Monday, December 20, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We had an awesome kick-off to our holiday season. Finishing finals and working the last few days of the year nearly did us in, but we made it and we were handsomely rewarded. We kicked off the holiday with Christmas on 5th street. An annual production by Baylor that includes some great concerts, Santa, a live nativity, treats, a big tree, and Chaselyn's favorite, a petting zoo.

I wanted her to really feel how thick the sheeps' wool was, so I showed her how to make a claw with her hands so her fingers would really get down into the warm sheep fur. So she did it and after she was done she said "I tickle sheep!" and went in for another turn. It was so hilarious. Santa on the other hand was not a hit. Jacob was intrigued, but Chaselyn would have nothing to do with the nice Claus couple.
Christmas on 5th was actually pre-holiday vacation time. Our official holiday break was started when this amazing present arrived in Waco.
Yep, that's MA in the flesh. Back in TX. And I was one of the lucky ones who got to enjoy her radiant smile for a few days as she and her little tot made the rounds on their trip back from Indy. And to top it all off, the Mister showed up on our doorstep a couple days later. While she was in town, we visited some favorites that she had missed since the move in May. But most exciting was being able to take her sweet little girl to HEB. I have never seen anyone so excited to visit a grocery store. (Well, my Dad does enjoy some grocery store touring, but doesn't have quite the excitement exuded by a 7 year old girl.) We also made a late night trip to do some Christmas shopping while Stanton stayed home with the kids. And we were able to top it all off with a lovely dinner with one of our favorite mentors. But the bestest bestest parts were moments like these

Just chilling out around the house was so fantastic. Sure we exchanged a few little treats for Christmas and tried to get as much as we could for as long as they were here, but it just wasn't enough. I'm not sure if it could ever be enough. I already miss the whole sweet family. I can't wait to see them again. But for now my heart is full. And we have some great times with family to look forward to over the Christmas break, not to mention solidified trip planned for the Greer's to invade Indy in March. So I'm managing, with only what I consider to be a minimal number of tears.
Don't we make a fantastic looking group?

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope your Christmas is as fantastic as mine is shaping up to be.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jacob starts showing his Jacob-ness - the 7th month report

At Jacob's 6 month check-up (which wasn't until November 12) I was happy to report he was reaching all the milestones as usual. He would grab toys, he was starting to sit for a few seconds unassisted, and he was rolling. Well we really thought he was. He had been rolling from his back to his belly for a long time, but we had only see the end result of a belly to back roll. We would leave him on the floor and he would be in places he only could have gotten to by rolling completely over. And as of his 7th month birthday on Thursday, the same was true. Fortunately, last night, we finally actually saw it. He was being kind of sneaky, just like a certain other Jacob had been.

Jacob is also showing that he's going to do things on terms that seem illogical to those looking on. Just before his 6 month birthday, he was rebelling. It started by biting while nursing. It continued with demanding to be held in a certain way. And soon into the month of December he was essentially out right refusing nursing and bottles. He scarfed down the real food though. He loved cereals and veggies. But a boy needs his milk. So throughout the past month we've been having kind of a stand off. I cut him back from 3 cereal/ veggie meals per day down to 2 to encourage him to drink more milk. In response he refused to nurse and now drinks only formula when he does take a bottle.

In addition to this food battle (or perhaps in response to it) his daily napping has been out of whack which generally makes it hard for him to be happy. So a lot of time has been spent holding him and walking with him and just generally trying to entertain him. It has been a hard month for both of us.

But amidst all the crying and fussing, there were always the most amazing smiles just when I thought I couldn't take it any more. So this month has been a rough one, but we're working it out. And all in all, he's doing great.


You are so loved and so adored. And though we've hit a few rough patches, it only proves how deeply you are loved. There were times when Mommy thought she was the worst. Hearing your sad little cries and not knowing how to fix your problem was simply heart-breaking. It drove us to the edge. But more than wanting reprieve for ourselves, we wanted calmness and serenity for you.

We truly believe that your name was given to us by God. And as we studied Jacob from the Bible, it seemed we would have our hands full with our little Jacob. But we also knew and continue to believe that although Jacob was somewhat troublesome in his youth, as he matured he became a great servant of the Lord. And that is worth any minor troubles you may have in the near future.

For now Jacob, we pray that you will be comforted from pain and that you will grow healthy and strong. We pray that we will know how to share our love with you and that you will know the love of God. We pray that we can understand your needs and help you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chaselyn's Second Year.

