Friday, August 29, 2014

1st Birthday Letter {Reagan}

Dear Reagan,

I can hardly believe that you are a year old already. You are so content being my little baby and part of me wants you to stay my little baby forever. Just last month you decided to start crawling, but before that you were perfectly content with just hanging out in one spot while your brother and sister brought you everything you could ever need or want.  Now that you are crawling all you have to do is look up at Mommy with your hands out and I’m sure to pick you up and steal a few snuggles before you are off to find something to play with.  There is no one that can make you laugh quite like Daddy (although Wyatt is a close second). We have so enjoyed every moment of the past year with you.

I do have some confessions to make, though. I have this “Mommy guilt” about some of the things I didn’t do or I feel I didn’t do too well over the course of this last year. Before you were born, I bought you cute cupcake stickers with 0-12 months printed on them to stick on your outfit and take a picture of you each month.  While I’ve taken lots of pictures of you, I have several of those stickers left. I kept forgetting to take that special picture after about 6 months or so.  We bought your baby book calendar a few months after you were born, I got it caught up, and now it’s hanging with several months left blank. I update this blog as often as I can, but I usually sit down and do several posts at once but I still find there are so many fun things we’ve done that never got blogged about at all. So, my fear is that you’ll wonder why Wyatt’s pages in his book are completely filled up or why Kenley might have more blogs posts.

 I’m not going to give you a lot of excuses as to why I didn’t get all the things I intended to done. I’m sure one day when you are a Mommy you will understand. Our days tend to be crazy at times. There’s rarely a day when we can all make it out the door without some sort of stain or mess on our clothes from breakfast, a craft or a spit up. You get one great nap every day in your crib and if you need a second nap it’s often in the car or in the stroller on the go. Some days it’s probably inconvenient being the 3rd child, but many more days it’s a blessing I hope you will know so well. You have two older siblings that love you more than anything in this world. You are theirs. They claimed you before they even met you while you were simply along for the chaotic ride in my tummy. You definitely have had to share time and attention with them, but if that were the price to pay for the love you receive I believe your bank is in the riches.

Soon you will be walking, talking, and chasing after Wyatt and Kenley and as much as I’d love to keep you my baby forever, I’m excited for all that’s yet to come. You fill our hearts with immeasurable joy. Your smile lights up any room. You’re a petite little girl with a big personality that’s easy-going, sensitive, and determined. You are playful and curious. You are ours. And we are yours. Even though I missed several pictures with that special sticker we bought and many pages of your baby calendar are bare (which I’ll try and fill in using my calendar), I assure you, you’ve been loved to the moon and back.

I love you, sweet girl.



Friday, August 22, 2014

Surfside Beach 2014

I can still remember summer vacations my parents took my sister and I on when we were little. I have wonderful memories of the quality time we always had on our vacations. I hope that my kids will cherish family vacations just as much.
This past July we went back to Surfside Beach by Galveston with the Mikulas'. We found the perfect house, named The Snook, to pack in 4 adults and 6 kids! It was right next to the beach, had the cutest little wrap around porch, and was the perfect home away from home for a week.
Here's the view of the house as you walk up from the beach.

The kitchen was fully stocked with appliances (even a dishwasher) and everything we needed to cook.

My pictures aren't in order very well, but we spent the whole week having fun, playing, relaxing, and hanging out with friends and family. Most days we'd get up, make breakfast and pack for the beach, go to the beach for several hours, come home for lunch and naps (adults, too!), then we'd have an early dinner, go back to the beach, and then have smores and more fun before putting the kids to bed, and then the adults would hang out and have game night. It was perfect! Oh and we took about a million showers throughout the week! Sandy beaches are MESSY, but we got pretty good about rotating kids in and out of the shower.

Reagan LOVED the beach and the sand. This was her first time and luckily she got better about not eating the sand.

We played hard on the beach all week - football, sand castles, boogy boarding, fishing, wave jumping, Frisbee...

The kids hung in there like champs even though it was tiring having this much fun.

Kenley, probably coming to ask for help getting sand off her hands or out of her eyes.

The kids played so well together all week. We brought crafts, games, and toys and they had the most fun creating things with this construction paper. How did all these kiddos get so grown up so fast?!

