Monday, May 30, 2011

Mowing is a game...just ask Logan

Logan received a toy push mower for his first birthday...this was a smart move by his aunt.  He loved - wait...he still loves - that lawn mower.

This is Logan on his first birthday playing with his new lawn mower.  A couple weeks after his birthday we moved into our house and he was able to mow the grass instead of just mowing our tile floor.

One year later....still mowing away!  But, oh so much bigger...

He was still mowing the next summer too...of course I have no picture evidence of this since I dropped my precious DSLR on a tile floor while on vacation in May and it took two months to get it fixed.  I had a point and shoot, but alas, I lost inspiration to take lots of pictures.  But, I promise he mowed then too.

Today happened to be a good day to mow as it was sunny out and it is supposed to rain for the next three days.  And, of course, Logan was up to the task.

And sheesh, he went and got even bigger!

The point is that Logan thinks mowing is a pretty cool game.  He asks Justin if they can go mow the lawn!  So thanks Aunt Dannielle - your gift has truly stood the test of time. 

Of course, by the time he's old enough to push the real lawn mower I'm sure he won't think it is such a cool game anymore...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Promise Kept

I really meant to get Logan a sandbox last year.  Justin and I planned to give him one for Easter, but the weather was so rainy and cold that at the last minute we decided to get him something he was actually going to be able to use RIGHT THEN (you know how important RIGHT NOW is to two year olds right???).  I figured I would just get him the sandbox for his birthday in June, but by then it was too hot (I'll be honest, this was a bigger issue for Logan's 8 month pregnant mama than him) so again we decided to go with something he could use RIGHT THEN because, lets face it, even at three RIGHT NOW is very important. 

Then came August...and still no sandbox.  Poor kid....after all, his mama had promised....

In September I had a brilliant idea:  I'd buy Logan a sand box as a "big brother" gift (I won't point out that Gavin was nearly a month old by the time I had this idea...).  I even went to Wal-Mart to purchase one.  They were sold out of course.  In fact, I was informed that they had just sold the last one that day


Needless to say when it comes to promises kept, I was not going to be winning the mother of the year award.  I also learned a valuable lesson:  Never promise anything!!!!

Well, the point of this story is that, as of today, I have redeemed myself.  Behold the sandbox:

Logan is a very happy child today.  And that means he has a very happy mama

....and he seems to have forgotten that I ever promised him a sandbox last no permanent damage done I'd say!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gavin - 9 months

  • Gavin weighed 16 lbs. 11 oz and was 27.5" long at his nine month well baby check up.
  • We also recieved the good news that his lab work showed that he was negative hypophosphatemic rickets!!!!
  • He added a bottom tooth to the three he already had.
  • He's (surprisingly) still not crawling, but he gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth a lot!  I'm guessing he'll be taking off any day now!
  • He was just reaching for things, but now he will actually move from sitting to laying on his belly in an effort to reach what he wants.  Now he's just trying to figure out how to get back into a sitting position!
  • Gavin is happily upgrading to more solid foods.  He's a big fan of crackers and toast.
  • We've also started giving him some pear and apple juices which he can drink out of a sippy long as I hold the cup! 
  • We dropped a couple of nursing sessions during the day and started him on some formula.  He's transitioning really well - he practically inhales his bottles!
  • And, he can hold the bottles all by himself!  (I have no idea how long he has been doing this since up until now I hadn't given him a bottle in a few months!)
  • Gavin still likes to nurse first thing in the morning and during the evening.
  • He goes to bed between 6:30 and 7:00 and straight through until 5-5:30.  He wants to stay awake at this point though so we're beginning the process of pushing his bed time back a bit in hopes of keeping him asleep until closer to six (cross your fingers!).
  • He also falls asleep on his own now - I can't remember the last time he fell asleep in my arms while rocking....this makes me happy...and sad...
  • Gavin now prefers to ride in the stroller or the shopping cart as opposed to being carried in the ring sling (another happy/sad moment for his mama) - he's trying to become quite the independent!
  • He still likes to play in his jumper occasionally, but prefers to be on the floor with ALL of his toys out.
Gavin is changing so much everyday I can hardly keep up sometimes!  I'm looking forward to spending the summer with him and introducing him to all things summer! 

See all those teeth??? Including the fangs???

Side note:  Normally I try to do a "photo session" every month with Gavin, but because the weather has been bad and our schedule has been a little crazy I just haven't really had the time.  So, these pictures aren't mine.  Instead I have Sears Portrait Studio to thank this month!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Au Revoir!

Yesterday was the last day of school.  Today was a teacher work day - my last day of work for the 2010-2011 school year.  And I must say it feels good to say good-bye to this for a little while:

So, fare well classroom.  Until we meet again in August!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Surrounded but in the clear

The past four days have been tense and intense.  Since Sunday I have spent too much time with my eyes glued to the TV watching the weather, tracking storms, and looking for updates from Joplin.

Here in our little town, in our county, we have been very fortunate through all of this.  On Sunday the storms slid south of us and all we experienced was some thunderstorms.  Then on Tuesday night we again were passed by the most serious part of the next storm system.

