Monday, April 30, 2012

Foundry Spring Picnic

A few days after Connor's spring carnival, Kaitlynn's preschool (Foundry Faith Academy) hosted their annual spring picnic. We've attended this picnic since Connor was 3 and it's such a fun spring event. The weather was gorgeous and the kids had so much fun with the bounce houses, face and nail painting, train rides, silent auction, and of course, the lawn picnic with Chick-fil-A and snow cones! The picnic this year was especially fun to see some of Connor's former preschool buddies that we no longer get to see since they attend different elementary schools. Here are some pictures from our fun night.

Connor enjoyed one of the bounce houses.

This was as close as Kaitlynn wanted to get to the Foundry mascot, ha!

Here is Kaitlynn with her "best" friend Anais.

These girls are just SO sweet together. They play princess dress-up together at school :-)

Kaitlynn was getting braver throughout the evening.

Connor loved the hair painting and temporary tattoos.

Connor reunited with his preschool teacher, Mrs. Day.

Enjoying the Chick-fil-A picnic on the lawn.

Several of us Moms were cracking up at Kaitlynn's serious face during her face-painting.

She made the same face while having her nails painted. Beauty is serious business, folks! Ha!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Connor's Elementary Spring Carnival

Connor's elementary school hosts a spring carnival each year as a big fundraiser for the PTO. This was our first year to attend so we weren't sure what to expect. Well, let me say, the kids had a BLAST! We arrived early and were some of the last to leave. They had dozens of booths for games, activities, bounce houses, prizes, snacks, and more. Kaitlynn's favorite activity was the cake walk -- she won 3 times!! It was the cutest thing, everyone there wanted her to win because she was just so funny walking around the cake walk like she owned it! Connor's favorite booth was "dunk the teacher", and he managed to dunk her multiple times! There was also a silent auction and Connor won 2 items. The first is a certificate for 30 minutes of Wii playtime with his Recess teacher before school. How fun! The second is a certficate for his own teacher, Mrs. Hunter, to come to our house, read him a bedtime story, and tuck him in for bed. Now THAT is an awesome memory for him! And the best part of the carnival is that it was a highly successful event that raised more money than expected for the school. Enjoy these pictures of our fun night at the spring carnival.

Connor and Kaitlynn at the Emmott Elementary Spring Carnival.

One of Kaitlynn's winnings from the cake walk.

In this picture, Connor had just thrown the ball and "dunked" the teacher!

Connor loved getting his hair painted.

The end result: a red spider!

Kaitlynn got her fingernails painted for the very first time. She was enthralled!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I am SO thankful to report that Kaitlynn is well on her way to recovery in the poop department. The enema she had in the ER really cleared her out, and since then the steady doses of Miralax are keeping her regular. She no longer seems to be fearful of going #2. I'm not calling her "cured" just yet because I know things can change on a dime with this condition, but she is back to normal these days and I couldn't be more relieved.

One of Kaitlynn's MANY mischievious looks!

Jeff recently celebrated his 49th birthday! He's been calling himself 50 since last year. I always thought it was women who freaked out about the big numbers but he definitely isn't happy about it. At least we can begin planning another big trip to celebrate!

Jeff and I enjoying lunch on his birthday.

Collin came over for a visit recently and the kids were enjoying Dad's iPad. I caught this picture of them all which I love.

Our 4 kids sharing a laugh.

Kevin has been taking a Construction Management course in high school the past 2 years. This year, he created this decorative bowl as one of his projects. It was accepted for a statewide competition, and he ended up winning 3rd place in the category. So proud of him!

Kevin's decorative bowl - so awesome!

Spring has sprung around here and we've been BUSY. The weather has been GORGEOUS which means we are rarely here at home but instead out and about enjoying the outdoors. Also, we have a big project we're working on at the Courtright house that we are super excited about, but I think I'm gonna keep it a secret for a while longer. Needless to say, we're all pooped out from all the activity.

I couldn't resist snapping a picture of Kaitlynn completely zonked out!

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's Already Swim Season!

I honestly don't think we had a winter this past year. We've lived in our house for 4 years now and we've never been able to swim in our non-heated pool before May because the water is way too cold. This year, however, Jeff and the kids broke out their swimsuits in March. That just proves how warm the winter was and probably indicates an especially hot summer coming our way. Somehow I don't think we'll mind. :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

She said "Yes!"

I was honored to be included in a very special proposal earlier this week. My sister's sweet boyfriend Chris asked me to "kidnap" my sister from her work conference in downtown Houston and drive her up to College Station. We ended up at the Century Tree on the campus of Texas A&M (Whoop!) where Chris was waiting with beautiful flowers, chocolates, and a gorgeous engagement ring. To make it even more special, it was Michelle's birthday. I was so happy to be able to witness Chris's proposal on bended knee, under the branches of the tradition-rich Century Tree. I captured these photos of their special evening.

Congrats, Michelle and Chris!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


We had a great Easter with lots of nice family time this year. Here are a few pictures from our Easter weekend.

The kiddos before church on Easter Sunday. They gave me this great pose all on their own.

