Thursday, February 27, 2014

brooks at 7 months.


Brooks just passed his 7 month mark, and I'm not sure I believe it. I just want to take a little time to document what life looks like for this little guy right now.

He finally mastered sitting up, and is making some progress towards scooting on his belly to get to a toy or something he wants. He also utilizes his ability to roll, which usually is cause for a laugh when I've left him in one place while I step out of the room to come back and find him in a new, and sometimes interesting, spot.

He has discovered his tongue, and he doesn't care who knows it. You can rarely find him in a happy mood without the tongue poking out. I posted his 6 month photos on my photography blog this week, many of which featured his new "trick."


He is finally sporting a little hair that is finally here to stay. It seems to be coming in brown, so I'll be interested to see if it remains dark.

He has been such an easy baby. With such a chill and content disposition, he's happy to be doing almost anything. The anythings he loves, though, consist mostly of grabbing everything in his sight with the intention of getting them into his mouth, watching his big brother with such interest and delight, being tickled and kissed on in ticklish spots to get him giggling, and just simply being talked/read/or sung to.

I'm afraid I'm nearing the conclusion that solid food is just not a strong point with these children I create. Before spending the time to make my own baby food (as I did with O), I've been buying different foods and brands to have a wide assortment of foods to offer. We're also dabbling with solids he can hold and gnaw on independently. But alas, he'd rather be gnawing on a piece of paper or rubber band bracelet or some other inedible item in his viewpoint.

He's a rockstar sleeper. Both during the day and at night. However, the only stipulation to this is that it must be in a napping environment. (IE - a crib) He will sleep in the car, but will not stay asleep once the carseat is out of the car, nor will he fall asleep in new situations - IE: planes, while shopping, or anywhere we may be during a time he'd otherwise be napping. On the up side of that, he's usually a really great sport and doesn't fall to pieces when he's missing his nap. (I think he loves the adventure, and can't risk missing out on anything that could happen.) He typically goes to bed around 6:30 pm (I know.) and most of the time will sleep 12 hours without waking until 6:30 am. This only seems to be interrupted when he's sick or hitting a growth spurt to where even his daytime bottles are increased. And if he does wake at night, he has always been so great about taking the bottle and going right back to sleep.

He's started saying "Mamamama" quite frequently, with a lot of raspberry and spit noises intermixed. This is fun for me, as the "Dadadadada" came before the "Mamamama" with Owen. (Though I'm very aware he hasn't associated this noise he's making with his mama, we just pretend.)


No teeth yet! If he takes after his brother, we'll see a couple pop through in the next month. But if he takes after his "mamamama," he may not see one until his first birthday! Eek.

We really, really love this baby. It's fun to see his little personality start to show, and love watching the interactions between the two boys. Excited for the months and years to come with our boys! We have such great kids.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

my weekend in photos.

It was one of those weeks that I felt I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. The weekend came to my rescue, though even that was busy.

It was the last week of swim season, so I played the single mom role on Friday while Colby went to Topeka. The boys, the dogs, and I survived on our own, but it sure was nice to have Colby back after just one night.

Friday night, I wore a baby around Owen's school carnival while he participated in games and visited with friends. It was a late night, and I failed to take any pictures until the very end, only because I remembered I had told Colby he'd get one from the carnival.


On Saturday, we headed to Topeka to cheer on the "Wanterns" (aka Lancers) at State. My little squirrely friends cheered loud - and the boys placed 2nd at the meet. Colby was beyond proud of their young team for coming as far as they did over the season, and I'm happy to have him home. :)


We're slowly introducing food. I can't say that we have big success stories to brag, but it's certainly going more smoothly than this stage did with his older brother. Prunes: it's what's for dinner.


Marble racing. All day every day. I've mentioned it before, and I'll mention it again - this is one of our greatest and most valued Christmas gifts to date. We did go ahead an buy a lot of pieces to the set from ebay last month - we have enough pieces now to make a mega-sized run, or two separate - plus some extra!

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Brothers! And a rare occurrence that I bother putting shoes on my baby. Ain't nobody got time for that. (Is it normal to get lazier with each baby? Sorry, Brooksy.)


We planned a Family Sunday Funday at Monkey Bizness for this guy to exert some energy after a long Saturday morning of self-play while I cleaned, and sitting through a long commute and swim meet that afternoon and evening.


