Friday, April 27, 2012

Snarky Hank


I found this picture on the computer the other day. Then I died a little bit inside because, so tiny! So beautiful! So baby baby baby boy!

I'm not sure how old he is in this picture... but in cute years, I'd say about 97.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Laundress

Finally. It's about time SOMEONE started pitching in with the laundry situation around here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Snack Time Picnic

It is perfect outside today. Perfect, I tell you.

The sun is shining. The sky is blue. Just the right temperature where you want to be in the sun to stay warm, but you don't need a jacket. It's perfect.

So we've pretty much done everything outside today. Everything but nap, that is. Still haven't figured out how to move that activity outdoors successfully...


Henry clearly has no idea yet how lucky he is to be surrounded, not ONLY by this beautiful day today, but by beautiful girls every day. Are they not like, the cutest things you've ever seen?!?

I think they're preparing him for life very well too, as they spend most of their time telling him what to do, and then telling him that he's doing it wrong.

Oh, girls. I know. Me too.

It's so hard to let go. We'll work on it together.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Olan Mills, This Is Not

When we were kids, my mom used to take us to Olan Mills to get our pictures taken every year or so. I vaguely remember my mom fixing my hair, picking out the dress I would wear, and helping my siblings to get ready, but I vividly remember the actual Olan Mills studio. Big lights wearing giant white umbrellas, stuffed animals, wicker chairs and stools and baskets, big sheets of black or white fabric that hung down from the ceiling and puddled on the floor, and the piece de resistance- that backgroud-changey thing where they'd pull the handle and all of the sudden it would be summer! Fall! Beside a pond! In France!

Ah, Olan Mills. You were fun.

These days my mother is WAY to smart to try to drag all of us to a picture studio (or really, anywhere) but when we are all together, which is quite a feat in and of itself, we do try to get a family photo. We usually do a family picture every summer on our vacation to The Lake House, but this year we were all together on the Saturday before Easter, so we headed outside for some pictures.  We probably should have headed out a little bit earlier, the light was already REALLY bright, but it's REALLY hard to get that many people anywhere on time, especially when two of them (Maggie & Whit) are tiny babies who can be quite insistent about when they'd like to sleep and eat.

But regardless, here it is: The Earley Family Photo Shoot, Easter, 2012

Standing L to R: Justin, Whit, Lauren, Mark, Mary Alice, Mary Catherine, Dan, David, Rachel, Maggie.
Sitting L to R: Frank, Henry, Mom, Dad, Annie.


Mumsie & Papa Boss with all three grandkids:
Boy cousins. Oh, the trouble they will get into together...
Mark & Mary Alice:
Justin, Lauren, & Baby Whit:

Mary & Dan:


And us!
Not too shabby, eh?

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Easter Egg Hunt

Easter this year was so great.
What?
Oh, yes. I know it was 3 weeks ago. It's just that that's how long it takes me to process things these days. And, it's also how long it took me to sort through the EIGHT HUNDRED pictures I took in a 48 hour period. Shameful.

ANYWAY, Easter this year WAS so great, and one of the reasons was that Henry was old enough to really get into it. And since I really like to get into it, I LOVED that he was so excited.

I can't remember if I've mentioned it before on the blog, but I do preschool a couple hours a week with the 2.5  & 3 year old girls that I care for. For the past few months, I've been doing it with Henry & K too, as they get old enough to do more & more. This year we did a 2 week unit on Easter, and it was AWESOME. We read the Easter story every day, from a variety of children's bibles & books, and the kids absolutely loved it. They acted out the emotions in different parts of the story- sad, scared, surprised, excited, happy. And we did a bunch of the usual Easter stuff like decorating eggs, etc, but the kids' absolute FAVORITE activity was making these Resurrection Rolls. It's basically just a marshmallow wrapped in crescent dough, but when you bake it the marshmallow melts and the roll holds its shape, so when you break it open, it's empty. JUST LIKE THE TOMB WAS EMPTY. I know, I know, hold your applause.

We made the rolls a few days before Easter, so we had been talking about the Resurrection a lot already. I let the kids wrap the marshmallow up in the dough themselves, and tried to kind of prep them that there was going to be a SURPRISE when we opened the rolls, "a surprise like the surprise Mary Magdalene got when she went to the tomb."

Guys, seriously, I wish you could have seen Henry's face when he broke open his roll.

"EMPTY!" he screeched. "EMPTY, YIK DA TOOOOOOOM IN DA BIIIIIIBLE!"

Then I let him eat like four of them.

It was awesome. We're totally making them every Easter now.

