Quincy Trip

Story told by: Lainey

We woke up on Saturday morning, and got in G-Ma’s and G-Pa’s pool right away!

It’s been in the mid-80’s this week, and we’ve been loving it!

Daddy amazed us with his cannonball skills.

Look at the size of that splash. Daddy is quite impressive.

Grandpa and I were getting everyone with the squirt gun. No one was safe!

After naps, I put on my fanciest shoes. It’s always important to look your best.

Henry and Grandma spent some time relaxing on the swing.

Since Brody can’t go anywhere, he watched all of the events from his Bumbo.

Later that day, Mommy’s cousin, Brittany, had a special surprise for me (and this is my reaction to it).

A princess Sofia dress!! Brittany had her homecoming dance that night, so she wanted me to be able to get dressed with her. Isn’t that amazing?!

She even got the matching shoes. I was beside myself with excitement.

Don’t we look beautiful?! Brittany, thank you so much for letting me be part of your special night. It meant so much to me.

After Brittany left for her dance, G-Pa gave us a wagon ride (and I was appropriately dressed in my finest for this event).

We went out to dinner that night at Texas Roadhouse. My dress was quite popular (as it should be) among the waitstaff.

I had lots of fun trying to crack open the peanuts.

On Sunday morning, Henry spent some time reading with Ryan (Mommy’s cousin).

G-Ma bought two puzzles for me, and I quickly put them together. She must be a mind reader to know how much I love puzzles!

Thanks for doing these puzzles with me!

After breakfast, it was pool time again!

I got to ride on the giant swan that Grandma and Grandpa bought. I used it all of one time (so I’m sure they’re super excited that they rush-shipped it here for our enjoyment).

And it was Brody’s first time in a pool! I think he’s saying, “You’ve got to be kidding me. You want me to go in that?”

Daddy slowly lowered him into the water.

He didn’t cry, but I don’t think that he exactly loved the pool.

Since Brody is shaped exactly like the Michelin Man, Daddy figured Brody would float very easily. He wasn’t disappointed.

Although he tolerated the pool, Brody was more content sitting with G-Ma while the rest of us kept swimming (but he still seemed slightly perturbed).

I amazed Brody with my diving board skills!

Mommy was there when I jumped in, but I went down deep on my own, and swam to her. I love swimming!

After naps Grandpa took us out on a wagon ride again.

Brody wasn’t sure what to make of all of this.

I think Ryan is such a goof! He made me laugh a lot.

Henry has had multiple doses of his antibiotics, and is starting to feel a lot better.

This is Henry’s fish face. He and Mommy have spent lots of time working on this. (You can tell they don’t have much going on in their lives.)

After the wagon ride, we got out the outside toys. I finally got to wear my unicorn helmet that I’ve been talking about for the last year.

This is exactly why I have little brothers.

Henry wanted the basketball in the hoop, so Daddy tried to help him, but Henry wouldn’t let go of the ball. Basketball may not be his future.

While we were playing, G-Ma and Grandma went to the local apple orchard to get apple cider slushies.

They were delicious!

Henry even liked them (and he doesn’t like cold things like ice cream). He may be turning a corner. Thank goodness!

Look at this awesome pink leaf I found!

The adults played cornhole. Mommy contributed absolutely nothing to the first game, so she stepped aside to let the real talent play for the second game.

While the adults played cornhole, I spent time with G-Ma. And I talked. And then I talked. And then I talked some more.

We walked all over exploring the yard. We found birdhouses, smelled flowers, and climbed on rocks (well, I climbed and G-Ma assisted).

In between his turns for cornhole, Ryan entertained Brody.

And then Henry had a turn entertaining Brody (although for some odd reason, Brody seemed slightly concerned about who was holding him).

And finally Grandma had a turn with Brody.

After dinner I generously shared part of my dress with Grandma so she could look her best. I’d say she cleans up quite nicely.

Each night before I went to sleep in the motor home with Grandma and Grandpa, I started sleeping in G-Ma’s and G-Pa’s bed. This is what Mommy and Daddy found when they came to move me each night.

Monday was filled with more wagon rides.

Notice my new gingerbread man that G-Ma bought for me. Thanks G-Ma! It’s like Christmas came early!

And it was filled with more time in the pool. Daddy successfully made it on the swan. (Mommy was not so lucky, but fortunately there were no videos of her experience with the swan.)

Some of the adults ended the day with a dip in the hot tub!

Before we left on Tuesday, we took a couple of pictures with G-Ma. I sure loved my time with her and G-Pa.

