Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thanksgiving in the Loo

This year was our every-other-year trip to St. Louis for Thanksgiving with Vince's family. I am not going to go into the hassle/hell of travelling with a 2.5 year old and a 4 month old. If you have done it you know and if you have not please take my advice and DO NOT DO IT. Or at least schedule better flights than our heidous choices of an 8pm and 8am flight.
Here is James in IAH ready for his first flight. This was before I was bouncing him up and down the aisle and watching the person squeezed into the seat next to me play Angry Birds.


Once we were there the trip drastically improved! The Wall/Morris families are busy and kid filled, which is right up the alley of Alex and Zach. They also do a lot of eating and talking which makes James and I happy. The first night we arrived at the house to see this sign courtesy of the sweet Engel cousins. What a way to make a baby feel welcome (and his mamma). 



We stayed with another set of Alex's cousins who had two darling twin girls who are 7 and a sweet boy basically the same age as Zach. The first morning we arrived I knew my big boy was a Wall through and through when the second he had woken up, Alex plopped him in the middle of those three (whom he had never met) and promptly left. Zach was happy as can be and didn't notice or need us for the next 24 hours. That is not the way of my family.

Zach really attached himself to Hannah. She was so sweet to him and he just adored her. Luckily for her, her family left on Thanksgiving so she got a break - Zach however was detestated and still talks about why Megan and Hannah had to leave.


The Friday after Thanksgiving is always the Wall/Morris soccer game. It was breezy and chilly this year, which was a nice change from Houston for sure. James spent the game like this:

 Being pushed all around by his Ollie so he would not cry.

Zach really wanted to go out onto the field with the adults and big kids and finally got to play during halftime with the other little kids who don't understand sharing the ball, what a goal is or why they can't use their hands. His Auntie Tami and Uncle Dave were very patient with him.



We only go every other year and every other year I stress out about it for a good month, dread it as it gets closer, then thoroughly enjoy myself once I am there. All the cousins are so warm and gracious with their time, shops (Hi Beth!!) and homes. Plus there are no fewer than 5 children around at all times to spread out all that Zach talking and busyiness. Please, they are Walls - they are nothing but busy. And they all love my babies. And as my mother says; anyone who loves my babies I love. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

5 Months

Last week James hit the 5 month mark - and the 16 lb mark. Skinny babies need not apply here.


I know how much he weighs not because we visited the doctor for a regularly scheduled check up, but for yet another cold. Apparently, me saying "Get OUT of his face, Zachary!" while his brother kissed, patted and sang to him did absolutely no good. But aside from a hacking cough, (followed by a sneeze and an "Oooo") you would not know he is sick. James is just the happiest baby on the block. He just beams when I catch his eye and has started to giggle. We play this little game while we bath Zach: He sits in the Bumbo and we look at Zach, then look at each other and smile - his followed by a mini giggle. It is nice to be someone's favorite I am not going to lie.

He also has noticed he has feet. He tries to reach them in the Bumbo, gets his chubby legs stuck and starts to cry. His has more hair now and it is pretty dark (contrary to how it looks in photos). I am thinking maybe he will have brown hair with auburn highlights. A girl can dream. 

James is getting excited about Christmas (Shhh don't tell him he is getting clothes and some of Zach's hand me down toys) and starting school the first of January. He goes for some trial days next week, but who am I kidding; he will be fine, I need the trial run to remember how to get to work on time. 

James at 4 months

James at 3 months

James at 2 months

James at 1 month

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Like Zach

On a recent Costco run I spotted some footed pajamas and luckily they had them in both my boys sizes. Zach had a pair of normal pajamas that had sports balls all over them and wanted to wear them until they started to cut of his circulation, so when I found some similar, though footed, I snatched them up. However, the print x2 is a bit much.



Zach loves to have James match him and James obviously does not care, he just likes to be close to Zach to do some solid staring at him.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pinterest made me do it

A few months back I saw Pinterest mentioned on a blog I read and because I am a total follower I rushed over to join. I was not really sure about it and was a bit of a slow starter. But once more of my friends joined and we are all linked together it. is. awesome. Basically it is a virtual pin board, so when you come across something on a website you want to remember to make/bake/wear/buy you just "pin it" to a board on your Pinterest page.

