Thursday, July 31, 2008

Walking through The Park and Reminscing

Oh my! We have had a FUN day today. Donna and her two kiddos, Marc and Julia came up to Huntsville to visit us today from Birmingham. Shana got to come, too (even though she didn't get home until 1:30 last night from work), and we had such a great time reminiscing. We talked about everything from step shows that we (okay just I) participated in in college (there was a sorority group- it wasn't me by myself) to the Trojan Room- our dining facility of choice on campus. All of us lived in our sorority house at the same time and it was a blast.

Don't you just wish you knew how much fun you were having while it was happening? (Did that make sense? You know what I mean.) Spring semester of our senior year, Donna and I would lay out at the pool across the street pretty much every day (or close to it). I was taking 9 hours (3 classes) and was only considered full time because I was graduating. Ahhh. That was the life. Why were we so eager to get into the real world, again? Someone please remind me.

So, it was fantastic to see Donna and Shana and the kiddos today. Marc is 4 and Julia is 2. Owen thought Marc was super cool and that he had acquired a new best friend. He cried on the way home and said he wanted Marc to come over. Awww. I am glad they hit it off and played well together. The kids played in the playroom for a while with Cooper while we hung out and caught up. Then we all went to Chic-fil-A (our dining facility of choice NOW) for lunch and ice cream.

I have taught about a dozen people this trick, so I guess I should reveal it to all of blog world.

*** DID YOU KNOW- You can turn in your unopened Chic-fil-A toy in a kids meal for a FREE kids ice cream?? *** We do it every time and I think it's a must. E.g. When I told Owen we were going to CFA, he said, "ice queem?".
Then, we went out to Bridge Street to play in the fountains. We've never been there before, but I've always seen kids running around there when we go, so we thought we'd give it a try on this hot day. It was a hit with the older kiddos and I finally remembered to get out my camera:Owen and Marc playing in the water- no fear at all- lovin' it. Owen fell/ slipped several times and just kept going. I think the bottom picture shows a slip in action. Julia was too cool for the water, so she hung out on the sidelines in the shade. My kind of girl.
And Harris would like the world to know that he doesn't believe in "matchy matchy"... or even "quasi- matchy"... or in "matchy" of any sort.
When we were leaving the parking lot we were trying to get the kids to hug/ high 5 and they did that well- before I could take a picture, of course- but this is what I got. Owen as a force-hugger: "Come here and wrap your arms around this belly, baby."
A wonderful day! Thanks to Donna and Shana for coming all the way up to Huntsvegas to see us! We loved every minute of it and can't wait to see you again soon! I'll come down next time!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dear Publix,

Dear Publix,
Thank you so much for being a nice grocery store. I truly appreciate the fact that I can take my children there and they actually have fun (I don't kill them and they don't kill each other), nice people talk to them (not scary people that could possibly be on a wanted list) and I don't feel like they are being exposed to a plethora of germs (thanks to your antibacterial wipes in the front of the store). Oh, and I can get some grocery shopping done. Our Publix (Moutain Cove Crossing in Huntsville, AL) is out of our way- it was closer to our old house- but we drive the extra 2.5 miles to go there because they are the best in town (and I know where stuff is and my prescriptions are already there). It's a new-ish store, so that helps, too.

My experience at the grocery store yesterday was superb. We arrived to find new carts for kiddos where 2 children can face the front (vs. stare at me the whole time while I try to entertain them AND find the lowest priced olive oil) and "drive" as we go up and down each aisle (right to left like you're supposed to do it).

They got free cookies (I ate one for Henry), which distracted them long enough (through produce and bread) until we got to the free balloons. The balloons entertained them through the rest of the store (until they both- BOTH- lost theirs at the end of the trip- even though they were both tied to weights). The appeal of the new cart (with 2 levels for groceries/ stuff) cannot go unnoticed- a really great cart.

I also would like to commend you on a wide store-brand organic selection, hiring baggers with special needs, a great meat selection, the 2 for 1 deals that change every week and doubling coupons every day. Over and above all else, taking the groceries to the car is one of the best perks of shopping at your store. I always have someone help me to my car when they ask and by the time I've got my child/ children in the car, they've unloaded the groceries. That's the main reason I keep coming back. And the above mentioned reasons, as well, but that puts you over the edge on the mom-o-meter.

So thanks, Publix. Grocery shopping is a little bit easier because of you. I HEART Publix.

