Thursday, December 31, 2015

Merry Christmas!

We had a terrific Christmas. Lots of time with family, both our little one and our parents. 

Christmas Eve's eve the kids and I attempted the candlelight service at church. Attempted being the keyword. Let's just say that we left lots of room for improvement next year, but we didn't set anything on fire, so win. 

Christmas Eve, Chris and I played elves and set up everything that 'Santa' sent our good little children.
Christmas morning, these sweet little children really were good, sleeping until after 8:00am! And it's amazing how the power of presents will get everyone to look in the general direction of the camera. Our three cuties!
Excitement over going to East Texas also gets a similar reaction; they love their aunts, uncles, and grandparents!
First stop was my parents house! And Sarah came through with pictures, because per the norm, I completely forgot to pull my camera out of the bag.

Meri and her bestie!
Otto was in his element, presents everywhere!
Ned even caught on to the unwrapping, with lots of help from his older siblings.
We drew names this year, and Israel really did a great job picking this out for Sam and Stuart;)
Gift cards! His house is livable, woohoo!
Aunt Hannah found this crazy fun rocket for the kids, they love it!
A bee suit from Chris!
Do we look like twins? Hawt twins.
Hannah won the day in my book. She got me fabric that I have been dreaming about for months! It is SO pretty and perfect for curtains in Meri's room.
Can't wait to sew them up and put the finishing touches on her room. Thank you, Hannah!
The youngest baby of the crew with the two future youngest!
We spent that night in Flint, and woke up early Sunday morning to hit the indoor water park with Chris' family! Daniel even made it! So fun to have all of these crazies together. 
And Aunt Sarah wasn't there, so this is the only picture that happened. Not safe to break out the camera when surrounded by little people and swimming pools! But we had a great time, different from the norm and relaxing.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Baby Ned: Eleven Months

I really dropped the ball this month a completely skipped getting pictures. Thankfully Ned has Aunt Sarah watching out for him! While we were in East Texas for Christmas, she took these wonderful pictures to help me prepare for his 'Neddy Bear' first birthday party! Thank you, thank you Sarah!

My sweet boy!
We love this kid. He is so chill, really goes along with whatever we have planned. He's a great eater, naps like a champ...and sometime in the future will probably start sleeping through the night, maybe hopefully. 
His hair is curly on humid days, and crazy the rest of the time. Total party in the back, business in the front situation. Knowing me, he won't get a hair cut until it reaches his shoulders. But seriously, could you cut that?
He can stand, but only with support, loves to walk holding your hands, and continues to really, really love Otto and Chris. Still only two teeth, but he doesn't let that slow him down in the eating department.
I'm definitely all kinds of sappy about his first birthday that is rapidly approaching. Wouldn't it be lovely if babies stayed babies for a half a second? The first year is just special.
We think you are perfect, Neddy Bear. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Lake Belton (DeMuynck Family Reunion)

We got to spend a little time with my mother's side of the family this past weekend. My Uncle Jeff planned an overnight stay at Lake Belton; Jack and John's family's were able to make it too.
Judy, Jack, Jeff, and John. Just missing Joe!
We had dinner on the lake, then toured the Christmas lights on Fort Hood before spending the night in cabins at the Fort Hood Recreation area. The kids loved getting to see their Aunts, Uncles, and extended cousins. 
Ned loves Minky and MG!
This guy thinks he's so big, standing all the time and stayed up until 1:00am. Heaven forbid he miss anything! 
Always a good weekend when you get to spend it near a large body of water and people you love!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Santa Party

Otto's sweet classmate, Katelyn, invited us over for a Christmas party this week. She is a darling little girl, so kind to those around her.
Her mom put together a great party, and the best part? Santa came too! "Santa" works with Katelyn's father in real life, and brought his grandfather as his elf. 
Otto was hesitant to tell him what he wanted, "Mom, I already saw him at the grocery store. He knows what I want." 
Meri was amazed. It's adorable how impressed she is with the whole Santa Claus gambit. 
And in Texas, Santa drives a convertible!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Big Kid Otto

