Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let's go tobogganing, eh?

So, we're in Canada! And what does Canada have, besides Nana and Papa to cuddle, aunts and uncles to entertain, and eight cousins to play with? Canada has snow!

Tyler took Ben for a sledding/toboggan adventure in the backyard on this beautiful, 10-degree, day. Fortunately he had cousin Caleb's old snowsuit, boots, sweater, mittens and hat to keep him warm!

And I got some cute pictures and video...in my pj's, inside the warm house.

ready to tear up the powder

that's a Canadian maple leaf hat, if you're wondering about Tyler


Thursday, December 24, 2009

warm wishes...

from our family to yours...

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Halfway there people!

Last week, I hit the halfway mark in my pregnancy - 20 weeks!
Here's Zoe doting on her little sister (21 weeks):

"Seriously? Really think we need another one of those, Mom?"

Well, she'll grow on her... I'm still giddy over these female pronouns, by the way! The world seems to have taken on a pinkish hue as visions of bloomers, ruffles, and hair bows dance in my head. My mom has already sent some sweet newborn onesies and I racked up at a local consignment shop. I have to say that it's a little overwhelming to stand in a store and know that I can't leave a single item overlooked - boys' and girls'!
I've been feeling her move for the past few weeks, and just love it. I thought it was odd that she seems to be so much lower than Ben was. My doctor said that it's just the way it is after your first. Ohhh....grrreeeaat.
Not nearly as much heartburn this time around, which makes me wonder if I'll actually need those hairbows for a while! I was chomping on the Tums like candy with Ben, but have only needed to pop one a handful of times with this baby.
So, all is well in babyland.

We do have a name but are still working out some kinks in spelling, nicknames - hope to have something solid to annouce soon!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our San Fransisco Treat!

When the opportunity arose in November to visit my sister and her husband in California, we jumped!

Friday: checking out the Redwoods in the rain, touring the Korbel and Sterling vineyards (picked up a bottle of celebratory champagne for once baby girl comes) and enjoying a Thai feast prepared by our hosts.

Saturday: nature day at beautiful, but chilly, Bodega Bay and then an off-the-itinerary drive to the Golden Gate bridge and dinner in Sausalito!

Sunday: was spent in the big city, riding a cable car, eating at Fisherman's Wharf, looking at stinky sea lions, shopping and my first In-and-Out burger experience!

Monday: On our way to the airport, we drove through Muir Forest and jumped out for a quick peek at the Muir Beach overlook - really, really gorgeous.

So many pictures were taken during our trip that I had to condense it to some favorites. (click on the slideshow to read full captions and see bigger images.)

Such a fun trip, sorry it took us so long to do it! Ben was enthralled with Aunt "Dess" and Uncle "Motmo" and still lights up when we mention them. He also was an amazing little traveler, once again - enduring looooong plane rides, adjusting to the time change, sleeping in a borrowed pack-n-play, and napping on the go!

We'll miss Michael but are looking forward to seeing Jess again in less than a week...could get used to these once-a-month visits!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shock and awe...

We're having a baby girl! Shock and awe. And so thankful (seems to be an inadequate word) for a healthy baby with perfect-looking measurements.

Here she is...

These are her parts in question...

doing a little dance...

Actually, her hand and foot never strayed far from her face!
But at least we got a good view of her perfect hand. Sweet baby girl, we're shocked to bring pink into our little family. We're in awe of our Creator who knits you into being and holds you in the palm of His hand.

Grow, baby, grow!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

This is how we gobble, gobble, gobble!

We spent Thanksgiving at my parents' in Nashville!

Ben and I waited patiently
on the cooker and her carver
and also the dark-meat eater
(Canadian's all on his own with this one!)

Ben did a little reading to pass the time
but eventually staged a sit-in by the oven
In the end, it was worth the wait!
"Nice work, Grandma. Even if I did only eat a PB&J."

