Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Tree Decorating

Hello and happy almost-New Year!

We hope everyone had a great Christmas last week and is getting ready to have a fun night tonight. Our Christmas was wonderful even though it involved a little more vomit than I would have liked ('cause everyone likes a little vomit, amirite?? Ok.). I ended up catching the stomach bug that Patrick and Angie had and spent the night before Christmas Eve pretty sick. Luckily, I was able to rest all Christmas Eve and Christmas day went off without a hitch. I even felt well enough Christmas night to eat the great dinner Grandma and Grandpa Flowers cooked for everyone. We're still getting all the pictures together from the day's festivities but we'll put those here as soon as we have them.

Our dilemma right now is what to do when we have to get rid of the tree - Patrick LOVES it. He un-decorates and re-decorates the bottom half of it at least once a day. And he has to show everyone who comes in the house how the lights plug in to make it pretty. Which usually means he looks at me and says "Daddy, plug it!" then once I've 'plugged it' he says "Preeeeettty." I've posted a video below of him decorating it when we first put it up. He didn't really like to hang the ornaments on the branches so much as just shove the ornaments into the tree. He also likes to put just about everything in the tree as an "ornament." Over the last few weeks we've found random Christmas decorations, books, the TV remote, his toys and more in the tree.

The last part of this video is a segment we like to call "How Not To Parent" in which we miserably fail at disciplining Patrick for throwing a couple ornaments (he was apparently bored after an hour of decorating) by laughing at his ridiculous faces, head movements and goofy walking. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"...And Threw up the Sash."

This last weekend was round one of Christmas. We got to spend it up at the Suskay Cabin celebrating with the whole family. As a special treat, Mandie and Tim (along with Baby Garity!) flew in from Idaho.

Christmas time is full of traditions. One of the many Christmas traditions my family has had for as long as I can remember was that my Dad would read 'The Night Before Christmas' every Christmas Eve. There was another tradition that went along with the story though, which was this: at the point when it said "Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash", all the kids in the family would make the loudest and most awful vomiting noise they could muster, as if they were "throwing up" the sash. This simultaneously ruined the moment and, in a strange way, somehow made it all the more endearing. Year after year we do this, no matter how old we all are.

Patrick, not wanting to be outdone by his old man, decided that this year he would literally throw up for the duration of Christmas Weekend Part I. He apparently doesn't get that you're supposed to save it for that very specific part in the story. He started about an hour before we were planning on leaving the house for the cabin then kept it coming every 20 minutes or so for the next several hours. Still confused on the timing of it all, he acted fine the entire next day until about 6 PM when he gave it another try. I kept telling him "Not yet! Wait for me to read the story at least!" but the kid refused to listen. In fact, after that night, he stayed cool for the rest of the weekend until this morning when I went to get him up for school and found him and his bed covered in...well, we'll just call it "the sash." And I don't know if it was just motherly empathizing, or confusion over the tradition as well*, but Angie joined in on the fun Saturday night too. Way to give 110% to the spirit of Christmas Tradition, honey!

Despite all the sash expulsion, we still managed to have a great time, tons of good food, and Patrick got even more spoiled than he already was. We also had a mini baby shower for Mandie and Tim. They just found out last week that they're going to have a little boy!

I've put a slideshow from the weekend below and a direct link to the entire gallery right here. You'll also see some pictures from St. Nick's Day which is one of Angie's family traditions we're carrying on. For Patrick, it's just a good reason to not have to wait till Christmas for all the presents.

We hope everyone has a great Christmas week! We'll update after the festivities with more pictures and how Patrick is feeling.

*It could also be that stomach viruses are pretty highly contagious. But, I'm not a doctor so I don't pretend to know those kinds of things.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thanksgiving Pictures and Updates

We had a great turkey day. We spent the morning relaxing at home making food and having Patrick paint hand-print-turkeys. Then we spent the afternoon and evening with the Flowers over at the Hopkins' house where we ate a great Thanksgiving dinner. Patrick had a fun time terrorizing the dog (mostly on accident), pointing at and naming everything in their house and just being loud and silly with his aunts and uncles.

The next morning we packed up and headed to the Suskay Cabin. We spent Friday and Saturday there doing a lot more relaxing and eating. Patrick got his first flashlight, helped plant a tree, raked a lot of leaves and learned about the Buckeyes (thanks Matt - "go go go!").

