Well, I guess after Auburn won the National Championship and Collins knew there was no longer a chance that mom was going to leave for a few days, he decided to start taking a bottle. Wouldn't you know it? I'm very thankful that this little monkey decided to take one as now it gives me a little more wiggle room. So we don't slip back into the "refusing to take a bottle" stage, he gets one every night at 7:30 (4oz. but I think I'm going to up it to 6oz. tonight) and then he sleeps until about 7am. Life is good right now!
Yesterday, we went on a family adventure to the Provost Dungeon and The Charleston Museum. It was very interesting and the boys thought it was cool to be in a pirate jail. Of course, this dungeon has much more fascinating facts about it but all the boys heard was "pirate jail".
Interesting fact #1 When the British took over the Old Exchange building during the Revolutionary War, all of the gunpowder the colonists had was hidden in the dungeon.
Interesting fact #2 Part of the original Wall of Charleston can still be seen in the dungeon.
Interesting fact #3 The original brick floors from the 1700s are still there.
Those are just a few.
After the Provost Dungeon & Old Exchange Building, we drove over to The Charleston Museum. This museum has a small kid area and is largely a museum dedicated to the history of Charleston.
With that said, here is a polar bear. The signs tells you that this is a kid-favorite and that the polar bear has absolutely nothing to do with Charleston but the kids love it and that's why they keep it.
Banks standing in front of his favorite exhibit - the extinct crocodile. Pretty cool, huh?
And, Hughes' favorite - a dinosaur (not native to SC)
*Hughes' can't quite grasp the concept of extinct. He keeps asking me to get him a real dinosaur. I love the fact that he thinks I can do anything :)
We had a great day of family fun and I can't wait to see where our next adventure takes us. We have two more weekends in Charleston to use our Be a Tourist pass and there are several places we have yet to hit: Middleton, Birds of Prey, Hunley.
Do I wish we would have blown the Ducks out of the water?
Sure I do.
Do I wish I could have been there?
Yep, but sweet baby Collins won't take a bottle and until David can come up with a pill to make his body lactate, it looks like Collins is with me.
The rest of my family was out there but no one got into the game. Tickets at kick-off were going for $6000 - no that isn't a typo. Even at halftime they were still going for $1200 a piece. The family still had a great time watching the game outside the stadium with a ton of AU fans and just being there to experience the excitement.
WAR elephant-stomping, chicken-frying, duck-hunting EAGLE!
Collins is 3 months old and doing fabulous! He goes to bed at 7:30pm and sleeps until about 4:30am for a quick nursing session then goes back down until 7:30am. We are quickly approaching the cut-off time for that early morning snack he likes. He is very alert and likes to be held out so that he can see all the things his big brothers are doing. He loves his swing and has really enjoyed it being by the fireplace on these cold ice days we've been having lately.
His newest-found-love is lying down in the tub out of his baby bathtub and kicking & splashing around. I found this out when I was trying to figure out a way to get underneath his neck rolls and he loved it. Now, we don't even use the baby tub. We just let him relax on a folded up hand towel for some grip and he just goes to town kicking, squealing & splashing.
strategically placed shark
This picture looks like he is about to box someone with his hand balled up like that and that look on his face.
Hughes had his first sleepover on Friday night. He invited 3 friends over to have pizza, watch Scooby Doo, stay up late, and have a pancake breakfast. It was a huge success!!!!! No one cried, no one got homesick, & they all slept downstairs in the den.
Banks, William, Hughes
Conley, Hudson & Charlie
William and Hughes were the last to be awake at 10:45 but they fell immediately to sleep when David turned the tv off. Hughes has been wanting to do this for awhile and I'm glad we let him. He was super happy.
This past Saturday we ventured to Magnolia Plantation on our Be a Tourist pass. It was a crisp 49 degrees. We had a picnic inside the large greenhouse which kept us warm and the kids were able to explore all the beautiful vegetation while we (mom & dad) relaxed.
Three beautiful faces
Banks was bundled up! Although he doesn't look happy here, I promise you he was very happy indeed.
Hughes loved feeding all the animals. I refrained from getting animal slobber all over my hands. Something about it just seemed gross.
Dad feeding the deer.
Mom & baby with another mom & baby
When you fed the fawn by hand, she wagged her tail. Who knew that deer wagged their tails when happy?
Banks mispronounces the word, belt, as "butt". Well, David was reading him a story about Batman who stores his batarangs in his belt. You can imagine my surprise when Banks retold me this story. He stores them where?
Hughes has been blaming things on a "little buggy". He spilled his juice on the counter and when I asked him who did it? He told me a "little buggy". We've had long talks about telling the truth.
Hughes also has been begging for a pet dinosaur. We've explained the extinction part but he doesn't care. He wants a pet dinosaur and he means real. We've got enough plastic & plush dinosaurs to an entire museum!
Banks asked me yesterday if I had a baby in my tummy. And then an hour later, Hughes asked me if he could have another baby. Poor Collins, he's only 3 months old and already Hughes wants another one.
Hughes also follows up every request with "deal" expecting us to say "yes". If I make a request and he doesn't want to do it then he says "no deal". I'm not sure where he got this from but I know the kid has never seen the tv show.
