Saturday, February 17, 2018

Valentines Day

More smiles from our Maxwell. We can't get enough of them! He also has a pretty cute serious face. 

"The Archibald furrowed brow" 

Chris and I had big plans this Valentines. (insert sarcasm) We didn't feel like we could spend money on anything with taxes around the corner and more house remodels to save up for. So we decided to make a special dessert: Creme Brulee. We tried looking for a blow torch around town but couldn't find one. Luckily one of my good friends here had one we could borrow. Valentines happened to be on a Wednesday this year. By the time Chris got home from YM, and I got the kids in bed, we finally looked up a recipe and realized it needed a few hours to chill. It was too late and in typical Chris and Brittney fashion we didn't plan ahead well enough to make it happen.  So, in typical Chris and Brittney fashion we came up with another idea and made last minute Chocolate Baby Lava cakes. They were very good.  I was still a little sad about our lame-ness, so we continued to make treats over the next few days and say, "For day 4 of Valentines, lets make...."

I had lots of fun getting the preschool kids to make these cute valentines gifts for their parents where they blow kisses on a canvas.

Our branch had its annual Valentines Day dance. I feel pressure to get the dance going (not sure why) so I forced myself to get out there and bust some moves.  I loved how much Gwen wanted to dance and tried hard to always say yes to dancing with her.  Chris and I rarely get chances to dance and so I really enjoyed the 2 slow dances we got together. Charlie wanted to dance with me and Freddy too. Cute boys.  I tried to get Alec to ask a girl to dance and I asked him what it would take to bribe him to do it. He said he'd do it for $100.  Honestly, I'm not sure he would've done it even then!

On the 5th day of Valentines we actually made Creme Brulee. It was pretty much a fail. It had the right flavor, but we either baked it too long, or whipped it too much because the texture was really grainy. Oh well, we should try again.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Saturday and Sunday fun and Grandma Dixie comes!

The kids are supposed to clean their rooms, bathrooms and zones on Saturdays. Sometimes, it takes them all day because they get distracted and just end up playing. We try to encourage the kids to get it done early by thinking of something fun we can do once chores are done. There's not a whole lot to do here in Starkville, so we planned to go to the bouncy house place in Columbus one Saturday. Only we got there and realized the highest age cut off was 10, so Alec wouldn't be able to go on them. We decided to get a redbox movie and buy treats at the store instead. 

On Sundays our favorite tradition is to eat a treat at night while Chris reads a book aloud to us. We've read, The Hobbit, the Princess Bride, the first 4 or so books of the Chronicles of Narnia, and another book I can't recall at the moment. Currently we've started the Chronicles of Prydain with The Book of Three.

We've been enjoying the InstaPot that we got for Christmas from Chris' parents. We've tried beef stew, chili, whole frozen chicken, Tika Masala, hard boiled eggs, baked beans, pulled pork. Its pretty awesome.

Chris had to be gone for almost a week at a conference, so when Grandma Dixie asked when would be a good time to come out and help with Max, we knew exactly when to suggest. She came on a Thursday afternoon, and Chris left Saturday morning and was gone until Wednesday.

Dixie helped get the kids up and ready for school and helped take care of Max, sick Freddy and sick Gwen during Preschool, helped hold and quiet down Max in the evenings when he's pretty fussy and took care of most of the meals and cleaning. It was so helpful and wonderful to have her.  Max, I think, is getting too much air when he sucks. Theres this squeaking sound a lot of the time, and I can sometime hear him swallowing air when he chokes. I think this is the main cause of his fussiness with gas/moving bowels. He is SO tense and keeps a straight back and just really struggles and cries and fusses before passing gas or a poopy diaper.  I've been trying to burp him better (it takes FOREVER and is sooo hard to get a good burp out of him) and incline his head more when he nurses, and try to de-latch and re-latch him to get a better seal. Dixie seems to have a magic touch with him in getting him to be calm.

We hopped the back fence and went on a walk to see the horses with her. There were TONS of horses out and almost all of them looked pregnant, and we saw a few mama horses with their foals.  We found some hay that spilled out of a truck or something and had lots of fun feeding the horses.

Maxwell is totally smiling and cooing. I saw the first beginnings of a purposeful smile when he was about 4 weeks, but now he smiles all the time and he LOVES to talk to us. At his 2 month visit, the doctor was trying to look into his ears but Max didn't want to turn his head and break eye contact because he was in the middle of telling the doctor something. Dr. Ruff just stopped what he was doing and had a sweet little conversation with Max.  He said Max was way ahead of the game - social speaking. He was about in the 35 percentile for weight coming in around 11.5 lbs and the 45th for height.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Max's first 5 weeks

I didn't start teaching preschool back up until Max was 5 weeks old. During that time we just survived and adjusted. Max eats and needs attention so much in the night that Chris would get up and get the big kids off to school by himself. One day he came home for lunch and found me rocking two sleeping boys. Freddy really misses the big kids and wants to be in the same room as me all the time. He is surprisingly very good at being quiet and entertaining himself on my bed with pillows.  When he gets tired of that, he'll snuggle up on the arm of the rocking chair while I feed Max on the other side.  Probably a better mom would have enjoyed every second of this... but I think the words out of my mouth when Chris saw me was, "I'm trapped." I can feel pretty tethered when I'm nursing a newborn. 

