Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday Chicky!

My darling nephew, Christian (or "Chicky" as Bennett calls him), celebrated his 3rd birthday this weekend with a HUGE blow-up waterslide! All of his little friends were there, and the weather was nice, so it was perfect. Though Christian enjoyed going down it, I think Brian liked the slide the best! Thankfully he did too, because he had to take the majority of the kids down it. With some encouragement, Bennett went down solo, but she needed help getting up and didn't do it more than a couple of times.



After an hour or so of playing in the water, everyone came in for chili dogs and cake. Shannon made his darling cake once again, and boy was it tasty! In fact Bennett had two pieces! Though she and her cousins have an affinity for cake, Preston is more
fond of ice cream! So Steve fed him that in lieu of cake.

After the birthday party, we left with Preston, but left Bennett there for her first sleepover! She loves her Aunt and Uncle, so we didn't anticipate having any problems. However, she is accustomed to taking an afternoon nap, but since Christian doesn't...she didn't either! Instead, Brian and Shannon entertained her all afternoon with tons of activities (read their blog for more details and photos). She played so hard all day, and snacked on junk food her entire stay. We joked about her not wanting to leave when we came to get her this morning! But as we predicted, she was ecstatic to see her Daddy, with barely a kiss for me. Oh well.....



We weren't even out of their neighborhood when Bennett fell asleep in her carseat...she was just exhausted! So after her 3.5 hour nap, we blew up her trampoline in our media room for her to play in. It was a birthday gift from Nene and Poppy that we haven't even unpacked from the shipping box because the heat has been so bad. I finally caved and let her enjoy it in our house. She and Preston had fun bouncing around in it, and I am sure there are more fun times ahead!

Bennett's Babies

Ever since Preston came along, Bennett has been into her baby dolls. But over the past several months, her imagination has really started to grow and she is rarely without one of her dolls. In fact, she is especially fond of her Mimi's baby dolls (seen above). She imitates changing their diapers (while using real wipes and diaper cream), feeding them, and putting them to bed the same way we do it with Preston. With several of our friends pregnant, or with newborns, Bennett has been able to test out her "mothering" skills on REAL babies. In fact, last week Steve and Karen came over with their little bundle of job, Clem. Bennett loves "baby Clem," and really likes to hold him. It is so sweet to see her act like such a big girl. If only she was this kind to her little brother ALL THE TIME!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Shakey, but Steps

As some of you know, Preston has been taking a few steps for a couple of weeks now, and getting braver as the days go by. He turned 11 months old a couple of weeks ago and started letting go when transferring from the sofa to the table, and realized he could take one or two steps on his own. As the days have gone by, he has taken up to 4-5 steps, but then falls. He is becoming much better at balancing himself when he stands, and we are hopeful that he may be walking better by his first birthday (which is in 2.5 short weeks)! Here is a short video of him attempting to walk, taken this morning.
video

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Camp Sumatanga


Yesterday, we awoke to absolute gorgeous weather....sunny with no humidity. For those of us in the south, this is almost unheard of in August. We were so excited because we were dropping off the kids at Steve's parents at noon, then enjoying a leisurely lunch without screaming kids, and then driving up to Camp Sumatanga with our Sunday school class.













Camp Sumatanga is a wonderful camp about 45 miles north of Birmingham with a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy, as well as various places to sleep, dependent on how much you want to "rough it." Of course we all wanted air conditioning, and since we had a group of 18, they put our entire group in one of their retreat centers. As soon as we arrived, the men broke off to play football, and the girls got ready to go canoeing. We were all so excited to enjoy the beautiful afternoon, but unfortunately they didn't have a lifeguard on duty so we couldn't canoe or swim. Oh well, we just walked around the lake and chit-chatted. About an hour later, the boys showed up sweaty and sore and we hung out a little longer before breaking to shower and get ready for dinner.

