Monday, September 29, 2014

End of the Summer Campout

Our fun summer concluded with an end of summer campout with our friends! It was so much fun that I hope we make it an annual event!

We all gathered at Tracy's house on Saturday afternoon, and the men began putting up our tents. The rest of us got everything ready for dinner and kept the kids under control!

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Meanwhile, Violet and Liam played footsies while they slept.

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We attempted a group photo before dinner. The pictures are grainy, but the point was to document who was there, so it works!

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We cooked hot dogs over the fire for dinner.  Liam was so hungry that he chose grass as an appetizer.

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Lexie came to the rescue with some snacks.

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We ate our dinner by the fire and talked with our friends.

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After dinner, the kids played while we hung out by the fire.

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Of course, we had to roast marshmallows!

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One by one, the kids went to their tents and fell asleep.

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The adults sat by the fire until the wee hours of the morning, chatting and singing.  It was such a relaxing night!

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It was not the best night's sleep, but it was nice waking up at 6 AM to the dim morning light and birds singing.  The kids were well rested.  3 hours of sleep was not enough for me, though!

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We had donuts for breakfast, then broke down camp.  The guys looked forward to a nap and us girls had a fun adventure ahead of us.  Stay tuned!

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I'm so glad we planned this campout! It was the perfect end to a fun summer!

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Another One On Her Way

It's no big surprise that I ended up having 4 children.  I'm the youngest of 8 kids, so my own family seems small by comparison!

Half of my siblings were teenagers when I was born, so I became an aunt for the first (and second!) time at the tender age of 5. By the time I was 6, I was a professional diaper changer and baby feeder.  By the time I was 8, I was regularly babysitting my nieces and nephews.  When I brought Dylan home from the hospital, it didn't even faze me.  Taking care of him felt completely natural. 

I have 16 nieces and nephews, 3 great nephews, 1 great niece, and another great niece on the way.  Birthday parties and graduation parties fill up our weekend.  Add in an incredible set of friends, and we're completely booked!

This year, my beautiful niece, Courtney, graduated from High School.  We gathered at the end of August to celebrate with her!

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My kids LOVE Courtney.  She is so good with them, and my girls follow her around everywhere she goes.  She, and my sister, Jen, are baby hogs!

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My adorable new great nephew, Bentley, was in town for the party.  We finally got to meet him the night before the party, and we all fell in love.  We were so happy we got to spend more time with him at the party!

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It was a day full of good company, delicious food, and lots of fun!

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Congratulations, Courtney!  We are so proud of you and we love you very much!  We can't wait to see what the future holds for you!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Happy Fall Mish-Mash

~Happy First Day of Fall from Liam and Liliana!~

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~The nights are cold, but it warms up during the day. What this means is we're wearing lots of layers or two outfits a day! The weather is absolutely beautiful right now!  It will be in the seventies for the next few days.  I wish it would stay!!!~

~A sure sign Fall is here?  Liam has a yucky cold.~

~We're running lots of errands during the day.  Thankfully, the kids nap perfectly on the go, even with groceries piled on top of them. Our evenings are filled with the after school homework-dinner-shower-prepare for the next day rush.  I usually don't sit down between 4-9:00, except to eat dinner.  Then Grant and I watch 2 hours of TV (Our current obsession is Orange is the new Black!) before heading to bed.~

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~The current favorite thing that I bought is an outfit for Liam.  It's from Target, and it's 6-9 months, which means it won't fit until after Christmas.  Little Dude is a peanut.~

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~We have family movie night every Monday! We all enjoy cuddling on the couch after dinner, and watching a fun movie!~

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~We're back to visiting Grant's Mom and Nannie every Sunday afternoon.  The kids love it!~

~I went to a Tupperware party on Saturday.  Lily begged me to buy the Frozen tumblers.  If you need them, my friend Stephanie is your girl. 



~We also hit up the park because it was beautiful outside.~

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~We had a Saturday evening at home, which used to never happen!~

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~ALERT THE PRESS!  Liam got his first tooth at 13 months 2 days, after what felt like MONTHS of teething.  Finally.~

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~My kids love the huge carts at the grocery store, even though they're hard to steer.  Liam recently rode in one for the first time and thought it was awesome!~

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~We had a scheduled 2 hour delay on Friday.  I LOVE those days.  We get to sleep until 9, the kids wake up happy, and we don't have to rush to the bus stop!~

~Lexie requests curly hair now. Our first attempt was pin curls.~

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~I took the kids to the Homecoming parade on Friday evening.  They had a great time seeing all their friends, they got a ton of candy from Dylan's friends on the football team, and Lexie decided she wants to be a cheerleader!~

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~I usually visit my parents on Friday evenings and go shopping.  This week, however, we stayed home and invited our friends over.  It was a great night!~

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~We found a huge praying mantis stuck in a web on our house.  We rescued it, showed the kids, and released it in our backyard.  We hardly ever see them!~

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~Liam turned 13 months old!~

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~We spent 2 hours at the family car dealership last Thursday for some recalls on our SUV.  The kids were angels, and a man even told me Liam was the most content and happiest baby he has ever seen. I rewarded Lily's good behavior with a surprise trip to the park!~

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~Dylan and Lexie had picture day last week. I still can't figure out why I spend so much money on pictures when I take better ones myself!~

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~Lily's newest trick is getting into Lexie's markers and makeup after Lexie falls asleep.  Yep.  They got moved out of reach.~

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~My mom had a birthday last week!  We celebrated by having dinner with her the following night!~

~Liam isn't quite crawling yet, but he spends a lot of time pulling up to his feet and trying to take steps.  His PT suggested getting Sure Steps for him to teach him correct foot placement.  He doesn't roll his ankles inward, like many children with Down Syndrome do, but he does tend to balance on his heels or toes. I spoke with his OT and she agreed that using them as a teaching tool during therapy and floor time would be a great idea. 

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~Liam LOVES to eat.  I can't figure out where all that food is going, because he's still under 16 pounds!~

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~Dylan is a great big brother.  He can always calm Liam down in a matter of seconds when teething pain is getting to him.~

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~Who are these big kids?!?~

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~On that note, they're going to look even bigger when Fall ends.  For now, we're going to enjoy the last few summer-like days before returning to sweaters, boots, sitting by the fireplace, and all things pumpkin.~