Monday, November 30, 2009

Hopped On Over to Mississippi

For Thanksgiving that is. And it was great. It's been a while since we've seen this side of the family....life gets crazy huh!!

But, boy was it fun. We did a lot of eatin' and sleepin' and playin'.

The travels were good....movies and sleepy babies help a lot. Two slept, two watched "The Santa Claus". Robert and I chatted...I think. I can't remember. But we talked about something. :-)

Once we got there Rhodes was in heaven because he did a lot of this:

and this:


and this:


He was soaking up all the love!! And there was a lot to go around!! Don't get me wrong. I love holding little man. But it was nice to have my hands free for some of the day - to do some eatin'!!!



Oh wait...dessert comes last. My bad. It was just so temping with all my favorites!! Caramel cake, strawberry cake, pound cake, and chocolate pecan pie. Seriously...how did they know those were all my cravings?!?!

Eating...and eat we did!




And to burn off the 5,000 calories well each took in, we played-played-played outside.

I think the first words out of my mouth last Thursday morning {in an raspy-early morning-just-opened-my-eyes type of voice} were, ..."we need to take a lot of riding toys...the kids will love the cul-de-sac to ride in all afternoon!"

What is it about riding in the road (safe, adult supervised road) that is so fun for kids.

It was a BEA-UTIFUL day in Mississippi.








And we played a little ball too. Landon was so sweet to his cousin Kenzie!! She and Lillian are only a few weeks apart.....Kenzie was delightful to be around!!!!!











We had SO much fun visiting with everyone in Mississippi! Hopefully it won't be so long before we see each other again!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Week!!!!


Here is Kenzie talking and singing to Rhodes - she was TOO cute with him!!!





Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1 Down ?? To Go

One Thanksgiving feast down and a couple more to go!!! My heart (and tummy) are FULL! So thankful for many many things - especially the way God has blessed our family!



Monday, November 23, 2009

Sneak Peeks and A Peep Show

I thought I'd give you a few sneak peaks at what we got into this weekend.


We did a little cosmic bowling with friends. I cannot tell you how much the kids i mean Robert enjoyed it. It was definitely and "experience" for them.


We also did a little preparing for Christmas presents. I don't want to give it all away, but we are having a lot of fun planning and putting it all together!!! :-) And this isn't the half of it!!!




We also are slowly breaking out all the Christmastime/Wintertime recipes and traditions. One being....

SAUSAGE BALLS!

1lb of sausage
1 block of Cracker Barrel Cheese
3 C Bisquick

Melt cheese, work in raw sausage, then mix in bisquick. Best to use your hands. Roll and bake for about 20 min on 350!


How can anyone get through the fall or Christmastime without devouring a stomach-ache-full-amount of these delicious little nuggets of goodness.



And while Olivia and I were rolling out all these little bites of heaven, Lillian was having her own little party. A book party, in fact. And nekid. All to herself.




You see, there are only 2 of us (adults) around here. And 4 of them (the opposite of adults). So, yeah, it's kinda hard to have eyes on each of them 24 hours a day 7 days a week. And sometimes, just sometimes, scenarios like this happen. Hey, it could be worse.


I can't leave without giving a shoutout to the Rebels for beating LSU!!! I thought for sure the we were going to lose but it seems they gave up a little too soon! What a great game!!!




So yeah, we pretty much just hung around all weekend - Rhodes did literally! Looking forward to a FUN, long weekend of eating a lot of yummy food!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy 101

I was tagged over at Short Southern Mama to list 10 things that make me HAPPY!!! I thought it was fitting since Thanksgiving is around the corner and things that I'm thankful for also make me HAPPY! :-)

1. MY FAMILY - I'm SO blessed!



2. MY HUSBAND! - because, let's face it, I wouldn't have my family without him!! :-) He's so hardworking and awesome...not to mention SO buff and good lookin'! He's my little Hotty Toddy!



3. My coffee in the mornings. Coffee actually helps make me HAPPY in the mornings! lol... I have to take at least 3 sips before I face children in the mornings. Or it gets ugly around here.


4. Smiley Babies and Kids


5. Date nights - or any quality time (alone) I get with my husband!


6. Gettin' my Hair done - what is it about a cut and/or color that gives you a little bounce in your step afterwards!?!


7. Beautiful Sunshiny Days - seriously, we've had some BEAUTIFUL weather around here lately. Trying to soak it up as much as we can!