I'm sorry I have no pictures of the Resurrection Rolls activity, because it is absolutely my favorite memory from Easter this year, but what I DO have some pictures of is the Easter egg hunt that my parents did for Henry in their backyard. (And, by 'some pictures' I mean a kajillion.)

Check this kid out:













That kid was born to hunt Easter eggs.

The focus, you guys,  THE FOCUS. I got him to smile for ONE out of almost 200 pictures. Other that that one shot, he basically was like "Out of the way, Mama, there are eggs out there, AND I'M THE MAN TO FIND THEM."

And then, you know, there were the Easter baskets.

And the Easter candy.

Easter candy, guys. Hallelujah for Easter candy.

It is the best candy EVER. I like to think that it's God's way of saying to me, personally, "Rachel, I love you so much that I sent my son to die for you. And, as if that's not enough, I ALSO GOT YOU THIS CANDY."





Happy Belated Easter, friends!  I hope the holiday filled you with joy, hope, & your fair share of chocolate.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Buildin' Balocks

Get busy. There are cities to be built.


And someone's gotta build them.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Please, Do My Work For Me

You guys remember my sweet baby sister Annie, right?


Well she's not really a baby anymore, but as my LITTLEST sister, she still has to put up with the title.

Annie's Spring Break was the week before mine, so my mom, Annie, and Annie's BFFFFFF Kerryn came down to visit for a couple days.

Now, please note: they are not like normal houseguests. I mean, kind of they are. They need a place to sleep and food to eat and I suppose there is some hostessing to be done on my part. (Some. Generally my idea of hostessing is to provide a lot of food, drink, blankets, and pillows, and then let everyone fend for themselves.)

But you guys. You guys. You guys? They mostly just do my work for me.

It's true! I mean it! I can prove it:

They're naturals! They read books! They change diapers! They serve lunch! They do puzzles! They play games! In two WHOLE days, I think I broke up ONE disagreement between the kids, and put ONE person in time out (ahem, HENRY.) I don't even want to TELL YOU what a far cry that is from how many disagreements I USUALLY break up, and how many kids I USUALLY put in time out. Let's just say the discrepancy is... well... large. (sooooooo largggggeeeee)

My mom also folded like 8 bajagazillion loads of laundry for me and vacuumed and washed dishes and did various & sundry other household tasks that usually fall to me, but I did not photo document it. Thanks Mom!!!

It was an amazing two days. I may have encouraged Annie & Kerryn to ditch high school (who needs it!) and move in with me. And, you know, do my work for me for the rest of their natural born lives. (They declined. KIDS THESE DAYS.)

After a few days of hanging out (i.e. them doing my work for me) we all headed up to my parents house in NOVA, where other members of my family continued to... do my work for me.
OH! AND! Baby Whit was there! Eeeeeeeeeek! The cute! Eeek! So, I shared, and Annie did some of Justin & Lauren's work for them, too.


So, you know how people talk about love languages? Like gifts or affection or quality time, etc, etc.? Well, I've always felt really torn about what my love language is. I mean, I LIKE ALL THOSE THINGS, WHY WOULD YOU ASK ME TO CHOOSE JUST ONE??

Well, two years of motherhood has totally clarified this for me.

My love language is when people do my work for me.

Now you know. Spread the word.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Maggie Update, 4.5 months

Let's start this update off right, shall we?

Maggie LOVES to be nakie. She will happily play by herself on the floor for well over 30 minutes, IF she is naked. Clothed, eh, 10 or 15 minutes by herself and she's bored. Obviously, she is THRILLED about the warmer weather, becuase, you know, more naked time. All that naked floor time has really paid off too, because she DOES NOT STAY WHERE I PUT HER ANYMORE! Egads! She kicks her legs and propels herself right off her blanket, and she can now roll over both ways.  Although, she has not quite harnessed this skill yet- she is still TOTALLY SURPRISED every time it happens. She's also gotten really good at holding herself up when she's on her tummy. Sometimes she looks like she's doing baby push-ups. It's awesome.

Aside from being nakie, Maggie also loves to blow spit bubbles, be held facing outwards, chew on those little linky ring things, stare at faces (ESPECIALLY Henry's), ride in the car, and be talked or sung to.

She is an iiiiiiiincredibly easygoing baby. One night she was really cranky, and it took David maaaaaybe 10 minutes to put her to bed, as opposed to the usual 30 seconds, (we usually just swaddle her and lay her down and she puts herself to sleep) and he was all "Wow, she was really cranky!" and I was like "I know! Rough night! Do you think something's wrong??" and then we both realized that we were complaining/worrying about a baby that took TEN MINUTES to go to bed and then we were embarrased at ourselves.  I do believe that Maggie has ruined us forever for normal babies, and we will only be able to accept more angelic children just like her in the future.

