Sunday, April 3, 2016

Easter 2016

Easter weekend was VERY busy. Between soccer, birthday parties and you know, trying to remember what Easter is all about, I was overwhelmed. Oh, and I was sick. Maybe the flu, maybe not, but really horrible.

Sunday morning, the kids came down the stairs and tried to find their baskets. They are so funny! They really aren't very good at finding things, haha.

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Brandt really got into it and was very excited when he found his basket. Of course I said to Hudson, "Happy Easter!!!" And he said, "And happy birthday!" WHOOPS. Yes, Huddy, happy birthday! Gosh dangit, I felt so dumb. Hopefully he'll never remember. In my defense, I was trying to come out of a Tylenol PM fog.

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Happy SIXTH birthday, Hudson Prince!!

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Church was nice. Hud was supposed to give a talk in Primary but wouldn't do it! It was weird, normally he doesn't get worked up about stuff like that. Oh well, next time!

After church, we ran home to change and then headed out to Grama Nancy's. Brandt slept the whole way there, which was nice. It was a beautiful day - we were lucky to get such nice weather. We had a great dinner and then an Easter egg hunt.

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Then Hudson opened all his presents and was thrilled with all of them, lucky boy.

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Brandt really likes his Uncle Mike! And Auntie Rhonda always tries to sneak in there before Brandt notices. LOL. :)

After dessert, we all headed home. We got home at a decent time and the kids were able to get in bed to be ready for school the next day, which is always nice.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Christmas 2015

Christmas morning was so great. I LOVED seeing the kids come down the stairs all together and see what was under the tree. (And on the couch, where Santa left the stockings.)

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Hudson was thrilled with every single thing he opened. It's so much fun to watch this kid experience life.

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Maddy loved her new boots (which were a game-time decision, GO ME)! I'm not sure why I don't have more pictures of her opening presents, but I know she was pretty happy with everything.

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The kids usually eat a candy out of their stocking and Brandt thought that was about the coolest thing. Candy in the morning? No wonder Christmas is so fun! Haha. This kid is the best.

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The kids played all afternoon with their toys. It was BLISS.

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Christmas was at Rhonda & Mike's this year. It was a little weird at first to not be at Spence & Heather's, but it was great.

Mike & Spence played football with the kids. It was so warm that day, they ended up being sweaty and stinky just in time for dinner.

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They had so much fun, none of them wanted to leave. Brandt lost his mind!! Haha. But it was worth it.

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Thankful

Thanksgiving was great, as always.

In the morning, we woke up and had our traditional blueberry & chocolate chip muffins while Mike played football. Brandt was cracking me up with his muffin love.

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Hud & Brandt are quite the pair.

Later on that afternoon, we headed to my brother's. Spence & Heather are always perfect hosts and the food is amazing. It was kind of rainy so we didn't go outside too much, but we still had a good time.

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I am so grateful for all of the blessings we receive year-round, and it's nice to have (at least) one day where we reflect on them.



Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My baby Brandt - t w o

Our little terrorist had a birthday last month. TWO YEARS OLD? Unbelievable!

I wish I would have blogged about him right after his birthday. He really went through a super sweet patch there for a couple of weeks & Mike and I thought maybe the tides had turned. But alas. He got an ear infection and has been back to his old self ever since. :) I keep thinking, what am I supposed to learn from this child?

BUT. Instead of focusing on all the hard things - today has been pretty rough - I'm going to focus on the wonderful things about Brandt.

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He sleeps through the night. He naps okayyyy, but mostly always wakes up crying. He is usually so grouchy when he wakes up, which is JUST LIKE ME! Haha. I totally get it. He isn't a picky eater (when he's in the mood to comply.) Right now, he really loves any kind of snack (crackers, bars, crackers that we call cookies, anything small he can hold and walk around with and leave for me to find later). Loves steak, bread, some veggies (mostly veggie pouches, loves fruit (still loves tomatoes!), pizza, grilled cheese, hot dogs... He doesn't love chicken. Weirdo. He knows exactly how to make us laugh. We'll be eating dinner and all of a sudden we look at him and his eyes are closed. And they're not closed like he's sleeping, or closed like he's really enjoying that bite... But just like he's wondering what will happen if he closes them while he eats. He's started to be quite a tease as well. Loves to put his fingers in people's noses (!!!) and mouths and pull off Gaga's (Grama's) glasses, just because he can.
He's got a lot of energy. (I'm choosing to see this as a good thing.)

