Sunday, July 24, 2011


Austin loves to wave at people and say "hi". He does it in the car to the cars beside us, he does it strolling through the grocery store. It's the cutest thing and apparently my kid is very social! He has adjusted to his new school amazingly, and was feeling at home within a few days. I think the transition was much harder for me (as it was last time) but knowing that I was doing the best thing for my child made it worthwhile. He absolutely loves it now and gets excited to go to school, rather than fighting me getting in and out of his carseat like he did the last week at his old school (it's like he was trying to tell me how unhappy he was). He tries to say "I love you" and when you ask if he's sleepy and he is, he nods yes and will sometimes walk to his room and point at his crib. When you ask if he's hungry, he nods yes and walks to his highchair. When he's done, he tries to push his tray away. He got his 5th tooth, on the top left side. He has started leaning over and dipping his face in the water in his bath every night, which is the weirdest thing but so cute at the same time! I have no idea where he learned it or where it came from because it was completely out of the blue when he did it the first time. He comes up just giggling, with water dripping down his face. I laugh with him and say "Do it again" and he does it again, giggling and dripping. It's hilarious! He started wagging his finger and saying "No No", which I guess he learned at daycare. He did it to a little boy at a birthday party that kept trying to pull him down by his jacket hood. He would turn around and shake his finger and say "No No!" I couldn't help but laugh! His favorite words now are "Whoa" and "Wow". He either yells them or whispers, which is so freakin cute. For some reason, he has whispered all his life. When you ask what a tiger says, he whispers his "roar", something everyone seems to get the biggest kick out of (I mean, it is the cutest thing ever..). I don't know why, but whispering is just something he's always done! He loves to press the garage door button to either open or close the garage. That always makes him yell "Whoa!!". He loves bubbles and hearing him say it is adorable. He loves to play outside, which can be annoying at times because he doesn't seem to get near as hot as we do! He stands at the back door and says "side", for outside. He has gotten extremely attached to me though, which is trying and exhausting for me. I want to hold him but I know I can't hold him all the time or every time he wants me to. He breaks into these random tantrums where he just screams for no apparent reason. He can get frustrated very easily, which sets him off into those tantrums. We're working through it but the last two weeks or so have been tough. He loves to give hugs and kisses, and always takes his paci (which he calls “gaga”) out to give you a kiss. He loves to kiss Lola and he loves to kiss your boo boo's (or his own). He gives the greatest, tightest bear hugs that a 17 month old can possibly give. He loves to play chase and he loves testing you and testing his boundaries. He is so loving and so sweet, and overall he's just a very happy baby. He's working on tooth #6, which has caused him to be a little irritable at times and even caused him to bite at school (and yes, I completely freaked out). I was worried that he had picked up the behavior from his old school, considering it was all he saw for four months straight, but it seemed to be an isolated incidence and I was reassured by his teacher not to worry and that they were working on it with him (something his old school never bothered to do). He's about to hit 17 months old. I can't believe how much he has grown and how much he has accomplished. He is such a joy to be around and so much fun.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


A big, emotional month for us. Aside from some personal problems I was dealing with, April was quite the struggle for us. I learned that a "good" friend of mine wasn't really a friend at all. In fact, I learned a lot more than just that but I'm going to have to keep that to myself. Word of advice - always trust your gut. It's never wrong. And don't ignore it. I did so for two years before I finally realized that I was right about someone and had been all along. It's really sad when you find out what kind of person someone really is deep down inside. I can't say that I misjudged someone, because I didn't (going back to that trust your gut thing). I just ignored my instincts for the sake of being friendly and keeping the peace. Lesson learned. I know I'm being vague here but I have to be and all I can do is hope and pray that eventually things return to normal. I won't say I lost a friend out of this because this person was never my friend to begin with, but I lost a lot of trust and feel pretty knocked down. It will take a while to rebuild myself and my trust, but hopefully I'll get there.

Now back to Austin. He had his 15 month checkup and weighted 21lbs even. He got tooth #4, the second top center tooth. He says "night night" at bedtime, which just melts my heart every time. He is obsessed with chapstick (thank you Nana and Granddad). He will find it in my nightstand drawer and bring it to me to put it on his lips. He loves it. He had his first big boo boo - he fell at the park and busted his lip open. The first time you see your child's own blood spewing from their body is kinda terrifying and intense! Luckily some cold water stopped the bleeding and besides a little redness and swelling, he was fine (Mom on the other hand was a basket case!). He has also started saying "Lola", which is our cat’s name. Since he's started talking, he has always just said "O-wa", since he never could really say the L's. Now he pronounces it perfectly and of course says it all the time. We have been going to the park a lot since the weather has been so nice, and he loves playing on the playground! He drags his blankie around like Linus from the Peanuts (I think it's Linus?!) He has continued to be bit at school over the last few months, some noticed and reported to me, others unnoticed and discovered in the bathtub. After a talk with the owner about the problem back in February, Justin and I really hoped that things would change. Unfortunately, they didn't change but got worse instead. I felt like my child was a human chew toy and coming home with bite marks and accident reports on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis became unacceptable. Especially when the center began blaming him for the bites, saying that he provoked them. One thing I will NOT tolerate is someone telling me my child deserved to be injured because he and another kid wanted to play with the same toy. When this happened, Justin and I knew we had to make the change we had dreaded making for months now. But we couldn't take it anymore, we had had enough. So we moved daycares at the end of April, even paying out our two weeks notice without him attending - that's how bad it was. I paid these people to NOT watch my child. How does that make any sense?

