Ya'll Come Back Now, Ya Hear?
Monday, October 29, 2007

Author: Catrina
Wine Selection: Mirassou Merlot

If you're from the south, this is a phrase that you hear quite frequently. While Oklahoma doesn't have a whole lot to offer in the way of breathtaking scenery or recreation, people often gravitate towards that part of the country in search of the amazing southern hospitality and strong sense of togetherness that can often be found there. Although I love living in the Pacific Northwest, I find myself longing, at times, to get back to the state that I will always call home. I miss the spectacular sunsets and the way the earth seems to stand still while you gaze across a quiet prairie. But most of all, I find myself missing my family--especially my nieces and nephew.

Little Hayden wasn't even three when we moved to Oregon, and now he is going to Kindergarten this year!! I feel like we've missed out on so much, as he's turned into such a little man! I'm no longer "Ti Ti", but simply "Aunt Catrina"--how boring!! Ha! He's now playing soccer, and I wish so badly that we could go to his games to cheer for him.

Then there is Little Miss Emily, also known as Emmie. She is a big three year old now, and has quite the personality, I'm told. Like her mama, it's either her way or the highway. I give her a few more years before she's got that household running just the way she wants it! :-) She also bears an uncanny resemblance to another curly-headed cutie. What do you think?

And Keaten, who joined our family when she was only four, is now a full-fledged teenager. She has turned into such a beautiful young woman. It's hard to believe that she'll be behind the wheel of a car in a few years. Good grief. Where has the time gone?

I miss everyone so much, and I'm looking forward to being able to see them over the holidays. I know Wyatt is looking forward to having his big cousin, Hayden teach him how to kick the soccer ball around. See you all in about 8 weeks! Love ya!

Holding Down the Fort

Author: Catrina
Wine Selection: Twin Fin Cabernet Sauvignon

Since Wyatt is now somewhat old enough to sit still long enough to enjoy a movie, we thought it was a perfect time to start our Walt Disney movie collection. To make the introduction to such childhood classics much more fun, we decided to devote one night each week to watching a new Disney movie together as a family. We are calling this our "Friday Night Fort Flick" (say that three times fast!), where we construct an awesome fort in the living room (complete with a tunnel access), build a fire, and make some fresh popcorn. We've watched two flicks thus far--Bambi and Fox and the Hound--both of which Wyatt absolutely adored. The experience has proven to be far more exciting than I think even Eric or I anticipated. It seems as though everything revolves around movie night these days, and a great deal of thought goes into the movie selection for each week. We're having tons of fun, and it is a great family activity for the rainy winter months.

He CAN smile for the camera!
Saturday, October 27, 2007

Author: Catrina
Wine Selection: Twin Fin Cabernet Sauvignon

I'm so excited to finally have Wyatt's 2-year pictures! After a couple of very frustrating trips to so-called children's photography studios, my hopes of obtaining just a single good picture of my super active toddler were quickly fading. Now, I know that photographing a 2-year old can be quite challenging, which is why I no longer photograph him myself. But seriously, if you want to get a good photograph of a toddler, you have to put forth a bit more effort than, "Hey Wyatt. Look at me and smile!" (Just a little FYI for those "children's photography studios" we visited.) I mean, I can do that myself! So, you can just imagine my delight when a good friend of mine recommended Yuen Lui. As it turns out, it's really NOT that difficult to get good pictures of a rambunctious toddler. We had a fabulous experience, and Wyatt thought the photographer was really cool, with all of the fun tricks he had up his sleeve.

So, it's been just over a month now that a big, bad 2-year old has been living under our roof. For the most part, it's really not much different. Wyatt is still extremely strong-willed, which I suspect will only get worse in the next few months, and finding the right disciplinary techniques has proven to be quite difficult since nothing we do seems to have much of an impact on his behavior. Just the other day, I gave him that dreaded "death stare" when he did something he shouldn't have done. If it had been my mom doing that to me, I would have been peeing my pants. But of course, what does Wyatt do? He ends up staring me down!!! I couldn't believe it! I totally caved after what seemed like a lifetime of staring into his ornery (but very cute) blue eyes! I'm telling ya, the dude has a tude with spirit to match! This parenting stuff is much harder than I ever thought it could be. I never thought I'd be two years into motherhood and still wondering when I will actually get to be in charge. Seriously, when do you actually get to the point where you tell your child to do something, and they actually listen?!?! You moms out there with older children may be able to shed some light into the matter. I really don't see it happening for me--EVER!

