Friday, July 30, 2010

Goal of the Summer...

Austin had a few goals this summer. The biggest one involved these:

Austin's been wanting his training wheels off his bike since he was 3. However, his mind and his abilities were on two different timetables and he has had to wait. A couple of weeks ago, I raised his training wheels a bit so he would have to balance a bit in order to ride his bike. He had asked to take them off all the way, but I thought he needed the wobbliness of uneven wheels in order to succeed, plus I wanted Brian to be home for it.
Tonight was the night. He was a little nervous, but excited as well. Brian was all ready for an evening of instruction...complete with a full glass of ice water to help with the heat.
Little did he know....

...that it would only take...

...about 10 seconds of support from Daddy for Austin to take off and not look back!

Can you tell how proud he is of himself...and how proud his Daddy is of him (and probably a little shocked at how little effort it took)!

Now he's big and cool and all those things you are when the training wheels are taken off.
When was our baby replaced by this big kid???
With swimming lessons, the ability to tie his shoes and now riding his bike without trainings wheels under his belt, I think this kid is ready for Kindergarten!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hormonal Much?

Yep, it's one of those days. I'm just don't complain that you weren't warned. I mean, doesn't the title of this post say it all?

It didn't really start out that way, but hanging out in a doctor's office with two rambunctious boys for an hour and a half will do that to anyone, much less someone who is just DONE with being pregnant. Yep, I said an hour and a half (more, actually, as this is just an estimate) for a 5 MINUTE APPOINTMENT! That doesn't include the 30 minute driving time each way. Sigh. I didn't even see the doctor. You know, the one that will be doing surgery, which is still unscheduled at this point, on me? Nope, never met the man. I'm wondering if d-day will be the first time seeing him. Maybe he'll just send the PA or the midwife in to do his job?

Can you tell I'm a bit peeved (huge understatement)? There's nothing in the house to eat and I really don't want to go to the commissary. Colten has a doctor appointment tomorrow at 8:30am, so I was thinking of going after that, but he'll probably get a couple of shots and I don't really want to take a kid who just had shots to the commissary. That means I'll get to spend my Saturday morning at the commissary with the hordes of other military families who just got paid. Lucky me!

This heat has GOT to let up. I mean, the kids are driving me nuts and it's just not safe to let them play outside. There's a heat advisory everyday. About an hour ago, it was 94 with a heat index of 110. Seriously? The only time that it's cool enough for them to play is at 7am or 7pm. Both times are just really inconvienent! I mean, we let them play in the evening, but seeing as how their bedtimes used to be 7 and 7:30, they are staying up way later than normal. By the time they are down and I sit down, it seems like it's already MY bedtime! I'll be ready for September when I've heard it's supposed to be cooler.

Don't you just figuring out what to have for dinner? Like I said, there's not much in the house. We do have quite a bit of steaks and chicken in the freezer, but it's not thawed and I didn't think of dinner until about 3pm. I don't enjoy figuring out what we are having to eat every night. I get bored by the meals we eat all the time, but we are a little pickier and that limits the things I will try to fix. Plus, Colten's aversion to most meat makes it harder for me to figure out dinner for him as well. I pulled out a couple of steaks for Brian and I (with the kids having chicken nuggets) and then realized that we don't have any Dales to put on the steaks before grilling them. Yes, most people would say that a good steak doesn't need anything else, but those people haven't had a steak with Dales before. So, now the dilemma is whether to just eat it anyway or save it for tomorrow and go out to eat. Of course, I have NO clue what time Brian will be home, so going out to eat probably won't work.

On a positive note, and you know I have to get something positive in here as it's just my personality, Colten is doing excellent with not having his pacifier. I wonder what is going through his mind about it. I mean, I just kind of put it up, didn't say anything about it and haven't said anything about it since. It just disappeared. We had a pretty cranky afternoon yesterday and it was really hard to not give it to him. I have loved seeing his face though and not having to look for the paci everytime he loses it somewhere in the house. I guess now I need to go and get the 3 that we had and get rid of them before he finds them. Two of them are under the crib and the third is behind some things on their dresser so he couldn't see it, but it was accessible if I needed it that first night.

