Thursday, December 11, 2008

Soon to be 8 months

As we all know, time goes by way to quickly. Josh had his A&M System Christmas party tonight and everyone asked how we were adjusting to life here in College Station. Can you believe we have been here 7 months? That means as of Christmas Eve, Little Miss will be 8 months old. And a full 8 months she has had. This past week accounts for her 4th ear infection. This time it was a double one. The antibiotics were not working on it...this being our 4th round...2 rounds of amoxicillin and 2 rounds of Omnicef...therefore we had to switch to the Rocephin shot. Ainsley does not weigh 20 pounds yet, so the doctor could not put Litocaine in the shot to help with the burn. Also, since her little muscles were not meaty enough, they broke the 1 shot into 2 and stuck her in both legs. This continued for 3 days. Safe to say, Ainsley was not a happy camper. But other than that, she is one happy, laid back, fun-loving , sweet baby girl.

Ainsley plays so much more now...and likes to play. She is content to play in the middle of the living room all by herself...that is when her brother will leave her alone! One of her favorite toys is Andrew's Little People farm. She really enjoys chewing on the animals.

Also, she crawls all over the place...and quickly. You put her down and turn around 2 seconds later and she is gone. Here she found my hat and thought it looked good with her outfit. Apparently she was not wanting to fix her hair that day...she does have some crazy hair!
Ainsley can officially pull up to her feet. She pulls up on the couch and Andrew's little table that he eats at in the kitchen. Of course it just drives him crazy..."Mom, she is bugging me!" I learned the hard way that Ainlsey has a pretty long reach. I was in the kitchen getting the rest of my lunch. I had left the bag of Cheetos in the very back corner of the couch and returned to find this-
She never bite any of them, just licked them. Once she saw me coming around the kitchen corner, she took off, leaving Cheeto hand prints as she went. She got to the ottoman, where a quilt lies, and proceeded to wipe her face and her hands on the quilt. I could not help but laugh...
We have our tree up. Ainsley is not quite sure what to think about it. It is funny because there is only 1 ornament that she messes with...it is a colorful, sparkly Santa with springs for legs. She thinks he is pretty great!
Of course Ainsley does not have a bike to ride and celebrate in Andrew's birthday festivities, but that did not stop her. We souped up the wagon for her, license plate and all, and she was on her way!
Boy does she like to eat. I guess she gets that from me! We had tortellini the other night and ended up sharing with her Daddy. She loved it! Josh finally just had to quit feeding her. Other than that, her other BIG people foods consist of mash potatoes and ice cream...both of those were also big hits!
She found herself in the mirror the other day! I am not sure if she is the sweetest baby ever or the most pompous...she was kissing the baby she was seeing in the mirror...leaving her little spit running down the mirror. I am going with the sweetest baby and she was giving out sugars!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2 parties and a birthday!

I cannot believe it, but Andrew is 4 years old! He has grasped the change quite well, but I am still a bit in shock. What a 4 years it has been. We had 2 parties this year...one in Canyon over Thanksgiving and another in College Station when we got back. Andrew had a great time at both and asked since he already had a 4 year birthday party in Canyon, would he be 5 years old at his birthday in College Station? Josh and I both grinned at his thinking, but reassured him he was still only 4.
Thanks to Tiffani R. and her wonderful ideas, we had a bike parade birthday party in College Station! What fun...the kiddos decorated their bikes with license plates, balloons, streamers, tin cans (which kept getting tangled in their back training wheels). They were decorated with sun glasses and party horns! It was quite a sight and the neighbors loved us! I think we could have stopped with the party horns and all would have been happy!
His cake was decorated to look like his invitation...well it was supposed to look like the invitation. I will keep practicing! I have learned that cake decorating has a bunch to do with the quality of tools you are working with.
Andrew's party in Canyon was a sports party. We played golf baseball...which was a hit with the birthday boy. He wanted to play every spare minute we had for the rest of the Thanksgiving holidays. For those who have never played, instead of hitting a baseball with a bat and then running, you hit a golf ball with your club and then run!
We also played a football version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey! It was get the football between the goalposts for a field goal. This to was a hit, but the birthday boy was not very fond of the blindfold. He informed me that he could not see when it was on...go figure! Not too many things get by him these days.
Daddy helped more than he cared to, but we made him a baseball/basketball/golf ball (with dimples which you cannot see in the picture)/football cake. That was fun.

Safe to say we are partied out. Anytime we get in the car to run errands, Andrew asks if we are going back to the party store...we were there a lot! But thanks to all who came and helped make Andrew's birthday so special for him! He had a ball!!!

And then there was snow!!!