A collection of some of my favorites from the past year.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tutus and Touchdowns

I chose this to be the theme for Chaselyn's second birthday, and quite frankly I don't think any other theme would capture our little girl any better. Chaselyn is our uber-girly little girl, but at the same time, she loves to run around outside and watch some "feetball". Chaselyn is constantly obsessed with shoes. Whether she's picking out some from her collection or finding some fun sparkly shoes in Mommy's closet, she loves to have things on her feet. Just a few days ago, she even branched out and tried to pick some shoes out for me. While trying to get ready for the grocery store, I couldn't find my shoes. My trusty personal assistant went to my closet and promptly brought me a pair of dressy wedges that I've only worn about 3 times in my life and said "Mommy wear this." She's particularly fond of these particular shoes because they are the tallest shoes I have and one of only a few pairs that I restrict her from playing with. On the other hand you should have heard the pure joy in her voice and seen the excitement on her face when her Daddy brought home a football shaped balloon for her party. I wish I would have had the camera ready. Granted, she's been asking me for one every time we go to HEB since the beginning of football season, but it was amazing to hear her so joyous.

Over the past year, Chaselyn has grown much more than I could ever capture in one post. Soon after her first birthday, we got to really see her enjoy Christmas for the first time. She was so excited by the wagon that Santa brought she wanted to sit in it while she opened her presents. Christmas '09 was also our first glimpse at exactly how girly this girl would be.

By the time she turned 18 months old, she was already a big sister. And I swear to you, somehow she knew that meant she was more mature. In just a few short weeks, she grew taller, and just started morphing into a little toddler. She started asserting her independence. She began asking for specific things. She started forming sentences. A truly amazing transformation came along with her new role of big sister. And since then she's continued to grow and learn to care for her little brother. She really likes to help Mommy. She's a fantastic pacy finder and she can even give the pacy to Jacob if she wants to. She can find toys, blankets, diapers, and wipies in a flash. She also loves to love on Jacob. Lately she's been mimicking my form of showing love by "Squeezing my Jacob". She's kissed his owies. She hugs him to make him feel better. She also tries to comfort him by yelling "Jacob. Ok Buddy." while continuing to concentrate on whatever important task she is trying to complete. I think she may have heard and seen this behavior modeled by someone else except this someone else usually says "Jacob, you're ok Buddy."

It is unbelievably fun to learn along with Chaselyn. Seeing her develop problem solving skills, expanding her vocabulary, and learning basic identification of letters, numbers, shapes, and colors, is just an fun road to walk down. You can see her joy when she gets something right. You can see the wheels turning in her head when she's trying to figure something out. You can hear the frustration when she's trying to say something and the words just won't come out right. You can feel the love in her heart when she gives you a squeeze and gives you a little pat on the back.

So, let's get to it, what is Chaselyn up to these days?

Eating: Chaselyn eats 3 healthy (usually) meals a day along with an afternoon snack and the occassional after dinner treat. Her favorite food is still ravioli, or as she likes to say "owie-oli". She also likes ham, turkey, cheese, hot gogs (hot dogs), frup (fruit), saysins (raisins), lilk (milk), juice (asks for apple or orange specifically), mataroni (macaroni), and pizza. Notice the lack of veggies. She still eats veggies that we give her, but she rarely asks to have any veggies.

Sleeping: Chaselyn sleeps like a champ. Usual bedtime is around 7:30pm and we generally don't hear another peep out of her until around 7:00am. Naptime is around 11:30 and generally lasts about 1.5 hours. I don't think naps at school are quite this long. She has on a couple of occassions woke up screaming from what we can only figure to be bad dreams. This makes us very sad. What kind of bad dreams does a toddler have?

Playing: Chaselyn absolutely LOVES to play outside. She likes to pick up rocks, acorns, and leaves. Inside she loves to color and is getting pretty good at it too. Reading is a favorite too. But more than anything, I would say she likes building with her Duplo blocks best. Several times on the way home from various places she has asked to build when she gets home. She builds houses and big towers. I think she likes building towers with Daddy the best. She's just now starting to interact with other kids while playing. She enjoys playing on the playground at school and had a blast running around in the backyard with her friends at her birthday party. Learning to share is a current battle. Like many 2 year olds, her favorite word is "Mine."

Edumacation: Chaselyn is already working on letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. Her alphabet sounds something like this: "My Baby C's. A-B-C...lmno-P!...Y-Z. Sing me."

And her numbers sound like: "1,2,6,7,8,10!"

She can generally identify circles and squares and anything else is usually also called either a circle or a square.

She is very good at matching most colors. Meaning that if you show her a red block and ask her to find another red block, her success rate is fairly high. Just playing the what color is it game, she's pretty good at identifying red, brown, green and orange.

Pushing: The limits that is. Chaselyn is quickly developing her sense of boundaries and pushing Mommy to the furthest millimeter of her sanity. Learning to reason (or better yet avoiding trying to reason) with a 2 year old is quite a hard leap for the logical minds of the grown-ups in the house. Chaselyn can pick between two things, so if you say "Do you want to keep shopping or go home?" You better be ready to enforce it on the rare occasion she opts for going home. Also surprisingly she'll still put herself in time out sometimes. She knows when Mommy is upset and she'll say "No Ma'am. Timeout." to herself and go get her little step and sit in the corner. However this is generally for offenses that I wouldn't really require a timeout. When she really needs a timeout, she tends to go pretty easily, it's just a matter of getting her to sit still for 2 minutes.

