Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rough Morning Already

Two things I am thoroughly despising this morning:
  1. Turning off my alarm in my sleep. (Causing me to wake up an hour late.)
  2. Mosquitoes. (I only have two arms to swat with. This is ridiculous.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I really like the one titled Bookworm

If you like babies and you like dreams, you have got to see this blog. This woman takes photos of her baby sleeping, but with a twist. She poses her daughter in scenery, imagining what she might be dreaming about. Too cute!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Internal Balance

I don't know if it is normal or not, but I have an almost constant battle with myself about the level of activity in my life. I'm not talking about exercise, because I'll be the first person to tell you that I suck at that. Period. I am referring to the stuff we do to fill up our schedule.

After a particularly recluse weekend, I feel like I am turning into a hobbit and quickly make plans to do something at least every other day for the following week and weekend. But then as soon as that busy spurt is over, I feel like I need some R&R so I take a break and stay at home for the week or weekend.

I can't really say that it is a lazy weekend, since it means I have a lot of catching up to do around the house (laundry, dishes, vacuuming, yard work, etc). This is something I pretty much constantly struggle with. I want to do stuff with my friends, but even then we have the limiting factor of finances.

Is this something that anyone else battles with? I don't know if it is rational or not. Sometimes I wonder if it stems from my childhood. When I was little, our days were fairly lax, spending the evenings at home or with a friend. Maybe a couple times a month, my parents would set it up so we could spend a day with another family (more often in the summer). At least that's what it feels like when I think back on it.

But then when I got into high school and my parents divorced, they went through a period of what I like to call "parental revolt". They both spent time finding things to do away from home, such as dating, playing tennis, hanging out with friends and what not. After a year or so of that, things slowed down to almost NO activity. Anything I did during that time was because I made the plans to do so.

Is it because I never properly learned how to live a normal daily life? I feel like I should be past that by now. I am an adult, who can make her own decisions. Problem is, I'm not sure what I should do. I like being social, but after running myself into the ground I need a break. Then I feel guilty about spending several days in a row at home and start the cycle all over again.

Another side of me wonders if it is my OCD personality (I do not have diagnosed OCD, but I do feel that I have obsessive-compulsive tendencies) that pushes towards a fulfilled life. Problem is I have trouble realizing that I'm going overboard until it's too late. What to do, what to do?!?!

Monday, July 26, 2010

An Evening with the Astros

Occasionally, Travis is offered free tickets to Astros games through his work. It's a great opportunity considering how much money you can drop just on food and parking at a ball park, even without purchasing tickets. The only downfall is it requires some last minute planning. In the past, this was never an issue. But now that we have Aiden, things get a little bit tricky.

This past Friday, Travis calls me in the afternoon to see if I would want to go. I weighed the issues we might have with taking Aiden out so late past his bedtime (7:30) and decided I was willing to risk it. Another perk is that we had two extra tickets, so we could invite a couple friends to go along. The Astros-Tickets-Giveaway winners were...

The Yeager's!

Linsey had the same qualms I did about bringing Luke out so late. To help deal with any issues that might arise, we opted to ride separately. It was probably easier that way anyway since we would have had to juggle a car seat if we carpooled. Instead, we stopped at their house and they followed us into Houston.

We walked into the park just as they were singing the National Anthem. Just as we found our section (which actually turned out to be the wrong section), Rod Ryan threw the opening pitch. Our seats were in the 15th row, about halfway between home plate and third base. I was a little worried about sitting in the hot zone for rogue balls, but none ended up coming our way. The Yeager's had nachos (including Luke!) and we enjoyed the game.



Luke decided he was too embarrassed to sit with his parents and decided to sit with another kid for a while.


Luke got ants in his pants around his bedtime, so the Yeager's ended up leaving at 9pm. Aiden got past the ants in his pants stage by taking a power nap, so we were able to stay until the end of the game. Travis' boss and his family were also at the game. They had seats behind home plate, so we went over to sit with them for the last hour.

Wense, Andrew, Guy, Travis and Aiden


We left as soon as the game was over and caught the fireworks on our walk out to the car. By this point, I was hungry again, so we stopped at Taco Cabana on our ride home. We didn't get to bed until midnight, which was a little rough since Travis had to work the next morning. Aiden let me sleep until 7:15, so I fared a little better than Travis.


