Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Brazos Bend Pictures

We had been keeping these private since we made photo albums as a suprise gift for Christmas, but now that Christmas is over I thought I would share them.   At the end of October (aka our last free weekend of the year) we went to Brazos Bend State Park and got some cool pictures of Owen and Mason.  I actually took the time to process these and prepare them for printing and I think they turned out pretty good, although I'm still no professional.  A couple of my favorites:

The rest of the album is here:
Brazos Bend

We're FREE!

Come into our house and you will notice something missing. Something that was functional, yet an eye-sore; necessary yet inconvenient. You guessed it. No more baby gates. While I am happy to report that we are free of these hindrances, I am also slightly sad to think that my babies are not so baby anymore.
No, we were not protecting stairs, as most baby gates do. We were protecting our clean little babies from the nasty litter box. I have to agree that while gross and out of place, tucked away in a corner of our breakfast area was the only place that could house this cat commode. It didn't hurt that gating off the kitchen area also protected our lower cabinets filled with breakable kitchen items. We are of the opinion that it is easier to grant freedoms as the child is mature enough to handle them, rather than allow a freedom too early and have to take it away. Owen and Mason didn't know what they were missing, nor did they care. But now they can be trusted to stay out of the cabinets. As far as the litter box, we now have the floor space to tuck it away in our laundry room with the addition of a new, stackable washer/dryer set.
So, there you have it. Kitchen freedom. Yet another milestone that signifies the entrance into toddlerhood.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My best gift EVER

For Christmas, Owen and Mason (with Daddy's help) gave me the most awesome present I've ever received. Let me start from the beginning. A few months before Mother's Day I saw a beautiful necklace, personalized with a name and on the back, a finger print. The store was selling each charm for $300 and I quickly realized that having 2 precious babies, this was WAY out of our budget, for any occasion, ever. I kept talking about how much I liked this necklace and scoured the internet for something similar but less expensive. Nothing was suitable.

On Christmas morning, Aaron handed me a small package labeled 'love Owen and Mason.' I had no idea what was inside because, like I said, I had resigned myself to never getting a necklace like that. Sure enough, inside was my necklace. I was so shocked and of course I asked, 'how?!' Aaron informed me that he MADE it himself. I was so confused, which prompted more questions. He told me he did research and in fact he ordered the supplies, then formed, stamped, fingerprinted, fired, and antiqued these beautiful charms. Simply amazing. Forever marked with the work of my husband's loving hands, and imprinted with the tiny fingerprints of my precious Owen and Mason.

Monday, December 29, 2008


We had a wonderful Christmas! The boys are at a great age and it was so much fun! We had the whole gang at our house: Mimi, Papi, and uncle Kyle from Lubbock; Great-Grandma Mary from Missouri; Granna and Granddaddy from San Antonio; Aunt Lindsay from Austin; and Numna and Bee from San Marcos. Oh, and don't forget the 2 extra cats and 3 extra dogs for a total of 4 of each! Phew!
It sounded hectic going into it but it was amazingly simple, relaxing, and enjoyable. We all went to the Christmas Eve candlelight service to get into the true spirit of the season. Owen and Mason really enjoyed the live Nativity, complete with 2 camels, a donkey, a calf, a mommy and baby goat, and a real baby Jesus.
Owen and Mason awoke to Santa's gifts strewn about our living room. A train table complete with the coolest of train tracks, parking garage, and roads. Fire trucks that can actually be driven by little guys were a big hit since these little guys are WAY into 'cucks, voom voom' (translation: trucks, vroom vroom...every time they see one). Remote control cars, money for a rainy day, books, letters, hammering bench, Disney DVDs, and even an abacus from their Finance major Uncle Kyle.
We are all so thankful to every one in our special family. Aaron and I know that Owen and Mason love their gifts of love. They've hardly touched their 'old' toys and all the new ones are still out and about in the living room. You guys are awesome and the love you show our babies is so appreciated. We know that Owen and Mason will grow up knowing that there is always a lap with enough room for two...and a hug to go with it!

Christmas Eve around the house

Christmas Day

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Merry

Mommy and Daddy with their littles. We love these baby boys! (Mason left, Owen right)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

O, Christmas Tree

This year the boys were old enough to help with the ornaments. We decked them out in some cute pajamas, put on some Christmas music, and went to town. Mason actually put the star on the top of the tree when Daddy lifted him up. We figured we'd have to redo it after the cute photo op but he got it on there. Owen was supposed to have a turn but he was too interested in putting the balls on the tree. He got mad when we tried to make him switch tasks. Maybe next year. We also had fun playing with the train that Numna gave the boys last year. They love it so much that they constantly knock it off the track because they like to touch it. We discovered it was easier if we just let it drive around the living room sans track. They just march along right behind it, watching it drive around. They were in such amazement at the tree and it wasn't even surrounded by presents. We can't wait to see their reaction on Christmas morning!

Decorating the tree


We took Owen and Mason to visit Santa so they could tell him how good they've been all year. They have been pointing out every Santa they see, saying 'Tan-ta, Taaaan-ta!' We thought they may be a bit scared if we just threw them onto his lap so we decided to let them walk up to him on their own. They had no problem with this and they even gave him a high five. We thought we were good to go so we went ahead and put them up in his lap. Here is the resulting photograph:

Poor Santa had a death grip on them, all while keeping the perfect Santa smile. They were trying with all their might to get away. But we love the picture. It is a great representation of where we are right now. Like my friend said, we'll have many more years of smiling Santa pictures.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Owen and Mason's new tricks

18 months has come and gone and now we are 19 months old! So much has happened and I just haven't had time to sit down and document it all. I know I'll be sorry when I realize I can't remember stuff.

