Friday, July 25, 2008

New Babies!

Kittens that is, two of them! It's been over a year since Bogart up and decided to live with a new family and I decided that I missed having something sweet and soft and fuzzy to pet. And, since it's been a bit crazy around here I also thought a little "pet therapy" would be nice and so Travis and I headed over to the local animal shelter to see what we could find to bring home. Turns out, our shelter overfloweth with kittens. There must have been at least 50 of them there and they have so many they're offering get 2 for the price of 1 adoption fee. Which, is a cat lover's dream of course. So, there I sat in kitten heaven for several hours, (because I can't help it, I am a crazy cat lady, and I accept that), trying to decide which two babies should come home. There were all cute and I loved all of them, but in the end it was these two little boys who stole my heart with their sweet dispositions.

Aren't they cute? And actually, though I didn't know it at the time, they're brothers too! They're both a Siamese mix. It was pretty funny though, I took Brianna with me to help choose our new babies and she's as bad as I am, loved them all. She would pick one kitten up and say, "This one! Can we take this one home, can we Mom?" Then a few minutes later she'd have a new cat in her arms, "Mom, I like this one. It's the best one. Let's pick this one!" I think she had picked every kitten at least once before I finally decided she would be happy no matter what and I picked two I thought had the nicest personalities.

Of course, Bree was thrilled, she's missed Bogart terribly and has been after us to get a new pet for awhile. So with two kittens she's just been in heaven. Only problem being that she loves them so much she pretty much refuses to put them down and feels she has to be holding one or the other of them all the time, she lugs the poor things around like stuffed animals. We're working on the proper care and handling of small animals. :) They actually like her pretty well though and snuggle up with her quite often.

And really Bree handles them pretty well for the most part. Noah however is another story. For some reason every time he spies a kitten he walks up to it and slaps it. Don't know what that's about but he and I have had much discussion about being gentle. Not sure if it's sinking in though, while he does seem to be slapping them less as the days go by I have to watch him now since he grabs fistfuls of fur and skin and I have to come to the rescue. Turns out I chose well though, since I found out these boys were foster parented in a house with a 3 year old. So, they're used to getting a lot of childlike attention and they handle it beautifully with much patience and resignation to their fate.

And it's not all manhandling for the new babies. Today Noah got a hold of a kitty toy, a string hooked to the end of a wand, and was waving it all around. Naturally, this made one of the kitties pounce all over and made Noah crack up every time he did. Actually Noah seems to have a soft spot for the kittens. I had to say "NO!" to one of them the other day for hopping up next to Noah's high chair and trying to eat food off his tray, which made Noah burst into tears and sob for several minutes. Not sure if he thought I was yelling at him or he just is a sensitive little guy.

Yep, I think overall it's working out wonderfully. Now if I could just name them! They've lived here for almost a week now and I remain undecided in the naming department. Naming of pets is an important thing for me, I don't just do it willy nilly. No, it has to be something a little bit special, the name must amuse me somehow (like when I found it fun and ironic to name a fish "Fluffy"), and seem fitting, and be meaningful too. I suggested Polka Dots as a prospective name to Brianna, since she likes to pretend she's a cat named Polka Dots quite often and therefore it meets the amusing and meaningful name requirements, but her response was, "No Mom, that's MY cat name, we can't name another cat that!" (Silly me!) Then, since my last cat was named Bogart I have toyed with the idea of naming the boys "Bo" and "Garth" respectively since it makes me smirk at my own silliness. But then, not sure if giving them similar names to the cat who decided to abandon me is a good thing or not. And, since they're brothers and one is black and the other mostly white I toyed around with doing something "theme-y" like two characters from a show or something. But, so far, nothing seems just perfect so for now they remain nameless. (Anybody got any brilliant cat name suggestions? Cat naming contest is now open!)

I'll let you know when the official names fall into place. But, whatever their names will be, I'm sure you'll hear more about them. Mixing cats and kids makes for some good anecdotes!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Brush 'Em if You Got 'Em

Well, I've been meaning to show you Noah's teeth and here they are! Yep, two of them now. I guess all he wanted for his birthday was his two front teeth...

See them there on the bottom? It amuses me too since now that he has teeth Noah has become an obsessive brusher. Gotta keep those chompers healthy and clean, even if you only have millimeters of two teeth showing. I can't complain though, hand the kid a toothbrush and he's entertained for at least 10 minutes, and even makes me laugh by doing a back and forth motion over his teeth as well.

A cute shot of my little toothy man, which only reminded me of another little teether from a few years ago. Ahhh....memories!

