Christmas Time Is Here

I love Christmas more and more with each passing year, and the kids do nothing but feed the monster. I love to decorate (even if I don't actually get it done); I love the music; and I love buying gifts for everyone!

So when it was time to begin decorating, I had plenty of helpers. The boys helped us get the tree out.

Then they decorated the tree.

Then we HAD to get a Christmas Train! It has been the year of the train in our house.

This year Jacob gets it! We've got the Santa stories going non-stop, our Elf on the Shelf moves every night, we pretend to be on the Polar Express, and we've got the list for Santa memorized. Andrew loves to sing Rudolph, too! Except for the part where he is afraid of Santa. We had a family Santa photo this year. It's a step up from last year where you can actually see tears hanging off of Jacob's face....even with me in the picture.

And it looks like Andrew is going to be afraid of Santa. The kids' school had a night where the kids could decorate cookies with Santa. So Santa made his way around the room, and he eventually made it over to the table where the kids were sitting. Andrew would not even look at Santa, and Jacob sat in Brian's lap because he was afraid.

Decorating Cookies

Scared of Santa sitting right next to him

Andrew's Animals

Andrew actually talks and makes more noise than Jacob ever did at his age. He always has coo'd more and babbled more. I am just not as good at taking the video of him as I was with Jacob.

But the other night, Andrew was in the mood to show off while we were sitting at the dinner table! Right now he is totally into Gorillas. He will walk around like a gorilla, and he likes to bang his chest, too! We have an animal book with lots of animal pictures. He loves to find the gorilla....over and over and over again. It was actually the first thing he asked for this morning (even before his milk!).

In this video, listen carefully as he actually says, "Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!" like Santa Clause. I think only Brian and I can understand the Merry Christmas part, but watch for it. It's the part where he throws his hands above his head.

He used to know that the horse says Neigh, but in the last couple of months, he's changed it to the clicking noise like when they walk. He will actually run around the house and make that noise. Jacob likes that game, too!

You’re So Awesome

I just had one of the most rewarding moments since I became a parent.  Jacob and I were discussing Christmas.  We went thru the entire scenario: Santa opens the fireplace doors, sets out toys for Jacob and Andrew, gets back into the fireplace, goes up the chimney, gets back on his sleigh, and rides off with his reindeer about 10 feet to the next house.  When Santa is finished delivering toys to all of the good little boys and girls, he goes back to the North Pole.  Jacob wanted to clarify that it is the real North Pole that Santa goes back to.  As soon as we were done reviewing Santa’s gig the night before Christmas, Jacob turned toward me, gave me a big hug, and said, “You’re so awesome!”  My heart literally melted!

Then, as if the awesomeness wasn’t enough, he reviewed his daily morning routine: he goes downstairs when he sees our bedroom light on, comes into our room and gets on the bed, we talk for a few minutes, then he tells me he is hungry, and I get his breakfast…”every time” (according to him….with a big smile on his face he says it).  Heart melts more!  It’s like he really appreciates that I do that for him.  What a great night! 

Andrew Dances

Andrew LOVES music! He always has. Back in June he started to show us his awesome (white boy) moves.

So Little Time

Oh my goodness! I do not have any good excuses like Amy and Mary for being blog-lazy. I guess it is just a crazy time. I've got 2 drafts saved, but the posts need pictures and videos. I've been a little behind at work until just a few days ago, and so I've been completely disinterested in looking at my computer in the evenings. So here's a quick update on the stars of my life...the boys.

Jacob can write his name!! I am so proud of him! They started teaching him at school by having him trace the letters they wrote in yellow. But he was free-handing it in no time. Way to go buddy!!

Andrew said his first sentence Saturday morning. "More Waffle Please." It's too bad , he was throwing a fit while he was saying it and I was unable to reward him for asking nicely. I'm proud of him, too! Tonight I helped him with something, and I said, "Now say thank you." He understood exactly what I said, threw his arms out, and made some noise that was his way of saying it, too. He's got the Please thing down; so now we'll work on Thank You.

