Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Shutout of the Season!

Today marked a day in history.... Alabama finally put an end to the six year streak that Auburn had of beating them, and gave the Tigers a beating in the Bryant-Denny Stadium (which was a first)! Steve and I had the pleasure of attending this monumental game thanks to the Mizeranys for giving us their tickets AND watching our kids all day! Though the weather didn't completely cooperate, we still had a blast.

We dropped off our children (who we decked out in their Alabama gear for good luck), and then left around 10:30 with Louis, Maria and Sara and pulled right into our saved parking space with very little trouble. We then ventured over to the Sheridan Hotel to watch the team walk out and get on the buses. I must admit that I was surprised how short Coach Saben is...he is just a little fellow.

After a few cocktails and some food, we headed into the game to get settled. The stands were packed and the crowd was rowdy! Since Alabama went into this game undefeated and ranked #1 in the country, there was a lot of pressure to perform well and give Auburn a whooping. The tide started off slow, but they eventually just wore the Tigers down and finished up with an incredible 36-0 score!

The highlight for many was singing "Rammer Jammer" at the end, over and over (an AL tradition). The victory was certainly welcomed and the fans were so thrilled that they didn't leave the stands immediately after the game. Instead they lingered and listened to the music and watched some of the players come back out onto the field. Though I have never been a big football fan, I must admit it is wonderful supporting a team that has had such a successful season. It isn't over yet though. In fact, their most difficult game awaits them next week in Atlanta, where they will play Florida (who will most likely be the #2 ranked team) for the SEC Championship. Roll Tide Roll!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Yesterday we had a gorgeous day...sunny and 65 degrees! We enjoyed the morning, and then started getting ready for our unhealthy feast. Around 2pm the Mizerany's arrived and we began frying our turkey and chickens. We had injected them earlier, so they immediately started smelling delicious! Myra also brought her infamous dressing and chicken dumplings. I made a caesar salad and then a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.

Shortly after we finished eating Louis, Michelle and the kids came over. The drinks continued to flow and the kids played. Bennett was in rare form entertaining her cousins and making Uncle Dan carry her all around (she loves her Uncle Dan). She later showed Uncle Louie how she loves to color at her new desk (which is coincidentally my desk as a young child). She loves it since it opens up and she can hide items in there (crayons, paper or whatever else she wants).

Overall, it was a great day, and it made us realize how much we have to be thankful for in our life.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

9.5 Weeks Old Already!

My little boy is growing up quickly and still packing on the ounces. Thought I would share a couple cute photos of my little man.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bennett's 1st Haircut

Today Bennett had her first real haircut (the butcher jobs that I have given her at home don't count). I finally caved to cutting some of the curls since her hair has been looking quite limp lately. And since my little darling won't keep a bow, ponytail or pigtails in to keep her hair out of her eyes....I succumbed.

I asked around for places that cater to children, and heard of this place in Mountain Brook. So, I packed up the kids and headed over this morning. The hairdresser got down on her level and talked to her, then put a booster seat in her chair, and I lifted Bennett on it. She immediately wiggled right down. So the hairdresser suggested that I hold her while she cuts her hair. I agreed, but as soon as I sat down with her, Preston started crying in his carseat. So I sat Bennett in the chair by herself, and before she knew what was going on, the hairdresser started cutting. She bribed her with a sucker to keep her there, and all was good for the 5-10 minutes that it took.

The hairdresser said that Bennett was her best "first haircut child" since no tears were shed. A little boy about the same age screamed the entire time he had hair trimmed while we were there, so I feel lucky. So, though I can't be sure that her bangs were cut evenly (you be the judge with this photo to the left), she looks much better, and I know she can see now. After another shower today, some of her curls even reappeared!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Picture Worth a Thousand Words....

All I can say is wow.... We thought this might be a tough year with Bennett and Santa, and it was. This morning Myra and I headed to a breakfast with Santa with the kids. Things started off great and Bennett was checking out Santa with her inquisitive looks. But when it became our turn to sit on his lap, she wanted nothing to do with it. Preston didn't care too much, so I was able to get a photo of just him with Santa, which will be nice for his scrapbook of "firsts."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Playdate with Cousins

Thursday morning Shannon and the kids came over to play. I have vowed to spend more time with my darling niece and nephew now that I don't work. I know that I should have been doing it sooner, but it had always been difficult to get together with them since our schedules were so different and hectic. And what a shame because up until just recently, Christian wouldn't come to me and barely knew my name (without coaching from mom and dad). Since our children are so close in age, it really is wonderful for them to grow up together.
This photo of Preston and Henley is so funny to me...can you believe they are only 16 days apart? Henley is such a little peanut compared to my little chunk. What fun for them to be in the same grade of school later. Though Bennett and Christian are about 9 months apart, they play somewhat well together, with the exception of the lack of sharing. Usually Bennett does alright with that, but today was a different story. She has lately been so irritable and cries at the drop of a hat (now really, where does she get that from??).
Anyway, today we hosted the playdate, and next time will be at their house (where all the cool toys are). So, stay tuned for more tales of the four cousins.

We Are So Blessed!

If you recall, we had some photos done last week by our wonderful photographer, Heather Swanner. Though we were very worried about how they would all turn out, I shouldn't have been because as usual she has worked some magic. Please click on the attached link to see a slideshow of the best ones of the day:

Not only did the photos turn out great, but it just reiterated how blessed we truly are with our children. It is hard not to cry every time I watch this!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beer Please!

Today we met with our photographer to get baby photos of Preston, some family shots, and a few pics of just the kids. I don't know what I was thinking when I thought everything would go smoothly....

