Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Six months? Seriously?

Here is the journal entry in Grace's baby book for her 6th month:

November came and went (very quickly), and my little personality is coming out more and more. I babble and blow raspberries and I tug and grab at anything and everything within reach. I smile easily and often, especially at Mommy and Daddy, and my face just LIGHTS UP when I see or hear my Bubba! We were able to spend lots of time with family this month. I enjoyed my first Ivanhoe and getting to meet all the new people! I was especially fond of Papa Otis!

For Thanksgiving, we had TWO celebrations. The first one was at the Ivans’ house with the Swartzs, and Grammy & Granddad. Uncle Brad, Aunt Jess, and Addison joined us LATE that night and we had a second Thanksgiving at home on Friday. We moved ahead with solids throughout the month, and as anyone who knows me could have predicted, I was not a big fan to start out with. However, by Thanksgiving, I was really getting the hang of it (maybe I was inspired by everyone else enjoying their food so much!). So far, I’ve had rice, wheat, and oat cereal (mixed with a bit of apple juice) as well as sweet potatoes, squash, pears and bananas. Mommy is trying her hand at making all my food and it’s going pretty well! I still nurse 5 times a day, every 3 to 4 hours; my bedtime is around 7 o’clock, with Mommy waking me before she goes to bed to feed me one last time. I had my 6 month appointment on November 20th. I weighed 13 pounds, 8 ounces and was 24 inches long. Mom thinks some of these measurements must be off, though, because the nurse said I was 24.5 inches long at my 4 month appointment…. either I'm the incredible shrinking baby, or somebody's notes are not quite right! The last thing I have to report is that I am SITTING UP!! It happened really fast. At the beginning of Thanksgiving week I couldn’t do it, and by week’s end, I was a pro! Somewhere in the middle of that, I also started getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth. Mommy keeps saying I need to slow down, but I know that freedom is just a crawl away and I can taste it!

Here is a video of Grace being Grace. I don't know what you would call this... growling? Yelling? She does it all the time, happy or sad. Ben was trying to get her to blow raspberries, but she wasn't really interested. If she ends up talking half as much as her brother, I'm going to be deaf by 35. I think I'm in trouble!

The Gored Snowman

I think it was the Christmas of 2005 (pre-Ben) that Brian and I were window shopping on Main Street in Boerne. We ran across these little snowmen made of out different painted gourds. I commented on how cute I thought they were, and my wonderful, attentive hubby had one tucked away under the tree on Christmas morning!

That year, as we packed up the decorations, I tossed Brian the snowman's box and asked him to label it. To his own amusement (he cracks himself up) he wrote "Gored Snowman" on the box, instead of Gourd Snowman. I probably giggled, but I know I recovered quickly enough to shake my head and roll my eyes.

Now, as I unpack the Christmas boxes each year, I am subjected to Brian's humor. I pull out that box, and I picture what might be tucked away inside: a snowman, stabbed through with a spear, or a tusk, or maybe a pool cue.... I don't know... what would be the weapon of choice for assaulting a snowman? Then I giggle... and shake my head... and roll my eyes.

This year, as I was putting it out, I showed it to Ben. Hey buddy, look at this little snowman. "No, Mom, it's a snowLADY. Look at her eyelashes." Okay, so he's right, it is a snowlady. He walks away, losing interest, then pauses to look back over his shoulder at me and adds, "Actually, it's a squash." I giggled, and shook my head, and rolled my eyes.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Family Photos

We asked our friend, Drew (who also took Gracie's newborn photos) to take some family photos of us. He knew about a great location, San Pedro Springs Park, and so we met him there one evening and had a ton of fun getting these pics. It was hard for me to choose my favorites, so I'm putting almost all of them up here. Great job, Drew! We love them and will treasure them forever!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Frito Pie Fright Night!