If you see my facebook posts, you know how much my kids like to play with cleaning tools, particularly floor cleaning tools. Brooms, dust pans, swiffers, steamers, and vacuum cleaners are a huge hit in my house! I just wish they could use them all for real. They can also help to load laundry, move it from the washer to the dryer, and move the dry clothes onto the couch. That is wonderful!

Jacob is also learning to read!! He can recognize the words Fire and Truck in a book we have. His teacher says he is very interested in learning words in some of the games they play.

Andrew has been teething recently and has been quite pitiful. We've been letting him cry it out (he was sleeping all night until this came up), so he is just about completely hoarse. Tonight, for an added bonus, he had the reddest bottom I've ever seen. He was walking around like an old man, and even a cool bath didn't feel good to him. I hope the pitiful days don't last too much longer. I'm ready for my happy boy to be back!

I hope to post the pictures and videos soon! My boys are so precious to me, and I love sharing them on the blog.

Andrew is 15 Months Old!

Andrew is 15 Months Old going on 3 years old! I swear, he seems so much older than when Jacob was 15 months old. Here's the quick list of his new tricks:

Size Stats
- 26 lb 3 oz - about a pound heavier than Jacob at 15 mos.
- 32 inches tall - the same height as Jacob at 15 mos.
- 48.5 cm head circumference - 1 cm bigger than Jacob at 15 mos.

- He is walking everywhere with pretty excellent balance, and now we're working on the running
- Climber! He loves to climb! He's not quite big enough to climb on the couches by himself, and he has not tried to climb out of his crib. But that is coming I'm sure. He does pretty well on the stairs but we keep the gate closed for his safety. He likes to climb on the little table that the boys use for breakfast and dinner. He has a hard time sitting down on the chair (bc he is so dang round), so he'll stand on the chair and wait for us
- Good Eater! This child will eat almost anything! I actually use him for my barometer on how well I cooked a meal. If he won't touch it, I messed it up. Then everyone gets peanut butter and jellies or grilled cheeses.
- Talker! Oh my goodness! I KNOW Jacob did not talk this much at 15 months. He now says Jacob quite often. And he can say fish, cheese, fan, chair, belly button, nose, no, mine, and Papa (my dad). No Mommy or Daddy yet, but we got him to say Papa over the weekend.
- He has become a little annoying to Jacob, but not too bad. The pediatrician told me at this visit, "Unless their lives are in danger or they draw blood, let them fight it out." I usually try to stay out of their way because I can't referee them all the time, nor do I have any interest in doing so! But now I can stay out of their way even more! It's actually kind of cute to see them fight. They don't do it very often. It's funny when Andrew takes something from Jacob, and Jacob starts to chase him. Andrew just turns to where Jacob can't reach him and he scurries away. FUNNY!
- He's still pretty dramatic when things don't go his way. It's nothing to see him start hitting himself or roll in the floor when he's not happy. You'll know for sure! But when he's happy he is the most cuddly little boy! And HAPPY!!!
- Andrew LOVES music! He dances a lot, too!

He is truly a joy, and I cannot imagine our lives without him!

Horse Picture

I LOVE this picture! I think Jacob looks so handsome! And, well, Andrew's face is priceless. It's even funnier because they had individual pictures, too. Jacob is smiling, and Andrew is crying. He actually has the exact same face that he has in this picture. And he has new clothes.

My boys are so amazing! I know I say that quite often. Jacob is completely into role playing right now. He likes to pretend to be Dr. Dickey (his pediatrician), a garbage man, an ambulance driver, and a firefighter. Yesterday he literally spent the entire day playing with his fire trucks pretending that Brian and I were on fire. With me he played out the entire scenario. I'm on fire (it's a little morbid as I write it); the firefighters put out the fire; then I get into the ambulance to go to the hospital (complete bed with a pillow, blanket, and stuffed animal for comfort); and then Dr. Dickey (Brian) comes to check me out at the hospital and wrap up my burns. The game took a turn for the worst when Brian told Jacob that Mr. Bananas (Jacob's favorite stuffed animal) had to be wrapped up because he had been on fire. Actually, the game was over after that.