The major event in our life happened in early November. My mom's dear older brother passed away after an 8 year battle with Alzheimer's. He was only 62. He was a wonderful person, touching lives as a pediatrician as far away as Cuba and Tanzania. He meant so much to our family and we will miss him. My aunt, his wife, passed along to Owen and Mason a handmade quilt that he frequently used while he was in the Alzheimer's facility. We will treasure it.

On a happy note, here are some funny things that Owen and Mason do:
They both have learned what cold feels like. I don't remember specifically teaching them this, they just picked it up and latched onto it for some reason. Their favorite meal time game is to say 'cooooold' and stretch out their hand towards our soda cans, glass of water, etc. They HAVE to touch it and say 'coooold' before they will let it go. So random. They also picked up 'hot.' Again, we didn't teach them this specifically, so we didn't realize that it was time to stress that we do not touch hot things. We're working on this, don't worry.

Bath time belly flops
Owen knows that after dinner it is time for 'baff.' Recently they decided to use the bath tub as if it were a padded room. They stand up and flop down, hitting their head against the side of the tub, each other, a toy...and just laugh and repeat. Definitely boys! They also started this new thing when the water is draining out. They wave and say 'bye bye agua' (no, we aren't actively teaching them Spanish. One of Aaron's uncles taught them agua). Then, when the water is fairly shallow, they both lay backwards and say 'nigh night.' I think they'd stay all night long if we let them.

Mason has a name!
For the longest time, both boys referred to each other as Owen. They have finally learned (for the most part) who to point to when asked where Owen/Mason is, either themselves or brother. Even more exciting is Mason has finally learned to say his name. Even though he says 'Ason' it is still adorable. And so is their little voices calling brother's name when he isn't in the room. The other day Mason woke up as I was getting him out of the car. Owen was already in the house so when Mason opened his eyes he didn't see Owen. The first thing out of his mouth, before he was fully awake, was 'Owen, Owen.'

Bye bye
Owen has fully learned the meaning of bye bye and uses it correctly. He lets me know when he is ready to leave a store that I am dragging them around in. The other day we were in Toys R Us and we walked passed the front door. Owen started saying 'bye bye, bye bye.' The lady walking in said 'wow, I've never heard a kid ask to leave a toy store!' Poor guy, he must have been bored.

They both let me know, loud and clear I might add, when they want to eat. This is a fairly new word so I was surprised to hear it pop out of their mouth in the correct context. The other day we were eating a casserole with large elbow macaronis in it. Mason picked one up, held it to the side of his head, and started talking. It took us a second but we realized he was pretending it was a phone. So smart!!

There is always a teachable moment regarding this concept. Owen is such an 'in the moment' kid that he doesn't understand that if Mason has something it will still exist in a little while for him to play with. He gets so frustrated and usually cries as he finds a little corner to cool off in. Mason, on the other hand, understands that one toy is exactly like the other toy so when Owen is insisting on having Mason's, Mason is okay with trading. He is very good about letting Owen play with something he has. I have to regulate though and make sure that Mason gets his turn when I feel like he really does care about having a turn.

Mother's Day Out
We are MDO hunting. Hoping to get the boys started sometime after the new year. I think they'd really like it and I sure could use a bit of time to get errands done without involving a stroller.

Words, words, words
Owen has really progressed lately in his speech. He used to listen more but now he is trying new words out. He is still not as articulate as Mason but he isn't far behind. Both of them have increased their vocabulary so much lately. I didn't realize they could say 'hand, horse, granddaddy, eat,' etc until it popped out of their mouths. They are also very good at mimicking a word you say and are really on the cusp of speaking in sentences. We are realizing as their speech gets more understandable that all this jibber jabber has been words to sentences. They just weren't good enough at saying it yet. We are hearing the sounds of familiar words taking shape in the common phrases they use. We find ourselves saying 'Ohhh, they've been saying that this whole time...'

I'm sure there are a million more things that I will think of later. I'll post as they pop into my brain again.

In the mean time, our family wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We hope that your holidays are filled with love, wonder, and laughter.

More pictures to share

Still playing catch up. Here are some from November.


Suitcases are FUN!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Yesterday the boys wore shorts and today it snowed! What?! The boys thought it was pretty cool but they were freezing. Here are some cute pics and a video.

Snow in Houston

Video: Snow in Houston

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Christmas Spirit

Owen and Mason have been busy learning about all the fun things that surround the Christmas season. We have been reading books about Santa ('Tanta'), Snowmen ('Mo-man'), Rudolph ('deer'), candy canes ('ca-cane'), nutcrackers ('cuh-cacker'), etc. We put up our Christmas tree and got some really cute pictures. At the moment, those pictures are still on our 'good' camera but I will be posting them soon, I promise! Owen and Mason painted a plate that we will use for years to come for Santa's cookies. They had a blast dunking the paintbrush into the puddle of paint. We had to encourage them to smear it around on the plate. Mommy got smart and started putting little dots of paint on the plate and told them to 'get the dots.' They thought that was a fun game. And it worked! We got a great keepsake out of our mess.

We also made our first ever batch of Christmas cookies, complete with icing and sprinkles. They sure didn't need any help shaking the sprinkles out! And afterwards, there were red and green sprinkles everywhere! Oh well. Who cares when you get to eat your creation?

Mommy also made some crayons for Owen and Mason out of a Christmas candy mold. They turned out really cute and the boys had fun trying to figure out what exactly they were supposed to do with these weird looking crayons.

Here are our pictures for you to enjoy...

Getting into the Christmas spirit

Friday, November 28, 2008

I am thankful for...

