Friday, July 30

Thursday, July 29

Feeding Finley

Remember when Beth would feed Finley and make a huge mess? Well, she still feeds him occasionally, but it's mostly Luke's job now! And yes, Finley still prefers to be fed this way over the traditional bowl method.

Wednesday, July 28

Two babies in a chair

Ryan snapped a few quick pictures of Beth and Luke (with Ariel) in the glider. Typical shots of them, including the silly face by Beth. She's turning into a typical goober of a preschooler- she says the most outrageous things that totally catch me off guard, makes silly faces, and is very dramatic. She's reminding me more of a school-aged kid than a little toddler. I still want to pinch Luke's chub! He's still driving me nuts with the hitting and ignoring me...He's lucky he's so stinkin' cute!

Tuesday, July 27

A special visit

We had a special weekend! Thursday afternoon we had some out-of-town visitors; our friends who had moved to back to Nebraska came and spent the weekend with us! Pat and Katie brought the kids (they left with two and came back with three!) and the 10 of us (11, actually, since Katie brought her cousin) had a wonderful visit.

Thursday evening we had takeout and let the kids play in our playroom. When they left, Luke wasn't even walking yet! Now, Colin is two and Luke is nearly two, and the boys had a really great time playing together. There wasn't nearly as much fighting as we thought there would be! Beth and Grace picked up where they left off, playing house, dress up and talking a LOT.

the special girl's table

This was our first time to meet their newest addition, baby Hannah, who is 6 weeks older than Jack. Katie and I had fun planning the wedding. ;-)

their first meeting, neither seem very interested!

Ryan took off work on Friday and we took the kids to play in the fountains. They had a blast, but considering how hot it was for the rest of us it might not have been the best idea! I got a few good pictures though. We grilled burgers that night and had a birthday party for Grace since it was her 4th birthday. We had huge ice cream sundaes, with Blue Bell of course since they don't have it in Nebraska!

On Saturday, Beth and Luke had Soccer Tots, and the coach allowed Grace to come and participate in Beth's class. We all went out to eat at "our" favorite restaurant afterward, a Mexican place near our old neighborhood. We'd go nearly every Sunday after mass, and the waiters knew who we were (and I think dreaded our table since we had so many kids). This time we had two more kids, plus Katie's cousin, so we had to upgrade to the biggest table in the restaurant!

beth scored a goal! look at that action shot!

I made gumbo for an early dinner and then they left, hitting the road so that the kids would (hopefully) sleep for the first leg of their looooong drive. That night, as I was putting Beth to sleep, she was so genuinely sad. It was hard to explain to her- again- that they lived so far away and we wouldn't see them again for a long time. I think this was the first time she expressed this sincere sadness, and we had to talk for a few minutes about the emotion she was feeling since it was very new. She nearly cried.

We all had such a wonderful time, and we were all sad to see them go! But we're already making plans for another visit, hopefully we'll be able to enjoy their company again soon.

Monday, July 26

An evening in the sun

Very rarely do I get pictures of Luke smiling. He's a happy boy, but usually when I grab the camera he gets all serious on me. Well, last night he was having some fun in the sun before bed time, and I hit the jackpot. Check out these adorable photos!

Saturday, July 24

One Month

Jack Jack is one month old!

Time is flying!!! In some ways he seems so much older than one month, and in other ways he's still a brand new baby to me. We're seeing more and more smiles every day. I hate saying it out loud but he's still sleeping very well, waking about 3 times a night but going right back to sleep. He's a wonderful baby, a great nurser, and such a joy to me. I really think I could just sit and stare at him all day long!

I have no stats for you on weight and height because my pediatrician wouldn't let me stop into their office and weigh him without making an appointment. I'm super annoyed at this. I've been thinking about switching pediatricians for awhile now, this is sort of the icing on the cake I think!

