Monday, June 30, 2014

Grant: 7 MONTHS!

I am behind in posting Grant's 7 month photos and the reason is this boy is only still and in one place if he is sleeping.  Not only is he crawling EVERYWHERE, he is now pulling himself up on anything he can.   People are going to think we run a baby boot camp, but really these Francis boys are just strong as all get out and ready to go, go go! 
Grant also has 6 teeth now, 4 of which you can see in this photo. Four on top and two on the bottom...those teeth came in fast and furious.  Now that they are in he is sleeping like a champ.  

Thanks for holding up the sign a bit better for me, Grant!  

I know I say this every month but he truly is such a happy baby.  He gets his giggling ability from his mama and I LOVE it!  I really need to get a video of his belly laughs.  Look at those perfect pink toes sticking out from underneath his chalkboard.  Absolutely kissable!   

Not the best photo of Grant but it does highlight his hair that is getting a bit longer and fuzzier.  I think we had given Nathan two haircuts already by this age and Grant still has very little hair.  

Love this face and those big brown eyes. 

And I am over this photo shoot... I am going to get down now.  The backs of his legs still get really red from his crazy sensitive skin. (I have found a helpful DIY tip I will share soon.) 

Mom, you are still snapping photos? 

Check out my form even though I cannot really go anywhere on this chair.  

Grant sits up like a champ too.  You would assume that with him crawling but our boys often take an unconventional mobility route.  Nathan could crawl before he could sit up...strange!  

Other 7 month news: 
  • Size 3 diapers still.  I am thinking about size 4s for nights soon though. 
  • 9-12 month clothes but always 12 month footie PJs.  I am getting ready to break out the 18-month footie pajamas soon.  
  • Eating: still nursing but also taking formula to supplement and eventually wean both Grant and mommy. :)  The ONLY formula we have found he will keep down is Gerber Good Start Soothe.  
  • In the baby food department, Grant has eaten sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans (which he was not a fan of at all), avocados, bananas, pears, prunes and banana berry mixture.   Grant will eat all of it except for the green beans.  We gave the green beans I had pureed to the Stoyer twins down the street so they wouldn't go to waste.  Grant's favorite thing though is Puffs.  He likes to crunch them once or twice with his front teeth and then he gums them until they dissolve.  He has mastered picking them up and often gets them to his mouth.  Don't get me wrong, we still have plenty on the floor and stuck to various parts of his body but at least half make it into his mouth! :)   
  • Grant says "dada" fairly consistently.  I don't think he knows the meaning but still!  Gee, thanks, Grant!  I suppose I am just chipped liver.  
  • Sleep:  I don't want to jinx myself here, but he usually sleeps from 8 or 9pm to 6 or 7 am. 
We are loving life with our baby boy who is losing some of his "baby" attributes a bit too quickly for this mama.  

Whew, I got his 7 month post in just barely before we have to change the calendar.  :)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Salad Party

GG Wood volunteers at several schools in the Washington School District every week.  She helped students at South Point Elementary plant a garden and to celebrate their hard work and end of the year they had a salad party and GG invited Tyler to join her.  I stayed home with Nathan and Grant so they could take naps.  Aunt Jeanne was there though snapping photos and sent me these.

Tyler was a big helper.   Tyler usually loves salad but this salad had purple lettuce too and he wasn't too sure about purple lettuce so he refrained from enjoying the salad.  He did get to play on the playground with the 1st and 2nd graders and it was a huge highlight for him!  

How old does he look here?  
I cannot believe my first baby will be 5 already this fall!  

Thanks, GG, for thinking to include Tyler and inviting him along for the fun.  Thanks, Jeanne, for the photos!  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Grant's 6 month check up

On June 5 Grant had his 6 month check up.  He was really only 10 days away from his 7 month birthday, but who is counting. :) 

This happy, chunky monkey weighed in right at 20 lbs (82% for age) and was 29 inches long/tall (99%). His weight for length percentile was below 50%!   
This big guys head circumference is off the chart at 18.3 inches!  Our boys continue to have large noggins - hopefully that means very large brains!

Grant was thrilled to sit on the exam table and rip the paper over and over and over.  As you can tell by the photo, he also loves to drool!  

We are so, so thankful for a happy and HEALTHY baby boy!  Next appointment is not until the 9 month checkup.  I made all three boys appointments within a week or so time span as Tyler will turn 5, Nathan will be 2.5 and Grant will be 9 months!  Crazy how fast they grow up!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Reading Program: Nitro Joe

We are doing the Washington Library's Summer Reading program again this year.  Saturday, June 7 we were at the library exchanging our books and we happened to be there just before Nitro Joe arrived.  Of course, we had to stay and check it out.  

I was so glad we did. 

