Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Road Trip!!

When I first had my babies, I told myself that I would not let having five babies stop me from doing what I want, no matter how challenging! So, when this fun festival in Stephen's hometown, Ocean Spring, MS that I have been wanting to go to arrived, I said, Let's Go!! Ocean Springs is about 6 hours away, so totally do-able. BUT I decided since we were already that far away from home and one of my favorite people in the world (Aunt Margie) lives 9 hours from Ocean Springs in Lake Lure, NC, why not just make a huge road trip out of it all. (Sometimes, my logic it a little skewed, but, so what!)

It was a trek and at times I didn't think that we would make it, but I am SO glad that we went!

So, Part One of our journey -- Ocean Springs.
Stephen and our babies and The Farleys (My sisters family) caravaned together. The ride down there was awesome. We stopped every two hours at big rest stops, so the kids could run around. We made it there in 8 hours -- no meltdowns. Ocean Springs is an ADORABLE little town and Papa Steve & Mama Jude live right in downtown. We would walk every morning to get coffee at a cute little coffee shop... on our way we would swing by the condo Amy and Damon rented to get them. In the afternoons, we would walk around the festival or or shop or play in the yard... The weather was gorgeous so we spent most of our time outside. We got to see a ton of Stephen's family that we hadn't seen in a while. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pics of this leg... I vow next year to be a better photographer. See pics on my sister Amy's blog --

Family Pic on Ocean Spring Beach
Ivy, Mitchell, Briellen, Luke, Sidney

Part Two of our journey -- Luke Lure, NC
Lake Lure is a gorgeous little town right outside of Asheville, NC. Part of the movie Dirty Dancing was filmed there. We have been going there since we were little... We are very close to my Aunt Margie, so it was SO much fun to see her and have her get to see the babies at this age! Stephen had to fly home for work after MS, so Amy's husband was our "Dad for the week" I can't even begin to tell you how incredible he was... Packing/unpacking my car, loading/unloading stroller, chasing babies around rest stops, reading to them, feeding them! Thanks Uncle D! My mom, Nain, also flew in to MS to make the leg to North Carolina... All I have to say is God bless Grandmas!!

The first couple of days we were there it rained, rained, rained. Our saving grace was the HUGE covered front porch the house had where we were staying. Aunt Margie had several outings planned for us that got us out and about... We got to meet her church friends who have been praying for us... We got to meet her "Inn" friends. (They meet once a week at the Lake Lure Inn for cocktails.) So, yes, it was the babies first time in a bar! It always amazes me how sweet people are with the babies -- The Mayor of the town was there that night and when we went outside for a change of scenery, he followed Luke around a circular garden bed 1 Million times! Loved it. The last day we were there we got to venture out and explore...

And lastly, the ride home -- 19 hours -- 2 days -- ROUGH -- next time we fly!

View From Front Porch

Uncle Damon with Brie, Cousin Aiden, & Mitchell

Nain & Aunt Margie

Our Morning Walk
(You can't tell from this picture, but it was a
mountain and I almost died!)

Damon, Amy, Nain, Aunt Margie
Lunching in Chimney Rock

(In front of the river that holds happy childhood
memories for me!)

Elle & Amy

At the Inn
(Dang camera! Don't know why this is blurry, but
had to post!)

Flashback -- Aunt Margie with Babies 8 Months

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Halloween Festivites!

OMG.... Has it really been 2 months since I've blogged!?! My brother constantly reminds me how bad I am about keeping up, but I didn't believe him until now!

October was filled with fun fall/Halloween festivities...

First was the Oil Ranch, in a small town right outside of Houston... They had a large pumpkin patch, petting zoo, train ride and hay bale maze. You could also milk a cow, take a pony ride or hay ride. Plus tons of grass for the babies to run around... We met several of our friends there and the weather was amazing! I learned the valuable lesson that I should pack a picnic lunch instead of relying on concessions.

Stephen Strolling Babies

Luke, Mitchell, Ivy, Briellen, Sidney

Hay Bale Maze
Luke, Brielle, Sidney, Ivy, Mitchell (Hidden!)

Scarecrow Luke
Riding the Train
Stephen & Ivy, Nonna & Mitchell

Elle & Luke

Next we went to our local pumpkin patch to play. We had so much fun that we decided to go out to eat dinner at Lupe Tortilla -- best fajitas andmargs ever! Quite a spectacle with 8 kids 5 adults. I guess I can't go anywhere anymore without it being a spectacle. Funny thing -- Lupe Tortilla has notoriously slow service, but they had us in and out in a flash! They either needed their high chairs back or were afraid of the potential meltdowns. (BTW - No meltdowns actually happened!!)