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And here it is Sunday night, and I can't help but wish I had one more day to my weekend to rest!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

my weekend in photos.

We kicked off our weekend with a Valentine's Day breakfast.


And I got my festive colors on.


I snuck away from work to attend his Valentine's Day party at school. He was so excited to give out his valentines and masks to his friends.



We ordered our favorite pizza for carry-out, and had reminisced about our first date 10 years ago. Loved these Hoosier themed valentines for the love I found in Bloomington.


The next day, we had a birthday boy in the house. Five! Our big red dog. Happy birthday, Kirkwood!


We played at home, played at my sister-in-laws, and caught another fourth grade girls basketball game.





Sundays are always productive. Church and Costco and Target, oh my. Brooks was a good sport about missing his naps, as he's not good at sleeping on the go. 


I capped my weekend off with a Sunday Funday class at that kicked my behind. Literally. Because I don't have one, while the boys are gearing up for one additional day to their weekend for President's Day. Jealous!

Friday, February 14, 2014

our first [un]date: 10 years ago.

Valentine's Day, a holiday I'd otherwise not care much about, marks the anniversary of Colby and I's first date.

You see, long before then, I had made plans. Plans that didn't involve boys. Plans to not be that girl who got married right out of school (high school or college). After college, I planned to move to San Francisco, be married only to my work for a number of years before I entertained the idea of settling down with a husband. And I certainly wouldn't have children at a young age, if any at all.

Yikes.

I credit much of that mentality to my high school career, where my stance was this: Boys drool. Most of my girlfriends had serious boyfriends at some point or another, and when boyfriends became their excuses to skip out on a girls night or otherwise allow their boyfriends to be the center of their world, it left a bad taste in my mouth. People settle down more quickly in small towns; they are breeding grounds for fresh-out-of-school marriages. And babies. And I wanted nothing to do with that.

But the second semester of my freshman year in college I reluctantly agreed to dinner. On Valentine's Day. With a boy. In fact, it was under strict conditions that it remain casual and friendly. We grabbed dinner on Kirkwood at a little pizza joint (that really wasn't that great..) and spent the remainder of the evening playing cards and watching [an illegal ripped version of] Lion King, my self-declared favorite movie ever.

Ten years ago, I went on an [un]date with the man I married right out of school. And had babies with. And have made ten years of memories with. And have been through ten years of life's highs and lows with. The one I've done life with for the past ten years. My best friend (and sometimes worst enemy), forever love, and life partner.

I'm thankful God had different plans for me than I had for myself 10 years ago.

Happy Valentine's Day to my favorite valentine! To many more… xoxo.


superhero valentines.

Awhile back, I found this link to a free superhero themed valentine template. I doctored it up a little to personalize with Owen's actual signature (as it was suggested they sign their own cards for practice), and also by including a picture. Version one actually featured a pantless version of Owen but I ultimately decided against it to avoid any possible embarrassment for my baby boy who is growing up too fast. (and also whose classmates are mostly 5-year-olds.) A couple days before Valentine's Day, I staged a 3 minute photoshoot before school.. with pants.

This is what we came up with.


To keep trend with year's past, I opted to skip the sweets and treat them to something that most parents will appreciate more than the candy. A perfect compliment (and also doable with such a small class size) to a super hero themed valentine? Super hero masks!

I found a cheaper version than what we passed out at his Captain America birthday party. I opted for the felt version of the masks from this etsy shop, though they also have an even cheaper foam version available.

I love how they turned out.

See my past candy-free valentine creations here and here.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2013 Year-end videos.

A few years ago, my sister-in-law began a tradition of recording a year-end interview with each of her children. I love this idea. I don't take enough videos of the boys. And I want to preserve their sweet little voices so that I can go back to hear them years down the road.

Well, I'm adopting this idea. (Adopting is a nicer way of saying that I'm stealing the idea.) Uploading the videos took a lot more time than I had anticipated, and I never seem to sit down at the computer long enough for one to fully upload. 

So here's a late reveal, and to hoping I keep up in the coming years!

This video of Owen goes in and out of focus (since he does not sit still), and a couple of my pan aways are completely blurry. But like I said, I don't often record videos, so I didn't even know I was out of focus since I was concentrating on the interview, and I'm not actually sure I'd know how to correct it even if I were aware!

