Friday, February 27, 2015

Guessing Game and Measurements

Let's play a fun little game, shall we?! 

Name that 9 Month Old Squill Baby! 

And just for good measure because it's fun....

I love happy little squishy babies!! I say it all the time, but this 9 month mark is one of my very favorite stages!! 

On a related note, I wanted to get the kids' stats written down from their doctor's appointments. 

Molly at 9 Months:
Length: 28 3/4 inches (87%)
Weight: 18 lbs, 1.4 oz (62%)
FOC: 17 1/4 inches (49%)

In comparison...
Charley Kate at 9 Months
Length: 28 1/4 inches
Weight: 18 lbs, 1 oz
FOC: 63%

Jay at 9 Months:
Length: 30 inches
Weight: 20 lbs, 5 oz
FOC: 46%

Some thoughts on these... 
-Obvs Jay was/is a beast. Seriously. That kid was always big and he continues to tower over all his friends. 
-Molly and CK are practically identical sizes which has shocked everyone (but me). CK is soooo petite and Molly seems so big. But CK was big, too! 
-I know none of this means anything but I find it very interesting! 

Moving on to CK's stats (after a quick break to comfort a crying Molly- she now has the nasty stomach bug but that's another post for another day- if I find the time and energy)....

Charley Kate at 3 Years:
Height: 38 1/2 inches  (83%)
Weight: 26 lbs, 6 oz (9%!!!!!!!)
BMI: 12.5 (.01%!!!!!!!)
BP/Pulse: 98/59 and 78

In comparison...
Jay at 3 Years:
Height: 40 inches
Weight: 35 lbs
BMI: 15.4
BP/pulse: 103/67, 101

Some thoughts...
-CK is tiny. She just is. She is strong and athletic and healthy and growing and thriving, but she is teeny little thing. She is also on the second day of a stomach bug, but I know for sure she hasn't lost more than pound, which would have put her below the 20% anyway- still low. We talked with the doc about her weight, and she is just going to have to deal with this forever we think. As he noted, her height growth curve is steadily increasing, so there is no indication that she isn't getting proper nutrition or growing. 
-Jay was/is a beast. 9 lbs heavier than his sis at this age?! You know Anthony is loving that! All he's dreamed of is a big ol' boy of his own! 

Anyway, I wanted to get all this down so I had a record of it for the future. 

Plus, I love their doctor's office pics!  It's so funny because I usually don't take pictures at their appointments, but for some reason 9 months has yielded pictures of all of them doing the same thing... in diapers playing with tongue depressors! 

Happy end of the week! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Molly is 9 Months!

I have a love/hate relationship with the 9 month mark. 

I love it because their cutie little personalities really start to show. I hate it because I feel like I should have lost the baby weight by now and look really phenomenal in a bikini- and I'm not even close to either! 

In all seriousness, 9 months is a fun little age. I love learning about Molly's little personality. I love figuring out who she is becoming. 

-Molly is still nursing about 3 times a day. Morning, sometime during the day, and in the evening. She is really doing well transitioning to a bottle/formula. She likes her bottles HOT though- not cold, not warm, but really HOT. Future coffee drinker? She is drinking a bottle another 1-2 times a day, so getting milk around 5ish times each day. 
-She still eats like a champ. Seriously, her eating is better than both of her older siblings- in type AND amount of food. Homegirl can eat. And I love it!
-Her sleeping is marginal. She is like her big sister and much prefers to feel a warm body by her. We put her in her crib, she lasts a few hours and wakes up, and then we (meaning I- this sleep deprived mother) put her in our bed. She generally sleeps really really well once she's in bed. She doesn't nurse throughout the night (anymore!), or wake up really, she just likes to feel a presence. Don't we all?!
-Her napping is great. She is continuing twice a day naps. Her first one is getting longer (around an hour, sometimes longer if we are at home) and her second one is around 1.5-2 hours depending on her morning one. 
-Molly laughs A LOT. She is probably one of the happiest babies ever. Seriously. Everyone who sees her comments on how she is always smiling (as long as momma's got her!)!
-Wearing mostly 12 month clothes, some 9 month still and size 3 diapers. 
-Loves to chat. She jabbers all day and makes almost every consonant sound. She definitely knows ma-ma, da-da, pat-pat (pa-pa), and I swear she tries to say "Gubby" (duh-dee) which is my mom's name. She signs more and all finished!
-Molly can crawl super fast and far and stands pretty well on her own. She took one step a few weeks back but that's it. She loves to cruise on things and can get around!
-She loves an audience and will perform as long as she is the center of attention. 
-Doesn't love when I am holding someone else or when someone else is on my lap. She will intentionally crawl to me and get between us!
-She gives the best kisses! Is always up for kissing anyone and everyone and does these big ol' open mouth kisses! LOVE! 
-She loves taking baths! As soon as she sees a bathtub (anywhere!) she screams and tries desperately to get over there fast. I can't wait to see how she likes the pool this summer!
-Molly has just started the "tantrum" stage. It's usually only for diaper changes or putting her in her carseat- she'll arch her back and squeal/scream. We are just starting to see it when we redirect her from her siblings' toys, too! Let the fun begin!
-Still has no teeth! I swear, if these things ever pop through it will be a miracle! 
-Loves drinking out of a straw- she's really good at it and this makes everything so much easier!

