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Archive for November, 2007

christmas clip countdown

What better way to count down the days to Christmas than via select clips from your favorite Christmas movies and TV specials?! We’ll have at least one new one every week, so stay tuned.

Without further adieu, here’s clip number one (in honor of the fact that I’m putting up Christmas lights this weekend)…

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thanksgiving in review

So a week ago, Emily, Owen and I headed south to the mother land for Thanksgiving (“the mother land” = my home state of Arkansas, for those of you who weren’t aware). We actually made the trip to Mena in a mere 8 1/2 hours (yes, this was good time). Owen did great on the road.

Wednesday night, my mom, dad, grandparents, Emily and I all watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles. There aren’t a lot of “Thanksgiving” movies to compete with it, but it’s becoming one of our favorites.

Thursday, the whole crew rolled in – my cousins Don, Luke and Amy, aunt Georgann, uncle Keith, and cousins Cori, Cameron, and Cameron’s girlfriend, Cristina (who handled her first Thanksgiving with the family quite well). For the first time in years, my aunt Kelly and cousin Casey weren’t able to make it…and they were greatly missed.

I somehow managed NOT to get any pictures of my Mom’s delicious meal, but trust me, it was classic. I’ll let some other pics tell the rest of the story…

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This was a new one this year: Spades. “The kids” played cards a lot…and I believe Amy and Luke ultimately won the final game.

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As usual, Owen was the center of attention.

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We watched a lot of football all week (including the Razorbacks fantastic upset of LSU), but it all culminated Saturday night with the Border War. Clearly, this pic was taken before the game (Don and Luke weren’t smiling quite as big afterwards). However, here are some people who were smiling ear to ear:

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So all in all, it was another fun, relaxing, and memorable year with the family. Just ask this kid:

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mizzou-rah!

We’ll try to get our “Thanksgiving In Review” post going sometime soon. Until then, just know that things are pretty surreal for us here in Missouri…

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Ever since Travis and I got married, we’ve been spending Thanksgiving down in Mena, Arkansas (Travis’ hometown). I thoroughly enjoy spending the holiday in the “Natural State”, but a big part of me missed the traditions of Thanksgiving that I had grown up with. As a compromise, we started celebrating Thanksgiving with my family the Saturday before Thanksgiving. So, last weekend we headed over to my parents’ house. My mom, grandma, and I spent “Thanksgiving Day” like this:

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My dad, Nate (my brother), and Travis spent the day watching Mizzou show that we deserve our ranking!  (I know, this looks like a cheesy, posed picture.  Actually, I was in the right place at the right time and caught the post-touchdown cheer!)

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When the meal was finally ready, we all enjoyed quite a feast! This year, I learned how to make my grandma’s cornbread stuffing, which has always been one of my favorite dishes at Thanksgiving.

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Even though Owen wasn’t able to enjoy the turkey and stuffing like the adults, he did enjoy some yummy butternut squash (that’s Thanksgiving-ish, right?)! I love how he opens his mouth when he’s ready for another bite!!

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On Wednesday, we’re going to make the 8 hour drive down to Mena for our Arkansas Thanksgiving. Send up a little prayer for us…8 hours in the car with a child who really doesn’t enjoy car rides is not so fun! Look for a post next weekend with an update about Thanksgiving #2!!

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the best 6 months of my life!

As the title of this post states, these past 6 months have been the best of my life. Owen has brought so much joy to our family, and he is going to be 6 months old on Saturday! In some ways, these last 6 months have flown by. In other ways, it seems like Owen has always been a part of our family. We can barely remember what life was like without him. Since we just started our blog last month, I have only been posting recent pictures of him. In honor of Owen’s half a year birthday, bear with me as I take a trip down memory lane…

3 weeks before Owen was born:

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One day old:

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One month old:

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Two months:

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Three months:

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Four months:

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Five months:

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Six months:

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When I look at these pictures, I can’t believe how much he’s changed in the past 6 months. I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months bring!!  Happy Birthday, Baby O!

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Then you’ll love Trigger 5. Featuring the vocal stylings of my friends and co-workers Amy and Mike, and the guitar goodness of my old intern and friend, Greg, Trigger 5 simply brings it. Check out their “hot off the wordpress” blog on our blogroll.

There’s some darn good music yonder, and I declare you’ll be a toe-tappin’ and hummin’ away in no time ‘tal. Seriously.

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Actually, this weekend in review is going to reach back to Monday. Em and I got together with her parents to celebrate her brother Nate’s birthday. After a tasty pork tenderloin dinner, Nate opened up his presents, my favorite of which (and by the look on his face, his, too) was the Dwight Schrute bobblehead doll. Fantastic. It was the perfect compliment to another gift, The Office Season 3 on DVD.

