Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

First off, let me just give a big ROLL TIDE!!!

So Thanksgiving this year didn't quite go the way we planned, or the way it normally goes (not sure why I'm even surprised these days!). Our normal plan is to go to my grandmothers for lunch on Thanksgiving day, then go to Justin's parents for dinner. We used to drive straight to Hattiesburg for dinner but since Austin came, we didn't really want to have him in the car for all that driving. So now we drive down to Hattiesburg around lunch on Friday and stay the whole weekend. This year, that didn't happen for me. Not really sure what we were thinking, getting a dog a week before we were supposed to take an out of town trip, but it didn't even cross our minds. So Justin took Austin with his parents to Hattiesburg while I stayed home with Luna.

Thanksgiving day was great, Austin handled the drive perfectly and nothing beats getting to spend time with my family. The food was awesome and luckily Austin actually kept his dinner down this year!! He had so much fun playing with all the young kids and "big" kids outside. He stood in between two of the bigger boys playing football and would literally laugh and squeal at each pass back and forth. He was playing with his cousin, Brayden, who is only about a month older than him. The two of them were throwing balls and playing in the leaves and having the best time!!

Friday, they all took off to Hattiesburg and Luna and I hung around here. I did some cleaning, then decided it was time to enjoy the peace and quiet. I watched girly shows and girly movies and really enjoyed the "me" time. Saturday I went to our best friends, the Harbor's, house to watch the game with them and their family. There were about 15 Bama fans there and we had a great time! The game was awesome, the food was great and the drinks were flowing. Bama gave us a win and we couldn't have been happier!

Even though I really enjoyed the quiet house and having the TV to myself all weekend, I sure did love seeing Justin and Austin's faces today as they walked in the door. Luna, Austin and I were playing shortly after and all of a sudden Austin told Luna, "Austin's momma! MY momma!!" I wish I could put into words the warmth that filled my heart. It was so cute to see him competing for my attention and it made me feel good that he made sure he got it instead of Luna.

Here are some pictures from Thanksgiving day :)
I tried to get a picture of all the great-grandkids...this was the best I could get (minus a few)
Austin and his cousins....took a million, still never got "the" shot! These were some of the better ones.
Me and Jackilyn
My wonderful and beautiful Mom
Jennifer helping Austin ride this new-age skateboard thingy
Austin and Mamaw, his great-grandmother

Monday, November 21, 2011

Goodbye Paci!!

The Saturday of the Bama vs. LSU game (November 6), Austin was eating a late lunch that afternoon. Normally after he would finish and I would get him cleaned up, he would get his paci back. I don’t know why, but I decided to see what would happen if I just didn’t give it back. I knew the next weekend we were going to have family pictures made (pictures to come later), and I kept getting worried about him taking pictures without the paci and whether or not he would fuss at all. Sometimes he’s okay without it for a short period of time, other times he has GOT to have it. So I thought, why not? Now is as good a time as any, and we said by the time he was two we would get rid of it for good. Actually, the original plan was by the time he turned one… yeah, see how well that worked out?! (Kinda hard to take his paci when he had NO teeth and chewing on it was his ONLY relief!)

I couldn’t believe it, but we went the entire rest of the day without it and he got it back at bedtime. The next day, he woke up and after he finished breakfast, we asked for the paci and he handed it right over. It has been that way ever since, and he even took a couple of naps without it at school! This morning, he offered it up to us without us even having to ask for it.

He got two new molars in two weekends ago and seemed to handle them without the paci just fine. So three weeks of no paci down! Our next goal will be naps without the paci and finally bedtime. I dread that transition already! This part was too easy…surely we’re in for some cries of protests soon.

Shopping Excursion

We have started our Christmas/Birthday shopping for Austin, and it is already getting a little overwhelming! I have been keeping a spreadsheet over the last two or three months, just putting down ideas when I came across them. Eventually, the spreadsheet was filling up and I even priced every single item from Amazon, Toys R Us, Walmart and Target. I was updating the spreadsheet every week with new prices, sales, ideas, etc.

Well, we took our first stab at it on Saturday, with a plan to get ALL of our Toys R Us items in one trip. Right. That didn’t quite work out. Just call us “holiday Toys R Us virgins”, since last year with Austin being so young, we got all of our toys at Walmart, with the exception of a few items we got from TRU. I thought, hey it’s before Thanksgiving, there aren’t any major sales going on this weekend, it will be the perfect time. Apparently, there is no perfect time to visit TRU during the weekends if it’s anywhere near the vicinity of Christmas.

After about 20 minutes in the store, roaming aimlessly because we had no clue how the new store here is set up, I was ready to give up. The aisles were packed, kids were running around, babies were screaming…not the ideal place for someone who has bad anxiety, especially in crowds. We ended up only getting the items that I had seen in the store a few weeks ago so I knew exactly where they were (lots of Elmo and Mickey!). Once we got those, we hightailed it out of there as quickly as we could!

