Owen is officially 4!

Owen turned four on October 5! I know every parent says this but I cannot believe it! So of course you reminisce by looking at baby photos that seem like they were taken yesterday and sob on the inside! Y’know what though?! I LOVE the little boy he is becoming! He is so loving and caring! He is so funny! He makes silly jokes and his laugh melts my heart! He has the funniest little phrases! He loves to call his Dad on the phone and wrestle him for “the championship” or Facetime with Grammy and Paw-Paw (he always wants to talk about the big boy train, which is an electric train set my dad has from when he was a kid!) He loves playing outside and “fixing” trucks and riding in his barrel train with Grampa and painting and baking with Gramma! Right now he loves the “Five Little Pumpkins” song Gramma taught him! He is really curious about tornados and clock towers! He is still a cautious little boy but there’s a daredevil in him too! He likes to be helpful- it’s very sweet!

We celebrated his birthday with our Lifegroup on Wednesday and we had cake and sang and he got to blow out his candle! He got to play with his best friends that night so he was very pleased! The following night we went to Grimaldi’s which is his favorite restaurant! He ate pizza with Grammy and Paw-Paw and then got to play in the splash pad! On Saturday we went to the zoo! The weather was so nice and the boys had so much fun! We got to see the gorillas for the first time and Owen got to touch a snake! We rode the carousel and the train before we left! Owen still loves the train and its whistle! And on Monday we ate lunch and played at Chick-fil-A with Auntie Mal before she headed back to Seattle. We also got to play at Pump It Up which was Owen’s request. They played and ran and bounced! Owen liked the obstacle course bounce house the best! Owen also had his four year check up on Monday. He got four shots but was so, so brave! He weighs 35 lb 8 oz (47%) and is 3’ 4.63” tall (58%). We stretched his birthday into an almost week long celebration! All of us had a great time! Thank you to all our friends and family who made it so exciting for him!

Owen Johnny– You are such a special boy! You make your mom and dad so proud! Every time I look at you I cannot believe that God gave us such a perfect gift! I think you are so smart and so handsome and you make me laugh! I want you to always remain as caring and compassionate as you are now! You are a wonderful big brother and Hunter is so lucky that he has you to protect him, and play with, and laugh with! I LOVE YOU THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS MUCH!!

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Letting Go

So I’ve learned so far in my parenting journey that giving birth to them is pretty much the easiest part. Each new phase brings an infinite amount of joy and an equal amount of nostalgia and pain and doubt. There is nothing that makes you more proud than watching your child learn or do new things. But that doesn’t mean that when they achieve new things, you won’t miss the previous stage!

We are officially out of the baby stage with the boys. Hunter is 3 months past his second birthday and Owen will be THE BIG FOUR next week which is really weird because I literally had both of them yesterday! They are both still my babies but gain more of their independence every day! And I always knew I would have a hard time watching them become big boys but I’m learning that letting go can come with great rewards!

Cory has wanted to take Owen to his first wrestling show for a while now. I hesitated. I would say he’s too young or it would be too loud, or he would probably only be interested in the first 30 minutes and up until a couple weeks ago I knew those things were all probably very true! Then last weekend, there was a little local show in Katy and Cory was convinced it was the perfect time to take Owen. As much as I wanted to say “maybe just wait for the next one”, I could tell Owen was getting excited! And off they went! Two dudes on their first dude’s night out! I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive and sad to watch them go! But it gave me some alone time with Hunter and for that I was thankful! And he’s quite the dancer now! He’s equal parts adorable and hilarious!

Fast forward several hours later and it’s really late (late for me because I’m old and like to go to bed early) and the dudes get home! I expected Cory to carry a sleeping Owen in but Owen was still awake and so pumped up! He was telling me all about it. Showing me the cool stuff he got- like his new favorite prized possession: a gigantic gold chain, haha! I was so excited to see him so excited! It was precious- his dad is now not only his hero but his BFF too! Seeing him so happy made me realize that letting go is inevitable and that in the process, my kiddos are going to experience so many new adventures. And I can’t wait to share in all the excitement!

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Growing Up

This Labor Day weekend was great! I love getting to spend extra time with family and friends! The boys are growing up so fast that it makes me really appreciate the time I get to spend watching them interact and learn new things!

