Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chaselyn's First Halloween

Chaselyn and I got in some good shopping time this morning/afternoon while Stanton went to the Baylor vs. Nebraska game. We ended up spending 4 hours in town and only bought much for getting a jump start on the Christmas shopping. By the time Stanton got home, Chaselyn was well in to her afternoon nap. So we waited and then took a trip to a little pumpkin patch at a local church. And we caught all this cuteness...

Then we upgraded the costume in preparation for the Razorback game.

The first Trick or Treat-er was an experience. I got up and went for the candy, and Stanton went for Holly. Chaselyn wobbled up to the door to see what was going on. She tried to follow the cute little boy as he walked away and as I shut the door, she began crying and waving bye-bye. It nearly broke my heart. The next couple kids came and went with similar results. On about the fourth doorbell ring, I picked Chaselyn up and Stanton got the candy. Only a little whimper as the door closed. The next one just got a puckered face, and then for the rest of the night she was fine.
So, now we know, costumes of vampires and goblins, not scary. The little monsters walking away without Chaselyn saying goodbye - terrifying.

Friday, October 30, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

Thanks to a way back friend who I've been able to keep up with through blogging (her blog is hilarious, you should go!) I was tagged to list some of my favorite things. Unfortunately, I am not as cool and into new things as she is, but I figure my favorites may shed some light to my world as it is now. So here we go...

The rules: share five things you are obsessed with, and then pass the award on to five of the most fabulous blogs you read!

Numero Uno: Fall, Autumn, Harvest - however you put it, it actually exists to some degree in TX this year and it's about to make me go CRAZY!! Never before have I been one of those people who have their Christmas lights up before Halloween is even over. But this weather is playing tricks on my brain. I had to buy some fall decorations this year to satisfy my decorating desires. I am so excited about this holiday season! Since the weather has been cool and refreshing, not hot and oppressing as it usually is, I feel like we should already be packing up to go home for Thanksgiving.

Next: - "Your place to buy and sell all things handmade" I haven't actually purchased anything, but I have spent browsing around. It's such a good place to find some very unique items, check it out. I'm thinking of some personalized bloomers for Chaselyn's first birthday.

me 3: BabyLegs - And no I'm not just talking about the cute little chubby stumps that extend down from Chaselyn's torso, I'm talking about these:

These are not my precious baby's legs, but I got Chaselyn some of these rainbow colored fuzzy ones. And I bought her a jean skirt this week to go with them. I figure they'll be great for fall when it's cool in the mornings but warmer inside and mid-day. I can't wait to see how they look on her. (Disclaimer - Though the website proposes that these can be worn by the whole family, I think these could be added as #11 on the previous post.)

FOUR! : Amazon wishlists. Did you know you can create a list on Amazon and add anything from anywhere on there. I made one for Chaselyn's 1st birthday and have just been adding things as they come to mind. Or after I see something in the store, I can go home find it and put it on there. And even if you don't send it to people like a registry for Christmas gifts, you can use it to keep up with things that you think about that you like, so when the inevitable question of "What would you like for Christmas/ birthday?" arises, you have a list ready to go.

funf: My pocket size camera. I demanded that I have a camera that was small enough to carry around in a purse and preferrably in my pocket before Chaselyn was born. And I am glad that I did. You never know what kind of craziness kids are going to get into, or when there's just something that you want to have a record of. I have a TERRIBLE memory, and Stanton has the uncanny ability to recall what people were eating and decorations on the wall for seemingly obscure times in his life. For years, we relied on a digital camera that he had that rarely worked right and sucked the life out of batteries in no time. Every time there were issues, I got so frustrated, but to him it wasn't a big deal. Finally after about 5 years of marriage I was able to convey my dependency on pictures to hold my memories. Since then we got a nice fancy camera that he uses, and my little pocket camera that doesn't take as high quality pictures, but has been the source of many great joys. I love to be able to whip it out and catch candid shots of our family. For instance, who thinks of taking a camera to the grocery store? I don't, but I'm glad I did, because I was able to catch the joy on Chaselyn's face in her first shopping cart ride.

Ooooh, bonus round: I love the movie Elf, and once I hear "Jovie" sing "Baby it's cold outside", you probably don't want to be near me until about halfway through January. I was recently told that the actress who plays Jovie, Zooey Deschanel put out a new album as part of a duet called She & Him. She has a smooth and beautiful voice. I was very much enjoying my Pandora station based on her until I ran out of my 40 hours for this month (that would be a #1 on a least favorite things list).

