Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Dow Family

The best possible end to 2011

 Owen David, one week old.

 The Dow Family
December 2011

This photo is probably more accurate at showing Kaden's reaction to Owen's arrival;
he could not care any less. That or he is completely oblivious.

Photos by Jessica Claborn
You are invited to view photographs from my "Owen" gallery.

Friday, December 30, 2011


Which is which? 
Everyone keeps asking whether Owen looks like Kaden did when he was little.
Both photos were taken when the boys were 2½ weeks old.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

These are the only pictures that I captured from our 1st Christmas here in Amarillo... 
Just as we were beginning to dive into our presents, I kneeled on my old-trusty Sony camera and killed it.  Damn.  So... the only photos I have are from my iPhone.

Kaden trying out his new 24-piece Melissa & Doug puzzle from grandma Cook.
Kaden loves puzzles and is the puzzle master! 

Owen cuddling with daddy.

New TIGER hat from auntie Jennifer!

 Mama's new shoes! (from daddy)

 Owen on Christmas morning...
looking somewhat irritated that I'm taking his picture in this getup
uncle Kyle trying out one of his new moustaches.

There IS a silver lining to the camera incident. 
I got to test-drive some NEW cameras at Target in order to find one that I liked/could figure out.  Since they were cleaned out after the holidays, I was able to go home order my new & improved Sony online & whistles AND score a sweet after-Christmas deal. 
Hopefully it will be here within the next week or two.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Week in Pictures

Random pictures from Owen's 1st week home:

Grandpa Cook reading books with Kaden in his bedroom.
 Owen spending some quality time with grandma before she headed back to Missouri.

1st morning home in the swing
Managing to get everyone down for an afternoon nap- myself included (spot in the middle)

 I could literally sit like this for hours.
 THE big brother!
 Lifesaver: Moby wrap.  Able to keep up with Kaden and get things done around the house.
Relaxing with daddy after a long day.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


... the newest member of the Dow family.
Mr. Owen David was born on Tuesday, December 13th @ 8:26 a.m.
weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces and measuring 19 ¾ inches long.

Owen's official due date wasn't supposed to be until the 21st, but I had serious doubts that I was going to make it to the first day of winter.  I had been having serious (Braxton-Hicks) contractions for weeks and when I went in for my last weekly appointment Dr. Baker said that I was dialated to a 3, he was very low and that she could almost guarantee that I wouldn't make it to my next appointment scheduled for the following Thursday. 

Luckily for us, my mom drove in from Missouri on Sunday night to be here for
little Owen's arrival and watch Kaden for a couple of days while we were in the hospital. 

Sure enough, I went to bed around 11:00 p.m. on Monday night, only to wake up an hour later with contractions about 8 minutes apart.  After an hour of timing them in bed I decided to take a shower and get ready, just in case...  By 3:15 a.m. I woke Ben up and we quickly decided to head to the hospital as I was getting worried, the contractions were only 5 minutes apart and getting stronger.  Thank God mom had been with us for a day because she learned Kaden's routine & he didn't seem to flinch when he woke up to only grandma in the morning.

After receiving my epidural at 6:00 a.m. my mind & body finally relaxed and I could enjoy life again.  By the time Dr. Baker arrived at 8:00, she checked me and told Ben he'd "better get his camera ready because this is going to happen quick."  She broke my water and told me to start pushing before the nurses had the room completely ready.
This delivery was quite different from that of Kaden's.  I felt a LOT of what was happening and at one point I looked Ben in the eyes and told him that we were DONE having kids because I definitely could not do it all again...  Luckily it didn't last very long because Owen came a few minutes later. 

I am amazed at how much love I have for this little person.  I was a little nervous that I wouldn't have the same experience or feelings that I had with baby #1 and my mind would be preoccupied with Kaden the whole time we were in the hospital.  WRONG!  If anything, I was even more emotional this time as I cried as I held him for the first time and then again while calling my parents. 
I wasn't the only one as I saw Ben wipe away several tears.
The two of us were completely overcome with emotion and love.