P.S. I am fully expecting a response from you folks in Lakeland, FL. Since I used to work in the marketing department in a big national company, I know that you get lists every day of what has appeared online with your name in it. So, e-mail or comment here to let me know you hear me and thanks!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Is this Jurassic Park?

We have had an adventurous day today! Both of the kids are home with me for the next 1 1/2- 2 weeks because their pre-schools/ mothers morning out programs are closed for the break between summer and fall. {What, you don't get that break off of work? Well, me either! Why can't we learn and schedule our vacations accordingly?}

So, I've got all kinds of fun activities lined up because mommy becomes a bit boring and I'm determined not to let Owen quote every line from any Thomas video. He knows so many now and just throws them out { e.g. "Slow down and puff with care!"} whenever and I have to explain to people that he's quoting a Thomas movie... and I'm sure they're thinking he's seen it 100 times... but he just quotes anything!
Anyway, today we ventured out with Cate and her daughter Ellie to Harmony Safari Park. You've never heard of it? Apparently no one has! It's a free range zoo that you drive through. It's about a 25 minute drive from downtown, but not too terribly bad to get there. Free range zoo means that the animals just roam around and are not in cages. "Roam around" means that they come up to your car and eat out of your hand. How can this be? Take a look at these pictures:

This is one of many ostriches. They were our least favorite because of their attacking nature and weird googly eyes. Sorry if you're an ostrich lover.

I honestly can't remember what this was, but this shows you how close they all were. This is Cate petting whatever the animal is. Cate, do you remember? Looks horse-ish, but I know there weren't any horses.And this is Tattoo the zebra. I think he was Owen's favorite. And I was his favorite. We had a big bucket of feed and apparently the animals know this. Is this crazy, or what?Cate said, "Oh look, get the camel over here", so I threw out food and he came running. Then he snuck around to her side! She screamed because of the lovely surprise, but that didn't scare him away. He wouldn't leave and had his WHOLE CAMEL HEAD in the car for a while. This is Cate trying to get him out!

There were turkey, deer, llama, monkeys (in cages), turtles, big ole snakes (appropriately caged), deer with fuzzy antlers (are those just deer? we were calling them reindeer because of the kiddos, but I'm honestly not sure if they are deer or what), bison, buffalo, aligators- the list goes on. And I could post a ton of pictures, but here are the rest of my favorites:

Owen was in awe of the whole experience. I kept hyping up the "zoo" and I know he thought that Barney was going to be there (one of his other favorite videos- I highly recommend), so I hope this met his expectations. He seemed pretty happy! (The cup is full of feed that he never threw out.)

How often do you get to see this?Here's precious little Ellie waving to some animal. Cooper (our babysitter) is in the "way" back with Harris. I'm so glad she came along because she could maintain the whole back 2 rows. She is great!A ram, I think.And a cool buffalo (or bison). Whatever you think it is- I'll go with that.
A llama- which Ellie kept calling "Mama". Some good jokes there.And here's where the title of this post comes from: Baby ostrich eggs waiting to hatch... or is it?Needless to say, we had a really cool time at the safari park. I would recommend it, for sure! Thanks to Cate for telling us about it!

The Baptism Song

Well, wouldn't you know it- the pastor reads the blog!

So, here's the whole song per her e-mail and here's Kim with Carrie, Ismael and the girls (Megan- left and Maya- right).
Thanks, Kim!!

Hey, Hillary!

The song you mention in your blog is # 2249 in The Faith We Sing UM Hymnal.

There are 4 verses, but we typically use just the 1st two at HG:

Megan, Megan, God claims you
God helps you, protects you and loves you, too.

(verse 1)
We this day do all agree
a child of God you’ll always be…
(repeat refrain)

(verse 2)
Carrie and Ismael love you so
They vow to help your faith to grow…
(repeat refrain)

You looked great Sunday!
love your blog!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Some weekend pictures

I am a little brain dead right now and couldn't think of a cute or catchy title, so please forgive me.
This weekend we got to hang out with the Tuz family- ALL of them- even Ismael's mom who's still visiting from Mexico. She treated us to REAL Mexican Tomales on Friday night and let me tell you- they are amazing. They had to go to 4 different stores to get all the ingredients and Connie (my mother in law) said that is was some WORK to put together. We've got a heap of leftovers in our fridge and I'm so thankful for that!!
Here are Harris and Maya (they're just 3 months apart, so I'm pretty sure they will be trouble) playing together destroying magazines.