Thank you for a fun visit!! It was so great!

On the way home, Henry and I rode with Grandma and Grandpa in the motor home, while Brody, Mommy, and Daddy followed behind.

**On a side note…a few hours before we left Quincy, Daddy visited the same Urgent Care that Henry went to several days ago. Turns out Daddy has bronchitis. He is now on antibiotics as well. We’re dropping like flies, so here’s to hoping that the rest of us can stay healthy (or at least that our current colds don’t get any worse)!

St. Louis Trip

Story told by: Henry

We started our trip to St. Louis last Wednesday!

It takes a lot of packing and lists to prepare to fly on a plane with three young kids, but my saint-like mother made it happen like a champ!

Within seconds of taking off, I fell asleep (sucker still in hand). I slept for a little over an hour, which made Mommy and Daddy very happy!

Lainey and I sat with Mommy, and Brody sat across the aisle with Daddy.

Mommy bought a couple of movies for Lainey to watch, so she spent most of her time on the plane watching those.

After I woke up, I decided that I wanted to go sit with Daddy to watch “Sesame Street.”

Brody nicely fell asleep with Mommy.

We had a 4 1/2 hour layover in Las Vegas, so after eating lunch, we took multiple trams to multiple terminals to find the play area.

We could climb and run to our hearts’ content!

“Panes.” So many “panes.”

Once we arrived in St. Louis after a slightly harder second flight (and 16 hours of traveling), Grandma and Grandpa dropped most of us off at Great Grandma and Grandpa Steck’s house. Lainey went with Grandma and Grandpa to their nearby motor home to have a special night with them!

The next morning we woke up to have breakfast, and Brody got in some snuggle time with Great Grandma.

After breakfast, we went to the St. Louis Zoo! Mommy has some great memories at this zoo from when she was a little girl.

Our first stop was at the penguins. I wasn’t thrilled by them.

But Lainey really enjoyed watching the bubbles as they swam.

Our next stop was the carousel. I wasn’t thrilled by that either.

But Lainey LOVED it.

Our next stop was the train, and that I loved! Here it comes!

All aboard!

Once we arrived at our stop, the conductor invited Lainey to sit up front to take some pictures.

She was much more excited about it than she looked.

The giraffes were my favorite.

“Mom, stop taking my picture. The giraffes are over there.”

Taking a break for lunch with Grandpa.

We had the opportunity to pet the sting rays (who had their barbed stingers removed).

Despite encouragement from the adults, there was no way Lainey and I would attempt this. We did finally warm up enough to peek over the edge into the water.

Mommy and Daddy in the butterfly house.

After several hours at the zoo, our final stop was to get Lainey’s face painted (it was a treat from Grandma and Grandpa). She picked out the “Frozen” face paint. (There wasn’t a chance that I would sit still for this, so we’ll have to try this for me in a couple of years.)

Lainey sat perfectly still for this. Mommy wants to know why Lainey can’t do this when she is getting her hair done.

She was ecstatic about the final result!

Queen Elsa!

Even Queen Elsa needs to nap.

After taking some quick naps in the car, we went to dinner with Great Grandma, Great Grandpa, Uncle Dave, Aunt Kaye, and Jennifer (Mommy’s cousin). It’s a good thing Red Robin is loud because we were crazy, sleep-deprived children.

Jennifer loved snuggling this butterball of a kid.

Brody was fussy, so after falling asleep in Mommy’s arm, Jennifer was very nice to cut up Mommy’s chicken so she could eat her salad one-handed. Thanks for the help!

The next morning we spent some time outside to burn off energy (but mostly because I was up multiple times that night and up since 4:30 a.m.). Then, after my meltdown of epic proportions at a restaurant that forced Mommy to take me to eat outside while I screamed for 30 minutes, we got on the road to head to Quincy, Illinois.

We got to ride in Grandma and Grandpa’s motor home. The best part is that Grandpa put a movie on for us. That’s amazing!

By the time we arrived in Quincy, I really didn’t seem to be doing well. I was very fussy, and had puss oozing out of my eyes. Mommy and Daddy decided to take me to the urgent care clinic before they closed for the night. Turns out I have an ear infection and a sinus infection. (Mommy says this explains my huge meltdown today, and my horrible night of sleep the night before.) The doctor put me on antibiotics right away, so I really hope that I start to feel better soon and can enjoy the rest of my vacation!

Food, Football, and Family

Story told by: Henry

We’ve had a great first few weeks of fall!

