Archive for September, 2009

remembering grandma nini

My precious grandma, Grandma Nini, went home to be with Jesus on Saturday evening.  Some of my best memories include Grandma, and she will be very missed.  Over the past couple of years, I felt so privileged to share my children with their Great-Grandma.  She loved them so much, and I think she willed herself to live as long as she did because she wanted the chance to love on her great granddaughter.  These two pictures were taken 3 weeks ago when we visited her in Texas.



Taken in January of 2009 when we visited her in Dallas:


She made a point to be very involved in her grandchildren’s lives.  Here she is with us at Owen’s first birthday party in May 2008:


I loved when she’d come visit us for the holidays.  Here’s a picture of her teaching me the family recipe for cornbread stuffing in November 2008:


Grandma was so excited to meet her first great-grandchild when Owen was born in May 2007.  She spent 2 weeks in St. Louis when he was born just holding him and helping me learn to be a mommy.  She loved little kids so  much.  I love her sweet expressions while she’s holding Owen.



Grandma and her daughters:  Aunt Suzi, Aunt Kathy, and my mom.


Grandma and her grandchildren and great-grandchild:


Grandma was a very special woman and the best grandmother I could have asked for.  I’m so thankful that my children got a chance to meet her.


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Bring on the ice cream, pizza, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, chocolate, etc… because Little Miss Molly has outgrown her milk protein allergy!  I kept meaning to do a blog post about this, but I kept forgetting.  And I also felt like, if I made it public, she’d regress and we’d end up back where we started…living a life free of dairy products. 

At her 4 month doctor appointment, the doctor advised me to try dairy to see how Molly would tolerate it.  She said lots of kids outgrow their allergy by 3-4 months.  I thought she’d suggest I start slow to break her in easy, but she said to eat LOTS of dairy because you want to see the reaction, if there’s going to be one. 

I was nervous, but also EXTREMELY excited to eat dairy foods again.  It’s been a little over a month since I reintroduced dairy, and things are going great!  There’s not even been a trace of the scary reaction to dairy that sent us to the hospital when she was 2 weeks old. 

So, after 4 months of abstaining from dairy so that I could continue nursing Molly…I’m back!!

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another monthly update

Molly is 5 months old!


As you can tell, she’s still just as smiley as can be!  She is becoming more and more social everyday and loves to hear herself talk.  She’s WAY more interested in interacting with us than practicing moving around.  I having been trying to get her to practice rolling over, but she has absolutely no interest.  She will let me flip her over then she just looks at me and starts talking.  She actually did roll over for the first time the other day during her naptime, but then proceeded to spit up massive amounts all over her crib sheet.  When I came in to check on her she had her face pressed into her sheet and was a bit freaked out because she had spit up covering her face and in her eyes.  How gross is that?  I felt bad for her, and I really can’t blame her for not wanting to try again.  Darn that reflux.


Besides not being interested in practicing her gross motor skills, all of a sudden Molly has no interest in sleeping…although when she does choose to sleep, she’s just so stinkin’ cute!  I just love those chubby cheeks!  Back to her aversion to sleep…she’s beginning to remind me of her brother.  Uh oh.  (For a refresher on the oh-so-fun time we had with Owen’s sleep, or lack thereof, check out this post.)  The difference between Owen and Molly is that he never took a pacifier.  That has it’s ups and downs…the paci is great at calming her down when she’s upset, but it is VERY frustrating because she freaks out when it falls out of her mouth while she’s sleeping.  Recently we’ve started letting her cry it out when it falls out so that she can learn to put herself back to sleep.  Depending on the night, she’ll cry anywhere from 1 to 3 hours due to lack of paci.  Wow…we’re tired.  We’ve also discovered that she’s not awake when the paci falls out…she’s actually asleep and is screaming in her sleep.  This will continue for hours, or until we put the paci back in her mouth.  The issue with that is, if the paci is put back in her mouth, it will fall out again in a matter of minutes resulting in very short bursts of sleep for the parents.  It’s a no-win situation.  Hopefully it will better itself soon.


As you can tell from the above picture, Molly enjoys putting EVERYTHING in her mouth…specifically her hands.  (Which is why it grosses me out when random people at the grocery store come up and touch my baby’s hands.  Why the hands, people?)  I keep expecting to see some teeth popping out because she’s constantly gnawing, but nothing yet.  Anyway, she’s been ready to start cereal for a while, but I’ve been kind of putting it off.  It’s so much easier when you only have to worry about milk for each meal.  Now that life is getting back to normal after our crazy summer of traveling the country, I decided I was ready to start (and so was she).  Owen HATED cereal the first time he tried it.  Much like with the potty seat, he freaked out and I put the spoon away for a few days before trying it again.  Molly, on the other hand, LOVES cereal!  She acts like it’s the most exciting part of her day. 


She loves to try to grab my hands while I’m feeding her to shove the food in her mouth even faster.  She always finishes her entire bowl and probably would eat a whole lot more if I’d let her.  She’s really working on chunking up her thighs.