To all our Panhandle friends and family, this is a site not worth batting an eyelash over! To all our south Texas friends and family, this is an "Oh My" moment. Here is our front yard as I went out to get the mail at 4:30 today! As Andrew put it, "God sent the snow, Mama!" All I can say to that is, "Yes, Son...he sure did!"
Andrew could not get enough of it. As I was fixing dinner, he donned his coat and went back out for more fun in the sun...oh I mean fun in the snow! And fun he had!
Ainsley on the other hand was not quite sure what to think of the white stuff that kept falling on her and getting in her eyes. She tolerated it quite well for me to get some cute pictures, but was soon ready to get out of the wind and the cold!
Here are my 2 snow bunnies as they get shelter from the snow, but certainly not the cold. Andrew could not wait for the pictures to be done and for it to be PLAY time!
College Station doesn't quite know what to think of this snow stuff. Safe to say a few have blamed us for bringing it. We woke up this morning to a good dusting of the white stuff and then ended the day with a pretty good snow storm. What fun. This has people talking about times past and the last time this town has seen this much snow...to which we just smile!
Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Home Season Over

A sad day in Aggieland...well after this season it was a sigh of relief...the last home game of the 2008 football season has come and gone. My boys will be home on Saturdays! For a handful of years, Josh and I had season tickets in Amarillo and made the treacherous commute for every home game. We made the mistake last year of bringing the little man to some games. He is now as addicted as we are. Well...can you believe that we actually live in College Station, with NO commute, and I don't get to go to the games.
Andrew has taken over my season ticket. His favorites are the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band, playing football on Kyle Field with Daddy after the games, and the blue snow cones. He usually ends up napping for at least a quarter. Andrew keeps asking when we will get to come...I guess next year we will get 4 tickets and a good time will then be had by ALL!

Its the Footprints that Matter

God has really been working on my heart lately and it is raining out so I felt compelled to sit down and share it with you. Well...for all of you who do not know, I am a bit OCD...a type A personality I think they call it. Let me explain. In our first house, we had a wood floors. In our second and third houses (yes...we move a lot) we had Berber carpet. In our College Station house, we have my favorite kind of carpet. The kind of carpet that shows the vacuum marks!!! I love that. It just gives me a sense of accomplishment and clean when I can stand back and see the vacuum marks. I'm so OCD, I see how long it can be before I just HAVE to walk across the carpet and put footprints on it. Well, try convincing a soon to be 4 year old to stay off the carpet because Mommy wants to see the vacuum marks. Before you think of admitting me, let me get to the good part. Every Thursday there is a group of us that go to Story Time at the library and then go to McDonald's. Over lunch, the conversation led to people who have lost children. That really struck me and made me rethink some things. I used to get frustrated with Andrew when he would run after the vacuum or try to beat the vacuum with his football or play limbo with the cord while I was vacuuming. God put on my heart to rethink this...I have a healthy 3 year old who LOVES when I vacuum as much as I do...obviously for very different reasons. I should stop and be thankful I am blessed to have those footprints and forget about the vacuum marks. Just a thought that I need to spend more time focusing on and seeing just how long it is until I HAVE to vacuum over them.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

All Kinds of Busy

It is so hard for me to believe, but our baby girl is already 6 months. It is amazing to me the personality they can develop in that short of time. She is such a bright spot in all of our days. Andrew sees her in the morning and declares, "There's our girl!" I think he loves her the most...he can not get enough of her and is just so excited that she is able to do more and play more! Here is her newest toy. It is a walker rocket ship that makes way fun noises and let's her scoot around (yes...I know they are not supposed to scoot around, but we have no staircases in our house and I am sure not to leave the cookware handle hanging over the stove top!). As you can see though, none of those features are what draws her to the toy...it is the poor star that get gnawed on 24/7.
This is her favorite spot...especially when her brother is sitting her eating his breakfast or lunch. As Andrew claims, she is "bothering" him! She loves this table and being under it is just the coolest thing for a 6 month old.
Another one of her favorites, my least favorite, is shoe strings. She will chew on the dirtiest, nastiest shoestring until you pull it away from her. I find her in our closet several times a day looking for her next tasty treat. YUCK-O!
Sitting...she has not yet mastered getting to this position on her own, but she can maintain it for a while once she's there! Not her favorite though...I think she is bored. She just looks at you like what now...are you just going to leave me here?
Another one of her new tricks is pulling up. As you can see her, it is not a pleasant time, but one of the first times she performed her new trick. She just makes it up to her knees, which was plenty far enough to constitute us having to lower her mattress.
Ainsley passed her 6 month check-up with flying colors. The only thing was she had another ear infection. Let me tell you what a good mama I am. I thought the ear infection/snotty nose was due to allergy or weather related stuff. They put her on some Omnicef, which Andrew had also been on and did not do real well with. It gave him awful diaper rash. Well, she got awful diaper rash also, which I attributed to the medicine. On Monday (Nov. 3) , Ainsley was playing with Andrew's fingers and sticks them in her mouth. He yells, "SHE HAS A TOOTH!" And sure enough...all the things I thought were weather/allergy related were actually tooth cutting related. Poor girl went through trauma and we were all oblivious! Yes...mother of the year award right here! All this to say Ainsley got her first tooth. It is on the lower, left front. Yeah!
So after the first tooth adventure on Monday, she starts to crawl on Tuesday! It has been a big week at our house. Ainsley has been inchworm scooting for about a month now, but she finally figured out how to get her arms into it! Such excitement...the whole house is now her domain!

