Halloween & More Stitches

October has become one of my favorite months.  Weird because Halloween has always been my least favorite holiday, but the kids love it and I can't help but get excited with them.  The weather finally gets good, everyone has adjusted to school, and there's just enough activity without it being overwhelming!  My plan was to have a lion, tiger and bear but the boys had other ideas.  Milam did want to be a Tiger and I was thrilled (and very shocked) to dodge the superhero getup yet another year.  Getting Samuel into a costume at all would be a serious challenge but he wanted to be a cowboy (because that's what Milam was last year)...I didn't argue...that's easy.  He wouldn't wear a hat or his cowboy boots though.  So Peter got to be my monkey...i've always had this nickname for him...not sure why...and he was a cuuuuute little monkey.  We did a low key walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating.  They all loved it, and when Peter got tired Milam and Samuel got to hand out treats at our house with daddy.  Milam likes this part just as much.  It cracks me up how loud, animated, and super friendly he is with everyone.  Not a shy bone in that child's body. 

I haven't done a "cute" playdate in years and busted one out for our friends Tiffany, Lillian and George.  I decorated, baked cookies, set the table with cookie decorating supplies, and set out halloween books to read.  About 3 minutes before they were supposed to walk in the door, Milam took a toy away from Samuel and was running around the house with it.  He ran smack into my metal table and gashed his eye open.  My gut instinct immediately thought he needed stitches, but then after it stopped bleeding I thought it didn't look that bad...maybe prima care for a butterfly bandage?  I decided to go ahead and let him decorate his cookies (he was more upset about missing that than going to the hospital), and wait for Brian to get home and take a look.  Brian said..."he needs stitches.  that is deep".  So off we went for another trip to the ER.  He ended up with 6 and was super brave just like Samuel.  They were so good with him and Milam loved it.  strange kid, I know.  he was fascinated with the machines and what they were doing and loved all the attention, of course.  So now we're old pros next time something gets gashed open!

At the pre-k parade (they parade into all the lower school classes...so cute).

Before trick-or-treating (but after Milam's class party, and trick-or-treating at Brian's office...they would not cooperate with me whatsoever):

Proud of his battle wound:


Samuel turns 3!

Samuel was king of the slip-n-slide all summer and requested a slip-n-slide party.  We had a perfect day for it (and have the perfect long slope in our backyard), and loved celebrating our sweet 3 year old.  I say "sweet samuel" probably way too much, but it's the best way to describe this precious boy.  If he were an only child, or first born, I'm convinced he would be the easiest one in the world.  He does get frustrated and overwhelmed by the fast pace of his brothers moving around him.  By nature he takes things much more slowly, absorbing the details as he goes.  He's content to be at home and play and talk and do nothing, as opposed to his brothers strong need for stimulation and constant action.  Regardless, he worships Milam and has formed a very strong bond with Peter.  I love watching the special relationship that he has with Peter.  They really are buddies.  They talk in the car, sit by each other, share toys and love being around each other. My prediction is that Samuel will be the peacekeeper between the brothers.  Even at such young ages, I can already see the comfort these boys take in each other.  If one of them is uneasy about a situation they look to each other in different ways to gain comfort and confidence.    The moments I get alone with Samuel are so very precious in his own special way. I adore him and can usually count on him to be the calm, easy, peaceful, loving, agreeable (as much as a 3 year old can be) part of my life.  At his 3 year checkup he remained off the charts at 51 pounds and 41 inches. BIG boy!

hanging out and having a snack together:

Birthday Boy!

This was during the "happy birthday" song...his shy face.  You can tell when he's uncomfortable b/c he does this weird thing with his mouth or speaks without moving his mouth.  we joke that he could become a ventriloquist.