Check out Nitro Joe's site here

Nitro Joe did all kinds of cool science experiments that got kids excited about science!  

Tyler's mouth was half open most of the presentation - he was in awe and VERY interested.  Nathan sat still for the show too and listened!  

Nitro Joe talked about solids, liquids and gases. He highlighted safety when doing science and made all kinds of cool things using dry ice.  

Tyler even won an attendance prize - the book Science in Seconds for Kids!  It will be fun to do some of the experiments this summer.  

I love fun activities that get my kids excited about learning.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Random Photos

I have a whole lot of photos that are pretty random and rather than put them into individual posts, I am attempting to catch up a bit.  

Tyler wanted to read Grant a book at play group one Friday morning.  I love that he chose to read him Grandpa's Tractor

Does it get much better than holding a sleeping baby in your arms?  

Grant's jumper entertained all three of these kiddos on Tuesday afternoon. 

My crew at Target.  If I have a lot of shopping to do, we often make a stop at the Target Cafe to get some popcorn.  It keeps them occupied and happy - totally worth the $1.99. :) 

This was a night that Grant and I had been through two set of clothes because he kept throwing up.  So I just kept him in a diaper and he finally fell asleep.  

Then he and daddy fell asleep together while I ran to Walgreens for some Pedialyte.  

These were our quick gifts we put together for Tyler's teachers at Little Rascals for Teacher Appreciation Week. 

My Mother's Day gift bag from Tyler.  LOVE!  

Don't you love the popsicle stick note and pencil holder Tyler made for me?  What do you do with these sweet treasures?  I cannot bear to throw some of them away.  Jeff is confident I am going to turn into a hoarder of stuff my kids make. :) 

Another popsicle stick treasure with hearts on it.  

I heard Grant cooing one morning after his nap and go in to check on him.  Nathan was in Grant's room and told me "I play with Grant."  Nathan had been putting toys over the top of his crib rail for him to play with and Grant liked it but was a bit overwhelmed too at things being hurled over the edge of his crib. 

Saturday morning cartoons in mom and dad's bed. 

Nathan was having a challenging nap time one Friday afternoon so I gave in and let him cuddle with Grant and I in our bed and I sent Jeff this photo after he asked how my afternoon was going.  Pretty much perfection in my book. :) 

First tooth for Grant arrived on May 5! 

I love that Nathan will occasionally fall asleep on me.  

These little strips usually hold a moon, star and lamb but Grant promptly rips them off their Velcro attachments each time.  

Nathan felt the need to go an get his little chair to come and sit by me in the backyard this particular afternoon.  

Such a ham!  He often still wants to be the baby in the house.  

Nathan loves that corn on the cob is in season.  Apparently, I was cold this day with an old KKG fleece jacket on though. (: 

Nighttime cuddles and a selfie. 

How did this happen?  I really thought it was a mistake when I first got this e-mail from Mizzou saying Happy 10th Anniversary on my graduation from MU.  Really?  Really.  How in the world did 10 years go by so quickly?  

Sweetest sweet potato eater EVER!  

Just so darn cute.  I understand I am bit, okay a lot, biased. 

My boys before bed one night. They are all so good to each other. 

Jeff looks a bit exasperated with me taking their picture, but it was too precious not to.   He truly is the best dad!  

Happy face (and teeth)! 

Our corn gobbler. 

They were waiting on the deck for dad to finish cutting the grass so they could head out and play. 

Nathan is ready to help dad with the yard work assuming he gets one of these.   Every. time. we go into Lowe's we have to check out and sit on the "trat oars." 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lake Weekend

The last weekend in May / first day of June we spent at the Lake of the Ozarks with the Busch Family.  We wanted to do a mini-getaway.  It is a big deal for Jeff to take off days in the summer months and with three kids, I didn't want to brave traveling too far.  We had enough gear for a week just going to the Lake.  The best part about it was we rented a three bedroom house with the Busch's who we don't get to see often enough. We also got to meet their new (now 3-month old) daughter, Lena, for the first time!    

We arrived at the house Friday afternoon.  We planned for the car ride to be nap time and it worked out perfectly!  It was a risk, but it paid off. :) After a bit of unpacking it was off to play some putt-putt. 

Dad was a big help.  Nathan was pretty good for the first few holes.  See the fountain behind this hole.  Well, several holes after this, Nathan thought it would be fun to throw his ball in there.  Oh, joy! 

I am not sure who was more excited to be playing golf together, Nathan or Daddy. 

Grant just chilled in the shade watching all of the commotion.  

Nathan gave up using the putter and on hold 9 or 10 decided to just roll it to the hole.  Whatever works!  

Our next stop was the grocery store to get a few essentials for the weekend.  
This is our life!  Two carts to get through a 20 minute weekend grocery trip.  

