February 25, 2011

I LOVE it!

Dinners out in our family are always eventful these days.  After going to Toys R Us this evening to take back a pair of shoes, we ended up spending an hour in the store and leaving with about $50 worth of toys.  Totally not my fault either.  I picked up some Baby Mum-Mum, bubbles and crayons while Ryan, on the other hand, just had to buy Austin another monster truck and some wooden Cars (as in the movie, Cars) that can go on his train table.  I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it on the blog before, but Austin is absolutely crazy about that movie!  I mean, what would you expect from a little boy who sleeps with his matchbox cars?  I've got a whole other blog post about Austin's love for the movie Cars, but I'll save that for another day.

Anyway, so after leaving Toys R Us, we sanitized out hands...twice...and then went down the street to Olive Garden for dinner.  I was seriously craving some soup, salad and breadsticks.  (Quick FYI-soup, salad and breadsticks costs almost $10 at dinner time, compared to $6 for lunch.  I was unaware of this.  So not cool, Olive Garden!)  So, as usual, Austin was starving come dinner time. He's getting his 2nd set of molars in right now, all 4 of them, and will barely eat during the day but is completely starved by 6:30.  We had to wait about 5-10 minutes for our table and he couldn't stop talking about how excited he was to eat dinner.  When we finally sat down he looked over the the table next to us and hollered "I going to eat dinner!!" with some serious enthusiasm.  They gave him a quick smile and then went back to eating.

So, our server came to our table a few minutes later and, while very nice, she obviously didn't have any kids or was just new and unexperienced at the whole waitressing thing.  Over the course of dinner she put a hot bread plate, glass of water, salad bowl and pitcher of water on the table directly in front of Owen.  I'm talking like less than 6 inches away from him.  And this little boy is like an octopus y'all, he's all arms and they're quick and come out of nowhere!  I have to say, if it wasn't for my go-go gadget arms and mommy reflexes, it would have been a total disaster.

But back to my starving 2 year old...
After waiting for what seemed like forever, (and as a parent of 2 hungry kids out in public, any waiting time seems like forever) our salad and bread finally came.  Our server put the salad down, in front of Owen of course, and after I saved it from ending up on the floor next to our table, Austin started yelling, "Yay Yay Yay, salad, I love it!!!  I LOVE IT!!!!"  Now I have never heard Austin talk about any food with that much excitement, especially salad!  Ryan and I were laughing pretty hard and even our server let out a chuckle.

So, Austin proceeded to eat about 15 croutons, a breadstick and half of his ravioli.  When we were almost done the server came back to clear some things away from the table.  Austin kept pushing dishes towards her and saying "clean this up!"  Oh my gosh...I was so embarrassed.  Here was my two year old son bossing around an adult like it was nothing.  I could totally tell she was a bit annoyed, too.

We were finally getting ready to go and when we got our check back Austin said, "thank you, bye bye, see you later, I'm getting down now."  Hopefully his polite goodbye made up for the fact that he was ordering her to clean our table earlier in the evening.  Then, with belly poking out of his shirt, he decided to limp past a room full of customers waiting for a table and all the way out the door and to the car.    Lets just say we got a few stares...

Kind of random, but while we're on the topic of Austin's belly, the boy wakes up in the morning with a stomach as flat as a board and you can actually see his ribs poking out, but as soon as he eats a meal he starts to look like he's got a pot belly!  I've asked our doctor about this several times because the difference in size is almost alarming...like his shirt will fit fine when he wakes up, but after breakfast it's too short!  Our doctor said it's fine and normal, but I still think it's a bit odd.  Even my friends and family have noticed how in some pictures he looks slim and others he looks a bit chubbier.  He's been the same weight for 6 months now, but just has this "bloated" look after he eats.  I don't get it.  I just hope I don't have to dress him in baggy clothes all the time when he finally goes to school.

And since all posts are better with pictures, here's a picture of Owen sitting on the couch, hard at work.

February 22, 2011


It stands for "Photographers Anonymous"

And I might need to sign myself up, because 


I'm 100% addicted to taking pictures of my kids!!

Whew, I feel better now that I've gotten that off my chest!

Obviously, since we've been spending a lot more time outside these days I've taken the opportunity to use this beautiful natural light and snap picture after picture after picture.  I can't help it, in my opinion I have two of the greatest subjects around!