I'm sure there is so much I'm forgetting. One of the best things about Molly is her go-with-the-flow demeanor. I guess you don't have much choice when you are a third child, but she is so used to just waking up and being thrown in her carseat or a stroller or whatever. She loves to be on the go and is great at people watching or just playing wherever or with whatever she can. A plastic cup top? Perfect! A straw? Even better! 

Molly girl, you are just a doll! We all love you so much and love watching you become your own person. We can't wait to see the dynamic you add to our family further develop. Love you, cutie girl!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Paying Tribute

I can't even figure out how to do this or where to start.
I'm probably just going to type and not reread this, so forgive repeats, missing parts, or poor grammar. I just want to "write."

I want to pay tribute to my wonderful grandmother who passed away this weekend. But I don't think I can do her story justice. There is so much I want/need to say, and there is no way I can adequately express all of those feelings. No way I can convey how incredible she was or make sure I express her story how it deserves to be told. 

MeeMaw (as she was known to EVERYone!) was born to a depression-era family in Alabama. She and her siblings were raised in home with a woman who worked for them. One of our favorite stories is how the woman caught a turtle on the way to their house one morning and then made turtle stew for dinner (that was apparently a pretty normal occurrence). She watched her father chase her mother around with a butcher knife as she and her siblings huddled in fear, and then left in the middle of the night with nothing just to escape him. MeeMaw was brave.

She married an amazing man and had three children. As much of a spitfire spirit this girl had, her husband was her polar opposite. Calm and collected in her times of excitement. They were apparently quite the match. They settled in Houston and raised their children. Then the fateful day came when MeeMaw became a widow at the age of 40. 40!!!!! She was left with three teenaged children and nothing of her own.

MeeMaw battled back. She took jobs at the post office, as a secretary at the elementary school (where my children will attend one day!!!!!), and eventually went into the horse business- boarding and training horses- with her son, J. This woman is the definition of hard work and perseverance. She went from having it all to nothing- and worked her way up.

MeeMaw was tiny- a 5'0" little woman. But she had the respect of everyone. Those rough ol' cowboys out at the stables knew who was boss. They didn't mess with MeeMaw. She ran a tight ship and was the true matriarch. And she was SO good to those around her. She loved helping the hardworking stable hands (usually new immigrants who were working from zero to support their families).

She gave to everyone- she donated to people, to organizations. She loved to help her family when they needed it- often offering to pay for anything from a 12 pack of Diet Coke to a full meal to helping my cousin start her new business. MeeMaw was generous.

MeeMaw was an amazing grandmother. I have the fondest memories of spending the night at her house many times with my cousins. I remember how she bathed us- it was so special with her as she used an "esh" (washcloth) and let us use her special powder with the puff when we were finished. I remember one time she let us have donuts for dinner! DONUTS! I remember when we'd sleep in her bed with her, she'd let us warm her back- we would sleep back to back. MeeMaw had the most beautiful nightgowns! That was our favorite part- dressing up in her silk nightgowns, draping ourselves in her gorgeous jewelry, and putting her fur coats on! We'd prance around her house singing and dancing and having the best time! She made it to countless performances, sporting events, helped tote us to appointments, and kept us when my parents would go out of town. We loved spending time with MeeMaw.

As MeeMaw retired and aged, she busied herself with her church family, her great group of girlfriends, and her family. She loved to travel. She went all over the world with her girls- cruises to Alaska, Taiwan, Australia, and pretty much anywhere else you can imagine. She loved driving to and from New Braunfels to see my uncle and cousins and flying to Alabama to see her brother.

But our favorite part about MeeMaw were her stories. She told the best stories. Anthony and I would just sit around listening to her- she would gritch about someone or something and we would just egg her on. She had a crazy love for Cam Newton and Colt McCoy- she loved watching college football and knew more than most men. She loved getting a good deal on things and then giving those away.

Every single person who met MeeMaw loved her. I mean, they really loved her. She was hysterical- and never held back. She was spunky and funny and told it like it was. She was definitely the entertainment.

MeeMaw, I love you so much. You are a major part of some of my fondest memories over the majority of my life. Spending time with me growing up, giving me kittens from the stables to "surprise" my parents with, letting me spend the night at your house, supporting me at my theater performances and my sporting events, attending things at A&M with me, telling me not to let Anthony go, giving me a bridal brunch, being there to meet my babies, and loving my children and husband with all of your heart... I am going to miss you more than you know.