Twenty-two months old!

I know I keep talking about how much Ben has been talking. But seriously - we, his teachers and our family just keep marveling over how much his vocabulary has exploded lately. He really is such a parrot and such a jabberbox.

Loves to say "I did it!" and "ready....ready....GO!"

Sometimes when Ben is ready to get up before we are, I'll go get him and put him back in bed with us. Sometimes he'll cuddle, sometimes he'll wrestle and lay on my head. One morning he laid there for a minute, then popped his thumb out and said, "Daddy. Melmo. Couch?" Well, Daddy was in the shower, Elmo was not on TV, but we could go to the couch. So he settled for Mommy, Dorge (Curious George), couch.

He's in size 5 diapers still, wearing 18-24 month clothes, and has all of his teeth except for the back molars. He goes to bed by 8 and wakes up between 6:30 and 7, with a 2-hour nap midday. (well, when he's at school - I'm not that great at keeping him on schedule at home...)

His favorite dinner is chicken-poppyseed casserole or spaghetti, loves some french fries, pizza, and sometimes peas, eats lots of Mini Wheats cereal and recently enjoys pineapple.

We've had lots of fun adventures and activities over the past month and many more coming this month that I hope to post about soon!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving message from Ben

So thankful for this little guy and all the people we love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prentices at the Pumpkin Patch

Weeks ago, we visited the Great Pumpkin Patch in Hayden, AL with some fellow ortho-resident families. It was a gorgeous day, but a little, no a lot, chilly. And Ben wasn't actually in a very pumpkin-patchy kind of mood. But we made the most of it!

Family pic on the hayride!
(Ben's bitter about not having sunglasses.)

Picking out the perfect pumpkin
Too heavy.

Got his pack mule on the job!
"Yah, yah, Daddy!"

Appeasing Mommy with a (fake) smile

Now, on to the fun part - a tractor!
"Let's get this baby in gear!"

Fortunately, he did not succeed in that. There were other photo opps galore, but as I mentioned, Ben wasn't really into it. But he and I both had a nice little snooze on the way home!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Preggo Update: 16 weeks

That's four months in non-baby speak.

Ah, poor number two. It happens so quickly. No pregnancy book to record my cravings, mood swings and musings about bringing a life into the world. This baby's already had more caffeine and feta cheese than Ben did by the time he was 3 months old. And forget the sleeping-left-side-only business, I'm enjoying every second of lying on my back. Poor number two.

BUT he/she does have one thing Ben did not - a blog! So I'll record the milestones of our little journey together here. So first, off - here's the bump.
Yup, there it is. Seems like this has been the week of the "pop" - for comparison's sake, I'm about 4 weeks ahead of the last pregnancy. In fact, after getting looked up and down at the office, I was told I'm "gonna be big. Real big." I fear that might be accurate: I've gained three pounds in a month. I'll have to check that detailed preg book of mine, but I don't think I'd had such substantial growth at this point last time.

Also, I learned that baby's heartrate is 150. So let's start with the old wives' tales, shall we? This heartrate indicates a girl. But my non-morning sickness indicates a boy. This list goes on and on, back and forth like that. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see...on December 10!

To sum up the last four months, I'd say this has been an extremely easy pregnancy. I actually have been more symptomatic now that I'm in the 2nd trimester than the first. My doctor said that since my 1st trimester was so easy, the symptoms I'm feeling now that my uterus is growing by leaps and bounds are just more apparent. Bottom line is that everything is perfectly normal, and Tyler and I are so looking forward to adding this little Spud to our family!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bikeapalooza with G & G

A couple of weekends ago, my parents decided, during a skype chat with Ben, that they needed to see the real thing, so they hung up and drove to Birmingham! The weather was beautiful (a rarity when they come to town), and we just had a really fun visit. So glad they're close enough to be able to make that quick trip, and really wish the same were true for Tyler's parents. But we'll see our Northern family in just a few short weeks!

