Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

I love fall!!!!  It is my favorite time of year.  I love the colors, the weather, and all things pumpkin (pumpkin latte's, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin butter-you name it!)  Last year we went to Tomachoff farms in Phoenix when Brooke was just 10 days old.  How things change in a year!  Now, we are in San Diego and Brooke didn't sleep the day away in the Ergo.

We decided to head up to Julian, which is about an hour from where we live. Julian is an old mining town now full of apple orchards and fun little shops.  We've been wanting to get up there to pick our own apples, but since this was such a dry year most of them were closed.  We did, however, go to Julian Mining which has a pumpkin patch this time of year.  For a small fee, we got to go on the tractor ride, feed some goats and chickens, watch how apple cider is made and check out the pumpkin patch.  Connor, of course, was deatly afraid of the tractor ride at first, but once we got going, he loved it!  Brooke chowed down on an apple the whole way and couldn't have cared less that we were on moving bales of hay.
Connor loved the apple pressing part-he ate an apple and was facinated at the guy making "Apple Juice!"  He didn't stop talking about it all day.  Then, with the apple leftovers, we headed over to the goats, pigs and chickens to give them a little snack.  At first Connor was a little freaked out, but Ryan showed him how to hold out his hand to feed the goats.  We even got to see a baby goat, 2 fat pigs and a couple of turkeys! 

Then we headed to the pumpkin patch.  We didn't take any home with us since Trader Joes has them for $2.99 a piece, but Connor did like checking out the pumpkins on a vine.  He still talks about going to see the pumpkins! 
Then it was time to head home.  We passed the goats one more time, and Connor decided he needed to see his goat friends before we left.  He was telling him all sorts of stories, and then tried to feed him dirt.  That was the end of the friendship. :)

We had to try one last time to get a good shot at the two of them together!  I finally got one where they were both looking, so that was a success!  Overall, it was a great family day and a perfect kick-off to fall!



Height: 2 feet, 4 inches
Weight: 20 pounds
Diapers: size 4
Clothes: 12 months
Shoes: 4
Teeth: 8 in front (4 on top, 4 on bottom) 1 molar is in, 2 more are coming!
One Year!
Brooke had her first birthday on October 9th.  We had a birthday party for her and Connor the weekend before here in San Diego at one of our favorite beaches, Crown Point.  It's a great beach with playgrounds and grassy areas right next to the sand and water which is perfect since Brooke eats sand.  Gross!  My family came to town to celebrate, and it was so great having them here.  We miss them so much, and the kids loved having all the extra people to play with!  Ryan and Robert got to the beach early to set up while the kids took a quick nap.  When we got there, we set up the rest as our other San Diego friends arrived.  Ryan barbequed burgers and dogs and everyone ate and played like crazy!  I got Brooke a sea-green colored tutu, since it was a beach theme, with an owl onesie, because that is her nursery theme.  Aunt Jennie shared her necklace with Brooke because she was pretty obsessed with it.  She loves her shoes and jewlery!  She looked adorable!

Brooke started walking at 11 months.  She didn't want to use furniture-she had to wait until she could go from sitting, to crouching, to standing then taking steps in one full sweep.  Once she started, she was determined! (ps: she waited until Ryan got home to take her first steps-total Daddy's girl!)  Within days, she was walking more than she was crawling, and now she walks so fast you lose her if you don't keep your eye on her!  She got her first new shoes (other than the Robeez) at the wonderful BOGO half off sale at Stride Rite.  She didn't like them at first, but now she'll bring them to me to wear around the house.  She looks so stinkin cute walking around too.  This little petite thing with her hands in the air-it's adorable!  She gets so excited too, when she reaches you after the long trek around the house. 
She says "hi" and waves and of course, "Dada". When I let Connor and Brooke know that Ryan is home, they both run to the door shouting for him.  What a welcoming!  She is very interesed in learning new words, bringing me books to read, pointing to pictures and looking up at me.  Her latest is a Halloween book with the main character, Biscuit, who is a dog.  She now says "dah" and points to him.  She's a quick learning, and my prediction is she'll be a little more communicative than her brother.  (maybe potty train a little faster too?  I know, I'm getting ahead of myself!)

