Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas! Including the Blooper Footage!

In hopes of getting the perfect Christmas picture of JD, we spent most of this morning taking pictures. When they get to be around 20 months old, they don't want to sit still...EVER.

We tried his favorite Christmas toy - Santa - to try and keep at least near the tree.

Not bad, but not looking at the camera!!

We tried the firetruck (most of our pictures involve the firetruck).

JD kept looking for the escape route.

We tried a present.

JD just wanted to open it. I can't blame him for that one.

We tried reason and logic.

Ha ha! With a 20 month old?? What a joke!

We tried bribery with gummy Lifesavers candies.

Hmm...can't get a smile with a mouth full of gummies.

And we finally ended with me holding the laptop over Jon's head as it was playing "Hot Hot Hot Chocolate" from the Polar Express movie.

Success!! And it only took us 180 pictures to get the shot! Thank goodness we don't have to do this for another year!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cat Says "Mow" (Rhymes with Cow)

JD learned all his animal noises awhile back and there are a couple that he loves to say with lots of exuberance. He says them really loudly and with a huge smile on his face.

His favorites are:

Horse - "NAY!"
Frog - "Bibbet"
Cat - "Mow" (like cow)

If we have a picture book with any of these objects, JD tells us loudly and many times over what they say. It doesn't matter where we are - church, a wedding, in the car, at a restaurant - he will tell us what they say!

On the way home from church yesterday, JD had a lot of fun with animal noises. It is a little long, but worth the wait if you can get to the halfway point where he starts in on the cat noises again.

Friday, December 19, 2008

In the Spirit of Christmas

Here are a few photos of JD getting into the holiday spirit with a Santa hat.

This one is kind of cool with the blurry tree background!

We also took JD to visit Santa and his reindeer near our house a couple of weeks ago. JD wasn't really impressed with Santa (been there, done that already Mom), but he liked the reindeer!

We can't wait for Santa to visit our house this year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Madeline Kate has Arrived!

My brother Ryan and his wife Cara went in to the hospital today for the birth of their second daughter, Madeline Kate! She arrived at 3:16 pm, weighing 7lbs 9 oz. This is my 4th niece on my side and my 5th niece overall! Poor JD is a little outnumbered by the female persuasion (at least on my side).

And this is my fourth niece or nephew born this year!! 2008 was a fruitful year for our families!

As you might remember, their first daughter Marin Clare is 5 weeks younger than JD so Cara and I experienced our pregnancies together and all of the first time baby fun together!

I'm going to visit in a little bit to do my own evaluation of this cutie pie. I'll take more pictures!
Dara turned Madeline into a little Christmas baby, so I took some pictures when I got to the hospital.

Proud big cousin Emma loved holding Maddy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Two Sick Boys

I took my guys into the doctor today because they were both feeling bad. Apparently the doctor agreed - Jon has bronchitis and JD has an almost double ear infection (one is totally infected and the other is on its way) and a respiratory infection of some variety.

I have a little bit of the crud too, but nothing like my two boys. Usually I am not a big fan of antibiotics and taking tons of medicine, but this time I am all for it so they will get healthy before Christmas!!

The doctor mentioned that most grown men would have come in to the office on their knees from the pain that this ear infection was probably causing JD. So it is a true testimony to my son's pain tolerance and bravery that he was only mildly fussy (and falling down quite a bit from balance issues).

I have been giving in to JD's requests to watch Polar Express the past couple of days, since he has been feeling so poorly. Here he is in his conductor hat and t-shirt with his train whistle and choo-choo while watching Polar Express.

I love my boys and hope they are feeling better soon!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Relay Racing 'Round the Rock

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, my Baby Boot Camp class decided to get some runners together for the White Rock Marathon to run the relay.

The relay is broken up into a 6 mile, 4 mile, 5 mile, 5 mile and 6.2 mile run to complete the entire marathon course. I volunteered for the 4 mile course!

Prior to today, the farthest that I have run is about 3.8 miles, but that was during training runs. I have done a few 5Ks, but today marked the longest distance that I have run.

Logistically, it is kind of a pain to drive around for the exchange points for the runners. But overall, it was a pretty exciting experience to run amongst the marathon runners and be part of all the energy and excitement.

