But, on Thanksgiving week with the kids off from school, we went up to our family cabin for a few days to relax. And then back to our house for a quiet Thanksgiving dinner.
When we got up to the cabin, it was chilly so to keep the kids occupied while the fire got started, Mike taught them Slap Jack. Needless to say, it was loud and entertaining. The next morning was filled with hunting for pine cones to take back to the house to make glittery ornaments (which we actually did!). We went to Big Bear for a little, and took the kids bowling and played arcade games.
The next day, we headed over to the local park then onto Lake Arrowhead for a few carnival rides by the water. Woofed down McDonald’s on the steps overlooking the docks and loud ducks. We almost stayed another night but decided to just go home to a very warm Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving was quiet and lazy which was kinda nice. The kids played in the backyard in their pjs for who knows how long. Brooke made mud pie soup on top of the cooler (a favorite thing to do nowadays) while Bryn collected the dirt. Blake played football with the neighbors next door (check out the proof on his knees below). And Ben.. always always smiling.
A few days before the actual spooooky night, the girls had their first Halloween Parade at school. You can tell which one loved the attention and which girly didn’t like parading around. So neat to see their personalities and how different they really are!
I wish I could say that every Halloween is simple and easy to host. The kids behave and wait patiently to put on their costumes. The chili is prepared ahead of time. The candy is perfectly placed on the front porch without anyone getting into it. BUT… this time it WAS pretty much really really easy. Aside from me frantically carving three pumpkins before everyone arrived (umm… left that one for the day-of and regretted it after the kids were over it halfway through. Seeds everywhere.) I hope Benny Boy had a great first Halloween as a cute little dalmatian!
After an interesting week of smiles and tears, these kids surprise me when I least expect it. One of the best parts of parenting is when it all just clicks and they get it! And today… they got it.
Blake came running in from school to show me his folder of papers from the week. Checks and check-pluses throughout. Then all of a sudden he says, “Hey Mom, I can tie my shoe now. And double knot it!”
Then there’s Bryn who is always so sweetly coloring or drawing smiley faces with legs. Before lunch, we decided to write notes to our neighbors thanking them for the girls’ birthday gifts. I knew Brooklyn could write her name (which has been happening since August) but the last I knew Bryn could only write a B. So, I broke out the little cards and Brookie starts to sign her name. Then Bryn. What?!
When I think back to my last few hospital stays, I can’t really pinpoint what I packed in my bag when I had all of these babes. Obvious things of course, but I wanted to compile a quick list of what made my stay the absolute best this time around. I know it’ll come in handy when my sister and cousins are prego. Also, a neat little way to look back at what was “in” when I had this last baby boy. Hello…permanent pregnancy brain!
Nursing Maternity Bras: I bought this cute blue with white polka dots one and these on Amazon. They aren’t terribly expensive so it’s worth just having them in the hospital even if you don’t breastfeed forever.
Cute bag: I know it might not be a big deal but, believe me, when you start packing for a four night stay in a hospital not really knowing how things are going to go–a cute bag makes a difference. It puts a smile on your face and that’s huge when you’re nervous about the upcoming day.
Hair ties. While the hospital may seem like it’s going to be a relaxing time, there are way too many people coming and going, poking around, and making you do things that you don’t want to do, that your hair out of your face for some of these “fun” activities is necessary.
One package of baby wipes. I love the Target brand. They come in handy when you can’t get up to wash your face or you need a little refreshing under the pits.
Something special for your favorite nurse. My dad brought me a few of these little coins that are simply placed in their pockets to remind them that they made a difference.
Cute BIG underwear. To be honest, most of my time was spent in the big, mesh underwear that is needed to keep everything IN. But, on your way out, you may want to throw on a cute pair that covers the bootie and other places just to make things normal.
Gummi Bears: If you like sweets, it’s a good way to get a little something when the nurses aren’t looking! :) I’ve been in situations where I got in trouble and then again where the nurses are cool.
Carter’s onesies: Look on their website. Cheaper than the stores.
Socks: Not only socks but cute and comfy ones. Stance. And done.
Pajamas: Victoria’s Secret. They’re cute and obviously popular. Get some button down ones and you’ll be good. And complimented. ;)
We moved a little bit ago to find ourselves on a little gem. The people are AMAZING. It’s quiet minus the summer party every Saturday night which I kinda don’t mind because it’s good music and makes me feel young. We also bring a lot of noise.
Here’s a glimpse of an everyday weekday summer night with the nicest kid next door. We love them. By the way…our weekly menu had breakfast for dinner. Yep.. homemade waffles, syrup, sausage, eggs, banana muffins, blueberries. Yum. Oh and icecream for the winners of the baseball homerun tournament in the back.
After many nights of restlessness, summerness, and just all around boredom (really?!), we decided to take a quick trip to the beach for dinner. We packed up Daddy’s new go-to grill and some meat and ended up on a perfect flat spot. Doheny/Capo Beach… we will be back for night time din-din’s.
The weird thing is–We go here about every other day. Why not dinner?! I need to think about spots like parks, beaches, pools, etc. that we normally do during the day. Ahhh… next summer there may be a plan in place!
A few days after Ben got home, the girls and I decided to give him a little bath. I remember Blake’s first bath being quite a screaming and crying experience. Not exactly sure why. Maybe it was because he bathed in a hard plastic bath that looked like a whale.
This time around was the exact opposite. Ben sat there in his bath chair just looking around waiting for something to happen. His relaxed demeanor is contagious! A simple sponge bath later, he was wrapped in the nearest adult blanket and onto the bed he went. Kicking around. No diaper. Gazing outside.
For a long time before Baby Ben arrived, I wrestled with the feeling of taking on too much (am I really ready for another child? can I do it?) and a feeling of sadness knowing this is the last time I’m going to carry a baby. My Aunt Nancy always told me that her favorite part of being pregnant was feeling the little butterfly kicks. And, I’m right there with her.
As soon as I laid eyes on this little cutie pie, I was 100% in love. On March 7, we welcomed Benjamin into the world at 10:02 a.m. At an even eight pounds, he was healthy and hungry–something I could completely relate to. Ice chips after not eating for how long?! I’m exhausted and want a soup/salad combo with a pineapple shake!
He looks like Blake and Bryn but with a twist, and has long fingers that everyone seems to comment on. All of the nurses gushed over how adorable he was and I couldn’t agree more. That button nose and those eyes! My heart melts each time he’s awake!
Welcome to the family, Ben. We love you so much and can’t wait for the years ahead!
The morning started off a little rough with our alarm going off at 6 a.m. We wrapped gifts, made coffee, and watched the news by our Christmas tree. Then 8 a.m. rolled around and it was time for this mama to take a nap. A half hour later, the kids were up and ready to open!
Stockings were first, which were pretty good this year if I don’t say so myself. Filled with hot wheels, candy, toothbrushes, pencils, Play-doh, stickers, books, and balls for Bryn. Then came the big presents from Santa: two pink Radio Flyer tricycles and one blue Max Tow Truck that can tow up to 200 lbs. Out of everything, I think Blake has played the game Trouble about four times and the girls have played non-stop store/chef with the fake fruits and veggies. Funny how gifts from Santa are always so needed but the simplest things pretty much always win.
Once my second nap was done for the day, we got up and met some of our favorite people at the park. It’s been chilly here in California, so we stayed for an hour and got back into our cars. I now feel like a cold is coming on but thank goodness for a Twinkie party on the couch with the kids while watching Hook to make me better! Merry Christmas to you all!