Thursday, July 30, 2009

No Fear

I am constantly amazed how the same two people can create two completely different children. During the last few months, I have come to the conclusion that one is not better than the other, just different. I would never want one to be more like the other, for then I would lose some of the things that I have come to love about the one. Below is just one illustration of how Parker and Eden have shown us that they are completely different.

Parker is not a risk taker. He will not try anything new without me being right beside him. I often have to just force him to try things knowing that he will like it once he tries it. He also gets frustrated very easily, usually wanting to stop something the moment it gets difficult.

Eden is the complete opposite. She will work on a task without fussing or giving up until she accomplishes it. It may take her three or four tries, but she has the persistance that allows her to keep going. I never have to force her to try something because she has usually already tried it when I wasn't looking! For an 8 month old, she has no fear! (It will be interesting to see if this characteristic stays the same as she gets older!)

A few days ago while Parker was still napping, Eden became very interested in his car. She tried and tried to climb into the driver's seat. After several minutes of letting her try, I knew that she wasn't quite coordinated to get in on her own so I put her in the driver's seat.

After sitting and learning how to honk the horn on her own, she decided that there were other things she could do in the car, like stand in its seat! Without any help from me, she figured out how to turn around and stand up. Like I said, for an 8 month old, she has no fear! I have a feeling that Eden, even though she is younger, may be the first one in our family with a broken arm!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Playdate with Jackson

I had really good intentions at the beginning of summer to have my good friend Emily and her son Jackson over for multiple playdates. But here it is, the next to last week of summer vacation, and we finally had our first playdate. So much for good intentions!

Emily and I are both reading specialists at our school. We share the same classroom and I have really missed getting to see her on a daily basis. Parker and Jackson are only 5 months apart, so it is nice to have someone who is in the same stage of parenting to go to with all of my questions and worries. I always value her advice and treasure her friendship.

Parker, Eden, and Jackson had a fun time playing together today! They are all still in the stage of parallel play where they do their own thing in the same room. There were only a few times that we had to play referee, usually because Parker was having a hard time sharing. One thing I will never understand... why in a room full of toys do they all want to play with the same thing!?!

One thing that Parker and Jackson have in common is their love of cars and driving! Jackson spent most of his time playing in the car. These two are going to be dangerous when they turn 16!!

Parker and Jackson are both going to be starting Thursday school in the fall. It would be so fun if they ended up in the same class! I can't wait to watch the two of them grow up together. I look forward to many more fun playdates in the future.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jumpin' Apes

I would love to say that we had another day of nice weather, but unfortunately the heat and humidity reared its ugly head again. We still had a fun and busy day despite the fact that we could not go outside. My brother-in-law was on shift today, so Emily and the girls came to spend the day with us. We had already planned on taking the kids to a new (indoor and air conditioned) bounce house place that just opened a week ago. I took Parker last Friday to check it out and it was wonderful! It is called Jumpin' Apes and I would really recommend it to anyone in the area looking for something fun to do.

Jumpin' Apes had at least 10 different jump houses and/or slides for the kids to choose from. The ones with slides ended up being both of their favorites. I would have thought that most of the slides were going to be too big for our kids, but Addison and Parker quickly discovered that with a little help from their moms, they could go down any of the slides.

The best part about the place is that they had an area set aside just for toddlers. The area had 3 smaller jump houses that they could manage without our help. The floor of the toddler area was padded with foam mats so Eden was able to crawl around comfortably. They also had several toys that the she could play with. The area was enclosed so they couldn't escape and there were benches for Emily and I to sit on while we watched them play.

Eden in the toddler area
The kids had a great time playing jumping together today! I was very impressed with everything and we will definitely be going back again soon.

Cory got off work a little early and was able to come join us for a little while.

Aubrey fell asleep to the sound of the jump houses

Fun Day- Part 2

Mondays are very long days for me. It is Cory's late night at work so he doesn't usually get home until the kids bedtime. I usually go over and eat dinner with my parents on Monday nights, just to break up the day and give us something to do (and I won't lie...the extra set of hands to help with the kids is nice too!) This week, however, my parents are on vacation, so yesterday I was with the kids by myself all day.

We spent the morning playing at home and the kids were excellent. They shared their toys and played so well together. It is so fun to see them interact more and more the bigger they get. Eden is so interested in everything that Parker does, and wants to try to do whatever he is doing.

During their nap time, I decided that I was going to have to get out of the house and do something fun. Being cooped up in the house until bedtime was just not an option! Luckily, the weather was so nice yesterday. The temps were in the low 90s with a nice breeze and lots of clouds. I feel like we have been prisoners in our own house with the 100+ degree weather the past few weeks, so this cooler weather was such a blessing, both for me and the kids.