When we regrouped we got together for a lesson on the "5 Love Languages" led by one of our members, Lyndsey. She did a great job, and we all participated and tried to determine how better to communicate with our spouses. After a very marginal dinner, we went to a great bonfire for just our group. It was a perfect night for it, being that it was a little cooler, so we enjoyed a couple adult beverages and hung out more. One of the guys in the class, Chris, plays in a band and entertained us with some singing and guitar playing. Of course we all tried to sing along, but it wasn't the best singing. But at that point in the evening it didn't matter....we were having fun and getting to know each other better.


Alisha, one of our members who was unable to attend last minute, packed us all of the s'mores fixins so we felt like kids at a campfire!
















We had a great group go from our class! We have a very fun class, with over 30 couples, all close in age and in a similar stage in life (married with at least one child). Of course, trying to get everyone to go was impossible, since several couples have recently had babies, or are expecting shortly, but we were able to get about third of them to commit, so I was happy.

This morning it was even cooler, so after breakfast, we drove up to a little open air chapel to do our other lesson that Chris had prepared. Though we had the place to ourselves, and the view was wonderful...it was very chilly for those of us in short and t-shirts. But after learning more ways to better our relationships...I felt great! Chris did a wonderful job combining two books and pulling Bible verses that were applicable to the lesson.
















Overall, our class had a GREAT time (or at least we did)! Steve and I feel quite lucky to have joined the "Journey" class at its inception and to have made such wonderful friendships these past three years. We are hoping to make this an annual retreat, and hopefully we can have even better participation next year!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Proof!

Okay, today Preston was pulling one if his usual stubborn moves and refusing to nap without being held. So I laid him down (after he was asleep in my arms) and walked out. I heard him wake up immediately, but I didn't turn around. After I shut the door, he started screaming and continued. I knew he was exhausted, but he didn't want to sleep on his own. Shortly thereafter Steve came home for a late lunch and went in and rocked him back to sleep in minutes. He too laid him down and walked out only to have him crying seconds later.


He continued crying as he usually does, but then all of a sudden it was quiet. It was the FIRST time he had ever cried himself to sleep since he was a newborn, so Steve and I peeked in and this is what we saw!

So for you non-believers who didn't believe how stubborn he was...I guess I have proof now! I tell you, he is one funny kid to fall asleep standing up!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

First Sleepover

Last night Bennett had her first sleepover...her cousin, Christian. We were a little worried that he might have some separation anxiety (since he is only 3 and has never been with just us for such a long time without his parents), but all went fairly well. Brian and Shannon both brought him inside and played with him for a moment to get him acclimated, then they snuck out. No tears...so we were off to a good start!


Shortly after they left, Christian said he had to use the restroom. Rather than standing, he sits on the toilets (since they are all too high for him anyway). Being my first time taking him to the bathroom, I don't believe I had the proper technique down. I just pulled his underwear and shorts down to his ankles and sat him on the toilet. I guess his legs weren't far enough apart, so his little private started shooting tee-tee all over the bathroom like a crazy firehose. I screamed and tucked the little guy into the toilet and then had to clean up. Unfortunately, poor little Christian had soaked his underwear, shorts and crocs. Thankfully Shannon packed a spare set of clothes.


Since both of our children nap, Steve got them down and took a break too. I played with Christian for the afternoon, before we all attended a birthday party for one of Bennett's little friends. It was at a place called Kids Gym, so they all got to run around and wear themselves out some. When we got home, we headed upstairs and prepared for bedtime. Books, more books, rocking, and then EVERYONE was asleep by 8:15. Ahh, peace and quiet!!


I went to sleep early, but unfortunately woke up to Christian screaming for me at 11pm. Knowing that he was probably scared I just grabbed him from the room and put him in our bed. Since he sleeps with his parents most weekends, I knew he would quickly fall asleep again and that was all I wanted. Unfortunately 30 minutes later Preston woke up and started crying. I kicked Steve, pinched him with my toes, called his name, but he was dead to the world. So I shook Christian off my arm and snuck out to help Pres back to sleep. Fortunately he fell asleep quickly so I returned to bed.


