Monday, June 29, 2009

Our Visit with Julie and Russ

For Brad's birthday his high school friend wanted to surprise him! Julie and Brad were best friends through high school and college but life got busy and they hadn't seen each other in about 7 years. I had never met Julie but had become friends with her on Facebook and I think her and I ended up "talking" more than her and Brad did, that's not saying much since Brad tends to not be so good at keeping in contact with his friends. Facebook was good at giving us a chance to get to know each other and to get updates with what was going on in each of our lives. I was SO excited when Julie emailed me and said her and her husband Russ were going to come with their fur babies to Brad and Owen's birthday party!!!! We decided to keep it a secret and surprise Brad! Boy, was that ever hard!!!!! Brad kept asking if I had heard from Julie or not and I hated lying to him but it was for a good cause!!!! He was SO shocked to see her walk through the door!

Julie and Russ came in early that day so we could catch up and they helped us get ready for the party! Thanks guys!!!! They even did dish duty for us!!!! It was a wonderful day!

Here Julie and Owen are playing "night night" as Owen was getting ready for bed

Before they left town Sunday, they came over and we went to Common Grounds for breakfast

It was a great weekend!!!

Here is a video of Owen and Julie reading the new book she got him.
(I'm having a hard time getting blogger to upload this so I hope you can see it!!)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Owen's Birthday Party

For Owen's birthday we had a backyard bash!! We paired with with Brad's 30th birthday celebration so we had lots of kids and adults to help us celebrate! I could really tell a difference this year compared to last year's party. Owen was SO excited to see each friend arrive and would call them by name and start jumping up and down! He had so much fun playing with his friends in the poll, ball pit, and slide. I also got out the bubble machine which was a big hit!!!

Thankfully Brad found a mesh tarp to hang above the yard to shade us a bit from the sun. Turns out we had the party on one of the hottest days of the year! The weather man said today would be 98degrees and tomorrow would be 89 degrees (too bad we didn't know this before we planned the party!!!)

Due to the extremem heat Addyson spent most of her time inside!!! Luckily there were lots of other people who would rather stay in the ac so she had lots of company!!! She was a little trooper and hung in until the very end!!! I think she enjoyed cuddling up with Emily and her sister Amelia on the couch!
Brad gets the food award!!! It was all amazing and everyone commented on how good it was! Wish I could take the credit for that one!!!! We had bbq pork sandwhiches, black bean salad (super yummy!!), new potato and asparagus salad, and fruit. There were hardly any leftovers so I take that as a good sign!

After we got done eating, I brought out the "happy cake". Boy, was Owen excited to see that! Wish I would have gotten his "oh WOW, happy cake" on video!!! Here is daddy helping him blow out the candles. I was afraid he might do a face plant here!Owen took eating his cake very seriously. We tried to talk to him about how good it was but he didn't have much to say. You could tell he wanted to be left alone to enjoy his big bowl of "happy cake and yhi ceam".

It was a wonderful day (unfortunatly I was sick but somehow managed to hang in there!)! I am so thankful for all of our family and friends that came to help us celebrate! I know I have one tired little birthday boy that is asleep dreaming of presents and cake! Happy Birthday Owen!

Happy Birthday Owen

Happy 2nd Birthday Owen!!

Wow! He is 2 years old! I can't believe it!! Time flies when you are having fun! Becoming a parent was the best thing that ever happened to me besides the day I married Brad! I can't believe how much our lives have changed and it is all for the better!!! I am thankful every day that I am this little boy's mommy! I am so blessed! Owen is an amazing kid! He is so loving and thoughtful, he cares about others, and he is so much fun to be around! He amazes me with how smart and athletic he is! I watch in awe each time he does a new trick or says something new. I look forward to this upcoming year and watching him grow into mommy's little man!
Happy Birthday Little Guy!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Owen's first haircut

We took Owen to get his first haircut today!! As you can tell from his "wings" he really needed a trim up.

