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Thursday, July 29, 2010

free fun.

Today we went to a spray ground with a new little playgroup. It has definitely been a water week with Monday at the water park, Tuesday playing in our backyard with the water table, Wednesday back to the water park and Thursday at the spray ground. I think tomorrow we will stay dry. But these boys have loved the water in any form. And it's the only way to beat the summer heat in Texas. A few pictures from our day:

Surprise Visitors!

On Monday afternoon I got a text from our Oklahoma friends saying that they were on their way to the DFW area and that they might be staying that night with us if it was okay. Okay? It was more than okay. So Monday evening Jeff, Daysha and Lyndon rolled into our driveway. After dinner Jeff left for Dallas for work stuff. But Daysha and Lyndon were able to stay the night and play with us all day Tuesday. We hung around the house and played some in the backyard. And the boys got to wear cute, matching swim shorts. Thanks for spending the day with us. We are always up for a good surprise!

Life without a paci.

If I could describe in 1 word our recent transition with Holden, it would be: AMAZING! That boy has completely blown me out of the water with this paci thing. He knows and understands and he is completely over it. Occassionally we've talked about it this week. We've talked about the nice lady at the store that took the paci in exchange for his new toy. So after his 4 hour nap last Sunday, I went into his room when I heard him cheerfully babbling. With all of my excitement and probably some misty eyes, I told him how proud I was of his long nap and it being the first one without his paci. He looked at me with a huge smile and eager voice and said "mommy yappy!" Oh I was so happy. And also so proud for my boy! He asked for it that night when Jeremy put him to bed. Jeremy reminded him that he had given it away, to the nice lady, for the toy and Holden was completely satisfied with that answer. Other conversations have popped up about the paci, but not a single tear. This morning when I got him out of bed, he was telling me how he gave his paci to a nice lady at the store. Then as he was eating breakfast he started singing the Good Morning Song for the nice lady. So it went something like "Good morning mister lady, good morning mister lady . . ." I sing "Good morning mister Holden" so that's where he got the "mister". That he even thought to sing this song for the lady at Target made me laugh. So that's where we are with the paci. Completely over it. And still, I am completely stunned.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

golf is funny.

Yesterday evening we spent some time in the backyard before putting the boys to bed. Jeremy played a little golf. Not sure if we can actually call it that since he was using Holden's plastic club and the dog's worn out tennis ball. But as Jeremy putted around in the grass, Pax chuckled with every single putt. It made me laugh (and run to grab my camera), so I could capture another sweet moment. He is just about the sweetest boy I know!
All the while, Holden soaked himself in the water. Because he is OBSSESSED with water!

And of course, he attempted to soak the little bro. But that little scheme was interrupted by daddy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pax is 11 months!

It's hard to believe that 1 month from today we will be celebrating Paxton's 1st birthday. For whatever reason, he just seems younger to me. Like when Holden was almost 1 year, I thought he was such a big boy. But Paxton still seems like such a baby. He is a baby! What am I saying? But do those words make sense to anyone else? Maybe it's just because I am comparing Pax to Holden now . . .I'm not sure. He just seems too young to be turning 1 year. But I am now officially in party planning mode and excited to celebrate our little guy.
This month has been so much fun with Pax. Goodness, he is smiley and happy and he loves his family. Everyone tells us how serious he seems to be. But there are 3 consistent people in his life that can light up his face with the cutest grin you've ever seen. Daddy, Holden and myself. Holden only has to smile at Pax before he breaks into giggles. Which in turn gives Holden the giggles. Though I often have to play referee with these boys, they sure enjoy one another's company. I love to watch these brothers play together.

Here is one of those serious faces that he likes to flash to strangers.

And these are the sweet smiles that I get to see all of the time.

Pax has enjoyed the water this summer. But he is definitely more mellow about it. Holden went nuts and splashed like crazy at 1 year (and still does). Pax just sits in it and chills. Then occassionally he dips his fingers in and then sucks the water off his fingertips. That's about all the action I see from him in the water.

