Saturday, December 31, 2011

23 Weeks-Finally a Picture

At 23 weeks with Baby 2
For those of you (or just that one special someone) who hasn't seen Baby 2 yet :)

My Top 11 in 2011


I have to admit I had lofty aspirations about what 2011 would mean for me in terms of photography.  Running after a busy toddler, unexpected work travel for my husband, a cross-country (literally from sea to shining sea) move and a new baby on the way kind of derailed my plans.  Regardless I do have some photos from this year that just capture the wonderfulness that it was in spite of all the craziness!!  Here they are in no particular order...

This is the Little Guy and his cousin.  I love their expressions in this picture.  It is almost impossible to get both of them to look at the camera at the same time, let alone smiling!  So this is a great compromise.

This was soon after the Little Guy learned to sit up.  I love the simplicity of it and I love how you can see his hair.  That was his trademark during the first six to ten months of his life.

We did an early birthday party since we were traveling during the real date.  Afterwards we set up a "smash cake" session in our kitchen.  This is my favorite shot.

Just can't leave out the picture with the seersucker pants!

This was one of the first times I found him standing up in his crib.  We had to lower the mattress after this!  First steps to being a big boy.  I just wish I had all of his fingers in the shot!
This was at a little friend's birthday party.  It was his first cupcake and clearly he had no trouble eating it! Quite the catch wouldn't you say?

I love this one too!!  I love the hat and his open mouth.  This was his happy face for a while and it just reminds me of that time.

Little Guy and Daddy are best friends.  I loved having a screen door at our house because once he started crawling he could wait for Daddy to come home from work.  This is one of my favorite pictures ever.
Aw!!  My first shot with both of my boys!! (Although we didn't know it was a boy at the time!)  I used this shot to tell some friends and family our news!

Our first real Halloween.  We were a great tiger although our "roar" was slightly unconvincing.  A little too sweet!

Daddy and the Little Guy at the aquarium.  It probably isn't the awesomest shot ever but it's an important one for us so I had to include it.

I can't wait to look back over the next year and see what fun shots I have to remember 2012!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Horsing Around

Great-grandparents have all sorts of fun things at their houses!


Look I'm riding the horse!

This is so fun!!

Using Utensils

Little Guy has become increasingly more independent.  I appreciate that he asserts his independence in a really sweet, gentle way.  He enjoys climbling and descending the stairs by himself.  If he seems unsure I will ask him, "Do you need help?" and he will respond with "Help" if he wants it.  One of the ways he is showing his independence is using utensils at dinner.  This is usually hit or miss.  Until now bibs were pretty optional at our house.  He was an extremely neat eater and I never had to worry unless we were having something really messy.  Now we are back to bibs!  Here are a few awesome shots from our lasagna lunch today.  He has also started squinting for the camera because he doesn't like the flash!

He'll be a pro in no time!!

Miscenllany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. Missing

There's another M for your Monday!  Seems like I've been missing from the blogging world forever.  I really Miss blogging and don't plan to be Missing forever!!

2. Skype

God bless the creator of Skype.  He/she/they are truly my hero this Christmas.  We've been spending lots of time apart this year because of work related travel as well as time away from family because of a cross-country move.  I love Skype.  I. LOVE. Skype (those of you who know me know that I don't lover the over-used "period after everything trend" so you KNOW that I love skype if I am doing that!!)

3. Hmm-hmm

We've been working on saying "thank-you" in our house for a couple of months.  The Little Guy seems to have caught on and sometimes will even spontaneously say "thank you" without being prompted by myself or others.  Sometimes though he just makes the intonation.  It's hard to write about how it sounds but basically he doesn't say anything he just makes a noise that sounds like "hmm-hmm" but you can totally tell it is "thank you".  He is a funny little guy!!

4. Wonder-words

The pastor at the church I attended this morning talked about a lot of words we use to describe the Christmas season.  I've always loved the word "awesome".  Not in an over-used 80s kind of way but in the real sense of the word.  If something is AWEsome it means it inspires awe in you.  How great is that?  This about WONDERful and AWEsome in that sense as you approach Christmas.  I hope it will really be a time that is "full of wonder" for me and those around me.  I pray that our sweet song will someday be AWEstruck at the Grace of the Gospel!

5. Can't help but end with a picture of the Little Guy!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas 2011

Life in the military has caused us to change certain Christmas traditions.  We aren't fortunate enough to live close to either of our families so each year things are a little different.  We celebrated with my family today and the Little Guy was extremely excited to get new "trucks".  That is one of his favorite things right now and I love hearing him say "truck, truck" over and over! 

Mama and the Little Guy

Ma, Pa and the grandkids--clearly the days of cheesy grins are past

Boycotting the high chair

Opening presents is fun!

A truck!!!!

21 Week Update

Pregnancy Update

Um I still don't have a current picture.  I swear I'm going to get one!! 

21 Weeks 2 Days

Weight Gain: 10ish pounds  Not sure since I am at 2 different Doctor's offices and their scales could be different.  So it could be a little more or a little less
Sleeping: Much less now!  I have lots more energy and now that we are visiting family I've had lots of help with the Little Guy.  I am still able to sleep the whole night without getting up but I know the days of running to the bathroom are coming!  It is starting to be uncomfortable to sleep on my back.
Craving....nothing really.  I still can't bring myself to eat a lot of meat.  I mostly want fruit and bread.  Although tonight I really wanted some Japanese food!!  But nothing even comes close to the whole orange juice thing from last time.

