Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Back in Town

It is funny how just driving around the streets of our home has become beautiful and wonderful, all because we have been living in Mobile, AL for so long now! Things I took for granted,like the beautiful flowers my neighbors have planted or the numerous wonderful parks and GREAT friends we have here, have come back to my full attention and I am so grateful for them all.

Today we went to play with Wendy and Mia at Pullen Park, which Little Dude loves because there is a little kiddie train we can ride on AND kiddie boats Mia and he can ride! I still had a ton of tickets left from the last time we went way back before our move, so it was kinda a free trip! (I didn't have to spend any more money, anyway!)

Mia and Little Dude are so great playing together, and since Wendy's husband and my husband work together AND they both went to NC State and also attend football games, it is fantastic fun to meet up and hang out!

I also wore JR in my new Maya Wrap ring sling, which I love even more than my other sling! (I didn't think it would be possible!) I got this new sling because the fabric of my other is really thick, and not so good for the hot weather we have in Mobile, though it will be perfect for winter.So, I hunted around, and found a small sized Maya Wrap ring sling on ebay for 1/4 the price online. VERY AWESOME. I lucked out in getting it in the pattern I loved online-it has beautiful striped bold colors (it even has a little pink!) made out of soft, breathable cotton.

And the best part?

It has a POCKET. AWESOME! So, today at the park, I wore JR, (he was in heaven) played with Mia, Wendy and Little Dude, AND carried my debit card, id, phone, and truck keys so I could leave the stroller where ever. I was not worried if anyone tried to steal something out of it, as all they would end up with would be a poopy diaper, wipes, extra diapers,some crackers, and changes of clothes for the kids.Nope, no one was going to get my debit card! And, when my son wanted some juice, all I had to do was get the money out of my sling pocket, instead of bending over and searching through my bottomless diaper bag for my wallet.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fisher Price-My Little Lamb Cradle and Swing

So, as all of you know from my blog, my son JR has not been the easiest, nor happiest of babies. In fact, he has been known to cry for hours on end, as my husband and I try rocking, carrying,bouncing, and even wearing him in slings around the house to keep him happy. Some are hit and miss, and just depend on his mood, which can be frustrating for us, and of course makes us sad that we can't figure out what our son needs!

Well, no more of those days, my friends! Why? Because I found the Fisher Price My Little Lamb Cradle and Swing!!


Friday, September 26, 2008

Daddy's Shoes

My Little Dude is getting bigger every day, and the cute words just flying out of his mouth amaze us! While we were at the beach, Little Dude decided he had gotten big enough to try putting on Bill's Running Shoes. As you can see, he was so proud!

And the whole time he was so proud to say "Daddy Run!" as he ran around in Bill's shoes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Our Weekend at the Beach

My husband has a wonderful boss, and he was kind enough to let us use his condo down at the beach of Gulf Shores. I will let the pictures speak for themselves, but trust me, it was GORGEOUS!! There was also an indoor pool, kiddie pool and lots of hot tubs. AHhhhhh. And, of course, the BEACH with the whitest, softest sand I have ever seen. My, it was just breathtaking.

This is the view of the pools from our balcony
Little Dude and Bill eating breakfast outside. We ate every meal on the balcony watching the water.
The ocean from the balcony-it doesn't look like were were very high up, but we are 4 stories above the ground here. Again, breathtaking.
JR and me
The only plastic cups at the condo ended up being shaped like wine glasses. And, with Little Dude running around we didn't want to risk broken glass, so we used the plastic ones (and we did even enjoy some wine after the kids went to bed!) But, in true Little Dude fashion, he wanted to be like us, so he drank water and juice from his own "wine glass" and thought he was just so awesome to have cups like ours. I, of course, couldn't help but take a picture.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monster Scales

Our trip to "meet" our new doctor really did turn into a nightmare. Luckily, I only got a little lost once I got to the hospital (the pediatrician office is in the hospital) but that was not bad. What was bad? The office!!

First we checked in at the window, should be no big deal right? WRONG. THIS office has a CERTAIN window for every 2 doctors, and let me tell you, if you are at the wrong window, the nurse/receptionist is NOT going to check you in. You must move over to the correct window. Since I did not know/remember what doctor we were seeing, this immediately got me off on the wrong foot with Drill Sargent Receptionist.

The doctor's office was like a parents nightmare. It was completely sterile, nothing fun, nothing of any entertainment for the kids, no books, no chairs, no fish, NOTHING. The floor was just hard concrete the Chairs were easily tipped over, which my Little Dude was quick to show everyone. And the worst? You had to walk THROUGH the sick kid area to get to the well kid area. So, of course, my WELL son is off and saying hi to all the sick people while I try to grab things out of my bag for him to play with so he will stay in the no fun, unpopulated (besides us) well side.