  • Tiny baby socks
  • Fingerprints on the TV screen
  • Extra laundry
  • Being the Mommy when the kids are sick, even if it means they are glued to me for hours
  • Toys all over the house
  • Giggly boys
  • Smelly diapers
  • Splashy baths
  • Peek-a-boo under the towel after baths
  • Baby language
  • Seeing them run towards me with a big grin
  • Lots of dirty sippies
  • Food on the floor
  • Sweeping 3 times a day
  • Hearing them say their brother's name
  • Watching them give brother a toy or pacifier just to be nice
  • Goodnight kisses
  • Morning 'jumpies' in the crib because they are happy to see me
  • Clingy moments
  • Baby heads on Mommy's shoulder
  • Being Owen and Mason's Mommy forever

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from San Antonio!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

And my birthday present was...

Stitches for Owen!

Aaron and family let me sleep in for my birthday. I only missed out on about an hour of the morning routine when Aaron busted into our room shouting, "Get up! Owen busted his chin open and he needs stitches. I'm gonna need your help!" Talk about a surprise! I'm trying to wake up and make sense of the goings on by asking what happened...what did he hit...etc. Aaron kept saying, 'Just get up, I need your help,' all the while holding a sobbing and bleeding boy.

We hurried off to the ER and sure enough, the little guy needed six stitches. Apparently he was playing with his tricycle in the living room, standing on the platform between the front wheels while holding on to the handle bars. Keep in mind, this 'platform' is only a few inches off the ground. I saw Mason do this 'trick' a few days ago and didn't think much of it. After all, he wasn't standing on the seat! I guess the way Owen leaned made the trike tip forward and pitched him over the handle bars. Thankfully, all he hit was the floor, nothing sharp. It could have been a lot worse. As it stands, his cut is about an inch long, and before it was sewn together, one might describe it as 'gaping.' I stomached it just fine, but my sister had to go lay down. Aaron did pretty good too, thankfully. He took charge of the situation and was delegating tasks to my mom, like get the diaper bag ready, get a change of clothes (since we didn't take time to get him out of his bloody pjs), get a syringe ready with Tylenol.

At the ER, the little guy had to be pinned down by three people. The nurse was at his head keeping it still. Better him (yes, a male nurse) than me. Aaron and I were in charge of his lower half. Poor Owen was so scared from being pinned down that among all the crying, he managed to cry out 'Owen, Owen...,' which is what he thinks Mason's name is (they both call each other Owen). Poor baby wanted his brother for comfort, who was at home with the grandparents, aunt, and 'greats.' Thankfully this happened while we had someone to watch Mason.

A hundred bucks and a grape sucker later, Owen was good as new. I have a feeling this isn't our first trip to get stitches. Our odds are pretty high with two boys.

Here is a pic we took after Owen went to bed...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Big Weekend!

This is coming out of order, because I have been meaning to post about the things Mason and Owen have learned lately, but everyone is asking for these pictures! We spent Halloween in Lubbock with Aaron's family. Aaron's dad turned 50 on the 29th, so we threw him a surprise party on Halloween. It was super fun and super hard to hide all the groceries without him getting suspicious. We did it though, and everyone's costumes were great!

Halloween in Lubbock

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Long Lost Sea World Pictures

When we were in San Marcos last weekend, we realized we had never put up the pictures from our trip to Sea World in San Antonio on Labor Day weekend. I guess with the West Virginia trip we somehow missed that one. Anyway, we had a great time - Mimi and Papi came down and we all (Granna, Grandaddy, Aunt Lindsay, Numna, and Great Aunt Bee) celebrated Lindsay's, Granna's and my birthday. The kids had a great time, but they enjoyed running around as much or more than Shamu and the gang.


Sea World and Aaron's 28th

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin Cookies!

Combining two of Owen and Mason's most recent words/obsessions, we made some pumpkin cookies this afternoon at Aunt Bee's place in San Marcos. Our family is back together now (I'm back from 6 weeks in West Virginia). We even have Jaxson back! Enjoy the pics of us topping off a lazy weekend.

Pumpkin Cookies

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Jibber Jabbering and Singing

Owen and Mason are picking up lots of new words lately. Here's a quick rundown:
Pumpkin (kuh-kin)
Paci (tah-see)
Bunny (nunny)
Banana (nana)
Off (op, off, or opf-switches daily)
Apple (papple)
Bubble (buh-boh)
Truck (cuck)
Car (cah)
Sky (ky)
Tree (tee)
Numna (nuh-na)
Yellow (lellell or something like that)
Bella (ella)

This brings word count up to around 40. Wow!

New animal noises:
Elephant-buurrrrr, raises arm like a trunk
Goat-boo (They can't distinguish when I say ghost or goat)

Owen and Mason have been learning new songs, too. Mason is better at singing them and Owen is better at dancing to them. They make a good team!
  • ABC's: Mason doesn't say the actual letters but he hums the tune. It is very clear when he gets to the 'E-F-G' part.
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider: Mason starts singing some random tune that doesn't sound like any song in particular, but he tries to make the spider with his hands while he's singing. I've been singing this to them a lot so I know it's what he's trying to do. He has such a sweet little voice.
  • Owen loves to make up his own songs. He is constantly singing something. He always has a song in his head. He'll usually start dancing, too.
  • Backyardigans: We got a Backyardigans Halloween DVD and the kids love it. They mostly like the theme song though. We were walking down the hall of our hotel here in WV and I started singing the song. Both Owen and Mason stopped in their tracks so they could dance to it.
  • Disney Sing Along: My mom pulled out an old VHS that my sister and I watched when we were kids. Owen and Mason loved it and I was trying to figure out how to get it onto DVD since I'm pretty sure my parents are the only people left who still have a VCR too. I happened to look at Babies R Us and found it! Same version! Amazing! I couldn't resist and it has proven to be an all-time favorite. Both kids are mesmerized for the entire length of the DVD. It's a great way to distract them so I can get things done!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Road Trip Weekend