The one thing she does not like is being passed around to different people. It makes her stick out her lower lip. Which is, like, the cutest thing ever. EVER. Also, one time my brother Mark howled at her like a wolf and she FREAKED OUT. But, you know, I think that's totally understandable. He was a VERY realistic wolf. (And, WHO HOWLS AT A BABY?!?)

Despite being a VERY smiley baby girl, Maggie does not give up the belly laughs easily. Henry was super giggly as a baby, but Maggie just smiles at us, unless we really get to work on making her laugh. So, of course, we take this as a challenge and assault her with tickles and kisses until she surrenders. Girlfriend has no idea what she's up against in this house.

Maggie has miraculously fallen into the most beautiful schedule of sleeping from 6:30/7 pm until 6:30/7 am, with one or two feedings during the night, and then taking three 1-2 hour naps during the day, with one extra little 45min catnap thrown in during the late afternoon. She consistently wakes up from her naps, makes these adorable little gurgly noises, then as soon as I walk into the room & peer into her crib, she breaks out into a GIANT grin, and I fall in love with her all over again. It's a vicious cycle, people.

Maggie is currently entertaining the nicknames Magaroni, Mag and Cheese, Magini, Baby Sisser, Millymollymaggie, Little Worm, Wormlet, Little Bug, Buglet, Most Beautiful Daughter and Hey, you! She bears these affronts to her dignity quite well.

If Maggie was on Pintrest, she'd be pinning tutorials on what to do with 1/2 an inch of hair (and how to cover that pesky bald spot in the back,) DIY projects for making pacifiers out of household objects, inspirational quotes about rolling over, and pictures of her dream crib. (It has a milk fountain.)

If Maggie was on Instagram, she'd be posting pictures of my boob all day. And maybe one or two sexy over-the-shoulder-in-the-bathroom-mirror shots of herself, just to keep us on our toes. (!!!She would never!!!)

If Maggie was on Twitter, she'd be tweeting like so:
SweetMag: My feet! OMG!!
SweetMag: Milk. It does a body good. #lalecheleague #breastfeedingbabes
SweetMag: Who's up for some nakie time?? #babynudist
SweetMag: God bless the swaddle. I do love a good swaddle. #lovetonap

We love you Maggie! Your chicken legs are filling out quite nicely, your smile is breathtaking, and I think that bald spot adds character. I couldn't love you more if you were dipped in chocolate and came with a million bucks tucked in your diaper.

Four months worth of kisses,
Mama

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Happy Saturday

Did you guys know that from the time your child is born, to the time they'll leave for college there are only 940 Saturdays?

It's true. I read it here.

940. That's not all that many.

So, if you need me, I decided to give my dirty floors and towering pile of laundry the finger, and I'll be outside playing.

Hope your Saturday's a good one too.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New Rule

At 12 months old:
Henry wakes up multiple times in the night. He takes FOREVER to go back to sleep each time.
Mother watches the clock all night, desperate for sleep and thinks "OMG, I'm DYINGGGG, I've never been so tired in my LIFE."

In the morning, Henry begins crying on and off, and continues all day.
Mother thinks, "Why is he crying, what is wrong, WHAT IS WRONGGGGGGG." Because he is crying and she does not know why, she assumes he is dying, because, PROBABLY HE IS.

Mother calls pediatrician in a panic. WE MUST BE SEEN NOW! HE COULD BE DYING! THE CRYING! THE CRYING!

Henry goes the the pediatrician. Doctor says he has an ear infection. Mother sobs in relief, because, EAR INFECTION! You don't die of that! Wait... you don't right?

At 27 months old:
Henry wakes up multiple times in the night.
Mother thinks "Eh. That's weird."

In the morning, Henry says, "Ear hurts. Owie. Ear need a band-aid."
Mother thinks, "Ohhh, THAT'S why you woke up." Then she gives him some kid's Motrin and a band-aid. (WHAT?)

Mother calls the pediatrician. "Heyyyyy, guys. Know you're busy- any chance we could mosey in today and get some antibiotics before this thing gets nasty?"

Also, please note that in this this scenario, NO ONE THINKS THAT ANYONE IS DYING AT ANY TIME.

New Rule: 
My children may not get sick until they have learned to communicate effectively. It's really better for everyone this way.

Also, who else is SO GLAD that I have calmed the heck down?? (Picture David standing in the back row, raising his hand and jumping up and down, "I am! I'm glad you calmed down! Me, me! It's me! I'm the glad one!)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tablescape

If they invite you to a dinner party, you should TOTALLY rsvp yes.

The food's delicious, the company entertaining, and every detail is meticulously planned out.

But, be prepared. You will be asked to help with the clean-up.

It's a small price to pay.