1st Day of School

We were all very ready for the start of school and to get back on a routine.  Milam started pre-k at his big boy school that he will attend through 8th grade.  I was very nervous about the long day (he goes every day from 9-2) but it should have come as no surprise that it's great for him.  He did have a VERY hard adjustment in the beginning and every afternoon was a blur of crying, meltdowns, fits, etc from the time he entered my car until the time he went to bed.  Apparently this is a very common situation and it worked itself out after a couple of weeks.  He absolutely loves school, his teacher and his new friends.  There are 10 boys in his class and 5 girls.  Great for us, but not sure how those poor sweet girls are surviving.  His favorite things at school are Spanish and Music.  Language has always been one of his strengths, and in hindsight we probably should have put him in a Spanish submersion preschool.  I have no doubt he would have been fluent by now.  He just has a fascination with talking and language.  We have a new housekeeper that is wonderful and he races in the door on Mondays to practice Spanish with her.  He has made tremendous progress in his fine motor skills and has started taking some interest in drawing and art.  I love this and seeing how proud he is of his "masterpieces".  I see much progress even though this is probably still his weakest area.  Milam has always loved people and he truly loves spending his days with friends.  We couldn't be happier with his new school.  Knowing that the new year/routines would be an adjustment we kept after school activities to a minimum.  No idea where Milam's fascination with Karate began, but he begged me to do it and is loving it.  He takes it very seriously and is really good at it.

Before school photo shoot:

Samuel started his second year of Mothers Day Out at our church.  He goes Tuesday and Thursday from 9-2.  They don't take naps anymore but it's worked out great.  He naps on the non-school days and is actually in a better sleep routine than before.  He had been napping every day but waking up around 5 am.  He still does this a couple times a week but we're able to send him back to bed now.  My sweet Samuel also had a rough start to school.  The third Tuesday I received a phone call to come pick him up.  He had fallen into a bookcase and had one of those GIGANTIC goose egg bumps on his head and they couldn't get him to calm down.  Then on Thursday,  I received another call to come get him because he needed stitches.  He had fallen backwards on the steps and gashed the back of his head.  This was my first stitches situation and I panicked for a minute. Called Brian and asked him to come with me as I thought it would be super traumatic.  When I got to the school to pick him up, he was totally calm and fine and was actually upset that he was being sent home again.  He told the teachers "but i didn't cry this time".  SWEET love. He got 4 staples and was so brave.  It was way easier than I anticipated, but was glad daddy came along with a paci!!  I was extremely worried about why Samuel kept falling down at school, but we haven't had any episodes since then.  He is getting more coordinated by the day, but still has trouble getting his big frame to do what he wants it to.  His teacher adores him and has told me he is a "ray of sunshine"...always positive and always happy.  She also commented on the funny things that he says and his compassion for everyone.  He is very in tune to people's feelings and wants to make you feel better if something is wrong.  She said everyone loves Samuel and he's doing great.  We tried to do swimming lessons and he was absolutely terrified.  He cried the entire lesson.  They encouraged me to stick with it, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  We'll try again later.  On Friday mornings I take Samuel and Peter to music class and hopefully in the Spring we'll pick up soccer...he talks about wanting to do soccer all the time. 

Before School Photo Shoot:

     After Staples:

July and August

It's December now, so I'm getting a jump start on the recurring New Year's resolution to document better. Now that there's a chill in the air, I can calmly talk about July and August without getting all hot and bothered (literally) about the ridiculous Texas heat. We survived July by heading to the lake and not moving a whole lot. We hardly left the house and moved in the usual circles of house to lake, to golf cart, to yard, back to lake, to happy's house, back to lake. Milam is an official lake rat: he was swimming with no flotation device, and has advanced from regular jumps in the water to full blown cannon balls, can openers, and belly flops. Samuel still isn't confident in the water but had fun splashing in the shallow end at his own pace and I was able to get him submerged with me a couple of times when he was by himself. And Peter wanted nothing to do with it...I have high hopes for Summer 2012 that they will all be swimming self sufficiently and I'll be watching with a cold bevvie in my hand. The days were long, lazy and mostly carefree just as I fantasize how summer days should be. We had the perfect balance of downtime, time with friends, and time with family. A highlight was having a "girls weekend" (luckily there were a couple husbands present as well to help with kids) because old college friend Maggie in town. It amazes me to spend time with these girls and all our kids (there were 9 total). Life is so incredibly different now, and a few (ok...more than that) of our college antics are frightening as our kids get closer to that age.  August was less carefree and more survival!  Milam stayed busy doing vacation bible school with a few afternoons of swim camp.  And we went to the pool a ton.  Ours gets really warm in August and the kids are ready for a change of scenery!