We spent one Saturday morning snuggling. You can tell that Brody loved it.

Check out my magic trick. I can made Brody disappear.

I love being a big brother. Brody just may hate being a little brother.

We were running errands in Moscow one evening, and they took much longer than expected, so we had to grab burgers for dinner. I decided to use the top-down approach to eat my burger.

I was full before I even got to the actual burger.

We LOVE that it’s football season. On this particular day we sat down to cheer on the Seahawks (or the “She-Haw” as I like to call them).

I’m starting to calm down a teeny, itsy bitsy, tiny bit while I’m around Brody. I really like it when he gets to lay down or sit next to me.

Daddy gets me dressed each morning. However, since I’m not the neatest eater, my first shirt of the day often makes it until 10 or 10:30 in the morning. At some point Mommy just gives up and lets me run around half naked.

While I napped one day, Lainey taught Brody all of the intricacies of coloring.

Na Na and Ba Ba came to town, and picked up Lainey to take her camping down at the Snake River for a couple of nights. That meant Mommy and I got some special time together while Brody was napping. I’ve been obsessed with “Sesame Street” for the last few days. I amazingly sat still and watched this for 25 minutes. Mommy was very impressed!

We woke up on Saturday, and it was Game Day! Brody and I got dressed up in our crimson and gray to support the Cougs.

I was so proud of the fact that Mommy and Daddy let me sit with Brody.

Brody wasn’t 100% sure about me, but I really did pretty well with him.

Na Na and Ba Ba brought Lainey back in time to head to the game (while Brody and I stayed with our babysitter, Lane). (By the way, Lainey had an INCREDIBLE time camping. I can’t wait until it’s my turn next summer!)

On the way to the stadium, Lainey found a princess castle. She was amazed!

Mommy and Daddy are only taking Lainey to one game this year, so it was a special treat for her!

It was beautiful weather!

Lainey had lots of silly faces.

Mommy ran into one of her good friends, Natalie. Natalie used to go a school with lots of purple (the school doesn’t need to be named on this blog), but Natalie has really come around to cheering for the Cougs. Mommy is very proud of her!

Lainey really did very well at the game. She spent most of the first half terrified that Butch would come near her, but once she got a sucker, she started to come around.

Na Na did a great job of entertaining Lainey (which allowed Mommy to fully enjoy the game).

Using the pom poms in a creative way.

Mommy and Daddy were taking a picture, and Lainey snuck in.

Lainey’s biggest highlight of the game was eating cotton candy for the first time! Ba Ba treated her to this yummy delicacy. Lucky girl! And while Lainey was happy with cotton candy, Mommy and Daddy were thrilled that the Cougs beat Wyoming. Yes!

After church and naps on Sunday, Ba Ba and Na Na really helped with yard work since Daddy isn’t supposed to do much. Mommy and Daddy are so grateful for their help!

While they worked on the yard, I tried the Strider bike for the first time. Lainey seems to love her scooter much more than the bike, so this may be mine very soon!

I did pretty well!

Na Na and Ba Ba had to leave on Monday morning. We were really bummed they had to leave, so we left the house right away to lift our spirits with a walk. We quickly found a pile of dirt and gravel to play in.

It’s in my blood to get filthy dirty in three seconds flat.

Just how I like it.

My Four-Month Appointment

Story told by: Brody

I had my four-month appointment today, and I’m BIG!

We started by taking my measurements. Here are my stats:

Height: 28 1/4 inches (100th percentile)…Both Lainey and Henry were 26 inches.

Weight: 21 pounds, 2 ounces (100th percentile)…Lainey was 16 pounds, 6 ounces, and Henry was 17 pounds, 14 ounces.

Head Circumference: 18 inches (100th percentile)…Lainey was 17 3/4 inches, and Henry was 17 1/2 inches.

I win. I win by a lot.

After we got my measurements, we waited for Dr. Mike to arrive.

I’m certain that I’m the cutest, chubbiest baby alive.

Dr. Mike came in to check me out, and I’m lookin’ good!

I haven’t rolled over yet (although I’m very close).

Dr. Mike says he’s not concerned, but most babies have rolled over by this point.

I would have liked to tell Dr. Mike, “Come on buddy. Look at what I’m working with. I may need a little extra time.”

Overall, I’m growing very well! I had to get three shots. I didn’t cry at all on the first two, and let out a ten-second cry on the last one. I’m one tough guy!

My First Day of Preschool

Story told by: Lainey

After counting down for months, my first day of preschool has finally arrived! I was beyond excited.

