May 31, 2012

Makeshift ipad

Back in April, Jack was banned from the ipad for a few days . . . I don't even remember why.  If I had to guess, he and his brother were fighting over it.

Anyway, that ban inspired some creativity and he made his own.  And I think he did pretty well.

makeshift ipad

May 28, 2012

Preschool graduation

Jack's last day of preschool.  Please excuse the landscaping fail.

Compare to his first day of preschool 2 years earlier:

 And here he is at graduation with Mrs. Tippens off to the right. 

And of course . . . his typical preschool antics.


May 20, 2012

Miscellaneous . . .

This post is totally random . . . and honestly, I think I might have done a post a lot like this before.  After 5 1/2 years of blogging, I'm bound to get repetitive.

When I was nursing Claire the other day, I was thinking about how I'll always associate certain television shows with each of my children.  There were particular things that I watched a lot of through their first few months, mainly during the time I spent nursing them.

Jack was born during the summer, which meant network re-runs.  However, we still had cable back then, so I watched a lot of home improvement shows.  Flip That House, Designed to Sell, etc.  Oh, and Last Comic Standing.  Also, VH1's Best Week Ever . . . I loved that show.   I remember watching 16 and pregnant, too, and thinking about how lucky Jack was to have me.

After having a child during re-runs, I decided that planning to have Ben during network sweeps was the best decision*, so we had him in September.  Glee came out that year, so I watched a lot of that show.  Of course, I had a toddler at that point, so I spent the overnight nursing sessions working through my tivo lineup. I also watched all of the Grey's Anatomy seasons that had aired up to that point.

With Claire,  I watched all of Downton Abbey and Madmen.  Because of this, ]I fear she's developing a British accent and a smoker's cough.

I'll also associate certain foods with each of them.  When I was pregnant with Jack, I couldn't get enough of McDonald's french fries.  With Ben, Fazoli's cookies were my favorite.  And with Claire . . . pop tarts and Ghiradelli chocolates.

Random, I know.  But as they're getting older and I'm forgetting these things and I need to get them down!

*Kidding, kidding.  We didn't really plan to have Ben during network sweeps.  

May 16, 2012

Virginia Vacation

Remember that vacation we took?  To Williamsburg, Virginia?  Back in October?  I'm just now getting around to posting photos.

I'm awesome.

See more photos here.

October 2011

October 2011

October 2011

October 2011

October 2011

October 2011

May 8, 2012

Dear Claire, Month 4

Dear Claire,

Do you know how much we love you?  I sometimes sit and look at you and wonder if there's any possible way you can know.  I tell you that all the time and you just smile and gurgle.  Or make a growling noise . . . you make growling noises a lot, too.  You are a delight.

Opening Day

It's not just your dad and I.  Your brothers love you, too.  And you love them. Jack has been successful at making you laugh more times than anyone else.  He makes crazy noises and does funny dances.  The other night, he just looked at you and you laughed.  You think he's pretty funny.  And Ben . . . he loves you, too.  He'll lay down with you and talk to you almost every time you're playing on the floor.  Every morning, he wants a "hug and tiss" from you before he eats his breakfast.  He asks all the time if he can "tuddle" with you.  You smile so big when you see him.  You're lucky to have your big brothers.

Claire, month 4

There will come a day when you test your boundaries.  You'll disobey.  You'll talk back.  We'll have to discipline you.  There will be time outs.  It's so hard to imagine right now, but I know it's coming.  I've done this before.  Even so, we'll still love you as much as we do right now.  Actually, it's because of how much we love you that we'll discipline you.

When I think about how much we love you, my thoughts naturally drift to how much God loves us.  Our love is only a fraction of his love for you.  Our delight in you is only a shadow of the delight He takes in you.   Do you know how much God loves you?

Claire, month 4

You're growing and changing every day.  Rolling over.  Laughing.  Sitting up.  You're doing fun things and you're in a fun stage.  I could write a book on that, but I'd rather just let you know how loved you are.


May 3, 2012

Claire at 4 months old

Claire, month 4

At 4 months old, Claire . . .

