Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mid-Week Madness

Actually, there's not much madness around here, just every day life.

I'll hit the highlights of the week so far:

Monday: I drove to Round Rock early in the morning for a doctor appointment (I'm getting the terrible varicose veins in my legs fixed in the near future!).  The kids and I went to Walmart and the Walmart McDonald's in the evening while Chet was in class.  We're nothing if not classy.

Tuesday: Lorelei tried out a gymnastics class and loved it, so we signed up.  There's a playground (shaded!) where Ford can play while he, Ruthie, and I wait for Lorelei's class to end.  Also, we got our van back from the body shop!  I always miss my van (even though they provide us with a rental van).  I missed it so much I decided it needed the ultimate treatment before putting all of the carseats back in it, which means that Chet detailed the inside at 8 p.m. (My love language is "clean carseats and detail interior of car.")  I may or may not have said these exact words to Chet: "I want that console so clean I can eat off of it." #yikes

Wednesday: Nothing much to report about today.  Sydney went to her weekly piano lesson.  We ate leftovers for dinner (tacos).  Ruthie refused an afternoon nap.  Ford refused to eat dinner.  The usual.

Random picture time:

This is significant because it was the first time Ruthie took a bottle (Monday!).  I snuck in from my doctor appointment to find them like this and took a strangely angled picture so that she wouldn't see me and thus break the spell:

Ford playing at the gymnastics playground.  I told him to smile, and he held this smile/pose for at least 20 seconds.  Reminded me of Kate Winslet on the bow of the Titanic:

The gymnast:

Dinner shenanigans:

Ruthie was in a spunky mood the other day while Ford napped:

One of her new "things" is to have her mouth wide open in this exact position:
It's hilarious/weird.

Aaaaaaaand she's done.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Ford: The Forgotten 3rd Child


Maybe you didn't notice, but surely you forgot since it was two years ago, but I quit posting monthly pictures of Ford when he was only...wait for it...FIVE MONTHS OLD.  That's just sad.

So here are the rest of his monthly pictures (if you need a reminder of the first five months, click the links first):

1-Month Old
2- and 3-Months Old
4-Months Old
5-Months Old

He was by far the hardest to photograph each month; he was (and still is!) such a hot mess, ha!

Since I'm on Memory Lane, here are Sydney's and Lorelei's 12 months of pictures:
Lorelei's Monthly Pictures
Sydney's Monthly Pictures

Hope your Monday is fabulous!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Hello, Weekend

***Disclaimer: I linked to past posts below, and some of the pictures in those posts are oriented strangely. It's not in my skill set to fix them, but hopefully that doesn't deter from your viewing/reading pleasure!***

Another week is gone. The second half of our weeks are more slow-paced than the first half, which is perfect considering we're all pretty done for come Thursday. This past Thursday we had plenty to cook for dinner, but Chet and I had this exchange:

Me (sprawled out on the armchair at 5:15 p.m.): Guess what I don't want to happen?
Chet: You don't want to cook dinner?
Me: Correct.
Chet: Do you want ME to cook dinner?
Me (after a thoughtful pause): No, I don't want dinner to be cooked at all in our kitchen tonight.

So we went to our favorite semi-chain, cheap Mexican food restaurant instead. We have perfected eating out on the cheap: $34 (including tip!) fed all of us on Thursday night, and Chet, Sydney, and me again on Friday night. (Picky Lorelei and Ford opted for a bowl of cereal, and a smoothie and ZBAR, respectively, for dinner last night. Done and done.)

Speaking of smoothies, Ford drinks one every day.
Long ago I blogged about green smoothie recipes, but here's the basic recipe Ford drinks each day:

  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (original flavor)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 5 frozen strawberries (although I don't let him watch me put those in because he claims to dislike them)
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
Ruthie has started eating some food, and if I have leftover baby food I put that in his smoothie too. What the boy doesn't know won't hurt him. Speaking of the boy, I put him to work this week:
He was thrilled to be handling knives. It's high time he started earning his keep, like his sisters.

Jumping back to the subject of food, my favorite thing ever is packing the kids' lunches (although I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune come February): 
Perhaps it's how I express myself artistically since I don't have any actual artistic skills. That's Lorelei's lunch, which never contains vegetables because I'm certain she'll just throw them away.

Lorelei is the queen of starting new projects before finishing others:
I mean, why just color one page when you can color seven?!