On Wednesday we were fortunate one more time.  My eyes were fixed on the weather channel at the noon hour as I watched four counties directly north of ours go under tornado warnings.  And later in the afternoon as the thunderstorms came again I watched as every county to the north, east, and south of us were labled with tornado warnings.

By the time I left work at 3:30 yesterday afternoon the sun was shinning again.  In every direction I looked I could see storm clouds, but above town the sky was bright blue.  We were literally surrounded by storms yet unaffected by them physically. 

So for all of our family and friends in Iowa and elsewhere know that we are all well.  But please, continue to pray for all of those here in MO and surrounding states that have not fared so well.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You Capture - Pretty

On Sunday I was excited to tackle this week's You Capture challenge.  Who doesn't like to take pictures of pretty things right?  I really, really like flowers and it just so happens that my mother-in-law grows a lot of roses.  And, to make things even better, we are house sitting for her this week so I had the perfect opportunity to capture her pretty roses.

I got my shots just before the thunder came rolling in.  At this point I sent Justin back to town to check on our house and pets, and I turned on the TV to find out what kind of weather we were in store for that evening.  Every station was focused on the severe weather cutting across southern MO.  Thankfully the path of the storm skimmed just south of our home, but others - people and places we know personally - were not so lucky.  For us, nothing has seemed very pretty since learning about this mega storm.

But, I have hope.  See later that evening - before I even knew the extent of the damage sustained in Joplin - the sun broke through the storm clouds for a few minutes and while I watched monster bolts of lightning in the distance I could also see this (which also happens to be pretty)....

... and I have faith that God is here taking care of all things. 

Please pray for the people of Joplin as they continue to work through the wreckage and begin the process of recovering.  This is a town I know full of people I know, and I know that they will all appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Snap! Snap!

We're housesitting for my in-laws this week, and yesterday after we pulled into the garage and Justin says, "Hey, you take Gavin.  I'm going to go show Logan something and I don't trust him not to touch."  My mothering instincts immediately scream What kind of dangerous something are you going to show our son - NO NO NO.  Instead I calmly say, "Oh, what are you going to show him?"  And he responds, "A turtle."  And I'm thinking A turtle?  Really?  What's so dangerous about a turtle?  But I say, "When did you see a turtle?"  And he says, "I saw it in the yard when we pulled in the driveway."  And I reply, "How did you see a turtle in the yard from a car?"  I feel this is a legitimate question - turtles are small, right?


Meet Mr. Snapping Turtle:

I swear I have never seen a turtle this big outside of a zoo, and this guy was sitting in the front yard!  We spent quite awhile observing Mr. Snapping Turtle from a safe distance...I don't really know if he was a snapper or not, but I surely was NOT going to be finding out from personal experience!

A few hours later Justin and I went outside to watch the next storm start to roll in and Mr. Snapping Turtle was long gone.  To that I say, "God speed Mr. Snapping Turtle!"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Playing house

Justin and I are house sitting for his parents (my in-laws) while they are on vacation.  This involves feeding their cats twice a day and (at least one of us) spending the night there every night.  It's a pretty easy job...well, sort of.  It does require moving between our house and their house quite a bit which can be complicated - especially since they live ten minutes out of town making it inconvenient to have to run back to our house for something I have we have forgotten.

There are some perks too though.  For example:
  1. A big flat screen TV - We do not have a big flat screen tv and this one happens to be perfect for watching episodes of Spartacus movies.
  2. A BIG laundry room - I've never loved doing laundry so much!  I can sort it all out in the laundry room and then close the door and forget about it completely until it's time to switch loads.
  3. A house in the middle of nowhere - I love being in the middle of nowhere.  No neighbors.  No noise.  Good sleep.
  4. "New" toys - my boys are having a blast because Mimi's toys are all "new" and therefore more fun than the "old" toys at home.
  5. Whirlpool bathtub - need I say more?
When we were making dinner out there the other night I was thinking to myself This feels like we're playing house which is kind of silly since we are married and have kids and our own house that we do this same kind of stuff in all of the time but still....  And then Justin popped up saying, "You know, this feels like playing house" and I cracked up because I had just been thinking that.  

So here we are this week, playing house.  If you don't here from me too often it's because there's no internet (hey, it can't all be perfect right?)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Look what I did!

I've been done with school since December, but the diploma just came in the mail on Friday.  It is kinda nice to see it on paper don't you think? 

The best news we've had this week!

Gavin had his 9 month well baby check on Friday.  We also got the results of the genetic test we did in February.  Here they are...

We're very happy with the results.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You Capture - Busy

Well, I've been busy this week.  Too busy.  Too busy doing things I'd rather not be doing and not busy enough doing the things I like to be doing.  It's just been one of those weeks!  Bah!

So, here's what I've got this week...

First of all, we had our roof done...and the roofers had to work their tails off to beat the rain!  Those poor guys were busy!