I'm always pleasantly surprised at how well Aiden does in these situations. It takes a lot of foresight, but it is possible!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Singing in the Rain

Yesterday Travis needed to run up to the Verizon store to ask about a couple things on his phone. I was in the back yard pushing Aiden on the swing as Travis was heading into the garage when it began to rain. I quickly pulled Aiden out of the swing and we ran in after Travis before the down pour began. Since it was raining so hard, and the cool breeze was nice, we decided to sit in the garage and watch the water works before Travis ran off.

Aiden got antsy sitting in the chair with me, so I set him down on the ground. He immediately walked into the water that was falling from the roof and we figured, why not? It was SO cute. He loved it!

Once the monsoon slowed down, I walked around the yard with him. Aiden had a few jumps in the driveway puddles. He was soaked. I was wet. It was awesome. By far the simplest fun we have had recently. Sometimes I think that's the best kind.


The yard was full of mosquitoes, so I spent most of the time swatting. And holding Aiden's hand so he could walk through our spongy yard. The grass down here is crazy thick. It always reminds me of walking on sponges. Which I suppose might be difficult if your legs are only a foot long each.

Yesterday morning, Aiden and I were dive bombed by some sort of creature as we were attempting to get in the garage. It was small, flappy and chirpy. I couldn't tell if it was a bat, a small bird or a cicada. No matter what it was, I ran in the opposite direction from it's erratic, noisy bluriness. Well, that evening, while Aiden and I were walking under a tree in the front yard, the same thing happened. This time, Travis was there to witness the attack. He confirmed it was indeed a cicada.

Flying things don't like me.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bully

It has been known for a while now, that Aiden is a bully. Whenever he is around kids that are younger, smaller or less advanced than he, then he takes advantage of the situation and will take toys from them or occasionally give a little push (he was stealing Luke's toys at 9-months old). At this point, it does not seem to be out of control, but it is very evident whenever he is in his classroom, since there are plenty of 1-year-olds with a pack mentality.

Aiden is not the alpha, but he is definitely second in command. Who is the Alpha you ask? Why, she is a sweet little blond girl that always gives me a big smile when I walk into the room. She is a little older than Aiden and was moved into the toddler room a few months before he was. The kid that is mostly on the receiving end of Aiden's crimes is a boy who just happens to be the son of another teacher at the daycare. He is a month older, but because of his size he is far behind in his gross motor development.

It is sad. Travis even caught Aiden in action when they were both in the baby room. Travis came in to pick up Aiden in the evening, to find him rearranging the cribs around the perimeter of the room. Wedged between the crib Aiden was pushing and the next crib, was this poor child. Aiden was screaming because the crib wouldn't move any farther. Because that's what he does - screams when things don't do what he wants them to. I'm sure it had just started to happen because the teachers hadn't noticed it yet. Thankfully no one was hurt.

While Aiden does a lot of toy stealing (and fit-throwing when he doesn't get said toy), he has been on the receiving end for the past couple days. Tuesday, he had an accident report. A child had bit him on the hand, but there was no mark by the time Travis picked him up. Apparently that biter is a Known Biter and Aiden just happened to attempt to steal his toy while the Known Biter was mad at another child. Sucks, but no biggie.

Fast forward to Wednesday evening - he had another accident report. This time, another child bit Aiden on his right forearm. I guess this is the only way the bullied children can defend themselves? This time there is a mark. Two crescents with a total of 10 little raised red bumps.

I'm not sure how to deal with Aiden's bullying or his screaming when he doesn't get what he wants. It can be as simple as a door won't open any farther, but since he wants it to open more he throws a fit. Even if I wanted to give him what he wants, there are certain situations where it is physically impossible. In most situations, I don't want to give him what he wants because he is being a snot. I don't know how to deal with this at such a young age. I need to find time to read that toddler book!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tacos


Aiden found some straws. As punishment, I made him wear a birthday hat.


Joe's Crab Shack playground








Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My flowers bring all the bugs to the yard...

...and they're like, it's a nice buffet. We could share it, wait we already do.






If only the mosquitoes would all just DIE, then we could actually sit outside and enjoy these flowers. And the new baby swing from Gramma Carol.


Another goodie... My potatoes bring all the Irish to the yard, and they're like, that famine was hard. Damn right, that famine was hard. I could feed you, but you'll have to starve.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Luke's ONEderland

Aiden got invitation to attend his friend Luke's first birthday party this past Saturday. Aside from a few teething-induced break downs, I think Aiden had a blast. Thankfully, Luke is getting bigger and better at defending himself from Aiden the Bully.