She eats EVERYTHING!!! Well, excepts beans.  She's learned that she doesn't like the texture of the bean skin, and immediately spits that right out.  She'll eat any fruit, veggie or protein.  Her latest is munching on sugar snap peas.  She's the best eater at the table at every single meal!  It's actually worked to our benefit-we praise her for eating her food, that it's actually helping Connor to try more foods and eat his vegetables! We ran out of formula right before her first birthday, so she's been on milk since then.  Sorry to be graphic, but her poops are downright disgusting.  It's been almost 2 weeks now, and they're still putrid.  I'm trying to ween her off the bottle, but admit to giving it to her before bed because it makes her so sleepy!  She's been using a sippy cup for months now, but I guess I'm holding on to the last "baby" thing for sentimental reason.  Don't worry, I won't let it get out of hand.  I am looking forward to packing those things up for good!

She really is our spunky family member.  She's always on the go, never sits still, hates watching any movies and would rather be playing with Connor's trucks.  Ryan thinks she'll be our athlete-she's fearless and will leap off furniture at any given moment-little adrenaline junkie!  She's a drama queen, and will throw herself on the ground and get real tears going at a moments' notice.  She's not the snuggler unless she's sick, tired, or hurt, but lately she will sit on my lap to read a book or play with my phone.  When she looks up at you with those sparkly eyes, you literally feel yourself melting (Yup, we're in trouble when she's older!).  Her smile and laugh are contagious.  When I see her try to follow her brother around, I hope for a healthy life long friendship.  She's a great sleeper, and still takes 2 naps a day and sleeps through the night, waking up at 6:30 each morning.  She's in to EVERYTHING-you always have to make sure to shut the toilet lids or it because a water table, close cabinets or everything is out, and put away folded laundry unless you really enjoy folding them a hundred times.  She likes to brush her hair and use her own fork to eat her food.  We've turned her around in the carseat and she's a happy camper to be sitting like big brother!  We love her to pieces, and I can't believe she's been in our lives for a year now.  I can't wait to see how much she grows and learns in the coming months!


It's been a few months since I have posted.  We are finally feeling settled her in San Diego, and I feel like I can breathe a little easier and sit down during nap time to catch up with the blog world.  Thankfull, facebook and emails have kept my friends and family in the "know" with the kids for the most part, but I'd like to get back on track with keeping updated on the blog.  So, I'll post two-one for Connor and one for Brooke with their latest developments!

Height: 3 feet, 1 inch
Weight: 29 pounds (he's a stringbean!)
Diapers: Only at nap and night because he's a deep sleeper, and still a size 4
Clothes: 2T or 3 on bottom, 3 on tops
Shoes: 7 1/2

Potty Training:
So, we've been potty training for a little while now.  He does awesome while we are at home.  I don't have to even remind him anymore-he just goes pee when he needs to go!  He prefers being naked on the bottom with a t-shirt on during the day.  He does well though if he's wearing underwear, although we have more accidents when he does.  We haven't tried peeing in public yet.  The poor guy has always been afraid of public bathrooms (who can blame him?  They smell, they are loud, and there are weird people there sometimes!, which is why I think I I have not fully committed to potty training.  He also will NOT poop on the potty.  He holds it all morning until I put a diaper on for his nap. Then he poops away.  I tried just putting him in underwear instead of a diaper, and that turned out to be a gigantic, smelly mess.  I'm trying to offer him extra special treats for standing to pee (like Daddy, as he says) or pooping in the potty, but there's just something about the poo poo that he refuses to do do. Sigh.  We have made big strides with going out for quick errands and he even went to preschool yesterday in his underwear.  He'll get there, I know he will-he's just my stubborn boy who has always done things on his own time.

