"When we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness - and call it love - true love." Robert Fulghum

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Beginning of the Holidays


So, the leaves changed colors and the weather cooled down and everything was marvelously beautiful for like, a week. And then the weather took a turn for the cold and then the colder until this Desert Rat Mama secluded herself and her children inside. Which resulted in boredom, which resulted in creative play, which resulted in Liam walking around like this:

Which resulted in me feeling less of a mother, so I decided to engage Liam in some productive activities such as baking and helping me around the house. Which resulted in this:



Liam put the groceries away for me. This is the outcome of my pantry.
 Luckily for all of us, we have Holiday activities to keep us warm and boredom free! For Thanksgiving this year, we got together with a few of the other small families, couples, members, and missionaries from our ward for a dinner at the church. I made a turkey, sweet potatoes, and mashed potatoes with gravy as my contribution. It was a busy day of cooking and made me miss my sister, Maggie, who used to help me cook on Thanksgiving! We met at the church at 4:00 and had a very casual meal. Liam got to run around the gym with his buddy Ross, and our friends' daughters Reagan and Katelyn. Liam is especially fond of 7 year old Katelyn and followed her all over the church. Now whenever I mention that we are going to church Liam excitedly asks, "Dinner?!" And then I have to explain to him that we will not be eating dinner every time we go to the church.

Liam and Katelyn
 A few days later we got out our Christmas tree and decorated it as a family. Liam was absolutely delighted! He loves the "lights" and in the morning when I have not had a chance to plug the tree back in he shouts, "OH NO! MOM! LIGHTS!" until I turn his beloved Christmas lights back on.




The following Monday, Oxford had a Christmas parade! At night! I insisted that Jason take us down there and I am so glad I did! The weather was beautiful (thank goodness) and it seemed like the whole town was either in the parade or watching it! The Ole Miss Marching band performed as well as the two high school bands and the two middle school bands. There were lots of other trucks and parade floats covered with lights and Christmas decorations, lots of candy was thrown, and Santa Clause arrived with Mrs. Clause at the very end! It was so fun!


Liam in awe of the parade, holding tight to his Candy Cane!

Santa and his reindeer.
 Ezra suddenly decided he wanted to be bottle fed this month. So, we worked out a new feeding schedule with each other, and he now breastfeeds at night and drinks formula during the day. I also started him on some baby cereal and he is doing a pretty good job learning how to eat with a spoon, though it is tough work! Liam likes to sit next to me while I feed Ezra cereal and with a concerned look on his face asks, "EW! Mom! What's that?! Ewwww!" I guess it doesn't look very appetizing. This results in Ezra laughing at his brother which causes him to choke on the cereal. Sigh. These boys!


Ezra is now 4 months old and SUCH a joyful baby! He has discovered his hands which are now constantly in his mouth and he is starting to reach out and grab things. He still punches himself in the face most of the time, but he is very determined! He had his 4 months check up yesterday and weighed in at 16lbs 8oz! The NP said he is right at average height and a little over for weight, but that makes a good combination. She also remarked that he looks perfectly healthy! So, of course he decided to come down with the little virus that Liam had today, but it doesn't seem to be affecting anyone too terribly. We are looking forward to Christmastime here in Oxford. Jason will be all done with exams this Friday, so we will get him all to ourselves (for the most part) for seven weeks! Woo hoo!

Four months old with a big smile and pretty blue eyes!

Chompin on that fist!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Brothers

A lot of people ask me how Liam "does" with Ezra. Since nothing really monumental happened last week, I thought I would write about my sweet boys.