Yesterday morning Jacob was pretending to be the postman. He brought delivered some letters to Andrew. You know...the magnetic letters that are on my fridge. :) I wish I had been awake to see it, but it was my morning to sleep in.


We've been trying to prepare Jacob for the floor work that will begin tomorrow. He is familiar with construction workers, but not the word contractor. So we've been telling him that construction workers are going to come into the house to put in new floors. He's good with that!

Tonight I slipped and used "contractor." He got a little excited and described the following to me:
"The first construction worker is going to drive the comcracker (con-tractor). Then the second construction worker is going to drive the comcracker." He went all the way to 6, held up 6 fingers and asked me, "Is this six?" That's my sweet boy!

Andrew did WHAT?!?!

I blog a lot about how sweet my little Andrew is. Oh my goodness...he has not been sweet the last few days! He has started to hit and throw really horrid fits!

The other day we were all hanging out in his room. He was hanging around me and then he just walked up and hit me. Of course, it didn't hurt, but it was an intentional doubt about it. So I asked Brian what we can do about that at his age; we concluded that we should just ignore it. Well the very next second he puts his little arm in the air and hits me across the face...full force. What the hell?!?! We decided that he would need to spend some time in his crib when he behaves like least for now.

Then we had another incident this morning. I made a blueberry muffin for his breakfast. I saw him holding the muffin, and he looked confused about what to do with it. So I basically split it in half. He went crazy! He first threw his hands on the table. Then he threw his plate onto the floor; threw his milk on the floor; and attempted to throw Jacob's plate onto the floor. I was shocked (and I'm not going to lie...a little pissed!). So I got him ready for school and he got to eat breakfast there. I'm a little curious about how things will be tomorrow morning.

He still takes his pacifier at night, too. I don't have a problem with it because he doesn't wake up in the middle of the night crying for it. That was all true until 2-3 nights ago. He wakes up between 3-4:00 a.m. and yells for it. In about a week I'd like to take it away. Why a week you ask? They are going to start installing our new floors tomorrow!!! While they are working on the floors we are going to stay at Allison's house. So I don't want to take away his pacifier while we're staying in away from home.

An Unwelcomed Guest

Take a look at what Brian saw crawling out from under our Chaise tonight. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little freaked out.

Edomm Kids Update

Andrew is still talking. I am still amazed by it. Today his sheet from school said that he practiced saying "cracker" during lunch today. So, of course, I got him to say it again here at home! He also says, "bumpity bump." Jacob is completely into pretending to drive trucks - any kind of truck - garbage, fire, ambulance. Anyway, when he drives, I pretend that we drive over bumps and say bumpity bump. Andrew has caught on, and now he will randomly start bouncing up and down and say it. He's getting so big! I think I'm going to get down the 18 month clothes this weekend. The 12 month clothes are getting a little tight.

Jacob has such a cute little imagination, and he really says the funniest things! Like I said before, he pretends to drive all kinds of trucks. If it is a garbage truck, he likes for Brian or me to pretend to be trash and he takes us to the dump. For a fire truck, we put out a fire. And for the ambulance, he likes for us to sit in the back of the ambulance and he takes us to the hospital. At least he is using the truck for the correct purpose!

Jacob also loves to pretend to be a baker. He will put the potholders on his hands, pick up a pretend cake, and bake a cake for me. Last week Andrew decided to play. Take a look!

He was trying to help me here.

Here is a picture of both boys on our Tigger rocking horse! Andrew LOVES it, so naturally Jacob has become interested in it again.

Finally Andrew has learned Ring Around The Rosy. So cute!

Grant Michael

I have a picture like this of Andrew. To this day it is still one of my favorite pictures of him! Thanks Marlene!

I thought I'd share some of my pictures of my new nephew Grant Michael. He is so sweet!

I was so emotional the day he was born. It was like I was having my own children again. Crazy!

