Monday, July 7, 2014


The farm we went to for pumpkin patch-ing had a little pen where they let children come in and pet bunnies.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Kendra and Elliot were soooo into it!

Elliot was mystified by the bunnies, but a little apprehensive.  He mostly offered for them to come to him when left to his own devices, but did pet them when Grant held them for him.  This video captured it.

And Kendra had a little something to say to another one.  Firm but kind.

But she really bonded with one of them in particular.  She spent quite a bit of her time and focus on this one bunny.  She even named it, and as far as she is concerned, she gave it the best name in the whole wide world.

No bunnies were harmed in the making of this family outing.

The Pumpkin Patch

Yes, I know it's July and we're closing to our 2014 trip to the Pumpkin Patch than we are to the one we took in 2013..but I just had my 4th baby in 5 years, it's sort of my umbrella excuse for everything.

And they had SO much fun, I still wanted to share it.

It was an unusually warm day (good thing we were out enjoying it, considering the winter that laid ahead of us), so we stayed out in the patch for a long, long time.  It was also the end of the season so we had to really go to the far edges of the patch to find kid-sized pumpkins.  As you can see in the above photos, sometimes our eyes were bigger than our ability to carry...but we finally did find some perfect Kendra, Elliot and Paxton (who is not pictured here because he was riding on my back as he was only just learning how to walk)-sized pumpkins.

While we trekked back from the edge of the patch to the stand where we could weigh and pay for our pumpkins, Elliot demonstrated an example of how boys are different from girls.

Go figure, right?  Take your kid to the pumpkin patch and he spends most of his time just digging around in the dirt.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Elliot and I have a little conversation several times a day.  I'll ask him, "Are you my sweet, sweet boy?"  And he'll answer, "I AM your sweet, sweet boy!"  It's actually cutest when I'm trying to pull him out of a foul mood because he kinda hangs onto a little pout in his voice when he says it, but he will say it.

I spent a lot of time in my adult years prior to motherhood caring for children, and I have never met a child quite like Elliot.  He is just SO lovey and has been a snugglebug from the very start.  And he evokes such strong emotion...when this child cries from hurt feelings, a tiny piece of my soul just dies.  It's actually created quite a problem to discipline him because even lovey snugglebugs need to learn how to share toys and understand boundaries for ornery behavior.

Last week, he had an eye appointment.  He goes in several times a year and once a year they dilate his pupils get get a really good look.  They examine him, give him some drops, wait half an hour and examine him again.  He was due for this procedure at the appointment last week...and oy.

I took three of us to do it this time.  He laid in my lap while I pinned his arms down.  The doctor held his head still and a nurse pried his eye open and gave him the drops.  And we had to do it twice.  It was horrible.

He was still crying when it was over, but he choked out between sobs, "I want my glasses, please."

And when the doctor handed him his glasses, he sniffed very loudly and half-sobbed, half-whimpered, "Thank you."

My sweet, sweet boy.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Rockin' Out

Kendra has demonstrated an appreciation and love for music for most of her life.  So it wasn't too big of a surprise to see her coming down the hall one day like so...

And to our delight, there was a soundtrack to boot!

The tune isn't an original composition, but rather a fun little diddy from Bubble Guppies.  They're no Fraggles, but they have some catchy songs.

The Bug Fair

Kendra has finally developed a long-term memory.  When we mentioned last year's bug fair, she totally remembered the one from the year before that she attended with Grant while Elliot and I stayed home because Paxton was only one week old.  Turns out, I'm a major home body for quite a while after I have a baby...

She was excited for days before the event.  "Mommy, is the Bugs Fair today?"  "No, Sweetie, not until Saturday."  "Is the Bugs Fair today, Mommy?"  "No, not until tomorrow.  But I'll bet they're setting it up today..." And then afterwards she mused many days, "I think the Bugs Fair is still there..."

This little girl sure does like holding bugs! (Seriously, I mean, mealworms?  I could not do that...)  And she was very happy to show her little brother all the ropes.

Although eventually, he had enough fun for one day and ended up like this for a good few minutes:

There was a fun musician there about the time we needed to sit down for a while, so we stopped and enjoyed some tunes.  Before we left, though, someone needed to dance...

