Thursday, February 28, 2013

Doe and Her Dolls.

This girl is hysterical.  She is sweet and loving (though not very cuddly) and stubborn.  There's a good chance she'll end up giving Hadley a run for her money...we'll have to wait and see.

One of her new favorite things to do these days is to "love her baby."  She is so good at snuggling and loving and hugging any and all baby dolls or stuffed animals she happens to stumble upon.  It really is sweet.

And so very funny.

I love that little girl.

Role Models.

One Month.

Thatcher Haynes,

It's hard to believe you've been a part of our family for one whole month!  You are such a perfect fit for us; it's as if we've known you our entire lives and have just been waiting for you to get here...and we are so, so glad you've finally arrived. :)

We've learned so much about you in the past month:  you are laid back, fairly flexible, and highly serious.  Sometimes you look at me with those big eyes and that round little face and I swear you're thinking "woman, you're insane."  Either that or "eat s__t."  I'm serious about you being serious.

You're also big!  At your one month well-check, you weighed in at 11 lbs. 9 oz. (82nd %) and were 21.5 inches long (43rd %).  Daddy and I joke that you're short and fat, but in reality you're the most absolutely perfect, snuggly, roly poly of a baby and, even though you make my arms tired, I hate having to put you down.  Daddy says I'm spoiling you but he is, too, so we're even.  Babe and Harry also LOVE holding you, so I hope you're feeling the love around these parts.

You wear size one diapers and 0-3 month clothes.  We pretty much skipped the newborn sizes.  Literally.  I think you wore one newborn-sized outfit and we pretty much forced you to wear the two small packs of newborn diapers we'd purchased.  Those things aren't cheap, big boy.

During the day, you nurse every 3 to 3 1/2 hours.  At night, you'll sleep two four-hour stretches.  I typically nurse you at 10:00, regardless of what time you previously ate, and swaddle you up in the pack-and-play in our bedroom.  I can count on you to be up sometime during the 2:00 hour and again during the 6:00 hour.  Daddy has been so great about taking your older siblings where they need to be in the mornings, which means that you and I get to sleep just a little bit later.  It really is just a little bit, though, because since Daddy got his new job, it's become our responsibility to get Harris to school and Emmy to Ms. Ginnell's on the days she goes.  Dad and Babe still make the morning commute together.  You are a fabulous nurser.  My milk came in during our stay in the hospital (for the first time ever!) and we haven't looked back.  You've had 2-3 bottles here and there and don't have a problem drinking from them, fact, you chugged about 4 ounces of breastmilk both times!  You pee tons and always poop at every feeding.

I'm pretty sure you're my loudest baby ever.  You grunt like nobody's business.  All day and all night.  I've only heard you "coo" twice, but your grunts never stop.  Daddy and I have started calling you "penguin."  For some reason, your noises reminded Daddy of the sounds penguins make.  I wasn't too sure what a penguin sounded like, but we looked it up on YouTube and he was pretty much right on.  My little penguin. :)

We also call you "Thatch," "Thatch Thatch," "Thatchy," and "Mr. Male Pattern Baldness."  What little hair you had on the top of your head is completely gone, while the hair on the back and sides of your head seems to be hanging in there.  It makes you look like such a little old man. :)

Now that your "belly button" has fallen off and you can be submerged in the water, you've become a fan of the bath.  Your little body just seems to relax whenever I place you in the water.  You've also found your hands already and will stare at them for long stretches of time, as you will the toys on your bouncy seat and play mat, too.  You've been to Chick-fil-a quite a few times, and church, and even to have lunch with Harris at school.  We walk at the mall on the mornings we take Emmy to Ginnell's.  You've stayed with Granti while Daddy and me went on a date and you even stayed in the church nursery for the first time on the Sunday morning when Daddy was volunteering there.

You don't have much of a choice except to be flexible.  Once Daddy went back to work and it was just you, me, and Emmy during the day, I quickly realized that there would be times you both cried a little more than normal, and I'm okay with that.  You guys are, too.  You do prefer to be held, but you're also perfect in your car seat and enjoy being snuggled up tightly in your swing.  You don't mind tummy time, either, and are building up some strong neck muscles!

