September 29, 2009

Lucy turns 2!


Our first baby, the crazy fur baby ball of energy we call Lucy, turned 2 on Sunday! I kind of forgot until late Sunday night that is was her birthday, but we made up for it yesterday by treating her to a yummy cheeseburger and delicious frosty for dessert!

Lucy, no matter how many times you use the bathroom inside, no matter how many of Austin's toys you chew up, no matter how much you shed all over our entire house, no matter how long you sit at our feet and beg for food and no matter how uncontrollably crazy you get anytime someone comes over to visit....we will always have a special place in our hearts (and bed) just for you!

Happy Birthday!



September 28, 2009

Bed head!

For several months now, Austin has been on a schedule of 2 naps a day around 10am and 2pm. Well, over the past couple weeks, these naps have been pushed back and pushed back even further to the point where he's been going down in the morning around 11 and fighting that afternoon nap so hard that sometimes it took me until 4:30 or 5 to get him to finally fall asleep. Such a late nap time, however, can cause for problems with getting to sleep at night and bedtime was getting pushed back to 9pm with him awake and playing in his crib until 10pm some nights!

This just had to stop!! So, this weekend Ryan and I tried something a little new and pushed back the morning nap until 11:30 and then didn't put him down for an afternoon nap at all. It worked like a charm!!! Austin slept for 3 hours Sunday afternoon and then was oh so ready for bed by 7:30 that night! I actually had to wake him up at 8:15 this morning after he slept like a rock all night long.

We continued the single nap schedule today and even though he only slept for 2.5 hours this time, he was ready for bed by 7:30 again and out like a light in no time!

I was so hesitant to give up on the 2 naps a day schedule but it seems to be working great for the little guy so far and I think he is getting more restful sleep than before. I guess this is just another sign that my baby is growing up!!

In other news, Austin's hair is starting to get so long now and those 2.5-3 hour naps give him some serious bed head. Take a look at that head of hair after today's nap...and what we did to try and fix it!

"Mom, we've got to do something about this."

"I don't know if this is going to work?"

"I'll try it on just in case."

"Bye bye bed head!!"

Baby 'Nana Puddin'


Lately some of my favorite bloggers have been sharing some of their awesome recipes, and since I seem to have nothing else to blog about on this gorgeous Monday afternoon, I thought I'd share a little something myself!

This is a little recipe I like to call Baby Banana Pudding, because, well that's just what it tastes like! It's quite a bit healthier than the alternative, though, so it's a good and tasty addition to your little babes diet (and maybe yours too)! I know that whenever I make it for Austin I always sneak a few bites for myself!

Ok, this is very easy and takes only a few minutes, and even better, you can make it completely organic as well!

What you'll need:
1 medium organic banana
A few Earth's Best organic graham crackers (I like to use the honey ones)
1 cup Stonyfield Farms organic french vanilla yogurt

How to make:
Mash up the banana and put it at the bottom of the bowl
Crush up several of the graham crackers and sprinkle over the mashed banana
Mix in the yogurt with the other ingredients and stir together
Enjoy!

Easy, huh? Best of all, it's a quick and healthy snack that any baby will enjoy! And don't forget to sneak a couple bites for yourself! Yummy!

September 26, 2009

Online Etiquette

Often in the blogging or online world in general, people can feel unappreciated or like they are going unnoticed. I at often times feel that way after I've spent 30 minutes working on what I believe to be a great blog post or posted a super cute picture and it doesn't receive a single comment...so I know that my fellow bloggers probably feel the same way I do many times as well.

I used to be one of those online "lurkers" who liked to read and catch up with people in the online world in silence, that is, until I stumbled upon Chris Brogan's blog and read his 9 Simple Touchpoints of Loyalty. I have since made an effort to put my lurking days behind me and shower those people who write blogs I like or even status messages on Facebook that I notice, with kind and positive words as often as possible. Most of the time I don't receive any feedback from those I comment about, but every now and then I do, and it really makes my day and puts a smile on my face! That's why, if I am a reader of your blog, you know it, because as a loyal reader I do my best to show my appreciation for what you do as much as I can.

So, I urge you to read these 9 Simple Touchpoints of Loyalty and do your best to abide by them, or at least a few. What a happier social network we would be if everyone showed their loyalty and respect online the same way they do in person!