While Wyatt may be a little on the crazy (and chronically sleep-deprived) side, he's also so incredibly lovable. I've never met a more social two year old. He loves to be around other kids (regardless of age), and they love to be around him. He really does light up a room with his smile, and for some reason, other kids really gravitate towards him. I love that I never have to worry about him sharing toys or being aggressive towards others. He's also just inherently funny, which makes for really fun stories--like the one you're about to read.

Now that he is a big two-year old, he has somehow (maybe from daddy?) learned how to force a belch. He thinks it is hilarious, while I find it rather annoying. Anyway, a couple mornings ago after drinking his milk, he got right up in my face and tried to force a belch. Well, he ended up regurgitating some milk, which made a big splat on the floor. I looked at him in frustration and asked, "What do you think you are doing?". He looked at me, and very seriously responded, "Good-NESS! I got hiccups!". You gotta love a two year old who is finally learning how to communicate!

He's also using his imagination a lot these days. It seems as though everything he picks up and carries throughout the house is a pizza! I promise, we don't even eat it that often, but for some reason he's obsessed. He also loves to drum on just about everything and refers to any tall structure as the tower of power!--thanks to his buddies, The Backyardigans.

His favorite phrases this week seem to be, "I got you now!", "It's amazing!", "I CAN'T do it!", and "I can't believe it!". His little brain is like a sponge, soaking up every bit of information he possibly can. It makes teaching him so much more fun now that I can tell whether or not I'm actually making a difference!

Physically, he's a bit taller and heavier than average, and extremely strong! At his well-child check up last month, he weighed 30 lbs and was 35 inches tall (75th-80th percentile for both). The poor guy still has a tiny head. I stopped keeping track of his measurements, but he's in like the 25th percentile (at most) for head circumference. Leave it to his dad to pass along the Tiny Head Syndrome! :-) Way to go, dad!

Skinny Bones Jones!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Avery is now 4 months old, and the time could not be going by any faster. Aside from growing like a weed, she is now starting to play with her toys. I think she prefers playing with her links over anything else--mostly because she can easily get them in her mouth. Ah, yes--the teething is in full force these days! But she also really likes to play with her little book that makes crackling noises, and LOVES to stare at my metallic silver coffee thermos and bright orange water jug. She is enamored with bright colors.

It is becoming more and more evident that our little Avery is going to be a bit on the shy and sensitive side. The poor thing often appears to be frightened by loud noises and the presence of strangers. It is obvious that she is most comfortable in the arms of her mommy. However, we have recently learned (thanks to Renee who recently babysat for us) that she will tolerate being held by others as long as she is facing away from the person. Apparently, as long as she doesn't have to look at the stranger holding her, then she is fine. Hmmm...quirky little girl, eh?

Even though she tends to be a little bit on the cautious side, she thinks her big brother is absolutely hilarious! We generally can't get her to laugh very often, but if Wyatt does a little dance for her and makes funny faces then she is quite the giggle box. Here he is giving his baby sister some love.

She went in for her well-child check up this morning, and she seems to be continuing her trend of being very long and skinny. She is starting to chunk up a little bit, as she now has a couple of chins, puffy cheeks, and meaty thighs. She did as well as could be expected with her immunizations, which apparently induce sleep because she is napping beautifully at the moment! :-)

Here are her 4-month stats:

Height: 25.5 inches (90th %)
Weight: 13 lbs 1 oz (40th %)
Head Circumference: 16 inches (40th %)

As a comparison, here are her 2-month stats:

Height: 23.5 inches (90th %)
Weight: 10 lbs 8 oz (45th %)
Head Circumference: 15.2 inches (50th %)

Bouncin' Good Time!
Monday, October 22, 2007

Author: Catrina
Wine Selection: Too early for wine. Hopefully coffee will be just as effective at stimulating creative thoughts. I'm doubtful!

Bouncing, jumping, climbing, and sliding. For an energetic toddler, this means exciting fun. For a post-partum, out of shape mama, it translates into a WORKOUT!!! This was our experience this past weekend when Wyatt and I were invited to a birthday party at Pump It Up. Wyatt's little buddy, Brayden celebrated his second birthday over the weekend and he was thrilled to be able to help his good friend celebrate his special day by literally spending an afternoon bouncing off the walls--this was even BEFORE birthday cake! Here is Wyatt with Brayden, the birthday boy.

