Monday, July 21, 2014

Motivate Me Monday! It's our Anniversary!

Summer fun from the past few weeks~
first row: SJ silly at the dentist, watching movie at the dentist, our fav shaved ice spot, girls in their new swimsuits, and MC with half a cake on her half bday
2nd row: pretty baby, calabaza con pollo, ruffle bum, big head nursing, T chasing me while jogging
3rd row: MC holding baby while I jog, MC's jam berry nails, SJ holding K, me with all the crazies on the couch one afternoon, rainbow while jogging
4th row: sunset while jogging, beach day with daddy, big sis lil sis, K in Bumbo, and T and K in the stroller while I jog
5th row: girls at day 2 of regional swim meet, K and T playing in the boys' room, beach day with friends, putting my feet up at swim practice, and girls in the backyard pool

A new week begins!  This will be another challenging one, with Daddy possibly gone for most of it.  But I have a reward at the end with my mom's conference this weekend!  I've done my exercise today, and Katie is behaving herself so far.  We are off to a good start!  Here are some goals for my week...

~Complete my orders of homeschool materials.
~Mail check for girls' club
~Bills from K's birth
~Dentist-decisions about kids, make cleaning appt for myself
~Packing for Edel, clothes for me and for K, buy makeup and dress
~Exercise 3 more days
~Jamberry nail time
~Start some organizing/packing
~Buy some more storage bins for K's keepsakes and clothes
~Post this blog entry before someone erases it!

And a little note to share that we are celebrating 13 years of marriage today!  We won't be able to celebrate together, so last night we had a family dinner at BJ's Restaurant.  It included a chaotic car ride, kids jumping on benches and climbing windows, crawling under tables, biting siblings, throwing spit-wads, shaking wet straws, whining, my "quick" run into HEB that ended in pandemonium, and just an overall reminder of how crazy and fun this life is with all these little people.  I'm so proud of my husband and our little family (except dinner behavior), and am very grateful for 13 years of blessings!

Bitty Blue Eyes, Colic Queen

Katie Grace is five months old!  It's hard to believe that this much time has already gone by.  She will be eating foods, sitting up, and even crawling around before we know it!  Those beautiful blue eyes attract so many people.  Everywhere I go, strangers stop me to tell me how beautiful she is, especially her eyes.  Today I was in Target with all three girls, and the lady in line in front of me was just gushing about my three girls.  They really are beautiful, inside (most importantly) and out.

Katie usually gives a good performance when we're outside of the house.  But if we are at home or the car, she often gives us a little taste of what we've missed with our other four children...colic!  This poor baby is not sleeping well and is very fussy especially in the evenings.  I talked to the pediatrician about it, and we're trying some medicine, but I think she just has a much more sensitive tummy than the other kids.  Hopefully it's just a phase, but it's still so hard to see your baby hurting, and the lack of sleep is getting to Steven and me too.

This weekend, Katie and I will have our first weekend "alone" with 150 other ladies (and some babies) at a mom's conference.  I've been looking forward to it for many months, and I know after this challenging summer I am ready for a break for some mom time with lots of friends!  Only now I'm worried about how Katie will do in the car and at the hotel.  I hope I can still enjoy myself and her tummy troubles settle down a little bit.

But enough of her fussiness, she is doing new things every day!  She loves her exersaucer and the Bumbo seat (for about 5-10 minutes).  She is starting to grab toys and put them in her mouth.  She loves the bathtub and would stay in there all day.  She enjoys staring at water bottles while you shake them, and they have saved us during a few crazy car rides!  She has been riding in the jogging stroller a few times a week while I do my jog/walk.  She will tolerate the swing if she's already asleep, and sometimes will get a good nap there.  She's almost always happy in the Moby wrap or Ergo carrier.  She loves her Soothie pacifier, and sleeps the best when she's wrapped up in a swaddle blanket.  I'm pretty sure she could roll over, but she screams when we put her on the floor, so that doesn't happen too much!  I can't wait to see what the next few months bring as we reach her half-birthday and other fun milestones.  We love you, Katherine Maria Grace!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Rockport Art Gallery, Science Center, and Beach Park with Friends, July 2014

We haven't had many visitors this summer, so we were excited when some Houston friends decided to come for a night!  We ate BBQ and hung around the house, with kids making s'mores around the fire pit on Monday night, and then on Tuesday we headed to Rockport for some beach fun!

We were hoping to visit the free aquarium, but I didn't realize it was closed on Tuesdays.  The free science center opened at 1pm, so we went over to the art gallery first.

