September 23, 2012

Pre-birthday celebration!

I don't ever think I've had as much pre-birthday celebrating as I've had this year!  Up until a few days ago, my mindset was that 31 was kind of a no-biggie birthday, but boy has my hubby and family made this a special start to the year!  And there is still fun to come on my actual birthday tomorrow! 

Justin took our little family out for breakfast at Cracker Barrel this morning, since my Monday birthday makes it a little hard to do with his work schedule.  As we were driving there, he makes a turn off on the frontage road, and turns into a random parking lot, turns a huge u-turn and parks facing a billboard. He said, "Hang on a sec." I had no clue what he had up his sleeve, but literally within 10 seconds, this popped up on a huge BILLBOARD!!!

I think I about hyperventilated with all the giggling and times I said 'Oh my gosh'! For real!  

I was so shocked and surprised at this gift!  My husband is absolutely INCREDIBLE!!  I have absolutely no clue how he comes up with these amazing gifts he gives me!  I mean, seriously, who gets a birthday card the size of a house??!? What a lucky lucky lady I am to be married to this wonderful man!

My favorite "three boys" in the whole wide world.  Aren't they cute all dressed up for the Bronco game?

 We came back later in the day with my parents to show off my billboard!  =) And to get a few pictures all together.  I'm still in awe that this actually happened!
The boys finally saw themselves on the board!  It was so cute!  And then they kept saying Mommy and pointing to me!

A hug with my fabulous hubby!

And our family picture with the billboard!

If that wasn't enough, my mom cooked us a scrumptious dinner and even made a carrot cake from scratch for dessert! Y.U.M.!!!!  We celebrated with them tonight, because tomorrow, Justin and I are getting a date night while they watch the boys! I'm super excited!!

And if all THAT wasn't enough (along with my bike he gave me last week--see THIS post), I upgraded my phone this weekend!  I was due for one, and after a LOT of research, review, youtube comparison videos, and chats with my tech-guy (my brother Aaron!), I have said goodbye to my iphone!  GASP!!!  But I absolutely am loving my Samsung Galaxy s3!  It will take a bit of getting used to, but I was ready for a change!  A blog about my reasons will be coming soon!

And this is what my boys did while I was in the store getting it all switched out--watching Elmo! =)  Too cute!

What a birthday!!!

***One little request to those who text me or call me from an iPhone***
Please go into my contact on your phone and next to my phone number, change they type of phone from "iphone" to "mobile".  I will not be able to receive any texts from your phone if mine is listed as iphone (your phone is trying to send an imessage to mine, but my android will not receive them). It took us awhile today to figure out why I couldn't get texts from Justin's phone, so I want to make sure I don't miss anyone else's texts!  Thanks!!

September 16, 2012

Plan B Week

This past week was completely not what we expected it to be! We were planning on heading to Tulsa Thursday night for the weekend and an awesome marriage seminar we had planned on going to at our alma mater, but then 3 of 4 of us got sick... Will first last weekend, then Jack, and then Mommy wiped out last. So sad to say, we stayed home this weekend (SO sorry Mammaw and Pappaw!!) =(  Thank goodness Daddy stayed healthy! And I'm just so grateful for my parents who were willing to drop everything and come take care of the boys for 8 straight hours so I could stay in bed all day--feeling worse than I had in a long time!  They were my HEROES this week!!!

So here are a conglomeration of pictures from my phone from the last week-and-a half or so--the randomness that has been our life this week!

Since the boys love unrolling toilet paper now, I keep it off the wall hanger in our hall bathroom... so when Jack found a roll of paper towels under the sink, he thought he was helping by refilling it!  Ha!  He was SO proud of himself!!

A little workout time at Boppa and Gigi's house!

They walk in the door, climb on and say "walk!". They love the treadmill!!

This pic was actually from our first MOPS meeting 2 weeks ago--the boys' very FIRST art project!!  I now know why parents have a hard time throwing anything away!! ;-)

Will LOVES Betsy!  And wherever she is laying trying to rest, he crawls up to her, saying "night night" and then gets into her face to say hello! It's super cute! And he gets lots of 'kisses'!!

The boys still L.O.V.E. ducks! And anytime we're near water, they are scouring the water for them! 

Out on a walk with Daddy while Mommy was sick! Can you tell who  is who??

And Jack's new look... Playing his trumpet (he's finally figured out how to blow into it!) with Mr. Potato Head classes! Ha!

So that is your glance into our random past week!  We are finally all 100% better and ready to have a great week!  We hope you do too!

September 13, 2012

2 lbs to 2 years!