We left soon after their naps for the park. One thing that I love about Cleburne (and there aren't too many things!) is the park. It has a great park with a great playground and a stream with lots of ducks and turtles to feed.

I was a little nervous because I have never taken both kids to the park by myself before. They showed me very quickly that I had nothing to worry about. Eden was PERFECT- she sat in her stroller for over an hour and never made a peep. She propped her feet up and was perfectly content to sit and look around, play with a toy, and eat a few snacks.

Parker was just as good as Eden. He played independently and didn't even complain when it was time to leave. I am also happy to say that his fear of slides is completely gone.

After dinner, we went outside to play and enjoy the nice weather some more. Parker rode his bike and Eden sat on hers.
Doesn't that look on her face just say "I am such a big girl!"

Parker also enjoyed riding on his roller coaster.

The evening ended with several wagon rides up and down the street. On a side note, can I just say that there is nothing like pulling 2 kids up a hill in a wagon to make you realize how out of shape you are! I really need to get back to the gym!

Daddy finally got home just in time to help give baths and read stories at bedtime. I had such a wonderful day with the kids and hated to see it end. I hope the weather will stay nice for the rest of the week so we can get outside some more. This will definitely go down as one of the best days of the summer!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fun Day

You know you've had a fun day when at the end of the day your feet look like this...

And the bath water looks like this when you start...
And this when you finish!!!
I will post later about the details of our fun day. Right now, I'm off to watch a movie with my husband!


I have been so worried about Parker's speech development. At the beginning of the summer, he was still only saying a few words, and most of those were distinguishable only by me. My sister, who is a speech therapist, kept telling me not to worry, that his speech would come along in it's own sweet time.

I have been absolutely amazed at how in just the past few weeks his speech has grown leaps and bounds. He can now mimic almost anything Cory and I say and is picking up several new words every day. Yesterday he came up with rainbow, flower, and throw without any prompting. He also counted from 1 to 10 yesterday. I have no idea where he learned those...I have not worked on that at all!

He still mispronounces many words and if you heard him, you would probably have no idea what he is saying. Cory and I joke that we now speak Parkernese. I am so afraid that I am going to forget some of the funny ways he says things, so I wanted to make sure I wrote them down before he starts saying them correctly! Here are just a few of the things you might hear if you came to our house right now:

ga-key = water (We have no idea where he got this one, but he is very consistent with its use)

bummy or hop-hop = bunny

bubby= buddy

E.E. = Eden

Au-gu = Aubrey

hick = horse

hickies = more than one horse

niggy = piggy

scoo me = excuse me- he says this every time he burps. Proof that it is never too early to start working on manners.

Big guy yellow = McDonalds

Beeg = big... everything right now is BIG something-or-other (big ball, big truck, big shoo (dirty diaper) big kick, big throw... I think you get the idea!)

Oh, mo! = oh, no (He has actually started saying this one correctly, but it was so cute when he used to say it that I didn't want to forget it)

I am sure that this is just the beginning of the funny things that he will come up with over the next several years. I've waited a long time for him to start talking and I can't wait to hear them all!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Aunt MerMer!

Today my little sister, Meredith, celebrates her 28th birthday. She is such a great sister and friend to me and a wonderful aunt to Parker and Eden. She is funny, passionate, and has a knack for getting screaming babies to fall asleep. (We call her "The Baby Whisperer" in our family!) She will be finshed with nursing school in December and will make such a great pediatric nurse when she starts working. I am so thankful that she lives close and enjoy hanging out with her whenever her busy schedule allows. We hope you have a wonderful birthday Aunt MerMer!

Eden and Meredith
Parker loves his Aunt MerMer (especially when she teaches him fun new words like bobo!)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Day Out

Yesterday we went to Fort Worth to get Parker's hair cut. When Parker was younger, haircuts were easy. He didn't love them, but he tolerated them. The last few haircuts have not been as easy. He has cried, quite loudly, during the entire cut. Being the embarrassed creative mom that I am, I came up with a new plan for this month's haircut. I decided to take our DVD player and let The Little Einsteins help me out. We sat Parker in the chair, pushed play, and voila!- he sat there without making a peep during the entire haircut. My hairdresser was able to do a much better job because he was not crying and trying to push her hands away. She was actually able to take her time and give him a much needed trim, especially around his ears. I forgot to take a picture of him during the haircut, but here is a picture of him after. Doesn't he look handsome?!!!

After Parker's haircut, we met Granna, Emily, Addison and Aubrey at Central Market for lunch. We also ran into a good family friend at the hair salon who joined us for lunch. The food at Central Market is all so good and is always so hard to choose just one thing to eat. It is a good thing that I don't live closer, because I would probably be there every day for lunch trying something different!