Max's umbilical cord didn't take long to fall off so pretty soon we could do a real bath. I was able to get the water pretty warm and he LOVED it.

I keep reminding myself that Maxwell is probably our last baby. My last baby to snuggle and rock and hold and kiss. I can't help myself from kissing him CONSTANTLY. He just has such squishy cheeks. Sometimes I wonder if I were Max, would I want to be kissed that much?

It no longer surprises me that Charlie is one of the best helpers with a new baby. He's not afraid of crying or changing diapers, or slobber or anything really. He's going to make a GREAT dad someday. 

Maxwell seems super aware and loves to stare at our faces while we talk to him. Its like he's trying so hard to understand us. Finally his skin has started to look less yellow..and its losing its tanned look. I was kinda worried about it before his 2 week visit, but the doctor said everything looks great and to not freak out too much about germs and getting the flu or whatnot because newborns usually have super immunity and don't yet put their hands or other things in their mouths. 

In the mornings on Saturdays, we'll get all the kids in our bed, excited to see Max. Often, Max is in our bed already from a 5:00 feeding or something.  Knowing there's little time for sleep left, I will nurse him laying down so I can try and go back to sleep myself.

I'm not positive I'm totally ready to start preschool back up, but Freddy is. Chris worked from home for the first couple of preschool mornings and took care of Max who slept for most of it.  Freddy and I both enjoyed showing all the preschool kids and parents our cute little baby and it was the perfect reason to study Babies/Nursery Rhymes, Favorite Stories and Fairy-tales as the first theme. 

Friday, January 19, 2018


Only 1 week after we were back in school from winter break, and one day after getting out of school for Martin Luther King Jr. day, we had 2 and a half days off for a winter weather.  We all LOOOOOVE snow and were so excited to see the white flakes falling outside.

But without more than an inch or so there wasn't a whole lot we could do to play in it besides slide down the slides on sleds.  It was quite cold and very dry snow. The 2nd day, we saw some deer in our yard really close to the playground when Alec was outside. He quietly and quickly climbed up into the fort and was able to be super close to them for a while. Pretty fun.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Quick trip to Texas

Chris was out sick for the first few days of 2018. I tried to take care of every like he had done for me, but I wasn't quite able to handle it all without complaint. :( I am so sleep deprived and nursing was still pretty painful even though it had been 2 weeks.  But it is so hard to think about missing out on Jackson's baptism. Chris really didn't want to miss it, so he pushed through his last day of sickness to drive us all out to Texas. Max had a good crying spell a few times but other wise did pretty good. It was good to be able to support Jackson on his big day of getting baptized, also we loved getting to show new baby Max to Chris' parents who had come out to Texas for Jackson's baptism too.

Chris' fever came back in full force our last day there and was BARELY able to make it through participating in the confirmation of Jackson without passing out and leaning on his dad completely for the last few sentences was the only thing preventing him from feinting. He pretty much slept for the next 15 hours. We had to leave right after sacrament meeting the next day so we could be home in time for school and work on Monday.

Apparently, I only got one picture on this trip... the one on the car ride out! Charlie was mad about something and hiding from the camera. I'll have to steal one from Brittany.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Years, and time with Grandma and Grandpa Betteirdge! (and help remodel a bathroom)

Max started off likely his first bath:

  And then he didn't like it:

We all love holding him.

We had one last hurrah with Thom and Brittany before they left and had a Raclette Cheese night.  I loved showing mom and dad this fun Archibald tradition.

 We loved spending time with Grandma and Grandpa playing games, watching movies, doing puzzles, reading books, snuggling on the couch.  Grandma and I took care of regular stuff while Dad and Chris tackled a bathroom remodel. I could tell Chris wasn't super excited about this but I just couldn't let a whole week of Dad being here with all his experience and NOT do a project. We're trying to get our house all finished up and in a good spot within the next year just in case its our last one here.  For New Years mom helped make a lot of special foods, like cheese balls, fruit bread, little BBQ smokies, chips and dip. etc. We counted down with a Netflix countdown timer at 10:00 for the kids. We face-timed with Hailey for a long time and actually stayed up till Midnight.  It was nice. I LOVE my parents and were soooo sad to say goodbye to them 2 days later.

Here's more information on the entryway bathroom remodel. The sink was a 4 foot cabinet which took up WAY too much room in the small bathroom and barely gave a small person enough room for their knees as they sat on the porcelain throne.  We had plans to make this awkwardly shaped bathroom feel better by putting in a pedestal sink but we were limited with where the water came out of the wall. We debated on trying to leave the tile in, but ended up needing to take it out. We ran into so bumps as we realized we needed to redo the tile, and had a hard time getting the right tools to cut the tile. Dad was able to change out some of the plumbing that made it easier to get a sink in the right place, but we didn't like any of the pedestal sinks at Loews so we came up with a new plan to build a little wainscoting-looking shelf to hide the water pipes and found a small but nice looking sink. Dad helped us change out the light fixture, replace the broken toilet, install the sink and get the tile down. Unfortunately Chris got hit with the same bug that the rest of the family got over Christmas Break. (only little Max was spared ... breastmilk win!) He wasn't able to help out on Dad's last day here and so we didn't get it all done but we're confident we can finish everything up ourselves.