Friday, September 28, 2012

Catching Up

It's time for another random catch-up post and photo dump! Life moves so fast that it's hard to keep up!

Can you believe it's already FALL?

Yeah, me neither. (Haha). I can't seem to get caught up with my online stuff. I am staying super busy with all the kids' activities, school stuff, and the usual busy-ness of life. Here are some random updates.

Preschool has been kicking Kaitlynn's butt! Even though she's attending 3 days a week like she did last year, the school has eliminated naps this year and Kaitlynn comes home EXHAUSTED every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. When she's that tired, it's not pretty. Our Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons are full of fussy (naughty) behavior and subsequent time-outs. Good times! :-)

The aftermath of a busy day at school.

I've mentioned before on the blog about Kaitlynn's condition called encopresis. She developed this since potty training and still struggles with bowel issues. We were referred to a specialist, and it took us about 4 months to get in to see her. I typed up a page-long summary of Kaitlynn's history and the doctor spent about 30-45 uninterrupted minutes talking to us and examining Kaitlynn. She referred to Kaitlynn as a "textbook case" of encopresis. The good news is that we've come a long way and she's definitely improving. We continue to experience accidents but they are fewer and farther between.

Kaitlynn visiting the GI specialist.

Big news for Connor this month! After a month or more of a wiggly front tooth, it finally came out with a gentle tug a few weeks ago. He was SO excited! He couldn't wait for a visit from the tooth fairy, who (after some stealth Google research) determined that $5.00 was the going rate for a 1st lost tooth. I just love Connor's new "look!"

Could he be any more excited?

Now that school is back in session, Kaitlynn and I are spending a LOT of time inside the car waiting in the carpool line. When I have my camera, I've been known to practice my photography on her (despite her typical unwillingness as a subject).

Love those sparkly eyes.

Tea party fever has reached the Courtright house. Kaitlynn's favorite activity these days is to have impromptu tea parties and serve everyone in the house. She loves it even more when we lay down a big towel and fill her cups with actual water for the tea. Who knew that pouring and serving could be so entertaining?

Tea anyone?

This is so fun, she can hardly stand it!

Even though it's fall, there has been no shortage of sun or warm weather around here. Take a look.

While Kaitlynn has tea parties on the brain, Connor definitely has football fever. He couldn't be enjoying his first flag football season anymore than he does. And anytime there is an NFL game on (Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, Monday night, and Thursday night), he requests that I record the games and then he watches them over and over, no matter who is playing. Between his love for his own flag football team (the Saints) and his favorite NFL team (Texans, duh), his school wardrobe almost solely consists of jerseys and game-related shirts. The other day I caught him playing cars and noticed something funny. See below...the cars are in football formations. He was acting out his team's playbook with the cars. Funny kid!

This picture demonstrates the "Beast Formation Right". Don't tell our opponents.

And speaking of football fever, we've all sure got it around here. I have switched into Texans-fanatic mode and might even be a little obsessive. The radio in my car is set to SportsRadio 610 for the latest Texans updates, I usually have NFL Network on in the background while I'm at home, and I can't watch the games when I'm at home without nervously pacing and yelling at the TV. Jeff has created a monster.

Connor took this pic of me when we watched the last away game. I'm biting my lip, haha.

Game day attire for the Texans away-game.

And one last thing related to football and gameday gear. I've always heard that kids have growth spurts but Connor is experiencing one that I just can't believe. I'm not kidding, it was almost overnight that suddenly his shorts wouldn't button and his tops would barely reach his belly button. I've had to put away about half of his wardrobe, and it seems like every morning he'll get dressed for school and we find another item of clothing that either cuts off his circulation or won't fit over his head, ha!

Connor's game day gear -- the football pants are officially too small now.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cousins Weekend

The last couple of years have become increasingly difficult to plan and carry out our Morgan cousins' weekends the way we did when the kids were younger. We were very lucky to find a weekend this month where everyone was available to meet in White Oak at MeMe and Grand Daddy's house for some much-needed cousin time. We didn't make any elaborate plans -- we just hung around, enjoyed the time together, and took as many pics as the kids would tolerate!

Friday night, the kids stayed up late and waited for all their cousins to arrive. One of their favorite things about cousins' weekends is sleeping in the big bunk room at MeMe and Grand Daddy's house. It holds 4 twin bunk beds, 1 toddler bed, a queen bed, and 2 huge closets of TOYS! What cousin wouldn't love staying there? :-)

On Saturday, we joined cousins Karlie and Preslee for a morning of play time at Kids Station in Longview. It's like a McDonalds play area on steroids. The kids had a blast; Connor did NOT want to leave. I abandoned my photo duty and enjoyed catching up with the fam.

It was a nice afternoon so we all ate lunch outside. Afterwards, we gave Karlie and her best friend Ally babysitting duty while the girls went shopping at all the local children's resale shops. It was such a fun afternoon shopping with the girls, and we all scored some fun resale items for the kids. When we returned from shopping, we learned that MeMe and Uncle Jeb had to perform paramedic duties on Kaitlynn. She had accidentally sprayed whiteboard marker remover spray in her eyes, so they had to forcibly wash her eyes out with water in the sink. She looked pitiful but we were grateful for the nurse/paramedic on duty, ha!

