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.

Mmmmm, peaches!

When I was a nanny, my employer once commented on how she loved to watch the messiest eater eat because it seemed like that child always particularly enjoyed the food.  I think of that often in moments like this one I recorded.

Are peaches in season yet?

A Trip to the Zoo

Late in the summer, we took advantage of being a (long but manageable) day trip away from the National Zoo.  Unfortunately, I overdressed the kids on the hottest day of the week.  Oops.  We still had a lot of fun!

 Luckily there was lots of places to cool off.

 I put the kids and myself in Star Wars shirts so we'd be easily identified as together.

 Spend half the day driving to and from the National Zoo, attraction we spent the most time at was the playground.

It was a hot but really fun day.  It feels like we waited a long time to have kids old enough to do stuff like this so they could appreciate it and we could appreciate their appreciation.  :)

Paxton's Summer

I'm tired.  And I've been really bad about blogging for the past year or so.


 I have no idea how this happened.  But it's cute.

Finally got a shot of the fangs!

It's ridiculous how much he's grown and developed, but he is such a delight!

Elliot's Summer

Yeay for photo dumps!

Elliot has been taking turns highlighting the verses we read during Family Time these days.

Elliot loves trains.  Like, a LOT.

 And he still loves towels, too.

 So.  Many.  Trains.  (This is actually a different set than the previous pictures.)

 Elliot chased every butterfly we saw after we released ours.
He's actually saying, "Come back, butterfly, come back!"

 The Land Before Time is a favorite in our house.
And Elliot is the second of our children who physically attempt to pop the bubbles in the opening credits.

Still our Snuggle Bug.

Still our Sweet, Sweet Boy.