Thursday, April 29, 2010

Welcome Baby Creighton!

After 23 hours of labor my older sister, Mandie, and her husband, Tim, had a baby boy early in the morning on April 28th! Creighton Joseph Garity weighed 7 lbs 13 oz and has a reddish tint to his brown hair, just like his Daddy. The new family of three are in great spirits and enjoying the first few days of getting acquainted with one another. I’ve been told that Tim has been attentive to both baby and Mommy and Mandie reported to me today that she has yet to change a diaper. Go Tim! And a special thank you to my cousin, Rhiannon. She dropped everything when she got the call from Mandie that her water had broken and raced to Mandie’s house to be with her until Tim could get home. We love you, Reenie! Thank you for caring for Mandie as The Suskay women would have if we were there.

I can’t imagine a better Mom for little Creighton. So, I thought I’d make him a list of the top 5 reasons my big sister is going to be an amazing Mom.

5. She’s organized. I mean REALLY organized. There is a spreadsheet for pretty much everything and she always has a plan. You will thrive under her structured environment. It’s no wonder you are my sister’s child, arriving on your scheduled due date!

4. She’ll make you laugh. The crazy kind of laughing where you can’t stop. Sometimes until you pee in your pants (or maybe that’s just me…). That will come in handy when times get tough or things just are not working out the way you planned. She’ll be there, making a fool out of herself just to make you smile.

3. She’s honest. You never have to guess what she’s thinking or feeling about a person or a situation. If you are acting or looking crazy she will tell you straight up. There are few people in life like this and you will appreciate this rare quality more and more as you get older.

2. When she does something, she does it all the way. There is no half assing (is that a word?) in her world. Know that she thought about you and wanted you long before you were born. She’ll demand great things from you and you’ll be forever grateful that she did because it will push you to be your best.

1. Her love is fierce. She will go to the ends of the earth to prove it to you. (And she has no problem causing someone physical harm if they do you wrong. I say this from experience). She will always love you and never give up on you no matter what you do.

Welcome to the family, Creighton Danger! The Flowers Four can’t wait to meet you this summer at the beach!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2 Months!

Madelyn turned two months-old! (...okay, two weeks ago. I'm a little behind.) It's hard to believe that she's already this old. We took her to the pediatrician for her two month check and here are the stats:

11.7 lbs (exactly 5 lbs more than her birth weight)
22 inches long
Perfectly healthy and happy

She gets stronger every day and is able to hold her head up during tummy time for longer periods. She even rolled over from her tummy to her back the other night!

Madelyn is also finding her voice. It's really cute to watch her try to make sounds and she watches your mouth so intently while you talk to her. She definitely recognizes Angie, Patrick and me now and gives us big, goofy, tongue-out smiles all the time.

Here's a video of Madelyn chatting a little. At times it's hard to hear her because her big brother is banging away on the piano in the other room. Probably trying to get our attention since Angie and I are both intently focused on Madelyn. Because that's what awesome parents do: leave their almost two year-old son completely unattended near a large piano. 'Cause really, how much damage could a kid his age do? (Answer: a lot). Anyway, here's our little girl telling us a story...

The last two months with Madelyn have been wonderful. She is the easiest baby and always so sweet. She never cries unless she needs something and has been so amazing while living through our fumbles and our figuring out how to juggle both kids. She started sleeping through the night (6 hour stretches) the day she turned one month-old and has only slept longer each night since then. Most nights she does about 7-8 hours with the occasional fluke night of either 6 or 9. She still goes to bed late which has actually been nice because it means I get to come home from work and after Patrick is in bed, she and I get some good one-on-one play time. Her favorite game is to have someone make her run by moving her legs fast. Her eyes get huge and she sticks her tongue out and gets a big silly smile. We've been trying to get a video of it but she always sees the camera and starts playing it cool, as if she knows we'll show the video to her future boyfriend. (When she's 30.) And we will.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter 2010

Another witty title. My creative juices must be in overdrive today. Anyway: Happy Easter! We hope everybody had a great weekend with friends and family and rabbits.

First things first, I'd like to draw your attention to the prettiest little Easter girl I think I've ever seen...

I know, it's just outright parental bragging at this point but I think she's beautiful. When people found out we were having a little girl I was repeatedly warned that "there's just something about little girls" that would tug at my Daddy heart strings. It wasn't that I didn't believe all the people that told me this; I just didn't know how right they were. Something about seeing Madelyn in her little Easter dresses last weekend made me want to immediately go out and buy her a castle with a pony. And a rainbow. With a unicorn. All made of chocolate and magic.

Alright - on with the rest of the post...

Good Friday, I was off work and Patrick's school was closed so we all got to spend the whole day together. It was great. It was a much needed day of family time and getting-things-done-around-the-house time. Because of church Sunday morning, Patrick's nap and going to my family's house that afternoon, we ended up doing our Easter Morning on Saturday. Luckily, the Easter Bunny was able to modify his schedule to come by our house earlier than usual. Patrick's still too young to know why any of this is happening but he was pretty psyched to get a basket of toys when he woke up and then continually find eggs filled with snacks laying around our house. It was also a good practice run for the Easter Egg hunt at Meme and Papa's later that day. Madelyn slept through most of the morning events but Patrick made sure to show her what was inside every egg he had found when she woke up.

When we got to Meme and Papa's house, Patrick was spoiled even more by goodies. We also got to hang out with Michelle and Rob and their wonderful kids Allie and Koty who came in from Tennessee. Patrick and Allie hit it off right away and Patrick spent much of the afternoon following Allie around wondering what she was doing and wanting her to play with him. It was really cute and Allie was a great sport. After we ate, we went outside and looked for Easter eggs. All the eggs were marked with a letter for each kid's name and filled with all kinds of fun stuff. Patrick was definitely a little more ready to look for the eggs after having his practice round in the morning.

