Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

"The Year Things Didn't Go As Planned, but Worked Out Anyway"

The family decided to have Thanksgiving at our house again this year - since my parents' house is on the market, and we weren't sure what would be going on there, it seemed easier for us to host.

The original plan:
1.  Mom and Dad would come on Tuesday, and I would send the kids to school on Wednesday and help them cook.
2.  Rest of the family (Curtis/Kristin/Chris and Sheila/Robert) would come Wednesday afternoon/evening.
3.  Finish the meal Thursday morning.
4.  Spend the rest of the day eating and watching football.
5.  Aggies would win (well, that part might have only been in my plan...).

On Monday, Mom got sick.  It looked like she would be still be contagious by Wednesday, and with Will being so prone to respiratory issues, she didn't wanted to risk getting him sick and had to stay home.  So, enter

Plan #2:
1.  Dad would come on Wednesday and do the dressing.  I would still send the kids to school on Wednesday and spend the day working on sides/desserts/cleaning/etc.
2-5.  No change

At around lunch time on Tuesday, the school called saying that Will had thrown up twice and needed to be picked up.  Sick again.  :(  This also meant he would have to stay home on Wednesday.  Amount of food to be prepared was pared down, so

What actually happened:
1.  On Wednesday, Will and I naively drove to Honeybaked Ham thinking I'd pick up a ham for Thursday.  Got there about 20 minutes after the store opened, and the line was at least 50 people deep out the door.  Didn't even get out of the car and just headed to HEB for a ham and the rest of the groceries.  Picked Claire up and fortunately both kids napped well, so I made a pecan pie, got the sweet potatoes baked and the sweet potato casserole assembled , made cornbread for the dressing, and baked a chocolate pudding cake.
2.  Dad and rest of the family came.
3.  Dad and Claire finished the dressing, and everything else went much more smoothly that I imagined.  We actually sat down to eat within about 10 minutes of when I planned.  The new recipes (sweet potato casserole (I reduced the sugar by half) and sauteed green beans) were hits.  SUCCESS!
4.  Spent the rest of the day eating and watching football.
5.  Aggies blew it.  Big time.  But, that was not a big surprise considering how the rest of the season had gone, and I could at least be happy for my husband that his team won.

We scaled things down, no one was stressed, and we all enjoyed our time together.  On Friday, those of us who were left visited some missions (Will and I joined them after a visit to the doctor), took naps (yay!), and relaxed.  Overall, while we missed Mom and were so sad she couldn't be there, everything else turned out wonderfully.

Claire and Will on Wednesday prepping for the game

Claire and Dad making the dressing

Playing Claire's new fishing game - her treat for being such a good listener over the weekend.  :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Will - One on 11.11.11



That was the sound of the past year flying by.  :)  How is it possible that my baby is 1 - and really, less of a baby and more of a toddler?  Although it has flown by, it's kind of hard to remember life without Will.  He has brought so much fun, laughter, and joy to our little family.  The price of lost sleep has been worth it!

A few things about Will at age 1:

  • At his one year appointment, he weighed 24 lbs, 12 ounces (75th percentile) and measured 31.5 inches tall (90th percentile).  Quite a difference from his petite sister (see Claire's one year stats here).
  • Will LOVES his big sister, and she adores him, too - except when one of them has something the other one wants.  Taking something away from Will is about the only thing that really sets him off (other than generally being hungry, tired, etc.), and Claire is a pro at getting that type of reaction.  Most of the time they play well together and love each others company.
  • He likes to eat and will try anything.  What he doesn't like gets immediately spit out and thrown on the floor.
  • When Will is done eating, he wants his plate/high chair tray completely cleaned off.  If you don't get to it before he does, he will take care of it for you by throwing food and waving his hands over the tray until everything is gone.  We're working on that.  :)
  • He loves to hold a spoon or fork even when he's not eating.  He's quite independent and already wants to feed himself.  He's getting good at it really quickly.
  • Will is still taking formula in bottles.  Last week was supposed to be "bottle boot camp" when we switched from formula to milk, reduced number of ounces, and switched all (at least day time) bottles to sippy cups.  That plan was interrupted by a nasty double ear infection, so we will try again soon.
  • He is not walking yet, but cruises around and will occasionally stand on his own for a few seconds.  I'm in no rush!
  • Will is transitioning to the next class at school and is quickly adapting to the new teachers and new routine.  They take naps on mats rather than cribs - such a big boy!
  • Like his sister at this age, he has lots of teeth - 6 on bottom, 4 completely in on top, and his upper one year molars are about halfway through.  The canines are already starting to work their way up, too.
  • We are getting there on sleep - he sleeps through the night (7 pm to 5 or 6 am) most nights, and he will usually take a bottle and go back to sleep for another hour or so.  It's been a long road, but we're finally making some good progress!
  • Will is saying several words that we can understand - "throw", "ball", "uh oh", and "up" are the most often heard, and we'll occasionally get a "da" for Robert and a "maaaa-ma" for me, but I'm not adding it to the "official" list yet.  He can follow simple instructions - "Come to Mama", "Drop your spoon in the sink", etc. so we know he is understanding a lot.
  • Going by his words, it shouldn't be surprising to know that some of his favorite toys are balls or other things he can throw.  He also really likes the play kitchen, spoons, and digging around in drawers and cabinets.