Sistering: Chaselyn is a super helper around the house. She will do nearly anything she can to help most of the time. She loves tasks like putting Mommy's shoes in the closet and helping switch over the laundry. But above all she can retrieve anything Jacob needs. Blankets, diapers, wipes, paci, toys, anyting just say the word and she's running to find it. Sometimes she'll even get blankets, paci and toys for Jacob without prompting. She loves the little guy. She gives him good night kisses and hugs. She reads to him. She squeezes him to within an inch of pain. She plays with him as much as she can. And they have some of the cutest little laugh offs you've ever heard. Peek-a-boo is another favorite sibling game.

Loving: The love of a little tot is so amazing. "I lodle you Mommy" is so sweet. Especially when one of the first times you hear it it's being shouted through a paper towel roll. Though you aren't quite sure if they know what it means or why they do it. When your little one hugs you back for the first time or gives you a kiss to make you feel better it's truly a special moment. Since Chaselyn is currently into counting, we've found that if we count how many kisses she gives us, we can usually get a lot more out of her. And we also ask for extra squeezes in her hugs. But the most amazing dispaly was about a month ago when Stanton and I were battling some sore throats and utter exhaustion. Chaselyn told me to lay down on the couch, she got a blanket and told me to feel better. And when I told her that my head hurt she gave it a kiss. So caring and loving. :)

A letter for Chaselyn


If you can't already tell, you have us wrapped around your little finger. Sometimes you get a little possessive and grumpy, but then out of nowhere you tell us you love us or give us a hug or take a toy to Jacob and we simply melt. How can we discipline such a sweet little girl? You are making us learn and grow in so many ways. We are doing our best to set a good example, but it's a lot of pressure. You've been with us for 2 years now and you still amaze us at every turn. In a glimpse we see the exact replica of Mommy and an instant later you are the spitting-image of Daddy. It gives us great joy to see those little things in us that we love and pains us to see those things that we hoped would stop with our generation.

Above all we hope that we are teaching you to love God and to rely on Him even more than us. That sentence was hard to type, but it is truth. So far you are ever mindful of praying before meals. You know that "God made the sun, God made the trees and God made me." And one of your favorite songs to sing is Jesus Loves Me. You love to go to church and sit on the green carpet and learn more about God. And we feel so blessed that we are able to teach you during that time. Praise time at the beginning of church is fun too. You watch everyone and dance on occasion. It's such a blessing to see you forming a love of God and His Church.

I know we've said it before and we'll be saying it for the rest of your life, but you NEVER cease to amaze us. Even while you are sleeping, we like to come and take a peek and listen to little snores. As you play, we watch the wheels turning. While you read, we see you making up things the book must be saying. While you run and dance, we see the miracle of God's creation and the joy that we can express just by letting go and being free.

You are such a blessing. And we appreciate every little moment and every little new development that we get to share.

Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm working on it...

Because I haven't found a way to summarize what I want to say about our precious girl, I'll give you a preview of pics from her birthday parties. :) Full post about our 2 year old soon.

Unfortunately, the pictures are being shown newest to oldest. Which is not what I want, but I don't know how to fix it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Two Old

Though it was a strain, I've been working with Chaselyn for about a month teaching her that she is two years old. So now, if I ask her how old she is, she will respond "Two old." and hold up her two cute little chubby fingers with a big grin on her face and her amazing set of curls framing her face and a little proud twinkle in her eye. But usually all I hear is "Too old." How can it be that two years ago at this time I was beaming with pride of having successfully endured getting hooked up to an IV without passing out and now, I beam with pride over this precious little person who calls me Mommy?

I will write a post for Chaselyn's growth/accomplishments/memories soon, but I felt a much greater need right now to post about what I am feeling more than just giving the facts.

Today, my heart aches. It aches because I now longer have Baby Chaselyn. I have a toddler who does new and amazing things everyday. But never again will I be able to see her gummy grins or her wobbly little stumpy legs taking those first steps. Never again will it just be the 3 of us.

My heart aches from the cuteness of the things she's learning and doing everyday. Yesterday we had some awesom cuddle time (which I've been desperately missing for about a year now) and it seems like everyday she does something ridiculously cute and my love just grows and grows everyday it feels like my heart will burst.

My heart aches for the little person that Chaselyn is becoming and the responsibility I have to raise her right. I wonder if I can stand the temptation to swoop in and fix every little problem for her rather than letting her navigate it on her own. I wonder if I'm laying a good foundation in these first years of understanding to build on in the future. I hurt from the idea that I've already made some indelible mistakes that won't be easily overcome.

