Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Indiana Part 2 & O-N-E

Our time in Indiana was pretty chill which was awesome since I had a new baby tagging along on our adventure. Grandma broke out the old toys that Tim played with when he was little and they went to town. 

I'm going to take this opportunity to brag on my man a bit. There is no human on this planet that is better at playing with my kids than this guy right here. He has exponentially more tolerance for true and active play than I do and I love that about him. My kids will remember these moments for years to come and I'm so thankful.
Apparently Tim's Grandpa is good at playing too :). 
One thing is for sure - Grey wanted to play with him. 

Napping is always interesting when you're on the road. He and Avery did awesome...napping whenever and however. Exhibit A: 
We tried to get a group photo but as is customary with this many people: it's a tall order to get a good one. I mean, it could be worse, but it could be better. 
One is too light and one is too dark but the point is we got one with all of us together and that's all that matters, right? 
This visit was our first since Kennedy was young. I hope it's not that long before our next visit!

 On our trip home we passed something I've never seen before: a Wind Farm. To be more specific: we passed Meadow Lake Wind Farm. The wind farm can be viewed on both sides of Interstate 65 in Indiana. I believe the most current information I found said that this farm has about 303 turbines and they reside on over 400 different land owners property. It's mind boggling really. On our trip to Indiana it was dark and we could vaguely see some lights from the turbines, but on our return trip it was light and OH.MY.WORD! It really just can't be captured on film - the vastness of it all. It's unreal. This is the best video I could find on youtube. The music is not awesome but the footage is :) 

I took a ton of pictures, but they just don't do these turbines justice. They are massive and really beautiful in an odd way. 

These next two pictures give you an indication of how big they are. 

Crazy, right? 

And now for the current-ish going's on. In October my baby boy turned one. It's too much to even wrap my head around honestly. I'm still adjusting to the fact that the four little people constantly milling around here asking me for one thing or another are all MINE. Nuts. Simply nuts I tell ya. Anyhow, I took to the yard and the pretty fallen leaves to try to get some pictures to document this momentous occasion. 
I mean to tell you that I couldn't get this kid to look at me to save my life. He just wanted to crunch leaves and crawl around. 

He had a little scratch on his cheek but it's so "real life" I didn't even care. 
Look at all those sweet little baby hairs. Thus far it looks like I've got another blondie on my hands. 

This child is pure T Joy y'all. He is so happy, so easy and so FUNNY. He is full of personality. He loves dancing and singing and he ADORES his big sister Kennedy about as much as his Momma (and sometimes more it seems ;). He's a horrible eater but a phenomenal sleeper and let's just be honest: I'll feed him whatever he wants if he sleeps at night. Can I get an Amen Momma's? Can't wait to see what lies ahead for this little dude. For  now, I'm just trying to enjoy each moment with him because the moments are passing all too fast. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

IN Road Trip Part 1 & Some Candids

People ask me all the time what it's like to have four kids. It's a funny question because having four kids is so much more than I can squeeze into an answer to a question like that. I will tell you one thing that comes to mind though - it's loud. I mean, fever pitch crazy peel the paint off the walls loud (at times). Most of the noise seems to come from the two little people in the middle...you know, the ones that are only 17 months apart and are more like twins than siblings? Yeah - them. They are like fire to gasoline - they take things to a whole new epic level in all ways. On one hand I'm super thankful they enjoy each other so much that they have a GRAND OLE TIME but on the other hand oh.my.heavenly.days.the.volume.level! 

So: my strategic method for dealing with said noise is taking these people out of doors so they can be as loud and crazy as they want and get it out of their system for Pete's sake rather than doing so inside 4 walls. If I could I would insert the gritting teeth emoticon here for extra affect. 
Lucky for us, Tim's parents church had just undergone a major remodel prior to us arriving and since we are close to "the boss" we got the keys and took the kids and had the newly upgraded play area all to ourselves. 
 Looking back at these pictures of Grey makes me laugh because he clearly still had his "paci mouth" which I'm happy to say he no longer has. I love a paci but man it can jack up some teeth. 

 I mean - this people is pure T joy! Makes a Momma's heart happy. 

