Saturday, December 13, 2014

Our First 'Real' Fall

Moving to Oklahoma has given the boys an opportunity to experience actual seasons.  So far they are really enjoying the fall season with all the leaves on the ground.  Jack and Owen love any opportunity to jump in the leaves and bury their toys in them:
Grammy Nichols got the boys a birdhouse to put outside our window so that they could watch the birds.  They were so cute helping Jonathan hang it:
We have had to practice remaining calm when a bird lands on the birdhouse so that they don't scare them away.  The first time they saw birds they both slammed their bodies against the window scaring the birds away:
Now we try to remain calm and watch from a little bit of a distance:
The boys have had a great time putting up Christmas decorations.  I think only 2 ornaments have been broken so far :).  Auntie Amy was still in town for tree decorating, and I got a fun time lapse video of the tree going up.  Here are a couple of pictures:
Even Mary got into the Christmas spirit with a Santa hat!  In the bottom left picture Jack is putting the star on the tree.  Jack insisted we get a gold star for the top of the tree.  I went to two stores without any luck.  Jonathan went to a third store after work one night and found one!  We got the Fisher Price nativity scene as a gift from Grammy Nichols two years ago, and this is the first year where the boys have a decent ability to put it together and play with it.  Mary's name confuses Jack when we talk about the real Christmas story and the nativity.  We tell him about baby Jesus and his mommy Mary, but he gets stuck on the fact that we have a baby named Mary and calls baby Jesus Mary :).

Mary's 3-Month Update

Mary turned 3-months old on December 5th, and here is her monthly photo:
I took about 20 pictures and had the hardest time picking one!

Mary is still sleeping the better part of the day and night, but when she is awake she is the sweetest little person.  More recently she likes to be upright to look around and be a part of whatever is going on.  She likes to be put in the standing position, and she sits on my lap at the table when she's awake at meal times so she feels like a part of the meal.  I also got the green PrinceLionheart seat out so she could sit up on the floor.  Mary is our first child that actually enjoys tummy time instead of shrieking the entire time.  She doesn't try to roll over or anything; she just lays there sucking on her hand usually.  
Mary had a slight interest in the pacifier when she was first born, but she became disinterested around 2-months old.  She has decided to become a thumb sucker instead:
She was getting increasingly frustrated when I would swaddle her at night and fighting harder to get her hand out.  Two nights ago I decided to let her arms free to see what would happen.  All you could hear the rest of the night into the next morning was her sucking on her thumb/hand, and she slept 10 hours straight!  She slept 10.5 hours last night as well.  She was sleeping well before, but 10 hours straight was definitely a record.  I guess the thumb is a good self-soothing method for her :).

Here are just a few more pictures of our super sweet little girl:
I tried a headband on her for the first time in a while.  They were way too big when she was first born, but they finally fit!
She's just too cute for words!

Owen's 2nd Birthday

Our next birthday celebration was Owen's 2nd birthday.  Owen didn't have nearly as many requests for birthday activities since he still doesn't really understand birthdays, but we had a party for him as well.  We had spaghetti for dinner since that is his favorite meal.  I got silly straws for the boys' drinks, and Owen loved it.
After dinner we opened gifts.  He was so excited to open presents!!  
The gift that he got the most excited with was his new scooter.  He was always stealing Jack's, which led to a lot of sibling fights.  He's actually really good at the scooter.  A few months back he started standing on Jack's when Jack wasn't using it, and he would practice until he finally got the hang of it.
After all the presents were opened it was time for cupcakes.  Owen's love for cake is very similar to his mother's :).  He dove right into his cupcake face first!
After cupcakes I wanted to have an activity for him since we did a piñata for Jack.  I thought that they would like silly string.  When I first sprayed them with silly string they both started screaming and crying out of either fear or frustration…I'm not sure haha.  It took some calming down and me spraying Jonathan for them to be comfortable with it.  They had fun after that:
The morning after his birthday Owen and his scooter were inseparable.  Whatever he was doing, the scooter was there.
I still think of Owen as our little baby, but he's getting big so fast.  Next year I get to start doing birthday interview's with him, which I really look forward to!

