Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dad's Night Out

This week Connor's preschool had Dad's Night Out. Connor was SO excited to take his Dad and they had a blast. I don't think Moms were supposed to be there, but I went anyway. I mean, who else would've taken these sweet pictures?

Waiting for Connor's classroom to open.

Here's one of the projects Connor worked on for the special night. His responses were written verbatim by his teacher.

Each Dad received a special bowtie from their child.

Here they made a picture frame from their handprints.

Sweet picture for the handmade picture frame. Jeff was a little concerned that the purple ink wouldn't wash off their hands!

Decorating a cookie.

Making clown masks.

After the conclusion of Dad's night out, Connor was so sweet saying thanks to Jeff for attending and how it was the best Dad's night out ever. And then he started asking when he could have Mom's night out, Kaitlynn's night out, Collin's night out, and Kevin's night out!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My New Purse

WHEN does getting a new purse require me to blog about it? When it features my two beautiful babies!

And check out my mom's new one, too. It's her MeMe purse with all six grandkids. Too bad she'll need a new one next year when the latest addition arrives.

(No, don't even think it. This shop here is CLOSED! I'm referring to my brother's new baby due in March. )

Thanks Aunt Tina for creating these beauties!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

First Cereal

In an attempt to help Kaitlynn sleep a little better at night, we started feeding her some rice cereal before her bath. Unfortunately her sleep habits haven't improved, but at least she is learning to eat from a spoon and (sometimes) seems to enjoy it. Take a look.

Mommy says, "Are you ready Kaitlynn?"

Here goes nothing.

Hmmm, not so sure about this...

Did any cereal actually make it in her mouth?

I think she enjoys her fingers more than the food.

Yep, she is definitely done.

Anyone interested in seeing pics from Connor's first cereal? Here you go...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy Homecoming

I'm a week overdue but I wanted to wish Collin, Kevin, and all the high school kids at Jersey Village a happy homecoming!

It was really neat to see some of the festivities this year now that the older boys are both attending the same high school. On Wednesday evening they kicked off the weekend with a homecoming parade through the streets near the school. Part of the parade tradition is that the folks on the float throw candy to the spectators. Connor was excited about collecting his share of the candy, but he got pelted in the forehead with the first toss! He ended up with a bruise for the next few days but didn't mind since he loved all the parade candy.

Here's the float that Jeff and the boys worked on for the varsity water polo team. It was a pirate ship:

Happy spectators.

The homecoming festivities concluded for the week with a homecoming dance. Collin went with his on-again girlfriend, Jillian. They were kind enough to let me take their picture.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What I Do All Day

For over a month now, I have meant to write a post about a big change in my life. For some reason I just can't seem to find the right words. So I'll keep it short and sweet. In September I made the difficult decision to leave my job and become a stay-at-home Mom. It's something Jeff and I have talked about for a while, but when the time came I found that it was so much harder than I anticipated. I spent a couple weeks in tears as the realization and finality of it all settled in. Now I'm over a month into my new "job" and I'm much more at peace about it. I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to stay at home, and I'm definitely enjoying the time I get to spend with my kids. Just like my former job, I have good days and bad days.

Everyone I talk to admits that having a good routine is key, but I admit I'm still struggling with that one. It seems like there's always something interrupting my day -- illness, doctor appointment, trips, visitors, etc. In a perfect world I would wake up every morning, get the kids fed and dressed, work out, get my errands accomplished, and still be able to have structured activities for Connor and Kaitlynn. Like I said, still struggling with that.

I was talking to my brother Ben the other day and he asked me, "So what exactly do you DO all day now that you're at home?" Hmmm, good question. This is what I came up with.

  • Wake up at the first sign of daylight when Connor comes downstairs ready for his day

  • Fix Connor his snacks/meals and feed him several times a day

  • Feed Kaitlynn a bottle and change her diaper every 3-4 hours

  • Pump 4-5 times every day

  • Hand-wash the bottles 2-3 times a day

  • Work out each morning at Jazzercise (OK, I admit, I'm slacking on this one lately ever since the kids started getting sick; need to get my lazy butt back on track!)

