Friday, April 30, 2010

Scrapbook subject

Westley attended both his first scrapbook event, and also had his first nights sleep in a hotel this past evening! CKC puts on this scrapbook event in a number of cities, but Manchester NH is the one that is closest to us. It's actually just over an hour drive, we are lucky in that respect. It's quite fun to shop and see samples and examples of other people's work; classes showcase new ideas and techniques as well as products. Plus with the vendor fair, you can buy, buy, buy all the great stuff you see! This weekend event is always right after my birthday and Mom and I always attend in some form or another. We have fun, spend birthday money and insist that THIS is the year we are really going to make pages! Since it's not to be missed, Wes was along for the ride. For some years we have gone for the day, but last year we stayed over night and did classes... what fun it was to stay over in the hotel where the convention is held... eating out, taking classes, chatting about what we saw, laying around with our goodies... it was great! Knowing Wes was along, this year we stayed overnight but just did the shopping! I wasn't sure how to juggle baby and scrap classes, so opted out- a very good choice I might add! All the fun, less stuff to pack and carry around, and more time in the vendor mall! Wes was a very good boy. Hanging out in his hip hammock and in the umbrella stroller (which I had to buy as they don't allow bit rigs into the convention center!) he slept some, and did a lot of people watching. I was proud, he got lots of complements on how good he was, and we also got lots of "oohs" and "awws" over our little scrap subject! I got lots of inspiration, and some great buys~ and I swear I am going to scrap this child!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Things Wes learned this week

If you are not careful, you can get lost in Poppie's beard!

Sissy is good at giving baths, but if you don't keep your mouth shut she might clean in there too!

If you make flirty eyes at Kate, she will play with you all night!

Playing on your mat can tucker you out!

Uh Oh

Westley and I had to have the talk today:
It is NOT nice to pee-pee on your Mama!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Freddie the FireFly

Westley's favorite toy is this great Lamaze hanging friend: Freddie FireFly. We actually call him Dragonfly, but that's because we got him hand me down and didn't know who he really was until recently! Either way you call him, he is Wes' number one choice for a play thing~
Wes loves to pull and tug on Dragonfly all the time! He is by far Wes' bestest buddy! He mostly plays with just this one toy, although in the last few days he is getting more interested in others. I think his fondness came as Freddie's rings hang lower than any other toy or toy attachment we have and they were the first Wes could swing at and grab!
We love this little guy, he is so much fun for Westley! He is cute and has lots of "things:" a mirrored wing, a squeaker, rings and a dangled thing that has a pocket to slide it into. He is so colorful and has a great expression on his face- he is by far Wes' favorite toy!

Dragonfly moves about and hangs all sorts of places- the pack and play, car seat, his play mat... pretty much anywhere Wes goes, Dragonfly goes too! We are so lucky to have found a toy that really engages and entertains Westley~ I hear Grandma Beth found some of Freddie's friends... I can't wait to meet them!

Monday, April 26, 2010


Yesterday I turned 31. It's pretty odd, 31 seems like it should be "old," but I really don't feel old! Ok, I do have my creaky days, days when my body feels a bit, hum- shall we say run down?! But I don't feel like I think 31 should feel. I think the kids help me stay feeling young! For example, last week coming home from Conway the girls and Billy and I were cruising down Rt. 16... we had Dunkin Donuts in hand and were singing to the pop rock station the kids like. I glanced over at Olivia (in the front seat) and for a moment I was back in high school, whizzing along with friends. Certainly not a 31 year old, mother of 4 with an infant asleep in the back seat!
I had a surprise breakfast that Olivia and Auntie whipped up- it was very nice! We went up to Anna and Eds and the Houston clan (minus Billy who slept over at my sister's) gnashed on yummy morning fare plus a great cake Olivia made. Then Savanna had a birthday party she was invited to, so I dropped her off and ran to the grocery store for dinner stuff. We all gathered back here for bar-b-que in the evening. We had good food, then cake and ice cream and of course presents! Isn't the gift bag my Mom made adorable?! It matches Wes' shower invitation, and held a bunch of cloth diaper things I wanted. I'm so lucky, my Mom spoils me!!

