9 month pictures

Well, we had Sam's 9 month pictures last week and I could not resist having some taken of Ava too. I was so looking forward to it and it just turned out to be one of those days!! First of all, it felt like 150 degrees outside - poor kids! Ava did not have a nap so she was GROUCHY!! I had this cute little outfit picked out for Sam and 4 minutes after I put it on he ruined it with Ava's kool-aid! Ava refused to wear a bow in her hair - she kept ripping it out and ripped her dress while taking pictures. So the day was not what I had hoped, but the sweet photographer got some good pictures despite all of that and you can see some sneak peeks here!


More Swimming!!

Seriously, what else is there to do in this weather? We had Amanda and the kids over to swim on Wednesday and had so much fun. Ava was so excited that morning and just kept talking about Blakely, but would not hardly look at her once they got here. What am I going to do with this child? I think these pictures are so funny - very Ava!

Bennett loved playing with the noodles. He was also so sweet - he took Ava by the hand and swam with her around the pool.

Ava is becoming a pretty good swimmer (with a life jacket and floaties, of course). She can really move around the pool now - I really think she likes the freedom!

Brooks is adorable and is getting so big. I adore the sleeveless romper and have already started looking at a couple for Sam!

Father's Day Weekend

The kids and I spent a good portion of the weekend at the lake with Jennifer. She generously donated her time to help me decorate and even though we didn't finish, I am amazed by what she did. It meant so much to me!!

Jennifer busy hanging pictures

Part of the new and improved living room!

We came home on Saturday night to celebrate Father's Day. I had asked James earlier what he wanted to do and he said, "NOTHING!!" He has been so busy lately that I completely understand. He got to sleep in while we made blueberry pancakes (his favorite) and he worked a little and watched golf the rest of the day. For dinner, I made the Piraino Family Spaghetti (his other favorite). I hope that he had a good day and that he knows how grateful I am for him. I would not choose another person on earth to be my kids' daddy!! Their eyes just light up when they see him and he makes life so much more fun when he is around.

Happy Father's Day and we love you!!!

Happy Father's Day to Papa and Grandpa too! We ate dinner with my dad last week for Father's Day. One of my favorite memories is him reading books to Erica and me. It looks like he hasn't lost his touch!

My 9 month little boy

Sam turned 9 months on Thursday - I just cannot believe it! We went to his checkup on Friday and he is 22 pounds (Ava is only 24) and 29 inches. He is in the 75th percentile for both. The doctor couldn't even hear the heart murmur which is such a blessing! I don't want him to get any older, but at the same time I am already planning his first birthday party!!

9/18/08 - 6 pounds 15 ounces - We were so scared that night after they almost took him to Children's and the next day when we did. It makes me so much more grateful for the happy, healthy baby that he is.

9/23/08 - 1 week old

12/18/08 - 3 months old This was the first smile that I caught with my camera!

2/20/09 - 5 months old

6/19/09 - 9 months old

Sam has the sweetest smile and he loves to grab my hair and give me big, slobbery kisses (my favorite). He is an eater - anything and everything and the faster he can shovel it into his mouth the better. He laughs constantly at Ava - it doesn't matter what she is doing. He is really moving these days and is even climbing some things (SCARY)!! In his nine short months Sam has already caused MUCH more trouble than Ava ever thought of! He dances to music like I have never seen - his whole body leaves the ground. He has the deepest voice that I have heard on a baby and a contagious laugh!! I cannot even begin to describe the joy he has brought to our lives! We love you so much Sam!

Purple Lady Swim Party

We hosted a swim party for our little discussion group from MOPS today (somehow our name was the Purple Ladies?). It was so much fun, I think we will have to plan another one soon!! Ava did not know what to think of all the kids at our house; she was soooo quiet, but she has talked about it the rest of the day. Haven was still here today and she had fun; she was my door greeter. We practiced her little speech: "Hi! My name is Haven. Would you like to come to the pool party?" and she walked everyone to the back of the house. So cute! Sam was his usual self - he yelled at everyone and had a big time splashing in the water!