  • Visit the doctor 1-2 times a week (this has been our pattern so far, I'm hoping it doesn't last)

  • Play with Connor (singing, dancing, coloring, football, soccer, etc.)

  • Play with Kaitlynn (talking, cooing, working really hard for a laugh)

  • Wash and fold about 5-10 loads of laundry a week

  • Take Connor to preschool twice a week

  • Grocery shop 1-2 times a week

  • Try to keep the house relatively picked up
  • Take the kids outside most nights to play with friends in the cul-de-sac (when the weather is nice)

  • Prepare a big dinner 2-3 times a week, usually when the older boys are with us (when they're not, we usually feast on cereal or sandwiches)

  • Take the kids for a playdate with friends once a week

  • Keep in touch with friends on blogs and email (I admit I spend too much time on the computer some days)

The funny thing is, looking at that list I realize that I used to do most of that AND keep a full-time job. So it's amazing to me that the days and weeks are going by as quickly as they are.

Gee, what DO I do all day??

Monday, October 19, 2009

Daddy and Me

by Kaitlynn Courtright

My last post, How to Wear a Bow, was such a success that my Mommy decided to make me a regular contributor to our family blog. So of course I had to make my next topic one of my favorites -- my Daddy!

My Daddy wasn't so sure what to do with me when I arrived. He's used to having boys, you know. But I'd say he's doing a pretty good job. Take a look.

He is really good at cuddling me...

Hanging out with me on the living room rug...

Talking and bouncing with me...

Making me smile...

And helping me chill out when I need a break...

And he's good at walking me around which is one of my favorite things to do.

He always takes me outside for walks and stuff. I love being outside.

He also works with me to learn better hand/eye coordination. For some reason he thinks this is important. Probably because he's used to having boys and he expects them to be good at sports.

But I'm not sure that I'll be into sports. I'll probably be too worried that my hair or nails might get messed up.

My Daddy also takes me to football games and teaches me all the gametime rituals. My favorite is giving high-fives to everyone when the Texans play well. It's a bummer that hasn't happened too often yet.

Another thing my Daddy always does is give me my daily bath or shower. I have so much more fun with him than my Mommy. She is all business -- just trying to get me clean -- while my Daddy lets me play and sings songs to me.

But probably my favorite thing of all is when my Daddy gives me my bedtime bottle and then cuddles me until I fall asleep. He's so sweet and gentle with me, and he sure knows how to make a girl feel special. I sure do love him!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Four Months

Another month has gone by already! Believe it or not (I don't!) Kaitlynn turned 4 months old yesterday. She is at such a fun age! Her doctor calls it the "Gerber Baby" phase and says it will only last a couple more months until she is mobile and the fun wears off - ha!

Her stats: Today she weighed 16 lbs 10 oz, which is considered 97th percentile. By comparison, consider that Connor weighed that much at his 2 month appointment (so I wonder what his percentile was, 150th? - ha!) She measured 24.5 inches (50th percentile) and her head is measuring in the 80th percentile. She's a big girl, but it looks like she'll be more petite than her big brother Connor.

Here's what Kaitlynn has been up to since her last update:
  • Laughing: Yes, my sweet baby girl blessed us with her sweet laughter for the first time a couple weeks ago. And since then I have worked HARD to get more laughs but it's not easy. Her MeMe seems to be able to get the most laughs from her. It has got to be one of the most heartwarming noises!

  • Talking: Kaitlynn is SUCH a talker. She just coos and gurgles all the time. I really don't remember Connor making this much noise as a baby. But that voice of hers is just so sweet!

  • Sleep training: OK, I mean this in a very general sense. I have never known or followed a strict sleep training method, but I've determined that Kaitlynn is not a natural sleeper like Connor was. She really fights her daytime naps, and at night she still wants a bottle every 4-6 hours. So in the past couple weeks I started letting her cry it out. Not fun, let me tell you. She cries and screams at the top of her lungs. One night she did this for 1 hour 45 minutes. When we did this with Connor, he was sleeping 12 hours through the night after 3 nights of crying it out. But Kaitlynn has other ideas. Despite almost 2 weeks of this she is still very inconsistent with her sleeping and shows no signs of wanting to sleep through the night. But I should say that during all this "training" she has had several nasty ear infections, so I keep having to wait those out and then start all over again!