Andrew is TALKING!'re reading it correctly! At almost 14 months old, my son has started talking. He says Milk, Ball, Dog, and last night he started waving and said, "Bye Bye." I am in total shock over it! He says "ball" with a cute little southern drawl. Dog is new as of Monday. And on Wednesday he started doing a cute trick that Jacob did. Whenever we would leave Jacob, we would hold up our finger and tell him that we'd be right back. Jacob did this to Andrew on Wednesday night, and so Andrew started holding up his finger and saying his version of Right Back. Of course we weren't there to witness it. But when I held him later and said, "Right back," he looked at me, smiled, and held up his finger.

He learned another old Jacob trick. This one is for Granddaddy.

Andrew has become very attached to his blanket. When I walk into his room to get him in the morning, he bends down to pick it up and then waits for me to pick him up. If it is in his crib (because I hate having blankets on the floor...I'm clumsy and am sure to slip on one some day), he will stand in front of his crib and point to it. I think it is the cutest thing ever! Let's see how cute it is if he doesn't give it up in several years. :)

He and Jacob are starting to fight over toys just a bit. It's really not too bad....yet. And actually, I enjoy it when they fight. Jacob shows potential to be a pushover (he is just too sweet!), so I'm happy to let him fight with Andrew to get his toys back. Andrew is starting to get mad and whine and try to make himself cry when Jacob takes toys back. It's new, so it's still funny.

We do not have ANY plans for this weekend! I'm going to try a new grocery shopping and cooking schedule....boring. Maybe I'll sneak out to catch a peak at my nephew!

Terrible Three's...Sometimes

I love to talk to Jacob these days. Well, I love it most of the time. He is just so funny!

Last night I was reading books with him. He enjoys "The Little Engine That Could." Side Note: It is actually a much longer story than I remember. Anyway, he will flip thru the pages and tell his own little story. We hit the same highlights each night: the yellow engine is the "mean engine;" the clown is the conductor of the black engine, but he doesn't drive the train (he's standing beside it in the illustration); and we say "I think I can" about a hundred times. Last night he told me that the yellow engine did not help the red engine. Then he started talking about Nemo (a favorite at our house). He said that we could not help Nemo to not touch the boat. Only the diver could help Nemo. It was random and very different from what he usually says about Nemo. We've used Nemo as an example for a reason to follow our directions. Nemo did not follow his daddy's directions, so the diver took him.

Just as I was tucking him into bed, he tooted and said "Excuse Me." I didn't hear the toot, so I asked if he tooted. He said, "I say excuse me when I darted at school."

Today they are having a picnic at school. Jacob has been SO excited about this picnic. He signed up to bring popcicles and he has to take a beach towel. He was ready this morning to have a picnic with his friends. Well...ready until I told him it was time to get dressed. EVERY morning we have a meltdown about getting dressed for school. Some of Jacob's other favorite phrases are, "I don't want to," "I dont' want to talk about it," and, of course, "NO!"

Finally, this morning we made biscuits for breakfast. He specifically requested them last night as we were cleaning up from dinner. He likes to help me put the biscuits on the cookie sheet. As he was doing that, he told me, "These biscuits are cold. When biscuits are cold, we put them in the oven to warm them up." Melt my heart!

Mother's Day

My Mother's Day this year was PERFECT! Brian scored major points for making it happen exactly as I wanted!

Saturday morning I got to sleep in until 7:45. That might not sound that late, but kids are usually ready to go at 6:00...every single day. We had plans to go to the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science, and we wanted to be there when it opened to get the most out of our trip before nap time. We made it to the museum right at the time it opened. It was our first trip, and I'm sure it won't be our last. We had a really good time. Then the boys napped on the way home and for another hour and a half after we got home.

That evening we went to dinner at Texas Land and Cattle. I had been craving it for several weeks, and I made it count. Fried jalapenos for an appetizer, a huge entree, wine, and dessert. The boys behaved very well, yet again!

On Sunday I got to sleep in until 9:30! How nice was that?!?! We really didn't do much all day. I think Brian took the boys to the store to go grocery shopping and I got to hang out and watch tv. That evening we went to Grandmother's house to have dinner with everyone.

The best part of Mother's Day was that I did not have to do a damn thing all weekend! Brian had been working on the weekends for the previous 3 weeks or so, and he took care of the boys' every little need. It was so nice!

