Sunday, March 27, 2016

We Survived Spring Break!

Not gonna lie, I wasn't sure we were going to survive Spring Break this year!

I say that tongue in cheek, of course. No disasters, nothing happened. BUT, Anthony was in Haiti for the entire week on another Mission Trip with Live Beyond. Of course, we were so happy to support him while he was there, and so proud of the work he was doing. But all three home and being 7 months pregnant with our 4th, I knew it would be a long week!

He left Saturday morning early, and that same morning the kids and I decided to road trip it to Dallas to see Michelle and her family, and Anthony's sister and her family. The bonus was, my mom was there visiting Michelle and Anthony's mom was there visiting Andrea. Oh, did I mention they live three houses apart?! We got to get up to Dallas and see a ton of our people at once! Win!

While we were there, we did a lot of playing at houses and the park, lots of catch up time, even got in a little family BP. We weren't there long and we had sort of a whirlwind of a trip, but it was totally worth it!

Sloan and me at the park- I swear she actually had a super fun time- it was just too sunny!

Of course CK had a blast being the baby whisperer!

Debby had some of her littlest ducks in a row! 

Family BP!

Popsicles after dinner!

Grandma and her grandlittles (plus one!)

Not sure where I was supposed to fit in the bed... 

And this was even more difficult to find a spot! 

We got back in town- and Michelle and Clay came too! So we had them for a few more days. More park time, we squeezed in the rodeo (I still can't talk about that day- I'm pretty sure I'm still worn out from it... seriously), and our first swim of the season (too cold for the grown ups!)...

Our kitty Ella is crazy- look how she fell asleep on Michelle! 

One of my favorite pictures ever! 

Thursday Michelle and Clay headed out and the kids and my mom and I went to our place in Brenham to check in there. Turns out all the rain we had started to show our field of wildflowers in the beginning stages of blooming! Everything was super green and gorgeous! The pictures absolutely do not do it justice!

We spent the next few days playing around and getting ready for Daddy's return!

Needless to say once he got home it was a JOYFUL reunion! We drove out to the airport to get him and the kids insisted on going inside to wait for him. So we parked and trekked it in. We waited and as soon as we saw him coming down the stairs the big kids started smiling and giggling, and Molly had a priceless reaction- she started SCREAMING "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" over and over and JUMPING up and down! She ran to him and Anthony dropped his bag and grabbed her up! The big kids ran over and it was such a sweet reunion! I wish I had been thoughtful enough to get it on video- it was the cutest thing I've ever seen! Anthony said it was one of his most favorite memories ever!

We spent the weekend having LOTS of family time together!

And I was beyond exhausted! Ha! It definitely took me several days to catch up from that week. As helpful as Anthony is in the evenings, he's really only around for about an hour a night with the kids- he leaves so early in the morning and gets home late that the kids only see him for an hour before bed time. I think what really did me in was the ALL DAY EVERY DAY with the kids. Not that it wasn't wonderful having them and doing things we don't normally get to do while they are at school... But Jay and CK are at an age where it is constant need for stimulation and energy release. They talk a lot and want to play all the time. They also bounce off the walls! And Molly isn't much different, except that she naps and so I at least get a two hour break in the middle of the day! But not when the big kids are home! Ha!

Anyway, we survived and actually made some really wonderful memories... even exhausted ones!

Monday, March 21, 2016

28 Weeks, for the 4th Time!

Gah, here I am at 28 weeks! The days and weeks seem to go by faster and faster. I wish I could slow down time for so many reasons!

It's wild to me to think this is my last go round of pregnancy. It's also crazy that I'm officially in my THIRD trimester! What?! When my pregnancy app popped up and said "Welcome to your third trimester!" I about fell over! And I took that glucose drink down like a champ at my appointment today! 

I am feeling good. My tailbone is starting to hurt, and I am seriously crazy tired these days, but I guess that's just par for the course. I've gained about 13 lbs so far, and have 12 weeks left, so that would put me right around the same amounts I've gained each pregnancy. I think due to the tiredness I have definitely noticed I've been grouchier/less patient than normal. Which I SUPER hate because I know I am but just can't get out of this little funk! Also, veins, contractions, pressure... Blech! But BP is staying good, baby's heart rate is healthy, and that's pretty much all I can hope for now!

The kids are keeping us busier than ever and that's what makes this pregnancy fly by! But I can honestly say I'm enjoying each and every kick and movement this sweet girl is giving me! I will absolutely miss this feeling! I adore feeling her kick and stretch and punch and flutter. I wish I could bottle that up and just have it again every once in a while for the rest of my life!

Jay, CK, Molly

Alright, here's to the rest of month 7! 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Rodeo 2016!

If you've been following my blog for a while, then you know my affinity for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It brings back soooo many memories from childhood- elementary through high school. We would go all the time growing up and it NEVER disappointed! I then passed along my love to my college friends who would drive in with me to go. And then it carried over post-college into my young professional years and then my newlywed years. Now I get to spread that love to my children!

I LOVE the livestock show with the kids! There is SO much to do- TONS of animals, petting zoos, pony rides, carnival rides, fair food... you name it, they've got it! And we sure tried to squeeze it all in this year! There is just never enough time (or really, never enough energy from the moms!).

The livestock show was a little tricky these past few years because we have a crew of baby cousins who enjoy the inside livestock show more and some older cousins who enjoy the carnival/fair side more. We tried to do both, but there's just no way to get it all in!