  • Scheduling: Kaitlynn is just like her Mommy and loves her daily routine. She is learning to take a good mid-day nap for 2-3 hours, and at night she will start fussing like clockwork for her bath around 7 pm. She then gets her last bottle and promptly passes out for bed.

  • Teething: I really don't have proof of this yet but she is showing all the classic symptoms. She chews on her hands and fingers all the time, usually making herself gag in the process! She is also drooling a lot and her little cheeks have been breaking out in a rash just like Connor's did when he was teething.

Now for some pictures...

Kaitlynn is so much more mobile these days and using her feet. She got herself into this predicament with her overhead activity mat.

She seems to enjoy her Bumbo chair now. Only problem is, her chunky legs won't fit into it much longer!

Here she is chewing on her fingers and hands.

She LOVES her bathtime!

She also is getting good at fussing.

Check it out - those are real tears!

She continues to get lots of precious hand-me-down outfits from her older cousins.

And she is still getting tons of kisses from Connor.

Here she is on her tummy. She still hates it but at least she can lift her head better now.

Now for some fun videos...

Here's Kaitlynn and MeMe having a very important conversation. Kaitlynn talks like this ALL the time, even in the middle of the night when she's supposed to be going back to sleep.

This one is my absolute favorite - Kaitlynn laughing for her MeMe. So sweet!

And of course it wouldn't be a complete monthly update without the side-by-side comparison of Kaitlynn and Connor both at 4 months. As my friend Beth said, they are twins 3 years separated!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Conversation with Connor this morning at breakfast...

    Me: Wow, look at your long fingernails. I need to clip them and Kaitlynn's, too.

    Connor: What about yours, do you need to cut yours too?

    Me: No, mine are short. Remember when I used to get my nails done at the nail store?

    Connor: Yeah, why don't you go there anymore?

    Me: Because it costs too much money. But maybe someday when Kaitlynn is older I'll take her with me and we can get our nails done together.

    Connor: Yeah, and maybe someday I will change into a girl so I can get my nails done, too!

    Me: Um, no, you're a boy silly! Once you're a boy, you're a boy forever.

    Connor: Yeah, that's right. And if I'm a girl then I would be beautiful, so I want to stay a boy so I can be handsome.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Younger Sibling Syndrome

Ever since she turned 3 months, Kaitlynn has been constantly fighting off one thing or another. First it was a cold, then double ear infections, then lingering congestion. This week, yet again, double ear infections -- this time with a ruptured ear drum! Ouch! Is this a younger sibling syndrome, the way the older kids pass along all the germs to the baby? It just doesn't add up...she's on solid breastmilk, she's not in daycare, and yet she is starting with the ear infections and colds much sooner than Connor did.


But in case you were wondering, Kaitlynn seems to be taking it all in stride. And should I add, milking it for all it's worth...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kaitlynn's Baptism

Today was a very special day for Kaitlynn. She was baptized at our church, St. Timothy Lutheran, alongside her entire family. MeMe and Grand Daddy also made a special trip to Houston for the occasion. One of the neatest things about her baptism was that her 2 big brothers agreed to be her sponsors. Being a sponsor is similar to being a godparent in the Catholic religion; basically Collin and Kevin will ensure that Kaitlynn is raised to know God and to live her life as a Christian would. So while Kaitlynn was baptized in front of the entire congregation, so also were Collin and Kevin publicly asked to be spiritual leaders for their baby sister. How sweet is that! She is one lucky girl.

The Courtright family

Before the service

Isn't she sweet!

Here's a closeup of her sweet baptismal dress. As cute as it was, it was VERY uncomfortable! Kaitlynn was so happy to be changed after the service.