When we moved here, we quickly realized that preschool starts early.  I wanted to get him in somewhere with a good reputation, but since we moved in July, most schools were already full.  I made a friend at the train park with kids the same age as Connor and Brooke who recommended a great Lutheran preschool, and we got Connor on the waiting list.  A week later, they called with an opening for one day a week in the mornings.  The first day was rough-he cried, I cried, and I had to leave him with the teacher while listening to him yelling for "Mommy" all the way back to my car. Sad day!  She said he didn't take long to join the rest of the kids for playtime though.  The next week, he started to whine, but as soon as he saw his friends he jumped down and ran in without looking back.  The third week, I was talking to his teacher and he came up to me, looked at me, and very sternly said "BYE MOMMY!", like I was ruining his two year old reputation!  Needless to say, he loves it!  He's already brought home a finger painting triangle, apple stampings, and a handprint spider craft.  He looks at them every day and says, "I did it with my friends!". 
In addition to preschool, I signed up at LA Fitness nearby.  He hated going there too for a few days, but now I tell him we are going to the gym, and he gets his shoes and gets ready to get in the car ready to see his friends there.  Since we left Rachels, I have been concerned about making sure he stays social, especially with his delayed speech.  These things seem to help, along with a few new friends we've made here in the area.

In Phoenix, we were ready to have him start speech after his evaluation.  He was only speaking with one word, wouldn't answer questions, etc and we were worried.  Since that time, he has greatly improved.  He now has a few full sentences, mostly phrases, and we can understand most of what he says.  However, he is still behind for a 3 year old.  I know boys take longer, and there are definite improvements from where he was just a few months ago, but I just don't want him to be frustrated with his communication.  We are in the process of deciding whether to give him some more time and monitor, or get him into speech while I am still at home and have the freedom to take him during the day. 


Connor loves Curious George, Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin, Elmo's World, bubbles, playing with the hose, pushing the stroller, pretending to have a picnic, playing with trucks, playing matching games, flashlights, wrestling with Daddy, his worn out blue raquet balls, watching ducks in the pond, Honeycrisp apples, cookies, and snuggling with good books before bed.  I caught him reading to Brooke, giving her hugs and kisses, and sharing toys but he can also be found pushing or trying to tackle her when she takes his stuff.  He is getting better about trying new foods (especially when a cookie is at stake!) and listening the first time.  He is getting used to going to time out, and will willingly go to his time out chair when he's done something he shouldn't.  He comes right back out and says "sorry for..." to whoever he has been ugly to.  He loves going to Trader Joe's with me because I let him push the kid cart.  He misses his family, and often tries to facetime with Yaya and Grandma.  He is sweet and stubborn all at the same time.  He tells me "I yuv you", and "sweet dreams" before bed.  He is growing way too fast, and I can't seem to slow it down!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Goodbye, Glendale!