You are loved on so much by all three of your siblings.  Harris is so sweet and tender with you and will do whatever he can to take care of you.  Hadley loves you, too, but is a little more rough around the edges.  She likes to play with your hands and get in your face and kiss you all over.  She ALWAYS remembers to wash her hands as soon as she gets home from school, though, so I let her love on you all she wants.  And Emmy has such good intentions.  If you're fussy, she'll crawl to wherever you are and check on you.  She will hug you and kiss you and try her best to give you your paci...she doesn't quite understand the concept of "gentle" yet.  She will, though.  I promise.

You are perfect.  And I will try my best to not treat you like the "baby" of the family, but there are no guarantees.  I can promise that you will not get away with more than your older siblings and that you will still have certain rules and morals and expectations to uphold, but I'm also pretty certain that I'm going to hold you a little bit longer and smell you a little bit deeper and treasure moments a little bit more (well, as much as I can in this crazy house!) because I know that this it...and that makes me both nostalgic and ecstatic.

I love you, Thatch Thatch.  You complete us in a way that no other child could and I am so thankful to God for your presence in my life.

Thing One and Thing Two (and Thing Three and Thing Four).

A friend sent us four awesome, personalized "thing" shirts as a gift when Thatcher was born.  The big kids love them and can't wait to rock them for Dr. Seuss' birthday and the little kids look absolutely adorable when wearing theirs.

Too bad they can't all look as excited as they feel at the same time. :)

I love this crazy life!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Scarlet O'Hara.

Quick update on this girl:

She will ONLY speak in a very southern accent.  All the time.  At home, at school, at church...
If she forgets and pronounces something in her regular voice, she'll quickly correct herself.  It's like living with my own personal Scarlet O'Hara.  And it's been that way for about a month.

And she's almost five.  FIVE.

Time flies.  It's true.

Don't Leave Me With the Babies!

Huge props to Granti for watching the babies on Saturday night so Ben and I could get out for our first post-Thatcher date night.

My favorite man and I had a great time seeing "Identity Thief" and having dinner at Chow Baby and Thatcher was perfect (of course!) for his very first babysitter (who also fed him his very first bottle!).

And Granti survived.  We knew she would. :)

Adios, Captain.

Ben will be starting a new job tomorrow and we couldn't be more excited!  While his time as Captain was fantastic, we're looking forward to his new position at the DA's office.  The new job will be closer to our house and mean more time at home (and we're not sacrificing any income!), so we're all pretty stoked around these parts.

To celebrate Ben's new accomplishment, the kids and I surprised him with some "fancy jeans" from Sam's.

I'm not really sure what qualifies an item of clothing bought at Sam's as "fancy," but Ben found a pair of jeans on our last shopping trip and the kids remembered.  Because Ben will get to wear jeans to his new job on Fridays, we thought it was a very fitting gift.

And, in case you can't tell, sweet Harris addressed the envelope to "Dad Rools."  Because he does.

I am so honored to share my life with a man who makes decisions based on God's Word and what's best for our family.  And I'm so excited for him and all that this new career opportunity means.

We love you, Daddy!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day has become such a sweet, simple time to celebrate our family and the love we share.  It's low-key, low-stress, and super fun. :)

We started the morning with our "table of love."  The kids came downstairs to find Valentine cards from Ben and me as well as a brand new t-shirt and their very favorite "special breakfast" of powdered donuts.  They're pretty easy to please. :)

Ben and I had a few special treats from each other as well.  I love that man. :)

After breakfast, we were all off and on our separate ways.  Hadley enjoyed a Valentine's snack at school along with a special time of "slow dancing,"  Emmy spent the day making valentine cards with Ms. Ginnell,  and Thatcher and me took lunch to Harris' teachers as a way to show them how much we appreciate the love they have for our sweet boy.  We even surprised Harris with some McDonald's chicken nuggets for lunch! Daddy spent the day at work.

After school, we spent some time checking out the big kids valentine cards before heading out to dinner at Dooley's.  After all, nothing screams, "I love you," like a big, fat pizza.

We came home from dinner, popped some heart-shaped cookies in the oven, and snuggled up to watch a little television before heading to bed.

