Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ryan 2.5 years

Happy half birthday to my little bug!

Such a handsome little man!

It's been a while since I had a post all about you! These past six months have been wonderful but also quite an adjustment - for us all! Here's a brief recap of life with you!

You are a happy little man! I love your sweet little smile and how happy you get over the smallest of things.  You have such a sweet little disposition and love interacting one-on-one with others. (This might have something to do with "sharing attention"...which you have learned to do since Grayson arrived.)

You are not a hug fan of crowds. I have always noticed this during our activities - if a class is very crowded you get easily upset. You hate going up to get instruments or anything from the teacher if a bunch of kids are crowded around. In general you are very good at sharing but when you are in a chaotic/busy environment you have a very little fuse. The smallest thing will set you off - accidentally stepping on something, dropping your toy, unable to figure the toy out....all result in a little breakdown. I know this is just part of your personality, part of being a toddler and I am sure you will grow out of it.

I have noticed that during our Thursday playgroups you boys have started to play together. And it's pretty darn cute. It's funny because you boys will actually talk to each other....and you seem to understand each other-  which is more than us mommy's can say!

Dancing is still one of your favorite things to do. You will bust a move whenever and wherever you feel like it which always puts a smile on my face. 

Eating is always a challenge with you. Some days you will eat something and the next you want nothing to do with it. You always seem to do a little better when you are eating with others...especially your cousins. Your favorites are
- Hot dogs
- spaghetti (especially Gigi's)
- buttered pasta
- salmon (sometimes you love it sometimes you won't touch it)
- broccoli
- Chick-fil-a nuggets (You just started liking them)
- PB&J
- Hummus
- Pizza (really just the pepperonis off the top)
- Fruit - you eat fruit but which kind changes each day...
- Almonds

When you were smaller, breakfast was the meal that I could alawys depend on. You LOVED eating cheerios with yogurt....but then one day you decided you were over that. You tend to rotate between the following:
- Vitatop (we just call them muffin tops)
- Pop tarts
- Cereal - (Kashi because its what your dad eats)
- Mish mash
- Breakfast cookies (when I get around to making a batch)

In general you don't eat much - I guess I would have to consider you picky (which I really tried hard to avoid) but it just kinda happened. The only time it really bugs me is when you won't even try do you know you don't like it??? If you eat three or four bites of dinner we consider it a success. I swear somedays you seriously eat nothing...but it doesn't really affect you so all I can do is offer you food and see what happens. I guess it's just part of being a toddler!

You are talking a lot more and can say a lot more but in general a quiet little man - kinda like your mom and dad. You can count to 20 and sing your ABCs but I am not sure you actually realize you are signing ABCs instead of just a song. You can identify colors, shapes and some letters - like R.

Your "Ks" are often pronounced as a "T" - kinda odd but I remember your cousin Lyla doing the same thing so I assume it's probably pretty normal. For example, for "milk" you say "milt" and for "cookies" you will say "tookie". (Yes, I realize cookie is a C but its that sound that you have problems with). I think it's pretty darn cute.

We have two "Don't Wake the Bear" books and every night you give one to daddy and then follow along with the other one. You pretend read along with daddy and have basically memorized the story because you say a lot of the correct words!

Ah, you are such a great sleeper. We still have you in your crib and you still love it. You have never really tried to get out so I am not worried about you in there. Some days you fight your nap and I am so glad you are in your crib because eventually you fall asleep - I know that wouldn't be the case if you had free reign of the room. We plan to move you to your big boy bed when we move the new house - I am sure you will do great!

You are still in diapers and really not showing much interest in going on the potty. Every boy mom I have talked to says its not worth pushing until you are ready, so I am not pushing it. However, I have made a deal with you that if you go in the potty then you get M&Ms. You totally understand that and will tell me and others, "I go pee pee in the potty, I get M&Ms" but you don't really ever do it. hmmmmmm.....perhaps I will need to think of a different tactic.

Stats: (unofficial)
Tall and skinny. My little boy has lost his little baby belly...
Height: 36.5 inches
Weight: 26 lbs

Other random tidbits:
When we drive around you know where our new house is and always say - our house when we pass it. And if you see another house being built you say "else's house"... which is "someone else's house".

