Wednesday, January 27, 2010

To Our 1 Year Old

Colten, you turn 1 year old today! I can't believe we have had you in our life for a year now. You have definitely added more love and fun to our family!
The day you were born was the morning after an ice storm started pounding our area. Mommy and Daddy stayed in a hotel near the hospital so that we could get there safely. Austin stayed at home with Bobo and Yaya and waited anxiously for word that you had been born!
You were a stubborn baby who decided to be 2 weeks late, forcing Mommy to make a tough decision, but a decision made out of love. It was a great moment to have your gorgeous face next to mine while the surgery was finished up. I was so glad to have the opportunity of getting to hold you right after being wheeled into my room. Everything I wanted for you was done. You got to nurse, be held and loved on before any procedure was done to you. It was the greatest experience I could have asked for in that situation.
Though a late start you had, you definitely made up for it quickly. You smiled at 3 weeks (and not just a gassy "smile," it was a REAL smile!). You were rolling over both ways right after turning 4 months, and started scooting and getting up on your knees right before turning 5 months. At 5 1/2 months you started pulling up on things and going from all fours to sitting up. A few days later, you started cruising. You were full on crawling at 6 months. You practiced all that the next few months until you started taking a few steps here and there at 8 1/2 months. You started standing up on your own somewhere in the 9th month and was full on walking EVERYWHERE by 10 months as well. Now, you are pretty much running, throwing balls, trying to climb up slides, going down slides by yourself, and playing independently really well.
You are a man of few words, but you make up for it in volume. :-) You grunt and screech and clap your hands to communicate. You also are picking up the sign language a bit and do "more" and "all done" in your own way. You were signing "eat" the other day as well.
You LOVE food. I don't think you know when you are full and can just eat and eat! You like most things, but don't like to eat chunks of meat unless they are hidden like in spaghetti or fried like chicken nuggets. You LOVE milk and have self-weaned, I think, due to this new love. :-) Your favorites so far have to be spaghetti, yogurt, and hamburgers.
Sleeping through the night is a new thing for you. You teased us with a phase of it over Christmas, but have now started doing it again. You loved your nursing sessions in the middle of the night, so when you gave those up, you just continued to sleep instead of waking. Mommy and Daddy are so grateful!
You have a fun, loving, cute personality. You love your brother and love to irritate him! His toys are your favorite toys to play with a lot of the time, although you really enjoy your ball popper, ride on toys, and Cozy Coupe car. You can't make up your mind whether you want to cuddle or play, but you can be really sweet and give lots of hugs and kisses, especially when one of us hasn't seen you in a couple of hours. You are sunshine and joy all wrapped up in a boy!
Soon, you will be a big brother and I know that you will follow in your own big brothers footsteps and do a great job with your new role. You are one of the most loved little boys in the world and we are so glad that God gave you to us.
Happy Birthday, Colten!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Three in September

September is a lovely month. Kids are getting into the swing of things at school, the weather is (hopefully) getting cooler, and this year, a new baby!

Yep, I said it...a new baby!
The newest addition to our family is due to arrive in September and we couldn't be more excited!

This pregnancy will definitely be different since both of my first were due in January. I will be going through the end of my pregnancy in the heat of the summer and not in the chill of late autumn, early winter. We will actually have a tiny baby at Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas instead of a big, round belly!

Now starts the preparing and baby naming. With Austin we had the names picked out before he was even a thought in our head. With Colten we waited until the ultrasound to even start discussing names. I'm not completely sure what we'll do with this one.
As far as how the boys are doing...Austin is excited. He has wanted another sibling for months. I think he actually started asking about another baby soon after Colten was born. He wants a baby sister this time though. However, he'll be happy with another brother. Colten, the poor baby, has no clue just how much his world will be turned upside down. There is a huge difference between where he is now and where he will be in 8 months, just not enough to fully understand what a new baby will mean for him.