Sometimes Ruthie goes for an impressively long time without a nap (much to my chagrin, and not without effort on my part to make her sleep). Here she is earlier this week, completely exhausted but still in good spirits:
"See?! I'm not tired! Hahahahahaha!"

"For some reason I keep zoning out..."

"Hmm, maybe I will take that nap..."
So far this morning I have tackled and conquered about 80% of the ever-present laundry mountain. We will also change all the sheets this weekend, but there aren't big domestic plans other than that. Chet has some reading to accomplish, as always. I'm currently waiting for the girls to finish ballet and it's raining, which I think is going to bring some gloriously cooler temperatures this coming week. #hallelujah

(More later on how today is our last ballet Saturday.)

Have a GREAT weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Syd's Drawings

***Proud parent alert.  Please skip if you're not in the mood for bragging!***

Sydney has always been creative, especially when it comes to drawing and artwork. I'm constantly amazed at the things she comes up with. Art is definitely her passion, for now. When she comes home from school she heads straight to the art supplies we have set up in the dining area and gets to work.

We signed her up for a drawing class after school and she loves it. Here's what she's done so far:
An iguana sitting on a dinosaur

Birch trees

Recently I asked her to make something to send to Chet's Aunt Carol for her birthday. She decided to paint a pelican like this one that hangs on our wall:

She did this with zero guidance. Just gathered her four paint colors (because that's all we had), looked at the painting from across the room, and got 'er done.

A cat doodle:

Over the summer Chet made this "fire" (I'll let you guess which parent Sydney gets the creative genes from).  I can't remember why now -- maybe for Bubby to play with using his fire truck? Anyway, as soon as Sydney saw it she decided to make it into a campfire, complete with logs and marshmallows roasting on sticks.  
Again, done with zero guidance.

I think I'm perhaps unreasonably impressed because creativity, at least in the artwork sense, isn't in my genes. I remember one winter my grandma (P-ma) stayed with us for an extended period of time, and I did my homework right after school under her guidance. One of the recurring assignments was to use creative ways to write out the weekly spelling words, but you can only cut out individual letters from magazines so many times before the teacher starts to frown. Neither of us could conjure up ways to creatively write that spelling list (truth be told, we both thought it was just plain dumb). One week I used mustard to write the words on a piece of construction paper (she and I both agreed afterward it wasn't the best idea). It was the blind leading the blind that 4th grade winter.

Happy Wednesday!  I'm getting this post in just under the wire!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Another Monday flew by...

Well, it's Tuesday again, and I'm still trying to figure out what happened to Monday.

Here's what our yesterday looked like:

6:35 a.m.: Chet wakes up Sydney (it goes without saying that Chet and I were already awake, right?)
6:45 a.m.: Lorelei wakes up, like clockwork, no matter what went on the day/night before
6:50 a.m.: Chet starts unloading all of the carseats and paraphernalia from our van because it's getting dropped off at the body shop at 8:30 a.m.
***meanwhile I'm feeding breakfast to Sydney and Lorelei and getting their lunches packed***
7:05 a.m.: Chet and Sydney leave for Sydney's school
7:20 a.m.: Chet arrives back home and has breakfast, gets packed for his own day at school, etc.
8:00 a.m.: Chet leaves for body shop
8:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.: I wake up Ford, make him a breakfast smoothie, make sure Lorelei is ready to go for school, wake up Ruthie, feed her, get her dressed, get myself dressed
8:50 a.m.: I wrestle three kids into carseats -- 3 in a row -- in the back of the truck (have you ever tried that? it's fun) and drive Lorelei to school (Chet usually takes Lorelei to school, but couldn't because of the body shop appointment)
9:05 a.m.: We arrive back home and Chet is home from the body shop appointment with our rental van; he transfers all of the carseats into the rental van. We realize there's an issue with our rental agreement, so he goes back to the rental car place on his way to campus to deal with it.
9:45 a.m.: Chet calls me and tells me I'll have to go by the rental car place myself in order to get the agreement changed (since I'm the one in possession of/driving the van)
10:00 a.m.: I put Ford and Ruthie back into the car to go to the rental car place; Ruthie is mad about getting back into the car
11:00 a.m.: We arrive back home and I turn on the TV for Ford so that I can quietly put Ruthie down for a nap upstairs
11:30 a.m.: Ford thwarts Ruthie's nap by coming upstairs and deciding to have what I like to call a "toddler moment" (if you don't know what that is, just know that it involves the word "no" over and over in a whiny/slightly belligerent voice)
12:00 p.m.: I feed Ford lunch
12:40 p.m.: We get back into the car (Ruthie is mad about that again) to pick up Lorelei from school
1:05 p.m.: We arrive home and I put Ford down for a nap, then Ruthie
***meanwhile, Didi arrives at our house and saves the day by bringing bread and milk that we were completely out of***
***Lorelei and I visit with Didi and I do some dishes and we get some of the laundry mountain folded while the little kids sleep***
3:30 p.m.: Ford gets up from his nap (I let him sleep a little too long because it was so gloriously quiet with just Lorelei awake)
3:50 p.m.: Lorelei and I run up to the elementary school to pick up Sydney from her drawing class (she usually rides the bus home, but on Mondays she takes a drawing class from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.); Ruthie is up from her nap by the time we get home
4:35 p.m.: Order pizza, because why not?
5:00 p.m.: Eat dinner
5:50 p.m.: Sydney and I leave again for "Back to School Night"; I quickly realize this is just meant for the parents, so Sydney sits outside of her classroom watching the PBS Kids app on my phone
6:50 p.m.: We arrive back home and Didi and I get the oldest three bathed
7:30 p.m.: Chet arrives home from his night class
8:00 p.m. - 8:20 p.m.: Chet somehow wrestles the oldest three into bed while I sit downstairs with Ruthie and pretend like she's still a super needy newborn so that I don't have to go upstairs and help (sorry, Chet!)
8:30 p.m.: Chet and I sit in a stupor for a few minutes and quickly recount our days, then turn on an episode of "NCIS"
10:00 p.m.: Everyone's in bed

