Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Some Pictures

Here's some pictures of Alaina.  I know I have been neglegent!  Sunday morning seems to be a good picture time, so here are a few from this past week:
This is Alaina's tummy time pose.  She does the "superman" thing so we have been trying to get her elbows down in front of her.
Travis figured this out and tries to help now.


A few more playtime pictures:

All three kids have enjoyed nibbling on the caterpillar's antenae.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Alaina's First Trip to the Zoo

Alain made her first trip to the zoo this past week.   We haven't taken a field trip for school in quite a while (like almost four months...hmm) so I decided it was time.  Plus we needed to use our zoo membership!

Justin was saying "zoo" all morning as I was making lunches and getting things together.  I had to rummage through the closet to find the car seat attachment for our double stroller.  I had to pack extra clothes and bring a towel for Justin, just in case.  (He had a couple of messy days before the zoo adventure and I wasn't sure how I would handle a mess at the zoo with all three kids.  Fortunately, we made it mess-free.  I cannot tell you how relieved I was.)  And I had to make sure I brought enough food for the boys! (See previous post!)  It was close!

So we made it to the zoo and made our plan for the day.  Our friends were on their way but we had a little time to see a few things before they arrived.  Travis' school assignment was to pick an animal and write three sentences about what he learned about the animal.  He picked the okapi.  He learned that it is striped, lives in Africa, and is related to the giraffe.  It was fun to watch, and the weather was fabulous so the animals weren't so lethargic!

We went to see the elephants first.  They were still in their house so we saw them through the windows.  There was a mother and a baby elephant.  Justin loved that there was a baby!  The mother kept hitting the side of her stall and it rattled and echoed though the entire building.  We didn't know what it was at first, but it scared Justin.  Then we saw them lead them outside with the trainer holding the baby's trunk and the mother holding the baby's tail.  Justin made the connection that it looked like a train and I was so proud of him!

Of course, I have boys, so the majority of our time was spent in the reptile house.  Outside the reptile house they have volunteers who have some small animals to pet.   We skipped the trantula, but Justin was all over the snakes.

This hedgehog would fit right in our family.  It was peeing and pooping all over this sweet volunteer!

And an awesome iguana.  Justin touched it too.

Justin spent some serious time talking with his captive audience.

And this box turtle got an earful too!  Justin told him stories and sang him songs.  He was dancing and waving his arms.  I wish I knew what he was saying!

Okay, everyone: one, two, three, don't look at the camera!

The only proof I have that Alaina was there!  She seemed to enjoy herself.  Travis slept through his first trip to the zoo.  This was perhaps only slightly more memorable.  We'll do it again sometime soon!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I Knew About 16-Year-Old Boys, But No One Mentioned 6-Year-Old Boys!

