Monday, December 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

We have a Peter Pan book that the boys want to read every.single.night. The funny thing is that while they are a little obsessive about that book, they had never even seen the movie. So, it was no surprise that they wanted to be Peter Pan for Halloween. I decided it would be so much more practical for me to make their costumes instead of buying them (whatever!), so I spent every spare moment of two weeks combining several different internet tutorials to fashion them the perfect Peter Pan costume to wear. We had a hand-me-down Tinkerbell costume, so there was never any question what Harper would be. Dustin made Eli and Landon the most perfect wooden swords to finish off their costume.

We had such a fun Halloween. We went to the United Way Fall Festival at the coliseum and ran into plenty of friends there. We played games and ate candy and then finished the night off with fajitas at our little hole-in-the-wall Mexican food place. We also had a big party with all of the young families from church. The Hinton’s were kind enough to host it at their house, complete with a hay ride through the cotton fields, a pumpkin carving contest, and a Mexican pile-on feast. It was a lot of fun! It was supposed to be a costume party for everyone, so I was able to talk Dustin into being Captain hook and I was Wendy. When we showed up, we were the only adults that were dressed up (except one other couple who I had threatened.)  Dustin is such a good sport! 

By the time Halloween rolled around, I was kind of over the whole thing and ready to be done. We had celebrated just a little too much already. Since it fell on a Wednesday, we decided to take the kids trick or treating for just a little bit before Bible Study that night. They had a great time running up to all the houses and getting candy. I mean, what is not to love about dressing up as your favorite character and eating unlimited candy?  

I was kind of relieved when all of the Halloween festivities were over. Eli and Landon still dress up in their Peter Pan hats almost every day and Eli carries his sword with him absolutely everywhere he goes. I finally ordered them the movie to watch and it has definitely become a favorite around here. I, personally, find it a little creepy, but to each his own.  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Puppy Fiasco

Eli and Landon looooovvvveee animals. They have always loved Penny and Annie (Nemo’s dogs) and Max (Grammy’s dog). And for the last two years, they have asked for a dog of their own, but our fence needed to be replaced and we just had been busy with other things and projects. So, Dustin and I agreed that he would have the fence rebuilt by their 4th birthday and I would come to grips with the idea of owning a dog (they didn’t get their animal love from me!)
I have no idea how you go about getting a puppy. Do you just grab one off the street? Go to a shelter? Wait until someone is selling them in the Wal-Mart parking lot? I had some major requirements for this dog: it couldn’t get very big and it absolutely could not shed. That was non-negotiable. And we wanted a girl. So, I figured the stray dog approach probably wouldn’t yield the results we were looking for and nobody had been selling puppies at Wal-Mart recently. Dustin had been way too busy at work to focus on getting the boys a dog, so I just took it upon myself to get one the only way I knew how: the Thrifty Nickel. 

I made all the arrangements and my mom picked up this puppy on her way to our house (it was in Abilene). So on the day of the boys’ small, family birthday party, we gave them their puppy. It was definitely not the reaction I was expecting. They were totally and completely speechless. I think they were either overwhelmed or in disbelief or just not impressed at all, but for whatever reason, they just didn’t make a big deal about the dog like I thought they would. This was on a Saturday.
By Sunday, I knew something wasn’t right. The dog had NO energy whatsoever. It wasn’t playful. It laid in the same spot I left it in. It didn’t eat. And although it was sweet natured and liked to cuddle…it just wasn’t the run, jump, play in the backyard with the boys and wear them out kind of puppy I was expecting.  

So Monday morning, we took the puppy to the vet. A couple hours later, we were back home with special food and two medications. Our puppy had hookworms: a nasty parasite that was slowly sucking the life out of this poor dog. So I brought it home and started nursing the puppy back to health, but the more I read about hookworms, the more disgusted and completely overwhelmed I got with the whole situation. By the afternoon, I had made a call to the woman we bought the puppy from and I told her I just couldn’t handle it. I was returning the puppy and I wanted my money back. So I loaded up my three kids and the sick puppy, got some corn dogs and slushes at Sonic for dinner, and we headed towards the dog lady to return Eli and Landon’s “forever puppy” as we had so stupidly called it. Turns out they liked the puppy a whole lot more than they let on because they wailed when we gave it back. I was pretty much annoyed with the entire situation. I’m pretty positive that anyone who knows anything about dogs (and even those who don’t, since I was able to pick up on it) could have told that something was wrong with that dog. I was sad that I had given my boys a puppy that “they could love forever” and then took it away two days later. And then I was really irritated when I came home, put all the kids to bed, and then had to bleach every square inch of our hookworm infested house (or it was in my mind at least). And the next week at Harper’s 18 month checkup, I had to notify the pediatrician that my kids were almost positively going to end up with hookworms (he assured me that it was very unlikely). 