I was constantly concerned how Liam would react not being the entire center of my universe. He loves older kids. LOVES them. And older kids love him, because he will literally do whatever they want. It's ridiculous. I thought Liam would make an excellent little brother, but I thought he would be less than thrilled to have a helpless infant taking Mom's attention away. So, when we brought Ezra home from the hospital, my focus was Liam. I tried to keep him away from Ezra, asked him to not touch, made sure he was taken care of, etc. I basically built a barrier around Ezra and didn't want Liam near him. You know, germs, poking eyes out, that sort of thing were my reasoning. Things got chaotic pretty quick because we had a week to pack up our entire house and move out. Inevitably, Ezra was left alone on the couch. I was standing in my kitchen and I turned around in time to see Liam curiously climb onto the couch next to his baby brother and look at him closely. Then, the most amazing thing happened. Liam's face broke into a huge grin and the only word to describe the joyful look on his face was: recognition. He RECOGNIZED Ezra! He then sat down next to him and had a long conversation with him in his jabbering Liam language. My heart was bursting! Even thinking about it now, months later, it brings tears to my eyes.

Of course there are moments when I need to feed Ezra and Liam needs me and I need to ask him to wait and there are tears and tantrums, but for the most part, Liam absolutely adores this kid. He brings him toys, shoves the binky into his mouth, holds his hand in the car, and calls him "brotha".

Ezra, in turn, absolutely loves Liam. Whenever Liam is holding still long enough for Ezra to catch sight of him, he bursts into the biggest smile! Now that he is getting bigger, I can see that same look of recognition in HIS eyes when he looks at Liam. I know they were meant to be brothers and the reason they recognize each other is because they were friends before they even came down to me!




They must have been such good friends in Heaven! I know as they grow up that they will fight, scream, and maybe even get in fist fights (agh!), but I know that they love each other. I hope they always love each other. I am so glad they are so close in age, and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Halloween and the Beginning of November

The week of Halloween was very busy schoolwork-wise for Jason, so we didn't see much of him until the 30th. So, on Monday, Liam and I carved our pumpkin all by ourselves. Note to self: next year buy a smaller pumpkin! Liam had crayons and stickers for his pumpkin while I toiled over the oversized pumpkin I had picked out. They both turned out super cute and we sat them out on the porch, but then we never had a chance to light them! On Halloween it rained so hard, my pumpkin filled with water and we had to throw it out. Note to self, again: next year buy a smaller pumpkin!

Liam was not thrilled about the insides of the pumpkin.

My pumpkin and Liam's pumpkin. An homage to Liam's recent obsession with cats.

Liam refining my handiwork.
On Tuesday, the 29th, we took Liam to Jason's favorite restaurant, Chik-fil-a, for a Superhero party! If your child was dressed as a superhero, he/she got a free kids meal. It was fun to steal J away from studying for a night to eat some food. Liam made a very convincing Clark Kent, if I do say so myself! He also got a balloon and a superhero mask. I got a milkshake which they thought would be fun to dye purple.

Liam was super stoked about the balloon he got!

Clark Kent
The next night, the 30th, our church held a Trunk or Treat where we line all of our cars up and pass out candy from our trunks. First we had a Chili Cook Off. I let Liam come to the food table with me, where he bypassed all the Chili, grabbed a bowl, and started filling it with as much cornbread as his little hands could hold. Funny boy! Liam was a cowboy this year, which he called his "Woody" outfit. I bought the hat, sheriff badge, and kerchief in a $5 cowboy kit from Walmart and he loves it! We practiced all month on how to say "Trick or Treat" and he does a pretty good job except it sounds like, "Treats Treats!" So, just skip the tricks and hand over the good stuff! He was pretty much in shock the first car we went to and they put candy in his bucket. Needless to say, he didn't say Trick or Treat at all that night, but he managed to breathe out a few "Dank yew"s. Ezra was dressed in a dinosaur costume, but as it was his bedtime, he slept through the dinner, and cried through the Trunk or Treat, so I didn't get any pictures of him, but I did take a picture of him in his Halloween shirt the next day. On Halloween, it rained and rained all day long, so we decided against trying to go trick or treating that night. It made no difference to Liam who now gets a "Treat Treat!" from his Halloween pumpkin when he eats his dinner.