The party was at Luke's grandma's house in Galveston. She is an artist, so her house follows suit exquisitely. It is a warm, inviting home in a friendly neighborhood. Luke's grandma watches him during the week while his parents are at work, so the place is set up nicely for babies. He has his own "baby kennel" filled with toys, where he and Aiden spent the beginning of the party.



After a few bites of appetizers, we headed out to the yard with the babies in tow. I forgot to bring Aiden's swimming trunks, so he got a pair of Little Swimmers from Luke. The boys splashed around in the baby pool for a while. There was a moment where I could tell they longed to be one of the "big kids".


We had burgers and hot dogs for dinner, then gathered in the family room to watch Luke open his gifts. Of course, Aiden had to be a scene stealer and bully his way into Luke's new toys. Sheesh.


After singing Happy Birthday, Luke dug into his personal chocolate Mickey Mouse cake. I think he did a pretty good job of tearing into that, with a little help from Daddy. Of course, he had icing in his ears by the end of it, so it was straight to bath tub for little Luke-man!


We kept the evening short, so we could get home to have Aiden into bed close to on time. He has been so cranky lately, due to the teething, that we did not want to push our luck with a late night. THANKFULLY, that tooth broke through the gums Saturday morning. It's still pushing through, so he's had a few not-so-nice moments. It is amazing how much better he's getting though. Sometimes I forget that the teething monster is not our normal Aiden!

Happy Birthday Luke! (I'm a little early - his birthday is on Thursday.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tidbits

Ariel quit her job at the bar she didn't like!! I guess she did that over two weeks ago, but since she doesn't communicate very well I just found out about it on Tuesday. =)



We met another Phillips family for dinner last night. David's brother Billy, his wife Jenn and their son Micah stopped at Joe's Crab Shack on their way home from the beach yesterday. Since they moved back to Houston, we have met up with them periodically to get hand-me-downs from Micah. Since neither of us were able to make it to the recent birthday parties of our kiddos, we decided to exchange gifts over dinner. Considering we both have boys who enjoy their ability to be mobile, we opted for a place we could eat outside that also had a playground. It worked out beautifully! Ironically, the boys got the same race cars for each other. Too funny...



Travis' back is doing much better. He has been at work all week without throwing it out again. It is still bothering him, but I'm just happy that he can stand up straight and is able to pick up our son again.



A couple quick photos...

Aiden's Peanut's pop-up comic book from Papa G, Auntie Ariel, Robert and Uncle Alex is amazing! We've decided it will be a book he only gets to look at when Daddy or I are present.


I think I finally figured out how to tone down the toy overload that was threatening to take over the house after his birthday. This is a "before photo". Aiden used to get lost in the toys. Whenever I popped my head in the living room to make sure he was okay, it took me a minimum of 30 seconds to figure out which colorful figure was my son. I wasn't comfortable with that, or the fact that Aiden would get overwhelmed and cry whenever I set him near the toy corner. Something had to be done. We now have baskets and chests spread out around the house, filled with toys. I'm trying to figure out some sort of organization involving a shelf to help with this...

Aiden's Crazy Colors Corner


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Midland

David, Stephanie and Wednesday are moving to Midland. =( That equates to REALLY FAR AWAY. It was nice having them in New Orleans, even if it was only for six months. We were able to visit them once, as we could make that drive within one day and still have time to do something that same day.

Alas, they must go where the jobs are and for the moment, that is Midland, Texas. It is very near to where they lived when they were in Texas last. David got a job working on a platform. It is not his ideal job, but it IS a job. At the moment, people can't be picky about such things. Sadly, David will have to live on site. Stephanie and Wednesday will be able to visit him there (not overnight, since David will have roommates) and he will be able to stay with them once a month, but that is it. Once David can afford to buy his own trailer, the girls will be able to stay the night whenever they want.

Today is Stephanie's last day at her job. David has been staying home full time with Wednesday for a year now. They didn't want to shock Wednesday by placing her into daycare with strangers after spending half her life at home with her dad. So Stephanie is going to be home full time with Wednesday again (silver lining)! They begin the move this weekend. It will be a slow process, over the course of a month, since moving is such an expensive thing. Plus, they still have to find a place for the girls to live in Midland. It worked out perfectly though, as the lease with their current apartment is up at the end of August.

