Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Family photos

Karen and Kirt recently paid us a quick visit on their road trip through Fayetteville and Dallas.  We tried to show them a good time, including a visit to North Park Mall, several favorite restaurants and a stop at the beloved Pokeyos.  Just before our final dessert stop of the trip, we headed to the SMU campus to Perkins Chapel, where our friend Jackie got married the night before.  It is a beautiful place and I knew it would be a great spot for some family photos, which Karen likes to get during her visits.  

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that the boys really hit these photos out of the park.  Kari accused me of photoshopping the results but I assure you this is straight out of the camera.  It was a beautiful night and the boys were in rare form.  Plus, I had three people doing pretty ridiculous stuff for some genuine smiles right behind me.  You can see all the photos in the August photo album, but my favorites are below.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Hey, brother"

Here's another installment of pictures of Emmett and Theo together, one of Emmett's very favorite things.  These days Theo is showing how much he enjoys watching Emmett do anything, really.  And that only encourages Emmett to keep on acting crazy.  I must admit that it's pretty funny to watch Em try and make Theo laugh.  

Em made T a pillow "spaceship."

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Theo at five months

What's up with Theo this month?  Since he doesn't go to the doctor until next month I thought I'd share some of the new things he's been doing.

I'll start first with this new trick, which is as much fun as it looks!  

Diaper changes are impossible now that Theo likes to turn his body into an upside down U.  He also enjoys grabbing and pulling the curtains, which is why they are almost always propped open while he's on the table.  It was only a matter of time before he turned this trick into a full-on roll, which I happened to catch on camera the second time.

He has rolled over a couple more times while on a bed, but never on the floor.  I'm sure it will happen soon.

We started Theo on some rice cereal mid-month, but he was not a fan.  I had been toying with the idea of doing baby-led weaning, which is basically waiting until 6 months to give babies small portions of what you eat, bypassing purees altogether. So now I've decided to read up on the BLW book I ordered and give that a try next month.  Theo still nurses about ever 4 hours and can go longer at night.  When given an 8 oz. bottle he went 7 hours between feedings!

Things Theo likes:
Being lifted up by his hands
Sucking on a (clean) washcloth during bath time
Pulling off the velcro owl from his bouncy seat
Making spit bubbles by doing raspberry mouth trick
Playing in his exersaucer
Watching Emmett play with toys (or do anything, really)

I could take a million photos of this boy while he sleeps.  Such a peaceful time.  He's been napping very well.  Usually two 2-hour naps and one shorter nap and on to bed at 7pm.

One of the cutest things Theo does is nuzzle his head into your shoulder sheepishly like he's embarrassed.  He often does this after someone has made him smile.  It is the best!

Theo loves to scratch at stuff with his hands.  His little fingers start moving on every new surface: jeans, sheets, the couch, whatever.

Fun fact:
Theo has a very ticklish back.  Even when I just try and rub his back before I put him in his crib he will sometimes arch it to get away from the "tickling."  Needless to say, his dad tortures him whenever he can.

Theo has been chewing a lot lately, too.  He loves to chew on my finger (as shown above), but he will also chew on plastic rings and hopefully a little teether elephant I bought for him because his gums are surprisingly powerful (ouch).

We switched Theo's binky out for a new kind (the same kind Emmett used, mam) because he kept pulling out the old kind by the handle.  I've since bought some that have a solid outer piece, which work a lot better.  He is really only a binky guy when going to sleep.

Rocking the bumbo seat pretty well these days, too.  He was keeping me company while I pulled weeds outside.  Just sitting and watching and chewing on his hands.  Typical stuff for this guy.  Happy five months, brother!

PS. Getting a little bit more hair, too!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Month by Month: Five

I have gone on and on (and on) about your smile and happy demeanor, and while those things are still the biggest part of what defines you, there's something else we need to talk about this month: your strength.  

The other day I was cleaning in the kitchen (or sitting on my butt, who can recall?) while you were upstairs napping.  I began hearing a thud sound and couldn't figure out what it was.  I peeked through the blinds out front and when I heard it again I knew it was coming from upstairs.  Given that your brother was at school, I knew it had to be you.  When I looked through the crack in the door I saw you lying there slamming your legs down on your mattress.  I'll say again, you were slamming your legs down with such force that I heard it reverberate downstairs.  

