Thursday, June 25

Austin: Basically We Ate All the Things

Sol and I had taken a solo trip to Austin two weeks before Laura went with us for Gilmore-palooza, but I failed to take any pictures of anything at all the first time. I was committed to at least getting a few on our second adventure so I could write about it. Because what good is a post with no pictures?

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Basically (on both trips) we ate. As much as we could. We started at Hop Doddy--a very popular burger place where we waited in a very long line for very good burgers. It was probably worth it.

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Then we went to Lick--an ice cream place that will probably kill you with its fat content. Like dead. It was DEFINITELY worth it. We got to wait in a long line there too.  If it doesn't have a line--you probably shouldn't eat there. We ate fancy flavors like Texas Au Lait and Dark Chocolate with Olive Oil and Sea Salt. Yum.

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Laura had a super early flight the next morning, so we headed out a bit later for breakfast at Kerbey Lane. We all had great pancakes and creative breakfast food. Sol woke up the next weekend and said he wanted to go get breakfast tacos--and I had to remind him that we live in Beaumont and there are very limited cool food options. Like there are 5 total. Finley really wanted to take pictures in front of the restaurant--he said it looked like UP. And as we were trying to leave, Keaton climbed back up and posed until I took his picture. Silly guy.

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Our last stops were at Texas landmarks. We took pictures at some possible special place at UT and the state capitol. That way if the boys grow up to go to UT or be in state politics, they'll have these important pictures from when they were little. Although it was VERY hot, so they were less than enthusiastic.

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Fun fact: the Texas State Capitol is 14 feet higher than the US Capitol. OF COURSE IT IS.

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A nice passerby offered to take a family picture of us--and it turned out really well! We're Texans now, y'all! Yeehaw!

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Thursday, June 18

Braden and Keaton's Last Day of Preschool

Technically... Braden and Keaton finished school a few weeks before we took these pictures. But my sister was in town on Finley's last day, so I slapped some matching outfits on them and recruited her to make goofy faces behind me to get them to pay attention. If you look carefully you can see Keaton's cute little gap teeth!

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The boys loved their teachers. I was so grateful to be able to leave them in a place where I knew they were happy and loved. Braden protested pretty strongly the first few months of school--but eventually came around and really loved his teachers and friends in his class. Keaton disliked school even more strongly in the beginning--but by the end he practically dove out of my arms when we would get to his classroom.

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Braden grew so much this year! He went to school twice a week and next year he'll go every day--in hopes that maybe he'll learn all his letters and be ready for kindergarten in a year. It was so great to see him be excited about his friends and school and his teachers... we're proud of that kid.

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He's also a decent smiler. We're very proud of that too.

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In addition to getting all his teeth, losing two and learning to walk... Keaton also had a really great year at school. I'm not sure he actually learned anything--but he at least learned how to let other people love him and maybe how to share toys. And it gave me a chance to nap and clean the house and hopefully be a slightly better mother. He'll be going three days a week next year.

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I hadn't actually put his backpack on him until this picture--seriously, all year long I carried it. And he's now obsessed and wants to wear it all the time. Although if it has anything in it, it becomes too heavy for him and he can't really move forward. It's pretty sweet.

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And now we're ready for summer! We have a few camps and programs lined up for the boys so I can hopefully get organized before baby number four comes along. I'm hoping to use this time well and not just nap... I'm looking forward to little arts and crafts and activities and outings. And also naps too. Let's keep it real.

Monday, June 15

Finndergarten: the Final Chapter

Ready for a cool trick where you can see how my little guy has aged? And how much he needs a haircut? Hover over the picture below and you should be able to see a flashback to the first day of school.

Yes. He needs a haircut. He really doesn't want one for some reason--I think the Texas heat will make him change his mind soon. And as soon as I got serious about forcing him to get one--he hit his head on the side of a swimming pool and had to get five staples in the back of his head. So now we can't cut it until the staples come out. He handled it like a champ--he really didn't want the staples but toughened up and did it. Sol was with him for the staples and it sounds like it went much better than when I took Braden to get stitches (I don't know if I blogged about that?) or when we took Keaton to get his teeth pulled. #boysareexpensive

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I thought it would be fun to get a shirt printed for him to wear every year until he (hopefully!?) graduates to see how he grows. Sol anticipates him never actually getting big enough for the shirt. Oh well. I ordered it in mid-September and seriously never got my act together to photograph him wearing it until now. So I guess its an end of the year tradition.

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His ability to smile has deteriorated with time. That's fine. It's memorable and his attempts to smile make me laugh a lot. We're proud of our guy and excited to see what first grade has in store for him!

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Wednesday, June 10


I've done a lousy job doing monthly updates on this sweet third baby--as tedious as it is to keep up with, I'm a bit sad I don't have the record of how he's grown! He'll be TWO in two months. He's such a sweet little thing--and I mean both of those adjectives. He's sweet. He loves to give kisses--he kisses the phone when we FaceTime anyone and will randomly kiss us as well. He's a hugger--and loves to rest his head on our shoulders and will give us long, sweet hugs. And he's tiny. We haven't been to the doctor in awhile... but definitely he's a tiny guy. Which is fine with me--he's easier to lug around. The second picture below is his Little Mermaid pose.

