Monday, November 24, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We are home from our holiday in London, and we had the most fabulous time!  Hayden was just a dream child on the plane on the way over - it was like traveling with another fun adult.  We did manage to get him his own seat, and they even had extra meals that they gave him.  So he sat like a little adult all strapped in, and ate his grown-up airplane meal, played a little bit, ran the aisles for awhile, then fell asleep stretched out between mom and I for about 6 hours!  We didn't sleep much because we were worried he'd roll of the seat, and we had legs and arms pushing on us, but the important thing was that he got sound sleep, and he woke up in time to have breakfast and look out the windows at landing.  Unfortunately the ride home wasn't so smooth.....but I'll just leave it at that!

London suited Hayden - let me tell you.  The sights, the sounds, the bright lights, the traffic, the taxis, trains, buses and boats - everything seemed to be custom made for his viewing pleasure :)  I cannot tell you how many oohs and ahhs were uttered by this child before we even got to our lodging!  He was in toddler Heaven!  He adjusted very well to the time difference, and managed to get good naps and night sleeps the whole trip, which was a huge blessing, and made the experience more fun for him.  We did so much that first weekend there.  Jeff rented a car for all of us and we cruised out of London for a day of sightseeing in Kent and along the southern coast of England along the English Channel.  Our first stop was Leeds Castle, which was beautiful and had really pretty grounds to wander through (and ducks for Hayden!), then we pushed on to do some hiking at Seven Sisters Country Park on the coast, which showcased spectacular chalk cliffs, rough seas, and a pebble beach.  We finished out the day with dinner in Brighton, a sort of famous English seaside resort town, and a walk out onto the pier.

On Sunday, Jeff and Rebecca took us via double decker bus to Camden Market which was really crazy and fun.  They had vendors selling everything you could imagine, and tons of yummy, ethnic street food.  The most enjoyable part was probably the people watching; just people from all walks of life speaking every language you can imagine.  It was a cool experience, especially for Hayden who was pretty mesmerized.  We rode a canal boat home through some of the more posh parts of London, and got to see some pretty ridiculous city homes - even Madonna's house in Regent's Park.  Hayden loved the boat, although not quite as much as the bus!

The rest of the week was filled with me working, and grammy taking Hayden on double decker bus tours of the city :)  He liked the bus so much that it was really easy for her to fill their time that way.  They would ride it down to my office and meet me for lunch, and hop on and off at the various sights around town.  Then at night we'd meet up with Jeff and Rebecca for dinner at various restaurants around town.  London is not very baby friendly when it comes to dining, so our choices were limited, but Hayden did get to experience Indian food and Asian food, as well as a night at the Rainforest Cafe in Picadilly Circus, which was probably his favorite (scary but fun).  Jeff also was able to take a day off of work and they explored the Tate Modern museum, walked the south embankment along the Thames and saw Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the London Eye, and all those famous landmarks.

All in all it was a wonderful trip!  

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's A Boy!

Yep - my intuition was all wrong, and Hayden will have a baby brother come April :)  We had our ultrasound on Tuesday and there was absolutely no mistaking our baby for a boy.  In fact, I said it before the ultrasound technician even could.  We managed to obtain a standard "boy parts" photo like we have for Hayden and we'll post it below.  Talk about embarrassing our kids before they are even born!  Nate and I are thrilled to be welcoming another adorable little boy to the family and I just know Hayden and our new little one will be best of friends.  In addition to being a boy, the baby looked totally healthy and he was wiggling all around for our viewing pleasure.  From the snapshots we got it looks like he might be long and lanky like Nate and Hayden, but of course it's hard to tell at this stage.  Yay - a house full of cute boys!  Lucky me :)

The other exciting news is that Hayden, myself and my mom are London bound this evening.  His first overseas trip!  The passport was a HUGE ordeal but luckily it is finally in my possession.  They did not finish it on time to mail it (despite many urgent phone calls and admittedly some tears), so my dad was super generous and drove down to Houston with me to try to get it in person from the Houston Passport Agency.  So we drove about 4 1/2 hours each way yesterday and got extremely lucky because they had JUST completed his passport about 10 minutes before we arrived and they were able to hand it right over.  Talk about relief.  So it was a long day, but worth it to be able to depart on time with no worries.  We depart tonight at 7:30 and it looks like the plane is pretty empty so hopefully we can stretch out to sleep.  We'll arrive tomorrow morning and have the whole weekend to spend with my brother and his girlfriend Rebecca.  They've rented a car for Saturday so we can explore outside of London a bit, and Leed's Castle and the Cliffs of Dover are on the itinerary.  Then on Sunday we intend to do the standard London sights like a Thames River cruise, the London Eye and Westminster Abbey.  I will be working then next week and grammy will be on her own with the little dude, so they should have fun exploring.