This little guy just recently decided that he would crawl on his hands and knees. So we don't see the army crawl much anymore. It's ironic that he is actually faster with the army crawl. But now we are seeing more of this:

He is waving and clapping like a champ. Anytime I say "good job", he starts clapping with a huge open-mouthed grin. I love it! Here he is waving hi to the camera:
Pax is finally getting interested in some finger foods. He has been quite a snob to all finger foods with one exception: cheerios. So I knew he could handle some variety, he just wouldn't do it. He would refuse to eat anything but pureed baby food. That has changed just within the last week. He will now eat waffles, bananas, blueberries, rice, beans, bread . . .that's all I can think of right now. Eating transitions have taken time with him. He seems a litttle resistant to change and so it just takes him some time to warm up to new things. I just have to keep offering it. He has turned up his nose to blueberries for a month, even though he would eat them pureed. Then tonight he gobbled down about 30, shoving about 5 in his mouth at a time. It completely surprised me.He is a wiz at the sippy cup and I really have no worries about taking the bottle away in another month. He sucks down the water and has caught on quicker than Holden did.Now if we could only keep him from throwing the sippy cup on the floor. I always give him 1 chance. He purposefully drops it to the floor, I tell him no and place it back on his tray. If it happens again, I put it away in the fridge. This little scenario happened yesterday and today. This is the picture I took when the sippy cup went bye-bye after drop #2.

Not a happy camper.

He still only has the 2 bottom teeth that you can see in the picture above. But he is cutting (and has been for the last week) one tooth on the top. Cutting teeth may just be a slow process for this guy.

Pax is a wonderful sleeper. He still sleeps 12 hours at night. There is never any fussing when we lay him down. I'm pretty sure that he loves his bed. He normally takes a morning and afternoon nap, 2 hours each. If we skip the morning nap due to errands or playing with friends, he still only sleeps for 2 hours in the afternoon. I would think he might sleep longer to make up for lost time. That's what Holden always did. But no, 2 hours at a time. That is all he will do.

This picture was taken about 2 minutes after Jeremy put him down a few nights ago. The picture flashing and clicking didn't even phase him. He was already out, smacking away on that paci, face nestled in those bumpers.

And a few other pictures from our month with Pax:

And 1 picture from today to officially mark 11 months!
Yep, pretty cute boy in his pink.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Here we go!

At our house, we have been having some talks about getting rid of the paci (for Holden). For the record, since around 18months, he has only had it during naps and at bedtime. Well, and of course, the occassional long car ride. But, he is 2 years old. I knew that it was probably time. I just wasn't sure if I was ready to deal with it all. The drama that boy my can throw. And the hours of crying I would have to listen to. It would break my heart if he didn't understand. I overheard Jeremy tell someone during our vacation that we were going to take it away before he starts Mother's Day Out. Hmmmm? That was the first I had heard of this plan. And so that is when the conversations began for us. He starts Mother's Day Out on September 1st. And I do agree that it seems to be a nice idea to send him to MDO without that paci. So recently I've just been thinking that it's now or never. So as we were getting ready for church this morning, I mentioned to Jeremy taking it away today. And so we decided on it right then and there. I took his 1 and only paci, put it in a ziplock baggie and into my purse. After church, we headed to Target. We had been talking to Holden about picking out a new toy in exchange for his paci. We explained that he was a big boy and pacis were for babies, like Paxton. At Target, we roamed around the toy section and he decided on the Fridge Phonics. He is quite excited about singing his ABC's these days, so this choice wasn't a huge surprise. But I have to admit that I was kind of pushing for Alphabet Elmo. So we checked out. Our nice cashier (and mother of 3 children that also loved their paci's) accepted his paci and our payment. And she wished us luck with a weary look on her face. That look didn't fill me with hope, but there was no turning back. He seemed to care less about parting with his beloved paci. We went to lunch. We came home. He played with his fridge phonics. And then it was the dreaded naptime. I carried Pax upstairs and put him to bed first. Holden was already crying because I hadn't carried him up at the same time. (He thinks I'm Super Woman sometimes.) So it wasn't looking good that he had already gone into meltdown mode. I brought his sock monkey down, which seemed to help the crying. And as we walked upstairs he began asking for his paci. This is typical before naps or bedtime. I reminded him that he had given it to the nice lady at Target in exchange for his new toy. And then he started crying and honestly, was acting a little angry. I placed him in his bed. I put his cow Pillow Pal in with him as a pillow. I just thought it would be something new and cool for him to be excited about. He did quiet down with his crying and placed his head on his cow. I gave him his monkey, froggy and covered him with his blanket. I gave him a kiss and told him how proud I was that he was such a big boy. (Sidenote: He knows the word proud and it's meaning. When I encourage him in any activity, he says "mommy proud?") Anyways, I left the room with him crying moderately. Not a full out fit, but not a quiet fuss. Anyways, 30 seconds later, I heard nothing. And now he has been sleeping for almost 3 hours. What in the world?! Could it be so easy?! Here's to hoping that bedtime goes just as smoothly. Seriously, I am in shock right now.

