Monday, January 31, 2011

The Wrath of Aiden

Eh, I'm so not in the mood to write right now. Aiden has been just plain mean for the 15 hours. He keeps getting into stuff he's not supposed to, that he KNOWS he's not supposed to, and then when I tell him 'no' he doesn't stop. So I squat down on his level so he's look at me and tell him 'no'. Then he reaches out and squeezes whatever he can get a hold of - my cheek, my arm, my neck, you name it. So, in timeout he goes. He understands the concept now, which is great. I asked the teachers at his daycare how they do it and I've been trying to reenact that. It has really helped. Until last night, that is. A couple times, I've had to sit with him because he keeps trying to crawl away. I tell him he has to sit down and I set him back down where he was. Then he hits me.


He's not old enough for this yet, right? (I'm gonna have to read this book.) I'm hoping it goes away after a day back a school. Maybe he just needed to get away from me? Please let that be it.

I don't know how mothers in the north deal with being inside for months during the winter. I sort of have an idea because that's what summers are like here. But then again, we can usually swing heading out for a couple hours in the morning and that is better than not at all. It rained all day yesterday, so we decided to run to Walmart for Playdoh. That was the only time we got out of the house. Aiden usually gets cranky when we don't get out at all during the day. I think he thrives on sunlight and fresh air, like I do.

Today it is so heavy with fog outside, that I had to drive with my wipers on. I'm irritated that I wasted time curling my hair this morning. It wasn't foggy at home, so there is no way I could have planned for this.

Tomorrow it's supposed to be semi-warm during the morning, then rain like crazy. In the afternoon it's supposed to get to almost freezing temperatures. Wednesday calls for heavy winds. It's gonna be a GREAT week. I can feel it. At least I don't have to deal with the winter storm that's about to hit the midwest. That's worse, right?

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Date with the Docta

It's official. The date for Travis' herniectomy has been set for February 18th. I took off that Friday, plus the following Monday and Tuesday so I can be there to help him in the first few days. He has to take three weeks off to recover, then he plans to take it easy for his first week back to work. He has already gone over a list of things with his boss that he can do that isn't too rigorous.

We're in the talks with Travis' mom to have her and her husband come down to help out. Help out with whatever Travis needs after I am done with my time off, or help out with Aiden. Whichever we need most at the time.

Eek, here we go!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When 1 second becomes 1,000

A typical weekday morning for me:

I'm in the bathroom, trying to decide if I have enough time to do my hair before work. Aiden's in his bedroom drinking his morning cup of milk. All of a sudden, Aiden starts crying from his room.

I have a moment to decipher his cries. Are they the fervent cries of pain? No, but I'm still not sure what is offending him. A dilemma runs through my head: I do not want to just run in there in an attempt to fix whatever is wrong. We used to do that and it has taught him that we come running when he cries. We want him to start using words or show us what is wrong, so we can help more efficiently. I have faith that he is capable of this.

This is when the stress of him crying sets in. I cannot go in there to make him stop crying, so I have to sit there and take it in the bathroom. If I were already in the room with him, I would have asked him what was wrong. I would have asked him if he could use his words, or show me the problem. Since I was not in the room, I stood my ground.

I grimace with the renewed wailing. My neck stiffens and the tension runs up into the back of my head. It's similar to having a bee buzzing around your ears while you attempt to drink a Coke outside on a warm, sunny day. It's stressful, but you want to continue with your day, so you endure it.

The tension runs to my shoulders and I finally realize I'm squinting my eyes against the sound of his cries. I open my eyes and pull my shoulders back. I roll my head around once to loosen things up a bit and chase off the headache that is threatening to start my day off wrong.

FINALLY, the buzzing bee stumbles into the bathroom to stare at me, bawling from the doorway, until I fix it. I ask Aiden, "What's wrong? Can you show me what you need?"

He stops crying, hiccups a time or two before, "Uh, uh, uh, uh..." and then starts playing with the door (open, shut, open, shut...), completely oblivious to the stress he has just caused me.

Thankfully, his bouts of happiness and laughter balance out moments like these. Some days more than others. Otherwise, I don't know how anyone would ever procreate again.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011 Winter Leaves

I wanted to do a reenactment of last year's romp in the leaves. It was a totally different experience with our walking toddler.

Making it rain leaves...

Callaway guarding the family...

Forcing Aiden to pose with Mommy...

"Two, two, two, TWO!"

