Monday, October 31, 2016

Pumpkin Patch 2016

Next up on our Fall bucket list was our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. The big game versus Alabama was later in the day so the boys were already rocking their Aggie gear. 

The littlest pumpkin was in a great mood and super cooperative with all of his mom's crazy ideas to prop him against a variety of gourds.

The two big pumpkins would rather run through the hay maze, but they obliged a few pictures.

A perfect little stair step. I predict by next fall, Andrew will have just about caught up to Jackson and Ben will have closed the gap considerably!

While the two big boys ran around like crazies, mom and dad enjoyed a few minutes with the slightly less mobile child.

How many times do you think I retrieved corn out of his mouth during the taking of this picture?

Andrew wanted to take a picture with all of the cut outs....

It's not fall until you've sat precariously atop a pile of pumpkins!

Following the pumpkin patch, we stopped at a nearby park, one of the boys' favorites that we don't make it to often because it's not terribly close to anything else. Ben really loves swinging!

Jackson went straight to the monkey bars and crossed them like an old pro. I had no idea he could do this! Apparently they have monkey bars at his school and he's been practicing! 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Fall Favorites

With our beach trip planned for October, I vowed to stay in a summer state of mind until after we returned. So as the rest of the country embraced pumpkin spice everything, I stood strong, instead enjoying buying new shorts and sandals on clearance. 

But as soon as we returned, the fall decorations went up and we started crossing items off our fall bucket list with no time to spare!

First up was attending a high school football game. A cold front came through earlier that day, giving us a crisp, clear night just perfect for hanging out under those Friday Night Lights. These 4 friends were pretty happy to be reunited too!

The College Station Cougars are undefeated and it was easy to see why. I'm pretty sure Waco was ready to head for the buses after the first quarter.

I dare say Benjamin enjoyed his first football game!

The next day, we did our witch pumpkin project. For the first time, Jackson couldn't be convinced to participate. =(

But Andrew was eager to help and have mom's undivided attention!

October also means Aggie football, and the game everyone has had circled on their schedule since it was released. Alabama. This is pretty much how Aggie Fans everywhere felt during the game...

That moment in the 3rd when we actually had a shot...

And just a few minutes later when we began to self-destruct. #surrendercobra

Oh well, there's plenty more fall fun to be had to help take our minds off of that!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Benjamin is 13 Months

Precious Benjamin is 13 months!

With all of the build-up to that first birthday, for some reason I'm always caught a little off guard when that 13th month rolls around...they just keep right on growing!

I feel like this month was a big one for Ben developmentally. He's a full-time walker now, which is honestly still a little weird. This kid who has been at our feet for months is now toddling around everywhere which makes him seem even more like his own little person. He walked all the way out of school today on his own power for the first time, following Andrew and laughing the whole way.

He's repeated lots of sounds, but he has two things he says regularly: mama and all done (sounds like ah duh)! He says all done when he's done eating, but also when we are doing something he doesn't like, like changing his diaper. He likes to copy all sorts of noises with his mouth like clicking, smacking, raspberries, etc. He loves to laugh with his brothers. If they start laughing, he laughs too, even if he has no idea what they are laughing at.

He's up to 10 teeth, with three molars having come in this month. My great eater sadly seems to be adopting a typical toddler diet with a strong preference for carbs, fruit and dairy. He will still eat some meat and veggies, but they are items of last resort. He still nurses 2-3 times a day.

He's so fun these days. He claps and points, and waves hi and bye bye to everyone including strangers in the store. He signs more and all done. He loves singing songs with motions, and you can just see his little wheels turning to figure out how to do them by himself. He loves touch and feel books, with his current favorite being one about kittens.

He's so busy but so precious! Happy 13 months Benjamin!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Laissez Bon Temps Rouler!

We had to say goodbye to the beach but our next adventure was just 4 hours down the road. We decided to break up the drive with an overnight stop in New Orleans and introduce the boys to one of our favorite cities!

As anyone visiting New Orleans will tell you, your day is pretty much planned around where and when you're going to eat. =) So naturally, our first stop when arriving in town was lunch at Mother's for po-boys. I learned my lesson here...the boys will say they don't want shrimp and then eat all of ours when they realize how delicious it is. With bellies full (for a while anyway) we took the streetcar uptown to City Park. 

I felt like we kind of got to enjoy the city like the locals! It seemed that every child who was having a birthday in the city that day was at City Park, and there must have been a dozen parties inside Storyland alone.

After exploring all of the story book characters, we set out for the playground.

Ya'll...the huge Live Oaks...the Spanish moss...I just love this city!

For the sake of transparency, our streetcar ride back to the Quarter was not blogworthy. We knew we were pushing it by skipping naps for the second day in a row, and surprisingly it was Jackson who went into full-blown meltdown mode. But by the time we reached the Quarter, he had turned things around, perhaps aided by the promise of beignets at the Cafe du Monde. Now, the boys had never eaten beignets before that they can remember (Jackson actually traveled with us to New Orleans when he was 1), so we talked them up. I'm happy to say that the beignets did not disappoint. Just check out the play by play of their first bite and reaction, particularly Jackson. =D

Ben loved them too! Good thing he's mastered signing "more"!

We made the circle around Jackson Square, and even got to see a wedding second line parade!

Andrew and Jackson got to meet Andrew Jackson, but they weren't too impressed.

As the sun was setting, we walked along the mighty Mississippi. Many thanks to the slightly intoxicated woman who put down her beer to take our picture!

We didn't really want to stay in the city after the sun went down with three kids in tow, so we loaded up and had dinner in Metairie. Yelp didn't let us down with the recommendation of Chef Ron's Gumbo Stop. It was a hole in the wall but delicious and the service was excellent! The boys got to decorate chef hats and they loved their whole plate of shrimp.

With bellies full (again and this time really, really full), we checked into our hotel in Kenner and all pretty much crashed for 12 hours! The next morning, our hotel theoretically provided "breakfast" but it left something to be desired (packaged muffins, anyone?) so when in Rome, right? The lure of beignets less than a mile away was too great to resist. Nobody complained.

We set out for Texas with happy memories more numerous than the calories consumed. Which was a lot. =)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Farewell Beach!

Our last few hours at the beach were drawing to a close. As the sun was beginning to set we headed down to the water for one last sunset. 

I know that they may not always remember the details of this vacation, but I pray that the sound of waves, the feeling of sand beneath their toes, and an ocean breeze on their face conjures memories of fun and the love of their family.

We were so grateful to have Nana on this trip with us!

With Nana's help, me and this guy even got to enjoy a couple of moonlit walks on the beach (and a picture together)!

Yes, it was a wonderful vacation!

Until next long beach!

We will be back!