Continuing where we left off last month - we're still in Sugar Land, visiting the Moore family. The first weekend in October was, of course, General Conference! Hooray! How I love General Conference. It makes me happy and helps inspire me to be better. My favorite talks were: President Monson's welcome when he announced all the new temples (especially the new one in Provo - we have been to several special events in the Provo Tabernacle!), Elder Bednar's on doing your family history, President Eyring's on being a witness of Jesus Christ, and Elder Richardson's on teaching. Becca was a good girl during most all of the sessions, although we had to get a little creative with quietly entertaining her; for example, balancing Cheerios on her ears.
Watch out for big brothers! Devin caught a little lizard and attached him to Ryan's ear while Ryan was playing the Wii (didn't hardly break his concentration on the game though!).
Devin flew to New Orleans early the following Monday, to attend the APTA conference in order to publicly accept the scholarship he received from them. Becca and I stayed in Sugar Land. She got sick with a cold, so that was not fun. Her 6th tooth erupted the day Devin came back - I can't believe how fast she is getting those things in! We stayed another day to be able to attend Ryan's high school play, "Thoroughly Modern Millie". Ryan got the lead male part, "Jimmy", and he did a great job singing and dancing and wooing Millie.
We returned home to College Station with just one day for a breather between two and half weeks of being away from home (I really have discovered since getting married how much of a "home body" I am). Here is Becca, happily playing away in a box. Oh, the simple joys of life!
Becca turned 9 months old this month! At her doctor's appointment, she weighed in at 21 pounds and 6 ounces, and is now 29 inches tall. This means she has slimmed down to match her weight with her height - both at 90th percentile. Must be all that "cruising" around on the furniture she's doing now - and she's getting to be a pretty fast crawler.
Later that day, our little family of three embarked upon an adventure, adding five more children to the mix! We babysat for a family from our church - for a week and a half! Their kids are ages 11, 9, 7, 3, and 1. Oh my! I could write a book about the fun we had, the parenting lessons I learned, and the hilarious things they said and did. As an abbreviated version of said book; fun we had - going to a soccer game, swimming at the pool, bouncing on the trampoline, playing ball, making up silly games, having a BBQ picnic, watching movies, going to "Music Makers"...parenting lessons I learned - make sure you take your potty training child to the bathroom before he falls asleep on your husband's lap during Sunday School, hurry and catch that same child before he stuffs half a hamburger in his mouth and jumps up to run around the yard (he'll throw it all up in thirty seconds), how to help two girls with their homework at the same time, plus general tips for picky eaters and ideas for temper tantrums...hilarious things - children unable to keep clothes on, freaking out about how we're doing "X" or "Y" all wrong because their parents don't do it that way!, little kids' parroting adult talk, and too many other things to enumerate - they made me laugh all the time! It was a really good experience for me. Far from deterring us from having more children, it made us excited to have a big family of our own. BUT! It was, at times, extremely demanding to be mother of six! Especially since Becca still was sick with a cold. However, for the record, Becca loved having so many older siblings to play with and watch. They have a beautiful home and yard too, so we also enjoyed that. One of my favorite things was having family scripture study with all the kids every night. It was so fun to listen to Devin be a good dad and expound upon the scriptures to curious learners. Something we liked that their family does is that the kids go to their rooms an hour before their bedtime for personal reading time - which means extra time for the parents to be together. We're definitely going to implement that in the future. During the time Devin and I had alone, we watched two BYU games (actually, I fell asleep in both of them) and the new X-Men movie, jumped on the trampoline, ate ice cream, and just talked to decompress from the day. Here's a Friday video of Becca's first time on the trampoline - she loved it:
She also liked this little car of theirs (so did Daddy):
Becca gets a kick out of being helped to walk now:
The day after we got home, I think I did laundry most of the day. The next day, despite Becca going on three weeks with her cold, I decided we had to get out to Play Group at the park. Becca had a good time chewing on leaves and wood chips, and most emphatically disliked the swing (as demonstrated by her red and scared face). It actually felt like fall, which I have been waiiiiiting forever for!
