Sunday, November 21, 2010

Don't you just love fall?

This weekend we took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to tackle the first round of leaves in our yard. In addition to the three large oaks we have on our property, there's also another tree that hangs over our driveway but is technically our neighbor's.

Thanks to the strong northerly wind this past week, the bags and bags of leaves we raked were actually from our neighbor's tree. Ours still has most of its leaves attached. Awesome.

Anyway, the silver lining to all this hard work is watching Grayson discover the joy in romping around the piles of leaves. He even managed to help us rake a little without causing too much extra work.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Never a dull moment

Now that Grayson is more vocal I find myself saying things and having conversations I never thought I would have.

For example, this morning Grayson woke up at the crack of dawn (as usual) and came into our room to play tractor. Trying to hold on to a few more moments of sleep, I told him, "Keep the tractor on the ground please, no more driving on mommy's face."

Then this evening we were playing after dinner when he found a piece of paper on the coffee table. I asked him to go throw it in the trash and he excitedly obliged. Moments later I hear him crunching on a piece of apple which had been thrown away after dinner. This led me to explain that we don't eat food out of the trash can and that it's yucky.

There are too many of these oddball conversations in a day to try and remember. I can only imagine what is to come when we have to respond to the "why?" phase.

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's starting to sink in...

We've had a little progress on the potty front. Last week we had two successes at home and then tonight we were out to eat when Grayson said he needed to go potty.

This usually means he has just gone potty in his diaper, but we went through the routine anyway and I took him to the bathroom. He managed to dribble a little in the potty and I made a fool of myself praising him.

After washing his hands in the big sink (his favorite part of the whole thing) we went back out to the table to tell daddy. Before we got there, Grayson had to tell every table that we passed about his accomplishment. every. single. table.

So I walked through the entire restaurant with my son pointing to his crotch saying "pee pee potty" and everyone smiled and praised him (which only made him continue the behavior to the next table).

I'm hoping the whole potty training thing is starting to sink in a little. My goal was to get serious about big boy underpants during Christmas break, so fingers crossed we're on the right track!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mothers' Day Out

This afternoon I enjoyed quite a treat! My friend Michelle, aka Liam's mom, had an extra ticket to the OU vs. Texas Tech game so I jumped at the chance to join her.

Before we entered the stadium we stopped by the O Club which is a special tailgating area set up for alumni athletes/lettermen. Michelle was part of the OU women's gymnastics team which granted us access to the VIP event. While there we also learned that Michael is also on the O Club's list since he lettered in track and cross country while attending OU. Good to know! This is definitely a perk we'll be taking advantage of for future home games. Even if we don't have tickets, it's a fun place to tailgate and watch the game on huge screens while surrounded by lots of great Sooner fans.

After fueling up on some burgers we headed in to the stadium. As much as I hate to admit it, I haven't been to the OU stadium since I was in college. Despite living less than two miles from it, Michael and I haven't gone to any football games since we moved back from St. Louis four years ago.

Since my last visit, the university has added on two more upper decks, sky boxes, plus two super-sized jumbotron screens in each end zone. It's pretty spectacular.

I always find it interesting to be surrounded by so many people (approximately 85,000) and not see anyone I know. It's a humbling reminder of how big the world really is, even in a somewhat small town and state.

In addition to watching some great football, I always enjoy seeing the marching band. Like me, Michelle was also in marching band throughout high school so we could appreciate the experience together. The OU marching band sounded fantastic as always. Below is a shot of the drummajor and drumline which lead the band out for pregame.

I didn't manage to get any pictures of the new stadium additions, but below are some videos of the marching band. They are both from the pre-game show which got us fired up for OU's 45 to 7 victory over the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Boomer Sooner!

Cars versus cartoons

Saturday mornings are one of the only times during the week that Gray watches TV. We usually let him watch Sesame Street and maybe Bob the Builder or whatever is on PBS.

This morning Michael took the opportunity to "redirect" Grayson's TV preferences to car shows. Gray and I were sitting on the couch as he was eating his oatmeal and (very strategically) Michael asked Gray if he'd like to watch car shows (before Gray could think to ask to watch Elmo).

Here's how it all went down:

Michael: Grayson, do you want to watch car shows?! (said in a very enthusiastic voice)

Gray: Yes! Car shows!

Me: Oh, man. Are you sure you want to watch car shows? (not very enthusiastic about learning to rebuild hot rods)

Gray: Yay, car shows!

Michael: Well, mama I guess you're out numbered (smiling with glee)

Then Grayson goes and settles in to the chair with daddy to watch car shows, but as Michael turns on the TV Gray says, "Boomer Sooner ball?" (i.e. OU football). Luckily for daddy the game is not on until this afternoon when he will then be out numbered.

And so it begins. I have a feeling I better get used to car shows.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Random Updates

We've had lots of blog-worthy moments this week but there isn't really a way to tie them all together, so I'll just throw them out stream-of-consciousness style.

The time change seemed to work in our favor while traveling to Houston last weekend, but has come back to bite us a little each morning since then. Grayson has been waking up progressively earlier and earlier every day this week. We try telling him it's still nighttime, yet the early bird is so "bright eyed and bushy tailed" (as my mom would say) that it's kind of funny. Michael, of course, doesn't see the humor since he's such a night owl and has just gone to bed a few hours before this all takes place.

Yesterday morning (after waking up in the five o-clock hour) Grayson was unusually fussy and would cry at the drop of a hat. I chalked it up to a long week of early mornings finally catching up to him. Later that day I had a dentist appointment and it occurred to me that he may be getting his two-year molars. Last night I felt in the back of his mouth and two large mounds have popped up on his bottom gumline. No wonder he's been cranky! Fingers crossed they come in quickly.

