Sunday, March 29, 2015

Six Months: Caroline

Dear baby girl-- You turned 6 months old last week! You're super sweet and we love watching you grow and do new things-- like sitting up all on your own and being VERY enthusiastic to eat food. We had hoped that this would have been a month that'd we finally get to sleep-- however, you ended up with an ear infection so maybe next month? 

You make life super fun and things are so busy I don't have time to go on and on this month. But, we love you to pieces! XOXO

Oh-- and this picture of all you kiddos is my new favorite!

I can barely believe I get to be a Mama to all three of your guys. Best job ever!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Meet Malcolm, my fur nephew

Since the beginning of this year, we have been dog-watching my brother's dog, Malcolm.  Phil has been preparing to take his med school board exams and he studies practically from sun up to sun down (or perhaps longer). The therapist part of me is somehow concerned that med school might really just be a very expensive, socially acceptable way to cause unnecessary harm to one self. Hopefully these intense years in school will pay off someday. 

Anyway,  he knew that he wouldn't be able to give Malcolm the attention he needs and so he asked if Malcolm could stay with us for awhile. It worked out great because my kids looooove Malcolm and it has been a great temporary fix for my kids who want a dog. My brother left very few instructions. However, it was strongly conveyed that he wants pictures of Malcolm and/or the kids on a regular basis. So... I have a TON of pictures.

All of my kiddos have enjoyed time with Malcolm

Malcolm starts to go crazy when it's time to pick Jackson from school. I'm not even sure how he can tell time, but he will pace by the door at 3:00 waiting for me to get everyone ready and out the door! Then he waits patiently by Jackson's seat and welcomes him home.

This is my spot on the bed, by the way. There have been times when I have taken Malcolm outside to potty and then had to race back in order to get to my spot first. This dog is clearly spoiled at home. 

Snuggles in the sun!

After a very, very cold couple of weeks-- Malcolm and Jackson were thrilled to get outside and play.

This night was so funny. Jackson was playing a video game and Malcolm just climbed right up on his lap! :)

Malcolm hasn't had a lot of experience playing in the snow. He had fun!

Malcolm is the master of naps. I was hoping he might give some tips to Caroline, but no such luck. :) The big kids love to make sure Malcolm is covered up!

I have several photos of Isabelle and Malcolm sleeping together...

This one is my favorite. Can you tell Malcolm has his head ON Belle? So sweet. 

As Valentine's Day approached, I knew Phil was really starting to miss his dog. I cannot even believe that I even searched on pinterest how to make a dog-gift, let alone work so hard to make it... but I did, and I loved how it turned out! Phil loved it too. Malcolm also "wrote a letter" describing his time here. This was about the time Malcolm made the transition from just being a dog into being my fur-nephew.

And if I thought I was crazy for helping a dog celebrate Valentine's Day, I knew that I had crossed over into ridiculous territory once Phil messaged me that it was Malcolm's birthday.

I ran to the store, picked up a few supplies, and we had a birthday party for a dog.

We sang happy birthday and Malcolm even got a few presents.

Malcolm has become just part of the family-- so of course he wanted to participate in Caroline's monthly pictures!

Malcolm's favorite part of the day is when I load the dishwasher! Another man's trash is another man's dog's treasure I guess!

 Isabelle hardly gives Malcolm any breathing space. He's a good sport and always sits calmly and accepts her love.

Malcolm loves walks around the pond down the street. They do a good job of walking him and they each have only hand their feet pulled from under them once. 

The kids like to  bring Malcolm to the playground when we walk across the street. They like to show him off and also drag him through the equipment. Belle wanted him to go down a slide, but he stubbornly sat until she gave up.

And earlier this week, Malcolm accompanied me and the girls as we walked to get Jackson from school. It was good exercise for us all!

And this is my favorite picture! Isabelle got upset because Malcolm wouldn't took at the camera and smile. :) 

I started to say to someone the other day that I don't know what the kids will do once Malcolm leaves. Well, Isabelle has said that she asked Uncle Philip and he agreed that she will just move in with him and Malcolm until she's a grown up. Those are her words! 

But actually, I'm not sure what I'll do when Malcolm leaves (other than enjoy having my side of the bed to myself again)! He is Belle's special buddy while Jack is at school. He keeps my kids exercised when they play outside. He eats food off the floor so I don't have to sweep so often!