Some might call us crazy for taking him to a salon to get it done but we weren't sure how he would do and thought we would make a big deal about his first cut. Daddy went first so he could see it was okay and fun!!! While daddy was finishing up, Owen and I walked next door to pick out a treat for him to eat while he was getting his haircut. He picked out chocolate chip cookies!!! We asked him if he wanted to sit in the seat and he wasn't a fan of that. Turns out that sitting on my lap was the best idea. He did really good and didn't squirm!!!! He wasn't a huge fan of the clippers but he tolerated them. I think his favorite part was watching himself in the mirror (you can see him checking out the cookie in his mouth in the video!!!)

All in all it was a great experience. Due to all the craziness of nursing Addy and getting our stuff together we forgot to take an after shot so this is the closest one I have.

Swing Batter

For Owen's birthday, Nammie (my mom) spent the morning with Owen. They played at the jungle gym before and after church, went to Rick's bakery for breakfast (YUMMY!!!), and went shopping! Mom let Owen picked where he wanted to go and he picked Target! While there he picked out Elmo big boy underware, a book about colors, and a t-ball set! This kid is very athletic! I can't believe it. He can catch, throw, kick, and shoot baskets.

Great form!! : )

He knows what a baseball is and loves to watch it on tv but we don't have one..... well now he does. This isn't the best video but he is pretty good for being a first timer!!! It looks like he is a lefty!! I'll get better video later.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Dad to all the daddy's out there!

I feel very blessed to have married such a wonderful man and amazing daddy!! I am thankful every day that he is such a warm, loving, and devoted family man. The kids and I are grateful that he is such a hard worked and is able to provide us a nice home, food in our bellies, fun adventures, and most importantly that I am able to stay home and raise our little ones. Thank you Brad for all you do!!!
Dad and Owen
I am sad to say that Brad is celebrating Father's Day alone in Indonesia but I know he can feel our love for him from afar! I'd like to think though that he doesn't need a specific day a year to feel important. I hope he knows every day that I couldn't do what I do and the kids couldn't be as successful as they are if it weren't for him in our lives! We love you daddy!

Dad and Addy

To all of our friends and family who are celebrating this day without their love one, I hope you are able to use this day to reflect on some wonderful memories about that special man in your life. Thank you to all the daddies of the world. Happy Father's Day

Potty Time

About a week ago we decided to get a bit more serious about potty training. Owen had a really bad diaper rash, thanks to teething, and I thought it would be best to let him go bare bum all weekend. Turned out to be a success. We have his potty set up in the living room so we can turn on his "monkey" video, Madagascar, and he'll sit there and watch it forever. He is really good about sitting there if we put him on the potty and going but we haven't mastered him telling us that he needs to go. I was worried about working last week because I was afraid he'd get lost in the chaos at the gym and we would regress a bit as he got us to going potty in his diaper again. Turned out to be not true. I would get him up after nap (at home) and put him on the potty and he would go and we would be successful the rest of the night. The only times he went in his diaper were during the night and first thing in the morning before we had a chance to stick him on the potty. I think that is about to change!!!

Yesterday morning I was woken up by a little voice saying, "potty mommy, potty" over and over again. I looked at the clock and it was 5:55, grrr! I was hoping I could just get him to snuggle up and go back to bed. I went in to get him and his shirt was wet so I thought he was telling me that he had already gone potty. I asked him if he wanted to go to mommy's bed or go potty and he quickly said "potty". Eyes half shut, I rushed him out to the living room and soon after I heard some grunting! : ) I looked and he had gone pee and poop!!! Yay Owen!!! I couldn't believe it! We quickly did the potty march and gave him his treat (his yummy bear vitamin, he doesn't know it is good for him)! I thought that might have been an annomily but this morning was the same thing!!! He is now walking around the house in his big boy underwear! What a Father's Day gift!!!

** Update 6/21/09 at 5:30pm
We were coming home from the store, we were about 2 streets away, and Owen said, "Potty". I asked him if he had to go potty and he said yes so I asked him to "hold it". Not sure if he knows what that means but it worked!!! We got in the house and he was dry!!! I sat him on the potty and he went right away!!! We got up, marched, and he got a treat. He quickly went back and sat down and went poop!!! Way to go Owen!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Owen and Addy

Tonight I laid Addy on the floor for a bit of play time. While she was there Owen went and sat beside her. Right before I was able to grab my camera Addy let out a little sound and Owen "made a phone call" to Nammie to let her know the baby was crying!! It was super cute and I'm bummed I didn't get it. This video is cute though because Owen helps Addy get the toy to play music and she is happy about that!