Since we are in West Virginia while Aaron his here for work, we thought we'd take advantage of our location. We decided to drive to Kentuky and go to a real pumpkin patch! I never thought Kentuky would be somewhere I'd care to visit if I had my choice, but once we got on our way, we found it was rather pretty. The leaves were beginning to change and there were lots of hills, horses behind pretty fences, and old barns.
Owen and Mason loved the pumpkin patch! Aaron and I had been teaching them to say pumpkin and pointing out all we saw. As soon as we arrived it was "kuh-kin, kuh-kin" and lots of pointing at them. We went on a hayride to a field where we could pick our own pumpkins. The boys loved the hayride but weren't too fond of the field. Aaron and I thought we could get some good pictures but, since pumpkins have vines and toddlers have little legs, they just kept tripping over them. SO, we went to the 'baby pumpkin' field thinking the vines would be smaller. We found two little pumpkins (gourds, actually) that had green speckles all over. Owen and Mason were pretty fascinated by these little guys. We even took a lunch break and the boys got pumpkin sippy cups! They thought of everything!
After the pumpkin picking we stopped to look at some bunnies and goats. I think Owen and Mason want a goat in our backyard! They were not afraid at all and pet them several times. They also got to pet a baby bunny ('nunny' as they say) and a duckling. There was also an area that was nursery rhyme themed with animals to look at. Three Billy Goats Gruff, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Three Little Pigs, Cow Jumped Over the Moon, etc. The boys loved it!
After the farm we drove an hour to Cincinnati to our hotel. We all took baths/showers and went out to dinner by the Ohio River. Afterwards we thought the kids would be exhausted but instead, they ran around the courtyard area playing chase, peek-a-boo, and stair climbing. I think they were just trying to see how long Aaron and I could last. We fogot about the time change and ended up staying out an hour later than we thought. The boys were happy guys all day long, even on a 20 minute car nap! They went to bed at midnight! I know, we're so irresponsible! But the day was great and the kids had a blast. They slept in 'til 11:30 the next day...we weren't complaining.
Sunday we went to the Cincinnati Zoo. The boys loved, and I mean LOVED, the elephants. They know how to make the noise and raise their arm like a trunk. We saw a tiger, which they know says 'aarrrgghh.' (A pirate tiger, I guess). And a lion that was eye level, about 50 feet away from us, and roaring. Pretty fascinating, even to the adults!
We're back in WV now and I should be in bed. Grandparents were asking for pictures though, so here they are:
Kentuky, Ohio

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Back together again

After three weeks apart, our family is finally back together again, even though we're far away from home.   We're still trying our best to have some fun out here and we did today when we took a trip to the park. 

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sweet Babies

Aaron is in West Virginia on business...going on week three...and boy do Owen and Mason miss him! They can't say it with words yet but they have done several things over the past few days that have let me know. Friday morning we went down to the clubhouse of Numna and Bee's retirement complex for lunch. Owen grabbed hold of one man's fingers and wanted to walk around with him. Then, when that man had to go, he found another man to pick him up and hold him. He wouldn't even come to me when the second man had to leave.

I showed the boys some pictures of Daddy last night. I asked them who it was and Mason said, "dada." So sweet.

Tonight Aaron was on the phone and I let Owen and Mason say hi. Up until now, they've just stared at the phone and then tried to push buttons. It's like they all of a sudden know that Daddy needs to hear their voice. I held the phone up and Mason said, "hi." Then he waved at the phone and said hi several more times. I told him to tell Daddy he loves him and Mason leaned over and kissed the phone. When I told Owen to say hi to Daddy, he repeated over and over, "dada, dada." Then Aaron told Owen he loved him and Owen leaned his head over and layed it on the phone.

I know Aaron can't wait to see his babies on Friday and they can't wait to see him!

Friday, September 12, 2008


Just to let everyone know, we're all safe at the moment.  I'm still in West Virginia on business, but Erin, Mason, Owen, Jaxson, Sully, and Lacie are all safe in San Antonio.  I read that where we live is supposed to get 70-100 mph winds for 5-6 hours so we'll see how well the house holds up.  We'll let you know how it goes!  Our prayers go out to everyone else in Houston and we hope you all stay safe.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Curious George Visits the Zoo

We took the boys to the zoo a couple of weekends ago and headed straight for the children's area. They had a great time running around and looking at all of the ducks, cows, goats, fish, and prairie dogs. Aaron got some great pictures of them!

Both guys are really good at copying things now. Check out the pictures of them watching gymnastics! Hilarious!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


We love you!

Crib Problem Solved

Well, we did it! I am so relieved that we figured out a way to lower the mattresses to a height we felt comfortable with...2-3 inches. So far there have been no indications that Owen and Mason can get out on their own. Phew! Here are some pics in case you were wondering...

1. Before (we had already unscrewed the brackets so I had to hold it for the picture).

2. After. I know, looks real simple. For some reason it wasn't. We wanted the spring to go lower and it wouldn't fit inside the 'frame' that it is now resting on. We spent a while trying to fit it in there but thought we weren't lining it up properly. Come to find out, the spring was about 1/8" too big to fit down in there. Argh!

3. Back side of crib with the new bolts in place.

Friday, August 22, 2008

My crib or yours?

Aaron and I have been back and forth over whether to return our existing cribs and find new, 'deeper' cribs, or somehow modify the ones we have to make the spring lower. You're probably thinking, why don't they just use the new brackets that are being shipped to 'fix' the recall problem? The answer is simple. One silly inch isn't going to prevent future nosedives from the top of the crib. I spoke with my pediatrician and she said the sides of her kids' cribs went up to their chins. She has safely gotten three boys through 'crib-hood,' and she has never, ever given us advice or suggestions that didn't work wonderfully. We figured we should take it from someone who has seen every crib-diving scenario possible. So, to the chin it is!

