Archive for the 'Photos' Category

Caribbean Cruise

Guess where Mark and I will be at the end of February?

 

YAY!! We finally booked our big vacation tonight! I cannot even begin to articulate how excited we are about this trip. Mark and I need this getaway.

For our honeymoon, we took a week long cruise to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Mexico (Cozumel), and we loved it. Some folks love cruises, and others don’t. Mark loves cruises because all of the stuff on the ship, and I like being able to see multiple places and only unpacking once. We truly had such a fabulous time on our honeymoon trip through the western Carribean, that we pretty much started talking about our next cruise before we even got back home.

Five years later, and we are finally going!

We will be departing from Miami (thanks to Mark’s frequent flyer miles) and going to the Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Maarten/St. Martin. Mark has been to Nassau, Bahamas once before, but I think it was on one of his college Spring Breaks which means it was all a hazy, drunken memory. I have always wanted to go to St. Thomas, and Mark insisted on St. Maarten (still not sure why).

We will be gone for a full week. Actually, it will probably be more like 8 days because we would like to spend one day in Miami. Neither of us have been to Miami before, and I have a cousin who lives there who we would like to take out-to-dinner.

A week! As excited as I am, I cringe at being away from Kate and Carson that long. The longest we’ve been apart was two days (last summer when we went to Galveston for the weekend), and I won’t be able to get a hold of them on the ship either. I can’t imagine missing an entire week of their lives.

One of the major reasons we picked February for our trip is because that would be the best time for my mom to watch them. What a job! I am going to have to Miss Jennifer, my mother-in-law, and my Aunt Cindy pitch in and help my mom out.

And…I won’t be here for the birth of my cousin Jil’s baby. She is due right in the middle of our trip.

Ahh, but I can’t think of all of that tonight. Tonight, I just want to be excited about our big vacation…even if it is SEVEN months away! We will be celebrating a lot on this trip…5 years of marriage (actually, our anniversary is 4 months before our trip), Valentine’s Day, surviving 2 years of twin parenthood, and my 32nd birthday is a month after our trip.

I’m off to go drool at more online island photos!

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Crabby

Ugh. What a day. I had yet another yucky day with Carson. I know a good chunk of this is teething, but his hitting/biting/kicking is truly getting out of control. Today’s highlights include, but are not limited to:

  1. Carson dumping out his box of crayons and throwing them like missiles at me…doing his angry scream while throwing. [Positive: It looks like my baseball blood has been passed down to him. He has a helluva arm!]
  2. He (apparently) intentionally hurt our dog Schatzie. When she cried in pain, he yanked her hair harder.
  3. He bit my knee cap (yes, my freakin’ knee cap!) because I wouldn’t pick him up at that very moment (I was washing dishes).
  4. He got mad at Kate and attacked the first object he could get his hands on. Unfortunately, it was the floor lamp in the living room that my mom gave us (sorry Mom!).
  5. And, finally, during a tantrum, he scooted his body into position to hit me in the face with the heel of his foot. I am very surprised that I don’t have a black eye from that because it hurt like hell.

And this was my day. It was so bad at time that I had to put myself in Time Out for a few minutes. I went into our bedroom, shut the door, and looked at the ceiling for about 3 minutes until I was no longer upset. When moms put themselves in Time Out, that’s a very bad day.

The excuse of teething only goes so far. I gave him Tylenol and that did not phase him a bit. Miss Jennifer told me yesterday that he was a perfect angel for her all day. What could be going on with him? It’s all directed at me, and I have no clue as to why.

The only times of the day that he was truly happy and content were when I was walking around carrying him. If I sat down, he would throw a fit. If I even walked near the bean bag (where we usually put them for bottles or when we are done holding them), he would whine. There is only so much that I can walk around with a 24 lbs tot on my hip especially since I have another little tot who needs me to.

So, I am a bit crabby tonight. Mark is on a business trip, and I have my fingers crossed that they kiddos sleep through the night and don’t want to get up at 5 AM.

To end on a happier note, here are some photos from today…

Here is Carson with his new lawn mower. I bought them 3 new toys yesterday (after seeing what Colin had in Dallas), and this was one of them. Look at that sour-puss look on his face. That look is the “I hate the camera” expression. Despite that look, he loves the lawn mower. He walked all over the house for the longest time with the new mower.

 

I am done with the sippy cup battle. For months and months, I have tried to get them into sippy cups. It’s never really worked well. So we found an alternative…cups with straws! They LOVE drinking from straws and they work and travel just as well has traditional sippy cups.

Carson at lunch time. On the menu today…green beans, slice of cheese, hot dog weiner, and ice water. (They only drink water if it’s icy cold. I’m the same way.)