Not every day is that crazy, thank goodness. With absolutely no segue, here are some things that have made me laugh recently:

Me (jokingly) to Chet: Why are you acting so befuddled?
Chet (jokingly) to me: I'm not acting.

Lorelei: Will you still love me if I don't eat all of my food?
Me: Yes.
Lorelei: Right, because kids are more important than food.
Me: Er. Right.

Lorelei (as we're walking through a parking lot to our car): Mommy, do you know how I know which car is ours?
Me: How?
Lorelei: Because it's the one with bird poop on it.
Me: ***looks heavenward***

Friday, September 16, 2016

Ford-Buddy-Mr. Man

Mr. Man is my latest nickname for Ford--I'm never sure exactly how I come up with such things. I've noticed he's not been featured much lately on my Instagram feed, so I thought I'd do a little post just for him.  (As mothers of boys can confirm, he's usually not still enough to capture on camera.)

He almost always refers to himself as "Bubby," but sometimes Ford. The rest of us have transitioned to calling him "Buddy" most of the time. (I think we're safe in that he'll be able to confidently write "Ford" on his school papers--for a while there I was certain he would always and forever and officially and semi-unfortunately go by "Bubby.")

We haven't potty trained him yet, although I think he'll do fine once we buckle down and do it. He is easily bribed with peanut M&Ms.

He's still quite attached to his pacifier, which means things will be unpleasant for a few days once he turns 3 (that's when we make our kids give up their vices).

He still naps every day -- THANK THE LORD -- for about an hour and a half (I have to wake him up, otherwise he has trouble going to sleep at night).

He wears mostly 4T clothing, but still some 3T.  He wears the same size shoe as Lorelei (and his foot is wider than her's -- kind of like Fred Flinstone's foot).

He never stops talking. A few funny things he says lately...

Ford: "Let ME cuckle up!" (referring to "buckling" the straps on his high chair)
Me: "Okay, okay, cuckle up then!"
Ford: "Not CUCKLE up--BUCKLE UP!"
Me: ***looks heavenward***

He calls muffins "nuffins."

"RUTHIE'S AWAKE!!!" Apparently he was quite impressed by Ruthie's first few weeks of life when she would sleep all the time, because he still exclaims this every time he notices she's awake. Which she is for at least 10 hours a day.

Keep in mind he's two, so he has his fair share of unpleasant, irrational moments (like earlier when he sat at the bottom of the stairs whining "YOU stop, Mommy!" for 10 straight minutes and for no apparent reason--we weren't even interacting as far as I knew), but he is delightful when it's just him, Ruthie, and me. I never thought I'd say, "The house is so quiet and calm with just a 2-year old and 6-month old in the house!" But it's true.