Here's a slideshow from November. If you want to see all the pictures at once though, you can visit the picture gallery.

As for the rest of life, things have been very busy but very good. Patrick turned 17 months old today which is kind of insane. I can't believe he's almost 1 1/2. We took him to the pediatrician a couple weeks ago for his H1N1 follow-up and he had gained two pounds in the month since he had last been in! He's also about 31 inches now.

New things he's doing...there are a lot. He's talking non-stop now and repeats everything we say. When he gets bored playing with toys or reading books he just walks around the house naming things and telling us the story of what last happened there. Which is another cool thing he's started doing lately. He's made the jump from just saying words to actually trying to put the narrative together around his day using the words he knows. So, he'll walk on the front porch where I just recently put our garland and lights up and say "Daddy...garland...lights...up high...plug it in...turn on...preeeetty." It's so fun listening to him recount his whole day and see what he remembers from it. We'll try to get some video of him chatting and post it.

Angie has officially entered the third trimester which is very exciting. Madelyn's doing well and growing right on track. They actually said our due date may be about six days off which would put her being born in early March. We'll be painting her room this weekend and then finally getting her furniture out of our dining room and up into her room.

And finally, Patrick got to meet his brand new cousin, Carson Bean last weekend. We took a trip over to the Bean's house to visit with them and let Patrick meet Carson for the first time. He did really well with her actually and was very sweet and gentle. He had a few seconds of jealousy/weirdness the first time he saw me holding her but once he got to look at her up close and touch her he was fine with it. The rest of the time we were there he alternated between being very cuddly with her and us and completely ignoring her and trying to play with the dogs and fish.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Carson Danielle Bean is Here!

Just wanted to do a quick post to let everyone know that Katie and Brandon (who announced they were pregnant on Easter earlier this year) had their beautiful baby girl, Carson Danielle Bean, this morning. Here are the details:

Born at 10:50 AM
Weighs 6 lbs 5.4 oz
Length is 19.25 inches long
Curly brown hair

Here are a few pictures from the day:

Everyone is doing great. Carson and Katie are both healthy and seemed to be getting the rest they need and Brandon has finally stopped shaking with excitement.

Congratulations again Brandon and Katie. We're so excited for the two of you and your beautiful daughter and so happy that Carson has such wonderful people as parents.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

3 Week Wrap-up

As Katie pointed out in the comments of the last post, it is indeed about time for an update. We've had a fun but busy month so I'm just going to bullet point the highlights.

The weekend of the seventh, Angie and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary. Our anniversary isn't actually until this Friday, the 27th, but we knew things would be crazy around then. We had an awesome weekend to ourselves at the W hotel and did a lot of relaxing, talking without ever having to try 6 times to get a full sentence out before being interrupted and a lot of eating without having to clean up or apologize to a waiter for the food on the floor. I did have Angie throw her vegetables over the side of the table every so often just to make it feel a little more like home. While we were enjoying the time together, Patrick was with his Meme and Papa Joe and, as always, loving every second of it.

The next weekend, we had some painting to get done in Madelyn's room. (Yes, that's the final name and spelling of the name. More on that below). We dropped Patrick off in the morning with his Grandpa and Grandma Flowers and went back to our house to start the fun. We quickly realized that we had done absolutely NO planning at all for the day and still had to put a tarp down, bring the paint up from the basement, make sure we had rollers, etc. You think we wouldn't be this out of practice since we just did this for Patrick's room a couple years ago. In the end though, we got the whole room primed (it was a deep blue color before and now it'll be a light pink on 3 walls and a greenish/grayish/bluish color on the other wall), the ceiling painted and all the carpets in the house shampooed. While we were painting, Grandma and Grandpa took Patrick to the Chattahoochee Nature Center where he got to see turtles, bald eagles, beavers and, his current favorite, owls. He had a really fun time and the next day was still telling us about the animals (he woke up saying "whoo! whoo!" and "beafer").

