Sunday, January 31, 2010

Half Birthday

Charlotte is 6 months old today.  I know this is so predictable, but I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown by since that sweet angel entered our family.  It really is the joy and honor of my life to raise her and her big brother.  The last thing I say to Hunter every night when I put him to bed is "I'm so glad you are a part of our family, and I'm so glad that God let me be your mommy."  I am overwhelmed with gratitude to our holy, sovereign Lord for letting me be Charlotte and Hunter's mommy.  I can't think of anything else I'd rather be known as than James's wife and H and C's mother. 

For those two dedicated readers who are still reading after that sappiness, here's some more in the form of some of the things I love about Charlotte at 6 months...

--She still loves to eat and already watches every move we make with great intensity when we are eating.  And if you let her get too close, she will quickly grab whatever food or drink you have in your hands.  For that reason, I didn't bake the half-cake that so many moms make for the half birthday.  I wanted to spare her of the sadness of not getting to eat any, so we put on party hats, sang Happy (half) Birthday to You, and fed her Gerber bananas.  I got the cutest pictures of her in her party hat and Hunter singing next to her in his party hat - and they were even smiling, so it's like photography gold - but when I uploaded them onto my computer, these appeared in my January pictures file in place of them...
What?!  No clue what that's about.  I did not take those pictures, and my camera hasn't been in a Wolf store since it was repaired months ago.  I'm trying really hard not to FREAK OUT about losing the sweetest half birthday pictures anyone has EVER seen.

--Her beautiful blue eyes.  We constantly get compliments on Char's eyes, and although I almost can't believe I'm admitting this publicly, I really think she is so beautiful.  I know everyone thinks their kid is beautiful, but I always tell James that I think Charlotte is universally beautiful.  Now that I've made all of you hate me and vow to never read this blog place-to-shamelessly-brag-on-my-kids-and-rant-about-how-perfect-they-are again, I'll move on.

--Her hugs.  I'm so blessed to have 2 super cuddly kiddos.  Char grabs on so tight and sweetly squeezes your neck whenever you pick her up.

--The way she starts this precious cry/whimper/grunt combo the minute she sees me or hears me when I get home from work every day.

--And even more than that, the way she smiles with glee the minute I pick her up after I see her crying/whimpering/grunting when I get home every day.

--Her sweet nature.  She's so happy and smiley (most of the time).

--That she lets me put big bows and party hats on her head without one ounce of fussiness or refusal:)

I love you Charlotte!  And since the pictures from our humble little family half birthday celebration are lost in some alternate universe, I'll just post these pictures of you in the big birthday chair at Cousin Zack's birthday party this weekend...
Even though you're not smiley in those, you are still so dang cute!

Friday, January 29, 2010


I continue to be amazed every day at the things that come out of H's mouth....

*A couple of nights ago I was putting Hunter to bed and he said the prayer all by himself for the first time. (We just made up a prayer that we say every night that goes like this...Dear God, Thank you for this day.  Thank you for mommy and daddy and baby Charlotte (and whomever - or whatever - else he chooses to insert here), but most of all thank you for sending Jesus to us.  We love you.  Amen.)  My heart was already overflowing with love or joy or pride or whatever that feeling is that only your kids can give you.  Little did I know my heart would be bursting after what came next...I tucked him in after we were done praying, and he said, "I wanna hug you." So I hugged him and he said, "I wanna hug Jee-us!"  Love it.

*The next day when I got home from work, Hunter immediately told me he wanted to go somewhere.  When I asked where, he said, "I wanna go to Jee-us' house!" 

*Then I was telling my sister that story tonight over dinner and she said, "I want to go to Jesus' house too!"  And H replied, "That sounds like fun!"

*This one doesn't really go with the theme, but it's still precious.  I bought some stamps for Hunter's treasure box, which I've since learned was probably not the best idea I've had in my life...we've had several days of full body stamping.  One day I walked into the living room while Hunter was playing with his stop sign stamp, and he said, "Mommy!  Look at all the octagons I made!" 

How cute is he?!  Parenting him just gets better and better:)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

One Down, One To Go

Hunter will be 3 in March, and  he still uses the two things that are "supposed to" be gone by the time your kid turns 3...diapers and pacis.  My plan had always been to potty train first and then get rid of the pacis.  Hunter just loves his pacis so, so much that I was dreading the day I had to rip him of that joy. 

But we are going nowhere fast with the potty training.  He'll sit on it...He'll stare down into it to make sure nothing's coming out...He loves to flush it...Two or three times he's let some drops of pee enter into it.  That's as far as it goes, though. 

