Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Busy little bees

We've been busy, busy, busy, which hasn't left me much time for blogging. In fact, I think one evening our ISP was having technical difficulties, and I started writing an entry in Word, but never finished it. I'll have to go back and make sure I mention everything that I had started to mention in the original piece.

Pete and I worked very hard on Monday to improve the flower bed in the front of our house. We took down that big tree (I think it was a Cyprus) and added a fountain, five big boulders and lots of pretty flowers and plants. We still need to plant the maiden grass that I was finally able to pick up today (my first and second trips to the Home Depot Landscape Center were laughable) and then I'll take and post a pic for everyone to see.

The kids are doing well, Alex is as rambunctious as always, and Teagan has started trying to eat her toes. I could go on and on.

More soon!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Alex's Big Boy Bed

Friday my parents came out and brought the majority my brother's old bedroom suite for Alex. I got him a new set of twin sheets, a mattress pad and a vinyl mattress protector (just in case) and laundered the Mickey Mouse comforter that was mine when I was a teenager. We made a special trip to Sam's to get a new twin size mattress, and Alex's big boy bed was complete. Friday night was his first night to sleep in his new bed, and although he did wake up once around 1 A.M., he did really well. We pulled the trundle bed out a couple of feet so that in case he rolled off he would land on another mattress. We plan to get him a rail so that we don't have to worry about an accident. When he woke up Saturday morning, I asked him if he liked his big boy bed and he said, "yes" and then I asked him if he wanted to go back into the crib, and he said, "no". I guess it's official ... Alex is now a big boy!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Teagan has recently become quite entranced with watching other people, specifically other children. This evening Alex said something to her and she smiled and cooed and I told Alex that she was talking to him and that he should tell her hi and that she was cute.

She's been really clingy and wants to be held pretty much all the time, though she does seem to be feeling quite a bit better. I think that she had an achy tummy. Her sleep habits have improved slightly in the past few days, but she's still not back to sleeping for 6 hours at a time again. I talked to another lady in our neighborhood who has a baby about Teagan's age, and she said that he gets up several times in the night, so I guess I was lucky when she took to sleeping most of the way through the night so early on. She must be getting me back now.

She's doing a lot of playing with toys and rattles. She likes to be shown them, and hold and shake them on her own, too. She has figured out that how to pull on the dangling toys on her swing to make the music and lights start.

When we go shopping, I've been taking her out of her carseat and carrying her in the Baby Bjorn. She really seems to prefer the Baby Bjorn to the carseat when we're walking around the store. Who can blame her? She can see where she's going and she's essentially being held.

That's all the news for now ... I'll keep you posted!

The cute factor ......

Alex really works the cute factor: His new thing is saying, "That sounds?" whenever he hears an unusual sound. I try to figure out what sound he's talking about and explain it to him. In a parking lot, he heard the sound of the fasteners banging against a flagpole in the wind, and expressed curiosity, so I pointed to the flag and told him what was happening. Recently he heard the sound of an import racer (like the modified Honda Civics with the big spoilers on the rear) buzzing past, and he said, "Big jet". I explained to him that it wasn't a jet, but a car, and that when he hears that sound, he should say, "Got rice?". And if you giggle when you hear him say something, he'll keep repeating it, so of course, I laughed and who can blame me .... I taught him to say something funny! This evening while Pete was bathing him, Pete said something and Alex told him, "That funny!" He is absolutely adorable when he giggles with a big open-mouthed grin that shows off those little teeth.

Thursday morning Alex started saying, "That ticks" when something tickled him. Alex got a haircut Thursday evening, and he kept telling me that it tickled. So cute.

Friday I was feeding him lunch and he had a pudding treat for dessert. He kept giggling and laughing, and his teeth were all brown from the chocolate pudding. That made me laugh, and he said to me, "settle down!" which made me laugh even harder, and then he told me, "calm down!".

Despite how difficult he can be at times, he can certainly be a lot of fun, too! And I'm sure that Teagan will learn all of his tricks.


