Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Family Retreat

Miss Hollywood had her sunglasses on everywhere she went
"It takes a village to raise a child."  That's the theme that kept running through my head this weekend while we were on the Family Retreat with our church.  I looked around at all the kids playing and how my kids were being loved on by so many people that were there, and all I could think of was how thankful I am that God gave us the church for strength, support, encouragement, and, yes, even help when we need it.

Lydia loved talking to Baby Hudson!
I have never been good at asking for help.  I hate to inconvenience people, or put them out, and I'm pretty independent, so asking for help is not a skill I have developed.  But this weekend, I never had to ask.  For example, the minute I walked in to breakfast on Saturday morning, someone came up to me & said "let me hold the baby so you can eat breakfast.  I'll be right over here with him."  What a thoughtful gesture.  When we were having a group devotional and Adley was feeling restless, someone else took her and walked around with her so I could focus on worship for a few minutes.  Obviously, Matt and I could have handled the kids by ourselves all weekend, and we did spend a lot of time hanging out as a family, but over and over people jumped at the chance to give us a break so that we could relax a little bit.  I suspect that they didn't mind hanging out with our kiddos, but I was continually reminded of what a blessing it is to have a "village" around us, especially when most of our family lives so far away.

Hudson enjoyed snuggling up with Daddy in the baby wrap.
Jo Harmon is always happy to help out with the kiddos whenever she has a chance!
Not only is it nice to have the extra help, I love that our kids are growing up around so many strong Christians.  Some of my greatest influences growing up, besides my own parents, were the parents of my friends at church.  They showed me what it means to love each other, they made me behave when my parents weren't around (and I knew they weren't afraid to report to my parents if I didn't), and they loved me unconditionally.  I am thrilled and blessed to know that my kids have the same positive influences in their lives!

Adley was brave enough to slide down the big waterside by herself!

Playing sunglasses peekaboo with the row behind us.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Hudson-2 Months!

Our baby boy is 2 months old already!  He actually turned 2 months a couple weeks ago, but Mama is clearly behind on the blog posting!  He is such a sweet baby, and this month he has been a busy boy!

  • We took our first big road trip up to Duncan to stay a couple of weeks.  I braved the 7 hour drive with 2 kids on my own because Matt was supposed to have a business trip out of town.  It turned out that his trip ended up being cancelled, but his hours at work were extra crazy for a couple of weeks, so it all worked out.  He did great on the trip up there!  We only had to stop twice so I could feed him & change  diapers, which I counted as a great success for a 7 hour trip with 2 kids!
  • He has found his hands and has started sucking on them some.  His big sister refused a pacifier & preferred her hands, so maybe he's going to follow in her steps (although he still likes the paci occasionally as well)
  • He started smiling this month, and let me tell you, that smile melts my heart!  He gives the best smiles to anyone who will talk to him & even throws in a little giggle on occasion.  Love it!  Although he does give some great smiles, he still looks pretty serious.  He definitely gets this from his daddy!
  • His little hands are still in fists a lot of the time, and the way he holds his arms makes it look like he's always ready for a boxing match.  Too cute!
  • He still eats about every 3 hours, although occasionally he seems to prefer to have a couple of short "snacks" only about an hour apart.  He usually only eats for 10 minutes at a time, which is a much better schedule than Adley had at this age!
  • My favorite accomplishment of the month is he slept for a 5 hour stretch!  This mama loves her sleep, so for him to be sleeping for that long makes me feel like a new person.  Again, he totally has Adley beat on this one.  She was at least 6 months old before she started sleeping that long!  Since that first 5 hour night, he has been pretty consistently sleeping 5 hours, and even went for 6 hours one night.  He sleeps in his pack n' play like a champ!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Adley Goes to School

Hard to get a clear picture when the camera
lens fogs up due to the crazy humidity!
Today was Adley's first day of preschool, and she couldn't have been more excited!  She is attending Wee Hearts at West Houston Church of Christ, and will be going on Tuesday & Thursday from 9-2. There are 8 kids in her class (2 sets of twins), and her teachers are Miss Heather & Miss Vanessa.

She wanted to take a picture with her "mull" (bull)
Last week we had a "Meet the Teacher" Day, so the kids could go and play in their room & take some time to get comfortable in the classroom.  She LOVED it!  Very quickly she made herself at home, running around & playing with all the toys.  There is a play kitchen & a little table where she gathered up toys for a tea party with a Minnie Mouse doll.  She was a little unsure when another little girl came and sat in the chair where Minnie Mouse was sitting!  She also found a doctor's kit & sat playing doctor with a teddy bear for probably 15 minutes.  If you know Adley, you know getting her to sit still for 15 minutes for anything (other than Doc McStuffins or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) is a major feat!  I was nervous about how she would do with the other kids because she's not always good at sharing (we're working on it, but it's definitely a work in progress!) One little girl kept coming and taking some of the doctor's stuff away from her, and most of the time Adley willingly let her have it & even told her how to use it.  Her favorite part of the doctor's kit was the stethoscope, and she's been talking about going back to school to "listen to bear's heart" since we left!

This morning Matt was able to go in to work late so that he could go with us to drop her off for her first day.  She was super excited about the new butterfly backpack with her name on it, and her owl nap mat blanket & pillow (Mommy made them for her…one of my favorite projects I've ever made!).  She got to pick out her backpack & the material for her nap mat, so they are extra special to her.  I'm hopeful that since she picked out the nap mat it will encourage her to actually stay on it at school.  She still sleeps in a crib, so I'm not sure how a nap on the floor is going to go!  When we dropped her off, she was excited that she had a bucket with her name where her backpack & nap mat go, and she was excited to put her lunch in the lunch bucket (she loves to eat "snacks" out of a lunch bag!)

Matt and I took a couple of pictures with her, and then off she went into the room to play with the kitchen.  No looking back, no kisses goodbye, not a single tear.  I'm glad she's independent, but a hug or kiss goodbye would have been nice!  But, I'll take Little Miss Independent over her crying and trying to run out of the room!  Hopefully the great start to the day will last all day & her first day of school will be a great success!

Hudson's not sure what to think about a
whole day with just him & Mommy!