And Owen and Grandpa kicking the soccer ball. Have I told anyone that Owen starts SOCCER the week of August 4th??? That would be a prayer request, please... for me and Jason. He is in an under 4 league!! Is that hilarious or what? At least it will be some good blog material. And here is the fearsome foursome on the swings that Nana and Grandpa built. Apparently Connie and Irv said at one point that they would never have grandchildren. Then they had 4 in 2 years. Be careful what you ask for, right?And here they all are in their Sunday best this morning. Megan and Maya were baptised at Connie and Irv's church and it was so special. Gwyn, who leads the choir and has been there since Jason was in youth choir (fill in your own "a LONG time ago" joke here) sings this beautiful song at baptisms and it's just so wonderful. I wish I could remember all the words. I've heard it over a dozen times (we used to go to church there), but just can't remember them right now. It's kind of like this:

Megan and Maya we love you.

God bless you and keep you and ___ you, too.

Carrie and Ismael love you so.

Something something something grow.

OK- obviously much more special with the actual words. Connie and Irv- I know you don't comment, but would you make an exception and put the lyrics in the comment section in case other folks have this song at their church so they'll know what I'm talking about?

Hope you all had a wonderful and blessed weekend full of the Holy Spirit being poured into your lives!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Song that's Stuck in my Head

And Jason's head, too, I'm sure.

Owen has been on a Thomas the Tank Engine kick since we did the potty training weekend with him and gave him a train and tracks as rewards (for major progress). Now he's watched Thomas videos pretty often and played with trains every day. One day I told him (when I was trying to tear him away from the train table) that he could pick one train to come with him. So, ever since then, he says, "pick one twain?" as soon as I tell him we have to go somewhere. He sleeps with a train, picks one to take to bath (not IN the bath- they are wooden), picks one to take to breakfast and picks one to take to school. I appease him to get out the door; I don't think that's too terribly bad of a compromise, do you?

Back to the song. This is from breakfast thing morning. Notice he's gung ho around 6:30 AM- momma's boy:

Here are the actual words to the real song (because we've watched a lot of Thomas, too!) so you can try to figure out what words he's using here (he gets stuck on the first verse of the chorus- there's you're hint):

Every day's a special day on Sodor. Changing as the seasons come and go.Gentle spring gives way to summer sunshine. Autumn winds give way to winter snow.

All the engines work the same, Freezing snow or driving rain. They just take it in their stride; Boilers nearly burst with pride!

It might actually exist!

I don't believe in many things: the Loch Ness monster, horoscopes (how can you possibly tell what every single person born in a certain month is going to do that day?) and the perfect purse. But, yesterday I snuck out in between Jason getting home and dinner and went to a little boutique called J. Whitener. (If you are in Huntsville, you should go there- it's in that shopping center by NeoMode and Ethan Allen.) In this boutique/ store, they may have what might be my best find in a while. MY NEW PURSE!!!:

I am super purse picky and have many qualifications. Here they are:

1) Must have flat bottom (unlike owner of purse) to be able to put it down.

2) Must be made of durable fabric (preferably leather) because I am hard on purses.

3) Must have a zipper to close the purse all the way because I have lost a LOT of things- especially on airplanes and in my car.

4) I prefer one strap to 2 because that second darn strap always falls off my shoulder.

5) Must be able to pick up and put on shoulder with one hand because I always have a baby, lunchbox, something else in the other hand. (This is one of the toughest qualifications. Many a good prospect has failed b/c of this. I do a test in the store and if it hits my elbow when I'm putting it on with one hand, then it's a loser.)

6) Can't have too many pockets because I lose stuff in there when I think I'm doing good separating. This is always frustrating. This purse was on the border of too many pockets, but I went for it anyway because of the other qualifications being met.

7) Has to be big enough to hold wallet, phone, sunglasses, lipstick bag, pen bag, baby socks, rattles, games, snacks, etc- whatever I need that day.

They had this purse in many colors and I went with the camel because fall is around the corner and I thought it could work with summer and fall.

