Friday, April 18, 2014

Keeping Busy

Preston snacking on turkey and a capri sun while enjoying Scott's 3rd Birthday party in the park.  He has been to this park before and his favorite part is running across the grass to the man made lake to watch the ducks.  This time we brought them some bread to enjoy.  Preston loves throwing the bread out and watching them dive and attack the crumbs.  The giant playground and birthday cake was secondary to our favorite big brother.

We have been trying to keep busy as a family ever since the passing of Manchu.  To be honest, it's been quite difficult to come home and not see my little Manchu running around the house and snuggling up with me at night.  A couple weekends ago we decided to escape and retreat to the lake for the day.  We got in the car and drove off to Bartlett Lake.  I think Preston was in shock that we could get to a body of water that quickly.  Drive out until you only see desert then over and around some turns and hills then water appears, boats and a dock.  Arizona is funny that way I guess.

Logan at the birthday party
I have gone and joined Instagram, the newest photo sharing social media that even President Obama recently joined. Apparently he heard that I finally broke down and started photo sharing.  It's different that Facebook and if you are a photo person then it'll be right up your alley.  It's not as time consuming as Facebook is.  There are days when I just don't have time to search Facebook and I find myself off it for days.  It's overwhelming at times.  Ok, got sidetracked.

Here is a photo that I recently added to Instagram.  Preston giving me one of his famous smirk faces.  The morning is one of his peak times for being silly.  I think he might be a morning person which is fine with me and except on Saturday mornings when I want to get a little more shut eye. I can't be mad for long that face and the things he says these days just crack me up!  
So what does a full time teacher and full time mother do with her two small children after work?  Stick them in a playpen!  This was only partly my doing.  We have the playpen out in kitchen one moment, outside or in the front hallway for Logan.  Preston, of course, wants to be part of the playpen experience.  He climbs in and very frequently places in there with Logan.  To have two young kids happily playing together in one small area is like finding gold.  You stare at it for a bit, amazed and then you get just happy and content.  They can last in there close to 20 minutes. Twenty minutes for mommy to have a little down time after work is worth its weight in gold.

Logan is now 7 months old!  This little guy, although he isn't crawling,  gets around like lightening.  One moment he is on the carpet playing on his back the next moment he is down the hallway going after Preston.  Watch out for when this guy decides to crawl.  He is practically pulling himself up on me and the couches.  He stares at food with determination and had a super duper appetite.  I think I better start saving now for the food this child will consume in 10 years.  If he is anything like his father we are in for it.  He has tried just about every type of food.  He loves it all!  He keeps opening his mouth and wanting more.
We had to go out and buy a new high chair.  The Arizona sun in the space above our garage took the life out of the plastic on our last one.  He enjoys the high chair and it's one of those interchangeable deals that we can use as a booster later. We also got a bouncy for Logan too.  He wants to bounce in our hands and loves to move.  He enjoys it so far but not as much as Preston did at this age.  Preston could stay in the bounce for 45 minutes or longer.  No wonder the springs broke 3 times.

My last bit of good news is that it appears that Logan is getting two top teeth!  7 months and 12 days old, I new that he would get teeth sooner than Preston.  He started the drooling and gnawing early.  I have to watch them come in but again different than Preston.  Preston got his two bottoms cut first which I believe is the most common. A new adventure for Logan and for us.  Happy Good Friday & Happy Easter!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Manchu A. H. Naylor 2005-2014

February 2006
It is with a very heavy heart that we had to say goodbye to our precious Manchu this weekend.  A sudden illness, that we thought would resolve itself in a couple days, unfortunately shortened Manchu's time with us here on this earth.  We are all numb with sorrow and can only take solace in the fact that he is not suffering and that Preston is unaffected by this tragic loss.

Most of you recall we lost our 17 year old, Zeppy 6 months ago, days before Logan was born.  Zeppy had a long standing, full life.  Even though Manchu wasn't too young, he was taken from us prematurely and our family will miss him terribly.  It is a different feeling when you lose a family pet.  For me Manchu was around me all of the time, following me, sleeping in the bed, he was everywhere I was; a piece of me is missing.
Over the last couple days I keep remembering the first moment I saw Manchu.  He was in a litter of 5 or 6 other dogs that looked nothing like him.  All of his brothers and sisters were black and white, some were even long haired.  Originally, I was there to look at one of his siblings.  The owner had taken them out and let them all play in the back of her truck while I got to know each of them.  Almost all of the puppies were jumping up and down excited to greet me.  But then I saw him.  This small brown, calm puppy all curled up in the corner of the bed of the truck.  I went straight to this little guy.  He lifted his head and looked at me and I knew he belonged to me.  He proceeded to stand up and sniff me continuing with his calm, timid demeanor.  He let me pick him up, I held him and didn't let go.  I always joked saying that he was brown and I was brown. We matched and it was meant to be.

He got along with Zeppy just fine and when Ruger came into the picture they became best friends.  Manchu would groom Ruger almost daily.  Preston loved watching Ruger and Manchu run around and play around with each other.  Logan enjoyed it when he would be in my lap and Manchu would come up and snuggle in right next to him.  It was great seeing Manchu give the kids as much joy as he brought to me everyday.   I have hundreds of pictures of our many adventures together.  I wish I could share them all.  I will continue to keep every one of those great memories alive in my heart.  
January 2014 

Rest in Peace Manchu

Sorrow comes in great waves..but it rolls over us, and although it may almost smother us it leaves us on the spot and we know that if it is strong, we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain.