Three years and two months ago, Ryan and I walked away from our first home together.  Little did we know it was a bad time to buy since the housing market would come crashing down soon after we married and bought that house!  I was about 9 weeks pregnant with Connor, and we packed up the house with the help of good friends and moved a couple miles away into Ryan's childhood home.  Some might call it a rough start to a marriage, but we always seem to come out of those types of situations better than we started.  Tough decisions make us stronger.
So, when Ryan was offered a better opportunity amidst a rough economy, we had to think long and hard.  We agonized over which decision would lead to a better life for our children and for us.  The pros and cons list were equal, and we knew that we just had to follow our gut and take a leap of faith.  This lead to the decision to move to San Diego.  That was barely four weeks ago.  In that four weeks, we have made two trips out to San Diego, looked at numerous rental homes, signed a lease, and began packing.  Ryan started his new job last week, and we can't wait for him to come home tomorrow so we can begin this new chapter of our lives together. 
Over the years, we have had baby showers, wedding showers, birthday parties, Thanksgivings, Christmas's, Easters, and so many other celebrations.  We have been blessed to have a home that our family and friends have felt comfortable in.  After all, isn't that what a home is?
When we moved into this house, it was not for the long term.  We needed a little "in between" house-a place to rebuild.  I know that, but it still holds SO MANY special memories.   As I said, I was pregnant with Connor when we moved.  Ryan was working in Parker throughout the week, so when he came home on the weekends, I put him to work decorating the baby room.  We painted, updated outlets, put together the crib, put up sports decorations and I sat in that room and rocked and read to my unborn little man for hours.  I ate a big breakfast the morning he was born because I was headed to the hospital to be induced.  I remember Ryan and I sitting in silence that morning at our little round table because we knew our lives were about to change in a way neither of us could even imagine.  Three days later, we brought our little 7 lb 14 oz Connor James into our home and set him on the coffee table in his carseat.  He slept next to me in his pack and play for three weeks, and I loved nursing him in the middle of the night.  I spent hours feeding and rocking him while watching football, cried as he smiled for the first time, watched him sleep in his swing, and video taped him roll over for the first time.  He learned to crawl and pull himself up on our coffee table.  His favorite game was to crawl underneath it, and laughed hysterically while bouncing a ball under or over the table.  He laughed for the first time at the dogs jumping.  We planted a tree in the backyard to celebrate his birth.  He took his first steps from the couch, and practiced stepping and falling until he got it right the week before his first birthday.  He and I have walked countless times around the block.  First, with his little walker when he could only make it two houses down before I would have to pick him and the walking toy up and carry back to the house.  Now, he and I can walk the entire block, hand in hand talking about everything we see along the way.  Connor became a big brother in this house.  On his 15 month birthday, I looked at a positive pregnancy test, and told Ryan by asking him to put on the outfit I laid out for him.  The shirt said "Big Brother".  My belly grew yet again in this house.  I felt Brooke constantly.  I spent hours making her room "just right".  I went to AJ's for a raspberry hibiscus tea, and came home to start contractions.  Two days later, we brought 6 lb 7 oz Brooke home to this house (we noticed in our video that it was much messier than when we brought Connor home!).  Just like her brother, she spent three weeks with us in our room, and I made sure to really enjoy waking up to feed her.  Our sweet Brooke hasn't had as much time as Connor here, but she has already had so many firsts!  She was our stubborn one who didn't want to sleep through the night.  I went in many times to pick her up, rock and sing and feed her to sleep.  We would get up before the sun would come up and sleep out in the living room together in the La z Boy until Connor and Daddy got up. She learned to roll over, sit up, and crawl to her brother.  She has learned to stand and be brave enough to practice all day, falling and getting back up again.  They are learning to play together here.  They know their routine here.  More importantly, they have been LOVED here.  And although I know they will have memories to make in the new house, this was their first home, and I will remember such special memories as their first days on this Earth and how our family was made in this house. 
So, thank you Yucca house, for providing a place for my children to start their lives, and for the countless stories we have to share because of you. 

Monthly Updates

Well, time has certainly passed.  As you all know, we are in the process of moving to San Diego.  In 2 days! Yikes!  On my list of things to do in between packing 3 years worth of stuff was to update on Brooke and Connor, since it has been almost 3 months since Brooke's last update.  Luckily, I kept up pretty well in her monthly calendar, so I'll just recap here.  Since her 5 month mark, Brooke can now:

*sit up
*crawl using her right foot to push and drag her left leg
*pull herself up and stand on her own (this happened the day after she got crawling down!)
*crawls to her brother with lightning speed.  That's what got her crawling in the first place!
*eats food.  She skipped baby food altogether. It disgusted her!  I didn't even get to use my sister in law's fancy BabyCook because she was so grossed out by baby food!  So, we went straight to people food.  She has become a pro in the last 3 weeks and using her forefinger and thumb to pick up food. She loves it all, with some minor exceptions, which really depend on what day it is.  As long as other people are eating it, she wants it!
*plays with her brother.  Connor loves to throw an object, and then she crawls as fast as she can to get it before he does.  He always beats her, but it makes her laugh!  They also sit next to each other at the dinner table-Connor in his booster, and Brooke in her high chair.  He makes funny faces or sounds at her, and before you know it, they are giggling like crazy!  They'll do the same thing in the carseats.  It's so darn cute! 
*drink from a sippy cup.  She's gotten good at drinking her water!  Which has been great in this nasty heat!
*has her "big girl" carseat.  Britax in pink to match Connors.  Hers is a newer version though and seems bigger.  Oh well!
*take a real bath!  I even took her baby bath to Goodwill today, and didn't cry!

