Thursday, August 25

august is rushing by

wow. 2 weeks since my last post.
Well, no one seems too worried. =)
We have had quite an eventful last few weeks and will continue for the next 2 weeks. After that, I believe things are going to slow down a bit. Of course I always think that will happen and I'm not sure that it does.
 Many things to be thankful for {namely: some perfect weather, a long stretch of healthy kiddos, several date nights and good times with friends}!
Also very grateful for my kiddos who remain their
happy-slightly-crazy-selves always. :-}
One of Graham's recent favorite things is to pull out his drum full of instruments post-lunch-pre-naptime and we have music time. Eden's faves are the maracas, tambourine, and clacker. Graham likes the cymbals, triangle, and anything he can beat with a drumstick. It's a noisy half hour. =)
Andrew & Graham are also loving the Home Depot workshops that happen on the first Saturday of every month. If you have little ones, you should definitely check it out!
Graham is doing a little better at playing with Eden.
 i.e., not just pushing her over for fun. :-/
and yes, she is wearing shiny, satin pink shorts on a Monday, because that's how she rolls. :)
But some of the brotherly torture will always be there.
borrowing Mr. Potato Head's specs.
We've had a few cool, fall-ish days, which felt amazing.
Playing outside with a little hat & jacket was perfect.
We've spent a lot of summer evenings
hanging out on the front porch!
Apparently it was a brown kind of day.
And who took this pic? Kristin?! :)
Our local riverboat cruise line asked me to come check out one of their kid's cruises
(to promo for the Momtourage).
Why, certainly!
So we headed on board for the Macaroni & Magic Cruise!

We had the most perfect weather!
I love summer evenings!

I have seen my husband express a lot a wisdom over the last few weeks and I love him even more for it.
the plan was that she would fall asleep.
9:30pm. hmmmmmmm.
We had a great time ~ enjoyed a yummy buffet, and fun magic show!
Definitely recommend the Gateway Clipper Fleet when you're in the 'Burgh!
We did feel the earthquake this week. Very thankful it didn't end up being destructive.
Thinking of our beach friends this weekend as Hurricane Irene moves in. 
And hoping that it doesn't damage the condo that we're headed to in OBX next weekend! 

And that's the latest.
Happy weekend to you all! 


Thursday, August 11


Graham is officially halfway to 3. wow.
He keeps us on our toes by the minute, there's no doubt. And is constantly cracking us up with what comes out of his mouth. Today at lunch he suddenly fell over sideways onto the floor. I think even he was surprised. We had a good laugh at that one. Usually when he falls, he pops back up and says "i'm o-tay. i'm a real man." (thank-you daddy.)
Some of our favorite phrases of his include:
be right back. As in, I'm going to the store, I'll be right back. thankfully he hasn't actually left the house yet. =)
I need to check something.
allright,thankx. He uses this phrase after almost everything you tell him. Graham, you need to go sit on the stairs for a time-out. allright, thankx. Maybe he doesn't understand the true meaning of thankful yet. :)
Come on guys, follow me.
Ready? Ready? When he wants dinner or we're leaving for somewhere, this comes up a lot!
WHY? oh my, we're hearing this word never-ending! Someone once told me that little ones use this because they want more information or to keep the conversation going, but they don't know what else to say. So for me, that has helped me be more patient in explaining details, plans, etc.....
This is a face we often see.
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but he now calls me "babe" almost all the time. It started as him hearing it from Andrew and at first I corrected him and so then he called me "mommy-babe". Andrew & I were just discussing whether he calls me mommy at all now. Maybe I should be correcting him. But I know that all too soon this phase will pass and I'll probably miss it. :) He often calls Andrew "buddy" as well!
When he really wants my attention its "babe, babe, mommy-babe, babe, mommy-babe...."
I'm sure people in public are not sure what he is saying!
dancing with mommy-babe
When we tell him no for something, his new favorite is to come back with "but mommy said or daddy said....." where did he learn to do that?! Or my personal favorite {after trying to use the bathroom on the front lawn again}, "Avalon's mom said I could." Well, mister, I spoke with Avalon's mom and she has no recollection of this chat. Crazy kid. =)
I think Andrew's face says it all.
He is SO much into pretending right now. It's quite funny to hear him playing and hear him injecting pieces of our lives into whatever scenario he is doing. He loves to pretend our couch cushions are surfboards and tells many elaborate stories with his much-loved matchbox cars.
We are heading to the beach in a few weeks and when I told him, he immediately said, "bring my shovels for the sand and see Mama & Papa". I was quite astounded seeing that it's been almost a year ago that we went to the beach! He doesn't forget anything.
Golf & tennis are his current favorite sports! Since he has discovered daddy & mommy have golf clubs and that he can use them in the backyard, he has been very excited.
After we moved, he went through quite the rough patch. It was definitely our most challenging parenting moments {weeks!} so far. He has never been a melt-down kid, and suddenly we were having meltdown upon meltdown upon meltdown. Thankfully, he seems to have moved past the worst of it, but I think I am now understanding what they mean by the terrible twos. =) Praying for grace & wisdom as we seek to train him to love God & love others.
We love you, Graham Owen.
Just as God's love never wavers for us when we sin, so our love for you never wavers. But some days we have to ask for your forgiveness, because our patience does.
We love all the "jokes" you tell and hearing you say "that's silly, babe."

