Saturday, April 16, 2011


Oh, boy. Where do I start? This kid has been trouble from the word 'go'. He decided to make Mommy's blood pressure shoot off the charts when he was in the womb and it hasn't come down since. The doctor had to induce me and Sam decided to make his entrance quickly. So quickly that his face and eyes were purple from the bruising. The nurses had to put a note on his bassinet that said, "my face is bruised" because so many people thought he had stopped breathing.

This photo has not been retouched, that is really how he looked. Poor baby. So impatient.

I prayed for a boy, and that's definitely what I got. He is ALL boy. He's loud and busy. And loud. I can't even count the number of giant goose eggs he's gotten on his head. Black eyes, stitches, *sigh*... I'm waiting for the broken bone. Because I know it's coming. I love him, but he's hard. He has reduced me to tears more in his 2 3/4 years than his sisters combined. He has 2 modes, off (asleep) and GO (loud)! There is no in between. He loves guns, as evidenced by the 12 toy guns and millions of rounds of Nerf ammo currently residing all over my house. He loves to swing, and he loves water. Especially throwing rocks into water. And his daddy. He LOVES his Daddy! Maybe it's because Daddy has lots of guns, but don't tell him that. Oh, and he loves soldiers and anything camoflauge. If he sees a soldier, he screams, "A SOLDIER!" and then runs over to hug or shake hands and tell them, "tank you for your circus." I'm pretty sure he means "thank you for your service". At least I hope he does.

Here he is at 3 months:

He was always a happy baby. As long as he was being fed. I couldn't make enough milk for him, so we had to give him formula too. Once, after he started eating baby food, he ate 6 of those big jars of food. Six! He would have eaten more, but I cut him off. He has slowed down a little since then. I'm sure his eating will peak again in his teenage years. I'm already saving money for groceries. I have a feeling I will need it! If he lives that long. I keep saying one of us may not survive his childhood and since I'm bigger...

This is Sam eating his first birthday cake. Let's just say that he enjoyed it. A lot.

One year old at Yellowstone. He had a lot of fun with that driftwood.

His first Halloween. He was a little stinker. A mad one.

He looks like he already had a sugar coma going on! His second Halloween he was a little monster. Do you sense a theme? Yeah.

His 2 favorite things, guns and water. Age 2.

I rarely catch him sitting still. Most of his images are blurry. Don't strap this kid down! He hates strollers, car seats or any place he is required to sit for more than 20 seconds. So restaurants are out. I lose him all the time at church. Luckily most people know him there or at least recognize him enough as he blazes by them to alert me that he has escaped and can tell me the general direction in which he was headed. We have child locks on EVERYTHING. You think I'm kidding. I can't believe he's almost 3. Time flies when you're so sleepy you can't hold your eyes open. That's what they say, right?

Born to be free. Age 2 3/4. He really likes the swings.

"Mama, knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"A nudder UNDERDOG!"
"Okay, son. One more underdog."

I love this kid.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Here's something I remember about being pregnant with Katie. I. Was. Terrified. Audrey was 2 and definitely a handful, as most 2 year olds are. I felt like I could barely handle her, much less another tiny baby. We were all the way in Arizona and our parents couldn't be there for the birth, so I was laboring and decided I HAD to call my mom in the middle of things. Vince looked at me like I was crazy. I needed to hear her say I could do this. Also, she said something along the lines of "it's a little late now, honey". Right.

My friend Kate sent me these funny frog socks to wear during labor so my feet wouldn't get cold, so of course I had to take a picture for her. Cue another "are you crazy?" look from Vince.

She was my smallest baby. My sweet Katie Bear. She was a snuggler from the beginning. My mom gave me a ring sling and I wore it constantly. Katie loved it. Curled up in a little ball all the time. It was pretty convenient so I could have two hands to deal with Audrey.

Home from the hospital.

Here we are at the Grand Canyon. See that lump in the sling? That would be Katie. She's still a snuggle bug. She loves to give hugs, to the point that it gets annoying. She will do the death grip around her siblings' necks until they submit to a hug whether they wanted one or not. And the girl loves a temper tantrum. I think she's a little dramatic. Not sure where she gets that from! *Ahem* Also, like her mother, she's slooooow as molasses. Seriously, I could start getting her ready for school at 5AM and she would still be late. My mom used to tell me that if I was moving any slower I'd be going backwards. See the similarity? We call it "Katie-time". My mom called it something like "Nicole, if you do not get moving right this minute, my head might explode and then I'll be forced to spank you and/or tell your father to spank you when he gets home". That's not a direct quote, because I'm sure there was some cursing involved. Hi Mom! Love ya!