One afternoon we went to Galveston to ride the ferry and look at dolphins and have lunch at The Spot. We saw TONS of dolphins! It was so neat!

The kids think it's so neat that we got to drive the car onto a boat and they were great dolphin-spotters.
These sweet boys became best friends at 6 months old in their daycare classroom. The teachers told Mackenzie and I how much these 2 loved each other all the time. Mackenzie ended up writing me a note introducing herself (we dropped off/picked up at different times and hadn't even met each other). Now they are about to start kindergarten, we've got more babies, and we are all so grateful for the friendship these guys started up.
The sisters have become besties, too!

Reagan was my sand castle building buddy. She would play with the sand for hours. She finally started crawling on the trip (at about 11 months old!) but was still not crawling too much so she stayed pretty close.

Sweet sisters.

Being silly.

On our last night we decided not to cook and we went to a little family owned restaurant on the beach. Then we were told we might see dolphins at this spot at the end of the beach, but we didn't see any.

We did manage to get a group shot of the kiddos - crazy hair and all (remember, we took 10 showers a day and this is the last day and so crazy hair it was).
Aidan, Wyatt, Kenley, Reagan, Taylor, and Avery

This was one of the dolphins we got on camera while riding the ferry.

We ended up going to the crabbing pier to catch crabs 2 nights because it was so much fun. The adults had just as much fun as the kids, if not more. Chris and Jonathan didn't have much luck fishing on the shore throughout the week so at least the were able to get something to bite.

Kenley has a crush.
More crabs. Some of them were really big. The bigger they were, the smarter they were.
Wyatt slept in the kid room that had 2 sets of bunk beds and we told him that we were going to see if he was ready for real sleepovers. He had to go to sleep and not play all night. He did awesome!
Kenley slept in our bed and she is a mover. She was all over the place. We NEVER let our kids in our bed, except for trips and stuff, so Kenley thought she was super special. And after a week of this getting her back to her bed was way fun... not!
And Reagan slept in the bathroom. Poor number 3. We had a pretty big bathroom in our room so we set up the pack in play in there, turned on the fan for some background noise, and she slept like a rockstar. Pretty amazing for the baby I had to sleep train using cry-it-out (yes, I'll admit now it was worth it).

Lunch at The Spot. We ate here the last time we went to the beach and decided to go back.

Hanging out on the porch.

We caught lots of little critters (I love to catch things, as long as it's not a spider!). Here's my first catch the first night - a teeny little crab.

The crabbing pier was missing some boards, which made it perfect for sitting and crabbing right in front of us. Not a cute picture, but here's a crabbing action pic. Haha. It was HOT and humid.

Reagan chilled in the stroller while we crabbed. We decided to keep her away from the salmonella we feared was being flung around by children using raw chicken to catch crabs.

I'm so glad we got to go back to the beach this year. It was the perfect week spent with our family. The kids enjoyed having Chris around all day. We all enjoyed spending time together. I'm looking forward to the many more family vacations in the future.

Friday, July 25, 2014

First Haircut {Kenley}

Just before we went on vacation to the beach last week I decided to get a few inches cut off of my hair to help with tangles. Since it was a last minute thing I had the kids with me. I was talking to my friend and hair girl about Kenley's hair getting tangled really bad and we decided to trim hers up, too. Kenley is super shy so I thought she might be nervous, but she was nothing but super proud to get a turn like Mommy. She walked over to the seat, climbed in, and smiled this big nearly the whole time. 

It doesn't look much different, especially since her hair changes length from day to day based on her curls, but it definitely helped with tangles and her curls. I didn't even get an official "after" picture since I'm sure I got busy with the other 2 while Kenley was enjoying her mini spa day. I love Kenley's sweet curls and hint of strawberry. So sweet.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Birthday, America!

This year, Wyatt understood that we were celebrating America's birthday. And we celebrated all day long. It was such a fun day of family, friends, and a celebration for our great country.
We started the day off at Stroller Strides since it was a Friday and we still had class. Daddy didn't have to work so Reagan stayed home with him. It was a HOT July morning, but that didn't stop us from getting a hard workout in with friends. After our workout, we did a little patriotic craft with our friends and then the kids ran around with their red, white, and blue streamers. After that we got a short nap in before heading to Pap and Stacy's house for food, family-time, fun, and swimming. And by 8 we got to our fireworks spot that we go to every year and played with friends and family until it was firework time. The whole day was filled with playing and family and everyone had a blast.

