Friday, April 29, 2016

Andrew and Ben

Andrew really loves his baby brother. 

Like, really, really, really loves him.

Our joke is that he would love poor Ben to death if left unattended because, well, he's three and a bit exuberant with his affection.

But this video surely proves that the adoration is mutual. I don't think anyone can make Ben laugh as easily as Andrew does! This is our ride to pick up Jackson every day...(Andrew has also decided it's funny to call parents by their first names, which he demonstrates around the 46 second mark.)

May they always adore each other this much!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Benjamin is 7 months!

Another month has zoomed by and Big Ben is now 7 months old!

Of course, as we have already reported, the big news this month has been Ben's transition to a full-time big boy crawler. As a result, he's getting around so quickly now and finding new ways to cause mischief! He follows me from room to room as I do chores around the house, and quickly crawls to me when I come to pick him up from daycare, whining impatiently at my feet if I take too long to pick him up. 

Not satisfied with a single big milestone in one month, Ben also conquered standing up! 

It's his favorite new skill, and  he seizes every opportunity to pull up to a stand with a big, victorious grin. 

That sweet grin is still toothless, but perhaps not for long. He's a drooly mess, gumming at anything and everything. I think I feel a little tooth just under the surface, we are definitely on high alert for that first gleaming little tooth to break through.

One area where Ben is perhaps a bit behind the curve is his eating habits, or lack thereof. He will finally eat baby cereal without crying and ate about 10 spoonfuls of sweet potatoes tonight without too much drama. He seems to like to feed himself more than being spoon fed, so we give him fruits and veggies he can gum down as much as possible. And he did get to try ice cream and snowcones this month and found that good things do sometimes come from a spoon! One surprising food he really seems to like is chicken! Our older boys completely rejected meat until they were toddlers, but Ben loves it!

Ben is a mama's boy. He's happy enough to hang out with other adults until he spots me, and then I must hold him immediately or else. I swear I heard him say "mama" one day when his daddy was holding him and then I walked in the room and he started fussing.

He's more frequently "one of the boys", happy to be in the mix with his older brothers. 

Yes, Benjamin's 7 month is really when he began proving that he is a force to be reckoned with. After months of being only on the receiving end of his brothers' exuberant affection, he's now able to go on the offensive! Watch out Jackson and Andrew! Baby brother is on the move and coming for you!

Precious boys at 7 months. I think Ben continues to favor Jackson (on the left). He's definitely my baldest baby!

Happy 7 months sweet Benny!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Jackson Reads

Jackson's love affair with Curious George has been a long one. Remember this cutie?

In fact, I think we've read every George book in print. Last week he came home with a Curious George book in his backpack as one of his take-home readers. I asked him if I could get a video of him reading the book, and he agreed. So with a lump in my throat I pressed record and the familiar character came to life with a new voice. For all the hours he's sat on my lap, listening intently while I read, now I'm sitting next to him, listening intently as he reads to me. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Spring Soccer

Andrew enjoyed Hot Shots soccer in the fall so much that he asked to play again this spring. That, and he's too young for t-ball.

His ball handling skills have improved and he's more confident this season!

He's faster this season too, and his favorite game is still tail tag! Be sure you don't miss his victory dance around the 1:05 mark. =) Little stinker.

And sometimes, he follows all of his coaches directions thanks to the the promise of getting to ride his bike through puddles after practice!

So proud of our little Hot Shot!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Parents' Weekend

Last weekend was Parents' Weekend which meant about 30,000 parents descended upon our town and lots of quality time spent with this lovely team! 

I worked an event on Friday night that led up to Yell Practice. Parents' Weekend Yell Practice is just like a traditional Midnight Yell Practice except it's at 10:00 and not midnight. Because who really wants to stay up until Midnight? And that means it's actually conceivable for our little guys to get to come check it out! And since Nana was in town, she was able to stay with Benjamin.

Watching the Yell Leaders pre Yell Practice and quizzing us about why they were doing push-ups. Good question, buddy. I have no idea.

Saturday morning I had a brunch while the boys went to a birthday party and enjoyed some quality time with daddy and Nana. But Saturday afternoon, we all got to go to the spring Football game together.