Eli and Landon ended up taking it a lot better than I expected. We explained that the puppy was just really, really sick and that we couldn’t take care of it the way it needed to be taken care of and we couldn’t let the puppy get Harper sick, so we had to give it back, BUT we would get a new, healthy, playful puppy that would be our best friend. 

Several weeks went by and we just kind of did nothing. For someone that doesn’t even like animals to begin with, I was a little burnt out by the whole thing and I couldn’t even think about bringing a new puppy in after that. Plus, I was NOT about to be the one to pick our next puppy, so I told Dustin that it was completely up to him to handle this. 

So, he did what any responsible, adult man would do. He called his mom. 

Neva was sweet enough to find our boys a puppy, drive to get it, take it for a complete check-up at the vet BEFORE we showed it to them, and then bring it to us. She is really too sweet to us.

Meet Libby.

She was just seven weeks old when she came to us and she is completely precious. She has the cutest personality, she’s playful and fun, she loves to cuddle, and she is soooo good to my kids.

Of everyone in this house, Harper loves Libby the most. This is just a peek at their goodnight routine. It takes longer for her to say goodnight to Libby than all four of the rest of us combined. 

 After her second round of shots, Libby got her first haircut. She's so precious.

This was Libby's first road trip with us for Thanksgiving.

This little rug in front of the dishwasher is Libby's favorite spot, which by default makes it Harper's new favorite spot too. 

So this "I will never in my life own a dog" girl has been converted. I can get over just about anything if it brings my kids so much joy. And Libby definitely brings us some joy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Funny stories

Here are the latest "Eli and Landon Stories" for your enjoyment:

"Really Amazing Trick"
 While I was somewhere else in the house, Eli and Landon screamed for me to come into the bathroom to see their "really amazing trick" (these were their exact words.) I was, of course, immediately nervous and went in there, prepared for just about anything.

I found this:
So naturally, I took a picture and posted it on all the appropriate social networking sites. They were quite pleased with themselves...until they couldn't get down on their own. Eva's comment was, "that's really funny until they try to do it soaking wet and bust their heads open." That might be a good point.

"Landon Rebukes With Scripture"
I've been doing some simple scripture memory work every week with the boys. I've been quite surprised at their little minds and the amount of things they can remember. Well, one very long and tiring day in Lubbock with all three kids by myself and several instances of discipline with the same offender, I lost my cool in a moment of frustration and I yelled at Landon. (No judging happens.) As soon as the harsh words came out of my mouth, Landon says, "MOM, remember? Do unto others as you would have them do to you?!" I probably should have been humbled by him, but instead, it pretty much fueled my anger. Needless to say, "Children obey your parents, in the Lord, for this is right" will be the next verse on our list.

"Landon's Hand Has A Mind Of It's Own"
If you're a parent, you know that kids have distinct cries. So, when I hear Harper's "I have just suffered an injustice" cry, I immediately start interrogating the suspects. I was in the kitchen and I hear Harper start wailing, so I go in the living room to find Harper and Landon standing there. I asked, "Landon, what happened to Harper?" He pursed his lips, furrowed his eyebrows and looked around as he said, "hmmmm, let me see here." (Long pause) "She got hit," he said. I naturally asked who Harper "got hit" by. Landon raised his right hand, looked over at it, and matter-of-factually said, "this." I almost lost it right there. His whole "I think I'm going to outsmart mom by acting like my hand hit Harper and I had nothing to do with it" approach just seemed really comical. We had a little talk about how his hand is part of him and HE is responsible for what it does, so he better get it under control fast.

"Peter Pan Can Fly"
Eli and Landon have reallllly been into Peter Pan for about the last six months. What's funny is that they had never seen the movie, but we have the book and they want to read it every.single.night. It's super long, so we just paraphrase most of it. Combine their love for Peter Pan with their love of pretending and sometimes I just don't know if they can tell reality from fiction. They truly believe they ARE Peter Pan. So, one day, I hear a big thud, a moment of silence, and then the ridiculous wailing ensued. Of course, I rush in there to find Eli with a big goose egg on his head. He had stood on the end of the bed and jumped off and landed head first...trying to fly. All he kept saying over and over while I rocked him was, "But, Mom, Peter Pan can fly!" I could not have been less surprised by this whole situation. My children take make believe to a whole new level. 

"The Roller Coaster"
We took a little trip to Sea World back in June and ever since then, Eli and Landon, continue to act like car rides are roller coaster rides. Again, with the imagination...there is never a dull moment. And Eli and Landon have plenty of imagination. I thought this would eventually get old and die down, but this picture is just from a couple of weeks ago.