She is in 9 month clothes (and some of those don't fit!), size 3 diapers, sleeps through the night (7 pm to 6 am), takes two naps a day (9-11 am and 2-4 pm), *Yup, I'm a firm nap mom!  It took a little while to get her on this routine, but I was determined, and now she's a fantastic sleeper!* She grew 3 inches in 3 months, and she still has the cutes little chubby body.  She still has three rolls on her left leg, and two on her right.  Brooke still has 2 bottom teeth, even though I swear the top ones have been trying to come in for months!  She's pretty serious, but her brother can get her to smile and laugh just by lookin at her.  Other people have to try pretty hard to get a laugh out of her! She loves to swing, chew on anything she can (her favorites are toys at Rachel's and a little yellow frisbee here) and loves anything that makes noise.  She has the BEST smile in the morning when you go get her, and squeezes you tight like you are her favorite stuffed animal. :)  I love her more and more each and every day.  Her adorable little personality is starting to show through!

Connor is becoming more vocal now.  He is repeating things les and less, and starting to put together his own sentences!  He can and identify ALL of his letters and numbers through ten.  However, today, he counted all the way up to 17!  He was counting the buttons on the dishwasher and kept counting.  He didn't know I was listening until he got to 17, and then I think I scared him because I made such a big deal out of it!  He has so much going on in that smart head of his, and I think sometimes I forget that because of his verbal skills.  He is one smart cookie!  Last week, he was in trouble for knocking his cup on the ground from the table.  (My aunts and mom were over, but I still had to follow through!).  Once he finally picked up the darn cup, I told him to put it on the table.  He looked at me with his charming smile, and then started pointing out his head, feet, eyes, nose and then pointed them out on me as well.  By this point my family was laughing hysterically, and I had no choice but to join them!  He and I have been having some necessary "date" time.  He had been acting out a bit, so I thought he might need some special one-on-one attention.  (Any moms out there, or siblings for that matter, of two or more will understand that!).  I took him one day to Einstein's and we shared a bagel.  He was so sweet-standing right by me, holding my hand, giving me kisses and talking up a storm!  It was obvious that he just wanted a little TLC, without sissy to interrupt.  It reminded me that I need to do that more!  He is the most special little man, and I make sure to tell him that every single night.  He can turn a bad mood good just by his bright smile and eyes! 

Hopefully that gives everyone a quick update!  More to come soon.  I have to post about the move, and get some pictures out of the new place and our adventures to come!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break!!

Spring Break!  Oh how those words mean something completely different now!  Although I was never the party animal, I did enjoy a week off to read, spend time with friends, shop and lay out at all the Spring Training games.  Now, since I work in the school system, I still get a spring break and a week to spend with my kids!  Luckily, Ryan always has some time saved up and decides he needs a break too.  About a month ago, friends of ours found a great deal on HotWire for the Hyatt at Huntington Beach.  That is our favorite place to go, and holds a special little place in our hearts because it was where we went on our very first trip together after I graduated high school, and also where Ryan proposed in August of 2004!  I was so excited to get out of town and hit the beach with the kids, plus this hotel is very nice and kid friendly! 
The weekend of Spring Break finally arrived, and we got one last big winter storm.  It was much needed in this dry desert of ours, esecially since our last measurable rainfall was in mid-December.  Yuck! (Add that to the list of reasons we don't like Phoenix!)  This also meant a big winter storm up north and lots of fresh snow!  We had been waiting all winter to be able to take the kids to play in the snow, but there simply wasn't any!  So, Ryan took the Monday of Spring Break off so we could make an impromptu trip up north.  Ryan's Grandma hadn't met Brooke yet either, so she was excited to have us come up for the day!  We gathered all of our snow gear and loaded up in the car for the drive.  Once packed, it looked like we were leaving for a week!  I seriously think Ryan was more excited than anyone else.  He was jumping up and down in his seat the entire drive-I haven't seen him that giddy in awhile!  It didn't has been a long time since Munds Park and Flagstaff got that much snow in such a short time!  We had a little lunch, visited a bit, and waiting for Ryan's sister and her two kiddos to arrive.  Once everyone was ready, which looked like the scene from "A Christmas Story", we all headed outside to play.  There were snowball fights, sledding, and fort building.  Connor absolutely loved it!  He had this look of amazement on his face looking at and feeling this cold white stuff all over.  He didn't like it when the breeze came and knocked some snow on top of him, but he lasted a lot longer than I thought without a nap!  Aunt Amy helped him build and throw snowballs, and he chased after his cousin BK (whom he admires more than anyone!) the best he could in the deep snow!  Brooke got to stay inside and keep warm with her Great Grandma, but I did bring her out briefly!  Here are some of the pictures from the trip:

