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?!?