Sunday, February 26, 2012

What Dads Are For....

Last night, we put the little boys to bed and started working a K'nex Mario Kart race track with Gabe. He got it for Christmas and it is quite a contraption. I honestly thought that in the hour that we had until Gabe's bed time that we'd make major headway or even finish. I couldn't have been more wrong. Even with a bed time extension, we were just getting started when I walked Gabe up to bed. As he was saying goodnight, he hugged his Dad and said "happy building and get some good sleep." Oh that child makes is laugh...

But after getting Gabe tucked in bed, I came back and Chad was still working on it...

And we watched an episode of our show and Chad was still working on it...

I went to bed and read blogs for about an hour and Chad was still working on it...

Apparently he worked until 12:20am and we all woke up to this:

And it was like a Christmas morning surprise!  Everyone was so excited when they woke up, that I barely got them dressed and out the door for church. We have a great Dad in these parts... so grateful for him and his hard work!

(I should mention that these cars have batteries and go really fast by themselves and crash and spin out-- you push button and release levers around the track to create an obstacle course for them to go through-- so naturally little boys thought playing with this was way better than church.... oh geez!)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Max's First Fish!

Chad is a fisherman. Fishing makes him happy. Fishing stores makes him happy. And the talk of fishing also makes him happy. He tells stories about waking up early to go fish with his Dad- it wasn't worth it for his older brothers to wake up early, but he loved it, so he'd pop out of bed. Everytime we visit Texas, he squeezes in a fishing trip- actually anytime he's with his Dad, he squeezes in a fishing trip! So you can imagine his joy when Max entered a fishing stage....

It started several months ago with the talk of fishing-- he'd make believe that he was catching thing. He'd stay for hours at the water table at the Children's museum playing with a plastic pole and magnetic fish. Then he began casting strands of beads of the couch to catch fish.... or Gabe :) And at Christmas, when he unwrapped a fishing pole from Aunt Carrie and Uncle Jeff, it was like the boy died and went to heaven right then and there!

Chad has been hoping to take him on his first fishing extravaganza for weeks- but weather and schedule and life has gotten in the way. That is, until yesterday! Jack and I headed to lunch with the girls and so Chad saw this as the perfect opportunity to take Max on his first fishing trip, along with Gabe, who is quite a little fisherman himself... as long as a nine year old attention span can last!

It didn't take long before I got this text:

Max had caught his first fish and reeled it in! He tried to just bring the pole back, rather than actually reeling, but Chad helped. In all, he caught three on his first fishing adventure. He had so much fun and pitched a major fit when it was time to go home. Something tells me there will be more fishing trips in the immediate future....

Friday, February 24, 2012

Special Circus Show

So we've been having a TIME with Max and his sleeping-- mainly getting him to go to bed in an orderly fashion and then stay in his bed through the night. It's hard because him and Jack share a room so I can't be super strict and make a big scene with his bed time or else Jack will wake up too. Plus when he comes to our bed at 3am, if I took him back to his bed, he'd scream and then we'd all be awake, yet again. So I've been lifting him into our bed and trying to make it through the next 3-4 hours as best as I could with little fingers, toes, backs, and butts all up in my sleeping bubble. This room sharing arrangement will continue until my brother moves out which is still about a month away, but Chad and I just couldn't take the sleeplessness anymore- it was making us cranky. This led to our latest adventure...

We started with some pom pom balls, an empty jar, and a new rule: Max had to go to bed without crying and stay in his bed until morning. If he did, he got to put 5 pom poms in the jar. When the jar was full, he got to go on a special date with Mommy and Daddy- no Jack!- to the circus. Well... at first, he didn't know what the circus was, so I began expelling that it was a special show with animals and clowns and bicycles and fun. Then I found a few you tube videos and pictures online and he was hooked. He started talking about "the special circus show" anytime it was nearing a sleep time.

Little did he know that I went ahead and bought tickets for the three of us, just urging him to complete this task-- I'm not sure what we would've done if it was a bust, but luckily we didn't have to find out. Between night time and nap time, Max filled his jar by Wednesday and our tickets were for Thursday... perfection!

Max loved every second of it- he had his first taste of $12 cotton candy.... (and he wasn't impressed! I never knew there was a form of sugar he didn't like!)

He transferred from lap to lap to his own seat and back again and kept his eyes on the show the whole time. It was so fun to watch him! He'd clap his little hands, smiles in amazement, point in awe, and then look at us and grin. It was a really fun moment as a parent.

Our favorite part was the elephants for sure-- they were so amazing-- who knew?? Seriously, they are so big and so smart- and even fast and pretty. And I think they have really good personalities-- I'd want to be their friend!

