Friday, April 21, 2017

Hoppy Easter!

Easter was kind of emotional this year because it was officially Lincoln's last first holiday. But it made up for it in fun!

Porter woke up super early and woke Paxton up and convinced him to join him in the living room to peek at their baskets. We woke up to Porter next to the bed asking us to open the toy the Easter bunny brought that was kind of a disappointment but we rallied.

Each boy got a book, a t-shirt and a toy.

Lincoln liked putting stuff in his basket and then getting it out.

The boys hunted eggs in the back yard and then we had cinnamon rolls and watched Peter Cottontail before getting fancy.

We went to Papaw's house for lunch with Granny V and Papa and Aunt Madi. We kept it simple with fried chicken and sides.

And a cupcake.

Then the boys got their Easter baskets from Granny V and went in the back yard to hunt more eggs.

After lunch, we went home for a quick nap and then headed to Aunt Teighynne and Aunt Mal's house for dinner with my family. We cooked out hot dogs and the kids actually played together without making a giant mess!

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Last Day With My Last Baby

I've been dreading this day for two solid weeks now and it's last day with a baby. Tomorrow this sweet little guy turns one and I'm not ready!

I've had two other babies turn one and I know that tomorrow nothing will be different. He'll be the tiniest fraction of a centimeter taller and weigh a quarter of an ounce more, but he will feel the same. He won't suddenly learn new skills or speak in sentences, but I will know that according to all sources, he's a toddler. And I'm not ready.

But ready or not, this soft and sweet bundle of snuggles will wake up tomorrow and he will be bigger and I can't stop it. They say parenting is learning to let go and I am resisting. This is what I have always wanted, a house full of babies and toddlers and tiny kids and I have it. I can't imagine anything sweeter. They always want to snuggle, they smell so good, they don't love anybody like they love their mama. So today I'll be snuggling him. I gave him an extra bath after lunch so he would smell extra good and his hair is extra fluffy. We went to Target and the P's each picked him out a present and we laughed because he watched them pick each thing out and had no idea what they were for. Next year he'll know.

This next year will be fun. He'll learn to walk, his speech will take off, he'll figure out how to play at the park and decide which foods are his favorite. He'll even have some time as an only child while the P's are both at school. I will do my best to be mindful every day about how these moments are fleeting and if time could slow down a little, that would be great.

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Paxton is Six!

Six years ago my life changed. My precious, squishy baby was placed on my chest and immediately stopped crying and looked at me. Ever since then, we've been learning together. He teaches me patience, he showed me unconditional love and in return I teach him addition and that fart jokes are best left at home.

He makes me so proud! He is such a smart little boy. I was so impressed when he learned to read last summer and a week later he was reading entire books on his own and could spell any word you threw at him. He's so sweet. He doesn't like anyone to be sad or have their feelings hurt. He's selfless like his daddy. He's witty and loves attention. He's snuggly on his terms. He craves routine but loves when we surprise him with a random "sick day" or breakfast for dinner. He loves to write sweet notes and draw pictures for people. Skinny jeans and Legos are his favorite things and he absolutely loves doing his homework. He's a little perfectionist and gets frustrated if he can't do things the exact way he wants to. He asked to play soccer and plays with a great attitude but is a little lacking in the aggressive department.

He woke up on the morning of his 6th birthday to the traditional room filled with balloons. He couldn't wait til afternoon to open his presents so he opened them before school and left me with strict instructions to build his Playmobil ambulance before he got home from school. Jared stopped and got donuts for his class on the way to school and he was so excited to share them with everyone. When Jared dropped them off, his teacher told him that there was another little boy in his class, Jabari, that had the same birthday and they were going around telling everyone they were twins.

We asked him if he wanted to get picked up for lunch or if he wanted us to just bring him something. He said he didn't want to miss recess so Porter and Lincoln and I dropped him off a Chick-fil-a kid's meal.

We picked him up from school and he requested to go straight home to play. He was glad to see his ambulance was ready for him.

For his birthday dinner, he picked Arby's. Then we came home and he blew out the candles on his brownie after we sang happy birthday.

Saturday afternoon was his party! He requested a Toy Story theme and we made it happen.

He had the best time with his friends and cousins and loved being the center of attention.

After the party, a big water balloon broke out and everyone was wet!

Then he came home to play with his new presents!

I can't believe he's SIX!

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Christmas 2016!

What a magical Christmas!

We started a few days early with Christmas at Granny V's house. The boys decided last year that it was now officially Christmas tradition that we wear pajamas to Christmas at her house, even though it starts at 5:00, so that's what we do!

This year, we took a break from cooking and just ordered a ton of Mexican food. It was perfect. Everyone was happy. After we ate, the boys helped pass out presents and insisted on opening theirs first. Since this was our first celebration of the year, we were anxious to see how they would react to the clothes. They were so excited! They loved every single present and it showed! Raising grateful boys is important to me so that was my favorite part.

A few days later, it was finally Christmas Eve! We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and the boys put on their matching reindeer shirts. These were my favorites and I'm going to miss them!

Then we loaded up and headed to Grandpa Mark's house. Stephanie had made a few German dishes and they also had turkey and ham and all the traditional holiday foods. The boys struggled to make it through eating without starting on their giant piles of gifts but they fought through it.

