Friday, December 16, 2016

Well, that went fast.

How did an entire week get away from me?

Here's the recap since last Friday:

My baby brother graduated from college!

We made a day trip to Huntsville (3 hours from Austin) to watch the ceremony. Chet stayed home with the kids (and my parent's dog!) so that we could all go (Chet, we all thank you from the bottom of our hearts!).

We went to Sunday School and church, then while the kids napped at home I ran to Target, thinking that I would actually find a toy from the kids' Christmas wish list (hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!). After Target we all loaded up and headed to Chet's classmate's house, whose wife made chili and cooked gingerbread for all of us to decorate our own houses. The kids LOVE building/decorating gingerbread houses/eating tons of candy, and I'm always thankful when someone more ambitious than I actually does the work in order to make my kids' dreams come true.

Chet finished his finals the previous Friday, so I was looking forward to having him around on Monday (and the rest of the week). However, he had a meeting at school that ran A LOT longer than either of us expected, so I ended up actually having to get out of my pajamas on Monday in order to pick up Lorelei at school by 1 p.m. Believe it or not, there are seldom days when I am in my pajamas for so long, but Monday was also the day we started potty training Ford, and, I don't know about you, but I feel like I can't focus on ANYTHING those first couple of days of potty training other than making sure my couch doesn't get peed on.

(Ford has actually done remarkably well with his new big boy skill, and I'm going to pretend like I forgot that last night he said to me, "I don't want to wear underwear any more; I like diapers.")

Monday night I went to dinner with three church friends, which was a well-deserved prize for surviving such an emotionally exhausting day spent in potty training in my pajamas.

Lorelei has gymnastics on Tuesday mornings, so we all went (minus Sydney) since Chet has never been to watch her. The kids played on the gymnastics playground for a while after the class was over, and then we all went to the shopping center across the street and scored some great finds at Goodwill and Big Lots.

Tuesday night Chet and I decided to wrap a few Christmas presents, but we got carried away and ended up wrapping ALL OF THEM. I don't even know what we're going to do on Christmas Eve. (In case you're curious, each of our children get three gifts from us -- because that's how many Jesus received from the wisemen. It's an easy way to control quantity and to keep the focus on our Savior's birth. They also receive one gift from Santa, and things in their stockings.)

Bright and early Wednesday morning I took Ruthie and Lorelei to the pediatrician. Lorelei had a quick follow up appointment, and Ruthie had her 9-month well baby visit. Both went well; Ruthie weighed 17 lbs, 6 oz, which is fantastic for her, because around 6-months old the doctor thought she was getting a little too dainty. She's still dainty, but she's got an impressive spare tire around her middle due to the copious amounts of big people food she consumes each day. For example, last night she inhaled three-quarters of a banana and an entire avocado in the span of about 8 minutes. It was impressive.

Chet, Ford, Ruthie, and I spent the rest of Wednesday morning at home, doing various home things that we'd been putting off for way too long (fixing random toys, making pediatric dental appointments, etc.).
She's the fourth, so she's allowed to do previously-forbidden things, like play with Christmas tree ornaments (don't worry, she didn't get a hold of that hook on the floor, ha!).
The girls have piano lessons Wednesday afternoons, so I took them to their lesson while Chet stayed home with Ford and Ruthie. We decided to keep our kitchen clean by going out to dinner at our favorite Mexican food restaurant.

Yesterday morning my friend Cassie (a great friend since middle school!) and her daughter came over to visit while Chet ran errands in town. That afternoon we all loaded up and went to Walmart, despite the Great Walmart Debacle of 2016 from a couple of weeks ago (Lorelei handled herself beautifully this time, thank heavens).

Today's going to be a busy one, and it deserves it's own post, so stay tuned!

Friday, December 9, 2016

7-, 8-, and 9-Month Pictures

I'm WAY behind on posting Ruthie's monthly pictures! (Not as behind as Ford's though.)

Here's a review of her first six months.

Now for seven months and beyond.

Here's the Cliff's Notes version:

You know your baby's growing up when you let her hold the sticker upside down rather than making her wear it.

And now for some boring details/more pictures in case you're interested.

She couldn't decide how she felt during her 7-month shoot (I make that sound like it's professional, of which it is definitely not):
8 months (I took these super late in the afternoon, hence the terrible lighting and the reason there are only two pictures):

That's her I'm-pleasantly-frustrated face.

9 months:

That was literally the only picture I got of her visibly wearing the sticker. She was more interested in crawling at me, or away from me, on the bed. And I didn't even pretend to mess with a bow this month.

Happy Friday, y'all!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Current View

***I meant to post this last night, but Chet was using the computer and the Blogger app on my phone kept shutting down. So I took that as a sign that it was perfectly acceptable to zone out on the couch in front of "Dance Moms" instead. So just pretend you're reading this post Wednesday night.***

It feels like it's at least 11 p.m., but my phone claims 8:24 p.m. The kids have all been going to bed early this week (hopefully a permanent trend!): Sydney and Lorelei before 7:30 p.m., Ford somewhere between 7:30 and 8:00, and Ruthie also around 8:00 p.m. It's been magical, and I'm unsure of what to do with myself so early in the evening. Should I reorganize our filing cabinet? Wrap Christmas presents? Read? Mop the floor?

Maybe/probably yes to all of those things, but not tonight. Tonight I'm going to lay on the couch and watch "Dance Moms," a show I really shouldn't admit that I like, and one I used to watch regularly back when we had cable. However, I realized it's on Hulu, a subscription we had paused, but that I forgot to re-pause, so Chet and I are taking advantage of it by watching educational shows like "Dance Moms" and "This is Us" (which actually IS a good show, and not one that should ever be compared to "Dance Moms").