I had a little disappointment after the first mile of my run - my iPod battery died! My running playlist was the tool I used to keep me on a 10 minute mile pace, so I had a hard time keeping on the right time.

My sweet husband came out to root me on and took a couple of pictures of me in the race. Considering he (and a lot of his family) has run this marathon, a relay isn't quite as big of a deal. But he still says he was plenty proud!

I ended up finishing my 4 miles at around 43 minutes, which was a little under a 11 minute mile pace. I figured this was still pretty good considering I really missed having my running songs!!

The girls who ran the 2nd leg of 4 miles!

A bunch of the girls at the finish line! Our 4 relay teams all finished in the top half of our division and we weren't even trying to be competitive! Guess you don't mess with moms who run!

The teams had a great time and I'm so glad I had the chance to participate this year! Maybe someday I'll have to consider doing a half marathon! But don't hold your breath.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pictures with Santa

I know that everyone is expecting a story about JD screaming his head off while sitting on Santa's lap. I was expecting it too, so I didn't dress him up to go the mall and pay $30 for a picture of my kid screaming on Santa's lap. But every mom needs a picture of their child crying on Santa's lap for the scrapbook, right?

So instead, I took him over to our city's recreation center and paid $5 for pictures with Santa. We stood in a line that was about 5 kids deep and waited our turn patiently.
Every kid in front of us started to cry as they were seated on Santa's lap. I started to get visions of "The Christmas Story" Santa when Ralphie's brother Randy starts to cry.

Let's just say my expectations were low as I walked JD over to Santa. JD gave Santa a five and said "ho ho ho," in case Santa forgot that this is what he is supposed to say. Then I put him on Santa's lap and waited.
JD kept smiling at Santa but then would get super serious for the camera. But no screams or cries whatsoever! I didn't get any great shots, but at least it was a pleasant experience!

I thought this one was sweet as Santa is asking JD what he wants for Christmas.

A couple of my Baby Boot Camp classmates were there with their kids and I can't say they had the same experience! Their kids seemed genuinely terrified of good ole Santa Claus.

Maybe next year I'll get a smile.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wedding Whirlwind

On Thanksgiving, we packed up my mom's car and took a road trip to Indianapolis, Indiana for my cousin Nick's wedding.

Note: My sister took more pictures (as usual) so I will add them later once she sends them out.

We crammed 3 adults - me, my mom and my sister and 2 toddlers - Ellie Beth and JD into my mom's Acura MDX (a fairly small SUV). Poor Ellie Beth had her feet in the air for most of the trip because she didn't have any leg room in the 3rd row seating.

It takes about 15 hours to get to Indiana, so we left on Thursday evening to get 4-5 hours under our belt. We arrived in Little Rock at around midnight and the kids were all pretty tired (and so were we). We squeezed into one hotel room and slept until about 6:45 am (overslept past the alarm - whoops).

After a rushed day trip with lots of DVDs for the kids, we made it to Indianapolis just in time to go to the rehearsal dinner and visit with everyone.

The next day we had fun visiting with my Uncle Daron and Robin and my cousin Todd and Kandi and their boys. JD roamed around the house looking for cars and sure enough, Daron whipped out a few matchbox collectibles. JD was in heaven (until we made him leave them behind for lunch).
We even got the kids down for a nap before the wedding (one of the few that JD actually took).
The wedding was in the afternoon in a beautiful church. JD had a little trouble staying quiet and felt the need to announce "CAR" to everyone in the church at one point in the ceremony. But we crammed chewy life savers in his mouth and Robin made little toys for him along the way until it was over.

Nick's wife Paula was beautiful and they both looked very happy! We are so excited for them and wish them all the happiness in the world!

At the reception, the kids got into the whole dancing thing and we stayed until the kids could barely hold their heads up. JD kept me going most of the night because he wanted to go explore every part of the building. It's been awhile since I had to run around in heels!!

The next day we left to visit my mom's cousin Pamela, Larry, Sarah and Sally in Portand. We got a special treat when we arrived and went to Philip and Amy's dairy farm to see all the cows. JD and Ellie were so excited about the Moo Cows.

We were all pretty tired as we made our way home and it didn't help that it was snowy and slushy for most of the trip through Indiana. JD discovered Polar Express (thanks Dara and Ellie) and is still so excited about the choo choo train.