Phil took his exam yesterday so Malcolm will only be hanging out with us for a little while longer. As much as we've enjoyed having Malcolm around, my brother has missed him terribly. I'm certain Malcolm is anticipating the quiet life he has at home. Now, I'm just trying to consider how I can send one kiddo to Uncle Philip's for a few months... or maybe just consolidate all three into a shorter period of time. That'll be even, don't ya think? :) 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Soaking up some sun

I seem to go through phases in which I don't take many pictures for several weeks. And then then I'll go through a photo taking frenzy. This post falls in the latter category. I have so many pictures from the last several days. 

The weather has been ah.may.zing. I mean, just last weekend we were up at my parents house bundled from head to tow and sledding. This weekend we were playing in the front yard soaking up the sun! 

Isabelle got to have all of the "bootiful" horses and I got the rest. Ha. 

A kitchen sink bath!

This is just chapstick that LOOKS like a shot gun shell. :)

Working on Papa's pet project

The car got a much needed bath!

... and this is when the guy in charge of the water hose gets distracted. :)

I went out with my parents to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. They started out with only Isabelle on their bench, but by the end of the night, they were all packed in. I, on the other hand, enjoyed a nice spacious bench to myself.

Jackson was chatting with Caroline and then the next thing we know-- she's leaned it and is gumming his nose. This gave us a good chuckle.

On Sunday, we visited the park. My friend has lent us an Ergo baby carrier and I'm hoping it'll make this loved-to-be-held baby girl much more easy going when we are out and about. 

We also celebrated Grandpa Forrest's big 6-0 birthday on Sunday. Funny story-- the grandkids all wanted to lick the cake/icing off the candle. There were only two candles so they shared. My nephew Eli, who's 2, finally got the candle and he actually took a big bite of the candle. Ha. We also got a big chuckle out of that. 

We spent the afternoon at the park again yesterday after school. This gal dresses herself these days. Rainboots are every day boots in this house!

Jackson made it around the whole circle of monkey bars



My bathtub has rings and rings of dirt from all of the baths these kids are needing from playing outside. Playing outside is tons of fun, but it is definitely dirty!

This weather is my favorite. I grilled burgers for dinner and we ate outside last night.  Grilling is my favorite, too! And Daylight is my favorite! All of this outside fun makes the time change more worth it. I can't wait for another nice weekend with Derek home to have fun, too!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Isabelle's 4th birthday interview

As I've said a million times, birthday interviews are my favorite way to document each special age of my kiddos-- even when nearly a month passes by before I get the chance to share it! 

Isabelle is a fun gal to be around. She makes us smile and she makes us laugh. Her imagination is remarkable. She exists in her own little world and on occasion she'll join us in our reality for a bit. Belle is reserved with her affection, but when she share it with you on her own accord-- it's pretty special. She loves to paint with water colors and she can write her name well, though her "E's" have about 5 horizontal lines each. Isabelle isn't quite convinced that she can do many things by herself and perhaps she isn't always quite interested... but she is becoming more and more independent! She looks forward to picking up Jackson from school each day and she is skilled at getting smiles and giggles from Caroline.

I could go on and on. But this is my afternoon off work and so I'm going to go enjoy her awesomeness rather than keep writing. We're off to play outside and enjoy this wonderful weather!


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Snow much fun!!

This winter our snow accumulation has been pretty low. You won't hear me complaining about it! I was happy to welcome the one or two inches we got a couple of times because my kids were so eager to use their new sleds they got for Christmas. This past weekend, we ventured up to my parents house in the midst of the snow storm to visit with my my aunt and uncle who are in town. They came over with with my cousin's kiddos-- their grandchildren (my cousin and wife were in Colorado) who I have been told would be first cousins once removed. I'm not sure how all of that relationship naming goes, but fortunately for us, defining the relationship isn't a prerequisite for having fun! 

Belle and Bethany

Jackson and Ethan had lots of fun together!


Uncle Richard was so kind as to help push the kids down the hill! He's a pretty great guy, that fella. But I can't say too much. He'll read it here and then he'll get a big head. It's always glad when he comes and visits and gets to see me. :)

I went down the hill a few times with the kiddos. First of all-- BRR! Second-- riding face first is actually a bit terrifying! But it was good memory making fun.

Caroline stayed warm inside. Her shirt says, "I love my Papa." Aren't these two pretty cute together?

We had a little bit of snow earlier last week, too.

Isabelle lives for making snow angels.

... and catching snowflakes.

Fortunately, we've gotten some good use out of our sleds this year!

And my little snow bunny-- isn't she just adorable?!? 

We've had just enough snow to play a time or two. I am overly ready for spring! I am actually very excited that daylight is starting to last longer and the time change is next weekend. However, the army is faithful to ALWAYS have drill on the weekend of any time change and so I get to manage the sleep changes with the kids solo. But, for the sake of spring-- bring it on! :)



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