I'll leave you with some photos of baby boy #2, as well as some photos of a family hike we took up in Oklahoma this past weekend.  It was gorgeous and so surprising to have a great hiking destination only an hour from our doorstep.  There were trees, topography, and water for the dogs, so we were happy :)



Saturday, November 8, 2008



Well Hayden got his 3rd haircut on Wednesday afternoon!  It was much needed - his long hair seemed to be a magnet for cottage cheese and mandarin orange chunks, and it seemed like there were always tufts sticking out here and there, especially around his ears.  It was just time for a change!  He was a little more nervous during this haircut compared to the others, but luckily his grammy was there to hold his hand, so it all went fine.  The result I think was well worth it - he looks so grown up!

Yesterday was also a big day because he lost his red leg finally!  Woo hoo.  We got to the doctor and immediately they took the cast off.  They used this kind of hand saw that looks like a pizza cutter sort of, but the blade vibrates instead of rotating so apparently it can't do harm to skin.  I had my doubts, and apparently so did Hayden because he cried through the whole experience.  But it came off with ease and he was off and running almost immediately, with no limp or hesitation.  They took x-rays then and decided it was right on target with healing, but they are taking precautions and he has to wear a little black boot called the "wee walker" for the next two weeks.  It's removable though so he can take baths and sleep without it, and it doesn't come up as high so he has full use of his knee again.  He seems so happy, and it was just wonderful to be able to plop him in a warm bath.  He loved it!

The only stressful news of the week is that Hayden's passport has not yet arrived and we leave in 6 days for London :(  I submitted his paperwork about 3 1/2 weeks ago and the passport person at the post office advised me not to bother paying the extra money to expedite since it was taking two weeks tops to process passports currently.  Well I unfortunately listened to her, and now we are completely down to the wire and there is no passport.  I've been calling for updates all week, and yesterday they told me I might want to head down to Houston to pick it up in person.  Apparently they didn't realize that Houston is a 4 1/2 hour drive or a $250 flight.  I paid the money yesterday to have it expedited and fedexed overnight, so we'll see.  I'm mad at myself for not just heeding the official passport processing times, and listening to someone with no real authority on the matter.  But I'm keeping my fingers crossed and if worst comes to worst I will be making a trip to Houston next week....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


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Well today is an historic day and Hayden and I have been watching the news all morning to see the reaction to the election.  Even Hayden seems drawn to Obama - the only other thing on TV that keeps him that interested is football!  I'm just so pleased with the ways things went yesterday and with the overwhelming feeling in our nation that things need to change, and change for the better.  I was inspired by Obama's acceptance speech last night and am so excited for the direction our nation will take, and I'm filled with hope for the future!
I'm also filled with excitement for several less momentous occasions that are coming up for our family during the next week.  Tomorrow we take Hayden to see the orthopedic doctor and we are keeping our fingers crossed that they will remove his cast.  We are expecting them to x-ray him again to determine whether he is ready to shed his red leg, and are hoping at the very least his plaster cast will be replaced with a more user-friendly soft cast that he can take on and off for bath-time.  We've all desperately missed bath-time!  We are also gearing up for our ultrasound on Tuesday morning.  We will hopefully find out the gender of the baby, and I'm also anxious to make sure that the baby is healthy and growing.  I feel him / her kick all the time lately, and I'm growing HUGE (I posted a new belly photo - click the link above), so I think everything is going smoothly, but ultrasounds are also very reassuring.  And admittedly, I'm just dying to get out and buy our little one his or her first outfit (pink or blue??), and get going on our plans for the nursery.  We have some big decisions to make about whether our Hayden will share his room with the new baby, or whether we will convert our guest room / spare room into a nursery. 
In other news, Hayden and I spent the weekend in Denver and we had SO much fun with that side of the family.  We finally got to meet Hayden's new cousins; Brylin who is 3 1/2 months and Liam who is 2 months.  They are both adorable (honestly our family has cute kids), and already getting so big.  I'm really glad we didn't have to wait until Christmas to see them.  Brylin is so curious and alert and wants to be part of the group at ALL times.  She just looks at you with these huge eyes like she is trying to absorb everything she experiences.  She is a beautiful baby and her mom Britt is totally smitten you can tell :)  Naturally!  Liam is still just a little peanut but for being born 4 weeks early he is really growing and has these endearingly chubby cheeks that you just want to kiss all the time!  In fact, Hayden did kiss them a few times - ha!  He is also very mellow like Brylin and was happy to hang out in any of our arms.  Katie is doing a wonderful job as a mama and you can just tell she is having so much fun.  Hayden also got to hang out on Halloween night with his older cousin Cameron who is 14 - and he just followed him around like he was a superstar all night long - too cute!  After the kids went to bed (miraculously easily for them all being out of their element), we got to sit down together, with my mother-in-law Debbie, and have a total girls night.  It was so much fun to talk and laugh about all the trials and joys of being a new mom.  Honestly my cheeks hurt from laughing so much.  It was just a much needed reunion, and now I'm really looking forward to spending a whole week in Denver for Christmas.