Visiting Cousins

We got an extra special treat this morning when my Aunt Cindy and cousin Jil brought my cousin Cody’s kids over to see the twins before nap time. I don’t think we’ve seen them since Christmas, and it’s hard to believe how much older and bigger they are now.

Cousin Brylee (almost 3 years old) and Kate.

The girls had a fun time together.

Ahh, the joys of trying to get four kids to sit for a photo! That’s cousin Brayden on the right. He is Brylee’s big brother.

 

Brylee and Brayden are in town visit their grandparents (my Aunt Cindy and Uncle Gil) for the whole week, so we might get the kiddos together later in the week to go swimming.

Once again, Mr. Carson was freaked out with new people around. He clung on to me, and he ended up going down for his nap 20 minutes early. Is there anything I can do for him?

Things I Don’t Want to Forget, Part 1

  • Kate is always the first one I take out to the car when we are going out-and-about or to Miss Jennifer’s. As soon as we are in the garage and Kate sees the car, she starts to clap and say, “Yay!” She also claps and says “Yay” when we are returning home and pulling into the garage. I will say, “We’re home,” and Kate starts cheering.
  • Kate is the first into the car and the last one out…every time. Carson is less likely to fuss if he sees me leave the room, so Kate always goes first.
  • Carson always wakes up from naps and bedtime earlier than Kate — 1 + hours usually. The time we have alone together before Kate wakes up from her nap is my favorite time of the day with Carson. We cuddle on the couch, I carry him around, we play and talk on the floor. When he hears Kate start to wake up on the monitor, he starts to fuss and whine because he knows his time is up.
  • They hate traditional sippy cups, but love drinking from straws instead.
  • Carson gradually wakes up from sleep. I can hear him chirping, “talking” and softly calling out “dada” over the monitor. Kate wakes up in a full scream every time. So I run up the stairs and I always find her smiling.
  • Kate is hot and cold on hair bows. There are some days that she will wear one and not mess with it; other days she instantly pulls it out and refuses to wear it.
  • Carson likes to sit at the back of the bath tub and hoard all of the toys back there. Kate likes to sit in front and play with the water coming out of the faucet.
  • Carson hates having his teeth brushed, and Kate doesn’t seem to mind at all.
  • Both are struggling with the concept of shoes.

Kate was so exhausted on Sunday night after returning from Dallas, that she passed out (with our dog Maggie) at 6 PM.

Weekend in Dallas, Part 3

 

SUNDAY

Again, the twins slept like rocks and woke up “late” (i.e., 7 AM) this morning.

Amanda had bought the twins their favorite breakfast — Eggos and bananas — and we had a somewhat leisurely morning. We quickly packed-up and headed over to Chalna’s house for a planned morning playdate.

This was the twins very first playdate, and I think they loved having a new house and toys to explore. For the most part, the three of them (Colin, Kate, and Carson) played separately, but it was fun seeing them all together. I was surprised that Colin (and any 1-year old for that matter) was so gracious having these unknown twins come into his domain to play with his stuff, but he didn’t mind a bit.

Colin has WAY cooler toys than the twins, and I need to get more age-appropriate toys for them soon. They still have rattles and other true baby toys still in their toy bin. I feel bad about it. No wonder they get bored.

While the kiddos played, us grown-ups (me, Mark, Chalna & Jeremy) got to visit. It was nice to be in a child-proof house and not have to worry about the twins finding something dangerous. I REALLY want Chalna, Jeremy and Colin to come down to Austin for a weekend soon. Jeremy (a non-Texan) has never been to Austin, and that’s just simply sinful. My secret fantasy is that they come down for a visit and Jeremy falls in love with Austin and decides he just can’t take Dallas anymore and he moves the family down here. HaHa…okay, not very likely, but I can still hope. 🙂

We got on the road at 11 AM, and the twins were sleeping in the car before we even got out of their neighborhood. Once again, they slept halfway home and then woke up unhappy. Kate — who had been a doll baby all weekend — was a bear on the ride home. I spent a good chunk of the time on sitting on my knees facing backwards in the front seat trying to do anything to keep her from fussing and cursing under my breath how badly I want a car with a built-in DVD player. The Wiggles or Bunnytown really would have come in handy for that final 150 miles.

The kiddos were thrilled to be back home. They were so happy, wild and hyper. They just had to inspect all of their toys, and they went room-to-room just looking round. Carson was especially glad to be home. He was practically bursting with joy and happiness.

What a great weekend. We must do it again soon!

 Kate helping herself to Colin’s wagon of toys.

