Friday, August 30, 2013

Knox Turns ONE!

This little guy fills us with so much joy. I can't believe he is one. This first year has gone by the fastest between the 3 kids. I guess time keeps speeding up. 3rd time around, however, I have realized how each moment is so fleeting, and I've really focused on soaking up every single moment of each of my kids' lives. They each bring me so much joy. I hate writing it out like that, because you see all moms say and write that all the time. But it is SO true. There is nothing more true, actually.

Knox V. 1.0:

-His sleeping habits aren't as fabulous and consistent as I'd prefer, but I love the moments in the middle of the night when he awakes. After his accident last year, I have never complained about waking up with my little man in the night. Those nighttime moments are sacred. I don't know how else to describe it. Nothing else matters in the middle of the night.

-He is SO affectionate. He hugs and kisses every chance he gets. He's a snuggler. If he's even remotely tired, a cuddle will put him to sleep. Along those lines, he is sensitive! A simple "no" puts the most pitiful frown on his face.

-He has very unique, sweet bonds with his siblings. Stone and Knox have a special brotherly love bond. Stone is his protector from anything and everything, and helps him all the time. He's great at keeping him company when I need a few minutes to do something. Emerson and Knox have a more playful/pesky bond at the moment. She likes to push his buttons, and he can give it back. However, they do play so well together. She pushes him in a big truck all over the house, and they build blocks together.

-His vocabulary is growing, and he understands SO much. He'll find something I ask him to get.

-He has such an appetite, but my little chubbers has lost his rolls and fat! Once he started crawling, and then walking, he goes goes goes, and those calories are quickly burned.

-He LOVES our dog. He feeds him from his high chair every meal. Our dog treats him VERY different from Stone and Emerson.

-I don't say this in hyperbole. He is the HAPPIEST baby. He RARELY fusses. If he has a full belly, he's the happiest baby. Though he's a snuggler, he is an explorer, and doesn't need to be next to me at all times.

-I can go on and on and on about this sweet kid. We love him SO much. ALL of us. He's the perfect addition to this family. Knox, WE LOVE YOU!

Here are some portraits from his 1st year photo shoot, followed by some candids from the shoot, an attempted "smash the cake" quick session, actual cake eating, and opening gifts:








They had a little fun while I was taking Knox's pictures:




We attempted a quick "smash the cake" session right before we actually did cake and gifts, but he just didn't quite get it. He was WAY more interested in the balloons.





















Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kindergarten!!

This big milestone always seemed so far in the distance. Somehow, my swaddled baby transformed into this awesome kid, and now, he sits in his Kindergarten class for the first day as I write this. You know your son is ready for Kindergarten, when he's running out the door with his backpack, dragging you out so he can be early on his first day.

Though I left with tears in my eyes, this kid is READY. I'm so excited for everything this school year has to offer to him. In addition to the academics, he has a new teacher and adult role model, new friends, flag football (practice starts today!), and memories he will cherish forever. This morning at breakfast, Cliff was telling Stone all about his first day of Kindergarten (Cliff and Stone both have incredible memories). I told Stone to soak it in, and try hard to always remember this day. It was a fabulous morning.


It started off with our family tradition of our special occasion breakfast--Eggs Benedict (but scrambled!). No shirt and shoes were required this morning... :) A few balloons greeted him at the table.


As I was finishing breakfast, I was the only one awake, and Stone came down with his shoes and socks, and said, "I tried to wake up as early as I could," and had a "let's do this!" attitude radiating, accompanied with a huge smile.

My eyes teared up when I left his campus, but it was so much easier letting him go, knowing he is READY. This kid loves making friends. He has comedic timing and can get a crowd laughing. He's on the verge of reading. He has a great vocabulary and told Cliff last night that he was speaking in hyperbole as Cliff exaggerated. Because he's ready, so am I. :)





This will also be an adjustment for Emerson. They are seriously best buds. From the time she started speaking, Stone has always been able to understand what she's saying before anyone else. They argue off and on all day, but are always running around together and playing. Stone gave her a big kiss on the cheek as we left his classroom this morning (no one prompted him to do so!). He also gave Cliff, Knox, and me big wet ones, as well.