So there, I feel a little better getting things out. It's not a lot to complain about, but when you're pregnant, it doesn't take much.

Have You Ever???

Have you ever seen anything like this?

We are not exactly sure what happened, but it sure was weird!
Austin begged Brian to go out and throw the football with him on Monday night. It had cooled off enough for them to go out there safely and Brian aired up the Razorback football that Austin brought to him. They were having a good time, throwing it back and forth for 5 or 10 minutes when it started making weird noises. Austin was holding it as it started to expand. He threw it down and Brian came to get me to see it.
We aren't sure if there was a weak spot in the ball that couldn't hold the pressure or if there was some sort of weird gas inside the ball that reacted with the air that was added to make it more firm, but as Brian was taking down the street to show our friends, it popped.

I'm glad it didn't explode or anything. I guess I had visions of it exploding and hurting someone. It just sort of popped with a loud boom right in Brian's hands. So weird!
I guess we'll be getting a new football...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Shoes

What is it about Crocs on little kids feet that makes me gush?

I just can't help myself. They just look so cute walking around in them. Adults? Not so much. I understand how confortable they are. In fact, I have a pair of Croc sandals, but they aren't exactly fashionable. I didn't wear them out in public for a long time because I didn't think they looked all that great on my feet, but now the comfort factor is getting more important than the fashion factor as I get further along in this pregnancy. Not to mention the fact that it's just really hard to tie my shoes at this point. :-)
Colten has been steal shoes lately. Most often, Austin's black Crocs. He'll actually open the closet door where we keep them and put them on and walk around in them. Nevermind that they are too big and he trips over his own feet everytime.
I felt it was time for Colten to get his own pair. He was in need of some new shoes anyway, as his sandals that he was always wearing were stinking something fierce. Seriously, I couldn't stand them to even be out of the closet, much less on his feet!
I found out that there was a Croc store in the mall and we took a trip there the next day for Colten's first pair of Crocs. I was instantly reminded of how expensive these things are! Austin was asking for another pair as well and I just wasn't going to buy two pairs at once, so I allowed him to pick out some new Jibbitz (the characters, etc that you can push into the holes of the Crocs). I definitely had no recollection of just how much THOSE things cost!
However, it was all worth it and Colten LOVES his new shoes. Austin is happy with the Jibbitz he picked out and I can't get enough of seeing those little bitty feet running around in the green and blue Crocs everyday!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

That Thing...

I've been seeing this far too often and for far too long. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Yep, it's that thing in his mouth! The pacifier has been a staple in our house since Colten came into this world. He loved the paci (binky, buddy, etc) from the beginning and I figured it was a good thing. I had a thumb sucker in Austin and thought it would be easier to take the pacifier away than a thumb. I'm sure it is...but we haven't exactly tried to find out yet.
The professional advice is to take the pacifier away by 6 months. Who in their right mind would take away the magical device that quiets crying and gives peace throughout a house? So, we didn't even think twice about this advice and pushed past 6 months and a year of pacifier use. We are coming up on 18 months now.