On a side note, try to avoid the use of JC Penney as the middle man when purchasing furniture. We had more problems than we can count trying to get the furniture to our house before the babies were born. And now that there is a recall situation, one department of JCP is telling me that we can return the cribs for our money back, and another department is telling me that we can not. We learned the hard way that the lovely folks at JCP don't know their a$$ from their elbow. Bless their little hearts.

So, upon looking at numerous cribs online and in person, we ultimately decided that we should try to modify the ones we have. Aaron being an engineer and me having gone through college for architecture, we had a very lengthy discussion on exactly how to go about this modification. It sounds (and looks) very simple, but once you look at the edges of all the brackets, crib sides, nail heads, etc., you realize it's not quite as straight forward as it seems. The following explains why: *Nerd Alert* No two objects can occupy the same space at the same time. -Pauli Exclusion Principle.

So, Aaron is at Wal-Mart as we speak, purchasing a few things to fix this headache of a situation! I'll let you know how it goes...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

No More Monkeys...

I figured this would be easier than re-telling the updates to everyone. For those that don't know, Mason somehow fell out of his crib on Tuesday evening during a nap. It had been 30 minutes since the last time I went in the room and when both boys woke up crying, I gave them a few minutes and then went in to replace pacifiers. That is when I found Mason on the floor. He had carpet indentations on his knees and cheek, like he'd fallen asleep on the floor after he fell out, or was knocked out from hitting his head on the bottom of the crib. You may not recall, but the base of our crib juts out like upside down crown molding. I called Dr. Nguyen (pediatrician) right away and she told me what to watch for on Mason, and to check his collar bone. She also said he is lucky he didn't break his neck. He did fall from counter height, and I know for a fact that he didn't do it gracefully. He doesn't even know how to get off the couch without falling. My theory is that he was pissed when I left the first time and in all his crying, somehow pulled himself onto the rail of the crib using his toes (like climbing a slide barefoot). He got too much of his body leaning forward and out he went. Thankfully, there was no bumps, bruises, or any evidence at all that he hurt himself. After a few minutes of brainstorming and asking me questions about the boys and about the situation, she suggested either toddler beds even though they were too young or just the crib mattress on the floor. In both cases, being only 15 months old, they don't know how to stay in one place. There is definitely a reason that kids don't switch to toddler beds until close to two years old. That would involve completely revamping their room into a hazard free zone. Nothing sharp, no furniture or drawers that can be pulled out or over, no choking hazards, etc. What a mess. We still have a lot of growing to do.

Now, the update...

I called Munire (the company that made the cribs) to find out about the toddler guard rail that replaces the front side of the crib to convert it to a toddler bed. Dr. Nguyen suggested it may be the only option since our mattresses are as low as they can go and our bumpers have been removed (they were being used as a step to help climb out). Dr. Nguyen said that her cribs always went up to the baby's chin when they got to climbing age. Ours hit Owen and Mason at the bottom of their breast bone. No where NEAR the chin. Unfortunately, no toddler guardrail was made for our crib AND there has been a recall on our cribs that we were not informed of back in February when it came out. The min. distance from spring to top of crib is supposed to be 26" and our cribs are only 25". Munire will send a new bracket that will lower the crib by 1" to meet the safety standard minimum of 26". I called JC Penney to find out why I wasn't notified of this situation and they tried to tell me they sent a mailer to everyone. Yeah, right! I adamently told her I never received one and she said, "now, I do apologize, ma'am." I said, "I know it isn't your fault directly, and we are lucky that my son was not seriously injured, but a simple apology for not notifing me isn't good enough. It wouldn't have made his injuries go away if he had gotten any. We are lucky but maybe there needs to be a system put in place to better notify customers of recalls."

The whole situation really has freaked me out because I feel like Aaron and I do so much thinking on the things we buy for the boys. Who knew a reputable brand sold by a well known store like JCP would have this situation? I thought we were safe. Then JCP told me I can take the cribs back to the local store and get a full refund if the credit card used for payment still exists, or I can get store credit. I think Aaron lost the actual debit card used for payment and I really don't want $800 to JCP. I am going to call the bank tomorrow, find out if they can pull up my transactions from Nov. 2006 when the items were purchased, and somehow prove that the card used back then is still linked to the same account as the replacement card we use today. I REALLY don't want those cribs because I feel like in order for them get low enough (the 1" isn't gonna cut it) we would have to jimmy-rig something which could also be unsafe. I want new cribs that go low, low, low. We are so far away from being old enough for toddler beds, and sleeping in pack-n-plays just isn't gonna cut it. Not when we spent money on nice furniture. What I found out was that there are two types of "convertible cribs." The kind that drops the mattress really low and has a guardrail option. This kind is the type where the front comes off and the guardrail goes on (like a 3/4 lenght railing so the kids can't roll out). OR, the other kind of conv. crib called a "toddler daybed" where the mattress doesn't go as low and there is no guardrail. Three sides, thats it. Two ends and a back. I don't know any toddlers that won't roll out of this apparatus. This is apparently what we have. No guardrail ever manufactured and matress that stays too high. I didn't know about all this when I was purchasing. Apparently we picked out the wrong cribs!

I plan to call the bank during busniess hours and see how they can help me. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Backyard fun

Granna, Granddaddy, Numna, and Great (Great) Aunt Bee all visited for the weekend. We had a good time hanging out and playing with Mason and Owen in the backyard. We broke out the watermelon (Owen's favorite thing in the entire world right now), the sprinkler, the baby pool, the swings, and the slide and everybody had a great time! We got to put a new camera lens to good use and caught some cute pictures of the boys.

