Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow Day-Take 2

We woke up this morning to more snow on the ground!!! It was so beautiful to see a think white blanket convering our yard that had been untouched!! Owen cheerfully announced that "it snowed and Santa comes!!!" It didn't take me long to make the connection! The first time it snowed this year was Christmas morning and Owen was so excited to see that Santa had brought snow AND presents!!! So it is completely logicial for a 2 year old to assume every time it snows Santa will come!! I hated to be the one to break the news to him, "Honey, Santa will not be coming for another 11 months." He let me know I was wrong and Santa will come. How do you argue with a 2 year old???


Today I decided to venture out. It looked like they were having so much fun yesterday on the slide so I wanted to give it a try..... actually daddy gave Owen the idea to ask mommy to slide the minute I walked out the door! Thanks Brad!
But, it was so much fun and I'm glad I did it!!!!
Today was so nice because the wind wasn't blowing like yesterday so I was just outside in a sweatshirt and was completely fine. I could have used a pair of gloves because my hands got cold making snow balls but I have yet to find mine. I'm sure they are still packed away somewhere!
This is what we see when we look over our fence!!! It is so pretty back there. Again we are reminded at how thankful we are to be in this new house and in this new neighborhood where it is so peaceful and pretty around us!!!
We are also so thankful for all the wildlife around us (even the mouse in our garage that keeps eating our birdseed). The bird were patiently waiting for us to get done playing so they could go feast on the 8 pounds of birdseed we put out!!!
Who says you can't enjoy swinging on a snowy day???

Getting ready to go through the tunnel
Because the weather was so nice we were able to stay outside and enjoy our new playset!
Again, Addyson was SO happy to be outside! She is who got me to go out in the first place!!! She was standing at the door again just squealing and I could tell she wanted to go out! Our little snow bunny!
It was all fun and games until she took a face plant in the snow! Poor baby!
Owen wasn't so thrilled either to have fallen in the snow!

Not so happy after face planting in the snow. We knew then that it was time to go in and get warm! What a great morning!

Friday, January 29, 2010

"Walking"

We discovered that Addyson can "walk"!!! My dad got the kids this dump truck from Sam's when he was here visiting in November. I love the truck because there are so many things you can do with it and it came with blocks for building!!! You can ride it like Owen is or push it like Addyson is!!! It is a great toy because both kids can play with it at the same time! Tonight was the first time we showed Addyson how she can walk behind it and it didn't take her but a second to figure it out and she was off!!!

Once she figured she could walk she was so happy!!! Poor thing had to wait around for Owen who was too busy making a phone call! This is why we shouldn't text and drive!!! : )
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I love how they are both talking; Owen on the phone and Addyson to us because she is so happy to be walking around. I can tell she is so proud of herself!! She is a big girl!!! You can also she her wave! She was waving back to Brad!
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This was her first time to push it with Owen off. It took her a minute to figure out she didn't have to work as hard to get it to go. Once she did, she did several laps around the living room!

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I love this video because you can hear the little noise she is making. Its a cross between working hard and having fun!!! So cute!
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I've noticed that she is more eager to hold my hands and walk with my help than she was before tonight. She wants to walk every where now. Stayed tuned for walking updates!!! : )

Snow Day

Despite my speculation, the ice and snow came! We have been hearing for the past couple of days that the big ice storm of 2010 was going to hit Thursday night so people were clearing out the store's shelves and buying every generator and chain saw in sight. After seeing the damage last year's ice storm caused, I really can't blame them. Me, well I wasn't buying anything and I was talking Brad out of his urge to buy a generator. I wasn't so convinced the snow was coming. After all, we were suppose to get a HUGE snow storm at the beginning of the month, one SO big people were canceling school AND my flight to Toronto before the snow even came. Do we remember what happened? That's right, the snow didn't come! I was counting on a big let down again and praying that if we did get ice and snow it wouldn't be as bad as last year and we wouldn't be without power because if we were..... the Brewsters weren't prepared!
Lucky for me (and my family) and the rest of the people in NW Arkansas, the storm wasn't as bad. I wonder if Sam's, WalMart, Lowe's, etc. will be getting lots of generators and chainsaws returned. The snow and ice was nice to have, it forced us to have a snow day! Since our kids are not in school, we don't get the holidays or in service days off and one day just sort of runs into the other with activities and running around. Because of the ice we were forced to stay home and just be!!!! And I was forced to work on those 9 loads of laundry that needed to be folding yet I was avoiding!!! : )
Brad's client he is currently working with is out of OKC and they got hit with the ice storm first so their office closed yesterday morning! This means that Brad got to join us in our snow day!!!!Brad took Owen outside to play while Addyson and I stayed inside in the warm. The two of the discovered what fun it was to slide down the slide covered in snow!!!
Owen was having so much fun, he just wanted to do it over and over again!!!!