Otto was born trying to be big, quite desperate to be in the adult club. Five years in and nothing has changed. Imagine how happy he was when his younger brother was sleeping, Meri was shoeless, and I snagged the parking spot directly in front of Little Caesars? THRILLED. Marched in with five dollars and came out with lunch. One cool cat.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Judah's First Birthday

My crew and I drove to Richardson today to celebrate with our little cousin, Judah, at his first birthday party. (Poor Chris had to go to school and take a final exam.)
Judah was born in dramatic fashion, basically a flying entrance, and was delivered by the local firemen. His parents planned a fun party embracing that theme, and had the Richardson fire department make an appearance. All three of my kids LOVED it. Meri now wants to be "a fireman and a PJ Mask superhero when I grow up.".
Helping Meri be brave
Ned was busy busy today. He took one look at Judah walking around and decided he wanted to do that too.
Thanks for keeping up with him, Aunt Becky!
He was, however, NOT okay with the suited up fireman. I think his reaction has more to do with the two front teeth he so desperately wants for Christmas, than being held by a new person. Teething is just the worst.  And yes, his pants a waaaaay too long. But they fit over his tush, so roll them up we will.
We also got to meet my cousin Beth's little girl! Sweet Hope is just beautiful, and so polite, she calmly took a nap during the party.

Birthday boy and his parents!

Meeting Santa Claus

Now, Santa hasn't ever really been a big deal in our house. Last year Otto decided he was real, but it was more of an attempt to secure more gifts...or so we thought.  Cue this year, Meredith is now so on board it's not funny.

She's fairly timid, so imagine my surprise that when we happened upon the local Walmart's version of Santa, Meri hopped right up in his lap. She panicked a little when he asked her what she wanted, "Umm...a bike!"
She told me later that "I think he came to the grocery store just to see me."

Otto tried to play it cool, but you could tell he was pretty excited. "A robot dinosaur please."
So I guess we are just going to embrace it. Santa everywhere!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving and Galvestion

For Thanksgiving this year, we snuck away to the Texas coast. With Otto being in school, our schedule has really changed. The littles and I really miss him during the day, and day trips out of town just don't happen. It was so fun to spend time with just our little crew, no schedules.
We began our adventure in Waco, stopping for Chris to attend class. The kids and I toured the campus, and even saw the bears.
And then to Bryan for dinner with three of my favorite siblings!

After arriving in Galveston, we briefly stopped to wave at the beach, then headed to bed. The next morning we hit the beach, weather was in the low seventies, and we pretty much had it to ourselves. Perfect!
These two were thrilled, and filthy.
We spent a day exploring Moody Gardens. The aquarium was by far the favorite, Ned especially loved it.
It was adorable how excited he was over the exhibits. And it didn't hurt that his bestie was there to carry him where ever he wanted to go.
We also walked ran through the ICE exhibit. SO cold! Chris zipped Ned inside his coat, and sweet Meri was so bundled up that she could barely waddle. The sweet man who offered to take a family photo didn't realize the importance of capturing that cuteness, sadly.
 Otto braved the cold for a quick run down the ice slide and to pose with SpongeBob, but then we were out the door to defrost in the sun with hot chocolate.
The theatre was showing RIO 2 in 4D, which was amazing to the littles. Meri and Ned's first big screen experience. 
We adventured out to the end of a levy after dusk, waves crashing all around. Otto was ecstatic, Meri was worried her new boots were going to get wet, and Ned giggled like a loon. Loud noises and dangerous things THRILL him.
On Thanksgiving Day, we ate out. Which, I have to say, was fantastic. No dishes or prep, lunch on a dock over the water, and we still got to eat turkey!  
That afternoon, in honor of Abbey's birthday, we grabbed some ice cream and went to the beach to dip our toes in the water.
For Otto, Meri, and Chris it turned into a full out swim. Poor Otto got rolled by a wave or two, but it didn't slow him down.
It was a bit brisk, but they didn't let that stop them.
Sweet Ned napped through most of the swimming, but woke up in time for a quick dip with Chris.
 Clearly, he hated it. The ocean is just the worst.
Our last day was grey and cloudy, but beautiful just the same. Wonderful trip, quite redemptive after the ridiculousness that was Memphis. We need to make it a goal to spend more time near water.