Backyard fun

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cute New Chairs

Owen and Mason did it! They convinced Daddy they love to sit in chairs! We finally got rid of the beloved tricycle box that they used as a bench and got them some little chairs. And they LOVE them! (So does the cat)

We also found a cool park to take the boys to. Here are some pics...

New Chairs, Splash Park

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I think they know more than they're letting on...

For the first year or so, Owen and Mason's physical development was particularly impressive. They grew and grew, learned to hold their heads up, learned to roll over, learned to crawl, to pull up, to cruise, and, eventually, to walk. They moved from formula to cereal to baby food to table food, and from the bottle to sippy cups. During the last couple of months, however-even though they are polishing their physical skills-they have REALLY been growing in their language and in their understanding of the world around them. Big skills like holding a pencil and learning to draw came to them after only one example. They already have a good understanding that letters represent sounds. They can interpret entire phrases that Erin and I say, doing some pretty complex tasks on command. They have made the connection between pictures, drawings, and life around them. And, of course, they keep learning more and more words.

Recently Mason walked into his "pentagon" (the fenced-in play area in our living room) and took the play phone off the hook, put it to his ear, and started walking around the house "talking" to it. I guess he had been paying attention all this time!

The other day, when Erin asked Owen where his truck was, he walked over to it, sqatted down by it, and starting going "VROOOOOOM!" It's just too funny to us - "truck" isn't one of the words they say, but they sure as heck know what it is and what sound it makes.

The other day, I was paying for dinner at Carrabba's and I gave Mason my debit card to hold while we waited for our waiter. He looked at it, then started tapping on my picture, saying "Da Da Da." We were all blown away because we didn't even know that he knew the term DaDa, much less could recognize me in a little picture on my card.

I was in the living room with Owen and he was holding a little bird magnet that he has. He let me know that it was a "quack-quack," and I agreed. I said "Owen, go put that back on your board." Owen got up, walked across the house to his bedroom and to his magnetic board, and stuck it on there. Both Owen and Mason have started doing a lot of things like that. If you tell Mason "go give this to Owen," he'll take it right over to him. The other day when Mason was crying, Owen found a pacifier and brought it to him. Too cute.

They are also learning their body parts. For a while now they have known eyes, but just recently, we realized they knew their head and their toes. We couldn't figure out how they even knew it - we hadn't taught them and it's not like they're in daycare - until finally we realized that they had seen the "head, shoulders, knees, and toes" song/video on their DVD player while we were going to Austin. There are just a ton of words that they understand but can't say yet.

Of course they're saying some words, too. Their new favorite things are their A&M hats and their shoes. Mason can say "tat" for hat, and they both say "sus" for shoes. When you say "let's put your shoes on," they will sit down and hold up a foot so you can put it on. Actually, they love putting their shoes on - if they see them they want to wear them all around. We have to hide them. Earlier today we left one pair of crocs out and they just had to have them. We put one shoe on each guy and they were content, limping all around the house. They love to wear their hats now, too. Owen and Mason will beg you to put their hat on them. Then they'll walk all around wearing it proudly, until their curiosity gets the better of them and they pull it off. Then they come running to us to put it right back on.

They will also lay down if you say "let's change your diaper!" They can say "dah pah" or something like that for "diaper," Mason can say "tee" for tree, and the other day Owen suprised us with "bobble" (bottle) when we asked him what his sippy cup was called - has he known the word bottle for the last 2.5 months (since we switched to sippies) without us knowing? I guess so!

They are adding to their reportoire of animal sounds as well. The latest is a "owwww" for a dying cat. Well, it sounds like a dying cat but it's for any cat - but it's a dead-on (no pun intended) imitation of Sully when she's blocked in the kitchen by the baby gates. No, Sully's not dying, don't worry.

They are learning some letters now and it's really cute. The ones we're pushing are "M" and "O" of course, although they can also do H, S, Z, F, and T sounds. The O sound they make is too cute. Speaking of too cute, if you tell Owen "I love you," he will come over to you and lean his head in for a kiss. It's really precious.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Playing in the baby pool

Aaron and I tried to have a little while at the gym the other night but after 3 minutes on the treadmill we heard the dreaded "Erin Crews to the childcare center" over the intercom! We both panicked and ran downstiars, hoping nothing serious had happened. Everyone was fine but Owen was inconsolable! We were expecting something more serious because they have never had a problem with separation. So, after 10 minutes of trying to distract Owen into playing so we could finish our workout, we aborted the mission and went home to play in the baby pool instead. We let them go naked and put the pool under the water spout. It was like a bath with no rules and they went bananas over it! Here are some pics...
(the first few are from another day)

Playing in the baby pool

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mason and Mimi

Notice the stick he's carrying.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pictionary, Drawing

WOW! We were in the car on the way to San Marcos and I started drawing familiar pictures on the magna-doodle to entertain the kids. Amazingly, they played pictionary with me! Here is a video of Mason playing with me while Owen watches...

Since we now have these little magna-doodles, the boys think it's really cool to draw. The genius part is how they hold the pen. Both of them already have an almost perfect pincer grip. Aaron's mom (Mimi) is an occupational therapist so she is very familiar with this skill. She was blown away that they can already hold a pencil at such a young age. Most kids grab the pencil in their fist...I even had some 4 year olds in my class that couldn't do this! At the end of the video I draw the letter M. I had just taught Mason what this was and he repeats it back to me...although he says 'mmmm.' I have since asked him that letter every day and every time he tells me 'mmmm.' Genius!