Alex has taken a liking to a new Playhouse Disney short called Choo Choo Soul. On the show, they sing the alphabet, and count. He picks up songs quickly and I frequently hear him wandering around and counting the way he's heard it in song. He can say a series of about three numbers in order, but then he goes off on a tangent and just starts saying random numbers. I think his favorite sequence is 6 - 7 - 8. I've been working with him on sounding out words one syllable at a time. If you just say a big word to him, he can't repeat it unless you break it down into syllables. Yesterday, I even got him to say, "Condoleeza Rice is the Secretary of State". He's started throwing a ball or the Koosh Flingshot and saying, "Where'd it go?" then searching to find whatever toy he threw and saying, "There it is!". He absolutely hears every word and repeats the ones he's capable of saying. He say a story about a volcano that erupted in Indonesia and he started saying "volcano". His vocabulary is increasing at an astonishing rate.

Yesterday (Tuesday) we had lunch at McDonald's (Alex's favorite restaurant), and he was really cute playing on the toddler slide. He'd climb the stairs and then slide down all by himself. At least once, he tried sliding down the stairs. I think he was confused because the park we generally take him to has bumpy slides; I think he thought it was one of them.

I struggled trying to keep him out from behind the fence that is around the entertainment center for about three solid days, then finally I got a piece of twine and tied it so that it couldn't be moved. He's still going over and trying to pull it out, but at least the booby trap buys me enough time to get to him before he gets to the electronics. He's a little smarty and he remembers how he did things in order to repeat them ... especially if they're naughty.

Alex danced the Chicken Dance with Brigette at the Bavarian Grill last week, and he can tell you all about it. When asked what dance he danced, he replies, "I dance chick dance ... hat". He likes to mention that he got to wear a neat hat while he was dancing. For several days, he was convinced that he, "danced Pop-pop" (Pop-pop is the name he has chosen for both of my parents) but I've finally convinced him that he actually, "danced ain't bee" [Aunt B (he can't say Brigette)].

He's started doing more dramatic play: He has an old disposable camera that he likes to carry around and say the word cheese while he pretends to be taking pictures. He's finally begun going to his toy chest and picking out a toy and initializing individual play for himself, though he also likes to go to Teagan and snatch whatever toy she may happen to be holding. He gets in trouble for the snatching, and has to stand in the corner for 2 minutes if he repeats the behavior after being warned.

I'll try to post more often in the future to keep everyone updated on his latest mischievous stunts.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

An Update

It's been several days since I've had time to sit down and write an entry, so I'll try to use this opportunity to summarize what we've been doing for the past few days:

Thursday evening we went to dinner at the Bavarian Grill. It's absolutely my favorite restaurant for German food. I love the Rinder Roulade, which is a thin cut of beef that has been rubbed with mustard and along with bacon is wrapped around a pickle spear. Alex had refused to take a nap, and was more than a handful at the restaurant. He threw tantrums the entire time that we were there. I had almost canceled, anticipating that his lack of a nap would prove disastrous, but at the last minute decided that we should go. It turned out to be the wrong decision, because he made having an enjoyable evening and meal next to impossible. I was angry at him until we put him in his carseat to head for home and he started saying, "I sorry ... I sorry ... I sorry". I don't know that he knew what he was sorry for, but it made me feel bad for being angry in the first place.

Saturday was a pretty exciting day. I sent Pete to Ft. Worth to audition for Wheel of Fortune, amidst a crowd of about 8000 people. He filled out the application and participated in the second grouping, but his application wasn't chosen, so he didn't get to audition. The odds are so mind-bogglingly small that you would actually get picked. I took Alex and Teagan to a birthday party for Dominic Escandell. He turned three. There were a ton of people there and Alex had a great time running around, playing in the sand box, on the swing set, and with all of the toys and other kids. Pete met up with us at the party. Afterward, when we were back at home, Alex kept asking for, "Mo party ... mo party ... mo party". I had to translate this one for Pete, because he thought that Alex was saying something about going potty.

Teagan's been a little fussy. I think she has a tummy ache, or maybe it's the teething. Still no teeth, but she's drooling buckets and acting uncomfortable. I'll keep everyone posted on any progress.

That's it for now ... I'll try to take a minute to write more this evening after the kids go to bed.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Survivor revelation

This is just a quick entry based on a funny thought I had earlier:

Alex was walking through the living room using some inanimate object as a telephone and chattering, "Hi Da ... Hi Da" when it all hit me. I had a flashback to last Friday evening when Alex was using a piece of pizza crust for a phone and I suddenly realized .... I'm raising Shane!

