Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Roadtripping

We returned Saturday from a lovely one week family vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama!
 
As we set out on our trip, 602 miles and over 9 hours (that turned into 12) loomed between us and the beach, so we left very early in the morning. As Jackson sleepily said as I carried him to the car "you get me out of bed when the moon is still out, mommy?" 
 
He was too excited to sleep much in the car though, and pretty soon he was helping with the navigating. He had a tough time finding Alabama on that Texas map though...

At 8:30 a.m. and 3 1/2 hours down the road, we made our first stop at the Cracker Barrel in Sulphur, Louisiana. The boys were very excited to meet up with their Grammy and Pop there!

After filling our bellies, we hopped back on I-10 for the next leg of our journey. Jackson was happy to ride with his Grammy and Pop in their car, so we just had little man to keep us company. This was by far the longest trip we have taken thus far with Andrew and he did really well. We are lucky to have two kiddos who are really very good travelers. We stopped at a McDonalds near Mandeville, Louisiana for lunch. Jackson was enticed to eat his chicken nuggets with the promise of an ice cream cone after. He decided he was all done with the ice cream cone though with a few bites left, so little brother was more than happy to assist.

 
My brother was a couple of hours ahead of us on I-10 and he reported that traffic was horrendous as you neared Mobile. So we made one more stop outside of Mobile and then braced ourselves for the last 50 miles that ended up taking nearly 3 hours.
Jackson wanted to pose with the "rocket". =)
 
12 hours after setting out, we finally made it to the beach just before sunset and no one was more excited than this kid!
 

 
 




"Come on mommy! Come splash in the ocean with me!"



 
 
 
6 more days of toes in the sand, soaking up the sun, gulf breezes, and relaxing with family stretched ahead. Ahhhh vacation!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Raisin' em right, maroon and white!

Did I mention that we are on vacation? Well, we are! We come home tomorrow, so prepare yourself for a few posts filled with sun, sand, and lots of great family memories. But until I have time to get us unpacked, laundry washed, settled back in and sort through the 600 photos we have taken on the trip, I thought I would take advantage of nap time (i.e. beach induced coma) to do a quick post from a fun night in June.

We have been wanting to take Jackson to an Aggie Yell Practice. The boy knows all of the words to the War Hymn, Spirit of Aggieland and some of the yells, and we wanted to let him see the Yell Leaders in action. It just so happens that there is a little Yell Practice during every New Student Conference so it was the perfect time to take him. On this night, Nana was in town so it was a great opportunity to give Jackson a special night out with mom and dad. It was also a chance to show Jackson what mommy is doing on those nights when I work late!

And what can I say, the kid is a pro! Naturally.

Hump it, Ags!

 
Emily was our New Student & Family Programs staff member on duty that night and Jackson was excited to see her and show off his "gig 'em!"

While this Yell Practice was not at Midnight as most of them are, 9:30 is still rather late for our little guy. He told us that his little legs were tired so he got a lift to the parking lot.
 
We love our little Aggie!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Bathtub of Brotherly Love

Our boys always take a bath together, but most of the time, Andrew sits securely in his bath ring. What began as a way to keep him sitting up in the tub when he was still a little unsteady is now a mechanism to keep him safely seated when he would otherwise be ALL over the tub. So there is lots of independent fun in the tub. 
 

But on this particular night, Jackson insisted that "I don't want Andrew to sit in his seat, Mommy. Let him out to play with me." So I told Jackson I would let Andrew out, but it was his job to make sure that Andrew stayed seated. He definitely had his work cut out for him but did a good job of hanging on to a slippery, squirmy, strong little baby! And Andrew seemed to enjoy his time with his brother too!

 
 

Jackson even assisted with hair washing. =)

 


Precious brothers!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

He Eats!

I mentioned that at the boys' check-up we spent a lot of time talking to Dr. Sullivan about Jackson's picky eating. I did not mention that she spoke directly to Jackson telling him that he needed to eat what mommy and daddy were eating and why it was important to try new foods. During this "conversation", Jackson, the little stinker, never once made eye contact with her or acknowledged that she was speaking to him. He wasn't exactly a fan of what she was saying! Ha! But apparently he was listening! Or perhaps he is just really tired of the 4 entrees that are on his approved list: grilled cheese, cheese quesadilla, mac and cheese, and cheese pizza. I suspect a little of both.

Since then, Jackson has been blowing us away with his willingness to eat other foods! And without even much fuss!

He ate nearly a whole plate of spaghetti, a food he hasn't touched since he was about 14 months old!




And the next night, he ate homemade chicken strips! (he still refused the peas and mashed potatoes, but hey, just the chicken is progress!)


Another night we went to a BBQ place and I got the smoked turkey and he willingly took a bite and even said he liked it!

You have no idea what a big deal this is in our house! The last time we had any of these dishes, we put them on his plate to try and he threw it off, pitching a huge fit that we would even present him with the opportunity to consider these options.

What a welcome change! Yay! Go Jackson go!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

He Walks!

Andrew has been taking a step here and there for a couple of weeks now. But tonight, he was on a roll and I had time to grab my camera to capture the videographic evidence.

Sorry for the shrieking...I was a little excited for him!