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Poor Addyson was just begging to go outside!
Once Owen was done playing, we decided that Brad should take Addyson for a quick trip outside. I was afraid it would be too cold and we don't have the proper snow gear for her which is why we didn't let her go out at first.I put several layers on her to make sure she'd be warm and I'm so glad we did. She was SO happy to be outside!
We sat her down in the snow but, you know Addyson, that girl can't sit still! Right away she started crawling and the snow didn't phase her one bit!
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Daddy and his snow bunny!

Cold Kissed Cheeks!
Our 2 snow bunnies warming up! What a great afternoon!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Soccer Time

Today Owen and I went to Mommy and Me soccer at the Springdale All-Star Sports Arena. We have gone before but had to quit for a while because his Kindermusik class was at the same time. Now that music is over, soccer will be our Thursday morning activity! If you have young kids you should check it out! Soccer if from 9:30-10:30 and it is only $5! It is nice because it is pay as you go so if you can't make it one week (or a month or 2 in our case) you don't pay for it!

Owen was very excited when I announced this morning that we would be playing soccer!!! He quickly got ready with his soccer shirt dad brought home from Vietnam, soccer pants, and soccer shoes! He was ready and all he could talk about on the way there was that he was going to play soccer!!! Our first day back couldn't have come at a better time either!!! With the yucky days we have been having he had A LOT of excess energy he needed to burn before the ice storm hits this afternoon!
I am so impressed with his soccer skills and the ability he has to dribble a ball!! He loves it! It was interesting for me to see how good he actually is and what a natural ability he has. There were 2 other 2 year olds there (both older than him by a couple of months) and so I was able to watch and compare him to them. My boy has skill!!!!!

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Another thing that impressed me was the fact that he played the organized games this time! Before, when we would go, they would play several games some of them that required you leave your ball with mommy and he would NEVER go for that! He wanted to just run up and down the field and kick the ball. I was always fine with that because he loved it and it was a great way for him to burn some energy. I noticed that after we had gone a couple of times he would start to watch the kids play their game and every now and then at the end would jump in. Today he participated right from the start!

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Don't get me wrong, there were a couple of times he wanted to "just run" as he would say but, for the most part he did everything that was asked of him! Here he is doing the activity where you stand your ball on the cone, put a cone on top of the ball, and then kick the ball towards the goal. That's a lot for a 2 year old but he did great!!! I can't wait for next Thursday and I bet he can't either!!!

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Like Daddy

When in Rome,
Do as the Romans do
When in the Brewster House
Do as the (Big) Brewsters Do
And when in Rome you'll need a translator. Can I get a translator please?!?!?

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cook & Conquer

My New Year's Resolution was to eat at home more as well as try to save money. I've been trying to come up with ways to do this as well as make my life easier! I started on the "saving money" part before the new year by signing up for the weekend delivery of the newspaper so I could clip coupons as well as visiting certain websites like Freebies4Moms, Common Sense with Money, and Coupons.com daily. I have saved a ton of money (I saved 60% of my most recent bill at Walgreens!!!) and gotten lots of great things for FREE like a LeapFrog book for Owen! I'm super excited about it and it is so much fun for me because I LOVE the thrill of the hunt!!! I get so excited when I get a great deal!

I've been trying to figure out ways to help me accomplish the first part of my new year's resolution and it has been hard for me. For some one that doesn't love to cook but REALLY loves to eat out it is hard to convince myself at supper time that it is better to come up with a meal to cook, prepare it, and then clean up afterwards..... running out to grab a bit to eat sounds much more appealing!

My sil is part of a cooking co op in Austin but that involves cooking one day a week (Tuesday for example), every week, for 4 families. The benefit is 3 other days that week, between 5-5:30, you are getting hot meals delivered to your door. Sounds good but in reality our crazy lives would not mold well into a set schedule (although it might do us some good! : ) ) So I came up with another idea, A Cooking Swap! I borrowed the name Cook & Conquer from another sweet blog and asked some of my MOMS Club friends to join in!

