We've been a little busy around here this week with extra chilluns.
And when I say 'we've been busy', I do mean we.
All 4 of my men are baby lovers, too.
Miss Clara and her big bow came to stay with us all day and part of the evening on Tuesday.
Beautiful Clara is the daughter of my best friend, who only lives a mile away, so we plan to spoil her quite often.
And today, another good friend dropped her two young'uns by for a little while.
If I had a daughter, I would want her betrothed or promised or whatever it is that would guarantee this little man would enter my family.
Baby Bryan's big sister, Reagan, is full of silliness and loves to hang out on my stairs. She fits right in around here.
We've had a good time with our little friends this week. Jack and Garrett love the extra companionship and activity. And I love being in a time of my life where I can help my friends. Four and five years ago, I was far from capable of handling extra kids. But today...come one, come all!
Today is a day I want to remember. Actually, not the whole day. I don't want to remember that or that.
But I want to remember this.
The little boys and I were running errands, which isn't always the most exciting way to spend our day. But all three of us were in great spirits due to the perfect weather. Bright sunshine, no wind, temp in the 50s.
Our last errand was to get my car washed. I chose a new car wash, where there are lots of bells and whistles as your car gets pushed along for its bath. In the backseat, Jack and Garrett hooped and hollered, loving every minute of it. "What's that?" "That's cool!" "This is fun!" "Let's do this again tomorrow!"
After the wash, I rolled down our windows and turned up the Beach Boys CD for our ride home. Again, more hooping and hollering from the backseat. "Weeee!" "Come on a safari with me!"
At the red light, I turned around to laugh at my boys. I said, "You guys crack me up! What's so great about this day?" They answered with more laughter.
Yes, let's do this again tomorrow. Come on a safari with me, boys. Love, Mommy.
I'm not one to believe weather forecasters, and I think I've written and ranted about that a few times here. For nearly two weeks, they told us to expect snow last week, but I didn't listen. I'm like a big kid when it comes to snow, so I didn't want to get all hyped up about it, only for my heart to be trampled upon with sunny skies.
By last Wednesday, however, they were still predicting a large snow storm coming our way, so I decided they might actually be on to something. I began dreaming of a snow day filled with snowball fights, hot chocolate, movies. The stuff that memories are made of.
Naturally, the forecasters were wrong. The snow hit several hours early. What's the saying? Better early than never? It works for me!
Let me just say right now that you're about to be hit with lots o' photos. Perhaps too many photos, but when it snows in Texas, Y'ALL ARE GONNA HEAR ABOUT IT.
When Rick got up to get ready for work at 5:30a.m. Thursday, there were already a couple inches on the ground.
Rick quickly decided to work from the couch, which means I got to stare at him while he sported his new glasses.
I think that might be his GQ look. You're lookin' good, Ricky.
Working from the couch allowed him to play in the snow with the little boys. Liam had to go to school. Poor kid. We couldn't believe that school was open, because Texas schools typically come to a screeching halt when one snowflake falls. That morning was the first time Liam has ever asked to skip school, but we made him go since he had missed so many days due to surgery and sickness. Liam, when you're reading this, please know that we missed you and talked about you many, many times while we played in the snow without you.
Daddy and Garrett began a snow man.
Jack couldn't focus on a snowman. He had to run up and down the sidewalk to disturb the beautiful snow. In his mind, snow is not meant to be untouched. It's meant to be messed with.
Snow angels are a fun way to mess up the snow.
And a little game of snowballs is a must for boys of all ages.
I will spare you a photo of Jack after he spends 5 minutes in the snow. He can't stand to be cold, so he goes into the ugly cry and needs help stripping down to dry clothing.
By noon, the snow had not let up one bit, and the schools decided to close early. Liam was thrilled!
And out we all went. Even Winston wanted to play in what was probably about 4 inches.
But he's much like Jack with the cold. He'd much rather enjoy it from inside the house.
Not my GB. He. loved. it.
He and Daddy continued to finish the snowman, which we later decided was a snow monster.
By bedtime, the snow had not stopped for one minute. I have never seen this happen in Texas, but it snowed nonstop for over 24 hours. Unbelievable!
By Friday morning, we had received 14 inches of wet snow. It was amazing!
Our ten-foot crepe myrtle was weighed down to about 6 feet. Thankfully, it didn't break.
