Monday, April 14, 2014

The funny things they say

Again, typing one handed is beyond my abilities so these little gems have been accumulating in the notes section of my iphone kinda like all the photos I still have to upload.   I'm just thankful to the time to sit down and put them in the phone these days.  Blogging them is a total bonus and since my dinner alarm is due to go off any minute now, it may take me a while but here goes.

When I was in the hospital and a few days afterward, Lincoln pointed out that I still had a fat belly.  Leave it to kids to boost your self esteem like that.  Around week 3 post partum, he walked in and said happily, "Mom!  You're fat belly, it's gone away now!"  That's one compliment I'll take!

Jackson woke up one day and as I was making his breakfast he said, "Mom, why do you have a black eye?" Um, that's not a black eye son, that's severe sleep deprivation.  I guess it's time to invest in the high dollar concealer again!

Lincoln asked me innocently, "mom, how do you drive with your knee?"  Ooops.  Guess I am busted!

Lincoln said this week, "Mom, I thought I heard a cat.  It was baby sister.  She sounds like a cat."  I have to agree.  She squeaks like a baby kitten.

We were on a solo bike ride and Lincoln said "look mom, it's the corn dogs" while pointing at the pond foliage.  They are cat tails but I can see corn dogs, can't you?

Lincoln came home from preschool recently and told us there was a girl in his class and every time he looked at her all he could think about was marrying her!  That pretty serious for a 4 year old relationship.  We inquired if she was his girlfriend and he said yes but we were not to tell Jackson!  Then we asked her name and he couldn't remember.  The first thing he did when Jackson came home was spill the beans about his girlfriend.  So don't ever bother telling Lincoln your secret!   The next few days I asked him to find out her name and every time he'd bring her up it was the same story.  She was his girlfriend but he didn't know her name.  I told him I'm pretty sure Alan Jackson wrote a song about this kind of thing but I'd really like to know her name before they get married.  He had mentioned that she was the new girl in his class so one day I asked the teachers who the new girl was.  Turns out her name is Leighton and she IS in fact his girlfriend.  The teacher had noticed them talking.  Later that week I picked up some flowers and was going to share them with his preschool teachers.  As I was purchasing them he asked me if those were for his girlfriend?  Ha!  No but I said he could bring her one and he certainly did!  It seems I may have a ladies man on my hands here!

Jackson came downstairs one afternoon after playing outside and said
 "Mom, I think I need some of that odor." 
 I was confused, odor? 
 "You know some of that stuff you put under your arms, odor."
Ah, DEodorant!  Got it!  

Lincoln was watching TV and came to me and said "That Walking Dead commercial really freaks me out!"  

Lincoln and I were watching the Today show and the Smucker's birthday section was on.  He blatantly said, "Everyone on this show is 100 years old!"  Ha!  I guess I take for granted that yes, they are all 100, that's why they are on there!

We were on a bike ride near the ponds when we got off to look at a cowbird.  Lincoln quickly told me to "Put a bubble in my mouth!"  I hadn't heard that one before but he demonstrated it for me.  Thanks preschool!  He has another one that covers all the bases.  It's "lips and hips"  You put one finger over your closed lips.  The other hand goes on your hip.  Sassy AND keeps them in line.  I like it!  

Jackson's school had a "dash and bash" fundraiser and we went out to support Jackson's run!  We even made him a sign for Lincoln to hold!  Great job Lincoln!

I walked out into the driveway and found THIS one day.  Neither boy has had much jealousy because they love their little sister so much.  I think Lincoln is finding all this new baby gear pretty interesting and he just had to try out a few things for himself.  Sadly, albeit a little long, he still fits into the bumbo seat!  
 Lincoln's preschool had a donuts with dad day.  They all wrote down things about their fathers.  Lincoln's was pretty tame compared to a few I saw.  One child in particular said:   I love my dad because  "He's bald and he doesn't have any hair."  Jason got out easy on that one.  Lincoln's been trained at what to say!  I loved: My dad's job is "going to work!"  Who cares what his job is, he just knows he's gone over half the day.