Sheriff Liam

He did NOT want his picture taken! I was literally chasing him around with the camera!

Ezra, on the other hand, loves to have his picture taken.
November started and the weather turned cooler and the leaves have started to change into brilliant shades of red, yellow, and orange. We took advantage of the weather and went to the park a few times. We tried to venture out and find new parks, but I think we still like Avent park the best!

Liam thinks he is big enough for the big boy swings!

Ezra snoozing away in the stroller.

The beautiful fall leaves.
Ezra is now 3 months old! This past week he has been discovering his hands. He chews on them whenever he remembers that they are there. He has also started practicing to stand up on my lap which he thinks is HILARIOUS! He can be starting to cry and I'll just stand him up and he immediately starts smiling. He is just too cute! Now if I could just convince him to sleep through the night...

Ezra Dean ~ 3 months

Chewing on his fist.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Day in the Life of Grandma B!

We got our family picture preview and I have to say, I think Liam stole the show! That is one photogenic child!




Two weeks ago, we did our normal thing, of going to story time and on a play date and then staying in on Game Day Saturday! Oxford, MS is known for their tailgating for Ole Miss games in "The Grove", where basically they pack THOUSANDS of people into this itty bitty little field and they drink and celebrate all day long until it's time for the game and then those lucky few who have tickets head to the stadium while others gather around their flat screen TVs to watch the game. In the days and hours leading up to game time it is almost impossible to drive anywhere or do anything normal. Thus, I stay inside with my boys. We play with Play-Doh, watch movies, Liam drives me crazy, and then finally Daddy comes home and we watch the game together.

The Grove at Ole Miss
Grandma Bello came to visit us on Monday. We cleaned the whole house before she arrived by shuttle right to our doorstep! We picked Jason up a little later and went out to eat at Ajax, a BBQ restaurant on the Square. On Tuesday, Grandma and I took the boys shopping for some cowboy boots for Liam. He is going to be a cowboy for Halloween, but needed his own boots (so he didn't have to wear Daddy's). Not only did we find an adorable pair of boots, but we also found light up Lightening McQueen sneakers, which I don't think Liam has taken off his feet since! We then went out for Sushi for lunch and spent the rest of the day at home.

Liam stealing Daddy's boots.

Liam cleaning the house for Grandma's arrival.
On Wednesday we took Grandma with us to storytime at Square Books Jr, where Miss Jill reads a story and plays her guitar and sings with the kids. She is SO much fun. Definitely worth a trip to Oxford. We did a little shopping on the Square and then took the boys home to nap. We picked Jason up later and went out to eat at the Tacky Shack, a personal favorite of mine. On Thursday we drove by the cemetery, but didn't stop (will write more on the cemetery later), then went to St. Peter's to pick out a pumpkin. Liam had fun going to different pumpkins and pretending to grunt and strain to try and lift it of the ground. Until... he found the littlest pumpkin at the pumpkin patch, which we decided to take home with us (along with a GIANT pumpkin the size of Liam). We then went to the park and then picked up some fried chicken on the way home.





On Friday we went to storytime and a puppet show at the library. They gave Liam a little cup of popcorn and then we headed to the grocery store. Liam could barely keep his eyes open on the short drive home and then REFUSED to take a nap. Actually, he fought sleep the entire time Grandma was here in an apparent effort to spend as much time as he could with her! Even not going to sleep until after 8 and then waking up before 6! He was a major grump by the time Friday night hit. Absolute hysterics, let me tell you. So we cleaned him up, put him to bed, put the baby down, annnnnd Jason took me on a date! We went to the Rib Cage on the Square. It was a miracle we got a table so fast since it was another game day weekend. We shared a meat platter and then hit up Burger King and Sonic for some dessert. It was awesome getting to spend some alone time with him, especially since I don't get to see much of him nowadays!

