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Friday, September 30, 2011

Landon: 4 Months

Baby boy, you're getting some personality! You seem so laid back all the time (unless you're hungry), and you are just a happy little monkey!
  • You had your 4 month checkup at the doctor today, and you're the size of an average 9 month old! You're 27 inches long, weigh 20 lb 4 oz, and have a head circumference of 17.5 inches. Dr. T just kept talking about how healthy you are, and you're right on track developmentally. You even did better with your shots this time (and I managed to hold it together, too).
  • You're reaching for everything! Mostly you're obsessed with my hair, but you've started really playing with your toys now. You grab and shake them around, and you just smile every time you do.
  • You just love that sister of yours. Any time she's around, you watch her every move. I'll admit that she is pretty entertaining (and it's safe to say that she adores you, too!).
  • You're rolling over now! Well, kind of. You just roll from your back to your tummy, and you don't quite go all the way yet, but you half-roll often!
  • You love to take baths. You kick and splash the whole time you're in the water. 
  • You sit up pretty well. We don't have a Bumbo, but you do a pretty good job sitting when you're supported in our laps. I think we're gonna bust out the exersaucer soon. 
  • We're still working on a good naptime schedule. It's a little tricky to be home all day for you to get two solid naps (we're usually gone in the mornings), but you do pretty well napping on the go. You even fell asleep playing on your little activity mat. You were wide awake, but I laid you down to play when you started to get fussy, and you just crashed. I felt bad that I didn't notice that you had gotten so tired, but you looked super sweet sleeping in the middle of the floor.
  • You do still sleep well at night though! Tuesday night you went to bed at 7:30 and didn't wake up until 6:45 in the morning. I'd call that success. You do occasionally wake up to eat in the middle of the night, but you go right back to sleep. (And I actually enjoy the sleepy snuggle time.)
  • You are just a sweetheart. We still love those squishy cheeks and that precious smile, and we're so proud to call you ours
Love,

Mommy and Daddy

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Recap

{Friday}
Matt had early release for homecoming, so when he got home, I went up to the open soccer practice with (some of) my new team! We don't officially start until October 17, but we're allowed an informal practice on Fridays for an hour. Since the boys are still in season (and an old friend/classmate of mine is coaching them), we joined them for a full-field scrimmage. Let's just say that I'm still regretting my decision to play because my legs want to jump off of my body in rebellion. Ouch. Plus, I'm so out of shape that I was just embarrassingly slow, and my touch was atrocious. Oh well, I'm still really excited about this season.

On Friday night we went to the Ranger game!! My dad scored some good tickets from work, so they took us and we had so much fun! Duh, it's the Rangers. And we won!! Since we needed the Angels to lose in order to clinch the division, they told the fans that we could stay and watch their game on the big screen (since it was a two hour time difference). How cool is that?? We stayed for the fireworks, but there was no way Landon was gonna make it any longer, so we had to just listen to the Angels' defeat in the car. American League West champs, baby! And go figure that I forgot our camera.

{Saturday}
Matt had choir stuff in Coppell all day, so the kids and I went to my hometown's little "fair" thing. Then we went to play at my parents' house for a little while before heading home for naptime. Avery took a really long nap (we're talking almost 4 hours!) and Landon took a lot of shorter ones, so I had some nice down time and worked on the soccer calendar for this season.





Matt got home in time for some bubble fun outside before bedtime. The rest of the evening consisted of us singing while Matt played guitar. I also may have had a melt down over the cluttered state of our house. Don't worry, I slept it off. :-/




(I know this is a really unflattering picture of me, but I just love Landon's expression and his chubby little cheeks!)

{Sunday}
We had a great morning at church before going to my parents' for lunch. We decided to stay home from all extra church activities for the rest of the day because we have just been way too busy on Sundays. 

What a stud!


I did go with my neighbors Dave and Brooke to visit our other neighbors Cody and Whitney at the hospital with their brand spankin' new little boy, Heston. He's just precious! Landon looks like a giant next to him now, but I have a feeling they'll be causing neighborhood mischief together before long. We have the best neighbors!



