Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gotta Love Texas Winters

I love a little cold weather now & again, but it's hard to complain when our "winter" includes plenty of this:
Hooray for January days filled with sandbox play & walks through the neighborhood!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Words

Beau loves to laugh & often finds the most random things hilarious.  Many times it's a word we say or sound we make that sets him off.  Like the good parents that we are, we proceed to repeat it ad nauseam just to get a reaction out of him.  One day last week, his laughter trigger happened to be the word "nope."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Little Boy No Longer

All three of my children have been very slow to acquire hair, at least at first.  That's okay, I think my bald babies are pretty cute.  But when Jake & Mallory did finally get hair, I was thrilled to see their gorgeous curls, compliments of their father.

To add to the gorgeousness of his curls, Jake was also a towhead.  Anyone remember this blond beauty?
Since his first haircut shortly after his second birthday, Jake's hair has thickened up, gotten quite a bit darker & lost most of it's curl.  It did still curl some when long, though, which is why I think I preferred a slightly shaggy look on him.  This pic was taken about a week ago & shows "the mop," as we called it.
As of Saturday, the mop is gone.  J took him for a haircut & had my approval to get it a bit shorter, but I was not prepared for this!  Don't get me wrong, I think it's adorable.  But I did shed a few tears out of pure shock when the boy who returned after a haircut was not my little three-year-old but a big boy.
As I told Justin, we might as well just send him on to first grade right away, because that's how old he looks to me.
My only consolation is that I'm starting to see a curl in Beau's hair that is coming in.  Heaven help me when he starts growing up.  I'll definitely be a basket case!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dressed to Impress

Whether they're dressed up for church, or wearing a silly concoction all their own, I think my crew is a great-looking bunch!  Not that I'm biased or anything.  Here's some random recent cuteness for you.

Beau ready for church in his handsome pirate outfit from Mimi
Mallory showing off her cute new dress from Aunt Rachel, as well as baby Sally's lovely pajamas
One morning before school, I tried to pose the kids for a picture since the boys had on their Christmas presents from Pa & Gigi.  Beau was super cooperative.
Jake is a master at wrangling his little brother!  Notice that Sally made this pic as well.
Jake & Mal were super excited to dress "goofy" for their friend Karl Mikal's goofy-themed birthday party.  You can't see it here, but Mal had her hair in one pig tail & one dog ear, which she found hilarious.
Oh, how I love little ones in footed pajamas!  And matching things!
Miss Priss in a new dress from Mimi
Beau looking dapper in his brother's hand-me-downs
And finally, pajama day at school!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Well done, Jake & Mallory!

Several months ago, we began using an incentive system to encourage Jake & Mallory toward good behavior & doing their chores without complaining.  We snagged this idea from a friend's blog, & it has really worked well for everyone. 

Ideally, we sit down twice a day, morning & bedtime, to go over the rewards each kid has earned so far.  When mornings are busy, we just do it all at bedtime, but it gets hard for them to remember the stuff from the beginning of the day.  I need to work harder to fit in it at the right time.  Each child has a large jar to fill with rewards from each of the six "task" jars.
A button is earned from the potty jar for a dry pull-up (Jake) or underwear (Mal) in the morning, & then another can be earned for a full day without accidents.  A colorful bead can be earned from the bed jar for making their beds when told in the morning (to the best of their abilities).  Two buttons from the toothbrush jar can be earned daily for completing that task without any resistance.  One pom-pom from the toy jar is given to those who clean up well.  Pom-poms from the mouth jar aren't necessarily given daily, but just whenever Mommy notices one of them being especially polite with what they say.  The thumbs up jar, the most coveted of all, holds jingle bells, given at random times for good behavior that goes above & beyond.
When their rewards reach the first line on their big jar, that child gets to pick out a prize or toy of some kind from Target (or another store they like).  Reaching the second line earns them a trip to the ice cream shop.  When the top line is achieved, it's Chuck E. Cheese time!  They usually earn rewards at a pretty similar rate, although it varies day to day, so we've been able to get by with group trips for ice cream & CEC so far.
This is by no means a perfect system, but it does help encourage & reward their good behavior.  Good job, guys!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What's Cookin'?

Jake & Mallory are becoming more helpful in the kitchen lately, & they're getting to an easier age for me to let them help.  I no longer feel like I have to watch their every move in quite so hawkish a fashion!

One day recently when Mallory required more afternoon sleep time than Jake, he got to help me make taco soup for dinner.
Awkward self-portrait of me & my buddy
Serious about his mixing task
Mallory got to join in the fun for homemade pizzas another night.  They really liked making one of their favorite foods & were very particular about only eating pieces from "their pizza" instead of the one their sibling made.
Cutest little chef's assistants ever!  Thanks, Nana, for the awesome aprons!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Brotherly Love

Sometimes I wonder if Beau will survive Jake's love,
but I'm excited to see how the special friendship that these two share grows with them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beau Harrison at 10 Months

My baby is ten months old!  Seriously, double digits?  I'll admit that I'm not really ready for my littlest one to have a birthday, but I suppose I can't do anything about it.  Despite wishing that time would slow down a bit, we are having a ton of fun with Beau at this age!
A little 10-month photo shoot for your viewing pleasure...
Developing quite the temper!
Beau weighs around 18 pounds & is growing like a weed.  He keeps getting longer way faster than he gains weight, though, so he usually sports some saggy pants.  Cute little thug. :)  Here he is in the middle of one of his current favorite pastimes, pushing his siblings' plasma cars around.  When he gets behind the car & pushes, he can really boogie!
My little man isn't ready to walk yet, but he cruises like a champ & has stood for a few seconds on his own a couple of different times.  Beau loves to give high fives, plays peek-a-boo, fake coughs & sneezes, nods his head yes & can say a few words.  His latest are "uh-oh" & "Papa."
This pic on the left was the first time he has ever "cheesed" for a picture.  What heart wouldn't melt from that smile?  Mr. Smarty Pants has figured out how to be charming & is starting to use that charm to test the boundaries a bit.  He laughs hysterically when heading for the fireplace or stairs because he knows he's not supposed to.  Dropping food off of his high chair tray is also a great joke in his opinion.
As I mentioned, my sweet boy can spark a nasty temper.  He takes after his sister in that regard.  His pouty lip it totally pitiful, he can scream louder than any kid I've heard & he has taken to throwing his head back in a full body arch when he doesn't like what you're doing.  Good thing he's cute.

Beau continues to love food & will try anything.  Here he is after his first spaghetti dinner.  Favorites right now include bananas, green peas, broccoli, red grapes & anything with ground beef.
He has also come to love dill pickles!
We love our lively little boy!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Grandparent Adventures

During our Christmas celebrations, we had a great time just hanging out with both my parents & J's.  Here are the random moments I managed to catch on the camera.
Mal drinking soup from a straw at Nana's...
Fun times with the plasma cars in the gym of my parents' church...
lots of play time...
three cuties in a tub...
riding through Papa's pasture...
& checking out some cows.
Gift time with Mimi & Pops
& a baby in a box!
Mal listening to her storybook recorded by Mimi for the hundredth time...
& Beau cuddling up with two of his favorite things - a bottle & his Mimi.
Though much of our fun was not captured in these, we enjoyed our time with all of you!