Another struggle that has suddenly come upon us is sibling jealously. I think you try to prepare for it when you know a baby is coming home. Overall, Graham seemed to transition very smoothly. But in the last 2 weeks, we have seen some very sad behavior. He will walk by and hit her or try to poke her in the eyes or push her over. It's made me so sad and I feel so protective of my little girl! What I've realized though is this: in the last 2 weeks she has become an independent sitter as well as started to eat solids and so suddenly she is playing with "his" toys and eating with "his" tableware. I think this is VERY upsetting to Graham and so he is acting out because of it. Like "well, she can live here, I guess, but what? use my spoon? no way! =)  So we're talking a lot about love and hurt and kindness these days.
I am starting to see some signs of improvement. Eden loves to watch him. If you haven't seen the video on facebook of her cracking up at him, it's very sweet. Check it out here.

And then our Eden-girl is 6 months! What a fun age! She has taken up a new favorite past-time which is squealing. Gracious, that girl can screech. :) Seems to be in good fun though.
She loves, loves, loves her toes. They come in very handy when mommy doesn't have a toy nearby. :)
She is loving life, loving sitting up to play, loving gobbling is pretty good!
She loves blowing raspberries. When she is upset she trys blowing rapsberries to comfort herself and sounds a little like a woman in labor. =)
Her system is still getting used to the new foods and she's still figuring out to pass them, so I think she's had some upset tummys in the past few days. :( I'm so thankful to finally be beyond cleaning diapers of the runny kind! Oxyclean has been a very close friend the past 6 months. =)
She's thinking about dropping that 3rd nap she usually takes around 4:30. It's only been about 15 minutes the last few days, so she's probably ready to drop it. Other than that, she takes a great morning & afternoon nap and usually sleeps 7-6:45. She's woken up at 4am the last 2 days, I am guessing 6 month growth spurt. Hopefully it is short-lived!
She really doesn't like to be left alone when I have to tend to Graham for something. That's usually the only times she really gets upset.
We are so excited to have retired the swing & boppy! It's always nice to be able to put away some of that space-cramping baby gear.  
are those some serious ankle rolls I see?!
One of her most favorite things is to play peek-a-boo. I started doing it by covering my eyes and now when I lay her on the changing table she immediately covers her eyes with her hands!
I love this pic of her & my sister!
We love you Eden Hope!
You are such a joy and {usually} so patient.
We love your smiles & giggles and it's so fun seeing you learn new things continually! 
All I request is that you go back to your 7am wake-up call. =)

Monday, August 8

some good gadgets

There are so many, many baby items out there! All new moms know the feeling of looking up the Babies R Us *absolutely must have* list, only to immediately be skeptical about the 6,000 items on it (as you should be). Then comes the desperate plea on facebook, "ok moms, what do I really need?" It's a tricky thing though, because all babies are different. I personally would have put a baby swing & exersaucer on a "maybe" list, only to find that these were probably 2 of my most used items with both of my kids. But then, some kids scream at the sight of a swing. :)
We are very blessed to live in a day of having so many conveniences available to us. I couldn't even count the number of times when I've been out and an older lady has said to me, "wow, I wish I had *that* when my kids were little"!