You are basically a whiz on the iphone and/or ipad. Not sure if that is something we should admit but its kinda amazing how well you can navigate those things. Honestly you don't play on them often but we definitely use it as an electronic babysitter (at the restaurant) when we go to dinner with friends. It just makes dining out a little more enjoyable for everyone involved :)

You are currently obsessed with Mickey Mouse. You have a little Mickey that your dad bought you and you take it everywhere - and of course you sleep with it as well. When you watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse you hold him up to the tv when they sing the intro song so he can watch too. It's pretty precious.

I think you are a bit of a next/clean freak like your daddy is. You really dislike being dirty and will want your hands cleaned right away when they get something on them. The other night bob left a present on the carpet and you found it. Immediately you demanded a paper towel and told me you needed to clean it up. You were so serious about it - your dad cleaned it up but you assisted very well.  I should probably clarify that you are neat/clean about don't mind your toys being messy...but I am sure that is all kids at this age. The only time they actually clean things up seems to be during toddler classes like music.

I think I do have you trained quite well as far as picture taking goes. You are so use to me taking your pic that you will look at the camera, smile and say cheese. This also backfires...because if you don't want to participate you will do everything in your power to not cooperate.

Life as a big brother has been an adjustment. The more interactive Grayson is the more interested you are in him - which is great. I can't wait until Grayson is old enough for you guys to play together. I know he doesn't seem that fun for you now but soon enough you guys will be best friends and share such a special bond!

I really wish I could bottle you up and keep you like this forever. You are so sweet and definitely have your moments but you are such a sweet little man and I love you so so so much!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lunch with Uncle Steve & Claire

When we were in Houston last week my brother and his girlfriend, Claire, took Ryan out for lunch! It was so sweet of them and I am pretty sure Ryan loved it - he is kinda obsessed with his Uncle Steve (Claire too!).  I am pretty sure this was Ryan's first lunch date with someone other than his parents or grandparents.
They took him to get a burger at MOOYAH and then next door to Tutti Frutti for some yogurt. I should mention that they also got him a banana milk shake at lunch (which is basically all he ate for lunch). Steven said he wanted milk...and since he is the 'cool' uncle he thought why not a milkshake? Uncle Steve is always up for giving Ryan sweets any time of the day....M&Ms for breakfast...why not? I can't wait for him to have kids so I can sugar them up too :) That's what uncles are for!

Anyways - the whole thing was so cute and so sweet of them to do. Not to mention that I got a little break :) Thanks guys!

A Half Sleepover

On Monday night we had Audrey over for a "half" sleepover - well that's what she called it! So cute! Sarah said she was so excited and packed up a bag with all of her stuff and brought her sleeping bag too - it was pretty adorable. Ryan wasn't in the best mood when she arrived but he came around and they ended up having such a fun night.

Let's see - the two of them played and then ate some dinner. It's always great when Ryan's cousins are around during dinner time. He tends to eat a little more because he sees them eating and wants to be like them. After dinner we made milkshakes - yum! Next up - bath time....they had fun in a bubble bath. After their baths they played up in Ryan's room - Kevin built them a tent and they ready some books. They loved playing with Ryan's turtle that projects stars around the room in the dark.
What a couple of cheese balls!

Audrey was hungry and wanted some cheerios...Ryan took at look at what she had and said "I;m hungry, I want Cheerios"...which he hasn't eaten in forever! What a silly boy! They sat on the couch together and ate their snacks. 
Afterwards it was time for Ryan to go to bed. Audrey just played downstairs until Sarah and Michael arrived. We had so much fun! Can't wait until we live even closer! I am sure we will have lots of real sleepovers in the future!

Play date

This past week Mary asked me if she could borrow Grayson for a play date. How cute is that? Terry (Whitney's MIL) has been watching Dominic during the month of January because Whitney went back to work. Anyhow, they wanted to arrange a little play date to get the boys together.

