Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Hunter (a few days early)

Hunter will be 3 in just 2 short days and all I can think is where does the time go?

We spent this evening, our last of 2 in Jacksonville, looking through old videos on my phone. The videos go back to when he was around 15 months old. I can still hear that sweet voice as he said his favorite phrase "whas at".

The time goes by way to quickly and while I get excited about his new independence a part of me gets sad to think he is growing up so fast. The last 3 years have been the absolute best years of my life. Becoming a mom has been the biggest blessing of my lifetime, second only to marrying my soulmate. Nothing compares to the love a parent has for their children. Nothing. For the first time I feel like I can understand, to a degree, the kind of love God has for us as his children. Simply Amazing.

Hunter is an awesome little boy. We of course think so but we are also told that by others regularly. He has such a big personality. I could see bits of it in his first year of life when he was super picky and particular about certain aspects of his daily routine. He is either 100% the happiest kid in the room, or he is having an all out melt down. He is very routine oriented and loves to be able to predict the next event. But at the same time he LOOOOOOOOVES a change up. He often asks if we can "go do fun stuff". Translation, go to the park, ride bikes, go fishing, play with friends, run errands etc. Basically "fun stuff" is anything out of the house.

He is ALL boy. Loves Loves Loves cars. Everywhere we go he asks me "mommy is that a fast car?". One of his favorite things is to watch you tube videos of fast cars racing. He has a big collection of cars, many of which have names. He has an unbelievable memory, no doubt passed down from Jordan, because he knows if a car is missing and can usually remember the last place he saw it. Impressive considering he has somewhere between 30-40 cars in his current collection.

He is surprisingly verbal for his age and gender. He LOVES to talk about anything. Our favorite thing to do is have him just tell us a story or ask him what his favorite....fill in the blank. He can go on forever. Sometimes I have to designate quiet time to give my ears a rest :)

Words and phrases he often mispronounces:
Crazberries (rasberries)
Choplot (Ketchup)
I'm too heavy (what he says if he can't do something I asked him to do)
I'm too tall (if he's too short to reach something)
I'm too fit (if he's too big to fit into a small space)
Achine (sound machine)
Tri-ci-cycle (tricycle)

He is a very clean eater. He gets upset if his hands get dirty or he spills something while he is eating. He CANNOT go on with the meal until the mess is taken care of. I actually first noticed this about him when he was just a baby. He freaked out during his cake smash at his first birthday because he didn't want to be dirty and have cake all over his hands. Also, if he sees a lot of stuff on the floor he will say "mommy look at all this mess".

He is a quality time and words of affirmation kid. He SOAKS up positive reinforcement. When we tell him something good that he did he will either silently nod his head yes or he will say "that's right" with the sweetest most innocent look on his face. It's so cute!

He loves to entertain people. He is his father's child! He craves to be the center of attention and when he gets it he is fun and full of personality and spunk. He loves to wrestle especially with daddy but he will settle for momma or Maddie too.

Hunter, you bring so much joy and laughter to our lives. We cannot imagine life without you. You are such blessing from God and we thank HIM for everyday we get to spend with you. We love you.



Monday, February 14, 2011

Chicago

This past weekend me and 5 of my girlfriends went on a girls trip to Chicago! This was a much anticipated long awaited trip. We actually wanted to do it last year but the timing never worked out. We had so much fun that we were already planning our next girl trip location before this one was even over!

This was my first time to leave Madison overnight but since she was going to be with Jordan it wasn't as hard as I thought it might be. I left him with plenty of milk in the fridge and freezer and he and the kids had a fun weekend at home too!

We are in the process of packing and moving back to Houston while we wait out the NFL lockout (who knows how long that will take) and then eventually free agency to find out where our next team will be. So since we have no idea how long it will take until football resumes we need to be in Houston (in our home) while we wait so Jordan can train with his guy here and stay prepared for free agency, whenever that may be.

It was very hard to imagine leaving for a girls weekend when my house was in boxes and I had a POD in the driveway that needed to be loaded. I rushed around as much as possible to get to a stopping point that I was ok with leaving. Jordan assured me that no ground would be lost while I was gone and kept encouraging me to just go and enjoy the time away! He's such a good husband :)

We all arrived at various times on Friday. Sara and I arrived in the morning, Rachel, Amy and Kristen in the early afternoon and Dre just before dinner. We checked in to our hotel, dropped our bags off and immediately hit Michigan Ave shopping.