After a breakfast of chocolate chip muffins, Travis and Aiden went out to rake up the leaves in the front yard. I got out there just in time for the fun. We jumped in the pile and Travis even buried himself in it for a moment, freaking out Callaway. At some point unknown to me, Aiden must have scraped his right cheek on a stick. He's looking more and more like his father everyday!

Aiden kept counting and then throwing himself into the pile. Except when he counts to three, it's actually just "Two, two, two, two..." Then he throws himself in. I got some video of it, so I'll post that as soon as I get it up.

Monday, January 24, 2011


For Christmas this year, the Yeager's got us a gift card to the Children's Museum of Houston. It took us a few weekends to find the time to get there together, but we did it finally.

We drove up to their house immediately after naptime on Sunday and then we all piled into their car for the remainder of the drive. The entire museum is very colorful and child-oriented. The first floor is aimed more at older children. It was a MAD HOUSE. Children running and screaming in every direction. We walked straight through the first floor to the elevators where we made our way up to the TotSpot on the second floor.

It was like heaven after the madness of the first floor. I can't believe our boys will be running around with all those kids some day...

Anyhoo, there is an area where you take off your shoes and park the strollers, then you walk through a manned gate to the play area. Everything is on a toddlers level with rounded or padded edges and corners. It was AWESOME.

Going for a drive together - two steering wheels, two horns, two pedals. Enough car to go around!

The boys spent the first 20 minutes at this slide. It has two sets of stairs - one normal and one padded. They went up the stairs, down the slide, up the stairs, down the slide. Over and over and over... well, you get the idea. There was a window in the ground before the slide where you could see through to a tunnel below. The dads had a good time banging from the bottoms at the boys when they were on top.

The second most popular section had a series of windows with a variety of moving parts. On the inside, were dioramas. One window had a shade, another had doors. One had a toilet handle, another a door bell. Both Aiden and Luke kept heading back to this section.

Oh and the "big boys" had a good time too...

We spent two hours playing in the TotSpot. I was wishing we'd gone on Saturday because after all that running around, I'm sure Aiden would have slept in this morning if he had the opportunity. It was so funny to see all the toddlers interacting with each other. They all have their own personalities. That really comes out in free play.

Before we left for the museum, Luke tried to hug Aiden. Aiden would have nothing to do with it. He's like that with Travis and I, but I didn't know he was like that with other kids too. I don't know why, but that kid cannot stand affection. If I try to rub his back while we're reading a book, he leans away from my hand and whines "No!" Ugh, little stinker. Luke is so affectionate, it makes me a little jealous! Well, while we were at the museum, the same little boy hugged Aiden TWICE. Both times, Aiden started screaming "No!" while struggling to get away. He always failed and they ended up on the floor with Aiden crying. What is wrong with this kid?

After the museum, we went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Considering how busy our day was, I was surprised Aiden did as well as he did at the restaurant. Afterward, while we were waiting for Travis to move the car seat back to our car, Linsey showed me how the nursery wall was coming along.

Zach and Linsey are expecting a baby girl in April, so she has a chance to get girly this time around. They have a fairy theme for the new nursery. The walls are a soft lavendar and they are painting whimsical, white trees on the wall. There are two trees that will bend over the crib once it's in place. Zach's mom is an artist, so she is going to paint fairies playing in the trees. Then Linsey is going to glue little skirts to the fairies so it looks like they are popping out from the wall. So cute!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Run-in with a ladder

Travis injured himself at work on Friday...

He was walking through a narrow walkway between open studs, when he slipped on some rebar. He was carrying a ladder that ran into a stud when he lost his balance. The ladder stopped suddenly, but he kept going. That means his eye rammed into one of the ladder rungs.

Travis is okay, but he's got a pretty black eye. Or should I say blue? He's missing some lashes where the cut is. There's a minor abrasion on his cheek His entire eye socket is swollen and purpley-blue.

Today we were jumping in the leaf pile in our yard. At some point, I noticed that Aiden had a red scratch below his right eye. It's in the same place where Travis' abrasion is. They're twinkies.

Friday, January 21, 2011

#2 Sexiest Video

Travis and I were watching a little TV last night and caught this video on MTV. The considered it the #2 sexiest video. ??? Violence, fire, I don't get the sexy part. BUT! We did think it was interesting that they used to famous actors in their video.

On a side note, I was reading in Parenting magazine that watching TV decreases a child's metabolic rate by 16%! This paper supports that it lowers the metabolic rate. Watching TV really does turn you into a couch potato!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

*Warning* I Speak of Poo

Aiden is suffering from constipation. It is so horrible. I know this from personal experience. So of course that means Aiden must have gotten MY digestive system because Travis' body goes like clock work. Twice a day - same time every day. Makes me sick. I know Alex had trouble with constipation when he was little, but as far as I can tell he's completely normal these days (please don't hate me, little bro). I can only hope that Aiden's problem will get better with age.