Once I started planning Zach's third birthday I really got the hang of it. I decided to use the theme "Little Man" so I needed samples of little man parties and all sorts of mustache themed suggestions. And I was not disappointed! I spotted an invite and party favor tags from Sarah at Create Studio and wanted to use them immediately. She mentioned in her post that she would share them and graciously did so. Did I mention that I do not know Sarah? That upon reading that she would share them I emailed her and she sent them right over like the awesome stranger she is? Because both of those are true. World wide web - what did I do without you? (Do NOT answer "talked to my husband"... because that is also true)

Here is the invite I designed stole based on her favor tags:


I am totally geeked out on planning all the things to go with the theme but also enjoy that I am hindered by the Children's Museum restriction on no hanging things on walls or ceilings. Let's face it, I need some boundaries.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy-ish Halloween


Last Halloween post, I promise.

Pirate Zach loved trick or treating. Loved. It. But I did not love the meltdown before, followed by the timeout (because he literally could not hear a word I was saying with the lure of candy floating in his head) and the meltdown after because he wanted to go back out. Why do I forget that Halloween is terrible? That it is just too much? Too much excitement, too much build up, too many expectations (both parents and kids) and too much candy? It is exhausting.

But the fun part of the evening was when Zach and his friend Tyler were hitting the houses in our neighborhood. After the 2nd one they had it down. We, the ever doting parents, let them go up to the door by themselves. Yes, they are not even 3 years old, but we could not leave the cooler unmanned. To be fair, I was wearing the tired parrot and Jen was holding my beer. But the two little boys walking up to the doors was possibly one of the cutest things I have ever seen.

video


One tired parrot, up waaaay past his bedtime.


Zach and Alex sorting the loot.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Four Months

James is four months old and happy as can be! Well he is happy when I am holding him and his brother is not "patting" him. He weighs 14 lbs and is 25.5 inches long. That makes him in the 36% for weight and 74% for height. He caught wind of that 36% and has since been eating like I have been starving him. Every 3 hours.

James laughs and beams at us all the time but the main change from 3 to 4 months, is that he has found his hands and he loves to put them in his mouth. He also kicks and waves his arms around in his bouncer. Especially when he is getting tired. It is like he ramps up before he crashes. He is still not sleeping through the night, but I know that will come.

Actually, I secretly think I am never going to get a full night's sleep again. Two days ago James only got up at 11 then slept until 7...but his brother was up at 3 and 4. Such is the life of a mother to young children. This too shall pass (says my mom).


James at 3 months

James at 2 months

James at 1 month

Monday, November 14, 2011

Parading Pirate

I went to Zach's Halloween parade again this year and he was an old pro at this whole parading gig. He walked with his friend Evelyn as Elmo, roared with Dragon Ben and danced away when I left. James stayed at home with his friend Maria so I could hang out with my big guy alone. 





Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Failed Pumpkins

I tried yet another crafty project with Zachary - making faces out of raisins on oatmeal raisin cookies. He is very into pumpkins right now so we called them pumpkins and he was excited. For about 3 pumpkins then he just wanted to eat the raisins. And similar to his bunnies, his look like Salvador Dali got a hold of the pumpkin face.

This one has eyes, a nose, a mouth and a neck. 


Please note my "samples" at the bottom.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Zoo Boo times Two

Just like last year we took Zach and now James, to the Houston Zoo for Zoo Boo. All the kids are dressed up and they get to pick a mini-pumpkin to decorate and trick or treat from tents around the park. This year we went the Friday before Halloween and it was packed. It was also the first cool day of the year so Zach the Pirate looked like Zach the Skeleton for much of the day (thank you Aunt Vickie!).


I made both the boys costumes which I like to do and I figure this will be the last year before they want to be superheros or football players. And let's be honest - I had a vision. A vision of Zach the Pirate and James the Parrot. 



Zach mid "Arrrr"

The Houston Zoo has a new African exhibit with giraffes, ostrich and rhinos. You can also pay $5 and feed the giraffes. It was super cool even though Zach was a tad scared so Alex and Vince got to feed them. There is also a new large monkey exhibit. Each monkey had a blanket. No joke, the zoo keepers gave each monkey a blanket and they were all covered up in them. One even brought his over to the window, spread it out and sat on it. The gesture was entirely human. Fascinating. 


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chubby

Are you kidding me with those jowls? James is so chubby I cannot even tell you.  I kiss those cheeks semi-constantly. He weighs almost 14 lbs and seems to be getting chubbier by the day and could eat all the other 3 month olds we see. Of note - he is just nursing except for one bottle before bedtime. So either my boobs are overfeeding him without telling me or we can be expecting a major lengthening out soon....fingers crossed.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Holiday Time!