Jack's 4th Birthday

I absolutely love and look forward to Jack's birthday each year, because he gets so excited about birthdays and birthday parties.  We were talking about him turning 4, and he was getting super excited about it.  The morning of his birthday he came downstairs and asked, "Am I 4?" in a sleepy voice.
Jack wanted a hamburger for lunch, so I got him his first fast food hamburger at Sonic.  He thought it was delicious:
Had we still lived in California we would have had a birthday party for him with his little friends, but we didn't get much of a chance for new friendships in Oklahoma before his birthday.  Instead, we had a fun family celebration with decorations and a pirate ship piñata, per Jack's special request.  During Jack's nap I got all the decorations done, and the table was set in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme that he picked out.
We had a chicken taco dinner just like last year, because that's what Jack likes.  After dinner we set up the piñata.
Jack got to open a few presents:

And Grandma and Grandpa Brink sent him $5 in his birthday card.  He was sooo excited and put it into his robot piggy bank to save it.  Any time he's gotten any type of money, he never wants to spend it…future frugal guy :).
 After presents we had cupcakes:
 Jack blew out his '4' candle:
Overall, I think he had a really great birthday!  I can't believe he's 4 already!!

Jack's Birthday Survey- 4 years old

Continuing my tradition started last year, I did a birthday survey with Jackson.  We called it an interview, and he was super cute answering the questions all excited :).

These are Jack's verbatim answers with my comments in orange:

1. What is your favorite color? Blue
2. What is your favorite toy? Dump Truck
3. What is your favorite fruit? Apple
4. What is your favorite tv show? Curious George and Wild Kratts
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Spiders and Insects…Chicken and Cheese Roll-up
6. What is your favorite outfit? Pumpkin Shirt a Halloween shirt that has a giant Jack-o-lantern on it
7. What is your favorite game? Tic-Tac-Toe  He doesn't completely understand the game, but he loves it!
8. What is your favorite snack? Gummies
9. What is your favorite animal? Elephant, Zebra, and Honey Bee
10. What is your favorite song? ABCs, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Row Row Row Your Boat, and The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round
11. What is your favorite book? Jonah and the Whale and Freddy the Frogcaster He just picked the most recent books we read haha
12. Who is your best friend? Owen
13. What is your favorite breakfast? Peanut Butter Sandwich  Almond butter and Jelly sandwich…it's all he would eat if we let him
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Bounce Up and Down on the Trampoline
15. What is your favorite drink? Apple Juice and Chocolate Milk
16. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween and Thanksgiving  It's definitely Halloween, but he's just getting excited that we have been talking about Thanksgiving
17. What do you like to take to bed with you? My pumpkin and My Frozen ball.  Take big dog and little dog to bed.
18. What are you good at? At working!
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Cake!
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? {pointed at me}…asked further what he wants to do as a job to make money: Playing bowling ball.  Computer! "You gotta go to work, but I don't go to work.  Kids stay at home."

I asked him what his daddy did for a job, and he said he goes to a building and gets money.  He said that Jonathan does a "paper job."  I asked him what daddy has bought him with the money he works for, and Jack went around his game room pointing out pretty much everything as what daddy bought him.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

First OK Halloween!

Halloween is definitely Jack's favorite holiday, so there was a lot of excitement leading up to the big day.  While my parents were in town Jack and my mom painted a pumpkin and put spider stickers on it.  We hung fake spider webs and spiders around the house, and Jack had bat stickers in his window for the entire month of October. 

We went to a pumpkin patch a week or two before Halloween, and the boys picked out some pumpkins that we could carve.  We did a smiley face, a bat, and a bad minion from Despicable Me 2 since the boys love that movie:
 Owen was into pumpkin carving more than Jack was.  He had the best time helping:
Halloween day they wore their Halloween outfits.  Jack also had an orange jack-o-lantern shirt and Owen had a shirt that said "Fang-tastic" that they wore the day before.
Halloween night was pretty cold, which is much different than our past 3 Halloweens in California.  We got the firefighter, minion, and black cat all bundled up and headed out to trick-or-treat.
Jack was super shy this year and wouldn't say trick-or-treat to anyone.  He wanted Jonathan or me to go up to each door with him.  Owen had a blast collecting candy from each house.  They both carried little pumpkin lights to be easily seen walking through the dark neighborhood.  
When we got home each boy got a piece of candy and the treat I made for them.  I made each of them a dirt and worms pudding cup in their monster bowls.
It was a fun night, and we're happy to still be in the little years where you only have to go trick or treating for 30 minutes and can easily hide their candy from them :).

Mary's 2-Month Update

Mary had her 2-month wellness visit about a week and a half early on October 28th.  I got a few recommendations for pediatricians from my new MOPS group, and I just picked the one closest to our house.  When we showed up I was a little bit thrown off by the office, because it was very small town looking :).  It was just an office made out of an old house.  
You can see what wonderful 'helpers' I had at the doctor visit…haha.  Due to the chaos Jack and Owen created in the appointment I didn't get a picture of Mary during her visit, but the picture above is her right before we left the house.

