Saturday, September 29, 2012

First finger paint

Need I say more!

My man

I post on the kiddos all the time but realized I haven't posted on my second-half.. Josh! All the movies, novels and romances describe men as the 'perfect one'. They show life as a fairy-tale. Well our life isn't a fairy-tale but it's my tale and Josh isn't perfect... but he's perfect for me. We have our ups and downs like most any couple. We fight hard, we love hard, and we compliment each other. I know who has my back at the end of the day and who will be here for me until the end. There are things he does that aggravate the crap out of me and I'm sure he would say the same thing about me. For example his clothes are always on the floor on his side of the bed, or when he shaves he never fully cleans out the sink. I don't think he has ever cleaned the tub (which he uses daily), and he went almost a year without getting a haircut! He likes to play video games to chill out and this just gripes my constant want to do something productive and he likes to turn the air down at night to 70 degrees (it would be 60 if not for my intervention) and then steal the comforter.  I'm sure there are more nit-picky things I could tell but now I am going to tell some of the things I love about him :)

1. He is loyal to me and to his family.
2. He is the kinda man that will go upstairs in the middle of the night to comfort our children when they cry.
3. He is such a burly big guy but has the heart of a lamb. He won't kill bugs or animals but instead sets them free.We've had words over the spiders. I'm all about squashing anything that comes on my territory.  He's not a hunter but I know that if he needed to kill something to feed us or protect us he wouldn't have a second thought.
3. He takes our oldest to all his ball practices, games and has even coached more times that I like.
4. He helps Isaac with his homework and has even stayed up until 3:00 am on a science project (yep, Isaac was grounded for delaying that one).
5. He keeps his word. If he tells Eli that he will take him on a four-wheeler ride.. then he goes on a four-wheeler ride.
6. He helps change diapers, rock babies to sleep, give baths  (all those tasks that seem to take forever!).
7. He is a big kid himself. When we got Isaac a air-soft gun.. guess who had to have one too. When Isaac needs help beating a level on his game...guess who helps him beat it?
8. He's strong and can fix almost anything he sets his mind to fixing.
9. He's a good teacher.. he taught snowboarding lessons in college and taught me how to as well (I'm still not very good but I can get down the hill without falling).
10. He tells it like it is... he gets this from his mama and sometimes it can be a good thing!

Well there are many other things I could tell but I don't wanna be too sappy. I love you Josh. Thanks for being a great husband and father.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fall decorating

I know I've already said this but fall is my favorite season! I love where we live (western NC) because we get to experience changing of the seasons. The air is cool and crisp and the trees are beginning to change. I'm not good at visualizing or decorating but here are a few of my fall decorations so far. Suggestions welcome!
There isn't much space on my living room mantle with the TV up there but I added a pumpkin and an autumn candle
Kitchen mantle. I found that plate at for a couple bucks at Wallyworld and I already had the wreath
Front porch
Ooops it's a little lopsided.. I found this centerpiece at Pier 1

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

He found me out

Josh just asked, "Is there a secret place all my socks go?" "All the laundry is done but my sock drawer is empty."

He he... Do any of you have a favorite drawer? This is in my laundry room and when I don't feel like matching socks or can't find a match...ta da!!

Apple Orchard Adventures

Today Eli had his first field trip! We went to Stepp's Apple Orchard where we went on a hay ride, picked apples from a tree, picked a pumpkin, walked through a corn maze and walked through a soy bean maze. When we first got to the orchard we had to load up for the hay ride... Eli FROZE! He then turned around and sprinted across the corn field. You should have seen me trying to chase him down. Why he got so scared I have no clue because he loves tractors and rides his Paw-paw Gene's tractor all the time.  My mom, Audra, the kiddos and I all rode together. The adventure went pretty well considering we had a 3 year old, 2 year old, almost 1 year old, and 4 month old. We stopped and had lunch at PF Changs on the way back where we managed to eat  before total toddler/baby meltdown occurred.  