It wasn't too hot so we sat outside and let the kids play on the playground before and after they ate.

We couldn't leave Central Market without a trip to the bulk candy area! I was good and only got 2 things- chocolate peanut butter maltballs and yogurt covered pretzels- YUM! (I would have gotten more but they were out of the other things that I love!)

We had a fun day getting to hang out with family and friends! I always look forward to getting out of the house for a while and Parker's haircut gave us just the excuse to do that!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ranger Game

Cory and I love going to Ranger games in the summer. One of the biggest differences in us is the way we enjoy the game. Cory actually watches the game. He sees every pitch and can tell you exactly what is happening at any moment during the game. I spend most of my time "people watching" and eating rather than watching what is happening on the field. One day, I am going to be hit in the head by a foul ball. Maybe then I will start paying attention to the game.

Last night, Cory and I had the chance to go to the Ranger game with the other optometrists in his practice. One of the opthamologists that they refer patients to had rented a suite and invited us. I have been in a suite only one time before and was excited to go again. The best part of being in a suite is that you have a choice- you can either go outside and watch the game in the heat or you can stay inside and watch the game on the TVs in the air conditioning.

The other great thing about the suite is the food! Last night the doctors had ordered an assortment of Mexican foods to sample- fajitas, tamales, cheese dip, guacamole. (Can you tell I liked the food!) There were also cookies and brownies and all the drinks you wanted. Definitely much more fancy than the hot dog I got at the last game I went to.

We had a great time visiting with all of the doctors and their wives. It is not often that we all get together at the same time. The weather really wasn't that hot so I actually "watched" most of the game outside. The suite was right behind home plate so we had a great view. And the best part was that the Rangers beat the Red Sox 4-1.

View of the field from our suite

Monday, July 20, 2009

8 Months Old

I can't believe another month has come and gone. Eden continues to be a fun, happy, content baby. She is always on the move and can now pull up on things. Her favorite things to pull up on are the train table and fireplace. I am sure it won't be long before she is cruising too.

Eden is constantly putting things in her mouth. I know that this is not an uncommon thing for an 8 month old, but it still amazes me how quickly she can get something in her mouth before I can get to her. Her favorite things to chew on are the remote control and shoes.

Eden loves to play in her johnny jump-up. I like it too because I can put her in it while I am in the shower or when I am cooking dinner and I don't have to worry about her crawling and getting into things that she shouldn't be in!

Eden continues to try new foods. This month we have added avacados, peas, green beans, peaches, pears, and applesause to our repertoire. She liked all of these new foods but is still not a huge fan of eating baby food. It is a challenge to get her to eat more than a few bites at a time. Her two favorites continue to be sweet potatoes and oatmeal. I can usually get her to eat more by mixing the fruits and vegetables with her oatmeal.

This has been a fun month for us as we have watched Eden learn to crawl and become much more independent. I am anxious to see what surprises she has in store for us next month!

Eden with Addison
Eden and Mommy

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rhone Reunion

Today was the annual Rhone Reunion. It is held every July in Bowie, Texas for members of my dad's family. My grandfather was one of 8 kids and my dad is the oldest of 8 kids, so there are a lot of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. on that side of the family. My "Grammy" is my only living grandparent and she celebrated her 90th birthday this past year. She is not in great health so I always try to take the opportunity to go see her whenever I can. Parker and Eden have been to see Grammy a couple of times, but during the school year, it is hard to find time to visit often. (The 2 hour drive with two small kids doesn't help either!)

After another low key week at home, I decided this morning that I would pack up the kids and head to Bowie to "reunion" with some of my relatives. The 2 hour trip there was easy thanks to our portable DVD player and The Little Einsteins. We had a nice lunch and I enjoyed getting to visit with several of my aunts and cousins. There is a park next to the community center that Parker really enjoyed playing on. Thanks to the cool front that came in a couple of days ago, the temperature was a chilly 95 degrees, which made playing at the park almost bearable!! Ha!Ha!

The trip home went well too. My mom rode back to Cleburne with me and both kids slept most of the way home. In fact, Eden literally fell asleep before we got out of the parking lot.

I am so glad I decided to go today. (I had been going back and forth all week on whether or not to take the kids on such a long drive for such a short amount of time.) It is always nice to catch up on the lives of family members that I don't see very often. I am also glad I got another chance to see Grammy and I think she really enjoyed getting to see Parker and Eden.