And, I know this wallet doesn't match, but it was so cute and I wanted one of those long thin wallets that looks like it doesn't hold anything, but it does! This has all the contents of my previous wallet (that I couldn't close) in there:

And it can double as a bag if I'm headed to a party (like that happens a lot). It just doesn't hold passies, wipes, bits of cheerios or M&Ms for potty rewards (don't think I didn't eat those at the bottom of my old purse when I was cleaning it out this morning- I'm shameless)...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dogs Free to a Good Home Any Home But Ours

I have HAD it with our dogs. They are killing me and I am, for the first time, seriously considering giving them away. The breaking point was today when I had to ask our neighbor to come over to sit with in the house with the sleeping children while I had to run a quick work errand and BOTH dogs barked so much that Henry woke up. Ugh. Thankfully he went back to sleep, but I am still angry. {A bad emotion to be channeling when you blog, but whatever!}

Culprit #1:
Background: Named for Princess Leia in Star Wars. She was born on my 21st birthday and Jason and I got her on Halloween weekend in 1999 from the humane society. She was 8 weeks old and 3 pounds. She will be 9 in a few weeks {no birthday jokes in the comments section}. She is "officially" a Dachsund- Poodle mix, but I don't see that. She's just a mutt.

Trademarks: Barks (yips) at anyone who thinks about coming in the door and/ or knocking. Barks (yips) for food. Barks (yips) to go outside. All these can happen at any time of the day {or night}.

Quirks: Makes you let Luke outside when she eats so she can eat by herself.

Positive traits: Still has some spunk in her and loves to play with you- even though she's getting older. Will allow children to pull on her tail and pet her. House trained. Very smart.

Loves: Sitting in your lap and being petted.

Hates: Luke.

Culprit #2:
Background: Jason and I had said that if we got another dog we wanted a male Bishon and we would name him Luke. My co-worker and friend, Dionne- from the Space Center, came into work one day and asked me if I wanted to take a new dog they had gotten. He was a male Bishon named Luke. So, of course we had to take him. We got him in August 2003 and he was still a puppy, but I'm not sure of his birthday. He's a Bishon and Poodle mix. Named for Luke Skywalker from Star Wars- Leia's brother {sorry if that was a movie ruiner for you}.

Trademarks: Barks very loudly and abruptly at all squirrels, chipmunks and neighbor dogs. Is not house trained. Likes to pee on any corner or new stack of anything that you have on the floor. Doesn't like stairs. Overweight.

Quirks: Only walks certain ways around the house. For instance, he will walk around the whole house to go outside instead of directly to the door.
There are certain areas where Luke doesn't like to be petted. He will growl, then snap at you. Not great with children.

Positive traits: Eats anything that's dropped on the floor by children. As in, I haven't bent over to pick up/ sweep crumbs since we've had him.

Loves: Being petted. Long walks. Leia.

Hates: Above mentioned neighbor dogs.

I know there are many good reasons to have dogs. I just can't think of any of those right now. And, when you think about dogs financially (specifically these dogs), it definitely doesn't make sense.

Here is what we're paying for the dogs (just off the top of my head- I know there are more things):

Trips to the groomer- $45/ mo. on avg.
Dog food (only a certain kind that they'll eat): $10-$15/ week
Dog sitters: $40 every weekend we go out of town
Vet bills: $800- $1000/ year

There was a time when I loved the dogs, happily provided for them and lovingly walked, fed, bathed and took them to the doctor. Here is a picture from that time:
This was summer 2005 when I was pregnant with Ollie and our air conditioning went out. I had a fan blowing on me, no makeup on, was sweating, but still allowed the dogs to lay on me. Now that is love.

I wish I could muster up some of that love now, but it is all gone. Maybe it's the kids or work or life- I don't know. But the love is GONE. Poor dogs. If anyone out there wants the dogs {and I don't know how from the above mentioned traits} you can come get them. You'll know it's our house from the loud barking when you get to the door.

Henry's First Date

Alright, fine. PLAY date.

One of my dearest friends from high school, Sarah, and her family are moving to Huntsville! They are in between Birmingham and Huntsville right now waiting for their house to sell. Sarah's husband Greer is up here in a furnished apartment already working. And Sarah is 8 months pregnant. Oh, and did I mention she has twins who are turning 2 this week? So, if you think you've got concerns, just think of that situation. And Sarah is just taking it all in stride, as usual.

So, Sarah and her twins, M and SB, were in Huntsville last week looking for some fun and we were happy to help! Ollie was at pre-school, so Henry, Cooper {our babysitter- who is now invaluable and I can't go anywhere without} and I met them at Chic-fil-A and then they came over to our house to play. I think this was Henry's first official play date. And, of course, we played in the playroom and Ollie's room and found all kinds of toys that we haven't touched in a while that they all loved. And they loved our dogs, too. I offered them to Sarah, but she didn't take them... Hmmm. Wonder why?
Here are some pictures from our "date":

SBMHenry getting a little lovin'. Wait- maybe this was a date after all...