Landon and I even tried out a different grocery store on our way home, and I'm still enjoying doing the grocery shopping on Sunday nights instead of Monday mornings.

It took Landon forever to finally stay asleep. He was probably upset because we found out that the Rangers tickets we finally ended up just giving away got upgraded to an all-you-can-eat suite. Go figure. But after Landon was down for the night, Matt and I dug into some ice cream and watched Friday Night Lights. Gosh, I love that show.

It was kind of a weird weekend, but today was a good Monday, so I can't complain. Have a great week!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Homemade Detergents

I've been intrigued by detergent recipes for the past year (both laundry and dishwasher), but they just intimidated me so much that I never had the nerve to try them.

And then we ran out of money.

Yes, that's my inner drama queen speaking since we're not really out of money (per se), but babies and toddlers (and husbands for that matter) create a lot of laundry and dirty dishes. The store-bought stuff is just plain expensive, so I just sucked up my fear and decided to try to make my own laundry soap and dish detergent.

Go big or go home, right?

I picked a couple tutorials from Pinterest and sent Matt to Walmart for supplies. Just for the record, I hate Walmart.

All of the needed supplies for both detergents totaled $14.85, and we hardly put a dent in most of it! (All we'll need to buy again when we run out of detergent is the Fels Naptha soap for the laundry and the citric acid for the dishes.)

This isn't an official tutorial, but I figured I could at least list the instructions on here so you don't have to go back to their original sources.

Avery is at the age that she wants her hands in everything I'm doing, so of course she had to help! It took us about an hour to make both detergents with her help, but she had a blast!


(Matt called while we were grating, and she was so into helping that she wouldn't even stop what she was doing to talk on the phone. She's already a little multi-tasker.)
 {LAUNDRY SOAP}

I used this blog tutorial, and it was so easy. I'm a little annoyed with how intimidated I was because it was a piece of cake. If you click on the link, you can take a look at her step-by-step pictures, but sometimes it's just easier to see it all written together.

You'll Need:
1 bar Fels-Naptha bar soap
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1/4 cup Baking Soda
 
1. Finely grate the entire Fels-Naptha bar soap.  I grated mine first using a hand grater, then put it in a food processor to finish it off. I didn't grate it as finely as I should've, so make sure you keep it in your processor for long enough.
2. Add 1 cup Borax.
3. Add 1 cup washing soda.
4. Add 1/4 cup baking soda.
5. Stir well.
6. Place in an airtight container.  Use 2 tablespoons per regular load of laundry.

See how easy that was?!? We've been using our new laundry soap for a couple weeks now, and our clothes look and smell so clean! I really can't tell a difference from the store bought stuff.

{DISH DETERGENT}

The tutorial I used for this one was really simple, too.

You'll Need:
1 cup Borax
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup citric acid*

*Theoretically you can find straight up citric acid in the vitamin section of your store, but Matt said he couldn't find any at Walmart. Stupid Walmart. So as a substitution, you can use either "Fresh Fruit" from the canning aisle or 15 packets of lemon Kool-aid. We used store brand Kool-aid packets.

1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Place in an airtight container. Use 1 tablespoon per load.
3. We've also been putting white vinegar in the rinse aid holder of the dishwasher.

We've actually been looking at new dishwashers for awhile now because our dishes just hadn't been coming out clean for the past year. Matt tried all sorts of dishwasher cleaning tricks, and I tried multiple brands and types of detergent, but nothing helped so we assumed our dishwasher was just crappy. The first load we ran with this stuff turned out spotless. So did the second and third and fourth, and well, you get it. I highly recommend giving it a try. It doesn't look like it makes all the much, but when you only use a tablespoon per load, this stuff will last you forever.

And there you have it, folks! It's gotta be the easiest way I know of to save a few bucks around the house, AND you'll know exactly what's going on your dishes and clothes. Try it!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Selah!

I mentioned on Friday that we were going to the Selah concert on Saturday, so I thought it'd be nice to post a little follow-up to that thought.

