In my experience few things are as terrible as a baby in a hotel room but Jack was great!  He only woke up once each night and needed to be fed but went right back to bed.  (at home he sleeps through the night)

The next morning we enjoyed the hotel's free breakfast and got ready to go to the beach with Nana and Poppy.  After the first beach day Josh decided we HAD to get one of those beach wagons.  We just look like a circus trying to carry everyTHING and everyONE across the long expanse of sand between the parking lot and the shore.

 I was glad, because although not shown, I also had two tote bags and a chair on my back and Jack on my front.
 Added bonus!  The wagon made a perfect little bed for Jack.  He slept for many hours in there.

Jack was a little cranky this day.

The younger girls kept busy for hours hopping in the waves.

I love watching Joy's antics as she runs on the beach.

Claire mostly stayed out in the ocean.  She LOVES to boogie board.
She looked for sand crabs with Poppy for a while but there weren't very many at this beach. 
 There were lots of sea shells though!  Joy liked to hold them up to the sun to see if any were see through - because one of them was.....
Josh and Claire found some big snaily-type shells that were still intact.  
Paige listening to the ocean...even though it is right in front of her.

The whole gang

Before we left I took this creepy picture.  Joy literally stood there like that without moving for the longest time - just staring at Claire.  

After cleaning up at the hotel, we grabbed some pizza for dinner and enjoyed chocolate and coffee while watching tv in the hotel room.

The second beach day was the most fun.  It was Monday so the beach was pretty much deserted. 
It was chilly in the morning

But it warmed up nicely and was a beautiful day.
  There was a weird water outlet just down the shore from us so we walked down there and it was so neat!  Josh found crabs in the rocks 
and the girls enjoyed the shallow water.
Close to the rocks the water got deep and had a strong current going out to sea.  They liked to ride in the current.

Late in the afternoon the tide went WAY out and the shore became shallow pool with tiny waves rolling in. 

We then went to the hotel, let the girls swim in the pool and spa, then got hamburgers for dinner.

Paw Patrol was on so everyone was happy.

The last day we were on our own since my dad had to be back at work that afternoon.  They left early in the morning and we nabbed a few hours at the beach before heading home.

It was a quick trip but well worth it.  We can't wait for next year!