On Good Friday, we attended an afternoon children's service and egg hunt at Kaitlynn's preschool.

Kaitlynn enjoying the casual Easter service.

Time for the egg hunt. Such fun!

I couldn't resist including this picture of K. Easter egg hunting is serious business to her.

Full Easter baskets.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Girlfriend Getaway

Who knew that enrolling Connor in daycare almost 6 years ago would result in such amazing friendships with the Moms of his classmates? Julie (mother of Benjamin, Timothy, and Lily) and Michelle (mother of Brady and Tanner) have become my closest friends in Houston and we cherish our girl time together. We try to meet often for lunch while our kiddos are in school, but we just never seem to have enough time to finish our conversations.

We decided to plan a girlfriend getaway for the 3 of us while leaving the Daddies in charge of the kids. We talked about several different destinations but eventually decided on Canton during a First Monday Trades Days weekend. Michelle and I had been as teenagers but we knew Canton has changed a lot since then. Julie asked us what to expect, and the best way we could describe it was like a huge flea market. When we asked people about what types of things we could find there, the answer was always the same: "Everything!!"

Girls gone junkin!

We ended up planning our trip a little late and had trouble finding a place to stay. I happened to luck out and find a sweet lady that owned a coffee shop near Tyler and was just starting to rent out her newly renovated top floor. It sounded great so we booked the place sight unseen.

Champagne to toast our girls getaway!

The day finally came for us to embark on our girlfriend getaway. We followed my printed directions from the Internet but apparently it wasn't the most direct route. Add to that the fact that we were driving late at night, and it was a LONG drive. By the time we arrived at our destination, it was past midnight and we were in the middle of NOWHERE! At this point I was thinking to myself "What have we gotten ourselves into??" and I just knew Julie and Michelle would never again trust me to plan a trip for us. We wandered around outside the coffee house for about 20 minutes looking for a mailbox in the dark. And when I say it was dark, I really mean pitch black with no lights around anywhere. We had to use our cell phone camera flash to find our way around.

Using the cell phone camera flash to see in the pitch black night!

We finally found the mailbox with our room keys inside. When we entered the building, we were relieved in a major way. The top floor of the coffee house was just gorgeous with huge vaulted ceilings, modern fixtures, and beautiful and comfortable furnishings. When we woke the next morning, we were surrounded by beautiful, peaceful countryside. Things were looking up.

One of our rooms at Mt. Sylvan Coffee House. We highly recommend this place!

The second bedroom.

We had coffee and breakfast and hit the road for Canton. We arrived early and were immediately blown away by all the fun and cute things we saw there. We had so much fun that we ended up shopping there all day Friday AND Saturday!

Dinner after a LONG day of shopping.

Thanks to the wonderful accommodations, incredible shopping, and lots of girl time, our girlfriend getaway turned out to be highly successful. It's hard to say what the best part was, but I think it's safe to say we each felt rejuvenated from our weekend together. Our husbands (and wallets) might not be happy about it but I have a feeling we'll be making this trip again soon! :-)

Attempting to load the car with all our treasures.

We were quite proud of ourselves. It all fit with room to spare! We actually considered going back to shop for more...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Potty Troubles

* Yet another TMI post about potty experiences, written solely for the purpose to remember (and hopefully laugh about it later?!)

Just when I thought the worst was over with potty training, Kaitlynn began regressing in a major way. She got so good at "holding it" and avoiding accidents that she actually began holding it a little too much. She was so terrified of pooping (from her painful experience a few weeks ago) that she proceeded to hold it for days and even weeks. I've discovered that there is actually a name for this condition: encopresis, which occurs when a child resists having bowel movements and causes impacted stool to collect in the colon and rectum.

After days and days of no movements, Kaitlynn was extremely uncomfortable but still wouldn't poop. We started her on Miralax to get things moving and tried everything else we could think of: bribes, threats, scheduled potty times, treats, medicines, you name it. Jeff even set up an entertainment station at the toilet to encourage her to go. It was amusing to watch but didn't really help.

The doctor prescribed milk of magnesia and at-home enemas. UGH. Those things all helped but only a little.

We ended up back at the doctor and he sent us on to the hospital (ER) to check for a bowel obstruction. We went to Texas Children's Hospital and Kaitlynn was immediately checked in and given crayons and her own remote control for TV and movies.

The nurse even brought her snacks. I'm pretty sure Kaitlynn thought she was on vacation.

They performed x-rays and Kaitlynn did great. She stood perfectly still which I couldn't believe.

Technically Kaitlynn wasn't obstructed but she was still full of impacted stool. They then gave her a "soap-suds enema" which is exactly what it sounds like: an enema with warm soapy water used to soften and loosen impacted stool. She was a trooper throughout the whole ordeal.

So now we're back home and she's back to normal, meaning that she is still terrified to go #2. She is on an increased dosage of Miralax and we now have scheduled poop times after meals. We have to force her to sit on the potty and she still resists with all her might. I know of many kids that have encopresis and it usually is a LONG, frustrating journey.

Who knew pooping could become such an ordeal? Good times.