It started off with me running late because I couldn't keep the house straightened for our cleaning lady because tornado Bennett was in full force destroying all in her path. When I finally got everyone outside and in the car I couldn't tighten Bennett's carseat straps. I had evidently pulled them out too far the last time, so they weren't tightening correctly. Steve walked me through it over the phone, and then we finally arrived at her studio, 5 minutes late. Of course neither child was in the mood to be photographed (though they were both in good moods when we left the house), so it took all that I had to exercise my patience. Now all I have to do is pray that she worked some miracles and got a few good ones between the tears, drool and sweat (mine of course).

On our way home I ran through McDonald's for a quick lunch for Bennett and me. You see I had foolishly scheduled both kids' doctor's appointments for 1pm today (during Bennett's naptime). What WAS I thinking??? So we got home and ate, I fed Preston and then we headed back out. Today was Preston's 2 month check-up and Bennett's 18 month (hard to believe how time flies)! Preston weighs 13 lbs 6 oz (90th percentile) and is 23 inches long (75th percentile), while Bennett weighed in at 24 lbs 9 oz and was 32 inches long (50th percentile for both)! Preston is hitting all of his 2 month milestones: tracking objects, smiling, he has found his hands, coos, and is finally sleeping a little longer at night (4-6 hours). Bennett is doing well too and can identify most body parts, point to almost any animal that you name, can speak over 20 words, runs, feeds herself (sometimes even with silverwear) and can follow commands (when she wants to). So, according to our pediatrician we should be very happy. However, after they each got their vaccination and were both crying...I was ready to get out of there in a hurry and get home and have a beer!

Of course I promised Steve that I would never drink during the day, so I had to wait until he got home from work to crack open my corona light. Phew.... I guess in the future, I will have to act like an old person and only schedule one major thing a day. You know how they say they are busy all day because they have a 30 minute dentist appointment? I guess that is how I will have to be too!

Friday, November 7, 2008

More Changes

This week was another big week for us. I decided to resign from my job and my career that I have had for the past 12 years. It wasn't easy, but I know it was the right decision. Since being at home with my children this maternity leave, things have changed for me. I have loved the time I have spent with my children, and I have realized that the time with them is more valuable than any career. So I pulled the trigger on Tuesday.

This week seems like maternity leave still (since I was only back at work for one day), but I know it will seem more and more like my new job as the weeks pass. I look forward to the daily challenges of running this family and making sure that everything goes smoothly. However, I do plan to work part-time. In fact I have already spoken to a company about doing work from home. I will keep you posted as that develops.

In the meantime, Bennett and I did a little bonding yesterday. After her morning shower, I decided to give her a pedicure. Surprisingly she sat down long enough for me to clip and paint her toenails (and wait for them to dry). She watched patiently while I did the first foot, but grew a little bored with the second foot. Though it wasn't a perfect paint job (since her nails are so small), it is still cute.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween 2008!

I hope you all enjoyed your Halloween. This has always been a fun holiday for me, and one that ranks in my top five. However, having young children makes it SOOO much better (like most things in my life now). Before going out Friday, we took a short video of the kids in their costumes.

I know I might be a little prejudice here, but have you ever seen anything so stinking cute as my little monkey and her banana-dressed brother? I don't know about you, but I think Preston is the cutest little banana of any bunch! Bennett honestly is this sweet every time she holds Pres, and I pray that it lasts.

After a few photos, we headed out for a little trick or treating with both kids and Spencer. It was a gorgeous Fall night, clear and slightly cool. Bennett had a great time sticking out her bag and then peering inside to see what was dropped in. She didn't get afraid, and thoroughly loved the people watching.

One of my friends lives a couple of streets over and was hosting an open house, so we walked over. She lives on a street that blocks off all traffic and is just packed with children trick or treating. All of the families on the street really get into Halloween, decorating their homes, having parties and some even setting up haunted houses. The parents load their wagons with adult beverages, and the kids enjoy their candy (fun for the whole family)!

There were hundreds of children on the street (possibly over a thousand). I had no idea that it would be that crowded, because if I had I would have left Spencer at home! See all of kids around Bennett in the photo below, isn't it crazy?

The chaos of the street party made us depart to a less crowded street where we could actually talk and not get bumped into by people. We finally met up with Steve's brother, Louis, Michelle and John Michael at our friend Max's house. He had every Halloween blow-up possible in his yard, and a big M&M character stuffed with Halloween candy that he was distributing to the kids. Bennett loved the M&M (as you can see), so Louis helped her reach in for some candy of her own.
We had intentions of returning home to pass out candy ourselves, but our evening out lasted longer than we anticipated, and we didn't get home until almost 9 pm (way after Bennett's bedtime). Since we are fairly strict about Bennett eating candy, she only was able to sample two pieces of candy (M&Ms and sweet tarts). Fortunately the lack of sugar made it easy for her to fall asleep that night. Me, on the other hand, chowed on all of my favorites in her bag. I have no control with sweets, so I have to get rid of it (or else I will eat it all)! Did I say how much I like Halloween?

Bennett's Halloween Parade

Friday morning Bennett's Mother Day Out program invited all of the kids to attend their Halloween parade and party (even if you don't typically go on Fridays). So, I dropped Bennett off in her costume so she could get ready to parade around with the other kids. Steve and I didn't want to miss it, so we were there too with our camcorder and camera. Unfortunately many of my photos didn't turn out because of the lighting and movement, so we included this short video.

It really was quite sweet seeing all of the children in their costumes. Some were crying, and some were happy. Of course, many of the older kids ran to the bleachers once they caught sight of their parents, so there was mild chaos. Bennett's class and the younger ones were all in mega strollers, so they had no choice but to ride around. Bennett initially was just taking it all in, looking around with her mouth hanging open. However, then she spotted her daddy who was recording the event (and standing), and her face just lit up when he waved to her. It was so darn cute! I just love the fact that she is a huge daddy's girl!