Friday, August 28, 2009

Bedtime Woes

Doesn't this just break your heart? It does mine!
For those of you on Facebook, you already know the problems we are having with Colten and his sleeping habits...or shall I say, the lack thereof! For the longest time, he would nurse to sleep or we'd hold him for all of 5 minutes and he'd be asleep and we'd put him in his crib. Overtime, the time it took him to get to sleep got longer and longer. Now that he's all over the place, he fights sleep like mad! We can't hold him to sleep...he fights to sit up and crawl off. When he does lay there it could take hours (not that we tried...we just don't think that's the way to go about this). He has gone from sleeping through the night to getting up again...sometimes twice a night.
Even when he's nursing while he's tired, he fights it. He'll be drowsy and all of a sudden he sits up (with me spraying everywhere) so he won't fall asleep. He then tries to nurse sitting up. I mean, how in the world does he think he doesn't need to sleep?
We have a sound machine for white noise. We use a soft blanket that he loves. His room is as dark as can be without living in a basement and he still hates going to sleep on his own. Here's what we have been doing as of lately: We put him to bed tired, and he immediately starts crying, rolls over and stands up and starts screaming before we can even get out the door. We close the door and wait. 5 minutes later or more, we go in there, lay him down and give him the pacifer and go back out. He's usually standing up again, screaming, before we can exit the room. This goes on like this until he finally rolls over and softly cries himself to sleep. It can last anywhere from an hour to the longest at 2 hours. A lot of the time we wait more than the 5 minutes, but if his screams change, we check on him. We don't really time it since we try to work on something while we wait so we don't just sit there on edge.
We are trying to catch him tired BEFORE he's OVERTIRED. This is hard because he can go from happy baby all over the place to a grump sitting in the middle of the floor crying in 2 seconds.
We've tried putting him to bed around 8pm since Austin goes to bed at 7:30 and he can sleep through a freight train. It still takes him FOREVER to go to bed.
Tried putting him to bed at 6:30 and 7:00. He's definitely tired at that time, but again, it takes him forever to fall asleep and he's screaming the whole time. We HAVE to either get him asleep by 7:30 or move him to the pack n play so that Austin can go to sleep (they share a bedroom).
Naps are supposed to be crucial to good bedtime habits. His naps are only getting worse. He wakes up too early and so his first nap is really early as well. They are all over the place depending on what time he got up and how cranky he is.

There was ONE glorious day where both boys woke up a little after 7am. Colten got to take a nap at 9am for 1.5 hours, 12:30pm for 1.5 hours and then a short 30 minute nap around 3pm. He was asleep by 7pm and slept until 6:30am without waking. I think the fact that he had such good naps and had good sleep did this, but for the life of me, I cannot get him to stay on this schedule! He was so happy all day long and didn't fuss very much at all.
Everyday other than that day, he is happy for about an hour, then is cranky until I finally make him take a nap. He wants to be held, but he fights to be held. He fusses and cries and won't play with anything. This is all so different since Austin has almost always been a good sleeper.
Any suggestions?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Growing Up

It seems like just yesterday that Austin was the same age that Colten is now. He's grown up so fast! The last few posts were more about Colten than Austin, so I decided to do one about Austin since he's going to be going through a little change here soon!
Today, Austin got to go to Creative School at First United Methodist Church and meet his new teachers! He's so excited to start pre-school...and if you're wondering, so is his Mommy! No sappy, teary eyes from either of us. We are both ready!

{ Can you believe this critter that Austin had me run out to see? }
Austin continues to be a good big brother...for the most part. There are times when he gets a little annoyed that Colten is trying to play with the same toy he is playing with, or when his brother is laughing at him when he's a little less than happy. But, for the most part, we couldn't have asked for it to be any better!
Austin will do great in his new school. He's one of 4 boys in his class and the rest are girls. One he already knews from playgroup. The only thing we worry about is Music. They have a lady do music with them every Tuesday. They also have 2 programs during the year that they will be participating in. Austin is NOT a public singer. He won't even sit with the kids at story time in the Library when they are doing songs. He gets embarrassed and just shuts down. Sure, he sings all the time at home, but you get him in front of anyone else, and you won't hear a peep! I'm hoping this is where he grows a little more and does something outside his comfort level. We'll see!

