Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lil' Slugger!

If you follow me on any sort of social media you saw that it was a big weekend for ol' Jaybird- his first ever teeball game! 

I won't lie- ever since I found out I was having a boy, I have been picturing this day. There is something about a little boy in baseball gear that makes my heart flutter! 

And this little boy certainly didn't disappoint! 

He chose number 99 because "it's the highest number you an have in sports- and no one is gonna beat you" and because "it's JJ Watt's number!" :)

The game went about as you'd expect from 4-5 year olds... Everyone got to bat every inning and you didn't keep track of outs. Basically it was like a big practice just against another team. It's a great concept for a starter team/league, but I'm anxious to see how long it lasts with this competitive little boy! 

He really had a blast and we are so lucky that some of his very very best buds are on his team! And even luckier that Daddy is one of his coaches! 

This is going to be such a fun season! Plus, I can't wait to play these pictures at their senior slideshow one day!!! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Probably Not Coming Back

So we had an interesting babysitting experience the other night. I just had to share.

We needed someone to watch our three kids while we went to the rodeo and our normal sitter (whom we love and adore and worship) was unavailable that night. I asked a few of our backups and couldn't find anyone, so I asked my sister's new sitter. I figured since she had babysat for her a handful of times and I trust my sister, it was an easy decision.

She was SUPER sweet over texts and I knew the kids would like her. My sister's kids are about the same age as mine, so I knew she could handle a baby and preschoolers.

She came over that night, and was unfortunately ten minutes late. It's usually no big deal, but my ride got there (we were meeting Anthony) and they had to wait. And again, I had to give her a QUICK rundown since she was late. Luckily I had written a bunch of stuff out earlier just in case- glad I did.

I left and told her to call me or text me with any questions- and then I said that I usually had really bad reception in the rodeo so to call my mom if she couldn't get a hold of me. Before we walked into the rodeo I texted her to check in and got no answer (not a big deal- I'm thankful when sitters actually play with my kids). But then I got a call about thirty minutes later that Molly hadn't stopped crying since I left- which is so odd because Molly is pretty good natured. Even if she cries for a few minutes, she will eventually stop- I've never had a sitter call me about Molly (I had sitters call me about both Jay and Charley Kate when they were babies- often with CK).

Anyway, I asked my mom if she would go over and just get Molly calmed and put down then she could leave. My mom said absolutely.

She went over and got Molly all settled and let me know. Then at 9:45 (!!!!) said she was going to head upstairs to get Jay and CK to sleep because the sitter still hadn't put them down! Yikes! Again, not usually a huge deal, though since the babysitter didn't have to do Molly duty I had hoped she would do big kid duty well.

The rodeo ended and we headed home. I called my mom on the way home and thanked her profusely for doing all the work. She said it was no biggie and that she had gone home about 30 minutes prior.

Anthony and I walked into our house to find the sitter sitting on the couch on her phone under a blanket (again, not a huge deal at all- I did that when I babysat)... EXCEPT.... the house was a WRECK. There were toys and food and crap EVERYWHERE. Again, not a huge deal- I get that kids require a lot of work, but since she literally did no babysitting I thought she might have the courtesy to PICK UP. Not one thing.

Slightly irritated, I gave her the money. Here's where it gets tricky. It really pained me to pay her since my mom had done the majority of the work. But I did ask for her time so I decided to generously pay her $12/hr for the five-ish hours she was there. We gave her $60, which usually is very low for us, but I'm not a cheapskate nor am I unfair. She never told me her "rate" ahead of time, so I thought this was perfectly fine.

I thanked her and she said, "Anytime!" and left.

And as Anthony and I were cleaning up our house at 11:15 pm, she called me. I answered and the convo went like this...

"Hi, Courtney? Did you mean to give me $60?"
(Thinking to myself it was sweet of her to tell me I paid too much, I answered) "Yes, is that ok?"
"Well, actually no. My rate is $15 an hour, and I was there for almost 5.5 hours, so that would put you at $82. You actually owe me $22 more."
I get out some answer like, "Oh, well, I guess I can give Kiki the extra money the next time you sit for her." because I was caught so off guard and couldn't think about this logically.
"Ok, that would be fine I guess."

I hang up and then it hits me. ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS?!?!