I was trying to take a picture of both boys in their Halloween shirts. Zach's has a ghost riding a skateboard, which he loves and James' says "My Auntie gives the best candy". Cute, cute, cute. However, the pictures are not....one tired baby and a talkative toddler do not good pictures make.



Zach decided to kiss James on the head, after smacking him on the head. Oh, brotherly love.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Too Soon

A few weekend's back we traveled to Dallas for my niece's first birthday party. In between a potty-training toddler and a nursing infant it took us almost 6 hours. Each way. It was totally worth it though as the party was fun and Charlotte is just the most precious little girl ever! I won her over quickly by a)sounding just like her mom and b) taking her to see the balloons any time she wanted. I know how to win favorite Auntie status.

On Sunday we took family photos for my dad to put in the Denton Benefit League Tabloid. What do you mean you have never heard of that? I don't actually know what it is either, just that each year my dad buys ad space in it and it is THE paper insert that EVERYONE in Denton reads filled with photos of small business owners and their children/grandchildren. Ok well, I might have built that up a tad, but Lauren and I read it each year and see judge how our high school friends have changed. I am serious. My mother mails it to both of us.

I am currently trying to convince my dad to just use a picture of the kids or one of all of us because unfortunately I am giant after having James a few short months ago and I sort of blend in when it is 8 of us.





Friday, October 7, 2011

Tres Meses

How is my baby 3 months old? I don't get it. Where has the time gone? Part of me feels like he has been here forever and part of me feels like he just arrived.

He is now 13 lbs and almost 24 inches long. He is a big boy. His eyes are holding blue and he hair is holding old man as well. We just adore him. He has started sleeping a bit more which has helped that adoration substantially.

It is like he arrived to fit perfectly into a space in my heart that I didn't know was there.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Big Boy



I feel the 2.5 year age is so good and so bad at the same time. I have been describing my time in the afternoons/evenings with both boys the same way. There are some truly sweet moments where I have to grab my big boy and hug him, or laugh at the things that are coming out of his mouth. Then there are the moments where I want to yell "Why do I have all these children??". And by "want to yell" I mean that I do. Well I don't yell, but I do say it under my breath. Or in my closet.

But in general I am so in love with the original little Wall right now. Zach is still talking up a storm and I need to start taping him or at least writing down the things he says. Usually he delivers them in a very serious manner. Like when I laughed at something he said, he giggled and told me "I am funny, Mommy." Or when I catch him imitating me (without realizing he is doing it) by telling James, "Your big brother is riiiiiiight here, James." And then shhushing him like we do when James is fired up. The other day he told his Ollie that she could put the extra pretzels in the pantry "...if you like".

Most of the things he does/says I know without a doubt are only funny to Alex and me (well and maybe to his grandparents). So it is these moments when Alex and I are laughing at/with him that I feel like a family. These are the little things that you look back on and talk about when they will say "When I was little" and Alex and I will say "Remember when Zach/James...". These are the moments that make up their childhoods. And of course I try to get all weepy about it (hormones I tell you) and ruin the moment.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Batting those eyelashes

James has the curliest, longest eyelashes of all of us. I have no clue where he gets them. But they always make me smile when they flutter on me. I have started swaddling him and letting him cry a bit for his naps (which made an enormous difference right away), but as I lay him down and swaddle him he always smiles and bats his eyelashes at me. NO matter how tired he is - he is committed to fighting sleep as long as possible and that move always works.

Oh and PS his eyes are still blue. I think they just might stick. So far his eyes are the only thing that makes him look different from his brother. Otherwise they are twins. Right down to the profile.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sidekick

One of the many quandaries related to having two children is the issue of strollers. Do I need a double and if so, what kind? I covet a double BOB jog stroller (I have been known to say that is the reason for me having another baby) but do I really NEED it, especially since we don't leave the house in the 100+ degree heat that has finally broken? Should I just get another umbrella stroller and attach it to my current on?

Enter the Orbit Sidekick. I am borrowing my sister's Orbit G2 stroller, which I "suggested" she purchase and I just knew with as fancy as it is, it had  to have some sort of toddler attachment or way to make it a double stroller. Sure enough they make a "Sidekick" which is basically a skateboard attached to the wheel of the stroller, complete with handle for the child to hold onto. Just the coolness of this alone made me buy it. And the irony that James is in fact Zach's sidekick is not lost on me as well.

