We Band of Butlers

we few, we happy few

Christmas is fun. Even though it was like a month ago.

This blog has really always been more of an every-so-often-big-update blog. I don’t really write about the little every day workings of our family. Which I like…that’s what I want this blog to be for. For the occasional milestone and update. So far that’s been about once a month. But I have recently started another blog that’s updated about every day or so with the daily life of our family (interspersed with random children’s stories and poems I’ve written). So if you’re interested in that, the address is buttonsarentoys.com.

For even MORE updates you can follow both Justin and me on twitter. Ari isn’t on yet…we’re waiting until she can spell.

And now for the update!

Our church had their annual Christmas party which was a ton of fun. Monkey got to go caroling with her Daddy, though I think her favorite part was that she got to put on her own socks. Plus the house we went to had a roller coaster race car game, which happened to be the greatest thing she had ever seen.

Here’s my husband, committing the egregious crime of gingerbread homicide.

My son being smothered by girls. And he likes it. A lot.

Christmas was a lot of fun. I love living so close to all of our family. Monkey was so overloaded with gifts she didn’t know what to do. I surprised Hubs with a Wii that I’d been doing odd jobs for about ten months to save up for. We got a Wii Fit Plus, too, which is fantastic and I looooove it.

My favorite thing about Christmas was both sides of the family were able to get together for Christmas dinner. Did I mention I love living so close to everyone?

We had a white Christmas!!

And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care…

PRESENTS!!! Monkey actually restuffed her stocking with wrapping paper so she could pull more stuff out.

Monkey got a play kitchen for Christmas that comes with a toy phone. F-U-N!

Feeding Unca Mames pickles.

Water splashed in the face + kiss = hilarious picture.

YESSSSS! I got a baker’s hat and apron for Christmas!

We did a whole photo booth series in the hubcap mirrors that hang everywhere in my parent’s house.

Monkey is a big fan of Mimi and Geepa.

We played dominos and much fun was had by all.

More pictures on facebook!

Monkey’s birthday was on the 1st but her party isn’t for another couple of weeks. We’ll be celebrating her 2nd birthday and Jut’s 28th on the same day! Nothing like that to make a person feel old…I keep trying to tell myself we’ve still got a while before I’m 30…but it’s getting so dang close!…I’m rounding 27 but still feel like I’m 21 most days!

Looking forward to Christmas

Will is really starting to laugh…and smile…and chatter…he’s definitely not as much of a chatterbox as Ari was, but he’s finding his voice. 🙂

Baby smiles!!!

Life is settling into more of a routine. Even though we aren’t completely moved in, enough of the house is unpacked that we have places to go relax. It’s hard to manage kids, keeping the house clean and unpacking, so we’re hoping Christmas break is going to afford us more of a time luxury than we’ve been experiencing!

One of our routine parts of the day is mine and Ari’s after nap snuggles. Will is usually still asleep at that point, and (depending on her current mood) we might stay in the rocking chair and cuddle, talk, or read a book. This is probably the sweetest part of my day.

“Mommmyyy! Uuuuup!”

This picture is blurry. I couldn’t care less. 🙂 My snuggles.

Reading the “fishy book” after a particularly rough wake up. (Ari has nightmares sometimes.)

I love that nothing can comfort her quite so much as Mommy kisses. 🙂

I love this picture because her eyes really are this blue!

Ari and Will still love each other. I’m cherishing this time! No one gets bigger laughs or smiles from Will than Ari…and nothing gets Ari quite so excited as the prospect of holding her little brother (whom is currently dubbed her “son” ;).

She’s actually laughing hysterically in this photo. It kind of represents their relationship to a T. 😉

*loves!*

Though life has pretty much been routine, we’re hoping to get a lot of extended family hang out time during Christmas break. It’s really great to live 10-15 minutes from both sets of grandparents!

Fall Walk

We went on a walk around our neighborhood today. Monkey was very excited, we were going to take CiCi in the baby “shoulder” (stroller) but she decided at the last minute not to. Instead, our walk consisted of acorns, fallen leaves, deciding that candy on the sidewalk is trash, and bits of flyers that Monkey dubbed “MY PAPER!”

