Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Things are about to get crazy around here

This is how a crawl starts...
...and then he propels his body forward using his upper body strength....
...and he finally reaches his destination (his sister's discarded banana peel). But you will notice that there is no air between his stomach and the floor. He gets where he wants to go but he definitely isn't crawling. (also, those Baby Legs he is wearing were a great gift from Micha when he was born. Love Baby Legs! Matt thinks they look like leg warmers and belong on girls in Flash Dance. He said that he would be ok if Jack never wears them again. nice.)
She smiled in this picture because I promised her a brownie. Of course Jack doesn't eat brownies  yet so he refused to cooperate. The elusive Christmas picture is still out of my reach.
My kids and their thumb sucking. I really don't know how this happened, but I will say that it makes bedtime so much easier.
All those attempts to crawl made Jack tired. This is his "stop taking my picture and start putting me to bed" look.
His serious face. I am sure he is thinking about the financial crisis and whether or not we should give a bridge loan to the big 3 auto makers.
This is his "I know you are taking my pictures but I am going to play coy" face. 
Fine, Woman! I will look at your camera and give you a smile. But seriously, I don't change every single day. You could go a day or two without taking my picture. (and also, when are you going to learn photoshop so you can make this plug in the background disappear?)
Here I am pretty sure he is thinking that it is time for someone to change his wet diaper. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

All These and Still Not One Picture for Our Christmas Cards

During Avery's Thanksgiving program at her daycare, this was the moment she spotted Matt in the crowd while she was on stage with her class singing. At that point she shouted, "My Daddy! My Mommy! Oh, My Poppa! My Whole Family!" while she was supposed to be singing. Then she looked at her teacher who was directing the song and said, "Look! My family is here!" and ran off the stage. I could not have laughed harder. Avery and her best friend, Kendel after the Thanksgiving program. I had a hard time getting them to both smile at the same time. They were giving each other hugs but it would just cover one of their faces.  These two are like peas and carrots. Their birthdays are just a week apart and they are in the same class at daycare. Since Kendel lives across the street from my parents we see her all the time. She's an Aggie, but we like her anyway.
The flowers Anne and Steve gave me for my birthday. They are absolutely gorgeous. I wish my photography could do them justice. 
Saturday morning cartoons. Priceless. I just wish that perhaps they could wake up around 8am rather than 6:30am.  (That is the quilt Joel and Michelle gave us for our wedding. We have used it on our bed every day since then. It is a wonderful quilt that they had made by a Native American woman who said a prayer for our marriage over each fabric patch. I love that my kids love it, too!)

I was trying to get some expression shots of Jack that weren't smiles but he wasn't cooperating. He just kept laughing, as if to mock me. We were trying to get him to crawl for us but he is still pretty much just doing the military crawl around the room. He gets where he wants to go and Avery has to watch her food and toys now because he goes right for those.

Jack with his faithful thumb. Is it just me or does it look like his eyes are getting a little darker? They are still blue, and maybe it is just the lighting in the room, but they look a little darker to me.
He decided to take a little rest and lay down with Matt to watch football. I was hoping for a picture with both kids but Avery was taking a nap.
When Avery woke up from her nap she wanted to get in on the picture action and started to be a little ham. I tried to get some pictures of both of them together but Jack just kept turning his head away from the camera to look at Avery and I gave up. I needed a better assistant (ahem, Matt!) 
Seriously, I need to figure out how to use Photoshop so I can work on that glare in her glasses. (and maybe clean off the bed stand behind her)
Jack just loves to play in the bath. The whole room is pretty wet by the time he is done because he splashes around like crazy. Avery doesn't really appreciate all the splashing in the tub (unless she is the one making the mess), so she doesn't like bathing with him. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Now if Someone Could Just Teach Me Photoshop

I know Matt would disagree with this statement, but the fact is, the man just isn't always the best gift giver. Don't get me wrong, he has done a great job at times. 

Exhibit A. Lucy was my birthday gift in 2004.

But there have been times when his gift choices have left me wondering. For example, one year for my birthday he gave me cash. CASH. And we were married, so um, thanks for the ATM withdraw, hun, but I could have done that myself. He explained that it was for a "shopping spree" and the idea was that we were going to go shopping all day together.   riiiight. Well, not exactly what a girl wants.