I had 8 other moms interested and we decided that cooking 1 meal for 9 families would be a great way to start! So what we did was each person choose one meal to prepare at home for 9 families. Each meal had to serve 2 adults and 2-3 kids. Because I want to eat healthy and know exactly what I am feeding my family, I put a few guidelines on the meals. I asked them to cook low fat (low fat sour cream or 2% cheese, that sort of thing) and I asked them to use "smart" meat or meat raised without all the hormones (I just watched Food, Inc. and if you haven't seen it, its a MUST!!!).
Everyone agreed to these guidelines, sent me what they would be making, and got to work! I made low fat manicotti with organic spinach!!! I even made my own pasta sauce!!! Above is what 9 pans of manicotti looks like!! : ) Silly me waited until the morning of the swap to shop and cook but luckily got everything put together 30 minutes before everyone came!!!
Addyson was a big help in the kitchen!!! She was checking the oven to see if they were done but she didn't know we weren't cooking them for everyone we were just preparing them! The idea was to make meals that were easy to freeze, thaw, and heat up!
Everyone came with their 9 meals in laundry baskets! I was so thankful Megan sent an email out to everyone the night before that reminded us to come prepared to bring 9 meals home!
Everyone enjoyed seeing what others brought and it was fun to talk about what we would make next time! I feel this way of cooking will really help me stick to my New Year's Resolution!!! I cooked for 2 hours this morning, spent $25 on food, and in return will be eating 9 yummy meals over the next couple of weeks and all I have to do is turn on the oven!!!! I can't wait for our next Cook & Conquer...... maybe I should eat some of the food first to make sure they are all good cooks!! ; )

Friday, January 22, 2010

Trial Trip

The kids and I will be traveling with Brad to Bahrain in the near future! I'm excited and nervous all at the same time and for me to be nervous before a trip is a big deal. I don't get nervous much when it comes to traveling! Before I had kids, I considered myself a pretty well traveled kid (I went back and forth to Canada ever since I can remember) and young adult. Right after Brad and I got married we went to Jamaica and shortly after that trip visited 4 countries in Africa. Owen is a well traveled young man as well! Before he turned 1 he had been to 5 countries if you count a layover in Japan. Addyson has also had her fair share of airplane rides in her short life! : ) So, needless to say, we are a well traveled family and traveling with young kids doesn't even phase me...... well until now.

This is going to be my (and the kids') first trip to the Middle East. Just saying that makes me a bit nervous and I'm not really sure why. I know we are going to a safe city and, lucky for us, one of Brad's coworkers that is from Egypt will be meeting us there so we have a personal "guide" that can help us with the language and customs so we should have an enjoyable trip. Maybe I'm nervous because I'm not sure what to expect. Maybe I'm nervous because I want to make sure we "fit in" or should I say "blend in" so we don't raise any eyebrows. But, I know the reality. I have 2 blond hair, blue eyed kids and I am a white female that won't be covered up (but I will be wearing a scarf on my head) so how well will we really blend in??? I just keep reminding myself that we are trying to raise our kids with as much knowledge, understanding, and respect for the rest of the world and how other people live and what better way to show them then to go visit different parts of the world. And part of showing them that it is ok to live differently is mommy acting like it is all ok! Again, I know we will be fine and I am excited to be exposed to new things so what is making me nervous?

Well I just realized something else that might be making me nervous which brings me to the title of this blog, our trial trip. We just got home from an over night trip with Brad to Oklahoma City and that's the real reason for this blog. I didn't realize that when I sat down to write it all down some of the other feelings I had would come out. Anyway, prior to this trip I was starting to think of some things that might prove challenging when traveling with Addyson to Bahrain and this short trip to OKC made those thoughts a reality. I have to say I'm thankful to learn them now so I can figure out the solution before we leave verses getting over there and being stuck.

One of the issues is food. We don't feed Addyson baby food but we never really have an issue. She normally just eats what we eat or we can always find her something off the menu to eat even if it is just a side of green beans. Well, one of our favorite places to eat at in OKC is the Melting Pot and luckily before we went I realized there might not be anything there for her to eat since it is mainly cheese "dip", salad, and meat none of which she is eating yet. I had no idea what I was going to do. I went to the store and found some organic baby food in a jar and thought I'd give it a try. Luckily, she liked it so I went back and bought some more to take with us to Bahrain. Whew!!! One problem solved!
enjoying the fish tank at BassPro
The other issue is sleeping; both on the plane (17 hours of flying, 25 hours of traveling) and in the hotel. She is such a curious and alert baby that it is hard to get her to sleep when a lot is going on, like sitting on an airplane when people keep walking by and there are so many new things to look at (I learned this on our recent trip to Canada). She is also a very wiggly and mobile baby and she cannot be trusted to sleep on any bed unless we are with her which we then become a distraction. At home, no issue, she goes to sleep in her crib. On the road, in a hotel room, in a big bed..... that's another story. I tried for an hour to get her to go to sleep. ONE WHOLE HOUR with NO luck! I had to pass her off to Brad because I was getting so restless. He finally got her to go to sleep but that raises my next worry. What am I going to do to get her to sleep while we travel and once we are there???? I'm so nervous that none of us will be getting any sleep. Again, I'm thankful for our quick trip to OKC so I could be aware of some of the things I need to get ready to prepare for our big trip. If anyone has any tips please send them my way. If anything, please keep us in your prayers for safe travels and restful nights! Stay tuned to hear about our adventures in Bahrain!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nice day for a walk