Other Symptoms....nothing really!  The carpal tunnel seems to have abated for a while and the heartburn is minimal.  I am thankful!! busy busy busy!!  This little BOY is just as busy as his big brother was in utero.  He kicks and moves around a lot.  I love it!  When I went for my 20-week ultrasound he was so active and it was really fun to watch.  The tech said he has chubby cheeks and really long toes!
Other random things....finally needing to wear my maternity pants.  I can still get by with my regular shirts and a few pants that are 1 size bigger than normal.  Today I had someone mention I was pregnant for the first time that I hadn't told.

We haven't even discussed names yet.  We referred to Stafford as "Harrison" the whole time as a joke.  Not because we think the name is funny but we knew we weren't going to use it and we needed a name to call him.  One of my friends really liked the name Harrison so she called him that and it stuck.  This time I think the baby will be Houston because let's be honest....with our last name Houston just might be a problem!

15 Month Update

Dear Stafford,

In the time between your 1st birthday and the 15 month mark our lives became increasingly busy!  Mama decided that updating every 3 months is the way to go from now on!  I was happy to get your sweet picture this month because you are such a busy boy!

Hopefully I won't confuse your milestones again because I am again over 6 weeks late in updating this!  I promise I'm going to do better.

You are not really our Little Guy anymore!  At your 15 month appointment you weighed 25 pounds!  In 6 months you went up from the 12ish percentile to the 62nd!  You have a cute little belly and chunky thighs.  You are finally starting to be right on par for your clothes and I think you'll even grow out of your 12-18 month size a little early!  You are wearing size 4 diapers and size 4 shoes. 

You took your first steps during the month of August and you have become an expert walking, runner and climber!  You love to go "up" and we hear that and "dada" the most around our house.  You are a talker but you don't just chatter to yourself.  You tend to say something if you want to be heard.  Definitely more like Daddy than Mama!  You know a lot of words!!  My favorite thing you do though is the noise that the cow makes.  You say "boo" with gusto!  You also use the word please correctly all the time.  We are working on teaching you that you don't just get what you want when you say please.  It is hard though because that "peeease" is so sweet!

You love to climb.  We have a new loveseat that isn't very tall and you are able to get up there by yourself.  You love to climb up there and sit.  Sometimes in the morning I will give you some cheerios and milk and you will sit there and eat while I finish my breakfast.  You are also an expert at the stairs going up and down. 

You like to get into the lazy susan in the kitchen and one day Mama found you surrounded by an opened bag of chocolate chips, eating them one by one!  You also know how to say "uh oh" and I often hear you throwing stuffed animals or pacifiers out of your crib after your nap, punctuated by "uh oh".  You are obsessed with brushing your teeth and would do it all day if I let you.

One of our favorite things to do is go to the zoo.  I ask you to wave "hi" to the animals and that is how I know if you have seen them or not.  You love it when I let you our of your stroller and we often go late in the afternoon when no one else is there.  You seem to like the monkeys and the tiger and you do not like the puffins!

You watch one DVD called Curious Buddies.  It is a Nickelodeon DVD and you want to watch it all day long.  If I leave out the remote you will pick it up and point it toward the tv and say "please".  You will sit still for 30-40 minutes watching this cute little show!  I especially love when the song "I love you" comes on because you almost always come to sit with me when it is on.

Some of your favorite toys right now are books (Puppies Count, The Wheels on the Bus and the Baby Einstein Letter Books) balls, and anything you can find with a cow on it.  You still like to "body slam" pillows and wrestle with your duck bath tub.  You are also really into putting anything you can around the back of your neck.  Sometimes I find things that you have accidentally dropped into the back of your onesie!

You take 2 naps most days.  Usually from 10-12 and then from 2:30-4:30.  This has been wonderful for Mama because a couple of weeks after your first birthday we found out you were going to be a big brother!  Mama has been tired and you are a big help to her because you are such a good sleeper.

Daddy has been gone a lot with work and you have been an expert Skyper.  You also have a picture of Daddy from a few years ago that you often carry around the house and say "Dada" to.  I think Daddy likes that!

We love you Stafford.  Mama could write a book about all the cute things you do and say.  You are such a sweet and gentle little boy.  You give wonderful hugs and kisses and you are a good listener.  I love reading to you and cuddling with you while you watch your show.  I love how much your love your Dada.  I can't wait to continue to watch you grow!

Mama & Daddy

Friday, December 16, 2011

Reality Prevails

It's been embarrassingly long since I've posted with any regularity on my blog.  I love blogging.  I love how it has connected me with old and new friends.  I love that friends and family across the globe can keep up with our lives and what is going on with us.  For some reason after our move in July I stopped having the motivation and creativity that I felt like I needed to blog.  I had to give myself permission to take a break because I really do enjoy it but for a while it was just too much.  Add to that some major life changes and it's left this blog tilting way too far into the reality category.

When I thought of the name Storybook Reality I thought about sharing how our lives unfold.  To some it is just reality but to me it has always seemed like a storybook.  When I think of my own story I've always thought of it as a love story that has a "to be continued" at the end.  Hopefully our love story never ends!  But it does change.  There are moves, job changes, illnesses, pregnancies, sleepless nights and lots of other things that steal away our time and try to change our storybook into reality.  I think I've given in to the reality as of late and I'm praying that 2012 will be a renewed sense of storybook for me.

Don't get me wrong....we're still enjoying our love story.  We've just faced some interesting family circumstances this year that have been major stressors.  Add a cross country move to spending multiple months on different continents, a busy toddler and a baby on the way and you might be able to imagine why I've let the reality rule.  Thankfully reality isn't a bad place at all!

We're thankful this year to be spending the holiday's with family.  And we are definitely looking forward to this new year!  It's going to be full of our version of Storybook Reality!

Can't wait to get a great picture of me and my THREE guys sometime in May 2012!!


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