Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bennett: 11 Weeks

This week you started to figure out how your hands and arms work. You can now get those little, chubby fingers to your mouth while waiting for a pacifier to arrive.

You are also growing so fast and may just be bigger than your two 'big' brothers before long!! The outfit in this picture are Deacon's old 12 month clothes!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

30th Birthday

Draw a six year old in that picture and you kind of have my life at the moment.

Okay, well maybe I am exaggerating a little...but between Deacon's therapy, swim lessons, grocery shopping, the never-ending battle of keeping our house clean, doctor appointments, changing schools (did I mention I got a new teaching job closer to home??), Deacon's first fundraiser, and a newborn, there has been little time for blogging, or catching up with friends. And when there are a few precious moments, I usually choose sleep! I can't think of the last time I was home alone.

So if you have noticed that the posts are fewer and farther between, that is why. I know I am preaching to the mommy choir here...

I turned 30 last month.



You would think living the typical suburban housewife role with three kids, a husband, and even a minivan that I would feel my age, but I don't. Maybe like 25 or so, not 30. I used to think 30 was old...I still think 1990 was 10 years ago.

On the upside, my friend of 20 years (how do I have friendships this old!?!), Brandi, also turned 30, so at least I am not alone!

She lives near Kansas City and is pregnant with a little girl. No, I'm not bitter...lol

She came in town last month, so we decided to celebrate our birthday together by having a dinner with friends.

We had a lot of fun, the food was great, and cake turned out cute too.
I was able to catch a sweet photo of the two people who brought me into the world three decades ago.
What's nice about Brandi and I is that we not only attended junior high and high school together, but we were also college roommates, so most of the guests that came are friends with both of us. This is Tracey, our college suitemate.
And her mom and little sister:
Ashley and Brandon:
Mrs. Burkhardt and Mrs. Mille:
The Mille Family:
Spencer was so stinkin' adorable in his sombrero:
Jenny and Jeff:
Lindsey (who I have also know for 20 years) and John:
Jill (she is preggo too!) and Johnny:
Jenny, Melissa (the best guest ever), and me:
Representing our high school class of 2000:
As much as I feel like I neglect my friends, they never fail to amaze me on showing up to hang out. And it never feels like any time has passed as we catch up on all the latest gossip. It is crazy how the topics have evolved from friends and boyfriends, to husbands and kids.

If I am going to be getting old, at least I have some fabulous friends to join me!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bennett: 9 & 10 Weeks

We have been so busy lately that I haven't had time to write your weekly blog, but I did take your pictures.
You are just a happy little fella! You love staring at me while you are awake and are starting to giggle a little too!
Your hair is really growing! Your eyebrows are filling out and lashes are already longer and thicker than mine.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Woodlands "Stay"-cation

A local magazine, Space City Parent, had a contest a few months back for a "stay"-cation at The Woodlands Resort. You had to write an essay describing why your family should win. I basically described the last year in our house, and guess what?? We won! Last weekend we decided to use it.

Along with one-night stay, we also received a welcome cookie, four passes to their fabulous breakfast buffet, and a $50 gift card to a nearby shopping center.
I have checked out the website for their resort in the past because I had heard how great their pool was, and we definitely were not disappointed! There were 2 large pools, the perfect baby pool for Deacon, 2 water slides, and a splash pad.

Even better, during the summer there are tons of free poolside activities!!



Bennett was happy to just lounge by the pool.
After spending the afternoon soaking up the sun, we drove down the street to The Woodlands Mall for dinner and discovered their playground.
After dinner, we came back and roasted smores by the fire.
The boys had fun swinging on the giant beds too!
Bedtime was a little interesting, seeing as all five of us had to share a room. Deacon is used to sleeping by himself, so wasn't very interested in going to bed when he had an audience. By the time he finally crashed, Bennett was ready for a late-night snack. We eventually made it to sleep.

The next morning we enjoyed the breakfast buffet, which included a waffle and omelet station. We then went and packed up our stuff, loaded it in the car and went back to the pool.

Because it was Sunday and overcast we had most of the pool to ourselves. There was a dj with music and karaoke, a face painter, and balloon artist.
The balloon artists were amazing!! They went above and beyond the typical animals you would expect. Carson asked for a fish and this is what they made him:
After we were waterlogged, we got dressed to leave. Before heading home we stopped and spent our giftcard on lunch at Tommy Bahama's Cafe.