Not only did we hit our favorites this year, but we also got to add a new element in- MUTTON BUSTIN' for Jay! For those of you not familiar with crazy rodeo traditions, it's where kids ride a sheep (just like bull riding!) and try to hang on as long as they can! It's HYSTERICAL!

Jay has watched it for the past few years and has seen some older buddies do it. He was DETERMINED he was going to do it this year... but he weighed TOO MUCH for it! I heard that the Mutton Bustin at the livestock show was a lot more relaxed than the MB inside the real rodeo, so we decided to try for it! The weight limit is 35-55 lbs and the ages 5-6 years old. This would be his only shot. He weighed in the morning of at 57.4 lbs- and that was pre-breakfast and only shorts and undies. Yikes.

We headed out to the MB line and waited forever- and it was finally our turn. They made him step on the scale and he was 60.4 lbs!!!!!!!! The sweet girl just looked at me and said, "He just had a really big breakfast, right??" God bless that girl! I owe her BIG! I wouldn't have particularly cared either way, but sweet Jay has been talking about it every day, wore his "mutton bustin" clothes, and even said a prayer the night before asking God to please let him go. This girl has no clue what she did for us!

So he gets the second to last spot in line (!!!) and waits! He was soooo cute just watching and waiting- and SO excited!

Then it was (finally!) his turn! He was ready! And that sheep busted out of the gate... and then realized its load was TOO HEAVY and just couldn't run anymore! Jay hung on for dear life sweet boy- and even when it wasn't going he was still holding on! Ha! Guess there is a weight limit for a reason... oops!

Even still, he was so proud! Waved to the crowd, and walked around like a boss! The best part was a few friends from school happened to be there watching and got to see him and his little buddy (from birth!) also got to do it at the same time!

Melt my heart! He seems SO old here! 

I swear these two are destined to get married one day... 
Or at least be prom dates?!

He had a HUGE crowd cheering for him and I'd be lying if I said my heart wasn't bursting at the seems and a few tears streaming down my cheeks! Ahhh I love that boy!

The rest of the day was filled with FUN FUN FUN... and we were all beyond exhausted afterwards! Chasing three of my own kids plus helping chase cousins around and trekking it all over the dang livestock show at 27 weeks pregnant is no small feat. Seriously. My body was tired ALL DAY LONG! But it was worth it... especially that giant cinnamon roll at the end! Heehee

Another fun thing about the HLSR is the rodeo part is actually SO much fun! We've only taken the kids to the livestock show, but the past two years I have taken Jay inside to the big rodeo! It's HUGE- it's at NRG Stadium where the Texans play and is often sold out. They have a full world-famous rodeo and then a concert to follow. The concert has had HUGE names.... George Strait, Garth, Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, Keith Urban... seriously, everyone.

I have loved my (now yearly) date night with Jay to the rodeo. It's so special and he truly loves watching the events! Plus, he's SUCH a good sport to take anywhere- just walks a million miles and never complains! It's so fun and been so special!

Can't skip sausage on a stick!

This kid can EAT. A TON!

Until next year rodeo...

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Molly Lately

I feel like I've been so focused on the blog about the big kids and their activities and the baby and all the things going on with the pregnancy, that I haven't taken the time to write about how amazing Molly is right now!

She is in the heart of the BEST stage! The one where they are learning all the time and saying new things EVERY day! I just LOVE this stage!

The other day the big girl cousins (CK and Austen) were running around playing and I said "Hey girls! Who wants to go in the playhouse?" And CK answered, "Me!" and then Austen said, "Me too!" and then Molly (following right along because she thinks she's just as big as those girls) said, "Me three!" What?? Like when did she know how to correctly use slang sayings?! I almost fell over!

And she is LOVING school these days! She just walks in, drops her pacifier, "blanklet," and lunch box in her cubby and waves bye and starts playing. Ohhhhh what a change from the beginning of the year! She loves her friends and her teachers and most of all the singing in chapel!

I know all parents think their kids are so bright, but really, she is such a smart little cookie. I think it's a lot of smarts naturally and a lot of "worldly" smarts, too. She gets to see and experience so much more with older siblings that she knows so much! It's so fun to watch! But also frightening because the other day she dropped her popsicle on the ground outside and yelled, "Ohhh crap!" SHEESH. That is definitely mommy's fault!

She is our feistiest by far- she will do what she wants, when she wants, and if she is told no she will let you know just how unhappy she is! It's not even a crying tantrum like her big sis, it's a MAD tantrum. Someone inherited her momma's temper!

But she's also such a lovey little buddy for me. She would be the perfect "baby" of the family. She is so go with the flow and loves to be on the go. She rides in the car well, she acclimates to wherever we are- she is just EASY. And snuggly (especially to her momma)!

She is a buddy to all- she loves being around people- but especially her family. She is so trusting and loving of all of her grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. She just LOVES relationships- even with Tex!

And food. She loves food. A lot. She eats pretty much anything and prefers the grown up ways to eat things. Like when we make tacos at home, Jay likes his totally deconstructed, CK likes hers a certain way, but Molly will just eat however we are eating it- all the veggies and spices and all! She prefers sandwiches with lots of "stuff" on them, she likes burritos with all the flavors, loves crazy soups, loves to share my salad. I pray she will keep this up- it's SOOOOOO easy!

This girl is seriously a HOT MESS and we couldn't love her more if we tried. She has been the BEST addition to our family- she's got personality that rivals the rest of us put together!