THEN we went back for the "meeting checkup" whatever that is. As we approched the scales, I knew we might have trouble, as Little Dude does not like hospital environments (he showed that when he came to see JR born) and he does not like for people to mess with JR. I explained this to the nurse, but instead of letting me go through everything first and showing Little Dude how fun it was, she said something like "it will be ok", grabbed JR and stared to weigh and measure. Since Little Dude could not understand that JR was OK and nothing was wrong, he immediately started a tantrum. I tried to lift him up so that he could see JR, but he only used that as a way to grab at JR on the scale. Nice. Then the nurse said:

"We need his weight now"

I said: "Are you kidding me?" "Is it that important right now? Couldn't we do all the measuring either after he is calm or next time we come?"

Drill Sargent nurse said "NO. We need them Now. For records."

So, I tried to calm Little Dude as she placed him on the scales and that became a battle of wills, as I tried to hold him down and she tried to get a weight. Finally she said "He's around 26 lbs, that's fine". What? I could have told her he was around 26 lbs!!! Now I am feeling guilty I made him do something that scared him and I am annoyed the nurse is just estimating something she will get once his records from NC are faxed down anyway.

Well, I now have two screaming kids, one completely terrified, and clinging to my leg.

And she wanted me to take them down a dark hall to where the doctor rooms are. When I asked why the hall was dark, she ROLLED her eyes at me "The light bulb burnt out, we have someone coming to fix it". The dark hall, complete lack of pictures, lack of colors (everything was WHITE or GRAY), and nothing but the sound of crying kids (which you hear at all offices, I know,) and the attitude of the nurses made me really want to leave.

We finally met the doctor, and he was INCREDIBLY nice. He even asked if he could give Little Dude a lollipop before taking a look at him. So, he became Little Dude's best friend, calmed him down, and spend a lot of time talking to him,AND went to his office and got a short book to read to Little Dude. Once Little Dude stopped screaming, JR was easier to calm down as well, so my two terrors were back to their sweet selves. I loved the Doctor, he was very through, very sweet, wonderful with my son, and even got a stool from the nurses desk so Little Dude could help him check JR out. He let Little Dude hold the light! Little Dude was in heaven. And, so was I.

He told me about how important the flu vaccine will be for us this year since JR was a preemie and though he is doing great, he may not have as strong an immune system yet as a full term baby his age would, but he said it was up to me. UP TO ME. No pressure, just information about it and how to make an appointment. What I also liked was that even though this practice had 6 doctors, he would be the primary one to take care of and see us when possible AND they are open 7 days a week, with Sat. and Sun being for sick emergencies only.

So, I have a delima. I hate the office look, hate the nurses, hate the staff, but LOVE the doctor. He is the best doctor we have ever seen. You should have seen him with the kids, and how quickly he was soothing and calming to them to make them comfortable.

So, what do I do?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gone to See the Docter

No, none of us are sick, finally! But, since we are now a plane ride OR over 15 hours in the car away from our pediatrician, I decided it was a good idea to find one down here. So, today, I am armed with directions from Google, and ready to go find our new doctor for our new patients checkup. One thing I already love about our new doctor? They are going to see both kids in one visit-so one co pay! Oh I am so happy!

I am really nervous about driving across town-I have to find the highway, and get off in a new area of Mobile I have never been to before. My luck so far with driving down here has not been so good; I keep getting lost. But, I am giving myself plenty of time and have nothing else planned this morning. And I have my survival box freshly packed with food. Now if I can just get there without getting lost........

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hammer with Cheese?

Words are just flying our of my Little Dude's mouth and I am amazed more and more every day with just how smart and quick he is! I am in awe of my awesome little man.

Saturday night Bill and I decided to try out a fast food place we had never been too, "Whataburger". (It was very good) But, while Bill and I were driving in the rain to see what kind of quick eating spots Mobile, AL offered, we were talking about what we felt like eating. Since it appeared there were a TON of hamburger placed we had never heard of, we decided to try one.

As we were making the decision of ordering, for the fun of it, we asked Little Dude what he felt like eating, not really expecting him to say something that would be a choice on the menu. But to our wonder, he said very clearly

"Hammer cheese, please"

It was such a delight to hear that little voice requesting a "hammer with cheese", and so, we got him his own cheeseburger (usually he would share some of ours) and once we got home set it all out on the table: Bill's burger, my burger, and Little Dude's burger. Oh it was such a cute site to see him dig into his very own "Hammer cheese".

Oh I am loving these cute toddler years!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Book Review: A Friend Like Henry

I just received the book, A Friend Like Henry, from SourceBooks, Inc on Friday and had planned on not having my review written for a couple of weeks, since I really did think I would have the time to read it anytime soon.

