August 31, 2010

Grown Up

It's SO hard to believe that this precious boy will be TWO in about a month...

...or is it?

I found this picture tonight while I was doing a "digital camera dump" and couldn't believe what I saw!  Austin looks so grown up and mature and just look at that look he's giving the camera...  When did my sweet, chubby baby turn into such a handsome little boy?

When I was pregnant, everyone told me to take in every moment because babies grow up so fast.  I didn't believe it until I saw it.  I feel like next week I'll be taking Austin to his first day of elementary school...and then by next month he'll be driving...

I don't know if it's because I'm reliving some of Austin's baby moments through Owen, if it's this big 2nd birthday coming up, or if I'm just overly hormonal right now, but I can't stop myself from thinking about the day when my boys grow up, get married, and move away.  It brings me to tears every time!  On the way to Wal-Mart this morning, I heard that country song come on the radio "Letters From Home."  It's about a guy in the military who receives letters from his loved ones back home, and as I was listening I just started to bawl.  I couldn't stop myself from thinking about the day Austin and Owen will be old enough to make the decision to possibly join the military.  I just don't think I could handle it!!!

I remember when Austin was born I couldn't wait for him to grow up, learn to sit, crawl, walk, talk...I feel like I didn't savor those precious moments when he was still so little and now I can never get them back.  As much as I have loved watching him over the past (almost) 2 years, I'd go back to October 15, 2008 in a second and do it all over again if I could!

Wouldn't it be great if children came with remotes?  I'd use the heck out of those rewind and pause buttons!  Ok, I'd use the fast forward too, probably around 4pm on a Monday afternoon or when we're at Target and Austin's throwing himself on the floor because I'm making him get in the cart....but you know, just in those certain 'rare' occasions.  ;-)

August 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to...

...this guy... handsome honey... serious smarty-pants...

...a total Tiger fanatic...

...a proud papa...

...a terrific tickler... rock... love...
...the greatest husband a girl could ask for!

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

August 25, 2010

Wedding Bells

The zoo was a definite perk, but the real reason for our trip to Columbia was so I could try on and hopefully pick out a bridesmaids dress for my little sisters wedding.  I can't believe she's getting married in just 7 more months!!!  It feels like just yesterday when we were in the Bahamas and Nick blew us all away with a surprise proposal.

We all love Nick and he's especially great with Austin and Owen.  Austin actually cries every time Catherine and Nick are visiting and have to leave.  They'll make super parents someday.  I'm hoping sooner than later, because I am sooooo ready to be an Aunt.  No pressure, Catherine!

Anyway, much to our surprise we ended up going with the first dress I tried on.  That was some of the easiest dress shopping I've ever done for sure!  Here's a picture of the very cute and totally re-wearable dress that I will be wearing come March 19, 2011!

Isn't it lovely?  It's nothing compared to Catherine's gorgeous gown, but it's nice to actually be excited about wearing a bridesmaids dress and just as excited to be able to wear it again after the wedding!

August 24, 2010


"A brother is a friend given by nature."

Zoo Pals

And yep, we braved the 100+ degree heat and humidity and made our first trip to Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia this past Sunday.  Good grief it was hot, and I mean HOT...but it was fun and the boys (especially Austin) seemed to enjoy themselves. As usual, I took TONS of pictures!

Here are Austin and Papa getting a closer look at one of the Gorillas right before feeding time.

I think Gorillas are some of the most beautiful and intriguing animals.  I could have sat and watched them all day!

This is Austin doing his best Gorilla impression.

Owen had the best seat in the house, and probably one of the coolest!

This may very well be our first family shot since Owen was 7 days old.  Please excuse the fact that we are all melting in this photo...

Ryan went up with Owen to check out the giraffe a little closer, but this friendly guy got a little too close for comfort!  This is right after Ryan quickly backed away as to make sure Owen would not become a Giraffe snack.  The zookeeper assured us the big guy was harmless, however.

There was a lot of animal feeding going on Sunday.  First we watched the Gorillas get fed and then we bought a $2 handful of lettuce and fed Mr. Friendly.  Austin fed this giraffe like it was his job!!  He didn't get scared, he didn't hesitate, he was serious about making sure that Giraffe got every shred of lettuce we had.

Apparently zoo animals are all starving or they all just have bottomless pits for stomachs.  As much as these guys get fed, it makes me wonder how they're all still standing with their bellies up off the ground!  These goats were serious about those little brown pellets and once again Austin acted as if it was his daily chore around the farm to feed the goats. 

Our final feeding experience.  I still have no idea if Austin enjoyed any of them, but at least I can tell him when he's older that he fed a Giraffe, Goat and Lorikeet all in the same day!  The Lorikeets freaked me out a little bit and I almost got peed on....twice.

They're pretty cool looking though.

Next up was the carousel ride.  Papa is clearly enjoying this more than Austin.  Either the intense heat was getting to him, he was getting too tired or I just happened to catch him not smiling in every picture I took.  At least Papa made the wise choice to ride the Tiger!