Owen is so big and opinionated! But he is cautious and compassionate too! He looks like a little boy! He loves going to Sunday school and playing with his Lifegroup friends! He still loves trains and super heroes! He thinks his Dad is hilarious! He is so helpful in the kitchen- his favorite thing to make is brownies but he helps with pancakes, scrambled eggs, pizza, and cookies too. He loves the water and puts his whole body under to swim. He’s also a fan of the beach since our trip last month. His favorite chore is feeding the dogs and gets upset if you do it without him. He’s been to three movies with his Gramma and Grampa (his favorite was The Secret Life of Pets) and likes to feed chickens with his Grammy. He also likes to talk locomotives with his Paw-Paw. And he can spell his name! He wanted to marry me but he’s been talking about someone named Sheena recently… apparently he wants to marry her now but she lives in Dallas. He told us that she burns pancakes but she makes him green beans! We were cracking up! (And for the record, little man- Mom doesn’t burn pancakes and I’ve yet to get you to eat a green bean!)

Hunter is growing up just as fast! He is also opinionated but a little less gentle when it comes to his big brother. I guess being the youngest gives you an extra bit of fight! He likes dinosaurs and super heroes too! He’ll grab Superman or Batman and pretend they’re flying while he spins in circles! He also is still really into Monster Trucks. He’s still a pretty big momma’s boy. He loves cuddles in the mornings and loves to twirl my hair. He’s still nursing but I think weaning is on the horizon. He laughs SO MUCH! He thinks his brother is so funny! He loves to color and play with sidewalk chalk! And when he really wants something he’ll say “Pwease, pwease!” and there’s no resisting! But my favorite thing to hear him say is “Momma!” He’s very chatty and I can’t wait until I’m able to understand everything he says! He’s a great eater- but he prefers fruit or macaroni and cheese over most meats. And he likes trying to escape bath-time after his clothes and diaper is off!

I think they both have an amazing sense of humor! They’re such happy boys! Hunter wants to do everything his big brother does! And Owen is so protective of his little brother! Makes my momma heart very, very proud! God sure knew what he was doing when he gave me these two!

We went fishing on our church campus with Gramma and Grampa on Labor Day. Hunter “caught” his first fish- a tiny perch that he was a  little hesitant to touch. With Grampa and Dad’s help, Owen caught a few too! I’m so grateful that my boys are so close to their grandparents! They get to experience so many new and cool things with them! We know we’ve been blessed and we are reminded each and every day!

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Port Aransas

The past weekend we headed out to Port Aransas to meet up with a big group of Cory’s family. They have a beach bash every year but this was the first year we have been able to attend! And I didn’t think I was much of a beach person but this trip may have changed that!

We both took half days on Friday so we could hit the road early. It took almost 5 hours to get there but it was worth it! The boys are pretty much the best car riders ever! They only got impatient towards the very end. And they got to take their first ferry ride. Owen got to get out of the truck with Cory and watch the dolphins while we crossed. He loved it!

We stayed in an adorable condo owned by relatives of Cory’s family. I would highly recommend it- Mustang Island Beach Club, Unit 113. It was super cute and comfortable and had a nice pool and great access to the beach! I thought Owen would sleep in the top bunk but both nights he ended up in bed with Hunter and me. We ate great food, drank cold beer, and had a fun time visiting with family and playing on the beach!

Owen is definitely a little fish! He loved being in the water and playing in the waves! He got to play with his birthday buddy, Ian (they were born on the same day!) and he even held a fish! He built sand castles but had an even better time destroying them! Hunter napped most of the day we spent on the beach. But when he wasn’t napping he was admiring the snack table and eating Cheetoh’s. He loved the sand and did a little dancing to the music. We got sand everywhere! When Owen got some in his mouth he kept telling me “his teeth were cracking.” Hunter liked the water once he finally got in but he enjoyed “swimming” in the sand even more. Everyone enjoyed the pool! Owen did so good floating and swimming around while wearing his puddle jumper! And Hunter liked the water too and giggled while we spun in circles!

We visited some surf shops and the boys got some cool new toys. Hunter picked out dinosaurs and sharks and Owen picked out a train (shocker!) and a rescue vehicle. And we loaded up on candy at the neatest little candy shop!

We are already looking forward to next year! It was such a fun time and it’s so cool getting to watch the boys visit new places! We crammed a lot of fun into just a few days but I am so grateful for the awesome memories we made!