Savanna whipped up her gift at the last moment. I was cracking up with this part- a birthday message on her white board.... love the p.s.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Conway cabin

We have been busy! It is school vacation week- April Vacation being the last big break before summer is here... so we want to make the most of our time off! We took the opportunity to run up and spend a few days at my Mom and Dad's new Conway Cabin. They bought this adorable place in December, but this was the first chance we had to "get away" and enjoy it! Bill had some work to do around here, and clients he couldn't move, so we took 2 cars and he spent the day Tuesday then came home to do horses (ours and a clients I am taking care of) and the dogs etc. We missed having him on our sleepover, but there will be plenty of other trips in the future
We spent 2 days hiking and biking, exploring and playing! Our kiddos and Jayson were the first of the grandchildren to christen the place (hopefully Kaleb can come next time) Mom and Dad have been up to enjoy their retreat a few times, but this was the first family trip. As much as they will have the place to relax and enjoy the quiet of the lake and scenic White Mountain area, they will also reap the benefits of having a very kid friendly spot... they are off to a great start in terms of entertaining the grand kids!! There were plenty of fun things to do- a great beach at the lakefront, tons of cool trails and lots of mountain streams to explore. A grammar school with a nice playground right down the street and lots of back road for biking.

I sure am glad we packed the wheels, as the kids were on them constantly! They biked up and down and around~ they really can cruise! They did great on the sidewalks, even crossing a bridge to get to the beach. I'm sure they are going to want to take them every trip, it's nice to have a quiet paved street to zoom around on!

Wes strolled along and did just fine on his first overnight~ he was generally happy and enjoyed being passed around and watching the kids play! My jeep stroller did great, going "off road" a few times. On the way home from the playground, Jayson and Wes actually shared the seat- it was very cute to have the cousins together in it!
The weather was nice, but certainly more spring like than summer, the water quite cool. Of course, they did wade a bit and Savanna took her bike in for a dip! I can see us spending a lot of time here for sure! We had a campfire and they all roasted marshmallows and made S'mores. One lovely feature of the cabin is the great glass front that looks out over the yard and down to the lake. Wes and I were able to sit just inside and watch the fire thru the glass, enjoying it without smoke or bugs! Dad even had the little wood stove humming, so we had all the glow and warmth and none of the fire nuisances!

We had a great time, the kids were well behaved and we had a such a good time scoping it all out, planning all the fun things we will do once it is summer vacation and we can head up more often. It was about an hour and 45 minutes door to door (with one Dunkin Donuts stop!) and I know we will be back soon enough- We love the Conway area, we have been up a number of times before... this year we will head to StoryLand with season passes, canoe the Saco River as often as we like, and have this great "home base" to call our own!

What a fun way to spend some of our April Vacation- summer preview at the Conway Cabin!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

another Saturday marks 13 weeks

This is my new favorite Wes picture. I may (or may not!) have changed Bill's desktop to this shot! I just smile every time I glance over to the screen. If you haven't been to our house, Bill has a massive (28 inch) monitor... It's a great showcase for his Royal Adorableness.

I guess I should be about done with the weekly updates, but I couldn't resist this week with as many cute shots as I got doing his 3 month photo shoot. Wes is now 13lbs 6ozs- a real little piglet; totally my chubby cheeks! He is sleeping from between 9 and 10pm thru until 4 or 5am when he needs to be fed and changed then he will sleep again until about 6:30 or so. I count myself lucky- I'm so glad to get the hours I do! I think we may be officially done nursing. He went to breast twice yesterday and maybe got a mouthful or two each time... I may just call it quits. It will be an easy date to remember (his 3rd month) and I know it frustrates him. It makes me sad, but with nothing to do about it, I guess I won't dwell. He is pretty consistently eating 4 oz feedings. It's basically what I make every time and he drains a bottle every few hours!