In the afternoon on Christmas Day, we packed up the car, ripped the boys away from their new Santa gifts and headed north to York. We let the boys bring their new Leapsters - Explorer & Tag. They both loved these gifts and I have huge hopes of these electronic games reinforcing the educational concepts they claim to do. Well, only about an hour into the trip did I realize that I forgot to pack pajamas for the big boys. Yes, with all the pajamas we have I somehow managed to forget to pack any for our 4-day holiday. Most sane people would just go buy new pajamas but we have soooooooooo many that David and I thought sleeping in your clothes didn't seem to horrible. In fact, the boys never noticed. Dawa did come to the rescue on the last night and brought home new Batman and Scooby Doo pajamas from her day of shopping.
Once we got to York the rest of the family was at an annual Christmas Night party so David and I had the house to ourselves. Well, while trying to find the Nutella for Banks my foot got caught on one of our bag straps and I fell while holding Collins. He got a goose egg on his head from where it grazed a piece of furniture. I fell on top of Banks which didn't really cushion my fall any. I ended up with some major bruising on my knee. Of course, I went into hysterical mode while David checked over Collins. G-Daddy (Dr. Dave) came home and gave Collins a thorough check-up and declared him fine. I was an emotional wreck.
But, on the positive, it snowed that night and it was so pretty. Hughes didn't want to go outside in it. Banks was dying to go outside in it. I wonder which way Collins will lean when he grows up? Charlie loved it!
Charlie loving the snow. I bet it felt good through all that fur. I mean, he is bred for diving into the icy Chesapeake Bay.
Banks stomping around in the snow. Thank goodness we had our new coats to keep us warm.
The boys who braved the cold - Banks, Dad, Collins & Charlie
Christmas night we had another round of presents & stockings. It was wild - paper was flying, kids were squealing & parents were just trying to figure out who gave what.
Ripping open presents. Sometimes the thrill is just ripping the paper off.
Hughes showing me his two new books.
Banks, Hughes & Kate modeling their new watches.
Am I cool or what? Batman shirt, Batman watch & Batman sunglasses.
Superheroes & Pirate
David reading a Superman, Wonder Woman & Batman book to Banks, Kate & Hughes. They loved it.
We had a great time hanging out with family, having Wii competitions, eating fabulous food & even getting to go on a date night. Now, it is time to get back into our regular routine of bedtime and schedules.
Hughes' pile - It was a Dino Christmas but he did get his first true Lego set and has since thoroughly enjoyed building the house. It took us several days, lots of hours, and was lots of fun. David and I had to step-back several times from taking over because it was very interesting to put together.
Banks' pile - It was a Batman Christmas. All this kid wants is Batman or any kind of Superhero toy.
Collins' pile - He got diapers, wipes, some new cotton outfits, a few new rattles, and a new stroller. You would think this being my 3rd child that I would have the stroller but I didn't. I consigned my single strollers when we had Banks. Then I had the double stroller and we consigned that this summer. I got a sit and stand type stroller before having Collins and I don't like it. It drives like a bus and is really hard to push and steer. Luckily I got it at a consignment store so I paid very little for it. So, lucky for me, Santa brought Collins a new stroller that is easy to push.
Sitting on the stairs before seeing what Santa left. I obviously dropped the ball on getting the boys cute Christmas pajamas. Hughes is in hand-me-down sports pajamas, Banks is in Halloween pajamas and Collins is the only child in a cute Christmas outfit. Oh well. On the bright side, the boys slept until 7:30am.
Hughes bursting through the paper. Banks decided to let Hughes do all the work this year.
His beloved Mighty Beanz. He's been asking for these for at least two months. What are they, you ask? I have no idea. Just a weighted been that has some crazy face. Apparently, you collect them and there are over 100 that you can collect. We have 12. I think we're good.
Loving the Spiderman costume. He put it on immediately.
His new Batman jet/motorcycle and car/monster truck. I hope Collins like Batman as much as Banks because we have just about every Batman toy possible.
Collins trying out his new ride. He approves.
BecBec and PopPop came over for brunch and brought more presents for the boys. Here they are opening their new art sets. They also got Transformers, lots of Auburn stuff, tailgating chairs, and a ton of other stuff. It was a crazy morning but lots of fun.
Christmas Eve was full of family & fun. We started with participating in St. Michaels' Christmas Pageant. Hughes & Banks were oxen, I was the Delivering Angel, and Collins was Baby Jesus. If you would have asked me beforehand who was more apt to not take the stage then I would have said Hughes. But, no. Hughes proved me wrong. He went right up there and sat perfectly through the entire program. Banks, on the other hand, decided he did not want to go up on stage but would rather prefer to sit with me which was fine except that I had to go up on stage to deliver Jesus. Well, this Delivering Angel was followed by the cutest ox!
Hughes did not want his picture taken so here is just one of my oxen.
Delivering Angel & Baby Jesus
Baby Jesus didn't do too hot during the pageant. He decided that he didn't like it and, well, the Delivering Angel had to go back on stage and retrieve Baby Jesus from Mary & Joseph. Jesus then had to leave the building because his wails were so loud. One nursing session later and Baby Jesus was back in his sweet normal form.
After the pageant, we then walked next door to the rectory to celebrate Christmas Eve. We had a great dinner and the kids got to open some presents.
For our Christmas present to Anna Banks, we took her to get her ears pierced (with Bill & Michele's permission, of course). We kept it a secret until we were inside European. She was shocked to say the least.
This picture was taken probably about 2 seconds after we told her what we were doing. She thought we were getting our nails done. It was lots of fun to be able to do this for her and David got to witness his first ear piercing session. Hopefully, we won't ever witness any of our boys doing this!
She did perfect and immediately looked older with her earrings.
Merry Christmas Anna Banks! We love you and need to you to STOP GROWING UP!