Me and Sarah

I would a picture up here from high school if I could find one. Just know that we look exactly the same. Yeah right. :-)

Friday, July 18, 2008

9 Month Check Up

I love going into the well side entrance of the doctor's office! It's actually nice to be there. And while the toys are still just as infested- I'm sure- it makes me feel a little better that well dirty children have played with them instead of those other SICK dirty children. Can you sense my {feigned} superiority? I'll have to pay for that next week on the sick side, you know...

Here are Henry's stats:
24 pounds- 89% on the growth chart
29.5 inches- 83% on the growth chart
and I can't remember the head circumference, but it's 73%.

Ollie was never on the actual chart, so this whole chart bi-ness is a bit new to me. Ollie was always proportionately balanced, but just a year or two ahead of where he should be.

Back to Henry, our little angel boy was so sweet when they had to prick his toe. That was all- no shots today- YEAH! He has great vision- per some cool looking screener- and 3 teeth coming in! Yowzers!
And a tip for those of you with yung-uns out there, our Dr. advised the flu shot in two doses (if they are under 2 yrs, I think) that have to be a month apart. So, we'll probably go for the first in September before his one year visit and knock that out while we are there. I hope your day was without doctor visits... unless you were on the good side, of course!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The WHOLE Way Down

I took this Wednesday morning of my little guy in his big boy crib

Today, I was looking in my handy dandy video monitor working away happily downstairs in my basement office, when I looked at what appeared to be a child STANDING in his crib. Surely that couldn't be my child because he JUST turned 9 months old. Alas, it WAS our little Henry! Good gravy! I can't take all these milestones at once! What's next, prom??
So, tonight Jason put his crib the WHOLE way down. It will probably stay that way for the next year or so, so I'm sure I'll get used to it, but it looks like a big boy sleeps there. *sniff. sniff.*
Jason put him to bed tonight and got done before I did, so I didn't get a picture, but I'll post one when I do.
Here is our bedtime routine: Jason and I take turns bathing the kids. This started when I was uber pregnant with Henry and couldn't bend down to the tub all that well. {Before that I did bath every night, but didn't mind at all- I actually enjoy it!} Ollie gets a bath every night and Henry is still on an every-other-night bath schedule. I usually have the nights with Henry unless we get off track, but either way is fine. When I am bathing both of them (like tonight), Ollie yells, "Jaas, Hen-we is weddy" when Henry is weddy ready. Then Jason takes Henry away to dry him, put on PJS, read and go to sleep. Then I take Ollie to brush his teeth, put on PJS, read and go to sleep.

Tonight we read Gordon's New View. This is an enlightening tale of trains in the Thomas the Tank Engine series. It's by a British author. You might not have heard of it. (Don't I wish I could discuss these books at a book club meeting or something like that?) This would be the 3rd time today that I've read that particular book. Ollie gets on kicks where he likes one book over and over which is totally age appropriate, so that's okay by me. I will admit, though, that I went through several other options like, "Are you sure you don't want to read Knuffle Bunny? Jesus and the Giant? {The Bible}, On the Moon?"
"No, Go-don's Nu Boo".

So, Gordon it was. And now for some restful down time. Ahhh. Off to do Bible Study. I'm over half way through a Beth Moore study- Believing God- and I don't want it to end. It's awesome!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Free Zoo

Notice the blue skies in the picture above

Go ahead. Call me cheap (it's true!). Huntsville doesn't have a zoo, so we do what we can do for animal education around here!

We met our friends Aaron and Debra at Big Sping Park on Saturday for a picnic lunch. We are so happy that Aaron and Debra and their 2 precious little girls have moved back to Huntsville! Aaron and Jason went to high school together and have been friends since then. And Debra was a Space Camp counselor with me and Jason, so we've known her for a long time, too! I even caught the bouquet at their wedding (a few months before Jason proposed...).

This park is super nice and is downtown surrounded by big buildings. Think Central Park on a Mayberry level. If you've ever been there, though, you know it's beautiful and quaint and we love it! We had family pictures taken there for Owen's first birthday.

