Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cousins weekend in Galveston

Recently my brother Jeb and his wife Alli came for a visit with their 3 girls, Makenna (6), Madison (4), and Marissa (2). We enjoyed some quality time together at our house in Houston, and then we headed south to Galveston for another weekend at the beach. We just never get tired of our visits there! My parents joined us there so it was a fun-filled weekend of family time. We enjoyed lots of beach time, pool time, yummy restaurants, and even an entire day at the Schlitterbahn water park. So much fun! Here are a ton of pics from our awesome cousins' weekend.
Alli with Madison and Makenna

Madison enjoyed one of Kaitlynn's tricks: climbing the outside of the staircase.

Cousin craft time. Aunt Alli always has the best crafts!

Love Makenna's smile.

I love this picture of Jeb and Alli's girls. They are all so blond and beautiful!

Uncle Jeb took the 5 kiddos for a paddleboat ride.

Love this action shot of Madison in her goggles.

Marissa loves being independent in the pool.

In Galveston, Connor enjoyed some time in the sand.

Makenna was our seashell and hermit crab collector all weekend. She had quite a few treasures!

Jeb and Madison.

Jeff joined us for the day, so he and Kaitlynn enjoyed their typical beach strolls.

Love this pic of Alli cuddling with Marissa!

Kaitlynn won't venture into the waves without holding Daddy's hand.

Jeb and Makenna -- so cute!

Feeding Cheetos to the seagulls. You can see one in his mouth, ha!

Fun in the sand.

Back at the beach house, Jeff enjoyed some relaxation.

Grand Daddy struck up a game of dominos with Connor.

Those 2 were quite the pair all weekend, playing games. 

One really neat memory from our beach weekend was that my Dad conducted a church service for all of us on Sunday. We didn't have to leave our beach house and we were even dressed in our swim suits. The kids thought it was pretty cool! We sang some songs and had a devotional followed by communion for everyone. The kids loved being able to participate in the service by reading from their Bibles and even taking communion.
The kids taking communion at our home church service.

More beach, this time with sand art. (Seriously, Aunt Alli is so great with crafts!

Jeb and MeMe

LOVE this picture of my Daddy! Hard to believe he was gravely ill just a few short months ago.

Couldn't resist including this pic. I see this look from Kaitlynn all. the. time.

Love this grin.

My brother Jeb's beautiful family.

They all loved the water.

This pic of MeMe and Kaitlynn is definitely a keeper. So sweet!

These two have quite the special bond, too.

MeMe and Grand Daddy treated all the kids to Rainforest Cafe. Always an adventure!

The 5 kiddos with MeMe and Grand Daddy.

Jeb and Alli with their sweet girls.

We wrapped up the evening with a little dancing.

On another day, we ate lunch at Bubba Gump on the new Pleasure Pier in Galveston. So neat!

Love this pic of Jeb and Madison at lunch.

Couldn't resist taking a picture of MeMe with her yummy crab legs!

We spent our last day in Galveston at Schlitterbahn. We've been numerous times throughout the years and the kids LOVE it.
Connor and Kaitlynn at Schlitterbahn.

This trip to Schlitterbahn was just as fun as in years past, but this time we had an incident that scared all of us to death. A favorite attraction for all the kids is the Torrent River, a wild section of the lazy river with huge waves. In the afternoon, this section gets PACKED with people and tubes. We were entering this section at the busiest time of the day. I was in a single tube, Alli was in a tube with Marissa, and Kaitlynn was in the child seat of a double tube with Grand Daddy. A sudden huge wave knocked Kaitlynn out of her tube into the river and swept her away underwater amidst the massive amounts of people and tubes. Grand Daddy, Alli, and I panicked and began frantically searching for Kaitlynn, but we just couldn't see her with all of the people and chaos in the river. I was screaming and shouting for her, scanning the river from side to side trying to spot her, but all I could see were tubes and people in every direction. I knew that Kaitlynn is a great swimmer, but even the best of swimmers would have a hard time navigating in that river with all of the people, tubes, and waves. After what seemed like an eternity (probably about 30 seconds), I heard someone shout, "Over here!" Another swimmer had spotted Kaitlynn nearby. I rushed over to get her and found her treading water, eyes big as saucers, with waves rushing over her head. She was scared but fine. Her lessons from Ms. Glendy along with all of her experience in the water allowed her to float safely and avoid panic when she was swept out of her tube. And I'm convinced that God had a lot to do with her safety as well. Only when I got home later that night and laid in bed replaying the events did the gravity of that situation sink in with me. It could've gone so differently. Grand Daddy and I both had trouble sleeping for a while; it was one of the scariest moments I can ever remember. Thank God Kaitlynn was safe! Although she doesn't seem too keen on returning to Schlitterbahn again anytime soon....
Kaitlynn's eyes were about THIS big when I found her in the torrent river, but she wasn't smiling!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Science Camp

Last week Connor and Kaitlynn had the privilege of attending Science Camp at The Foundry. This camp is very popular and we were lucky to get both kids a spot when we signed up back in March. The theme this year was "Cruising Through the Cosmos" and was centered around all things space! Connor especially loved learning about the planets, rocket engineering, and our entire solar system. Each day the kids came home with some really neat crafts and projects from their lessons. They are already asking about camp for next year.

Ready for science camp in their cool t-shirts.


Connor displays some of his space-themed crafts.

The art wall is now covered in all their new masterpieces about outer space.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kaitlynn's Most Popular Meltdowns

This post is for all of my friends that haven't had the, um, privilege of witnessing Kaitlynn's more colorful behavior.