My heart aches from the knowledge that really I'm just now getting into the real tough part of parenting. She's only 2. She doesn't remember too much, so I probably haven't scarred her for life yet. But now she is a little sponge soaking up every little detail of life. She's primed to mimick my every move. And I am not always the example I need to be for my daughter. I can see in the upcoming years converstaions about important topics. I can see that she's going to push her limits and I will have to be firm. I can see that she will experience her own bumps and bruises, both metaphorically and physically, and I have to know how and when to fix everything.

And finally, my heart aches for the realization that I've developed of having a more global view of the impact of family. I now know what it is to be a mom. And I am so sorry for the torment I put my mom through. I'm sorry that I didn't listen more. I'm sorry that I didn't soak in more of the knowledge that my parents, grandparents, and other family and friends were giving me. I'm sorry that for so long I didn't understand or even attempt to understand the kind of love that a parent has for a child.

But amongst all of the aching, the overall feeling of today is JOY and THANKFULNESS! I am joyful because of the blessing that Chaselyn is to my life. I am joyful because of the amazing people who I have drawn closer to because she is in my life. I am joyful because at the end of the day, I do get to go and squeeze my little girl and she will say "I love you Mommy." even if she doesn't really understand what it means. And I am thankful for all the lessons that Chaselyn has taught me in the two short years she has been around. I've learned more from becoming a parent than I ever learned in school. It's an awesome ride and I thank God for every up and down and loop-de-loop He has put on my path.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Ducky!

Stanton here with one of my rare and elusive guest appearances. It takes a lot to get me out of my blogging hidey hole, but wishing my amazing Mom a Happy Birthday is a no brainier. She is one of the sweetest and generous ladies we know and will stop at no ends to care for those that she loves. I freely credit her for most of my better qualities and hereby take upon on myself full responsibility for all of that other stuff I do that might and sometimes does bring about public ridicule. Happy birthday, Mom. I love you.

Here's an extra special message from some tiny tots. You're one quack-tastic Ducky! We love you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Half Birthday

Jacob Stanton Greer is 6 months old (and 2 days). He's a handsome chubby little fella. And a true delight to be around. His little personality is so joyful and so perfect. He has filled out in the face and in general all over since we started him on the different cereals. We have yet to introduce any fruits or veggies, but they are coming soon. We won't get the official weigh in and other details until we go to the doctor in a couple weeks, but he seems a lot more hefty than he did previously, so I imagine he'll move up on the comparative weight scale.

Here's what my little man can do:
  • Rolls from back to belly
  • Learned to enjoy tummy time a bit more
  • Has excellent neck strength to hold up his head
  • Can follow Chaselyn and Holly with his eyes all around the room
  • Sitting up...almost. He's not quite there yet, but I really feel like he'll have it in less than a week. Right now it's only for a couple of seconds when he feels like it.
  • Standing. Obviously not on his own, but up until the last couple of weeks he had shown no interest in using his legs to stand on. Previously his legs were strictly used as feet holders.
  • Laugh. The boy is ticklish and apparently all the people around him are hilarious. It's a glorious sound.
  • Gurgles, raspberries, Chewbacca noises, etc.
  • Grab items and put them directly in his mouth. Good because he can recover his dropped paci on some occassions. Bad because he's not at all discriminatory as to what goes in his mouth to pacify.
  • Sprout teeth. His bottom two front teeth popped up a couple weeks ago!
  • Hold out until you do what he wants. He can be very patient, but when he's had enough, he lets you know. He'll go along with pretty much anything for a while, but then he will go crazy and you better figure out what it is that he needs fast.
  • Take all kinds of love. Even the kind of love that is displayed by bonks on the head from his big sister. Not that she intentionally bonks him on the head, she just wants to be close to him. And sometimes she doesn't realize how close she already is. Squeezes, blanket hugs (i.e. Chaselyn laying on him like a blanket), slobbery kisses, and more. It's amazing to watch for a minute and then I realize that I need to be the referee.

It's amazing to know the love of having two children. I think I can appreciate the little things in Jacob that maybe I missed a little when Chaselyn was an infant. Now I know not all kids do particular things. I see the differences between them and it's still hard to explain how they are different. All I know is that I'm thankful for the inexplicable love that I feel from a tiny baby boy that you wouldn't think would be able to show love.


In the past 6 months you have made us realize that there is no limit to the amount of love a person can have in their heart. Just when we think we can't love any more your precious smile and laugh just push us that much further. We are so thankful that God has blessed us to have you in our family. We look forward to seeing the man you will become. We treasure these times we have to literally hold you in our hands. We can see that these days are quickly slipping away and we want to snuggle and cuddle and love on you as much as possible while you'll still let us. You are an amazing gift and we are so thankful.

Mommy and Daddy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Treat Night

I did it. I finished the costumes a full 22 hours before they were needed. And I think they came out fantastic. Because of the timing though, we could only immediately take pictures of the empty costumes.