Change is in the air for the Phillips family!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Last minute plans ARE possible with a baby

Went over to Ariel and Robert's for dinner last night. It was totally last minute, so we didn't have Aiden's diaper bag with us. Instead, we went to the store and got diapers, a toddler meal and a sippy cup. Aiden ate the entire cup of "soup" and then started griping 30 minutes later. Since he'd had Motrin and several cubes of ice for that tooth that's trying to break through, I figured he might be hungry again. Sure enough, he had a piece of pizza and some crackers before he seemed like he was finished.

At 7:30 dinner was ready, so Travis and I came up with an ingenious way to put Aiden to sleep. Since he refuses to go to sleep in someone's arms, we had to come up with a way to lay him down and keep him there. We strapped him into the umbrella stroller I keep in the trunk at all times and laid it back on a pile of pillows. Worked like a charm! He fussed for about 15 seconds before he succumbed to the situation.

Dinner was great. Robert grilled steaks and pork loins, along with a vegetable medley, scalloped potatoes and a salad. We sat at their dining room table, which I'm pretty sure was it's first use in this house. After dinner, we played on their new, black Wii. Did you know they make black Wii's?!?! Weird. The funniest part is they Frisbee Golf on the Wii Sports Resort CD. Ha!

Dessert was a fruit and granola parfait. Delicious!!

Well, I'm tired. Didn't get to bed until midnight. Now where's my coffee...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Alex is going to the U of I!!!

I am so proud of this kid, I can't stand it! My brother Alex got accepted into the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, several months ago and has spent his time since then trying to figure out how to pay for it. He applied for and was awarded the Illinois General Assembly Legislative Scholarship which covers his first year of tuition. The Illinois State Senator Mike Frerichs called Alex personally to tell him he had won that scholarship. He also applied for and has received three grants and two federal loans to cover the remainding fees. That means his first year is PAID FOR!!! Seriously, Alex never ceases to amaze me.

He's looking into rushing at a fraternity, although he is not sure which one just yet. He has already started applying for frat "scholarships". I didn't even know those existed. Alex will have to live in a dorm his Freshman year - he will be rooming with a friend, the valedictorian, from high school. Considering Alex is the class salutatorian, I think they will have the dorkiest (yet coolest) dorm room in the building. ;D



Congratulations brother! I couldn't be prouder!!

PS - Happy Birthday to me!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ramby Retreat

Travis and I tried to keep this past weekend as low key as possible. For one, we had a crazy previous weekend filled with lots of activities due to Aiden's birthday party, 4th of July and family being in town. Two, Travis has a herniated disk in his lower back and he really needed the rest. He has decided to go back into work today, so I wanted his weekend to be one of recovery.

I'm trying to think and I honestly cannot recall what we did Friday night. It was that memorable. I'm pretty sure I read (currently on The DaVinci Code and loving it) and Travis pulled out an old Playstation 2 golf game to play.

Saturday we had omelets for breakfast and then chicken salad sandwiches for lunch. Aiden is eating everything these days. It's so fun introducing him to new food, which is pretty much everything.

For lunch, I met up with Rachel and her friend to see Eclipse (finally!) at a movie theater/grill. I LOVED it. It was definitely the best one thus far. It gave more insight into more of the characters' backgrounds and we delved into the heart of THE love triangle. Ever since I saw Twilight, I've had a problem with the actor that plays Edward. When I read the book, Edward was much more manly and good-looking than Robert Pattinson. Sometimes I have to sit back and remind myself that Edward became a vampire when he was 17, so it only makes sense that he is not a big, buff man. Still, that's now how I pictured him in my head.

I supposed Robert Pattinson wouldn't be that bad, except that he always comes across as whiny. I'm sure that is supposed to be his I'm-in-emotional-pain face, but that's not what I get from it. The great part is he toned that face WAY down in this film and for that, I am grateful. Rachel also made an excellent point that the movie does not do a very good job of making you want Bella to get with Jacob. While reading the book I was always torn between the two, even though I knew Bella needed Edward more. Okay, okay. Enough of the Twilight Saga talk...