2-Month Stats:
Weight- 10 lbs., 3 oz. (45th percentile)
Height- 22 inches (50th percentile)

I don't think she was feeling very well after her shots, because she spent most of the afternoon crying.  This is how I got a few things done and dinner made that night:
Here is her picture on her actual 2-month birthday (November 5th) coincidentally wearing the same onesie as from her doctor appointment:
It was hard to narrow down recent pictures of her, because she's just so adorable!  Girl clothes are definitely really fun, so I included pictures in some of her cute little outfits.
As of 2-months:

  • Mary usually goes to bed for the night at 10 pm.  Her first wake-up is usually between 3:45 and 6 am. I would say she most often wakes up between 4-5am.  After that initial streak, she'll sleep another 4-5 hours.
  • She still sleeps the majority of the day, but a more predictable pattern is starting to develop.
  • She's a great eater, and she follows a very predictable and manageable nursing schedule during the day.
  • She holds her head up pretty well for short periods of time when you hold her over your shoulder.
  • She doesn't get very much time on her play mat since her brothers cannot leave her alone on it.  They always lay next to her, swat at the toys, and are kind of dangerous jumping around her.
  • She smiles at Jack sometimes when he tries to entertain her, and she clenches her fists and always looks a little nervous when Owen gets close since he's not the greatest at being gentle.  His intentions are good, but he's just a bit rough still.
  • She's started being much more interested in watching what Jack and Owen are doing during the times she is awake.
  • When she's awake during the day she pretty much demands being held on your lap facing you while you talk to her.  She loves the undivided attention during the boys' naps and after they go to bed.

Finally, the boys got colds about a week ago, and Mary has had a touch of it as well.  Hers has been much less severe than theirs, but she looked a little miserable with a runny nose the other day:
She was just one of the cutest sick people I'd ever seen :).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our First House

Several people have asked to see pictures of our house, so I figured this would be a good place to do it.
This is technically the dining room right as you walk in the front door, but we turned it into a game room.  There's an actual 'game room' upstairs that we gave to Jackson for his bedroom, because we didn't want the kids walking up and down the stairs all the time to play since they're so little.
 And here's the main living area...the first picture is what you see from the front door:
Those are the basics of the house.  We haven't done much decorating since we're just focused on finishing unpacking.  Up the stairs are 3 bedrooms and a game room (turned into Jack's room) as well as two bathrooms.  Our master bedroom is downstairs off the living room in addition to another bathroom and the laundry room.  It's a big change from our place in California!

Here is Izzy loving her backyard:
We also got a kid-sized trampoline for the boys and put it in the garage so that they can play on cold, rainy days here.  They are obsessed with it!  They're little blurs just bouncing away:
It has rained more in the 1.5 weeks we've been here than it did in the almost 4 years we were in California. We definitely have California babies, because they are so intrigued by the rain.  Jackson hates getting wet, but Owen loves it.  We sat on the porch yesterday just watching it rain.

And here's one of Mary just because she's so stinkin' cute!!
It's quite a lifestyle change moving from California to Oklahoma.  In California your house is generally smaller, but you can get anywhere in a few minutes and be outside constantly.  We had a big shopping center right across from our house with a Starbucks, CVS, grocery store, etc. if you just wanted to run out to grab one thing or a quick coffee.  Now we're kind of out there in a little bit more of a rural neighborhood, so there's no running out quickly.  Everything takes a little bit more planning.  Since you're not close to anything and the weather's more unpredictable, we've spent a lot more time at home and making our house fun for the kids.  Our neighborhood is great, though, and there are a ton of young children around.  We need to go start knocking on doors to meet people, and we're super excited about Halloween here.  I'm also joining a new MOPS group starting next week.  I miss my MOPS group in California like crazy, but I'm hoping for some great friendships here as well!

We've bought a house, own a minivan, have 3 children, a dog, and we're both in our 30s…Jonathan and I have joked asking when did we become real adults?!

Mary's First Milestone

On Sept 11-12 I thought there were a few instances where Mary might be smiling, but I wasn't sure if it was involuntary or related to gas.  On September 13th, though, I was sure that she smiled!  I finally caught a picture of it yesterday:
They're still infrequent, but it's so fun to get a sweet smile once in a while!