Tony and Alena's Wedding

Today we went to a family friend's wedding. Martha is a good friend of my mom and her son got married in Altus, aka Wine Country, today. Since my mom just had surgery a week ago she isn't allowed to drive so she asked me if I would mind taking her. I hesitated a bit because she isn't allowed to lift more than 5 pounds so I'd have no help with the kids. Luckily Emily, Aric's girlfriend, said she would come help so we made the road trip there.

My day started out at 5:55am thanks to Owen but for a good reason, I'll blog more about this later, so needless to say as I'm writing this I'm a bit tired! We left Fayetteville at 8:30 and I am very thankful for the Rick's bakery breakfast washed down with a vanilla Latte from The Perk that helped me get through the morning!!!

The wedding was beautiful and unfortunatly I don't have any pictures from the happy couple. I spent most of the wedding trying to teach Owen how to whisper which is darn near impossible being an offspring of Brad!!! Has anyone ever heard him whisper??? I'm still waiting for that! : )
I am glad I brought my camera though!! There is something super cut about kids at a wedding!!! They are always the first one on the dance floor and they are always excited to try out new moves!!! We hadn't been in the door a minute when Owen started busting a move!!!

My mom was also able to serve as a distraction to Addy as I filmed her smiling (note from the following blog that once she sees the camera she stops all action)

St. Mary's is a small church with about 300 families. They have 5 teams that rotate cooking food for weddings and other events. Today they served pasta with either chicken alfredo or red sauce and meatballs. Silly me gave Owen a bit of both! What was I thinking? The table cloth was red once he was done eating but at least he enjoyed it!

Since I'm usually the one taking the pictures I am hardly in any of them. I took advantage of Emily being there and I asked her to snap a bit of Addy and I. Not only is it nice to get some pictures me of to put in the kid's baby books I also like to send lots of pictures to Brad while he is on the road so he doesn't feel like he is missing out on too much. PS- it was super hard to get a picture of her with her head up. She likes to lift her head and try to sit up so every chance she gets to practice, which is every time she is in any position besides laying flat, she does.

It was a good day but by the end of it we were all tired!!! Getting up at the crack of dawn, followed by dancing (Owen), and kid juggling (me) makes for an early bed time.
One minute she is awake
The next she is asleep. I think both Owen and I were wishing we could get in and cuddle up with her!!

It has been a long day! Good night!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Addyson is 2 months old

Again, I'll start out by saying, "WOW, does time fly!!!" I can't believe Addyson is already 2 months old. Where has the time gone??? People say that with your second the time goes by even faster and I'd have to agree with that! This has been a busy month for Addy! She had her first road trip. She went swimming for the first time. She started going to the nursery at the gym. And she has gotten more active. She loves to talk and smile to whoever will give her attention. The best time to catch her doing this is right after she wakes up or right after she nurses. I keep trying to get a good video of her talking and smiling but once I pull out the camera all she does it stares at it! Here is the best video I have thus far.

Addyson is already trying to sit up. Anytime she is in the carseat or bouncy seat she is trying to lift her head. She likes to be held up on our shoulder so she can look around or she loves to sit in our lap and look around! She is very curious and loves to watch other kids especially Owen. I have a hard time trying to nurse her at the gym because she is more interested in what the others are doing. About 1 week ago she started to notice the toys that hang in front of her in the bouncy seat and swing and she likes to talk to them.

She is still a good sleep and nurser!!! She weighs 12 lbs 9oz which puts her in the 90th%!!! She sleeps most nights from 8:30-6 and every now and then will wake up at 3 to nurse but goes right back to sleep! She is a great addytion to our family!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Diaper Bums

I love a diaper bum!!! I'm not sure what it is but I have always loved taking pictures of my kids in just their diaper!!! I just love the above picture of Addyson!!! I love the look of her fresh, innocent, undamaged, unweathered skin. I love the cute skin rolls and chubby legs that I helped create with breastmilk! And I love the look of the cloth diaper on her hiney. The more I think about it I guess I can say I love this look because I have worked SO hard to acheive this look through natural parenting.