I rushed home after the movie. Since Travis' back is injured, I don't want him running after and picking up Aiden any more than he has to. When I got there, Aiden was being is new regular cranky self, so I had to relieve Travis. That night we rented Legion. I always find apocalyptic films intriguing, but I was a little disappointed in this one. There were some scary parts (which I am not a huge fan of), I thought the graphics were good (unlike Wolfman, which was stupid), but it was lacking somewhat in the dialogue. Eh. Still good for a laid back Saturday night.

I told Travis that I am going to start renting some movies I want to see. He doesn't have to watch the movies with me. He can go play his video games, work in the garage or watch whatever he wants on TV. I just got so frustrated at the RedBox on Saturday when I saw how many movies that are out, that I know Travis will not want to sit through. He does not like dramas, romance or independent films. All of which are my favorite genres. I like action and comedies, but they are not the bread and butter of the film world.

An-y-hoo! Sunday was awesome. We spent the morning at home. We let Aiden play outside for a little while (this walking thing is awesome!) and went for a walk (should have brought the mosquito net for Aiden). After Aiden's nap, we headed towards Kemah. We had damage to the gazebo we bought for the birthday party, so we wanted to exchange that. After making a quick stop at Walmart (I NEEDED What to Expect the Toddler Years), we continued on to the Ramby's. Or Ramby Resort, as I've decided to start calling their home.

We went swimming in their pool and spent the entire evening sitting on their back porch. It didn't feel that humid, although that could have been because we were all wet from the pool. Aiden had a BLAST playing in Blair's water table. So much so, that they let us borrow it for the summer. Aiden just splashed and splashed and splashed! He started this new game in his last bath. I'd much prefer that he keeps that to the outdoors, although that will be really hard to control with our new tantrum-toddler.

Travis and I have decided to take Alexa's advice and postpone weaning Aiden off his bottles for now. He is already dealing with a lot with this move to the new classroom and resulting drop of one daily nap. Plus, we're pretty sure he's working on cutting another tooth. It is just too much at once and there is no reason to push him so quickly. We'll give it another go after he has transitioned into this new way of life.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Entertaining Mommy Blogger

If you are interested in reading a new blog, check this one out. I think she's pretty hilarious.


Thanks for the recommendation, Brenda!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Final Cake Face

I took a REALLY long video of Aiden eating his cake that I haven't even watched yet. I also took a short video at the end to show the final product.

Final Cake Face from Nicolette Ward on Vimeo.

Aiden's doctor's appointment yesterday was NO FUN. According to the charts, he is really small for his age (between the 10th and 25th percentile in weight; they messed up his height measurement, so not sure about that). The doctor was not concerned about it since this is where he was right after birth. She said it's probably normal for him, especially if he is eating okay - which he definitely is.

Aiden was being his (as of late) normal cranky self at the appointment. I had to change his diaper while there and found out that he has learned how to scream. Not yell, not cry, but scream. It is horrid. I'm wondering if he didn't pick that up from the toddler room?

This appointment had a first for us - a finger prick. They used a lancet to prick his finger, then proceeded to squeeze out a mL of blood. I don't know if that is a normal measurement that most people would understand, but that is A LOT to squeeze out of a little ring finger. It took a good three minutes of pure fighting and I thought it was worse than the heel prick they did when he was a newborn - and they had to prick him twice at that visit. THEN, as soon as that was over, they gave him two shots. He was still crying at that point because he was furious about the band aid the nurse had put on his finger to help staunch the blood flow.

We immediately gave him a bottle to help calm him down. Speaking of, Travis and I discussed the bottle situation with the doctor and she said he no longer needs a "bottle" (even if it's just milk in a sippy cup) at regular intervals during the day. She recommended just cutting out the bottles, but still offer a full cup of milk at meals and snacks. She said it will probably be rough for a few days, but eventually he'll get the idea. I've decided to cut out his last two bottles, but keep his morning bottle for now. I just don't have the energy to deal with that every morning, and I would feel better if there was some sort of weaning involved.

Here it goes!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Toddler Room

Folks, we have got a cranky baby on our hands. I don't know if it's his recent change of schedule, or all the chaos that we've been enduring with family in town, or teething, or maybe an ear infection? Thankfully he has his 1-year check up this afternoon, so hopefully we'll be able to rule out or confirm the last one or two. The schedule issue is a different story.

Aiden moved up to the next classroom at school on Tuesday. The teachers told Travis when he picked up Aiden on Thursday evening. The teachers had told me before that they would give us at least a week's notice so we could work on changing his schedule, but I guess they forgot. I didn't want to change his schedule the day before his big party, so we decided to wait until Sunday. Because of Independence Day, the daycare was closed on Monday. That meant we had two days to work on starting his transition.