 Whatever plastic play sets are made out of - it can create some killer static. Exhibit A: 

 After Christmas, we had planned to join Tim's parents on their trip to Indiana to see his Grandparents. We've been before but it was when we only had Kennedy so we were well overdue for a visit and it was a bonus that we could make the trip with Tim's parents and have an extra set of hands on the way at pit stops. It was a lot of driving to make the trip though - we had already driven about 5 to WV and from WV to IN it was another 5 and of course we had a nursing babe so that added some significant time to our trip as well. My mindset was just to take our sweet time and not rush and just get there when we could. The kids did INCREDIBLE...even Micah and I'm so glad we got that time with Tim's Grandparents. Soon after our arrival the old toys came out and my kids were happy campers. 

 Score! A bag of old matchbox cars dumped out for him to play with. 
 Of course we took some of our new Christmas toys along to play with too. 
 I found it amazing how quickly Grey took to Grandpa. I mean, he's kind of shy and he takes a while to warm up but he just attached to Grandpa in a really sweet way and It was so fun to watch. 
 This woman. She's raised 10 of these and she's not lost her touch. I have so much respect for her. TEN children. I just can't even imagine. I know this - she's loved by many and it's easy to see why. 
 Sharing a smile with his Nana and Great Grandma...a special moment indeed. 
 Great Grandpa didn't want to be left out on the baby snuggles so Micah shared the love. 

 Grey didn't really want Great Grandpa's attention being diverted so back up in his lap he went. 

 A hotel stay with 4 kids (one of them being a baby who didn't sleep through the night) was interesting. Again, luckily we were there with Tim's parents and they had an adjoining sweet so we could kind of spread out. It was still crazy how much stuff we had though. I mean, an entire extra bed was used for "everything but the kitchen sink". The baby bassinet was to the left on the other side of the bed and you can kind of see the pack n' play to the right. Tim and I slept in this room with the boys. I use the term slept loosely. Ha! 
 I mean, getting him down with lights on and noise still all around him was tricky. Notice the cell phone plugged in on the table? Blaring white noise to drown us out! 
 This kid on the other hand? Total champ. Lights on. Baby crying. People talking - he didn't care. He did awesome. 
 Why are sleeping children the best thing ever. I could take 1,000's of pictures of sweet moments like these. 
 I gotta tell y'all: in the moment a year ago I was all gung ho and we'll be good and it'll be alright but right now I'm looking at these pictures and not only having twinges of anxiety but I'm also thinking "what in the heck was I thinking?!?!?!?"
 I'm happy to report that we went, we saw, we visited and we conquered...clutter and all. 
 These girls were in the room with Nana and Pawpaw. How sweet is this? 

More on our Indiana journey to come but before wrapping this post up, I'll share some recent candids of the kiddos. I've got lots of random snapshots that aren't of anything in particular but worth savoring. 
I love it that we aren't just in onesies and footed outfits anymore - he looks like a little man in his outfits these days. A little man who doesn't want his picture taken ;).
Look at those chubby fingers and dimples. Love.
He's been pushing this little walker around for a while, but on 12/5 he took his first unassisted steps!
He's delighted with his new skill. I'm still on the fence about how I feel.

Tim took these pictures of the girls in the back yard and they turned out so cute. Sisters!

These next two pictures crack me up for multiple reasons but mostly because Avery is always asking me if she can wear these hand me down wedges (aka "fancy shoes") and I typically say "no" because they are too big and they are not practical for playing in...AT ALL. Man, as I type this out: I sound like a real drag. Ha! Anyhow, this "situation" occurred on her Daddy's watch. The shoes and the standing on the rings.
She's pleased as punch about it all!
We've had some awesome Fall days here in NC and we have tried to get out and make the most of it. We took the kids to the park I blogged about here recently because Kennedy hadn't gotten to go yet. She loved it!
Overalls. Baby. Baby + Overalls = ridiculously cute. I mean, am I right or am I right?
This is a funky disc swing thing and they had so much fun on it but catching it on camera was nearly impossible. This is the best I could do.
I realize this is not a flattering picture of Tim, but oh my word - how sweet is this of them sticking their tongues out at each other? So cute!

I am trying really hard to not let this poor child be the typical #4 that ends up with no pictures of his childhood. Sometimes I just think he looks cute and so I go and grab the camera.
The cloth diaper booty: it just raises the cuteness bar. The thigh rolls are an added bonus!

Oh sweet boy. I wish I could freeze time with you and make you stop growing.
Candids can be the best some time...such sweet memories.