So that's it. Yes, it's essentially all related back to my baby, but she's my #1 obsession right now. And besides I've never been a person to set major trends. Also, this list is a kind of a fad obsession to me. My regular obsessions include: God, family, Arkansas, Razorback sports, Tigger, Disney World, etc.

Oops almost forgot! I've got to tag people. Now I feel very limited on people to suggest, because I don't know who reads my blog. And most of the people who I do know who read it, do not blog themselves. So... first on the list is:

1) Anyone who has been thinking about starting a blog, but doesn't really know what to write about. Start here, and let me know how it goes.

2) Allison at Hammond Happenings (she's a great story teller, but honestly it's probably better if you can hear her voice and imagine her full body expressions as you read along)

3) Christi at Him and Her and Little Him (adorable pictures and honest revelations)

4) Charree at Held in His Hands (busy with a newborn, but wonderful recipes and inspiring perspectives on the beauty all around us)

5) Rachel at Rachel's Ramblings (that's right Goober, I'm calling you out...get back into blogging!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cute for baby, not for grown-ups

Chaselyn wore some adorable little black Mooshu squeaker shoes to church on Sunday, which spurred the FB status update of a friend to say "I feel like some friends of mine's 11 month old baby, my shoes squeak too much!" on a very rainy Monday. This made me literally laugh out loud (and no, I don't use the 3 letter abbreviation, because I used to, and then found that maybe I lead people to think that they were way funnier than they actually were, and stopped. Anyway, I digress...)! It then turned into a comment of the many things that are cute for babies and little ones (i.e. squeaky shoes), that are not so cute on adults. So, here's the list that I've come up with so far:

1) Fat, juicy thigh rolls. I don't know the defining age, but at some point, you are apparently supposed to lose your "baby fat".

2) Along the same lines, Allison
suggests that "a pot belly with a cute little bikini" - Totally adorable on a baby. Not so much for us older folks.

3) Dancing by slightly bending one's legs and swinging a single arm like a drunk Irishman.

4) Falling asleep in any random position at any random time and place. Some favorites that I've seen through various friends - shopping carts, super-loud sporting events, at the table (face down in mashed potatos of course), and curled up in some tiny cabinet or tiny space in a room.

5) Responding to questions with a raspberry or a vigorous shake of the head. (I think the cuteness on this one wears off pretty quick once they know what they are doing.)

6) Shouting things like "I went potty!" or a personal favorite "I peed on a leaf!"

7) Hiding bashfully behind another person when you're not sure about the people around you.

8) The honest statements about so many things. "What's wrong with her hair?", "Why is Daddy so hairy?", or "Why does she have a booger on her back?" (The last one was said by a ~4 year old girl at Target after seeing a mole on my back.)

9) Walking around seemingly aimlessly babbling nonsense. I think they put adults in the home for that.

10) Large open mouthed drooly kisses. Makes my heart happy when Chaselyn does it, but I think I'd have to decline from anyone else.

So that's my list. I know there's so much more. It's such a double standard. Sometimes for good reason, and sometimes due to the loss of innocence as we grow up. One thing is for sure, it's much harder to pull off cute when you're older. And yet how many babies have you seen that don't just make you want to pinch their little cheeks cause they're so darn adorable?

11month update continued

I realized I left out A LOT of stuff from Chaselyn's 11 month report. I know you can't imagine such an atrocity, but apparently there's this disease called "mom brain" in which mothers lose half their brains when a child is born. Some details were left out unintentionally, but others were just taken for granted. So, here we go.

Stanton's Aunt Shannon and Uncle David along with cousins Kelsey and Eric came for a short visit. It was Chaselyn's first time meeting that part of the family. We went to the Baylor game and cooked out back home. We had a great time.

Chaselyn also experienced her first live Razorback football game! It was a very momentous occassion. I've only selected a few pics here, look on FB for a more complete package of pics.

Leaving for the game, a great family photo.

Chaselyn was concerned about the Hoggies for a while.

But once she was sure they had it under control, she was able to relax.
After she slept for the last part of the first half, through half-time and partially through the 3rd quarter, with yelling, hog calling, jumping, and loud band music, I whispered to her that she was missing the game and she woke up ready to finish it out. And good thing that she did, the Hogs had a terrible 3rd quarter, but she helped them get back in line.