Of course, this wasn't the first instance where your strength was put on display.  You've been able to support your weight while standing for two months now.  I'll refrain from making a weight joke here, but you get my drift.  All I have to do is help you keep your balance and your little legs lock up with a bodybuilder's precision.

All this was fine and good and I was really quite proud of your muscles until the day you began to contort your body on the changing pad.  I'll be real with you: changing diapers sucks.  It's easily the worst part of being a new parent (minus the sleep deprivation, hair loss, worry, and fear that you're doing it wrong...where was I going with this?).  So, when you take a task that is already not very fun and add a baby who would like to roll himself off the changing table to his demise, it becomes...challenging, is the word I'll go with.  I'm going to keep this PG so you can read it aloud to the class at your elementary school graduation.  

After the newness of the body contortionism wore off you began to use your super strong legs to propel yourself backwards off the pad, which means your head plops onto the table top with a nice thwunk.  Although I've tried to reason with you about how "this was your own doing" and "you have no one to blame but yourself" you still insist on looking at me as though I've failed you.  Well, I'm sorry.

But here's the thing.  I cannot stay even the teeniest bit mad at you.  You've been waking me up consistently once or twice a night for the last five months.  That's a long time, five months.  Sleep deprivation ain't no joke, I'll tell ya what.  But I get up at night, groggy and tired, and head into your room and you are just beaming at me.  Your smile gets so big and your legs start to pound on your mattress and I forget that it's 4 in the morning because good God, kiddo.  If only everyone could get a look like that at some point in their day.  I think it would really change lives.  I know it's changed mine.


PS.  See all of Theo's five month photos in the August photo album.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A visit from friends

A couple weeks ago we welcomed Kari and McKenzie to Dallas for a few days.  McKenzie is a year older than Emmett and they played really well together.  Em has some buddies at school but none that he's become close with so I know he enjoyed having a friend over for extended playtime!  And the great bonus was that they played and essentially took care of themselves so Kari and I could actually sit and talk uninterrupted for a decent amount of time.  That's a miracle when you have kids!  For his part, Theo napped like a champ, too.

So we didn't get too wild over the weekend.  We hit up our neighborhood playground which the kids ignored to play with sticks and rocks.  Great, glad we got out in the car for that one, kids.  

Honestly, a lot of time was spent inside in the A/C playing with Emmett's toys and their electronic devices.  

What trip to Dallas is complete without a Trader Joe's visit?  Kari hadn't been since we lived in Michigan so we showed her the glory that is chocolate covered almond bits and cookie butter.  Plus, the kids got the terrorize the other shoppers with mini shopping carts!

It was actually pretty adorable when they weren't hitting you in the back of the ankle.

Funny story: while checking out our cashier asked Emmett to help out by handing her the groceries from the cart.  He relished the opportunity to help.  Afterwards, he got a sucker and a sticker which is typical for a TJ's trip.  McKenzie also got a sucker for helping her cashier out but when she saw Emmett also had a sticker, she returned to our cashier and told her that she did, in fact, help load groceries and she felt she also deserved a sticker.  It was hilarious!  Fair's fair, after all.

We had such a great time with our friends!  Hopefully it's something that we can do every year.  Next time we want to get Brittnee and Harper over, too!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wedding weekend!

Three weeks ago we headed over to Fayetteville for Alex and John Michael's wedding!  It was so much fun and such a whirlwind weekend.  We really enjoyed celebrating their special day and yes it is somewhat surreal to watch your little brother get married.  Parker and Kathryn got married the year after we did and we have had our children at the same time.  We are in very similar stages in our lives.  John Michael is six years younger than I am and he's about to begin such a wonderful phase of his life.  I am so happy for him and Alex and I love that I got to relive the fun and excitement of this newlywed phase!  

We certainly had fun celebrating (as we always do!).  I took some photos over the weekend that I'd love to share.  You can see more in the June photo album and some of the professional photos on their photographer's blog (Benfield Photography) - get ready, they are amazing!

