29 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had such a nice weekend! We went next door for brunch on Thanksgiving Day, and then Jake, Gabriel and I had a little turkey dinner at home. It was so nice and peaceful, and the weather was gorgeous. Yesterday we had a trip to the library, we went out to lunch, then we did a bit of shopping and then bought our Christmas tree at a farm nearby. The trees are lovely here, and Jake did a great job sawing it down. Gabriel had a great time despite the cold weather, although he was a bit more impressed with the cows mooing and the tractors driving by than with the tree-retrieving process. Every time the cows would moo, he'd yell a big "MOOOOO" right back at them! It was super-cute! Once we brought the tree home, it was very exciting. Gabriel wanted to help with every step, and he even started decorating early... by throwing all his toys in the tree! After we told him that throwing things at the tree is not allowed, he just let all his animals (mainly his talking chicken) nibble on the branches. He now has a little tree in his room with A&M lights on it, and he loves it. He had to give it hugs and kisses before he would go to bed!

Today we worked on Christmasing up our house. We hung lights and wreaths, decorated our tree, and played at the playground. It's been so cold that we haven't been to the playground in weeks. Gabriel loooooved getting to go swing and slide, and he especially loved that Daddy got to come with us. He is getting so good at "stop and go" on the way to the park, and he knows that we have to stop and look for cars before we can go across the street. And we don't dare vary from our normal route or he will have a fit! He definitely knows the way to the park.

Another funny note is that Gabriel loves counting in English and Spanish. He has his favorite numbers, though. If he's playing by himself, he'll say "2, 3, 9, 11, DIEZ!!!" or "uno, taco (for quatro), cinco, seis, siete, ocho, DIEZ!!!"

We also started watching a little bit of Sesame Street after naptime the last week and a half. We have our afternoon snack and drink and talk about what's on the t.v. He loooooves it, and he especially likes Elmo. He even makes an "Elmo face," where he opens his mouth in a big smile with his lips tucked in. It's hilarous! When Elmo comes on t.v., he desperately wants to give him a hug and kiss. It's the cutest. He also makes happy and sad faces, and he loves my old high school drama t-shirt with the sad/happy drama masks on it. His sad face is really just no smile and a tilted head, but it's funny anyway.

Today we were reading our fire-safety magazine and we were talking about "stop, drop, and roll." I asked him if he could do it, and he said yes. So, I said stop and he stopped with bent knees. I said drop, and he dropped to all fours. Then I said roll, and he rolled from his tummy to his back and put his hands on his forehead. I couldn't figure out what he was doing until I looked at the picture -- the boy in the picture is on his back with his arms over his head! I guess Gabriel really does pay attention when we read our stories!!!

We read a library book called Christmas in the Big Woods, and in the story Ma makes pancake men for all the kids. Gabriel is always impressed with this, so tonight I made him a pancake man and a pancake heart for dinner. He was sooooo excited, and Jake held him up so he could watch me make it. It's so much fun to learn with Gabriel, and then to make stories come to life for him. He learns so much every day! I almost feel like I can't keep up with all his new developments. I still can't believe that he's going potty like a big boy already (no, he's not potty trained, but he's getting there) and he loooooooves wearing pull-ups. He really wants to eat at the table or counter like Mama and Daddy, so we let him go high-chairless whenever we can. He does so well! And today he climbed the stairs by himself for the first time. He's been able to do it for a long time, but we never let him go solo until today. Yay, Gabriel!

It's late, so I won't add photos today. I will add them tomorrow, so check in again to see some nice Fall pictures!

17 November 2008

Remember, Remember, to Blog in November...

Once again I've let a month go by without a post. Ugh. What's gonna happen when I have two little munchkins to take care of?! And I have a ton of good pictures to show off! Of course, I have to start off with pictures of our little dragon-baby. He had a great Halloween! We had a day-before-Halloween-party with our Stroller Strides friends, and he loved his costume and playing with the other costumed kiddoes. We then had a spider cake at class on Friday morning, followed by a day out and about with our friends Becca & Jonny (from London, moving to Melbourne, Australia), and some fun trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. He did so great! We only went to a handful of houses, but by the end he knew the drill: ring doorbell, say trick-or-treat and Happy Halloween, get candy, say thank you! He did not want the night to end! And he loves his dragon costume. He would occasionally want to take off the dragon-face-hood to give it a hug and a kiss! And his roar-roar is the cutest ever!

