Wednesday, July 27, 2011

3rd Annual Lake Travis Vacay

It's hard to believe that 3 years has gone by since our very first family vacation!!  Time flies...  "The days are long, but the years are short."  (Stolen from my girlfriend Kimber.)

Read about our first and second annual trips to Lake Travis to stay in my B/F/F's gorgeous lake house! Every year we keep extending our stay... Soon we are going to be summering in Austin!  (Have I mentioned to you my theory on summering?  I really believe there is NO reason that normal people can't summer... Rent a house on VRBO, load up the car and get away from this miserable heat!  Stephen doesn't agree with me, which is why we haven't yet summered anywhere, but I am working on it!) 

We had an amazing week!  The Farley's came with us again this year, which always makes for good times! 

My girls Misty, Kimber and Suzy all came to visit several times so instead of it being a rushed chaotic visit, we actually finished some conversations!  And since we stayed the weekend, we got to see the hubbies too!

Elle & Stephen
Luke, Sidney, Ivy, Briellen & Mitchell
(Um, can anyone look at the camera, please?!?)

Ivy, Luke, Mitchell, Brie & Sidney
Watching Boats

The babies LOVED the water!!  I was a little worried about how they were going to react to the new life jackets (Puddle Jumpers) that I bought, but I worried for nothing! Everyone with toddlers should own one of these... The babies were jumping in the water and kicking around the entire pool.  Ivy and Luke still preferred to stay on the shallow ledge unless they were holding on to one of us.  But let me tell you hanging out in the pool was a MUCH more enjoyable experience not constantly manning the ledge to make sure no one fell or jumped off!

Stephen & Boys in Puddle Jumpers

We spent the days swimming, eating, drinking and hanging out with our friends... Perfect vacation...  Well, maybe not perfect... The downfall was the sleeping arrangements.  For some reason, each baby needed something at one point during the night, so instead of sleeping I was running back and forth between the girls and boys rooms... Not acceptable. (Tired mommy = mean mommy.) SO for the rest of the time, Stephen slept with the boys and I slept with the girls.  Next vacation... No kids!

Fun times below:
Meal Time

Computer Junkies
Aiden & Brie
(Uncle Briski would be proud!)

Golf Cart Rides
(LOVE Brynne's Ruffle Bum!)

Hanging with Aunt Mimi

Thank you, Misty and Bill, for being so generous and letting us stay there!  We love you guys!

(Left my camera at home, so these pics are borrowed from Amy and I have none of my girlfriends...  I was and am still SO annoyed!!)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Goodbye Lovies

When I took the babies pacifiers away at 6 months, I gave them each a little blankie to sleep with -- We call them their lovies. In the beginning, they didn't really care about them, but soon they became addicted to them. They went everywhere with us... It amazed me how much my little guys loved them!! It was like they were best friends, wanting them when they were sad, talking to them before they went to sleep and just being happy when they were around.

Yes, it would be annoying every time one was missing at nap/bedtime or getting dragged through the mud right before we had to get in the car, but I had a blankie as a child (ok, so maybe I kept it until I was an adult!) and remember how wonderful it felt, so was thrilled that mine had the same thing.

Of course, some babies became more attached than others... Specifically, Luke and Sidney... They started sucking on their lovies... Luke would suck on the little "feet" (3 small tabs of fabric on his lovie) while Sidney would stuff as much fabric as she could as far as she could in her mouth. This made for some funky stin-kay lovies, but it was how they fell asleep best. (I had to order a second set of lovies, so I could wash a set at night.)

Luke @ 21 Months
Sleeping with Lovie in his Mouth

Sidney @ 21 Months
Sleeping with Lovie in her Mouth

Like many mothers think of their own children, I thought that this was endearing and cute... My family lovingly told me it was gross and my friends diplomatically stayed silent, but our dentist told me, after seeing their teeth starting to buck, that the lovies had to go! I didn't have the heart to take them away, so I negotiated with her the latest possible date to get rid of them.... She said 3 years was the absolute latest.

Our developmental specialist told me a horror story at one point about a family who took their child's pacifier away too early and the child grieved the loss of the pacifier and started to lose developmental milestones... So, of course, I was terrified, but knew I had to do it.

I decided that I would replace their lovie with a small stuffed animal, so they would still have a companion and hopefully the fur would be a deterrent for sucking. I had every intention of taking each child to the store by themselves to pick out the stuffed animal, but it didn't happen. (I ran out of time before our potty training weekend and really needed the lovies gone before that weekend.... Potty training, next post.) SO, I brought the store to us... I went to a million different stores and bought a million different animal for them to choose from.

That night before bed, I set up all of the animals in the girls bedroom and had a box for their old lovies. I took each child in the room by themselves and let them choose a new lovie and say goodbye to their old lovie and put it in the box.

Hooray! New Lovies!!

New Lovies & Old Lovies in Box
Briellen, Luke, Mitchell, Ivy, Sidney

As expected, Luke & Sidney had the toughest time sleeping that night, but after a couple nights they were able to go to sleep without asking for the lovie. For a couple of days, all of the babies would ask for their lovie at one point or another, mostly after getting in trouble. I would say 5 days and we were home free!!

I had the babies name their new lovies and some the names are hilarious...


New Lovie -- Horse Named Cookie


New Lovie -- Cat Named Coco


New Lovie #1 -- No Name

After being put to bed and she would cry for her lovie, I would go in and get her and rock her and explain why we had to get rid of lovie. After a couple of times of doing this she asked for another animal, so I let her pick a new one. Of course, she tried to work me and get a new one every time after, but she finally grew to love the new (and only) one she picked.

New Lovie #2 -- Giraffe Named Can-Can


New Lovie -- Horse Named Boom-ba

Luke -- Last Chew on Lovie

New Lovie -- Weiner Dog Named Space Balls

All in all, it definitely was a lot easier that I was expecting...

The thing I wasn't expecting was for me to be so emotional about it... After all of the lovies were in the box, I cried and cried! I don't know if it was because I knew how hard it was for them or if I was just sad about them growing up and not being "babies" anymore. Silly.