"Harper Loves Undies"
Harper recently went through a stage (that she is just about out of, thank goodness) where she LOVED underwear. It didn't matter who it belonged to or if it was dirty or clean. In fact, it seemed she preferred dirty because they tend to be more accessible around here. She would dig through hampers, check the bathroom floors, or find them in the laundry room. I mean, she had a serious fetish people. Mostly, this just completely grossed me out. No explanation needed there. Here is a picture of her with two pairs of Eli and Landon's dirty underwear layered on over her pajamas. Kids are so weird. Or maybe just mine are.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Life Through My IPhone

I would have to say that nothing better represents our lives as a whole better than the pictures on my phone. I always have it with me to capture the little things, the funny things, the things that appall me, and even the slightly dangerous (but not too dangerous that I can't take a picture real fast) things.

So since I just downloaded 234 pictures, here are the best of the last few months.

Harper is still not amused by all my picture taking.

We still frequent the doctor's offices.


Eli and Landon are almost never themselves. 
Some of their favorite people to be are cowboys or Peter Pan. 

We still like to get messy.

 Harper and I still hang out most Sundays in the nursery.

Shopping is always a ton of fun with these three.

We love story time (when we are all well enough to go).

Harper still LOVES her daddy and greets him every time he comes in the door.

Sometimes we hang out in our pajamas, building forts, on into the afternoon.

Dustin and I went on a little trip by ourselves (first time in two years) to Fredericksburg. 
It was wonderful.
 Sometimes I'm a really awesome mom and give my baby mini marshmallows in the car so that she'll be happy.

Harper likes to make phone calls during church...on her thermometer.

Harper is SUCH a night owl, so we just let her stay up. She's never cranky and just plays by herself without her brothers taking all the toys away from her. She's such a sweetheart late at night.

 The boys and I have been doing a little preschool each day. It's amazing how quickly they learn!

 We love the science museum in Lubbock and stop by every time we're there. It's completely child-friendly and it helps get a little energy out after spending a lot of time in the car.

We went to a couple of Ira football games this year and the sweet cheerleaders let Harper and Kassidy cheer with them. 

I still seriously love this baby.

 And I will still do just about anything for a little down-time. Even if it means letting Eli and Landon style my hair. It's almost relaxing...until they gouge my eye out.

 We are loving Christmas-time this year. Here we're watching Polar Express and eating popcorn.

And by Harper's insistence, we have begun to use the toilet. Without any prompting or training whatsoever, she requested to get on the potty and proceeded to go #2! Home-girl is a prodigy!

So that was pretty long, but that's our life through the lens of an IPhone.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Eli and Landon Turn 4!

For the first time ever, I celebrated a birthday without inviting 100 people, slaving over handmade details, and using every spare moment of several weeks to prepare. It was kind of by chance that it happened like it did. It was kind of a procrastination meets low-energy meets an I just want to enjoy this situation. And it was totally liberating.

Eli and Landon's birthday fell on a Monday this year, so the Saturday before, we had a small family party with just the five of us, my mom, Mike, Katelyn, and Neva. We had a laid back day, ate their favorite meal for lunch (One Pot Pasta), opened presents, and had cake and ice cream. Then we just played with their new toys and hung out together. That night, we went to the Big Bash at the Preston's, which is a fish fry, hayride, singing, and hot chocolate kind of gathering each year. We sang to them again out there and they had a blast riding the thrilling hayride over and over again.

On Monday, we invited Eli and Landon's friends from their Bible class over for a small party. We had pizza and cupcakes and opened presents and played. It was laid back and fun!

This year, for their birthday, the boys got: GeoTrax, Board Games, HorriBalls (don't ask), Clothes (always a favorite of mine), and a Puppy Dog (more on that later).

I always love celebrating my boys and there is just something about that day in history that makes me so conflicted with joy/thanksgiving and a little bit of sadness as I remember just how I felt the moments leading up to Eli and Landon entering this world. And pretty much the whole next month while they stayed in the hospital. Looking back, I now realize that it wasn't quite as scary as I thought at the time, although for a first-time mom it was pretty much terrifying. They were pretty stable and just needed time to grow and learn to eat. And I also realize that the experiences with Eli and Landon were invaluable preparation as we faced what we have with Harper. And for that reason (and others), I count our rough start with our boys a blessing in disguise. They have taught me a lot in their four short years and these precious boys are definitely two of my greatest blessings.

Happy Birthday, my sweet baby boys.

The pictures are seriously lacking for some reason. I didn't get any pictures with Nemo, Grammy, G-Pa, and Katelyn, or with Me and Dustin, or with their friends at the party. I'm just not really sure what I was doing the whole time. I took the whole "laid back" thing a little too far, I guess. 

 We sang Happy Birthday to them individually this year.

Of course, I forgot to take any pictures once their friends arrived because I'm really on top of things like that. 

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