“What color are the leaves?” “Geen!” “That’s right! Can you find the yellow leaf?” [thinking…..pointing] “LULLOW LEAF!”
Yellow leaves

We aren’t very good at holding Mommy’s hand or not running away…so we’re practicing.
Mommy's Hand

Monkey is going to be getting a haircut soon…so I want to document all these little curls while I can!!
Curls

“Key inaina door open Mimi inthere Papa inthere key opit.”
Mailbox

Something caught her eye. I don’t remember what it was, but she gabbered about it for several minutes. (Gabbered=combo gab and jabbered. I just made it up. You’re welcome.)
Side glance

Playing with the leaves on the sidewalk while Mommy played with the fun leading lines OF the sidewalk.
Leaves

I LOOOOVE her face in this picture!
That face

Handing me some of her leaves to keep because she couldn’t fit them in her pockets.
Here Mom leaves

I’m pretty sure she’s trying to give her prized leaf to Dora. Who apparently lives in the sky. This probably isn’t good.
Dora

Trying to catch a glimpse of something above her…probably a bird, I don’t remember. I do remember she wanted me out of the way to see whatever it was.
Looking up

In other news, a few random shots from the past few weeks/days/years/whatever it’s been.

Monkey really loves her brother. She gets upset when he’s asleep and she can’t play with him and kiss him and hug him and hold him. He’s like a living toy to her…she really likes having him around.
Kisses

I love this picture…her lashes are so pretty.
Lashes

Welcome to what my son pretty much does all the time. Except eating and pooping. I don’t have pictures of the latter. You can’t see pictures of the former.
Sleeping
BW Sleeping

“Ari?” “Huh?”
what?

But I should probably wrap this up. The shoot is, quite obviously, OVER.
end of shoot 1

End of Shoot 2

We haven’t disappeared! (Promise!)

Oh, but we have just about stressed ourselves off the face of the planet!

Hospitalizations, Dr visits, swine flu, a new house…lots has happened and we’ve just been barely able to keep our heads above water! We’ve had a ton of help from our church and family and before you ask, yes, everyone is fine. 🙂 We’ll catch back up on the blog when we’re doing more than just keeping ourselves afloat.

In the meantime, here’s a few teaser pictures of Blueberry and Monkey – who suddenly looks ridiculously grown up in all these pictures I’m taking and I’m constantly struck with how BIG my little girl is getting. I can’t believe she’s only 20 months in some of these! (Daddy picked up a pair of her shoes the other day and said, “Oh, no…These are not baby shoes! These are little girl shoes!”)

Monkey sitting on a bench when we went to play on the playground the other day.
Bench

Monkey making a face. I am in love with this hat, ya’ll, for real. $2.50 at a local consignment store. And she will wear it every day until her head will no longer fit! (“Pretty hat wear!”)
Pursed Lips

Ah, my daughter, the diva.
Celebaby

Monkey meeting her baby brother. It was love at first sight!
Monkey and Blueberry Meet

Me and Blueberry minutes after his birth. I adore this photo with all my heart – thanks to my mother who took it!!
Mommy and Blueberry

My mom took this picture an hour after Blueberry was born, being warmed under the heat lamps (he was a bit hypothermic…see “hospitalizations” above…)
Heat lamp

For full story, click here.
Swine Flu Daddy

Daddy snuggling with his brand new Blueberry.
Daddy and Blueberry Kisses

Monkey is constantly asking to “hold him” and for “hugs.” (I’m telling you, this child is IN LOVE.)
Hold him?

A good friend crocheted this gorgeous blanket for Blueberry. It has become our carry-everywhere-around-and-out-of-the-house blanket. It’s soft, warm without being stifling, and the perfect size. Blueberry loves it!
Blanket

Blueberry napping in his Amby we’re currently borrowing from a friend – the same Amby Monkey napped in when she was his age!
Ambified

We has a babies!

Full birth story to come later – because I’m exhausted and going to sleep now – but basically it went like this:

Mommy wakes up in labor and doesn’t know it.
Daddy wakes up with swine flu.
Daddy quarantines himself in another house all day while grandma takes care of Monkey.
Mommy goes shopping, cleans the house, goes for a walk to get ‘false labor’ to go away.
False labor doesn’t go away.
Mommy calls midwife at 11:15 and says “MAKE IT STOP!”
Midwife says, “Come in, we’ll check you.”
Mommy comes in.
Mommy’s a 9.
Centimeters.
Out of 10.
Mommy pushes for 3 hours because Mommy keeps passing out because Mommy is exhausted.
Mommy is convinced baby Will is NEVER GOING TO COME EVER.
Baby Will comes!
Daddy is watching through a window because Daddy has swine flu and can’t be near baby.
Mommy sleeps at birth center for 6 hours while Will is being monitored for infection.
Monkey meets baby Will.
Monkey loooooooooooooooooooooooooves baby Will.
Mommy and Monkey go home.
Grandma takes Monkey, Mommy’s mommy takes Mommy, and Mommy goes to sleep.
Channel 8 news calls and wants to interview Mommy because of Daddy and the swine flu.
Mommy says no. Mommy says interview somebody else. Mommy is tired.
Channel 8 news interviews grandparents and Daddy.
Mommy wakes up to make a blog post because, what else do you do after a story like that?