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He LOVES Buck. He always says "Hi Buck, hi puppy." He's very good at scratching his ears or back and giving him hugs. It's nice to see.

He loves Maddy & Hudson. He just lights up when they get home from school.

He will choose me over anyone / anything pretty much always. This is good and bad of course, but really, how can life be bad when someone loves you THAT much?

He talks really well. Hudson didn't talk as well (I don't think?) at this age and it caused me concern of course, because Maddy did and I can't stop comparing! BLAH. But Brandt has taken that worry away, so even though he probably has Reactive Attachment Disorder, at least he'll communicate to us that he's going to kill us before he does so.
*I realize this sounds horrible, but I joke all the time that he has RAD and want to document it. And yes, I did joke about the other kids having it but THIS TIME I MEAN IT. Kinda. ;) Anyway, he says soooo many things and has 3 or 4 word sentences and that's so nice!! Because it sure takes a lot of guess work out of things! And his little voice is so cute too.

He loves motorcycles (mo-cycles) and planes and cars and balls. Any kind of ball, but basketball is his favorite right now. We'll have to remedy that come spring. :D

He loves to read, loves Elmo, Curious George & Daniel Tiger. I try and limit the TV but I know the other kids watched a bit when they were 2, and they *seem* okay. Ha.

He really doesn't like other people. I saw this as a negative for awhile, but honestly, with all the child trafficking going on around here lately, it makes me feel good that when someone even looks at him, he gives them a scowl or just stares at them. Maybe he's just cautious and wants familiarity. Who can blame him?

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Some other things to remember: his amazing ability to find markers and pens anywhere and use them for destruction. It makes sense that this would happen more with him because the bigger kids leave these things out, but still. I swear I am VIGILANT. To no avail.

He also hasn't stopped ripping pages out of books. If something has a corner askew (a sticker, anything), he'll work on it until it's off.

He hates brushing his teeth & getting changed. OH MY GOODNESS. It's so painful for all of us. So if you see him in pajamas, you'll understand why.

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He's really going through some kind of separation anxiety thing right now. I swear he's been going through it for pretty much his entire life, but now every night, if I'm not the one to put him to bed and I'm here, he freaks. (This has never been an issue before, Mike and I trade off a lot.) If I do put him to bed, we do the books, the songs and then he cries and hugs my neck SO tight and just says 'mama' over and over again and won't let me put him down. When I finally get him in his bed, he screams and carries on. We've never really had to have him cry it out before... I mean, we have - for naps - but it's never really worked and he basically runs the show and sleeps when he wants and usually (usually) goes to sleep, no real issues, maybe some playing or fussing, whatever. But if I've had to go back in there recently, I don't make it better, I make it worse, because he just is so worried about me leaving! And it breaks my heart!!! Last night I let him cry it out and it took about 5 minutes but made me sad. Today for naps, about 5 minutes. And then I made the fool hardy mistake of peeking in on him and HE CAUGHT ME! It was so hilarious. And terrible. So then I had to rock him for a minute (which I actually LOVE to do, when he lets me) and he went to sleep no problem. Tonight he went to bed without freaking out so that was a step in the right direction. This isn't supposed to be some tirade on his behavior but it makes me sad when I can't figure things out. I don't want him upset for days on end? I'm a problem-solver, you see. But I can only ever solve other people's problems and hand out unsolicited advice. Hmmm.

(This is becoming more like a journal entry, which is how I used to treat my blog.)

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For his birthday, we invited our friends over to celebrate. Since Brandt loves football and the Super Bowl was coming up, we settled on that kind of theme. The Myers, Sharps, Crumptons, & Meadors came. We have the best friends!!

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*So sad I didn't get any pictures of all of our friends! :/

We really are so lucky to have Brandt in our family. He really does add so much to our home. I just know he's going to do big things with his life and I'm excited to be along for the ride.