The pacifier is a permanent fixture now. If Colten sees one and already has one in his mouth, he has to switch them. They have to be in his mouth just right and he'll turn them until he's satisfied. Nevermind that they don't really have a shape that makes them "upside down" or anything. Last week, Colten wasn't feeling well. He was cranky and clingy and constantly wanted his paci. Now that he's better, I think it's time. Time to limit the use of this magical baby item. Why, you may ask?
Well, last night, Brian reminded me that Colten was starting to get near the age where we said we would never have a kid still sucking on a pacifier. We've seen those 2 and 3 year olds who still had that thing hanging out of their mouths and just didn't like it. No offense to anyone out there that's been in that situation...but it just looks, I don't know...weird. However, I truly understand how a kid gets to that point. It's just not going to be MY kid! Hopefully.
Today started Day 1 of Limiting the Paci. My goal was to keep it out of sight for as long as I could, starting at breakfast. If he wouldn't have had it in his mouth when he woke up, I would have started then. I just couldn't get it out of his mouth this morning, so I figured it would be an easier transition if I took it while he wasn't thinking about it.
So far, he's down for his nap and hasn't had it at all. I'll keep it hidden until bedtime and see how he does before giving it back to him to go to sleep. I think the test will be right around dinnertime when he's cranky and all I want is to have some peace in order to cook. That's usually a breaking point for me and I'm going to try really hard to NOT give in.
The goal is to be paci-free before Aiden gets here. We also don't want him to steal Aiden's pacifiers (yes, we'll still use's still a better alternative than the thumb and it's said to be proven to reduce SIDS). I guess only time will tell how well this works and if we started too late.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Special Project

I've been working on a project the past week and while it's taken me a little longer to get done than I had hoped, I am really excited about it!
Here's a sneak peek at what I've been up to.

I'm hoping to be done in the next day or so and then put up a picture of the finished product.
I just LOVE this shade of blue.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The End of Baseball Season

Oh, what a sad day...the last game of the season! Austin really loved playing ball this year and we were really happy that we found a league that started playing right after we moved to North Carolina! What was even better was that Austin got to start hitting pitched balls in this league and he did GREAT!
Since Austin has been playing this year, Colten has been really interested in baseball as well. However, during Austin's games, Colten is more interested in running off or doing this:
Lots and lots of eating!
He also enjoyed trying to run out onto the field whenever he could. It doesn't help when Daddy calls for him though!
I try to watch Austin as much as I can while keeping track of his little brother. He only gets to hit twice a game and there has been a game or two where I have missed both at-bats! That pesky little brother keeps me on my toes and it seems that he enjoys running off at the exact time Austin is batting!
When I do get to see him bat, it's so neat to see him hit! Brian's done a great job showing him how to bat and Austin listens to him so well when it comes to baseball!
One of his favorite things to do this season has been sliding though. I think there was one time when he couldn't slide and that was when another kid was standing right on the base when he got to it.
One thing I will never tire of seeing is both teams telling each other "good game" at the end.

The week after his last game, the team met at Cici's Pizza for their awards. Austin was so excited to get a trophy (he didn't get one last year since the league we were in made the kids go to the end of the year tournament championship game in order to get their medals...we were out of town that weekend and he didn't get one).
His coach also gave each of them batting helmets as gifts. The kids all were really excited about that as well! Austin and one other little boy had heads that were too big, so she is getting them exchanged for bigger ones. He was still excited though and thought it was really cool.
Brian and I love to watch Austin play ball. I know Brian is especially proud that his sons are interested in the sport that he loves so much. I can envision lots of weekends full of baseball activities over the years as our boys grow up!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What's Ahead?

When Colten wants to be picked up and doesn't get his way, this is what ensues:





No, I have no idea what I am going to do when I have Aiden and literally can't pick up my 28 pound toddler after my c-section. He won't understand and it will be hard for me to not just lift him up like I do now. All I know is that if he's still doing this, we are in for some LONG days.

A New Plan

Our family needs it. Well, Brian pretty much already has it since he goes to work everyday, but the kids and I need it.

What is it that we need? A schedule. Something that we can stick to to help the day go by and when that day is over, I'm not sitting here wondering what we did all day! Some days, I'm really good. The kids get up and we relax a bit before turning the TV off and start in on doing stuff both fun and productive. However, there are more days where the TV stays on while the kids play all over the house and I feel overwhelmed by the stuff that stares at me from the kitchen, bedrooms, living room, etc.

