Sunday, August 25, 2013

Birthday Girl

that's me. big smile.

I do love birthdays. I love a reason to get together with friends and family. I love to throw parties. And I love me some cake. Yum!  I have been so busy with decorating the house, planning Ryan and Grayson's birthday parties that I really didn't think much about my birthday...I isn't really all that exciting after all. But then my birthday rolls along and I am reminded of (once again) how great my friends and family are...I mean even when its just a regular ol' birthday everyone always makes me feel so darn special!

I was super excited to have my BFF (Mk and her family) from Houston come up! They arrived late Friday evening...the ride up was a little rough - Thompson got three times. Yikes! Once they arrived we got the kids all situated and in bed and were able to enjoy a few adult beverages and chat. On Saturday we hung around the house during the day then Mk, Caroline and I snuck off to get a much needed pedicure. We had sitters come at 6pm and we were out the door at 7pm...there is a lot to cover when you are leaving five kids! Ou dinner reservations weren't until 8:15 so we headed to Lakewood Country Club for a cocktail....they have the best dirty martinis!

 Then off to Lark on the Park. Super fun spot and yummy food! Such a fun night with these great peeps!

And today we celebrated with donuts, kolaches, and breakfast tacos....calories on your birthday don't count, right? And of course these guys! Aren't they so darn cute? Poor G was napping so he missed out...but I know there will be many more opportunities!

After everyone headed home we took the boys up to the pool for a little bit. We haven't been in over a month and I can't believe summer is about to be over! Anyhow...the rest of the day we spent at home just hanging with the boys. Kevin grilled some steaks and we had some cookie cake for desert! Such a wonderful way to spend the day!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Grayson 11 months


You are so much fun AND ohsomuch work! But we love it! I mentioned in last months post how much we are loving this stage and we still do. It's such a great stage! You have that squishy baby cuteness and are learning new things daily. I love that we are now in a predictable routine, everyone gets good sleep, and you can actually play/interact with us.

 Our mornings usually start around 7am when I hear you either happily babbling in your crib or screaming...every day is different. I nurse you and then we play in your room for a little bit....usually I lay there and watch you explore. When you head for the door it's go time...we head downstairs for breakfast. Your brother wakes up around 8am and he eats and you guys play. I put on a tv show for him but you still have no interest in tv (or my iphone for that matter!). When we don't have something going on we usually go on a morning walk to the park. You LOVE the swing! Around 9:30/10am you are ready for your morning nap, which usually lasts 1.5-2hrs. When you wake up I nurse you again, then we head downstairs to eat lunch and play. Depending on the day we either try and get out to do something fun, run errands, or play at home. Around 2:30 you are ready for round 2. If Ryan is home this is usually my first (and only) break - usually get about an hour and a half to myself which I typically spend cleaning up but also have been known to just hang out watching tv/computer. Around 4pm you guys are up and we try and get out of the house. Around 6pm your dad gets home and we all eat dinner. After dinner you boys play with daddy and then he gives you a bath. After bath time the four of us usually play in the playroom or in Ryan's room. We get you boys ready for bed and then I give you 8oz of formula! (wohoo! I stopped pumping this month). After your bottle you are out. Nighty night little juicy fruit!

- Another tooth, bottom left (7 total)
- Pulling up
- Crawling uber fast (multiple people have made comments on your speed) and you even adjust your crawl depending on the situation. If you are carrying toys you will army crawl, if you are on grass you will bear crawl so you don't touch much of it!
- You learned how to wave hello and prefer to wave goodbye
- We are working on clapping, you get super excited when someone else claps and you move your hands up and down trying to do it....
- I've started giving you sippy cups and you do pretty well with them. You will use the regular sippy ones and also have masted the straw ones that Ryan uses.


What else are you doing:
- eating those squishy (veggie/fruit) pouches all by yourself. I try to always have one on hand because you love them (and are often hungry). They are so easy!

- You love playing copycat, You will copy noises we make like and even things we do. Daddy was playing with you and putting toys on his head, you would take the toy and do the same thing. So cute!
- You love knocking down things that are stacked up (Ryan loved this too!) It's so cute watching you discover something all stacked up and high-tail it over so that you can knock it over.
- You learned how to climb up a step stool ladder and are very proud of your accomplishment
- You are such a happy little man and started this adorable smile - you squint your eyes and give a big ol grin. It's my favorite face and I hope to capture it soon! 

- Anything Ryan is playing with
- Balloons
- Balls
- Cars
- Music class
- Peek-a-boo
- Baths/Pool

- Diaper changes
- Changing clothes
- When someone takes something away from you
- Car seat (on long rides) - this is pretty understandable. You look at me like "pick me up please!!!" And of course scream. Poor guy!