But even still don't they make you smile. Especially the big Mr. Potato Head.

We participated in Treat Night last night on the Baylor Campus. It was super great. I got word from 2 of my students that their dorms were doing Pixar movie themes. So we tromped over to Kokernaut and Brooks Residential dorms (Nice digs BTW). For Kokernaut we decided to leave the stroller downstairs and carry around our little Mr. Potato Head. But before we got started we needed a family photo.

Then we took off. Toy Story was the theme for the first floor. So we found some nice decorations/ photo-ops.

2nd floor was Finding Nemo (that's where the balloon came from), Monsters Inc. (Chaselyn was kind of afraid of the monsters, so Boo came and helped out.) and then Wall-E (this was on the boys side of the dorm, so there were only like 2 guys with open doors giving candy. But by that time Chaselyn's bucket was almost full already. So we decided to head over to Brooks College and see the decorations there. We diecided to keep the stroller with us since our Mr. Potato Head was asleep. That was a mistake because this dorm didn't have you snake up the halls. You would go to the end of a hall and then have to back track so there was a lot of traffic and a double stroller in traffic is not so great. But Mr. Potato Head got twice the smiles and stayed asleep.

We saw a Big Jessie when we first entered. Chaselyn wasn't sure what to think about that. But she did like the Cars decor on the first floor. Then we immediately went up to the 3rd floor for more Toy Story.

Chaselyn had a great night. She really took a liking to being able to just go near people and they would give her candy. We didn't get any "Trick or Treat's" or "Thank you's" out of her around other people, but it was fun and cute. Jacob was definitely a hit.

Now for a short PSA: In case you aren't familiar with the whole Toy Story movie, Woody has a brown hat, a yellow shirt and a vest. Jessie has a red hat, a white shirt with yellow trimming and cow print chaps. So even if you can't tell whether a child is a boy or a girl, now you can at least identify their costumes appropriately. This PSA brought to you by one frustrated Mommy.

After we were done, we saw one of our friends Nathan from church. And how awesome, he was Woody. We didn't get them together really, but how cute are they?!

So in summary, I am super proud of both of the costumes. They came out almost like I had planned. We have to figure out a more secure way to keep the Potato face on, because if he's awake Jacob will just pull off the pieces and try to eat them. And that seems to be like one step past cannibalism to eat yourself. We never figured out a good way to do Jessie's wig and we weren't sure if she would keep it on any way.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A little big for my britches?

No, this is not relating to actual growth at all. As you have undoubtedly read in my previous posts, one of the biggest parts of being a SAHM I was worried about was that side of SAHM's that seem to always have the niftiest, cutest little costumes and special touches to parties and such. Well, I must say, I am proud to announce that apparently that crafty side does indeed kick in when you stay at home.

Maybe it's being around the very creative, very influential brains of the kids. Maybe it's trying to find ways to save a couple bucks here and there. Maybe it's the inner child in me who has been bound by formulas and figures and logical thinking for too long. But my friends, my creativity is flowing!

A few posts back, I showed you the dress I made for Chaselyn. A success. I won't let any of you look at the stitching on it, because its crooked like a snake. But nonetheless, it's a dress that works. That gave me the confidence I needed to really start letting my creative juices flow. So since then, I've made a similar dress to send up to Indy for a certain special little BU tot who just had a birthday. It too has it's imperfections, but I'm learning as I go. And for some reason Crafty Brandi is OK with imperfections. Crafty Brandi can appreciate the task and it's completion for what it is. This Crafty Brandi has since thought of a lot of new projects and thinks that they'll be easy to get done, if I can just get to it. On my list of things to do:

Jessie Costume for Chaselyn
  • cow print chaps
  • white trim on hat
  • cuffs and collar detailing for shirt
  • beautiful yarn full of full of yarn
Mr. Potato Head Costume for Jacob
  • find sz 6-9 months plain brown onesie
  • sew a pillow pocket on the inside to stuff the potato
  • figure out how to secure Mr. Potato Head parts to onesie
Tutus for Chaselyn's 2nd Birthday
  • acquire lots of tulle and ribbon
  • cut tulle in equal lengths
  • tie many, many pieces of tulle around ribbon
Tutu cupcakes for Chaselyn's party
  • cupcakes upside down, but how to accentuate the tutu-ness of them?
Tutu's and Tunes will be the theme for her party in Waco (tentatively), how do I incorporate the tunes for something cute for the boys?

Tutu's and Touchdowns will be the theme for her party in AR. To be held on game-day after Thanksgiving. Not too much extra to do there. :)

So while I LOVE that my creative juices are flowing, I think I may have over committed myself. But I can't think of one single thing I want to scrap from the list.