Batchelor kiddos visiting - Lillian and George

Milam & Lillian looooooved this frog they found.  Carried it around all day until he "fell asleep"

He looks so old here...

Sweet love Samuel.  Life jacket is snug as a bug...

Lunsford cousins.  They love each other so much and played so well together.  hope they have the best memories of our july's together.

college crew kids...adorable!

And these 3 little ones i could just eat up....why can't they stay little?!?


Rosemary Beach

We just returned from a two week vacation in rosemary beach. as usual anytime we leave home, the boys (and us too) were sick...but we still had an amazing trip. I was so nervous about the drive and it wasn't all that bad. even with about 4 stomach bug stops on the way home, we made it in one day. the boys loved every minute playing with their cousins, extended cousins and grabham kids. too embarrassed to post the picture of me on my three wheel beach cruiser but I fell in love with it! who knew riding a bike could be so much fun. counting down the days till next year....


No more baby...

Peter is walking!!! He's been taking steps for a few weeks, but never wants me to put him down long enough to really take off. But we came home from vacation to a full blown toddler. So stinking cute. He chases me all around the house saying "mama, mama". Seems more interested in being in my arms than walking, but he's mastered it. Not only does he walk, he wants to do everything his brothers do. sit in a big chair, climb up and down the stairs on his feet, go down the slide, drive the jeep, use a fork....you name it and he's trying to do it. i love it. he's also picking up so many words. A few off the top of my head: moo (meaning cow), you're welcome (i SWEAR...it's not really a "word" but he makes the same sound in the same amount of syllables every time i say thank you. he knows what he's saying), kitty, go out, get down. He's also learned how to shake his head yes and no and how to run away from me. This he especially loves and DIES laughing when i catch him. wonder how many kids i would have to birth to get one that doesn't despise getting dressed and diapered? He really is a precious, sweet boy. Loves to lay his head down on my shoulder and say "mama" when I pick him up, which i can't get enough of. every time i've tried to get a video of him walking a brother runs in front of the camera or knocks him down. will try harder...


New Aunt, Easter & 7 years!

These last few weeks have been and busy! Most exciting is that Uncle David married sweet Kaela in Houston the weekend before Easter. Milam and cousin Lily were the ring bearer and flower girl and could not have been more precious. Once Milam set everyone straight that he was going to be the 'necklace bearer' NOT ring bearer he did great. Samuel was actually the stinker and my sister (the saint who came to help with the boys) ended up spending the wedding outside with Samuel and Peter. We all love Keala and are thrilled to have a new aunt and sister.

From Houston Milam went home with Aunt Ashley and the girls and had a blast going at their ninety-to-nothing pace for a few days. I took little brothers to the lake and had a relaxing and peaceful few days. Crazy how easy two kids seems now...ha! We missed Milam though and were happy to be back together as one big family for Easter weekend. After Easter, Brian and I spent three short days at home and left for Palm Beach to celebrate 7 years! We are truly blessed.