It was a pretty fun day out for our family.

Last October.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Best Big Brother

I still have quite a bit of blogging to do from the fall and winter...but that's going to have to wait.  We have a brand spanking new baby to show off!

When Paxton was born, we were surprised by just how into the baby Elliot was. He just couldn't get enough of his baby brother.

And the same is true of his baby sister.

When we came home from the hospital, Elliot wouldn't leave the van without her.  I finally managed to convince him to get out by asking him to "help" me bring her in, which he very willingly did.

And since we've been home, he's been very eager to participate in her care.  He wants to hold her and announces many times a day, "I help take care of Baby Bridget, too."

 He's extremely loving towards her and is always ready to show his affection.

But he doesn't stop with stroking her head and kisses.  When he states his intent to help with the baby, he's dead serious.  The most common thing he helps with is burping.  He is an expert burper.

He also follows me to the changing table every time I take her there (if he's awake).  He doesn't really help much but he gives very close supervision.

And he does it while rocking a fedora.

I have wanted a big family since I realized I wanted to have my own family at all.  It's really quite something to watch it unfold and happen.  We have pretty incredible children, and I just love watching them be together.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A New Addition

Ashley has been past her due date for over week now, but we were still hoping she wouldn't go into labor for another day because we have all been sick and Ashley didn't have a lot of energy.  Well, the baby had other plans.  Early this morning Ashley let me know that today was the day.

Ashley basically complained all through labor.   She assured me that we will not be having any more children and from now on childbirth is my job.  Not the best beginning of labor.  But then the doctor came in and said she was good to push the baby out, so all that complaining was transition...perfectly normal.  Anyway, I'll spare you some details and just say that Ashley was finally successful in pushing out the baby.

And what a baby!  Bridget Ruth.  Born 10:28 this morning.  Weighing a healthy 9 pounds 7 ounces (same as Paxton). 

She has fat cheeks and dark hair.  She's robustly built, for a baby, and similar to Elliot (that is, she seems to take after the Richardson side).  She has a wonderful, chilled out personality.   She has been a delight since her first moment.

Ashley's still in the hospital but she assures me that we can, indeed, have more children if I want.  :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

We are a Happy Family...

We all sure do have a lot of fun together...

I am a heavy user of Amazon's Subscrib and Save program--which they've tweaked to put all of your subscriptions into one monthly order and shipment.  That means that a very large box comes to our house every month and these kids sure do get a kick out of empty boxes, especially ones they can fit inside.

And what kind of parents would we be if we didn't expose our children to all of the great classics?

This is another shot from when we released the butterflies, but it didn't make it onto that post.  It was a really fun day.

One thing about having children close in age--make sure there are options out there for EVERYONE.  So we keep similar toys together in groups so EVERYONE has something.  Actually, these toys are pretty great--our first two children picked up the alphabet ridiculously quickly using this little My First LeapTop (an earlier version of this, which you can totally program to use your child's name--it's almost time to reprogram it again so Paxton can get more out of it).  And then the one Kendra has is the Scribble and Write and she totally writes all of the letters now.

And then there's getting out and about.  There is a little park not far from our house that's always empty when we go, which means that I LOVE it there.  I also love how much they play together.  This day, Kendra just went back and forth between the boys pushing her brothers on these swings.

Paxton was very appreciative.

I still love my step aerobics--I try to do it once a week when I'm not too hugely pregnant for it.  The older kids are really great about giving me a chance to do it while Paxton naps, but eventually they get impatient and want a turn themselves.

This next series of pictures is something that happens pretty often around our house.  First, we spot Paxton doing something cute.  Like playing dinosaurs with Elliot.

Then, after a couple of shots, he hears the click of the camera and flash and looks up.

Which makes him stop what he was doing that we wanted to catch on camera to come do this:

It's pretty cute.

And Paxton's not the only one who likes to play games for and with the camera.  Kendra always has ideas of what we should be shooting around here.  Take this example--it looks like it's just Elliot, right?  Chillin like a villain while enjoying a show.

But wrong!  There's totally another child in that bed!

The setup was her idea and she was very pleased with the results.

As we are pretty pleased with the family life.  It sure is a lot of fun.