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We love you, Brandtster!! Happy 2nd birthday!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Baby Colby (Jack)

My beautiful friend Katie was expecting a baby boy in November, and since we were throwing her a shower, I wanted some pictures of her to have on display, so I asked her to meet me at the park and take some pictures. We met pretty early so it wasn't too hot, but her baby girl was suffering from HFM disease (although not diagnosed at the time) so I was really happy that the pictures turned out so cute.

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Katie is seriously one of the most gorgeous people I have ever met, inside & out! Sheesh.

Next up was her shower. I loved planning it with Tracy & Andreia. We had so much fun! It's funny because when I had my last shower, I felt so weird because, it was my THIRD child, and you know, you just feel greedy. And Katie convinced me that it didn't matter, that every baby deserved a party, etc. But when it was her turn, she said almost the exact same things! It was so funny.

Most of the people invited were from her same town so Katie offered to have the shower at her house. I felt horrible doing this to her, but honestly, her house is perfect for parties and it did make the most sense. Still... I hope she got a good nap afterwards! ;)

We started out just wanting to serve desserts but then we knew we had to have some savory items. (Sausage balls = win)

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Katie's mother-in-law made the adorable party favors! She nailed it.

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It was such a great night and I hope Katie knows how loved she is!

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FINALLY, their baby boy was born in early November. I went over to her house when he was a week old and took some more pictures. I seriously love him so much!!

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What baby smiles at a week old? Seriously.

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Katie tried every trick in the book and finally succeeded in getting Big Sister on the bed. I'm starting to take this personally! I love this picture so much though!!


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

More wedding bells...

My sister Rhonda moved back to Texas fairly recently with her boyfriend, Mike (seriously, another Mike!) and in July, they tied the knot. It was great to be a part of such a happy occasion - they make an amazing couple and I am so ecstatic for her!!

We had a lot of fun putting all the decorations together, and no one was injured! :D

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I loved how casual the wedding was. Everyone could just be relaxed in whatever. Except for the heat of course, but the actual ceremony was nice and quick so everything was fine in that regard as well.

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When two families become one:
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(Spence couldn't wait to change into his swimsuit, haha)

It was a great night! But then Hudson had another near-drowning experience and then it was time for us to go home.

e i g h t


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My darling Maddy is every bit as sweet as she looks. (Most of the time.)

She takes the best care of her brothers and is always wanting to get Brandt out of his crib and hold him... still.

She is doing so well in school and has a lot of friends.

She loves soccer & likes playing defense the best. She's doing pretty well at that too. Not super aggressive still, but definitely has some skill.

Her teacher at church is Sister Treber, who she adores. Often times Maddy is the only one in her class and they've become really good friends. ;)

She loves to write - uses anything she can find for a journal, draw, play with Shopkins, La La Loopsies, Barbies and her new American Girl Doll, Grace that her Gammy got her for her birthday.

She isn't as shy as she used to be and has come even more out of her shell in recent months. I think soccer has really helped with that.

I am so proud of the person she is. I can't believe I love her as much as I do.

HER FAVORITES, AGE 8 (her exact words)

Cereal - Reese's Puffs
Vegetable - Broccoli
Fruit - Apples
Drink - Rootbeer
Toy - Shopkins
TV Show - Jessie
Game - Scrabble, Jr
Book - Whatever After
Restaurant - Chick-fil-A
 Holiday - Christmas
Animal - Cheetah
Song - I Stand All Amazed
Color - Pink
Number - Eighteen

Friday, December 11, 2015

Always my baby

My little Hudson has been going through kind of a rough time lately. He's still the same sweetheart of course, but I'm not sure if he's tired (kindergarten can be brutal) or what... Just throwing random fits, talking & acting like a baby, saying "I don't care" when we say things to him. Ugh. I'm thinking he needs more attention? He's also getting the last of his six-year molars - I just discovered these suckers coming in a couple weeks ago and THEY'RE HUGE - and while the others didn't bother him at all, this one really is. *It's the bottom right one.

Anyway, the other night he was just so exhausted and was freaking out when he got out of the bath (he was cold!) so we decided to put him to bed early, which he was fine with, surprisingly. So I tucked him in bed and snuggled with him for a bit and then I asked him if I could say the prayer, which he agreed.