Erica talked me into buying a life jacket and floaties for Ava. It may have been the best thing I have done in a while.

What a handsome guy! He will not keep a hat on his head for anything!!

After the party, I told the girls that they had to rest for a little while before we went swimming again. I turned on the TV and came back 5 minutes later to find this.

BFF Haven and Ava

My niece Haven is staying with us this week and we have all had so much fun, especially Ava. I seriously don't know what we are going to do when she goes home; she has been so sweet and my little helper. Ava will be devastated. I think Haven is having fun and enjoying some girl time; she doesn't get a lot of that at home with three older brothers!!! Ava is so funny; she wants to do EVERYTHING Haven does. If Haven says, "I have to go to the potty," Ava says, "I have to go to the potty too" and runs right behind her. It is so cute to watch her try and be a big girl and really makes me appreciate the cute little girl she is!!!

If you look closely at this picture you will notice something that looks like chocolate on Ava's face. I wish it was chocolate - it is dirt!! The girl loves to dig in the dirt!

They had to wear matching pig tails to Target yesterday.

Mimi and Conner came down yesterday to swim and we had a blast!! (Are you happy Conner??)

I went to feed Sam his bottle and rock him before he went to sleep and I came back to find this. They were watching TV and if you look closely they are holding hands. Precious!

Playgroup at the Petting Zoo

We had so much fun at our playgroup yesterday. We went to Petit Jean where they have a petting zoo, horse rides, a tractor pull and more. I wish I had my video camera - Ava was more excited than any other kid there. She could not believe that she was standing next to pigs and goats. She literally ran from one animal to another; it was really funny to watch. Her favorite thing (shocking to me) was horseback riding. She rode the horse 3 times and after everyone was finished and they were putting the horses up, the girl came and found us and let Ava ride the horse to its little home. She just had a permanent smile on her face. So cute!! Sam enjoyed himself too, but I have no pictures of him because he was strapped to my chest.
This poor kitten may never be the same again after Ava was finished holding her!

This hungry duck wanted some food and chased Ava around for a while.

Such a fun day!!!

Home Sweet Home

Even though the lake was beautiful, I don't think you appreciate your own home until you travel with children!! We came home yesterday from the lake, and even though it was not as bad as I anticipated, I am so glad to be home. The first day the kids and I just got used to the surroundings and walked to the water about a dozen times. It was a very long day and my kids are usually in bed by 7:00, but it is different when they are not at home. Ava finally gave in at 9:00 and we were both exhausted. The next day my dad and Andrea came down to help and it went well. I got to go shopping for a couple hours and they completely wore the kids out so it was a 7:00 night (thank goodness for that.) I got most of what I needed accomplished, but there is still quite a bit of work to be done. Thank you so much to Andrea and Daddy for your help!
Funny Story - James called the first night and asked if I had caught the lizard in the bathtub. I was like, "Yeah right." It completely sounded like something he would say to freak me out, but I did not believe him. The next day Andrea called me from the bathroom asking if it was a toy. It was a green, icky lizard - AAAARRRGHHH! My dad and Ava caught it (she thought that was hysterical and is still talking about it) and put it outside with its mommy. Thank goodness!
Conversation with Ava at breakfast:
Sam had a monkey on his pajama shirt that we were talking about.
Me: "How does a monkey go?"
Ava: "Ooh Ooh Aah Aah"
Me: "Sometimes you are a monkey, aren't you!"
Ava: (adamantly) "NO! Sam is a monkey boy. Ava is a flower girl!"
I didn't take a picture of every room and I wish that I would have taken some before shots, but just imagine nothing there!! Here is the almost finished living room.
Master Bedroom

The other rooms have bedding, but not anything else. More to come!