When we were at Love Creek Orchard with the Collins and Sullivans families, we got into a conversation about Frito Pie. Mainly how it is so good, but you never make it at home because it would involve buying a five gallon can of Rico Cheese. Then genius struck. What if you had a party that was centered around the presence of that huge-mongous vat-o-cheesy goodness? That's how we ended up hosting a Halloween pot luck... Frito Pie Fright Night!

The party was attended by the Sullivans, the Collins, the Jones, and the Schwartzs. The parents contributed to the Frito Pie fixins (we also had fruit salad and cupcakes) and the kids represented a diverse cast of characters. After a yummy, albeit nutritionally lacking, feast, we headed out into the neighborhood for some trick-or-treating!

Ben ready to go!
The rest of the party on the move!
It was a first Halloween for Grant and Grace! They were troopers despite the fact that they had no idea what was going on and they would not be able to participate in the candy eating!

Halloween babies & Mamas!

All the walking around was really tiring! Ben bummed a ride with Princess Avery, and Grace just passed out all together!

Thanks for the lift, Avery!
Not at all bothered by her crazy hood!
We ended the evening back in our driveway where we examined our goodies and Ben handed out candy to the big kids who were still out and about. It was an awesome night filled with yummy treats and great friends, and we're hoping to make it an annual event. Happy Halloween!
Get your candy here!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Funny day around the house

This past Monday was really fun. It was just an ordinary day and we spent it, for the most part, at home (just us). Ben kept me laughing, though! The first thing we did was a craft project. Last week I came home from the scrapbook store with a brown paper bag and I saved it to make Ben a mask. He helped cut the eyes and mouth out. The he colored it and we attached yarn for hair and a button nose. He was so excited to try it on (and let me take a picture)! The only drawback to stuff like this is that he immediately wants to show Daddy, and Daddy was still sleeping. :(
Here's Ben trying on his mask
And sharing with Gracie :)

Later, Ben was playing by himself while I was trying to get some work done. He brought one of his toy animals (which is the size of a quarter) to me in a plastic jar. He said he locked up the bear because it was biting the other animals. I thought this was a good idea, but I didn't want the poor bear to go hungry, so I asked Ben, "What do bears eat". He said, "Bears eat fruit." So I suggested that he put some food for the bear in the jar. This is what he came back with. You can't even see the bear under all the fruit! I laughed so hard! Here is Ben with his bear and jar of fruit. He was so proud. I've added an arrow to help you see the little bear.

Once Brian got up, I tried to work again (I usually work at the front table), but the three stooges kept distracting me. Could you work with those smiles vying for your attention?

The making of Boo & Sulley

"What do you want to be for Halloween, Ben?" Ben replies, "I want to be a monster". So onto Ebay I went. I typed in Monster toddler and a bunch of "Sulley" costumes came up (from Monsters, Inc). Easy enough - Ben loves that movie, and I liked that he was going to be a nice monster. Now, what should Grace be? I wanted to stick with a theme, so the choices were "Mike Wazowski" (a large green eye ball with legs) or "Babbling Boo". Not a tough choice. The Ebay search continues. Do they make Boo costumes? Yes. Do they make Boo costumes for a 5 month old? Nope. Uh oh.

Last year, I borrowed Liz's showing machine and set out to make a shower curtain. Easy enough - I believe the project consisted of sewing 6 straight lines (which my striped fabric made relatively easy). Liz taught me the basics of how to thread the machine, start and stop a stitch, and use the guidelines. Easy enough. Since then I've moved up to burp cloths and nursing covers (those require boning... oooohhh... moving up the sewing food chain). But an entire Halloween costume, with multiple pieces, a lining, and CURVES?

As my husband rolled his eyes (seriously, you're going to take on ANOTHER project), I set off for Hobby Lobby. Patterns were on sale for 99 cents! So I picked up a pattern for a baby bunting, some cute purple fabric and all the other "notions" (hey, I'm learning sewing language), and I was off. Or so I thought. I think I took out the pattern and returned it to the package once a day for two weeks. It may as well have been written in Chinese. Ok - I can understand what a seam allowance is, but what the heck are the "selvages"?! Why does this thing not come with a glossary of terms? Am I supposed to somehow put all these marks onto the fabric? It says to cut two of this piece, but if I cut two out - they won't be opposite. Aren't they supposed to be opposite?! Deep breath. Call Mom. (The woman transformed me into E.T., webbed feet, plush mask, red-tipped finger and all. Enough said). Aaahh - tracing paper and wheel. Back to Hobby Lobby!