In what seems like the blink of an eye, our little guys have gone from 2 lbs to 2 years old!!

 Jack and Mommy...

Will & Mommy

What an amazing, incredible, stretching, fun-filled, and miraculous journey it has been!

Our boys are two years old (and a few days =), and each day with them has been a gift! I feel like I say it all the time, but these last few months have brought HUGE changes in our big boys! Now that they have turned 2, they no longer have their age adjusted from being preemies!  They have caught up in all ways! Preemie days are just a distant memory!

Jack--Weight: 27.6 lbs (with clothes) 44%ile
          Height: 34.75 in 58%ile
          Head circ: 20 in 93%ile
Will--Weight: 26.8 lbs (with clothes) 34%ile
         Height: 34 in 37%ile
         Head circ: 20 in 93%ile

Size 5 diapers
Size 6 shoes
18 month clothes, some 24 month shirts for length, but they are just too skinny still for 24 month pants!

Food right now is hit or miss... they are SUPER picky eaters at the moment!  A few of the things that they are still happy (most of the time) to eat are cheese, grapes, peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Pirate Booty (a cheesy puffed rice snack), turkey hot dogs, cookies, milk, juice, and water.  Everyone I talk to  says that this is the age of this, but it will pass! They are not much for any kind of meat, and old favorites like grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, or raviolis are not too popular right now. I'm looking forward to the day my boys want to eat again...but I'm sure then I'll feel like we're spending a fortune on food! Oh well! They are still eating in their high chairs, but love sitting in their booster seats at tables, or even just on regular chairs.

Having a snack time at the dining room table with our friends who came to play!

Holy cow... these boys are doing all sorts of stuff now!!  They are BUSY!! But honestly, it is so much fun watching them explore their world, and be able to be coordinated enough to do it without me having to be too worried!

-They love playing with other kids!  We have little playdates with friends, go to parks in the neighborhood, and when the weather is cool enough, we do lots of rides around in their wagon!  They love to watch for and feed ducks!
Our friends Gideon and Edgell
 -The week after their birthday, in the span of just a few days, they have mastered going up and DOWN the stairs all by themselves! It made us nervous for a few days as they were figuring it out, but now they are pretty good at it!

-They are all about doing things for themselves--eating, climbing up on things, etc, and they love having their snacks in our big chairs! Even with this 'doing it on their own', they are both very polite, saying please and thank you all the time! 

-They LOVE music, singing, and anything that has rhythm that they can dance to!  They sing all the time--some of their favorites are ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, The Wheels on the Bus, and Jesus Loves Me. They even have motions that go along with some of them! We have started accumulating some great musical instrument toys, and they are always playing them!  They love maracas, or "shakes" as we call them, they xylophone, drum, cymbals, and the piano.

-They also LOVE books, letters, and anything that has letters on them!  They say/sing their ABCs, and can identify correctly about 75% of the letters!  It absolutely shocked me when they'd start pointing to letters or picking up ones around the house, and getting them right!  They are such smart boys!
Reading with Mammaw

They adore these little books, and look at them all the time!
They found the Graco label on the crib, and sat there saying and pointing to the letters for quite a while!

-Oh, technology, how they ADORE you!! Iphones, Ipads, computers, even the TV... anything that they can tap, play on, make beep, is an absolute favorite of theirs.  They love to facetime with family, and they love to play games on our phones.  And they are really good at it too!  They know how to unlock the phone, swipe the page, tap on their game, and play it!  Especially William--he's our technology pro!
Facetiming with Joy, Ryley and Ryan
-The boys love "night-nights", AKA beds.  Whenever we let them, they love to climb up on our bed and play or watch cartoons.  When Gene & Kathy were here for their birthday, they spent time playing up on their bed too!

-They love climbing in things, especially any kind of box I've gotten to organize their toys.  Sadly, because they've gotten so big, they've also broken a lot of these boxes!

-The boys' personalities are definitely blossoming!  They are silly, caring, compassionate, creative, and they love to give each other hugs! Most of the time, these hugs end up turning into tackles, but it sure is adorable! They truly adore each other, and are always in tune with where brother is at all times!
They love their Mr. Potato Head glasses

Not always the best at sharing, but for the most part, they play well!

It's hard to even list all the words that they are saying now.  They are chatter boxes!! The differences in their personalities even show through in what they say...

Will is really good at repeating anything you ask him to.  He will try just about any word, and in the last few months, his 'l's have really improved. He used to call himself "Ee-yum" for William and "whoa" for Will.  Lately, he says "Willlllyum", and it is super cute! He has also started saying things in a really nasally voice too, which is just out of the blue and cracks us up! And it is mostly when he says his brother's name! Imagine say "Nacknun" with your nose pinched...that's what it sounds like!  Ha!