On Saturday we stayed in, Jason took the car, and Grandma got bossed around by Liam all day while I washed and folded the laundry. Today we drove to Memphis to drop Grandma off. I decided to tag along for a change of scenery and boy did Ezra think that was a terrible idea! This child HATES his carseat with a firey passion. We made it to Memphis, ate lunch at Corky's BBQ, dropped Grandma off, tears were shed (mainly by Liam), and then made it home to Oxford. I was so relieved to be back home. It really is starting to feel like home and even after only spending an hour in Memphis today, I have to say I am so thankful we ended up in this sweet little town! I am grateful that Grandma Bello came to visit, to talk, to play with my boys, and to eat way too much food with me!

Y'all let me know when you're fixin' to visit now that you've had a glimpse of what your week (and menu) would be like!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Swing Swing

On Monday, Ezra had his 2 month appointment. I really loved Liam and Ezra's pediatricians in Vegas, so I was really nervous that I would not like the random doctor I chose for this appointment! However, he was awesome. Also, he had never met anyone from Las Vegas! We waited for a long time, and Liam would not stop playing with the drinking fountain in the waiting room. They finally called us back and weighed Ez, who came in at 13lbs! Then the doctor came in and poked and prodded my little man, which was FASCINATING to Liam. He pointed to all of Ezra's body parts for the doctor and was especially excited when it came to look at Ezra's "EARS"!


The nurse came in to give Ez his shots which is always so sad to see, and it made Liam sad, too. He told me "crying crying" as I calmed his little brother down. We then got to the car, and as I went to open Liam's door, he pressed the button that locks the doors, so it got stuck. I then had to slam the door, to get it to relatch so I could unlock it again. Little did I know, Liam's finger was trying to open the door and I slammed it inside. :( Liam and I then sat in the parking lot and cried with each other for a minute. I felt so bad that I then bought him some fries and took him to the park. Good news is, his finger is fine now!

On Wednesday, we went to the park again with a few of our friends. We love this park! The first time I took Liam, I literally had to drag him home. We play in the "Tot Lot" side, which has a giant castle complete with secret tunnels and a slide, two digging sand pits with tractor diggers, musical pipes, a schoolhouse with actual chalkboard, a train, a helicopter, a bouncing tire, an alligator, swings, and a table with checkerboard on top. Around the playground is a fun nature walking trail that we have done a couple times with our handy dandy double stroller. Okay... I'll just show you too many pictures now.

The tractor digger

The helicopter

Liam driving the train. In front of him is the schoolhouse, to his right is the statue of liberty, and you can also see the bouncy tire thing.

The musical pipes.

Swinging with his buddy, Ross.

On the slide of the castle.

Oh yeah, Ezra was there, too. He also loves the park... I think.

On the nature trail.
Jason had a big statistics test on Wednesday which he was super worried about and he studied so so hard for! And guess what? He rocked it! he got a 93! We are so proud of him and all that he is doing. Thursdays are laundry day. This means I let Jason take the car to school and Liam and I pop popcorn and do loads and loads of laundry all day while watching movies. I've been rewatching Harry Potter, starting with #5, which is pretty fun. On Friday, I decided to take both boys to the grocery store with me, so I wouldn't have to go on Saturday which was a game day for Ole Miss, which means it's impossible to go anywhere! The fun thing about being in the South is that people will stop you and talk to you. I had a lot of people stop me and tell me what a good job I was doing with my two well behaved boys.

Liam and Ezra sharing popcorn and watching Harry Potter.

On Saturday, we took family pictures at Rowan Oak, which is William Falkner's home. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product! On Sunday, the bishop came over to visit with us, and then we had the missionaries over. I baked two loaves of pumpkin bread which turned out Ah'MAZing. In fact, I can't stop eating it. Here is the recipe: http://www.chef-in-training.com/2012/09/easy-pumpkin-bread/

Ezra takin a snooze on Mama.

Rowan Oak