I love these little hearts.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nothing But Love.

Wide Awake Jake.

It's what we call Thatcher when he's up and alert, courtesy of the title of Babe's current favorite book.

He just discovered his hands yesterday.

I forgot how amazingly awesome that is. :)

V-Day Preparation.

Valentine's Day has been a big deal around these parts this year...and not in a negative, over-commercialized way, but more in a "we're so excited it's Valentine's Day and can't wait to celebrate with our friends" kind of way.  

Both big kids had to decorate a "mailbox" to hold their Valentine cards this year.  I pulled out construction paper and markers and scissors and glue and the old Valentine cards my mom saved from 1992 and Babe and Harry went to town.

Here are the finished products:  

We split up "Valentine card" night this year and I think it went exceptionally well.  Neither of the kids really needed my help with anything, but it was nice to take the time to sit down with each of them individually and go over their class lists.  Both Harris and Hadley were able to take their list, select their cards, and fill in the "to" and "from" spaces all on their own.  My job was to tape the Ring Pop to the actual card (Star Wars for Harris and Hello Kitty for Had).

There was absolutely no complaining this year, either.  The kids didn't seem to mind all the "writing" involved and both put forth their very best effort when it came to labeling the cards.  I was one super proud Mama (it doesn't take much, folks)!

We had to get a little creative with Emmy Doe.  Because she basically believes she's somewhere between 4 and 6 years old, she didn't quite understand why she couldn't get in on the Valentine action.

I let her get in on a little Ring Pop action, though, and that seemed to suffice.

Let the love flow...


This girl cracks me up.

 I'm not a very good "winter" mom.  I'm pretty hot-natured, so jackets and hats and gloves and scarves and all that stuff don't really do it for me.  I don't need them...and therefore I often don't think about my kids needing them.

Don't judge...

Anyway, Emmy Doe is in love with her winter hat.  She grins from ear to ear every time I put it on her.  She's also a huge fan of her Georgia blanket (which she's basically stolen from Thatch-Thatch) and absolutely can't wait to climb in the car on the mornings I take her to Ginnell's to get all toasty warm.

I'm doing my best to remember to bundle you up, sweet girl.  Hang with me.

Uncle Tyler.

Tyler came in for a quick visit this past weekend.  The kids are always so excited to see him, as are the adults. :)  We chose to celebrate his homecoming with a BIG family dinner at Los Hermanos.  Thanks to Ben, Los Hermanos is quickly becoming our restaurant of choice.  It's especially helpful that big, loud parties don't seem to be much of an issue there!

Tyler also came to church on Sunday.  Thatch was lucky enough to get a little uncle loving at the end of the worship experience.

We can't wait to see Tyler again soon!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Big Apple Circus.

Last Saturday, we ventured out on our first "family of 6" outing to The Big Apple Circus with the Lockhart clan.  The circus has basically become our "family fun" outing for the month of February...I'm pretty sure we've been every February for as long as I can remember, and we always end up having tons of fun.

It's been a few years since we've been to The Big Apple Circus (we've attended Ringling Brothers the last couple of times), but I was reminded again how much fun a smaller production can be.  The Big Apple Circus is a non-profit organization supporting children's charities, which is pretty neat, and while the talent is awesome, the arena itself is small and intimate...there really isn't a bad seat in the house.

These crazies were pretty stoked for the show!  

As were these...

And not to be left out!

Of course, we ended up attending on a day when the temperature reached into the 60s, so the heaters that had been warming up the tent all morning were completely unnecessary and ended up creating something more like "The Big Apple Sauna."  To say it was hot would be an understatement...I was literally dripping sweat.

The kids didn't seem to mind one bit.  They LOVED the circus snacks we treated them to as well as each and every act that came into the ring.  The clowns were a favorite of both Babe and Harry, as were the "Central Park Dogs" and the horses.

Emmy spent most of her circus time eating chex mix and watching the lights while our littlest baby boy slept his way through his very first show.

The kids came home and spent the evening playing circus.  Harris immediately asked when we could return and Hadley declared that she would like to be a horse trainer one day.

I was just ready to take a shower. :)

Thatcher, Lately.