It was a really great Max date-- one we'll have to do again for sure!

(I took a picture of Max and Chad together but Chad has this new ruin every picture face and he did it for this picture. We'll work on it....)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

All In A Month

In one month, one week actually, Gabe hit 9 years old, Max crossed over to officially being 2 and a half, and Jack is now 9 months old-- I feel like those are all very significant ages, and all at once-- I'm not sure my mom heart can take it! The only "upside" is that we have multiple children, so we can enjoy all the fun things multiple times.... This is the same upside that makes me want to have 20 children, but hey, Chad is not budging on this so I feel it's time to let it go...

So onto my Jack- my baby who is already 9 whole months old! Every bit of this baby is precious and sweet- my cuddle bug, my sure-fire grin, my guaranteed puddle of drool, my rolly Polly chunky cheeked Jack Attack. The only thing not cute about this little guy is the ear piercing banchee scream he does whenever he's not happy with the current situation. And even that makes us laugh- especially when every other member of the family responds at the same time with a scream of their own and Jack looks at us like we're the ones who have lost our minds.

Weight: Just of 20lbs-- right at the 50th percentile
Height: 28.2 inches-- right at the 50th percentile
Head: 18.2 inches-- right at the 75th percentile :) (That's my boy!)

Jack with his future BFF, Grant Spiva
Jack is mostly in 12 month clothes and can even pull off some 12-18 months. He wears shoes when we go somewhere because he likes to pull of his socks or put his socked feet in his mouth, which both make for really cold feet. He is wearing a size 3 diaper during the day and a size 4 at night because with his 12 hours of sleep, he's leaking A LOT! Oh did I say 12 hours of sleep? Yep, that's right! He goes down at 7:30 and we see him again at 7:30. Sometimes he likes to wake up and coo around 6am, but this Mama doesn't really want 6am as part of his day, so I ignore it and he goes back to sleep for a bit. I told you all that February would be our month... we're sleeping through the night, in our own beds, without swaddles for J and without paci's for Max. We've got a good thing going around here! Jack is also still on his 2 naps a day and he's not even close to dropping one-- they are both around two hours but he's pretty flexible about when they start. If I go to the gym early, then he's ready to snooze at 10:00, but if we have plans, he'll go down early- even 8:45 sometimes, and then be up in time to head out the door. His afternoon nap is flexible too- and he'll occasionally nap longer than 2 hours if his morning nap was short, but I usually wake him up at 2.5 hrs because I am NOT willing to compromise that night time sleep :)

The other big thing with Jack this month is his personality-- he's cooing all the take, chatting away, shaking his head, clicking his tongue, and blowing bubbles and raspberries... although Chad doesn't really appreciate the bubbles while he's feeding him.... wonder why?? He'll do all of these tricks if we do them first or sometimes he'll just do them on his own. And the aforementioned banchee scream happens way too often and it his way of communicating. Let's just say that I'm hoping he learns real words asap! Jack is a great sitter- and reacher- and grabber! He'll lean completely flat on the ground, forward, but with his legs still in seated position. The child IS flexible! He's doing better with being on his tummy, but he'll just stretch and stretch to reach something, using the tips of his toes to scoot if necessary, but refuses to make any moves towards crawling, although he definitely has the strength and motor skills to pull it off when he's ready.

Jack LOVES dogs- they make him cackle with delight. Whether they're real and right in front of him or fake in a book or on tv. He even likes looking at pictures of them on my phone! Jack also loves eating-- and he's very good at getting puffs into his mouth. Too bad he isn't too keen on textured food or else he could totally rock the finger foods too... but anything with much texture makes him gag, literally! At his appointment, the pediatrician said to go ahead and feed him what we're eating. I just nodded and laughed on the inside. This child would rather die than eat bumpy, thick food, that isn't already pureed for him, not to mention that he has NO teeth. Ha! Oh well-- we'll figure that out later. For now, we'll just work on him drinking water out of a zippy cups in preparation for real milk on his 1 year birthday.