Emily bribed provided positive reinforcement for Andrew to sit still and watch the game with her for a quarter. It was amazingly effective. Thanks, Emily!

After a very busy Friday and Saturday, we were all grateful for a more relaxing Sunday!

The boys played in their "kids' hideout" for hours on Sunday, even decorating the inside and outside of it. Jackson added the warning "Do not disturb. No grownups allowed. Only cousins." =D

While I went to one last event on campus in the afternoon, the boys got a surprise visit from Papa John and Granny. Here they are showing Granny that they may have gotten a tiny bit carried away with those markers!

While the big boys made mischief, this little boy made a little mischief himself, if you count grabbing fistfuls of the kitty's hair as mischief. Why doesn't she just run away???

After my event, we went on a walk/scooter ride and Benjamin enjoyed the view from his most favorite perch. My goodness how big he looks with those long legs sticking out!

Phew, after such a busy weekend, this is pretty much how I've felt all week!

Here's to hoping that this weekend proves to be a bit more restful!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Ben the Big Boy Crawler

And just like that, Ben has left army man crawling behind and is now a full-time, big boy, hands and knees crawler. We are so proud of him and his athletic prowess, but really, please, slow down a little, ok?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Our Ball Player

Jackson is playing t-ball for the first time this Spring. It's made for some busy weeknights, but he's absolutely loving it! Every t-ball team in the league is named after a major league team, and Jackson is on the Cardinals! He was so excited to find out he was a Cardinal because that's his school mascot too!

Practice started just before Spring Break.

Then on March 31st, all of the teams met up at Olsen Field for the Opening Ceremonies.

Then last week they had their first games. Considering Jackson has never played before, he's doing great! He's giving his best effort, improving with each practice or game, and most importantly, having fun. There are some seasoned players on his team, and while we don't officially keep score, let's just say the Cardinals are pretty good. =)

But of course, the best part is the snacks after the game!

He's even had some extra special fans come to cheer him on!

Play ball!

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Baby giggles are just the best! We credit Andrew with discovering the easiest way to make him laugh. Simply say "BAM!" and slap your leg. Funniest thing ever!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

East Texas Easter

We celebrated Easter in East Texas at the Cabin in the Woods with all of the traditional happenings.

Central Texas has bluebonnets, but Nacogdoches has azaleas! We made our annual Good Friday trek to SFA's azalea garden. 

Jackson had decided to stay back at the cabin in the woods with Pop who was convalescing from knee surgery, so we just had the two little boys with us. Andrew wasn't over excited about all the pretty flowers, but he was quite pleased to find a geocache with daddy!

Back in the woods, Benjamin happily got passed from lap to lap.

Saturday meant crawfish and easter eggs! Jackson played with those crawfish for hours...

And then we ate all of his crustacean friends! They were delicious. Jackson and Andrew both ate some crawfish this year and liked it (though they both preferred their hot dogs)!

Ben was delightful for his first crawfish boil too, and how precious was his little outfit?

After crawfish was the egg hunt and cascarones.

On Saturday afternoon though, thankfully after the fun activities had been completed, Justin started feeling kinda lousy, and then completely miserable, with a horrible stomach bug. We soldiered on with the weekend's festivities (while trying to stay as far away from him as possible. Sorry babe.)

On Sunday morning, we discovered that the Easter Bunny had paid a visit!

But first, swoon with me over how much these two love their baby brother. Awwwww.

The Easter Bunny did really well this year! Each boy got a book, a DVD, a special toy (a dragon for Jackson and a bubble gun for Andrew), a chocolate bunny, glow-in-the-dark stars, and confetti "fireworks". Ben got a book, some onesies, puffs and a new toy for his carseat. There were lots of oohs and ahhhs and declarations of "this was just what I wanted!"

With Justin still out of commission. my village helped me get all the boys dressed and out the door, relatively on time for church. An Easter miracle!
I'm so grateful for these three precious blessings! And especially grateful for their dad. Even with lots of help from my family, I was just missing my partner. We make a good team and I cannot fathom trying to do it without him!