Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Slide.

Mike has been on vacation for over a week now. Instead of traveling we decided to enjoy a "stay-cation." It costs less, doesn't require airplanes or long car rides, optimizes our time together as family and also allows Mike to complete some tasks around the house that have been piling up. (These projects will be its own post.) To start off our staycation we purchased a slide from Craigslist, how I love craigslist these days! Since then we've spent several afternoons and late mornings playing in the backyard. We've tossed the ball around, played in the sprinkler, baby pool, on the slide, soaked each other with the hoses, washed the dog and just sat in the lawn chairs and enjoyed the sun. It was a perfect Houston weather week and I have loved being able to let Carter out to enjoy it. I now have dreams of a swing set, which Mike said he could make in a Saturday wohoo!, and a larger pool because the tiny one we have just isn't big enough to accommodate the slide.

Here's Carter enjoying his slide. He's still not speaking in a language that anyone can really understand, but at the end you can tell he wanted to tell you how awesome it was and how much he loves his slide. :)

video

Carter and Steiger are also spending some quality time together on our staycation. Carter throws the ball and Steiger fetches it. Carter chases daddy and Steiger around with the hose. Carter eats a Popsicles and Steiger waits for the moment it falls on the ground or is low enough that he can steal a lick. yuck.

On a totally unrelated note, Owen is starting to pull up on things. Just barely. I walked into his room last week and there he was standing holding onto the crib. I couldn't believe it! Since then he's managed to get onto his knees but hasn't pulled all the way up yet. Everyday he scoots himself a little farther and fools us all by not crawling. He gets on all fours and looks like he is going to take off, but then sits back down and laughs. I think he's holding out for our trip to Oklahoma to see Mikes family. Isn't he adorable? I look at him and think he's still a newborn, the reality is my baby is growing up far to quickly.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sleep Eating.

You've heard of sleep walking, but what about sleep eating?
video


Right after we took this little video we put his shirt back on and tucked him into bed for a nap. We had a great time visiting with the Ashe family over the weekend and I think this was the only time Carter slowed down. He runs around their house with all four of the boys like he's one of them. It still amazes me how great they are with him. We really miss you guys. Thank you for having us!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mommy Sick.

On Tuesday I was sick all day with a migraine. I felt awful and spent most of the day laying in bed in our dark bedroom. I'm so grateful Mike was home to take care of the boys. He did a great job of putting on his mister mom hat and held down the fort while also taking care of me. Carter had a harder time with the idea that his mommy was home but not able to play with him. Mike would tell him that I was sick and let him come say hello, give me a kiss and then escort him back downstairs to play. So in turn for the rest of the day Carter would walk around saying, "mommy sick." I thought it was cute and made me feel loved and missed.
I uploaded the camera pictures yesterday and found a few that Mike had taken while I was sick. Here's one of Owen. Should I be worried? Or entertained at the fact that while I was sick my husband and baby played with power tools together? I won't mention the expression on the baby who decided to not take a nap the entire day!

Shh.

Sometimes I think Carter doesn't hear me. Other times I think he hears me but chooses to ignore me. Earlier I learned that not everything I do falls on deaf ears in our home and our toddler is more aware and taking in more than I had thought.

We were outside playing the other day, Carter and dad were enjoying the water while Owen and I hung out on the patio in the shade throwing the ball for our dog Stieger. When we were done throwing the ball, Steiger would come drop it at our feet and bark. We were done but he wasn't so he kept barking. All of a sudden Carter comes tromping across the patio towards Stieger. Brings his finger to his mouth and says, "Shh." Steiger barks again and Carter continues to tell him to "shush." Impressive. Perhaps when I tell Carter to "shh" during church on Sunday he might listen.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Snack Stealer.

Owen is working on finger foods. He likes the little Gerber banana puffs, but so does Carter. Here is the snack stealer in action.
First he checks out the stash... hmm, looks like Owen has puffs.
Then he looks around to see if anyone is watching... coast is clear accept mom and the camera.

And then goes in for the kill... move your hand Owen.Then he devours the evidence of his thievery... ah ha those puffs are mine! Yet even with most of his banana puffs stolen Owen still smiles for mommy. Fully knowing that I will refill his tray with yummy finger food goodness.
In addition to raiding whatever is on Owens tray, Carter also likes to dig through the pantry. Mostly for fruit snacks, but today he thought he was hilarious and went for the baby food. For some reason whatever is on Owen's food menu is much better than what Carter has. Even if Carter has nuggets, he wants Owens mashed carrots. We've digressed a little.

Monday, May 18, 2009

From There to Here.

From There...... To Here.
On Monday, May 18, Mike and I celebrated our seven year wedding anniversary. Earlier Mike asked me if I could go back and tell myself something what would I say. I said, "not to buy a house" (still a little upset with the 20% decrease in our property value this year). His comment was a little more insightful. He said he would go back and tell himself that "it's worth it." The first few months we were married were hard. To say that I was hard to live with would be an understatement. I don't share well, I was barely 20 and my family was across the country. We had an adjustment period. People say you can't change your spouse, they are what they are when you get married. I disagree.