Eli with his bag full of apples getting ready to get back on the hay ride
Eli in the apple orchard. He wouldn't smile for the camera of course.
Livi and I in the corn maze
Carter and Cam 
Amber's little girl Rachel
Nana and Livi
Hug, I mean tackle!
Nana and the kiddos

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

First cereal

Guess who tried rice cereal today? Guess who loved it!!


If you are looking for an awesome baby spoon.. you gotta try this one from OXO. It's perfect for scooping that mush into a baby mouth. I've seen a lot of baby spoons (especially when I did Early Intervention and feeding therapy) but this one takes the cake. 

Did I mention that Eli was begging for some of Olivia's rice cereal? He wouldn't hush so I gave him a spoon full... it was hilarious..  he spit that stuff out with super sonic speed. Needless to say he hasn't asked to try any more :)

Potty training... Fail

So on September 20th Eli will be 2 1/2 years old officially... I thought 2 1/2 was a magic number. Well I thought wrong. Isaac was  2 1/2 when he was potty trained, my nephew Carter was 2 1/2 when he potty trained so I assumed Eli would be as well. We have been talking up the potty for months, watching Elmo's potty movie, trying to potty at bath time, and using the potty some. Today I said "Why not!", "Let's try intensive potty training today". We were seriously out of diapers so I didn't have to lie and I told Eli that we were out of diapers and going to use big boy underwear. Previously he has refused to wear them and begged for his diaper.

We had so much success... not! He peed in the floor, then he pooped right beside the potty, and peed in his underwear while in the car-seat waiting on Isaac to get off the bus (luckily I had put a plastic bag down- Score!). The little rascal said he wanted to pee in the bushes while waiting on the bus so I got him out (in the drizzle---that's why I decided to drive Isaac up the hill today) and he attempted to pee on the road, in the grass, on the bushes to no avail. Meanwhile Isaac's bus was approaching and Eli was running around with just his shirt on so I quickly whisk him in front of the car to hide his little winkie from all the boys and girls on the bus.

I am going to keep at it....we will be a Potty Master one way or another! Surely he won't be in diapers when he starts kindergarten. Any suggestion on potty training a STRONG-WILLED child? Isaac was so super easy.. it took less than a week and he was completely trained, even through the night. Eli is a different (but equally wonderful) individual.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fall is in the air

Last Sunday we went on a quick 1 hour hike to some beautiful falls only a 1 mile from Josh's parents house. Eli and Olivia were napping with Mawmaw and PawPaw so we did a fast hike up and down. I love this time of year- It's my favorite season by far! You can feel the air cooling off in the mornings and evenings and feel fall in the air. We haven't had the leaves change yet but that is soon to come.

Every Sunday after church we go eat lunch with all the Allisons. Usually we eat at Josh's Mom and Dad's house but we also go to Jan's house, Sonja's house, and now that we have room for everyone-our house. Since the birth of Olivia our family totals 19, so that's quite the crowd. I think it's wonderful that a family that big still gets together every week; all of the siblings get along (of course we all don't agree with each other all the time) and are truly a family. Isaac loves having 3 cousins (Bryce, Braedon, and Gabe) to play with and they have such a big time playing in the woods, playing air-soft, gaming, or just aggravating each other.
Pawpaw and Olivia
View of the falls-- the water was low
Jan, Braedon, Isaac, Bryce, Josh, Chris

On Friday night we went to the Mountain State Fair. The kiddos had fun. Isaac and Gabe rode all sorts of rides, Eli liked looking at the tractors (he wouldn't ride anything), and Olivia enjoyed hanging out in the Bjorn watching all the lights. Last year when we went I wouldn't eat any of the fair food because I was pregnant and was afraid of contracting listeria or some food illness that would hurt Olivia, so this year I ate my fill. I had an apple dumpling and of course the famous maple syrup cotton candy. I don't have a picture of the cotton candy but that stuff is GOOD! I would go to the fair just to get a bag. I wanted one of those turkey legs but I couldn't bring myself to eat one. 