Logan was busy helping too...he was running all over the yard picking up plastic from the shingle packaging - the wind was just whipping that stuff around.  Of course, everyonce and awhile he had to stop for a dandelion...

And Gavin was busy too.  He decided to learn how to cook this week...well, he learned how to bang dishes around anyway...

So those are my captures of busy this week...I was actually pleasantly surprised to realize I had these since taking pictures - something I like to do - has not been something I've been able to be very busy doing this week! 

For more busy-ness, check out Beth's blog I Should Be Folding Laundry!

Friday, May 13, 2011

They came, they roofed, it's done!

Back in February we got some hail.  And when I say "some" I actually mean a lot.  Big stuff.  Twice.  In one night.  In the words of one of our roofers, it turned our shingles into "swiss cheese."

Lucky for us, our home owner's insurance rocks.  They paid for it all.  (Minus deductible of course...Stupid deductible!)

And lucky for us, we found a roofing company that rocks as much as our insurance company.  I'm not kidding - they had our old shingles torn off, unexpected wood rot repaired, and new shingles laid all in 1/2 a day!  (If you live in southern MO and need a roof I'd recommend them to you!)

It looks awesome!

This is our house before.  I know, know, you can't see hail damage from here, but I wasn't crawling around on the roof to take pictures!

The shingles were delivered two weeks before they actually made it to our house to roof it - thanks so much for all the rain Mother Nature.  NOT!

See where they had to peel the siding off?  I guess that's where the wood rot was.  It rotted because the original roof was done uncorrectly I guess.

They were working like mad trying to beat the rain!  Even so they ended up getting a little wet before they were done.  At least they finished before the big storm hit.  Did I mention Mother Nature has been DUMPING rain on us lately?

All done!  And, yes, still raining!

Future musician or dancer? Opinions?

Gavin likes to music.  In fact, Gavin loves music.  It makes him laugh and smile...and dance!  See for yourself!

I think he's going to be a drummer.  Did you see the way he was moving those arms around?  If that isn't a sign of the a drummer for the next great rock band I don't know what is!

And by the way, that is Logan laughing like a crazy person in the background.  Later on he insisted on being in the video too, but I had to cut the video down soooo much to get it to upload to Blogger....but, I figure it's okay, b/c he has his own dancing video!

And by the way...this is the eleventy millionth time I've tried to upload this video to blogger.  In fact, it WAS uploaded successfully once, but for some reason that post (and everything else including comments made on Wednesday) has disappeared.  Don't get it, just fixing it!

The Graduate

Today is graduation.  Today my husband has earned his BA from Missouri State University.


For four years now he has been working a full time job from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  Then driving to MSU  - a two hour round trip - for classes.  Finally returning home for the day - sometimes as late at 10:30 at night - to a pile of school work.  Only to get up and do it all over again the next morning.  FOUR YEARS of this, people!

Congratulations, Justin!  It's been well earned.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

You Capture - Motherhood

Motherhood....such a big concept.  I don't even know how to define it with out rambing on and on...  Capturing a picture of it seemed like an even bigger challenge.  But, here's to trying anyway!

Motherhood is...
                evening at the park even after a long day at work.

Motherhood is...
                               ...a little boy too excited to wait 'til Mother's Day.

Motherhood is...
                                  ...sippy cups and snacks.

Motherhood is...
     ...(in our house) folding and stuffing cloth diapers with the "help" of little hands.

Motherhood is...
                         ...two boys learning to play together.

Motherhood is more than I ever thought it would be.  I am so very blessed to be the mother to these two boys!

For more images of Motherhood head over to Beth's at I Should Be Folding Laundry!

Note to self (or anyone else who cares about my journey to better picture taking):  This week I shot in manual ALL THE TIME!  I'm finally getting better (and faster) at adjusting my settings and have even started working with ISO and flash compensation.  This week I even played with some photo editing (BIG STEP since I'm normally like "Don't mess with the pictures - you might ruin them!")  The big thing I've learned this week:  the lens my camera came with is very limiting.  Must save money and buy better lens!  And, thanks to everyone who has visited and especially those that have been leaving the encouraging comments - it all keeps me going!

Darn Blogger erased EVERYTHING that happened on my blog on Wednesday.  My posts - it stunk to loose this one, but it wasn't to hard to replace it.  The super nice comments left by those that came to visit - now this hurt b/c I couldn't replace them.   I was bummed until I realized I get a copy of every comment left here in my email.  So, for my own enjoyment, I'm just adding those comments on to the end of this post.  I want to be able to remember all the awesome people who have come to visit and left encouragement!

house-of-boys (  Great shots! My favorite is the cloth diapers ones because I am a cloth mama as well! :)

TaraI struggled finding ways to capture motherhood too this week but I think you did a great job! I love all your photos!

JenHow sweet that he couldn't wait!

Regina LynnI spy FLIPS! Just got a few of my own and LOVING them so far! Great shots- and awesomesauce for your mad manual skills! They're definitely coming along!

Our Family of FourVery cute!

deb dutyYou captured motherhood beautifully! Love the swing photo!