So, now the wait begins.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Spring Day in January

I just can't believe the weather we are having this week! With it being in the 60s, we took the boys out to the park to get rid of some energy. They've been spending way too much time inside and I think the fresh air really helped us all!
I just LOVE this picture of Colten. He's been using this smile a lot lately and it cracks me up everytime. Yes, even when he flashes it when I go back into his bedroom for the 10th time to try and get him to go to bed. :-) He just scrunches up his face and smiles with his teeth showing...he knows he's funny!
Austin enjoyed pushing Colten on the swing...he's such a good big brother!

Of course, he got some of his own time on the swings as well. He kept swinging high, then jumping off. He's getting so big!
Daddy also got to have some fun. Austin thought it was great at how high Daddy was going!

Climbing on determined!
We had a great time, came home and fed Colten while preparing to switch some beds around. Colten ran around in the mess for a bit, while Austin watched a Transformers movie. We finally got the rooms set up and gave Colten a snack, then Austin got dinner. Colten went to bed at 7pm, Austin right after 7:30 and both were OUT within minutes. Colten didn't move a bit after Brian put him down; he still had the blanket on him in the exact same position it was put in.
I think the fresh air was better than I thought...if only the weather would cooperate with us like that for the whole winter!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Splish Splash

Colten really loves his bathtime. I think there was only a month where he didn't and that was right at the beginning. We used to bathe him in the kitchen sink, but he had gotten too messy in there with all the splashing, so I started giving him his bath in the bathtub. It's a little harder on my back, but he has so much fun!

Austin refuses to bathe with Colten...says he splashes too much and he doesn't like the water in his eyes.
It's funny how the most ordinary things capture their attention!
This picture made me smile...he's such a silly boy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Christmas Program, Donuts, and More

I can not believe that I forgot to post some of these pictures! However, December was a busy month and they just slipped my mind as I blogged about other things.
Austin's class, the MWF class and both 3 year old classes did a Christmas Program that was just too cute! Austin was pretty happy that his class was the trains and even happier that he got to be a green train!
When he started pre-school, I have already said that we were a little worried about him and his refusal to sing. Especially since every Tuesday, he has a music class! However, he surprised us by singing in his class, but also breaking out in song at home! This made the idea of a Christmas program really fun for us and we looked forward to seeing Austin and his friends up on stage singing with their cute little voices and motions!

After their class song, they sat down and let the other classes sing their songs...

Then, all of the classes sang a few songs together. If you look really closely, you can actually see Austin singing! He did so well and we were so proud! He sang all of the songs and did all kinds of motions like they were supposed to! He's really coming out and showing us just how good school is for him! We are so excited for Kindergarten!

After the program, there were snacks and the sleigh that Santa came out in during the program (you can see him on the left side of the picture above) was sitting out, so the kids got to sit in it.

Earlier in the month, we got to take a Playgroup Trip to Krispy Kreme. We love these donuts, but are VERY glad they are 20 minutes from us. Not exactly convienent enough for us to just run out and get some every week...which is a good thing when we are trying to watch our weight!

We were one of the first ones to get there and the HOT sign was turned on, so Austin got to watch as the hot donuts were made. Just looking at this picture again makes my tummy grumble. What about you?


We got to go behind the counter and look at all the different aspects of donut making and the kids even got to put some sprinkles on their own donuts. YUMMY!

Here's Austin again...but with a silly face that somehow equates to "yummy!"

So, a few more pictures of the boys from December. I was a few days late getting Colten's 10 month picture comparison done and it was actually taken in December. The last few months while taking these comparion shots, Austin has wanted me to take a few of him as well. I thought these turned out pretty cute. Oh, and he wanted his shirt off because he wanted to look "cool." LOL.

Oh, I just loved this one of Austin and Colten even thought Austin is blurry. They really do love each other!


