Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chasing Zoo Ducks

I know I'm going a little post crazy, but I want to get it in before next month. Here's video of Jared chasing the ducks at the zoo. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Animals & Zoo


The day before the girls left for home, we took them to a SA treasure: the zoo. {Last time} we took Jared to the Zoo, he was just getting into seeing the animals around him. We figured that since he LOVES to make animals noises, his enjoyment level would increase this next time around. We were right.

Since Greg was gone most of their visit, we convinced him to take the day off and come too (it's not like we see them once or twice a year or anything like that). The morning of the visit, we kept reminding the kids that we are going to see animals at the zoo. Jared, being the talker he is now, expressed his excitement by running towards the door shouting 'amals' and 'zoo.' Apparently, he was excited.

Monday was the best day to go because Spring Break was officially over and the crowds were non-existent. The kids enjoyed the especially for Toddlers area; they were able to get up close to some fishes, go fishing, and Jared even attempted to be a Prairie Dog.

Afterward they were able to run around in the play area. Jared loved chasing the ducks, staring down a tortoise older than our whole group put together, screaming at the flamingos, roaring at the Lions, and getting all kinds of excited about the elephants and alligators.

It was really nice to see him so excited about the Zoo because we decided that was where we'd get our season passes this year. We figured it was the place that Jared would be able to enjoy the most at his age. So--- if you're in the SA area--- every time we go to the Zoo we get five guests in for free and we get to enter the park a full hour and a half early. If you feel like enjoying the zoo with us... There's other things too, but hopefully, the kids and I will be able to make a few trips there before the heat of the day and enjoy the animals.

Since then, Jared frequently asks about the 'amals' so I think there's a few zoo trips in our future.

NOTE: Check out the WAY passed out Belle in the pictures by the elephants--- so cute!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Jared Sings: Batman

One night, while Ash & Addie were here, Jared wore his new Batman jammies.

We I got them out, I started singing the Batman theme song (circa 50s TV show). Jared decided he wanted to exercise his vocal cords too. Enjoy!



Now that I have gotten over my hate/hate relationship with loading videos through blogger, there will be more videos posted (and quite possibly some from the past that were just too cute to pass up).

Oh--- I still have a few more posts about their visit--- so stay tuned!

Friday, March 26, 2010

CRAZY Downtown Adventure

As I eluded to in the previous two posts, we had so much fun last week with our visitors. Most of the time was spent goofing around, messing with toddler nap time schedules, and introducing Ash to TRUE Texas cuisine. It also coincided with a ward scouting trip that Gweg already signed up for since he's an adviser---so I wasn't left alone with the kids for the first time--yay for that.

(FYI: If you keep with the post, there's a neat prize at the end) :)

We also did a few touristy things too. Since she had never been to our part of the state before, we took one of the days and went downtown. Being outnumbered by the kids didn't phase us because we're Amber & Ashley--- what could go wrong, we could handle anything--- right?

From my memories of our year here growing up, we'd always park in the same place when we went downtown. Twelve years later, when I had a new role in the family (Matriarch---weird huh?) I knew the BEST place to park. After five (or is it six) visits, I have discovered the truth: families with small children should NOT park in the garage furthest from the Riverwalk elevators. Back to that in a minute...

So---we park near the Alamo and start walking. As we're walking toward it I notice there's a lot of people downtown today. Then it hit me in two words: Spring Break. Most of Texas had it last week, and we were stuck in the middle of it--right next to the most popular tourist attraction in the state. Whoops.

It showed too. The line to walk through the Alamo was AROUND THE BLOCK. I have never seen it that long. So, keeping in mind that we have two toddlers and a baby, we stick to the outside, brave the gift shop for a few minutes, and start our trek to the Riverwalk.

Luckily, we hit the Riverwalk at a good time, lunch time. The crowds were sparse, and then we hit the bridge. The one we needed to cross to get to the boat tours. This is where our parking mistake and being outnumbered took it's toll.