There's one more but it honestly deserves a blog all its own.  Coming soon.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Easy Breezy Beautiful Baby Girl

This is my easy, breezy beautiful baby girl!  She's six weeks old now and I sometimes STILL don't believe I have a baby girl.  I mean, she makes her presence known but I look down sometimes and marvel that she is MINE, like forever!
These are her newborns.  Done in 4 shoots over a week.  I'm so thankful for my mom and her mad photography skills.  Even with the 2 of us, we struggled to get the shots we did.  Photographing newborns is HARD and we had all the time in the world because we were doing it at home.  We may or may not have had the heat up on 80 at times.  And a heating pad.  And a heater.  She officially wet or soiled every single prop we put on her at least once.  I was doing acrobatics that made me thankful that I didn't have a c-section and that my wicked fast birth left me feeling quite agile.
(This one was her "Downton Abbey" headband.  I like to call her Lady Lillian!)
How on earth do you choose a favorite of these?  They are all my favorite.  She's my favorite!  I spend large parts of every single day sitting and holding her.  She's my baby girl and she's also my last.  I don't get much done and it's perfectly fine with me.  I don't even mind getting up 3 times a night with her.  This too shall pass and I know one day I'll miss it.  After going through the ringer with crybaby Lincoln, I had a deal with Lillian that I would nurse on command, as long as she was a good baby.  No schedule, no problem.  We were going to be stress free.  I honestly don't even look at the clock much.  She has been known to take advantage of it insisting on eating every 2ish hours for the first 4 weeks but she's decided she'll stretch it out a few times a day now.  Especially at night when she can stretch 4 hours now which is a blessing!
When I'm not sitting and rocking her, you can usually find her attached to me.  I've broken in all of her carriers really well.  She loves being close and held.  Luckily for her, it's my favorite thing to do!  Sadly for anyone looking to read blogs, I'm no good at typing one handed so these blogs are accumulating in my head and there's not enough room for them there!  She's also learned what an on-the-go life we live. She's a regular at the ballfield, boot camp is on our T-TH schedule and all the girls in my Wednesday bible study adore her.  She's even walked in the Relay for Life this year!  The days we do stay home we spend them playing dress up and matching bows to outfits.
She thinks the ceiling fans are the coolest things on earth.  She can look at them for quite a while.  At around 4 weeks, I started putting her on her stomach at naps.  And she loved it.  So she's a stomach sleeper.  Just like her brothers were.
Her brothers like her alot.  They are a big help too.  They are champs at replacing that paci when she spits it out.  They also like the spectacle of her.  Anytime their friends are around they want to kiss baby sister on her head.
Lucy is even a fan of her.  She's gotten protective of her and stands guard when she's crying until I come and get her.

She is everything I ever dreamed of and having a girl is probably MORE fun that I imagined it.  She's so easy that she'd make anyone think of having another one.  She cries for ONE reason.  Only when she's hungry but let it be known that NOTHING will stop her from crying when she is hungry.  Its a good thing we aren't trying to put this girl on a schedule because that might cue the drama I've been promised in the future.

All in all, she is PERFECT and I couldn't love her more!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bow Training in Progress

You've heard of potty training, sleep training, and crate training.  Oh, wait, that's for dogs but come to think of could work too.  We are currently in the throes of bow training.  Yes, it's a real thing.  I am training my 5 week old daughter that wearing a bow is NOT just an accessory but a way of life.  It's like wearing underwear in our house.  You don't leave home without it and it's not suggested to walk around the house without it either.  Every good southern girl knows a thing or two about hairbows.  Big ones, small ones, flower ones there just needs to be a bow in your hair. It's like having sweet tea.  If you go somewhere that doesn't have it, you look at the place questionably.   I like to think I'm bringing up a proper southern young lady and on top of her "yes, ma'ams" and "bless your hearts", I'll be ensuring her place in the properly accessorized category by ensuring there is always a perfectly coordinated bow in her hair.  
The idea behind the "bow training" theory is that if she's always worn a bow on her head then when she reaches the "pull it out" stage she will know it's a fixture and it won't be so enticing.  Then when she does decide to check it out, I can give her a firm "no, ma'am" and tell her to leave it in.  Probably 100 times or more but consistency is key here and I'll do my duty to complete the task.  