On Sunday, we went to church, snapped some photos, and then escaped the rainy afternoon by watching the Houston Texans on TV. Grand Daddy impressed the Courtrights with his Houston Texans t-shirt in support of our team. We'll convert all the Cowboy fans yet, ha!

It was a great weekend of fun cousin time with our family, and we're so thankful we could see everyone amidst all the busy fall schedules. Here are some of the pics we managed from our fun cousins' weekend.

My favorite pic of the trip. What would we do without Pinterest for fun photo ideas? :-)

Babysitters Karlie and Ally in charge of 8 little cousins (not all pictured). What troopers!

Kaitlynn after her paramedic intervention.

Armed with flashlights and ready for Grand Daddy's dungeon!

What would a cousins' weekend be without a visit to the White Oak Dairy Queen?

MeMe and Grand Daddy with their grandkids after church.

Grand Daddy and Connor with their fierce football faces, rooting on the Texans!

Instagram fun with Grand Daddy and Kaitlynn. Love this!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First Flag Football Game

We had two BIG football games last weekend: the Houston Texans home opener, and the Fiest Saints first flag football game. When I asked Connor which one he was more excited about, he said, "Both!" It was a choice he couldn't make, ha! Connor was so pumped about his first game. It couldn't get here soon enough. Even though it was an afternoon game, the weather was overcast and breezy so it turned out to be a great day. And it was the first time the boys were able to wear their jerseys, too. Connor had the hugest grin when he put his on. It's a little too big for him but he didn't mind.

Connor is #56 in honor of one of his favorite Texans, Brian Cushing.

The team looked great in their uniforms. It was so much fun to watch them play. All the parents of the kids are so supportive and really get into the action. We have 4 coaches, including Jeff, and they all do such a great job with the kids. And the team even has a cheerleading squad to cheer them on. They are so precious! The Saints didn't come out with a win at the game, but they had a great touchdown and looked like they had so much fun.

The Saints lined up to watch their cheerleaders perform during halftime.

What do the little sisters do during the games? Why, have a tea party, of course!

The following pics were captured by one of the other player's Mom, Stacy. Her husband is another coach on the team and she always gets great photos of the kids! I need to take notes from her!

Connor the starting Center in action. Love this!

The kids break huddle after Coach Jeff shows them the next play.

Another shot of the team at halftime.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Texans Home Opener

It was a super fun weekend for this football-loving family! Yesterday was Connor's first flag football game (pics and story to come soon) and today was the home opener for our beloved Houston Texans! The only bad thing about today was that Jeff was away on a business trip, forcing him to miss only his 2nd Texans home game in the entire 10 years of the franchise. Poor Jeff! Kevin, Connor, Kaitlynn, and I were happy to take Jeff's place at the game, though. It was a great day -- gorgeous weather, great family time, and an awesome win for our team. Go Texans!

Gameday pic. It was Liberty White Out day so we wore our white jerseys.

Connor's signature pose while playing football in the parking lot.

My tailgating cuties.

Future Texans cheerleader :-)

In our seats at Reliant Stadium.

Before the game. Go Texans!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

1st Day of Preschool

When Connor started back to school last week, Kaitlynn was NOT happy. She was ready for her own school to start and it couldn't come soon enough. We kept telling her it was next week and she didn't understand why she couldn't go sooner. Last week we went to Meet The Teacher and she was asking me why I wouldn't leave the classroom. She was ready for school!!

This year Kaitlynn is attending her same school, Foundry Faith Academy, and she'll be attending on Monday/Wednesday/Friday each week. We were beyond thrilled to learn that she will have the same teacher that she's had for the 3rd year in a row, Ms. Susan. At Meet The Teacher, we recognized over half of the kids in Kaitlynn's class, and the best news by far is that Kaitlynn and her best friend, Anais, will be in the same class together! I've never seen happier girls together!

Kaitlynn woke up this morning and was SO excited that she was finally getting to go to school today. She wanted to hurry up and get dressed so we could take back-to-school photos like I did with Connor. And probably the thing she was most excited about was getting to strap on her brand new Pinkalicious backpack with her princess water bottle and lunch kit. Oh my, it was like Christmas at our house this morning!

On the drive to school, Kaitlynn was a chatterbox and kept saying how excited she was about school. She was a little concerned about whether or not I would stay at school with her, like I did at Meet The Teacher. She definitely did NOT want that. She told me that there wasn't a spot for me in her classroom and that I would have to go home. Alrighty, then!

Taking pictures was my idea; posing like this was hers.

Ready for school with her new backpack.

At school, she was all smiles.

One last pic in the hallway before entering her classroom.

Showing Ms. Susan her new Pinkalicious backpack. 

At Meet The Teacher, Kaitlynn and Anais were squealing with delight to be in the same class!

Such sweet friends, they always make me smile!

Monday, September 3, 2012

No More Paci!