We don't have a lot going on. We are house-hunting (although we have now decided to wait a bit longer), preparing for the new baby girl due in March, and enjoying the cool weather up here. The leaves changed colors beautifully up here, so we made sure to go hiking while Becca & Jonny were here. That is something that most of Texas really misses out on. Gabriel loved the leaves, and we even had a few leaf fights with all the kids at class! It was awesome! We are still searching for a church home, so we go somewhere different every week. Nothing has fit right (not even near), so we may start trying churches closer into the DC area. Other than that, we are just keeping our heads above water.

As for Gabriel news, he had a biggie today! Now that the weather is cold, we have Stroller Strides indoors at the mall. Santa arrived a couple weeks ago, so after each class we go look at the model trains and wave at Santa. At first, G wouldn't even wave. Then he'd give a little wave while clutching to Mama. Lately he's been giving humongous waves with a big, excited smile and blowing kisses. Today he wanted to go see him! He gave Santa a hi-five, took a little candy cane, and even talked to him! I asked G what he wanted Santa to bring him, and he said "trains." Okay, we had practiced that once or twice ;). Then Santa asked if he wanted just regular trains, or Thomas trains. Gabriel's eyes lit up, he looked at me, then he looked at Santa and said "Thomas trains, please!" I am so proud of him! Maybe in a week or two he'll even sit on his lap for a picture. We'll see...

What else? He loves to move the barstools away from the counter and push a dining room chair over so that he can stand on it and be with the grown-ups or reach for things we've hidden from him. We had a long visit with Jonny & Becca (almost 2 weeks), and now Gabriel has picked up a few things: he often says "cheerio" or "cheerios" when someone leaves, he says "tract-ah" instead of "tractor" about half the time, and he still thinks Jonny & Becca are somewhere upstairs. Actually, he knows they're in Australia now, but he believes that is somewhere upstairs. He is super excited about Christmas already, although I don't know that he knows what it is. He loves reindeer, Santa, snowmen, Christmas trees and lights, and all the music and decorations to go with it. He loves Nativity scenes and Baby Jesus, but his favorite parts are the animals and the angels. I have to sing Jingle Bells and Up on the Housetop every day, and we read "The Night Before Christmas" about twice a day! And if he's fussy, we just pop in some Christmas CD's and he will start dancing and trying to snap his fingers. He is definitely my son!

We don't have much new baby news, other than that she is a tough little girl. Gabriel moved constantly in the womb, but it was mostly gentle. This girl likes to kick and poke with all her might! It actually hurts quite often, and once she starts to push out a foot or an elbow, she just won't release. Ouch! But everything else is great. She's right on target for size, as am I. And despite my complaints, I love to feel her wiggle. I think it just makes her feel more real to us. Gabriel likes to put his little hands on my belly to feel her move, and he still loves to give her hugs and kisses. And no, we don't have a name yet, but we are desperately trying to figure it out. It's so hard! She'll be stuck with whatever name we choose forever, and we want to give her a name that is special, meaningful, and something she'll love. We'll let everyone know what we decide, and we promise not to make you wait so long this time around.

Well, tomorrow is a long day of house-hunting, and it's supposed to snow tonight, so I'd better sleep while G is sleeping.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope to post again before Christmas comes and goes!!!

Here are a few random pictures in no particular order. I might come back and comment on them later, but it's late and I am sleeeeeepy!

06 October 2008

Happy October!!!

It's been such a long time since I last posted, so I'm sorry for the delay. To be fair, we have been quite busy lately. We had a trip to Texas in September, and we've all been suffering from colds since then, so blogging has not been much of a priority! Anyway, we are all feeling better now so I hope to be a bit better about posting.

Everybody asks, so I'll just tell you: no we don't know if it's a boy or a girl yet!!! We'll find out on Monday (if he/she cooperates), and I'll be sure to let everybody know asap! I am feeling a lot of wiggling and a few kicks, so I am guessing that the baby is healthy and happy. It's not as busy as Gabriel was, but it's still early. Gabriel really loves the baby and often wants to lift my shirt and give the baby a hug and a kiss. Or sometimes he wants to push on my bellybutton like button and say "beep," but usually he's being sweet. Lately he's started saying, "Baby. Out. Baby. Out. Now!" I think he knows that there really is a baby in there, but I still think he'll be a little surprised when a baby actually does show up in our home! He loves other babies and likes to help out. Stroller Strides has been great for that. He sees lots of pregnant mommies and new babies, and he is fascinated with all the babies! He likes to give them bottles and toys, and he loves to fetch a diaper or burpcloth for them. He could sit and pet them for hours!!! And he's never been jealous when I've been babysitting or caring for someone else's little one. All this gives me hope that our new baby will be accepted without too much jealousy or animosity. We'll do our best to make it a smooth transition! I really like my cousin's idea of the baby bringing presents... okay, so maybe I just like presents! I also hope to encourage G to take ownership in the situation... after all, it'll be his little brother or sister. Any other suggestions?