If I could boil our weekend down to one central theme, it would definitely be bikes. Well, bikes and eating. The latter, I'd expect, as that's just what we like to do, but the first is a new theme for our family that really just spans the generations.

While walking around Homewood Village, Ben spotted, and felt a magnetic pull towards the tricycles outside the toy store.
"Well, I can't see over my cheeks, but otherwise, it's awesome!"

"And I don't know what this is, but I'm feeling pretty tough on it."

That evening, we headed for the one place Tyler and I are always confident Ben will fill his tummy... a Mexican restaurant.
No captions, just lots of shoveling, chewing and slurping.

Mom made a sweet little jacket for Ben, but we noticed that when the hood is up and his jeans are baggy, he turns a little ghetto fabulous!
"Yo, yo! I gots my chair cover, and I'm ready to bounce!"
(oh, and he also sat in his juice, explaining the juicy bottom)

The next morning, "Pampa" (Grandpa) and Ben talked bikes,
and then we went to see bikes. My father became a sudden, and unexpected, Harley Davidson enthusiast a year ago, and enjoys a visit to the HD dealer on most trips to Birmingham. I have to say though, I'm not sure who had more fun, my dad or Ben, who attempted to touch every motorcycle on the floor.
Anyone with Photoshop access want to take a shot at putting this picture into a pumpkin-patch background for me?!

Conveniently, a Cracker Barrel happens to be right next door to the dealership, so got them nice and full for their three-hour drive home!
Making good use of the wait at CB.

If you feed your child tofu and carrots, just look away.
(for the record though, he basically just licked the ketchup off the fries)

Getting sleepy snuggles with "Mawma" (Grandma) before saying good-bye.
Now, Mom, try to fight the urge to jump in the car right now...we'll be home in just a couple of weeks!

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Dutt, Dutt, Doose!"

I sincerely hope everyone else's weather was as glorious this weekend as it was in Bham. Everyone deserves a fall weekend like that!

On Sunday, we made a quick visit to Star Lake in Hoover to let Ben meet the local residents. It's an eclectic group consisting of Canadian geese, white and brown ducks and some of the ugliest ducklike-creatures I've ever seen. The outing was a little stressful for Zoe and me, as she wanted to chase the wildlife, and I feared the fowl would try to chase Ben...or worse. We survived. But Ben, well he was in love at first "tack" (quack)!

Putting on a brave face (?) for Ben.
"Ooh, it's funny when they bite Mommy's hand!"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

He's a quirky one!

No doubt about that. The older Ben gets, the more little Ben-isms start to surface. We never know what random object he'll insist on taking to bed (football, dump truck) or why he refuses to eat the last couple of bites of food before demanding more. But it's best to just to let him finish once he gets going on whatever project he's working on. For example, on Saturday night some trick-or-treaters interrupted his candy transfer....bowl to bag, bag to bowl...in mid-shift and the panic in his eyes and shrill shriek as he tried to get prepared for candy delivery was just heart breaking!

Some more examples in pictures:

Sure, he looks like a regular ol crying baby here, but what you can't tell from looking at the picture,
is that he was upset that I was putting the stroller in the shed and insisted in sitting in it even though it was cold outside, and so eventually I went back in the house. He wouldn't even let me put a blanket on him...so finally I had to pull him out kicking and screaming to the warmth of the indoors.

Maybe that's not weird, just a tantrum, right? I mean sometimes, he does just lie down on the middle of the floor when he's frustrated. But other times, it's when he's tired, and sometimes,

it's just because he can.

He likes to make fish faces in places like Sam's.
And dance on the school playground to a rhythm only he hears.

He's always had a thing for socks, but recently,
it's taken a weird turn.

Might be one way to curb the thumb sucking, I guess...

Who knows what all this means. I'm banking on his good imagination and ingenuity taking him far in life. And for now, it sure keeps us laughing!