Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ready, Set, Play!

We decided to get Jackson a play set for his 2nd birthday. It's been sitting in our garage for a little while as we've been redoing the backyard. The playset has been part of the master plan for the yard though, and it's finally done! Over the last three weekends, Ross and a couple of good friends, Eric and Todd, have assembled the play set.

The first weekend, Eric and Todd came over with their drills in hand and spent most of the day in the swelltering heat piecing together the play house portion of the set. It was so hot they eventually got smart and set up a tent and a box fan to provide a little relief. They came to a pretty abrupt stop when we when decided to head to Shreveport because Ross' dad, John, had gone into the hospital, which you can read more about here. Eric and Todd were awesome! While we quickly started gathering our things to leave, they helped clean up the yard so everything was in place before we left.

When we returned home from Shreveport later that week, Ross was able to get the swing set portion of the play set up with minor help from me. Knowing Jackson's love of swinging, this was an important milestone!

Today, Ross put the finishing touches on the play set which included the ladder to the second story, the rock wall, and most importantly, the slide! When Jackson woke up from his nap today, everything was ready to go, and he was one excited little boy! Here are a few pics of him checking everything out today. There are more pics in the album.

Ross and JacksonJacksonRoss and JacksonRoss and JacksonRoss and Jackson

Sunday, August 22, 2010


This picture of Jackson sums up the emotions we've had over the past week...tears, laughter, and exhaustion.


Last Saturday Ross' dad, John, went into the hospital. He had an acute liver event that put him in the ER and then the ICU. The doctors were pessimistic after reviewing his medical history, but they didn't know who they were dealing with! When one of his doctors that knows him arrived, the attitude changed completely, but he wasn't necessarily in the clear at that point. Ross and I loaded up the car as fast as possible that day and made our way to Shreveport. We dropped the kids off with my parents and met Ross' mom, Susan, at the hospital. We got about two hours of sleep before seeing John at the next visiting hours, which were at 5 AM. Ross' sister, Leslie, and her family made it all the way from Leakey by 7 AM. The first 48 hours were pretty scary, but on Monday he had a turning point. They now believe the liver event was triggered by anesthesia he had earlier in the week for an out patient procedure. By Wednesday he was moved from the ICU to one of the regular floors and was able to return home this Saturday. We came home on Wednesday when John was moved out of ICU, and Ross went back to Shreveport on Friday night to be there to help out when John came home on Saturday. We are so thankful for all of the prayers and support from family and friends. It definitely made a difference! More than anything we are thankful to still have John in our lives!

While Ross was in Shreveport this weekend, Jackson and I made our way to the Houston Zoo for a birthday party. Our friends, Todd and Heather, kept Audrey so she could get her morning nap and some quality time with them! We had a blast at the zoo. Jackson loves seeing the animals. The river otter exhibit has a window that lets you see the otters swimming under water, and Jackson followed them back and forth for a while. He also got to pet a chinchilla and a 2 year old alligator! The carousel was one of his favorite things we did that day. He got to ride a bear and an elephant! Many thanks to the Allyn family for such a fun time!


Today was a pretty typical Sunday. I took the kiddos to church this morning, they napped after lunch, and then we made our way to the grocery store. I have to admit...this was the first time either of us have attempted taking both kiddos to the store by ourselves. It went surprisingly well. Now that Audrey is able to sit up she can ride in the buggy, so bye-bye sling!

Jackson has had a rough time since we got back from Shreveport. He was sent home from daycare on Thursday for biting and then ended up getting a fever on Friday. I can't decide if the fever is from teething...he's getting his 2 year molars in, which could explain the biting too, or if this cold he's had for about a week has settled into his chest and turned into something worse.

Audrey had the same cold, but surprisingly she's already over it! I dressed her up for church today. Our church is pretty casual, so we don't have a good excuse to get dressed up. My grandparents gave Audrey a beautiful pink, smocked dress at her baby shower, and I was planning to save it for her baby dedication. Unfortunately, I think she's going to out-grow the dress before we can find a good date to schedule it, so I decided to dress her up for church and take a few pictures today.


This one's for Barbara...her monogramed bloomers are adorable!


There are more new pictures of Audrey in her album.

I also managed to get a couple of pictures of Jackson and Jackson with Audrey today too. Getting him to smile for the camera is impossible right now, and I didn't have my "clown" to help get their attention, so they're pretty focused on their train toy.

JacksonJacksonJackson and AudreyJackson and Audrey

He's such a sweet big brother...most of the time.

Jackson hugging AudreyJackson and Audrey

There are more pictures of Jackson and Jackson with Audrey in his album.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the new school year! Jackson will be moving up to a new room, and Audrey will begin attending the same day care. We're excited to see what this year has in store!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Audrey is 5 Months Old!