  • He laughs easily, smiles easily, loves to cuddle, and is a happy little guy who is very loved!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Project Life: Week 46

November 14 - 20

Tuesday, November 15

Will figured out how to open the entertainment center cabinets - uh, oh!

Friday, November 18

Claire helped me sort the laundry - about time she started earning her keep.

Saturday, November 19

Today we got Robert a new vehicle.  Buying a new car always takes a long time, and we did our best to keep the kiddos entertained.

Friday, November 18, 2011

More Claire and Pierce

Courtney recently sent me a few pictures she had of Claire and Pierce from our visit last month, and I had to share.  We loved them - great captures of their sweet friendship.



Monday, November 14, 2011

Project Life: Week 45

November 7 - 13

Monday, November 7

This morning Claire was staying busy (and awfully quiet) in our closet while we were getting ready for work, and when I checked on her, I found this lovely arrangement of my shoes.  Have I mentioned before that I think she may have a career as a professional organizer?  :)


Later that day I got a call that Will was we rushed to the doctor's office.  Nothing major - fortunately he was well by his birthday.

Friday, November 11

My sweet birthday boy!

Saturday, November 12
Today we celebrated Will's birthday - photos are here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Will's First Birthday Party

We celebrated Will's birthday with a small family party.  It was actually a double celebration as he shares his 11.11 birthday with his Granddaddy (my dad) who also celebrated a milestone birthday this year - number 80!
Attendees were Granddaddy and Nana, Aunt Sheila ("Aunt La La") and Uncle Robert, and David and Penelope.  We had hamburgers and two birthday cakes - one for each birthday.  :)

Getting ready with Daddy

The birthday boys!

Opening presents with a little help from Mommy and Claire

A little overwhelmed - all better after some cuddles with Mommy

More presents!



Dad counting the candles on his cake.  I put one for each decade - didn't want to melt the cake!  :)  He got a coconut cake - one of his all-time favorites.

Will needed a little help blowing out his candle

Not interested in the hat


Claire enjoying her piece

Didn't take long for him to dig in!


Looks like a successful first birthday to me!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

"I'm a big girl, but..."

Claire has recently learned how to buckle the chest buckle on her car seat by herself.  I hadn't necessarily encouraged it because I was a little afraid that learning how to buckle it would quickly be followed by learning how to unbuckle it (which I'm not ready for!), but fortunately that hasn't happened.  Every time she gets in the car, she says, "I'm a big girl - I don't need your help" as she crawls in the seat.

One day I picked the kids up from school, and Claire got in her seat and buckled the chest plate while I got Will settled.  When I came around to her side, I got the usual "I'm a big girl - I don't need your help!"  I said, "Well, if you're a big girl, why don't you do this part?" as I finished buckling her in.  She sat there a second, and then said, "I'm a big girl, but not that big."  It was all I could do not to bust up laughing.

Sweet girl, I'm glad you're not that big.  Stay little for a while longer, please!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Halloween 2011: Part Three

Halloween Night - Claire was so excited about trick or treating that I had a hard time getting her to stand still for a photo.  Will was much more chill about the whole thing.

Note the almost ever present headband






After a few photos, we headed over to the neighborhood pizza party and visited with a few neighbors before hitting a few houses for trick or treating.  Claire was a little apprehensive at first, but she quickly got over her shyness (easier to do when candy is involved)!  She loved figuring out who was home and running to ring the doorbell while Will was happy guarding the wagon.





As it started getting dark, we took the puppy home to get ready for bed while Daddy and the cupcake passed out candy to the older kids.  We had a good number of kids come by and ran out of candy right around Claire's bedtime.  Before bath, she got to go through her loot and pick a couple of treats to savor before bath.  I may or may not have also found a couple of treats in there after her bedtime...


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Halloween 2011: Part Two

The actual day of Halloween started off with a parade at the kids' school.  Claire dressed up as a cupcake, while Will was a puppy (or as I thought, Cutest Puppy Ever).



I think this was our last year to pick Claire's costume for her.  A month or so before, I asked Claire what she wanted to be, and I offered up a few suggestions - cupcake, ice cream cone, strawberry, etc. (easy to find costumes!).  She sat there a minute, and then said "I want to be juice."  "Juice?"  "Yes, a juice box!"  So creative!  While I would've loved to fulfill that request, we just didn't have time to make a costume.  Besides, at this age, I was afraid she would change her mind the day before.  Fortunately she was really excited about her cupcake costume - and of course, she looked adorable.  She really stood out in the sea of princesses at the parade.  :)

Halloween 2011: Part One

Halloween seems to get more fun each year as Claire gets older - her excitement spreads to the rest of us.  So many pictures this year that I'm going to spread them out in 3 posts!

The celebration started on Sunday at our church's fall festival.  Claire really had a blast playing some of the games this year and even wanted to get her face painted - something she never would've considered last year!




Will got in on the action, doing his best throwing some beanbags at the beanbag toss.  He is so into balls and throwing things - truly all boy!

Claire really wanted to go in the bounce house and just giggled and laughed the whole time we were in there.  Will got to participate, too (with a little help from Mommy)!