Way to go big guy!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Grandmas and a Birthday Party

Jackson and Andrew got to play hooky from school last week thanks to a visit from Grandma Ann and Nana. The boys wore their grandmas out but I think a great time was had by all!
 
Their days were filled with play dough sculpting (for 3 hours one morning!), cookie making, backyard pool hopping and lots of hugs and snuggles for our boys. As a special bonus for mom and dad, they unloaded the dishwasher, vacuumed the floor and sewed up holes in the boys' pajamas. Thank goodness for Grandmas! We loved having you Nana and Grandma Ann! Please come back soon!
 

 

On Saturday, we made a quick trip to Houston to help celebrate my niece Evelyn's 2nd birthday. How is it possible this little girl is already two and who keeps giving these children permission to grow up so fast?!

She had a fun splash luau party that was only dampened (do you see what I did there?...ha) slightly by a little rain that cut the splash time slightly short. When the rain started, Jackson started screaming at the top of his lungs,"RAIN RAIN, GO AWAY, COME AGAIN ANOTHER DAY". He was genuinely angry at the rain clouds. Ha! Rain or shine, Jackson and Andrew enjoyed celebrating with their cousin. We are so blessed to live close enough to our family to share in these fun milestones and celebrations.

 
Happy birthday Evie!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

9 Month/3 Year Well Checks

We lucked out and were able to schedule Jackson's 3 year and Andrew's 9 month well checks for the same appointment time.

Both boys like watching the fish in the waiting room.

Mr. Andrew got to go first. He showed everyone his big boy standing skills.




The nurse came in to do a blood draw. She pricked his finger and we braced ourselves for the crying but he didn't even flinch! Not a single tear or reaction really. It was the craziest thing.

Here are Andrew's updated stats:

Weight: 21 lbs, 14 oz (83% and 2 lb, 11 oz increase since 6 months)

Height: 29.5 inches (89% and 2.25 inch increase since 6 months)

Head Circumference: 45 centimeters (48% and 1.7 cm increase since 6 months)

He is on track to catch up size-wise to Mr. Jackson by the time he is 2, if not sooner. Watch out Jackson! He's still ahead on all of his milestones and doing just perfect.

Then it was sweet Jackson's turn! He got woken up from his nap early to go to the doctor and he wasn't terribly pleased. He liked sitting in the little chair and patiently waited his turn.

Here are Jackson's updated stats:

Height: 36.25 inches (18th percentile)

Weight: 30 pounds, 8 oz (35th percentile)

Dr. Sullivan thought that we caught him just before a growth spurt, and predicts we will see a big jump in height in the next few months. Jackson is doing great as well, but we talked a lot about his picky eating. Doctor's orders are to stop the short order cooking and just give him what we eat. I know this is what we need to do, but we are not looking forward to the whining and crying that will surely ensue. Wish us luck!

We are so thankful for two healthy boys and uneventful doctor's visits!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Long Weekend Fun

On Friday, we had a very low key day. We did a little shopping that we haven't had time to do and just bummed around. In the evening, we spent some time with Papa John and Granny. Granny's boys were there with their families, and all the kiddos had a good time swimming in Granny's pool. I had forgotten to bring Jackson's swim suit so he just swam in his underwear. As you can see, it didn't bother him in the least bit! 
 


 
 
On Saturday, we enjoyed Lake Day: Part 2. More of the same but no less relaxing and enjoyable. Our little fish got even more comfortable in the water.



 

Andrew stayed awake in the water this time...
 
and saved his nap for the boat....

It was just a short nap though--he didn't want to miss a second of being the cutest little thing on the lake!
 
My cousin Randall and his sweet wife Jenn joined us for the weekend. We enjoyed getting to catch up with them!

After a few hours on the lake, we headed back to the house for naps and an early dinner. It was important that Jackson and Breelie take good naps because we were going to a play, Charlotte's Web, that evening! Sweet Breelie could not settle down for a nap.
 
 
But she absolutely crashed in the car on our way into town for the play. Ha! I just love this. How is that possibly comfortable?!

Jackson was very excited to see the show and spend some time with his Grammy.

Breelie, refreshed from her catnap, was equally excited!

I enjoyed my date night with my big boy!

I didn't know how Jackson would do but he did great for his first show! He keeps saying how he wants to go back to Charlotte's Web. Breelie did really well too and was very into it. When Charlotte died, she started sobbing. It was precious and heartbreaking. Sweet Breelie!

Afterwards, Grammy treated us all to snow cones. Jackson insisted he wanted a strawberry snow cone. I am usually able to convince him that he wants wedding cake flavor (it's clear) but I was not successful this time. So we just stripped him down! =)

It was a very fun night, but Andrew and Pop were very glad to see us when we got home!

We left the next morning to go home, but first, Pop had one more fun treat for the kiddos--poppers! (you know, the noisemaker novelty fireworks). This occupied the kids for a good 20 minutes. Breelie made the mistake of asking what makes them pop, and, thanks to Wikipedia and my nerdy nature, we learned all about silver fulminate. Woohoo!

 
 
 
We had a wonderful long weekend! There were lots of fun activities, but mostly we were just grateful for quality time spent with people we love.