Katie is a very sweet kid who will play by herself for hours. She has always been one of those easy kids that you never have to worry about. She entertains herself, goes to bed by herself (until recently), and usually doesn't have attitude. Unless she's throwing a tantrum. I'm pretty sure that God was trying to prepare me for her little brother. He was letting me have a break before Dr. Destructo came into existence. More on him in a later post. Lately she has become a little tougher to deal with though.

I love this picture! She looks so cute with her dirty face and she's so serious talking on the walkie-talkie.

Over the past year, my sweet baby girl has been taking lessons from her older sister called "how to throw attitude at mom". The tantrums have become more frequent and have less to do with the amount of sleep she didn't get and more to do with how mean I am that she didn't get her way. The good thing about this is that she's quick to apologize after and I get lots of bonus hugs. Katie is also our home-body. She would rather be at home with us and her toys than out and about. When she turned 3, all she could talk about was how much she wanted to do dance class. For her birthday all she asked for was dance stuff. Grandparents chipped in to pay for classes. I begged, cried, and pleaded to a dance instructor to enroll her in classes. She went three times. During two of which she sat in the corner and cried, refusing to participate. I apologized profusely and un-enrolled her. Did I learn my lesson? No. The next year, she did it to me again. At a different dance school. I was too embarrassed to go back to the other. She did last longer than 3 classes, but after a couple of months, she just refused to participate. This year, she decided to do gymnastics instead. I was afraid of the same thing happening, but she has lasted the whole year and has not quit once. I don't know if it has to do with age or the different structure of the classes, but I don't care as long as I don't have to slink out with my tail between my legs, never to return.

Did I mention she's kinda a girly-girl? She loves to wear dresses and twirl. But she does love to jump too. Like on the couch. And somehow managed to break her arm in the process.

Age 3.

Katie in the forest. Age 4.

Here's my Katie-Bear today. Still sweet. And a little sassy. I think she's the perfect middle child. She's like the buffer between her 2 crazy siblings. If you want a hug or 40, come on over.

Friday, April 8, 2011


She made me a mom. Even though she's my big girl, she will always be my baby. I remember every detail of my labor and delivery with her. My other 2 are a little fuzzy.

Just like most new moms, my baby was the smartest, cutest thing EVER!!

Gorgeous photo courtesy of my multi-talented friend Nikki.

This girl has been to more states than most adults I know. She has always been, from the beginning, a great traveler. Whether it be by car, boat, horse or airplane, this kid can handle it. Especially the horses. She has loved horses since she first noticed them. She used to drive us crazy at my mom and dad's house. She walked around all day and the only thing she would say is "haw-see"! Over and over... She's still the same way when we visit them. From the moment she wakes up, she is bugging my parents to go feed. Literally from the minute she wakes up. Then, at any point during the day, if we can't find her we go outside and she's always out there, just looking at the horses.

As a direct result of this obsession, we have approximately 4 million stuffed, plastic, or otherwise horse-related toys littering our house. They range in size from small enough to jab you between the toes when you step on them in the middle of the night to large enough to scare the bejeesus out of you when you stumble into them in the middle of the night.

This is Audrey at the beach in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. She was almost 2. Love the chubbiness!

So proud of her little fish on the Buffalo River. Age 3.

Age 6

Audrey is the kind of kid that knows exactly what to say at the optimum moment to produce the most Mommy-guilt possible. Just the other night I was admonishing her for not reading her books for school and giving me attitude about it. The entire time she was writing something on her dry-erase board that I couldn't see and I was about to start in on how she wasn't listening when she flipped over the board and I saw what she wrote. "My mom is the best mom in the whole world." Gulp. Instant Mommy-guilt. The thing is, I knew she meant it. She wasn't just saying it to get out of trouble, she knew I needed to hear it at that moment. She's always been like that. Extremely perceptive, totally aware that her parents are suckers and that she is, most of the time, smarter than I am. She is adventurous, outgoing, funny, and can be sensitive too. She is the ultimate big sister. She mommies her siblings to DEATH. She's stubborn (like her daddy!), but sweet. Her teachers love her. She is a really good student and loves to learn. It amazes me how she can be so aggressive and so passive depending on the situation. And I'm pretty sure we will be knocking the boys off with a stick. Or a shotgun if her daddy's home. She is also a world-class pouter. See below:

Oh, yes. I have seen it many times.

This is my "baby" today. Doing what she loves second-most. Playing a computer game. Most-most is being with horses. But since we are sadly horse-less at this time, she settles for playing horse games online. The things this girl sacrifices, I tell ya!

I love you, Audrey. My spoiled rotten, lovely baby.