And the view from my front dining area:
Pictures from the inside of the house were not gonna cut it for me, so I donned my coat and brother-in-law's hunting boots to head out to take pictures of the undisturbed snow.
WARNING: I'm about to show you a picture of me looking oh so hot. Try not to be jealous.
Yea, baby. Nick & Nora Valentine pjs with a coat and hunting boots. I'm sure this style will be highlighted on the next red carpet in Hollywood.
But skipping my typical morning routine allowed me to see my neighborhood under the silence of a snow blanket. I'm glad I can't sleep late when it's so beautiful and peaceful.
I love the "hush" of snow.
Later in the morning, Rick actually went to work, since the roads were fine. The boys and I headed to my parents' house to try sledding on their hill. Unfortunately, the snow was too wet for sledding in our area, but we had fun with more snow ball fights and snowmen.
Yes, school was closed, so Liam was with us all day.
Quick! Take a look at Jack's legs:
When you're not much taller than 3 feet, and the snow is about 14 inches, your legs from the knee down will be covered. That is math you can count on.
Garrett figured out that my ski gloves were his favorites, so he set out to build another snowman with Didi.
Between play times, we warmed up with hot chocolate and s'mores. Mmm!
I still won't trust the weather forecasters, but I could kiss them for underestimating this storm. We have wonderful memories of 14 inches of snow. Memories I will treasure when I'm old and gray and my boys are men.
He did it again.
If you were to ask Liam about that large gap in his mouth, he would tell you that he lost his sixth tooth. He's quite proud of that fact.
He pulled it in bed last night. I assumed he pulled it the old-fashioned way...grab and pull. But he confessed this afternoon that he actually bit on his pillow and pulled on the pillow.
An hour after Liam went to bed last Thursday, he came running down the stairs in a panic.
"Mommy, I have to tell you something," he whimpered.
In my head, I thought, "Uh oh, he's going to throw up! Or he got into trouble at school today and he's decided to confess!"
"Um," he continued. "Tomorrow is inside-out day."
Whew! There's no vomit to clean nor discipline to dole out!
He could hardly contain his excitement the next morning. He tried to wear jeans but quickly realized the difficulty in snapping and zipping inside-out jeans. He settled on sweat pants and a t-shirt.
Even his socks and underwear had to be included.
Apparently, his underwear also had to be backwards.
After school, I asked him if he told everyone about his underwear. He giggled and said, "Yes and the girls were embarrassed."
He must be his father's child!
My baby, Garrett, turned 5 on Groundhog Day. That pretty much means he's not a baby anymore.
As I usually do on birthday mornings, I woke him up with the Happy Birthday song. Before he even opened his eyes, he squealed, "IT'S MY BIRFDAY! I'M FIVE!!!" He was just a little bit excited about this momentous day.
For breakfast, I figured he would ask for donuts, waffles, or some other sugared-up meal. To my surprise, he wanted granola with craisins. Granola with craisins and a candle he got.
After taking Liam to school, we headed home to slave over a chocolate cake. Once again, Jack and Garrett needed to watch it bake, and they thought the timer might never beep.
As I assured them, the cake was finished with plenty of time to spare before grandparents arrived for dinner.
Ni, my mother-in-law, was a good sport to sit with all three boys on the bench. When sitting so close to them, you never know when you might get an elbow or tomato guts in your eye.
After dinner, the boys quickly found her iPhone. They love to play games on her phone, and they're really good at running the battery down.
Meanwhile, the grandfathers talked politics or some other topic that made me want to plug my ears.
But then my boy came to sit in my lap and gave me the perfect distraction.
He may be 5, but he's still mommy's boy.
And Didi, my mom, bless her soul, cleaned the kitchen for me.
When the political talk ended, Jack got some lovin' from Big Daddy.
Liam is a giver. Always has been. It's nothing we've taught him. It is his spiritual gift. When he came home from school that day, he was very upset that he hadn't thought to get Garrett a gift. I tried telling him that what Daddy and I bought G would come from all of us, but that wasn't good enough for Liam. He quietly set to work on something in another room and wouldn't let any of us see. He gathered two of his old easy readers and wrapped them in a box. "Because Garrett is reading so well now, " he added. And he made him a card. What a sweet brother!
Naturally, the evening was tapped off with that cake that took forever in the eyes of the five year olds.
In some way, it's hard to remember life without Garrett, yet it's hard to comprehend he's FIVE. Where did my baby go?!