The free zoo has ducks and birds {that will eat out of your hand}, HUGE fish {I mean HUGE! We saw some with dorsal fins sticking out of the water- seriously}, birds and geese. They will all fight for your stale bread and crackers and very few have missed a meal. There is a big ol' pond and a great red bridge with picnic tables, sidewalks and big swooping trees. Here's a video of our whole group feeding the fish. Notice the calm weather.

About 10 minutes after this video, the bottom dropped out of the sky. We were back under the trees by then, so it wasn't too bad and we decided to wait it out there. It was such a great picnic and Saturday treat.

We've been to the free zoo a lot and can let you know the good ages for children.

This is Owen at 16 months- not a great age: {"Holy COW! That thing is my height!!"}

Harris at 8 months {and 9 months is good, too}- just happy to be along for the ride:

This is Owen in June {2 3/4 yrs}- now telling all the birds and ducks what to do:

And this is to show you how tame/ acclimated to people, yet still vicious the animals are. {I'm sacrificing my image in this horrible picture here}, but when we went to the free zoo in June, Jason happened to catch the moment that a duck/ goose?? bit Owen's little hand when he was taking too long to feed him! No damage, but it scared both of us. I can't imagine that animals in the wild harass humans like this, but who knows? I'm sure humans don't regularly carry bread to them, either. This is about as "wild" as we get! Look how surprised Owen is; obviously I am, too!So, if you live in or visit Huntsville, I would highly recommend the Big Spring Park downtown for a nice treat. You might get bitten, rained on or attacked by Jaws the catfish, but it's always an adventure!

Let the Babyproofing Begin!

We moved into this house last May with one child who was already running and jumping at 21 months. I've {all too quickly} forgotten the level of babyproofing that happens between the stages of crawling (9 months-ish) and playing with toys by yourself (18 months- ish). So, this house- stairs and all- ick!- has never been babyproofed. Now, our house is safe for kiddos- we have 2 that live here, you know- but I'm talking about taking things off the bottom shelves, putting up gates, making sure certain cabinets are locked and only feeding the dogs when Henry is sleeping.

I've found that I'm not the type who thoughtfully goes around and puts the baby plug things in all the sockets before they get there. I'm more of the "OH NO! Push that piece of furniture in front of the plug! I can't find another outlet cover!!". So, it's official, let the babyproofing redecorating begin!

Here is Henry crawling away:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Waking Up Owen

Doesn't that sound like a title to an indie film that should win several awards?

Owen is a great sleeper. You will never hear me complain about that! He goes down for a nap at 1:30 and I have to wake him up every day at 4:30- he'll be 3 next month.
Well, this is what I experience every afternoon about 4:30: 5 minutes of slowly turning on lights, rubbing his back, saying, "Owen, it's time to get up, buddy. We're going to go have some snack.", etc. Yesterday, he still wasn't budging, so I employed Leia to help me.

As you can see, still NOTHIN'! It takes a while to get him up and then he's full steam again in a few minutes- especially with some snack and juice in his belly (that's when he gets nice again).

I know- he still has a passy when he sleeps. I was going to focus on potty training first, then getting rid of the passy. Sounds backwards, I know, but that's just the way it's going to have to be. He may have buck teeth one day, but he's a great sleeper! I guess I'll just remember these quiet afternoons while I'm paying the orthodontist bills in 10 years!

Happy Friday!

- Post Script: Well, if that wasn't a jinx, I don't know what was. I was feeding Harris his snack downstairs around 4:15 (he gets up at 4:00) and heard some whining over the monitor. Sure enough, I went up to Owen's room and he wasn't in bed. He was standing on his stool in front of the potty and he had pee-peed and pooped while standing there crying. He couldn't get his pants down because he was holding on to his trains- priorities, you know? At least he knew to go to the potty... I thought sitting on the potty was kind of a natural next step, but you know... nap fog and all.

Anyway, so much for the perfect long napper and for the no- accident potty training, right? Shows you what I know! At least that's the exception and not the rule.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


The 3/4 birthday boy playing with trains last night. He wants to do anything that brother is doing!
I am looking at the baby video monitor right now and I can see Henry rolling around, then on all fours rocking back and forth, then pulling up and peering over the edge of the crib. He's discovered that he can do all kinds of neat tricks and now he's too cool for a nap. He basically has to wear himself out to get to sleep. Our little baby boy turned 9 months old yesterday! I know! I can't believe it, either! It seems like he was just born, but then I also don't remember what life was like without him.
Of course, we sang the birthday song to him, but I also saw him really pulling up (to his knees, thank goodness) for the first time yesterday. OH NO!!
Here's my little guy today (during nap time- he was so awake that I got him out of the crib to wear him out a little- so if you hear waves in the background it's because the sound machine is still on) trying to crawl. He crawled a few paces and I got a good video on my phone to send to Jason, but he was plumb tuckered with all the showing off by the time I got to the camera.