Even now, it's not always a complete success. We have to take it one day at time.  We have days where the bows are too big and fall down in her eyes.  Sometimes they are too small and squeeze a little too tightly on her head.  Then there are days when she throws a fit and the bows wind up covering her eyes completely.  Then it becomes more of a de facto sleep mask.  She isn't impressed.  One day, she'll thank me.  Or maybe not but I'll never have to look back and wish I had put a bow in her hair.  Now, there will most likely be times I wish I HADN'T put a bow in her hair as times will change and we all look back at our 80's big hair, bowl cuts and perms and wonder WHY?!?  But it's a chance I'm willing to take for the sake of proper and (adorable) current accessory trends.  
Besides, if you have any idea how long I have waited for a girl, you'll understand.  There were times I would threaten Lincoln to put bows in his hair but he always thwarted my efforts.  I've waited my WHOLE LIFE to put dresses and bows on someone.  So FINALLY, my ship (or BOW as it were) has come in!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Life Hacks from a sleep deprived mom of 3

Sleep deprived mom of 3 here.  I have been thinking lately about the ways I have made life easier, more bearable or just survived the addition of a needy newborn to our family.  Most of them are total common sense but they have worked for us and might just work for you too!  My friend Mari and I have been exchanging ideas ever since we exchanged pregnancy stories 9 months ago.  We decided to blog our ideas to help other moms of 3 (or 4 in her case!)  Here's my best ideas so far.  

Every Sunday morning, I make 5 lunches.  I made both kids lunches for Mon, Tues, and Wed.  I put them in the ziplock bento boxes.  It's nothing fancy.  Its usually pb&j or turkey wraps, goldfish, trail mix and always carrots or broccoli.  Lincoln gets half a sandwich so that's how I tell them apart.  I make 5 because Jackson goes everyday while Lincoln is only Mon, Wed.  I put all 5 stacked in order in the fridge and they boys are responsible for grabbing their own lunch and placing it in their lunch box.  They are also required to empty their lunch box and place the bento box in the sink upon return home.  

I like to call this double-duty dog bed.  I was making changing table plans and all of the traditional changing tables were too long and bulky for my space.  That's when I happened upon this idea,  Dog bed/ pillow. I bought one from Marshalls that works perfectly and is just the right size!
This one may have been Mari's idea but having the nursery upstairs requires changing materials downstairs.  I have 2 changing stations.  One in the living room and the other in my bedroom for nightly changings.  Nobody's got time to run up and down stairs to change diapers however, it does sound like a great "get fit" plan now that I think of it!

Back to boys and the feeding frenzy!  The boys are responsible for choosing their own snacks for school also.  These are the bins I have for snacks.  One also has breakfast bars, granola and pop tarts in it for grab and go breakfast days.  They still have to ask permission to eat these "snacks" but they are mostly healthy choices that I don't mind them having.
Snack bins courtsey of IKEA and Rubbermaid!
At bedtime every night, I lay out the boys clothes.  When they get up in the morning, I expect them to be dressed down to their shoes before they come downstairs.  It keeps me from repeating "get your clothes on", "get your shoes on" mantra before breakfast.  They actually like the responsibility of being ready as soon as they come downstairs.  I like not having to hear myself yell the same thing over and over.

Most mornings, I also lay out their breakfast.  They can always grab a bar or pop tart but on the mornings I want them to have a more proper breakfast, I lay out the bowls, spoons and even the cereal.  I have been known to put the cereal in the bowls even.

I have been adamant  about the boys helping around the house and with the new baby.  One of the biggest things I've been trying to teach them is to notice when people might help and step up to help out.  When the car seat stroller combo came into play, I started insisting they open the door for me (and for everyone else) for that matter.  Lincoln has embraced this duty and now usually remembers to hold the door for me when we go places so I can get his sister and all of her gear inside.  I try to instill that I should go BEFORE them and not just follow after.  I also tried to help them help me by standing on the outside of the door rather than going through it and attempting to hold it that way.  It just shows more respect to allow me to go first.  We have plenty of manners to learn but it thrills me to see them picking up on a few.  Another one we are teaching at our house is once I sit down to the table for dinner, I don't get up to get anyone anything.  They were bad about requesting  more water/milk or additional food or desert and I had not even eaten yet.  We try to eat together and my errand running was preventing that.  Now they know if I am seated, they will have to get their own water or wait until I'm done to make other requests.  