Flash forward to Friday night. Em and I kicked off the weekend by spending a couple hours with the family:

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Countless Hey! ‘Dis guy! and Bada bing!‘s – and we couldn’t get enough. Sure, we’re in a little late on The Sopranos phenomenon, but we’re loving it now nonetheless. We’re on Season 3, and at this rate, should finish the series by ’08.

Saturday morning we headed back over to Becky and Phil’s house to watch the Mizzou/Texas A&M game. Another Mizzou win, another good day. In respect for A&M alums Kristy and Russell and my old Kanakuk co-counselor, Ryan, there’ll be no gloating – it was actually a pretty close game. But I gotta say, being #5 in the nation feels good!

Saturday night we hung out with some of our church family (yes, I’m gonna beat this “family” theme to death). Our friends Ben, Anna, Franz and Jillian joined us for a spicy Mexican dinner. Good times.

Sunday, my aunt Georgann, uncle Keith, and cousin Cori from Memphis came to visit. They had been visiting Mizzou this weekend (Cori’s a senior, looking at schools), and hung out with us and Owen on their way home. Needless to say, Em and I are plugging MU every other second when Cori’s around. We had a great time together…pics below.

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Keith and Georgann took us out to dinner, where Owen demanded service by repeatedly banging on the table. What can I say? The guy’s a tough customer.

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Unfortunately, our family also came down with a pretty serious cold this weekend. Owen and Emily are feeling especially crummy. But with a new week – new life! At least, that’s what we’re hoping…

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buds

I recommend you have the sound ON for this one…

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he’s taking a nap…so what?

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In my opinion, this picture is my biggest success story as a mom so far. Let me give you a little background because you might be thinking “he’s taking a nap…so what?”.

When Owen was 3 months old, he decided he was done with naps. (Meaning, he woke up at 7ish and did not go back to sleep until 8ish that evening.) As many of you know, that is every mother’s nightmare! Nap times are when moms get to shower, eat, sleep, read a book, do laundry, clean the house, talk on the phone…in a word, nap time is ESSENTIAL! (Oh yeah, and they’re pretty important for the kid, too!) So, needless to say, I was feeling like a pretty frazzled mom. I realized I had to do something about this problem, so I did what any frustrated mom does…I consulted the vast supply of information that is available to mothers with questions–internet articles, books, pamphlets, etc… I found that there are two very different schools of thought in this area…one being the idea that you should never let your kid cry it out and one that says you should. Both are very passionate about their beliefs. As a new mom, I had no clue what was right. The experts were telling me two different things, so I decided to consult the true experts…my friends with kids.

After discussions with many friends about the topic of sleep and naps, I decided that I was going to have to teach Owen to sleep. 5 weeks ago, I began this journey. I set a schedule for Owen’s day with a specific morning wake-up time and nap times. Being a bit on the anal side, I created a nap log and recorded how many minutes Owen cried every time I put him down for a nap. The first week couldn’t have been worse. He cried for at least one full hour every time I put him in his crib for a nap. I quickly learned that my son is extremely stubborn, but (as Travis can attest) I am also extremely stubborn. So really, this was a battle of the wills, and I was determined not to lose. One day that week, he actually cried for 2 hours before falling asleep. I felt like a terrible mom for doing this, but I kept thinking that Owen needs naps and this is going to be good for him in the long run.

Over the next 4 weeks, the nap schedule continued. In many of the books I had read, people said that after 3 days of letting their child cry it out, their child was going to sleep without any crying. What I quickly learned is that Owen is an individual; he is not a textbook kid. After 4 weeks, we were down to him crying about 5 minutes before putting himself to sleep (and this was a huge success to me!).

5 weeks after the whole nightmare of sleep training began, I am happy to report that Owen puts himself to sleep without any crying!!! We have a nap routine…shades closed, quiet music on, story, and then into bed he goes. As you can see in the picture, he cuddles with Ducky (his little yellow blanket) as he falls asleep. I have gone from being a frazzled mom with literally not a minute to myself all day, to a mom who enjoys being with her well-rested and happy child because she is well-rested, too! Not only has Owen become a great napper, he also sleeps anywhere from 10 to 12 hours at night, uninterrupted. I have learned that the better he naps during the day, the better he sleeps at night. He can also put himself back to sleep on his own if he wakes up prematurely!

If you stuck with this post all the way through, thanks for reading! I am pretty thrilled that finally, after all of the hard work we’ve done, Owen puts himself to sleep without the terrible cries I was afraid I would hear the rest of my life.

On to the next challenge…

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I mean, come on – any guy who’s not afraid to show off his mad light saber skills in a local school board election commercial has my vote. People of Rockingham county, I implore you…let this man lead you in battle against “the tightening grip of unfunded mandates.”

And his last name is Knight! Clearly, he was born to be a Jedi/school board member.

All that’s left to say is this: Christopher Knight…may the force be with you.

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