Friday, July 23, 2010

JOY in a water slide

Yes, we returned to the water park. And I left today with a season pass, so there will be many more visits in our future. Word on the street is that Dora the Explorer will be there in a few weeks. That could be a big moment in Holden's little life. We better not miss it. :)

With the encouragement of daddy, Holden finally did the little water slides all by himself. Once Jeremy finally got him on the orange one, we couldn't get him off. Again. Again. Again. That was his simple request of the day.
Oh the JOY in these pictures:
Yes, his tongue stayed out most of the day. Not sure if he is Michael Jordan, or what!

And all of my boys on the slide:
Just a fun little Friday with my family!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

what summertime is all about.

Drying out 14 articles of swimwear because we might just need them tomorrow too.

And indeed we might. I think Jeremy has decided that he can't stand missing out on the water park fun, so my family of 4 just might be going again tomorrow. And we just might be purchasing me a season pass (the boys are free this year!). Yes, this late in the day. The end of July. We still just might. Eeek! Yes, I am that excited about the water park. Childish, I know. No shame in that.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

a day at the water park . . .

Today the boys and I headed to a water park with some new friends. Someone offered us a free guest pass for the day, so it was too hard to turn down. I did hesitate for a bit, wondering if I could handle 2 non-swimming little ones. But with much convincing by some mommas who assured me they would be there to help, we decided to give it a try. And, oh me oh my! This day was so much fun! Seriously, I couldn't stop talking to Jeremy about it once he got home. Which makes me sound like such a child, that a water park would be right up my alley. But it was such an amazing place. Honestly, I didn't do much as far as the water park was concerned. I watched Holden play most of the time, I splashed in the water with Pax and I rode one "big" slide with Holden. But because there were tons of places at this water park with only inches of water, Holden had so much freedom. And so it was fun to just let him be. He loved the independence. And I was able to have good conversations with some great mommas that are new in my life. Of course our eyes were always on the children so there were many interuptions and distractions. And many of those conversations never found an ending. Doesn't that happen so often during playdates? You leave and then hours later realize you never got to answer that question. It's just the way it is for now. I didn't get a chance to take many pictures of our day. My hands were full. But here are the boys at our fun day at the water park. This place is a 15 minute drive for us. We are definitely going to have to get season passes next summer.

The yellow slide behind Holden, we all 3 went down. I held Pax in my lap and held onto Holden's leg. Then I convinced Holden to do the orange slide by himself. He went all the way down and then stood up and starting walking back up it, which was holding up the line, and was obviously against the rules. I'm not sure Holden really gets "rules" yet, but we're working on it. So the lifeguard had to jump on the slide, turn him around and make him slide down the right way.