Moving on…

Owen is 28 months old!


Do you like the goofball smile?  Owen is big into smiling for the camera, but he never gives me his real smile…unless I can catch him without him knowing I’m taking a picture. 


And then you’ve got the sleazy, used car salesman smile he’s particularly fond of lately.  (Notice the blue, chocolate egg in his hand.  I’m now to the point that I have to bribe him to get him to pose for a picture.  It’s amazing what he’ll do for a chocolate egg….or a sock-ick egg, as he calls it.)


And then sometimes I catch his sweet, innocent smile.  Rarely. 

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that Owen started Toddler Time.  He’s been loving school, so much so that he doesn’t want to leave when it’s over.  He’s been working on learning  his colors, but so far he still calls everything blue.  Someday he’ll catch on.  After school I love talking to him about what he’s learned.  Last week he said, “God made the world, sun, and flowers.”  I love how much we can communicate the older he gets. 

Other big news…Owen is obsessed with sitting on the potty.  No success yet, but he loves to sit there.  That’s a good start, right?  I took a really cute picture of him sitting on the potty, but Travis told me that it wasn’t blog-appropriate.  Maybe he’s right.  But it was just so darn cute.  He’s sitting there completely buck-naked reading a book.  (Owen insists on being completely naked when he sits on the potty.  Not sure why.  It’s rather a pain to have to totally undress him before he’ll sit on it, but I’m willing to do whatever I have to do to get this potty-training going.)

Okay, that’s all for now!  There’s a whole lot more I could say about both of them, but this post has already become a novel.  More later…

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tour of texas, part three

The wedding…Wimberley, Texas! 

After leaving Sea World, we drove to San Marcos, Texas (right between San Antonio and Austin) to our hotel.  He arrived just in time to get ready to go to my cousin Mike’s rehearsal dinner.  We had been looking forward to this wedding for a long time.  Not only was it a time to get together with all my cousins, but we were also getting to meet Mike’s then-fiance, Meghan!  Here’s a picture of Mike, Meghan, and my aunt Suzi (Mike’s mom):


The rehearsal dinner was so much fun!  Mike and Meghan met in Washington D.C. but both have roots in Texas.  Mike lived in Los Angeles most of his life before moving to D.C. for work, but my aunt and uncle (his parents) left California several years ago to build a beautiful horse ranch and live in Texas paradise!  Meghan has a family ranch that she grew up visiting, thus the common roots in Texas.  Anyway, Mike and Meghan decided to have their wedding at Meghan’s family ranch in Wimberley.  It was a beautiful place for a wedding.  They had the rehearsal dinner in a local restaurant/brewery.  They hired a couple to come teach the guests how to line dance and do the Texas two-step.  My mom generously offered her grandma-arms so that Molly could sleep, and my cousin Lindsay’s husband, Jody, played with Owen so that Travis and I could get out and enjoy the dance floor.  Here’s my mom with my sleepy girl:

molly and mom

And my Uncle Barry, cousin Matt, and Jody…Owen’s buddies!


My aunts, cousins, and I were all in the same sorority in college (Pi Beta Phi…them at Oklahoma State and me at Mizzou).  We took a picture of all of us together:

pi phi

We had a great time at the rehearsal dinner.  Our kids cooperated enough for us to be able to stay until the end.  The wedding was another story.  It was a BEAUTIFUL wedding.  Mike and Meghan were so happy and I loved being able to see them get married…from the furthest corner of the yard while Owen talked incessantly about his Star Wars guys.  We tried to let him sit in a chair and watch the wedding, and that lasted about 5 seconds.  Molly, my normally easy child, decided to have a major freak-out at the precise minute the wedding started.  So Travis hid her away inside the house to keep her loud, frantic crying from disrupting the wedding.  My one major regret from our Texas trip was that I didn’t get to see more of the wedding and enjoy celebrating with my cousin on his big day.  Oh well.  Such is my life right now.  Anyway, here’s a picture of their beautiful wedding:


The weather was PERFECT.  When I thought of an early September wedding in Texas, I thought one word…HOT.  The weather was actually in the 80’s and cloudly…which was great for the wedding and pictures.  It couldn’t have been better.  After the wedding was over, we released Owen from his quiet corner of the yard and he loved running around greeting people.  Here he is with Mike, the groom.

owen and mike

And here’s my cousin, Lori, holding a very sleepy Molly.


And one more picture of the girl cousins:  (Lori, Heather, Lindsay, Melissa, Megan, and me)


We didn’t get any pictures at the reception because we stayed a very brief time.  Our children were starting to fall apart, and we decided we wanted Mike and Meghan to continue being the center of attention rather than the tantrum that we could feel brewing from our little wild man.  We realized it was time to go when he closed up a folding chair with his body inside…quite traumatic for him and definitely our cue to leave.  I do wish we could have stayed.  The reception was one of the most gorgeous I’ve ever been to.  I wish I’d taken a picture of the room…it was breathtaking.  Meghan, if you read my blog, you did a fantastic job planning your wedding.  It was perfect. 