Also, Henry has decided that he's too big for baby food. He likes to feed himself and doesn't like you trying to feed him with a spoon- to the point that he's batting it away. Good thing I have tons of baby food in the pantry, right? So, I will take any and all tips for foods that he can feed himself. And remember that he only has 2 bottom teeth!
I remember this food stage being hard with Ollie, too. I think I had a lot of soups that I drained and rinsed for him to eat the chunks out of: vegetable soup, chicken noodle, etc. Any other tips are more than welcome.
OK, I've got to go regulate upstairs. He is pulling up and beating on the crib- like he's got a tin cup in prison. Oh my!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Our Week in Pictures

We had a wonderful time at the beach last week! Here are some pictures to show what all we did. "Our" beach is St. George Island, FL (on the panhandle off of Apalachicola). My mom and family were born and raised in Apalach, so we have gone to St. George Island as long as I can remember. My grandparents have had a house there that we've all used since I was very small, so it's like a second home for all of us. It is my favorite place in the world- hands down. My sweet hubby proposed on the beach there, too, so that makes it even more special!
I know there are too many pictures, but there just weren't any I could leave out!

When we got there, the boys got to hang out with my cousin Deen's son Braden:

Then the next night we had a big birthday party for our cousins Lacy and Hunter (2 July birthdays) and they graciously let Owen blow out the candles.
Harris got to hang out with Aunt Renn:
And we got to spend the whole time with Marcus and Holly at a separate rental house! We will definitely do that again next year. Too much fun! Next year they will have another baby joining us. We'll need even more room! Marcus commented on how much stuff we had with us. Just wait...
Then it was off to the beach! Harris liked this chair that I bought for Owen-
And Owen liked to hang out and run around chasing beach toys. Neither of them liked the water. Owen said, "Mom, it's scary" about the waves and I guess that's true...

But, he loved the idea of the water and he especially loved that we got to see MANY schools of dolphins/ porpoises up close. It was really neat- and a little odd that we saw so many. I think if we would have been swimming out there we would have been able to touch them. Who says you have to pay big bucks at Sea World to swim with the dolphins?My cute hubby trying to get rid of his self-proclaimed "IT tan" (he's a computer guy). I told him as long as he didn't have "IT breath" it wouldn't matter.We got to eat ice cream on the beach! We had to eat it fast, but that wasn't a problem for our crew.Then, my dad, Big Daddy, took us all out on a boat ride on their new pontoon boat!! I think this was Owen's favorite part of the trip.Harris learned to do the splits. Ha!And here's the captain. Dad graciously took many people on several boat rides. We love the new boat! Thanks, Big Daddy!Second captain and first mate:And a really large pelican that decided to hang out with us. Here's my cousin Jacob's son Lucas taking over the wheel (they'll let anybody drive in Florida!)Now, for the MAIN EVENT. The big annual Fourth of July party! This year we also celebrated my Aunt Reba's 60th birthday, so it was double the event. We always have a DJ, tons of food, lots of family and friends (one year the local paper even sent a reporter to the party!) stocked bar and our family tradition (thanks Aunt Renn) is to read the Declaration of Independence. It's always very moving- especially with so many people reading it together. Here's GiGi with Harris:

And my best attempt to get pictures of these boys in their matching 4th outfits. I got nothin'. Ugh.Now, WHEW! If that wasn't enough for you. We drove to Atlanta Saturday to visit Jason's family and celebrate our neice Maya's first birthday! It was extra special because of all the visitors. Carrie's husband, Ismael, is from Mexico and his mom and 3 friends from Mexico are there for several weeks visiting. His mom can't speak English, but everyone else is fluent and there was a lot of translating going on. Here are Carrie and Jason (can you tell they're related?) with their 2 youngest ones (can you tell they are teething?)- only 3 months apart!Here's the birthday girl! High on birthday cake before the nap. Isn't that how it always happens? She had a great time, though. I always love that look on their faces like, "is no one stopping me from this?"
I hope you had a wonderful week! We certainly did. I can honestly say I got to relax (a little) and had a really nice time with all family. We can't wait to do it again next year!

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