Monday, December 31, 2012

Playing in the Snow

The day after we made the all-day drive from Amarillo, TX to California, MO it snowed the entire day.
View from Steve & Dawn's kitchen window soon after breakfast ended.
Owen, not sure what to think... about the snow AND Tiger Joe.
I had planned on trying to take an afternoon nap with Ben, but Dustin offered to take Kaden outside and attempt to sled & play in the snow. 
Kaden and his makeshift ghetto snowboots.
Dustin pulling Kaden along.
Hard to see, but dad's little white house is over the hill, about a mile or two in the background.
Kaden telling Dustin how to make a snowman.
"First we need some buttons..."
"and a carrot for his nose..."
Dustin's dog, Mia, didn't know what to think of Oscar, our snowman.
As soon as she bolted from the house, her hair stood on end and she wouldn't stop barking at it.
What a great ending to 2012!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Walk in the Park

Protcor Park in California to be exact.
My cousin Stephenie and I were wanting to get some exercise so we loaded up the boys and drove over to the park.
Owen all bundled up in Steph's (or Brayden's) new jogging stroller.
Even though it was COLD outside, Owen never made a peep as we wound around the park for the better part of an hour.
 Kaden & Grandpa (and the dogs) went at a bit of a slower pace, stopping to play every few minutes.
Kaden, Owen, mommy & grandpa
Kaden "helping" great-grandpa Cook open his Christmas gift.
boys playing with grandpa
playing "Holiday Memory" with Dawn.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas at Home

Like I said before, we opted to stay IN Amarillo this Christmas and open presents at our house in order to ease the stress of trying to see everyone at once. Nobody had to be anywhere at a set time and nobody had to even leave the house.  And to make the day even better, we were able to watch it snow all afternoon.  It was slightly bizarre, but it was wonderful to spend the entire day relaxing together as a family. 
My pinterest cinnamon roll idea,
which wasn't a bad way to wake up & open presents on Christmas morning!
For months, Kaden talked about needing more tracks for his 12-piece magnetic train set.
Here the boys are diving into the box of 100 wooden pieces, sent by grandpa Cook.
Patagonia shirt from Mary.
Owen playing with ribbon.
continuing to keep the oven warm by making a big batch of Chex Mix
crashing on top of the tracks, IN the giant box (present from Papa Dow)
More pictures to come.
For some reason blogger will only allow me to upload pictures from my phone and not my computer.  Any else having this problem?!

Christmas in Amarillo

The unfortunate thing about living far away from family is that it's always hard being away from family on special holidays.  Whether we decide to stay in town or drive back to Missouri, we are away from someone's family.
The good thing, however, is that Christmas lasts a LONG time!
Owen bundled up in his winter gear; it snowed ON Christmas this year!
Christmas at Nonnie & Papa's house
 mommy & Owen
Last Christmas was the first year we have ever stayed in Amarillo on Christmas Eve/Day and we are thinking it might be a new tradition now that Kaden knows exactly what's going on. 
We've never really pushed or even talked much about Christmas folklore, but as soon as Halloween was over he quickly started telling us about Santa Claus & his reindeer, how presents get delivered in Santa's sleigh... the works...

 "helping" Papa open his gift.
Kaden was all about "helping" everyone rip the paper off and see what lie inside!
 Owen creeping around Nonnie's coffee table.
 Kaden's new pair of shoes.
 ... and trying to figure out his new game from Papa.
 Owen not quite sure what to think... Opening a present from Aunt Dorothy.

 I got one of the best presents ever!
A brand-new Le Creuset dutch oven- something I've been eyeballing for a while now.
Thank you Shanny!

 Love the look on Kaden's face as we are
all opening our presents.

 Spreading out "reindeer food" that Kaden got from preschool
and, of course, setting out a plate of cookies for Santa.
On Christmas morning I made a special batch of cinnamon rolls.
 Hmmmm... Kaden had been eyeballing this present under the tree for weeks!
He kept telling us that he knew it was HIS present and he just hoped it was more train tracks.