Last weekend, we went to the Suskay Cabin to celebrate Abbie's birthday. It was nice to be with everyone including our friends Betsy and Travis who came in from North Carolina. We spent Saturday on a long hike (much longer than Matt had told us it would be. Abbie, make sure to remind him of that.) to see the Raven Cliff Falls. The hike was beautiful, the weather was perfect and Patrick enjoyed seeing everything from way up high in the backpack. We carried him the whole way in and then let him run around and climb on the rocks once we got to the falls. He also discovered moss and became fixated on trying to get it off the tree with a stick. He loved climbing the rocks though and sitting on them all by himself. One of our favorite things in life right now is seeing him be proud of himself and we got to see a lot of that while he was climbing on the rocks. It was very cute.

And that pretty much brings us up to now. We're excited about Thanksgiving being this week and the time it means we get to spend with each other. We're spending Thursday with my family and eating at my Aunt Ellie's house that night and then leaving Friday afternoon for the cabin and doing Thanksgiving up there with the Suskays.

Also, in the "very exciting news" department, Katie and Brandon will be having their little girl, Carson Danielle, on December first! It's hard to believe it's only a week away and that by this time next week, they'll be parents of a little girl. We're really happy for both of them and can't wait to meet our new niece. Please say a prayer next Tuesday that everything goes well during delivery and a speedy recovery for Katie.

As for our own bundle o' joy in the works, we DID decide on the name during our anniversary weekend. Her name is Madelyn Claire. She's been super active lately and now that she's getting bigger we can see and feel her move more than ever. Angie's doing great with the pregnancy and is handling the 27-weeks-pregnant-and-chasing-a-16-month-old-around-and-working-part-time thing extremely well. She really teaches me more and more about patience every day.

We created a photo album for the month of November. There's the slide show beneath or you can view the whole album at once by clicking this link.

We hope everyone has a very fun and safe Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 2009

I mean, come on. Is that not the cutest fireman you've ever seen? I've seen a lot of firemen*, but I am completely powerless against this little guy.

Like I said in the last post, we scrapped the lion costume we had bought Patrick a couple months ago because he refused to wear it for any length of time. I completely understand why. It's pretty big and heavy and hot. Luckily, firemen don't carry anything big or heavy and they never have to get hot. Side note: kids are not logical.

We had a lot of fun on Halloween. As everyone here knows, it rained almost the entire day so it made for a very soggy trick-or-treat outing. While it was still raining pretty hard and we thought we might not be able to make it to any other houses, we figured we'd practice trick-or-treating at our own house. I took Patrick outside and Ang stayed inside with the candy. Then we told him to go "knock knock knock" on the door and when it opened say "Trick or treat!" and then he'd get a piece of candy. Patrick latched onto the word "piece" for some reason and just kept calling the candy "piece." So he'd go to the door, knock on it (while yelling "KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK") and then when Angie opened the door he'd just yell "PIECE!", and go straight for the candy. Once the rain calmed down we took him to a few other houses and had to explain at each one why he was screaming "piece" at them.

More than the candy, he seemed to like all the pumpkins and ghosts and lights. And as you can see in the picture above, he made friends with a few scarecrows at a neighbor's house. I think he likes them because they're all the same height as him.

Here's a slideshow of the night. And like I said before, the full album of pictures can be found here.

*Angie keeps calendars of them all over our house. Something about "honoring our heroes." It's weird though, she only honors the firemen that don't wear shirts.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pre-Halloween Fun

Tonight is Halloween but it's looking like we may not get to do a lot of trick-or-treating due to the rain. We have had fun this last week getting ready for Halloween though. Last weekend, Patrick and I went out on the driveway and carved our pumpkin. I expected him to last a few minutes then get bored but he ended up loving the entire process. He was a big help in getting the "gook" (his word for it) out of the pumpkin.

He also found out that pumpkin gook is very slippery and by the end of the carving he was covered in it from his waste down after slipping and falling in it over and over.

At the end of it, he was excited to see a face on the pumpkin and because it had a face, it needed to be kissed...several times.

Despite attaching a personality to the pumpkin because of the face, he still tried to eat the insides. Judging by his expression, I think Patrick found out why we don't eat the inside of our pumpkins.

Today, we were going to let Patrick have a pumpkin cupcake for dessert in celebration but he spotted them early and was determined to have them before night. So, we let him have the giant pumpkin cupcake for a snack. He of course made a big orange frosting mess of himself and everything around him - as he should. Here are a few pictures of the fun:

Welcoming the cupcake with open arms. He looks so inviting and happy to see it.