We sized up this week in his cloth diapers. It was sad to pack up all his little ones- they are so small and cute! These new ones are much fluffier and make for quite a squishy bum! They will also hasten our switch up in clothes size- not many of our 3 month stuff is going to fit over them. At least not when I have added layers in for absorbency. His night time combo makes for a pretty funny picture- his butt is about 3 times the size of the rest of him! He plays well on the play mat, and still adores his mobiles. He is getting stronger and stronger, but not really progressing towards a roll over just yet. He much prefers his back to tummy time... 5 or so minutes is all he will do, then just fusses until he gets a manual rollover. He is drooling and sucking away at his hands quite a bit- I've taken to adding a bib to save outfits! He loves to chat and will babble along in a conversation- but no giggles or laughs yet. I'm looking forward to it, he will crack a huge grin and sort of suck in air then coo... I'm waiting for that first good giggle! I hope it won't be long.

Friday, April 16, 2010

3 month out takes

"Slurp, Slurp- these hands are good"

" Who are you? How'd you get here?"

"Won't talk, Eh? I'll beat it out of you then!"

"Listen here you, I've got you now!"

"Oh, Mom- this was all YOUR idea!"

4-16-10 = 3 months

Be still, my heart. I mean, seriously.... I wish I could have posted ALL of the pictures from this "shoot!" Is this not the cutest little boy you have EVER seen??? Ok, Ok, I'll admit, I'm biased. But, seriously. Sigh.
Here is Wes, on his 3rd month anniversary. He was being quite cute and I look forward to doing these monthly pictures so much it was great to have him "play" along. It is so fun to think about all the moving and talking he will do in the future as I try to get him to lay on his blue blankie with his baby bear.


Last night Olivia played in a double elimination dodge ball tournament- it was so much fun to watch! At the 7th and 8th grade school, kids had formed teams and last night they had the games. They had 3 minute matches, and the "Fruit Loops" lost both of their first rounds- so did not advance, but it was a blast to watch! Except for when Olivia got a ball in the face... but other than that, it was hilarious! Some of the kids/teams were amazing- jumping and catching and throwing really well, plus the announcer was cracking me up- he was right into it, making calls and throwing people out when they tried to deny being hit! It's too bad its only once a year, it was a fun event- especially since this is T.V./Tech turn off week and the kids are a little stir crazy as we get closer to the end of the week.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Art show

Savanna had her coil pot from art class featured at our district art show last evening. She has felt slighted in the past with none of her art being chosen... so to have one of her things showcased this year felt pretty good! Olivia has always had art shown, but this year her schedule is different, they have one "special" each quarter and they have that everyday and no others until their classes switch. She has art last (she just started this week) so didn't have time to have anything "make" the show. Oh well, next year?! Billy has had a piece the last few years, but not this time. So, if was all about Savanna!
We had Grandma and Grandpa Houston over for dinner, then all shuffled over to the school to find her piece. It was right in the front of one of the first cases (one shelf below her BFF Kate's piece!) so we admired it, then had a chance to walk around the high school and look at all the other art pieces. It is fun to wander around and find kids we know! We are very proud of the kids, and it's great when they get to "show off" a little. What fun it is be to be recognized for an accomplishment, I know they are proud when they get the notice that they have a piece being exhibited. All the art there was beautiful... but I was particular to one little pot!

Tryin' out a new trail

Yesterday was a beautiful afternoon, and I had "scheduled" Bill and Wes for Daddy time (if I don't get "me" time into Bill's book it's hit or miss- plus Wednesdays are Linda's 1/2 day at work, and I've been anxious to ride with her) so Linda and I explored a new (to me) trail system. She has been there a few times with another riding partner, but I haven't had a chance to get over there- we finally had the time to ride together, so off we went!

Olivia and I pass the Kennebunk Plains on our way to volunteer at the animal shelter, and I've always noticed it because it's an odd environment for this area. It's a large open space with small scrubby trees and lots of wild grasses. I always thought it was a bird sanctuary, and I'm still not sure about that. We saw lots of "reserve boundary" signs, so I do know it's some sort of reserve at least. We were able to access the main "plain" via some nice sandy trails from the parking area- then circumnavigated the "plain" and were out for a bit over an hour. There seems to be more that could be explored- it's an interesting area. It was nice in that the open space generated enough of a wind to keep the black flies at bay! They have hit early, and HARD this year!