I still had a ton of questions, so I was so excited that Liz's sister-in-law, Kayla, would be in town one night. She does so many great sewing projects (she's so creative!) so she came over and explained to me about all the weird symbols and the mysterious selvages. These are, consequently, vital to the cutting process so that my pieces would, in fact, be opposites! Pattern transferred and pieces cut (thanks, Mom & Kayla). Let the sewing begin! Or not... why is this so confusing? Why did I forgo Home Ec so I can take more English & Math?! Failed by the public school system, I tell you!

Ok, so the Lord is gracious and merciful, ask and you shall receive! So I received, in God's perfect timing, my mother-in-law in the flesh for 3 days! Saved! Not only was she available to be my sewing coach and dictionary, but she took the kiddos off my hands for an entire day so I wouldn't have to drag this thing out for another two weeks. I converted the body suit of the bunting into a little dress for Grace that ties closed in the back. Instead of attaching the hoodie, I kept it separate and made Boo's mop hair and googly eyes with a few craft supplies and the hot glue gun (my nanny would be so proud!). Then, feeling extra brave, I took the pattern for baby PJ pants and used it as a guide to make some blue shorts for Ben's costume, since the one I purchased only came with the hooded vest. Done and done! Here are some pics to document the process:

First fitting - a little big, Mommy!

Trying on the hoodie - fits great!

Finished costume!
Finished hoodie!
Grace's 5 Month picture - modeling her costume!
Sulley & Boo - all smiles!

Love Creek Orchard

Last week, we went out to the pumpkin patch at Love Creek Orchard for the second time. (The last time we went was in 2007, and we were really bummed to miss it last year.) Liz, Tanner & Avery rode with us (who's hating the 8 passenger van now? hee hee) and we met the Sullivans there. I think it's a great outing for the kids. There are tons of things to see and do - good clean fall fun! I love dressing up in warm colors and taking pictures - they all came out great! (So this is a very picture-heavy post). We're definitely trying to make this an annual tradition!
Before we could even pay the admission, Ben and Tanner had run off for the hay bale maze. (This was warning #1 to not run away from Mom & Dad). There was a little play area with hay bales for them to climb on (and jump off, if you're Ben).

Grace was too little to really enjoy it this year - next year I'm sure she'll be doing her best to keep up with the big kids!

She is just big enough to sit supported, so we tucked her down in this little pumpkin pile! She was all smiles, having a great time!

This is her "crazy smile" She cracks me up when she does this!

Ben was all smiles, too. He was having fun looking at the baby chicks with his daddy, though we kept having to remind him to sit so that he wouldn't accidentally stomp on a chick. Easy, Lenny!

Trying to get a hug while he was still for a minute! You can tell that he was merely obliging me!

Our next stop was the hay ride. We tried many times, unsuccessfully, to get a picture of the three friends together. This was the best that I got!

Wow - everybody looking and smiling! Enjoying the hay ride through the apple orchard.

This was the result of Ben ignoring yet another warning not to run away from the group. Three strikes and you're out (which is one more than he usually gets at home). The point needed to be made, so Brian found a "time-out corn stalk". He looked so pitiful watching all his friends play in the maze again!

His foul mood was short lived - as soon as his time was up he was off and running again!

Our last attempt to get all the kids lined up (Seth and Brian were ready to kill us)!
Tanner, Avery, Ben, Grace, Emily & Grant

It was fun to compare our pics with the ones from two years ago:
Ben was barely eye level with the hay bales - now he towers over them!

And we have one more little person to sit with us among the pumpkins!
Happy Fall!!!