Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Two months old

I've mentioned before that I'm kinda of mildly obsessed with recreating a few things for each of my babies.  Gotta get the sleeping on the couch pic.  Gotta get the playing in the swing at 2 months old video.

Originally posted here.

I only just realized that I never posted this one!

Who, at the time of this post is now six months old.
Shut up, I'm awesome!

Grant noted not long after Paxton was born that I've actually only given birth to two children, we just happen to have both a girl and boy version of one of them.  He does look an awful lot like his big sister to us...

More visitors!

Right on the heels of Laura's trip to visit us, Grant's parents and youngest brother's family came to visit for Thanksgiving and blessing Paxton.

It's always fun when we get to see this face and the family that comes with it!

There is a Military Museum not far from us, so some of the troops went out to take a look.  (I have no idea what I was doing instead, but I have no memory of this event and was completely surprised when I saw the pictures.  Oops.)

They found a big ole tank!

I think that the museum itself wasn't open when they went over there, so they only toured the grounds.  We'll have to be sure to get a gander inside another time...

While they were there, Grant captured the perfect picture of Elliot.  This is how I will forever remember this stage of his life--a huge smile on his face going almost everywhere using the most adorable, bouncy little run I've ever seen.

He LOVES that hoodie, too, lemme tell ya.  Like, I have to hide it because if he sees it, he wants to wear it whether he needs it or not and if he wears it, it gets pretty dirty.

Unfortunately, Kendra had a stomach bug one of the days our visitors were in town, but there was still lots of playing with cousins!

And Paxton managed to wrap another little girl around his finger.  Alivia was just as enamored with him as Audrey had been a couple of weeks beforehand.

Grant's dad is always happy to take walks with the kids, and they always seem to have a lot of fun.  This trip, they also hit the playground by the office.

And all the pictures we have of Grant's mom are variations of the same thing:

Now that's what we call "quality time" around here.  :)

On their last evening with us, Kendra became quite the little performer for her grandparents...

Such a wonderful family for us to be thankful for!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Bug Fair

Penn State holds a number of interesting events and things, one of which is an annual Bug Fair.  Oh yeah, the family with a whole cabinet full of tarantulas is all kinds of all over that one!  We'd heard about it last year after the fact so we definitely didn't want to miss it this time.

But it turns out, I like gave birth nine days before the event and strangely enough I wasn't up for leaving the house when the time came so Grant took Kendra for a little Daddy-Daughter Date.

They gave her a little green cricket toy when she walked in the door...

...and she proved that she has gotten to the point where her memory is quite acute.  The whereabouts of that plastic bug are still a top priority to her every now and again.  I'm pretty sure we're stuck with it until the end of time.

And is it just us, or is this guy totally blowing off and ignoring our kid who wants to hold the roach, too?  Are we just being overly sensitive parents?

Luckily, other presenters there were more mindful and accommodating.

She got to see and touch lots of interesting things...

She had a ball.  Apparently, it was crazy packed when they went, but they still got a good look around.  There are also a number of free bug delicacies served, I have a friend who tried the chocolate covered crickets, but by the time Grant saw that they were kinda spent and the lines were pretty long anyway.

I'm just going to give you a moment to let that one sink in--the line was too long to wait to eat bugs.

They did have a chance to hit the craft table, though, where she made a beeeeeautiful piece of art.

And the fun for her didn't end there--it was the evening of that we brought the slugs in to show her.

She has asked to go back to the Bug Fair several times since, so we'll definitely be putting that one on our calendar!

As much fun as it is to blog our lives, that last picture way bums me out a bit because those pants she's wearing that are sagging?  They're ridiculous highwaters on her now--she is growing up SO FAST!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Today's epiphany brought to you by Pandora

When things start to go a little nuts around here in the late afternoon, I often turn on a personalized radio station on Pandora.  Something about having music on makes things more manageable during those most difficult hours of the day as it's coming to a close.

That means that I get to witness stuff like this:

One this particular day a couple of weeks ago, as I watched our two oldest children playing so happily, that is exactly what dawned on me.  It was hardly just me enjoying that moment, it was them.  They were so happy.