In my mind I thought we might have a beautiful family moment as mom brought Kaden in to meet his new brother that we had been talking about for months...  In reality Kaden was oblivious to the baby and was solely focused on Ben's soda and my cashews, and I was slighly stressed that he was going to crush Owen or accidentally rip out my IV.
... and showing grandma his juice box instead of acknowledging his brother.

Heather was one of our first visitors to the delivery room.

Northwest Texas Hospital completely renovated their maternity ward, which was completed just a few months ago.  Instead of feeling like a sterile hospital, we felt like I was recovering in a 5-star hotel room (if you left out the nurses checking vitals every hour or so).  There was a queen-sized bed as they encouraged dads to stay, as well as a living area with a couch and comfy chairs for visitors. 
The bathroom had a soothing spa feel to it and I was able to use the menu to order breakfast, lunch and dinner at my leisure. 
I thought my room at BSA was nice, but this one blew it away!

daddy & grandpa Cook
 nonnie Shanny & papa Dow
grandpa Cook in the rocking chair
 bonding & cuddling with mommy & daddy

Owen David, you are the perfect addition to our family. 
I love you more than anything and I can't imagine not having you in our lives.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Break

Shanny & David had us over for Thanksgiving again this year.  They also invited Dan, Heather and Danni Richard to join us, which was especially fun since Danni is one of Kaden's best friends.
 Kaden & Danni playing with her crayons.
 Dan & David carving up turkey
 Kaden & Danni were supposed to eat together before OUR big meal (and their nap/movie
in the bedroom).  I don't know whether to laugh or roll my eyes at this sight. Danni was all calm & relaxed, looking like a lady, patiently waiting to eat her nice meal only to watch Kaden acting like a complete mess across the table from her.
 Snacking later on Ben's lap while watching football

Later on...
 Bouncing on "Rody" 
and playing with a Puzzle Buzz magazine while mommy & daddy put up the Christmas tree and got out decorations.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ride The Daddy!

I'm pretty sure Ben started this riding phase. 

Any time someone gets on their hands/knees to clean, pick something up, workout, stretch...
Kaden suddenly thinks it's time to climb on and go for a "ride".  (This also includes trying to ride mommy yesterday as she sat on the floor to tie her shoes, AND trying to ride nonny Shanny as she was picking up Kaden's puzzle.)

Ben was trying to work out in the living room and I kept hearing Kaden exclaim, "Ride the daddy!"
Not sure how much "fun" Ben is having but Kaden was having a blast!
(Nothing like an extra ~30 lbs. of resistance.)
 Also having a good time mimicing daddy doing jumping jacks & jogging in place.

* Pardon all of the no pants posts lately! 
Potty training is in its final stages and many times the jeans don't ever get back ON.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baking Kick

For the past several weeks I've been on a SERIOUS baking kick-
various pumpkin and banana breads, cookies, etc.  Whenever I get out the mixer, Kaden comes running, pushes a chair across the kitchen and up to the counter in order to watch 
& snag pieces of dough, nuts, or chocolate chips (his favorite).
Savoring a bit of peanut butter cookie dough.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

34 weeks (8 1/2 months)

... with baby boy #2


Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

This year marked the first year that Kaden truly went trick-or-treating as this was the first Halloween that he could walk more than a couple of steps.
And in case you can't tell what he is... he is a dragon!  Why a dragon?  Because the dragon costume was a free hand-me-down and fit perfectly!
Needing a lot of direction at first (SO many distractions!), but QUICKLY got the hang of getting candy!
  Posing for a picture with mommy.
 Ben & I got a real kick out of watching Kaden excitedly run up/down the sidewalk,
looking for the next house to walk up to. 
 Heading back to nonnie & papa's house to check out his bag.
Skittles were the pick for the night.