1 and 3 Year Pictures

Here are some scanned copies of the 1 and 3 year pictures I had taken of the boys. They were so good that day! I took them by myself because Brian had to work. I was completely prepared with snacks, sandwiches, and cookies to bribe them to stay in front of the camera. It all worked! And the pictures turned out really well. I don't think you can really see how good they are on the scanned versions. For me, they were so good that I was scammed into buying one of their framed sets. I have a great spot for it in my house, and Brian liked it, too! The whole day was just great! (omg...I knew the quality wasn't great, but really sucks!)

Happy Birthday Jacob!

Jacob had the BEST birthday ever! I'm so happy that I made a big deal about it.

The weekend before his birthday, we had a party at Pump It Up! Jacob was so excited! The theme, of course, was fire trucks. Mostly family was at the party. I think the party was a huge success!

On his birthday, which he knows is Tax Day, we sent cupcakes to the school, and his friends sang Happy Birthday to him. I think he loved it! After school, I picked him up and took him to the fire station. We drive by the fire station every day as a reward for his not having any accidents. But his birthday was special! We walked around the fire station and got to sit in a few fire trucks! He was in heaven! We were there for 45 minutes, and even then we were kicked out because they had to go help people in a car accident. I was so excited to take him, and I'm glad he enjoyed it so much!

At home he opened presents, ate some cake, and then we played with the new toys! He got this new fire truck for his birthday. It is a HUGE hit in the house!

Jacob's birthday was more heartbreaking for me than Andrew's. I just cannot believe that he is 3! He is getting so big, and while we have our 3 year old moments, he really is a great kid! He is starting to get a little sense of humor. We were playing on his easel, and he said, "J-A-C-O-B spells Mommy." I looked around the corner to look at him, and he was smiling so big. He knew he was funny! He was 38.25 inches tall and 31.8 pounds at his checkup. He loves to read books and play with his brother! I am so proud of the big brother that he is! I could not have asked for it to work out any more perfectly.
We are a little concerned with his speech because we are the only 2 people who can understand him all the time. We even have moments where we have no idea what he is saying. So next Monday we are going to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor to have his hearing checked. I'll keep ya posted.
UPDATE: Jacob's hearing is fine. Now we are trying to get him into some speech therapy. Honestly I've seen a slight improvement in the last few weeks. I'm not that worried about it, but we're getting an evaluation anyway. It looks like it could be July or August before we can get in, though.

We're in Trouble Now...

The boys have been cute recently, but the house has basically been uneventful. Jacob is so funny and he is still singing all the time! The other night at dinner he just started singing, "I'm so proud to be an American, be an American, be an American...." Brian and I just giggled between ourselves because we could not believe he was singing that! It was so cute! Tonight he had a hooded towel on his head and he kept telling us that he was the scary Easter bunny. We told him that the Easter bunny is not scary; Uncle Derek is scary (from his dressing up as the Homer Simpson Easter bunny at my parents' party). So then he started pretending to be Uncle Derek and he wanted to scare us.

Up until tonight (April 21), Andrew had not walked very much around the house. He had taken a few steps, but his preferred way of moving around the house was crawling. Last night I think I saw his "Ah-Hah" moment. He was standing up near the couch, and he took a step. Then I could see his little wheels turning in his head, and he took about 10 more steps. That was pretty awesome to see him processing his thoughts about walking. But he completely took off today! Here is a video clip.

Andrew is also a climber. He loves to try to sneak his way up the stairs, but he never makes it higher than 1 or 2 steps. Jacob got a fire truck that he can drive and ride for his birthday, and Andrew can climb in it and stand on the seat. I have not seen him do this, but Brian says it is all he wanted to do Saturday evening. We will definitely be busy keeping him safe for a while.

School Birthday Party

We sent cupcakes to school on Andrew's birthday. Here is a picture from his school birthday party. Love that smile!

Happy Birthday Andrew!

Well...he did it. He actually turned 1. I'm sad about it and so happy all at the same time. I know I've said it many times before, but I truly look at him and think that he is only 6 months old. Okay...let's pick it up a little and get on with the exciting things Andrew has been up to.