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He's a pretty good eater. He's willing to try most things and has started climbing up in his highchair when he's hungry. You can see a darling video of him eating a corn dog in his sleep on Instagram. He's sleeping well at night--but generally takes an hour long nap, which is NOT LONG ENOUGH. He loves to do whatever his brothers are doing and be wherever they are. They are his pals. They are continuing to be more tolerant of him and sometimes are even nice to him. And he's gotten a haircut since these pictures--I love love his wild summer humid curls but they were hampering his ability to swim, so they got chopped a bit. I've been told they'll grow back.

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The biggest change with Keaton--he got tubes a month ago. After many ear infections, constant runny nose, many nights of poor sleep, very little vocabulary and just general fussiness--I finally made an appointment with an ENT and they quickly recommended tubes for him. His hearing was a bit limited from all the fluid constantly in his ears--I suspect he's maybe had one giant ear infection for the last year that just hasn't cleared up. So after some severe mama guilt for not pushing it sooner--he got tubes. And they've changed our lives. He's trying to talk. He sleeps through the night. I'm not constantly wiping his nose. And he's less fussy. It's kind of like a miracle. We're getting used to wearing ear plugs and trying to keep water out of his ears--but the benefits outweigh that by about a million. Seriously. Tubes for everyone!

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And it was all smooth sailing--until Keaton mysteriously busted his top two front teeth on something. We suspect it was caused by a minor tantrum and maybe hitting his teeth on the floor. But we're not really sure. It would maybe be easier to deal with if there was some major injury--where he was being clumsy or we weren't paying attention... but really, we're not sure how he busted them. And I mean BUSTED. The front part had been knocked off, exposing the nerve--and they were also cracked straight up the middle. I pretty much immediately knew he was going to be losing both of them. After a night of about no sleep and day of very little eating or drinking--he got them both pulled. I cried like a million tears. My baby! With no teeth! The actual extraction went about as well as it could--he did pretty well with the sedation and novocaine. He didn't love having his teeth pried from his skull--but at least it didn't hurt. He could potentially get some fake ones when he's bigger and less prone to falling--and I'm hoping that the large, gaping bloody holes are eventually cute.

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The irony of the whole situation is that he was such an early teether--he's been done teething for months. Even his 2 year molars. And now he's like permanently behind his peers. Or ahead, depending on how you look at it. We're grateful that he's not hurting anymore... and that we have less teeth to worry about brushing? Trying to find as many bright sides as I can.

I can't believe he'll be two next month! He's such a dear, loving boy and his baby sibling owes their existence to his sweetness. He makes me want a million more.

Monday, June 8

Gilmore Girls Reunion at ATX

I have so many things that I actually should write about... but the most fun one is the GILMORE GIRLS REUNION. So that's what we're doing now. My sister flew in for Chicago for the Austin Television Festival--which was hosting a massive Gilmore Girls reunion. Also known as, probably my favorite show ever. I had bugging lots of Texas friends to go with me--but in the end, it was so fitting that my own sis came with me and we went together, both pregnant.

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She flew in after working all night in Chicago--and we drove from the Houston airport to pick up Finley on his last day of kindergarten. And then we left nice and early the next morning for Austin!

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We bought tickets that guaranteed us seats in the balcony. The theatre wasn't huge, but lined up about an hour and a half early to claim our spots. We made friends with the people in front of us and I snuck up to get some pictures of the stars walking in. In the one above you can see Brian (from Lane's band), Logan, Miss Patty, Michel, Doyle and Jackson. The stars! They are just like us! They sweat in the Texas sun!

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I ooobviously made us shirts for the event. I kind of thought lots of people would wear shirts... I was wrong. Mine says, "My husband won't let me name the baby Lorelai" and Laura's says "To me it was something more akin to doing the splits on a crate of dynamite." Not so subtle nods to our pregnancies.

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The actual event was so fun. They started with Amy Sherman-Palladino (the creator) and the actual Gilmore Girls (Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel and Kelly Bishop) chatting together, then showed a tribute to Edward Herrmann--Mr. Gilmore. I think everyone cried--he passed away about six months ago. Then the whole cast came out!

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It was so exciting and so fun to be a part of. We were really hoping for a movie announcement or for ASP to reveal those last four words... but no dice. Lauren Graham did emphatically make it known that in her mind, Luke and Lorelai were definitely still together. And married. There was so much of the cast there that most of them didn't get to speak much--I would have loved to hear more from lots of them. Christopher, Sookie, Taylor and Kirk were all missing--and we thought it was rather strange that NO ONE mentioned Sookie. Melissa McCarthy maybe got too famous?

All in all, it was amazing. Amazing to be in a room with the actual real people who filled my TV for so long and hear them talk about the show. Just such a fun experience. We're still holding out for a movie... come on Netflix! Let's get one together.

Thursday, June 4

Finley's Kindergarten "Graduation"

I can't believe we're wrapping up Kindergarten! Finley had a good year and really enjoyed himself. He had a few rough patches with having a hard time not chatting all the time... but the last few months seemed to go much better. He stayed on green every day and even got blue once!

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His school doesn't do a Kindergarten Graduation--which I didn't realize we needed in our lives until all the cute pictures of little kids in caps and gowns popped up on my news feed. His class had a little celebration consisting of cute paper hats. They sat in rows and watched a slide show, then ate pizza. I think he's aware that he's the tiny one in class--he's told me he doesn't like it when other kids call him cute!

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His self portrait makes me laugh. Also, his ability to smile is really horrible. I didn't get a picture of him with his teacher or with me--kind of a mom fail. It's my first kindergarten. I'll nail it with Braden.
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