Rain Watching

I love when it rains.  It’s especially appealing when I don’t have anywhere to go, and we’re just lounging around the homestead.  Today, while it was raining, and I was folding laundry, I opened the window to let in the cool damp air. I enjoyed watching the boys peek out the window, and capturing some sweet moments in the process.

Snack Time!

Mason is finally old enough to sit at the table.  Well, not entirely, but with some supervision.  He’s been having a regular snack time with Parker lately since he’s dropped bottles during the day, and switched to the sippy cup.  He loves feeling like a big boy hanging out with his brother at the big kid table!

Mason’s Dedication

We dedicated Mason to God on Sunday.  We were joined with my Grandparents Eugene and Carolyn, my Mom, and my brother Spencer and his wife Lisa, to celebrate this important milestone in Mason’s life.  He didn’t wear a fancy Christening gown, but he was able to wear the same shirt that Parker wore for his dedication, which I thought was quite fitting.  It could be our little family tradition.  We learned something new during the dedication, we learned what the biblical meaning is for Mason, which is OVERCOMER.  Here is the corresponding verse with the meaning:

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. Revelations 2:17 ESV

This dedication was a little different from when we dedicated Parker.  With Parker, we did it during the service, and simply made a declaration in front of the church to train him in the ways of God, and to be a Godly example for him.  With Mason’s ceremony, we had a bit of homework to do, and we discussed it among our family that we invited to the ceremony.  We were asked to write the kind of person that we hoped to see our child become by the time he/she turned 18.  This is what Dan and I came up with after discussing it.

Our prayer for Mason when he is older is that he is happy, healthy, and someone who has a heart after God.  We pray that he goes through life seeking God’s approval, rather than that of man, and that he strives to surround himself with Godly people and influences.  We pray that Mason learns the value in family, learns to stay strong in the challenging times, and is able to enjoy life and laugh through the good times.

We didn’t have a lot of space on the worksheet, but of course there are many other attributes that we hope that he has, such as a servant’s heart, and someone who strives to always be kind, giving, loving, and a great friend to others.  I don’t know a lot about Mason’s personality right now, but I do know that he loves to smile, he enjoys being loved on, and he seems to enjoy observing before trying something new.  He has always been great at everything that he’s been given.  I was nervous about weaning from swaddling,  nursing, and then recently, the paci, and he took very well to all of them, which goes to show that OVERCOMER is actually quite fitting.  I can already tell that he can overcome any potential challenge, or obstacle that is thrown his way, and allow God to guide him through it.

In addition to having Mason dedicated, we asked my brother Spencer and his wife Lisa if they would become Godparents to Mason.  They were asked if they would help be a spiritual guide as well as moral support to him throughout his life.  In other words, his little cheer leader and mentor in life.  We couldn’t think of a more fitting couple.  They recently moved closer, and we are so thankful that we are able to visit with them on a more frequent basis.

Fun at Home

Since the weather has been getting colder lately, we’ve been getting creative at home coming up with some ideas for the boys.  As much as I’d love to sit with Parker and do crafts, and have some “quiet time”.  He’s just too rambunctious for that.  I love the fun energy he has.  It is the best way to get us all in a great mood.  We decided to throw all the pillows that were on the bed, on the floor, and call it “Pillow Mountain”.  Parker loved diving into the pile of pillows, but not before yelling the ceremonial “Pillow Mountian!” prior to his take off.

It became a favorite, and Mason ended up loving it just as much. He was all giggles watching Parker jump and play with the pillows!  The red tunnel is also a big favorite, and what’s a pillow mountain without a tunnel?

What great memories we created with such just the simple things!

Watching this makes my heart happy.  I’m so glad I am blessed with boys, and I can have fun rough housing and playing with them!

Bullets Before Bedtime

I know, I’ve been a slackaholic on blogging lately. Believe me, I have a good reason, and I will tell you all about it in a few weeks. Meanwhile, why don’t we start off the week with some bullets? I like bullets.