video

Trick-or-Treat Day

What fun was had by all. Andrew knew it was Halloween and knew he got candy...somehow...but was not really sure still about the whole process. Here they are! Posed and ready to go. Andrew was not real keen on the green painted nose...he has a thing about face paint (go figure, I wonder where he gets that from), so it took some convincing. He was all for it when he heard Sister was too little to have her face painted, only big kids get that.
Off to beat the sidewalks! We have found one flaw with living in a College town. Our neighborhood is not very collegey, but we do have several houses on our block that are owned by students (well, really their parents). When Halloween is on a Friday night, not many of those college kids are home to trick-or-treat at! So no matter how cute of a frog you are, no candy there!
Sister was not really too worried about the situation. She has basically just along for the ride. No matter what time of the night it was, here is what Ainsley was doing.
Well, until too far into the night and she was tuckered...enough trick-or-treating for her.
Never fear though, we did find some houses! I babysat for a wonderful family during college, who still live here. We went to visit them and they walked through the neighborhood as we trick-or-treated around. This is really the first Halloween that Andrew has gotten into trick-or-treating. He did a good job, actually striking up several conversations with random strangers. From Corps boys home for the night handing out candy to Grandpa aged men in Aggie football shirts, Andrew enjoyed visiting. We went for about an hour until Andrew decided he ready to go eat some of his candy. Truth be told, I think he had just as much fun handing out candy at our friends house as he did actually trick-or-treating.

The Pumpkin Patch

No fall is complete in the Shields household without a trip to the pumpkin patch. So much fun! This year some good friends of ours told us about a pumpkin patch that has a maze made out of bales of hay. Here is out fearless, well almost fearless, leader as he enters the maze.
Once inside the maze, we encounter may scary things, like rats, bats, spiders, and other creepy crawlies that gave us a bit of a jump. But never fear, we made it out...with only 3 or 4 wrong turns.
Andrew and Ainsley had a big time looking at all the pumpkins. Andrew decided that this is the biggest pumpkin he had EVER seen. And he said it with that much emphasis as well. Josh is trying to decide which is bigger - Ainsley bow or the pumpkin. :)

Not only were there tons of neat pumpkins to look at, they had beautiful mums. Andrew quickly found out that they do not really smell.
I am sure the store appreciated me...the pushy mom staging all kinds of sites for pictures for her kids. Ainsley has quite curious as to what these big round orange things were...that and grabbing handfuls of mums to pull off the plants and eat.

You guessed it...by the look on Ainsley's face, this was the last pictures of the day! We had a big time...even with Andrew taking us through the hay bale maze 47 times!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Little Miss Rollie Pollie

Time goes way too fast. When we were in Canyon awaiting the move, I thought time was standing still! (even though it too flew by). Now, each day brings on a whole new set of tricks Little Miss tries to perfect. She so prefers to be standing. Her little legs have become quite strong as Daddy helps her keep her balance.
Also, she has not been the sleeper that Andrew was when he was her age. He sleeps like a champ, through any loud noise Ainsley and I can create. She, on the other hand, does not. The doctor suggested that we start her on cereal and baby food at night to help her sleep better. Well, I am not sure about the sleeping better part (it has worked a little), but she sure loves her sweet potatoes...as evident by her sweet little messy face here.
Sitting up like a big Girl! OK...so she is not completely perpendicular to the floor, but we are working on it. We flip her off the couch as she lands in this position, which she holds for quite a while until slowly unfolding to the floor. :)
Yes, she is a thumb sucker, but only when she is trying to put herself to sleep...which should not be in the middle of feeding if I can interject my two cents! I believe this was carrot night. I would fall asleep too to get out of finishing my carrots. Like mother, like daughter.
Here is Ainsley's newest trick. She has really gotten good at this over the past couple of days. She can now get up on all fours and then proceeds to rock back and forth. She gets the biggest grin on her face...so proud of herself! Not crawling yet, but I think she is trying to figure out how to keep up with her brother! :)
Here is a culmination of all her new tricks. Ainsley has gotten quite proficient in rolling. The living room floor poses no challenge for this girl. Enjoy!
video

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Big Brothers!