Miss Brylin and her mama Britt

Katie and her little man Liam

Mammaw with her grandbabies

Some group shots

And some of my cutie Hayden (of course!)

Friday, October 31, 2008

My friend has a red leg too!

Hayden's grandpa and grandma Roberts sent him the coolest gift from Colorado - a stuffed monkey with a giant red cast on his leg!  Now Hayden is not the only one with a cast :)  He loves the monkey and whenever I ask him where his "friend" is he runs over to the monkey and gives it a hug or a kiss.  Very cute.  And he is always pointing at the red leg or knocking on it like he knocks on his own.  Too funny.  I had to take some photos and here they are.

Here he is giving it a kiss

Well I just got home late last night from a business trip to Houston / Galveston, and now Hayden and I are off to Denver for the weekend this afternoon.  Hayden's mammaw missed him so she sent us a plane ticket to come out which was so thoughtful.  So we are busy trying to get re-packed and organized.  Hayden hasn't been on a plane since he started walking, so it should be an adventure.  I really hope he holds still!  I tried to time our flight so that he would be napping during it, but I fear that he will be too excited to nap and then he'll arrive in Denver totally cranky and tired.  We'll see how it works out!  But he is going to meet his cousins Liam and Brylin and I'm so excited!!

The new baby continues to shock me with how much he/she moves around!  I am constantly feeling kicks and rolls even though I'm only 17 1/2 weeks along.  I was only feeling very faint kicks with Hayden by this point, but they always say you feel more quickly with your second.  It is very reassuring though to know the baby is alive and well in there.  We find out if it's a boy or a girl in only 11 days!!  Up until now we have both been sort of leaning towards a girl, but last night we came up with a boy's name that we love, so now we are kind of leaning toward a baby brother for Hayden :)  We shall see soon enough!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monster Mile!

We had our first trick-or-treating experience this weekend with Hayden and it was so much fun (well for us!).  Our neighborhood holds an event called The Monster Mile instead of traditional door-to-door trick-or-treat.  They have characters from various cartoons and movies handing out candy, and the main street is all decorated with fun Halloween stuff.  Each kid was cuter than the next!!  Hayden was pretty overwhelmed at first and wanted to stick very close to us, but eventually he warmed up and was running along with the other kids and cautiously approaching the different characters.  We had dressed him up as a spider and he looked adorable, although everyone felt sorry for his little red leg :(  He really is doing so well on it lately that I hardly even think about it.  He actually walks just as fast as he used to and he can climb and spin in circles and do all his usual tricks.  As it turns out, his orthopedic doctor had to reschedule and now he is being seen on November 6th instead, which is just over a week away - so we have our fingers crossed that he will get his cast off and his fracture will be healed!!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Adjusting to the cast

Hey everyone!  Well a week has passed since Hayden got his cast put on and he is doing great :)  He is adjusting so well.  Sleeping great, eating good, in a fabulous, playful mood, and he is getting around really well.  He's finally mastered the art of walking on his cast even though it looks more like a hobble than a real walk.  But it gets him where he needs to go without having to drag his "red leg" behind.  So luckily his lifestyle hasn't been compromised too much.  He'll get the cast off in only 3 weeks so it's going quickly.  Keep sending positive, get well vibes his way if you can spare any!

Despite his injury we had a really fun weekend with his great-grandparents visiting from Wisconsin.  The highlight was a trip on the Grapevine Vintage Railway.  We all boarded an old steam engine in Grapevine and the cars were actually open air which was perfect because it was a gorgeous fall day.  We rode the train for about an hour in a half all the way into Fort Worth to the stockyards.  Then we were able to spend a few hours wandering through the stockyards where we got to see some horses and longhorns up close, and we ate some good Texas BBQ.  Then it was back on the train for the ride home.  Hayden was just mesmerized by the whole experience and I can't wait to take him again.  I've included some photos of the trip below, and I've also posted some videos of him playing peek-abo and dancing.  They are so cute, but I warn you to turn the volume down because my voice is quite annoying in the background - ha!