Turning 1 year old and getting teeth has really made Noah feel like a big boy. He thinks he can do all kinds of big kid stuff and gets frustrated when he can't or when his mom tries to help him do it. Already wants to do everything himself and is too big for his britches!

And he's not far from doing a lot more on his own either. He's forever ditched his army crawl in favor of the traditional baby crawl and is pulling up and walking holding on to everything, even standing for a few seconds on his own. I'm sure he'll be taking his first steps in no time. He's also "talking" a ton. He can carry on a whole conversation in baby babble, throwing in the occasional "mama" or "dada" or his "I'm mad" noise, "nay-nay-nay." His newest thing though is going "uh-huh" or "mmm-hmm." So he pretty much answers yes to everything these days, even when he doesn't mean it... how very accommodating of him. Funny thing is he actually says it at the right time and seems to know what he's saying quite often. Of course, that may be partly due to the fact that it amuses me to try and phrase as many questions as I can that he can answer yes to. "You want me to pick you up?" "uh-huh." "Noah, would you like a snack?" "mm-hmmm." "Do you know the price of tea in China?" "mm-hmmm." "Would you, could you, eat green eggs and ham with a fox, in a box?" "uh-huh." And sometimes he and I, we just like to have a round of mutual agreement and so we just go back and forth. "Hey Noah, uh-huh," "Mmm-hmm," "uh-huh," "uh-huh," and if he really gets into it, he even nods his head yes as well. Believe me, I'm savoring it now, while I can, before it all turns to "No, no no no!" :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

One Year Old

Yep, it's official, Noah is now a man and he has the mustache to prove it!

Well, an ice cream mustache anyway. Nothing like enjoying your first birthday with a nice vanilla ice cream cone. That's right, little Mr. Man turned 1 this Sunday, can you believe it?

He had a great time too, opened a few presents and smiled, danced, and clapped when we sang the Happy Birthday song to him, it was super cute.

Naturally, big sister Bree was there to "help" him open his presents and try them out for him before he even had a chance to play with them. Just trying to make sure they're safe for him like a dedicated big sister should.

Then she decided that she would make a great present and climbed into a gift bag. Uncle Doug obligingly toted her around for a bit.

They sure grow up fast don't they? He'll be shaving before I know it! :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Riding the Range

Back in the day before children, when time and money were in more abundance,Travis and I used to like to bike. In fact, years back I actually bought a nice mountain bike and we started riding dirt trails. (Have I ever told you the story about the time I fell off my bike when we were at a complete standstill? Yep, leave it to me to "crash" not from hitting a rock, not from running into a branch in the trail... nope, just while at a stop, with my feet touching the ground I manage to somehow have a moment where I lose my center of gravity. A freak moment where I just fall over for no good reason. Classic Beth maneuver. What can I say? I'm just a dork and always have been.)

Well, naturally, just when I was starting to really get into it, (biking, not being a dork), what do you think happened? Yep, along came Brianna and it's not highly recommended that pregnant women go bouncing over dirt trails on their bike. So, several years and a dusty bike later, we decided to try to pick it up again and just recently acquired a bike trailer. It's nice because it will fit both kids comfortably and even has room for a few supplies. Way better than the cheap-o baby bike backseat thing we tried when we only had one kiddo. So, the other day we loaded everything up and headed out to find a good trail.

The new trailer. It worked out really well, even on a dirt path. We ended up driving all the way up the the top of the Idaho/Montana border and we were literally riding the mountain range, the continental divide.

The kids are really into staying hydrated. You know, nothing like a refreshing drink of cool water after a grueling 300 yards riding passively in a bike trailer and one or the other kid pitching some kind of fit every 20 feet. Oh well, such is bike riding with small children I guess. At least we tried right?
Bree's really into the novelty of the backpack water system.

Who needs biking anyways? It's much more fun to make silly faces once your parents give up and finally get out the blanket and snacks and let you play around in the woods for awhile.

That Noah, so sassy with his tongue sticking out. I just don't know where he gets it.....

Actually it was really nice to just sit and relax away from all the hustle and bustle and noise and craziness of life that it's so easy to get swept into and just have a fun with your kids, or in the case of the next few pix, just have a nice mother/son moment.

(Disclaimer: Okay, I know darn well that these are shots Travis wouldn't be that thrilled about me sharing with you because they turned out a bit blurry. But you see, we have a bit of a philosophical difference of opinion when it comes to pictures. He thinks that it's all about the technical quality and I say that it's the content that matters and that pictures can be cute and worth having even if, due to fast moving subjects or camera malfunction, they aren't in crystal clarity focus.)

How can anyone resist that smile?

Coming in for a big ol' sloppy kiss with Mom. Awww...