We'll see how long Crafty Brandi lives. If she only really exists during nap time and from about 9pm-11pm at night, she might not stick around for too long.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Prayer time with Daddy and Chaselyn

Stanton's prayer said line by line for Chaselyn:

Dear God,
Keep us safe
and loving you
and each other
more and more

Chaselyn's line by line response:

Dear Dod,
us face
and living room
each udder
more more
very day

Mommy trying not to bust up laughing nearby. :)

Getting bigger!

Jacob is growing, fast. He's such a baby boy now. He's at the fun stage where he's starting to really get the giggles and coos. Tickles and tosses definitely bring out the smiles. But Daddy also tells the funniest jokes in baby gurgles. Jacob laughs and laughs. And about once a day Jacob gets some up close and personal time with Chaselyn. She talks with him, hugs him, kisses him, tickles him and just generally loves on him. It's the sweetest. I'm trying to catch it on video, but haven't succeeded. Chaselyn is very much a camera fiend.

Besides laughing, Jacob loves to be held. He is enjoying time on your own on the floor a little more, but he would almost always rather be held. And more specifically, he likes to be held facing out kind of scrunched up on the hip. It looks completely uncomfortable, but he's been known to fall asleep in that position. He also likes to ride in the car seat. Jacob is a very good traveler and shopper as long as he goes in the car seat.

As far as his size, we figure he's around 16 lbs. based on our rough measuring on our scales. He's wearing size 3-6 month clothes, except for some shorts. The 0-3 month waist is still fits, but the pants are a little short. It's a problem I can't say I've ever faced before. He's still a hungry little fella. He eats 4 ounces every 2.5 - 3 hours. Jacob gives Mommy a great night of sleep usually, by sleeping from about 11 pm to 7 am. He's regularly sleeping through the night, so we think he'll be ready to move into the crib before too long.

Jacob rolls from back to belly, but not belly to back. That may be our fault for not leaving him on his belly long enough for him to figure it out. He will sit in the Bumbo seat and exersaucer for a while, but doesn't quite have the core strength to stay in the seats for too long. His hand eye coordination is getting much better. He has on occasion pulled his paci out and successfully got it back in. He's also pretty good at grabbing for toys during tummy time and while hes sitting in one of the seats.

Dear Jacob,

You are wonderful and amazing. I am so thankful that I get to be home with you so much to see how you grow. Your personality is really starting to blossom and shine through. You are so sweet and precious. The words I've just used to describe you may not be as manly as you like, but I must also say that I can already tell that you are going to be an All-American boy too. Your facial features are more distinctly masculine, you love to watch football with Daddy, and you love to flirt with the ladies. You are such a joy and I'm thankful for every little cuddle and coo I get to share with you!

I love you!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Curiousities of Curious George

This is George.
He was a good little monkey and always very curious.

Thus begins the tale of a cute little monkey surrounded by bright colors and with a happy smile. It seems like a great little childrens series. Some people (who will remain nameless) even think of decorating a whole room based on pictures like the above for those reasons. And once one picks a theme, one runs with it. Right? Now, we'll take these 'people' and look at them two years down the road. After multiple readings of the adventures of that cute, silly little monkey, we're they're rethinking their decision.

Consider 'Curious George Goes to the Aquarium'. In this tale our furry little friend is too impatient to wait for his friend to purchase tickets, so he hops the wall and goes in without the man in the yellow hat. Strike one. He then proceeds to wander around oblivious to rules and regulations. Puts his fingers in a crab tank 'Snap! Ouch! Poor George. He did not like this exhibit.' Really? First of all if one gets their finger snapped by a crab, from what I understand it's no small owie. Second, how does on one see a monkey wandering around by himself and yelling ouch? I suppose for the sake of the book I can suspend reality a little, but I'm already suspect. After the crab tank George wanders out to find the penguin exhibit. He promptly climbs in the exhibit and plays with the penguins. Then when he gets busted by the aquarium staff he tries to run away. He opens a door which lets all the penguins out. 'The staff was angry at George.' You think? But never fear, our little monkey isn't in too much trouble. He saves a baby penguin who fell in the water. 'The director thanked George for his help and made him an hnorary staff member of the aquarium.'

So, what does this teach my children? If you wander away from the adult in charge and cause all kinds of a mess it's ok as long as you finish the day by doing one good thing. In fact not only will the one good deed make up for all the messes, you'll also be handsomely rewarded. Read some other Curious George stories, they present the same kind of plot scheme.

I still think the little monkey is one of the cutest little guys ever. And I have a particular affinity for monkies in general (take Stanton for example. Just kidding Sweetie!). But I'm not sure I want to keep reading these stories to my kids.

This brings me to another parenting question? How much of those undertones does a kid pick up? At what age do they put pieces together to make conclusions like I did two paragraphs above? When does a book stop just being an interesting story and start being applicable to real life? One of my friends both in real life and in blogland recently posted an intriguing picture about the Disney princesses.
I don't really agree with all these ideas. In fact, I think some of them are very contradictory to the movie ideas. In any event, I certainly didn't come away with these types of thinking when I watched them when I was younger. But do some girls develop some kind of complex from the princesses?