I never had a big brother. Ainsley sure does...and she thinks he is the greatest thing on Earth. Everyday, Ainsley's spot in Andrew's heart grows bigger and bigger...and as the mama, it is the neatest thing to see. Mostly Andrew is in her face singing or talking (at a very high volume level), but she loves it! She is always very interested in what he is doing...and usually tries to take over if she can get to him before he moves.
They laugh and play and squeal and roll around (since that is Ainsley's only form of transportation at this time!). I feel quite certain that is the reason Ainsley can roll so well is the fact she wants to keep up with her brother. The living room floor is officially her domain and Andrew couldn't be happier. He has someone to tower over. Despite the 900 times a day we have to tell him to get out of her face and leave her alone, he truly is a GREAT big brother!

A glimpse into our day...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Surviving Ike

I think Josh said it best..."I almost prefer storms in the Panhandle!" The reason being is storms in the Panhandle of Texas (where we just moved from) come and go in a manner of hours. Hurricanes, on the other hand, come and go in a manner of weeks. There is the all the anticipatory tracking and preparing before the storm, the hold- up for days during the storm, and the then phew its over moment now lets see what we need to clean up and fix. College Station got very lucky. We felt some effects of Ike...lots of wind and rain (a section of our back fence blew down)...but we never lost power or our minds waiting it out. And, Josh was given Friday off to "prepare for the storm." (which in our house meant buying water, bread, batteries, and extra oreos.) With all that said, our house did have its own little hurricane excitement. Josh brought the plants in off the back patio. Well, in doing so, he brought in more then just the plants...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A San Antonio We Will Go!!

If you have not ever been, Sea World San Antonio is well worth your time. We all had such a good time. We were there 2 days, but I think we could have easily enjoyed spending another 2. They have the regular, good ole' fashion Sea World stuff full of shows and animals and interactions with them, but they also have few roller coasters and a full water park. Let me say again, we had a blast. As you can see though, we got a bit of rain the first day there...Yes, we walked in the front gate and was met with a tremendous downpour. In hind sight we have decided that the rain was a blessing...it sure cleared out the park!
Once the rain finally let up, this was a common sight. What's the saying...how many college educated adults does it take to read a Sea World map? Well, apparently in the Shields family it takes 3! :)
Here is the motley crew that attended! Poor Tim...he sure was out numbered. As one person commented, we look like a group of polygamists with Tim having 3 wives and 5 kids.
This trip was a time for Gammie to spend with her grand kids...and that she did! I am quite sure they plum wore her out...I know they plum wore me out! It took Andrew a day, but he finally warmed up to the characters. We at lunch and watched a show with Shamu and his friends. Bot can that whale dance! :)
A highlight for me was getting to feed the dolphins. They are such amazing creatures...I think they look like they are smiling. Little Man was not real keen on touching the fish, but he finally got over that too!


Thank you Gammie for the good times and great memories!!! We love you. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Already 4 months!

One thing is for sure...this sweet baby Girl is a thumb sucker!!!! She never took a pacifier, but she sure takes her thumb or her toe when she gets it up that far. As I have been told by those wiser than me...good luck with that! You can take her pacifier away, but you can not take her thumb. Good times to come!
Other than that, this precious child is doing well. She is off her reflux medicine (only because I forgot to be giving it to her while we were on vacation) and she seems to be doing great. At her check up today, she was in the 40th percentile for weight and the 90th percentile for height. As the doctor says, "I forgot how long and skinny she is!" I like to say she takes after me. :) Daddy would argue she gets it from him...
Her brother is her FAVORITE person...right after Miss Susan of course! She just thinks he is the funniest person around. And around he is...most of the time I am having to shush him out of her face, but she just laughs and laughs. It is a neat sight to see the two of them together playing. He loves her...
She has started rolling over. We have seen her go from her back to her tummy, but she is not a big fan of being on her tummy. Not as mobile on her tummy so she doesn't roll that way much. We have not seen her roll from her tummy to her back, but a couple of times I have put her in her crib on her tummy and when she has awoken and started fussing, I go to get her and she is on her back. I tried to get her mad enough to roll over for me in the living room, but no such luck as of yet!
Drool, drool, and more drool. This Girl is a spit-making machine. For this reason, no one in our family is without a burp cloth. It has only been four month, but they have been amazingly fun and rewarding. We can't wait to see what the next four will entail...keep ya posted!