It didn't matter to them that they were playing in a room that serves as a living room, office, play room and exercise room all in one.  They didn't even realize it--they have no idea that we live in a small apartment, or drive a small car, or live on a grad student income.  To them, this place is Home.  It's clean, it's warm and they are perfectly happy here.  They want for nothing and anything they do lack doesn't matter to them.

So why should it matter to me?

When that occurred to me, I spent a little while contemplating that question.  I couldn't think of a good reason for it to, so since this happened, it hasn't.  Not one bit.

Everything about our lives works for us and we're happy and I figure that that's the only thing that does matter.

We are so very, very blessed.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Winter Bike Commuting

Sometimes people ask me how I can stand commuting on my bike throughout the cold, cold winter.

Now you know.  I have the matching fluorescent pants and backpack to go with them.  The strange thing is that despite all this, cars often do not seem to see me.

By the way,

You have to sew some of this stuff yourself if you really want it to be right.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sweet sleepies, sweet smiles

Babies are a lot of work, but they sure are sweet.  I don't think I've slept this peacefully since I was this age...

And then there's the awesome moment when that baby becomes interactive.  First, eye contact.  You wouldn't think it'd be so significant until it happens.  Then, a really magical moment when that baby smiles.

He'd been smiling for a little while by the time we took these pictures, but they're still pretty sweet to see

I  keep trying to get a picture with him while smiling instead of just of him smiling, but true to my Dad's assesment, most of the time he's still waiting to be impressed with the world.

That's okay.  We still love our not-smiling-on-demand-thankyouverymuch little guy.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Laura's family was in State College for five days, but man did they go by so fast!  They stopped by to visit with us before heading back to Philly to catch their flight home.

It was fun having Mike and Laura and their four beautiful girls come to play for a few days.  Kendra's asked to have Hayley and Audrey over several times since they left, but the whole point was to make friends.  Mission: accomplished.

And after the extra six people who were hanging out in our apartment left, this place felt just HUGE!

Cousins at play

Having two siblings in the same town means more bang for your buck when you come into said town.  It's even more fun for the kids.

Brianna and Elliot spent plenty of time together.  Not quite old enough to join the older crowd but a perfect match in and of themselves.

Kendra, Hayley, Audrey, Stephanie and Hyrum made quite a crew as well.

And it turns out, Paxton is good company for anyone wanting him in their arms, and there are many pairs of eager arms at Heber's house.

They played pretty hard all together, and it let us adults have quite a bit of fun ourselves.  :)

Pizza party!

One of the night's Laura&Co were in town, we had them all over for a true American pastime; a pizza party.

Which is why someone is holding a piece of pizza in every single one of these shots.  I love it!

It was pretty loud.

It was a little messy.

It was all-around awesome.


Paxton turned six weeks old the day after Laura's family arrived, and even a nine-pound newborn is still small(ish) at that age.

As Hayley attached to Elliot, her little sister, Audrey, quickly displayed a favorite among her cousins in our family:

During their visit here, Audrey would often be playing with her sister, Kendra and Stephanie but she'd frequently run past where someone was sitting holding him, stop and quickly give him a kiss and continue with whatever she was playing at the moment.

She just couldn't get enough of him!  Not that I can blame her...  :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

A natural

I'm finally caught up enough with blogging to officially document some fun times we had at the end of last year.  We actually have quite a few pictures to sort through and post, but I wanted to devote a special post to this particular series.

Grant's sister Laura and her family came out to visit us in State College (we were so relieved they made it fine, they arrived the day after Sandy and we had been warned that the worst case scenario would have us without power for 7-10 days).  They have four girls, one of whom is just six weeks younger than Elliot, which means they're pretty accustomed to a person of his size.

So six-year-old Hayley didn't hesitate to interact with him just like she does with her own baby sister.

I really love these pictures--I kept the second one uncropped to give a bit of a scale for the viewer who doesn't know Hayley because Elliot is a HUGE percentage of her own mass!  But she had no problem hauling him around and as fate would have it, Elliot loooooves to be carried so they were just two peas in a pod.

There are lots more pictures to share, but these were just so sweet to me that I wanted to separate them out.  Such a sweetie!