It is pure hell, people. He has started to get tired and cranky just an hour or so after waking up in the morning. Then he is a fussy-butt right up until his nap at 11:30 am. He sleeps the entire two hours, then wakes up a much happier version of his self. But then again, about an hour before bedtime he brings out the cranky guns again.

I am also fumbling while trying to figure out his bottle/feeding schedule. He has to stick to the daycare's meal schedule, but we need to fit in some bottles still and I don't know when to put them. I don't think it's working the way we've been doing it, so we are going to change it today.

Fight #283: Transition to sippy cup. As I'm sure I've mentioned before, Aiden does not want to trade out his bottle for a sippy cup. He will drink out of his cup during meals, but when it comes time to one of his three bottle times, he absolutely refuses it. I've tried to stay firm, but it only ends in pain and horror. He won't drink that cup of milk, so then he is hungry, then he just cries and cries and cries. I can only take so much of that before I give in. A couple times, I have not given in, but then he doesn't get any fluids and doesn't have any wet diapers. That doesn't seem like a good thing either. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

The actual class that Aiden is in now is really cute. He has to wear shoes everyday because they go outside a couple times to play. Once a day they have craft time, during which they focus on a letter, color or shape. This week they are focusing on the letter 'B' by coloring or painting the letter 'B' or objects that start with 'B'. I know that he is not actually doing the work by himself, but it is absolutely adorable that he is beginning this part of his life. I have kept every piece of art that he comes home with so far, but I know that has to stop. I won't have enough room to save this stuff after long.

Rachel came across a great idea a while back that I think I am going to try. Basically, it's just a photo album filled with pictures of the artwork. Of course we can keep current pieces on the fridge, or keep a few that are particularly special, but the bulk of it cannot be saved. The question is, "Will I be able to actually throw anything away?"

The other exciting parts of the toddler room are that they have play time and clean up time, and the best of all - they feed him!!! I no longer have to worry about bringing his food in. I also don't have to feed him breakfast in the mornings because he gets it at daycare. That equates to an additional 45 minutes of sleep every morning. Ho-ly-cow. It's amazing. Every morning I wake up in a panic that I have slept in and won't make it to work on time. Then I spend the next hour rushing around like a madman trying to get ready before Aiden wakes up, even though I have plenty of time. I think this will take some getting used to.

Is it bad that I am hoping Aiden has an ear infection? Because that would be an easy fix to this new found crankiness. If it's not, then I have no idea how much longer he will be like this and that really stresses me out.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Red, White and BLUE

Independence Day had a lot of blue in it for Travis and I. Blue skies, blue water (not Caribbean blue, but blue nonetheless), blue beer cans. Perfect! Until the next day, when I had the WORST hangover I have had in YEARS. I don't know what was wrong with me. I should have stopped. I should have drank water. I should have eaten dinner. Lots of 'should haves'.

We spent the morning taking some of Aiden's gifts out of the packaging, and the rest of the morning cleaning. I still have not finished what needs to be done. My dad is in town, Travis' mom is in town, we spent most of Sunday out on the water, oh and Travis probably has a herniated disk in his lower back. He was water skiing on Monday when he had a horrible pain that made him fall. He had to brace himself for a few minutes before he had the guts to force himself out of the water and into the boat. Then he spent the rest of the day with his upper body tilted to the left.

Travis went to the chiropractor Tuesday morning, first thing. They did an adjustment, massage and muscle stimulation. He was feeling a little better last night, but the doctor said if it's not better by Monday that he should make an appointment to have an MRI. Travis is riddled with guilt over not being able to work. I know how he feels, but it is different for him because he works for a small business where his absence is felt more than mine would be.

Anyhoo, back to before the back injury days...

Sunday we left Aiden with Brenda and met at Travis' friends' house at 2 pm to go out on the boat. The boys did a little wake boarding. I've only tried it a couple times, but have never been able to get up so I don't waste their time waiting for me to figure it out.


Jeremy, Travis' friend and co-worker AND the owner of this fancy boat...