Tuesday ended up working out perfectly for everyone. Ryan was starting gymnastics at ASI so I brought Grayson over to Mary's and then the two of us headed to the gym. When we were done we got back to Gigi's and hung out with everyone for a little while.

Dominic and Gray are still adorable. The grandma's measured them - Grayson is 1/2inch taller and 15oz heavier...which doesn't seem like much but I think you can really tell!  Grayson is quite the chunk. Dominic loves to lay on his back and play with his feet - he is super flexible! Grayson hasn't quite discovered his feet yet - he won't stay on his back long enough!

Look at Dom with those feet!

And the rollover...

Happy babies!

Building Vandy - Updates

So over the past month they have been making progress on our house - but not the exciting visual kind. Our house basically has looked the same for about two months now. They have been working on plumbing and know, the actual important stuff. Kevin also met the guys from Starlight over at the house to discuss our wants for tv and audio (which all needs to be wired at this time). We are also interested in doing the lighting system and surveillance system, so they took care of that as well. While all this has been going on we have been working on finalizing our lighting, tile and countertop selections.

It was right around the holidays when Kevin and I started looking at tile. Luckily we have similar taste and selecting the tile we relatively easy. Kevin actually stopped by Daltile one Friday afternoon on his way home from a work trip and picked up some samples. The next Monday I went back and met with our builder and an associate to pick everything out.  I think the master bathroom was the only area that we knew what we wanted from the start and haven't changed out selection at all. For the upstairs guest and kids bathrooms we are doing subway tiles with mosaic accents in the showers. Originally we had selected octagon and dot flooring but in the end changed it because it was a little too traditional for our taste. We ended up doing gray 12x24 tile in the boys and a shimmery white in the guest. I am pretty excited about it and can't wait to see it all!  The last space we needed to make selections for is the downstairs guest bath which also doubles as the powder basically the one bathroom that everyone will see. Because of that we wanted to do something fun and different.

Our original inspiration was this bathroom that I found on Houzz:

After we had made selections I kept second guessing our decisions on this room. I was worried about how it would turn out and if the gray and brown might be too dull.  Originally I had thought that the stone would provide some warmth to the room, but the more I thought about it I worried the overall feeling was a little too cold/sterile for our taste. At the last minute we decided to change it up a little bit and I am super excited about our new selections. My new inspiration is from this picture (from Houzz)  that my mom sent me:

I would LOVE to do an entire wall with mosaic tiles but it would cost about $2k with the mosaic that we selected! Yowsers! So we will just be doing accents.

I am so happy to finally have all the bathrooms finalized (for the most part). It is a sense of relief/accomplishment! I can't wait to see it all come together.

Earlier this week we met with our builder to go over all of the built-ins. It's so great to go room by room and design the cabinets/drawers exactly the way you want them! I cannot wait to move in and get everything organized! We made some adjustments to the original sketches from the cabinet company -- now they will make tweaks and send over the final costs associated with it. From there we make any additional changes and then they are finalized....and will come to life!

This week they will start the dry wall! Yay for walls!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Last week Kevin was traveling for work and for a bachelor party so I packed up the boys and we headed south to Houston! My mom is awesome and she flew to Dallas so that she could drive with us to Houston - isn't she the best? I would not have been able to do it without her - it's just too hard with two kiddos! (Really, its the young one that makes it difficult because we have to stop and eat.) We are lucky to have a Yiayia that loves us and wants to see us that much! The trip down wasn't bad. I sat in the back between the two of them and they actually each took a two hour nap. When Ryan woke up he played with the iPad and I entertained Grayson until we had to stop so I could feed him. He was definitely ready to be out of his car seat by the end... but we made it so we were happy :)

The weather in Houston was yuck - although I am not sure it was much better back in Dallas. It rained nonstop the first two days we were there so we had a lot of snuggle lounge time (which was made better by having Yiayia and Uncle Steve around).  The first morning we were there I took the boys over to a friends house for a little play date. 
I didn't get a picture of Ryan and his friend Holt (they are only four days apart) but I got these little dudes - Grayson  and Jett (they are two weeks apart). Shea and I went to the same high school but never actually hung out until now - our moms have been friends forever though! I love having play dates and talking with mommies - and her two kiddos are adorable and so sweet. 
Ryan loved hanging out in Houston. He loved it when Uncle Steve came home from work and would follow him around for the rest of the evening. Every night he was so excited to feed Macy! He would also fill Bobs dish up, even though it usually didn't need it. 