The kids really did pretty well considering the sleep deprivation that was forced on them and we enjoyed the opportunity to introduce them and visit with our Indiana relatives.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy 20 Months of Life!

Today, my sweet boy is 20 months old!! I can't believe how quickly it has gone by. He will be two years old in the blink of an eye!

JD is always on the go and loves to run around and play anywhere and anytime. He loves reading books and is learning his letters. He LOVES cars or anything with wheels. He has a pretty big vocabulary, although he needs to work on his enunciation on several words.

He is so sweet with anyone who gives him attention and especially loves playing with the older kids (like Cousin Emma and Aunt Mercy). He gives great hugs and kisses, but it can get a bit slobbery.

JD can tell you how old he is, how big he is, give you a "tater" or a five, show you a touchdown and can pat pat (like on Little Einsteins). He will say "whoa" about anything that is a big deal in his eyes and "whee" when he thinks about slides.

I love how my little boy is growing up and can't wait to see what the next phase in his life brings!

Gobble Gobble and Ho Ho Ho!

As part of Jon's family traditions, we always do Christmas with his family on Thanksgiving. I love this tradition because it always puts me in the mood for the Christmas holidays! It's like a Christmas Kick Off Day!

This year was different because it was the first year in his parents' new house! It was so nice to be able to spread out with all the family and be comfortable together in one space!

We had a fun day with Jon's family with a great meal, as usual. The guys all went out to play football, while the womenfolk stayed in the kitchen to prepare the meal. JD was not in the mood for naps, so he stayed up and played with the other kids.

After the meal, we opened presents and JD definitely seemed more into the whole thing this year. He was so excited about his present from Cousin Luke that he could barely wait for Dad to untie it from the box!

Aunt Mercy loved her Cowboy Santa and cowboy pillow for her room that is starting to resemble a Roy Rogers' magazine spread. She has the cowboy bedding and rug and is starting to collect all sorts of western decor in her room now!

We really enjoyed visiting with everyone and was sad that we had to leave kind of early so I could get on the road for Indiana...stay tuned for tomorrow's post on that adventure!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Picture Day

Remember that day at school every year?? I used to look forward to getting to wear a pretty dress for pictures in the cafeteria.

For Jon's parents' Christmas present, we (all of the kids) gave them a family portrait for their new house. It had been several years since their last family portrait - before any spouses and definitely before any grandkids.

We squeezed 20 adults and 4 babies into a pretty tight (and very hot) space to take a picture together. It was fun to have everyone from all over the country together for the picture. And all of the babies did remarkably well! No fussing from any of them, but they all got a little antsy toward the end.

This was the end result. Of course, my son is the only one doing weird poses, but with that many people, majority rules. Everyone else looks great! And I think most people looking at the picture would understand a 19 month old looking squirmy.

And we got a grandkids picture with everyone looking pleasant for the camera! Yay!

We also did a family picture with just our little family and it turned out pretty well!

And of course, we needed to do a JD picture in his sweet little brown suit. This was seconds before he bolted off the set to go visit the rubber ducky that the photographer was teasing him with. But the photographer at least caught a cute moment!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Santa vs Pirate

I noticed the other day when we were driving by some newly posted Christmas lights on our street that JD was saying "pa" or pirate. I thought that was odd so I tried to figure out why he might be saying that.

Here are my thoughts on how Santa and a Pirate might be similar in the eyes of a toddler.

Santa says "Ho Ho Ho!"

A Pirate says "Yo Ho Ho!"

Santa has a big fluffy beard.

A lot of Pirates have big fluffy beards.

Santa has big black boots.

A Pirate has big black boots.

Santa wears a cool hat.

A Pirate has a cool hat.

Santa has a big sleigh to ride in.

A Pirate has a big ship to ride in.

Santa gives out lumps of coal to bad little boys.

A Pirate makes bad little boys walk the plank.