Another doozy was an anniversary gift he gave me just before Avery was born. He went to THE NIGHT BEFORE our anniversary and ordered the complete series of Sex and the City on DVD. It came 2 days after our anniversary and he proudly presented it to me as something to watch while I was on maternity leave because, "you will have so much free time since you won't be at work."  {head exploded}

I love Sex and the City as much as the next gal. I saw all the episodes when they first aired on HBO and enjoy watching it again for free on TBS.  But I have no interest in owning the series on DVD. And exactly what free time was he talking about? Because I WAS ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY and even though she was our first child, I kind of figured that I wouldn't be spending a lot of time on the couch watching TV. Just a guess.

For the first time ever, I asked him to return the gift. (before you start calling me ungrateful, keep in mind that it was $200 for those DVDs. Do you know how many diapers you can buy for $200?) 

It's fun to tease him about these things now but at the time I was a little miffed that he didn't put in the effort. Because really? That's all a girl wants. We just want to know that you TRIED and you put actual thought into a gift for us. I don't care about cost or extravagance. I just want something that shows that you bought that specifically for me because you know me and my interests. I think that is what husbands are for. (that, and taking out the trash)

So as my birthday approached this year, I thought back on all the gifts he has given me over the years and laughed a little. I wondered what was in store for me because he had not asked me if there was anything special I wanted and I didn't really bring it up because I wanted to see what he would come up with on his own.

Yesterday he got it right. He knows that I have really been into photography since Avery was about 9 months old and I have been slowly learning how to take better pictures. So for my birthday this year he gave me a new bag for my camera and Photoshop so I can play with the images. 

I was so excited about all of it (including a new lens from my parents). I just want to spend the weekend taking pictures!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well, I Guess You Could Say She Is Catching On To Sunday School Lessons

Avery has been learning about who created the world in Sunday School. One week they learned about who created the birds and butterflies. The next week they learned who created the animals in the jungle. The next week it was the animals on the farm and pets at home. You get the idea....

Last week's lesson was about how God created "me." They talked about eye color and hair color, what makes us special, etc. So now Avery is happy to tell anyone who asks that God created them. It's pretty funny in the right setting.

Tonight my Aunt Debbie made cake and when I asked Avery who made the cake we were eating she quickly responded, "God!" We really couldn't argue that, but Aunt Debbie was a little miffed that she didn't get full credit. :-)

why are you always trying to take my picture when I would much rather just ignore you?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Seriously? That was the only place I could get the Perfect Fajita Pizza. Sigh

First off, THANKS to everyone who participated in Theresa's virtual baby shower. I know that being in Belgium during her first pregnancy can't be easy for her so it was nice that we could feel close on the internet.

And speaking of the joys of children, Avery gave me another lovely parenting moment on Saturday. We had a fun morning at Gymboree and then she went with me to run errands before her nap. We went to The Monogram Lady (that's right, friends, if you just had or are about to have a baby you probably have something with a baby name sewn on it coming your way!), then to a nursing store and finally to EZs to pick up lunch. I love EZs but never get to go there because we don't live close and I rarely have the luxury of being in that part of town when it is mealtime.

Avery and I had just ordered our food to go when she suddenly puked all over herself, me, and the floor at the restaurant. The floor that happened to be right next to the register where you place your order. During the lunch rush.

And when she was finished she looked at me and said, "I threw up!" as if I couldn't tell that by the goo that was covering me and everything else in sight. (Madonna doesn't sound so fun now, does it, Lauren? You could have had this kind of weekend fun for FREE right here in Austin)

The manager was super nice and showed us the way to the restroom so I could clean us both up as best as possible. Then he delivered our food to the car for me so I didn't have to stand there stinking the place up. I am sure it was just as much for himself and his restaurant as it was for us, but it was very nice to be able to hide a little after an event like that.

Avery fell asleep on the way home and then after a bath took a 3 hour nap. We didn't have any other problems with her and it was as though it is perfectly normal to just puke in public and go on about your day. I'm not sure I can ever show my face at EZs again. Plus, some kid puked on their floor and that is just gross....

Later that night we went to Stan and Melissa's house to play poker. We had a great time and went home with a little more money than we started with. Things got a little rowdy when one of the guys had a little too much to drink and was talking more than he should have been. It's always funny to see Stan and Matt speak up when this guy gets out of line, but overall things were really fun and I am so glad we went.