For those of you who watched the last season of Survivor - Exile Island, you'll understand better, and for those of you who didn't I'll try to bring you up to speed: Shane was one of the castaways, who was a complete tattooed nuts-oid freak. At the start of the season, I couldn't stand him or his antics, but as the show progressed he somehow managed to gain an iota of likeability. Anyway, there was one sequence where he had found a small piece of wood that he began referring to as his "Blackberry" and using it to "text message" people. He acted as if he was really communicating with people via this small chunk of driftwood.

When Alex was walking around acting as if he was talking to Daddy on the arm of his Mr. Potato Head, it all came together. Alex has the same kind of imagination that Shane had. This is scary! I have to try to steer him in a new direction! Rule #1 ... Alex ... NO tattoos until you're 12 son!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Red is a really great color -- reach out and touch someone

Alex is trying to learn his colors. He's figured out that red is a color, but that's about as far as we've made it. At first, I was excited because I thought that he had actually learned a color and could identify it .... then I realized that "red" was the answer to any question about color. Even if we've just studied a picture and I've told him the color and had him repeat it. One minute later, it's all gone, and the object is "red" again. It sort of reminds me of when I used to watch Jeopardy, and any time there was a category about the Bible or religion, I would just answer every clue with, "Who is Moses?" and typically I would get at least one question in the category correct. You just can't talk about the Bible without bring up Moses, and Alex just can't talk about colors without bring up "red".

Teagan has become very interested in reaching and grabbing. She wants my Diet Coke can, my water bottle, any food that I may be eating, and pretty much anything else that she sees me holding. She hasn't quite mastered working her arms and hands yet, so she sort of seems like she has a depth perception problem. She'll reach out and grab at things, but not reach quite far enough. It's amusing to watch.

I've just begun training Teagan to put herself to sleep. I've been going easy on her by rocking, nursing or snuggling her to sleep. Now she's placed in bed for 20 minutes and left to cry if that's what she chooses to do. This is how we trained Alex, and after taking a survey of our friends, I think that he has one of the best bedtime routines. I'm especially proud to say that both kids sleep in their own beds and never with Mommie and Daddy. That's an extremely bad habit to get in to, and a hard one to break.

We assembled Alex's tricycle over the weekend and let him have a go at riding it around inside the house. He's not too good at it yet, of course, he's never had to steer or pedal before, and to ride a tricycle you have to do both ... simultaneously. That's a lot to learn for a little guy. He does go around demanding, "By-sick ... By-sick", and expecting Pete or me to put him on the tricycle and give him a little push around the living room. I just hope when he masters the pedaling and steering that he doesn't run over Teagan. But you know, if you ask him, "Alex, what color is your tricycle?", he'll tell you, "RED!"

That's all for now ... I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Prince of Wails and the Pea

Pete and I put our old mattress in Alex's room because he liked jumping on it so much, and as an experiment decided to let him try sleeping on it. Saturday night, he fell asleep on the mattress and then evidently awoke, collected his pillow, binky and bunnies and moved into his crib. Sunday night he slept all night on the mattress and got up Monday morning, opened his door and yelled for Mommie or Daddy. Monday night, the same, except that he evidently rolled over on Hermione (the bunny that I gave Pete while we were in Las Vegas) or one of my pink bunny slippers, because three times in the night I heard, "I love you, I love you" through the monitor. It was rather creepy and after waking to that three times, I turned the monitor all the way down. But he did make it all the way through the night on the mattress. Our goal is to transition him from the crib so that he's ready for his "big boy bed": that is my brother's old bedroom suite that my parents are bringing out at the end of the month.

Monday's nap had to be in the crib with the door shut, because Alex wouldn't behave and take a mid-day rest on the mattress. He opened his door (I had placed a gate in front of it so that he wouldn't be able to exit the room if he got up and opened the door) and yelled for me as he threw fake food down the hall. So, I placed him in his crib and he cried for about 5 minutes before passing out. Tuesday I decided that it was time to rearrange furniture, so I moved the baby crib out of Alex's room and repositioned the mattress in the corner. Naptime was quite a challenge and I struggled with Alex for about an hour before he reluctantly went to sleep on the mattress. Progress is slow, but at least we're making some headway.

Teagan is still sleeping in her bassinet, and probably will be for a few more weeks. Then I'll put her in the pack-and-play until it's time for her to move into her own room. I kept Alex in our room until he was six months, so I'll probably do the same with Teagan.