But anyway, I actually went upstairs and pulled down some of Austin's old summer clothes for Owen to wear this morning and it was so exciting looking through the giant tub at all the cute things that were ready to be worn again.  I'm pretty sure the overalls I dressed him in today were maybe worn once (if at all).  Just another reason I'm SO happy to have had another boy who can get use out of all the clothes we bought!  Finally, I can dress Owen like the picture perfect baby boy that he is.  Poor little guy had been wearing nothing but size 6 month onesies and baby legs for the past few days because I wasn't sure this warm weather was here to stay, and I didn't want to drag down all the boxed up clothes and have them just sit there when the temps dropped back down to normal for this time of year.  I'm convinced now that Spring is here and I'm very happy that I only have to buy a new wardrobe for one of my boys (and boy does he need it, ASAP)!

So, we spent a good part of the morning outside playing today, something we've done a lot of lately.  I think it was close to 75 degrees at 11am.  Add in two small children with bundles of energy to chase after and I was actually working up a sweat...in February!  It was awesome.  We were all having a blast.

The cutest thing had to be when I put Owen in Austin's Cozy Coupe.  Austin got the classic red and yellow car for his 2nd birthday and (sorry Mimi and Papa) was just never really that interested in it.  I mean, he liked for me to push him around in it every once in awhile and he liked to push the empty car around the yard himself sometimes, but that was about it.  However, we discovered a new use for it today, one that involves both Austin and Owen....together!

I put Owen in the car to see what he thought and Austin just acted like it was the greatest thing he'd ever seen.  He decided to push Owen in that car ALL over the yard for at least 20 minutes non-stop.  Owen just sat there, gripping the steering wheel, and enjoyed the ride while Austin pushed that car until he was out of breath and red in the face!  When he finally got tired, Austin tried to get in the car with Owen and told me to push them both around!  Ok, so that didn't end up working, but it didn't matter, because Austin realized that pushing Owen around was still way for fun than riding by himself.

So don't worry Mimi and Papa, it looks like that little car is going to get a good bit of use after all!!

"Scoot over Owen, big brother needs a rest.  Pushing your 20 lb. heiny all over the yard isn't as easy as it looks!"

February 21, 2011

Little Boys...

They would rather play with the bark on a tree than stand still next to it and pose for a picture.

They think dump trucks are the absolute coolest!

They don't mind if Mom styles their hair to look like a famous16-year-old pop singer.

Running is their preferred mode of transportation. 

They can turn a simple stick into just about anything.

They can find new and creative ways to play with old toys.

They will often pretend they can't hear you, even when they really can.

They can't resist a ball

They really love their mamas!

February 19, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Unfortunately it hasn't really felt much like the weekend to us since Ryan has been busy studying day and night for the NC bar exam lately (which he starts on Tuesday).  We've only seen him in short spurts over the past couple weeks, which has left me and the boys on our own for the most part, but I know that all this studying will be well worth it in the end.  I just wish it didn't have to coincide with this beautifully gorgeous spring-like weekend!

I admit, I was a little disappointed that we couldn't all spend this lovely weekend together at the park or the zoo...but we didn't let it completely go to waste.  Our backyard and all those fun outdoor toys have gotten a lot more use lately since this wonderful warm-up and just the fact that we've been spending more time outside in the sun has seemed to make us all a little happier, at least for the boys and myself that is.  Hopefully by Thursday Ryan will be able to join us in the sun and get a much needed dose of vitamin D and relaxation!

As for the boys, they are really having a great time soaking up the rays and enjoying their comfy summer play clothes.  I can't tell you how nice it has been to leave the house without warming up the car and putting on jackets and hats and socks.  Austin and Owen both seem to agree with me that t-shirts and flip-flops are definitely the way to go.  I think we are all totally OVER winter and can only hope that this warm weather is really here to stay.

Oh, and what I said about the sun making us all a little happier?  It's the honest truth!  Austin and Owen have been playing together so sweetly these past few days.  Austin has seemed to take a genuine interest in his little brother instead of constantly viewing him as the little "bother" who likes to follow him around and drool on his toys.  

For instance, when we were outside and I was snapping pictures of Owen, Austin came and sat down next to him and asked me to take a picture of them together.  If that wasn't perfect enough, he then started to try and teach Owen to clap.  


Oh what a wonderful feeling it truly is to see your children playing together and enjoying one another.  Those times can be few and far between when you've got a 2 year old who thinks the world revolves around him...and a 9 month old who wants to be a 2 year old!!

February 17, 2011

Crib Broken!

(This picture has nothing to do with this post but I though it was pretty cute, plus he asked me to take it after he emptied out the basket and sat in it.  I'm so glad he's finally embracing the camera and requesting photo ops!)

So, the crib to bed transition has been a little trickier than I had pictured.  Oh it could definitely be a lot worse, but we've run into our fair share of issues for sure.