How much do our kids try to translate fairy tales in to real life?

I love my life!

I am so thankful to be able to take on my two part time jobs. It is absotively, posilutely the the best thing for me. I can't imagine a better situation. First, I get to stay home with my kids 5 days out of the week. How lucky am I?! I get to see Chaselyn grow every day. Right now her vocabulary is expanding. And I get to be around her enough to know her language. We have some rough spots, but generally I cna figure out what she's saying and once I figure out a word, I become the Chaselyn whisperer. No one else undrstands her better than I do. And I don't think I would be able to say that confidently if I was working 5 days a week. And Jacob, well, this little man is just a cutie. He talks and coos and gurgles. And by being at home, the two of them get to build a bond that just wouldn't happen if they were in daycare 8-5 everyday. They see each other. They interact. Chaselyn learns what it means to be careful and I have two extra little hands to pick up paci's, get diapers, an love on Jacob.

And although most of the time it's a down right love fest around here, sometimes the two of them gang up on me. They drive me close to the edge, but reprieve is not far away, because just around the corner I have a job to go to. I get to shape the minds of young people. I get to interact with adults. I have a few hours of not being the sole source of food, cleanliness, and entertainment for two little ones for a while. I even get to sneak in a few minutes for myself and usually a quiet lunch with Stanton on my work days.

I can tell it's just the right balance. I feel amazingly blessed at how the whole situation has worked out. It's just incredible.

Now, as rosy as it all sounds, there's still plenty of areas to improve upon. First, I haven't fully grasped how to take care of the kids and get the house cleaned up. I keep on top of the basics with Stanton's help, but it's a far cry from the picture perfect house I have in my head. I try not to beat myself up too much, but it is something I'm working on. Second, my body is in desperate need of some shaping up. Jacob is now over 4 months old. I had a remarkable feeling last week when I got my pre-pregnancy jeans back on. But, they don't fit like they used to. I have a bit of a belly bulge, which is very unlike my usual body shape. Up until recently I always felt that my belly area was one of my better features, but right now, I don't have that. And so I feel kind of down on my body as a whole. Third, I need to be a better teacher. I need to be more on top of things for my class. I need to find some extra material to really draw them in and make them see why Statistics really can be important for them. Fourth, I need to be more on top of my parenting game. Stanton and I have started to realize that if you wait until a situation arises to figure out how you'll deal with it, it's too late. Chaselyn is starting to figure things out. She knows "no" and she knows that sometimes she can press to figure out if it's a "no" or really a "NO!" It also seems that potty training may be around the corner. Do you have any idea how many different approaches there are? Fifth, I need to be a better wife. Stanton is an amazing man. He does so much for me and his kids. It was different when we were both at work. For some reason being home without him makes it seem like we're away from each other more. And I've become way more sensitive to him working overtime. It's not fair to hm to be hard on him. I know he wants to be home just as much as I want him to be here. But he's fortunate enough to have a job that he loves and finds great reward in. I shouldn't take anything from that. Sixth, I need to be a better friend. Both to my friends that have moved on and to my family. I just get so caught up in the everyday that I forget to check-in on people until I get in bed at around 11 o'clock at night. Nobody wants to get a call from me then, so I just lose touch. Seventh, I need to be a better Christian. I thought that being a stay at home mom would mean it would be easy for me to find a niche in the day to fit in regular devotionals. I've never been good at this before and for some reason I thought this time it would be different. It's not. I still put it at the bottom of the list. There's more to add, believe me. But that's probably enough public self-deprication for one post.

I don't want to end on that downer list, look at the name of the post. Remember, I'm in such a good place now. I know I can fix a lot of those issues if I just apply myself to make this one of the best times in my life. It's already a fantastic time based on the amazingness of my children, they are a constant reminder of God's grace in my life. But there is so much more I can do to reflect His grace.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cute Dress

Ok, so the last post started out with the same purpose that I'm starting this post, but my love of football carried me away. Last week we made it out to the Baylor game. And as any good fan should, our family was gearing up for the big event. There was only one problem...Chaselyn had no Baylor gear. We made do last week with a plain green onesie and a white skirt, but not the level of support we generally like to show for our team. So, I got a plan. I would fashion Chaselyn a dress out of one of the cheap gold rush t-shirts. In the past these shirts were only $5 add some thread and maybe some ribbon and for about $7-8 Chaselyn would be ready for the next game.

So a project began.

Materials: one size youth Med. Gold rush shirt ($7, they upped the price), one roll of "I heart FOOTBALL" ribbon ($1), gold thread (free from the same place I got the free sewing machine, Thanks Debbie!), one strip of rough cut white t-shirt.

The before shots:

And the after:
Isn't it cute.
See where the t-shirt strip comes in. :) I found it on this blog. She has lots of re-purposing ideas for old clothes and such.
One satisfied customer! :)

Hooray Feetball!