Mike has in every way impacted the woman I am today. He makes me want to be a better person. I am learning how to share, I'm seven years older and maybe a little wiser, and well my family is right here with me when I am with Mike. When we got married we were both still in college and our responsibilities were limited. I look at us now, we have a mortgage, children, real jobs and responsibilities and we've both grown. Through all of this we've grown together and are more invested in each other and our family. We still have our bumps in the road but it is how we overcome them that makes us a good match for each other. Our marriage is only as strong as we are together. It's important that as we grow we continue to grow together, to tackle our trials head on, to hold strong together through our sorrows, and rejoice in our accomplishments and successes. We are a team, a partnership, a friendship and an eternal marriage.

Thank you for seven wonderful years. I love you Mike and I look forward to growing old together. We're still working on our happily ever after...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

... may even be able to.

This week I was reading through "What to expect the first year" the seventh month chapter and was surprised to learn that Owen is ahead on something. Hurray! He may not be able to babble combining vowels, but he's an overachiever and can get into a sitting position from his stomach. This accomplishment is listed under the ...may even be able to list. I'm pretty thrilled. So our little man now spends most of his time sitting, when he wants to, and then gets back on his tummy and slides backwards. He's never in the same spot for long these days. He's able to interact with Carter on a different level now that he sits and I think Carter also enjoys this new stage. He brings Owen toys and then sits next to him to play. They are getting pretty good at keeping each other company, but I still have to occasionally rescue Owen from the body hugs Carter likes to give him.
Yesterday all three of us were upstairs in the game room and I jumped on the computer while the boys played on the floor behind me. When I turned around there was Owen, a sitting speed bump to Carter in his cozy coupe. Really, poor Owen was sitting with both hands up touching the front of the car while Carter had both hands on the wheel. I was early enough to move Owen and redirect the car. Whew, Owen was almost a roadside casualty. The joys of motherhood. It did make me laugh and both boys were laughing as well.

Our biggest competition to getting Owen to eat is his thumb. It always seems to be in the way. But with some coaxing you can get him to put his thumb down and smile at you. It's becoming more of a challenge to put Owen down for bed at night. I think it's because he now realizes he's alone and things continue to happen after he is in bed. There is only so much we can do, he needs to learn how to fall asleep on his own and we don't want to rock him to bed every night. It was a challenge tonight and he cried... for a long time. We went in every 5-1o minutes patted him on the back and left. I finally caved and snuggled with him. I just can't seem to remember how we got Carter on such a good schedule but am hoping that I will remember sooner than later for all of our sakes. What are your tricks for getting your little ones down at night?

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Little Sand and Surf.

We had our first beach day of 2009 on Saturday. We packed the kids in the car and headed down to Galveston to celebrate our friend, Dans 27 birthday. We didn't get there until 12:30 (the original plan was to be there at 10, yeah right) and stayed all afternoon. Everyone except Owen got a little sunburned. Even with SPF 50, the reapply was a challenge and we missed a few spots that we are still feeling two days later. All in all, we had a great time. It was nice to get out of the Houston city limits and enjoy the gulf. The water was cool, the beach wasn't crowded and there were actually some waves and a cool breeze. It still amazes me that we are just an hour and half away and we rarely make it down there. This summer will be different since Mike no longer has to study for the CPA exam, we're hoping to take a few more road trips and enjoy our proximity to the gulf. Carter still loves the beach from last summer and hit the sand running. He was in heaven being able to run up and down the beach and hang out with the rest of the guys,
point out every dog that walked by,
dig in the sand, flick sand at Owen and show him how to dig,
and play with his daddy.
Owens first trip to the beach consisted of some sand eating,
and little water and time with Carterand long nap under the beach umbrella. Even with the heat and the confinements of the beach umbrella and blanket Owen was pretty happy and content. It did help that in the last week he's learned to sit pretty well by himself. If only every day could be a day at the beach.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Frosting.

"Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting."
Happy Mothers Day to all of the wonderful mothers and grandmas in our lives.
Your unwavering love and patience have shown us what it truely means to be a mother, to love, support and care unconditionally. You've each taught us how to be better children and better parents. For all that you've done for us, for all that you continue to bless our lives by doing and for all that you will do for us and our children we are grateful and feel blessed to have you in our lives. This day is for you.
Carter 23 months, Owen 7 months and Grandma Anderson.
Grandma Dille and Owen 1 week old.
Grandma Ruby Freeman Dec. 08 Grandma Mouser and Carter Nov. 07 Each of you have made us who we are to today. We love you all!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

New Tricks.

Owen learned a few new tricks in the last two days. You'll have to watch the video to see just what... oh and be sure to watch the entire thing.

video

I tried to get him on camera all day and it wasn't until the last 10 seconds of the camera battery that he finally did it. So it is missing his smile and laughter after his success. I'll try to get it on camera again and post another video. I'm just thrilled at our little champ. I'm telling ya, the last two days have been developmental growth spurts.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Up to Date.

