2 Years at Home for James

James came home 2 years ago today, after 151 days in NICU. And our family was finally all under 1 roof. Look at this little guy! Big for a NICU baby though!
He took his dear sweet time, but he’s worth the wait . . . most of the time. Ha! James is spoiled rotten. He’s only the baby by 1 minute but he certainly acts like it. He’s lovingly called whiny James. Often. But he’s also so sweet. To me. Not always to other people, like Brian. Ok he’s a mama’s boy. Like the epitome of a mama’s boy. His favorite thing to say is “Mommy do it.” Cute the first few times. Now not so much. Especially because he says “Mommy do it” for things I don’t actually WANT to do. Like change his diaper. Thanks James.
Seriously James is a cranky little dude. He can throw an amazing tantrum. He used to hold his breath. Luckily he’s stopped doing that. It’s not good when your kid turns blue from holding his breath. Trust me. But sometimes I do take pictures to commemorate the tantrums and time outs. Because . . . well just because.
He’s very mistreated.
James is very smart. He knows lots of his letters, he can count to 10 (sometimes), he knows everyone’s name, he knows his colors, and he knows everyone in our family. He asks to see random people. Nina, Pop, Coco, Liam, Nana, Grandad, Lizzie, Lou Lou. He knows Addison is at dance when she’s not home after school. And he understands that he has to be patient so I can actually cook his dinner. (Well sometimes he’ll just go sit at his table and wait like a little beggar but at least he’s not standing at my feet crying).
James is obsessed with shoes. He especially loves his batman shoes. He asks for them. They’re super stinky though so I have to wash them All. The. Time. I’ve posted these pictures before but here’s James in his batman shoes, cheesing for the camera.
James loves cake pops. We go to Starbucks every Friday for cake pops. And he knows this. He asks for Starbucks. He recognizes Starbucks. And he knows that we don’t get cake pops except on Fridays. And today of course for James’s Coming Home Day!  The bag is almost as awesome as the cake pops themselves.
James saves the bag after he’s done. Then he fills it with other things, like fake food. Fake food is probably his favorite toy. Even better if he can carry the fake food around in a bag, like a ziplock. I’m so glad we have actual toys so he can play with Ziplock baggies. He loves real food too. I’m sure no one can tell with those cheeks.
James also LOVES taking selfies and making videos. He especially loves making videos to send to Coco. Ha! I have lots of pictures of James that look like this. And some that are even closer close-ups.
James also LOVES Church and Jesus. Or Gesus to James. He recognizes churches and crosses and yells Gesus! He also refers to my Tory Burch shoes as Jesus (I mean Gesus) shoes. Smart kid.
James also has a pretty long list of things he doesn’t like. His second favorite thing to say after “Mommy do it” is “I don’t like it.” Currently on his list of don’t likes: tags in shirts, tags on towels, blankets other than Aden and Anais blankets, duck tape on his diaper (yep he’s joined the stripping naked club with Mason so he’s also involuntarily joined the duck tape club), and lots of food. I guess it’s good that he knows what he likes and doesn’t like, but seriously he’s cranky and very particular.
James is also very talkative. He has recently started speaking in complete sentences. Including “Mommy do it” and “I don’t like it.” He also answers questions with yeah or ok. Ha! That’s probably my favorite thing. But James and Logan gang up on me in the car and make me sing. Logan will request the song usually. Almost always “Mommy McDonald” which is Old McDonald of course. Then James picks the animals. We went through a phase where Old McDonald apparently ran a dairy farm. Because every verse was “one more cow.” Now we have snakes, cows, and horses. Weird farm. But whatever. They love it.
James talks a lot but he’s very quiet. He’s so soft spoken that sometimes you can’t hear him. Especially when his brothers are around. Because they are VERY loud.
James is also painfully shy. He does not like new people. I have to hand him to a teacher pretty much every morning at school. Last weekend we went to see Elmo. James was soooo excited. Then this happened.
This is actually where James lives. On my hip. All the time. He wanted to get away from Elmo as fast as possible. Then today he asked to go see Elmo again. Of course. Lolo was fascinated by Elmo as you can see. And Mason loved him too. No fear.
Here’s a few more pictures of James. Just because. I mean he’s pretty stinking cute. I just love his bleach blond hair and chubby cheeks.
I’m pretty sure he’s actually saying cheese in these.

He used to sit on the stairs on the way up every day and say “picture” or “cheese” so of course sometimes I actually complied. He’s too cute to say no.

Ok just a few more. Because he’s my Jamesy. This is probably the most typical James look. Serious, studying something.
And then he smiled. Because he loves pictures. And he has the sweetest smile I’ve ever seen ever.

Summer with Zizzie

Zizzie is Lizzie, my sister. She goes by Lizzie, Wizzie, Zizzie (and other things I can’t write here). Not her actual name Elizabeth. Not ever. Mason called her Zizzie and it stuck. Best. Nickname. Ever. My kids LOVE Zizzie! And she spent the whole summer with us! Yay! So fun! My kids LOVE Lizzie! It was a change but we loved it. Even Brian. The boys have started including Zizzie in our family. And they say Zizzie here when we pull in the garage. So cute. Now we FaceTime so they say it’s Zizzie every time the phone rings. So cute!

Lizzie is my way younger sister. She kinda looks like me, sounds just like me, and is almost but just not quite as cool as me and as smart as me, and definitely not as nice as me. (Mean is in our genes apparently because somehow I’m the nice one). We may make similar faces.