8. Dessert - in general - I couldn't narrow it down any further! HA!


9. Nights with my family - we enjoy playing SORRY. I think mostly because they like to yell "SORRY!" when they knock someone back.


10. Last but certainly not least - THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS! I'm so excited to celebrate our Lord and Savior's birth next month! Christmas traditions with my family make me HAPPY! Thank you Lord for giving us Your Son!!!




Ok, so I'm tagging some people...you won't hurt my feelings if you don't want to do this though! But it's fun to think of things that make you HAPPY!


AMY - my sister in law

ABBY - my cousin

ELAINE - my other cousin

LEISHA - at the Hairston Family

Elizabeth - at Family Snodgrass

DAWSON - at Wake Foreset Mama

BROOKE - at The Vakakes

RHONDA - and I hope she adds my email to her private blog!! ;-) just realized you went private! I'd love an invite!! Pretty please!? :-)

BRITTNY

JAIME - at A Little Bit More



Alright....HAVE FUN!!!



All I Can Claim

I think all I can claim from Rhodes is his blue eyes! :-) My sweet little exotic baby! He's gonna have dark hair, dark skin, and BLUE eyes! What a fun combo!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This Is How He Rolls

I'm happy to report that bootcamp has been a HUGE success....so far at least! And last night he slept from 9:00 to 6:30 a.m.! Of course, it probably didn't help that I (gently) shook him to make sure he was still breathing after I got up. It's so nice to find a happily sleeping baby just the way you left him 9.5 hours ago!!


The only downside is all these naps (that he easily goes down for). This is how he has to take his first morning nap...during carpool.



You see, I had already swaddled him and put him in his crib. Then at 8:15 for carpool, quietly transferred him to his car seat and buckled him in all swaddled up. And he slept right through carpool!!

And in about 30 minutes, I'll start it all over again with his feeding! Things are going so much better around here now! A well rested mama is a much happier mama!

Oh, I could just go on and on about babywise right now. I'm thrilled at the positive feedback I received about it. Especially since it gets a lot of heat out there in the baby world. But it's nice to know that it's working so well for so many out there!!!

I will say I'm curious about a couple of another books - "The Happiest Baby on the Block" and "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". I would be interested in comparing philosophies from the three books. Anybody read these before??

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dear Santa *wink *wink

Dear Santa,


I dare you (double dog dare you) to bring any toys to my kids this year that have more than 5 parts to them. Better yet, ANY removable parts to them. You see, my kids just can't keep up with all those tiny pieces. And guess who gets to pick them up. You guessed it - ME. And I'm just plain tired of dealing with it. And fingers crossed, I cleaned out the playroom one.last.time. of all those tiny pieces this past weekend.


My kids don't need all that plastic junk. They really don't even want it or play with it. So spare yourself (and me) all the trouble. Because I just might not even let the kids open them. And I don't want to spoil all their Christmas fun this year.


So get those elves thinking outside of the box this year. I know you can come up with some unique toys for my kids that will engage their minds and bodies. And also not drive their parents crazy! :-)


Love,
Me

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bootcamp

Time to practice what I preach around here. Which meant I had to crack down on Rhodes (and myself) and get some routine going on. So I started Rhodes on my own version of baby bootcamp - courtesy of Babywise. You see, I've always recommended this book for new moms. It worked miracles in my first 2 children. I strayed off the book for Lillian - and it shows. But it was time to jump back on the bandwagon I rave about so much.

So I pulled out my book the other day and reread it. And it spoke to me entirely differently than when I read it with Olivia!! So weird. But I'm sure it had to do with the experience in babies that I have under my belt now. 4th times the charm, huh.

As I re-read it I just kept thinking this makes SO much sense. Why am I killing myself over here trying to "wing it" and all I have to do is put a little effort in on my part and get things going a little smoother - if that's possible with 4 kids.

My biggest mistake I was making was not feeding Rhodes enough during the day. I would go 4 sometimes 5 hours in between feedings! Yikes - that's not good for a 9 week old. So we stepped it up to at the most 3 hours in between feedings during the day - until we get stabilized. And what would you know, he slept through the night (considered 7.5-8.5 hours) TWO nights in a row!!! I am a new woman! :-) His fussiness also decreased I might add.