Cute Videos

Here are some videos that we've been meaning to post...

Owen and Mason think it's hilarious when Aaron stomps on the floor. In this video, Mason in particular is really loving it!

This video was taken when the boys were 13 months old. Mason (in the crib) plays peek-a-boo with Owen. Super cute babies!!!

They finally learned how to ride their tricycles that Paige and Blake gave them for their birthday!

Lubbock Trip

Well, once we GOT to Lubbock, things were great! We visited Mimi's work, went to the park, went to the pool a couple of times, fed some ducks, played in the yard and cooked out, ate pancakes every was fun! We also went to Mimi and Papi's chapel so Aaron could get some pictures with his new camera. They turned out great...

Lubbock Trip

Lubbock Trip Photo Shoot

Here is a cute video of the boys and Papi playing with the shape sorter. After every shape goes in, they clap...something Owen remembered once we got back to Houston. The next time he played with that toy he clapped after every shape. So smart!

Airport Fiasco!

Mimi and Papi flew us up to Lubbock for a long weekend and we had lots of fun! The flight there was exhausting! Both boys were squirmy, sleepy, and wanted nothing to do with sitting on our laps! The first leg was full and the flight attendant made us sit across the aisle from each other. Doesn't she know flying with twin toddlers is hard enough! We were able to get a seat between us on the second leg but by that time the kids had had enough sitting still. Up, down, peek-a-boo with the seat behind us, this toy, that toy...they weren't being bad, they were just being toddlers. Before we left I did LOTS of research on how to fly with twin toddlers. Everything I read said let them burn off energy before boarding, and use a harness! One small problem. You can't yank a kid back towards you like you can a dog. At one point, I had BOTH boys by myself...AND the stroller. This doesn't seem like that big of deal but when your kids are too young to know how to walk next to you, or in the same direction, being alone with two kids on harnesses is hysterical. Owen was on my right, out as far as his tether would let him go. Mason, on my left, was out as far he could go. I'm in the middle with my arms stretched to the max, beckoning one of them to come back towards me so I can grab his hand and take him closer to his brother. Oh, AND I've got to drag the stroller by the seat because they have wandered too far away from it to leave it. Like I said earlier, kids are not like dogs. If they were ever going to be like dogs, this would be the time. It would have made things so much easier to give them a little yank and have them go the direction I wanted. One yank on these guys and they fall on their butts and let out a cry of annoyance because I made them fall. At one point, Owen (in my right hand), wandered to my left as Mason (in my left hand), wandered to my right. All somehow without me being able to switch the hands I was holding them with. I had to do an amazing spin move to uncross my arms...oh, and don't forget to drag the stroller! I think this was the first official time that the boys have ganged up on me! Some of you are wondering why I didn't just pick them up, one under each arm, and wait for Aaron to get back. Don't think I didn't wish I could...and I did as soon as one was within arms reach. Most of the time, my arms were so stretched out that I couldn't move towards one guy without yanking the other guy down. I was basically stuck. All I kept thinking was "go, go, gadget, ARMS!" Would've been nice...

14 Month Pics

Here are some pictures from right around the 14 month mark that never got posted. Enjoy!

Around the house

Lake Travis Trip

Since Aaron had been working so many hours for his project, we decided that once it slowed down we'd all go to Austin. Paige and Blake went with us and my parents kept the boys each night. On Saturday we all met up and went out to the boat. The water wasn't nearly as cold this time so Owen and Mason actually had a great time splashing around. After swimming, my mom busted out the watermelon and Owen sat still eating it for almost an hour. That kid LOVES it-I bet he ate an entire half of it! Here are some cute pics from our day at the lake!

Lake Travis (July 12)

We're Back!

I feel like it's been forever since we've posted something new! Life has been super busy lately. We've been in and out of town for the better part of July and as luck would have it, our internet wouldn't work on the days we actually were at home. So, no blogging. Before I post about all the amazing things Owen and Mason can do these days, let me catch you up on our little trips...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

14 Months, 4th of July

It's been a little while since I've updated on the happenings of Owen and Mason. They are becoming little toddlers and I can't believe the things they are learning! They are only 14 months old and they already have a fairly big speech vocabulary and an even bigger knowledge of things they know but can't say. I think they're little geniuses myself!

Both Owen and Mason know where several of their body parts are already. They have known 'eyes' for a while but now Mason says 'eyes' perfectly as he points. They can't say nose yet but if you ask either of them they'll toddle over and point yours out. Owen all of a sudden showed us where his toes are. He just bent over and pointed at them when asked. We had no idea he knew this and we were both surprised at our little smarty pants! Apparently kids of this age should only know where one body part is so we're doing good!

They've also been learning animal sounds. We went to a park the other day and there was a dog barking. Both of them froze in their tracks and started saying 'ah-ah, ah-ah.' Again, didn't know they knew this sound! Of course they know 'quack-quack' for duck, bird, or any beaked animal. They have been saying 'mmmm' (moo) when they see pictures of cows, and they like to make a snorting noise when they see a pig. Of course, they don't say their noises 100% of the time, nor are they 100% accurate with matching animal to his noise, but I'm still impressed! They other night Aaron decided it was time to start calling a duck by it's name instead of calling it a 'quack-quack.' Owen imitated immediately with'guck' and kept saying it as he pointed to it. Mason and Owen both say 'ish' for fish and can point one out in a book.