As for Brooks, well, there's only so much he can really say to answer my questions. Or nothing. But I asked a couple anyway, and he's cute!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

snow day(s) in kansas city.

Way back when, I was waiting until the very last second possible by listening out my front door for the school bus's brakes screeching to sprint 75 yards to our street in sub-zero temperatures to hop onto the bus to head to our school which was not cancelled.


I think I may never understand school cancellations here. Or how when I'm driving home in the eye of a big snowfall, how I see zero snow plows on the streets. Or how the entire city seems to shut down for 6-8 inches of snow. There was no way a bus could have made it down our street - I get that. But when we're 48 hours out from the snow's beginning, I think it's silly that so many streets are still either untouched or unable to be navigated. Especially for an affluent county that I wouldn't otherwise blame budgets for being ill-prepared. 

I grew up in an anything but wealthy city and county, but those country roads were filled with snow plows - beginning at the snows first accumulation, and all through the night. School was never cancelled the night before - only 2-hour delays would be granted that early. It wasn't until the early hours of the morning that they would determine whether road conditions were safe for travel. And temperatures were never a reason for cancellations. (Though we did have early dismissal a few times over the years during the month of August due to heat indexes since our school did not have air conditioning..) 


But I'm not complaining. Just baffled. In fact, as a parent, I quite enjoy the anticipation of a school cancellation. I love to see the boys celebrate a snow day announcement by staying up a little later, staying in sweat pants all day long, playing and sledding in the snow, and on occasion - getting to share a portion of their day with them when work closes early. 



But on days I don't get to go home early, we even enjoy the snow at work. (It's hard to tell by the picture, but a few of us gals went out to play in the snow, and climb the massive snow hill made by the plows clearing our parking lot. That's an "I'm on top of the world!" pose, though I look to be level to the ground.. I swear it was high up.) 



Sunday, February 9, 2014

my weekend in photos.

Owen practicing his penmanship using the artwork on his bedroom walls. He told me I did a great job on Batman, but I think his Aquaman might have given me a run for my money.

 Ugh, Hoosiers. Let's just try to make the tournament. I actually missed the game for a girls night, but was certainly disappointed (though, not really surprised) by the report of another conference loss. 

Saturday morning we attended my niece's basketball game, then spent a lazy afternoon at home while Colby was at his swim meet.

It's during difficult seasons of life that I'm so thankful for the friendships I've made along the way. A piece of mail arrived from a dear friend from my high school years that not only left me in tears, but also keenly aware of how loved myself and my family are by so many.

We got our first snow storm, and we have icicles everywhere. So why not bring one indoors? (Don't judge my bottle collection.) I'll post more pictures of our mid-week snow days soon.

I'm not usually the fun parent when it comes to snow, but I made a valiant effort to spend some time outdoors making snow angels and sledding with my snow-lovin' 3-year-old while dad was away.

 He's baaaack! Sickness is gone (for now), and life is good.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

my weekend in photos.

On Thursday morning, Brooks and I hopped on a plane (though nothing about traveling with little people is quite as simple as "hopping on a plane") for a long weekend in Indiana.

This little guy still remained his happy self even though he has come down with yet another cold. And his grandma was just smitten with some time with her grandson.

For a long weekend away (and only my 3rd weekend away from Owen), I'm so thankful for technology, and the ability to FaceTime my boys.

Since my sickness prevented me from tasting my beloved Pizza King while I was in town over Christmas, we had a re-do. Nom.

Brooks was loved on by cousin Lucy - perhaps a little less enthusiastic about the lovin' than she.

 Meanwhile, back in Kansas City…

One of my weekend highlights was getting to celebrate a cute momma-to-be and seeing some special friends of mine.

For a brief time, I enjoyed a free lap, and these sweet piggies on the plane while Brooks napped. For a brief time.

And I died a little on the inside when I opened my suitcase upon my arrival home.

 But the evening redeemed itself, thanks to a husband who followed behind picking up the pieces while nothing seemed to be going right. And also by preparing a throwback favorite of mine: an orange soda float (a surprise he and Owen had picked up from the store earlier that day.)

I sure did enjoy some sweet time at my Hoosier home. I also was so ready to be hugged by a couple of boys who had the best Daddy-Owen weekend ever, but that I sure was missing. Gearing up for the week of our first winter storm and counting on hot cocoa for dessert!