Seesters at the Rehearsal Dinner.

The trusty Nicole came to clean the boys' up and do some updos.


Family #selfie as we get prepped for the wedding.

Cutest. Thing. Ever.

A couple of handsome fellas.

He knows he looks good.

Dapper dudes.

I didn't take too many photos before or during the wedding.  It was a bit chaotic with all the kids, even though they really did such a wonderful job.  Emmett walked down the aisle with another little boy, Connor, holding the ring pillow.  They made it the whole way perfectly.  I was SO proud of him!  What's more, he sat in church during the ceremony and was still and quiet (aside from the occasional "Amen" that came a beat late, ha!).  I held Theo who fell asleep for almost the entire ceremony.  To say I was relieved is an understatement!  You never know how things will go with kids, much less a baby past his bedtime.  After the ceremony we showed Theo off to some family and friends and then sent the happy couple off in a pink cadillac!  We ran home to put Theo down for the night with a sitter and then brought Emmett with us to the reception so he could do some dancing.

So proud of this kid!

Now, I want to mention that I had no clue how Emmett would behave at the reception.  For a while we thought we'd leave him with the sitter, too.  But after talking about it with my mom for a while we decided to bring him, with the help of Sara and Kenni who agreed to take him home when he started to get tired/cranky.  He can be very shy in new situations and can act really whiny, so I was apprehensive.  But he had a total blast!  He was one of the first ones on the dance floor (Eric captured some video below) and when he saw the glow sticks, Harry Potter glasses, and glowing foam swords he was in heaven!  I don't think he would have had as much fun or lasted as long without the glowing sword.  He kept pretend hitting me and then falling down on the floor.  As the night wore on, he'd stay a little bit longer on the floor before getting up, becoming more and more tired.  I think he lasted until around 10 pm!  As you can tell by the video, the kid has moves all his own and no one was more surprised than his mama!

Now we've come to the portion of the night when the children were in capable hands so the adults could let loose!  And for us that means chugging water and iPhone #selfies all.night.long!  I'm pretty sure Kathryn and I took over a hundred of them.  We had a I'm sure you'll be able to tell.

Favorite one from the night.

Playing Katy Perry's "Roar" perhaps?

Such a handsome family. :/

Oh, the bride got in on some #selfie action, too, don't worry.

Yes, we did have as much fun as it looks.
Gah, what a fun time.  Hard to believe it's already been three weeks since the big day.  The happy couple has already honeymooned in London and Ireland.  Now on to enjoying the next phase of your lives together!  Congrats!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Idaho clan comes to Dallas

Geez, I'm falling behind on my posting!  About a month ago (hard to believe time has gone by that fast, but OK) we welcomed Karen, Barb and Bob to Dallas from Idaho.  This was Eric's grandparents' first visit to Dallas since we've lived here and their first time meeting Theo.  I think it had been almost a year since they'd seen Emmett.  It's hard when we live so far apart so we were thankful that they hopped on a plane to come see us.  

Here are some photos of the visit and a look at some of the things we did while they were here.

Grandma and the boys.  

Em at the playground.

"Brothers!" in the chair.

Emmett posing next to the albino crocodile at the Fair Park Aquarium.

Giving an iguana a stare-down.

Theo loving life.

A sea turtle scaring me half to death.
The visit time out to include not only Eric and my seventh wedding anniversary, but also my birthday.  So with the boys in capable hands, we headed out to Tillman's Roadhouse for an amazing dinner.

Tableside s'mores with this joker.

"Brothers!" on the rug.

Everyone made me feel special on my birthday.

Bob, Barb and Emmett at the Dallas World Aquarium.
The tail-end of the trip was spent in Fayetteville and while we were doing wedding-related things for Alex and John Michael's big day, the Idaho gang stayed with Sara and Kenni in their new house.  They also kept Emmett for us on several occasions which was very helpful.  We met up with them on Sunday before we headed back to Dallas.  Breakfast at Cracker Barrel and photos on the front porch!

I had to include this picture!

Glad we all got the Wear Blue memo.

Smiles all around!

Group shot!


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