As many of you know, our house thrives on the excitement provided by hundreds of student athletes that lay it out on the grid iron every fall. We love college football. We enjoy a nice NFL game as well, but the college level just has so much heart and school loyalty. It just brings joy to our home for the start of the season. And undoubtedly as the season progresses there will be some disappointments, some questionable calls, and some long discussions with Stanton about the precise play in a particular game that changed the whole outcome of a season for the Razorbacks. Even as I sit here now, Gameday is on the tv. Chaselyn woke up asking for "feetball". And we're figuring out what the game plan for the day is.

Now since we are displaced from our team down here in TX, we have adopted the Baylor Bears as our secondary team. While we love the opportunity to see such a display of athleticism live and in person, it's just not the same. Stanton and I spent 6 years on the front row of the Trough at the U of A. We didn't miss a (true) home game during those 6 years. We spent weeks of our lives waiting for the games to start. Gates would open 3 hours before game time. But the student section was first come first serve seating. Meaning to get on the front row and avoid most of the drunks you had to get there extra early. For a game that started at noon, that would typically mean getting to the stadium around 6am, with the occasional overnighter camping by good ol' Razorback Stadium. For a night game, we got out there at about the same time, because if it was a night game that generally meant the game was on tv. And if there's one thing that draws out the crazies, it's a tv camera. We used to referred to them as seals. Bring out a tv camera and they would start barking like performance seals. Now, I'll admit we had our fair share of tv time and it was fun to hear grandparents and other family and friends say they saw us on tv. We bonded with our fellow fans during those hours. We're still in touch with a lot of those guys still today.

But that time in our lives has passed. Now we're toting two little tots around and buying real tickets. Trying to watch as much football as we can while keeping the peace. I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the old times at all. I miss the feeling of being involved in the game. I miss the way we would lose ourselves in the game. It was intense and relaxing all at the same time. Sitting on the couch is probably more restful, but oh how we miss the days when we were there right with the action on the field.

My advanced little man

As promised, Jacob's 4 month update. Isn't it utterly amazing to watch children grow? To watch them go from little floppy headed squirmy little bundle to making those first attempts for their freedom to move and eventually (a long, long time from now right?) really taking hold of their independence and forgetting how their mothers and fathers used to be their sole source for everything. But I digress...

For now, I can scoop up both of my babies any time I want. And I'm scooping them up A LOT. Especially my little man. Because he's getting bigger!

We went for his 4 month check-up on Wednesday. He currently weighs 13.7 lbs and is 24.75" long. That puts him in the 25% for weight and the 50% for height. He's a healthy little fella too. He eats about 4-5 oz. of milk about 7 times a day. Unfortunately, I've been having some issues, so sometimes we have to supplement with formula. But usually I can make it, and it's never more than one feeding a day for now. Jacob is an excellent sleeper. We've started swaddling him up tight at night so that he can't hit or scratch himself. And since then, he generally sleeps soundly from about 11pm to 7am! I'm so lucky. He still generally takes a nap (maybe 45 min.) in the morning, a longer nap after lunch (up to 2.5 hours) and then a late afternoon or early evening nap (again about 45min. - 1hr).

Jacob is currently teetering on the threshold of 0-3 month clothes and 3-6 month size. Really, he's in the 3-6 month size, but there's some of those little outfits I'm just not ready to let go of yet. I never thought I would grow so attached to silly little shirts.

Jacob did make one big step this month. On Sunday, Aug. 29th, he rolled over for the first time. He rolled from his back to his belly, over his left shoulder. I have some video of not the first time, but some repeat performances. However, I'm holding out until I can get a video where the little man is happy with his new moves and doesn't get so frustrated.

Speaking of frustration, Jacob can be quite the temperamental little guy. He is very particular about how he wants to be held after he's done playing on the floor. Namely, he likes to be held to the side, facing out, in kind of a squished up position, while the holder is standing. Sitting in a similar position will not do.

This past month we spent quite a bit of time in AR. We stayed with Papa and Granny for a whole week again. We also made a trip up to Dallas to go to the Dallas World Aquarium (an upcoming blog post in of itself.)


You are such an amazing little boy. We constantly marvel over your fantastic smile and your beautiful (still) blue eyes. You have such a love and joy about you that is infectious. We've even used your laugh a couple of times to get your sister to stop crying. You are really at a fun, fun age. You interact with us. You coo and gurgle and laugh. And, you love naked time. Whether it's just diaper time or bath time, you are happy to be free. We love you so very much. We are holding on to every precious minute while you are small, but we look forward to seeing you grow into the handsome young man that we know you'll become. You are a constant reminder of God's hand in every part of His creation.

Mommy & Daddy

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Chaselyn's awesome accessorizing.

Happy 4 month old boy!

I'm blessed!

More later.