The bridge in this picture is not the one we climbed, but you get the picture. Both sides have stairs to get to the top. So, we started our ascent---I'm not going to lie---it stunk. It was then when wondered what in the world we were doing. When we reached the summit, we celebrated by taking pictures and waiting a few minutes to go down.

Once we started down, it was worse. Ash was getting it, but I couldn't bend enough to safely angle the stroller down without endangering the little girl strapped to my chest. One step down and I was literally stuck. Enter chivalrous Texans. Two guys willing to help us finish our hurdle. Just one of the many reasons I love living here. We then made our way to the boats.

Another advantage of going to the Riverwalk at lunch time was that the boat line wasn't as long as it could have been. Once we got there, it grew and we were grateful to get there when we did. By this point, Jared and Addie were a little hungry. And when I say 'a little' I mean 'ravenous.' This did not phase us because we were already prepared. Since a toddler is never NOT hungry, we packed lunch for the journey and it turned out to be a success. They ate the time in line away and even finished (i.e. attempted to finish) on the boat.

We were lucky enough to be in the front of the boat. Both kids wanted to sit on chairs closest to the boat's edge. This made us really nervous until another kind Texan and his family sat next to us. After the initial high-fives and knuckles you would have thought we came downtown together. It was nice to have another pair of hands make sure Jared, Addie, and their food didn't go in the river. The kids LOVED the boat ride. Shoot, we ALL loved it. I lost track of how many times I've been 'rio-cruising,' but each time is new because the people you experience with it are new (passengers and boat driver).

After the boat ride, we noticed something next to the dock: an elevator. SWEET and noted. After a lunch stop for the Mommies, we saw something else: another elevator. DOUBLE sweet. I now have two mental notes for elevators to EITHER side of the Riverwalk. Even though the day was great, this was probably the highlight for me. :)

Once we got to the car and diapers were changed, the kids passed out. To me, that's a good sign. A sign that a fun time was had by all. Even though we were just a little CRAZY to try it.

P.S. If you kept with me the WHOLE post--- give yourself a pat on the back and you better comment! Here's a reward---more pictures:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Visitor Withdrawals


We had a great time with our visitors. All of us are having a hard time adjusting, as always, after visitors leave. And, as always, I have memories to record, so stay tuned!

I definitely think a walk to the park is in order (even though we do this quite frequently). Jared spent the morning asking for Addie, Ashley, and then reeling off everyone else's names too (yes, that includes you too, grandparents). First days of normalcy are always the hardest; but we all sure had fun. Hopefully, we'll do it again sometime soon.

FYI: I finally wrote about Four Month Belle and Pirate Jared. Enjoy!

Jared allergy update: Good News--He has NONE! A very patient little boy endured the allergist and all his testing only to find out that he has no allergies. Bad News-- We still don't know what caused his reactions; best guess is a virus.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Movin' and Groovin'

FYI: Jared has no allergies---so whatever was bothering him was probably a virus... at least that's what they're telling us now.

We've been having a great time with our visitors. My best friend/Greg's cousin is in town with her 18 month old girl.

So far we've gone to the park, had Rudy's, went shopping at the outlet mall, took a communal bath, and enjoyed downtown. After navigating downtown this morning, we just wanted to have a indoor evening with the kiddos. These videos prove they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Ash posted one of them movin' to a favorite song and here's them groovin' to some music. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shiver Me, Jared!

Jared went to his first birthday party over the weekend. A PIRATE themed party. So the whole week before we tried to prepare him for the party. Pirate hat and sword. Check. Pirate Shirt (made by Mom, of course). Check. Jared saying 'ARRRG' when we ask what does a pirate say. Check.
He had a blast. He loved being in a new place, playing with new toys, and 'attempting' to play with his friends. He still has social ques to work on, but what toddlers doesn't?