I've been contemplating if we should set up a bedroom for him. We eventually plan to put him and Luke together but not until Jack is sleeping all the way through the night...Hopefully in about a year. Someone has offered us a pair of bunk beds. :-) In the mean time though, I'm pretty sure he'll stay warm and cozy in bed with Ryan and me!

Luke is doing better at adjusting to being the middle child. It was a rough start, but he loves Jack and wants to hold him a lot! Beth also holds him a few times a day and is very busy at being a little mommy to her brothers, always letting me know if one of the boys needs me.

It's so early, but Jack has been such an easy baby so far, starting from labor! I already miss the newborn stage, and it makes me a little sad that he's already growing so quickly. I'm just eating up every second of him!

Wednesday, July 21

Ups and Downs

We've been experiencing a lot of ups and downs in the past few days. I went to Target alone by myself one evening while Jack stayed asleep for Daddy. An up. I took all three kids to the library today and we checked out 19 books and stayed for story time. Another up. Jack is starting to smile- a lot! Definitely an up!

However, the downs are really stinkers. Well, Luke's being the stinker. I adore the age he's at right now but he's really pushing my buttons! I'm struggling with ways to get through to him when he isn't interested in anything I have to say- which I understand is typical for most 21-month-olds. However, he is hitting Beth more than ever, and she usually very dramatically plays the victim. Coupled with whimpers, cries, shrill shrieks, a CD of fast-paced children's music playing, and a 4-week-old fussing in the swing... Well, you can imagine.

Luke loves the vacuum cleaner! He vacuumed for 20 minutes the other day. I can't wait till he's tall enough to hold it so that it actually stays on the floor.

"Don't even think about getting near my vacuum."

Meanwhile, in the playroom, Beth built a city for her little people.

And Jack practiced smiling. :*)

Sunday, July 18

Two cameras!

Oh what am I going to do with two cameras?! There's no way I can be so diligent as to upload all of my pictures from two cameras and figure out the correct chronological order! Oh well. Here are a few pictures from my old camera, out of order and who knows when they were taken!

Oh okay, this one was from his first night at home. Look how much he's changed already!

I think these next two were on Monday, he would have been 2 weeks and 4 days old. I caught the start of a smile, but haven't been able to catch a good one yet. He only smiles right after he's just woken up and nursed, and even then it's only for 10 seconds or so. I got some tonight on my other camera but the lighting was bad so they're all blurry.

his eyes are piercing.

I don't know when this one was taken, but it proves that he's a finger sucker! Every time I put him this way on my chest, he immediately brings his hand to his mouth and starts sucking. Sometimes it puts him to sleep, other times I guess it's just comfort. He doesn't like to pacify on me after he finishes nursing, just like Beth and Luke. He's quick, efficient, and pops right off when he's done, usually only 4-6 minutes! Can we say another early return of fertility?! I'm wondering if the finger sucking means we can possibly do without a pacifier this time. Oh how I would love to not have to carry around another Nuk for two more years!

Saturday, July 17

Soccer Tots

(luke didn't want to pose for this picture!)

This morning Beth and Luke started a program called Soccer Tots! If you didn't know, Ryan was a soccer player growing up and still loves to play! Luke was in an 18-24 month-old class and Beth was in a 3.5-4 year-old class. Only one other boy showed up for Luke's class so I'm not sure if they'll continue to have it, but Beth was the only girl in a class of 3 other boys. I think they both really got a kick out of it. ;-) We'll all be going on Saturday mornings for the next 6 weeks.

"put the cone on your head!"

kicking over cones, then picking them back up with their feet

This is Luke's first formal class to take. I participated in the class with Luke, and I think his favorite parts were "tickling" the coach with the pool noddle (he was basically hitting her with it!) and, of course, kicking the balls! I took the boys shopping at Wal-Mart while Ryan stayed for Beth's class, and sadly he didn't get to participate with her. She definitely had a great time though, she talked about it for the rest of the day!

soccer ball stamps on their hands for great participation!
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