Anyway, this is my current, non-TV view:
Our crooked stockings (Ruthie's bigger than life, something I'm trying to not let bother me), and most of our Christmas cards from years past. I love Christmas decorations; they make the house feel so quiet and peaceful somehow.

I hope your evening is quiet and peaceful, and that you're enjoying your view. Even if it includes moms hollering at each other about their daughters getting gypped out of a competition solo.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

9 Months!

This little nugget is 9-months old today ("official" pictures to follow):
(Looking a little bit like a baby boy in this picture, but that's okay.)

She started crawling the week of Thanksgiving. Her sisters and brother didn't crawl until 10-months old, so she's a prodigy in our eyes.

She has two bottom teeth, but I swear those giant top two teeth have been on the verge of breaking through for weeks. She's definitely lagging behind the others in the teeth category (Sydney had TEN TEETH on her first birthday. Yikes.)

She claps and dances (she's a dancing MACHINE) and says "bye bye," but she prefers to whisper it.

She loves her sisters and brother more than anything. And they love her more than anything.
She wants to be in the middle of them at all times, and they usually let her. Ford is always exclaiming, "Ruthie is so CUTE!" Yes, yes she is.

She has a big personality, but she's also super laid back.
"Who ME?!"
You're our favorite baby, Ruth Emily. Happy 9 months!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Rainy Weekend

It rained all weekend here, and it's going to rain all day tomorrow. We didn't have ANY plans this weekend, so that, combined with the rainy weather, actually made for a great couple of days (in my homebody opinion).

We stayed in all day Saturday until after dinner, when we decided to go to Walmart to let the kids run around a little bit and breathe some fresh (Walmart) air. It was a great idea until Lorelei had the fit of her life over one of these ridiculous toys. I vow to never take her to Walmart again.

This morning we went to Sunday school and church, and stayed in the rest of the day. After last night's Walmart episode we decided to start putting the older girls to bed earlier (between 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), since they go to school and no longer take naps. So after dinner Chet took Ford to Academy so that Chet could try on some shoes, and the girls and I cleaned up the kitchen and created some nighttime checklists to help streamline bedtime.

I'm convinced these checklists will change all of our (bedtime routine) lives, as well as teach Lorelei to read.

Finally, this:
It showed up on Pinterest when I was researching how to melt crayons. First of all, I would never eat toast that looks like that, and second of all, who has time for that?! But then I realized I was in fact researching HOW TO MELT CRAYONS, and some people might think that melting crayons is just as dumb as painting toast (and they're right, it is -- I'm never doing it again).

On to Monday!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Hook 'Em

Last Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), Chet and I took Sydney and Lorelei to the UT v. TCU football game. We had amazing seats, as well as access to one of the indoor clubs in the stadium (thanks to the generosity of the two biggest UT fans I know, Didi and Shannon #collegeroommates4life).

The day started out a little drizzly, but the rain stopped before the game began, making for perfect game-day weather (not too hot, not too cold, and no sun in our eyes!). We parked close to the stadium and then walked about a mile to the University Co-op (a very dangerous place at which I'm always tempted to hand over my life savings in order to own every single cute thing they stock).

Thankfully we escaped the Co-op with only two shirts: one for each of the girls. As you can see in the pictures below, Lorelei chose to wear a red Washington Nationals baseball shirt to a University of Texas football game, and Sydney was wearing Christmas green. It was a situation that needed to be rectified.

I'm a lot more excited than I look.

Standing in front of a wall at the Co-op, ha!

The Tower

After the Co-op we walked back to the stadium and ate at the club (did I mention the free food?! FREE FOOD!) before finding our seats. We got to our seats just in time to see the band march on.

The girls were mostly interested in the cotton candy, and Lorelei kept cheering for HEB (a TX grocery store where we shop), but they had fun despite their confusion.

A few minutes into the third quarter (when it was clear UT wasn't going to win, and it was starting to get chilly outside), we headed back into the club for a quick bite to eat before heading home to relieve Didi and Uncle Grant from Ford/Ruthie duty.

The girls loved those lanyards almost as much as the cotton candy. They were tired after a long day and lots of walking, but they loved going on a special outing with just Dad and Mom.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Hello, December

(November, I couldn't keep up with you. My sincerest apologies.)

It's December 1st! As happy as I am to see November 1st roll around each year, I'm even more excited when December arrives. Christmas just can't be beat.

We had a great November. Can I remember what happened? No, of course not. Perhaps if I look back at my iPhone pictures I'll be able to tell you (and maybe I will!). All I know is that it was super busy, but enjoyable.

My goal for December is to s l o w  d o w n. It's not going to be easy, but I'm determined to do it. I'm going to stay off of Facebook and Instagram for the month of December. We're going to read and do the activities in Jordan's Advent Calendar. I might even finish decorating our Christmas tree.

I'm also going to turn over a blogging leaf, yet again (I'm learning that I have to do this often in order to keep blogging -- it's fine). I don't have a particular schedule or theme in mind; I'll just fly by the seat of my pants. My only goal is to surpass my number of blog posts written last year, which means I need to post at least 24 times this month (gulp). Thanks in advance for cheering me on!

Don't let me fool you: this month is still going to extremely busy. We're going to do a little bit of traveling, and there are school Christmas programs and parties to attend, etc. I just know that if I don't slam on the brakes in the areas that I can control, December is going to slip away just like November did.

That's it for now. I need to call the Pediatrician and get Ruthie and Ford out of bed and get dressed and, and, and...

Happy December, friends -- I hope it's already off to an amazing start!