As planned, the weekend after Austin started climbing out, we decided to transition to the toddler bed.  Austin has one of those conversion cribs where you just pop the front off, add a small rail to keep him from rolling out and onto the floor and voila...instant toddler bed.  So, Ryan goes upstairs one night before bedtime and fixes Austin's new toddler bed.  We take him up there to show him his new bed, he walks through his door and immediately starts wailing, "crib broken, crib broken!!!"  It was hilarious and incredibly cute, but Ryan and I had to contain our laughter because he was literally crying and very upset to find his crib "broken."

After the initial shock, we went through our nighttime routine, read some books and finally put Austin in his big boy bed.  Well, he HATED it.  He sat there and cried and whined for-ev-er.  I got in the bed with him, I sat on the floor beside him and rubbed his back, I did everything I thought of to do, but he was miserable.  It was 11pm, we were all exhausted, so Ryan just put the front back on the crib, and like magic, Austin laid down and immediately went to sleep.

So here we are a few weeks later and we haven't had the heart to go back to the toddler bed again.  His crib isn't that much different than a bed anyways, since he can get in and out as he pleases pretty much effortlessly.    Most of the time he's pretty good and will just lie down and go to sleep, but when he makes up his mind that he's not ready for bed, he's going to get out at least 2 or 3 times before he finally gives up.  The funniest part is that before he climbs out, he throws his pacis, cars, and/or blankets on the floor first giving him an "excuse" to get out.  About the time I see him throw his leg over is the time I run up there to intervene and every time he acts as if it's ok because he was just getting out to get the things that he threw "fell" on the floor!  He really is a sneaky little guy...

But really, the 'climbing out before going to sleep' part we can handle, no biggie, it's the 'climbing out after waking up at 5:45am' part that we can not.  My Austin, who has slept like an angelic little rock for 2 years now, has started waking up before the sun.  He used to wake up at 8am and now we're lucky to see 6:30!  Bedtime and naps are still the same as they have been, so the only thing I can think of is that he is starting to stir around a little bit really early in the morning and whereas he used to just fall back asleep, he is waking up realizing that he can get out of his bed on his own and decides he's ready to start his day even if it means missing out on a few (much needed) hours of sleep.

I can't even begin to describe the shock of opening my eyes in the dark that first time to see a 2 year old lying next to me in bed saying "Hi, Mom!" (and then looking over at the clock to see that it was 6am).  Each morning it seems to get earlier and earlier too.  And on those rare mornings when he does happen to sleep until after 7, my internal alarm has now been reset to about 5:30am and I just lie there and stare at the monitor and wait for the "thud" of two little toddler feet hitting the floor above us.  I guess it's a good thing though, because one morning I missed that heart-sinking "thud" and also did not receive a wake up call from my sneaky little boy.  Something made me stir though, and when I got up to pee I found Mr. Sneaky himself alone in the living room playing with his train table.  That could have definitely been a lot worse!

Looks like this weekend someone is going to wake up to a baby gate at his bedroom door!!

February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day '11

Just a few facts about our 2011 Valentine's Day:

-Austin woke us up by climbing in our bed at 6:15 am.  This is about 2 hours before his normal waking time.  He apparently could not wait a moment longer to wish us a Happy Valentine's Day.

-Owen politely stayed in bed until 8am, which is about an hour later than he normally wakes up.

-We gave the boys their Valentine's cards and a few small gifts to celebrate the day.  Austin received a toy monster truck and a smaller car that matched it.  For the rest of the day he talked about his monster truck and "matching car."  He thought we meant that the cars name was matching car, so that is what he now calls it!

-We ate leftovers for lunch, and since it was Valentine's Day, I let Austin eat his meal while playing with stickers.  He seemed very pleased with himself.

-Ryan surprised me with flowers and tickets to see Cats in Charlotte coming up in May.  I was really excited, it's definitely a musical I've always wanted to see.

-The weather has been so nice lately so we spent part of the afternoon outside.  Owen enjoyed sitting on his blanket and watching Austin run around and play.  It really made me look forward to the day when both boys are old enough to run around and play together.  It also made me long for Spring and the return of green grass, sunshine, warmer weather, flip flops and afternoons at the pool!

-Ryan and Austin went out later that evening to run some errands.  Austin came back with 2 more Cars Shake 'n Go toys, 2 Where's Waldo books and a Cars Play a Sound book.  This from the guy who gets mad at me for getting the boys something out of the Target dollar bins every time we go!