Another big change was that Ryan slept on a "Big Boy" bed...kinda. I thought I bought a toddler size air mattress but it was actually a twin - so a little larger than I planned. I got him Mickey mouse bedding so he would be excited - and he was. He loved the idea of being in the big boy bed which was pretty exciting. THe first night he got up about 10 times and opened the door.  I just stood outside of it and every time he peeked out I told him to go back and he did. Finally he gave up and went to bed. The next night he only got up three times, and then after that he just went straight to bed. The only downfall was that he did fall off the bed in the middle of the night and would cry. Not because it hurt, but I think because he was scared. Anyhow, it ended up kinda being a pain for me because I was up with Grayson and then in between those times Ryan would wake me up. Goodness. I ended up borrowing Mks pack n' play so that Ryan could just sleep in that...which worked perfectly. We plan to move him to his big boy bed in our new house so hopefully by that time Grayson will be sleeping though the night!
When the weather finally cleared up on Thursday we took the boys out for a morning jog and we also stopped at the park. Ryan had so much fun running around chasing Yiayia at the park. They played hide and seek and he giggled his little heart out. 

On Friday, MK took me to her Spin class that she is obsessed with. Then later we had a big ol gathering at her house and I got to see more of my Houston friends. I finally got to meet Pierson! He is adorable!

Swinging on the Aston's new swing set! It fits everyone!

Little miss Parker holding Grayson

Tiff feeding Jacqueline her first food - prunes! She was loving them!

Pierson and Ryan in their matching PJs that Ashley got them! So cute!

Playing with Shadi!

Reading Don't Wake the Bear before bedtime! Thompson was very worried about waking the bear - it was so cute!

On Saturday morning we headed back to Katy...we made it to Lupes before it got rainy and cold. Since the weather wasn't great we kind of had the place to ourselves - which Ryan LOVED! We got a table right next to the sandbox and Ryan played the entire time we were there.  I really wasn't sure how he would like, or how long he would last in it, it but it was the most independent and adventurous I have ever seen him!

He was so proud of himself and loved that he could do this all on his own! It was so cute to watch. I had no doubt he would get the cart to the top but I was shocked that he loved riding it! And I was even more shocked when he fell in love with the even larger one! (If you know Ryan, you know he doesn't do slides...and this is kind of like one - that's why I was pretty shocked!)

Sand is always messy, but wet sand is even more messy - I had to strip him down in the parking lot. Luckily he didn't mind.  He had such a great time playing and was ready for a nice long nap when we got home. Can't wait to go back when the weather is nicer!

In other news, Grayson had his first "real" food - I started him with butternut squash. At his four month check up his pediatrician gave us the go ahead - so we went ahead :) It is just as messy as I remember!
We made it back to Dallas yesterday - its an all day event. I basically spent the entire morning packing up. Then we left around 1pm...luckily both boys slept for about two hours. We had about 30 minutes of full on screaming from Grayson before we made it to Corcinana where we stopped at Chilis to grab an early dinner and nurse the G man.  After that it was a quick 50 minutes home and we were so happy to see Kevin! We had such a great time in Houston - it was a nice break of our routine and can't think my mom enough for willingly road tripping with us! We might attempt this again come Spring Break but will have to see how it all works out.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dear Grayson (4 months)

This past month has been my favorite so far (I am sure I will say that each month)! You are such a happy little chunker and your smiles are so much fun to wake up to.

You are increasingly more aware and love love love just looking around. We went to the aquarium the other day and you LOVED it! I had you in the bjorn and you checked everything out...your favorite part was walking through the water tunnels and seeing the fish overhead.