When Daddy was growing up, he had a tradition of getting to pick out his favorite kind of cereal for his first-day-of-school breakfast. Following that tradition, I picked out Frozen cereal!

Enjoying my breakfast, and getting energized for a big morning.

After breakfast, we went outside to get some first-day-of-school pictures.

My dress has beetles on it. Even though I hate bugs, I insisted on buying this ladybug dress for the first day of school. (And yes, Mommy did inform me that they were actually beetles and not ladybugs, but I believe what I want to believe.)

In preparation for the first day of preschool, I asked if I could lay my dress out three weeks ago. Mommy said that might be a little too early, so I had to wait until last night to lay it out.

My backpack is on, and I’m ready to go!

Once we arrived, I rushed to my classroom. I seriously can’t wait.

This is my teacher, Mrs. Wilson. She’s really nice.

We know how hard teachers work, so we wanted to give them a special first-day-of-school present. This is the present we gave to Mrs. Wilson. Mommy and I made the pencils out of candy (Rolos and Hershey’s Kisses).

And this is the helper teacher, Mrs. Eld. She’s also really nice.

We gave Mrs. Eld a cup full of Hershey’s Hugs and said, “Lots of hugs for a great start to the school year.” We sure appreciate our teachers!

Okay, Mom, enough with the pictures. Time for you to go! And then Mommy left with Henry and Brody, while I had an INCREDIBLE morning. Before I knew it, our morning was over, and Mommy was back to pick me up.

Preschool may have been just a little tiring. Before I fell asleep, though, I told Mommy about playing outside, playing with toy ponies, reading books, singing “Jesus Loves Me,” Veronika (my new friend), writing my name (I told Mommy that I wrote it wrong, but she assured me that I’ll get it down in no time), and circle time. It was such a perfect first day, and I can’t wait to go back on Thursday!

Labor Day Weekend, 2015

Story told by: Lainey

We always spend Labor Day weekend with the Campbells. We typically go camping with them, but everyone agreed that camping might just put Mommy over the edge this summer. So, they came to visit us!

There was a Cougar home game against Portland State. We stayed with our babysitter, Lane, and the adults went to cheer on the Cougs!

Unfortunately it rained the entire game. Not even a little break from the rain. And the Cougs lost. To a team they were predicted to beat by 30 points. What a dreary day.

After coming home to warm up, the adults were ready to play with us when we woke up from our naps!

Addie is almost two, and she was very interested in Brody. Whenever Brody went to take a nap, Addie would wander around yelling, “Baby? Baby?”

Brody may have been a little bombarded.

Brody and Karl got lots of snuggle time in.

The bath got a little crowded with all three of us in there, but it sure was fun!

After bath that night, Henry went through two pairs of PJs due to various spills. Mommy and Daddy decided not to get him dressed until right before getting into bed. Henry decided he needed boots to complete his undressed state.

On Sunday morning we woke up and it was Victoria’s birthday!! Daddy made some delicious french toast for breakfast.

I was especially excited for her birthday! I couldn’t stop talking about it. I even put on my special birthday outfit for Victoria.

While Mommy made Victoria’s birthday pie, Daddy and Karl took us to the park.

Check out Daddy’s awesome caterpillar (made with rain-soaked sidewalk chalk).

When we got home, we played for a bit.

And hugged. There were plenty of hugs to go around this weekend!

Then it was time for Victoria to open her present from us. It is an insulated cooler she can take on picnics. I was SUPER excited to give this to her!

Then while we took naps, Karl went to get Sella’s for a special birthday lunch. (Ummmm…do you think you got enough food, Karl?!)

He also brought back coffee for Mommy and Victoria. They were just a tiny bit excited. First pumpkin spice latte of the season!

The adults also played Mexican Train. It’s a Labor Day weekend tradition! (And due to unforseen circumstances, this was the first ever unfinished game of Mexican Train.)

After we woke up from our naps, we walked to the park for 20 minutes or so before the rain started.

Addie wasn’t feelin’ it.

Karl pushed Victoria nice and high. I didn’t think mommies were supposed to be on swings, but Victoria proved me wrong!

I did the caterpillar all by myself today!

And so did Henry. You’ve got a little work to do buddy.

Once the rain started, we went home and Daddy built us an awesome fort!

It provided at least a whole ten minutes of entertainment.

Silly Victoria.

We loved playing peek-a-boo in the openings of the fort.

Since the adults were so full from their big lunch, only the kids had dinner, and then everyone went straight to pie. Victoria loves chocolate and peanut butter, so Mommy knew that a chocolate peanut butter pie was a must!