This morning we all woke up early and Steve made us chocolate chip pancakes before church! Then we all got ready and made it to church ON TIME, a Mizerany accomplishment regardless of how many kids we are toting! I had to volunteer in the nursery this Sunday anyway, so it worked out because Christian really didn't want me to leave him. Steve went to pray for us, while I tended to 20 two year olds with 2 other volunteers! By the time Steve returned, I was sweating and anxious to get out of there!


Once we got home, we had a mid morning snack and then Bennett and Christian started creating masterpieces! I think they will both be impressionist artists. When 2pm arrived, our children were WAY overdue for their naps, as were Steve and I. So we all laid down and relaxed for a couple of hours. It ended up being a great weekend, and I look forward to many more sleepovers with my niece and nephew in the future!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fun on the Lake

Let me preface this post by saying I failed to use my camera most of the weekend, and I feel badly that I didn't take one picture of my darling son....sorry Pres!


We returned earlier today from a fun weekend at my parent's lake house. Thursday we headed over with Brian and Shannon and their kids and enjoyed a long weekend drinking, eating and boating! The kids all played and had a fun time (even Spence)! The fun started almost instantly when Brian took Bennett and Christian out on the tube in back of the house to look for golf balls Thursday night. They found a ton of balls (even though the golf course is closed this summer due to the redoing of all greens).


Then later both the daddy's took the older two fishing. It was Bennett's first time and she even caught a fish! However the first thing she said was "I wan bigga fish!" Unfortunately they didn't have a camera to capture her first catch.



Since our last boating trip was a bit of a debacle, I was happy to have the extra hands on the boat so we could ski and actually enjoy ourselves. Since Steve worked on Friday, we were down one adult for the 4 children, so we didn't get to enjoy ourselves as much as we did on Saturday. Over the weekend, we all did a little skiing and/or knee boarding. The guys even took the older two on the tube for a ride Saturday.

Bennett had a blast riding on the tube. We could actually hear her laughing from the boat. However, Christian wasn't as excited to go, even after Brian's pep talk. I am not convinced that he enjoyed himself, but you can decide by looking at the pictures.....
Of course not all moments were happy ones. I realized after my first skiing experience that I had jumped in with my Maui's on and obviously lost them. What was worse though was Brian did the EXACT same thing on Saturday! UGH, two pairs of Maui's on the bottom of Lake Oconee!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Why Oh Why??

Okay, I must admit that I have been blessed with the happiest son ever! However, he has become the biggest pain this past week. Shortly after returning from our trip, he decided that he doesn't want to sleep anymore. He has been boycotting morning naps, and sleeping about an hour in the afternoon. He wakes up, stands up and just cries. I have tried letting him "cry it out" for various stints up to 30 minutes, but he just starts hyperventilating and crying harder. Though I know he is exhausted, he continues to stand as if he has forgotten how to sit back down (and go to sleep).

It wouldn't be so bad if it was happening just during the day because it isn't like he is crabby. However, he has been waking up at night and pulling the same thing! Since Steve has to work, I can't just leave him in there crying, so I go to him always. He falls back to sleep almost instantly in my arms, but as soon as I lie him back down, he pops up and starts crying again. We have repeated the process over and over again, but after being up for an hour in the middle of the night for several days in a row, I started succumbing to bringing him back to bed with me. I know....I am eating my words! I hate that he is coming to bed with us too! I can't rest soundly knowing that he could quietly wake up and crawl/fall off the bed. So I sleep very lightly and constantly open one eye to make sure he is still there between us.

He sleeps pretty good in our bed, but if he awakes, he expects to be held. It truly has become exhausting in every way. He weighs over 22 lbs so he is breaking my back, disrupting my daily routine and interrupting my sleep something terrible!

Anyway, for you mothers reading this...if you have ANY advice, please share. I called my pediatrician today, but when I gave the reason for my call as "my baby isn't sleeping" I guess they didn't think it was very important because I didn't even get a return call. What the heck!
Steve thinks that he is getting close to walking, and that is causing him to not want to sleep. Whatever it is causing this, I want it to stop!