With two kids, things seem to get done ok. My house is never immaculate, but it's not a disaster either (ok, well, sometimes it can seem that way, but not all that often!). However, we are about to add a third kid to the mix and with both babies, I know I need to find a schedule that works for us NOW. It will be just that much easier to get back to it if it's set now than if we continue the way we are.

Here's the thing: I've tried this before. I even wrote up a great schedule, typed it up and posted it on the fridge. I think it worked for a week...maybe. I'm determined to make it work this time. I want things to get done around here and I want to spend less time on the computer and more time with my kids. I don't want to feel overwhelmed by chores or the house anymore and the only way that is going to happen is if I get into a schedule of doing things so it doesn't add up so fast!

So, this week, I am going to start looking into what I want to accomplish everday. I'll get a schedule thought up and try to stick to it. It will officially begin next week, but I'll start some little changes this week so it's not such a shock to the kids or me. I'm hoping that by posting this on our blog, the plan being "out there," that I will try a little harder to stick to it. Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Swimming Lessons - Colten's Side

So, when I signed Austin up for his lessons, I signed Colten up for some Parent/Tot classes as well. Colten loves the water. He was able to go into the pool when we visited Brian's Aunt and Uncle and was having a blast. He was jumping into the pool from the side by the time we left and I figured some classes for him would help us teach him the basics of swimming for his age.
The first class, Brian got in the water with him. We figured he probably wouldn't get to do that any other time since he worked (he was off the first day), so it might be fun for him to do. Colten was ok with that as long as he didn't see me. When he saw me, he wanted me and I was fully clothed, so that wasn't an option. I got very few good pictures since I was trying to hide from him and couldn't get close enough to get good pics.
This part of the class was about putting the babies (or toddlers) under water. You didn't have to put them completely underwater, but it's better if they learn to be ok with it. Most of his class is smaller babies with one girl looking to be about 2 (and she's the most scared of the class) and the youngest being 6 months old (which is the youngest they will allow). Colten is ok with going underwater. He won't close his mouth all the way (even when you blow in his face), so he does get a little water in his mouth. He usually just looks surprised and wipes the water away.

Of course, then he saw me and was not happy that he couldn't be with me. Doesn't he just look pitiful!
They do all kinds of songs and bouncing, etc in this class. Here's Colten looking for me...I had been across the pool where he's pointing, but he hadn't seen me right behind him yet.
This is when Brian showed him where I was. It was the end of class and he was happy to get out and get to me. So cute!
Colten has done awesome in class! When I first took a class with him, he would just lay in the water on his stomach and be still. He would just float there. The teacher would try to get the babies to kick their legs, but he would just float. I said he was like a log in the water. Now, something has just clicked with him and he has gone from that log to a fish! He kicks and moves his arms to get to a toy or ball. Today, I thought he was going to swim right out of my arms a couple of times! He still doesn't like being on his back, but that's just going to take some time. I think the best part is that he's having fun in the water and isn't as scared. I'm just really glad we signed him up and now we can work with him even after this class is over!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Swimming Lessons - Austin's Side

We are starting our 2nd week of swimming lessons and I am just now getting around to posting the pictures from the first day! Oh well...such is life!
We have wanted to get Austin into swimming lessons for a while now. He has, until last summer, had a tad more than a "healthy" fear of the water. We lived in Hawaii for 3 years I bet I can count on two hand the amount of times he went into the ocean...and I don't think I'd use all of my fingers to even count all of them! He loves the bath, but is just REALLY cautious of any other water. It usually made for a really easy day at the beach for us though, because we didn't really have to worry too much about him just jumping in, much less get anywhere NEAR the water! However, we knew he was going to need to learn to least for our own peace of mind as he got older.
Last year, it was like his fear lifted a bit. We went from having to BRIBE him (which is how he got a $40 Speed Racer car...thanks Daddy!) to get into the pool in Hawaii to having him jump in and go under the water in the pool in Arkansas. I don't know what changed other than him growing up a bit. We missed our opportunity last summer to get him signed up for lessons, so we knew this summer was the time to do it.
Let's just say signing him up was an ordeal made complicated by the pool staff, but at least we got him signed up! He was nervous. Really nervous. Can you tell from this picture?