We were given tickets by an anonymous awesome person, and they even arranged for a couple of high school girls from church to babysit for us. I was a little hesitant about leaving Landon because his bottle acceptance level is hit or miss, but we went with it since the concert was less than 10 minutes away from our house.


Poor kid refused to take a bottle and apparently screamed for like 45 minutes while the girls called everybody they could think of for advice on how to calm an inconsolable infant. They finally gave in and called me during intermission, so I raced home, fed my sweet boy, got him to sleep, and made it back to the concert, only missing two songs. I'm glad Landon loves me and all, but this is uncharted territory for me because Avery was so flexible between bottle and boobies. Oh well, anything for my little man. :)

Okay, so the concert.

Shoot, y'all. Selah is amazing.

I've already said how much I'm not a fan of most Christian artists, so these guys (and girl!) are just a breath of fresh air.

They take music seriously and are great performers, which I so appreciate. But what I appreciate even more is that they're just real. Their last album was pretty intense because they were all in figuratively dark places (it's a great album, by the way; just be prepared to cry a lot when you listen to it), but this one's a lot more hopeful (hence the title, Hope of a Broken World). Anyway, a large chunk of their concert is them talking about their songs and sharing their testimonies, and the concert was more like an intimate worship experience. Okay, so that sounds a little cheesy, but I can't think of a better way to say it.

I even caved and bought the new CD afterward (vs. just ordering it on Amazon) so I could get it autographed. I'm such a dork.

After waiting in line to get it signed, I finally got up to the table, shook Todd Smith's hand, and said, "I don't know what to say to you."

Seriously?!?! Of all the witty things I could've spewed out or the thought-provoking questions I could've asked during our minute-long interaction, I come up with, "I don't know what to say to you."

This is why I should not meet famous people.

I did end up chatting with the chick singer, who I kind of hate because her belting range is ridiculous and I want to pull a Little Mermaid and steal her voice. She was so sweet that I almost felt better about my ridiculous excuse of a conversation starter. Almost.


After the concert we went to Denny's for dessert with my parents, Mike and Darla, and Ral, Sam, and Maddie. Yes, Denny's. We live in a small town. There aren't many options.

Mike and Darla (aka Kendra's parents)-- love them!

Sam and Maddie-- love them, too!

Oh, Matt and Ral. These two are ridiculous together.

The parentals. Aren't they cute??

It was so weird to be out past 10 (gosh, how lame are we now?!?), but we stopped at Sonic on our way home to get some drinks for our awesome babysitters (they did have to listen to Landon scream for almost an hour, after all) and then ended up chatting with the two giggly girls until like 12:45. In the morning. We were living on the edge.

So to sum up our evening, I discovered that my boobies are irreplaceable and that I am not funny.

It was a good night.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Five

1. We have internet again, folks! Turns out our modem just went out, meaning that the little AT&T service call was going to cost us $110 plus the $60 modem. I may or may not have cried when the guy told me that the modem "fell off his truck" and he "fixed the problem outside" (therefore waiving the fee). There are some really nice people in the world.

Now if we could just get our wireless router going again so we can watch some Friday Night Lights. :) No, we still haven't finished the series. We're only about halfway through season three. Oh, but I still love it. I will probably cry when we finish all five seasons.

2. I know I've talked about this on here before, but I love consignment sales! There are two main ones I go to, Just Between Friends and Rhea Lana. There was also a really good smaller one in my town last spring, but I don't know if they're having it again this season. Anyway, this week Rhea Lana was going on, so I took both kids (bravely!) this morning to catch the half price sale. The draw back to going to the half price sale is that it's at the end of the sale, which equals a smaller selection. The bonus is that, well, almost everything is half off. Duh. My frugality usually wins out, so today we scored some major deals, and boy did my growing kiddos need some clothes!

Avery didn't really need that much (thanks to Pearson's hand-me-downs-- thanks, guys!), so she ended up with a little jumper, two Old Navy shirts, a Puma set, Gymboree jeans, and Carter's jacket.