So, not only did I turn 30 this month - yes, 30 - but we changed daycare centers and also got hit with the most disastrous string of tornadoes are state has ever seen. On April 27, my home of Tuscaloosa was hit with an EF-5 tornado that destroyed half of the town. Forrest Lake - gone. 15th Street and McFarland intersection - gone. Alberta City - gone. Rosedale - gone. I cannot begin to describe the feelings of sadness and pain that I felt over the next few weeks. I cried every day. I couldn't sleep, and when I did I was dreaming of tornadoes and victims and destruction. I couldn't think clearly without hearing the horror stories and the thoughts of families losing everything running through my mind. A good friend of ours brother was lucky to survive the tornado, and his story is incredible. The tornadoes also hit in Birmingham and other areas of the state. Two weeks after the storm, I went with Justin's company to volunteer in Pleasant Grove. What a sight to see. Amazing in every sense of the word. We spent the day helping a family whose home was destroyed. We packed up belongings that had been salvaged, cleaned up debris, went through rubble and just talked to them. It was an incredibly rewarding day and I was finally able to sleep better, knowing that I had finally done something to help someone. The sense of helplessness I was feeling was becoming too overwhelming, and I'm so thankful I was able to help in a small way. It was an experience I'll never forget, a sight my eyes will always see and a feeling my heart will always feel.
Fun at the Park!!Dragging his blankie around :)Pucker up!Playing in Grandad's truckRiding Tigger :)Chillin with Gran GranHis first chocolate pudding :)Wearing Grandad's hatA Tray full of Veggies!Playing with Mom's birthday balloons!On the See-Saw
Easter Pics:He LOVES Caesar!

February - March 2011

On February 3, the day before he turned 13 months, Austin took his first steps!! He took five or six before he fell, but he got right back up and did it again. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I can't describe the joy and pride I felt in seeing my boy hit such a huge milestone. It was incredible! It was so out of the blue, he was sitting down playing with his cars when all of a sudden he just stood up and took off! I was lucky enough to get them on video, and even though it wasn't his FIRST steps, it was more like his 10th or 11th :) Close enough in my book! Two days later, he got his FIRST TOOTH!! Wow, do you know how long we have been waiting on a tooth?! Two huge milestones in two days! We were overwhelmed with joy! Austin has gotten to where he looooves bath time, and has discovered that splashing is a lot of fun! I have to hold up a towel to keep myself dry! About two weeks after his first tooth, his second tooth came through, so finally his first bottom teeth are there. By the end of February, we were done with bottles and only using sippy cups! Woo hoo!! We also enjoyed our first trip to the zoo!! Austin was pretty mesmerized most of the time but he loved watching the animals. We went with a couple friend of ours whose son is Austin's age and is his best friend, so it was fun having the boys together. We definitely can't wait to take him back again!Playing in his old bathtub!Fun in the backyardWhat happens when you play in Mom's sock drawer :)He was able to get himself into his toy basket!

Here are pics from our zoo trip:

Even though he took his first steps in February, he didn't really continue walking then. He figured out he could get where he was going much quicker if he crawled, but on March 4, he started walking and didn't stop!! He became obsessed with fans and would point one out every time he saw one. His word for fan is "da" so literally every time we walk into a room, he points up and yells, "Da!!!" He says it so often, I catch myself calling the fan "da". It got to the point where I was ready for him to find a new obsession because fan/da was getting old!! His third tooth, the top right center, came through on March 19. He knows the words inside, outside, bed, bath time, hungry, shoes, socks, ears, nose, belly, ball, cup, juice, milk and four-wheeler. It's just amazing to see him learn these things. When you ask where his belly is, he pulls up his shirt. It is so cute, but not so cute in Walmart when he wants to see Mom's belly and starts pulling up my shirt to see it! He loves his Orajel now, and will bring it to me, sit down, take his paci out and open his mouth for me to put some on. He used to scream when I tried to put it on but now he loves it and wants it! We changed his schedule up some and started putting him to bed a little later, around 8:00. Our hopes were that he would sleep a little later. That didn't happen so now he goes to bed around 7:30 and wakes up around 6-6:30. Great during the weekdays, not so great on the weekends.

He loves playing in the backyard!You can see his two little teeth in this picture!Monkey Man!