This is Owen doing his gangsta moves courtesy of (future)Uncle Nick.

Austin was revived once we made it to the Penguin exhibit.  Ryan and I got a little sentimental as well since this was the site of our rehearsal dinner and our first trip back as a married couple.
Apparently this hollow tree was more entertaining than the penguins.  Aunt Catherine always knows the best places to play!

Of course my child would find the giant hissing cockroaches to be the coolest things around.  I gagged just taking this picture....

Last but not least was the aquarium.  Austin liked watching the sharks swim by, but was more entertained by the air bubbles in the tank and was trying to pop them all through the glass.  About 5 minutes after this picture was taken Austin went into meltdown mode and so we said goodbye to the zoo!

PS-My title to this post has a double meaning.  Not only did we have lots of fun at the zoo with our friends, but Austin is extremely amused by that new commercial for those Zoo Pals plates.  He sings and dances every time it comes on.  I wonder if buying those plates would help Austin to eat better...or if he'd just throw all his food off the plate to see the cute animal faces...

August 22, 2010


It's been a loooooong few days and I'm beyond exhausted.  I wanted to blog all about our fun weekend, but I can hardly keep my eyes open right now.  Ryan actually just threw a burp cloth at me from across the room because I fell asleep with the computer on my lap while uploading all 300 pictures I took over the past few days.  Of course, Austin is up in his crib wide awake singing his ABC's and kicking the sides of his crib and it's almost 11pm.  He's been up there for an hour but won't go to sleep.  In Austinland that means he's overtired.  I'll never understand why when a child is TOO tired they have MORE trouble going to sleep...or is that just my child?  I don't know.  He's been so off his schedule lately that I'm really hoping for a calm week this week so I can get him back into his normal routine of going to sleep before almost midnight.  After all, I need my baby free evenings to unwind, settle down, pick up around the house and just veg out before going to bed and waking up to my full time mommy job.  Not that I don't ADORE hanging out with my kids all day, but I do thoroughly enjoy those 3-4 hours after both boys are in bed.

But anyway....we had an exhausting, but fabulous, weekend and here's just a tiny sneak peek of one of our adventures.  More to come as soon as I can type without my eyes going cross...

Any guesses where we might be?  :-)

August 20, 2010

The Girls (Plus Owen)

While the other boys were in Atlanta, Owen and I went to Columbia to visit Keri, Kylie and sweet baby Blair! Keri and I ate a soup, salad and breadstick lunch at Olive Garden with the little ones and then took a trip to Target to browse.  There are few things better than that combination right there!!

Afterwards, we headed back to Keri's house to meet Kylie who was getting home from her 2nd day of 1st grade.  Kylie is hands down the sweetest 6 year old ever.  She's smart, beautiful, creative and a fabulous big sister!  Blair is 4 weeks now and even though she slept through most of our visit, I can already tell she's one special little girl.  Owen had quite the crush on those McIlravy girls, even though he wasn't the biggest fan of all their pink stuff!

Sweet little Blair!

Aren't they the cutest?!

Love those little pouty lips!

Owen trying out Blair's swing, not digging the pink...

1 month vs. 3.5 months
Here, Blair weighs about the same thing Owen did when he was born!

The Guys

Ryan, his dad, my dad and Austin traveled down to Atlanta this week to take in a couple of Braves games.  Owen and I headed the other direction to Columbia.  I sure missed those boys, but from what I heard, they had a really great time.  Especially Austin who got to stay up way past his bed time, eat lots of french fries, jump on the hotel bed and just hang out and have fun with daddy and both papas!!

I packed our point & shoot camera in Austin's bag and was amazed when it came back with a few pictures on it!  Make sure you take a look at what's in Austin's hands in all these pictures....

Austin with Papa G on the left and Papa B on the right!

All 4 boys!

Austin was not interested in any photo ops

This is what Ryan dressed Austin in for the second game.  (I dressed Austin for the first one)  
Once again, I will never understand my husbands lack of fashion sense.  I packed 2 shirts that matched those shorts and Ryan chose this one to put on him.  At least he admitted to knowing that it didn't match, he just didn't feel like changing Austin's clothes again.  That was his excuse at least...

Austin doing the tomahawk chop.
Go Braves!
(The camo hat really completes the outfit, doesn't it?!)

August 18, 2010


I just can't wait another month to do an Owen update.  He is changing so much so quickly now and it's really fun to watch!  I already look back at his newborn pictures and can hardly believe the difference 3 months makes, let alone two weeks!

Owen is so much more aware of things now and very interactive.  We sit here and have conversations in jibberish all the time.  He's certainly found his little voice and loves to talk!

With the increased awareness, nursing has become a little more difficult.  He gets distracted so easily by movement and sounds.  Especially Austin, who gets a little jealous when I'm nursing Owen and wants to be right by my side talking and playing.  When I can, I go and sit in our bedroom alone just to make sure Owen finishes eating!