For dinner, we joined Pete at the Kiwanis meeting which was held at Double Dave's Pizza in Hurst. The pepperoni rolls were good, and Alex got to see Arianna, Darren, and Dominic. Darren seemed to be having a bad evening, and I was glad that it wasn't one of my kids screaming this time! (evil smirk)

Check back later for tales of the tricycle and other anecdotes. I'll keep posting!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

What a busy weekend.

Friday we stayed busy. I took Alex and Teagan to Chick-Fil-A for lunch so that Alex could have a go at their playground, then on to Target to pick up a prescription. After our chores, we headed back home for naps, and as predicted, Alex and Teagan both fell asleep on the way home. Fortunately, I was able to get Alex out of the car without waking him up.

Alex generally couldn't care less about what Teagan's doing (unless it takes Mommie or Daddy's attention away from him), but at Chic-Fil-A a little girl who looked to be approximately 3 was very interested in looking at "the baby" and Alex was quite concerned that HIS baby was being looked over by another child. Interesting. I think it probably goes back to the fact that he enjoys the spotlight so much.

Saturday we all went to Sam's and bought a new mattress for Pete and me. It's a Serta Solaris Super Pillowtop, and it is absolutely heaven. It's like sleeping on a big cloud! Getting it took a good of coordination because we had to purchase it and then go to Home Depot and rent a truck to get it home. And in the middle of all the action, Teagan decided that it was time to eat, so we had to make a pitstop. The truck that Home Depot has available for rent is essentially a flat-bed pick-up with sides and a tail gate that can be lowered down. It's fairly inexpensive to rent when you need the utility of a truck to transport a large object, such as a bed. We put the old mattress on the floor in the living room, and Alex spent a good bit of time jumping around on it, and then demanding "Mo bounce!". Saturday evening we went to Avenue where I selected some clothes that would be appropriate to wear to a wedding, and to Garden Ridge to pick out a wine rack for a wedding gift. After we got back home (our trip was cut a bit short because Alex had a leaky diaper, and no change of clothes) we moved that old mattress into Alex's room and put a sheet on it so that he could sleep on it. He went to sleep on the mattress, but then evidently awoke, collected his bunnies, binky and pillow, and moved into his crib to finish out the night. I think that he feels very safe and secure in his crib.

Sunday was Mother's Day, and I woke up to a gift of new skillets and three beautiful and touching cards. One each from Pete, Alex and Teagan. We headed out to Cross Timbers Winery to pick up some wine for the rack that we had purchased, but when we got there, they weren't open and no one was around. We went on to Sam's and picked up the wine there. While we were at Sam's Alex kept asking for more cake as he had gotten to eat a sample of cake there the day before, and thus he assumed that they would be handing out samples of it again. We picked up sandwiches at Potbelly for lunch and brought them home to eat. Pete wanted to take me to The Bavarian Grill for Mother's Day, but they're closed on Sunday, so we're planning to go this coming Thursday along with Brigette and Jason and a few of their friends. Sunday evening we headed out to North Dallas at the edge of Plano to a wedding reception in honor of my friend Adam and his new wife Jill. They were married in a small ceremony on April 1st that just included their immediate families, so they invited their friends and extended families to a reception on the 14th of May.

In the past few days, Alex has become quite keen on watching the planes fly overhead in route to DFW. He declares excitedly, "BIG JET!" each time he sees one pass or even if he just hears the rumble.

Teagan has gotten good a rolling from her back to her front, and has begun pulling her knees up underneath her. I expect that she'll crawl much earlier than Alex did. So far, all of her gross motor development targets have been achieved much earlier than Alex. I think she can't wait to chase him around and try to keep up.

That's all the news for now ... I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Just an ordinary Thursday

It was just a run-of-the-mill Thursday around here, and like usual, the trash and recycling collectors left the can in the driveway by the street to prevent me from going anywhere without moving it. Some things are more predictable than the sun.

Teagan seems to be feeling a little better, though she is still a bit irritable from Monday's shots. With hope, she'll sleep better tonight.