I didn't get any good pictures of the plain, but here we are on the access trail. My goal is to be ready to do a hunter pace next month... so Beau and I need to get out more! I rode Saturday, but haven't seen the saddle since then. He was a very good boy- walked a tad slow but moved right out in the trot. I only let him break to the canter one quick time... we are both out of shape and I must admit I have a bit more of a sense of self preservation now! I really don't want to get hurt again... in fact I can't get hurt again! My OB (when asked if I had permission to ride after my section was healed) said something to the affect of "you had a lot of responsibility before; now you have a LOT of responsibility." Geeze. Thanks! Now I hear her in my ear all the time! And there is Bill... his parting remarks when I head out to ride?! "Don't get hurt!" Thanks Honey!
Miller and Beau do so well together and I really enjoy my rides with Linda- it was a great afternoon! We worked up a bit of a sweat, but did a lot of walking and chatting too. I was so happy to have the chance to steal away for a few hours and try out a new trail. And, yes Sue- we passed you in Sanford on the way home!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Look Ma- no hands

no help from my Mama's hands that is! Last night Wes grabbed right onto his bottle and held it himself- well for most of the bottle. The other kids had already gone up to get ready for bed but I called for Savanna to come down and grab a picture- I'm not sure if it will be a new trick, or was a one time deal, but it was pretty cute! He's growing up so quick...

12 weeks but not quite 3 months!

Another week with Wes! It's so hard to believe it has been almost 3 months already. My little man changes every day it seems. For now, he loves his play mat and will give me 20 mins or so of play time when he is happy there! We hang his favorite dragonfly and he will chirp and coo and swing his arms and legs. He gets almost 1/2 way over back to front. He can get onto his side, but can't get the "oomph" to push past his arm and roll all the way over. But I don't think it will be too much longer before he figures it out! He will also hang out in his pack and play and swing at his dragonfly and watch his mobile. It is so nice to have a place or two to let him hang out so I can have both hands! It's amazing how many things you can really do with only one hand, but man - it sure is nice to have them both free once in a while!
Wes is growing like a weed- he's my little porker- he was 12lbs 14.5ozs on Saturday... piglet! The larger 3month items still fit, but anything that ran a little small is mostly out now! I'm guessing we will have to size up in his cloth diapers this week- I need to prep all of that stuff so we will be ready- my breast milk production is pretty slow at this point. Although we do "nurse" a few times a day still, I know I'm not making much- I think I may have to phase it out pretty soon which makes me sad.
At the Pinewood derby the other day the kids played with the sleeping baby and staged a scene with him! Here he is asleep "listening" to his i-pod! I wish the wing wasn't in the shot, but the kids were just playing around and it was too cute! He did so well that day at the races. He was happy pretty much the entire event- he got passed around and helped to entertain us all. He had a few bottles and even took a little nap! What a good baby- a high school gym will a few hundred people and he was happy as a clam!

He has really figured out how to suck his fingers and is very proud of himself! In fact, sometimes he is just so ticked with his talent that he will try to do both hands at the same time! They "fight" each other and get drooled all over, but he loves slurping away! It's so funny when he gets vigorously sucking and gags himself- we just crack up! "Slurp, suck, slurp, suck- hack, hack, hack, sputter, sputter, sputter, slurp, slurp, slurp!"

Pinewood Derby Regionals

Billy made it to regionals again this year in the Pinewood Derby. It was certainly exciting to "make" it there... but, it is a long day; a long boring day. It's tough to sit on the bleachers for 5 hours and race for a total of 7 or so seconds. Fhewww. Billy says next year hes "fine with it" if he doesn't go on to race at regionals. And, frankly- I'm fine with it too!
There were 79 racers from our area that competed on Saturday at the event. It was held at a high school about 45 mins away. We took 2 cars in case Wes was crabby- but he ended up being great so we all watched the whole thing! Billy ran three heats and did well in them- his times were ok and he came in at the top end of the middle of the pack. It was certainly better than last year.

In fact, at the awards ceremony he had just turned around and mouthed to me "I haven't gotten my name called yet" when they called "car 60, William Houston!" It was pretty funny. He got a nice patch and a medal. There was much less fussing this year- last year he wanted a frisbee that they handed out... so I was happy for no major meltdowns!