Zach loves it. He thinks he is so big riding his skateboard and he gets just as much attention as James when we go places. He was uncertain at first as you can see from the video of our test run, but has embraced it now. My sister questioned if I had in fact done this myself, which she would not put past me to some how rig a skateboard to her stroller. I reassured her that no, it is an actual product and totally removable too.


video

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hook 'Em

Here are our two littlest Longhorns ready for the first UT game of the season. Well the one that we could actually watch. Thanks to Aunt Vickie for the matching jerseys!


James has the lower lip out which means the second after I took this he started to scream. I did have to get the boys arranged properly which took a while...he will soon get used to it, I am sure.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Line of Sight

James is getting more and more interested in looking around the rooms he is in and staring hard at his surroundings. Some of his favorite staring points are the sun on his play mat, the curtains in our room and now; himself.

Guess who figured out there was a mirror up there? Though he looks slightly unsure about what he is viewing...


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2 Months

Keeping with the trend of doing things before his big brother, James has gone ahead and chubbed up faster too. Check out those thighs and double chin! I would like all that chub to help him sleep more at night....

He has started to smile but it is hard to catch. He is super smiley first thing in the morning, sometimes working in a little giggle. He really is a happy, fun baby. He is very alert the one hour out of 3 that he is awake. He likes to sit in his papasan bouncer (that doesn't bounce anymore) and watch Zach eat dinner or chat with me while I check email. But he really prefers for you to hold him and talk to him - who doesn't? He has started to move his mouth like he wants to talk and make little cooing sounds. He still has blue eyes and crazy long eyelashes. It looks like he is using Latisse.

We love him to pieces, I can't stop kissing and squeezing him. Even big brother Zachary who, when I told him to get off his brother as he was squishing him told me, "Mommy I am a blanket and James is cold." What can I say to that?

Obviously I said, "get off your brother", but metaphorically speaking it was sweet.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Favorites

One of the fun things about James wearing all of Zach's hand-me-downs is that I get to see them again and I do have my favorites. There are also a fair amount of ones that I don't know why I did not give away the first time....sleep deprivation, I blame so much on you.

My favorite onesie in this 3-6 month size (because that is where my 2 month old is now), is this alligator one from the Wall's friends the Pelikans. I did wonder at the time why they didn't send one with a Pelican on it...but perhaps that would have been too obvious. Anyway, Zach picked it out this morning for James to wear and it looks just as good as it did two years ago.

Round 1

Round 2


Friday, September 2, 2011

Splash Day

Back when I was giant and pregnant at the end of June, I was also out of my mind as I volunteered to be the parent helper at Zach's school's Splash Day. Splash Day is basically just a day where they wear their swim suits and run through slip n slides and blow up pools. I wanted to do it as I was already on leave and obviously don't get to do these things when I work.

But oh was it hot. Not as sweltering as now...but still plenty hot. And having James kicking in my belly and heating me up was not helping. But Zach was thrilled I was there - and truthfully I was too! I just had to go home and elevate and rest for the rest of the day. It was at 10:15 in the morning.

 This is Zach's girlfriend Abby. Obviously he likes her as 
she was the only girl in a two piece.


Since I am too lazy to have a towel with Zach's name on it,
he uses one from when I was little with my name on it.

Last picture of me before James was born. 
I am just going to pretend I looked better in real life.
Feel free to do the same.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What did Norman do?

When Zach is in trouble for hitting or screaming or whatnot, he goes to his "spot", which is basically time-out, we just started calling it his spot as he sits on a hot pink mat. And usually screams. I got the mat for our laundry room to match the hot pink stencils on the wall (I will give you a minute for that to sink in), but somehow it worked its way out of the laundry room and into the breakfast room.

Where Norman likes to sleep on it. When Zach sees him he always exclaims "Norman is on my spot! Did Norman hit you Mommy?" then to Norman "We will set the timer and come back to get you."

Poor Norman, just resting and Zach has him in time-out.




Monday, August 29, 2011

Small Adjustment

While adjusting to having a new baby in the house is not, in any way a small adjustment, one thing is: being called Mommy. With Zach, people would say "There's your Mommy!" and I would look around for the true person who would come take care of him. Perhaps someone who was not drinking on the job. With James though, I took to it right away. Most likely because the person who calls me Mommy does so about 130 times a day. I have been worn down. "Yes, yes I AM your Mommy and I am RIGHT HERE."