September 30, 2011

Football is Back!

So here we are, almost 5 games into the season already and I have yet to put one thing about Clemson football on the blog!!  Man, I really am getting slack here lately...

Well, of the first 4 home games, we have been lucky enough to be able to attend 3 of those.  We were excited about the Troy game and kicking off the first game of the season and didn't think twice about going to the game and bringing both boys along with us.  All I can say about that is, EPIC DISASTER!  Three hours in the car with barely any napping, followed by 2 hours hanging out in the West End Zone and finally a 3:30 game is just a recipe for disaster when you've got 2 kids 2 and under.  We left at halftime after watching probably less than 10 minutes of actual football and drove straight back to NC.  Austin and Owen were both asleep before we got out of the parking lot!  We vowed right there that we would never take them both to a game again this season.  Yes, it was that bad.  I didn't even get a picture of the game...or of the 5 minutes the boys were still enough to watch the game.  I'm very sad I won't have a single picture of all 4 of us at a Clemson football game this year....but on that day my sanity was far more important than any picture!  I did manage to get a few shots of the boys hanging out in the WEZ before the crowds started to arrive...but the after shots are my favorite.  It's amazing how sweet and angelic they looked sleeping away in the car after acting like little devils just a few minutes prior!!

As for the Auburn and Florida State games, we had no issues whatsoever about pawning those precious little boys off on their grandparents for a day.  Before the Auburn game we spent the night in Seneca with friends Ben and Tonya and visited and let the kids play that evening and then dropped the boys off with Am Ma before the game the next day.  For the Florida State game, Mimi and Papa came up to NC and stayed with the boys all day.  I can't thank them enough!  It was pretty awesome to attend and actually get to watch two of the most exciting home games in recent Clemson history.  Not only did I get tons of pictures from the actual games...but look at this: of Ryan and I...together!  Quite the rarity these days!

September 23, 2011

Mister Blue Eyes

No editing needed, folks, yes those eyes really are that blue!

September 21, 2011

Austin's Big Boy Bed

We finally did it...we made the transition from crib to big boy bed!  I know, I know...I'm a little embarrassed to admit we had an almost 3 year old still sleeping in his crib...but he LOVED his crib and seemed to have no desire to give it up.  Remember this post?  He could get in and out on his own so we didn't really see much difference between sleeping in a crib or a toddler bed (which is basically just the crib without the front on it) so we let it ride.

However, traveling became an issue because he was definitely too big for a pack 'n play and moves around way too much to sleep with me and Ryan or in any bed without a side rail.  We were at a loss until we found this...the inflatable toddler bed!  We used it for the first time at the beach last month and Austin slept like a champ!  He didn't try to get out, he didn't fall on the floor and he even took naps on it with no problem.  That's when we realized it was time.  He's a big boy and needs his space...we couldn't cram him into that tiny crib any longer so we skipped the toddler bed completely and converted his crib to a full size bed!

Guess what....he LOVES it!

He hasn't mentioned his crib once and only fell out the first night (before we went and bought a bigger side rail).  I love that we can cuddle up in his bed while we read books at night and Austin has even requested that me or Ryan sleep with him every now and then and I love that we finally can!  He really is getting to be such a big boy!!

Owen is 16 Months!

Ok, so he'll actually be 17 months in 2 weeks, I know I'm a little late here.  This is a super busy time of year and the blog is most definitely falling behind.  I do have lots of stuff to post about...just no idea when I'll finally get around to it all!  But on to Owen and 16 fabulous things about my sweet 16 (almost 17) month old!

-Starting to talk a lot more now and using his words to let us know what he wants/needs.  By far his two favorite words are "No" and "There."

-Knows almost all of his ABC's and the sounds each letter makes.  The Letter Factory DVD has proven itself successful once again!

-Can recognize several shapes, but loves stars the most.

-Owen's most favorite thing to do is to race!  Him and Austin go and stand in one corner of the room and I say "Ready, Set, Go!" and they both take off in my direction.  Even though Austin is faster, Owen can be quite tricky and will start running to me before Austin makes it back and gets ready.

-Some of his favorite books are "Bear in the Square," "Wheels on the Bus," "Chicka, Chicka, 1,2,3," "The Gruffalo," "Nobunny's Perfect," and anything about letters and shapes.

-Loves to give kisses to all the babies and animals he sees in his books.

-Knows where his eyes, mouth, nose, toes, head, tongue and belly are.

-Owen is quickly becoming an independent eater.  I have to put the food on the spoon or fork and then give the utensil to him so that he can feed himself.  Messy and time consuming...but it's the only way he'll have it!

-Loves to push things like his bubble mower, wagon and walker.

-When he wants to read a book he'll go get one out of the basket, carry it over to me and then back into my lap and sit down.  I love that he always wants to be in my lap while we're reading!

-Just like his big brother, he is obsessed with anything that has wheels!  He especially loves trucks, cars, trains and tractors.

-Always yells out "wheeeeee!" when he's doing something he thinks is really fun!

-Jumping on the bed is another favorite pastime.  I sing "5 Little Monkeys" while he jumps and then falls down and pretends bump his head.

-Could probably climb a mountain if I let him!

-Enjoys helping me play hide and seek with Austin.  Austin is an exceptional hider...but Owen can always find him!

-Owen is such a sweet, sensitive, happy, smart and loving little boy.  I still can't believe how quickly he's growing up!