It ended up being too choppy for them to be able to do much. We opted to head over to the Roger Creager Palapapoolza early. We stopped at the Galveston Boat Club to pick up a few more guys (yes, it was me and six guys, LOL!) on our way. We got there two hours before the show was supposed to start and it was already packed. We tied up to the other boats, to prevent drifting and the boats from bumping each other. It was like a boat parking lot - 3 rows deep and 20 boats wide. Then there were all the boats scattered out behind us.


We boat-hopped and sat in the water until right before Roger Creager was supposed to be on stage. At that point, we swam (with one hand out of the water holding our beers) between the boats to stand on the sand bar in front of the stage. It was awesome. Robert and a bunch of his friends showed up once we were standing up front. I had SO MUCH FUN. The water was packed with people. I drank way too much, but I'm pretty sure it was worth it.


After the show, we took the boat out to the center of the bayou to watch the fireworks. After that we headed back to the boat club to drop off some people and decided to go swim in the pool for a bit. By that point, it was getting pretty late, so we headed back to the dock. We didn't get in bed until 11:30 and I had to work the next day! BAD IDEA. Not only was I exhausted, but I was going through booze withdrawals. Worst morning ever.


I would love to do it again sometime, but I must make a mental note to drink some WATER. I've heard it's the key to avoiding dehydration...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Need More Goldfish!!

On Aiden's actual birthday, we made spaghetti (his favorite) and we did a test run with a cupcake. I think he did pretty good.


After his bath, we opened a few presents from Gramma. Earlier that day, he went to the store with Gramma to help pick out which gifts he wanted. I think they did a great job!


Have you ever seen that Saturday Night Live skit of Christopher Walken and the cowbell? Well, every time I looked at the table at Aiden's birthday party, I couldn't help buy yell in my head, "Need! More! Goldfish!"


Since I was going for a goldfish themed party, Rachel found an ice tray that made cubes that look like goldfish. They were REALLY cute when I pulled them out of the tray, but not so much in the punch bowl. Sort of looked like a bunch of dead fish floating in the punch bowl...


All the little kids congregated in the living room around Aiden's toy corner. Holy cow! Look at 'em all!!



We served traditional BBQ food for dinner (burgers, pasta salad, chips, beans, etc). Travis set up a couple tents in the yard. Originally the plan was for them to be shelter from the sun, but they ended up functioning more as a shelter from the rain. Thankfully it only rained for about the first 30 minutes of the party. We had also set up some water games for the bigger kids to play in, slip'n'slide and the kiddie pool. We were going to set up the sprinkler, but decided not to because it was RAINING.

After food, I was too full for cake, so I opted for presents first.



Aiden made out like a bandit! Seriously, we are going to have to add on to the house to have enough room for all this stuff. Actually, I think it will be okay if we make some of the toys only for outdoors. That should free up some space. Come to think of it, we are still expecting a couple more gifts in the mail - a swing from Gramma Carol and a surprise gift from Chrissie, Jordan and Audrey. Ahhh! At least the swing goes outside. He's going to LOVE that. I can't wait!!

I attempted to make some goldfish cupcakes to match Aiden's cake, but they were a disaster. I used this icing that came as a powder in a box and you were just supposed to add boiling water. Unfortunately, the icing melted over night and had the goldfish spilling over the sides. Thankfully, Baker Rachel came to the rescue with a couple jars of regular icing and fixed the problem. I was so grateful because even if I had the energy to spend more time on those things, I didn't have the time. In the end, they turned out great!




After he finished opening presents, we moved over to the cake. Rachel made two cakes - a small one for Aiden to tear into and a big one for everyone else. You can see both cakes in the third photo from the top.


Aiden WENT TO TOWN on that cake. For a "small" cake, it was actually pretty large. I would say he ate at least half of it. He just kept going and going and going. It was getting to the point where I thought I should stop him, in fear of him getting sick from all that sugar.

Rachel and Ariel stuck a goldfish to his forehead - hence the blue spot in the center of his head.


He finally stopped on his own accord. I gave him a quick wipe down and then we headed straight for the bath tub.


He started crying as soon as I put him in the tub. At first I was worried his stomach was hurting, but then he proceeded to chug an entire cup of water. The poor kid was thirsty! I didn't even think about giving him a cup of water. BAD MOMMY.