Lincoln and Georgia just hung out on the floor together stealing each other's toys.

It was finally time to open!

After they opened, the boys had to go outside and fly their remote controlled helicopter from Uncle Mason. They crashed it about 524 times before the battery finally died. We ran a few last minute errands for Christmas morning and then headed home to try to let Porter take a little nap.

Then it was time for Papaw's house! Eileen's cookies were the hit of the night for the boys.

We played Dirty Santa with gift cards. From the beginning, Pax had his eye on a big snowman box. Aunt Jojo whispered to him that he shouldn't get that one, she had intended for it to go to Papa but Paxton was relentless. He went and grabbed the box, hoping for a Braum's gift card and opened...a John Wayne cookbook. We held our breaths and waited for his reaction. "Is this a cowboy cooking book?" he asked, expressionless. "Ummm...yes" I told him. "Woooooow! Cool!" he exclaimed and started thumbing through it. We all sighed in relief. He was seriously so excited about it and told everyone what he had ended up with. Even when Porter got a Chick-Fil-A card, he still maintained his pleasure....

Porter was carrying around a bag of chips the whole night. Eventually, little boys started getting sleepy and it was time to come home and get ready for bed. We put on Christmas jammies and put out cookies and milk for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer. I think this was the first year we actually put out cookies because we're usually all so tired from Papaw's that we just rush through bedtime. But I liked the more intentional tradition of putting the cookies and milk out and I would like to add reading the Night Before Christmas next year too. We put the big boys to bed and got settled in with It's A Wonderful Life just like we do every year and I got busy assembling and stuffing stockings. Paxton asked Santa for a Playmobil school and Porter asked for the Playmobil playground and a new toy cell phone and that's what they got!

Christmas morning started early with one excited five-year-old who couldn't wait for his little brother to wake up on his own. They raced into the living room to see what Santa left and immediately started playing before they even opened their stockings.

Again, they were so excited about even the tiniest little things in their stockings and it was so precious.

Lincoln loved his toy from Santa but his new sippy cup was his favorite.

Once everything was opened and assembled, we had to get busy cleaning up for my family to come over. The house filled up fast with kids and aunts and more presents and food. We let the kids open their presents first so they could take naps while the grown-ups opened theirs. Lincoln, in Hulsey family tradition, got his Cabbage Patch doll and immediately leaned in for an eye gouge. The kids were all so cute and excited and everyone picked out perfect gifts! After they finished opening, we started eating.

The kids went down for naps and the grown-ups opened presents. When the kids woke up, we all ate some more, played with new toys, played video games together and stayed in jammies all day. It was perfect!

It was my favorite Christmas so far. It just felt so cozy to be in our new house with our completed family. And it's so fun to watch the families grow every year! The boys have 4 new cousins this year which makes things so much more fun!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

November in Review

Let's pretend it's the beginning of December and it makes sense to be posting about things that happened 3 months ago.

Paxton's class had 50s day complete with a Sock Hop. He was made for that decade.

He and Jared also got to go on a weekend camp out with Cub Scouts. They had a total blast and came home with way too many stories about spider hunts and animal poop.

These two paci-lovers and I stayed home and got lots of snuggles. Porter was sad that he didn't get to go camping so I tried to pack his weekend with fun things to keep him distracted from what he was missing.

We ate breakfast at Corner Bakery, he got a haircut and we visited Gramsy. We went to Chuck E Cheese and had pizza night with Teighynne and Mallory and the kids. He said he had as much fun as Paxton had.

Playing in the rain in pajamas is one of Porter's favorite things. He will change out of his clothes, put on boots and take his umbrella outside to splash in puddles. It's pretty cute.

Porter, Lincoln, Brooks and I all stood in our two-hour voting line to vote. Porter told everyone in line around us that one of the candidates was a bummer which was a little awkward. As we were watching the coverage, I realized that the last time we had done this, we had one little toddler and had to take a comparison picture. We talked about how the next election they will be 9, 7 and 4 and I almost cried. It goes so fast!

I got to go to Paxton's friendship feast at school and it was adorable. He asked to take a picture with his friend.

Jared surprised him at lunch at school for the Thanksgiving feast and they ate together.

Since their little tree lights from last year didn't work anymore, the P's got to pick out new lights for their trees. Paxton picked out blue and white LED lights and they were so bright that it looked like afternoon at all times.

Porter picked out multi-colored lights and considered his decorations to be new toys and broke about half of them.

We got a new fake tree this year since I was tired of sweeping up needles and Jared was tired of worrying about the tree dying before Christmas. Jared built a fire, we turned on Home Alone and all decorated it together.

Ryan and Tabatha came to town and we got to go to dinner downtown and then to see Transiberian Orchestra with them. Our seats were awesome and it was a fun night!

We went to the Omniplex with the cousins and saw the big tree they had.

And just like that, it was Thanksgiving! We started the morning with the parade and cinnamon rolls like every year.

Our first stop was Papaw's house with Jared's family. It was such a nice day, the boys spent most of it playing outside with their cousins!

Then it was time for Christmas at Gramsy's. It was really neat this year that there was a full kid's table.

After we ate, the kids all opened their first present of Christmas from Gramsy: matching Christmas jammies, a Christmas movie and hot chocolate! They all quickly changed into their jammies and headed off to play.

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