In the past, Angie has taken Patrick to the same mass I'm playing drums for on Sunday mornings. But this was the first time both kids would be coming and it was Easter which meant everyone has to wear seventeen other pieces of clothing they wouldn't normally wear. So rather than have Angie get both kids up, fed, dressed and to church by 7:45 AM with me, we decided to just have the family go to a later mass. I went on my own to play drums at the 8:30 mass and Ang came with the kids for the 10:30 mass. The great thing about this was that I got to actually sit with Angie and the kids for church and participate with them. It was a great way to spend Madelyn's first trip to church and a great way to celebrate Easter together. After mass, we took a few pictures by the church fountain then headed home for Patrick's nap time.

Later that afternoon, we packed up and headed over to Grandpa and Grandma's house for even more Patrick and Madelyn spoiling and a lot of great food. We spent a bunch of time playing outside, throwing the Frisbee for Lily - who I think Patrick is amazed by because she's the only living thing he knows of that might have more energy than him - and getting to hang out with family. Patrick was really excited to see everybody when we got there, especially his Uncle Jonathan. I wish I had a video camera when Patrick saw Jonathan for the first time that day. He was literally speechless and couldn't stop fidgeting with excitement. We often play a game where we say "What do you think so-and-so is doing?" and let Patrick come up with whatever it is they're doing. So we'll ask "Patrick, what do you think Grandma's doing right now" and he'll say "Cooking!" or something like that. But every time we say "What do you think Uncle Jonathan is doing right now" he just gets a big goofy grin and says "Silly!" Patrick was also very happy to see his cousin Carson. Every time he saw her he would squeal with delight and kept trying to rub his nose against her face and hug her. And we can't blame him, she's really cute.

All in all, a wonderful Easter. It's hard to believe that just a year ago Katie and Brandon told us they were expecting a baby and we didn't even know Madelyn would be here. A lot has changed since last Easter and we really couldn't be happier.

Here are a few more of our favorite pictures and a slideshow of even more.

Madelyn modeling the dress Meme made for her

Allie, Patrick and Koty

Madelyn and Aunt Mollie

Patrick playing soccer with Uncle Thomas

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy 100th Post! The Top 10

Hard to believe we've had 100 posts since the blog was started on June 12, 2008.

In honor of the 100th post, we're doing a 'Top 10'. We went through and saw which posts had the most comments, the most views, were forwarded the most amount of times and which ones we got the most feedback on. We often get emails and/or text messages about a post rather than people commenting on the post itself so we took that into account, too.

In no particular order, here are your Top 10 Posts of All About Babies...

10 & 9: This was easy. Two of the most popular posts were the announcements of our kids' arrival. Patrick is Here and Madelyn is Here.

8: The video of Patrick rolling over to the Olympic Theme in Patrick's First Month still has more views than any other video on the site. It was the day he turned one month-old and the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics in China.

7: Apparently everyone was just as proud of Angie as I was in All About Mommy because this post was forwarded to a lot of people outside the immediate family.

6: Speaking of Angie, her post Life Gets Better as My House Gets Messier that she posted right before going back to work was wonderful.

5: Another tear-jerker for us was the post Miracle Friday about Patrick's heart defect unexpectedly disappearing. It's good for us to go back and read that one occasionally to remind ourselves just how blessed we are.

4: On a lighter note, the video in The Long Version of Patrick babbling on and on about who-knows-what is still one of our favorites.

3: When we found out we were having a girl we announced the news and put up the pictures of telling our families that we were pregnant in the post cleverly titled It's a Girl! It's seems so weird that at one time, we didn't know Madelyn was going to be Madelyn. It already seems like she's been here forever and couldn't have been anyone else. Also, the pictures in that post are still some of my favorites. Two words: Abbie's face.

2: Another one of our favorite videos is from when Patrick turned six months-old. The post amazingly titled 6 Months (how do I come up with this stuff?!) has a video of Patrick squealing and giggling on the stairs while Angie holds him.

1: This is the video that's banned in Germany. No, seriously, if you go to YouTube in Germany and try to watch this video, you won't be allowed. It's for copyright issues of the songs I used in the background but that sounds boring. So let's just keep saying 'the video banned from Germany' and leave out the legal details. Anyway, the post One Year Old has a video of Patrick's first year with us. We still enjoy watching it and it still usually makes us cry. I've already been thinking about what songs to use for Madelyn's video when she turns one. Just the thought of her turning one makes me tear up though so I try not to think about it too much. This post and video is always a reminder of just how fast the time goes and how we need to treasure these moments with our children. Every day, they're another day older and not long from now we'll be doing a 'Happy 200th Post' and sitting around wondering where the time and our babies went.

So there you have it. Your Top 10. It was a lot of fun going back and looking at the other 99 posts. There were plenty I had completely forgotten about. Pictures and stages and videos I wouldn't remember if they weren't here. Which, is the reason we post anything here in the first place. To have a sort of digital baby book where we can let out of town family and friends into our lives a little and record some of the day-to-day happenings that both we and the kids can look back on later. (As if our kids will want to read what their dorky mom and dad wrote)

And no, we didn't forget about changing the name of the site. We had planned on doing that along with this post but just haven't settled on one we really like.

We also want to thank everyone that reads this and leaves comments, emails us, texts us or just mentions it when we see them. It's a wonderful thing for us to have so many people be able to share in the joy we have in our kids.