Off to Hot Springs

The kids and I are leaving in the morning for Hot Springs. My job while there is to get the condo ready for visitors next week. As I already mentioned, the thought of decorating and putting all of that together is just awful and more than I can take! I wish that I was someone who loved doing all of that, but I am not. Not to mention my two little helpers!! I will not have a computer either which is ridiculous, but I will probably get a lot more done that way! I am sure I will have lots of pictures to post when I get back.

Here are some pictures I took today before and after our swim. Sam ALWAYS has a smile for the camera!

This is what it looks like when I say "Give Sam a hug."
It is not easy to get all of us ready to swim!! And then to get all of us back inside and into our dry clothes - not to mention all of the laundry that makes for me! But they love it so much, it is definitely worth it. Ava likes to sit in the grass for a while after we swim - she has thrown a fit EVERY time so far when it is time to go inside. Maybe I will get that picture next time.

I hope everyone has a great week!

We Have Liftoff!

Sam is officially crawling. He was scooting with his hands for a day or two, but he has it figured out now. He is so funny because if you leave the room he will cry for a couple minutes until he realizes that he can follow you! If he is after something (especially something that he shouldn't be getting into) he has the most intense look on his face - very cute!

This video was taken in my office/workout/storage room. Sam wakes up a good hour before Ava so we find a spot and play. Also, please ignore my annoying baby talk voice. I never realize I sound like that until I hear it!!!

Happy Birthday AJ!

My nephew, AJ, celebrated his 9th birthday yesterday! I can't believe he is already 9 - time flies!!! He is such a sweet and unique kid!! My favorite memories of AJ are of when I was teaching in Dardanelle and would stop by at Erica's for lunch. AJ was probably Ava's age. When it was time to go back to work, AJ would go put his shoes on and sometimes even go sit in my car. He wanted to go with me EVERY time and he was a persistent little guy. It was so cute and it is hard to think that they are all getting older and not so little any more.

The birthday boy and Sam. AJ was dying to take Sam down the big slide - he had to settle for this baby slide!
All morning Ava talked about wearing pigtails like Haven. I warned Erica beforehand and Haven showed up with pigtails. That made Ava's day!

Picnic Playdate

We made the drive to Sherwood yesterday to spend the day with Carla and Lucas. Lucas is such a cutie and he is a walking fool - I am very impressed. We had a picnic lunch in the backyard and then went for a swim in Lucas' pool. My kids loved the picnic and the water. Sam soaked everyone - I am not sure Lucas will invite him back!! Ava was so funny because she was scared of Lucas; if he was crawling or walking toward her, she would run to me screaming - "He is going to get me!!!"
I did have a minor tragedy. After complaining to Carla about how much I hate my camera and totally want a new (and expensive) one, I accidentally (honest) dunked into the water when I was putting Sam in. I totally forgot it was hanging from my arm and it is DEAD!! So I am temporarily without a camera which is pretty awful, but maybe I will get a new and improved one soon!! Carla took these and shared them with me before I left!!

Isn't he the cutest little guy?

Sam soaked everyone including me!!

Ava had so much fun. The pool had a palm tree topper and all day she talked about swimming in the jungle.

Who Knew???

We had our first family day in the pool yesterday and it was so much fun!!! After Ava's swimming lessons, I really thought it was going to be a struggle to get her in the pool. We were actually kicked out of the last lesson because she was upsetting the other kids. She was a little fish yesterday - she kicked her way around the pool and jumped in like a wild woman!! Watch out Michael Phelps!! I pretty much knew that Sam would love it and he did - the only problem is that he wants to do what Ava is doing and I don't have four arms. He will only sit in that seat for so long until he is really struggling to get out. While he was in the seat, he laughed and splashed. He is such a little cutie!

She kept saying "kick, kick, kick" and did not want to stop. She blew bubbles, sat on the step, and jumped in under the water.

This is just the first of many pool days to come!!