Aiden has been dealing with this for as long as I can remember, but it seems to be getting worse. He is still going Numero Dos once a day. The doctor told me if he ever skips a day that I can give him a glycerin suppository (yay fun). Thankfully, I have not had to do that yet. In the past, the doctor told me to give him nothing but juice for a day whenever he was having painful bowel movements. But now she said we need to up the fiber in his diet and exchange one cup of milk a day for a cup of juice on a regular basis.

We've been doing that for a week now and he is still having problems. Sometimes he bleeds because it is so hard. I know when he's having trouble because he hunches over on the coffee table, or something that height, and whimpers. It can take anywhere from five to 15 minutes. If I move or touch him during that time he screams. Gah, it's so horrible.

I wish there was more I could do for him. The nurse said he is too young to go on medication, so we have to take care of this with just his diet. We've added the juice and now I'm trying various fruits to see if I can find one he likes. He won't eat apple slices, but he likes applesauce. He LOVES bananas, so we go through a bunch per week. He loves raisins, but he doesn't actually chew them. They come out whole. So is he getting any fiber from that? I found out last night that he likes ripe pears, so I'll be buying a bunch more of those. Texture seems to be a big issue for him. He doesn't like beans, carrots, blueberries or grapes. He is too young for nuts, so that's not an option yet.

My question is this, even if we add a bunch of fiber to his diet will that actually affect the solidness of it? He IS having bowel movements. The problem is how hard they are. This is the same problem I've been living with for years, so I don't even know where to start.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Home Improvement

Travis and I received a monetary gift in the mail from family and decided to use it to decorate the house a bit. I ordered kitchen cabinet knobs on the internet, but those haven't arrived yet. i have been wanting to get some sort of art to hang over the love seat in the living room. I don't have as much art in the house as I would like. Most of what hangs throughout are photos of family and friends. I was ready to mix it up a bit. I heard that you can get decent, inexpensive art from Garden Ridge (think cross between Hobby Lobby and Pier 1), so I decided to check it out.

That place is HUGE. I have never been before, but I would love to go back with more money to spend. I didn't have nearly enough time to peruse the goods. I had Aiden with me, which meant I only had enough time to go in for what I needed and got out. I found a fun metal piece that reminds me of a brick wall.

Each rectangle of metal is curved so that it looks like waves from the side. Here is a close up of the texture.

I saw a really cute idea on Etsy a while back. An artist had painted with watercolors on a dictionary page. I went to the Salvation Army and found an old, large dictionary for a dollar. Since I am not that great with paint, I opted for printing off photos from the web. I have made several for my mom, Ariel and Alex. Each one is printed on a page from the dictionary that is special to them. For our art, I printed on the page that defines the word 'family'. =)
Here's a quick "before" of our new, empty kitchen wall.

I framed the dictionary page in a simple black frame. Then we found these shelf cubes on sale at Target to match the frame.

I like new stuff.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Aeros on Ice

A group of friends from my work got together and bought tickets to a Houston Aeros amateur hockey game this weekend. Houston doesn't have a NHL team, which is interesting. We got excellent tickets through for $11 per person that covered a ticket into the game, a parking pass and an on-ice photo. We weren't sure what that meant, but in the end, we didn't get the photo. is pretty cool. You just enter your zip code and it will pull up great coupons available in your area.

There were three sets of parents in our group (we were one of them). We all arranged for a sitter and caravan'd up together in the Yeager's SUV. We met with the rest of the group to collect our tickets. Travis went to some college hockey games when we lived in Illinois, but I'm pretty sure it was a first for the rest of us.

Zach and Linsey

I tried to take a photo of the Aeros goalie and these got in the way...

Nadya and Alexey

Fight, fight, fight, fight!!!

There weren't as many fights as I thought there would be. That guy leaning over on the right got the brunt of the hits in this particular fight. He only spit a little blood, but that was all the blood I saw the entire game.

There is an intermission game they play with the crowd where everyone gets to attempt to throw pucks into a helmet in the center of the ice. Each puck has a number on it so they know who made the shot. I think they said you can win $500 if you make it. We didn't play, but it was pretty interesting to have hundreds of pucks flying over your head. Speaking of, only one puck ever left the ice during the game and it was on the opposite side of the stadium. Phew!