So, there you have it. A little update about Austin. Complete with pictures!

7 Months

This boy is growing like a weed! He's 7 months old today and I just don't know where all that time went! Is he really more than half-way to a year old? Apparently, he thinks he's big stuff with all the stuff he's getting into nowadays!

Here are some facts about him:
*He is getting into everything...crawling everywhere and heads straight for the dogs' water bowls as soon as he can. Baby gates are usually up in the kitchen doorways to prevent this.
*He's getting a couple more teeth in, but they are taking FOR.EV.ER! I can see a white tip on his left bottom side, but it just won't come through.
*Colten LOVES to be outside. Our grass in the backyard is pretty tall right now, but it's so soft. He sits there and pulls at the grass and tries to eat it. Then he just crawls through it and has a blast.
*He hates green beans and peas. He makes this funny face and then spits it right back out. Tonight we tried whole green beans cut into little pieces and he ate a few, then kept spitting them out.
*I have caught him feeding Cheerios to the dog the other day. Literally leaning over the side of his booster and handing one of the dogs a Cheerio. I think they will be the best of friends. :-)
*Colten is a smart one. Today while taking his pictures, I had my lens cap on the floor near us and he found it and put it right up to my lens. I took it and set it down again and he did the exact same thing. He knows exactly what it's there for and decided he was done with pictures!
*He loves his brother, but especially loves when his brother is crying. He cracks up at this...which Austin hates!
*Colten HATES going to bed. We are at the point where he won't fall asleep in our arms, but won't fall asleep in the crib either. Where does he fall asleep? We have no clue. Still trying to figure that one out! Right now, he fights sleep tooth and nail...and only succumbs to it when he just doesn't have the energy to fight it anymore.
*He's getting faster at crawling, but still would rather cruise. He's tried to go from one thing to another with further gaps and I'm sure the day will come (too soon) when he makes that leap and takes those steps. I'm hoping its not for a couple more months, at least!
*Colten loves food. He has begun to sign some words, but has "MORE" down very well. The others (milk, eat, all done he will sometimes imitate when you do them). This kid can have a TON of Cheerios, puffs, or bananas and will still be signing "more." And he doesn't like it when I sign "all done" back to him. I seriously think he would eat until he explodes.

I'll post his stats when he goes to the doctor next week.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Simply Adorable

My two boys,
the same outfit,
About 4 years apart.

Just Simply Adorable!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

If You Haven't Noticed

There's a new blog in my blog list over to the right! See it?
Over there -------->
The Weight Challenge one?
Yep, that's a new blog that Brian and I started. It's basically to journal about our new workout challenge. Well, I journal about it and ask Brian if he wants to add anything. Same thing, right?
P90X...Have you heard of it? If not, check it out. Let's just say the X stands for extreme. The 90 is for how long the program is for. And I'm not really sure what the P stands for! Brian says "phyiscal," but that's just him guessing.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know it was there and that it was us, not just some strange person I was reading about! :-)

On another note, the kids are doing great. Colten is still moving around like a mad man and is getting into things more and more! Austin's doing a pretty good job at keeping his little toys picked up. And as you saw from a previous post, he's loving the water. However, we haven't been able to make it back to the pool since then because school started and all the pools around here think that the school age kids were the only ones using their water!

We have tried going to two different pools this week and both were closed. The Springdale Aquatic Center is only open on the weekends now until the Labor Day Weekend is over and The Jones Center went back to the pool opening at 4:30 instead of 1pm like it did over the summer as soon as the kids went back to school. Personally, I think that's ridiculous. Especially the Jones Center since they are open all year round. What are the kids that aren't old enough for school supposed to do?

So, we will be going to the pool on Sunday and then both days next weekend because we have pre-paid tickets to use at the Springdale Pool that have to be used before the season ends. I'm sure Austin will be happy though!