Anyway…our tour of Texas was great.  We were really tired by the end of it.  Sharing a room with our children for 6 nights was less than ideal.  We did end up having suite-style hotel rooms which saved our lives considering Molly has decided that sleeping at night is not her thing.  I’ll write more about that later.  We loved spending time with family and really look forward to getting to see everyone again.

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tour of texas, part two


The whole purpose for the trip to Texas was to go to my cousin’s wedding, but we decided to meet up with Jeff and Julie (Trav’s parents) for a mini-vacation before the wedding.  We had a BLAST in San Antonio.  What a great city!!  We did so much in such a short period of time.  First, we had LOTS of Mexican food.  In all seriousness, what other type of food are you supposed to eat while in San Antonio??  Here’s a shot of Trav and me at dinner the first night:


Our hotel was right on the Riverwalk.  If you’ve never been to San Antonio, you definitely want to stay in close proximity to the Riverwalk and all it has to offer.  Here’s Nana and Bubba posing for a shot on our way to dinner one night:

riverwalk 2

We also checked out the Alamo while we were there.  Here’s proof:  (Can you see us??  The really small people in front of the Alamo?  Yep, we really were there.)


After the Alamo, we did more eating.  Here’s Nana holding Molly during one of our lunches:


The last day we were there we went to Sea World!  This was my favorite part of the whole trip.  I LOVED it!  As did Owen.  Being a huge fan of Finding Nemo, he loved seeing a lot of the fish that he sees in the movie.  Get ready…there are a whole lot of Sea World pictures.  And I even narrowed them down to a few of my favorites.  It was just that much fun.  First, here’s a picture of Owen’s expression of sheer delight during the Sea Lion show.  He thought this was so funny but was  a little overwhelmed by just how BIG the walrus was!  He loves reading about walrus’s in an Eric Carle book we have, but he wasn’t prepared for their sheer mass!

sea lions

We also got a chance to feed the dolphins.  It was so cool how close you can get to those guys! 


And now for my favorite part of Sea World…the Shamu show!  It was great!  I was totally and completely not prepared for how enormous he is.  Owen loved watching the show, too.  He got really into it and chanted right along with the crowd, “SHAMU!  SHAMU!”.  After the show, Nana and Bubba bought him his own Shamu doll, which he refused to put down for the remainder of the day.  Here’s a family shot after the Shamu show:

shamu show

Perhaps the most exciting thing for Owen was when he got to see the sharks.  He ran up to the glass shouting, “BRUCE!!!”.  And if you haven’t seen Finding Nemo, you’re probably wondering why he was shouting Bruce.  Go watch the movie.  It’s great.  He also thought it was super cool that there was a scuba diver in the tank!  (Not the shark tank…that would probably be a bit too risky for a Sea World exhibit.)  Owen thought the scuba diver was totally awesome and completely dominated her time.  Good thing most of the other kids were scared of her…I could see them getting annoyed at his total obsession with talking to the woman in the water.  Here he is with his scuba friend:

scuba diver

We said goodbye to Jeff and Julie at Sea World so that we could continue on to part three of our tour of Texas.  We had so much fun with them.  Thanks for spending your vacation with us!  Here’s a shot of them with Owen right before we left:  (Molly was fast asleep in her stroller…and you don’t mess with a good thing like napping in 95 degree heat at a theme park.)

sea world

One final shot of Owen exploring the Riverwalk:

riverwalk 3

We loved San Antonio.  I’d love to go back sometime…maybe even without the kids!  More to come from our tour of Texas…part 3!

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tour of texas, part one

I officially am having trouble keeping up with this blog.  I was so good at it before Molly was born.  Oh well…such is life.  Anyway, 2 weeks ago we left on a family vacation, otherwise known as our “Tour of Texas”!  Our first stop in Texas was…

DALLAS!!  We stopped in Dallas to visit my aunt, uncle, cousins, and my grandma (who is living in a nursing home there).  My grandma had never met Molly, and I couldn’t wait to introduce her to our happy little girl.  Here’s Great Grandma Nini holding Molly for the first time:

holding molly

And here’s a shot of her with both of her great-grandkids:

ggma nini

We actually made two stops in Dallas…one on our way to Texas and one on our way home from Texas.  On the way home, we celebrated my Grandma’s 88th birthday together.  Here’s a picture of my mom, Aunt Kathy, Grandma, Molly, and me after my Grandma’s birthday dinner:

the ladies

And finally, it wouldn’t be a post on our blog without some mention of Star Wars.  Owen managed to get my cousins to have light saber fights with him…even if the “light sabers” he used were actually wrapping paper rolls.  Here’s a picture of Owen and my cousin, Lindsay, in the midst of an intense battle:  (And evidently Lindsay was the best light saber fighter because he wouldn’t let anyone fight him but her.  She’s got a serious talent.)

light saber

Dallas was great.  We loved spending time with Grandma Nini and my aunt, uncle and cousins.  Stay tuned for more about our tour of Texas…

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Here’s To The Swaze

The clips say it all.

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