We were back in Galveston to pick Aiden up from Sue's by 8pm. We had to drop him off at 11 in the morning because we had to leave for Houston during his nap time. That way, he slept at Sue's and woke up to spend the afternoon and evening with her. They always have so much fun together. We are lucky to have Sue!

Dropping Aiden off in the morning meant we had a few hours to kill before the game. We went for lunch, just the two of us. Then we stopped by Target for milk and a shelf for the kitchen. When we got back, I walked in the door and felt confused. I am so used to having to utilize every minute with a toddler, that I didn't know what to do with myself! All this free time! What to do?! We found a couple things to do around the house before Nadya and Alexey showed up. I m insanely used to constantly caring for Aiden that it felt strange. There was no toddler to pull out of the car at each stop and then chase around the house. Huh.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Love This Song

Father-Daughter cover of Home by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes.

It doesn't get any cuter than that.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I read this article on Dooce's blog and thought it was an interesting comparison between "Western mothers" and "Chinese mothers". The result of raising your child as the Chinese do is amazing, but I just don't have the hardness in me to do it myself. I am, however, interested in this one thought that weaves throughout the article:

"...Western parents are extremely anxious about their children's self-esteem. They worry about how their children will feel if they fail at something... [Chinese parents] assume strength, not fragility..."

I think I may take on this concept in my parenting. Why not assume your child is capable of succeeding? Sounds like that mantra: If you think it, it will happen. I just might give it a try!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Still a Little Grey

I had a VERY strange dream the other night. I dreamt that Travis and I got pregnant. We didn't want to get pregnant until July, so we decided to get an abortion (which is ridiculous because there is no way I would get an abortion because the pregnancy was six months earlier than planned). I went in for the procedure alone. Thankfully I didn't actually dream about the procedure itself. (Yikes!)

When it was over, I started to walk home. I needed to stop at the grocery store for something, so I walked under the overpass to a little convenience shop. It was a little one-story, stand-alone building in the middle of a strip mall parking lot. I walked inside, but it didn't look like a store. It looked more like a conference room with grey carpet, grey chairs, a big, wooden, oval table and a projector screen on the back wall.

I was confused for a moment, but then saw a sign that read "Enter Here" and it pointed to the elevator. As I was getting on the elevator, I had a thought that this was a one story building. Why would it have an elevator? It started to shoot upwards, but then the door opened and showed the original room I had started in. The entire room was going up.

Then a man in a grey suit with a grey tie and brown hair stepped out of a door across the room from me. He was coming out of a bathroom, drying his hands with a towel like he had just finished washing them. He walks towards me and says, "You were going to have twins. But don't worry, the abortion didn't take fully and you are still going to have Sam. She's coming soon. Don't worry."

Uh, what?! That was by far, the creepiest dream I have ever had. I've had scary dreams, I've had sad dreams, but that one was just plain creepy.

I've been thinking about that dream since then. First off, if I ever have a girl, we're not naming her Sam. No offense to all the Sams out there. That one is just not for me. Second, what the deuce?! The whole thing is just weird. When I think back on it, the guy was slightly reminiscent of the Geico commercial guy, but that's not what I was thinking during the dream. During the dream, I was horrified that I was going to have twins but I lost my chance. ??????

I think I'm getting the baby bug again. It might be because I still watch 16 and Pregnant occasionally. It might be because the newest Ramby baby is turning into an irresistible little chubster. It might be because my friend Linsey has a swollen belly of her own, due in April. It might be because my other friend, due in March, is about to have her baby shower. I LOVE baby showers. I'm just not sure. Alexa told me that something clicked in her when her firstborn turned 18-months old. She suddenly wanted another baby.

Originally, Travis and I had planned to start trying for another baby when Aiden turned one. When that was only a few months away, I freaked and had a talk with Travis. Neither one of us was ready for another baby just yet. I was just getting my body back to normal after finishing breastfeeding and I really couldn't imagine taking any of our time away from Aiden at that point. I still wanted to spend all my time with him and it seemed wrong to take any of that away from him.

We decided to wait until the following year to see how we felt then. Well, it's the following year and Aiden just turned 18 months old. I feel the bug coming on. I'm not quite ready, but I am happy to see it's happening. I was worried that because I didn't want a baby when Aiden was one that I would never want a baby again. But now I can see it. It's a possibility that appeals to me. I still worry a bit about taking time away from Aiden, but in the same token, I would be giving something to him. A play pal for life!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Flailing Tube Men

My dad ended up getting home at 10am yesterday. He said the final count was 91 wrecks. He said that at one point, a truck was attempting to pull another truck out of the ditch, perpendicular to the road. That wouldn't be a big issue, except his chain was hidden in the snow. It wasn't until my dad was close enough to see the chain that he swerved out of the way. Close call! The storm he drove through all Sunday night hit his house on Saturday night, so now he's dealing with the snow again!