  • I’m officially diving into the last year of my twenties.  I’m not sad, …okay, maybe a little…but mostly I feel like an old “parent”.  I mean, I remember when my parents were in their thirties and I use to look up at them and think “they’re old, and I’m a young kid! Woohoo!” and now its time for ME to be the grown-up? So, I’m suppose to be serious and stop singing to the music in the car, splashing people in the face in the pool and popping the back of the knees of people that annoy me? (Okay, I don’t really do that last one, but it sounded fun).  No! I refuse to let go of my youth!
  • For my birthday Dan was such a sweetheart to endured the movie Eat, Pray, Love (based off the book with the same title) last Friday night.  If you haven’t heard of the book or movie, then you’ve probably been living under a rock somewhere.  When I read the book a few years back I really enjoyed it.  I thought it tapped into many interests of mine including travel, food, culture, and love.  However, the movie gave me a different perspective of the story of the lady who took a year sabbatical to “find herself”. Instead, it left me feeling like she was just running away from her problems and that she decided to leave her husband because of some hokie advice that a medicine man gave her.  In the book it seemed way different, and it’s been so long since I read it, but the movie just didn’t resonate with me the same.  Dan also took me to a delicious dinner at Cabernet prior to the movie.  It was so nice to get all dressed up for a fancy dinner.  Those are rare occasions in this house!  It was great food, and the night left me feeling super special, even if I am a year older.
  • We are SO looking forward to fall this year.  I know, I know, I’m a sucker for a new season.  I was all gung ho about summertime when it was winter but it has been SUCH a hot summer, and we’re about all picnic and swimming pool’d out.  I’m ready for beautiful fall leaves, cool breezes, pumpkin pie, and Halloween costumes!
  • In preparation for the fall season, we have booked our first vacation in a cabin.  We thought a cabin would work out well for us because we have Parker, and we could enjoy cooking meals at the house and having the homey feeling while still being on vacation.  We used the site www.vrbo.com and found this fabulous cabin in Asheville, NC.  We decided on this cabin because it is five minutes from the Grove Park Inn, and in fact was built by the same people.  It was important for us to be close to town so we can easily get to and from between Parker’s naps, but also be able to enjoy a place in the mountains.  This was the best of both worlds.  We love Asheville so much.  I love its young artistic vibe, its culture, the architecture, the wildlife and the fact that there is so much to do for the family.  In addition to going on nature walks and enjoying the mountain air, there are plenty of great restaurants, festivals, art shows, and nature reserves that we plan on enjoying.  I can hardly wait for October to get here!
  • Okay, I know it’s like standard protocol for every Mom to think that THEIR child is the cutest, smiliest, laughable, squeezable little thing ever, but seriously… where did this child of mine come from?  He’s SO incredibly happy and laughable and squeezable… you get the point… ALL THE TIME.  Okay, he does have his teething moments, I can admit.  But really, where does he get it from.  I’m certainly NOT all hunky dory all the time, but somewhere in the gene pool, there was a sweet person that loved to smile, laugh, blow fart rasberries and give great hugs.  It is not something that can be taught..so what else will explain it?  I hope that when he’s older, a teenager perhaps, that I remember how sweet of a baby he is.  I took him into the Verizon office to see my ol’ co-workers.  Parker was such a ham.  He has no idea what stranger anxiety is.  Everyone is a friend!  He loves showing of his teeth grinning and cheesing it up.  Of course, everyone thought he was as cute as can be!
  • A few weeks ago I went to visit my brother Joey and his girlfriend JoAnna and met my new little nephew Jakson.  He is such a sweet precious little boy!  I’m so excited to see their little boy grow up and eventually be a friend to Parker.  Congrats guys!
  • This Thursday, me and some girlfriends are going to see Sheryl Crow.  I’m really excited to see her live.  I haven’t listened to her music a lot lately, but I loved her music in college.  She’s got some catchy tunes that put me in a good mood, and make me want to sing aloud to anyone who will listen.  Maybe Thursday, I can refrain myself for my friends’ sake.
  • Parker’s first birthday party is next month! I can’t believe he’s almost one.  It’s insane. Complete craziness.  To think that my little baby boy is about to turn one makes me sad.  On to the crazy 1’s and the terrible 2’s.  I’m not ready for that yet!  I am however, looking forward to Parker communicating with me a little better in the coming year and us having more fun together after he drops a nap, giving us much more time to enjoy play dates with the “big kids”.
  • So, my next big weaning stage will be weaning from the bottle.  Since we started introducing bottles four times a day around ten months when we weaned from breastfeeding, the bottle weaning has been a little slower than maybe other babes his age.  This week we dropped one bottle leaving him with three a day and started introducing formula in a sippy cup.  Parker wasn’t too keen on the idea, but I’m hoping that he’ll start to warm up to it in the coming weeks.
  • I’m getting SO incredibly excited about my girl’s weekend coming up in only a few short weeks!  My BFF Jess who lives in Charleston is planning some fun things for us to do and I can’t wait.  This will be my first trip away from Parker since he was born and as difficult as it will be for me to be away from him, I know this is something that I will enjoy, and something that will be a great bonding experience for him and his daddy.  Jess and I have been talking about some things that we can do…everything from salsa lessons to sailing to yoga on the beach.  I’m stoked!
  • In our small group we’ve been using the participant’s guide and dvd and going through John and Stasi Eldredge’s small group marriage study entitled “Love and War”.  It has been a great eye opening study, and it really has convicted me about some things in my life that I should change and be more aware of.  I never thought marriage would be easy, but knowing that other new parents our age are going through similar struggles lets me know that we’re not alone and that issues can be worked through.  The dvd is pretty funny as it has other couples that tell their stories in a…let’s say “animated” way.  Honestly though, it’s a great study!  I feel so blessed to be able to learn from such a great group of parents and friends.

