Sunday, October 31, 2010


We've had a fun Halloween weekend here at the Courtright house. We started at a fun fall festival at Connor's preschool. They had the craziest inflatable there - it was the sinking Titanic! Hilarious!

After the festival, we quickly got dressed for some trick-or-treating. Connor was Buzz Lightyear and Kaitlynn was a butterfly princess. This was Kaitlynn's first year to attempt trick-or-treating and she did pretty well. After about 6-7 houses she was DONE so Jeff took her home. It was another fun and busy weekend!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tornado Adventure

While Connor and Kaitlynn were staying in East Texas with MeMe and Grand Daddy, a string of bad storms was moving through the area. On two different occasions, the tornado sirens began blaring. During one of those times Grand Daddy checked the radar and determined that everyone needed to hunker down and wait for the tornado to pass. He sent MeMe, Connor, and Kaitlynn into the bathroom in the center of the house. In order to keep the kids occupied, they loaded up a Wiggles movie on the portable DVD player. As you can imagine, Connor and Kaitlynn thought this was quite an adventure.

As the radar showed the tornado approaching, Grand Daddy began to load the bathroom with supplies to prepare for the worst. He brought flashlights, hard hats, and finally...the mattress. Connor was busy watching the movie, but he looked at MeMe and said, "Why is Grand Daddy bringing all this weird stuff in here?"

Fortunately, the tornado passed through the area without any damage. The following night when the kids were gearing up to watch a movie before bedtime, Connor asked, "MeMe, can we have movie night in the bathroom?" :-)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Adventures with MeMe and Grand Daddy

Years ago my parents noticed that each of their little grandkids seemed to accumulate way too many unnecessary toys around Christmas time. So MeMe came up with the brilliant idea to give an "adventure" gift instead of toys. Each grandkid gets to pick what kind of adventure they want, and then MeMe and Grand Daddy take them for some special time together to enjoy the adventure together. This year Renee and Ryah chose a beach adventure, so they all went to Galveston to visit the beach and Schlitterbahn. Makenna, Madison, and Marissa decided on a waterpark adventure so they visited Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine.

When we asked Connor what kind of adventure he might want this year, he told me that he wanted LOTS of adventures. So, that's exactly what he got. While Jeff and I had our getaway in NYC, Connor and Kaitlynn stayed with MeMe and Grand Daddy and they embarked on a different mini-adventure every day. They visited a corn maze, a local park, a couple fall festivals, the Tyler Zoo, ... It's no wonder Connor and Kaitlynn had such a blast! If you ask me, MeMe and Grand Daddy are saints.

When Kaitlynn first arrived at MeMe and Grand Daddy's house, she explored and got into trouble as usual. She found this bookcase and proceeded to take all the books out.

At one point MeMe and Grand Daddy were searching the house for Kaitlynn and eventually found her here, just hanging out in the laundry room in one of their extra carseats.

Here are the kids at one of the fall festivals.

It looks like they both enjoyed the corn pit.

And the barrel train ride looks like a blast.

Stay tuned for perhaps their funnest adventure of all. :-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Jeff and I are having such a blast during our NYC getaway. Both of us have visited New York before, but this time we decided to be actual tourists and take one of those double-decker tour buses to see the entire city. I highly recommend it! And we definitely lucked out because the weather was gorgeous (sunny and 60s-70s) all weekend. I couldn't have asked for a better anniversary trip with my hubby!

Included in our NYC tour was a harbor cruise/tour that went right by the Statue of Liberty. An awesome sight indeed.

Here we are in Times Square early one morning before the masses of people arrived.

And for our last stop in NYC, we attended a taping of the David Letterman show. It's quite funny how we managed to get the tickets. The tickets are free, but in order to get them you have to correctly answer a trivia question about the show. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm in bed most nights by 9 pm, so as much as I like Letterman I don't usually get to watch his show. So I enlisted my brother Ben to help me answer the trivia question for the tickets, only he got his question wrong. So they gave me one last chance to answer another question without any help. I had to name the color of hair of one of the Late Show regulars. After hem-hawing for several seconds, I guessed the color red. And I was right! The taping was a really neat experience despite all the waiting and clapping (Jeff's hands are raw!) and we had a lot of fun. The show guests were Michael J. Fox and Shaun White (Olympic snowboarder) and it airs this Friday night!

Just a couple more days and I'll be "Back to Life, Back to Reality" (as the 90s pop song goes)!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Observations from a Getaway

Early this year Jeff and I booked a week-long trip to The Bahamas in November to celebrate our 5th anniversary. When Jeff changed jobs, we knew we'd have to postpone our beach vacation until he was a little more settled in his new company. But we still wanted to get away to celebrate, so the kids went to stay with MeMe and Grand Daddy while I joined Jeff on a business trip in New York City to have a little getaway.