Well, let me just tell you guys, the books SO GOOD, and SO WELL WRITTEN, that I stayed up all night Friday to finish it. I just COULD NOT put it down.

It is a true story of hope written by the mother of two Autistic children, and she shares the the miracles that their dog, Henry, brought to their family.

"Autism affects 1 out of every 150 American children, and almost 1 out of 94 boys, and is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the US" -CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.

The book is just amazing and I can not say enough praise for it. You can read all of my review, HERE on my review page.

And since I loved the book so much, I would like to share it with someone else! So, check out my review of, A Friend Like Henry, to learn out to get yourself a copy!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bathtime Fun

My JR is getting big enough now to REALLY have fun in bath time. He likes to kick in the water, and just gets the BIGGEST grin on his face. He especially enjoys me rubbing his head as I wash it-I get all kinds of smiles, coos, and ahhhs from him then. Sometimes, when JR is especially upset over something I can't figure out, a nice bath is the best thing to get him out of his grumpy mood.

Little toothless smiles are so sweet!

Playing with HTML

No, HTML is not a kid or a kid product, it is HyperText Markup Language, the language my web page uses! And at my job for Dakno, I have been learning a lot about it, so I got bold enough to start messing around with the HTML of my site! I am using a simple blogger template, I think it was : Minima Lefty.

Awhile ago I added another side bar so I could put different buttons and such, which I think looks pretty good! I now have a review blog that I did the same changes on and I think I did an even better job this time! (Keep a look out for some great products to get reviewed soon) I also created my own header and "buttons" by expanding upon what my bother in law John had shown me with my first "blog button". I made them a little big, I think, so if I find a moment I might mess around with shrinking them down a little, but overall, I am quite happy with them!

And while at it I went ahead and updated the header and button for my blog to include JR, since the previous header and such still had me pregnant.

Oh I am so proud. It took forever, but I got it, and I think from here on out I can update and change my look a little here and there much more quickly and more easily. And best of all?

It was free. Oh I am so frugal, yay!

Now, I am off to see what my toddler is getting into, because it has gotten very quiet, and all of us moms know that quiet, for some odd reason, is NEVER good.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oh Man

As a way to try to avoid cursing now that my Little Dude is a little copy cat for EVERYTHING we do, my husband and I have been trying to say other things instead. Like: Oh Man, and DARN.

So, yesterday, when I came out of JR's Room from diaper changing time and realized that Little Dude had climbed up onto the table to get at some leftover spaghetti (from lunch), all I could do was laugh, say OH MAN and grab my new Flip Camera, complements of Newbaby.com

Here is the sweet smile that greeted me as I came out to the kitchen, and the sweet voice that copied me as I said "OH MAN" to the all over spaghetti mess, missing shoe, missing pants, and runny nose of my sweet little boy. And you guys get to enjoy the huge ham he is whenever a camera comes out...can you tell I take a lot of pictures? Say Cheese!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Works For Me-In Home Grocery Store

My Little Dude LOVES his play kitchen. I got it used for really cheap, along with a few play food items. However, as great as the play food is, Little Dude knows that pineapples (or whatever it is) aren't really green and crazy small. So, I have a throw back on one of my old preschool activities that keeps him super happy and super busy cooking in his kitchen:

A Home Made Grocery Store great for ages walking and up.

What you need:
Paper bag or bags or baskets for each child
Empty food boxes and containers

Save up empty food boxes and containers. Pudding or Jello boxes work well, as do cereal boxes, small yogurt containers, empty vitamin bottles, empty spice containers, granola bar boxes, -ANYTHING from your kitchen you can wash out, and is not a chocking or suffocation hazard (like plastic bags-NO plastic bags). You can store you "groceries" in a box or laundry basket (that is what we used at school). Your child will have fun going shopping with a paper bag (with handles so he/she can hold it easily) or a small handled basket.

Yes, kids LOVE fill up bags and baskets with just about anything and everything, ESPECIALLY when said activity mimics adult activity, like grocery shopping! So, on some rainy days, my preschool class would pull out all the saved up food boxes and items, and grab a paper bag, as we all went grocery shopping. The kids LOVED it.

And now, my Little Dude does too. Sometimes I let him "cook" his water friendly grocery items in a cooking pot on the floor with a spoon and a little water. He loves it and could do it for hours, which gives me time to tend to JR. Nice.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Large Drink of Happiness

This past weekend we went to Gulf Shores, Fl to enjoy the beach. Hurricane Ike almost kept us home, but lucky for usw e only ended up with some rain. We had such an amazing time, and my wonderful, sweet hubby took JR duty so Little Dude and I could spend a few hours alone playing in the sand, pools, beach, and just hanging out. And gosh, for a few hours I just drank up my little boy, knowing that moments like this will be fewer and fewer as JR gets older.