Sara and I were there for lunch on Friday and we walked over to Giordano's for some Chicago style pizza....AH-MAZING.
After lunch we shopped some more until the rest of the girls arrived. I was actually on a hunt for 3 dresses, for a wedding the next weekend, and I bought 2 in my first hour of shopping (both at an incredible discount by the way). By the time everyone arrived we went to Gibson's steakhouse for dinner before heading to the comedy club.

The next morning we slept in and went to Yolk for breakfast. It is the number 1 rated restaurant in Chicago, out of thousands, so we were pretty excited! It was VERY good and the portions were VERY large!

After brunch we hit the town shopping some more. We shopped all day long and found such great deals that we looked like pretty woman on Rodeo drive x 6 with all our shopping bags! I so wish we had gotten a picture of all of us with all of our bags, the bellmen at our hotel seemed pretty entertained by it.

Amy, Me, Rachel, Sara, Kristen and Dre


Sara and Dre
Amy and Rachel
Sara and Amy
The weather could not have been more perfect. Chicago had a huge snow storm the week before we went so we were nervous about going but the days we were there it was perfect! Not too cold at all and all the snow was pushed into huge 4 foot piles on the side of the road and sidewalks.
We got a kick out of this
After a very full day we came back to the hotel and got ready for dinner and Les Miserable. We didn't have reservations anywhere so we ended up grabbing some sandwiches on our way to the show.


The show was VERY LONG...3 hours but the production was amazing
The next morning we went to Grande Lux Cafe for brunch and we talked about where and when our next trip will be...a spa in Arizona? The wine country in northern California? horseback riding through the mountains of Colorado? To be determined!

I arrived back home late last night and wanted to wake up my babies and snuggle them, I missed them so much. I had fun hearing stories from Jordan of what they did while I was gone. I was impressed that Jordan actually took them both to their well visits at the pediatrician while I was gone...the Doctor and nurses were impressed to! Taking both kids to the Doc alone is not an easy task! I am so thankful to Jordan for giving me this much needed weekend away with girlfriends to recharge! In the midst of packing and preparing to move across country in a few days it was hard to imagine leaving a house full of boxes and a long to do list but it was soooooo worth it! Thanks babe!

I should mention...there was still plenty of ground covered in the packing department while I was gone. Jordan was quite the multitasker!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Jordan's Birthday weekend

Jordan's 31st birthday was spent at home just the 4 of us. We had one of his favorite meals for dinner, taco's, followed by some yummy homemade chocolate sheet cake. This was actually Madison's first bite of cake ever!

she has no idea what's in store
Hunter gets so excited for birthdays. He loves party hats, cake and candles.
Jordan had mentioned a while back he needed a coller-less jacket for when he rides his Harley, among some other small gear for riding, so the kids and I stocked him up with some gear!

scary face mask!


Maddie was cracking up at the boys
Jordan had the opportunity to go duck hunting with Matt Allen on his birthday weekend. I know how much he loves to duck hunt with Matt so I was happy to swap Sara for the weekend. She and Jax came here to hang out while Jordan and Matt hung out and hunted all weekend. He actually left on his birthday so we celebrated a little early.

We always have fun when Sara and Jax come. The older the boys get the more their age gap seems to close so they especially had fun together on this trip.

We took the kids for a walk everyday because it was beautiful outside!

Maddie snugglin wih Sara

going down the slide together
throwing rocks in the pond






It's always nice to have Sara and Jax in town especially when they are filling the hole of daddy being gone! I really don't like being home overnight when Jordan is out of town so I LOVE it when we get to do a trade! Can't wait till next time!

Friday, February 4, 2011

9 months old

Seriously how is Madison already 9 months old?! Our sweet baby girl is getting big way too fast. She seriously changed overnight this month. She went from the quiet watcher to the extremely LOUD go getter! This little girl found her voice in a big way. The level of volume that she reaches totally cracks us up. We joke that she must be trying to talk over Hunter, who is a notoriously loud talker. She loves to hear the sound of her voice and will often times pick a note and literally hold it for like 45 seconds or until she runs out of air. It goes well beyond any normal amount of time we would expect one to be able to hold a note.

The big thing for her this month has to be that she took her first steps today! She has been standing alone since the day she turned 8 months old so I knew this first step would come soon but nonetheless she totally caught me off guard today. She was standing alone in front of me playing and I grabbed my phone to take her picture and she lunged towards me, taking one single but complete step. I kind of let out a surprised gasp and she sat down and looked up at me like I scared her! So then I spent the next few minutes trying to recreate it for Jordan and we were able to get her to take 2 steps in a row 3 different times. Each time she did it she was trying to reach for something.