That night, Devin went to the Graduate Fellowship Banquet for Texas A&M. I can't begin to count the number of scholarships, awards, fellowships, and essay/project contests he's won (and brought in some extra dough from!) while we've been here - he's worked hard to search out those opportunities and I'm proud of him for that, and grateful too. He's also been really diligent about his job search - and things are progressing. He's had some phone interviews and has several companies he's really interested in.
I took Becca back to A&M's Infant Cognition lab so they could pay me some more money to have them entertain Becca for me. Heh heh. I like that place. And Becca wooed all the student workers again.
Returning to the only child life was just fine by Becca. Our personal Destroying Angel has a lot of fun with blocks (they're just for knocking down at this point) - and she also is learning how to share (please notice our beautiful new couch covers and pillows that we got with some of our babysitting money! I am SO excited!) :
Devin was invited to be the closing speaker at a kick off for a Scout Camporee, and specifically to talk about what he learned from his dad (Dad was big into Scouting and was very well known). That was neat for Devin, and his younger brother, Flynn, was in attendance too.
My friend Amanda cooked up an idea to have a "Classics Night" where a few of us couples got together to discuss classic literature and film. It was a really fun night and I want to have another one because we ran out of time. In preparation for the event, I spent most of the day baking bread and making cute and fancy cucumber sandwiches, as well as some elegant cherry cheesecake swirls (Devin helped me after the BYU game ended) - we had some amazing and tasty food at that party!
Devin had the ingenious idea to invite his brother Kyle, and Kyle's wife, Vanessa, to a date night via Skype - we played Settlers of Catan! Yes, it can be done. We had a good time.
Devin's older brother, Brett, traveled to Sugar Land for his birthday. We drove down for a day (stopping at the temple on the way) to join in the festivities. We had a fabulous time eating pie and ice cream and playing Nerts (so much so that I forgot to take pictures of the party). We did get some of Becca though, because we're picture happy first time parents. We had to document Becca's first "major" injury; she closed my slide cell phone onto her chin, somehow...
Here's some meal time fun, wearing our bloomers on our head. That's just how we do it around here. And by we, I mean Becca only. I don't know why I find it so amusing to do that to her.
Although we moved back into summer weather, I still had to put on Becca's festive Halloween outfit for her weekly video:
A very generous man gave Mom Moore tickets to watch the Y's football game at the Dallas Cowboys' Stadium - in a skybox! Devin and I were invited to join Mom, Ryan, and Flynn - we all drove the three hour trip together in Mom's new SUV...it was a night of luxury, to be sure! I enjoyed great food, a cushy seat, heating, awesome view, and technological wonders - all while watching the Cougars lose miserably. I still liked it.
I read "The Jungle Book" out-loud to Devin on the drive home to keep him awake - we got to College Station pretty late and so Mom, Ryan and Flynn spent the night at our house. Next morning, though, we didn't have time to stay and play, because Devin and I had tickets to another football game! We had to switch our cheering gears and colors though, because this one was to a Texas A&M Fightin' Aggies football game. We rode our bikes up to campus - the first time I'd ridden mine in over ten years, sad, I know. In the student section, you are not allowed to sit down for the entire game, and that was a killer! So was the sun (we both got burned). So was the fact that A&M lost in overtime. But it was a close game and really fun to watch.
I forgot to mention that we have another addition to the family! And this time a permanent one. Announcing "Bones" Moore! Andrea and Brett sent him for Becca's first Halloween, and Becca loves her little buddy. And we love that this dog doesn't keep/wake us up with it's barking or poop on our front lawn all the time, like the overabundance of neighbor dogs that we have.
Speaking of Halloween, here's Becca's first Halloween costume!
That was actually only half of the costume - we had grand ideas that would've taken a lot more effort, but in the end, with the "Trunk or Treat" at the church being the same weekend as the two football games, here's our final product: "Parents Too Tired to Make Dinner" and "Chinese Take-Out". We thought we were funny - and pretty much everyone laughed with (or at?) us, so it turned out well.
As Devin frequently says, "What a blessed life we have!"