Here are just a few initial observations from our getaway...

Jeff warned me that he would be very busy working during our trip except for some downtime on the weekend. He was worried I would be bored and lonely by myself in the hotel room. Hmmm, let me see...alone time, in a nice NYC hotel room, alone, without kids, with access to spa and room service, alone, a luxurious hotel bed, me-time to relax and watch TV or read a book, ALONE. Nope, doesn't sound bad to me at ALL. :-)

Kaitlynn is 16 months old and I've never been away from her for more than about 6 hours. So I guess I'm jumping in with both feet because when I see the kids again we will have been apart for 6 days. From 6 hours to 6 days...probably not my most well thought-out plan.

Yesterday after I took the kids to meet MeMe and Grand Daddy, I came home and had an entire evening/night by myself. It was heavenly! I ate popcorn for dinner, caught up on DVR shows, tried on my new NYC clothes, took an early bath, and started a new book. I kept catching myself turning down the TV volume for fear of waking up a kid, and I even got up this morning and realized I had turned on the baby monitor before I went to sleep. Old habits die hard, I guess.

I am officially old. When I fly I now have to wear these anti-nausea wristbands (Thanks, Amanda!) to prevent me from getting sick. I thought I would look so hip in my new NYC clothes but my 1980's Flashdance wristbands most likely took me from "hip" to "dip". But I will say, at least I was a dip without kids. Totally different flying experience when you don't have to keep two youngsters entertained. Oh, and the wristbands only help so much. I still have to reach for the barf bags every time I fly now.

When I called to check on the kids this morning, Connor was quite the chatterbox. He went on and on. At one point he asked to talk to his Dad. I told him Dad wasn't with me but I was on my way to New York to see him. He said to me, "Can you text Dad and tell him to call me?" Kids these days!

Finally, I made it to NYC and I was still nauseous from the flight. I checked into the hotel, dropped off my bag, and immediately went back outside to find the nearest McDonalds. Nothing like a yummy fountain Coke to settle my stomach. It was $2.27 for a large, over twice as much as it costs at home. But worth every single penny!

More to come!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kaitlynn Lately

We're gearing up for a very busy week/weekend. Stay tuned! In the meantime I thought I'd share some of what little Miss K has been up to lately. There's never a shortage of cuteness and laughter around here!

She is still quite the handful.

She loves to hang out in enclosed or confined spaces.

I recently started serving her meals in plates and bowls to get her used to eating like a big person. She still manages to play with her dishes but she's making progress.

Kaitlynn loves to brush her teeth. She fights Connor for her turn with the step stool in the bathroom.

She thinks boxes are tons of fun.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Special Visit

While we were in East Texas last weekend, Kaitlynn and I made a quick trip to Tyler to visit some very special friends. Aunt Amanda and Cousin Alex were in town visiting Alex's Noni, so we couldn't resist stopping by for some hugs and updates! It was a very short visit but SO worth it to see our sweet friends and to capture these precious photos. (The awesome ones are from Amanda's blog. Thanks, Amanda!)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Another major activity during our fall cousins' weekend was to celebrate the fall birthdays for Renee and Ryah. We decided on a "Pinkalicious" theme, which is a popular children's book about a little girl that LOVES pink. It was so much fun to plan this party now that I have a little girl, but again I should say.... Poor Connor!!

We started the party with Ms. Pinkalicious (my mom) making sure that the girls were all decked out in pink. All 8 girls received a pink tutu and a pink halo to wear while my mom read the Pinkalicious book to everyone. There was just one problem...what to do with Connor?! So my cousin Robin made him the perfect shirt that says "Real Men Wear Pink" and he definitely lived up to it.

Can you believe all that pink? Poor Connor, right in the middle of it. He didn't suffer for long though. We made sure he felt secure in his manhood by letting him wear all his Houston Texans gear (helmet, jersey, pants) during the rest of the party.

See? Don't think he minded the pink a bit.

After storytime, the girls were able to decorate their own cupcakes with every kind of pink candy we could find. Connor had his own tray of red candy with some football decorations, and we made sure to have some white icing on hand for him. We tried really hard to make sure he didn't feel left out because of all the pink.

But just for the record, he ended up selecting a pink strawberry cupcake with pink icing. After all, he's a real man. He can pull it off. :-)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

This weekend all of Connor and Kaitlynn's little cousins met up in East Texas for our annual fall cousins' weekend. In total there are 9 cousins age 10 and under so you can imagine how chaotic it gets when we are all together!

Our first order of business for our visit was the pumpkin patch at a local church. After weeks of planning and coordinating efforts to arrange the perfect cousins' photo, imagine our surprise when it actually worked:

Yep, that's all 9 of the cousins in coordinating shirts and hairbows. Connor is the only boy, #5, sandwiched right in the middle of all those girls! I can't tell you how many times we said "Poor Connor!" this weekend.