After a little while, the guests started to trickle out. Jenna and Kai (and their kids) stuck around after Aiden went to bed, so we sat out under the gazebo (which Travis fitted with Christmas lights) and had a few drinks. Finally it was time for them to get their kids to bed, so they headed home and we headed inside to do a little damage control. I knew there was no way I would be able to clean everything up that night. I just wanted to get the food taken care of. About an hour later, we CRASHED hard. I did not want to get up that next morning. Aiden was a sweet pea and slept in until almost 7:30am. It was awesome.

The house is still a disaster zone. We got the floors mostly cleaned up and the dishes are slowly but surely getting cleaned and put away. We have SO MANY leftovers. I don't know what to do with it all. I'm pretty sure we'll be eating hamburger-related meals for the next two weeks. But it was worth it! Our little man has officially made it through a year of life!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 75 of BP Oil Spill

I'm sorry I've been slacking on my blogging duties. I had a really busy weekend and we have family in town. I have about a million photos to sort through before I can really get down to business.

In the meantime, look at this awesome Oil Skimmer that is on it's way to save the Gulf, despite the fact that it still needs to be approved by the EPA and Coast Guard. Hope they get on that...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Airheaded Passengers


Aiden's first birthday party is today! I was really stressed out about it at first (about the party planning, not the fact that my son is one year old), but now I'm excited!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Aiden: 1 Year Old

It's hard to believe it's been 1 year since I passed out from exhaustion (and that stupid Stadol - NEVER AGAIN) in that hospital room after pushing for THREE HOURS. Oh wait, I mean, I can't believe our son is a year old!! No seriously though, my dad has been sending us texts that Travis was sending out while I was in delivery, forcing me to relive the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. He saved those messages for a whole year!

Our swollen-faced new man (you should've seen his cone head!)


Here's a quick rundown of that crazy experience:

I was 41 weeks pregnant. They hooked me up to Pitocin at 8 am, then I sat for 9 hours. No food, but eventually they hooked me up to a glucose drip since I am hypoglycemic. Around 5 pm, the doctor broke my water - I was 3 cm dilated. The doc couldn't believe how much fluid I had. That explains why the belly was so huge! 5 hours later my contractions started to get strong. I stuck it out for an hour before I decided to ask for an epidural. Sadly, I was still only 3 cm dilated and they wouldn't give an epidural until I was 4 cm. Instead, I opted for Stadol. BAD IDEA. Basically, it knocked me out. I woke up with every contraction, writhing in pain. But at least I was sleeping? It was a horrible nightmare.

Around midnight, I was finally ready for the epidural. I slept HARD for about 3 hours, after which I had to start with the pushing. I could feel it was time. I needed to push. Of course, we had to wait for doctor approval. Thankfully that only took a few minutes. Travis held my left leg the entire time, counting along with the nurses. I have decided that next time there will be NO PHONES until after the baby is born. He had one hand holding my leg, the other was texting all our family in the waiting room. If I was awake enough, I probably would have thrown that thing into the wall!

After a couple hours, they turned off my epidural. As horrible as it was to feel everything, I think that was just the incentive I needed to give it my all.

Aiden was born at 6:07 AM on July 1, 2009.

For the last part, I was closing my eyes between pushes. I never fully slept, but I didn't really have much of a choice since I could not physically keep them open. The umbilical cord was wrapped around Aiden's neck twice, which meant Travis did not get to cut the cord. As soon as that mess was taken care of, they put him on my chest. I was so tired that all I could think was, "Wow, he is warm." That's it. Exhaustion was pulling me under.

After he got cleaned up and the stats were recorded I held Aiden, and attempted to feed him. I guess he was just as tired as I was, so we decided to hold off for a little bit. The family came in to meet Aiden and I arranged to have breakfast (oh sweet delicious food!) brought in. While I was eating, the lactation consultant came in to talk to me. I was delirious with exhaustion and just nodded at the two women who were standing in front of me, not hearing anything. Did I mention that only ONE consultant came in to the room?

The second that woman left, I PASSED OUT. I think I got two hours of sleep before they brought Aiden back. I felt SO MUCH BETTER. I had food, a nap and a chance for that stupid Stadol to get out of my system. Feeding was much more successful that second try. We spent a couple days in the hospital. It was great to have people bring me food, since I felt like I'd been hit by a train.

Despite that chaos, I would do it all over again. I cannot believe how lucky we are to have such a great son. He has his moments, as all children do, but he is the best we ever could have asked for.

Happy Birthday Aiden!

Presenting: Aiden Gregory from Nicolette Ward on Vimeo.