Sunday morning I let Travis sleep in a little bit and got up with Aiden. We ate breakfast and then when Travis got up we played with his blocks.

I finally got dressed for the day and headed out to go grocery shopping. When I got back, Travis was just laying Aiden down for his nap. I ate lunch and then got to work on a Cheesy Tortilla Lasagna that we brought over to the Ramby's house that night for dinner. It's actually a vegetarian casserole, but I added hamburger meat that I cooked in taco seasoning since I was feeding the guys too.

Aiden woke up just as the casserole was coming out of the oven. We fed him his snack, then got on the road to the Ramby's. They just bought a game for the Wii called Just Dance. It's the sort of game that makes white people flail like idiots so the other white people can laugh at them. I say white people, because chances are that most other races have a better beat than the white folk. ;)

That game made us all very winded. I was quite impressed with Alexa's mom's ability to move. The only person with a better score was Travis and I have absolutely no idea how that is possible. Diana actually looked cute when she danced. Travis looked more like a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man.

If you'd like to see some photos, check out Alexa's blog. She got some funny ones.

We watched a little TV, ate dinner and just hung out. It was nice to see those guys again. It's been almost a month! That means that Skylar has practically doubled in size since I saw her last. Alexa always tells me that she has a problem with frequent spit-up. I can't imagine what she'd look like if she actually kept everything down. That girl has the most thigh rolls I've seen in a baby since Wednesday was little. LOL! I feel a little bad for her though because it's almost impossible to hold her without pinching her chub. Gah, seriously.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Getting Back to Normal

The last of our family has gone back north. My mom left in the middle of last week and my dad left at 4am on Sunday. My dad had originally planned on going home Friday with Alex, but when he decided to go with my mom, my dad stayed longer. We used that time on Saturday to do some 'regular' stuff.

First thing after breakfast, we took the wagon for a spin to the park. Aiden really seemed to enjoy it.

After a couple blocks, we came to the conclusion that the canopy needs to stay off in the winter months. Having the sun on your back when it's cold is a good thing. We will definitely need that thing in the summer though!

While we were at the playground, a man and his grandson came. Guess what the little boy's name was. Aiden! The most popular boy's name of 2009 AND 2010. Ugh. Anyway, this Aiden was three years old. He reminded me a lot of Blair when it came to what he could do physically. Our Aiden always follows him around and copies him and that's exactly what he did with Three-Year-Old-Aiden. At one point, the older boy heard a sound in the distance, turned toward it and said "What is that?" It made me laugh because our Aiden says that all the time, but it sounds more like "Wassat?" It was like a look 19-months into our future!

My dad spent the rest of the day helping me around the house. We took down Christmas decorations and brought the tree out to the driveway. We're planning on dropping it off, along with the plastics and newspaper we've been saving, at the Recycle Center in Galveston next Saturday.

Travis worked on Saturday. He works a lot. Because of that, there are a few things that have gone to the wayside. One of those being our running toilet. It started acting up about a month ago. We had to jiggle the handle after each flush to get it to stop. My dad fixed that problem with a little Vaseline. It wasn't until that problem was fixed that we noticed that there was still a constant trickle of water into the toilet. My dad determined that two out of the three parts in the tank needed to be replaced. The third part should be replaced, but we'll do that at a different time. Anyhoo, it took a lot of elbow grease and I'm glad my dad was there to take care of the job!

Ariel and Robert stopped by at lunch time with some McDonald's. They wanted to say goodbye before my dad headed off and they both had to work that night.

My dad's trip home has been a doozy. He got caught in all the snow that's coming down in that snowstorm over Arkansas. After he spent four hours driving 45 mph, he finally pulled over for the night. He claims he counted 86 accidents/cars veered off the road. He actually hasn't made it home yet. He got back on the road at 6 this morning and just stopped in Effingham, Illinois. He's close though!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Aiden at 18 Months

Aiden has picked up a few funny mannerisms lately.

Whenever Travis flips to the sports channel and there is a football game playing, Aiden immediately starts clapping his hands and screams "Go, go, go, go, go!" at the TV screen.