This picture is actually from November if I can remember right. :-) But, I had to throw it in there because I have been wanting to get a picture of Austin doing the same thing right around the same age, but just have never gone looking for it. I still wanted to show it off though because he just looks like he's having so much fun! Ok, plus, I think my boys have to be the cutest two boys in the world!

So, I think I'm caught up now...I know there are a few other things we did in December that I'm not showing, but that's ok. These were the highlights and there have to be some things that just have to be for us, right?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some Practice

I finally got a new lens for my camera. Every forum I've been to, I kept hearing about this "nifty fifty" lens that was pretty inexpensive (compared to other lenses) and was a great buy for the money. Ok, compared to other lenses, this one is CHEAP. I'm all about cheap right now. I don't have any formal training in photography, the only pictures I take right now are of my kids and sometimes of other kids that are at our house while playing with my kids! I'm not a professional by any means and just can't justify paying for a "professional" lens.
Anyway, the lens is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. Basically, I was looking for a lens that had a smaller f-stop (the 1.8 number) than what my kit lens has. The lower f-stop is what gives you that great blurry background (aka bokeh). I read the reviews and while it had a few negative ones (didn't hold up as well as the more expensive lenses), the positive reviews really blew it out of the water for me. Even the people who gave bad reviews for durability said it was great at what it did.
With Christmas coming up, I didn't want to spend the $100 or so on this lens, so I figured I would wait until the Spring to get it. Well, I just happened to have a GREAT Christmas with awesome family members who gave some very generous monetary gifts. I was not only able to buy my lens, but a few other things for myself as well!
I ordered the lens on Amazon and just could not wait for it to get here! It finally did, but on the exact day that I had playgroup date over at my house! It arrived right after everyone left, but I had a little bit of cleaning to do and was just exhausted. Colten needed a nap, Austin needed some down time and while I did get it RIGHT out of the box and on my camera as soon as I got it, I didn't get to play with it as much as I would have hoped. Here's a picture that I got of Austin about 5 minutes after receiving it:

The next day, I got to play with it a little more. The boys room gets some pretty good light. Better in the morning than in the afternoon, but Austin had pre-school that morning and I took a nap while Colten napped. So, that afternoon, while the boys played, I snapped a few shots.


Yesterday morning, I played a bit more and got this shot of Colten that I just LOVE. I am STILL not sure what color his eyes are right now, much less what they will end up being! I'm guessing Hazel, but I guess only time will tell.
I had planned on doing a photoshoot of the boys for their birthdays. However, Colten just wasn't having it and Brian was gone so he couldn't help me. I gave up on the idea for now and might try again on Friday when I can get some help. Colten doesn't sit still for a minute, so getting a certain shot is sort of hard at the moment.
I'm still practicing...this lens is harder to get what I want in focus if I have the f-stop lower. It's the look I am wanting though, so I just need to keep practicing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Warming Up For Some Family Time

Today was actually warm enough for some nice family time outside. I am SO GLAD about this! Last weeks temps were in the single digits. It was hard to get the kids out to go to the store, much less to play!
We still had a bit of snow in the backyard where the sun doesn't reach, but I think it should be all melted away by tomorrow. We put the kids in some warm jackets and headed out for a walk, bike ride, and car ride.

Austin had some Christmas money and when we went grocery shopping, Daddy took him to pick out a toy. I was just about done with my shopping and decided to head over to the toy aisle and see what they had picked out. About half way there, I see them coming down the aisle, with Austin riding on this green bike. Apparently, he decided that there wasn't anything he wanted more than this awesome green bike. Even the Transformer bike wasn't as cool as this one! It even had a reving engine sound, just like a motorcycle, on one of the handles.

Colten has been playing with his Cozy Coupe in the house since he got it from Santa. He just loves this car...but he got a real kick out of it when we took him for a ride outside! I put him in it and started pushing and he was laughing and steering and jumping up and down in it! It was so funny! He was steering with the wheel for 3/4 of the trip.


Even the dogs got to get some outdoor exercise!!!