Teenage boys' eating habits are well-documented.  When I first began spending time with Randy's family I heard stories about him and his brother eating everything their mother made for dinner and then making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because they were still hungry.  Or when Randy's mom was talking with her friend on the phone and her friend said, "I have to go, the boys just came home and ate the entire roast I made for dinner as an after school snack."
So really, I know boys eat a lot.  But I thought it was teenage boys.  Not 6-year-olds.
Apparently I was wrong.
Travis is going through a growth spurt. 
I wish I had known before I went to the grocery store last week.
Travis ate the following for lunch last Saturday: a large piece of salmon, an entire 6-inch long carrot, two cups of applesauce, and he topped it off with (you guessed it!) a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  The last few bites of sandwich brought a sigh and a, "Daddy, I think I am full..." and then he finished it.
And for supper this week he ate an egg, hashbrowns, 3 pieces of bacon (the shortage hasn't begun yet...) applesauce, a waffle, and half a cup of yogurt.  (And Justin matched him bite for bite!)
I am not sure I can afford the teenage years.  I might need to start a savings plan!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Here's the Cliff Notes version of what's been going on around here:
  • Travis is rocking first grade.  I love hearing him use "$10 words" as my friend calls them.  And he is getting so much quicker with math facts and retelling the stories we are reading.  My mom taught him the names of the Great Lakes and he learned the Fifty Nifty United States song so now we are working on the states' location.  We finished his handwriting book so he is writing get-well and encouragement cards to friends and family.  He is loving this and Justin wants to do it too, so some people are getting a two-fer!
  • Justin is making some great progress potty training.  Without going into the dirty details, he is now doing ALL his business on the potty.  With no help from us!  (He still is taking medicine, and he probably will for a while, but we are not having to do any major clean outs after not going for days and days.)  When he started going every day he still wasn't quite making it to the potty, so he had a couple of days of decorating his room with the contents of his underwear.  Randy and I debated pulling the rest of the carpet out of his room to make clean ups easier after the second episode.  But truly, I cannot complain.  He has not worn diapers for over a month and today for the first time since we began this journey I did not have to do a load to smelly laundry at the end of the day.  Woo-hoo!
  • Another mom and I were lamenting boys and their ability to spray a bathroom while pottying and she expressed frustration with having to wash the shower curtain after her boys watered it from the outside of the shower.  Then I came home and Travis said, "Hey mommy, how come there is dried poop on the shower curtain?"  Sigh.
  • I get Justin up to go to the bathroom before we go to bed at night in an effort to avoid accidents in bed.  Poor Justin is so sleepy when I get him that I have to carry him to the bathroom.  When he walks back to his bed he is so disoriented and clumsy he looks like a little pinball bouncing off the walls.  It's good thing he very rubbery!
  • My foot is healing!  Yeah!  So it looks like I avoided surgery.  Only a couple more weeks of the boot.  Good thing since the thick plastic sole somehow broke in half.  The doctor said I could "limp" along for another couple weeks, but then I have to throw it away.  Can't save it for the next time.  Too bad.  :)
  • Alaina is growing up!  She had her first "professional" pictures this past week to celebrate her third month.  She managed to roll over and he smiles with her whole body!  Travis is so good at soothing her.  He sings and gets in her face and she adores him.  I don't get it but she calms down so who am I to question it!
  • Justin is fascinated with breast feeding.  He feeds his bears and then wipes of their faces with a burp cloth and then burps them.  It's too cute.  I am impressed with how he notices all the little details.
  • The kids just moved up to their new Bible classes.  Justin is in the three-year-old class because I held him back last year.  He did great in the two's class and now he is ready for the three's.  In this class he has memory verses.  The verses have hand motions to go with the words to help the kids remember.  Justin does the motions and tries the words as best as he can.  He did so awesome with his first verse!  He recited it for everyone at therapy.  Watching him recite it gives me that same warm mommy feeling as watching Travis ride his bike.  I love it!
  •  We started a new chore/allowance system based on the MoneySmart Family System.  The kids had their first payday this past weekend and they loved it!  I enjoyed the help and the enthusiasm for their tasks, mostly from Travis, but Justin still needs some help.  It's difficult to find tasks that Justin can do by himself so that he is motivated to succeed.  What surprised me is how quickly Travis jumps in to help Justin.  All the time.  While that is often very good, he doesn't give Justin any room to learn to do it himself.  I am struggling to teach Travis when to help and when to let Justin be.  Not very easy for me to know!
  • The boys have had to learn patience since there is only one mommy to three kids.  We had a discussion about what qualifies as an "emergency" to get priority.  Asking to watch TV while I am trying to get Alaina to sleep does not qualify.  We did some brainstorming and we came up with a few requirements including fire, blood, or broken bones.  After recent events we decided to add "poop" to the list.
  • Justin passed his hearing test with flying colors.  The audiologist is one of the very favorite "doctors" we visit.  She has done almost all of Justin's tests and she makes him feel so comfortable.  He does really well for her.
  • It's football season!  My very favorite season of all.  Randy is trying to repeat his rookie season victory in fantasy football.  He won his first match-up!  Of our four teams (Texas A & M, Wisconsin, Packers, Cowboys) only the Cowboys managed a win.

That's our life these days! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Daddy Goes to Work

Bye-bye Daddy, I love you!  I'll see you tonight!

But before you go, could you please do something about this person hanging on my foot?  :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happy Three Month Birthday!

Our precious little one had another month birthday and she is growing and doing all sorts of fun things!

Her favorite pastime is chewing (and thus drooling).  She really wants some teeth!  Unfortunately she has not mastered grasping yet so she opts for chewing on fingers.  She's not picky: hers, ours, whatever!  Randy said she was putting some serious jaw muscle into her bite!

Justin finds it hysterical that she touches him and talks and babbles.  He points it out to me every time.  He is going to be the first one to pick up on all her new tricks because he watches her so intently!  In turn, she is very studious and watches the boys just as intently.  Travis likes to sing this song to Alaina and do the hand motions with her hands.  (The hand motions he learned are slightly different from this version, but you get the idea.)  He is kind of rough, but she loves it!  Alaina is becoming more and more one of the family and the boys love her tons, but Travis still prays for Alaina to cry less every day.  I second his prayer!

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Year Later

Last year I planned to teach Travis to ride a bike and potty train Justin.  A year later I just might meet my goals!  (Thanks to Daddy since I am down with a broken foot!)

Travis is so excited!  I am not sure if you can see the size of Travis' smile, but it was huge!  He did awesome.  It was so hot and Travis was dripping (and Randy was huffing and puffing) but he still wanted to go just one more time.  I was very impressed with Travis' diligence and focus.  He really listened to Randy and did what he was told so that he didn't even take any real tumbles before taking off on his own.  These pictures were from Friday and by Monday he was starting off, riding down the street, turning around, riding back and stopping all by himself!  (Randy was really happy about that!)  I am not sure if September in Houston is the best time to learn to ride a bike with the hot, humid days, but they stuck it out. 
When I went outside Monday evening at the end of the last practice session to see the progress for myself I had one of those teary Mommy moments when I saw my little boy growing up.  I saw the tremendous joy in his face and how proud he was for accomplishing his goal.  It's not like learning to walk or dress yourself.  Parents are overjoyed by these accomplishments, but kids just do them and don't get that excitement themselves.  This was sheer thrill!  He was as excited as we were and that made me even more excited.  It was a different kind of pride because he struggled and exerted himself and he succeeded.  And I got to see it all.  It was an awesome weekend!