Monday, January 22, 2018


It has been a big week around our house! Last Wednesday we started potty training JP. At our house we do the 3 day method where you go straight to underwear all the time and stay at home for 3 days and work really hard on going potty. The first 3 days this time were AWFUL. I was so ready to give up but figured we'd give it through the weekend. JP was always more willing to cooperate for daddy so I put Paul in charge of him over the weekend. By Sunday JP was doing MUCH better and today he did AWESOME. He has gotten really good at telling us when he needs to go potty and he has stayed dry almost every day through nap time. I am SO proud of him...the first few days were really tough but we powered through and now our house is DIAPER FREE! Currently he is only wearing a pull up at bedtime. (We were doing naps too but today he refused to put it on.) We're still working on the pooping but making progress. Since we're diaper free our nasty, stinky diaper pail is going in the trash truck in the morning and we are all celebrating!

After 8 years and 1 month of having someone in diapers (minus about 2mo between Ellie and Ruthie) we are DONE!

Ruthie has been rear facing in her carseat her whole life. She was 2 1/2 before she was consistently over 20lb and then she was just so tiny that I felt like she was safer being rear facing. Plus the newest recommendations were rear facing until 4. When she was close to turning 4 I told her she could turn around when she wanted to. She has always been happy being rear facing because she and JP sit in the middle row and the big girls sit in the back so because Ruthie was rear facing she could see the big girls. She finally decided yesterday that she was ready to turn around. So far she LOVES it and she definitely feels very grown up getting to sit like the big girls!
We've also started working hard on getting her to stop sucking on her fingers. She currently only sucks on them at night and in the car. She has pretty much stopped in the car but bed is hard. She's been sleeping with socks on her hands this past week. It is a long, slow, painful process for sure but we're making progress. It helps that our dentist has bribed her with a bunch of toys!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


My kids LOVE our local trampoline park, HiWire. They beg me to go a LOT. Sadly for them there mom is a peds nurse at the hospital and sees all the broken bones that come in from HiWire. So they don't get to go very often. Plus it's ridiculously expensive to take 4 kids for an hour.
All fall they have been wanting to go so at the beginning of December I told them I would take them but they had to do extra chores to earn the money to pay for it. So I made them a list of chores and how much money each of those chores would earn them. It included things like cleaning their bathroom, picking up the yard, picking up the playroom, setting the table, washing the dishes and loading the dishwasher, and dusting. These kids worked SO hard and even JP would help out! 
By the time Christmas rolled around they had all earned the money for their trip so I was planning to take them between Christmas and going back to school but then everybody got sick so that didn't happen. I ended up taking them while we were off of school for MLK day. They were SO, SO excited! Two of Emmie's friends, Evelyn and Ainsley, joined us and one of Ellie's friends was supposed to but her brother woke up that morning with the flu (we were all really glad he came down with the flu before the playdate and not after!).
The kids had SO much fun! JP especially had a great time. He was barely old enough to play last time we went so this was the first time we went that he could really jump well on the trampoline. 

JP was like a little monkey climbing up the wall and sliding back down! This boy is STRONG.

JP had a great time swinging on this rope into the foam pit.

Ellie was worn out by the end!

And the best part of the trip was no broken bones!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Celebrating Ruthie

In our house your actual birthday is a BIG deal. With 4 kids it's pretty rare that life is revolving around just one child so we try to make sure that when it's their birthday the kids feel like they are the center of the world for that one day. When it's their birthday the kids get to pick pretty much everything we do that day. They spend all  year planning and looking forward to their special day!
For her birthday Ruthie chose to go to the Children's Museum. We decided to go in the afternoon as it's generally less crowded then and we got lucky that Paul was able to join us! At the museum Ruthie got to lead the way the whole time which thrilled her!
First stop: the grocery store! 

JP was very excited to drive the fire truck.

Ruthie got to drive the car first since it was her birthday! 

Edventure has a new Boeing exhibit that is SO good! The kids loved flying the plane and being passengers.

Hanging out in our seats on the plane.

Ready for takeoff!

JP and I had to double back to the firetruck while the girls played in Big Eddie.
In one of the rooms you can build a creation and then stick it in the air tube and see if it flies! JP was obsessed with watching a piece of paper fly out of a tube and Emmie did a great job building her own flying creation. She was so proud of herself! Ruthie loved making her creation as well!

We were at the museum until they closed. Ruthie had such a great time!

After the museum we went to dinner at Chick fil A and then went and got frozen yogurt.

When we got home we let Ruthie open up her presents. She got a giraffe Beanie Boo from her siblings and a baby alive doll from the Novak's. And she had cards from Gran and Grandaddy, GiGi and PaPa and Uncle Ben and Aunt Ruth to open.  She also appreciated all her birthday phone calls so thank you to everyone who made her day extra special!