We had such a wonderful month - we celebrated your brother turning three and you make your first (of many) trips to Montana! We love you bunches!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ryan's Train Birthday Party

Choo Choo!
We had a blast celebrating Ryan's 3rd birthday with a train party!

The Sweets Station was stocked with mini chocolate & vanilla cupcakes from Society Bakery (perfect size for little mouths!), a vanilla birthday cake from Society Bakery, and homemade train cakes that each kid decorated with candy before eating!

All of the signs, banners and tags were created by Everything Design - they were so adorable! 
The drink cart had water, mimosas and lemonade

Happy birthday boy!

The train was super cute! Most of the kids LOVED it....and some were not having it at all...

Hanging in the train with buddies

He decided not to mess with the decorating and just go straight for the good stuff!

Uncle Bryan helped him make an icing pie. 

So that we could take this picture! 

So much birthday fun!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Montana Fun - week 1

Sarah and I headed up to Montana with all the kiddos - that's right, 2 adults & 5 kids. It actually wasn't really an issue...the biggest pain in the neck was that the airline messed with our seats and we weren't any of us. It was pretty easy to switch with people...I mean - you can babysit my 3 year old or switch seats? People switched :) lol.

Anyhow, the fun started right away! The first morning we were there the kiddos helped Gigi make some muffins using fresh berries that we picked from their yard! Yum!
Making muffins with Gigi

Later that day we took a quick boat ride over to the Flathead Lake Biological Station. They had an open house celebrating the 114th year of operating (the oldest biological station in the U.S.). 

They had some interesting stuff to take a look at and the University's mascot Monty was there! This was funny because the whole way there Ryan wanted to see Monty. He asked all about him, asked where he was, said he was so excited to see him. And of course, when he showed up Ryan was terrified. And so was Grayson. However, whenever Monty wasn't around Ryan talked about him like they were buddies. Such a silly guy!
Lyla wasn't scared of him - in fact, whenever Monty did a trick...Lyla did one too!
A picture of Ethan & Lyla at the event made it into the local newspaper!
Heading back home...
Afterwards we headed back home for naps then played in the lake!
 All the kiddos loved playing on the paddle board!

On Friday we headed over to Lone Pine State park for their Little Saplings program.  It was really cute and Ryan had a good time (even though it was suppose to be for 4 - 7 year olds). They learned all about Ants, read an Ant book, did a science experiment, hunted for ants and then made an ant craft. Right up my alley :)
Here they are listening to the book about Ants. 

Putting together their science experiment. They experimented with apple sauce, cherries, mustard and ketchup to find out which the ants liked best -- the winner was apple sauce!

Flipping rocks over to find ants. Surprisingly it took quite a few rocks to actually find them...

Once they found some ants they were able to catch a few with some plastic spoons and put them in a little jar so they could examine them further. 

With little magnifying glasses to get a closer look.

And after they checked out their ants (and set them free) they made ant goggles! So silly and cute!

Although there is so much to do in Montana, we didn't want or need to leave the house everyday. It was so nice to stay home and play outside. Lyla and Ethan helped the neighbor sell freshly picked cherries roadside. (They helped pick and sort them as well.)  We walked the smaller kids up there to check it out.

So cute! The McDonoughs also have a few cherry trees that we picked some from - they are delicious! I actually never liked cherries before...not sure when the last time I tried one was...but I am now a huge fan!

On Sunday we hit the Rollins BBQ - some might say the social event of the year for Rollins. 

Ryan was photographed and made it to the front page of the West Shore News online. 

 There was also an emergency helicopter there that the kids all enjoyed checking out. Ryan kept the paramedic busy with all of his questions. He can be so chatty sometimes!

We also headed up to Big Mountain for a little Alpine slide action. The slide is a lot of fun but I can't wait for the boys to get a little older so we can do the aerial adventure park, zip lining and even mountain biking...hey pretty pumped that I am a 'boy mom'! There is a ton of more things to do as fun!

The boys loved it!

And the next couple of days we stayed closer to home. Here are the boys picking some of the McDonough cherries!

Grayson loved them - he looked like a little vampire. 

He also learned how to climb a ladder...trouble!

Audrey and Ryan had a blast together. They picked some cherries and some raspberries - Ryan is now a HUGE fan of raspberries! yay! He would never eat them before so I am hoping it continues now that we are home!

He also decided that he liked black licorice - one of Papa's favorite deserts. 

Hanging by the lake

Paddle boarding with Lyla

We took the boat over to Wild Horse Island for a little hike with the kiddos. We actually saw about five deer while we were walking - it was kinda crazy because they didn't dart away...they weren't scared of us at all. 

We had so much fun the first week we were there but we were very excited to have Kevin join us for the rest of the stay! 

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