While we waited a bit for the science center movie, we had a picnic lunch next door by the bay.  The boys were just a little wound up.   My friend has four boys and one girl, and they all had a great time!

These next two were taken by my friend...typical Steven Joseph.  I had just told him to stop climbing.

Nine kids and two moms rocked the art gallery, science center, and the beach.  Supermoms!

Sweet girls

Science Center

They project a movie onto a huge sphere hanging from the ceiling.  It's pretty cool.  The one we saw was about planets.

Onto the beach...
Miss Colic Queen is just not crazy about our outdoor activities this summer!

But the rest of the kids had a great time!

We will definitely miss living so close to the beach.  Hope more friends and family come to see us before we move (hint hint)!  And anyone interested in a fun vacation spot in south Texas, check out the quaint little fishing town of Rockport.  We love it!  Thanks for coming to see us, F Family!  We had a great time.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Regional Swim Meet

Not much to say; I've been pretty quiet here this month.  We've mostly just been doing swim team and hanging out at home!  A pretty boring summer, but I'm sure I'll be longing for the simplicity in a few months when we're back to our busy life again.  Maybe.  We did have the beach outing last week and overnight guests and a beach trip this week, which was lots of fun!

The kids are swimming hard at practice each morning and improving their times at the meets.  The Regional meet was this past weekend and then they have City next weekend, which is the end of the season for my crew who won't be going to State.  We're proud of our swimmers and glad for the lessons and strength they've gained while working hard this summer!

Steven Joseph swam the backstroke for the first time and did AMAZING!

The only shot I got of Ellie, because I missed her first event.  She swam very well, too.

The little ones are just too cute ready to "dive" in.  He had a little incident before this event, which we may or may not want to remember.  It involved another boy in line getting pushed into the pool.  I'll leave it at that!

Love his "dives!"

Look at that awesome freestyle breathing!

Mary Clare ready for backstroke



Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Breather at the Beach

Steven and I both started feeling like we needed a vacation around late April!  We keep trying to plan a few days away, but it just hasn't seemed to fall into place.  Our half-week vacation for a Catholic conference at a resort hotel won't be taking place until late August, so we've got a little while to wait.  It's more of a mental break that we all need.  I think we're emotionally exhausted from the events of this year with the baby's arrival and the temporary move for that, and then some new job duties and more travel for Steven, plus trying to plan our upcoming move.  Not to mention he moved his entire office and warehouse to a new location this spring too.

Normally we visit the beach a few times a month during the summer, but this year we've been busy with swim team, lots of traveling for Steven, and the beach has been covered in seaweed too.  But we finally just decided to make a day trip to Padre Island National Seashore on Friday, for a quiet family day.  It was definitely what we needed; a little "breather at the beach!"

The weather was great, overcast with the usual breeze, and the water was cool but warm enough for the kids to enjoy swimming.  After swim practice and a work meeting Friday morning, I was off to HEB for special beach food, and then we were on the road by about 10am.  We were at the beach from about 11am-6pm!  A full day!  They fished, swam, Mary Clare and I read books, played on boogie boards, and searched for shells.  Here are some photos of the day in all its gloriousness...

Mary Clare was tired of swimming after a morning of swim practice, and wasn't happy about going to a beach without showers, so she enjoyed a good book instead.  

Caught this just as the seagull was flying over

Trying to keep Katie happy and out of the sun was a hard job!  I forgot her sun hat, so we ended up putting up the shade tent later on when the sun started peeking through.

Happy with his seaweed catch! 

Katie in the Bumbo seat on the beach.  A new experience!

Tommy wanted to fish all day and would whine whenever Daddy would declare a break.

First dip of her toes in the water that day.

Reeling in a big one!  

They each caught some catfish.

We took off baby's sandy swimsuit and she had a little accident on Daddy!

Little stinker!  (It was just a wet accident though, this girl only does the other business once a week!)

Got the camera settings wrong here, but I liked this of Steven talking to Daddy after he'd just dipped the baby in the water to clean her off.

 We decided to take a drive to some different areas of the park.  Here we spotted a coyote up on the dune!

And this was over near the bay side of the island.

We drove down past mile 15 (almost an hour driving down the beach, this is the only place in America with this much "wild" beach!)

We got close to the "little shell" area, and stopped to search for shells and let Daddy fish some more.

Tommy was asleep in the car.

Always following after his daddy! 

Here's what the sand (and seaweed) is like in this area.

And we finish off with Ellie, my always-willing model :)

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