Oh, and of course, the best part of any biking trip.... nothing makes you feel more like the queen of the forest as does, after conquering the fine art of outdoor peeing, standing there regally in your underpants. I do it all the time myself. :P

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Keep Out!

I guess it's never too early for siblings to want to keep each other out of their rooms. Bree is already in the "Keep out of my room!" phase with her little brother. She even went so far as to put a sign up on her door....

In case you don't read preschool writing, this says and I quote "Noah, keep out of my room because of all the small toys!" See, that's a picture of Noah at the top there, that little green baby up there, and the rest is written out. Not sure if she really added the part about small toys because she's genuinely concerned about that, or if she thought that would be a convincing argument to her parents that Noah should stay out of her room and not touch her stuff.

Naturally though, since that's the one place Brianna really doesn't want him to be, Bree's room is Noah's favorite hang out spot. Here he is blatantly ignoring the keep out sign and sneaking in when Bree isn't looking:

And heading straight for his favorite new place, on top of Bree's bed.

Yep, he's a climber.
Slow and steady and determined!

I guess it's a universal that the forbidden suddenly seems so much more desirable. I think he likes it just because he knows it's not his and he feels a little thrill being a daredevil in climbing up there. Little rascal!

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Tooth!

Okay well, I don't have photographic evidence of it or anything, but just thought I'd let you all know that at long long last Noah has a tooth! Yep, it's not all the way out or anything but if you count a tooth as official once it's broken through the gums, then he definitely has one on the bottom. You can even see it, a little white line in his gums. Hooray! Finally! His first tooth breaks through only 5 days from his first birthday. I guess the little guy is just on his own time line...

A Wedding, a Holiday and a Business Trip

I give up! I officially give up trying to do this blog on any kind of regular schedule, at least for the summer. Actually, that's kind of the story of my life right now... I'm trying to be more flexible, live in the moment, do the best I know how at any given time and loosen up a bit, stop trying to have so much control over my life and let it happen. So, why not apply that to my blog as well? It's supposed to be fun and not an obligation right? I know, I know, overly deep thoughts for this generally fluffy type blog. Truth is, I know I keep saying it, but things are just a bit crazy around here lately and again, I ask for your patience out there while I find my footing. And it doesn't help that everything seems to be happening at once lately. Big events and holidays and such all piling on top of one another left and right. So actually, I was out of town again this last week and it's virtually impossible in the midst of all the hulabaloo to find time to blog.

Anyways, I was back in Idaho to be a part of my baby sister's wedding. (Congrats Emily and Carl!) So naturally, there was much running around and getting ready, hair and nail appointments and spiffing up of self and family to look presentable for the big day. Since we were in town we also had a lot of fun celebrating the Fourth of July with our families, which I think is the first time we've gotten to do that since we first moved away 7 years ago. And, not to mention Travis's big 3-0 was in there too, so now he's officially over the hill! (Feel free to razz him about it all you want.)

See, I told you, just tons going on and it shows no signs of slowing down either. Coming up is Noah's first birthday and Travis has a big business trip soon where he'll be leaving me for a whole week to deal with the kiddos on my own...or rather, since I'm a big baby and don't feel like being a singe parent that long, I'll be back in Idaho so my mommy can help me. (Yes, I've been in Idaho more than home over the last month it seems!)

So that's the story from here...

Travis was the official photographer for Em's wedding but as such, I am forbidden from sharing any of the key shots with you at this point since they aren't fully edited and even the bride and groom haven't seen them yet. But, I was allowed to show you a few pix of the bride and her big sis.
Isn't she a beautiful bride?! I loved her dress and mine too.

Emily and her bridesmaids. Me on the right, Melissa, the baby of the family, in the middle, and Em's new sister in law on the left.

Brianna got to be one of the flower girls. It was her first time being one, and she was enthralled with her pretty dress and getting to throw the petals with her friend and new cousin, Ella. They did a great job too and looked adorable.

And even Noah dressed up for the occasion in a baby tux and bow tie. He was the handsomest man there.

After the wedding it was time for Fourth of July fun and we did all the usual stuff....

The kids had fun cooling off in the pool... and looking cool in their shades too!

It wouldn't be the fourth without enjoying some watermelon either. I think Noah must have almost consumed a whole watermelon all by himself! He loves the stuff! (Who doesn't?)
And then of course, there were fireworks. We did our own little show in the driveway and the kids loved it. Surprisingly, Noah wasn't afraid of them, even though the vacuum scares him, somehow the loud noises of fireworks were okay. I dunno....
Bree playing with her glow stick ball.

Enjoying a sparkler with Grandma.