Next up, the warmer weather and the beach!  I had Body Back the night before, but tried my best to plan ahead and get everyone packed.  My mom stayed to help so Ryan could load up the car since we were leaving at 5 am the next morning!  I was the giddy one now! 
We got the kids up and expected them to sleep on the drive, but Connor had other plans!  He must have been excited too, because he did not sleep a wink!  He was good though-played on the iPod, watched movies and ate some snacks.  Brooke did great and slept until she got hungry!  We got to the Hyatt at around lunch time, met up with our friends Joel and Chandra and their two kiddos and headed for my favortie burger place in the world: TK Burger!  So delicious! 

Then we went back and headed for the pool.  The hotel had 3 pools, and we spent most of our time at the one with the slides and baby wading pool.  They said the pools were heated, but once out of the water, you had to dash over the the fireplaces or into the hot tub to stay warm.  Ryan took Connor on the slides which they both loved!  By the time dinner rolled around, we were still too full from lunch.  We put Connor and Brooke to sleep in our room (Brooke in the pack and play and Connor in the bed with pillows and a rail) and enjoyed some beverages with our friends next door (thanks to bringing the baby monitor to keep an eye on our two!)

The next day, I had to get a run in so we loaded up the stroller and went for a family run.  It was chilly and beautiful!  I never got bored looking at the waves rolling in or smelling the ocean breezes.  Much different than my runs here!  When we were done, we took a walk on the pier and were in for a real surprise as a group of dolphins were jumping in and out of the water.  We even saw one of the catch a wave and jump right out of it!  Connor loved watching the sand volleyball players, and we even managed a family picture.  The rest of the day was spent at the pool and the beach!

On Saturday, we decided to take a break from the beach and pool and head to Long Beach to the Aquarium of the Pacific.  (Good planning on Ryan's part!).  It was a nice quick drive from the hotel, and we thought it would be something a little different than what we have in Phoenix.  It was awesome!  They had so many touch ponds and the exhibits were nice and close.  Connor had a blast going up to the glass to look at the fish and animals up close and personal.  He liked to watch the stingrays, but he and Ryan were both too chicken to touch them.  I'm weird and love that stuff, so I was elbows deep in the water!  Brooke just hung out in the stroller and took a little nap while Connor explored.  Highly recommend it!

Here are a few pics from the beach:

Before we knew it, it was time to leave!  Two of our favorite people, Ryan's aunt Sandy and Rhonda, live near the beach in Chino Hills, and we couldn't leave without spending some time with them!  We usually stay with them when we go to California, and it really is one of my favorite places to stay.  Good company and beautiful surroundings.  I missed sitting out in their backyard with them in the mornings drinking coffee, watching the birds and reading the paper. We had a great lunch and Connor had fun running up and down the stairs and played with Sandy's Lincoln Logs.

It was so nice not having an agenda or having to cook or decide what to do for fun.  We ate awesome food, played in the pool, built sandcastles, knocked them down, went for lots of walks enjoyed the fresh air and beautiful chilly mornings and evenings and spent time with some good friends.

Then, it was time to head back to reality. It was such a memorable trip, and although life has changed and vacations are more difficult, we realize how worth it it really is to do.  The memories we make outweigh the fear of traveling with two small children and I'm so excited for all of the vacations we take in the future!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Brooke's 5 month, Connor and other news!