9 Simple Touchpoints of Loyalty

  1. Comment on other people’s blogs as often as you can.
  2. Reply to people or help them spread the word on Twitter and/or Facebook.
  3. Write posts filled with admiration for people you enjoy online, and send links to their work.
  4. Connect people with like-minded people before they ask (using LinkedIn or similar).
  5. Wish people a happy birthday, or luck with their test, or other related-to-them encouragement.
  6. Share job opportunities. You never know who’s looking for more when you’re drowning in too much.
  7. Invite people to coffee. Just 20 minutes might really change someone’s day, week, month.
  8. Write recommendations on LinkedIn to those whose work you can vouch for. Do it before they ask.
  9. Send 10 emails a day to people you’re in danger of falling out of touch with, and make them simple and request-free.

September 25, 2009

Photoshop Friday!

Welcome to a new addition here at Adventures with Austin, Photoshop Fridays! I've decided to try and hone my photoshopping skills by presenting a before and after picture that I've edited myself each Friday. I am a complete novice when it comes to Photoshop, so bear with me, but this addition will hopefully force me to learn some new tricks and skills and even be able to pass them on to my readers (all 10 of you)! Enjoy!

The other day Ryan and I were trying to decide which pictures to order from Austin's photoshoot out of the 50+ we were in love with. Ryan mentioned that this was one of his favorites because it reminded him of an old timey picture.

I played around in photoshop to see if I could make it a bit more authentic looking and this is the end result.

What do you think?

September 23, 2009

Top 9 Questions Answered:

First of all, thanks to all of you for the sweet phone calls, texts, e-mails, comments and messages congratulating us on Baby Harris #2. We are thrilled to finally share the news with our friends and family and can't wait to keep you all updated on our second little peanut! I did notice, however, a trend in the questions we received after breaking the news and just wanted to share the answers to our top 9 questions with all of you who don't yet know. So here goes...

1. When are you due? My official due date is May 1st but we have already discussed an induction at 39 weeks to make sure our doctor will be the one to deliver. Of course, Austin came at 38.5 weeks, 2 days prior to our scheduled induction, so you never know, but it is pretty safe to say I won't make it our May 1st due date and will most likely deliver at the end of April, 2010.

2. Was this pregnancy planned? This is probably the top question asked to us by most people and we certainly understand people's curiosity considering Austin is only 11 months old. I don't have a great answer for this one though, technically the answer is yes AND no. We knew we wanted children about 2 years apart and we were thinking it might not be quite as easy for us to get pregnant the second time around so we figured that around Austin's 1st birthday we would actually start trying. Well, realizing we were about to start trying to conceive in the coming months, some precautions got thrown to the wind and well...you know the rest! It was certainly a surprise that once again, we were able to conceive so quickly, but we are very thankful for our fertility and will never take such a gift for granted.

3. How are you feeling? In one word, BLEH. The first trimester is always a difficult one and it's a little tougher this time around with my active little man to keep up with all day. The house could use a nice cleaning, the laundry is piling up and a trip to the grocery store is much needed...but the exhaustion, lack of energy and constant queasiness keep holding me back. Some days are certainly better than others, but I am always thankful that I have a constant reminder in my sweet baby boy to show me that the outcome is certainly well worth the moments of yuckiness.

4. Are you excited? Of course we're excited! Although I will admit that it is a different kind of excitement this time around, but we are thrilled and can't wait for baby #2's arrival nonetheless. It's hard to picture loving another child as much as I love my first baby, Austin, but I know I will and I can already feel the love for this child growing more and more daily. Austin is going to be a great big brother and we're very happy that he'll have a permanent playmate so close to his own age! Since Ryan and I both have very small and distant families with no children close to Austin's age, this was a priority to us.

5. How far apart in age will Austin and the new baby be? They will be about 18 months apart which will put them 1 year apart in school and of course a year and a half in age.

6. Are you going to find out the sex? If so, when? Oh yeah! We are not a family who loves surprises. We can't wait to find out if Austin will have a little brother of sister and we'll know when I'm about 19 weeks, which puts it around the beginning of December. It should make a fabulous birthday present for me!!

7. Do you have a preference, boy or girl? Ryan really wants a little girl and I'm pretty indifferent. I'd love to have one of both but I'd also love for Austin to have a little brother (and we'd be able to save so much money if we had another boy!!) I sure would love to buy some cute, pink, frilly things though!

8. Are you going to keep the name a secret again? We aren't anywhere close to having names picked out yet and it's still up in the air whether or not we'll keep the name a secret again. If it's a boy, probably so, but if it's a girl I think we might tell people because who can resist cute monogrammed girly things? All that being said, however, the first person to make a negative comment about any of our possible name choices and we'll be forced back into secrecy! So keep your mouths shut, we're not silly enough to name our child something like Sparrow or Moon Unit, have faith! :-D

9. So, how many children are you going to have? I know that with a first pregnancy so soon after we got married and a second one so soon after the first, people may start to think we're going to turn into the Duggar family and start popping them out on a yearly basis, but I assure you that's not the case! Ryan and I would be VERY happy as a family of 4!!