So last week James and I decided the kid is probably still going to be in diapers on his 3rd birthday. (Even though I keep telling him they don't make diapers for 3 year olds to which he responds, "I use potty in March."  Right.  Because he has such a good understanding of what March is.) So our only choice is to take away the beloved pacis.

Today we took him to the store to exchange the pacis for a toy (thanks Julie!  got that idea from you!).  Here's how it went...

Once we pulled into the Target parking lot, we let him have all four of his pacis.  Of course he had to smell them for a while.  (I know it's strange, but he does this every night to put himself to on one and smells the other.  Sometimes he'll even balance the one he's smelling on his nose instead of holding it up with his hand.  I love his quirkiness).

When we got to the toy section, we went up and down all of the aisles and he pointed out different toys that caught his eye.  First he saw a handy manny computer.  Then a firetruck...

Then a gumball machine...

And several other toys that I didn't photograph and of course now can't remember.  Ultimately, he decided he wanted the handy manny laptop computer.  So we went back to it and took him out of the shopping cart so he could leave his pacis on the shelf and pick up his new toy.  He was really excited, but had no idea at this point that the pacis were gone forever...
We started to walk away, and he exclaimed, "My pacis!!!" as he ran over to grab them and quickly put one in his mouth...
(Of course he chose the only one that was touching the nasty Target shelf to put into his mouth.)

We explained that the pacis were staying there and we were taking the laptop home instead because he was such a big boy! and big boys don't need pacis! and we were so, so proud of him!!!  Surprisingly that seemed to satisfy him and he waved bye bye to his favorite night-time friends...

I was surprsingly emotional throughout this entire process...literally choking back tears y'all.  I was not prepared in any way for this reaction, but just kept thinking how proud I was of him and how hard this must be for him and most of all how I cannot even believe that my sweet little boy is old enough to get rid of his pacis.  How did this happen?  When did he get so old?

When we got home, James and I put away the groceries, and when we were done, this is how I found H...
Where better to use your new computer than at the computer desk?

Bedtime went pretty well tonight.  He pulled out some new stall tactics that he's never used before, but we got through them quickly.  I lost count after the 8th time of asking for his pacis.  He never broke down, though, and I really did feel so proud of him when I closed his bedroom door.  I love that kid so much.  He makes my heart happy.  Proud and happy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


So Hunter loves the Imagination Movers.  They are his fave.  He can't get enough of them.  Well actually we did go through a phase where every.single.time the tv was on for H, it was the Movers, so he took a short sabbatical after that.  But now they're back in full force at our house. 

Aunt Mel and Uncle Bob bought Hunter the Movers cd for Christmas and we have so much fun listening and dancing to it.  (You know that it's true love when you can dance in a completely ridiculous, non-graceful, unattractive way in front of your man and he still loves you.  Now we can say with 100% certainty that James has seen me at my worst.)

Hunter's favorite song is "Brainstorming".  Here we are jamming out as a family the other night...

Even Char joined in...

We're hoping that she doesn't receive my unfortunate dancing skills.  I won't hold my breath.

Have a great day friends!  And remember, "There's no bad ideas when your brainstormin'"!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

...except it's not Wednesday...and I guess now this post isn't really wordless.  I just love these pictures of my kids...

Maybe I should've titled it Thoughtless Thursday.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Five Months

Actually if I'm being completely accurate, it's five and a third months, but who's counting?  Oh right.  I am.

I am in total disbelief that out sweet baby girl is already five months old.  Time flew by with Hunter, but it's going even faster with Charlotte.  She's so sweet and smiley and brings so much joy to all of us. 

Here are a few of my favorite things about Charlotte right now...

*Her melt-your-heart smile.  Every time we go in to pick her up out of her crib, she smiles the biggest, sweetest smile you've ever seen. 

*How she laughs with her brother.  She's really been paying a lot of attention to Hunter lately.  He will smile at her or talk to her and she starts laughing so hard, which of course makes him start laughing.  It's been one of the best feelings I've had as a parent so far.

*That she's sitting.  Yay!  Char started sitting in really short spurts a couple of weeks ago, but last week she sat for several minutes for us.  We were all so excited for her...

*All of the vocal play.  Of course I love's a professional obligation.  Her newest sound is this shrieky scream.  And yes, it is literally a scream.  I don't think love would actually be the best word to describe my feeling for it (especially after, oh I don't know, one minute), but I wanted to document it so I wouldn't forget.

*How cute she is in her high chair.  We started rice cereal this weekend, and she is such a little peanut in that big ole high chair...

I love you so much Charlotte, and I'm so thankful that God has let me be your mommy!  You are such a perfect part of our family!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

It could've been worse.