At the end of their special day the kids get to stay up late and play games and spend time with Paul and me. We love this time we get to totally focus on just one child! While playing games with Ruthie we decided she *might* be a bit of a cheater when it comes to Candy Land! We had so much fun laughing with Ruthie and making her feel special!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Santa Train/Emmie's birthday weekend

The weekend of Emmie's birthday we took the kids to Winnsboro to ride the Santa Train. We tried to go last year but tickets sold out within hours of going on sale so this year I grabbed our tickets as soon as they went on sale!
I always let the kids pick what activity we do on their birthday so Emmie got to do hers a day early...Santa train! She's been looking forward to it for a whole year!
the conductor!
The first half of the trip we were in the dining car where we had hot chocolate and cookies and we listened to some stories. There was also a fun interactive story that the kids (and adults) loved!

Emmie and I sat across from the nicest couple in the dining car. They were there with their children and grandchildren and Emmie and their granddaughter were the same age. And since neither Emmie nor I have ever met a stranger we quickly became friends with their family. The kids all wanted to sit together when we moved to the Santa car and JP was happy to find a granddad to hang out with!
When we moved to the other car Santa came to visit all the kids and gave them all a jingle bell. It was great because he sat and chatted with everyone. Even JP was happy to see Santa! After seeing Santa we sang some Christmas carols.

JP can spot a grandparent from a mile away!

On Sunday we took Emmie to Moe's for lunch and then later we took her to get frozen yogurt. That night she got to stay up late and play games with Paul and I.

waiting to get her present from her siblings

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Christmas Break

We had so much fun over Christmas break. I know lots of people who count down the days until their kids are back in school but I'm one of those parents who LOVES Christmas break. I love the slower pace, being able to sleep in a little or lay around half the day if we want to, and all the fun things we can do when everybody is at home. During our break wewent to the James Island lights (see previous post), rode on the Santa train (post coming later this week), plus lots of other really fun things (see below)!

Clara and her kids came over and we decorated gingerbread houses/Christmas train cakes. The kids had a great time and we loved getting to visit with Clara, Mary Ruth, and Ezekiel! Also I'm pretty sure they ate more candy than made it on to their houses!








JP (with some help from Mommy)


Emmie went and spent a night with her friend Evelyn and we let Ellie stay up late and we played games with Paul and I. (She kills at the Disney Jr headbandz game!)
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We went one evening to see the Christmas lights at the zoo with the Evelyn and her family. 

Meeting Ellie the Elephant! JP was NOT impressed.

JP had the best time walking around holding Emmie and Evelyn's hands.

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playing in the "snow"
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The girls thought the "snow" in their hair was so funny!
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The girls and I went to see The Star Movie with the Esteses. It was super cute and we all loved it.

A group of Emmie's friends got together for skating one evening and Ellie and Ruthie were thrilled to get to tag along! Ellie and Ruthie played in the playground area but Emmie has been trying to figure out roller skating. She was really close to having it down pat last time we went but this time she reall got it! I'm so proud of her persistence!

(Emmie is in the white shirt and light pink pants)

Emmie went and played with her friend Addison, who also has absence seizures like Emmie. Her mom and I have been trying to set up a playdate since this summer and both girls were really excited that it finally happened! 

I also FINALLY got Clay Rice silhouettes done for the kids. I happened to see an ad on fb that he was going to be in Lexington and I managed to snag the last 4 spots that were together. I was really excited because he used to come to a consignment shop near us but it was always on Saturdays that I was working. I've been wanting to get silhouettes done for years! It was pretty amazing to watch him cut out the silhouettes. It literally took him about 2 minutes per child! I was SO thrilled with how they turned out!

The end of our Christmas break was not nearly as much fun. I was super sick the day after Christmas (body aches...pretty much just laid on the couch all day) but fortunately I woke up the next day feeling just fine. December 30th I had to take Emmie to After Hours with a sinus infection and oh by the way that cough she's had for a month was walking pneumonia (mom of the year over here!), and January 2nd Ruthie was at the doctor with walking pneumonia (another mom of the year award for the cough she's had since early December...I did take her to the doctor for it once already so that counts in my favor right?) and JP got some antibiotics for the green nastiness coming out of his nose.

So the end was not as much fun as the beginning but we certainly had a WONDERFUL Christmas break overall! And I managed to patch everyone up to go back to school (and midnight after her second day back Emmie was up throwing up...sigh. But nobody else got it so #winning). Now I'm looking forward to Spring Break and more fun adventures with my babies!