We got to sit with the niblings and Aunt Heather and Uncle Josh for the last part of the game. Matthew got a glove from one of the Razorback players after the game, thus the ginormous hand. Madison shared her pom-poms with Chaselyn too. Very sweet. Post game we went to visit with Uncle Heath, Aunt Rachel, Kimberly, Jim, Kyle and the rest of the family. Good times, but unfortunately no photos. When we got back to Stanton's parent's house, Chaselyn was ready to go some more. She loved riding this little Tigger rocker...
and taking a stroll around the house in her stroller.
On Sunday, we packed up and went to Papa's farm to take the farm pictures. Then we loaded up with Granny and headed back to Waco. Granny took care of Chaselyn Monday-Thursday while we worked and Papa was in Colorado hunting. She left Friday morning on Chaselyn's 11 month birthday. We were all mostly spoiled by the end of the week.
Chaselyn also got some fish. She loves them. She goes over to the tank and just looks at them. Sometimes she talks to them, sometimes she tries to hit them, but she is just fascinated. We (meaning me) decided to name them "Ooh", "Aah", and "Coconut" after the monkeys on playhouse Disney.
Chaselyn weighed a whopping 23.8 lbs a week after her 11 month birthday. She also likes to do a little dance she bends her legs and sometimes swings her right arm side to side. She loves to clap. She'll clap for just about anything. This is one of the few tricks she does most of the time on command. The dancing and clapping have made a very sweet and funny addition to our Sunday morning worship time. She bounces and claps and sometimes sings along.

She still likes to play with remote controls, and is not at all fooled by the toy one we got for her. Her remote makes fun noises and stuff and seems to be an enjoyable toy, but she absolutely does not think it of the equivalent of the ones we have.

She likes to try to repeat faces and noises that we make. She makes a smacking sound and for a while she would actually clack her tongue. She seems very interested in her tongue and figuring out how it works inside and outside her mouth. And she likes to shake her head in a no motion, but she doesn't yet know that it means no. It's just funny for now. But you can ask her all sorts of questions and she'll answer with a head shake no, so that has been fun. She's starting to exhibit some signs of stranger anxiety but mainly only when there's a bunch of people around that she doesn't quite recognize. She waves bye-bye, but usually after people are out the door.

Chaselyn is just a super fun bundle of joy! And I am thankful for every little moment that I get to see one of those magical little smiles. The hugs she gives her Daddy and me after a long day at work just melt away the stresses of the day. I can't imagine a more happy little girl. She is truly amazing!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Less than 1 month away from the big day

That's right people Chaselyn is over 11 months old now. And she's got the cute little jeans, adorable shoes, and the walk to go with it! Just take a look at this chick!

She is completely off baby food. She even experienced her first McDonald's trip on Thursday.

Other notable occurrences are that Chaselyn is a full fledged walker! For some reason, I thought the little ones stayed in the phase where they take a few steps and stumble and fall for quite a while. Not our baby. She was only a stumbler for about a week before she was gone across the room or most notably, walking into the kitchen to find me. When I asked her what she was doing she just stood there and laughed. I wish I would have had the camera within reach for that one. Officially, I'm saying she was a walker at 10 and a half months. Needless to say, the security around the house has been beefed up, but we still have a little more to do. We were able to slow her down a little by adding shoes into the mix. In true Arkansan style, the sweet little girl hasn't really worn shoes up until now. It just seemed like an unnecessary hassle to try to get them on and keep them on. Even now, she just wants to take them off and eat them. She's currently in a size 4 shoes, which seems typical for her age. But, apparently the normal time for a baby to start walking is around 12 - 14 months, when the foot is typically a size 5. The options of shoes (readily available on store shelves) greatly increases for size 5. So I'm looking forward to getting her all decked out between her birthday and Christmas.

We were also able to take Chaselyn to her first Razorback football game. We had some pretty good seats, and she even learned how to "WOOOOOOO" and raise up her arms before we got to the game. It didn't actually happen at the game, because she seemed to be trying to take EVERYTHING in. That and the Grandma's may have worn out this little trick in the car on the way up to Fayetteville. Of course the Razorbacks beat Auburn! Chaselyn is a little good luck charm. We discovered her powers not too long after she was born, during the Arkansas vs. LSU game. When Stanton and I held her the hogs would do well, when Stanton's dad held her, LSU seemed to do well. I realized the trend and insisted that she stay with me until the end of the game. She was also at the basketball game when we beat OU. That's why it's imperative that we get back to the hills of Arkansas soon. (I'll have to update with game pictures later, they are on Stanton's camera)

Chaselyn has learned to actually pet Holly. She'll go up to the pup and move her hand down her back. She occassionally still likes to grab Holly's tail, so generally Holly runs away unless we keep her contented. But they are getting along much better. Now that Chaselyn is walking, she kind of chases Holly too. We also have 3 fish in the aquarium. Chaselyn loves them. And Granny and I swear she said "ish" while pointing at the fish. Of course she won't do it on command, but I know.