September 21, 2009

Big Day!

Today was a very special day, and to commerate I decided to give Austin another one of his birthday presents a few weeks early...


That's right, Austin is going to be a big brother!!! (Doesn't he look thrilled!)


And here's the first picture of Austin's new little brother or sister, due to arrive late April 2010!


...and mommy and daddy couldn't be happier! :-)

A Soggy Saturday and Sunday

What a busy weekend we've had! This is actually the first time I've been able to sit down at my computer since Thursday it seems. I love busy weekends but they always seem to make the time go by too fast and we've got to use Monday to sit back, relax and recoup!

Friday was a not-so-exciting day of housework and laundry but we got to follow it up with a fun Friday night dinner with the Mintz's and baby Emerson. Saturday was, of course, game day and since the weather was looking pretty gross we opted to let the little guy stay home with his Grandma for the day. We were starting to regret our decision not to bring him around halftime when the weather was nice and cool and just a bit cloudy, but that didn't last for long! In one of the strangest turn of events we've experienced in Clemson football, the game went to a rain delay after the sky finally decided to open up on us and the rain came pouring down. Ponchos were going on all over the place and people were running for cover, but as soon as the rain delay was called and the teams left the field, back out came the sun!

We had a rain-free rain delay for a good 45 minutes where Ryan and I just sat in our seats and talked and people watched. As luck would have it, however, as soon as the rain delay was over and the teams came back onto the field, just a few snaps later the rain started pouring again, even harder than before and a 2nd weather delay was called! At that point we just decided to leave instead of sitting around for another hour in the rain but we were able to hear the conclusion of the game on the radio just as we pulled into our driveway around 6pm. I think that game went down in the books as the longest game in Clemson history!

Sunday was another early morning as we got up and made our way to Atlanta for the Braves v. Phillies game. I bought tickets for Ryan's birthday last month since he had been super jealous that I had gotten to see a game this season and he hadn't. Our friend, Neal, joined us as well since he just recently moved back to his hometown in SC from Charlotte to start his campaign for Congress! (If you're a resident of SC's 3rd district, check him out and consider giving him your vote come election day http://www.nealcollins.com/)

Anyway, the game started out wonderfully with beautifully cool weather and only a few clouds, but around the 4th inning the skies in Atlanta started to resemble the ones in Clemson from the day before! They played in pouring rain for quite awhile until puddles were forming on the field and they finally had to call the game for a weather delay. We were lucky to be sitting in the covered club section and not affected by the wet weather, but the delay made for another extended sporting event and since we were 2 hours from home this time we had a little boy who didn't make it to bed until 11pm!!!

It sure was a fun, wet, tiring, sports-filled weekend!

I thought this picture was too funny not to include. Here are Neal and my dear husband waiting in line with a bunch of 9-13 year olds waiting their turn to see how fast they can throw a baseball!

September 17, 2009

A boy and his duck...

Quacky is a little rubber ducky toy that sits on the ledge of our tub awaiting 7pm bath time to roll around each night so his little buddy Austin will come and play with him. Austin loves his duck, Quacky, and he's one of the first (of many) bath toys Austin reaches for once he gets in the tub. However, Quacky serves a purpose to Austin, and it's probably not one poor Quacky really appreciates (if he was a real duck, that is).

Backing up a little bit, as I've mentioned before, Austin loves his paci. He loves it so much that we limit his paci access to bedtime and in special situations (such as public place meltdown moments). We are not being mean to our paci-lovin' baby, but rather making the eventual weaning process easier on us all. Limiting his paci access, however, doesn't stop my dear boy from putting anything and everything in his mouth to try and find a replacement.

And that's where Quacky comes back into the picture. Austin has discovered that the little yellow rubber head of his friend Quacky the bath time duck, makes for a perfect paci replacement! Quacky is no longer a bath time only toy, but one Austin continually carries around in his mouth throughout the day. Ok, ok, I do put Quacky back in the tub most of the time to prevent the odd habit of my child walking around at 3 years old with a rubber duck hanging out of his mouth...but sometimes it's just so stinkin' cute that I just let it go.



Orange you glad I let you feed yourself?



September 16, 2009

Can you spot the baby?

Oh, there he is, in the red and brown striped PJs! Must be a case of overstimulation!

September 15, 2009

A little tidbit


Ok, so I know it's not the best video but it's the best I could do last night. By the time I got the camera out he was about tired of that walking nonsense and ready to play a little more before bedtime. Ryan wasn't home yet and Austin didn't really like walking to me with the camera in my hands anyway.