Landon, on the other hand, needed some "big boy" clothes! Seriously, I just bought the kid a size 12 month winter wardrobe. He's three months old. Anyway, I just LOVE the stuff I found for my little preppy boy! I can't wait until it's cold enough for him to actually wear it!
However, I didn't quite think through the logistics of taking two kids with me. Let's just say that a double stroller is not exactly conducive to going up steps (with no ramp available) to get in or making tight turns once you get inside. Lesson learned.

3. After we survived the sale (and made it to the car with our loot!), we met up with one of my oldest friends at, you guessed it, Chick-fil-a. Seriously, they should pay me for all the times I mention that place on here. I guess I'd have to have a much larger following for it to actually count as advertising, but still. I digress. Anyway, Carissa and I have been friends since we were six (or seven, minor details) and still keep up via Facebook, although we don't see each other all that often. I love catching up with her, even if we can hardly get sentences in between our kids' endless chatter and constant need for redirection. It's pretty funny because our kids are Landon, Avery, Ava, and Landon (and she has an Ashton who's in school). That's not confusing at all.

And of course I got no pictures. Gosh, I need to do better about that!

4. I want to sew. I want more time in the day so I can sew. I want Pinterest to stop reminding me of all the cool things I could sew if I just had that time. Alas, the list grows longer.

5. We're having a garage sale tomorrow! Woohoo! I kind of hate garage sales because they're a lot of work, but I kind of love getting rid of all my junk. Most of what we have this time is just clothes, so hopefully we make a little chunk of change.

Oh, I almost forgot! We're going to see Selah tomorrow night! I'm not gonna lie, I'm not a huge fan of Christian music. These days most of it is just pop songs that "could be Christian if you think about it really hard" or praise songs that have already been recorded by every other unoriginal artist. Plus, most artists just aren't that musically talented. Ugh. I say all that though because I absolutely LOVE Selah*. They're coming to my hometown (the smallest town in the world, go figure), and we weren't going to get to go because tickets are pretty expensive. Well, expensive for us and we just couldn't swing it this month. We were pretty bummed, but then we found out on Sunday that someone anonymously bought us tickets and arranged for our sweet friend Brenna to babysit. Honestly, my prideful self kinda had a hard time with it at first, but we are just so excited and thankful to be able to see them perform in person (not to mention having an evening out!). Eek! I can't wait.

* I also really love Watermark/Christy Nockels and Caedmon's Call, for the record.

I guess this really ended up being the Friday Six, but oh well. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Starting is the hardest part...

 I have started and erased this post about a bajillion times now because sometimes I just can't think of how to say anything. See? That didn't even make sense.

I also don't really know what I want to write about, but since my internet went down yesterday morning, I kept thinking of tons of topics. You know, since I couldn't write any of them because AT&T was ruining my life.

Have I mentioned that I can be a tad dramatic?

So. I was going to post about the new detergents I made. (Which are awesome.) Then I was gonna post a cute little kiddie pic for Wordless Wednesday. (You know, since I have the cutest kids in the world.) Then I was gonna write about how much my week has been sucking. (Today is much better in case you were wondering.) Then I wanted to blog about our new Lifegroup. (We have some awesome groupies!)

And now I'm just writing about all the things I was gonna write about. And you're wondering why in the world you wasted your time reading this.

I'll have something more interesting to say tomorrow.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Our Weekend So Far

In an effort not to post our weekend update halfway through the next week, I figured I could just update in the middle of all the action!

Matt went to the Ranger game on Friday night with a bunch of guys from church, so we went to dinner at Macaroni Grill with my mom. Landon was supporting his team since he couldn't be there.

This girl loves macaroni. Appropriately enough, Macaroni Grill has really good mac and cheese. Our waiter told me (after we ate) that it comes in an adult portion, too! Guess what I'll be eating next time we go there...
This morning we went to the "farmer's market" in town. It has just gotten smaller and smaller this season. We didn't even find any produce worth buying, and usually we get something. Disappointing. So we went to the library instead so Avery could check out a Fancy Nancy book and Elmo DVD.

We stopped by a garage sale on the way home, where I scored a brand new bottle warmer and accessory sterilizer for $1. It was still in the box, so heck yes. I also got a doorway jumper just like one we already have so I can keep one up at church for Landon to play in when I'm working.  Not having to lug another thing with me on Tuesdays and Thursdays was well worth that $5.