I prayed that he would know how much he means to our family, and that he would know how important he is to us, and to Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ. I prayed that he would realize how special he is, and how blessed our family is because he is in it, and that he would be comforted when he wasn't feeling good.

When I got done with the prayer he was crying softly and when I asked him what was wrong, he said they were happy tears. I asked him why and he said "Because of what you said about me in your prayer."

This kid has such a tender heart. I have loved him from the second I laid eyes on him and I can't imagine my life without him.

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Great to be EIGHT

My Madster decided she wanted to be baptized when she turned eight. Although it was something I had just always expected, to one night have her tell me that she wanted to... It made me a little teary. When I asked her why, she said "Because Jesus was." Even in whatever way she understands, she is trying to be like Jesus, and that is pretty incredible to me. She is a wonderful example for her mother!

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The baptism went fine and I DIDN'T EVEN CRY. I seriously couldn't believe it. I really didn't even want to cry, and actually, I tear up at most baptisms. But this time, I was just so happy, and I was more worried about if Maddy was nervous or whatever. Side note: I actually couldn't even see her be baptized, there were too many kids in the way, but there wasn't really anything I could do about it. I went in and helped her get changed after and it was kinda weird. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was being baptized. I remember being freezing and smiling a lot. Maddy was the same.

When Mike confirmed her a member of our church, I am shocked to say... HE CRIED!!! He got totally choked up and teary! It took all of us by surprise, but in a really sweet way. They have such a great relationship & I'm so thankful for that.

I wanted to get as many pictures as I could of everyone, but when it came down to it, to try and coordinate all the friends with all their little kids - HOLY MOLY. I was lucky to get what I did. Mostly I just wanted Maddy to have some way to remember all of the people that showed up. With how busy everyone is, especially on Saturdays, we were honored that they came to support her. We are SO blessed to have the friends & family that we do. Stacie & Mike and their family even came up from Houston! {Well, they really came for the Eldredge Halloween party, but still, they squoze (it's a word!) us in.}

Not pictured are Rhonda & Mike, Kaitlyn & Antonio, Sister Treber (Maddy's teacher in Primary), the Crumptons, and the Meadors, who had to leave right after the baptism.

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Afterwards most of us met at our house for sandwiches and Swig cookies. (There was more than that there, but those are the highlights.) Again, our friends & family stepped it up and brought a ton of food for us. What a blessing.

Our house isn't small and it was packed. We put tables outside and it was a beautiful day. Maddy had a great time with all her little pals and I hope she'll remember how good she felt that day. She did so wonderfully, still a little shy, but not paralyzed when groups of people stare at her. I'm just so proud!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Summer baseball - 2015

Hudson has been wanting to try baseball. Mike and I have been wanting to put him in baseball. But really, when it comes to actual physical activity at this stage in the game, there's really no comparison between soccer and baseball, and there's been no way to do both. This summer, we finally pulled the trigger and Hudson LOVED it. Some of the kids had been on a team together before, but one of his old soccer buddies was on the team, so at least there was a familiar face. With all the rain we got this spring, soccer went late, and then more rain in June pushed an already late baseball season even later. I missed the first game because Brandt was sick and I was so mad that I had to stay home! I mean, I love the little guy, but Hud's very first game? :( But Mike was awesome and took a ton of pictures for me.

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I didn't take pictures at every game - keeping Brandt out of danger consumed most of my time - but most of them would look like this:

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The last practice was held at the Rangers Youth Ballpark in Arlington thanks to a connection one of Hud's coaches had. It was so cool, they had an announcer come in and play cool music and announce the kids when they were up to bat. We also had concessions, which Hud's coach generously covered for each of the players, and then once practice was over, we all got to go on the field. I loved this team because they were very cool about including siblings, which meant a lot to Maddy. She was a bat girl at all of the games and got to bat and field a bit at practices. Very neat.

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Thankfully my mom came with us this time - she was a HUGE help, as always.

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Nothing like a ballpark hot dog!

Their last game:
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Grandpa was so sweet to come entertain Brandt too!

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Coach Todd & Coach Chad

Hudson learned a lot and loved playing baseball. We're so proud of him for his willingness to try new things and be SO brave.