We pay our sitters well because we want them to come back and we appreciate the hard work that they do and the love that they show our children. BUT THEY ALSO EARN it.

So she wanted to be paid $15/hour for:
-Showing up late
-Not remembering my kids' names (oh I forgot that part- even though they were written down on a piece of paper she couldn't tell me Jay and Charley Kate's names when she called me!!!!!!)
-Not actually babysitting Molly
-Not playing with the kids at all- my mom sat on the floor and played with them the entire time
-Not putting any children to bed
-Not cleaning up at all- not even one toy or one piece of food

So I'm actually curious as to what she thinks she did for five hours. Certainly she didn't babysit.

Now I'm in a conundrum... I am temped to mail her $20 and call it a day and just leave it be. But I'm even more tempted to write her a letter with that $20 (a friendly, kind letter) explaining why I thought it was more than generous and some "pointers" for the future... Because she told my sister she actually wants to become a FULL TIME NANNY. And she's 28. Did I forget that part? She's not a high school girl that doesn't know. She's an adult that wants to make this her career!!!!!!!!!

Luckily, talking to my kids, they didn't seem traumatized or hurt or anything by her- they said she was nice and told them lots and lots and lots of bedtime stories. So at least that is good. Their safely and well being is first and foremost, of course. But I mean, these are my babies...

Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts! What would YOU do?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Molly at 10 Months

Is Molly seriously TEN MONTHS old?! I am having a slight anxiety attack thinking about the fact that it's almost time to start planning her first birthday party!

It feels like this girl has been in our lives forever. She has fit in so perfectly and adds just the right amount of everything to our little family. We just absolutely adore her.

Some notes from the past month...
-Officially sporting her first black eye. Truth be told, I'm  not exactly sure how she did it. We were all outside playing. She was standing holding onto a toy, I went to help CK draw chalk, and the next thing I know, she is laying on the concrete crying. Not sure if she hit her face on the toy or ground, but the bruise popped up immediately. Whoops. 
-Wearing size 3 diapers and pretty much all 12 month clothes
-She takes two solid naps a day, and I'm pretty sure she's working on moving down to one nap a day. Eek. Her morning nap keeps getting pushed later and later and is lasting longer and longer. Then she usually has a shorter afternoon one- and on lots of occasions she has only taken one!
-She goes to bed anywhere from 7:30-8:30 and wakes up anywhere from 6:30-7:30.
-Is really only breastfeeding once a day and getting bottles of formula (with a mixed breastmilk/formula bottle at night) throughout the day. She is just too busy to sit and eat with me and my milk letdown is just too long. She has NO patience for it!
-She loves pretty much anything to drink. Juice, milk (chocolate and plain), water, gatorade, lemonade... even Dr Pepper and Sprite and Spark... sigh... third kid problems right there
-She eats so so well. She loves to feed herself, and would much prefer to just eat solids all day long than nurse/have a bottle. She is pretty much not picky at all (yet) and will eat everything put in front of her. She even tried to shrimp last night (yuck!) and loved it!
-Crawls really well. Stands super well. She will just stand forever and ever and ever. And she can get up to standing from being on the ground.
-She took two sets of three (balanced!) steps the other day!!!
-Loves the water- splashing in the bath and pool and puddles and the sink- anywhere!
-Climbs on anything she can get on!
-Takes a bottle to go to sleep while we rock her or lay down next to her (in our bed/hotel bed/guest bed). She LOVES to snuggle into her blanket with her pacifier- works every time!
-Loves to clap and play pat a cake and peekaboo. She loves to get people's attention and then make them clap for her!
-Waves hi and bye bye
-Her words are definitely coming along... She says ma-ma, da-da, Tessey (Tex-ey), bye bye, dadey (baby), dow (down for the "horsey comes down!" game), nah-nah-nah (no no no), ah ah (uh oh)
-She loves other kids- she especially gets happy/entertained with big kids (like her brother and sister) but also loves babies- though we've found she's a little "aggressive" with them- just likes to pat them or crawl on them or touch their facial features!
-Loves our animals- loves to crawl all over Tex, poke his teeth, grab his ears- he's such a good sport. She loves to chase Ella and loves my parents' and sister's dogs.
-Loves her cousins and her family so much. Just loves to be passed around to each person over and over
-Loves the nursery at church (freedom to play) and gym. Working on the Sunday school class (she's confined in a seat!)
-She is very kissy and loves to show her affection that way!
-Definitely an observer- watches and takes it all in
-Loves books- she just "reads" them over and over and over
-Two teeth- both bottom ones!
-Just starting to become assertive with her independence. Does NOT like to be held back or told no and it seems she's got a bit of a temper! If I take something away from her she will look at me and "hit" my hand or swipe at my face out of anger. It's so funny, but I get that it's a bad thing! Ha!