The end. 🙂

Baby Will meeting his Daddy outside the window.
Meeting Daddy

Baby Will under the heat lamps because his breathing was too rapid.
Heat Lamps

Monkey trying to pick up Baby Will because “Baby Will car carseat drive bye bye now!”
Ari and Will

More pictures and details as soon as Mommy can!

William Justice Butler
Born October 5, 2009, 3:31 am
7 pounds, 14 ounces
20 inches long

Trip to the Park

We dressed in our new warm autumn clothes and spent a few minutes at a local park that has a pond, ducks, and, apparently, five billion mosquitos. Which is why our trip didn’t last an awfully long time.

“Down! Walk!” Monkey loves to run, and she’s so very cute when she does it. She has this little bouncy hoppy dancing run that she does when she’s excited.
Running Dance

I still have yet to work up the courage to cut her hair, for fear I might accidentally snip off one of her beautiful little baby curls. I adore them.
Curls

We found some small flowers by the bank of the pond. She proceeded to try to pick every single one for Daddy and Mommy. “Pretty tiny flowers!”
Flowers

It’s really adorable how much Monkey loves her Daddy – and how incredibly cute he is with her. Their favorite game is “Gonna getcha,” where he chases her and then throws her up in the air to wild giggles. We never get tired of this game, but might sometimes throw a tantrum if it stops too soon.
Air

It’s rare to find Monkey actually walking NEXT to Daddy instead of running off on her own.
Flare

I love this picture. She just looks so grown up. I don’t know where my baby went!! People warned me this would happen. Suddenly my little infant has been replaced by a full fledged toddler…
Grownup

…complete with tantrums and attempts to go “nigh night” on the sidewalk at the park.
Nigh nigh

This is Monkey’s “silly face.” When she says something she just knows is hilarious, you’ll catch her tongue between her lips and a snickering laugh that you can’t help but adore.
Silly

I’m finding myself more and more just enjoying the little everyday things. I know that life is about to change drastically. In the next couple of weeks there will be a whole ‘nother tiny person to take care of, and my attentions will be divided. I find myself relishing rocking Monkey during story time, the feel of her tiny, smooth baby curls when I run my finger through her hair, scratching her back when she’s upset, that little skipping run, how excited she gets when she can actually communicate to me something that happened to her during the day (“Mommy! Daddy see outside stars pretty!”). I can’t believe how fast she’s grown up. I’m definitely going to cry the day she turns 2!

Watching Dora

Monkey loves Dora the Explorer. Dora happens to drive Mommy crazy. She gets to watch a show a day, and usually it’s while snuggling with one or both parents. Today, I had to wake her up early from her nap to make it to a midwife’s appointment. She was very tired, and by 7:15 she wanted to watch her Dora and lay on my bed. Daddy came home about that time, and she snuggled up to him to watch her show.

Watching Dora

In other news…WE ARE BUYING A HOUSE! (I know, I know!) We’ll move in November 1. There is a special government program that allows teachers, paramedics, firefighters, and police offers in certain areas to buy certain HUD foreclosures for half of HUD’s asking price. A house showed up in our area that we were eligible for, so we put our names into a lottery to “win” the right to buy the house. AND WE WON! (We had entered previously and lost.) We both LOVE the house and are getting fantastic deals on the painting and carpet and other repairs. We’re VERY excited and will be posting pictures as soon as we can! We’ll be living near the intersection of Oates and 635 – much closer to church and many friends. 🙂

Blueberry is doing just fine, the midwife says. Facing a bit the wrong way but it’s not a big deal right now, and won’t be a big deal later it might just make labor more difficult, so I have some exercises to do to see if I can get him to flip over. It also might make carrying him easier – he sits so much more forward than Monkey did!

Well, I need to go pry my husband away from Clone Wars to eat dinner. 😉 Ciao!