He had so much fun that I had to follow him around with his food in order to eat. He also threw a colossal toddler fit when we left; he knew where the fun was. He was cranky and way past nap time. This was him when we got home.

Yep, he fully enjoyed the party.

HERE are some more pictures from the party (great job Lana!).

Plus---it made me really excited to prepare for Jared's birthday--- for some reason, I'm thinking a Cars theme...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Funny Girl

Our little Belle is a hoot--- she recently reached the FOUR month mark! It's so hard to believe how fast time goes with little kids, until you have them. I'm already preparing myself for the day that they are grown! But back to the present: our little four month old---Annabelle.She's growing just fabulous! At her appointment she was 13 lbs 6 oz and 25 1/4 inches long---meaning she's a very tall four month old. Since she's four months old, here are four fun facts about our Annabelle.
  1. She loves to smile and laugh. Mommy can get her to smile the fastest (which isn't very hard because she's always smiling0. Daddy seems to get her to laugh easiest; followed by Jared as a close second. However, she only laughs really hard when she's tickled. Jared wasn't (and isn't) nearly as ticklish as Belle. It's really cute. Here she is with her first pair of jeans and Minnie. :)
  2. Like all babies, she learns something new everyday. She is now a pro at sleeping, rolling over (both ways), grabbing things---toes and toys included, and following Jared around the room---with her eyes. She's way drooly, everything goes into her mouth; we're just waiting for the teething to begin (Jared was her age when he started).
  3. She garners attention everywhere she goes. Every time we bring here out, we get at least one comment on how happy and/or beautiful she is. Thanks, and, yeah, we know---and she definitely deserves it. :)
  4. She's a very chill baby. I thought we had an easy baby with Jared; I was wrong. We didn't know definition of 'good baby' until Belle. Not to say Jared wasn't an awesome baby, he was, Belle is just way more laid-back. She's a very go-with-the-flow type baby and is very rarely sad.
She's got us all wrapped around her little fingers; especially Jared. He loves asking for Annabelle, giving her hugs/kisses and singing to her. In fact, his current thing to do is sing 'Mahna Mahna' right in her face. You would think a baby would shy away from a toddler face, not Belle. She loves seeing her brother and either smiles or giggles every time he starts singing.

No denying she's our funny girl that 'Annabelle.' :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Carnivore & a Ham

I've got Belle's four month stats and Jared's first party to post about, but we've been working like crazy round these parts to get ready for our visitors in a couple days! Woo Hoo! If I get a chance after bedtime today, I'll schedule some post for this week because we all know I won't be spending time on the blog while Ash is here.

For now, here are a couple gems from the last week:

Jared loves to ham for the camera and this is what we get most of the time when we tell him to smile for us... all I have to say is 'oh brother...'
While we were watching our Sunday movie, Annabelle was having a little tummy time next to Daddy on the couch. She got a hold of a little bunny Jared brought downstairs... it never had a chance...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mahna Mahna

As requested by the grandparents---Jared LOVES to sing now. His 'Greatest Hits' include: Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam; Ode to Joy---the Beaker version; Popcorn Popping; Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes; Elmo's Song... and this... Enjoy!

video

Monday, March 8, 2010

Driving Miss Belle

Thanks for all the support! We love you all! As I updated at the end of the last post, Jared has an appointment with an allergist next Tuesday. Until then, he and his benadryl will be BFFs.

Jared got a walker for his birthday and he wasn't able to use it too much. Basically he'd just climb in there and get himself stuck. So--we put in in Belle's closet waiting for the day she could hold her head up.

She's been able to hold her head for a while, but we kept forgetting about the baby Jeep---that is, until yesterday. Jared was a little unsure about his sister in the car, until he realized he could push her around the house. As long as we remind him to be soft, he's really good with her.

While I made his lunch a couple hours ago, they were playing again and I got it on camera---feast your eyes on the first picture where they're both looking AND smiling!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Unknown

We've had an eventful last few weeks at our house---all starting on Greg's birthday.