I try to count stuff out as often as possible for Aiden. Like the three steps on the back porch, for example. I count out each step, with a little emphasis on the "three!" for the last step. Aiden started saying "two" with me, but never 'one' or 'three'. Just within the past week, he has started trying to count to three before throwing a ball, or shutting a cabinet, or throwing Mr. Lion back into bed. But instead of counting 'one, two, three' he says "two, two, two, two..." It took me almost a full day to realize that he won't actually release whatever he is throwing without me screaming "three!"

Aiden had his 18-month appointment over the winter holiday break. He did pretty well. My mom came along and tried to help distract him while we waited for the doctor to come in. He's right below the 50% percentile on his weight and height, so all is well there. He got one vaccination in his thigh. Every moment he got for the following couple of days, he would point where the bandaid had been and say, "Ow." Too cute.

For his first birthday, my family got him a bunch of Buzz Lightyear gear. It hasn't been until recently that he has really shown an interest in Buzz himself. It might be because he is getting older and has more patience for full length movies. He still won't sit through the entire thing, but he will take 10 minute breaks from his playing here and there to watch the action parts. Now every time we see Buzz (Blockbuster, billboards, grocery store) he screams, "Buzz!" At first it was "Buh", but now it's more like "Buh-sch".

His other favorite character is "Melmo!" Elmo was a big hit this year at Christmas. He got everything that is possibly related to Elmo. Now, when he wakes up in the morning and sees the Elmo stuff in his room (books, dolls, etc.) he says, "Melmo." First word of the day folks!

Over the holiday break, I worked with him on naming the other Sesame Street characters and he's picked up a few. Big Bird and Cookie are the most clear, but he's attempting Oscar and Grover as well.

We had a great two weeks at home together, despite the last couple days being a little trying for Mommy. He went to daycare one day each week, in hopes that he wouldn't completely lose a knack for getting along with his peers and teachers. Each day they said he did great, which made me feel much more confident about bringing him back this week.

Yesterday morning when I dropped Aiden off for school, he showed some serious interest in the Wiggles video that was playing on the TV. They really creep me out, so I was hoping to avoid them as a favorite show for Aiden. Too late I guess. I know it's the music that draws him. He likes all shows with music. I didn't think it possible, but it turns out the Wiggles can get creepier. Check out this clip from the video that was playing at the daycare that day:

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I REFUSE to buy this for Aiden. No matter how much he likes it. I need to go donate some Yo Gabba Gabba DVD's to his class...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Weekend Full of Family

New Year's Day was laid back for us. Travis cleaned up the garage and put together the wagon we got Aiden for Christmas. Gpa got him the canopy to help keep the summer sun out of his face.

Pierre wanted to go for a ride.

Pierre didn't like Aiden much so we had to be careful of him in the wagon with Aiden. But they were both too focused on not falling over to annoy one another.

Travis did a few odds and ends around the house. You know, all things that are good for hernias...

Speaking of hernias, Travis got a letter in the mail with a consulatation scheduled with the surgeon on the 20th. Unfortunately, he's going to have to go north for that. We usually see doctors in Galveston so we don't have to miss as much work. Apparently, there are no hernia surgeons on the island. No word yet on where the surgery will actually take place.

"Push me?"

That night, Bill and Joyce treated us to dinner at Pappasito's. It's funny because the only times I've been there are with David and Stephanie. It is their favorite Mexican restaurant in the area, so they always want to go when they are in town. Alex had actually been there before. He went with my dad, Ariel and Robert the night I was in labor with Aiden. It's right down the road from the hospital. They brought back their leftovers for Travis, who so graciously ate in the cafeteria so I wouldn't have to smell the grilled goodness while I was fasting. Thankfully, there was no fasting on New Year's Day for me!

On Sunday, Travis' dad just happened to be driving a load into Houston (he's a truck driver). Travis and his family drove up and brought him back to our house for the day. Curt brought Aiden a late Christmas present.

Whhheeerrree's Aiden?!

Four generations of Ward's:

Grandma Joyce, Curt and his two sons, Travis and Sean, and grandson Aiden.

We snacked all day on the food we didn't eat on New Year's Eve. Then they all went to Travis, Ariel and Robert's softball game that evening. I stayed home, put Aiden to bed and enjoyed a few quiet moments on my last day off from work.

We had quite the full house for a while there. Bill and Joyce stayed in our room, Sean slept on the floor in there on a futon mattress, my mom slept on the guest bed, Travis and I slept on the air mattress in the living room and Alex even stayed on New Year's Eve! Like I said, FULL HOUSE.