He is 23 lb. 3 oz. He is 30 inches long, and his head circumference is 48 cm. I think he looks like a chunky monkey, but for weight he is in the 56th percentile. His body shape is definitely different than Jacob's. He can fit into 12 month clothes pretty good, but I think 18 months would give him a little wiggle room. What else is he up to?

  • He sleeps all night! He has been doing it for about the last month or so solid. Mommy like! He goes down for bed between 8:00 and 8:30 (just like Jacob), and he wakes up between 5:30 and 6:00 (just like Jacob). So it is REALLY nice that they are on the same schedule.
  • We have taken away the pacifier during the daytime daycare at least. At home on the weekends we still rely on it a little bit. It's a work in progress.
  • Andrew is an excellent eater! He really likes table food. Side note - on the weekends, he is even on the same eating schedule as Jacob! It's not a big deal now, but it was a couple of months ago.
  • He likes books. He is so cute with a book! He'll flip the pages and touch them. Jacob wasn't quite like that at this age.
  • Andrew LOVES to play in the water! I cannot wait to see him in Grandmother's pool!

  • He has made a pretty smooth transition from formula to whole milk. He still demands a drink first thing in the morning, but we're working on that. He had quite a meltdown this morning about the whole thing. Temper temper!
  • He is so stinkin' cuddly! I love to just hug on him. And right now he seems to like to hug on me. :)

  • He always has a smile on his face. He loves to show off his 8 pearly whites! Of course, Mommy gets the biggest smiles!
  • He is WALKING as of Sunday. I've tried to make him walk, and he would just take one tiny step and fall into me. But on Sunday he was at Grandmother's house with Brian, and he was standing at her coffee table. He decided he wanted Brian, so he let go of the coffee table by himself, took one step to Brian, and fell into him. Then he walked at school today. I finally got to see it when he got home. He took about 3 steps to me. I can't wait to see both boys running in the house and outside!

It's been a fast year! I just adore my baby boy, and I can't wait to see everything to come in his second year!

Jacob Says "John Deere"

Andrew Eats Fruit

Sarah's Baby Shower

Today was Sarah's family baby shower. I had a lot of fun working with Gloria to put it all together.

First we had the big name reveal. Sarah made the letters and blocks to set out for his name, Grant Michael. I'll admit, it took me a few minutes to warm up to the name. But the more I say it, the more I like it! It's very cute! It's way better than Graham or Benjamin. :)

The first part was just mingling. Look who I got to hold for a while! Little Olivia! I'd like to say she liked me for me, but we're pretty sure she could smell milk on me (I'm still nursing Andrew). She was giving me kisses and crawling all over me later during the shower. She was so sweet! And she smelled so good, too. Boys do not smell like that.

Then it was time for Sarah to open gifts. The theme for the nursery is barnyard animals.

This little shirt says, "My Aunt Rocks." I just couldn't resist when I saw it at Target!

Back to Blogging

I still have not caught up my blog completely, but I've hit most of the highlights that I wanted. I really enjoy my blog, and I've decided to make more of an attempt to keep it up to date. So here is a little update about the last couple of weeks in our world.

Strep Throat 2010 took over our house almost 2 weeks ago. Oh my goodness...I cannot tell you how good it feels to be almost back to our normal chaotic life rather than the sick chaotic life. I came down with it on Tuesday, February 16. I was in bed for the next 4 days. I finally got drugs on Day 3, and the found out I also had pink eye on Day 4. Then Brian came down with it on Saturday evening, but I thought he was just tired of flying solo with the kids for 4 days. So he woke up sick on Sunday, and I sent him straight to Care Now. Then we decided to take the boys to see their doctor on Monday. I didn't think they would find anything wrong with Jacob, but I wanted him there in case they could give him something to prevent him from getting sick. Well, Jacob tested positive for strep, and Andrew had a red throat and an ear infection. The boys had to stay home on Tuesday, so I stayed home to help Brian. Then Jacob woke up and threw up on Wednesday. But everyone went where he was supposed to go on Thursday. The 3 boys in my house are still on drugs for strep. And today Brian started feeling ill again. Great.