This girl is seriously so much fun. Her little personality is so sweet and laid back and genuinely happy. I have so many people comment on her happy demeanor and open mouth smile- and it's true! She's starting to lean out and the beginnings of her looking like a toddler are definitely among us. Oh, how I love this baby stage- I'm going to be so sad when it's gone!

This is how our picture taking goes these days... 

We love you, Molly girl!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Animals and Green

We spent our second official day of Spring Break at Bayou Wildlife Park just south of town.

We went for the first time two years ago when Jay was in his "animal obsession" period (tear that that's gone) and had so much fun. I remember thinking then how happy I was to have Anthony with me because the thought of doing it alone with two kids (CK had just turned one) was so exhausting.

Fast forward two years and I took all three- plus one! Ha! Oh ye of little faith...

But I wasn't exactly by myself- it was me with my three kids, plus my niece Jill (her fam was fishing for the day so we got her!), plus my sister Kiki and her three, plus Grandeb. So, three adults and seven children- ranging from 9 months to 9 years old.

The kids had a BLAST (and so did we!)!! The animals just come right up to you and you feed them! You definitely get up close and personal!

My kids are already begging to go back! Fun spring break memory!

Coming into the park (Kiki took this of our car!)
That llama wanted in with me! I was terrified! Ha! 

The girls minus Hunter (can you see who forgot it was St Patty's Day!? Ha!)

The boys

This cracks me up because Molly was desperately trying to eat all of the animal food.
So we gave her her own bucket :)

This girl was FEARLESS. She just owned all the animals.
When she was done feeding them she just took the bucket away and told them that was it. 
Love it!

Proof that I was actually there! My one pic of the day! Ha!

As you can see, the boys were a little more scared :)

This guy was huge!

Only Grandeb would pet and make friends with him!
Molly is skeptical!

Jill was also totally fearless! 
Austen, on the other hand, terrified! haha

Just AWFUL! I hate big birds that can peck at you with their beady eyes!
And look at the buffalo behind my mom!!!!!!

These three had so much fun together! 

Charley Kate totally owned the goats, too! She LOOOOOOOVED this!

This was definitely Jay's thing. 
He was all over this. So calm, so kind, fed everyone- had it in control! 

He actually said these words... "Mom! Can we PLEASE take him home as a pet?!"
He loved this particular one (who was a little aggressive and head butted him!)

Loving it!

Who volunteered to go first on the horse!? 
Of course she did! 

Jay really loved it and asked why it didn't get to run around on its own!

Such a fun day. I love seeing my kids so fearless and happy. They did a fantastic job! Can't wait to do it again (hopefully before another two years!)!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Trail Riders 2015

I write every year about my love for Go Texan Day in Houston.

It's one of my very favorite days to be a Houstonian! We all dress up in our boots and watch the Trail Riders come in from all over the state for the rodeo! It's a fun, fun time in town!

I was so worried this year that we would miss out on everything because of Stomach Bug 2015. But since every was feeling a tiny bit better Friday morning (and by that I mean not puking or pooping every hour), I decided to brave the freezing cold and take the kids to watch the horses. They were already missing all of the wonderful festivities at their school, and it broke my heart to have them miss out on such a fun day (not that they would have known anyway!).

I texted my sisters last minute and my oldest sister and her daughter (also sick from my kids and their issues) met us at our spot! We had an OK freaking awesome time and quickly headed back home for rest and recuperation!

My handsome, camo cowboy finally feeling better!
Why does he look 18 here?!?!

Molly's first trail ride experience! 
She has a really cute smocked horse bubble on under all that nonsense!

My sickie actually looked precious- new pink boots, a pink dress, and hair in pigtail-braids. 
So sad she felt so awful. 

Our pathetic group!

In case you want more explanation or to see pictures of years past, click here. To die for!