Wyatt absolutely LOVED the huge slide, and had no problems climbing to the top all by himself. He did, however, struggle with the rules when it came to sliding down feet first. Our little danger dog kept trying to slide head first before being corrected.

Let me tell you, that slide was super fast too! I was pretty stunned the first time I went down, but after I knew what to expect, I think Wyatt and I were in competition to see who could go down the fastest. I guess I won that one because at one point I went flying off the end, executing a very graceful (yeah right!) somersault, landing right on my neck. Needless to say, that was my last trip down the slide!

Towards the end of the party, Wyatt discovered the pint-sized water fountain and suddenly became VERY thirsty. Here he is trying to get it all figured out.

We both had such a fun time, and it was great getting to spend some one-on-one time with my little man. We were both exhausted and neither of us protested the very early bedtime. Thanks to the Boley's for allowing us to share in such a fun birthday celebration!!

Loving His Little Sister to Death
Sunday, October 7, 2007

Author: Catrina
Wine Selection: Louis M Martini Cabernet Sauvignon (usually not a fan of cabs, but this one is FABULOUS!)

Ants, roly polies, tiny frogs, and other various bugs and insects.

What do all of these things have in common? They have all (at one time or another) been "loved to death" by our very curious toddler. We'll occasionally stumble upon the poor remains on the floor after Wyatt has been exploring in the backyard, or we'll sadly witness their impending fate as Wyatt discovers a bug, picks it up with such vigor (vigor being the key word), and enthusiastically runs toward us to showcase his new pet, which is now dead. Now we're wondering...will he transfer this "love" for bugs and insects to his baby sister?

You be the judge!

Although I do have to occasionally intervene before he actually "loves" his sister to death, he is (for the most part) very gentle with her. It is very obvious that he just can't wait until she is old enough to play with him. He is constantly trying to share his toys with her, give her a high five, or get her to dance with him (almost dislocating her joints as he tries to pull her out of her bouncy seat).

Here he is sharing his records, which also (apparently) serve as hats. This picture was taken moments after he set the entire record player on her lap.

He also managed to share his blocks with her without causing any major bumps or bruises to her head. He hasn't quite learned that Avery is too little to play catch.

You can tell that he so desperately wants her to give him a high five. He's a pretty persistent little guy. I wouldn't be surprised if she has the skill mastered in a couple of weeks.

Finally, here he is trying to teach her some of his best moves (I like the tongue). He's quite the dancer, don't you think? He must get that from his mama! Hopefully he won't aspire to be a Solid Gold dancer like his mama though...his daddy would kill me!

As you can tell, he is all about showin' the love to his baby sister. I must admit, it can get incredibly annoying at times, as it feels like I have to literally peel him off of her every five minutes, but I'm hoping it will pay off as they get older. I want nothing more than for them to be the greatest of friends, sharing their life experiences with one another. She already adores her big brother and thinks he's pretty funny. We'll see how she feels in a few years when he's drawing mustaches on her barbies and baking mud pies in her easy-bake oven!

Avery is 3 months!
Monday, October 1, 2007

Author: Catrina
Wine Selection: Sebeca Sauvignon Blanc

Our little girl has been growing so fast! She recently turned 3 months, and is just as sweet as ever. Her personality is really starting to shine. Apart from her general laid-back disposition, she has been struck with a bit of stranger anxiety. It's a bit early for her to show such a strong preference for certain people, but it's pretty obvious when she needs her mommy. Her big brother would go to anybody as long as his needs were being met, but she is quite the opposite.

Just in the past couple of days she has been babbling like crazy. The little girl LOVES to talk! Her sleep has deteriorated at night, mostly caused by her very first illness (an ear infection, we think). She is finally starting to feel better, and I'm just praying she is able to hold on to her title of Miss Dream Baby by resuming her great sleep habits.
She doesn't cry much (only when she's tired), and her smile is enough to make you melt.

Her likes
: her pacifier, chewing on her hands, being carried in her sling, cuddling up to mommy, her brother's hugs and kisses, diaper changes, and flirting.

Her dislikes: strange smells, loud noises, and being tired.



My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771