September 14, 2011

Tiger World

Last Saturday we went to an animal refuge a few miles north of us called Tiger World.  They are a small non-profit that dedicates their time to caring for and taking in unwanted, unneeded, abused or neglected wild animals.  It's a peaceful and quiet place with many gorgeous animals in habitats that you can walk right up to!  There were several tigers as well as some lions, bears, wolves, monkeys, turtles, birds, and several other exotic species I can't think of right now.  Some of the enclosures were small, and while it's always a little disheartening to see these big wild animals cooped up in tiny cages, I truly believe that Tiger World is a good organization who is truly dedicated to the rescue and preservation of their animals.

When we told Austin we were going to see some tigers he said, "We're going to Clemson?!"  Man, that boy sure knows how to make his daddy smile!  Not until we got there did he realize we were going to see actual tigers and not watch a football game.  We spent several hours just wondering around and watching the animals.  Many of them were sleeping to which Austin continuously yelled "wake up!"  Owen was pretty amused and didn't even attempt his baby Houdini tricks of wiggling free from Ryan's arms and remained content while being held and looking into each enclosure.  Austin, who has never been extremely taken with animals of any kind (and would probably rather watch the Clemson Tigers play football), got a little bored of seeing cage after cage of animals just sitting there or sleeping...but livened up a little when we happened upon the bears.  We were lucky to walk up on the two grizzly bears, Brutus and Cleo, right after they had their baths.  The trainer was still there and was extremely nice and willing to get the bears to show us some tricks.  Brutus the bear was very entertaining  as he showed us his teeth, stood up on his hind legs and begged for clumps of dirt the trainer had in his hands.  Brutus was my favorite.

After the bears we saw the giant turtles.  If you ask Austin what his favorite part of Tiger World was, he will probably say seeing the turtles...or the peacocks...or walking over the bridge that led to the turtles.  Owen loved chasing the ducks...and climbing in the chairs...and picking up rocks off the ground.  Yep, just what I had hoped to accomplish by taking my boys to an exotic animal let them see ducks and turtles and walk through loose gravel and over log bridges.  At least Ryan and I really enjoyed seeing the rare and endangered species...

Even though the boys weren't as excited as I had hoped about seeing the lions and tigers and bears (oh my)!  It was still a very fun and successful trip which we topped off with a picnic among some geese and peacocks and about 12 gazillion flys.  Apparently, however, Austin and Owen would be just as amused watching football or visiting a farm or even a pet store.  Maybe in a few more years....

Ready to see some Tigers!

Austin vs. Peacock 

Walking off among the geese... 

Owen spotting his first tiger!

Austin telling the tiger to get down off that house 

Taking a break in front of the bears 

Brutus showing his teeth 

Big Brutus!

I'm free!!

Mr. Turtle....Austin's favorite

I think this monkey was trying to escape so he could claw my face off.  I called him a pretty monkey in a high pitched voice and I don't think he was too pleased.  Probably because he is a baboon and tired of people constantly mistaking him for a monkey...

Snack time! 

When Austin saw this tiger he said he looked sad... he gave the tiger statue a kiss to make him feel better....since he couldn't give the actual tiger a kiss.

September 6, 2011

Back to School

Austin had his first day at his new preschool today!  He'll be going from 9-1 two days a week at a local church that I fell in love with over the summer.  He's in the 2 year old class since he just misses the cutoff date to advance into 3's, but from what I've been told, it's a good thing he's always going to be older because boys typically mature at a slower rate.  I just hope he's challenged enough and doesn't realize he's the big kid in class and bully all the younger kids like he does his little brother sometimes!!

Austin couldn't wait to go back to school this morning and I had virtually no trouble getting him ready to go as long as I phrased every request with, "If you ________, we can go to school today!"  He was so excited I could barely get a picture of him before he went running out the door.  At school, he immediately walked into his classroom, found his name on his cubby and then found the exact same truck he played with at open house last week.  I lingered for a few minutes just watching him and he paid me absolutely no attention whatsoever.  I told him bye and got no response back but when I told him to tell Owen bye-bye, we got a partial look and a quiet "...bye, Owen."  I just hope he's always this happy and excited to be at school!!

September 5, 2011

Splish! Splash!

We spent last Friday at the splash pad with new friends Tess, Christian and little baby Everett!  What a fun way to beat the heat!!

Soccer Star!

Last Saturday, before we took off for Ryan's birthday weekend, we went to Austin's first soccer practice!  He's playing pee-wee soccer this season on a team of 3 and 4 year olds and it's just about the cutest thing I have ever seen.  Austin chose to be lucky #7.  He's the youngest on the team this year because he just made the cut, and it's a little obvious, but I think he'll start to blend in more as the season progresses.

Austin loved the warm up and Ryan and I got a kick out of watching him try to do jumping jacks.  Then the kids kicked the ball in the goal a few times and Austin enjoyed that as well.  The dribbling drills were a little tricky as he didn't get the whole idea about not touching the ball with your hands.  Coach M had learned Austin's name by this point and was using it a lot.  The funniest thing was when the coach told the kids to dribble their balls over to the white line.  Austin took this as meaning his ball had to be directly on the white line and was not satisfied until his ball was resting exactly in place.  He kept fidgeting with the ball until it was lying directly on the line and he was so concerned about the placement of his ball that he would miss the rest of the instructions.  He sooo gets that from his daddy!

Austin pretty much tuned out the last 15 minutes of practice and did his own thing.  I guess he found soccer just about as interesting as most Americans.  That, or the fact that he's 2 and has the attention span of a fish right now.  He started watching the kids playing t-ball on an opposite field and told us he was ready to go play baseball now.  Unfortunately we have to wait until next year for t-ball...

We've got practice for a few more weeks and then they start scrimmaging other teams.  I just hope Austin learns not to touch the ball between now and then or he's going to get so many handball penalties that he'll be thrown out of every game!  Maybe we should go ahead and start positioning him for the roll of goalie....


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