I'm sure we'll get a better video soon, but here's a little taste! He's still much more efficient when it comes to crawling so that's his preferred mode of transportation right now.

The Big 11!


Austin is 11 months old today and only 30 days away from the big numero uno! I have thoroughly enjoyed watching him grow up right before my eyes, but I'm sad he'll soon be leaving those baby days behind him and be an official toddler in only a few short weeks. He'll always be my baby though, even when he's my age!

Austin is such a happy, smart and easy-going little guy. He loves to dance and wiggle and be-bop around the house to any and every kind of music he happens to hear. He LOVES music and especially that State Farm commercial that plays "Ill be there" by the Jackson 5...it absolutely puts him in a trance every time he hears it! A few of his other favorites are The Wiggle Song, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Skid-a-ma-rink, and Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. He also loves to play Pat-a-cake and This Little Piggy.

Peek-a-boo is Austin's favorite game and he will literally play it for as long as we will continue to say "peek-a-boo" everytime he jumps up from behind the coffee table. Sometimes he tricks us by staying hidden for and extra long time and will then sloowwly emerge to make sure we're still there watching. He also loves for mommy to hide and jump out as well.

Waving Bye-bye is also a lot of fun and we always wave to the animals before nap time and bed. As soon as we start heading up those stairs his hands start going and he doesn't stop until we sit down in the glider. He also waves bye-bye to daddy when he leaves for work in the morning or anytime he hears us say "bye-bye" or "goodnight."

Pat the Bunny, Puppy Love and The Hungry Little Caterpillar are Austin's favorite books and we read them everyday. He loves to feel daddy's scratchy face and read Judy's Book in Pat the Bunny, he kisses Bella's fur and likes to scratch Spot's basket in Puppy Love and adores sticking his fingers in the tiny caterpillar holes in Hungry Little Caterpillar.

I don't have official measurements, but Austin seems to be gettting taller and leaner around the middle with the same chubby little arms and legs and those precious pinchable chipmunk cheeks. He's wearing 12-18 month clothes and still has room to grow in his size 4 diapers. He has 3 bottles a day and 3 meals with a little juice and snack thrown in after his afternoon nap.

Austin's favorite time of day is when daddy gets home in the evenings and bath time. He gets SO excited when he hears the front door open and takes off straight to see his dada (who loves coming home everyday to such a nice welcome). He also loves to take his nightly bath and splash and play in the tub. He's learned to turn the water on and off and thinks it's really fun. I have to restrict access to the Hot so he doesn't burn himself though.

Finally, Austin is getting a little braver and standing on his own a lot and even taking a few steps. He's so good at crawling that he's not that interested in walking but the fact that I get so excited when he starts to walk makes him want to keep trying. I can't wait to get a better video to share. What a huge and exciting accomplishment for my little man!!

September 14, 2009

Here he comes!

Austin took his 1st unassisted steps today and it was the cutest thing ever! We were both laughing and smiling and giggling like school girls. I'm just so proud of my little guy!

He's been standing on his own for awhile now but would always drop to his knees and crawl when he needed to get somewhere, but today he was standing and I was sitting on the floor in front of him and he just came right for me! His top half seems to go a little faster than his bottom half sometimes and if I wasn't right there in front of him he might have face planted a few times, but over half the time he will keep his balance and make it 3-4 steps before falling into my arms.

Ryan and I knew he's been capable of walking for awhile but it was a matter of having the confidence to take those steps without holding onto something for support. I just can't believe that by his 1st birthday he may be cruising around on two legs instead of hands and knees. I'm just so excited!!

Early Birthday Gift

I have already bought Austin's birthday presents and a few of his Christmas ones as well and they are currently sitting on our dining room table awaiting wrapping. Of course I walk by this plethora of toys, clothes and books several times a day and I'm constantly tempted to open them all and have a big fun play day with all the cool new stuff. Well, this afternoon I finally gave in to temptation and opened the Playskool Busy Ball Popper in honor of my little guy turning 11 months old tomorrow (and because it just looked so fun)!

So, I popped all the pieces together and rounded up 4 D batteries and a screwdriver all while Austin was sitting there watching me and trying to get his hands on the new toy. "Success!" I'm thinking to myself as he already seems pretty interested in it and he hasn't even seen it in action yet! I turn the new toy on and it does its ball-poppin' tricks and of course Austin is amused and is trying to grab all the balls as they pop out and then gets a little frustrated that the toy is faster than he is and those dern balls keep disappearing before he can get his hands on them.