Jacob has been so funny lately. I really can't say anything specific; he is just so chatty and he says funny things. He's at a great age! Sharing is a CONSTANT challenge. I just have to remind myself that his little world is so small compared to mine, so the toys are a huge deal to him. He still enjoys helping around the house. I'm the one with the problem with that; I don't have much patience, but I am working on it. About a month ago, Jacob moved upstairs into his big boy room. We put a gate upstairs to keep him from wandering down the stairs in the middle of the night, but we still need to make it a boy's room. Today we went shopping and picked up a few things for his big boy room. We got some Toy Story sheets, Toy Story wall decals, and a closet rod extender that would allow him to pick out his own clothes from his closet. I'm excited to set it all up tomorrow!

And for Andrew we've been working on his horrible sleep patterns (thanks to me for creating them). He's doing pretty well...he doesn't scream for 2 hours in the middle of the night anymore. Now our biggest battle is with his food. He likes food either in puree form or table foods; but he does not like the level 3 baby foods. So now my challenge is to make table foods that I can give to him, too. It won't be that bad; I just need to shift my thoughts to include him, too!

I had a great day with the kids today! I took them out of the house after naps so that Brian could rest. We went to the park and did some shopping. While shopping we had dinner at the food court in the mall. Jacob took off his favorite jacket, Buzz Lightyear of course, while he was eating. When we got to the car to leave the mall he asked me, "Where is my jacket?" Dang! We left it in the food court. I feel so bad about it as if I have lost my own favorite jacket. If I thought I would actually make it, I would have driven back out to the mall after the kids were put in their beds.

Big John

We had another unexpected death on January 26. My grandpa, Big John, passed away of a massive heart attack in the early evening hours.

I feel that his death could not have happened any more perfectly for him. He was outside, doing some chores, and he never knew what hit him. He would have been a horrible patient had he lived through the heart attack. And he was at a friend's house, so he was found pretty quickly after it happened.

I spoke with him around 3:00 that afternoon. He called the shop almost every single day, and I so miss seeing his name across our caller id and hearing his voice. He sounded like he was on top of the world that afternoon. He asked me, "Is things clickin'?" Of course, I told him they were. I had been out the day before with a sick child, so I had been busy all day long. He asked me about his great-grandsons, and I told him they were great. I had made a conscious decision not to tell him that one of them had been sick because I did not want him to worry about them; they are always sick because of daycare. However, I was always honest with him about the boys, and I can't tell you why I decided to just leave it alone during this particular conversation. His purpose for calling was to talk to my Uncle John to see if he would crawl under his house to see if he had termites. I hung up the phone laughing because I knew John would just LOVE that! It's just funny and so typical of my grandpa.

The two days following his death were full of phone calls to everyone we could think of notifying about his death. I was completely numb. Steve and I kept telling each other, "I cannot believe we are doing this. It just doesn't feel real."

I loved him so much (and I still do). I am so sad that my kids will have no memory of him. He was just one of a kind. I have memories of him where I know if my kids had experiences like that with any of their grandparents, Brian would freak out.

I am so happy that now Grandma, Russell and Grandpa are back together. They always had a special chemistry and they always needed each other.

Here is a slideshow of pictures that Steve put together for the service. We did not use this song in the service, but I think it is fitting for the last year of his life; I truly feel like he is back home with my grandma and Russell. I would've wanted it in the service had I thought of it while we were planning the music. Instead I heard it on my iPod on the morning of the day of his service. I love you and miss you Grandpa!

Andrew's 9 - 10 Month Update

In some ways I cannot believe that Andrew is 10 months old now, and in other ways I can. He is such a sweet boy and more fun-loving than Jacob, although he tends to have a bit of a temper when things don't go his way (mainly about eating). I know I've written it in other blogs, but he truly loves his brother. I love the way they look at each other!