Jack isn't as willing to repeat words or phrases as Will on command, but he is the kind of repeating random entire phrases that I say.  The other day I gave him his snack and said, "there you go, Baby, " and he repeated that whole phrase right back to me!  And he does things like this all the time!  He also was the first to ask me for something using a whole phrase.  Up until now, they'll both say "Please Mommy" or "Thank you", but just the other day, I asked the boys if they wanted a bar (cereal bar), and Jack said, "Please Mommy bar"... a whole thought with a please!  And when I gave it to him, he said, "thank you!" Just amazes me!

They boys say "trade" a lot.  Trading whatever they have in their hands, a toy, their cup, etc, is their favorite thing to do.  This doesn't help with keeping germs separate, but I think their philosophy is that whatever brother had is definitely better than what they have! =)

It is the delight of our lives to get to be these boys' parents each and every day.  The last 6 months have brought about so many changes in our boys, and they are definitely little boys now. We are amazed and in awe of what they do on a daily basis, and we are just so blessed to have such healthy and happy boys! 

September 10, 2012

The men in my life...

I love the men in my life!  My first man (my Daddy!), my main man, and my little men!

First of all, my Daddy... we are so lucky to have our own Mr. Fix it living just moments away! He is always so willing to come over and do anything we need him to for us.  He has just about anything you could EVER need in his magic garage-it's amazing! And one of the most incredible gifts he gives to us every week...he mows our lawn!!

What a gift it is to our family--it means the boys and I get more time with Justin when he isn't working! Thank you so much, Daddy!  I love you!

And my little men... these guys are just getting so big! One of the many amazing presents they got for their birthday was a t-ball set.  This weekend we attempted it... and let's say they didn't quite grasp the point of it. =)

So we went to Walmart to get a second bat, but all we could find was another whole t-ball set. There are just some things that work better with two of!  Taking turns isn't one of their strong suits at the moment! =) Surprise surprise for 2-year-olds!
They are much happier taking turns when they each have their own bat and ball! =)

And my main man... oh how I love him!!  He works so hard for our family, and still makes time to come home and play with the boys.  I just love seeing my boys together--it melts my heart every time!  And today, he came home with a birthday present for me--14 days early! He asked me to go out and get him a soda out of the fridge, and this was out there...
My first new bike since I was in jr. high!!
I've been wanting a new bike for a long time, and now the weather is 'trying' to cool down, we've been talking about going on family bike rides. I told him that I wanted one with a basket, and what a man!! He brought me the cutest bike ever, AND it is purple!  My favorite color!  Great job, you sweet man! I love you! Can't wait for many many family bike rides together!
We rode over to my parents house to show off my new bike!

I am one lucky lady to have such amazing, thoughtful and loving men in my life! Just wanted to make sure you guys know how much I love you!!

September 9, 2012

Fall Please!!

Can you tell by my new blog look that I am SOOOO ready for fall to be here?!?

We have had a beautiful cool front come through the area the last few days, and I have been in heaven!  Our windows have been open for 24+ hours now, and the fresh cool breezes blowing through our home have been so welcome and enjoyed!  I know that it is wishful thinking, living in Texas, to actually think fall might be here. Especially since the temperatures are forecasted to be back into the mid-90s this afternoon and for the next few days, but, 90s are so much better than 105+ days, day after day after day!!

I'm ready to actually not be a hot, sweating mess everywhere I go! Chasing around two 2-year-old boys in this ridiculous heat, not being able to go outside and play for more than 5 minutes, and running our a/c 24 hours a day can just go away! Come on Fall!!


Hope you've been able to make it though my super-long last few blogs!  Other than the boys' 2 year old blog coming after their appointment on Monday, I think I just might be caught up!  Hallelujah!

California Trip--part 2

The final few days of our trip was all spent up in the Bay Area.  We were able to go to my cousin Christopher's house and visit with them for a little bit.  They live in a great house with a HUGE backyard that the boys loved exploring every inch of!  They have a Great Dane named Sly that was seriously like a horse for the boys!!!

The boys were fascinated by Sly!!
 I'm not sure they knew what he was at first since he was about 20 times bigger than our Betsy!
Danette and Sara trying to see if Jack could ride Sly!  
Sly didn't seem to mind too much!
The boys also got to jump on their trampoline with their cousin Olivia!  Such fun!
What is a good little boy to do?  Try to sneak the doggy a drink, of course!! ;-)
Look at the size of this dog!!!