Today Ford, Ruthie, and I went to our first MOPS meeting. (Not the first ever, but the first one in Austin.) He waltzed right into his class wearing his little backpack (full of diapers), and then waltzed out at the end jabbering about his friends and the playground and wearing the puzzle piece necklace they made during craft time. We only had about an hour before we needed to pick up Lorelei from preschool just down the street, so we went to a local burger place and he and I shared a burger, fries, and lemonade. (He also got a cookie, because he's fun to spoil when his older sisters aren't around.) He was a sweet companion, and it feels like we're spending quality time together for the first time ever, in a way. Obviously he got all of my attention the whole first year of his life, but lately life has felt crazy with Ruthie's arrival and the move and summertime. It's nice to finally settle into a routine that allows special time with our third-born.

We love you, Ford/Bubby/Buddy/Mr. Man!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Is it already Wednesday?! It can't be. Hence the Motuenesday (clearly I should work for Webster's; remember Muesday and Thriday?).  Perhaps I'll blog tomorrow and again Friday in order to stick with my September blogging pact as much as possible (no promises though)!

We had a very low key weekend. Ballet Saturday morning for both girls and church Sunday morning, but we were home otherwise (which means by late afternoon Sunday we had a touch of cabin fever and we were completely out of food come Monday).

I finally feel like this is our first "real" week, only Lorelei didn't go to school today because she has a weird irritation/rash looking thing going on around her mouth. Hmm. So we made a paper birthday chain (to count down to her birthday) in lieu of school. Just about a month until she turns 5!

In other completely random news, our fall mantle is making me happy, as is tiny Ruthie sitting alone:

On to Thursday!

Friday, September 9, 2016


Woo hoo, it's Friday!  We survived another week!

This week Lorelei finally started Pre-K.  She'll go Monday, Wednesday, Friday mornings (9 a.m. until 1 p.m.), and Chet will be able to drop her off on his way to school each of those days.  I pack her lunch, but she eats it at school before I pick her up, which is really nice for me (at her last preschool she only got a snack -- which I sent with her each day).  (At Sydney's very first preschool in Mississippi she ate breakfast AND a snack AND lunch at school -- all provided by the school/the state of MS, and it was glorious and I didn't appreciate it nearly enough at the time.  Sigh.)

Anyway, here's Lorelei on Wednesday, her first day (after school, since we forgot to get one beforehand, ahem):
I feel like this picture is more proof of how much I've grown as a parent/person than it is of Lorelei's old age as a pre-Kindergartener.  What I mean by that is that I would have never chosen that outfit for her to wear as a first-day-of-school outfit, and I wouldn't have chosen that lunch box to buy either.  (There's nothing wrong with her outfit, it's just not a first-day outfit in my opinion.  And her lunch box is adorable, but did she not see the lunch boxes in the Pottery Barn Kids catalogue?!)  But I'm s l o w l y learning that parenting (especially girls!) is less about how kooky you think they look/what other people may or may not think of you as a parent based on their kookiness and more about letting them make their own decisions (within reason of course!) and letting them choose things they truly love (no matter how tacky you think a particular item is).  I'm afraid admitting that makes me seem a bit shallow, but that's the truth for you.

Enough philosophy!  Here's a short series of my very favorite child, the one who always smiles at me and never argues with her siblings and lets me dress her however I want (my other favorite children are Sydney, Lorelei, and Ford, by the way):

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Ruthie: 6-Months Old

Yesterday Ruthie turned 6-months old!  I'm always very dramatically saying to Chet, "What did we ever do without her?!"

She had her 6-month doctor appointment this morning. She weighs 14 lbs, 10 oz (21st percentile) and is 25.75" long (42nd percentile).  Tiny and cute.  She sits up by herself but isn't a fan of trying to crawl (just like her sisters and brother!), and only gets upset when she can see me but isn't in my arms (eye roll).

Here's a review of her monthly pictures (since I think I only posted the first monthly picture anyway...maybe).
1-Month Old

Delinquent 2-Month Picture

3-Months Old

4-Months Old

5-Months Old

6-Months Old

And some more from the 6-month photo shoot...

"Ha ha ha, this is SUPER fun (no sarcasm intended)!"

"What in the..."

"Never mind, apparently it's time to sit up.  No problem, it's my new favorite skill.  Followed closely by composing contemplative poems about the meaning of life in my head."

"Oh, hey, we're still doing this.  Semi-cheese!"

"What in the..."

"Nom nom nom..."

And for those of you who think Ruthie looks like me, you're wrong (all due respect):
Because what you see here are Chet and Ruthie, twins born 34 years apart.

Happy Wednesday!  Lorelei started Pre-K this morning, so more about that Friday!