Here's 2 of my newest favorite gadgets.
Not ~ can't live without ~ but most definitely handy!
The Boon company was generous enough to do a give-a-way for my Momtourage group a couple months ago and also sent me this handy little spoon to try for myself.
By the way, are their products fun or what?!
(I also have one of their fluid sippy cups.) And how much would I like to have some of their Groovy ModWare (customizable plates and dipping bowls) for a little boy that likes to dip in everything from ranch to raspberry vinigrette to tomato-basil hummus. :)
So you just screw off the white spoon part, put baby food in the handle and then it squirts thru a tiny hole into the spoon. It's advertised for "on the go", but I have been using it at home almost every day (though it's definitely amazing for taking with you as well!) Maybe because I have a baby girl who starts squawking every time the spoon is empty, =) but it sure is handy. AND seems to be a little bit less messy for little fingers that like to "help".
The next gadget was purchased out of sheer desperation (and sleep deprivation). =)
Of course, you know by the price, that the company is well aware of that. :)

Graham went through a really rough sleep period when we moved into our new house. The child that has been sleeping 12+ hours a night for over 2 years was suddenly wandering into our room at 11pm, 1am, 3am, & 5am....... AGH! This went on for about 2 weeks (hence my desperation.)
I had heard about the Good Nite Light from others and had even recommended it to friends. But when I went to purchase, it seemed that there was several issues that people didn't like about it. (Though it definitely works for some people!) A lot of people were suggesting this Teach Me Time clock as a better alternative. Again, a little pricey, however because this can be used a clock & alarm clock indefinitely, we decided it was worth it. You set the clock for it to light up at a set time. It first lights up yellow and then turns green. Some people use it as a nightlite and it's yellow all night and then when it turns green, kids know they can get up. Graham doesn't use a nightlight, so we have it set to come on (yellow) at 6:45 and then he knows he can sit in bed and read books. At 7:15 it changes to green and he knows that he can get out of bed. It's worked really great. The sleeping thru the night worked itself out, but I think it's such a great concept for little ones when they wake up in the morning, since they don't know whether it's 5am or 7am! Especially with the bright summer sun, no matter how hard you try to cover those windows. =)
I'm also thinking when the time comes that he drops his afternoon nap (hopefully not any time soon of course!), that it will be handy for helping him track having quiet time in his room.
So.........there you go. 2 things that I'm enjoying. 
Do you have any handy gadget that are streamlining your life these days? 

Friday, August 5

We have so enjoyed a lovely week with my sister Katie!
We made lots of yummy meals {chicken stir-fry, tomato soup with cheesy quesadillas, homemade pizza, shimp-mango kabobs with taboule salad, beef stroganoff, fettuccine with ricotta, tomato, & basil, whole-wheat buttermilk blueberry pancakes} and goodies {scones, granola bars, chocolate chip cookies - did you know you could sub avacado for 1/2 the butter in cookies and they taste the same?!} I may have done a lot of cooking, but she was always right behind me doing the dishes. Loved that. :) We went to the Zoo, the park, took walks, Rita's, Dairy Queen.........and just enjoyed spending time together! She also was so generous in watching the kids so I was able to take Graham to see the movie Wizard of Oz, Andrew & I snuck in a date night, and I got to have coffee with a dear friend.
Yes, I'd say it was a very full week. =)
As always, she had her camera a'snappin!

His first band-aid - it's hard to believe he made it 2.5 years!

We call this her scrunch-smile.
She snapped some family pics for us as well!

Thank you for making the trip to see us!
We love you, dear sister.
& miss, miss, miss you so much when we're apart.

Monday, August 1


Last weekend, some friends of ours that we have known since college, made Pittsburgh their meeting spot. We were happy to see them and hang out with them for the weekend!

One minor point, as with the rest of the country, we were facing record high temps. On friday I believe it hit 105 + humidity. And that's when our neighborhood tranformer blew. So we proceeded to be without power, lights, fans, a/c, etc....for about 20 hours. It was so hot. My poor kiddos were covered in sweat when they were sleeping. Not what you want to happen, especially when you have guests. :-/ We made it though and it finally came back on!

Graham had so much fun with Brynne.
It's hard to s.h.a.r.e. when you're two.
But most of the time they had lots of fun!

I wasn't one itty.bitty.bit. desiring to be in their state. :)
They were troopers!
We all played volleyball in college together.
This reminds me why I played back row and they played front. =)

So Graham was allowed to go without many clothes for much of the weekend because it was so hot. I am sure we looked like total hippy parents. I promise, he usually does wear clothes. :)
We came home from church on Sunday and were having one last meal before they all left. Somehow G ended up in just his tighty whiteys. (Does anyone else get distracted when you have company and feel like you don't know what your child is really doing?!)
 Then as we were saying goodbye on the front porch, he suddenly drops those and starts peeing in our front yard. Yep, one of our most embarrassing parent moments to date.
Did I mention we were hippies? =)  
I can only hope Brynne is not scarred for life.