Woo hoo! He finally grabs the pink one and then the yellow one and puts them back down the chute so they can pop out again. Meanwhile, I'm grinning from ear to ear and so proud of myself for getting the greatest toy ever that he's sure to enjoy for a long, long time....WRONG! I turn my head for a minute and he's off to the diaper stack to pull them all out and spread them on the floor...then to the bottles of lotion and diaper rash cream....and then, the actual greatest toy ever....the box that his new Busy Ball Popper came in!

Sometimes I wonder why we spend all this money on brightly colored plastic toys for our children when they'd much rather play with random objects found around the house!?


September 13, 2009

Pickin' Apples

This afternoon we decided to take the scenic trip up to Flat Rock, NC to do a little apple picking at Sky Top. It was one of those weekends where we had been sitting around watching way too much football and just really needed to get out of the house and get some exercise and some nice fresh mountain air. Even though the apple orchard is in NC, it's only about a 30 minute drive from where we live in Greenville and it's such a pretty drive that you hardly realize it even takes that long.

We set out with our 1/2 bushel basket in hand and went frolicking through the rows and rows of apple trees ready to pick some big, ripe juicy Galas, McIntosh, Cortlands and Golden Delicious. Much to our dismay, the trees had been pretty picked over from the previous Labor Day weekend bash and we ended up with about 8 Golden Delicious and 3 McIntosh. Austin was a big help reaching the high ones but needed a rest after all that picking and asked us to pull him around in the wagon for awhile.

After trudging up and down the mountain for awhile in flip flops, on a 90 degree day, looking for apples to pick from the pretty much bare trees, we just decided we'd forget about the 11 pathetic ones we picked and buy a few dozen pre-picked Galas from the Sky Top store. We spent the rest of our time walking though the bamboo forest, watching and feeding the farm animals, eating yummy apple cider donuts and drinking apple cider slushies and taking plenty of fun pictures!

So while the apple picking was pretty much a bust, we still had a great time just being together outside in such a beautiful setting. I often forget just how close we are to the mountains and how pretty and peaceful it is up there. I hope we'll make many more trips this fall, especially back to Sky Top in mid-October when the yummy Fuji and Pink Lady apples are ready for picking!












September 9, 2009

This is sure to make you smile!

9.9.9

Today, Wednesday, September 9, 2009, just give me 9 seconds of your time and read this post, then visit Confessions of a CF Husband and donate $9 to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. If you don't have $9 to give, go visit anyway and spend 9 or 99 minutes of your time reading about this wonderful family, their amazing faith and their constant struggle with CF.

September 8, 2009

Picture Day!

We took Austin to get his 1 year portraits done today....ok more like 10 month and 3 week portraits...but it was close enough! The pictures are being used for his birthday party invitations so we had to do them a little early. No worries though, his classic "naked baby in party hat with hands in cake" pictures will be done on his actual birthday.

My little man was WONDERFUL and totally cheesed for the camera. He was so happy and could hardly stop dancing long enough to get a still shot! Sharla did her magic though and I can't wait to share some of the amazing pictures with you! You can head on over to Portraits by Sharla in the meantime to see some of her other fabulous work!

I'll have Austin's pictures up in a few days hopefully. I am so excited about them I can hardly stand it. You won't be disappointed!

September 6, 2009

Let's Go Tigers!!

Finally, the day we've all been waiting for, Clemson's 1st home game was this Saturday! We've had season tickets for the past several years and were so excited to take Austin to his first Clemson football game. We got to the tailgating spot that afternoon and cooked up some low country boil and hung out with friends while awaiting the game. Austin enjoyed playing with his buddy Tyler and Aaron's dog, Baxter. The sun was out in full force and my little man was quick to get red in the face. I had to strip off his adorable homemade jumper and let him roam around in nothing but a plain white onesie to cool down!

We got into the game before kickoff and Austin was very amused by all the people and loved watching them and the band playing on the field. He sat in mine and Ryan's laps throughout the entire game and just really enjoyed all the excitement in the atmosphere. He clapped and cheered and smiled whenever he saw mama and dada jump up and down and cheer for our Tigers!

It started raining at the end of halftime and we decided to tough it out. A little drizzle doesn't scare you away from watching the Clemson Tigers play! Austin didn't seem to mind the wetness but we wrapped him up in a blanket anyway to keep his warm and somewhat dry. About midway through the 3rd quarter I looked down and he was sound asleep in my arms. It was sooo cute and amazing that not even the 3 drunk guys yelling behind us could even wake him from his deep slumber!

Ryan carried him back to the car and put him in his carseat and he stayed asleep the entire time and all the way home.










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