We've had a few fun trips since my last post. The weekend after I ran the Annapolis 10-miler, we took a little family trip to Annapolis and wandered the town. We had a great time checking out the shops and the boats, and we finished off the day with a little tour around the Naval Academy. It was really fun, and Gabriel loved the cannons and the guys in uniform. We sat and watched boats for ages! We decided to wait for visitors to come with us and take a ride on one of them. I can't wait!

Our trip to Texas was really great. It didn't go exactly to plan, but we got to see everyone we intended on seeing and Jake got to go to the Aggie game. Nathan and Lauren hosted us in their new, lovely house, and their dog Remmy babysat Gabriel for us most of the time. Thanks, cousins!!! We had such a nice time with them, and I am soooo jealous of their house. It's the perfect size with a more than perfect sized yard, in the perfect town. And Lauren has it decorated so nicely that it almost feels like a show-home, but a little cozier! Anyway, Jake had a Track & Field reunion, I had a Squadron 16 reunion, and we had a Boone family reunion to attend, so we were busy! We also made a little bit of time with each of my parents, as well as a visit with Cookie and Dewayne (who are actually like family anyway). My mom and Jim bought Gabriel a stuffed Reveille dog, and now he won't part with it. He feeds it, sleeps with it, and I have to kiss him goodnight and good morning every day. It's so cute! We met up with the Sarles' at this awesome restaurant in Houston called the Rainbow Lodge for brunch. It's lovely, and I really want to go back!!! We had our own little room, so it was fairly easy to visit (although we were a pretty large group). Aunt Beth gave G a personalized sippy cup (that I love), and now he has to have his juice in it every day. It's great! And my dad brought him an old toy tractor. Although it was a bit heavy in my suitcase, Gabriel loves it and plays with it all the time. The steering wheel actually turns the front wheels, and G loves to "drivps," which is his interpretation of "drive."

Unfortunately, I got food poisoning while in College Station, and then we all three got colds, so we came home in need of a bit of rest! We are pretty much healed up now, and we've even started back running again. It's a lot slower now since my bump is getting bigger, but we're still healthy and happy little joggers. Gabriel loves it and will often point to the stroller and say "stroller - run" or "ride, ride!"

Here are a few recent pics. As soon as I finish the roll in my camera, we'll have some cute pictures of Gabriel in Texas to add as well. Enjoy!

Gabriel loves to "ride, horse"

After the 10-miler with a few Stroller Strides ladies

In Annapolis

On the Naval Academy campus checking out the Boone Walk!!!

My two block-heads

Our new rocking chair!

24 August 2008

Run, Mama, Run!!!

So much good news to share!!! First of all, today I ran the Annapolis 10-miler!!! I had to be careful because Annapolis is quite hilly, and it was rather warm and humid today. I made sure to keep my heart rate and body temperature down, which meant that I had to walk a bit on some of the steeper or longer hills. I was really happy that I finished with lots of time to spare, and I had a lovely day with a few of the Stroller Strides girls. We ate cookies to our hearts' content, did a little sports clothes shopping, and we even got sports massages. How great is that? And our awesome hubbies took care of our babies while we were playing! We've been training for 10 weeks, so it was rather bittersweet to be finished with the race. Although it was very satisfying, I am still sad it is all over.

The reason I had to be careful on the run is that Gabriel is going to be a big brother! We are due for a second little one around the beginning of March, so my 10-mile training schedule had to be a bit altered :). We are so excited to be awaiting a sibling for G, and we are really happy to have a little baby again. Keep us in your prayers!

As for Gabriel news, he is just talking, talking, talking! Whether it's babbles or words or mimicking us, he just doesn't stop. And it's adorable! He learns so much every day, and he's starting to use words together (for example: "Mama, read, back" means "Mama, read me this book. Here, take the book back so you can read it to me"). He's getting more independent, especially around other kids. I looooove seeing him make friends and play with the kids at Stroller Strides, and he loves to just be free to run around and be silly.

Here are a bunch of pictures from our little hiking excursion along the Appalachian Trail to the Annapolis Rocks (not in Annapolis). We have some way cute videos I'd love to share, but Jake is a bit slow moving them over (hint, hint). We'll get 'em up as soon as possible.

Gabriel is looking for cats and dogs

Still looking

We made it up to the Annapolis Rocks for a picnic

Gabriel and his walking stick!

Gabriel playing hide and seek with his walking stick

Notice Gabriel's pet rock

He carried the rock for a quarter mile!