Okay, that's about all I could come up with, but the similarities are there!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas "Tee", Turkey & Santa

Things are getting busier and busier around the Thanksgiving holidays every year. We usually put up our Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving, but JD and I are traveling to Indiana for a wedding right after Thanksgiving.
So we decided to put up the tree the weekend before Thanksgiving instead and have a mini-holiday of our own around putting it up. JD has been really into Christmas this year and will tell you that Santa says "ho ho ho." He also loves Christmas "tees." (almost sounds like cheese sometimes)

Today we put up the tree while JD was down for his nap. He was really surprised when I brought him down and he saw a Christmas tree where his toys usually are. He actually looks completely shocked in the picture below!

Since Jon is a firefighter, we have LOTS of firetruck ornaments. These were JD's favorite and pointed them all out on the tree.

We also cooked a pre-holiday feast with turkey, potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, rolls and pumpkin pie (all homemade, of course). We enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving-ish dinner just as a little family.

Later, we went to one of the local shopping squares for JD to get his first glimpse of Santa Claus! I think the tree lighting was more exciting than Santa, who was kind of far away. Santa did arrive in a firetruck though, which got JD's attention.

Right before tree gets lit up.
JD thought it was amazing!!

But then we took him home to our tree (pretty tiny in comparison) and he was still pretty mesmerized by it, especially in the dark.

The holidays are so much more fun when you can experience them through your children's eyes!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Family Time

We traveled to Arkansas this week to celebrate the life of Jon's Mamaw, who passed away this weekend.

It was a nice time to visit with family about the wonderful life of such a great lady. JD had fun meeting his cousin Izzy for the first time and playing with his other cousins too.

Kenna is showing off her new crawling skills for Izzy in this one.
JD is teaching the girls about socks and shoes and all of the important things in the book. He is really taking an interest in letters right now and can find "O", "C", "R" and "T" when they are in a book.

JD actually did pretty well, considering the lack of naps and different people all around. He and Izzy had a lot of fun together and caused a little trouble playing on the "slide" (wheelchair ramp) beside the room where the visitation was happening. They both got pretty excited and would squeal going up and down. There is nothing like the laughter of a small child to bring a smile to everyone's face.

JD and I both were recovering from colds this past week before we went to Arkansas and we found out that at least JD's cold was productive. He got in both of his bottom TWO year molars. Yes, I know, you are saying, "But he is only 19 months old." Apparently I have a child prodigy when it comes to growing teeth. If he starts in on the three year molars, I'm calling Guiness Book of Records...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hawaiian Paradise Part 2

Just in case you were still wondering after the last post if our hotel was INCREDIBLE, here is your answer:

After a relaxing day by the pool on the next day, we went to a beautiful restaurant at the hotel for dinner.
Our table was out in the middle of the lagoon, surrounded by fish! We had a great meal and a wonderful time.

Jeremy & Lindsey posing in front of the hotel waterfall.

So our next big adventure was to go on a rafting expedition. When we signed up, here is what the description read:

An incredible 5½ to 6 hour expedition to Kauai's Na Pali Coast. We'll leave the modern world behind-darting in and out of sea caves, plunging under cascading waterfalls, and encountering the dramatic peaks and majestic valleys of the Na Pali Coast.

When conditions allow, we'll land on a remote beach (Nualolo Kai) for hiking, snorkeling, and a delicious lunch. Take a guided historical hike to the ruins of an 800 year old Hawaiian fishing village. Explore the same thriving reef ecosystem that supported ancient Hawaiians.

Sounds great, right? What we didn't realize is that there aren't any seats on the raft and that you sit on the inflatable sides, holding on to two ropes - the only thing that keeps you from getting thrown off into shark-infested, coral reef ocean waters.

We did have fun, although we were all pretty wiped out by the end of the day (and for the next couple of days).

The girls spent the next day by the pool, while the boys hit the waves at the beach right by the hotel. They rented some boogie boards and had a great time! I think all of them got a minor injury that they showed off at the end of the day. Heather even tried it out!

On our last evening, we went to a luau. It was moved indoors due to rain, so we were a little disappointed. But we ended up being active participants in the festivities.

Jeremy and Lindsey got to perform the huki lau (don't know if I spelled that right or not) on stage.

Jon was "called out" during this tribal dance as the next leader. The guy stuck his tongue out right at Jon. It was pretty funny.

On our last day, we took a drive up the North Shore and saw some more beautiful scenery.

As we were sitting in the airport, we were already discussing our next trip to Hawaii!! It was so much fun!