Diggin' in.

He looks so angry!

Just burped after finishing the cupcake off. At least he was polite and covered his mouth.

So hopefully we'll be able to go out tonight at least to a couple houses. Patrick is going as a fireman instead of the originally planned lion (he wouldn't keep the hood of the costume on for more than a minute). I put up a photo album for Halloween 09 with a few more pictures from the pumpkin carving. We'll also be putting the pictures we take tonight up there. You can find the album here.

Hope everyone has a good, safe and dry night!

Monday, October 19, 2009

This Looks Promising

Yesterday was Aunt Anna's twentieth birthday (crazy). We had planned to have a combo birthday party for Angie and Anna at Grandpa and Grandma Flowers' house yesterday afternoon. Sadly, Ang was feeling terrible yesterday and had to stay home so she could rest. But, Patrick and I still went to the party and returned with a very welcomed cake and some of Grandma Flowers' awesome lasagna.

Before the party, Aunt Katie had requested that we bring the sonogram video over so the whole family could watch it. Not wanting to disappoint (and happy to use any excuse to watch the video of my baby girl) I brought the video. While we were watching the video, we told Patrick that it was his baby sister on the TV. Patrick went to the TV, put his little hand on it and said "baby", and then tried to hug the baby and give her a kiss. Once he knew it was the baby on the TV, he had to touch it every time he walked by it. Luckily, Uncle Jonathan snapped a picture of it one of the times.

So far, he and baby girl are off to a good start.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Zoo Trip

Last weekend we went to the zoo with our good friends, the Barkers, and their two kids, Andrew and Jordan. Luckily the weather held up this time and it was a beautiful day. All the kids had a great time and we had a really fun time watching them enjoy it.

Patrick's favorite part was the petting zoo where they had goats, pigs and sheep for the kids to watch, touch and generally follow around. Patrick has learned by teasing Roxy that one way to get an animal to move is to go up behind it and hit its tail. He tried this MANY times in the petting zoo as you'll see in the pictures.

He was pretty excited everywhere we went in the zoo because he's seen all of these animals in the books we read and thought it was great to see them in real life. As you can tell from the pictures, his pointing finger got a good workout as he tried to show us everything he saw. Here's a slideshow of some of the pictures we took:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's a Girl!

Well, the title of the post kind of says it all. Today Angie and Patrick and I visited the OB where Ang had a sonogram done that very clearly revealed our bun in the oven is a little baby girl! Obviously, we're both ecstatic and can't wait to meet our daughter (...that's really fun to say).

The sonogram was very cool, as our little girl was active and seemed to be trying to put her hands in her mouth. The doctor said everything looks great, she has a healthy heart beat, is measuring well and is already about 12 ounces; which puts her in the sixty-fourth percentile.

We have the whole video recorded onto a VHS (!!1992!!) so I'm going to try to convert that into a digital format that I can post on here. We also have a few pictures that we'll scan in and see if they look like anything. If they do, I'll post those up here as well.

In lieu of a video or pictures of the new baby, I'm going to post the pictures from when we told our families we were pregnant with #2. Here's how it went down...

We started with Grandma and Grandpa Flowers. They came over for dinner one night and right as they were about to leave we told them we had taken some cute pictures of Patrick earlier that day in the wagon they gave him. We showed them a series of three or four pictures and ended it with this one:

Of course, they were surprised and happy and mad that I waited till they were about to leave to show them the pictures. Then we had to devise a plan to get the rest of our family together to tell them. More on that in a minute though.

Next up was the Suskays. We were all going to Ocean Isle for the annual trip so we thought it would be a perfect time to tell them. One night as we were finishing dinner I told everybody I wanted to get a picture of the whole group together. They all posed and I said "1...2...everybody say "Angie and Toby are pregnant again!..." and then started taking pictures. It was great. We got everyone's reactions on film and it's hilarious to see the order of who catches on the quickest. Before I show the series of pictures, I'd like to point out in advance Aunt Abbie's face. It's priceless. It remains the same for the first several pictures while everyone else around her reacts. The first thing she said when she saw the pictures afterwards was "Oh my gosh! That's not how I felt!" Perfect. Here they are...

Those seriously never get old to me.