We sang “Happy Birthday” to Victoria, and then she blew out her candle. The pie was DELICIOUS!

And unfortunately here is why we didn’t get to finish Mexican Train. Poor Daddy’s stomach had been bothering him all weekend, so he finally went to the hospital on Sunday evening. They admitted him right away, and within a matter of hours, they were removing his appendix.

Thankfully it hadn’t ruptured, which means he only had to stay overnight. Thank goodness Karl and Victoria were in town because they were able to stay with us, while Mommy stayed with Daddy. Daddy came home on Monday morning, and has lots of rest in his future.

Although our weekend ended a little differently than expected, we had such a wonderful time with the Campbells. Can’t wait to see the four of you next year!! 🙂

Scarecrows, Friends, and Leaping from Furniture

Story told by: Henry

The biggest news in this house is that I get to be in a big boy bed!

This was much earlier than Mommy and Daddy were ready to move me into a toddler bed, but since I was climbing out of my crib, it was time. Yes!

Lainey is in the room with me, so we immediately demonstrated how much fun we were going to have at night. (Who has time for sleep anyway?)

Mommy and Daddy took everything out of our room (except for beds and the dresser). I have no idea why they don’t trust me with climbable shelves, rippable books, and throwable stuffed animals.

Before Mommy and Daddy had even left the room, I was out of bed. This freedom is amazing!

On my first night, I was asleep by 10 p.m. This was after lots of climbing, pounding on the door, jumping on Lainey, running around the room, throwing blankets around, and approximately 40 trips up the stairs by Mommy and Daddy. (I tried to tell them that they didn’t have to bother us, but they obviously didn’t understand.)

This was after my nap the next day. I eventually fell asleep, but not before I was climbing up my dresser and leaping off of it. This is clearly so much safer than my crib!

My favorite spot for naps is on the floor. I always make sure to have my blanket with me, though. Our nights are still rough, and I wake up crying and disoriented several times a night. I love to wake my sister up by jumping on her bed. At some point, I’ll probably calm down and start going to bed a little easier, but for now I’m going to enjoy my freedom!

Brody likes to remind me that he sleeps perfectly through the night, every night. Show off.

While I nap, Lainey and Brody often get to hang out with Mommy (since we’ve all conspired to NEVER let our naps overlap). Lainey loves holding Brody.

Good thing this guy is cute!

Mommy and Lainey have been working on name recognition, so one day they got out the play dough to spell her name.

Early in the morning before Daddy goes to work, Brody likes to help him with his Bible study.

Mommy also does Lainey’s hair early in the morning. Notice the bump of hair on the top of Lainey’s head in this picture. Mommy was going to fix it, but Lainey asked her not to because it looked like a rainbow, and Lainey, “LOVES rainbows.” So her rainbow hair got to stick around.

When Daddy gets home, we love dancing with him.

When we’re extra well-behaved, Daddy gives us a special bubble bath before bed.

We had our block party at church, but it was quite cold and rainy (which is such a welcome relief from the smoke, though). They moved the party inside, but we still went out to visit the firetruck.

I couldn’t resist (eating) the sidewalk chalk.

With the fall weather, it’s time for some fall crafts. Lainey made this scarecrow by painting her hand, and then decorating it. This girl has some crazy expressions.

We made sure to get a walk in since we don’t know if the smoke will come back. Let’s enjoy it while we can! (You can see how helpful I was on this walk.)

Bus!!

Like usual, this kid is happy. He’s starting to make me look bad.

Watching some Colton football. Can’t wait to be out there in 13 years!

Mommy’s friend, Darcee, came into town for the morning. Darcee got in some snuggling with Brody, and got to see lots of friends who came to the park.

Climbing with Oliver and Mya. (Mya gets lots of Lainey’s old clothes, so Mommy thinks it’s fun to have a trip down memory lane with most of Mya’s clothes.)

Dirt and a stick. Perfect.

Stella and Lainey are such good buddies.

They get each other.

Since I have no fear, I’ll just go ahead and climb on up here.

Just hangin’ with the big kids (until Mommy ruined my fun and made me get down).

I was FINALLY included in baking with Mommy and Lainey.

Oddly enough, though, I was a little nervous about the contents of the bowl. What exactly is in there?

Lainey thinks I need an apron. Na Na, what do you think?

Waiting for our loaded blonde brownies to come out of the oven!

And while we baked, Brody smiled.

And smiled.

And smiled. He sure is a good little brother.