-While they were out, Ryan noticed that none of the local restaurants looked very busy and he thought we should go out to eat when he got home at 7pm.  I was happy not to have to cook, but a little weary of taking both boys out on Valentine's Day so close to bedtime.  We waited 10 minutes for a table, but an hour for our food to finally arrive.  During that time, Austin was delirious from being both tired and hungry and was having some serious mood swings.  One moment he was singing Wheels on the Bus at the top of his lungs and the next he was begging to go home and go to sleep and climbing out of his booster seat and laying down in the booth.  He also stole all the croutons out of Ryan's salad like some poor little orphan who hadn't eaten in days.  And Owen?  Well, he sat in his high chair happily until he got choked on a yogurt melt and projectile vomited his pureed peas and spinach all over our table.  Oh yeah, we were totally THAT family.  So, in order not to completely ruin the romantic evening of all the other couples around us, we had our food boxed up and left ASAP.

-When we were finally on our way home, I thanked my dear husband for a wonderful and romantic evening out.  We both laughed.  It may not have been ideal, but it sure was a Valentine's day to remember!

-Once the boys were finally in bed, we reheated our dinner, popped open a bottle of champagne and watched the Bachelorette together.  We ate and drank and discussed how were getting bored with Emily, Shawntel's giant tattoo, Britt's awkward date (and how she could stand to gain a few pounds), the extremely uncomfortable group date, and then we both cheered when Michelle finally got sent home.  It was a good night.

February 9, 2011

Bridal Shower

My little sister is getting married...next month!  I can hardly believe how the time has flown by.  I remember just a little over a year ago, in December, in the Bahamas, Nick popped the question while we were all on vacation.  It was completely unexpected, which made it all the more exciting, and now the big day is almost here!

On Saturday I saw her in her dress for the first time and it finally became so real.  She looked beautiful and elegant, a little nervous, but very happy.  I was a proud big sister to say the least.

That same day I also attended her bridal shower in Columbia, which was hosted by some of the lovely ladies from the neighborhood where we grew up.  Of course I had my camera ready at all times to photograph Catherine's 1st bridal shower and all the amazing ladies who attended and made it such a special day.

 Catherine with her sweet hostesses.
 Opening some fantastic gifts!
 See that beautiful teenager in the purple skirt?  
Can you believe I used to babysit her when she was just a newborn?!?
 Will and Tanner all grown up.  I used to babysit them as well!  Gosh I'm getting old...
 Some more of the lovely ladies!
 I guess it's a little embarrassing opening lingerie in a room full of adults and your future mother-in-law!
 Beth, Ann, Mrs. Ison & Aunt Geri

 Keri and her sweet baby, Blair.
 Catherine with her future mother-in-law.
 Beth, Betsy and Catherine....3 of the gorgeous Trafalgar girls!

Catherine with her 2 bridesmaids, me and Amber.

February 8, 2011

9 Month Stats

The blog so needs to be updated but there are just not enough hours in the day it seems!  I've got a head full of great post topics and even a few drafts, but never enough time to organize all my thoughts and get everything together.  I will try to get better, promise, so tons of stuff coming soon....I hope.

So anyway, I don't have time right now to post many pictures or cute stories, since I can see Austin wiggling around in his bed as I type, but I do have Owen's 9 month stats from his doctor's visit yesterday which I need to record.  Not the most interesting of all things (to some of you, maybe) but something I've made a habit of noting in the blog for each boy after their well-visits.  It's been so helpful for me to have this information handy, especially when it comes to expectations and comparisons.

And here is how my little Owen stacks up at 9 months:

Weight:  19.6 lbs. 34th %ile
Height:  28.5 in.  58th %ile
Head:  18.7 in.  95th %ile

So, according to these stats, it seems I have a petite little boy with one giant noggin!!  Looks like both my boys inherited their daddy's big 'ole head!  

But like I always say, 
big head = big brain!

February 4, 2011

9 Months!

Owen is 9 months old today, and what a perfectly sweet little 9 month old I have!  Sometimes I wish I could freeze him at this exact age for just a little while longer.  His personality is really starting to emerge and he's getting to be so fun and interactive, but at the same time he's still my cuddly little baby who likes to be held and snuggled.  I feel like he's really grown up in the past couple weeks and I think this is going to be a very busy month.  But, what new has happened at 9 months?  Let me tell you...

-  Owen, like his big brother, doesn't hold still for too long!  He is crawling at light speed, pulling up on everything and cruising around fearlessly.  

-He loves to mess with the DirecTV box, phones, remote controls...and shoes!?  Why shoes?  I have no idea, but if there is a shoe anywhere in his line of sight he'll grab it in a matter of seconds!