You are so easy to get a smile out of. I just ask for one and you give it to me. So easy. You still LOVE standing and sitting up. I can't wait for you to be able to sit on your own and I know that won't happen for another couple of months but I think you will be so happy once that happens. You are so close to rolling over - I think it will be any day now. When we lay you down you rotate on to your side and try so hard to get over - it's that darn arm that you can't seem to figure out how to move to get over it. Tummy time is fun for you and you enjoy seeing the world from that view. Standing up is still your favorite but you tend to bob your head and almost start shaking so I am not a huge fan of it.

I think this might be the age were we have the most baby stuff out. We have your rocker, swing, bouncer, playmats, bumbo, and just got out the exasaucer. Goodness. Along with your brothers stuff I feel like we live in a Babies R Us. Although you seem to love all these items I will be ready to put some of them away soon :)

I swear you would eat real food if you could. Every time we sit down for dinner you are just staring and drooling. You still spit up a after you eat and even hours after you eat. The amount of laundry that I do has increased dramatically since you were born - we basically have to wash everything every single time we wear it because it ends up with spit/throw up somehow. I am not sure when that will stop and how "normal" it is but clearly you are still gaining weight so the doctors aren't really concerned. We did start you on acid reflux medicine this month and it hasn't really helped with the spit up BUT the day you started the medicine is they day sleeping better at night....I don't know if that is related or if it's just a coincidence...but I prefer to keep you on it for now :)

So we have made great strides over this past month in this department. I am quite happy with your progress. In the beginning of the month you were still waking up at 11pm, 2am, 4am, 6am ect...seriously?  The only way I could get you to sleep for a longer period of time was if I gave you a bottle - which meant that I needed to pump at the same time. ugh. So Kevin would give you a bottle at 11pm (while I slept) and then I would give you one when you woke around 3ish (and pump at the same time). It was a bit of a pain. But you would actually sleep until 7am so we were happy.

I don't remember how it all happened but one night I just knew there was no way you were actually hungry at 11pm so I just rubbed your back and popped your paci in AND it worked (I had tried this before a few times and it would only work for 20 min or so). ANyhow, the next night you slept right on through I think it was just habbit. Now I was ready to find out how many of your feedings were just habit.

And then I found out that you prefer to sleep on your belly. And that my friend has been a game changer. Now I can put you down around 7:30-8pm and you will sleep until at least 4am. Then I can just nurse you and you will sleep until 7:30am. You actually still wake up around 11pm & 2am but it takes about 2 seconds to go in and get you back to sleep. Oh how it will be nice when you just go back to sleep on your own but I am not sure when that will happen.

Anyhow, much more sleep is being had and that makes us happy. You still have nothing on your big brother but here's to hoping :)

Since Ryan's activities and school ended mid December we spent a lot more time at home - which I think helped you get more into a routine. As I mentioned you are up around 7:30/8am and you eat. After you eat I pump and usually get another 4-5oz. Around 9am you seem to get a tired again and go down for a 30-45 min nap (in your crib, otherwise Ryan is too loud). When you wake up I feed you again and then we basically have our window of opportunity (11am-12pm) to get out and do something - it's small but I try and take advantage of it.

Back home to feed Ryan for lunch and put him down for a nap and then we have our snuggle/play time. We typically hang out on the ground and play with toys until you are hungry and want to eat again. I feed you and then you are tired and want to nap. Sometimes you take a nice 2 hour nap (which is AWESOME) but it doesn't happen every day, so I don't depend on it.

I feed you again around 3 or 4pm and then one last time at 5:30pm. You lay on the ground and play on your play mat, or hang out in the bouncer or swing while I attempt to make dinner. Around dinner time is when you are ready to be one of us holds you while we eat. Sometimes you take a mini 20 min snooze and sometimes you don't. At 7 we head upstairs for bathtime and at 7:30 I give you a 6-7oz bottle of breast milk. I hold you upright for at least 15-20 min afterwards to help so you down throw it up and then you are swaddled and put in bed. I lay you on your side and sometimes you flop right to your belly, sometimes you hang on your side.