The Howells

And then, the finale -- Halloween night! We went to a Toddler Party at our friends Susan & RJ's! Now, a Toddler party is a far cry from the crazy Halloween parties that we were used to attending, but I have to admit that I had so much fun. Pumpkin spice martini's and Gerber Yogurt Bites hors d'oeuvres. We dressed the babies up in Safari animal costumes and Stephen and I went as Safari guides. They didn't stay in their costumes very long, but we got some good pics and then I put them back on for trick-or-treating. They didn't seem to mind them in the wagons! We still got home in time to answer the door at our house for trick-or-treaters!!

Stephen & Ellen
Sidney, Briellen, Ivy, Mitchell, Luke


My Sister Amy & Brynne

Our Friends Drew & Jes, Mason & Ian

Hosts Sooze & RJ & Eli

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

15 Months

Ivy, Mitchell, Briellen, Luke, Sidney

We had the babies 15 month check ups last week and I am happy to report that everyone is doing great! There are exactly where they need to be developmentally and are healthy babies. They are all a titch on the small side but that is to be expected as they were preemies.

Life is quite chaotic as I am sure you can imagine. The babies are off and running and exploring and are into EVERYTHING. We have been blessed with good babies who mostly have sweet temperaments. They test us every now and then and I am glad that it isn't more often. (When I say test, I mean the full body thrown on the floor type fit!)

They are still on a great schedule with a 1 1/2 hour nap in the morning and another one in the afternoon. My books say now is when they start to drop the morning nap, but I want to hang on to it as long as I can. I really need that time in the morning to get dressed and have some alone time!

I have a mix of great eaters/bad eaters, good sleepers/bad sleepers, clingy/independent babies. It amazes me to see how unique each of these little people are. They each have things that they prefer and things that really bother them. I could probably write a book on each of them about the funny things they do and say, but I will try and and give highlights.

20 lbs. 8 oz. (5th percentile)
31 inches tall (50th percentile)
Luke is our wrestle man. He plows his way through anything to get to what he wants. He is very intent and inquisitive. He points at everything and says "What's that?" He loves the feet of his animal lovie and will sleep with them in his mouth.

20 lbs. 6 oz. (5th percentile)
31 inches tall (50th percentile)
Mitchell is our silly boy. ALWAYS laughing about anything! He is extremely clumsy so always has a bruise or scratch. He loves to give hugs. And will stand by the door and say "outside" one million times.

22 lbs. 6 oz (50th percentile)
31 inches tall (50th percentile)
Ivy is our sensitive, ultra sweet girl. She loves to lounge everywhere, on anything. She loves to read books and will drag her finger across the page like she is reading. She plays peek-a-boo constantly... when you pull off her shirt, she'll say "boo" or if she runs around the corner, she'll say "boo." She shakes her head no for everything, even when she means yes.

18 lbs. (Not on the chart yet)
29 1/2 inches tall (25 percentile)
Sidney is still our diva. She loves to be the center of attention. She will clap for herself at the littlest accomplishment and make sure that you have noticed her doing it. She will let you know that she is slighted by the littlest thing. She loves waving "hey" to everybody, even her siblings. She loves clothes and will try to put anything "on."

17 lbs. 15 oz. (Not on the chart yet)
29 inches tall (10th percentile)
Our "Little Bitty" girl. Fiercely independent and stubborn. And when I say spunky, do I mean it! It has to be her way or it isn't happening. She loves to wear shoes, even with her pj's. She calls them "Shhhhhs"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Girls Love their Daddy

Sidney Kisses

Brie Kisses

Ivy Kisses

Friday, September 25, 2009

First Haircut

My fabulous hairdresser, Jessica, made a house call for the babies first haircut last month! They were wiggle worms, but look adorable! I am scared for the time I have to take them to the salon... Maybe Jessica will teach me how to cut hair.

(Jessica is at The Upper Hand in River Oaks if anyone needs a great stylist!)

Group After Shot
Jessica - Elle
Sidney, Ivy, Briellen, Luke, Mitchell
Luke -- Before
Luke -- During
Luke -- After
Mitchell -- Before
Mitchell -- During
Mitchell -- After
Ivy - Before
Ivy -- During
Ivy -- After
Briellen -- Before
Brie didn't have that much hair to cut... Just these two long
pieces on either side of the back of her head.
Briellen -- During
Briellen -- After
Sidney - Before
Sidney -- During
Sidney -- After