It was 2am by the time we got home which made things really hard on Sunday because I had to teach Sunday School at 9am. And those kids DO NOT CARE if you were up late the night before. In fact, I think they can sense sleepiness and they feed off of it. You have to be very careful not to let on that you might have a weakness or they will eat you alive.

2 year olds can be brutal.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Theresa's Virtual Baby Shower!!

Welcome To Theresa's Virtual Baby Shower!

With Theresa’s baby on the way, it’s the perfect time to reminisce about what we loved most about those new baby days.
Sure, they’re a little rough - sleepless nights, cracked nipples, stitched-up nethers - but they’re also a time of wonderment.

Because as much as we think we remember from the new baby days of our first (and second) children, each new baby is full of surprises.
Let’s help Theresa prepare for the joys of the new baby days that are coming up. We know they’ll document the tough stuff quite well on their own –
Theresa is a great scrapbooker, after all, but it is nice to give her an idea of what’s to come and share our own experiences with her so that we may
save her from some of the pitfalls of brand new motherhood.

Since we live all over the continent and beyond, we can’t physically get together and shower Theresa with diaper cakes.
But we can shower her right here online with your help!

Shall we get started? Here’s how to participate:

Leave a note in the “comments” section with memories of your new baby days--the pleasant aspects, please. They don’t even have to be memories of your own baby; if you’ve got grandchildren, nieces, nephews, godsons and daughters whose baby
days you remember fondly, let’s hear about them!
Make sure to leave your name in comments so Theresa knows who to credit for the funny/sweet/scary stories.

Do this anytime between today, November 10th (one month from her due date!!!) and Friday, November 14th.

If you are still looking for a gift for baby baby Smith (lovingly called IV), consider sending diapers (because we all know how
quickly those things go with a new baby around!) or books for our Mr. Smartie Pants because we all know that with those genes,
he is headed for Harvard.

Thanks for participating!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Snow on Thursday, Sunburn on Saturday

um, hi. It's been a while because I was in Salt Lake City last week for work. It was the first time that I have traveled for work since Jack was born. When Avery was his age I went to Oklahoma for work but she was able to go with me thanks to a long car ride and my dad's willingness to hang out in a hotel room for a week while I was at work all day. It was amazing because she started crawling on that trip and I don't know what I would have done had I missed that.

This trip was too far away for me to drive so I went solo and Matt had to care for both Avery and Jack all week. The good news was that our awesome neighbors came over almost every night to hold Jack for him while he got Avery ready for bed. It was incredibly helpful for him because he is a man and is not capable of handling 2 children at once. Really I'm not sure if he can handle one child at once, but I will cut him some slack for now. (I realize there are some men out there that can handle 2, even 3, kids at once. Good for you. It just isn't the way it works for my husband.)

The trip was nice. We worked a lot but we also went out at night and enjoyed each others company. I had forgotten what it was like to work and then hang out with friends rather than rushing home to feed/bathe/enjoy the kids. I wouldn't trade it for the world but having a 4 day break from it all was also pretty nice. Especially considering that I didn't change a single diaper all week. :-)

(I realize there was a major election while I was gone but that is a topic for a different post. Especially because the people I had to spend this historic night with were all McCain supporters. And also because of the text my brother sent me that night--unprovoked.)

I got back late on Thursday so I missed the kids that night but the look on Jack's face when he saw me on Friday morning was priceless. It was really nice to be home again. I came home so that I could take the kids to get their Santa pictures taken. I realize that it is early for Santa but our photographer always does Santa pictures in the first week of November so the portraits and cards will be in by the first week of December. 

Jack loved Santa and took a ton of great pictures. Avery....well, Avery was nice to Santa when he came in the room but wasn't very cooperative when it came to taking pictures. I am looking forward to getting the proofs so I can see she was able to get any good shots.

We spent a ton of time with the kids this weekend so I could catch up on some mommy & baby time. On Sunday we went to the Botanical Gardens to the Dinosaur Exhibit. Avery ran around like crazy and had a great time hugging the wooden dinos that were placed throughout the gardens. Here are some shots of the weekend:

Here's Avery being Very Helpful by pushing Jack's stoller around.
Seriously, not ONE shot of her looking at the damn camera. I don't know why I bother.
Matt just loves butterfly pictures. I think they are his favorite. Yeah, I am pretty sure that he would do this all day if he could. 
This little guy is so happy no matter what we drag him to. He makes things pretty easy for us. In fact, I think he has us more spoiled than we have him.