The pumpkin patch was so much fun. We got lots of cute pictures of the cousins, including this one.

All of the cousins decorated cookies, including Kaitlynn. She just thinks she's one of the big girls so you'd never know she's #8 in the lineup.

Some of the cousins also got to decorate pumpkins.

And we all had fun on the hayride.

More pics to come from our fun cousins' weekend!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mother's Day Out

Oh my, are y'all ready for this? The bigger question is, am I ready for this? (And the answer is yes AND no!)

Kaitlynn started Mother's Day Out today!

Here's the story: I wasn't planning to start her in MDO until January. She's only 15 months which is very young and she's technically 2 weeks too young according to the age guidelines at the school Connor attends. But I've noticed that Kaitlynn just seemed ready for a program with other kids. Plus, my Tuesdays/Thursdays without Connor are a lot less productive now that Kaitlynn doesn't take morning naps. So I had decided that when a spot opened in the MDO program at Connor's school, I would be ready to enroll Kaitlynn.

Last week, the call came. When the program director told me there was a spot for Kaitlynn, I jumped for joy! But within an hour of thinking through the details, I was feeling panicked. What would I pack Kaitlynn for lunch? Will she actually sleep on a nap mat? How would she handle being the youngest in the class by several months?

After a few days and lots of encouraging words/emails from friends, I felt good about the decision. Then I got to meet Kaitlynn's MDO teachers and they were SO gracious and reassuring.

So this morning, it was time to go. Kaitlynn didn't have a clue it was any different. But I packed her lunch kit, gathered her backpack and nap mat, and did some last minute labeling of her things.

Here's Kaitlynn watching some TV before getting ready for school.

And here she is brushing her teeth.

Here she's all ready for school wearing her backpack for the first time.

Connor was very excited that his sister would be going to school with him today.

I think it was pretty obvious in the hallway that I was a Nervous Nellie dropping off Kaitlynn for her 1st day. Several of the Moms were encouraging me and one even offered to take my picture with Kaitlynn. She said, "Oops, I got a little boy in the background." No big deal, that little boy belongs to us anyway. :-)

When it came time for Kaitlynn to go to her classroom, they opened the door and she just walked right in!! No tears, nothing. I was surprised, although I don't think Kaitlynn had any idea that she wouldn't be able to come back out! Here she is with her sweet teacher, Ms. Sara.

I didn't want to peek in the window and cause Kaitlynn to see me and start crying so several Moms in the hallway were giving me a report. Kaitlynn just stood around watching the other kiddos and then she wandered over to one of the tables to start playing. Still no tears!!

When I picked up Kaitlynn at 2:15, the teachers had written this on Kaitlynn's chart: "We had a fantastic day! Not a single tear! Kaitlynn even saw her brother and didn't get sad or anything. She ate all her food and then fell straight asleep."

Yay! I'm so proud of my big girl! And now I'll have 10 blessed hours of alone time each week. All together now, "Woo hoo!"

Monday, October 4, 2010


They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. So here goes...

Hi. My name is Lauri. And I'm an addict. Specifically, a "shoes for my daughter" addict.

It started earlier this year when Kaitlynn first began walking and wearing shoes. I bought her a single pair of pink sandals and she wore them with every single outfit, even when they totally clashed. I didn't realize how much that bothered me. I felt bad for her; she needed shoes to match her outfits!

So, I bought a pair of white sandals. MUCH better for her church dresses. And of course she needed some water shoes. It is Houston after all. Then, I began anticipating the cooler weather. I bought her a nice pair of black shoes that she could wear with or without socks/tights. I quickly realized that black only goes with half of her fall/winter outfits. So I found a pair of brown shoes. Then I remembered that I had purchased a few pairs of shoes last year when I found them at a local resale shop. Turns out there were 4 pairs in the closet just waiting to be worn with the perfect outfit. And don't even get me started on boots. I am completely obsessed with boots for little girls. Finally, I decided that all of those shoes just weren't enough. Kaitlynn needed tennis shoes. Pink. With lights.

Does it matter that I only paid full price for 1 of the pairs of shoes? And that all the other shoes were less than $5 a pair since I bought them used or on sale? No, it probably doesn't. Because 10 pairs of shoes for a 1-year-old is just plain, well, ridiculous. I counted my shoes and I certainly don't have that many. And even if I did, at least they would all fit my feet indefinitely, whereas any shoes for Kaitlynn will only fit her for 6 months (if I'm lucky).

So I'm hoping that my little admission here will allow me to face the fact that I have a problem. If my confession doesn't work, I'm sure my husband will be able to help, ha! Either way, let's just hope I can get it under control soon, before a certain someone else adopts my bad habit.