Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hey Mom, watch this!

Having a toddler really does have a lot of commonalities with having a puppy. They're both cute and mostly irresistible. They both try to eat weird things. They both tear up your stuff. And they both learn lots of tricks. Henry seems to be throwing new tricks at us left and right these days.

Mouth tricks are always a crowd pleaser.

He can put Bob the Builder to shame with his hammering skills.

He loves to help with laundry. He pulls towels out of the dryer one by one and hands them to me to fold, saying "Here doh" (here you go) with each one that he gives me.

And I know y'all will be jealous, but he even carries out the recycling (or drags it down the hall, whatever).

He's become quite the proficient little self feeder- especially if you tempt him with a little ketchup for dipping. He really is his Mama's boy.

He's happy to help feed the dogs too (but he's under close surveillance since he's generally under suspicion for intent to ingest dog food).

The trick that makes his Mama the proudest is how well he does with his flash cards. When he sees me get the box out he grins and just bounces with excitement. He sits next to me in the floor and one by one I pull out the cards, tell him the name, and arrange them on the floor. If I ask him "Henry, where's the bear?" he picks it up and gives it to me. There are about 8 that he can identify. I love it.

January weather in Tennessee typically keeps us inside trying to keep ourselves entertained.

This January has not been typical, however. And fingers crossed that it stays that way. We've had temperatures averaging in the 50's most days. Warm enough to even get out for a few photos of my dapper little guy.

January has served us some delicious sunrises and sunsets as well.

A few phone photos to finish up this entry. Thanks for stopping by!

*rearranging Daddy's shoes (every time we turn around)
*The Gruffalo- current favorite bed time story
*Lining up his cups
*Silly bucket head
*Current favorite also- bath time with buddy Jack

Batman Revealed.

One of the few people in the world that Henry idolizes is his older cousin, Cohen. And even though it started a little sooner than I expected, I knew it would happen. Henry is already the little cousin who follows big cousin everywhere. I think it's adorable. I'm not sure if Cohen would agree.

A few days ago Henry got to go to Cousin Cohen's 3rd birthday party. Cohen is definitely old enough these days to let you know what he likes, so per his request his Mama threw him an awesome Batman birthday party.

Everyone was asked to wear their favorite super hero attire. I thought my niece's shirt was the winner, hands down.

The adults sat back and were entertained by all the little kids playing a game where they had to blow a ping pong ball across the room using a drinking straw.

After those little kids got finished, the other (bigger) little kids had their turn. The funny thing is, no one in our family even blinks an eye at seeing these two revert right back to middle school age. We love it. I laughed so hard my sides literally hurt.

Henry, still being a bit too small for the group games, enjoyed a little play time with his Gaga instead. And every time we turned around Cohen was holding onto his favorite birthday present- his Robot. He even slept with it that night.

I'm pretty sure everyone at the party would agree on what the best moment was. About midway through the party my brother quietly disappeared. The kids were so distracted with playing that they didn't even notice he was gone. But someone who walked in a few minutes later quickly got their undivided attention. Their jaws dropped in complete shock. And then they started screaming for their lives. What's up with that? I thought Batman was the good guy!

Eventually the kids chilled out enough to be really in awe of the fact that the Batman was standing in their midst. Cohen even decided to plant one right on Batman's face. Cohen's Mama was caught cozying up to Batman as well.

My brother says that the day after the party, he looked and Cohen while they were getting ready for church and said "Co, can you believe your Daddy is Batman?". Cohen looked at him and said "You've not Batman daddy. You've got on a church shirt". Smart boy.

We were so glad to be a part of this celebration! Happy 3rd birthday Cohen!

Monday, January 9, 2012

3 years ago.

The passing of time is so strange, completely altered by the circumstances your find yourself in and how those circumstances affect your perception. On a slow day at work, 9 hours can seem like 90. When you're rushing around the house like a madwoman trying to get things done while the offspring naps, 2 hours can seem like 2 minutes. Wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff.

Exactly three years ago today, after a long shift at work, I changed clothes and headed towards the Logan's Roadhouse I passed every day on my way home. I was headed there to meet someone for dinner- someone I had never met before in person. But there had been lots of emails. Hilarious emails that made me laugh out loud when I read them. That's always a good sign.

Now, here we are three years later. We have a home together and a beautiful ginger-haired boy together. We could be an amazing commercial for These three years have flown by, as they often do when you're having fun, but at the same time I feel like I have known this man my entire life. I am so thankful.

Ten days ago, just before the new year, this same man and our beautiful boy came to visit me at work. But I didn't know they were coming. In an unusually sneaky fashion he had some of my co-workers sneak him into one of the exam rooms at the clinic.

I was rushing around from one room to the next, trying to get caught up on a busy morning. One of the nurses came up and told me that the parents of one of my patients had more questions about their discharge instructions, and she had put them in Room 11, could I please go in there?

One thing I really try to do with my patients is to try to take the time to teach them what to do once they leave the clinic. So even though I knew it would put me even further behind, in I went. But what I saw when I entered the room was not what I was expecting at all.

Henry was running around the room in his usual Henry fashion. Taken aback, Will says I said "Henry, what are you doing here?". Then, changing the direction of my glance, I saw Will. But he wasn't standing. He was down on one knee. And he was holding this.

My Brit did good, didn't he? And of course I said yes! Looks like we're going to make this thing official! We both came out of the exam room, grinning ear to ear, to find all of my co-workers standing in the hallway- and they were also grinning ear to ear. The proposal, or the ring, could not have been more perfect. And to have all the people I love working with so much play a role in Will's plan made it even more special.

So 2012 has big things in store for our family. Even though we're only a few days into the new year it's already reminding us of how much we have to be thankful for. Henry is thankful for spaghetti night (and for rogue head-landing noodles).

Will and I are thankful for being able to bring in the new year playing Rock Band with old friends. And for friends who come over on New Year's Day for beer and chili.

It only sweetens the deal that they bring their adorable little boy along as well- and at bedtime I got to read stories with, not one, but two sweet little redheads on my lap. I can't think of a better way to start off 2012.

*thanks to our wonderful friend Sarah for the last three photos of today's entry (and for providing additional ginger-haired boy)*

Thursday, January 5, 2012

This is Christmas

I'm pretty sure that you never truly feel the spirit of Christmas until you're a parent. Last year was Henry's first official Christmas, and while he was a cute little lump of gummy grins and drool, this year we really were able to see our boy beam with joy. Most of that joy came from being in the middle of an explosion of torn wrapping paper and empty boxes, but it was joy nonetheless.

The empty boxes, however, did not stay empty for long. Cohen seems to be the one who initiated the next group activity, with the other two quickly following his lead. And they threw a little hugging in the mix.

Our Christmas gathering this year was composed of high school sweethearts and proud grandparents.

and happy kids

(who also double as super-heroes).

The kids weren't the only ones sporting a mask.

And poor Christmas-tree-deprived Henry finally got to soak in the warm glow from the twinkling lights on my sister-in-law's beautiful tree. And then immediately proceeded to yank several ornaments off the bottom branches. I knew it.

Henry got some awesome gifts this year- like the plate his Aunt Robyn found for him to use for Santa's cookies next year. You can't imagine how much we look forward to using this.

Of all the gifts Henry got that day there was clearly a favorite. He couldn't even wait for his Daddy and me to finish assembling it before he wanted to take it for a test drive. In the end I think he preferred it with the wheels attached.

Time with family is always wonderful. The older I get, the more I appreciate it. It was a wonderful Christmas, even though you would never guess it from our attempts at photographing all the kids!