And the one morning the baby decides to sleep in, is the morning we've got to get out the door earlier than usual! We woke him up just in time to leave.




Let's do a side by side of last year and this year:




Oh and one last pic. In prep for today, we got rid of his summer shag...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer Instagram Roundup.

There's been much more Instagram, and much less blogging this year. Here is a little roundup of fun summer happenings. We lived this summer up to its fullest potential. 

I teach at the gym just about every morning (Zumba, "Just Weights", Spin, Cardio Pump, etc.). After our little morning outing to the gym, we got in the habit of either swimming or going to the splash pad daily. Mixed in with our regular routine was trips to the library, trips to Dallas, El Paso, Austin, and Galveston, play dates with friends, Kid Station, birthdays, Air U, trampoline fun, plenty of popsicles, and of course a little lazy summer down time in there. 

Stone made a list of his favorite summer activities for our last week of summer, and we decided to go for an epic last week and relived our favorite summer activities. 

So here is a little recap in Instagram pics. 

My kids now know every inch of both splash pads we live near. Emerson got in the habit of wearing her precious swim cap every day. After her stitches earlier this summer, we tried our best to keep it covered up to help in the healing appearance. 

We made a trip to Dallas to go to the temple, and to hit Legoland. 
Talk about the Karaoke queen! We could not get this girl off the stage at Legoland. Song after song. Twirling, singing, the whole shebang. She has these waves of shyness and outgoingness. Never know which wave you'll catch, but either end of the spectrum, she is a joy. 
 I had a photo shoot in Austin on the weekend of the 4th of July, so we made it a family trip, and spent the 4th with my BFF, Shannon. We love her! She is the sister I never had, and now always will. She is the kind of friend where we know what each other is thinking, and we'll just say things out loud, knowing neither one of us will judge what the other is saying. We have a girls weekend for a retreat coming up in October, and I'm looking forward to it! Love you, Sha-nay-nay!

While in Austin, we hit Ikea, and sent Stone and Emerson off to the nursery. They had a blast, and it made Ikea a little less overwhelming. :)

 At the pool is a volleyball pit. Stone and Emerson often run through the sand, build sand castles, and in this case, play tug-o-war.

 The only way to survive an East Texas summer is with water. So if we are outside and not at the pool or splash pad, we are on the trampline with the sprinkler underneath. A summer hit, for sure!

We were lucky enough to have some summer company! Clay (Cliff's brother) and Andy came to visit us. We took them to the Boardwalk in Shreveport (yes, we live that close to the Louisiana border), swam, went to the splash pad, and just enjoyed their company!



If you just drop by my house, chances are my kids are either in their underwear or dress up/superhero clothes/costumes. And a different one on the hour. We asked Emerson to lead the music for our Family Home Evening, but before she did, she had to run up, put her costume on, and come back down, just to stand up on a stack of antique suit cases to lead the music. We love her.


These two little puppies love each other and get along quite well. Knox likes to sneak his food to the dog, and the dog loves to lick his lap and catch anything that has fallen from his tray. The dog treats this one differently than he does the older 2. 

The big East Texas balloon race is a hit every summer. We were out of town last summer, but made it this year, complete with a petting zoo.


The pool was our second home this summer. Stone continues to rock at his swimming skills (and would probably be an awesome competitive swimmer). Emerson got the hang of it this summer, and is the cutest little swimmer. Knox loved splashing when he wasn't sleeping.


Our next door neighbors got this fun toy, and invited us over to play one night...



Cliff had a conference at a resort in Galveston, so we tagged along and had a blast at Moody Gardens. My kids played in their little water park, and behaved exceptionally well. I was a little nervous to do it alone with all 3, but with help from up above, they were great.


 Of course we made it to the beach while there...

Now that summer is over, I really don't think we could have had any more fun. We lived it up, and I'm grateful for the memories we now have after a fun filled summer.