Colten not being amused with my camera anymore.

Trying for a brother picture after our walk, but Colten couldn't stop staring at Austin and Austin wanted his helmet off.


We got back to the house and Austin decided he wanted to push Colten in his car for just a bit longer. Obviously, Colten didn't mind! They had a blast and it was cute to see Austin have so much fun pushing his brother!

I hope it stays this "warm" for the rest of the winter...I think I'm done with that wet, white stuff.

Monday, January 11, 2010

White, Wet and Cold

I truly thought we would miss the snow while we were gone. Our area got a few inches of snow on Christmas Eve. I was a little disappointed that Austin wouldn't get to play in it and figured that since we were there, that it would be the only snow our area would get all winter. We just have that kind of luck!
It snowed again while we were gone to Little Rock. I saw all kinds of people commenting about it on Facebook. I thought that we would definitely not have anymore since it snow TWICE while we were gone!
The day before we got back to NWA, they got another 3 inches of the white stuff! And it definitely wasn't going to go away before we got there!
So, after getting back and unloading the car and doing a few other things, I got Austin bundled up to go outside. It was pretty cold out there, but nothing like we knew we were going to get, so I figured it was now or never.
Now, I knew that if I didn't buy any snow pants that we would get snow. If I would have bought them, we wouldn't have gotten one single flake. So, he wore jeans under the wind pants that you see in the picture. A t-shirt, a sweat shirt and a double layered coat. Plus hat and gloves. I don't think he was cold (until the snow went up his sleeves).

Just like last year, he wanted to make snow angels. The boy loves to make them!

Then he wanted to make snow balls.

And then he wanted to throw those snowballs!
This picture was taken totally by accident. I thought I was going to take a picture of him throwing it at Brian, but he turned around and started to throw it at me. The focus is off, but I was more worried about shielding my camera than the picture! I'm glad it took because it's one of my favorites!
Ok, so it's the second year in a row that we have not had a sled. I'm not sure that Austin really cares that much since he seems to be having just as much fun on the body board as he would probably have on a sled!

Later, we got Colten in the snow. This is his first time out in the snow. Of course, we don't have anything for him to be in the snow either, but he wasn't out there that long. Maybe 3 minutes?

So, he's probably not ready to go sledding or anything, but at least I have the pictures to prove that he had this experience, right?

He obviously doesn't like the cold stuff. I'm pretty much right there with him. I like to look at it and I'm sure 30 minutes or so would be fine to sled in or whatever, but I am much happier looking at it from inside while drinking some hot chocolate!
So, now it feels like winter (and we've had the almost zero temps to prove it) and looks like winter. I'm done with it...when is Spring?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Liberty Bowl

What can I say about the Liberty Bowl...
That would be the biggest thing that sticks out in my mind! It was seriously cold. The good thing was that I was bundled up really well and only felt the cold in my feet. I don't think my feet have ever been that numb. I thought I had frostbite in them by the end of the game. LOL
We were pretty bundled up though and enjoyed the game despite the teams playing pretty messy. It ended up being a battle of bad kickers in the end. I was just glad that there was another team with a kicker worse than ours!
So, here are the pictures:


Do NOT ask me how John survived without a coat. Personally, I think he is crazy. :-)



The 101st had sent 2 paratroopers to bring in the teams flags and the game ball. Pretty cool to see the Screaming Eagle up there!

The coin toss.


Like I said, it was a sloppy game. Definitely not one of the better games the Razorbacks have played and I think they were definitely outplayed. However, a win is a win...and I think we'll take it!
There was one thing I was truly glad about though...that my children were back in a warm house having fun with their relatives! I saw some small kids at the game and thought that they must have been even MORE miserably cold than I was! I think Nathan was at the right age to brave the cold...but I saw 5 or 6 year olds there and just can't imagine sitting in that cold with them!
Thanks to Bill and Mary for the tickets...despite the cold, we had a great time and it was neat to be there!