Last month was a big month of change for Kaitlynn. She finally moved out of her baby crib and into a big girl bed! We had been meaning to move her into a bed for a while, but it took me some time to decide what I wanted to do with her room and what type of furniture she would need. I'm still trying to put the finishing touches on her room, but I hope to post pics soon of her big girl room.

As part of the transition to her new bed, we knew it was time for Kaitlynn to finally give up her pacifier. For the past year or more, she only ever used the paci at home during bedtime and naptime. But she just LOVED her paci! We've been talking to her for a while about trading her paci for a big girl toy, and she would get excited and say she was ready every time we mentioned it. We decided to wait until after our Florida vacation, just to make sure the transition was as easy as possible.

After we returned from Florida, we reminded Kaitlynn again about giving up her paci. We told her that pacis are for babies and that she needed to give her paci to a baby since she was a big girl now. With fortunate timing, Kaitlynn's best friend, Anais, had just become a big sister again to her newborn brother Joshua. Since he was the only baby we knew, we talked to Kaitlynn about giving her paci to Anais's baby brother Joshua. She seemed to understand that and was more than ready to give her paci to him, mostly because she was ready to go pick out a special big girl toy from the toy store.

We weren't able to visit baby Joshua right away, so we told Kaitlynn that we needed to mail her paci to him. I found an envelope and Jeff tried to explain to Kaitlynn about mailing her paci to baby Joshua. She said goodbye to her paci and then placed it in the envelope. Then they walked solemnly to the mailbox. It was quite the serious occasion.

Placing her paci in the envelope for baby Joshua.

The quiet, solemn walk to the mailbox. 

She placed the paci inside, and then she waved and said "Bye bye, paci!"

She was very sad and needed reassurance from Daddy.

Kaitlynn was very brave and didn't look back once her paci was in the mailbox. We went inside and Kaitlynn said it was time to go get her big girl prize for giving her paci to the baby. So we all loaded up and drove to Toys R Us for her to pick out something special. On the drive to the toy store, Kaitlynn suddenly said, "Daddy, I not a big girl" followed by "I not happy with you anymore!" Uh-oh, she was having second thoughts about giving away her paci. We needed a new toy diversion and we needed it quickly.

Finally we made it to the toy store and Kaitlynn seemed excited about picking out a special prize for herself. She roamed up and down all of the girl aisles and looked at everything carefully. Jeff, Connor, and I tried to help by steering her towards baby dolls, Barbies, princess dolls, and even dress-up clothes, but she refused to look at anything we suggested. She was on a mission.

Eyeing the baby doll speculatively.

Checking out an Olivia toy with Connor's help.
Finally, I saw something that caught my eye up on a higher shelf. It was a bag full of princess toy hair accessories: blow dryer, brush, curling iron, flat iron, and even a lipstick. I showed it to Kaitlynn and she immediately grabbed it and said "Yes!" That was the toy for her. Somehow I figured she'd like it because she's always wanting to fix her hair and makeup like Mommy does every morning. :-)

Kaitlynn's big girl prize: a princess hair accessory kit!

Can I just say, I found it so amusing to see what Kaitlynn picked for her prize. This time 3 years ago, Connor was picking out his own big boy prize and he settled on a 20-pack of Matchbox cars. Jeff and I both just continue to marvel at the differences between boys and girls!

After Kaitlynn decided on her hair toys, it was time to check out. She walked up to the counter by herself and handed over her selection. She was overjoyed with her toys!

Time to check out.

No more paci for this happy big girl!

Of course when we got home, Kaitlynn was anxious to open her hair accessories and play with them. They were quite the hit! She fixed her hair, my hair, and even all her babydolls' hair. To this day, she carries those toys around with her and loves to play with them. I think she made a great choice!

Brushing her hair.

Applying lipstick.

Her favorite toy in the kit: the working blow dryer, just like Mommy's!

And now for the aftermath. Despite being thrilled with her big girl toy selection, Kaitlynn almost immediately began to feel sad about no longer having her paci. On the way home from the toy store, Kaitlynn began saying, "I miss my paci." We kept reminding her how lucky she was to have her new big girl toys. We were worried about bedtime and how she would do without her paci.

That night was tough. Kaitlynn was crying pathetically and missing her paci. She took her toys to bed with her, but she really had a hard time sleeping without the paci. I went in to console her at one point. As I held her, I said, "Aren't you happy that you gave your paci to baby Joshua so that he can have a paci now?" And she replied through her tears, "And Joshua give it back to me!" It definitely tugged at my heartstrings to hear her so sad that night.

Over the next several days, Kaitlynn had a little trouble going to bed but she had her hair accessories on her nightstand to remind her that she was a big girl now. She still catches me off guard sometimes when she mentions her paci out of the blue. She'll say, "I miss my paci" and once when I asked her why she misses it, she told me, "It makes me feel better." Broke my heart!

Overall, the transition wasn't too bad and now she is doing great without her paci. She likes to remind me that baby Joshua has her paci now because he's a baby and she's a big girl. Incidentally, we were able to visit Joshua about a week after Kaitlynn gave her paci away. She was quite enamored with him so I think that softened the blow a bit. ;-)

Kaitlynn with her best friend, Anais, and Anais's baby brother Joshua (a.k.a. the paci thief).