Thursday, June 25, 2015

18 Months Old!


Yes, thats right.  Ellie has reached 18 months!  With this age we have a walking, talking toddler that keeps herself busy!  Ellie is really starting to show us who she is...a spunky little mess with a sweet personality.  She loves to get right in the middle of whatever her brother and sister are doing and is learning how to stand up for herself.  If somebody takes away a toy or keeps her from doing something she wants to do, she lets you know right away how she feels about it!  Overall though she is still the happiest little thing and still so easy to be around.  (Occasionally the approaching "terrible twos" rears its head, but mostly she's just so good!)  We all just love our little Ellie Boo!

At 18 months, Ellie:
  • Weighed in at 21.8 lbs and is 30.75 inches long.  We have quite the sweet little peanut! We had a happy visit with the doctor...no shots and no crying!
  • Is my little sleeper!  We are on a very consistent sleep routine, which is indescribably awesome.  She goes to bed around 8 p.m. every night without any fanfare and wakes up in the morning around 7 or 7:30 a.m.  She is down to one nap in the afternoon that usually lasts around two  hours though sometimes longer.
  • Is apparently going to follow her brother and sister into the realm of picky eating.  (Grrrr)  She likes what she likes and will completely ignore any new food on her tray that she either doesn't recognize or doesn't like. (I guess that is an improvement from throwing the offending food on the floor.)  Mama continues the fight to find nutritious things for her to eat.
  • Loves music!  If we turn the radio up she will stop what she's doing to hear or break out into a little dance.  She is always very interested if any of us sing and recently she has really gotten into "Head, shoulders, knees, and toes."
  • Has a growing vocabulary.  She speaks in what sounds like sentences but we can't really understand her a lot of the time.  Words that stand out include ball, bubba (cooper), mama, dada, whos (shoes), suse me (excuse me), pease (please), uh-oh, something that sounds like "violet" (the dog), co-co (popcorn), chu-chu (chickens), bah (bath) and bye bye!
  • Loves books!  Many times during the day I can find Ellie curled up in the chair in her room looking through one of her books all by herself.  Of course she loves it when Mama or Penny sit and read books with her.  
  • Is a a little water baby!  Ellie loves to play in the bath with her sister and has just figured out how to sort of move around the pool when she is wearing her float suit.  Yesterday she even managed to climb into one of the big kids big floats and motor around the pool a little.  
  • Loves my phone!  If she manages to get a hold of it, (like digging it of my purse when I don't notice) she will forcefully put it in my hand and say  "Uh!"  Like, Mom, I want my "where's the water" game! Sometimes (read rarely) she will settle for her play phone.  
Ready for bed and reading with Penny.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day in Houston

The summer fun continues!  This weekend we traveled to Houston so we could visit Nonnie and Mama could attend a cousin's baby shower.  We had such fun just hanging around with family and relaxing.  We made sure to show our appreciation for our Daddy for Father's Day, and spent a little bit of time at Nonnie's neighborhood park.  Life is so fun when we get to be with these cute, crazy kids!

Sisters having fun together.
These two minions...
And this face!
Cooper...always having fun!
Super Cooper!
This little sweetie pie had big fun!
Ellie...big enough to do the slide by herself!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Canyon Lake Weekend

Over the past weekend we got to spend some time with friends at Canyon Lake.  After all the Memorial Day weekend rains the lake was really up and we wanted to take advantage.  We just don't seem to get to the lake house as often as we'd like anymore so it was a real treat to spend the weekend AND utilize the lake.  The kids (and adults) fell right into the rhythm of playing with their old friends and we all had a blast.  A few pictures:

The boys contemplate the lake...rather they tried to be patient for the adults to give the go-ahead.
Ellie!  Ready for  her first real lake experience. 
The kids LOVED the peddle boat Daddy insisted on bringing.  We were impressed on how well they managed it all by themselves.
What can I say, Cooper is a natural!
The big wow for us for the weekend was Penny!  She LOVED the lake swimming and kayaking!  We were thrilled at how much of a trooper she was.
Talk about troopers!  Such a little lake baby!

Monday, June 8, 2015

School Year Parting Shots


Penny and Daddy after her end of year performance at preschool.
Penny during the performance...Who's in charge here?
My little school year buddy.  Ellie is glad to have her big brother and sister home!
Mama got to go on Cooper's end of year field trip to the San Antonio zoo with him! 
Over the moon because he got to ride the Brackenridge Park train!
Summer fun posts coming up next!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Summer is Here!

Another school year has blown by!  After what seemed like a looooong May, the last day of school finally arrived!  We are so ready for summer we could hardly stand it!  Goodbye waking up to an alarm, homework, and keeping up with who needs what on which day!  (Can you tell Mama is excited for the loosening of the routine?)  On Wednesday, Penny's last day of school, we got to attend both Penny and Cooper's school performances.  Penny sang sweet songs with her classmates...it was so sweet that this mother got just a little choked up.  Later that day we got to watch Cooper perform a parody of "Summer Nights" which was hysterical.  Afterwards we got to back to his classroom so that he could read us the book that HE wrote about camels.  On Thursday, Cooper's last day of school, we got to pick him up early and we celebrated with Daddy by having lunch out!  All in all, it has been a great start to our favorite time of year!

Penny on the first day of Pre-K...our funny little spitfire!