Alex is singing along with songs. It's really cute to hear him try to keep up with the songs, but he certainly has some lyrics down pat. He really likes to watch the opening to CSI, and their theme song "Who Are You" by The Who. Pete has a program that allows him to load MP3's onto his RAZR, and that's become one of Alex's favorites. In fact, whenever he sees any phone, he starts singing "Who are ... who who"

The McDonald's near Pete's work has hamburger Happy Meals for 99 cents on Thursday evenings, so we took Alex there for dinner tonight. He got to slide after he finished eating about half of his burger. Pete takes him up into the human habitrail, and helps him go down the slide. Alex is still too scared to try it on his own. He really enjoys the slide on the way down, but he's still not too keen on the trip to the top. While we were there, Alex circled the Play Place visiting with all the other families and kids. He's never met a stranger.

In other news, Alex, Teagan and I were all excited to see Team MoJo get the boot from The Amazing Race!

That's all the news for now ... I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Chaos and calamity

I was going to detail the calamity that arose from rabbit cage cleaning night which was punctuated by a poo that far exceeded the engineering of Teagan's diaper and Alex's vomiting from too much swinging (luckily both catastrophes landed on the garage floor where they were rather easily dealt with by the use of a garden hose), but I'll spare you all the gory details and move on to something a bit brighter.

On our way home from the store this afternoon, Alex saw a school bus drive by, and exclaimed with delight, "BUS!". I suddenly realized that he knew what a bus was and then pondered where he had learned that. He's also recently surprised me with his ability to recognize the Fox News logo, the Krispy Kreme sign, and let us not forget McDonald's which we've come to lovingly refer to as Mac Donnels. It's a frightening realization that he's constantly learning new things whether I want him to learn them or not. I guess it's time to cash in the Bowling For Soup CD's, or at least be aware of the tracks that need skipping. Which brings me to Alex's newest parlor trick that Pete and I taught him. When asked, "Alex, who's your favorite band?" he replies, "Bowl Soup" which is an Alexism meaning Bowling For Soup.

Teagan is testing out a new sleep campaign of getting up every three hours or so, again. This after about two months of having her sleep for a five and one half to seven hour stretch each night. And she's been testing out a new cry that's more of a shrill high-pitched shriek followed by a whimper, and then repeated just to make sure Mommie heard her. The new cry started Monday night, so it may be a side effect of the shots. Hopefully it will run it's course fairly quickly. I think that her waking in the middle of the night is because she's hungry. She had a little tummy trouble about a week ago, so Dr. Straughn wants me to wait another week or so before giving her any cereal. I think the addition of some cereal will help her sleep more soundly.

That's all that's news for now ... I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Teagan's 4 month well-child visit

Monday I took Teagan to the doctor for her 4 month well-child visit. She got 4 shots (two in each leg) and her second oral dose of the new Rotavirus vaccine. There are so many new vaccines available now that weren't available when Pete and I were kids. Pete came home at lunch and finished out the day working from home so that he could look after Alex while I took Teagan. It's extremely difficult to take both kids along to the doctor even with Pete's help. Teagan is growing adequately. She's up to 12 pounds 6 ounces, and 23.5 inches long with a 16 inch head. She's in about the 50th percentile in all categories. Teagan is also rolling from front to back and back to front. Her head has no lag when you pull her to sitting and is stable when she is in the sitting position. As I'm sure you've observed from her recent pics, she has become quite good at pushing herself up on her little arms.

Alex has taken a fancy to purposefully mispronouncing words. For example: "flower" has in the past been pronounced correctly but in recent days has become "flow - o" (it rhymes with the words "now" and "go") and though he can say the word "burger", when asked to say "cheeseburger" he replies, "cheese mama" or "cheese dada". I think this is a result of the giggle that he got from Pete and me the first few times he said things this way. He's realized that he's funny and it has stuck. Alex's passing obsession with JoJo's Circus has briefly been replaced with an affinity for the Little Einsteins. I all too often hear, "Mo Steins .... Mo Steins .... Mo Steins" followed by a temper tantrum if his wishes aren't granted. He certainly has developed his own special personality, and his and Teagan's dispositions differ vastly.

Thus, all is well here, and I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The NEW and IMPROVED way to find out what is going on with Alex and Teagan!

Hi everyone! Alex and Teagan's pics of the day have been such a huge success that I've decided it would be a great idea to post a blog about what they are up to. I can let all of our family members and friends in on how they're changing, milestones they've achieved, and anything else that I decide is relevant. My goal is to find time to write a post at least three times per week, and maybe more if I have extra time, energy or if there is a really important event. So, be sure to check back!