And look, we got a pretty decent picture of all 3 kids.

Lolo taught class this day and somehow afterwards all the kids started gravitating over to her mat. Perfect photo op. These kids love her!

Little Farmers

We have a garden in our backyard this year and the kids have LOVED it. They helped build it, plant it, water it, pick it, and keep it looking good. Eating food from the garden is super exciting and they've been talking lots about where food comes from (that was the point of having a garden so I'm glad).
Lately we've been driving by lots of corn crops and Wyatt talks about them all the time. He asks every time if we can stop and go look at it. Well, one day last week Kenley had to have an emergency potty stop on our way home. When I found a decent place to pull over behind a neighborhood and whip out the little potty in the trunk of my car it happened to be next to a corn field. They asked if they could go look. I let them and I said "don't pick anything," but we all know how that went. They each got an ear of corn and were so proud of their corn. I took the opportunity to talk about how the corn belongs to the farmers and we can't just take their corn and blah blah blah. Wyatt stopped me, looked up, and said "Mommy, I think they have plenty!" So off we went with the 2 pieces of stolen corn.
When we got home I had to take care of Reagan and get her to bed before feeding the big kids. Before I could finish Wyatt brought me the first piece all shucked to tell me there wasn't any bugs on it. I looked at it and said "except for that HUGE caterpillar right there." Ugh!
Eventually, we gave the caterpillar a new home, cooked the corn, buttered it, and they ate every. single. piece. of. corn. on. the. cob.
My friend has since informed me that it's deer/feeder corn and not the corn we eat from the store. I'm not sure. I didn't eat it. I didn't plan to steal it. And I'm hoping they learned about the farmers, the crop, the corn, and we can move our attention back to our backyard veggies.

Hope Fellowship VBS 2014

This was Wyatt's 3rd year to attend Vacation Bible School, but the church that we attend starts at incoming Kindergarteners so it was his first time to go to this one. I decided to volunteer this year and that meant the girls got to go, too. Kenley even got to do her own VBS with the early childhood classes. Everything about it was awesome - the stage, the theme, the stations, the kids, the staff, everything. I'm so glad we all got to be a part of such a wonderful week of fun.
The big kids do mixed age groups so Wyatt was with kids of all ages and this made him feel so grown up. Every day I asked him what his favorite part was and every day he said the music (and snack, of course). I was so proud of him because we had to get there by 7:30 since I was working it and then every night he had basketball camp at another church in our area. He was exhausted by the end of the week, but he never complained and he worked so hard all week. VBS with the big kids made him even more excited about moving up from the early childhood area to the elementary kids service at church in August. He will also get to start going on Wednesday nights and we keep hearing how much fun it is. Lots to look forward to, but I still can't believe I'm about to have a school-age child.
Kenley also loved VBS. Every morning in the car she would chant VBS, VBS, VBS with lots of enthusiasm. This girls LOVES school. She calls her church class, school. She had a ton to say on the way to VBS and even more on the ride home, but she preferred to stay pretty quiet when she was actually there. She's definitely our shy one.
Reagan did a great job all week, too. It was the most someone other than family has ever watched her. There was only one day toward the end of the week that they had to get me to help her calm down. She hung out with me and the sweet girls I was working with and giggled and smiled the whole time. She knew she had won!

This was behind the photo op area and Wyatt insisted I take his picture with the cross.

Near impossible to get everyone looking in a picture, especially with curly noodles laying around.

Wyatt is the blurry kid jumping and dancing on the bench with blue shoes.

With his crew, kneeling on the left.
On the last day there were tons of bounce houses for the kids. Most of these pictures came from Wyatt's sweet crew leader who took pictures for me throughout the week.

And the early childhood director snapped some pictures of the littles doing their VBS thing. So sweet. Can you tell these kiddos are tired!?!?

Cute boys making a human pyramid for one of the games. It was HOT outside!