Owen is laughing now.  Not little giggles, but big belly laughs that shake his entire body!  He gets excited so easily and starts kicking his little legs like crazy and opening his mouth big and wide.

Several nights a week he is sleeping 11 hours straight without waking!!  It seems that every 2 or 3 days he wakes up around 3am to eat and then goes right back to sleep, but on most occasions he is going to bed around 8:30 pm and waking up after 7 am.  I definitely never thought I would get this much sleep having 2 little ones!

Owen's on a roll!  We started getting him up from his crib and noticing that he had rolled over.  He seems to only roll while in his crib though as we've tried getting him to do it on the floor and he only seems to make it to his side.

Owen loves to stand up!  His chubby little legs are so strong and standing is his favorite position.  I can prop him up against something and he'll stand for several seconds on his own.  He's got great body control for being just 3.5 months!

Owen's new best friends are his hands.  Not only does he love to look at them and reach and grab for things with them, but they are constantly in his mouth!  He chews on those hands 75% of the time he's awake and occasionally will get his thumb or a few fingers to suck on.  He was already a slobber monster and this isn't helping much.  His face, hands, hair and my shoulders seem to always be a wet, slobbery mess!

We weighed Owen this morning and he was close to 15.5 lbs.!  He has about doubled in size since he was born and is almost half the size of his big brother!  I haven't measured his length lately, but I know he's pretty long.  He's already busting out the bottoms of his 3-6 month footie pajamas and can't wear any of his 3-6 month clothes that don't have any give or stretch to them.  I can't wait to find out his percentiles at his next well visit!

August 15, 2010

Something Else

Something else that Austin loves, that I didn't mention on my list (because it needs explanation), is watching videos with me on YouTube.

It all started one day when Austin was begging to watch Dora-Boots-Map (aka Dora the Explorer), but Ryan was watching the Braves game and wouldn't turn the channel.  I don't blame him, I'd about rather watch professional woman's bowling than turn on another episode of Dora that I've seen 25 times, but to appease my tired and whiny child, I tried to find an episode of on my computer that he could watch.

There are no episodes of Dora on YouTube, but I did find some good Wiggles songs, old episodes of The Elephant Show with Sharon, Lois & Bram (do y'all remember that show!?), the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Hot Dog song and the following video:

Seriously....Austin ADORES this video now and asks for it by name.  He goes around singing "abc's, abc's" all day and won't let me open my computer without climbing in my lap and insisting we watch this video 4 or 5 times.  It's cute, but at the same time, very annoying.  I have to hide in the bathroom to check my e-mail if I don't want to spend 30 minutes watching videos on YouTube!  At least Elmo is pretty stinkin' cute and Austin now loves to sing his ABC's!!

Who knew that an Elmo, India Arie and abc song combination could be so mesmerizing?

22 Months 22 Things

I saw this idea on another blog, instead of listing all the awesome things Austin has done and learned in the past month, I'm just going to list 22 things he loves!!

Here goes!

1.  Cars
2.  Balls
3.  Reading books
4.  Saying his ABC's
5.  Baseball
6.  Choo Choo Trains
7.  The Wiggles
8.  Snacks
9.  Bathtime
10.  Crayons & Chalk
11.  Dora the Explorer
12.  Nap Time
13.  Blue Blankie, Dottie Dog & Glow Worm
14.  Paci
15.  Yellow
16.  Grandparents & Aunt Catherine
17.  Dancing
18.  Singing
19.  High Fives & Fist Bumps
20.  Being Outside
21.  Mommy, Daddy & Owen
22.  Lucy

August 11, 2010

Keepsake Shadowbox

I am not crafty....but I saw this idea on Kristy's blog and though it was probably something I could handle.

I save EVERYTHING when it comes to Austin and Owen and I keep it all in bags and boxes upstairs in hopes that one day I'll turn it all into an awesome scrapbook.  Maybe once the boys go to school I'll have a little more time to try and be crafty, but I got the itch to do something the other day and thought a hospital bracelet shadowbox would be something cute and simple.

I just bought two shadowboxes from Hobby Lobby for about $10/piece and pinned both boys' keepsake birth certificates and hospital bracelets to the backing.  Since they looked almost identical, I bought some cute stickers and added their names to the bottom of each box.

I am pretty pleased with how they turned out.  I may decide to go back later and do whst Kristy did and add scrapbook paper to the back and I may need to buy bigger shadowboxes since it's a little cramped.  For now, however, I'm satisfied, and the crafting itch has been cured.

And by the way, how pathetic are those hospital bracelets?!  They are hand written, smudged and Owen's is an adult bracelet rigged to fit smaller.  They also just say "Baby Boy Harris" on them instead of their actual names.  Come on St. Francis, don't you know these are priceless keepsakes?  :-)


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