Here is baby Owen showing off his new diaper!
Another reason I love this look is because I love cloth diapers!!! I must admit that I was afraid to try cloth diapers in the beginning. I knew it was something I wanted to but it all seemed so overwhelming in the beginning. It wasn't until a trip to Austin to visit Brad's brother and his family that I tried one of Lucy's diapers on Owen and realized it wasn't so bad. Owen was 2 months old at the time and I have been using cloth ever since. The hardest part about cloth is washing them and really it isn't that bad!!! I think the benefits of cloth totally outweigh the small hassel of washing them. To ease this inconvience I have a stash of about 28 big diapers so I only have to wash every 4 days. To make this affordable I purchased the majority of them at but there is also a great local store in Fayetteville, Terra Tots, that is full of great information and has a large selection of diapers to choose from.

I believe every baby should wear cloth diapers. The benefits to you, your family, your baby, and the environment are endless. Cloth diapers are healthier, greener, and less expensive.

There are many health concerns associated with disposable diaper use, as these products are filled with chemicals and gels to absorb odor and moisture. Some chemically sensitive children have allergic reactions and diaper rashes from these substances. In fact, disposable diapers have been linked the development of asthma.

Cloth diapers are better for the environment, as they are reusable and can be saved for the next child. I purchased one size diapers so they grow with the child and then can be made smaller again to start out with the next baby! Quality cotton diapers will hold up for 75 - 100 washings (at minimum), and although energy is required for washing the diapers, it is a fraction of the energy used for disposables. I have found that if you put your diapers in the sun to dry instead of the diaper this not only saves energy but extends the life of your diaper dramatically!! According to Eartheasy, It’s estimated that 10,000 tons of disposable diapers are tossed into landfills each day. They can take up to 500 years to decompose! The manufacture of disposables uses over 1 million metric tons of wood pulp and 75,000 metric tons of plastic each year. The thought of leaving that to my children's children's children (plus some) to deal with makes me sick! Our need for what is quick and easy is going to be a burden on future generations, a yucky burden at that!!!

Now for the quick return part of using cloth diapers!! The average parent spends $2,694.54 for 7,349 disposable, single-use diapers (source: Natural Family Online). In contrast, we have spent about $200 to diaper Owen and can now diaper Addyson free of charge! Not only that but when we are done with the diapers I will turn around and sell them on diaperswappers and recoop some of my money! Try doing that with disposables!!!!

If you would like to make switch and need help or have questions feel free to ask!!! I'd love to help!!!

Here are Owen and Lucy in BumGenius diapers

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Last Stop, Dallas

On our way home from Austin we decided to stop in Dallas for the night and have a little time to ourselves. We stay at my favorite hotel, Embassy Suites, and had a WONDERFUL evening!!! If you have never stayed at one I highly recommend it!! It is totally worth the money!!! Each room has a sleeping area and a living room area with a door between the two that you can shut!!! Every other hotel we stayed in on this trip we had to be super quiet once the kids went to bed! Not so at the Embassy!!! Another perk about the Embassy Suites is every night from 5-7 is a Manager's reception with free drinks and snacks that takes place at the bar which is located at the side of a nice HUGE open sitting area!!! We love this because we can sit and relax and Owen can play and we don't have to worry about him. This night Owen practiced walking up and down stairs without holding on to a railing or having help! There was a set of 4 carpeted stairs for him to practice on and by the end of the night he had it mastered!!!
They also had a great pool that was the prefect temperature!!! Unlike the other hotels that were too cold or outside in the bad weather, this was so nice I put Addyson's suit on and took her swimming for the first time. She loved it and I think Owen liked having her in the pool!! She had so much for it wore her out!!!Owen loves counting especially if you count with him. I think it is really funny that he exaggerates his lips like we do while we were teaching him how to count. Here is a video of him doing that.