This is a long winded post. I feel like I need a little getting "up to date" time for the purpose of our blog being the family journal. Here goes...

CARTERNotice the bracelets on Carters wrist? This fascination has replaced his six cars that he use to carry around at all times. Now he insists on filling each of his forearms with these links. You know the ones that you can put together like a chain and hang other toys with them. He uses them as bracelets and takes them everywhere. Sometimes he even manages to hide a few in his crib for nap time.
What really started out as a joke has become a way of life in our home. Carter now thinks that stickers go on his forehead and yours. It still makes me laugh and you should see the looks we get out in public.
About a month ago Carter started showing some interest in potty training. I thought, perfect! So we had a week where he went #2 in the potty four times. Since then things have not gone as easily and I'm ready to take a break from trying and wait longer. He still tells me when he has to go, but it's turning more into a game and my patience is worn out. I feel that it's best to wait a little longer, maybe when Mike is home for vacation.

FLYING SOLO About three weeks ago we gave our Beagle Casey away. She had become more "beagle" than I could handle anymore. There is only so much destruction that I can take before I get to my breaking point. She needed more attention than I was able to give her and I just felt like it was the right thing for our family. I haven't blogged about it because I didn't want to jinx it and have her show up on my front door the next day. Three weeks later I feel that it is safe to say she has a new home and is more loved and appreciated there than she was here. The adjustment has been easy for us, a little harder for Stieger who is for the first time in four years is flying solo. But there are perks to flying solo that he has discovered. There is no longer competition for eating Carters leftovers, ie: the food he flings off the table or the fruit snacks he leaves laying around the living room. This was a good thing for everyone, I know that Casey is on the other side of Houston happy and most likely adding a few inches to her waistline with her new owner who thought she was skinny.

EXTRA HELP
When Marie moved I offered to "foster" her robot vacuum and she agreed that it could use a good home until they moved into their new home. It's fantastic and has become quite the spectacle at our house. It entertains the dog, who chases and barks at it, and the toddler who sits and watches it, then chases it down the hall pointing and saying "ohh" and "woo." Not to mention it really helps with the new wood floors. I still can't believe how quickly dirt, dust and dog hair accumulate and just seeing this makes me grateful we got rid of the carpet that was trapping everything in the house. Here's to the extra help around the house little red robee.

SNACK SLAYER IS BACK
*CAUTION- I'm going to show a picture for the faint at heart*
Last Tuesday the Houston area was hit with a sheet of rain that lasted all night dropping over 12 inches of rain in less than four hours in some areas. It flooded our side of town the worst and school and work was canceled that day because it was impossible to make it around town. I am thankful I drive an SUV, but even I went through enough high water to last a lifetime. The outcome of all the flooding is that everything gets picked up and moved around. The water meter valve covers (we had three in our front yard and a waterline halfway up the driveway), the fire ants and the local snake populations get relocated, oh and the monster mosquito's from the hurricane come back with vengeance. My mom dreamt about snakes, I had a feeling, we saw one dead down the street and Mike spotted another large dead one on the side of the road... so I just knew we would have another visitor. We came home Saturday night and this was at the mailboxes across the street. Mike quickly grabbed his "snake slayer" shovel and took care of the visitor. So what kind of snake do you think this one is?
This is another visitor that won't be back.
Mike, Snake Slayer - 2
Snake - 0

STUCK
Don't we all just feel a little stuck at times? Stuck in our jobs, our lives, in a rutt? Or like in the picture of Carter below, stuck in an obtascle (our bed) with no easy way out.

Going through the daily motions but not really ever getting ahead is how I feel lately. Not to say that I'm unhappy, because really I'm not, just feeling stuck. I like to plan ahead and stay ahead of deadlines, that gives me space to breath. It's when I'm not prepared and down to wire that I panic. I've had a lot of anxiety building again and am unable to figure out the cause and really unable to get myself out of the new routine that allows the panic to build. I need to get out of this rutt and figure out how to better manage my life and how to better manage the stress that comes with having little ones and managing a home. To be honest, it's more work than I would have imagined. But at the same time, the work is so much more fulfilling. So here's to another day, maybe tomorrow I can start on my to do list rather than the just "right now" list.

THE REASON
The reason for everything I do and the things I want to be better at are for these two little guys. We really are doing well. Owen is sleeping and napping and so is Carter. Things at work for Mike are beginning to slow down and he has some much need vacation scheduled. I've managed to make some great dinners, even took a meal to a family in our ward who needed it, this week and delicious pumpkin bread, so at least my family is eating well. The bathrooms could be cleaned, but atleast the kitchen is clean the dirty clothes have been washed and put away, and everyone has clean sheets to sleep on tonight. Family, the best reason of all, the best motivation and the best excuse to let little things go by the wayside so you can nuture your little ones. My favorite part of today, snuggling in my bed with Carter while I nursed Owen and Carter watched Elmo.

Chompers.

Our baby boy has two new beautiful chompers.
I'm still in awe.