Both little guys have shown an interest in dressing and grooming as well. Apparently it's an 18 month skill but they both know how, and love, to brush their teeth. They open wide and say 'ahh' at the sight of their toothbrush. When I give it to them they know to wiggle it around in their mouth. Of course we follow behind to make sure their teeth are nice and clean. Owen recently got his first molar (that makes 9 teeth) and we didn't even know it! He never acted fussy or ran a fever. The only reason we discovered it was because he was crying one day with his mouth wide open. Mason's teeth stalled out after 7 but he just cut his 4th bottom tooth a few weeks ago. Besides teeth-brusing, they also like to comb their hair. If I hand them their comb they put it up to the side of their head and 'comb' it. Of course, they are using the non-bristled side of the comb but, hey, they know what it's for! And since we are walking now, we've been putting on shoes a lot lately! The other day I said, 'come on, let's go put your shoes on.' Mason walked right over to the little bench where we put shoes on, sat down, and stuck his foot in the air. I had NO idea they knew what all those words coming out of my mouth meant. I told Owen to go get his shoe (it was across the room) and he walked over to it and brought it to me. They also try to put their shoes on themselves. They obviously can't do it but they sure know where their shoes go. They also know it means we are going bye-bye because once they have their shoes on they wander around the entry way and whine until I gather all my gear and open the door. Another word Mason has recently learned (thanks to Granna) is diaper. He says 'da-pa.' Owen usually spits out 'ba-poh' when he tries to repeat it. I guess that's the easiest thing for kids to call it-I remember my sister calling them 'boppers' when she was little. They have also learned the sign language for 'all done' and throw their hands up and say 'duh' (for done) when they are finished eating (or even when they're not-they just think it's fun).

Oh, how could I forget!! They said their first attempt at 'Numna' when we were visiting last week! For those that don't know, Numna is my (Erin's) grandmother. She holds her name very near and dear to her heart, as it was my way of saying 'grandmother' when I was little. She is very proud of it because she knows she is the only Numna. So, to hear her great-grandchildren repeat her name was pretty cool.

Our hard work paid off! After 2 or 3 nights of 'teaching' Owen and Mason finally know how to walk around their little 'fort,' go through the door, climb up on the platform, and slide down. Their instinct was to slide down and then climb back up the slide to do it again. All is good except when you have a brother who is waiting at the top of the slide for his turn. They were so mad at Mom and Dad for making them walk around to the back. Finally, one night it clicked! Paige was 'catching' at the bottom of the slide and she said 'go see Mama.' (I was hearding them through the door). They would toddle around to the back saying 'Mama.' This was also the first time they used the word Mama and actually meant ME! Heartwearming!

As you know, both Owen and Mason love to dance to music. They have been doing it for months and months now. I didn't think it was any big deal but my mom kept commenting on how much they like to move to music. I was reading something tonight that classified dancing to music as a 17 month skill. Who knew? They also love to read books and have free access to lots of board books on their bookshelf. They sit and flip the pages and jibber-jabber at all the pictures. They both point at everything they see. Owen has a new 'thing' now though. When he sees something he wants to tell you about he'll point at it (touching the picture or object) and tap his little pointer finger up and down while telling you all about it. I guess it's his way of making sure you see it. Again, not bragging or anything, but apparently 'reading' board books alone is an 18 month skill. Geniuses, I tell you!

The pictures for this post are from several activities. The babies and I went to San Marcos to surprise Great-Great Aunt Bee for her 89th birthday. It is her first without her husband, Roy, and she never had any kids of her own. Needless to say, Owen and Mason are her 'grandkids' and it was a very fun surprise for everyone! We went to Aquarena Springs and rode the glass bottom boats (which Uncle Roy helped design the first one a long time ago). We also checked out the little aquarium at Aquarena Springs. Owen and Mason were fascinated with the giant tank full of giant fish. Also included in the pics is the boys' second 4th of July, and first 4th of July parade. They weren't too impressed. They just wanted to walk around. Maybe next year. They did, however, enjoy the fireworks that night. We spent the day with Paige and Blake, just like last year. I included a picture from the 4th last year...they were only 2 months old!

San Marcos Trip

July 4th


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Baby Brothers

Monday, June 23, 2008

This deserved it's own post...

If you know me, you know how deathly afraid of tornadoes I am. Thankfully this fear has not reared it's ugly head in quite some time. We used to live in Oklahoma and every night during spring and summer I would be terrified. Being in Houston, the severe storms are much more subdued. Until, that is, Saturday night. We were at Paige and Blake's house when Blake's mom called and said "oh, there's a tornado in Pearland heading for Friendswood right now." No one else was worried. This was the first time I have had to deal with this situation since having kids. I was having a hard time because my brain was telling me to be brave so the kids wouldn't freak out (I will have to work on this as they get older and know what is going on) yet my fear was taking over. Paige, being the good friend she is, decided that if it would make me feel better we would all sit in the hall with a mattress. So that is what we did. And I was able to relax and "act" brave on the outside. She brought us Coke Zero (which we spilled), pretzels and sippies for the babies, and Blake even hooked up the 'ol rabbit ears so we could keep an eye on things. Also being the good friend she is, she made sure to document Owen and Mason's first tornado warning. Classic.


Boys will be boys

Owen and Mason have now officially been christened as "boys." Aaron had his company picnic this weekend at a ranch. The boys, being new walkers, spent a lot of time on the ground. They have never in their lives been so hot, so sweaty, and SO dirty! The pictures don't do it justice. After the last picture was snapped they proceded to dump water from a water bottle all over themselves while they were sitting in dirt. As we all know, water + dirt = MUD! They loved it. And they loved the honeydew melon we gave them that dripped dirt-colored juice down their arm because their little hands were so dirty. All I kept thinking in my head so I wouldn't freak out about how dirty they were getting was the old addage "God made dirt so dirt don't hurt." Laugh all you want. It worked and I let them have fun! :)


A typical morning...

Aaron took the opportunity to play with his camera and take some pictures of the boys during their sweetest time of day...morning. Enjoy.