 Mommy's new & exciting strobe lights for running in the dark,
 and Daddy's new golf balls.
 Ben & I didn't really get each other anything big this year. 
Neither of us had anything that we really wanted or needed (and to think that I never understood my parents when they said that!) 
We seem to have reached that point in life where we can pretty much buy whatever it is that we are wanting at the time.  Not say that gifts are not appreciated (because who doesn't love a great gift?!)  We just kept it simple this year in hopes of going on a fun (ski? spring break? summer?) vacation in the future.
 Owen with his new kaleidoscope.
 Daddy helping Kaden get his new drawbridge out of the box.
Somehow shed all clothes and started playing with the train tracks in the dark during nap time.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Owee!

Owen David, my precious baby…  and you are less of a baby every day...
Happy birthday carmel cake with Papa Dow
·         Dr. Fletcher report: 19 ¼ pounds (10th percentile) and 31 inches long (70th percentile). 
You seem to be following the same growth pattern as your brother (and your parents) and we are supposed to “keep doing what we’re doing” as you are “perfect”.

·         I think you have a sense of humor and you have a cute laugh.

·         You definitely have a “look” about you.  You often knit your eyebrows together with your lips parted, as if you are unsure about something or asking a question.
·         We love the big gap between your two front teeth.  For the past four months you have just had four teeth (two on top & bottom) but you have suddenly gotten two more (top) and are constantly gnawing on your pointer finger or other objects.

·         You like to imitate facial expressions and mimic sounds.  When I scrunch up my face and breathe loud through my nose, you do the same thing and then laugh.  When Kaden or I let out a high-pitch shriek, you simultaneously sit up taller, raise your eyebrows and let out a piercing scream… and then smile.
·         You don’t have many, but your temper-tantrums are comical.  You let out a high-pitch scream, bend forward and place your forehead on the floor.  This has somewhat stopped as you’ve recently done it in the bath, only to startle yourself when submerging your face in the water.

·         You often babble “ma-ma-ma,” “da-da-da,” “ba-ba-ba,” mixed in with other  “sss” sounds.
·         You are a good eater (not too picky) although you don’t like green things: avocado, green beans, peas, etc. 

·         You like music and like to DANCE!  You’ll bob your head, rock your torso, or bounce when you hear music, whether it’s in the car, grocery store, or on TV.

·         You don’t seem interested in learning to walk.  When we try to get you to hold our hands & walk, your legs suddenly turn to noodles.  BUT when we lift you several inches off the ground you kick your legs like mad.  We’ve both caught you briefly standing on your own without the support of anything.

·         You cruise the furniture, slowly & thoughtfully sit down, speed-crawl to the next piece of furniture and pull up again.

·       Weirdly enough, you seem to enjoy being upside down.  Our best family pictures this year were the ones where you were inverted.  I think that was the only one where you were truly smiling.
·         You are finally sleeping through the night—meaning about 12 hours at a time.  You usually don’t take more than 1 big nap during the middle of the day.  God love you because you are completely on OUR schedule so you don’t have a set-in-stone naptime.  You are, however, getting better about staying asleep when being transferred from your car seat to your crib.
We can't keep covers on you either. 
You always rip them off and pull them over your face when we put you down for bed or for a nap. 

·         You are a fairly light sleeper.  We have always had the blue (noisy) fan in your room to block out sound (Kaden) but you can pop awake at the sound of me tip-toeing across your room.  On more than one occasion, I’ve “hit the deck” when trying to get a peek at your while you’re sleeping.
·         You don’t seemed bothered by strangers & never cry when people come up to say hi or want to hold you.

·         One of my favorite times of the day is when you hear my voice after being in the gym nursery for an hour… you turn your head, see me, and then SPEED crawl to where I’m standing.  Makes my day!

·         You enjoy bath time and being naked.  You giggle when I take off your diaper.
·         I’m still not sure if it’s being exposed to every pre-school germ imaginable or allergies/the constant dust in the air, but you are in a constant need of a tissue.

·         You still seem to be extremely ticklish and laugh hard when we slowly take off your socks at night.

·         You are tough.  Lord knows how many times you’ve been kicked, stepped on, drug (across the floor) or knocked over by your over-zealous older brother.
Owee, you so WONDERFUL, fun and easy-going;
we cannot imagine you not being a part of our family!