I saved this blog post for today because TODAY IS HER 21st BIRTHDAY!!!  Here she is drinking her first ever margarita (wink wink):

Lizzie taught the boys some pretty awesome things this summer. They now dance for a bite. And they (ok mostly just Mason) ask for ice by saying ice ice baby. Ha! And James says “hup nanas” whenever he sees Lizzie, even on Facetime. “Hup nanas” obviously means help bananas. Which of course means I want to help make a smoothie. That one took me a while to figure out. But they love to help make smoothies.

And they love to drink smoothies. Little beggars.

And Lizzie also introduced them to peanut butter.Which they also love. But I don’t love. So no Lizzie means no peanut butter. Sorry guys!

Addison now loves smoothies too. And she knows how to make them. So that’s a bonus.

We had some other perks to having Lizzie here all summer too. Addison loved it. And Lizzie knows how to do hair. Big plus.

My kids just love Lizzie. Maybe because she’s the crazy aunt. Maybe because she’s fun. Maybe because she’s kinda like me, and almost as awesome.

Lizzie and I also got out a few times. Like this night when we went to a concert.

I LOVED having her here this summer! We had so much fun. We both love Mexican food. Because, seriously, who doesn’t. I’m not surprised AT ALL that Lizzie went out for margs on her birthday. I say good choice. These are the kinds of texts and snapchats I get from Lizzie. Ha! It’s always a surprise to open one up!

And of course we share a mutual love of selfies.

Except that one time Lizzie licked me during a selfie. No thanks dude.

Lizzie also likes taking selfies with my kids. Mason especially.

Oh and we love to shop. Thanks mom! One time Lizzie got these super America-tastic Converse. She loves America more than anyone I’ve ever met. So of course we watched all of the Olympics, even the weird sports like ping pong.

Back to School!

Ok so these guys didn’t technically STOP going to school for the summer, but they moved up to a new class. And they had a “first day” of school just like the big kids. James cooperated for pictures more than Lolo and Mason. Mason couldn’t even sit on the couch and leave his shoes on for 2 minutes. He hates me. And pictures. James loves me more. And pictures.

The boys moved up to the “Olive Room” which is basically the room for big boys. They do big boy things like circle time, centers, and POTTY time! What?! That was my reaction. They have potty time every few hours. So . . . we got 3 little potties for home too.
They’re basically grown. Oh, and totally not ready for potty training. But we have potty time in the morning before school and at night time before bed. They’ve all pee peed in the potty at school. And Mason has pee peed in the potty at home. And on my foot. He’s the worst.
Another thing Mason likes to do now . . . take his diaper off. We’ve resorted to duck tape. And he still takes it off. This is how I found him after nap the other day.
The bed was dry though. So whatever makes him happy I guess (not really. I’m still in charge). We find him pantsless in the mornings now too. We need to find something stronger than duck tape I guess.
Now that the boys are big boys we also got them a new big boy table. And guess what? They actually sit there and eat their food. And then they tell me when they’re done. Most of the time. Sometimes they (Mason) throw their food in the floor. Otis loves this obviously. Apparently he does not like quinoa though. Silly picky dog.
We still get cake pops every Friday. The boys know this. I hope Starbucks never stops carrying cake pops! Every Friday when I order the Starbucks guy says “let me check and see if we have 3” and I briefly panic until he confirms that they do in fact have 3 cake pops. He’s never disappointed me, but still I have a moment of panic every week.

The boys also like the help mommy and clean the table! Mom for the win!

And of course they love playing with the chairs. Thanks Mason. This is exactly how they go.

Lolo tries to carry the chairs all over the house to reach light switches. We don’t allow that. But he’s resourceful. And still LOVES lights and fans. Ok it’s a weird obsession. I’m hoping it goes away soon.
They really are big boys though. James one morning helped himself to some cereal. BUT he shared with his brothers. So I had to just let it happen.
We took the boys to the Catholic High School pep rally last week. I’m not sure who loved it more, the boys or Brian. Future Catholic boys!

And little Lolo looked sooooo tiny on the big basketball court!

We’ve also been going to the park lately now that it’s cooler outside (and by cooler I mean it’s 97 instead of 103). The boys love it. Mason especially loves it!

And a park selfie of course!

James has the best cheese face ever! Ha!

So sweet. Mama’s Jamesey

Big boy swings! (Not for James. He’s a scaredy-cat)

Addison started school too! 7th grade! And she has a nun. I didn’t get my first nun until college. But this one seems super sweet. Not like the CBU nuns who asked me to leave class (for no reason at all I swear).
Yep, we have a kid in junior high! Noooooo! But she definitely acts the part. Just by way of example, I’ll share about her new tennis shoes. She really really really wanted some new Nike Frees. So I decided to be nice one night while I was out so I went to the Nike store. We Facetimed and she picked out some that she liked. So I bought them. They were too big. So, Brian, again being very nice, took them back and exchanged them for a different size. End of story right? Wrong. She didn’t like them anymore at that point. Cried. So I took her back to the Nike store so she could get different ones. And she did. She picked out a different pair of Nike Frees. Same colors. They look almost exactly the same as the original pair that she didn’t like anymore. And of course they cost $10 more. So all that to say, yep we have a preteen. And she acts every bit the part. Luckily she still lets me take posed pictures of her at least (and her friend who is maybe my favorite 12 year old other than Addison).