. . . loves her mama.  She just stares at me and I stare back.  It's lovely.
. . . weighs 16 lbs, 10 oz. To us, she's still so little . . . about 3 pounds lighter than her brothers were.
. . . rolls both ways.
. . . is rarely where we leave her when we put her down to play.  She rolls or maneuvers herself across the playmat nicely.
. . . can sit only for a a few seconds unsupported before toppling over.
. . . makes bath time difficult by trying to lunge out of the bathtub, toward the faucet.
. . . loves laying on the changing table and chatting.
. . . thinks her dad is hi-larious.
. . . sleeps 11 hours at night.  Napping is hit or miss.
. . . is 26 inches long. That's bout 2 inches shorter than her brothers were.
. . . gnaws on her fingers like they're candy.
. . . loves Sophie the giraffe and her playmat.
. . . wears mostly 6 month and 6 - 9 month clothing.
. . . makes a funny growling noise when she hears her brothers playing "Jungle Book."
. . . has a really girly high pitched squeal that makes us laugh.
. . . curls her tongue up over her lip when she's excited or really concentrating.

May 2, 2012

Dear jack, Month 59

Dear Jack,

A few weeks ago, I was telling you something and you were arguing with me.  Actually, that happens almost every day.  But on this particular day, I finally said, "OK, Jack.  Whatever you say."  And you responded, "See.  I told you so."  In that moment, I caught a glimpse of what life with you as a teenager might be like.

You argue with us over everything.  Even things that you know nothing about.  It's like there's something inside of you programmed to challenge everything we say.  You also have trouble accepting that you might be wrong about anything.  And, if you know something, you want to be sure everyone knows that you know it.

What does all of this mean?  It means that you and I are a lot a like.  You are your mother's child.  For better and for worse.

So, from one know it all to another . . . here are a few things that might be helpful:

1.  You are not always right.  You are very, very smart.  You're right quite a bit of the time . . . but not always.  But even when you are right, sometimes it's okay to not insist upon it.  It's okay to let someone else be right.  It's good for you.  It's good for them.  Sometimes, it saves relationships.  Save the insistence on being right for the really important stuff.

2.  Save arguments for when it really matters.  If you argue over everything, people will just think that's how you are and never really listen to you. If you save your arguments for the really important things, people might be more receptive.

3.  Care about people more than you do about facts.  Ask yourself, "What will be the most loving way to act toward this person?  With the facts?  Perhaps on some occasions.  But often, they just need encouragement. So what if your brother's coloring isn't inside the lines?  Perhaps he just needs to hear that you like the colors he decided to use.  Or who cares if someone referred to The Flash as Spiderman?  Maybe she just wants someone to play with.

I totally understand the compulsions that make these things hard.  And I know . . . you're not even 5 yet.  Some of these things come with time.  But I know people who are my age and older and haven't outgrown these things.  They're no fun to be around.  I love you too much to let you become one of those people.

I love you no matter what.


May 1, 2012

Dear Ben, Month 31

Dear Bennett,

I love listening to you talk.  You are so careful and deliberate about everything that you say.  We laugh quite a bit at what comes out of your mouth.

April 2012

One of your favorite words to throw around this month is "also".  It's one of my favorites, too, because you try to use it to just slide something in there as if it won't be noticed.  For instance, "Mama, I go play outside. Also, you come push me on the swings."  Or even, "I have a snack. Also, you get the cookies for me."

Over the weekend, you walked up behind me and gave me a big hug, slyly wiping your face across the back of my shirt.  I asked you if you just wiped your nose on me and you replied, "NOOOO!  Also, yes."

Nice try.

April 2012

Now that you have a rapidly expanding vocabulary, you've become quite good at defending yourself against your brother.  And pushing his buttons.  Your Dad and I wondered why you guys have been fighting so much more this month than ever before, and the more we thought about it, the more we realized that the fights always had to do with 1) You not giving in to everything Jack demands of you or 2) You saying or doing something that you KNOW will push him over the edge.  I feel a little bit like a referee.

At the same time, it's really helped to strengthen your relationship with your brother.  You guys laugh together so much.  You build things and make up stories about what you've built.  You play games.  You really look up to him and you two are becoming such good friends.

April 2012

Starting in June, you guys will spend more time away from each other than ever before.  It breaks my heart a little bit, and I think you might have a hard time with it, too.  But I also think you two might appreciate each other more with a little bit of separation.  It will get you ready for the fall when you start preschool and have to make new friends.

PRESCHOOL!  I can't even talk about it.  We'll save that for another letter.

I love you Ben.  Also, I think you're pretty cute.