Audrey is already 5 months old! She brings so much joy to our lives. She has been so much fun to watch grow and change. She is now 15.5 pounds and continues to eat and sleep well. Here are the major milestones and interesting tidbits from this month:

  • Rolling over from front to back and back to front
  • Pushes way up when she's on her tummy
  • Seems to prefer being on her stomach when playing on the floor
  • Laughing more frequently
  • Drooling a lot...wondering if teeth are soon to come
  • Almost sitting on her own
  • Pushes up onto her knees and scoots backwards
  • Figured out her jumperoo and exersaucer toys
  • Knows what a bottle is and cries when she sees it
  • Seems to recognize her name
  • Gets a huge, heart-melting grin when she sees one of the three of us

Here are a few snapshots of her from this weekend.


Audrey will be transitioning to Jackson's day care this month, which we're excited about for many reasons. We love the staff there and are looking forward to being able to drop off and pick up both kiddos at one place. She's done really well at the current day care, so I'm a little anxious about transitioning her. I think it will be worth it in the long run though.

If you haven't heard the news, there's been a lot going on with the International Space Station over the last couple of weeks. We've had a pretty significant failure in one of the US systems. Audrey was showing her support of my team (ODIN) during the spacewalk that took place this past weekend. The team is doing a great job, and we hope the crew is able to get everything fixed again soon!

AudreyAudreyAudrey and Daddy

There are a few more pictures from this weekend in the album.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Stomp Rocket!

Jackson got his birthday present from the Tims family this weekend...a stomp rocket! He saw the picture on the box and couldn't wait to play. Note the box says it's for ages 6+, but Jackson had it figured out in a matter of minutes. He spent almost half an hour collecting the rockets, putting them on the launch pad, and stomping them up into the air. What an awesome toy! He was appropriately dressed for the event too with his space t-shirt.


Thank you Tims family! There are more pictures in the album. Jackson actually requested I take more pictures of him and his rockets if that's any indication of how much he likes them!

Sunday, August 01, 2010


The latest kid news is at the end...

After over a month of working on the weekends, our backyard is done! At least mostly...we have one more plant to get, but they didn't have any of it this weekend. I know I posted some pics from last weekend, but I thought I'd put the before and after shots here. Every time we complete a project like this our house feels more like OUR home. It's a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. As I said last week, we moved 7 yards of dirt to create these flower beds, which required renting a sod cutter to remove the grass before that. We planted a grand total of 162 plants over the last two weekends alone! It's been a lot of long hours in the HOT sun to get it done, but I love the finished product. I imagine it will look wonderful once everything begins to fill in...assuming we can keep it alive! Of course, I'm not sure we would have been able to get it done so quickly had we not had help with the kiddos from my mom and dad. Thanks to you both!

From the patio...



In work...

In Work

The finished product...


From the side of the yard...



In work...

In Work

The finished product...


There are more close up pictures that show the plants better in the album. If you don't care about plants, you can just skip to the next paragraph. The back fence is lined with hibiscus, varigated ginger, and pitosporum with a row of ixora and plumbego in front of them. Then there is a border of caladiums and lantana along the edge. The side beds have indian hawthorne and agapanthus, and under the loquat tree there is another ixora and hibiscus along with a few bottlebrush. The bed by the house has bottlebrush and pentas with a huge iris that's in bloom. The plant we're currently missing there is the scavola, which will go around the iris. Under the orange tree we have some dwarf philodendron and green ginger.

The next project will be putting together Jackson's swing set. Hopefully, we can get that done soon and enjoy our new backyard! I only got one kiddo picture this weekend, which was of Audrey and Pop becuase their outfits coordinated so well. :-)

Audrey and Pop

In addition to the yard work this weekend we also got to have a little fun. We spent some time with our friends. We had a nice dinner out with the Fullilove family Friday night, and got together with several of the families in our life group to hang out and do some grilling tonight. My dad also stayed with the kiddos Saturday night so Ross and I could go on a "date". We went to get ice cream and then went to the grocery store...does that count? Whether it does or not, we had a good time...we're exhausted, but pretty content.

Jackson and Audrey have both had pretty eventful weeks. In the last post, I mentioned that Audrey had rolled from back to front once. Well, now she's a pro. She flips over all the time now. She also likes to rock onto her knees and scoot backwards already. I have a feeling she's going to be an early crawler...not sure if I'm ready for that!

Jackson finished his swim lessons this week, and I was a super proud mom when he climed out on the side of the pool all by himself the last day! A new sudden interest of Jackson's has become the movie Cars. He's addicted to the movie, it's case, any related toys, and anything with a picture of the cars in the movie. I can't decide whether to encourage this or let it pass...only time will tell.