At his 9 month checkup, Andrew weighed 19 lb 6 oz and was 28-1/4" lg. He is a total cuddler, especially with Mommy. He loves to get in the middle of whatever Jacob is doing and try to steal his toys. Sharing is now a constant lesson in our house. He pulls up on everything, and I think he will be walking very soon. It's the only way to keep up with the big boys. Bathtime is a favorite for Andrew. He just splashes and splashes. I am totally soaked by the time he gets out of the tub. And he totally prefers to take a bath with Jacob rather than by himself. He seems to be a picky eater. Actually, I'm not sure if it is that or that he has a sensitive gag reflex. Textures are a big deal with him. So where Jacob jumped right into table foods, Andrew is coming along in that sense very slowly. He still only has 7 teeth, and we get to see them all the time! I love how smiley he is!

Here are some pictures and a video full of clips of Andrew from the 9-10 month ages.

Christmas 2009

(Please ignore the fact that it is February and I'm just posting my Christmas blog)

Christmas was GREAT! It was the best yet! We always have a lot of different celebrations to attend.

This year we started on December 20 at Grandpa and Gram's house (Earle and Deb). Jacob made a new friend, Jake. He is Deb's youngest son; I think he's 11 now. Jake was so nice to Jacob and kept him occupied all evening. Andrew enjoyed chasing the cat around the house. We always have a great time at their house. Here are pics from that evening (Aunt Em and Andrew, Antonio, and Aunt Em with Jacob and Andrew).

On Christmas Eve, it snowed and iced like crazy. I was so happy that the kids got to have a white Christmas, although they will never remember it and I'm sure we didn't take enough pictures. Emily and Antonio had a party on Christmas Eve. Brian and Grandmother went to the party together because we didn't want to haul the kids in the ice; Texans CANNOT drive in that crap. Our tradition in our family is to read The Night Before Christmas before the kids go to bed. I tried to keep Jacob up so that we could carry on the tradition, but he totally crashed while we watched a movie. Brian and I were a little bummed, but we were excited that Jacob would get to play in the snow on Christmas morning!

We woke up Christmas Day and did our family thing. It was so fun to watch Jacob. He was finally old enough to get it. And, as bad as I feel saying it, for me it was all about Jacob this Christmas. We bought Jacob a little Thomas train set. He was having some trouble working it and it was a little flimsy, so Santa had to end up getting him a GeoTrax train set in January. We did keep the other track and the trains. Now the trains are a constant source of frustration for Jacob; Andrew likes to play with them, too! So here are a few pics from our family Christmas.

And here is a shot of Jacob in the snow on Christmas morning! He had so much fun!

So with the snow, we did not leave our house on Christmas until 4:00 in the afternoon...with 2 more places to go by the end of the day. Our next stop was Grandmother's house. Aunt Becky and Uncle Tom came into town, and we were so happy that they made it! Emily, Antonio, and Sirius came over, too!

Becky and Tom got The Beatles Rock Band. Emily and Antonio had another stop to make that evening, too. So we all decided that we were going to go to our next stops and meet back at Grandmother's to rock out!

Our next stop was Big Gaga's. I was so happy to catch my cousin Robbie and his wife Ericka and their daughter Olivia. Olivia is so sweet! I hate that they live in Austin and we can't see them more often. I did not get any pictures of Christmas at Gaga's.

So back to Grandmother's we went. Becky and Tom did not participate in playing the game, but Antonio, Emily, Brian, and I had a great time! I think we finally left the house at 2:00 a.m.

December 26 was another full day. We had to be in Kaufman by noon for the Paxton family Christmas. We were all so happy to have it at Big John's house this year. We all ate really well, did our gift exchange game, and then visited the cemetery to take some wreaths to Russell and Grandma. It was a very nice Christmas, and I'm so thankful now for it. Again, I suck at taking pictures; I have none, but I'm told that my mother got some good shots.

After Kaufman, we went to Red Oak for Christmas with my family. I think the best part was when my parents opened their gift from all of us. We got them tickets to the last regular season Cowboy game at the new Cowboys Stadium. Oh my goodness! My mom's face says it all. They were truly surprised and so excited! Here are the pics.

So Christmas is usually a little chaotic with scheduling everything and trying to make sure we do not stress ourselves out just to make it to all of the different places. But I'm always so thankful for my family, Brian's family, Brian, and most importantly my babies. I feel so lucky that we all get to spend that time together.