On that day, I made some pretty tasty cookies from a friend's recipe. I wanted to make something special but, since we had cake the week before, it was time for something new. Just like every other time I've made cake/brownies/cookies--Jared was given his own little serving. Only this time something was different. After he finished his cookie, he had little hivey bumps on his hand. Greg and I looked at each other, knowing our first thought was the same: allergic reaction. Followed shortly by---oh no...

The next morning, for two reasons I break open some leftover waffles for breakfast---one Jared loves waffles and two--I wanted to see if the reaction would return. Unfortunately it did. Why else would I be telling this story? It's not like anything else happens either. Jared keeps on eating; he LOVED the cookies and waffles. (FYI---the cookies were really good---ya'll should try it). But afterward, his hands are red and we guess somewhat itchy.

So--- for the FIFTH time this month--- I call his doctor and we get an appointment for later that day. (SIDE NOTE: Since his croup episode he hasn't been fully healthy. It went from croup, to a cold, to a yeast infection, to this. Everyone at the doctor's office can now recognize us).

His doctor gives us good news and bad news. Good news is his yeast infection looks gone. Bad news is the reaction does sound like an allergic one so he needs to get tested. She gives me the lab orders and I call Greg and calming ask him to take off early from work so we can work as a United Parent Front. I'm so glad I did that because it turned out they were doing the testing in his BLOOD. That's right, getting blood from a 21 month old.

Greg had to wrap Jared's body around his so he wouldn't attack anyone and then I had to hold his arm straight---so he couldn't shift the needle. It was so hard to look into my crying boy's eyes and tell him the pain he's feeling is only going to help him feel better---or so we thought.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday pass without a call or results. I called on Wednesday to ask when we'd know--- they said to call again Friday. So---I call Friday and Jared's labs were not with the last ones delivered before the weekend. We had to wait over the weekend.

Monday we get the call we've been waiting for but not the answer we expected: all tests were negative. WHAT? Okay...so... what do we do now? To stop us from coming in every day about this, I then begin the world's longest game of phone tag with Jared's doctor; we're both determined to unlock this mystery.

In one of our exchanges yesterday, his doctor mentions that all the tests the lab DID were negative, but they DIDN'T do the ALLERGY testing. Wait... WHAT? I put my child through pain for NOTHING and we have to do it ALL OVER AGAIN? Instead of running back to the lab, his doctor suggests putting him on benadryl until Belle's four month check-up next week. Sounds great to us, but he's still reacting to something and if that something is a staple in his diet I really don't want to keep feeding it to him.

Then today happened. Jared woke up from his nap screaming in pain; eventually I got him to tell me that his 'bum hur.' I go to change his diaper and it's all kinds of red down there and it seems to be caused by his poop. (sorry if it's too graphic). I had fight against my strong little boy, telling him for the second time in two weeks that what I'm trying to do will help him---just so I can put some diaper cream on his little area. Then, I call the doctor's office, yet again. When I finally talk to the doctor, she decides to refer us to an allergist. Hallelujah!

We feel so bad for our little boy. We take good care of him; feed him good foods, etc. this just comes out of nowhere and we're still trying to figure it out. Jared could use all the good thoughts/prayers our family and friends could muster---so please do so.

Now, we still wait. Wait for what? We don't know, but hopefully sometime soon it will be known.

UPDATE: Jared has an appointment for the 16th with an allergist. When his doctor's office called me this morning, the receptionist said "I thought I'd be able to go a full day without talking to you Mrs. H." HA---she thought wrong.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

First Fort & Mohawk

Greg and Jared built their first fort together on Greg's birthday. They had a bunch of fun---even after Jared tried to climb on the roof (check out the red mark on the top left of his forehead. After some Daddy and Mommy cuddles he now knows fort roofs are not for little boys.


Annabelle's hair is awesome. It is especially so after she get a bath. It sticks up and looks so adorable---see for yourself.

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