It was such a fun way to spend our weekend, we were so grateful for the opportunity to get away for a stress-free vacation and have a short 45 minute drive home!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bennett: 2 Months

Bennett- You are already 2 months old!!

You weigh 13 lbs. (86th percentile), are 2 feet long (90th percentile), and have a head circumference of 16.5 inches (94th percentile).

You wear 3 month clothes and size 2 diapers.
Your firsts this month: smiling, cooing, staying in a hotel, and sitting in your bumbo.

We love that your personality is starting to emerge. You are very easy going and are starting to smile and "talk" more frequently when you are awake.

Night times are still spent in your car seat, which you love. The amount of times that you wake up vary, but typically only once to eat and a few time for us to put your pacifier back in.

While you are awake you enjoy your swing, being held, looking at us and around the room, your pacifier, baths, and holding your head up. Your little neck is getting stronger and stronger. You have been a noisy little guy since being born! You snort, grunt, hum, and coo, but amazingly, your cries are fairly quiet and don't happen unless you are hungry or gassy. Your upset stomach is almost like clockwork, between 7pm and 9pm. Luckily, it is already starting to subside. We are looking forward to your spitting up disappearing. I think most of our family and friends have been a recipient of your little milky "gifts" on their clothing.

Eating may be your favorite thing to do! You drink about 6 ounces at a time, every 3-4 hours. All those bottles are filling you out, making those cute little legs, arms and cheeks nice and chubby!

Having you as the baby of our family is so fun!! My only wish is that time would slow down a little so that we could enjoy each second a little longer.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

ABA Therapy

Deacon has been going to ABA therapy; today was his 7th day! We found a place accepted by our insurance, that is Christian-based, and about 30 minutes from our home. Deacon goes from 9:00 am- 3:00pm Monday-Thursday and 9:00 am- 1:00pm on Friday. The first half of the day is spent in a preschool setting with about five other kids in his class, then is one-on-one after lunch.

This was Deacon after his first day:
Each afternoon we are given two thorough reports about his day, one looks like this (I know it is kind of hard to read):
We also get his artwork, and although it is done hand-over-hand, it is much better than the artwork he brought home from daycare that you could tell the teacher completed all by herself.

To say these first few days have been amazing would be an understatement. They are miracle workers and worth every penny we are paying!

The most obvious change we have noticed is at mealtime. Example: The week before Deacon started therapy we ate dinner at a Mexican Restaurant. He takes a chips, eats one little nibble, then crushes the rest while throwing the crumbs below, along with his drink, silverware, etc. By the end of the meal we have learned to have clean up time under Deacon's high chair. Two and a half days into therapy we went out to eat again and were blown away by the drastic changes in his eating habits! He would take a bite of his food and hold it to his chest until he was ready for another bite, careful not to drop anything. When he was done eating or didn't like something he has tried he placed it nicely back on the plate or table! As we were leaving we looked under his highchair to find a half of a chip. That's it! Our carpet and car already look so much better without "Deacon droppings" all over!

The therapist has also been working on getting him to stay seated in a chair during class and lunch. He is now able to stay in his seat for meals and snacks at school! This is huge, because he is already tall for his age he will quickly look ridiculous squeezing in a highchair.

Another huge accomplishment is with mouthing objects. I don't know if I have mentioned his obsession with putting his mouth on everything... I could post a whole blog with pictures of him and his mouth where it shouldn't be. I think he started because of his vision problems; the mouth is more sensitive than hands, so allowed him to identify things easier. It has now turned into a "stem" where he is obsessive about it. His therapists are working hard on breaking the habit and although he hasn't completely stopped, it has decreased considerably.

Speaking of stems, he just started walking on his toes. His therapists said that once it becomes a habit it is very hard to break and suggested for us to buy him heavier tennis shoes instead of his sandals, so that it would be more difficult to walk that way. I told her that shoes have been an issue in the past, because of his vision he only likes wearing light shoes, but that we would give it a try. Deacon is now a sneaker-wearing kiddo and the toe-walking has stopped!

They are working on so many other goals with him as well, here are a few:
-language: receptive and expressive
-playing with a variety of toys appropriately
-interacting with peers
-increased eye contact

We can't wait to see what new "trick" he will come home with next!

*Thank you to everyone who has donated to help pay for his therapy, we will be forever indebted to you! I promise to post updates as often as possible so that you can see that your money went to great use.