Sunday, July 31, 2016

Grosse Family Beach Vacation

This year our annual Grosse family beach vacation was to Galveston. We stayed in a beach house with my parents and my sister's family. We really missed Ashley this year though! It is always fun to be back at the beach and reminds me so much of my childhood and all the summers we spent building sandcastles, collecting shells, and riding boogie boards. I love seeing the kids enjoy the beach more and more each year.

We were very excited to see the Kimmels because we hadn't met each other's babies yet. It was so fun getting the almost-twins together. Please notice Colton's hand on Wesley's shoulder and Wesley's hand on Colton's leg. Cousin love.

We really got lucky because the beach was awesome. The weather was great all week and there was NO SEAWEED. That is a huge deal. We have experienced mountains of seaweed in past years so having a clean beach was wonderful. There were also no cars on the part of the beach where we stayed which is so nice with kids running around.

Most of our days looked like this: Wake up, cook breakfast, spend a couple hours lotioning up kids and packing snacks/water/towels/sand toys, then heading down to the beach. We would set up our 2 canopies and baby pool then hang out for a couple hours. The big kids went right to work digging in the sand and running in the water. Colton and Wesley would nap some and then play in the baby pool. Lainey did not like the water but she loved to roam around and play in the sand. She would get in the baby pool some too.

Have you ever seen more perfect ringlets? Lainey's beach hair is always amazing.

My dad set up some crab lines and the guys took turns going out there and catching them in nets. We didn't end up keeping them but the kids enjoyed seeing them when they brought the net in.

The picture on the left is Lauren and I last summer, and the one on the right is from this summer. What a difference a year makes! How amazing that those 2 little cousin babes were itty bitty in our bellies last time!

After beach time we would come back to the house and put Lainey and Colton down for nap and everyone would eat and relax. The cousins played really well together.

Each night after the kids went to bed we played games. Poker, minute to win it games (with fun prizes from my mom!), Pictionary, dominos, Pente. We kinda like games. Pictionary is my favorite to play with my family. It always ends up being hilarious with everyone's drawing techniques.

The guys went out fishing early one morning and caught our dinner for that night. The fish was very tasty! My dad made his famous seafood gumbo for a different meal, which we all enjoyed. Another day we drove over to the Strand and got ice cream at the same old fashioned ice cream shop we went to as kids. We thought we might walk around and look at other shops but it was 200 degrees outside and there were fits happening so we just headed back.

One evening we went on a beach walk after dinner as the sun set. It wasn't too hot at all and the water and sky were so pretty. It didn't even seem like Galveston!

We had a wonderful week spending time with family at the beach and are thankful for Gigi and Pa!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Colton 9 Months

This past month was full of changes. You started having so much personality! And so much hair! We trimmed your wings but now your hair requires product to keep it out of your eyes. You have 2 new teeth up top for a total of 6 teeth. You make the funniest squeals and sounds and like to kick your legs and bounce with excitement. You have been so much fun and such a joy this month.

Size: You weigh 18 lbs 8 oz (29%) and you are almost 30 in tall (94%). You wear mostly 9 month clothes although you need 12 month jammies for the length.

Eat: You nurse about every 3 hours during the day. You just recently started warming up to the idea of purees by eating a little bit from pouches. We have offered you small chunks of avocado and puffs but you act disgusted and gag.

Sleep: After our double vacations your sleep got a little thrown off. You have been waking up once in the night to nurse but are good about going right back down. I am hoping this phases out. You still do great going down for the night and wake up happy in the morning and after naps. You take a morning and afternoon nap that range from 1-2 hours each. You love your lovie!

Likes/Dislikes: You have gotten a lot better at playing on your own lately. Everything in sight goes straight to your mouth. You like when we support you so you can stand and watch everything that is going on. When you see yourself in the mirror you start bouncing with excitement and making funny noises. Peekaboo cracks you up.
We call this your Dwight Shrute look.

Skills: You no longer topple while sitting. You immediately get into the crawling position but still can't get your arms going. Once you are in crawling position you love getting into downward dog. Army crawling is your preferred method of transportation for getting across the floor.

I love this age. You are sweet and cuddly and fun. You have been such a laid back, happy baby lately and I can't get enough of you!