Gray's vocabulary continues to amaze and entertain us. Michael and I will be talking about something at dinner when we notice there seems to be an echo. We're so used to being able to vent to each other on our commute home or over dinner that I'm realizing we probably need to use more discretion since he's soaking so much up.

One of my favorite parts of the day is tucking Grayson in at night. He typically goes down very well and gives great goodnight hugs. Sometimes he'll say "talking mommy" which means he wants to talk a little before I leave. We talk about his day or I make up a story and then I say "Good night, I love you, sweet dreams" and he echos "night night, mommy" in his sweet little boy voice. It's something so simple, but it makes me smile and I enjoy seeing him catch on and also love our bedtime routine.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An A.D.D. Concert

Lately Grayson has been enjoying singing. He'll burst into song at the most random times. Usually it's the A, B, Cs, but he also likes the Itsy Bitsy Spider and If You're Happy & You Know It.

Of course, when I try to capture any of it on camera he clams up or turns around. I finally managed to get half of a song out before he got distracted by a shiny object. I'm not joking. He was singing and then suddenly took an interest in the floor lamp that was on behind me.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Farmer Grayson

During our trip to Houston we stopped by to see Aunt Karen and Uncle Steve's newly remodeled house and Gray got the surprise of his life...driving a tractor! As you can see, we're not talking about a glorified riding lawnmower, I mean a real tractor with a bucket lifter thingy and all.

Michael's cousin Andrew rode along and showed Gray how to work all the levers, including how to move the bucket and honk the horn.

Grayson was pretty much in shock throughout the entire experience. He woke up Sunday morning with a new love for Bob the Builder when it came on PBS. Normally that show doesn't hold his attention, but after driving a tractor, Grayson couldn't take his eyes off of the characters (which are talking/moving construction equipment like tractors and bulldozers).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Road Warriors

We just returned from a very quick two-day trip to Houston and I've never been more thankful to gain an hour of sleep than I am this weekend.

While there we celebrated the upcoming arrival of Rhyann (the first girl in Grayson's generation of cousins) with a very pink baby shower. I've never seen so many adorable little girl clothes. It's funny how different shower gifts are for baby girls versus boys. Nobody can resist those tiny bows and adorable socks that look like mary jane's!

As an added bonus to the shower, we were able to catch up with most of the extended family on Michael's mom's side which was long over-due and is always so much fun. Our trip also got me in the holiday spirit since my favorite part is seeing all of our many sides of family and watching Gray interact with everyone.

Of course, when the gang's all together we have to take some party pics. Here are Michael's cousins with their significant others and offspring.

Jennifer (Michael's cousin that's expecting) also has a son Blayne. He's nine and way cooler than Grayson, but he muddles through the matching shirts his mother buys and somehow musters up a smile for our cameras. Meanwhile, Grayson thinks it's the coolest thing ever to match his big cousin and we couldn't get him to stop smiling (or stop saying cheeeeese) if we tried.

These two pictures crack me up. The one above shows Blayne's forced smile and the one below shows how Gray can't seem to get enough of his big cousin.

The boys did manage to find some common ground...race cars. Uncle Steve brought over a jar full of cars and a mat with roads on it which led to hours of entertainment for the whole family.

P.S. I thought you might want to know that Roxy made the trip home with us. I'll keep you posted on all that drama as it unfolds.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Houston, We Have A Problem

I haven't written about Roxy in a while and it's probably because she hasn't been on my good side in quite some time. Realizing this (and the resulting relocation assistance that was about to become Roxy's reality), Michael stepped in and has been working with her to resolve some of her doggy issues.

Miss Roxy has always had a tendency to guard things. I'm talking about weird things like throw pillows that fall on the living room floor, Gray's stuffed animals that end up all over our house, socks and so on. We used to keep some small blankets folded up in a corner of our living room, but she would "protect" them and growl or lunge at you whenever you got within a three-foot radius of her.

Every morning before we go to work we go through the same routine of trying to not get bitten as we pick her up to crate her since she's over protecting something in the living room.

The protective behavior has become increasingly aggressive over the last several months and I'm afraid that Grayson will be on the receiving end of it. He's very good about staying away when she growls, but I don't want him to grow up being afraid of dogs.

I used to believe that Roxy would never bite, but now that she's older (and crotchety) I know that's not true.

Roxy has many other quirks that add to the list of annoyances and I had come to the end of my rope last weekend and was ready to relocate Roxy to Nana and Popper's house in Houston or any stranger who may be interested. Michael, being the ever-patient and loving pet owner, did additional online research (more than he ever read up on pregnancy or parenting by the way) and has implemented some changes which seemed to have helped Roxy's behavior.

She still has a long way to go (in my book) but I can see a few signs of improvement. Time will tell if it sticks and if she stays. I know there would be a void in our house without her and part of me would be heartbroken to see her go, but the practical side of me is wearing thin.

Oh how far we've come from the days of sweet little Rox-star being our furry child. And as if she knows what I'm saying about her, she just released a horrible gas bomb while lying next to me as I type this. Yet another tick mark in the adoption column.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gray's Anatomy

Grayson has recently taken an interest in giving himself a "bath" after we give him the official scrub down in the tub. He takes great care in washing his face and body.

This is how the conversation unfolded tonight once daddy handed over the washcloth to Grayson.

Me: Grayson, did you be sure and wash your toes?

Gray: Yes, piggies.

Me: Did you wash your knees and elbows?

Gray: Yes, knees and elmos.

Me: Do you mean your ell-bbbows?

Gray: Yes, EL-MOS.