This is actually the picture I was taking right before she stepped to me
Wondering why her momma is so crazy :-)
She started clapping too. She doesn't always make contact with her hands sometimes it's an air clap but she usually does it when she is dancing to music. She still has the same 6 teeth she had last month. She still cruises and crawls all over the room at an unbelievable speed so we pulled out the pack n play this month as our safe spot to put her when we need to. She does really well playing in there and will play for 30-45 minutes before she gets bored and wants to run loose. I never did the playpen with Hunter, but we also lived in a much easier place to baby proof at that time. It has worked out really well with Madison though. Sometimes Hunter will climb in there and play with her, which is cute.




She mastered the sippy cup this month. She has gotten water in a sippy at her meals since she started solids at 5 months. But at some point this month she figured out how to drink from it independently. So long as it is at least half full she can tilt it enough to drink it on her own. This was seriously THE BEST thing to her. Oh my word, she LOVES being able to get a drink when she wants to. She just giggles and giggles.


The sippy cup is pretty much her favorite entertainment right now. When we go on walks or have long car rides I will give her a lap full of toys and water in a sippy cup and she will spend the ENTIRE time playing with and drinking from her cup, giggling and laughing in between each sip.

She eats whatever we eat at meals plus her fruits and veggies in the baby food form. She still loves baby food so I continue to give it to her! Hunter was SO over baby food at this age that getting a well balanced diet in him was a bit challenging. It's definitely not an issue with this girl. In fact I can' t think of a single food she won't eat! She has a big appetite and is not a picky eater at all, for now. She tried peanut butter this month for the first time. We started with Hunter at 10 months and planned to introduce it to her around the same time but she had other plans in mind. One day Eli came over to play and I made the boys peanut butter sandwiches. I gave the boys their sandwiches and I went back to the kitchen to get Madison's food and I turned around to see Madison had swiped Eli's sandwich right off his plate and was eating it!


She loved it!

She also LOVES corn, just like her brother

My biggest challenge in the eating department with her is getting her to sit still long enough to nurse! She does really well first thing in the morning and right before bed. But her 11am and 3pm feeds are REALLY difficult. She has to have ZERO distractions and noises or lights...she is just way to busy to stop and nurse so I have to catch her when she is super tired. I really think she could drop down to just 3 sessions a day but I haven't attempted it yet. For now she nurses about 3-5 minutes on those afternoon feeds, if I'm lucky and then maybe closer to 10-15 minutes in the morning and at night.

Her 9 month checkup is is going to be at the same time as Hunter's 3 year checkup so I will post stats after I get them. She wears size 4 diapers, size 3 shoe, mostly size 12 month clothes. She is really long so if her outfits have feet she needs the 12 month but otherwise she can still fit in some 9 month stuff.

She is in the process of dropping her 3rd nap. She needs it about 50% of the time right now. Some days she naps for 1.5 hours in the morning and then 2.5-3 hours in the afternoon. On those days she only needs 2 naps. But then some days she takes shorter naps and she needs that third nap in order to make it to at least 6pm. The days she takes two naps she goes to bed at 6pm on the dot. Other days its closer to 6:30/6:45pm.

Her schedule right now is roughly:

7:00-7:30am wake, nurse and eat breakfast
9:00-10:30am nap 1
11:00am nurse and eat lunch
12:30-2:30pm nap 2
3:00pm nurse and eat a small snack
4:00-4:30pm nap 3
5:00pm dinner
6:00pm nurse
6:30pm bedtime

This is probably their favorite time of the day. They both LOVE bath time.
Madison has some crazy hair. I usually blow dry it after her bath so it isn't wild and crazy. When left on its own...it looks a bit like a macaroni penguin ;-)

She is such an easy baby. She eats well, sleeps well, is entertained easily and is always happy. She loves to watch Hunter. He can make her laugh easier than anyone. They have such a neat bond already and it's so much fun to watch them interact. Hunter loves to get her to wave bye-bye to him and he is always trying to get her to say momma and dadda. She loves to mimic him. She waves when he does, she sticks out her tongue when he does, and she clicks her tongue when he does. They love to play peek a boo and she will bow her head and then pop it back up and start laughing. I seriously could watch them interact all day long! Jordan and I are constantly entertained by them and we find ourselves laughing at them all the time. What an incredible blessing they have been in our lives. We love our little family.

This is my kind of night. S'mores by campfire with my 3 favorite people