Let's just say that his class didn't stay on this side of the pool for long. Austin refused to get into the water. In fact, he wouldn't even sit on the lower level where the other kids are sitting because he thought it was too deep. Do you see the cat-walk thing in the middle of the picture? The ride side of the pool where it says 4ft? Yeah, they moved to that side and he magically got in. It didn't matter that the depth was the same...he just KNEW it was deeper on the other side and wasn't getting in where he thought he couldn't touch. After lessons, Brian showed him that they were the same and I think he felt a little silly, but that's just what fear does to ya!
Anyway, once the class moved to the other side, he got a little more comfortable. Ok, so he still looks a little nervous, but notice he's sitting where the other kids are sitting!
Then, he got in. See, he's overtaking his brave!
Time for floating on your back! Notice the death grip on the teachers arm?
No more death grip, but it looks like he's holding his breath or something. I'm amazed that he's doing this as he doesn't have a lot of confidence that someone else will hold him up. He likes to be in control and to hand that control over is awful for him!
Practicing kicking.
More back work and he seems a little more at ease. She had them doing a few different poses that I can only imagine would lead to them doing a back stroke or something.
Since this first lesson, he has really been excited to go to swim lessons. The second lesson was cancelled due to storms in the area and he was pretty upset that he wasn't able to go in the pool that day. He is willingly going underwater, even opening his eyes underwater (or so he says), and is working on all kinds of things.
Brian said today that he still needed to work on coordination a bit (not his exact words, but we'll leave it at that), so I think we'll have to just keep going to the pool so he can practice. I don't think we'll do another round of lessons this year since I think it would be mean to not sign Colten up as well (he LOVES the water) and his lessons are all in the evenings. Evenings don't work so well for us and the past week has been rather hard to do. If I signed Austin up for the morning sessions, Colten would probably throw a complete fit when he realizes he's not able to jump in as well. Just can't handle that at this point!
The best part about this is that it's helping him be more comfortable in the water...that's all I really wanted for him. I just always remember having so much fun at the pool and I wanted him to have those same memories, not ones where he was restricted to the shallow end by his own fear.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Red, White and Blue Boys

The weather here in North Carolina has been AWESOME this weekend! We've been spending a lot more time outdoors, especially in the morning when it feels like Spring! Before this weekend, it was HOT and HUMID by 8am, so no humidity lately has felt heavenly! What a great weekend for Brian's favorite holiday!
It was Brian's turn to sleep in today, so I got the boys dressed after a bit of morning TV and we went out to play. I was really glad I decided to go through outgrown clothes yesterday because I found 2 shirts that Colten could wear today! Yes, I have already planned that he'll wear two because he is just a rugrat and will get the first one dirty before we end up leaving the house today.
The boy loves him some baseball!
I got a few more really good pictures of Colten, then saw that he had some HUGE boogers smeared across his face. Pretty cute still, but kinda gross.
Austin's eyes are pretty sensitive to the sunshine, so I'm really glad I can actually see them in this picture! He looks so grown up!
Our two boys together. I didn't even have to bribe them to sit like this. Colten just came over and sat with his brother.
Cool Boys.
The deck is almost done. A few finishing touches here and we'll be able to get the inspector out. We don't have to have railing since we're under the 30 inch rule, but we'll end up putting up something. We just haven't figured out if we'll (as in Brian) will build a bench seat or just regular railings. We'll figure it out, then do that another weekend. Brian's taking today off and then do the last couple of things tomorrow. I'll post pictures later.
We are spending our 4th of July relaxing this morning and afternoon, then heading to post to see the fireworks. They'll have games, rides and a couple of concerts as well, so I'm sure it will be a fun packed evening! Hope everyone has a great 4th of July!!!