-Still wearing 9-12 month clothes and size 3 diapers.

-Taking 2 good naps a day and sleeping about 12 hours at night.

-Goes to sleep completely on his own now.  He doesn't even want to be held or rocked anymore.  As soon as we walk into his bedroom and he realizes what time it is, he's ready to get down, pop his thumb in his mouth and go to sleep!

-Still a thumb sucker, but only when he's tired.

-Taking 4-5 bottles and eating 3 meals a day.  We're still mainly on purees, but he's also tried fresh banana slices, peas, goldfish crackers, mandarin oranges, cheese, sweet potatoes, peaches, pasta and toast.

-Says ma-ma, ba-ba and bye-bye.  Owen has always been on the quiet side, but has certainly started coming out of his shell here lately.  When he whines, he whines for ma-ma and when he sees his bottle he says ba-ba.  We're working on da-da, but no luck just yet.

-He's started to let us know when he's mad or frustrated by yelling and squealing.  I find it adorable!

-Wants to play with whatever his big brother is playing with!  This has caused a few fights and many a talk about sharing, but we seem to be making some progress.  Owen gets so excited to see Austin in the mornings and when everyone is calm and rested they do play pretty well together!

-Owen loves his mama!  When we play on the floor together he is constantly in my arms, lap or pulling up on me and trying to get my attention in any way possible.  He follows me around the house and if I walk outside the baby gate he climbs on the gate and "calls" for me until I come back.  If Austin's in the room, Owen directs a little more of his attention towards his big brother

-Owen loves the tv and is completely mesmerized by it.  I think he would sit and watch an entire 30 min. show if I let him!  Due to his obsession, I rarely watch tv while he is awake.  We turn it on in the mornings while everyone is still waking up and late evenings before dinner, but that's about it.

-Still a drooling machine!  Poor guy has been cutting teeth forever it seems and has another handful on the way in.  His 4 top and 2 bottom are in all the way but we're going to see another bottom one any day now.  I can see 3 more on their way down as well.

-The best word to describe Owen is content.  He rarely gets upset and I hardly ever hear him cry.  Even when he wakes up at night, he wakes up talking, not crying.

-Owen is such a sweet, happy, loving little boy.  Just looking at his sweet face makes me smile and warms my heart.  I didn't think I could love him anymore than on the day he was born, but I find my heart expanding each and every day.  He is such a blessing, and even though many days I wish he would stay this age forever, I truly can not wait to continue to watch him learn and grow and document each and every wonderful month.

I love you, Owen. Happy 9 months!!

February 3, 2011

Greatest Show on Earth

I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with the circus this year.  It truly was a great show and Austin and Owen LOVED it...which in my opinion, made it that much better!!  Austin and I went on the floor before the show and he saw some acrobats, just missed Asia the elephant and met a clown.  I thought he might be a little bit scared of the clowns at first, but he thought they were pretty cool and especially loved their big shoes.  My attempt at getting a good picture of Austin and the clown failed, however, as he could not stop staring at him long enough to look my way.  Could you blame him?

So, the show started at 7:30 and we saw tons of great acts.  Austin loved the elephants, giant bicycle and the guys spinning in the rings and Owen loved the music and bright lights.  There was an intermission at almost 9pm.....yes, 9pm!!!  Both my boys are usually in bed by then!  I thought it was the end of the show, but boy was I was wrong.  After a stretching break and some snacks, we were back in our seats for the second half, another entire hour of non-stop circus fun.  The show finally ended at 10pm.  There were babies and kids passed out all around us in chairs and on their parent's shoulders.  Austin and Owen?  They were still holding on and going strong!  How the 6 year old at the end of our row couldn't make it to 10pm yet my 9 months old could...I have no idea.

Austin was absolutely pumped at the end of the show and talking non-stop while dragging me through a huge crowd of tired children and their irritable parents.  Ryan and Owen were just trying to keep up.  We got outside and Austin was still talking about the elephants and the tigers....and then switched subjects completely.....to monster trucks of course.  Oh no, he didn't forget, he wanted to know where those monster trucks were!  I tried my best to explain.  Then, as we were walking to the car, he saw a big 4-wheeler on the back of a truck driving by and seemed satisfied that he had found a "monster truck."  He then talked about that the entire way home.

Owen, who was about 2 hours past his bedtime and hungry, was just a perfect little angel!  He didn't cry, he didn't fuss, he didn't even fall asleep on the way home.  He had his bottle and finally dozed off in my arms at 10:30 without so much as a whimper.

I guess it's fun to go to the Greatest Show on Earth when you have 2 of the Greatest Kids on Earth!


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