Making the Move to Oklahoma

We found out that we were moving to Tulsa, OK for a job transition around the middle of August.  After that point, it was just one giant logistical puzzle to put together with the birth of a baby where the date was unknown at the time, Jonathan moving before us into a hotel, rental cars as our cars moved at different times across the country, making sure we had car seats in any car we had, kids' sleeping arrangements since 2 out of 3 are still in a crib/bassinet, etc.  Jonathan and I also visited Tulsa by ourselves to get an idea of the area and look for a place to live.  In that weekend we found the house that we wanted to buy, so we spent the next 1.5 months in the home buying process from a distance.  Luckily, we had an amazing real estate agent that made the whole process pretty easy.  I randomly asked a barista at Starbucks when we were visiting Tulsa how she liked the area, and she gave me the name of the real estate agent she had just used.  That inquiry ended up being one of the most helpful things of our trip :).  

Anyway, after a long 1.5 months of planning it was finally time to move!  A few days before our actual move, a company came to pick up Jonathan's car.  The boys thought it was so cool.  It's kind of hard to see, but they loaded his car on a huge truck carrying multiple other cars, and this was the boys' view from the window:
Jonathan's company hired movers to come pack and move 99% of our belongings besides what we would need during the transition.  Ann took the boys out for the majority of the day to breakfast, the park, the store, etc. to keep them out of the movers' way.  I stayed home with Mary since someone needed to be there to do the inventory management.  Mary spent the first part of the move sleeping upstairs before they packed our room, but I spent a good portion of the day walking around holding her when we had no where to sit.  Here are the boys coming back from their day wreaking havoc on the end of the movers time there:
They were picking up bands that tied down furniture, running up and down the stairs, pushing furniture, and all things that little boys find interesting.  It was a long day for them as well, though, because there were no naps and they were outside on a hot day.

Once all of our belongings were out of our place, we spent the next two nights in Irvine in a hotel.  I was a little afraid of the sleeping arrangements since we were in close quarters, but we had a two bedroom suite with a living room.  Jonathan's mom stayed with us one night before driving our mini van for us to Tulsa.  My mom flew in and stayed with us the second night so she could help me fly with the kids.  A grandma slept with Owen each night in a room, and I slept in a room with Jack.  Mary slept in the living room since she's a loud sleep as to not disturb Jack and I could feed her on the couch in the middle of the night.  It all actually worked out great, and we got much better sleep than I expected!  We also ate out quite a bit, and the picture below is Jack giving the thumbs up to his grilled cheese.  I think Jackson will enjoy vacations someday since he was so relaxed in the bed watching a Curious George episode.  Owen just had fun pulling utensils out of the mini-kitchen cabinets.
September 30th we flew out of Santa Ana airport, we had a connection for 2.5 hours in Houston, and we ended up in Tulsa that night.  The day started out with some challenges.  The first picture below shows Owen having one of his classic tantrums right after arriving through security.  After laying his face on the germ-y floor several times I'm happy to say he did not get sick :).  Jack used the bathroom and managed to have poor aim where he peed all down the back of his pants and underwear.  Once we got on the plane, though, it was better.  The flight to Houston was 3.5 hours, and the boys did great with all of the activities and snacks both grandmas had helped to put together for them.
Once we arrived in Houston it was what would have been nap time for the boys.  This is when the poop started to hit the fan.  They were both really grumpy and defiant in the airport most of the layover.  And then the flight to Tulsa…sigh.  Owen cried about 98% of the 1.5 flight to Tulsa just from being so tired before he finally fell asleep 10 minutes before we landed.  The man next to us was less than amused.  My mom and I laughed to the point of tears when we got off the plane, because most people on the flight were in the hall waiting for their bags checked at the gate when we got off.  They were all just staring at us when we got off.  It felt like the walk of shame getting of the plane, and all we could do was laugh out of a little bit of delirium.  I do have to say that the picture of Mary above is what she looked like the entire day besides when she was half awake to eat…thank you Mary!

In Tulsa we had to pick up a rental mini van, and the rental agency did not have the correct number or type of car seats.  We were tired, hot, and frustrated while waiting an hour for them to find the right type of convertible car seat for Owen.  They also cannot do anything with the car seats, so I had to install them myself in the parking garage.  It was a loooong day!  We finally made it to the hotel to meet Jonathan.  We all slept pretty deeply that night, the boys included.

The next morning on Oct 1st, Jonathan and I signed all of the closing paperwork for our house while my mom stayed with the boys at the hotel.  We headed over to our new house that day, and the movers showed up with our belongings two days later.  We are so glad to be here and mostly settled in now.