I think this child is going to be silent but deadly- kind of like Chad and my brother Eli. They're laid back, easy to get along with, on the surface, but underneath, they just do what they want. It's a nice way to live- they never get their feathers ruffled and never really upset anyone, yet always manage to do thing in their own time. I think they're on to something.... but my type A, controlling, bossy, organizational, planner self can't quite put my finger on it....... Speaking of Chad and Eli-- Jack LOVES LOVES LOVES them. Either of them can get a grin, an out loud laugh and a complete body nuzzle at anytime. Jack loves being held by them, being talked to by them, wrestling with them, and mostly cuddling with them. AND both "thems" can't keep their hands off of him. It's a win/win! Max loves Jack too- he'll go in a calm him, he'll bust in the room when he hears him talking about he wakes up, he'll climb in the crib with him, scoot up close and talk in his sweet "baby Jack" voice. Max hates when he's sad and usually tells me that Jack is hungry if he cries at all. And Jack just loves watching Max- Max can always make him laugh and I'm pretty sure he's soaking up all of Max's tricks. Jack even likes holding golf clubs! Jack also always has a smile for Gabe-- and Gabe goes out of his way to give Jack a hug right when he gets here. Having this brood of brothers is going to be great-- for them and for us!

With that being said, I most definitely want to point out that Jack is certainly a Momma's boy and I still have sole ownership of his heart. At this point, the only person I wouldn't mind sharing with is Jesus... otherwise, back off, this precious boy is mine! Jack, you're a delight. You're a joy. You're a blessing. The mere thought of you makes me smile, just a few hours away from you makes me miss you like crazy and any moment when I get to just coal you in is a piece of heaven here on earth. God must've know what he was doing when He gave you to me.... I'm so glad he picked me to be your mommy!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Max: 2.5 years old!

Did you notice how well I behaved? I didn't post month-by-month check ins on Max after he turned two and a promised not to. So what if I managed to post funny things he did and said relentlessly anyway-- those weren't month days so they don't count....

Ok, fine, I'm obsessed with this child. And his chubbabubba of a brother. And his big brother for that matter. They're funny and precious and wonderful. And I biased--- very very biased. But let's just say it nicely: I'm their biggest fan and I'm just making sure they know how much I love them.... :)

So where was I? Oh yes, Max is two and half years old. Of course, I didn't claim this as his age until the actual day (at least I'm not counting by hours!)- like even the day before when someone asked how old he was I said "He's almost two and a half" because heaven forbid this child actually grow up before I'm ready! These past 6 months with this little man have been so fun and we're finish this half of the year on a high point- really I think Max is in the most fun stage yet. Seriously. His personality, his brain, his thoughts and words, how he strings things together and figures things out, how fun he is to talk with and play with and listen to-- oh my oh my, this whole mothering gig is WAY  better than I even expected and I had high expectations.

He's gotten rid of his paci, mastered sleeping in his own bed, rocked the potty training thing (although he still wears pull ups, aka nighttime underwear, at night because I just can't do the middle of the night sheet change right now... we just started sleeping through the night!) and a myriad of other milestones. I even branched out and allow him to drink lemonade-- milk, h2o, and lemonade are his only options... still not ready to introduce him to juice, sweet tea, capri suns, and all the other forms of liquid sugar. The best part about adding lemonade is what he calls it- eminade- and he asks for it by that name regularly- it's the cutest!

Right now, me and Max are tight- he doesn't let me out of his sight and wants to go everywhere I go- even if it's mundane and way more fun to stay home with Dad. He chats my ears off in the car, follows me around in the house, although he is great about playing on his own, but just generally wants to keep me in eye sight. He's still our little athlete, great at everything he tries and still loves golf. This wonderful spring weather that we've been experiencing for most of February got him right back in the yard with his clubs, and he only wants to come in for food or to go somewhere with me. He loves playing baseball with Pop, he's getting good. He loves playing tennis with Eli, he can hit it without bouncing it first and he's so proud, and he begs Chad to go in the backyard with his driver all the time. Lucky for Max, all those men adore him and are more than happy to oblige! But I must just say it here or else we won't believe it, but right now when asked whose boy he is, Max will say "Annie's!" This has been and Annie and Pop's thing with him since he was tiny and now he's into playing games with them... it's anyone's guess who he is going to joke with for the day. What a little ham!

Some of my favorite "normal" phrases are "catching fweetos" when he sees dust in the air, asking me "Where we at to?" when we pull up in front of a store he hasn't been to before, "member when" when he talks about anything or anyone that he has met or done in the past- he doesn't forget a thing! For instance, anytime we drive by a Chuck E. Cheese, he says "member when Sam took me to Chuck E. Cheese?"He also remembers and talks about all our family in Texas that he's only seen a couple times. What a brain! And since he bed hops between our bed and Eli's bed for naps and then mostly sleeps in his big boy bed at night, anytime we're walking up the stairs for bed he asks "Where I'm sleeping at?" and if the answer isn't "With Mommy!" which is 99% of the time, then he follows up with "But I need you, I want to sleep with you". And when he does get to sleep, he sleeps right against my whole person. Like nose to nose or back to back is completely ok with him... and for this non-cuddler, that's big.