big boy room & nursery

I'm not ready for Samuel to be a big boy (even though at 2 he weighs 48 pounds and wears a 5T) but he outgrew the nursery and Peter was ready for a real room.. I fought it hard, but Brian convinced me it made sense to get rid of my guest room and let them all have a room until someone is ready to share. I do love a good decorating project and have had fun getting started on the big boy room. We've had an antique Texas flag sitting in our pool room for years, so it was my starting point for the room. I have always loved soldiers for little boys...probably because I fondly remember them from my childhood with a West Point dad, grandad and uncle. Found some adorable prints on Etsy & got one of dad's old ones. The nursery needed a little spruce up for Peter...the bedding that my mom lovingly slaved over just couldn't make it another baby boy. Samuel is a sweaty thing and had turned it pretty much brown. I found some very sweet Cottontail bedding for Peter....it fits him. I have joked that Peter got a room for his first birthday...but it's true. I moved them after we got home from celebrating at the lake. They both love their new rooms and the biggest shock was that Samuel was done with the crib as soon as I put him in his big boy room. He was so proud....and I wasn't expecting that at all. It's a good thing though because nobody needs to be hoisting him into the crib. Gauranteed backache. He's fallen out of bed several times but seems to have the hang of it now. And typical Samuel (my easy child)....the few times he's ventured out of bed when he wasn't supposed to, all it took was one correction which sent him running back into bed. Hopefully we can avoid the reverse ducktaped door lock this time around!


happy birthday dear PETER!

peter turning one is bittersweet. i was pretty sad all day but love, love, love age 1 to about 16 mos. it's just the sweetest. we celebrated baby peter at the lake with family and a few close friends. happy, isabel and caroline made his cake and he seemed to enjoy it. a little less enthusiastic than his brothers since he's already been exposed to lollipops, juice, cookies...whatever they are having. i was suspicious that he had another ear infection because he wasn't sleeping great and kept pulling on it. sure enough this was confirmed at his one year checkup. this last year has been an exhausting, thrilling, and most of all happy whirlwind, and i can't imagine life without baby peter. he's going to give milam a run for his money. he's always trying to tell us something and has words for "kitty, go OUT, banana (i'm sure no one else could ever make this one out), uh oh, hi, read, open, and bye bye". He seems really nimble to me, and is a climber...wants to be up on everything. that little leg is always reaching for something to climb up. weirdest thing to me is that he's totally walking on his knees just like milam did. what in the world!?! He weighs 24.2 pounds (76%) and is 30.25 inches long (60%). this one will always be "the baby" and couldn't be loved more. my new computer isn't letting me drag pictures into the correct place, so these are all outta order. i finally got a new camera though so at least i took some!!

when i grow up...

on the way to school this morning milam said "mama, when i grow up i'm gonna be a teenager and drive a big monster truck with five wheels and breathe fire. did you know that teenagers breathe fire? that's what they do."

hmmm...i hope not.


little darlin....

here comes the sun! we have been spending every moment of this week outside. my boys are one thousand times happier and more manageable outside. they can run, bang, crash, roar, roll, shout, kick, throw & stomp their hearts out. life has been incredibly busy. our challenge of late is that peter wakes up at 5 or 5:30 (obviously not well rested) and cries and refuses to be put down until his morning nap. i have let him cry hoping so hard that he'll fall back asleep, but he never does. and the insanely loud shrieking wakes milam up, so i've got two up before 6 trying to get all the morning chores done with one hand. whew....not a pleasant start to the day. the other challenge is milam's attitude toward samuel. he's finally realized that samuel can and will fight back when he physically assaults him, so the assaults have turned into words. he says he hates him, doesn't love him, and aggressively shouts at him anytime samuel so much as looks at him. it's ridiculous. hoping we're getting through all the mean stages so that they can be friends or at least tolerate each other at some point.

milam continues to enjoy the routine, and companionship especially, of school and is thrilled to be doing soccer tots with some of his school friends. two kiddos moved in across the street and he begs me every second he's home to play with them. the little boy is 7, but they do great together. i mourned the beginning of his "boyhood" when he came home begging me for a batman lunchbox. he's soooo pround of it. samuel is still my sweet boy, and wants to be big like milam so bad. every night after milam went to bed, he would beg to put on the light up monster truck shoes. i finally broke down and got the firetruck version for him at his last haircut. we enjoy little gym and errand running together while milam is at school. peter is changing so much every day. he's trying really hard to talk and has "mama, dada and uh-oh" down pat. he gets frustrated very easily and is very vocal. wasn't sure there was room in the family for another vocal, stubborn, head strong boy but we've got one! he's learned how to clap, show us how big he is by holding his arms in the air, give kisses on command (my personal favorite), and is trying hard to walk.