It's a long day for the girls too- sitting there watching can be a real drag; but everyone was behaving for the most part. My Dad brought Jayson and Kaleb who missed the races but saw the awards.

So, maybe next year it will be alright if we loose- but who knows time may erase the feelings of boredom- Pinewood Derby is a pretty cool thing to do... I know after seeing all the cars that Billy may have a new plan for his next year!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rain *Beau*

I was lucky enough to catch this shot last night as I was tacking up to ride... As I groomed my boy I noticed this rainbow over his back! I quickly grabbed my phone and got this picture- not the best, but cool none-the less!

I have ridden a few times these past few weeks- ok, maybe 4 or 5 times total, but finding time to get my butt in the saddle has been tough! I had one not so hot ride with a new neighbor a few weeks ago, a nice trail with Linda and Miller at her house and a few hacks around the house. Easter day we had the nicest weather, and I had the whole afternoon free (with plenty of babysitters!!) so we went out for a little jaunt. Beau was so well behaved and was a real pleasure- which was nice as he tried to kill me numerous times the day we rode out with the new neighbor and her Morgan. I had a student cancel last evening, so took the opportunity to truck over to ride in the indoor and had my first chance to "actually" work. Beau was great! He was happy and willing, and SOUND! Yipee! Now, if that rainbow had any luck in it, I'll find the time to squeeze in a ride now and again and then maybe we will both get back into shape and have some hope of getting out this summer!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Annual Egg Hunt '10

Saturday we hosted our annual Egg hunt- we had 4 families cancel at the last moment, so it was a pretty small crowd, but everyone seemed to have a great time! There were PLENTY of eggs for all, and more than enough lunch to go around! Kaleb and Westley were fussing and didn't want to hunt, Wes was tired, I'm not sure what K's problem was.... so our hunters were: Olivia and Kateri, Savanna and Billy, Nathanial and Jayson. It was an amazingly beautiful day- the sun was shining and the birds tweeting- we were so lucky. You couldn't have ask for a better day! The kids were all excited to run around and hunt their eggs barefooted and in shorts and t-shirts. We have had all sorts of weather, but this was one of the better days I can remember! It's funny to watch them, I swear sometimes the "little" guys end up with baskets more full than the older kids- we put plenty on the ground and in really obvious spots so they can find them too! The big kids get theirs hidden a bit harder, and it's funny to watch them try to get them out of tree limbs and off higher up spots! They actually did a pretty poor job this year, I think because things were so plentiful (with the missing kids) there was less incentive! In our daily walking since Saturday Wes and I have found 2 lollipops and 2 marshmallow ropes left in the yard!

I'm pretty sure that as I type this, I can see another rope out the window. Yum, it will go nicely with my afternoon coffee!

Easter Day

After opening baskets at home, we had the afternoon free (I went for a nice ride!) and then went to Auntie Anna and Uncle Eddie's house for Easter dinner. Bill typically likes to have holiday here, but after hosting our egg hunt Saturday, I was fine with heading up the street for the meal!
It was nice to head off and not be responsible for cooking or cleaning! Anna and Ed recently updated their kitchen- it's so nice! They busted out a wall and really opened up the space. Her cabinets, counters and floors were all redone and are beautiful. She made a lovely ham, and Savanna helped to cut it!
We had plenty of time to hang out, Wes was very cute cooing and chatting and playing with his hands- we brought his favorite dragonfly toy and he laid on the floor for quite a while just kicking and enjoying himself! He had gotten very over tired the day before, so it was nice to have him back on schedule for the holiday. He ate a few times, slept a bit and otherwise just got passed around or played by himself. I am so lucky to have such an accommodating baby!

After dinner there were a few Jenga matches- Bill was professing to be the "Jenga King" until his Mom whupped his butt! Way to go Grandma!! Uncle also set up the badminton net, and they kids played and climbed trees until it was dessert time. Uncle's Dad had sent a bunny cake from a nice bakery in Boston, it was yummy- with coconut for fur.

It was a nice relaxed evening, with good food and good company. A great way to end the Easter holiday. I was happy to leave the mess and not have to clean~ Thanks Auntie!