Mawmaw and Eli looking at his new book- I was nursing Olivia at this point
Josh taking his turn with the Bjorn.. 
My apple dumpling

Fall also means fall sports. Isaac decided he wanted to play football after the fact so he is playing on Bryce and Braedon's team this year. He also wants to wrestle but that doesn't start until the end of October. He is loving Jr. High and just started riding the bus home this past week.... the first time in his life! Josh takes him in the morning but the afternoons have been a problem. Eli's nap time falls right in the middle of when it's time to go pick him up... so after 2 weeks of dealing with a cranky toddler I decided we had to at least try the bus. We followed it home and his bus actually leaves the Jr. High and comes straight to our road.. he gets here just as soon as he would if I waited in the car line. So far it's working out.. I keep questioning him about who he sits besides and if they are talking about drugs, sex, or anything else I don't deem appropriate for my 12 year old. 

Isaac ready for football

We also took the kids to the driving range-- primarily because Josh wanted to hit a few balls.  Isaac has his own clubs and Eli inherited Isaac's old set of clubs... they like to hit as well. 
Eli and a golf club = danger!
Look at Hoss carrying that bag... he's a beast
Maybe we need a few more lessons!
I wanna golf Daddy!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Eli playing 
Olivia playing


We had our two big hills paved!!! Whhoohoo! I love my house, I love being in the woods, and I love my long driveway ( 1/3 mile)...But driving up steep gravel hills isn't the most fun. We just kept throwing money in gravel where the hills would wash and rut so we decided to suck it up and go ahead and pave the two hills. It's so nice and smooth now; I've just wanted to drive up and down, up and down.  Eli loved having the hills paved. He wanted to be outside the whole time to watch all the equipment and he wanted to know the name of each vehicle and what it was used for. We had to stay off of the drive all day on Friday so we used the four wheeler to get to the car that we parked at the bottom of the drive.  It was interesting getting all 5 of us down the hill!
The hill pre-paved... Here is Isaac walking up the hill after the bus brought him home from school.
The paving process
Afterwards... so smooth
Josh, Iz, and E headed down on the fourwheeler. Don't worry Livi wasn't in the car seat. Eli was a bit worried though. He kept telling Josh "Don't drop Baby Sissy!" 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Olivia is 4 months!

4 month stats:

Weight: 14.1 lbs (50%)
Height: 25 1/4 inches (50-75%)

Little Miss Olivia Jane had a good 4 month check. On her Ages and Stages questionnaire she was on target developmentally and her milk is definitely agreeing with her. Lil' Miss had 3 shots, the rotovirus drink and screamed like a panther during all three shots. Eli would always just cry for a second and then he was over it but Olivia likes the drama. She just kept screaming until I gave her the boob. She continues to make coo's, goo's, she has such a darling little laugh and especially likes to eat her toes or for you to 'get her' under her chin. She wears mostly 6 month clothes but even some 6 month pant sets are already becoming 'high waters'. She is still exclusively nursing; however, we do try to give a pumped breast-milk bottle occasionally so she won't refuse the bottle. Livi despises tummy time but we still try to do it a few times a day despite the protesting. She rolls from her back to belly and is getting much quicker at it. The other night I had her in a velcro swaddle laying on her back and when she woke up she was on the other side of the bed, completely out of her swaddle and on her belly. How she Houdini'ed out of that I have no clue. She loves it when I put her hearing computers on and just looks around, smiles and listens. I have noticed that she talks more when they are off... maybe because she is so intent on listening when she has them in. She isn't doing very well in the sleeping at night department;  I'm up continuously throughout the night. We are going to try to put her in her room this weekend so we'll see how that goes. We love you Livi Lou! Eli still says "I love you baby sissy, I love you!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pre-school here we come!

Eli started pre-school last week! Wow,  I can't believe he is even old enough for that yet. Amber (one of my besties and colleague) and I would talk when we were pregnant with Eli and Rachel that it would be so neat for them to be in Mrs. Jennifer's class together. We are lucky to have a wonderful Family Resource Pre-school class right outside my old classroom at our elementary school.  A lot of the kids this year are faculty kids... we had a baby boom in 2010. So this year our little two year olds started the Tuesday/Thursday class from 8:30-11:30. Basically it's more trouble that it's worth now that we've moved because it's a good 15 minute drive... there and back x2= 1 hour!  My sis, Audra, wanted Carter to have some socialization since she is staying home with the boys and so he is in Eli's class too. They are both doing great. Audra and I ordered the EXACT same backpacks with the same orange colored letters and WE DIDN'T KNOW what the other one was ordering. We have some crazy sister vibe. 