And here is my happy-go-lucky Pax. If it looks like he is falling asleep in the picture . . .well he probably was. It was noon and he had been going since 8am. Thus the reason for the paci in the mouth. He NEEDED it, people! Have I mentioned how wonderfully he will breeze through without a morning nap, if need be? Such a different baby than Holden was at this stage! His flexibility has been such a blessing. More on that in his 11 month post (which is right around the corner).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Lately we have loved playing peek-a-boo. (Holden calls it peeky-boo.)
Lately we've practiced walking with the push walker. It was awkward at first, but he's getting better everyday.
Lately we have retired the infant swing to the attic, where it will await baby #3. Because let's be honest. . . I'm sure mister Pax has surpassed the weight limit on that thing.Lately we've celebrated birthdays with 2 sweet cousins.
Lately we had our first icecream cone, all by ourself. Handscooped by none other than Granny. (Should have gotten her picture with Holden.) Thanks for the treat, Granny!
And lately we had our first ever Chuck E. Cheese experience with some new people that we are pretty excited about. Holden liked Chuck E. Cheese and of course the pizza. There were tears as we left. Imagine that. All good things must come to an end, Holden. All good things . . .

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Working in the heat

Jeremy took off one day last week to work on our shed. I may have mentioned/complained in the past on this blog (or to some of you in person) that we still can't fit our vehicles in the garage. So it's always a bit of a challenge getting everyone buckled in a carseat to go somewhere (when I'm by myself). Sometimes the 2 year old would rather run for the street while my hands are full with Pax. So we bought a shed at Home Depot (for 50% off!) several weeks ago. We did this with hopes to clear out the garage so my car can finally take it's rightful place out of the sun. And Jeremy has finally able to make some time to work on it here and there. So yes, my car is still parked out in the heat, as this little project is still in progress. And I do mean HEAT! Welcome to Texas. It is hot and it is humid. Why don't I remember it being this way when I was 16. Maybe for the same reason it does seem to bother Holden. He decided that he would work on the shed with daddy most of the day.

As for Paxton and I, we stayed inside with the AC running. Ah, I love air conditioning! But we did keep their water cups filled.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Family Summer Vacation - Grand Finale

And it was GRAND! Instead of making the 12 hour trip back to Texas during the night. We drove about 10 hours to Oklahoma during the day. Much better way to travel with our babies. And it was about time we went to Oklahoma because we had to meet our new little friend. She just moved here in April from Ethiopia!
So let me introduce you to Miss Abigail.
Some wonderful friends in Oklahoma City were in the adoption process waiting and waiting and waiting so patiently, when we moved away to Texas. They had announced that they were adopting internationally a few months before we finalized our decision on domestic adoption (so before Holden). So we had been placed with 2 babies during their adoption process and wait. And that was hard. Telling him them about Paxton while they were so eager to receive a referral of their child. But you know, they rejoiced with us and loved on our 2nd son, just as they had done with Holden. And now it has been their turn! There daughter is home. It was such a blessing to spend and entire day (plus a few hours here and there) with our friends and letting the kids play for the first time. Abigail is a delight. She has a fun little personality and has quickly bonded to her mommy and daddy. I saw such an incredible change in our friends as I watched them in their new roles. Adoption still amazes me. The stories I read (normally through blogs) and the ones I get to walk through with friends. Often times, in these stories, the hand of God is so evident. And it's an encouragement and joy to see other families share our passion. Adoption has definitely become that to us: a passion. Here are a few pictures from our time in Oklahoma:

I realize that no one is looking at the camera, but it was hard to get all 3 at the same time.

I know they don't look very enthusiastic, but aren't they beautiful?! And they have a similar, little button nose. Something that I didn't recognize until this picture. Abigail is about 3 months older than Pax and about 1 year younger than Holden.

After our fun visit with friends, we packed up to head home. We made one last stop and had lunch with M, Paxton's birthmom. Since we were in the area, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see her and let her love on Pax. He gave her a slobbery kiss, which I'm sure she loved. I did take pictures, as I normally do, but I keep those private for Paxton and M.

Here he is enjoying his lunch visit with M.

And the drive home, was quiet and peaceful with 2 boys napping (most of the way). Family Summer Vacation 2010 is over and I am already looking forward to the next.