Our two little ones are growing so fast that it's getting hard to keep up!  Brooke has been sleeping a little less, but settling into a nice routine.  This just means I have less time for oh, say...blogging, cleaning, laundry, workouts etc!  But that's ok because I'm getting to spend time with the two best kids in the world.  

I've made the decision to go back to work full time next year.  This was a difficult decision, but it's time.  I feel like I've been the luckiest mom in the world to have Ryan support the decision to spend so much quality time as a stay at home mom.  It meant giving up money to put into savings, going out to dinner, buying random things at Costco, and regulary haircuts.  But what it did buy me was the opportunity to see Connor's every first and document it, see his beautiful smiles and watch his personality flourish.  I'm getting to do the very same thing with Brooke.  And by the time I go back to work, she'll be almost a year old, so I'm hoping I'll still get to be there for all of her firsts!  Plus I know that both of my children are in the best hands possible with their sitter, who has become a great friend to me the past year.  She is a wealth of knowledge and has the same morals and values that we hope to instill in our children.  She spends so much of her life loving other people's children, and I often refer to her as Connor's BFF because he loves going there so much!  I'm excited to also get to be a professional again, and then be able to come home and spend a ton of quality time with my family.  I'll have to remind myself that quality is superior to quantity! 
I'm 5 months!

Brooke is now almost 6 months old.  I'll update you more on her growth at her 6 month mark, but some firsts she had during her 5th month of life are:
*sleeping longer
*first time in the bouncer...she's like a little rabbit jumping up and down so much!
*can't fit in the swing anymore-Ms. Piggy's little tush hits the ground! (it's a travel one)
*feet are ALWAYS in her mouth if she's laying down.  Seriously.  Diaper changes, bedtime, when she wakes up, when you hold her laying flat, while eating, etc.
*giggles and laughs constantly.  This girl is SO ticklish! 
*holds toys and puts them directly in her mouth
*eats 6-8 ounces at each feeding, which means I can't keep up.  I still nurse at nap and dinner, but that's it!  I actually stopped pumping right before our trip to California.
*first time in snow!  (more to come)
*first time at the beach! (more to come)
*Wears size 2 diapers
*Wears size 6 month clothes
I know, not the best picture, but I couldn't help it!  I love the rolls on her thighs, and this outfit!

Busy working away!

Connor is doing AMAZING in his big boy bed!  One of us will lay in bed with him, read a couple books, turn on his music and then usually he wants to count to ten, announcing "Oooooone!" holding up one finger.  Then he touches each of your fingers and tries to repeat the numbers.  Then it's lights out, "Nigh-Night" and blows kisses.  Some nights he gets out of bed and opens and shuts the door until we tell him to get back in bed, but most nights he's asleep in no time.  This is one of those milestones you hear horror stories about, but since Connor has been sleeping in his own bed in his own room since he was 3 weeks old, I really think he's comfortable in there-crib or bed!  We even went on vacation (see post) and he slept in the hotel bed all by himself!  It was awesome!  He is also talking more and more.  He really tries to repeat everything you say.  We're still having to learn what some words mean, as he has trouble saying /l/, /y/, /r/, /g/, /j/.  Any of those sounds he kind of skips over, or replaces with another sound.  He has a Baby Einstein alphabet book that he got from Nana (Yaya as he calls her) that he likes to say the sounds with, and also a dvd from Grandma that he loves to watch and repeat.  He's really catching on quick.  Crazy that two months ago I was getting ready to sign him up for speech testing and therapy!

Daddy's girl!

Ryan has been a little slow at work and has been on 36 hour weeks.  This has allowed him to stay at home with the kids on Friday mornings.  At first, he was really excited to spend some extra time with his kiddos, but quickly realized how difficult it is!  Both kids seem to need him for something at the same time and decide to whine just when he's had about enough.  We've all been there, right!?!  He's so good at keeping a cool head and figuring the situation out.  Since the weather has been so nice, he usually loads them up in the stroller and goes for a run or to the park.  They are good and worn out by the time I get home for lunch-Daddy included!!

Well, there's a quick overview about life around here lately!  Next up...snow and beach trips!