~H. James

Monday, March 17, 2014

Matt & Jen's Vegas Weekend Wedding

Newlyweds Jen & Matt
It's been two weeks since Rob and I got a chance to live a whole weekend kid free.  We escaped the state and traveled to Vegas!  Our good friends Jen and Matt's wedding was taking place on the first of the month.  We stayed at the Monte Carlo for two nights and enjoyed a nice quiet drive to Nevada.  You are probably wondering who had the kids?  My good old friend Zapata and his wife were gracious enough to take two kids under the age of 3 in addition to their 14 month old little boy.

Rob & I at the reception
It was a super fun trip!  It was wonderful to see Jen and Matt's family and friend celebrate them and their special day together. She was a stunning bride and a beautifully fitted strapless wedding dress.  I personally loved all the fun music and good times with longstanding friends.  It was like a mini reunion of sorts.  I only gambled once.  Rob, who proclaimed that he would never gamble, did so 3 or 4 times!  Go figure!  I know we secretly liked not having to worry about our children those 3 days but we left early Sunday morning to hurry back to get to see how excited the kids would be to see us.  Even though we could used the extra sleep beforehand we were more anxious to be back with our boys.  I was surprised not to find our kids sitting on the sidewalk, bags packed and ready to go.  I think Preston may have shown his "stubborn" side when it came to some things.  Logan, I am sure,  wasn't liking the sudden change of pace after we had moved his comfortably in his new crib.  They were troopers for taking them and we will always be grateful for their generosity.  

Sitting up at 6 month old
Logan is getting stronger and stronger every day with his sitting up skills.  Over the last couple days he has been the strongest.  He is so happy with himself.  When someone smiles at him he just lights up.  He is 6 months 2 weeks and eating carrots, beans, bananas and soon to be starting sweet potatoes.  He's eaten everything we have given him so far and it enjoying his new digestive status.

I am currently on my first day of Spring Break, Manchu on my lap, Rob & Preston on an errand and Logan taking a nap.  Grandma Hines is enjoying the 80 degrees with a breeze.  I think it beats the 10 degrees that she was missing back in Boston.   Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I will be eating Shepherd's Pie for dinner, leftovers from last night.  The Irish bread I made at 8 am this morning is more than 2/3 eaten, a triumph; if I may say so myself.   Both boys are proudly wearing their "green-ware" too.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Give Me Food and I Will Live

Logan is off and running on the solid food milestone.  I felt for the little guy.  His big brown eyes would stare at me, then at the food on my fork as if to say "isn't any of that going in my mouth?" I swear, it's almost painful to eat in front of Logan these days.  Rice cereal is where we started a week or so ago today.  Tomorrow it will be pureed peas!  If I could, I would give him everything I was eating.  In due time, I don't want to rush things but he sure does want to eat.

In addition to his most recent milestone I do believe that our guy is teething.  His flushed cheeks, screaming in the middle of the night and constant gnawing gives me the sinking feeling that teeth might spring up our way sometime soon.  Looking back at Preston's teeth history 8 months was around the time he got his first tooth.  Logan is on a faster track than Preston was so I am thinking that we will see something earlier than 8 months.  Let's see if he proves me wrong?

 Preston and Logan are doing more and more things together.  Posing for the random picture is definitely one of them.  Preston laid down with Logan during a Valentine's Day photo shoot.  Our oldest ham got in showing off his flock of seagulls hairstyle that day.  He loves holding Logan and having him gnaw on him when he is teething.  He will stick his nose or hand in the way on purpose to see if he will get chewed on and it becomes a game for him.  Silly three year old.   The other day I was printing something and left the laptop and printer on the floor.  Preston loves watching his Paw Patrol on the Nick Jr. website.  I had to step in the other room to clean a dish and Rob had set Logan in the bumbo and stuck him in front of the laptop.  A cute picture, but don't get to thinking that Logan is an avid TV watcher.  Logan got pretty antsy after this shot was taken.  His favorite is in someones warm lap not long sitting spels in the bumbo.

Rob, the daddy daycare by day, was able to get this picture on one of the late nights I had.  Apparently the seat we put him in while we eat accommodates Logan's urge to sit up.  Rob said after a couple tries to pull himself up to look around, he was UP!  Just sitting there for a good 5 minutes just staring at Rob and Preston eating.  I wish I was there!

Finally, I have some good news to report.  I have started a Biggest Loser at work.  If you don't know what that is or what it entails you can click on this link Biggest Loser and it can explain it better than I can.  We are in week 4 I believe and I am down 14.5 lbs.  I have started a C25K as well.  A program to get you back into running and get you able to run a 5K.  That is a little over 3 miles.  I have been off running for so long, I knew this was a perfect time to get back into it.  I loved running before and I am loving the program to help me get "back on the horse".  I am on week 6 of the c25k because you are supposed to run only 3 times a week but sometimes I run 4 times in a week depending on my schedule and what meetings I have.  It's a great way to blow off stress, get out of the house and shake my mind of things that bothered me that day.  I push Preston around with me for most of my runs.  He is quite the chatter box.  He says things like "Mom, get back on the sidewalk.  Daddy says."  and "Are you okay Mom?  He loves to say hi to people and practically screams hi at strangers until they acknowledge him.  Preston makes me laugh EVERY DAY!  There hasn't been a day in his life that he hasn't.  I love that big boy of mine!  He is a great run/walk buddy. I am one lucky mommy!