Weight: 14lbs 15 oz (25%)
Height: 25in (49%)
Head: 42cm (50%)
Diapers: size 3 (you can technically still fit in size 2 but I feel like they give you a muffin top and that's never comfortable)
Clothing: 6-9 months
Shoes: n/a

What have we been up to:
- Your first visit with santa
- North Pole Express
- Christmas with the family
- Aquarium visit

Things you like:
- bath time
- The baby bjorn
- Watching your brother Ryan do anything
- Bjorn Free pacis (they don't make them anymore, and I only have two...amazingly we still have both)
- You always try and find the TV... oddly attracted to it (maybe it's not that odd?) I always turn you away from it and then I see your little head drifting to find it again...

Things you don't like:
- Car seat - sometimes you hate being in here and sometimes you don't mind...never know whats going to happen.
- Being held like a baby. You only like being held straight up - I am thinking that probably has something to do with the acid reflux/throw up thing you have going on

Love you bunches! Can't wait to see what next month has in store for us!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

R & G

The boys are about 2 weeks apart in the pictures below...
And they have on the same hat
Someone fills it out a little more than the other :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Building Vandy - HVAC

the HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air condition) issue.

Unplanned event #2

So when building a house you have to be a tad flexible...or you might go a little nuts. It was about a month ago when our builder came to us and said that there was an issue with our HVAC placement. Our house needs two units and he had planned to have them installed in the attic.  Lines are run throughout the house to deliver air, however since our house is so long they felt that the run to the front room (the office/craft room) would be too long and result in poor air flow. SO we had to move one of the units downstairs...and we had to find a place for it. Such a bummer when you plan your entire house and have plans for every square foot of it! (Is this something that could have been caught earlier? yes. Is this a huge deal? no.) Anyhow, we worked with our builder to find the best option. 

Option #1: Under the stairs
Pros: Space was bonus space as we hadn't really planned on having it
Cons: Inspector wouldn't allow it because of fire code
Option #2: In mudroom hallway
Pros: The most inconspicuous place (that worked within fire code)
Cons: Move doorways & rearrange mud room 
Option #3: In the garage on the ceiling
Pros: 1. Doesn't take away from sq footage of house 2. Up and out of the way (somewhat)
Cons: It would hang down 4ft in the middle of our two cars and just look odd
Option #4: In the garage corner, near the entrance to the house
Pros: 1. Again,  doesn't take away from sq footage of house
Cons: Would have to move doorway from garage to house which would make it awkward getting around cars in the garage

Anyhow, we went with option #2 which made the most sense...but still kinda sucked. Here is our floor plan before:
I had planned on using the area highlighted in blue to store our mail and keys - it was perfect because it was right by the garage and also front door AND it was out of the way! I hate having mail laying around and I hate losing my keys in the house! Such a small little space with such a small little purpose but like I said...when create your floor plan from scratch you have a function for every space!

So here is what happened:

Anyhow, we moved the HVAC unit to the area in red above. In doing so we had to move the doorways to the entry to the mudroom and to the mudroom itself to the right. In the original plans the doorways were in the middle so we were able to have built-ins on both sides. Now, since the doorway is all the way to the right we can't really put built-ins on that side. I am sure it won't be an issue and that our builder will ensure our mudroom will function as we need it to. 
I know. Small potatoes. 
And in reality no one would have ever known that this wasn't the original plan.
 I am just documenting our process and this was part of it :) 
You gotta roll with it...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

We weren't really sure if we were going to do anything for NYE since we didn't have a babysitter AND I really didn't have the desire to stay up late since the G man still doesn't sleep through the night yet. Anyhow, the Botterman's were throwing a party again and told us to bring the kiddos and come early - we would have dinner and then could head out in time to get the kiddos to bed. So we did. 
But we actually ended up staying a wee bit later than we planned. 
 Ryan actually stayed up the entire time. I thought he would be tired and pass out - he has never stayed up that late! He did well and wasn't in a horrible mood. After a bit of running around I just set him up in the guest room with Mickey Mouse on the iPad and he was happy. 
We attempted to put Grayson down in Blake's crib but he liked being out in the party - he liked all the noise. After being passed around for a little bit he was out and he just slept on the couch. 
 Hanging with the girls
 Hanging with the boys

We watched the ball drop in New York then headed home.

Happy New Year everyone!
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