Once we were back from the beach, Grandma and Grandpa Flowers helped us hatch a plot to get all the siblings together. They told everyone we were having a back to school dinner and dessert like we used to do when we were little. It was a tradition in our house that every summer right before we went back to school, my mom would bake a cake and we would all go out on the back porch and eat it with our hands. Kind of a last hurrah before we all took the bus back to serious town.

So, we all got together and when it was cake eatin' time we pulled the same ol' trick since it had worked so well the first time and got everyone together for a picture. Apparently I mumbled though and Brandon and Jonathan thought I said "Angie and Toby aren't pregnant again!" Which isn't so exciting*. Thus, their reactions are a bit lackluster. But Anna and Katie and Tom are all fun to watch. Here they are...

And that was that.

*Actually, in retrospect, that's hysterical that they thought I would announce that and trying to imagine what was going through their minds is very funny to me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Angie's Birthday and Fall Festival

Hello again! We had planned on posting some pictures from the zoo a few weeks back but ol' Mother Nature must have known the animals were going to be lame that day because she poured a bunch of rain on us that forced us to postpone our zoo trip. Ol' Mother Nature must have also known that we wanted to sit in traffic for hours and have our ceiling ruined right above our front door, because she went right from squashing the zoo trip to flooding most of the state and testing how water proof our roof is. Test results: 90%. Which is good because that means our roof got an 'A' but bad because that means 10% failed and started leaking. But that's the kind of teacher Mother Nature is. She throws a pop quiz on a Monday afternoon and even when most of your house doesn't leak, she still makes you file a claim with your insurance company. I think I'm mixing my metaphors now.

Anyway, this last weekend we celebrated Angie's birthday with the Suskays up at the cabin. And on Saturday we went to the John C Campbell Folk School Fall Festival (or the JCCFSFF as I never referred to it even once). We had a lot of fun and saw tons of crafts and handmade whatnots. Patrick also got to experience a lot of firsts at the festival too.

Here are just a few:
  • First pony ride
  • First (but hopefully not last) encounter with an alpaca
  • First funnel cake
  • First fried cherry pie
  • First drum circle
  • First time mistaking a dog for a lion and roaring at it every time he saw it
  • First clogging show
  • First opportunity to catch whatever diseases you would get by touching horses then immediately putting your whole hand in your mouth
The highlights were definitely the pony ride, the alpacas and the drum circle. Patrick wasn't so sure about the pony at first but warmed up to it after a lap or two. I'm actually not even sure he realized he was on one until after the first lap.

Then there were the alpacas. For those of you that don't know what an alpaca is, it's a cross-breed of a llama and a Jonas Brother. I saw it on National Geographic so I KNOW IT'S TRUE. Also, this picture proves it:

Patrick spent a lot of his time near them trying to figure out if they were a sheep, a horse, a big dog or something else entirely. Sadly, alpacas are really shy and tried to stay as far away from us as possible so we didn't get to touch them.

We ended the festival with the drum circle. Angie recorded a few minutes of a Sesame Street the other week that has a "drum school" on it and Patrick has fallen in love with it. Every day he picks up my little hand drum, walks it to the middle of the room and points at the TV and asks for drum school. So we were pretty excited about him getting to see a drum circle in real life with a bunch of drums he could bang on. When we first arrived it was more of a drum triangle with just a few adults. But once we got closer they invited us into the group and then more kids started showing up. They had a few extra drums that Patrick got to bang on and some tambourines he could play too. He had a great time and it was a good way to end the day. Needless to say, he slept the whole way back to the cabin.

In Baby Number 2 News, we'll find out the gender this Thursday! Which will be great because then we can finally stop calling the baby "Baby #2" and refer to it by its real name. We're really excited to find out if this will be a boy or a girl. We've been rearranging the house and playing room-function-musical-chairs as we turn the guest room into a nursery and the drum room into an office and our garage into a dump. Just for now though. That'll get cleaned up in a couple weeks.

As usual, there are far too many pictures to work into the post so here are a few more from the weekend and then a slideshow. As always, if you'd rather just go straight to the picture gallery, you can click right here. There are some really cute ones of Patrick getting into the cupcakes, showing us the moon he found, dancing to the cloggers and more.

The Group.

Patrick taking Bo for a "walk"

Patrick's gotten very proud of his fork skills lately. He did this with every bite he took that meal.

Drum circle.