This was our scene when we got back to the house.  Crawling races! 

Grant is often in awe of his brothers whirling around him.  Poor guy wants to keep up so bad.  Soon enough...

We then went out to dinner at a Mexican place that was recommended.  We were a bit weary when they told us they were famous for their hot wings!?!  At a Mexican restaurant?  It was okay.  We didn't try the hot wings as it just seemed wrong.   

Dan, 3-year old Clay and 3-month old Lena arrived shortly after we returned from dinner.   Kate arrived a bit later.  She was finishing up a law conference that was also at the Lake.  

We put on a movie and made popcorn for these three munchkins to eat.  

These two were best buds all weekend long.  They were both sweet to Nathan, including him too. 

Kate volunteered to read bedtime stories.  At one point she said to me "I thought bedtime stories were supposed to be calm."  Sorry, Kate.  :)  The kids were very excited to be together and to get to stay in their room together.  

Tyler and Nathan shared a bed.  I wasn't sure how it was going to go but they did great!   
Aren't they sweet? 

The next morning we were up and off to Timber Falls - an indoor water park!  It was nice to not have to worry about sunscreen and the babies getting too hot or burnt.  

I didn't get a ton of photos as I usually had at least one kid in my hands but we had an awesome time.  Tyler enjoyed the lazy river.  

This was part of the set up.  Tyler LOVED these slides!  Nathan wasn't as crazy about them initially, but warmed up to them.  

Jeff tried hard to get them all to look at the camera/phone and smile.  

They had so much fun playing together.   

The big blue slides in the background were pretty fun.  Tyler went down them twice.  Once by himself which was pretty scary for him.  It was a long dark tube that doesn't give you any indication when you are coming out and going to hit the water.  The second time he went down in a double tube with Jeff and they got turned around.  Tyler then said the blue slides were too scary for him.  I give him huge props for climbing the three stories of stairs and getting in the blue tube slide in the first place. 

This pool was Nathan and Grant's favorite hang out spot.  They had basketball hoops and basketball style beach balls to play with too.  

Sunday morning we did some shopping at the Osage Beach Outlet mall and then headed to Miner Mike's Indoor Family Fun Center.  Jeff and I completely underestimated this place by thinking after an hour or two the boys would be ready to go.  WRONG!  It was like a Chuck e Cheese, rides and playground combined.    
First up was the train / roller coaster ride that went pretty darn fast.  

Next up was the wagon ferris wheel.  Thanks to Dan for squeezing in with the kiddos on this one. :) 

Then it was onto the bumper cars. Nathan rode with Tyler and was happy to do so.  

Tyler, Nathan and Clay were the only kids riding any of the rides so we felt like we had the place to ourselves.  The two cars just drove around in circles for a bit...

Don't ask why or where Tyler learned to wear his hat backwards.  Jeff NEVER wears his hat backwards.  It is funny what kids pick up on. 

Then they would bump and the boys would all look over at us as if they were going to get in trouble.  When we cheered the were a bit confused but also encouraged that they could do it again, and again...and again. 

Nathan loves anything with a steering wheel.  

This train was out of order but he didn't care.  

Grant even got to ride a few with Nathan.  This was my attempt to hang on to Grant and take a photo at the same time.

Dan was "watching" Lena...and playing games.  Dads need to have fun too! 

After rides and games it was off to the super-duper playground. They call it the maze.  It has half a dozen or more slides, 2-3 ball pits, tunnels galore and ball shooters. 

This is Tyler shooting the Nerf type balls across the maze.  These were pretty cool. 

Tyler and Nathan were "swimming" through the ball pit. 

We enjoyed our final lunch with the Busch Family.  
I cannot believe I didn't get a group photo or even ONE picture of adorable Lena Kay. :(  #photographerfail 

Then it was time to pack up and head for home.  

This was our crew ready sad to see our fun long weekend end but so glad we had an amazing time with dear friends.   

Nathan was out before we hit the highway.  Plan worked again! :) 

As we approached Jeff City we decided to make a stop at Central Dairy for some ice cream.  Jeff kept everyone in the car while I made the purchase.  This was the smallest option.  Needless to say, Nathan didn't finish his. 

Tyler's ice cream kept him busy in the back seat for a good portion of the remainder of the drive.  He finished the whole thing.  And by whole thing, it is the "one" scoop that I would call 3-4 scoops. 

I sat in the middle seat with Grant and Nathan and the napkins.  Jeff enjoyed his tunes in the front seat while I was watching Bubble Guppies in the back seat. 

This little guy is such a good sport and travels well where ever we take him.  I hope his laid back demeanor continues to attend all his brothers' activities.   

Needless to say we had an awesome mini-vacation.