Monday, July 25, 2016

4th of July in Hot Springs

This year we went on a Mattern family vacation to Hot Springs, Arkansas. We stayed in a house on Lake Hamilton with Greg's parents, sister's family, and brother (we missed you Mel Mel!) for a week and had a great time.

Hot Springs is a 6.5 hour drive without stops. I was not looking forward to the drive but it really wasn't too bad. We left at 7:30 am and stopped a couple hours in for an IHOP breakfast. We drove a couple more hours then stopped at a small children's museum and Sonic for lunch. Then we pressed on for the final stretch and no one threw up, yay! The kids were so excited to see their cousins.

That evening we all loaded in the boat to enjoy the fireworks show from the water. I was nervous how Colton would do on the boat but he was adorable in his baby life jacket and was so calm and relaxed. Holding my sleeping 8 month old while watching fireworks on a peaceful summer night was the perfect way to celebrate the 4th.

We went out on the boat almost everyday (and sometimes twice a day). Cambry and Hollyn loved being pulled and bounced around in the tube. The guys took turns wake surfing and did great. We all enjoyed swimming in the lake except for Lainey who preferred to just stick her legs in.

The guys went fishing one day and caught huge fish. I think these were personal records for all of them.

One day we went to a really cool children's science museum. Another day we went downtown and toured some of the original bath houses and then ate lunch. We also visited these pretty gardens where they had a fun scavenger hunt bingo for the kids and we got to see a peacock super close. For some reason there were a lot of fits on that particular outing but in between the crying we had a good time.

Colton was a MAJOR mama's boy on the trip. If he even caught a glimpse of me while I was not holding him (i.e. Someone is holding him and I walk past the kitchen) he would start crying. A couple times I tried wearing a head scarf of sorts so he would not recognize me, ha! 

I got mastitis at the beginning of the week and Greg actually got sick on the trip for several days. We weren't sure if it was a stomach bug or food poisoning but thankfully no one else got it. Although no one had to visit urgent care this trip so that's a plus!

Overall it was a wonderful trip and great to spend time together with everyone. The weather was beautiful and the boat was so much fun. The drive home was not too bad either. Colton did amazing. I think he cried for about 30 seconds the whole time and was otherwise happy as a clam. A certain 2 year old was not a fan of being in the car that long but I really can't blame her.

We are thankful for a wonderful vaca with the Mattern family!

Monday, July 18, 2016

July Catch Up

I hate getting so behind on my blog! My last post was Colton's 8 month update and it's about time to write his 9 month update! So much has been going on around here.

First of all, we have been making preparations to move to the Woodlands. We are doing some remodeling to our house up there so there have been a lot of meetings and research. Way too many decisions for 2 indecisive people. What do you mean what kind of baseboards do we want? There are more than 1 kind?? First world problems, I know.

We have also been getting our house ready to sell. We de-cluttered, packed things away, and put it on the market right before we left for vacation. Even though I think this will be a good move for our family, it makes me sad to sell our house.

For the last 2 weeks we have been on vacation. It was such a nice long break from the norm. Both our families planned wonderful vacations that just happened to be back to back. It actually turned out to be the best thing as it allowed us to be gone while our house showed, and we really only had to pack once. We came home for 1 day in between and washed all the clothes then put them right back in our suitcases.

The week before we left on vacation Cambry attended VBS at the church of her preschool. She had a blast and got to see several of the kids from her class. They gave out a CD of the VBS songs and Cambry has been singing them ever since. They also had an open house at the end that Greg took her to where they performed some of the songs. I am going to miss that church/preschool and the fact that it is walking distance!

Our good friends, the Gentrys, moved a couple weeks ago. We have been in small group with them since we were newlyweds. I can barely remember those days when we were all young and wrinkle free and kid-less. We have been through a lot of pregnancies, vacations, holidays, and weekly bible studies with our small group. We will miss them tons, as well as all the couples in the group since we are moving too! Our group had a going away party for the Gentrys right before they left and it was bittersweet. We are lucky to have been part of such a great group for so many years. There were 16 kids there and that didn't include the Attaway boys. Daaaaang that's a lotta kidz. And clearly this is the best picture we could get.

This week it's back to reality after our double vacation-athon. I will be working on those blog posts soon with way too many kid pictures because there was cuteness overload. And I still need to do a 4.5 year post for Cambry and then a 9 month post for Colton. Stay tuned!