iphone 4 vid

There are two things I love.  My new iphone 4’s HD video capability and my sweet little bundle of love Parker.

Here’s iphone 4, doin’ its thang, and my little boy, being cute as can be.

Sprayground Fun!

Today we had a blast.  We went to the Sprayground at Riverside Park in Roswell and Parker had the time of his life.  He absolutely LOVED the water spouts, army crawling through water tunnels and splashing with his good ol’ pal Campen.  For a dollar per person, where can you buy more summer fun?  This place is definitely a winner in my book.

Bye-Bye Paci

I decided a few months ago when Dan told me that he would be out of town Tues-Fri for a sales meeting in Seattle, that I would take this week to wean Parker of his much LOVED, adored, idoled paci. Its easier to do when Dan is traveling because he works from home. I was anticipating naps to be a bit of a struggle during this period, and if he decided to wake up every fifteen minutes and cry, I would feel bad knowing that Dan was working downstairs.

Its been two days and two nights AND it surprisingly hasn’t been that bad! Let me preface by saying that we decided to wean Parker a few months ago of any non sleeping use of the paci. It was tough during car rides, stroller strolls, and restaurant outings, but we managed with snacks and the sippy cup to help distract him.

Tuesday night is when we started.  It took him an extra 15-20mins to fall asleep that night, but once he was asleep…he didn’t wake up.  Not until 6:45am, but then five mins later he was back to dreamland until about 7:30ish (which is totally do-able for night number 1 of paci weaning!).  I was shocked to be honest.  I was anticipating him waking every hour or so crying for his paci, but he didn’t!  The naps have been a little bit more difficult.  It has taken an extra 10-15 mins to fall asleep, and then he’s awake in about 45 mins, but then falls asleep for another 15-30 mins.  So, sadly his naps have gotten shorter as a result.  BUT overall, I’m glad that I’ve done this.  Parker turned 10 months yesterday, and he’s NOT a baby anymore.  The paci was more of a habit than an actual need.  I’ve also read that extended paci use can exacerbate any problems with developing speech.  With 12 months being right around the corner, and the fact that they hit a major speech development at 12 months, was enough to encourage me to help Parker break the addiction.  Not to mention that the longer we wait, the harder it will be to break the habit.  So, I’m happy to announce that Parker is officially a paci free baby and one step closer to being a “big boy”! *sniff, sniff*