Speaking of cuddling, he still doesn't, but he does like to give hugs and kisses now and he's really good at it-- oh be still my heart! And when I lay with him at nap time, he wants to hold my hand while he falls asleep. Oh how I love that part of the day! Max still loves Mickey Mouse more than any other show- it's the only one he actually sits for. And him and Eli have movie nights occasionally consisting of a Disney movie and a snack or two. They rarely make it through a move, but he really enjoys all quality time with Uncle Eli. He insists that Eli is his best friend, even though I'm trying to teach him that Jesus is his best friend and He is an AWESOME friend. Max isn't convinced....... yet.

Max loves Cake and donuts and milkshakes and ice cream and M&M's-- any of those can be used for a bribe at any point. And he's always up for stopping in for one of those- he knows just which stores contain which and recognizes their logos anytime we drive by. Max is beginning to recognize letters other than M-A-X and will bust into song all the time. I love how he knows the words to so  many songs but still wants me to sing "Jesus Loves Me" every night. He also loves his bible stories now- even though it  might just be to avoid bedtime a little longer- but he's starting to understand bits and pieces of the stories and can answer questions afterwards. I hope to start working on memory verses soon, but honestly, it just keeps slipping my mind. The thing is, his memory is so amazing right now and he's soaking in so much, that if I would just put forth a little effort, so many things would be hidden in his heart forever. Max also loves jumping, doing jumping goofs (jumping Jack's, thanks Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), hopping on one foot and falling down. He has also perfected being a little brother-- he can make Gabe screech in about 30 seconds. And he takes his roll as a big brother very seriously too. He's so good to Jack and just such a fun kid.

Weight: 31 lbs-- 50th percentile
Height: 35.7 inches-- just barely shy of 3ft!-- a tiny bit about average- about the 53rd percentile

Size 7 or 8
Clothes 2T -3T

Favorite Friends Right Now:

Oh my Max, my first born, there are not words for my love for you. I can't describe how fun you are, how sweet you are to my heart, and how wonderful it is to see life through your eyes. You're so handsome and adorable, you're so funny and smart and athletic-- I think you're about as "all around" as you can get for a two year old... but as we established earlier, I am admittedly biased. But no matter what, no matter how many wonderful, amazing things you have going for you, it's important to always acknowledge who made you that way-- and give Him the credit. ALSO, if you don't have Jesus in your heart, none of that matters! He made you Max, He loves you, and He wants to be your friend forever.

Happy 2.5 years my sweet boy-- I love you more than you'll ever know!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Baby Shower.... that included PINK!!

It's rare in these parts for me to partake in something that includes pink-- Bowman town is Boyland for sure, and most of my girlfriends even have boys-- my friend Jill and my friend Lisa, both just added their own second boy to the mix, so when one of my people does actually ends up with a girl, I get all giddy :) So, after Danielle's baby reveal in December, I began planning her pink shower in my mind and finally, this past Saturday, it happened! There were two other wonderful co-hosts AND another friend, Kelly and her baby were honored there too!

(Kelly has two boys at home and will be bringing home a baby girl in a couple weeks... that means there's still a chance for me :))

It was great-- two wonderful, beautiful mama's, two baby girls that we are all so excited about, and three hostesses that all really enjoy a good reason for yummy food, flowers, and presents. Check it out...

The brunch food....

The grits bar...

A cute poem with the thank you for coming gift...

The diaper cakes, their name plaques, and their 1 year old onesies, complete with their names! (Heather, one of the hostesses, and her hubs did all the onesies-- ahhhhmazing!)

The scrapbooks, with pages for the shower guests to sign made by Christine, the other hostess...

The gift table which was majorly over-flowing onto the floor once all the guests arrived-- I'm telling you, there are SO many people excited about these two little girls!

The drink table-- everyone kept complementing us on the punch... it was lemonade dyed pink, ha!

The month-by-month onesies for pictures as the girls grow-- each Mama got one :)

Me with the other two hostesses-- this was such a horrible picture of me, that my vanity almost got the best of me, but I wanted to show you how I accidentally left my hair clipped on my belt for most of the shower and people thought I was making a "statement"-- when hair clips become your accessories you need a makeover, ahem, note to self, ahem.

The pretty mama's and their girls!

Me and Danielle....

Me and Kelly....

Meanwhile, Chad took Max and Jack to Evie's first birthday party. I was super sad to miss it, but Chad got both boys all dressed and handsome and they had a great time celebrating that little nugget. By the time I got home, all three of them (even Chad) were sound asleep for the afternoon. All in all, it was a Saturday well spent!