Last Sunday morning James had to open the church, so I was home alone getting the kids ready.  I was in the back feeding Charlotte and noticed that I hadn't seen or heard Hunter in a while. 

Obviously this is not a good thing. 

Toys and tv only keep him occupied for so long, and when he's playing with them I always at least hear cute Hunterisms or sound effects. 

It turns out his mouth was too full of gum for his little tongue to move around and articulate any sounds for me to hear...

Yes, those are gum wrappers all over the floor. 

And don't kid yourself.  He's not embarrassed here.  Just laughing at how cute he thinks he is for getting away with stuffing his mouth with an entire package of gum.

I tried to get a picture of the huge gum wad in his mouth for James, but never got a good shot of it.  Hunter was surprisingly cooperative for this...

Probably because he realized he had just struck gold when my response was grabbing the camera instead of freaking out on him.  You know, since it's a choking hazard and all. 

Luckily, he didn't choke.  But he also didn't get his fill.  Today, James put an altoid in his mouth in the car, and H immediately asked for some gum.  When I told him we didn't have any, he replied, "I smell it."  Awesome.  The kid already has an addiction. 

We're starting detox tomorrow.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Hunter Richard Brooks

Grandpa got me this cool digital camera for Christmas, so I've been busy refining my new hobby. 

My favorite thing to take pictures of so far is my face, but I've also done some artsy shots of different things in our house.  Here's my portfolio...

Somebody's Watching You

Name That Toddler

Failed Smile

Pop Art

A Dentist's View (mommy said I could also title this, A Speech Patholgist's View)

The Natural Look (Mommy looooves this picture of herself.  I'm surprised she let me post it.)


A Room with a Chair

Fish on the Floor

This is my best piece of art yet.  Isn't it so modern?  It's so brilliant, I didn't even title it.  It speaks for itself, don't you think?

Sometimes I let mommy or daddy take pictures with my camera (and by sometimes, I mean rarely)...

It's not long, though, before I start to reach for it again.  It is my camera, you know.

Mommy loves when I use my new camera.  She says her favorite thing is that I don't have to use her's anymore, and a close second favorite is when I'm about to take the picture and say, "Say smile!"  She tells daddy that warms her heart.

Off to go work on my new, mad photography skills.  Let me know if you want some lessons!

Friday, January 1, 2010


Just so I won't forget, here are my favorites from 2009...

(Yes, Boo Mama readers.  I totally stole this idea from her.  I have no shame.)

January - I was living a life of fatigue and nausea from my sweet, little fetus, Charlotte, so I really appreciated moments that could make me laugh and distract from the day-long wish to just throw up and get it over with already.  The day I found Hunter in pink, girl pants when I picked him up at school was for sure one of my favorite laugh out loud moments of the month year...

February - James and I traveled to Austin for my grad school friend, Liz's wedding.  Even if my toes did almost freeze off, it was worth it to see so many of those fun grad school girls!

March - Hunter turned 2! We had so much fun eating waffles and cupcakes for breakfast and sliding down huge slides at his Bounce Town party...

April - We went to a record number of Easter egg hunts.  We still have the empty eggs and Elmo basket in the coat closet.  Hunter will sometimes ask to play with them, and wishfully opens each egg hoping to find some candy...

May - Hunter had his first ever public performance.  He didn't quite have the singing down, but definitely won the prize for loudest crying kid of the group.  I thought he was cute even if he did cry and scream "mommy" through the entire performance;)

June - Hunter met Barber James for the first time.  I can't believe Hunter's only known Barber James for 6 months.  He's one of Hunter's favorite people, so his name comes up often in our house!

July - Charlotte Jane was born!  What a perfect day July 31st was!  I couldn't have asked for a better labor and delivery.  This was definitely my favorite day of 2009...

August - We adjusted to life as a family of four.

Some days were rough...

But these moments made all the tears worth it...

September - Charlotte met lots of friends, and Hunter worked hard at figuring out this whole big brother job.  And what a great big brother he's become...

October - October was family fun month!  We did lots of fun stuff with both sets of cousins this month.  Hunter's favorites were the Arboretum, the Fair, and Trick or Treating...

November - James turned the big 3-5, and although he wasn't very surprised at his surpise party, we had a great time anyway.

December - This was one of my favorite months.  We did so many fun things as a family, but when I was going through the pictures, I found this one and immediately knew it was the one to post...

Because that is what makes my heart the most happy.  Those three people give me so much joy and fullfillment.  This year I am most thankful for the indescribable gift God has given me in them.

Happy New Year everyone!  I'd love to see a re-cap of your 2009, so go ahead and copy me...uh, I mean Boo Mama, I'm sure she won't mind!