Parker, Mommy, Eden, Grandaddy & Grammy

(Sorry about the quality of the pic- it was the best we could get with an uncooperative 2 year old and an equally uncooperative 90 year old!!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hawaiian Falls

My sister's church kicked off their VBS this year by having a church service at a local Mansfield water park called Hawaiian Falls. After the service, the members and their guests had private access to the park rides until it opened to the public at noon. We decided to go and see what Parker thought about it. My mom stayed home with Eden so we did not have to get her out in the heat. (Thanks, Mom!)

Parker was still too small for most of the slides, so we started off our day in the children's area. He really enjoyed the smallest slide and went up and down it several times. I decided to try a bigger slide and see if he liked it too. However, as soon as we got ready to slide, a huge bucket of water dumped on us and scared him. Needless to say, we were done in the children's area. No more slides, even the small one he had enjoyed just a few minutes prior.

Parker and Addison sliding together
We then took a (not so) relaxing ride on the Lazy River. Parker sat in my lap on the inner tube and then wanted in the water with Cory. Then back in my lap and then back in the water, and so forth and so on. We exited the Lazy River halfway through!

Next up was the wave pool. Parker enjoyed this quite a bit because the water was not too deep and he could play and splash on his own without any fear. While he and Addison played, Emily and I took turns watching the kids so that we could go on some of the big slides ourselves. I don't think that in all 17 years that Cory and I have been dating/married we have ever gone to a water park. It was fun getting to enjoy the slides together. They even had tandem inner tubes so we got to go down some of the slides at the same time (which actually makes you go faster).

We tried to get as much of our riding/playing done before lunch because we knew that it would get much more crowded after it opened up to the public. It was so nice because the lines were either very short or nonexistent so we got to go down the slides several times without much of a wait.
Enjoying lunch (especially the Cheetos)!
After lunch, Parker discovered some little fountains on the ground. He spent the next 30 minutes running and jumping in and out of the fountains. It was definitely his favorite thing all day, which is very funny to me because he does not like the sprinklers at home.

We tried the children's area one more time, but Parker was getting tired and wanted no part of it. So we decided to go down a few more slides ourselves before leaving. Cory and Jon enjoyed racing down one of them as did Emily and I. It's funny how being at a water park can make you feel like a kid again. We had such a great time and are already looking forward to going back with them next year.
Cory & Jon racing down the slide

Parker fell asleep before we even got out of the parking lot!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Low Key Week

I know I haven't posted in several days. It's not because we have been so busy that I haven't had time. We have just had a low key week (mostly) hanging out at home and trying to stay out of the horrible hundred degree heat.

We did go over to Mansfield on Wednesday. We were going to go to Toddler Time at the MAC, but when we got there we were told that we could only go if we bought a year membership to the MAC. The membership fee for a family is only $35 per year, which is a GREAT deal if we lived in the area or if I wasn't going back to work in a few weeks. But I did not feel like it would be worth it this late in the summer, so Emily and I decided to take the kids to McDonalds instead. Forget about Parker being the only 2 year old who doesn't know what McDonalds is! He is now a pro at the Golden Arches- he loves his chicken nuggets and has learned to go down the slides all by himself! It only took Emily and I each taking him down the slide before he attempted it on his own. (Please do not laugh as you visualize 2 32-year old mothers crawling through tunnels and shoving themselves down a slide built for a small child!) The things you will do for your children!

The rest of the week was spent hanging around the house. Here are just a few of this weeks highlights:

1) Eden continues to get faster and more efficient at crawling. She has also learned how to sit up from a laying down position and I even caught her pulling up on the couch this afternoon. She can now find all of the electrical cords behind the TV as well as the dog's food and water bowls. Oh, the joys of infant mobility!

2) We have spent a lot of time in the playroom this week, playing with cars, reading books, and putting puzzles together. Below you will first see Parker working on his puzzle and then Eden working on hers. They had 2 very different puzzle working methods, but both seemed to be quite effective (and age appropriate)!!!

3) Eden learned to drive this week! Watch out world, here she comes!!

4) Parker decided this morning that we needed to stockpile the toys just in case of an emergency! He spent a good 15 minutes collecting many small toys and bringing them into the bathroom where Eden sat playing. I'm not sure what kind of natural disaster he is preparing for...maybe another earthquake or two! Whatever is it, we will have our toys ready when the time comes!

5) Addison and Aubrey came over to play today and we finally ventured out into the heat for a little while. We set up the pool and let the two big kids cool off in the water. (Please ignore the fact that Parker is only wearing a swim diaper...we realized as we were getting dressed that all of his swimsuits are over at Granna's house!) As always, they had a great time playing together and we are so glad they live close enough to come over and play.

We hope that you all had a good week and are successfully staying cool in this hot weather. Have a great weekend!