Landon had a good time watching Allison's soccer game!

Kendra and Jordan came to the game, too. I totally cut their cute little puppies out of the picture, but you can just take my word that they're adorable. And Kendra and Carlos just got theirs from a shelter today! They named him Nolan. As in Nolan Ryan. There's a reason we're friends. :)
I did not inherit the photographer genes. Okay, and the sun was in my eyes. How cute is Chelsea's little belly?!? It was good to see Aaron and Chelsea for a little while!

I'm so proud of my sister! I can't believe she's a senior this year.

You're looking at the game-winning goal scorer! She had a beautiful header right off the corner kick. Landon was so proud of her that he wouldn't even look at the camera.

Landon and I went to Chick-fil-a with my parents for dinner and then came home to a quiet evening with just the two of us since Matt took Avery to his choir party. We sure missed the other half of our family, but we enjoyed the extra bedtime snuggles. Ooh, I just love that little boy!

Oh, and as a side note, our house smells like a campfire. My neighbor Brooke called me this afternoon and asked if I knew anything about the fire. Turns out there was one just down the road today. I passed by it on my way home from Al's game, and it looked like the fire fighters had it under control by that point. There weren't any flames left (just some more smoke), but the whole field was black. Man, that seems like nothing compared to what's going on in Central and East Texas, but all these fires are just scary. We're definitely praying for rain in these parts right now.

Alright. I've got some laundry to tackle while Matt makes his famous calzones for tomorrow's potluck. And then we're going to catch up with our favorite characters in Dillon, TX. Seriously, if you haven't watched Friday Night Lights, you are missing out on the best show on TV Netflix. Go watch it and thank me later.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Five

1. Happy Friday! Sheesh, sometimes I feel like "short weeks" are actually the longest. Avery has been very two-year-old-ish this week, so the weekend is very welcome at this house!




2. Since I know you're just dying for an update on my fantasy teams, I made the playoffs in fantasy baseball! Barely, but I made it. I'm losing the current playoff game pretty badly, but considering that I didn't update my team at all in the past month, I'd say that's just fine. I don't think I'll play fantasy baseball again; it's way too time consuming. And somehow I managed to get talked into playing in two different fantasy football leagues now. Yeah, let's just say that I foresee some squabbles between my brother and myself. He takes his fantasy leagues very seriously and doesn't understand when others don't. (Love you, Nick!) Eh, it will at least make watching football with Matt a little more tolerable this season since I can pay attention to my players.


3. Matt and I are leading a Lifegroup this year! We were asked awhile ago if we'd be interested in splitting off from our group to start a new one, and at first we said no because we really loved our old group. We changed our minds once we had the chance to seriously talk and pray about it though. We start on Wednesday, and while we'll miss our old groupies, I'm so excited to see this one take shape!

4.  I'm making dish and laundry detergents today! We bought all the ingredients yesterday, so once my little helper wakes up from her nap, we'll attempt to put it all together! I've heard great things about homemade detergents, and if it works well, it'll save us tons of money (have you seen how much dirty laundry babies create?). I'll post the recipes later after I've tested them out.





5. Our weather has been awesome this week, but next week is supposed to get up to 100 again. Nooooo! God is such a tease sometimes. I won't let that hamper my weekend though. Matt is going to the Ranger game tonight (and sitting in a suite. I might be a little jealous.), so the kids and I are having a date night with my mommy. I seriously love living close to my parents.




Tomorrow my sister has a soccer game in Dallas, so I'll go to that while Matt has his choir back-to-school party. Sunday is the usual (with the exception of a potluck after church-- am I the only one who loves potlucks?), meaning too much busyness and not enough rest. Let's not get into that. Anyway, with the exception of not getting to see my husband enough this weekend, I think it'll be a good one. Hope yours is, too!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Roomie Weekend and Thankfulness

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 
Lamentations 3:22-24

If you follow my Facebook, you know that yesterday was a crappy day. It wasn't really any particular thing that made it so terrible; it was a culmination of napless children, an obnoxious dog, overwhelming amounts of housework with insufficient time to complete it, post-baby hormones (can I still blame those?), and a brutal headache. 
I'm so thankful for for God's faithfulness and the fact that each morning is a do-over of sorts. I'm so thankful for Matt, who let me go to bed at 8:00 so I could "sleep off" my migraine while he thoroughly cleaned the kitchen and did laundry. I'm so thankful that the fires haven't hit our area (please pray for Central and East Texas!). I'm so thankful for healthy kids.