I really enjoy being able to visit with family, but we have something new to factor in now: Aiden. He was sooooo cranky by this weekend. He was clingy, clingy, CLINGY. I have already noticed a change in his demeanor. He was deleriously happy last night after Travis picked him up from daycare. So much so, that my dad even commented on it. It makes me a little sad that Travis' family didn't get a good idea of what Aiden is normally like. In general, he tends to show a preference for hanging out with the guys. I already have to deal with women being upset because Aiden shunned them for a guy. Add extra people living in our home and he expanded his shunning to everyone but Mom. Sheesh.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ringing in the New Year

Bill, Joyce and Sean stayed through until Sunday, so we had some time to hang out. They took us out to eat almost every other night. (I still need to go try out the scale...) Aiden really enjoyed the chocolate cake at Fisherman's Wharf.

Travis and Sean took a brotherly photo in front of the restaurant. We were all sporting Illini gear to celebrate our win. It was amazing how many Illinoisans were still in town.

It was ridiculously humid for several days. There was actually standing water in the garage from it, despite running a fan out there all day. Travis and Aiden took a moment to sweep up the mess.

Pierre loves his mommy!

That garage was SUCH a mess! Travis spent several hours the next day putting in another shelf and filling it up with boxes. Although, he had to leave the Christmas boxes out so we can fill them back up this week. Travis and I are contemplating purchasing a shed to put behind the garage. The idea of renting storage space makes me cringe. Most of the stuff out there is baby gear that I don't want to get rid of until we are done having kids. There's no reason we can't reuse it. It's just a matter of storing it until the time comes.

For New Year's Eve, we just stayed at home. Ariel and Robert had to work since they're both in the business of hospitality. My dad spent the evening at Ariel's bar getting hit on by some hot chick... ... ... ...

Blink, blink.

WHAT?! Get off my dad! Seriously? He's 62 years old!! Ariel said a good-looking girl in her 20's was hanging on him all evening. My dad even admitted he had to leave the bar because she kept trying to pull him out on the dance floor. Bwahahaha!

Joyce and I made a pork roast in the Crock Pot for an early dinner. Then later in the evening, after Alex got there, we broke out a few appetizers. All seven of us played a friendly game of Taboo and then counted down with champagne in hand at midnight.

I was really worried beforehand that I would not be able to stay awake until the ball dropped, but I made it! I couldn't believe it! I even mustered up enough energy to play a couple games of beer pong with Travis, Alex and Mom afterward. It was interesting to say the least.

I'm pretty sure my mom and I lost both games. But the first game, as you can see here, was a close one.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Little Pony

Remember when I posted that strange music video by a band in South Africa? Well check out these My Little Ponies. Bwahahahaha!

Go Illini!

About a month ago, Travis' grandparents (Bill and Joyce) called and said that the Fighting Illini would be playing in the Texas Bowl the Wednesday after Christmas. They are avid fans and since we already lived in the area, they decided to come down for the game. We bought enough tickets so that my family could go along as well.

Bill and Joyce came down the day before the game and they brought Travis' little brother Sean along. We exchanged gifts on Tuesday night and then went to bed so we could get some rest before the game.

The game was at 5 pm on Wednesday, but we wanted to go up beforehand to tailgate. Unfortunately for us, there was an 80% chance of thunderstorms, but we were determined to go up and take advantage of the Illini being in our neck of the woods. We made it to the gate 15 minutes before it was supposed to open, so we got in line and waiting. The marching band and the cheerleaders were supposed to have a tent set up in the parking lot at Reliant Stadium, but the weather was too crappy.

We set up our tent as soon as we got there and Travis started grilling burgers. It. Was. POURING.

Travis had our tent up in a jiffy, but we spent a good 20 minutes trying to help our Baylor neighbors set up their tent. My dad got a puncture wound while trying to help and the dang tent fell over anyway from all the water pooling on top. Ariel was standing with her back to the tent when it happened, so she got jacked in the head pretty hard. She was okay, but she had quite a goose egg from it.

My dad made chili that he reheated on the side stove.

Bill and Joyce, trying to stay dry...

My dad bought disposable ponchos to help keep us dry. They need to make longer arms on those things. I wore my rain boots, so my feet stayed dry. But since there was about two inches of standing water at all times, everyone else was saturated.

We were lucky and had seats on the same side of the stadium as the TV cameras, so everything was facing us. The Illini marching band is pretty intense. There are SO MANY people in that band. At one point they made the shape of the US and then they surrounded Illinois...


Orange and blue!

Overall we had a great time. I tried to get Aiden to nap before we went in to the game, but he just would not fall asleep. The main problem was that he could still see us from the car. Travis and I took turns sitting in the car with him until it was time to head in for the game. He was ridiculously clingy to me once we got in the stadium, but he was quiet and observant the entire time.