Weekend in Dallas, Part 2

SATURDAY

We hung out at my friend Amanda’s house for about 3 hours before heading out to Colin’s birthday party.

Amanda and I have been very good friends since our days as little hell raisers in junior high Catholic School. I wish I would have had more time to hang out with her, but it was a hectic weekend. I hope she didn’t feel like she was just ‘Hotel de Amanda.’ I keep begging her to come down to Austin, and I know she is coming in early November to go to a Kathy Griffin show with me.

Colin’s 1st birthday party was awesome. It was held at Colin’s grandmother’s beautiful house…that had a patio and view I would kill for! It was so nice. I must say that Chalna planned everything perfectly. Usually there is always a major mishap at kiddie parties, but not at this one. Every thing looked wonderful, everything tasted wonderful, and everyone had a good time.

And she timed it right. We made the mistake of having the twins’ 1st birthday party at 1 PM (i.e., nap time). So Kate slept through half of her own party, and then woke up a groggy head who wasn’t too pleased to wake up to find a bunch of people in her house taking her photo. Lesson learned. Colin’s party was at 4 PM…brilliant.

One of the highlights for me was getting to see Chalna’s mom. Her mom was my senior AP Honors English teacher in high school, and I absolutely loved her. She was the one and only teacher that truly made a lasting impact on my life. She was supportive, she encouraged my writing, she was a mentor. I’ve often thought of her through the years, and it was awesome getting to see her again.

Carson was…well…a bit of a nightmare at the party. He was painfully shy and held onto Mark for dear life. At times (when other people weren’t around), he warmed up a little and played with some of Colin’s gifts. In this regard, Kate and Carson are polar opposites. Kate was a social butterfly, and I’m not totally convinced that she understood the party wasn’t for her. The girl never meets a stranger.

 

The birthday boy, Colin, chowing down on his birthday cake.

 Mark and Kate at the party. I love this photo of them.

 When the birthday boy wasn’t looking, Kate took his cool new car out for a “spin.”

Kate & Carson checking out all of Colin’s new toys.

 The kiddie dining section. Kate, Hunter, and birthday boy Colin festing on some hot dog and chips. Carson was sitting on Mark’s lap and didn’t want to join the group.

Weekend in Dallas, Part 1

FRIDAY

We took our time getting packed and loaded Friday morning for our big trip up to Dallas. Usually we are rushed and that leads to tension and silly little fights as a result of stress, so this time we just went at our own pace and it was much better. We tried to time it so we would leave right before the twins’ 11 AM nap time so they would hopefully sleep most of the ride up to Dallas. That worked until we hit Waco (about halfway through our drive) when we needed to stop for gas and lunch.

There is one thing that you absolutely cannot do to Carson — wake him when he is sleeping. There will be all kinds of hell to pay, and that’s exactly what we got. He fussed, cried, refused to sit in the high-chair at the restaurant in Waco. He made a scene and Mark could barely eat his lunch. This entire weekend Carson only wanted Mark. Not me. He would fuss and toss around as if I were a stranger if I tried to hold him.

So, we weren’t off to a good start with Mr. Carson, and I can’t really say it improved after that.

We finally made it to Dallas, and checked into a hotel near his mom’s house. We had decided not to stay with at his mom’s house because (a) it’s a full house anyway, and (b) we thought the twins would do better with just us at night. We we rested, showered, and just decompressed after the long drive while waiting for his mom to get off from work. Once again, it was nice not to be rushed. We had time to get the Pack-n-Plays set up and the twins also had a chance to relax in the new environment before being whisked off again.

We had a great time at Mark’s mom’s house. We got to see his mom, his nephew Dakota, his sister (briefly), his brother-in-law (briefly), his niece, and his great-niece. I loved watching the twins interact with Dorothy (Mark’s mom). Kate immediately went to her (and everyone for that matter), and put on a cute show of laughing, dancing, and talking. Dorothy made us dinner, and we enjoyed just being able to visit with everyone.

The kiddos crashed in the car on the way back to the hotel, and slept until 7 AM the next day. (These are the kids that usually grace us with their presence at 5:30 AM, so this was a treat for us.) We headed back over to Mark’s mom’s house early in the morning for breakfast and more time together. We left around noon and drove across the metroplex to my friend Amanda’s house.

Mark, Carson, Dorothy & Kate

Kate with her cousin Dakota clapping and yelling “yay!” She loves to cheer!

 Cousin Dakota (14 yrs old), Kate and Mr. Fuss Pot Carson. Dakota was our ring bearer at our wedding. I can’t believe how fast he has grown-up!

Kate with her grandma (“Madame”) Dorothy. I think they have the same shaped eyes.