What are some of your best life hacks for multiple children?  I'd love to have a few to add to my life.  Anyone have tips on getting out of the house by 8am?  I still don't have that one mastered!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

deFoors Do the Rodeo

We had been hearing about this since our announcement of  moving to Houston.  It's a big deal around here.  Think: state fair meets PBR + nightly top 40 concerts for a whole month.  That's what they call the Houston Livestock show and Rodeo.  If you had 2 days, you might see it all.  We had the better part of an afternoon and barely scratched the surface.  It was the first time I had left Lillian and I only did so because there is no one else I would let keep her in the significant future so I had to take the chance while I had it.   My Mom and Lillian stayed home and rocked and we rocked the rodeo!  We went close to lunch time so our first stop was to feed the masses.  We had 4 giant corn dogs.  They were actually delicious!  Our mission was to eat weird and fried foods and we were off to a good start!
Next up was Jason's choice and he picked chicken fried bacon.  Yes, that's right.  The verdict was that it wasn't that good but we ate it anyway.  It WAS bacon afterall.
The rides that used to thrill me now just freak me out.  Something about becoming a mother made me more hesitant about thrill rides and with every child, I have become more of a chicken.  I think it has something to do with feeling responsibility.  Some people call it getting old.  I prefer to say gaining wisdom.  Lincoln was in rare form and hardly cracked a smile even while riding his choice of ride.
Then we happened upon the Mutton Bustin'!  We had been dying to sign Lincoln up for this event.  If you haven't heard of it, it's the event where 5&6 year olds sign up to ride sheep bareback until they are bucked off.  It's like toddler bull riding, without the bull!  It's the cutest thing to watch.  Half of the contestants come up crying and the other half barely make it out of the gate before they bail.  The whole idea is to just lay down and hang on!  Here's the video we got of Lincoln's ride.  My favorite is the photo collage.  If you look very closely, you can see a tiny shoe atop the sheep as he runs across the arena.  That tiny shoe would be Lincoln!  He did a great job, hit the dirt and stood up with a smile.

He even came out with a little dirt under his collar and a special blue ribbon for participation.  He was actually in 3rd place in scoring out of about 20.  The girl that won ran all the way to the other end and was thrown into the fence.  She hit her head so she deserved the win.

His dad made a big deal about his ribbon and then it suddenly got more special!  We were all glad he did it and can't wait to get him signed up next year!  Look at that pride!
Oh!  All the sheep had hilarious names such as Baaaarack Obama, Sheepless in Seattle, Mutton down my shirt and Miranda Laaaaaambert.  They were really creative!  
There was a mock farm and Jason was really into milking the cows.  He looks like a pro.
The livestock show was really interesting.  If we had time, I would have spent more here.  I really enjoyed the "birthing center" where they house pregnant cows and pigs.  It was all too familiar, to think about giving birth in such a public place (aka the birthing bench) but hearing about their birthing processes and the newborn calves was really cool.  We also saw pigs and her piglets.  We learned that piglets nurse in their birthing order and they go back to the same spot each time.  There is also less milk as they go down, hence "the runt" gets less milk.

We also saw a chick hatchery.  One had just cracked it's beak out of the egg.

It had been at least an hour since out last fried food so we went in for round 2.  We were a little shy of trying something crazy so we got a funnel cake and a plate of crazy ribbon fries.  They were both delicious and filled out cholesterol quota for the rest of the year.  

Jackson ran out to meet the Rodeo Cowboy mascot.  I'm telling yall, this rodeo is a BIG deal.  It's officially the largest livestock show in the World!

Jason and Jackson took a spin on the Gravitron and Lincoln and Jason went through the "scary fun house".

On the way out, we found where we SHOULD have stopped for snacks.  By that time we couldn't even think of consuming another fried delicacy.  But look closely, deep fried Nutella, Brownies, Pop tarts and Cookie dough...Oh My!  Jason's only regret was that he was too full to try the deep fried chocolate covered pickle.  Oh, yes, it's a real thing.

I did ride the ferris wheel with them.  I won't say it didn't scare me a little but if he's honest, it might have had Jason a little spooked at first too.  It was HIGH!
The deFoors had a great afternoon exploring the Houston Rodeo.  Next year, we will have a longer day and a bigger plan to cover more ground.  Maybe even a little PBR action and a concert if we are lucky!