Well, that's about it for now. I'll have to take pictures of the kids sometime soon since I haven't really picked up the camera lately. Have a good Friday!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Adventures in Baby Food Making

When Austin started solids, we just went out and bought his babyfood. I had heard of making your own, but didn't really think twice about it. We just went with Gerber and never looked back.
4 years later and there is a lot of stuff on the internet about how to make your own baby food. It's not only easy, but so much cheaper! Cheap is good, people!
So, I went out and bought some fresh produce (not organic, but we don't exactly have the best selection when it comes to organic). We already have a great blender, so I wanted to try that out before buying a food processor. I am so glad I did! It worked great!
So far, I have done sweet potatoes, butternut squash, green beans, and pears. Of course, I have been smashing avacados for a while now as well as bananas. Tomorrow, I want to bake some apples and do those as well. Everything has been pretty easy and it's not too much work.
When I have it blended, I dish the food out into ice cube trays and freeze it. After it's frozen, I dump it into freezer bags and there it stays until I need it. I have been saving jars and plastic containers from the baby food we had been buying and that's what I'll put the frozen cubes in to thaw in the fridge. The best part is that I know what Colten is eating and when it was made!

And did I mention that it was CHEAP!?!

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Razorback Football, that is!
On Saturday, the Razorbacks were having a practice scrimmage and the public was invited to come out and see the players in action. Naturally, we went. It was free and Brian is getting pumped for football season.

We all got dressed that morning in Razorback shirts...naturally! Austin LOVES his Razorback jersey and wears it at least twice a week. The only time he doesn't is when I'm behind on his laundry and he has to pick something else to wear!

Colten did really well and just crawled around at our feet and ate some puffs. He looks pretty happy, doesn't he!

Afterwards, we went to Hog Heaven to look for some Razorback apparel. Brian's shirts are all really old and the only one I have is one that Brian gave me because it was too short for him. We saw some things we liked, but didn't exactly like the price, so we left and went to lunch. Of course, Austin couldn't leave the store without trying on almost every single football helmet they have!

After eating at Chick-Fil-A, we went over to Big Reds and found some really great deals. Brian ended up getting three items...they didn't have the assortment of women's clothes, so I ended up not getting anything. Same with Colten and Austin got a football. Overall, it was a good day with the Razorbacks!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Our Fishy

Can you believe this? Austin is JUMPING into the water...and LOVING it!

We went to the pool today and got Austin a life jacket. He's been getting braver and braver everytime we go swimming (lake or pool) and today has just been the biggest accomplishment he has done so far! We are just so proud of him for trying it and so glad he's loving it!

Here are some pictures as well!

A BIG splash!

Daddy helping him back up on the wall. He may look like he's crying, but it's actually a water-logged smile.

So PROUD of this boy!

He took off his life jacket so he could go under without jumping in.

Jumping back and forth between the wall and Daddy.

Going under....

And UNDER! He just kept going and going. Life might start to get a little harder during the summer from now on! We no longer get to sit back and watch him happily splash in the we have to diligently stand watch as he pushes the limits!

The Whole Steele Family

It's not often that the whole Steele Family gets to be in one place at a time. Maybe once or twice a year does this happen. So, when we heard Matt and Paula were going to be in Little Rock AND John had the weekend off as well, we decided to go against what we had planned (remember, no more travelling for a while?) and drive the 3 hours down to visit with everyone.
Austin loves his cousins. Ever since we visited them in Alabama, he has been asking when we get to go back to their house (uh, not anytime soon since it was a 10 HOUR drive!). He always asks if we can go there TOMORROW. :-) So, we figured the more time we can allow for him and Nate and Anna to be together, the better! Besides, it's only a matter of time when Nathan is too cool to hang with his younger cousin and before Anna figures that boys and makeup are more important than playing Battleship with Austin! :-) Of course, I know they'll always love him, it's just the way things are when you become a teenager!
By the way, if you wonder why there are more picture of Colten than's because Austin was off playing with Nathan and Anna and not easily accesible like Colten!

Colten "eating" a teething biscuit in the highchair that has been used by John, Nathan, Anna and Austin.

Bill, Brian and Lucas looking at the Mantauk Monster.

The cousins beating up on Matt.