I'm so thankful.

We had a great Labor Day weekend with my college roomies and their families. I just love these girls, and I love that we still make it a priority to get together at least three times a year. It was Candace and Ricky's turn to host, so we left on Friday for Austin. 

After sitting in major traffic and doubling our anticipated travel time, we finally made it to their house. Candace is such an amazing hostess. Her house is always spotless and she serves the best food. I think I left 5 pounds heavier.

We took all the kids to a local splash park on Saturday and they had a blast. It was a gorgeous little park and only cost $1 to get in. I totally wish they'd build something like that near us.





The kids got some good naps in, and then the girls (and Ross!) went shopping at the Round Rock Outlets. I didn't have the budget to do too much shopping, but I did score two awesome pairs of shorts for Matt at the Gap, and I only spent $16 for both of them. Win.

We pretty much just hung out for the evening, but we couldn't resist snapping a few blackmail shots of the kids during bathtime. 


Sadly, this group picture was our best attempt.

Ricky's a youth pastor, and since their pastor was out of town, he got preaching duty on Sunday. He did such a great job on his sermon; it was fun to see him in a different role (you know, other than Matt's partner in crime). It was a little weird to go to church and not be in charge of anything. I kinda liked the break. The girls voted for lunch at Texas Roadhouse, so I got my rolls and peanut fix to hold me over for awhile. 



Tiff and Ross had to leave to go home after lunch, but the rest of us went back to the house so the kids could nap (goodness, so many of our plans seem to revolve around nap schedules these days!) and then Candace and I went for a quick outing to Kohl's and Starbucks. 

We left around dinner time and came home to a clean house and happy dog, thanks to Brenna and Emily, our fantastic housesitters (who even saved a few chocolate cookies for me!).

Monday was a daddy/daughter and mommy/son morning; Matt took Avery to play at the playground, and Landon went grocery shopping with me. We got to spend the evening with my family at my grandmother's house up in Denton. Since we were already up there, we got to check out my brother and sister-in-law's cute new place.

We did way too much driving, but we had a great time catching up with friends and family.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Last Weekend and Mother's Day Out

Yes, I am just now updating about our weekend. Yes, it is Thursday.

Sigh. I just cannot keep up these days. Oh well, now that it's almost time for another weekend, here's what we did for the last one...

Matt made me the best dessert ever on Friday night while we watched Friday Night Lights. Ignore the fact that it looks like poop. It was Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with Nature Valley dark chocolate granola bars. YUM.

On Saturday, Matt and Avery had an errands/lunch date while Landon and I went to a ladies' luncheon at church. (Landon wasn't even the only boy there since his friend Tucker went, too!)

Avery gets to "car dance" with Daddy when she rides with him...

Saturday evening we went with the children's ministry from our church to the Ranger game. Um, it was hot.

See? We're sweating profusely. The game hadn't even started at this point.

We took a group of about 30, but I didn't post all the pictures of everybody since I'm not sure how they feel about their kids' pictures being out in cyberspace. Anyway, we had a blast despite the heat. Even if the Rangers lost. Boo.
On Sunday we went to church (um, it was one of the most stressful Sunday mornings I've had to deal with in awhile...), had lunch at my parents', Matt went to a praise team practice while the kids napped and I tried to finish Avery's nap mat, went to the prayer gathering at church, and then went out to Denny's for dinner with all the old people. :) I love pancakes.

And there you have it. Our weekend. Woohoo.

While I'm at it, take a look at this little cutie pie on her first day at Mother's Day Out. I finally finished her nap mat and will have a whole other post devoted entirely to that bad boy.


I'm done for real this time.