The weather has been SO nice these past couple of days, hard to believe it is January! I really wanted to get out and take advantage of the nice weather and get to know our neighborhood a bit! We were so excited when we moved here that we were surrounded by protected wetlands and looked forward to the days we could take walks on the paths and walks to go see the near by horses but since we moved in the winter we figured it would be a while before we could really enjoy it all. Lucky for us, and the rest of the people in Fayetteville, we've had some nice days this week! Let's all of us with kids that are jumping off the walls from being cooped up get out and burn off some of the extra energy!!!
A mom in the MOMS Club was selling this wagon a couple of months ago and I'm so thankful I snatched it up!!! We loaded up both kids and headed out! It wasn't long before Owen was asking to get out and run.... can you blame the guy???
Here is my handsome husband enjoying the fresh air! Btw, this is my new favorite photo shot! I love close ups when the person I am taking a picture of doesn't know it. I feel the picture is so natural and really shows off a person's beauty (if I get the right angle! : ) )
Addyson was feeling better after a couple of days of the stomach bug which I should really blog about soon! Let me just say it involved her throwing up on me in the airplane! What an adventure.....But, back to our walk.... She was so happy and glad to be outside taking it all in!
Owen found a stick!!! Ever since our first walk in this neighborhood where we went looking for a "Christmas stick" that's all he talks about. He was happy to have found such a BIG Christmas stick!!! He came running up to show us!
He was even kind enough to break off a piece and share it with Addyson! That's a sweet big brother!
And of course the first thing Addyson did was put it in her mouth! That's my girl!!! What a great afternoon! I am now refreshed, recharged, and ready to battle the rest of the winter weather!!! : )

Monday, January 18, 2010

9 Months

It was the end of the day before I realized that Addyson was 9 months old! I couldn't believe it! At that moment I looked back and old posts and realized I started every one of them with "Wow, does time fly!" I hate to be redundant but, WOW, does time fly! I can't believe it. She is growing up before my eyes! I feel like this past month has been a big month for her! It was not a big month of fulfilling milestones but just a big month of maturing.... is that the right word? She is starting to become a "real person". Not that she wasn't real before but she is no longer a little baby that just lays around, eats, poops, and cries. She is interacting more, if she doesn't like something she lets you know, if she sees something she wants she goes after it, and she loves to be entertained!!! She also HATES to sit still so taking pictures (still pictures) is almost impossible!She continues to play great by herself!!! She knows where the playroom is and crawls right back there to find a ball and some sort of stick she can chew on!! She is often seeing crawling around the house with both in hand! Her favorite game is "empty the dishwasher" which she is playing as I type!
She sits on her knees a lot! It is how she plays most of the time. I wonder if she does this because she can get to a crawl positing really quick from her knees!!! In this house, if she wants something, she has to be quick!!! She has to get that ball before Owen does or get that piece of paper before mom does or pet the doggie before he runs away!!! And this girl is QUICK! She is into something before I even realize she has moved!!! Speaking of moving, this girl loves to dance!!! Any time she hears something that resembles a song or has a beat she starts bouncing!!! She especially loves to dance when Owen sings!!! If she is sad, Owen's singing cheers her up right away!
She isn't walking yet which surprises me since she stood at 6 months but I shouldn't rush this! She gets into enough things without being able to walk.... just think of the damage she will be doing when she is running around here!!! She is quick on her feet and can cruise up and down just about anything and transfer from one thing to another. She also has great balance and can stand for up to a minute without holding on to anything. She can bend down to pick something up and then stand back up no problem!
Addyson still only has 3 teeth (I know I blogged at Christmas that she was getting in her top 4 teeth but to date only the one has made its way through). The above picture shows her three teeth!She is a great eater and loves her food!!! Her favorite is black beans! She also LOVES green veggies; broccoli, asparagus, peas, spinach, and green beans (I have no idea where she gets her love of green beans from... NOT me!). She is not a big fan of the baby "snacks" like puffs. When I put them on her tray to occupy her she throws a mini fit and throws the puffs on the ground. Its almost like I'm insulting her. She wants the big people food! I like to watch her eat because she is very purposeful in what she picks up. She definitely has favorites and dislikes.
She is expanding her vocabulary, she has added "naanaa" (which I'm trying very hard to turn into "mama"), "baabaa", aaww, maaaa, and a high pitch squeal. When we go shopping she makes more sounds and reaches for things, it is almost like she is telling us about what she sees. She is learning cause and effect and knows that certain faces or sounds will get a reaction. She is also mimicking back sounds we make. We are having so much fun with her!
Addyson is 28.5 inches long (75th%) and 18lbs 8oz (50th%). Her head is 18 inches which puts her in the 90th%, gotta love that Brewster trait!!!! She is a happy, healthy, growing baby girl!!! We love her so much!