Also, the way I'm helping to "force" (and I use that lightly) my routine/schedule is to WAKE UP THE SLEEPING BABY!!! Any way you have to - strip them down, wash them off...just get them awake! You see, the cycle should be FEED/WAKE/SLEEP....FEED/WAKE/SLEEP...etc. Then you slowly drop feedings and combine sleep and wake times until you have two consistent (then one) naps a day. This being done over the course of probably 18 months or so! It's called Parent Directed Feeding - and I (flexibly) watch the clock in order to FOR ME to decide when it's time to eat again. Crying is the last sign of hunger.

Then (hopefully) after a couple of weeks, Rhodes' little internal clock will start syncing with what I'm been working on and we will be on our way to a HAPPY and healthy little boy!

I know schedules, attachment parenting, etc are touchy subjects in the mommy world but I believe routine and (flexible) schedules build security for kids. Kids like predictability and they also NEED sleep!! Tired children are cranky children which makes for a chaotic, unhealthy household.

This is not a hyper-scheduling book. You will not starve your baby of food or attention by using the techniques this book talks about. What you will do is bring some predictability to you life and your family's daily life. And you will get your SLEEP!!! Can I hear an AMEN!!

Also, yes, I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule out there. I don't know why. But with each of my children - with each different temperaments, these techniques have worked. Well, Rhodes' is still up in the air, but I'm going to give it my all. But one day, HE WILL be on the 1:00-3:00 nap/rest time like the others! That's just part of being a McClellan!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chatty

I thought I'd get a little chatty today. I know most of my posts have been pretty wordless and I wanna make it up to you! :-)



I'm sitting here trying to think of things that have gone on the past few weeks and it's just been normal mundane things with a twist of chaos. We've been enjoying watching football games with friends on the weekends. Then catching up on house stuff in between. And napping. We love naps around here.

This past weekend we had a photo shoot with my long time friend Mary Margaret. She took our pictures a couple of years ago and we wanted to get some more done when Rhodes was around 2 months old. So the day arrived and I can not wait to see how they turned out! We had SO much fun running around the (closed) golf course by ourselves! I feel certain she captured each little personality of our kids...Robert and I even sneaked in a few ones of just us!



I think I'm the only mom out there that likes the time change! See, I'm a morning person (when I'm not sleep deprived) and I also enjoy putting the kids down to bed early. So when the hour moved back, it worked out just perfect for our fam!

Speaking of sleeping - can someone please promise me that my energy and time will come back one day?! Seriously - I'm sure I was tired with the others, I just don't remember. Which is a good thing I guess. And there just aren't enough hours in the day some days! I feel like I'm playing catch up the whole day! I'm sure once Rhodes isn't nursing full time and sleeps through the night regularly, things will calm down. :-) At least that's what I'm telling myself.


Speaking of nursing - my doctor told me that it costs about $3000 a year to formula feed a baby! My guess is that's a modest number too!! WOW - being frugal, that just lights a fire under me to keep nursing! Hello - free!?! Plus, I enjoy it. It's pretty much the only time I get to sit down!! :-)



Last weekend I also had my first day/night solo with the kids. Robert had to go out of town and it was all ME! It wasn't too bad - except I cannot sleep when Robert isn't here. But we survived - though don't prefer going at it all alone too long. Robert is such a HUGE help!




I'm actually looking forward to the holidays this year. It seems so many people dread it but I guess our kids are at such a FUN age. They understand what's going on and it's fun to keep teaching them the real meaning of Christmas - the birth of our Savior! Plus we've been starting our own traditions the past few years and look forward to keep them up!

One my favorite traditions that I now do with my kids is making candy houses. My grandfather build a wooden base for us to put the icing and candy on. You can see the past 2 we did HERE and HERE.

Robert is considering making and selling some bases for anyone who is interested. I know I've had people ask me before about getting one so wanted to see if there was still an interest in them.

If so, email me and we can discuss details! I'll even include the "secret" recipe for soft, fluffy, snow-like icing! :-)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

4:00

videoThis is why I love the zoo @ 4:00....you're always bound to get a show by SOME animal! And the lion didn't disappoint today!