Carter and E with their matching backpacks
This isn't the first day of school.. I was running too late that day to even get a picture
He's such a solemn little man in pictures. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Chronicles of the Grocery Store

Going to the grocery store with babies is a nightmare period but going to the grocery store in a torrential rain storm with babies ranks up there with top misery.  If you make it to the grocery store then you shouldn't have to do anything else that day... it's that much work. I avoided going for 2 days straight and the only reason I sucked it up and ventured out was that the dishes in the dishwasher were starting to smell ( I was out of detergent) and I was having to hand wash everything. I only had two kids (Isaac was at school) to load up so I am very empathetic to those of you have more than 2 small children to load.

When we got there Eli wanted to drive the car buggy and I told him yes; however then I realized the car seat wouldn't fit in the car buggy. Instead of busting his bubble and causing complete toddler meltdown I squeezed Olivia's seat beside him on the car buggy and we started on our journey. The shopping part went pretty well. After I  checked out I looked outside and it was POURING... the kind of rain where it starts to flood the parking lot. I didn't have an umbrella because of course it wasn't raining when I went inside so we had to make a run for it. By the time I got to the car, got Olivia in, buckled Eli up and put all the groceries in the car I was completely drenched. There wasn't one dry spot left on my body.  It's a lot of rain when there is an inch of rain in the bottom of the grocery bags. Then of course the work doesn't stop when you get home. You still have to unload all the cargo (babies + groceries) and then put everything away! I let Eli go ride his tricycle in the rain since we were wet already... he thought that was just grand. He kept saying "I am soaked Mommy!". After a nice warm shower for Eli, and some warm milk for Olivia it was NAP time!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy birthday Daddy!

My Daddy would have been 62 on September 8th. It's hard to believe that he has been gone a year and a half already.  I miss his laughter, I miss his smile, I miss how he would squeeze my hand so tight, I miss the way he would call me "Su-mar-ie", I miss sitting in his lap, I miss how much he loved me so. I am thankful for his provision, I am thankful that he didn't have to suffer long with cancer, I am thankful he died peacefully in his bed, I am thankful that he is with his mama (my sweet Bubba) in Heaven.

Ears, ears...

So you know when your pregnant or want to be pregnant and you see pregnant bellies everywhere... well that's the way it's been for me and ears lately. I seem to seek out ears where ever I am. For example at church last Sunday I saw several elderly people with hearing aids... some aids were grey colored to match grey hair,  and some were tan to match skin color. One man even had hearing aids that had no noticeable mold.

Olivia has been doing great with her 'hearing computers'. I think the term 'hearing computers' sounds much more friendly than 'hearing aid'.  A fellow speech pathologist that has a daughter with a hearing impairment gave me this idea; so we have been referring to Olivia's devices as hearing computers as well.  We try to wear them all waking hours of the day; however,  there are days (such as today when I accidentally left them sitting on my dresser) when we forget to put them in right away.  She hasn't tried to pull them out and other than being a bit wiggly when I put them in is tolerating them well.

Luckily her new molds came in the mail yesterday because the current ones are definitely getting too small. I was starting to hear feedback when she was wearing them.  With Josh's help we just trimmed the tubing ourselves so she could go ahead and wear her new molds. I think we did okay for our first tube trim. The left one looks a bit short but maybe it will be okay for a while.  This first pair of ear molds only lasted 6 weeks so I am sure we will be going through several pair.  I know this is weird but I saved this first set to put in her baby book!

Livi's therapy is going well. We are working with Hannah from REACH on Tuesday mornings and Kristin, the oral/deaf educator comes out for an hour every Wednesday.  Hannah is actually trying to find out how to help me become certified as an Auditory Verbal Therapist since we don't have very many in Western North Carolina. I am also going to NC AG Bell's conference in November which I need for continuing education credit as well as to learn more about hearing loss to help Olivia.

Sunday, September 2, 2012