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To the lady at the beach…

Last week was National Breastfeeding Week…so I’m a little late to the party! Breastfeeding week has been going on for the past couple of years in my world! I’m so incredibly proud to say that I breastfed Owen for almost 8 months and Hunter for 2+ years. I’m also incredibly proud to say that when they were hungry- I would feed them, no matter where we happened to be. It’s not like I intentionally sought out public places to feed my babies (Okay- that might be a lie…I developed a breastfeeding bucket list with Hunter!) but I didn’t put anyone else’s comfort above my babies’ needs, because they are babies and everyone else should act like the adults they are.

I remember going to the beach when Owen was a little over a year old (his first time)! While Owen was playing and my husband and I were chasing him around, Cory struck up a conversation with the woman next to us who had a little girl a few months older than Owen. They were chatting away when the woman’s daughter runs up to her, tugs on her mom’s bathing suit, and out came the boob! Poor Cory- he didn’t know whether to look away to avoid getting in trouble with me, walk away to give the lady some privacy, or just ignore (or acknowledge) what was happening and go on with their conversation. He ended up casually wrapping up the conversation and walking back to where Owen and I were playing. Here’s the thing: I wanted to totally high five that lady and tell her how awesome I thought she was. I still regret not having a conversation with her in which I told her how much I admired her! She was doing something totally normal and natural and didn’t think twice about it! On another note- her daughter was also eating cherry tomatoes and I desperately wanted to know how she got her kid to eat such a healthy snack!

I never said anything to her. But she made an impact on me and made my breastfeeding journey with Hunter a little easier. I will say it’s never super comfortable to lift your shirt and expose your boob- even when it’s discreet and brief. I’ve always been more on the self conscious side but I decided that the needs of my children FAR outweigh any discomfort experienced by myself or any other person in our vicinity. I’m lucky that the state of Texas sees it the same way.

And only once have I experienced someone being nasty to me because I was breastfeeding in public. Of course he didn’t have the balls courage to come up to me and say anything, but he made sure I knew he was disgusted by me. And that was just fine- my kids never knew what was going on and I was surrounded by super supportive family so it was actually kind of fun to make weird faces back at him! I also decided how I would handle the situation if it ever arose again: I printed out little sheets stating the legislation that guaranteed my right to breastfeed any place I was legally allowed to be. I figured next time someone was appalled by what was happening, I would take a moment to educate them and let them know that I was protected by the law.

Oh and since I’ve officially progressed to the point of not giving two F’s if anyone opposes where I choose to feed my child, I decided it would be fun to make a list of all the cool places I’ve had the opportunity to be when one of my babies needed feeding:

 

BREASTFEEDING BUCKET LIST

  • On the train at the San Antonio zoo
  • The shark tank tunnel at the Downtown Houston Aquarium
  • Hooter’s…Multiple times (because obviously!)
  • Under the wing of a WWII era aircraft at Wings over Houston
  • A crawfish festival (this is where the guy was appalled by my behavior…because there’s nothing like being offended by a woman feeding her child while other women walk around in bikini tops) Side note: I fully support women walking around in bikini tops! Go on girl!
  • Driving down the highway (baby was buckled in, I was not. I do not recommend this but desperate times called for desperate measures)
  • Houston zoo- an adorable momma monkey was doing it too!! Nature, yall!

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Hunter may or may not be flicking off any haters! Also shout out to the best baby wearing wrap ever- Solly Baby! I loved baby wearing!

Our first date night

Since Owen wants to marry me we had our first date night on Wednesday! I treasure the one on one time we get these days! He is almost four and such a funny little gentleman! He is so silly and sweet and the afternoon was full of “I lub you Mom!” We ate dinner at Chick-fil-a (his choice!) and then he got to play on the playground for an hour or so. To be honest, I’m pretty sure that’s what he enjoyed most! After playing for a while, he got ice cream (I love how kids can trade their kids meal toy for ice cream) and by that time he was ready to head home and see Dad and Hunter. And for the record, his favorite color is orange and his favorite animal is a monkey! I love conversations with him! He also made a point to tell me he farted- which in our house is always hilarious so I can definitely appreciate this, date night or not.

Sometimes I forget that he’s not even four yet. He has two new phrases that totally crack me up-

  1. Are you kidding me right now?
  2. I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you. Can you say that again?

Totally random- I know. But the way he says them are so cute! I think I like the second phrase so much because he says it so politely and he sounds so mature!

I’m so excited to make “baby date nights” a tradition in our family! It’s so important for the boys to be able to spend time separately with Cory and me. And I think it’s going to be fun for Cory and me too! What do you and your kiddos do on “date nights”?

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