We drove down to Palo Alto, where Unca and Sara live, and got to have a fun afternoon with them. They took us to a small zoo near where they live, and the boys had such a great time looking at all the animals!

 The group, minus Gigi taking our picture
They love Hop-Hops!

Their first ever view of a raccoon!
Watching for the mountain lion

Just their size peek-holes!  Watching the raccoons again!
Jack & Unca
Sara & Will

Trying to ride on a turtle statue!
Inside the zoo was a kids exploration museum.  We only had about 15 minutes to play before they closed for the day, but the boys LOVED every minute!!  They love getting to touch, explore, and play, and it just amazes me how big they are!  We definitely need to find a hands-on kids museum around here.

Such a boy... the couch and remote were the first things he found!

Jack was sporting Unca's monkey hat for quite awhile! =)
The last days of our trip were at Aunt Sharon and Uncle Dan's house.  I feel like these were finally the days that we got to slow down and have a bit of down time! 
They loved sitting on their bench seats eating their meals like big boys!

Peaking down the hallway at Coquetta, Aunt Sharon's parrot.
It was a toss up of who was louder--the bird or the boys!
We went the Alameda beach one day with the boys and Gram.  It was actually chilly enough to need our hoodies and jeans!

Enjoying the view of the bay
And afterward, they got to run in a big grassy area and explore, which they loved!
Jack going for geese... Run Gigi Run!!

The flag was a favorite!
And they found a friend too! 
Will pointing out his brother to the 'girl' (what they called her)

Giving high-fives!  Kids are just so friendly!

And thanks to Gigi volunteering to watch the boys and do bedtime alone one night, I got to go for a special night out with Uncle Dan and Aunt Sharon! Dan is a really talented landscape architect and is currently working on a project that is redoing the whole Presidio near the Golden Gate Bridge.  They took me on a tour, showing me details of what is to come, and it is going to be gorgeous!  They also showed me George Lucas' new beautiful facility and grounds that are now on the Presidio property as well.

They gave me a great tour of the Golden Gate was just too bad that the fog had rolled in and we couldn't see it!  But it was okay, because I have seen it before, and I was REALLY enjoying the cool weather! I haven't worn a fleece jacket in ages! =)
We had dinner at the Beach Chalet, with delicious fish and chips and a gorgeous view of the ocean right out the window!  What a treat to get to eat without helping boys eat or rushing through my own dinner!
Thank you Sharon and Dan for the wonderful memories with you both!
Tuesday morning, in the last few hours we had before heading to the airport, the boys and I played with Aunt Sharon at a park near her house.  The boys had a fantastic time, had fun running in the long wet grass, and getting really dirty!  A perfect morning for two boys!!
The boys having a blast with Nana Shay!

Total boys! Climbing and playing in the dirt!!

Doing their best to run up the hill!
And before we left, we made one final stop to see Grammie.  Mom had spent the morning with her and had her all fixed up so beautifully!  The boys just love Grammie, asking for her and pointing at her saying, "Grammie!" What a treat that we were able to spend so much time with her while we were out there.  It makes me sad knowing that she won't be around forever, but that makes me treasure these times all the more that I am able to be with her, and that my boys get to have time with her as well.  I know they probably won't remember this trip at all, but my own memories of it will never be forgotten!!

These two beautiful ladies are the most influential women in my life.  I am such a lucky person to have my mom and my grandma.  They are both such strong and capable women, with caring and giving hearts.  I have learned so much about patience, love, and following Jesus from watching their lives, and I'm so very proud that I get to follow in their footsteps!  I pray that I can even be half the woman you both are!  I love you!

What a fabulous and memorable trip this was for us! I was so thankful every moment for my mom! We were both on-duty 24/7, and I have to say, we are great tag-teamers!  I love that the boys had this special time with their Gigi--they truly both deepened their bond with her, and she with them!  Up until this trip, they would typically cry for me when I would leave them, but now they cry for her when she leaves!  I feel so blessed every day that my boys get to have such a special relationship with my parents! What a gift to get to live so close-by!

And the top three things I learned on this vacation:

#1--as mentioned in my last post--23 1/2 month-olds are NOT meant to be lap babies! But my inner-bargain shopper made it a necessity!

#2--Zipping your children into a toddler travel tent is THE ONLY way to travel! I'm sure that our tents saved many of our gracious host's homes from being quickly trashed by our little "twinadoes"!


#1--Ice cream can be a perfectly fine dinner when on vacation with super-picky eaters! (I may or may not have let the boys eat an ice cream cone for dinner--twice--instead of fighting them and not getting to eat my dinner. =)

Good times and GREAT memories!!  I'm so thankful we were able to take this trip!