The next day we decided to get up and lazily enjoy the awesome continental breakfast that the Embassy Suites is known for. After breakfast we went for another swim. We wanted Owen to get nice and tired so he could take an early nap before we packed up and headed out. I must say I was sad to leave. I just can't say enough good things about this hotel!! (I swear they are not paying me to say these things!!) Before we headed for home we stopped at the Dallas Aquarium. We tried to time everything so we could leave there, eat dinner, and then head for home with the hopes that each kid would sleep the whole ride!

We had so much fun at the aquarium but I must say the name is a bit misleading. I think we saw more birds and mammals than we did fish but I'm not going to complain!!!! It was all indoors so we didn't have to deal with the sun and heat (although a few areas, like the rainforest exhibit, were a bit humid) and it was downtown Dallas so they crammed a lot of things into a small place meaning we didn't have to do a lot of walking. I highly recommend checking it out if you are in the area!
Again, I had a lot of fun watching Owen get excited about each new animal!!! He was so curious and asked a lot of questions (well as many as he knows; what's this, what's it doing) and loved to point out the animals he did know without asking and what they were doing (swimming, eating, jumping, etc).

In between cat nap we got Addyson out of the stroller so she could enjoy a bit of the aquarium as well!

We left there about 4 so we could get out of town before the rush hour traffic began. I'm thankful we did because although we left early we still sat in a bit of traffic. Our plans for the kids to sleep the whole way home didn't turn out so great. Owen was awake until about the last hour which wasn't a peaceful sleep for him. Poor guy kept waking up and was frustrated that he was still strapped down in that awful carseat!! He tosses and turns a lot in his sleep so I'm sure not being able to move was waking him up.

We made it home safe and sound!! All in all it was a great trip and the kids did amazing!!! Many people called us crazy but really it wasn't that bad!! Luckily, we were able to take our time and stop if need be and I think that helped. It was great seeing family and it was good to be able to get out of the house. This was our first time away since Addyson's birth. Call me nuts but, I'm looking forward to our next trip!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Our Trip to Austin

After leaving Lafayette, LA we headed to Austin for days 5-7 of our road trip. The trip to Austin took a bit longer than we had originally expected. We thought it would take about 5-6 hours to get there but it took us about 8-9 hours and by the end of that time Owen was ready to GET OUT and PLAY!!!!! Luckily, we were headed to Chris and Holly's house and little Lucy was there ready to play too!!!! Since it was Lucy's birthday party weekend we weren't the only ones staying at the Brewster House. Holly's mom (Barbara), sister (Lisa), and brother-in-law (Mike) were staying there as well so it made for a really fun weekend!!! While they might not be family through blood they are our family in a round about way through marriage and we love them!!!! All three of them are really good with the kids and making them feel loved! It gives me so much joy to sit back and watch everyone interact!!!
Here is Uncle Mike taking them for a ride with their Elmos. Thank you Ama (Grandma) Barbara for getting Owen his own Elmo (reduced fighting and turned out to be a big hit!!!)!!!

Since Lucy was in Fayetteville for a visit not that long ago the kids picked up right where they left off and that was SO fun to watch!!! It makes me wish we lived closer so the kids could play together more often!!! We also found out that Holly is pregnant again!!!! It will be neat and make family get togethers a lot of fun. because all of the kids will have a playmate close to their age!

Here the kids are busy working!! They are putting clothes pins on the chair (they just saw Ama hang up diapers using the clothes pins). Owen thinks it is much easier to work with his tougnue hanging out!! : )

Brad's parents live right outside Austin so they got a chace to meet Addyson at Lucy's birthday party. Here they are holding her for the first time. It was nice for them to not only be able to meet Addy but to also be able to see Owen and how much he has changed since they saw him last at 9 months old. I bet a lot has changed! For instance, he has hair now!!! : )

We had a great time and can't wait for our next visit!! Lucky for us, that trip is already being planned. We are making it an annual trip to get together with Chris, Holly, Lucy, Barbara, Lisa, and Mike once a year! Last year we did it at Thanksgiving and rented a little cabin on Caddo Lake. This year we will do it around October (we will do Thanksgiving every other year) and we are trying to find a good meeting point for everyone. Can't wait for the fun!!!!