I am going to miss seeing her at church every Sunday. I will miss her phone calls throughout the week- "Courty Court! You're the only one who ever answers my phone calls! Can you tell me how to get to mall again?" I will miss the fact that she gives my children a dollar every single week at church. I will miss her random hams at holidays. I will miss her sparkly blue eyes and bright smile. I will miss her raunchy jokes. I will miss her talking about going on her "long journey" one day. I will miss every. single. thing about her.

She was a tremendous woman who built a beautiful life from nothing. If you want a woman of distinction, you look to MeeMaw. She was incredible.

January 14 she went into the hospital with breathing trouble. Diagnosed as bronchitis and her heart in a-fib, the doctors and nurses cared for her and ran lots of tests. A week or so later they found suspicious spots. A week after that they confirmed cancerous spots in her lungs and liver. Three days later they told us she had pancreatic cancer that had spread to her liver, lungs, lymph nodes, and bones. Two days after that she was placed in in-home hospice. And three days later she was gone. Just like that.

She went from a vibrant, strong lady to virtually helpless. And one month to the day of her initial hospital stay she passed away. She was surrounded by her children and her brother as she took her final breaths here on earth.

She went home to be reunited with the love of her life on Valentine's Day. A date 44 years in the making. I would have given a lot of things to have witnessed that reunion! I can only imagine that her sweet husband, J, was asking her what took her so long.

We are so thankful MeeMaw didn't have to suffer long. We are glad she went home peacefully and comfortably and surrounded by love.

But man, we are really going to miss her. She was a beautiful woman.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Charley's Big Day!

I have to document the celebratory days of Miss Charley Kate's third birthday! It was a FUN FUN FUN few days celebrating our big girl!

It started Saturday morning- mommy and CK had a date at the nail salon!!!! I'd be lying if I said I hadn't dreamed of this day since I found out I was having a girl! A couple months ago, I knew she was "ready"- capable of sitting still long enough and capable of letting everything dry. Plus, as much as she LOVES getting her hair done (mainly the washing and drying part!), I figured she'd love this.

Annnnnd I was right! We walked in and she squealed! She about blew a gasket when she saw the wall of nail polish colors- seriously- Mind. Blown.

The kids' chairs were on the opposite wall from mine. They started mine first and I was shocked that she just sat in her little chair and waited! Once they started on hers, her excitement was CRAZY! She just giggled and smiled and watched every single thing they did. It was just so sweet!

I super super hate this picture of me, but I love love love it even more of CK! 

Once we finished at the nail place, we headed home and got busy making her cupcakes! I knew we were expecting 35ish kids, plus grown-ups. Why in the WORLD I decided to make her cupcakes is beyond me!!! But they were DELICIOUS and nothing beats hanging with my CK. Love that girl!

Sunday was party day! Luckily I was pretty prepared throughout the week, so there wasn't much to do that day! Phew!

CK insisted on a Peppa Pig birthday party (we love that show- just precious!).

We got to the gymnastics place and set up- the people there were awesome helping us out! Then the kids started arriving and it was party time! It was a great party- just what my little gymnastics-fanatic wanted! Lots of running, jumping, tumbling, and obstacle courses. Her brother may or may not have loved it, too!

Cupcake time followed! All of our hardwork was put to the test- and I think it was a success!  :)

And she ended by putting her handprint on the wall- in purple paint of course!

Directly from there we headed to my parents' house to have a joint family party for my nephew Josh and CK. They are three days apart! And they have ALWAYS had a special relationship. These two middle children just "get" each other. He is so good to her and she just can never get enough of him. They are always snuggled up.

Monday morning was her actual birthday. I heard her coming down the stairs and intercepted her- and shouted and sang Happy Birthday to her! She was SOOO genuinely happy- it was just the sweetest!!!

We got a birthday breakfast donut (pink with sprinkles of course!)

Yes, she slept in her Peppa Pig dress. 

We got all ready for school and I dropped them off. I ran a few quick errands, then Molly and I headed up to do CK's birthday with her class. More cupcakes and singing!

She finished up the last hour of school, and I picked the kids up. I let her choose ANYwhere she wanted to have lunch on her birthday- and she chose Grandeb's house (of course!)! So we grabbed some of her favorite things and had a picnic over there with some of the cousins!

After naps (much to the birthday girl's dismay!), we played with all of her new toys! She rode that new bike up and down the street 50,000 times! And, I know we are all surprised, she changed back into her Peppa Pig dress! Ha!

Snack time out front! Yogurt explosion!

To cap off the evening, my dad and grandmother (Grammy, from Wisconsin!!) came over for dinner. I made CK's very favorite thing in the world- tacos! And some ice cream for dessert!

I can say with certainty, we celebrated to the max! This girl KNEW it was her birthday- and that makes me feel like I did my job!

Charley Kate, we LOOOOVE you so very much! I'm so glad you felt special on your big day!

All birthday'd out the next day!