Kaitlynn has become the queen of temper tantrums. When she doesn't get her way, she lets you know how she feels about it. I'd like to say that she's overly tired or sick or SOME excuse like that, but usually her meltdowns are simply from her strong-willed personality. I haven't posted all of them on the blog, but over the years I have taken MANY videos of Kaitlynn's meltdowns and posted them on YouTube. Apparently people enjoy watching toddlers look like maniacs because her videos have 10's of thousands of views and I often get random comments about them. My initial motivation in recording her tantrums was to show them to her afterwards and try to prevent future meltdowns. I do think it's helped a little. Kaitlynn loves to play with my phone and always opens the videos so she can watch her "naughty". Here are some links to her most popular YouTube tantrums:

The tantrum that started it all. This one still makes me laugh.

Kaitlynn's most famous tantrum, her carseat meltdown:

She can even throw a tantrum in her stroller:

Here's a recent one, back in May during a rainstorm when we were waiting to pick up Connor in the carpool line:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Kisses for Daddy, Then and Now

It's no secret that Kaitlynn and her Daddy have an extra special bond. There is just nothing like the love shared between a little girl and her Daddy, her very first love. (And yes, I definitely think of my own Dad, too, when I type that.)

We went out for dinner while we were in Destin last month and I caught this special moment between Jeff and Kaitlynn:

It reminded me of another similar video I took almost 3 years ago. I've taken a LOT of video footage of my kids, but this one is BY FAR my favorite video of all time. (And I'm pretty sure it's Jeff's favorite, too.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kaitlynn at Three

Kaitlynn just now had her 3rd year well visit with the pediatrician so I thought I would write her long overdue 3-year post. Over a month past her 3rd birthday, Kaitlynn weighed in at 36 pounds (80th percentile) and measured 38 inches tall (75th percentile). Our little princess at 3 years old is quite the character. I took these pics of her on her actual birthday last month and it took quite a bit of bribing to get any smiles out of her.

Kaitlynn the birthday girl.

Kaitlynn at 3 is still quite the firecracker. She is definitely my strong-willed child, the one my mother always warned me about. :-) When things are going her way, she is happy and very compliant. But the moment you tell her something she doesn't like or doesn't agree out! Ha!

Little Miss Priss.

There are a few things about age 3 that I had completely forgotten since Connor was that age. 3 seems to be the age where a child's vocabulary really takes off, creating some hilarious conversations along the way. Kaitlynn is quite the talker herself and keeps me in stitches when she tries to tell a story. Her speech can sometimes still be hard to understand for most people, but she can always get her point across. She gets her V sounds and W sounds mixed up, and my absolute favorite phrase of hers these days is when she spontaneously cuddles me and says, "Mommy, I wub you." LOVE THAT!!

Unfortunately, the other thing about age 3 that I had forgotten was the naughty behavior. Let me just say that I have no idea why the phrase "terrible twos" is so popular. In my experience with both of my kids, 3 has been WAY WORSE!! It's so strange to me, it was almost the exact same day that Kaitlynn turned 3 that a switch was flipped and she became a much more difficult child. When Connor was this age, I said the same thing, but I attributed most of his naughty tantrums to the adjustments of his new baby sister. Kaitlynn has always been my "strong-willed child," but her tantrums and naughty behavior have reached an all-time high. She will say "I am mad with you!" and proceed to do whatever it takes to get your attention. Yelling "NO!", hitting, and now spitting are her naughty behaviors of choice. She won't stay in time-out very well, so I usually end up taking her to her room now when she needs to cool off. She doesn't seem to mind that and it does calm her down.

I see this look a lot. She is coming up with a plan.

On the other hand, Kaitlynn can be SO sweet when she wants to be. When she is happy, she loves to cuddle and lavish kind words and kisses on her loved ones. Most of my friends don't get to witness Kaitlynn's naughty side because she is usually very well behaved in public and especially when we're doing fun things with friends. She loves spending time with friends and going places. If we end up staying at home, she gets bored easily and begs to go somewhere. She is my child that loves to go shopping with Mommy.

A happy morning.

We've had a busy summer so most days Kaitlynn has been skipping her naps. She does fine without it (usually) but she is definitely wiped out by the end of the day. When we're at home, she'll still nap for 2-3 hours to catch up on her sleep. She is STILL in a crib (which I'm embarrassed about) and she STILL sleeps with her paci (which I'm even MORE embarrassed about), but I'm working hard on her big girl room so hopefully the crib and paci will be gone soon. When we're away from home, Kaitlynn loves to sleep in a big bed but she usually ends up falling off during the night, so I probably should get some bed rails for her new bed.


I haven't mentioned it on the blog in a while, but we've still been dealing with Kaitlynn's potty issues. She is potty-trained but she has a condition called encopresis, which basically means that she has trouble controlling her bowel movements. It's a very frustrating condition for both Kaitlynn and for us, but lately we've been managing a little better and Kaitlynn will see a specialist this fall to see if we need to take additional steps.

Kaitlynn and her signature teeth. Poor girl.

I am so excited for Kaitlynn to start preschool this fall. She recognizes most of her letters but for some reason she doesn't seem to recognize any numbers. When I try to work with her at home, she refuses to participate, go figure! For the first time this week, I actually "understood" one of her drawings that she came home with. She had drawn circles all over her paper and that's because she's been learning about planets this week at Science camp. I was so excited that I finally recognized what she was doodling, ha!

She was bribed for this picture.

This is just a glimpse into Kaitlynn's life at age 3. I can only imagine all the fun that is still to come!