I also heard her say "cack, cack" after I repeatedly said "Quack, quack" while playing with the duckies in the tub. But again, it was an isolated instance. She definitely knows Stanton and calls for him. It's something close to "Da-da", but maybe more of a "g" sound like "Ga-ga" with the same vowel sounds. She also says "Mom-mom-mom-ma" and it's generally in my direction or when I'm not around, so I think she actually means me and not just babbling. She's also learning to be a ham for the camera when I say "Cheese", again, sometimes. Apparently 11 month olds don't perform tricks on command.

Chaselyn still has 7 teeth, and I don't see any others budding through right now. She's gone through 3 rounds of antibiotics for an ear infection in her right ear. She doesn't seemed phased by it, but it concerns me. She typically drinks five 6 oz. bottles of formula milk and has 3 full food meals and an afternoon snack. She loves ravioli, which is great for me, because they are super easy to cook. We haven't weighed her in a while, so I'll have to update that later.

This birthday took me a little off guard. I had been planning her birthday party a little and everything, but looking at her in her little jeans and shoes walking around and realizing that there are no more month celebrations before she is one year old hit me hard. So little time, so much to take in. It's just amazing! And I want to be sure I soak up every minute of it before a picture like this...
isn't just a cute little snapshot, but my little girl leaving to go do whatever God has planned for her undoubtedly fantastic life.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Farmer Chaselyn

We've decided that Chaselyn's first birthday is going to be a farm theme. We're going to have a party at my mom and dad's farm sometime around Thanksgiving. We can't decide if we want to do it on Thanksgiving since extended family generally gets together then, or to have it the Saturday after Thanksgiving so that it's a special day set apart just for our little girl. I'm leaning toward Saturday. Anyway, while we were home in AR this weekend we took some Farmer Chaselyn picture by my dads old tractor. They're pretty cute, but I have to pick one to put on the invitations. That's where you come in. Below are 8 pictures, let me know your favorite. Each one has it's pros and cons. I like the ones with the whole tractor, because she's standing, but the ones in front of the tractor are much closer up and you can see her better. Although there's not one with a front facing smile. I also plan to do some photoshop and make them black and white or maybe a sepia tone. So here they are, help a momma out!

Picture 1: That's Chaselyn laughing while holding the little pumpkins. I know it's a laugh and it's adorable, but I think some may think she's screaming.

Picture 2: Again in front of the tractor. This time looking in the general direction of the camera, but not a full smile.

Picture 3: This one is directly at the camera, and I think it's one of my front runners.

Picture 4: Good Smile although facing the other way and she's holding a leaf.

Picture 5: In the drivers seat.

Picture 6: Good smile, and standing tall, but she gets kind of lost.

Picture 7: I think this one actually looks like she knows what she's doing. Too cute. The front of the tractor is a little over-exposed, which could cause some problems in editing.

Picture 8: Again, she looks like she's going to climb up and go for a ride.

So there you have it. Our little farmer. We're also considering taking Chaselyn to the fair this week to go to the petting zoo and see if we can get any good pictures there.

Monday, October 5, 2009


You know that feeling when you know exactly where you want to be and there's no way you can get there? I really want to be at my parent's house right now. I want to be snuggled up on the couch watching and tending the fire, talking with mom while she cooks a delicious dinner. Making fun of my siblings, watching Chaselyn and the niblings, and waiting for dad to get home to go play on the farm. That's where I want to be now, home. In my comfort zone, in the place where my responsibility is lessened and the love is felt, though not spoken. The place where I'm made fun of for being me, but knowing at the same time they wouldn't really want me to be any other way. The place where I'm not trying to live up to something. The place where I know they're so proud of me. The place where I'm not just Chaselyn's mommy, though I may not be the primary TX resident any more.

I can't wait for the holidays. I CAN'T WAIT! Because it means so much to me to go home and be with my family. Traditions that have grown over many years that I've come to rely on. And now, we get to start new traditions with Chaselyn. We had Thanksgiving and Christmas last year, but it was so new, and she didn't remember. (I know that 1 year olds don't remember much either, but she's more active now, she can actually do something and we can take pictures.)

I think what makes it worse is the fact that we're actually having some fall weather here in TX. It's been rainy and cool. Football is in full swing. It's just time to head for the hills and soak up all the atmosphere. I need it. I miss it.

But I'll be going back for a short visit soon enough, and a HUGE bonus is coming back - my MOM!! She's going to stay with us for a week while my dad goes on his annual hunting trip. That should help me get through until November. As long as I don't think about the fact that none of our family will be around for Chaselyn's actual birthday. Like I said, we just won't think or talk about that.