I think spending two weeks at home with me turned Aiden into a serious Momma's Boy. I'm hoping that tones down after a few days back to daycare.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas Day

We celebrated Christmas day at our house with my dad. Ariel, Robert and Alex didn't come over until the evening, so we opened a couple of our gifts with Aiden first thing in the morning. Travis slept in a couple minutes while I got the Orange Cinnamon rolls baking in the oven (a Hargus Christmas tradition). My dad drank coffee while Aiden showed him some of the Elmo books he got from Gramma Brenda (Thanks Brenda! We missed you!).

Aiden picked up on the concept of opening gifts pretty quickly this year, which was exciting for us. The only 'problem' we had was that he would open one gift and want to play with it instead of opening up the next one. We only got two open in the morning before he got side-tracked by his new Finding Nemo DVD.

He stood like that for 20 minutes before taking a break. For the first five minutes of the video he just kept pointing at the screen screaming "Ish! Ish!" I figured that movie would be a hit, considering Aiden's love of all things fish.

Ariel, Robert and Alex showed up soon after Aiden woke from his nap. The first thing he did was go plop down on his new mini-me couch. Ariel showed immense patience as he brought out all the new Elmo gear.

Aiden loved the dinner we ate that night. He didn't get to eat with us the night before because the meal wasn't ready until after his bed time. We purposely ate earlier in afternoon on Christmas Day so we would have time for presents and dessert afterward. I think Aiden's favorite was the ham, but we also had mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts and rolls with cinnamon butter.

I have yet to weigh myself after this holiday season, but I'm sure the scales will back up my fears. There is no way I did not gain at least five pounds with all the eating I did. It was most certainly worth it though.

After dinner the gift opening began. We made plans to draw names out of a hat for presents this year. It was a huge relief to not have to buy a hundred gifts. Of course my dad didn't follow the rules. I can't complain though. He bought me a new dish set and Christmas place mats and napkins. I have wanted white dishes for years now. We got the colorful plates from Pier 1 for our wedding that we registered for. I love the colors, but I've found it is very difficult to do holiday table decorations with such vibrant hues. (You can see the serving platter in the photo above.)

College has really pulled Alex out of his shell. He has always been so quiet, unless you got him on a topic he could relate to (video gaming or music). I noticed that I was able to catch a bunch more shots of him smiling naturally this Christmas when compared to past years.

More gift opening on his couch...

My dad and I found a reindeer outfit for Toby. Sadly, Toby stayed home this year, so he wasn't around to model the new costume. Instead...

My dad tries to buy silly kid gifts for us each year. This time, Travis and Robert got hula hoops while Ariel, Alex and I got SINGAMAJIGS!!

First... Check out the boys showing off their mad hooping skills. I was rather impressed...

Second, Singamajigs are awesome.

While we were eating apple pie and custard (yummo), Travis' boss (Guy) and his girlfriend (Aiden's favorite sitter, Sue) dropped by with some gifts for the newly spoiled Aiden. They each brought a present for him, along with one from Guy's aunt. I like to think of Guy's family as our family-away-from-home. They have always invited us to holiday parties and random family get-togethers. They have been more than gracious with us in many ways.

Of course Aiden had to bring out the Elmo books to show Guy and Sue.

Soon after Guy and Sue left Ariel and Robert made their way home as well. Ariel wasn't feeling very well so they called it an early night. We played a game of Apples to Apples, that Ariel had left behind. I really need to invest in a game of my own!
Here comes the weird part of our Christmas day...

My friend and co-worker Rachel was out of town for the holidays, so I was recruited to check on her dogs a couple times. She just happens to live across the street from Travis' friend Aaron. While Alex, Travis and I were checking on the dogs, Travis noticed Aaron's garage door was open, so he gave him a call to see what he was up to. Aaron, his sister and a few of their friends were hanging out. He invited us over for a drink. It was only 10 o'clock and my dad was home with Aiden, so we decided why not?

After a few minutes of planning, we got pulled along to go to the bars with them. ON CHRISTMAS DAY! Ha! I always wondered who goes to the bars on the holidays and now I have my answer. We closed down the bar, which wasn't that hard to do considering we didn't get there until 11.

The next morning I was reminded why I don't stay out late anymore. Even if you get a babysitter for the night, there is still that toddler that will wake up at his normal time of 7:30 am!

I say it every year and I'm going to say it again: I need a vacation from my vacation!!