Penny, on her last day of Pre-K!  She has grown up so much! Several months back we weren't sure about sending her to kindergarten.  It seems obvious now that this little lady is ready!
Cooper, on the first day of Kindergarten.
Cooper on the last day of Kindergarten!  It's hard to swallow that we now have a 1st grader!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day Weekend 2015

Ma-mas and Ellie relax on the front porch.
There is nothing like a typical busy weekend with family capped with a holiday to make a Mom feel special, appreciated, grateful and loved.  Our posse of five hung out together all weekend, doing what we do.  Friday we relaxed, Saturday we had soccer games in the morning, a friend's birthday party in the afternoon, and a visit from Ma-Mas and Pa-Pa in the evening.  On Sunday, Mother's Day was marked by farm fresh eggs for breakfast (cooked by Daddy), honey in my coffee, gifts and cards, and a long dip in the pool.   All this mama could have wanted!
This sweet guy.  
A little grumpy, but a still a lot cute.
Cards from the kids...made my day!
Cooper decorated a cake at school for me!  He couldn't wait for Sunday so we cut into it on Friday night.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Adventures in Chickening

Elsa (the rooster), Peck,  Zoe, and Cocoa.
The last week has unfolded a noteworthy chicken event around here.  About a week ago, Daddy went to put the chickens up for the evening and found our first two eggs!  Through the week we found three more eggs in the coop, though two were broken.  (Amateurs!)  On Friday, our friend's son found a cracked egg on the porch of the playhouse.  This led me to believe that their had to be more eggs!  As our girls are free range, we had to do a thorough yard search to see if we could find more eggs.   This morning...Eureka!  We found a clutch of ELEVEN eggs!  So exciting!  Though not exciting for the chickens...they will now spend the next week confined to their coop and run so that they learn to lay IN THE NESTING BOXES!
The hidden cache.
Our very first eggs.
Zoe and Cocoa take a dirt bath.
Peanut, Maia, and Cocoa look for the hole big enough to fit through the pool fence.  They like the spilled seed from our bird feeder in there.  Poor Peanut is too fat (or too dumb) to fit through and has to look on longingly while the other girls enjoy the spoils.
This guy, though very handsome, is noisy!  He loves to cock-a-doodle at random times of day.  He does seem to keep the flock in line and protect them so I guess we'll keep him for now.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Violet Sparkle


For the last two weeks we have been enjoying a new family member...our new puppy Violet!  After we lost Ralph last year our remaining dog Brewster has been lonely and sad.  He needed a friend!  So even though our home life is FULL, we took the plunge and added just one more.  Penny was super excited, mostly because this one is a girl.  We let her name the puppy, and she decided on Violet Sparkle.  I think it fits...what do you think?  

Such a sweet girl!
Brewster is thrilled!  These two never seem to stop playing together!
Yes, this puppy is like most puppies...she's a stinker!  I admit we are maxed out with three kids, a dog, a house-training puppy, and chickens, but the time will fly as it always does...

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter at the Ranch 2015


Happy Easter!  This year we continued what has seemingly become a tradition.  We spent Easter at the ranch!  Ma-Mas invited her family to spend the holiday with us, so we got to spend time with many aunts, uncles, and cousins!  The weather was a little soggy and humid but it didn't dampen our fun!  Since so many people joined us this year, our party of five opted to camp out which worked out great and was super fun for the kids.  We spent the weekend visiting with family, taking walks around the ranch, enjoying the wildflowers, and getting dirty.  We colored eggs on Saturday night and the kids had a blast hunting eggs on Sunday morning.  Such a fun weekend!
I wanted to do the cliche mom thing and get an Easter picture in the wildflowers...this was our best one.  
Ellie was sooo not into the photo shoot, and the other two were intent on being goofballs.
One I managed when they didn't know I was still taking pictures...
Doing what he does best at the ranch...having fun and getting dirty.
Ellie's second Easter, but the first one where she could participate!  She liked finding eggs!
Checking out big sister's basket...
Happy, dirty, egg-finding princess.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Life on the Farm

Somebody besides the kids have been enjoying the playhouse...
Thankfully Spring is here and we have been spending some time outdoors!  We don't live on an actual working farm, but it is starting to feel like a funny farm for sure!  We spend a lot of time enjoying our little plot of land with yard work,  rock-moving, cactus-killing, chicken care, gardening, and just plain playing and running around.  With three kids, NINE chickens and a dog we stay pretty occupied and entertained!  We couldn't have anticipated the dimension that "farm life" has added to our lives, but add it has.  I couldn't help but want to document some of the scenes we've had before us in the last week or so.

Ellie has discovered her love for the outdoors...and the indoors of the playhouse.
Penny likes that the chickens are all girls...
Except SOMEBODY has been cock-a-doodle-dooing...
We recently had a chicken run off and we couldn't get her in the coop for the night.  The next morning, I went out early to let the chickens out, hoping it would lure the missing chicken back.  Elsa, whom we THOUGHT was a hen, started calling for the missing chicken, hence I heard the first "cock-a-doodle-doo", confirming our suspicions of a rooster in our mix. (The missing chicken, Peck, came back by the way.)
I am not much of a gardener but it's on my list to change that!  We finally got our vegetable garden in last weekend so we'll see how I do.  (Luckily the hubs is a little better at it than I.)  Since I can grow almost nothing, I couldn't help but be proud of these green onions I grew over the winter.  Seriously, who knew they would do that???
The babies of the family...Emily, Apple, and Peppa Princess
Baby meets baby.
Coop in the coop.  We love watching him love the chickens!