Anna loving on Colten.

Grandmother, Colten and Anna visiting.

Granddad checking out how big Colten has gotten.

Aunt Paula loving on Colten.
Yaya and Austin in the pool...he was in the deeper end floating with his life jacket! This is BIG for Austin!

Colten and Uncle John in the pool.

A sleeping Colten on his Daddy's chest.

Colten just about asleep on Yaya's chest. The water just tired him out!

Love this picture!

Ok, this picture too!

In awe...I think he was looking at Nathan.

The family, minus us! Austin threw this big, huge fit and had to be taken inside. I guess they took the picture anyway! Maybe a family picture will be taken next time!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

After Naptime

This is what I get to see when I walk in the room.

We had to lower the mattress on the crib the other day because he was pulling up on the sides all the time! Now, he's walking around the crib holding on. What is this boy trying to do!?!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Camping on Beaver Lake

When we moved here in November, we knew we were pretty close to Beaver Lake. We never imagined we were literally 15 minutes from the lake! Much less a great camping area that also has a lot of day use area as well!
After planning with my Dad to go camping/boating, we looked in to campsites and picked Hickory Creek since it was close to our house and we knew we'd be taking the dogs back to the house during the day when we were out on the boat or off swimming, etc.
We arrived at the campsite around 4pm on Wednesday and started setting up. Our plan was to stay until Sunday morning (with me being flexible in case the kids were getting cranky and needed a nights sleep at home...which was never needed). Here's what our site looked like when we got our tent up. Dad's tent is behind me and I don't have a picture.

Here's Austin happy that we were set up!

Thursday mornings sunrise. YES, I was up at sunrise everyday! Brian and Dad went out to fish every morning and somehow, Colten thought it was a perfect time to get up as well.

Happy Baby. Really, he was so good while camping. There were a couple of rough nights trying to get him to sleep, but other than that he was great!

He was trying to get out of the tent to get to the grass. This kid LOVES to pull grass and try to eat it!

One of the fun things of camping is the food and drink that you normally don't get that much of. Soda galore, plus marshmellows every night! Of course, you have to notice the carrots I did bring along to provide a LITTLE bit of healthy nourishment for my family!

Checking out the map of the lake for the best fishing spots. We caught a few fish here and there, but they were all too small until Saturday morning. They caught a few fish that could be kept and those were fried up for breakfast. We heard that the fish were a little confused about the water level dropping (they were letting water out of the damn consistently).

Another sunrise...this time with fog on the water. I told you I was up for every sunrise!

Some Daddy and Colten time.

Austin loving the water. He got a life jacket and loved being able to float. In fact, we got him out in deeper water where he couldn't touch. This wouldn't have happened just a few weeks ago! He's definitely growing up and getting braver!

A rare picture of me...with Colten. My hair isn't fixed and I don't have makeup on. Your lucky I even let you see it, but it is a pretty cute picture.

Papa and Colten. Giving Mommy's arms a much needed rest!

Daddy and Austin in the water. Austin was working on floating on his stomach, he would kick his feet up and lean forward. Again, would NOT have happened just a few weeks ago! Don't be decieved by how the water looks. It was REALLY gross. We were so spoiled by the ocean in Hawaii! Because of the dropping water level, the bank was muddy and the water was mucky. But we had fun in the water anyway!

Love this picture of Austin as he was being carried up the bank by his Daddy. He has such a great smile!

Papa's sidekick. Austin had to sit by Papa anytime they were sitting. Oh, and he had to have one of the green chairs. Austin fished like a pro, but for some reason I don't have a single picture of this! He was casting great, but never caught a fish. He had fun anyway!

The packing up to go home.
We had a lot of fun, but camping is exhausting! It was great to get out of the house for a while and get outside! We had some great days (despite an afternoon of rain that showed us that our tent leaked!) The nights were nice and cool and most of the days were warm enough to swim, but not too bad when we were just sitting around. The kids did great, even with staying up late and getting up early. We had a few cranky moments on Saturday, but nothing too bad. I think they really enjoyed being outside a lot and getting dirty!
We will definitely be camping again...soon!