But that's OK, because though my little dude still needs me and loved the one on one time, I also know he loves sharing Bill and me with JR. As we started to get in the elevator to go back to our condo, Little Dude's sweet little voice said :

"See baby! My baby!"

Over and over. And as soon as we got back he ran to "his baby" to say "Hi, baby!" and to Bill to show off his seashells. He insisted JR touch one and got so excited as JR smiled back.

His sweetness to JR fills me with so much joy, my cup is running over and I just want to drink forever.
Little Dude, sharing his precious red puppy toy with JR
Little Dude helping me give JR a bath.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Burp Vlog

My new Vlog is up at Newbaby.com, go check it out! I did a whole video about different positions to burp babies in, starting with the classic newborn position to the older baby/difficult burper positions and added in a little trick I learned while working at a daycare-massaging their back, starting with the lower back, and working your way up. It will make them burp every time. I tried to not be as nervous this time and the camera credits have to go to my super awesome husband who video taped me without laughing. Thanks, Sweetheart!

NC State Football Game

My husband and I both graduated from North Carolina State University Thus, our blood is not only RED, but also WHITE. You could say we are die hard fans, and enjoy every game, even when we loose. In fact, we have a whole game day tradition laid out that we have followed with our friends for the past 7 years.

And so, we carried on the tradition by taking our boys to the first home football game. It was a proud moment for us and I especially loved dressing the guys in their NCSU gear. Even if the kid outfits were way too expensive, the fun of seeing them dressed out in our school logo was worth it. For Bill there was an even greater joy: This year he has his truck, and so we got to REALLY tailgate before the game! Apparently driving a truck through some mud is a guy dream come true...who knew?

Little Dude LOVED the game, and we are still very close to the field with our new, super great seats, so I am loving it too! Little Dude was so cute in mimicking everything Bill did and in true Bill fashion, he cheered and yelled so loud he lost his voice in the second quarter. And there are bathrooms and concessions right behind our area, so there is no long distance running to the bathroom for Little Dude-we might still be running, but at least it won't be far. The best thing about our seats? Having actual seats with cup holders-no more drinks getting kicked down on top of us like last season AND I can keep Little Dude and JR from running around on bleachers...super awesome.

Anyways, here are some great pictures from the game, and we will be flying back and forth from Mobile, AL to Raleigh, NC for as many of the games as we can.

Because, you know, we have to be there for our team...they'll lose for sure if we don't eat Bojangles before the game and fill the stands! And honestly, I can't mess with superstition guys.

Our Team coming out from the tunnel; the view from my seat
Little Dude with his football, ready to head to Carter Finley Stadium
The NCSU Bagpipes....my gosh they were beautiful playing the national anthem
The Marching Band. I was in the marching band and played the mellophone (a marching french horn) back in my college days
Though Little Dude has his own seat, he wanted to sit in my lap near the end of the game
Our friends moved their seats along with us, and now sit behind our row: Joe, Andrea, and Big Dave
The Football Center
Our friend Cat
Bill and some of the guys
Little Dude loving his cookie
Me, JR and my sling. I'm so glad I have it, because sometimes JR wants to lay down, and others he wants to be upright-the ring sling is perfect for changing positions for him-and for covered, discreet nursing. (In the background is our friend Joey, and you can see Cat's ponytail.)
My happy little JR and his cute outfit.
I love this picture, even though it is a little dark. JR looking over Bill's shoulder.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pictures from Little Dude's Party

Now that I have finally gotten my camera cord down to Mobile, I can share birthday pictures with everyone! My Little Dude at his second birthday party:

You can see the pure joy Little Dude is having-seeing him so happy made all the water mess so worth it and actually enjoyable to clean up. He had SO much fun and I am so glad we got to have so many of our dear friends and family (and so many of his dear little friends) over to celebrate!

The neighborhood boys playing in the little house I got for free. Even though it was a huge pain to clean up, it was well worth the elbow grease!

Some of the decorations and presents. My parents did great with the decorating-they had balloons everywhere! Little Dude loved playing with them all week long after the party! Though I told people not to bring gifts, as you can see that didn't work and we got tons more as the day went on. Little Dude loved them all, thanks, guys! By the way, don't I look cute?

Our family, Bill, Little Dude, Me and JR (in my sling, sleeping)

We had our back yard turned into a preschool water play land, with multiple pools, springlers, slip n slide type things, balls, play houses, swings...it was so awesome to see all the kids playing. Little Dude LOVES water, so we had to set up the water play. I think it was a big hit and I finally made use of all the extra towels I own.

Yes, there is a naked kid in the background...really, we all know it's not a party until somebody strips...

Blowing out his candles-one that said "2" and one that was a car from CARS. And his birth picture and 1st birthday picture are set up too. Where did the years go? Sigh.