I’m trying to work up the courage to go back because there are some items we need that are only available there, and I’m trying to avoid ordering them online because I really want to take advantage of my coupon that I can’t use online! Silly I know, but any little bit helps around the holidays! I also decided that I will get as many items from Amazon, Target and Walmart as I can, regardless of the price difference (unless it’s pretty substantial).

My friend, Marsha, has been shopping for months, getting things here and there. With Christmas and Austin’s birthday being just nine days apart, I think that will be my best option, otherwise I’ll end up dropping a LOT of money at one time! Lesson learned for next year!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Our Newest Addition

First off, I have to say.....this has been a LONG time coming! Justin and I have both been wanting a dog pretty much since we got married. But, we already had Pink, our old cat, who was basically traumatized at an early age and spent the rest of her life petrified of dogs. Not to mention, we were in an apartment and we really wanted to wait until we were in a house, had a yard and knew that there would be plenty of room for all of us.

Evidently, that took almost seven years. By the time we got our house, I was pregnant with Austin. Then Austin came and we had a newborn (enough said there). Three months after he was born, we lost Pink. We still have Lola, our other cat, but we wanted to wait a while after Pink died before we even entertained the though of another animal.

Opportunities to adopt and/or rescue dogs and puppies have come and gone plenty of times over the years. Every time I would get an email (forwards about dogs to rescue), I would either send it to Justin or call him immediately to start pleading. Every time, I would get the same answer: "Now is just not the right time."

Finally...the time was right! One of my best friends, Jennifer, has a passion for rescuing dogs. There is a stray dog that has been coming around the warehouse at her work very regularly since February. They started leaving food for her, but the dog is very skittish and won't let you touch her at all. Eventually, Momma Dog got herself pregnant and had eight puppies in the crawlspace beneath the warehouse. They kept an eye on the puppies and Jenn got in touch with Two by Two Animal Rescue in Helena, who gave her a trap and tranquilizers to catch her so that she could get her fixed. Momma Dog is black, slim and about 30 lbs. Even though Jenn gave her enough tranquilizers to put out a 75lb dog, it didn't phase Momma Dog.

A little over a week ago, Jenn saw that the puppies, who were around October 2, were almost big enough to be able to crawl out. She ended up taking the puppies and got them all their shots at Two by Two. She took them all home and fostered them while trying to find homes for all of them. She posted pictures on Facebook and even though Justin and I would talk about how cute they were, we never really went any further than that. Then one morning this past week, Justin sent me a text and said that one of the puppies was named Lady Gaga. Now, if you've read any of this blog, you know that Austin is obsessed with Lady Gaga (Justin and I are fans ourselves). Evidently, that sealed the deal for Justin. It's like it was meant to be. He finally felt that it was "the right time".

We went to visit her on Wednesday and got the okay that night from the rescue center that they were okay to be taken to their forever homes. We waited until Friday and Jenn brought her over to our house. We ended up changing her name to Luna because Austin was getting a little confused between the real Gaga and puppy Gaga. So now we have Lola and Luna. And let me tell you...Luna is the cutest little thing!! She is a tiny little blonde fluffball! She fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. We're not sure how big she'll get, since nobody knows anything about the daddy dog. She definitely looks like she's got some lab in her, but other than that we're not really sure. All I know is she is absolutely adorable! She has already brought so much laughter and so many smiles in the last two days! She is whining some at bedtime and she wakes up crying and whining VERY early in the morning. We're hoping that doesn't last's like having a newborn again! We are so excited to have Luna as part of our family now! Here she is!

Friday, November 4, 2011


We started off the month of October with a birthday party for Maddie, our friend Jenn and Keith’s little girl, who was turning one. The party was the day after the Panic concert, so Justin and I drove back from Tuscaloosa, picked Austin up at his grandparent’s house and then went straight to the party. Austin had a good time and Maddie loved her cake and gifts! It’s funny because Jenn and I have been friends since we were really young, and she was there the day Austin was born. I remember her telling me how badly she wanted to get pregnant, and went straight home to beg Keith to start trying. Exactly nine months to the day that Austin was born, Maddie made her way into the world!

We were supposed to go to another birthday party the next day, but after two full days of going non-stop, we were exhausted. Being out in the cool air Friday night got me kinda sick, so we were very sluggish come Sunday. Austin wasn’t cooperating, probably because he was tired from all the excitement of the weekend, so we ended up having to skip it.

The following weekend, we had yet another birthday party on Saturday! This party was for Alex, our best friends Marsha and Jeff’s little girl who turned two. The party was at the park, so the kids had a great time! Austin ate pizza and a cupcake, which of course he couldn’t sit down to eat. He was walking around carrying a piece of pizza, which was just so cute. When it was time for his cupcake (or “muffin” to him), he basically licked the icing until it was melting off. Then he was pretty much done with it! He really loved playing with Alex’s tricycle that she got (hmmm, Christmas or birthday gift idea?). The party was a lot of fun, and Justin and I actually left Austin with the Hand family at the park and got to go to Tuscaloosa for the Vandy game. My first game since 2008 and Justin’s first game since 2009. Can you imagine how excited we were to be there?! We had a great time and Austin had fun with the Hand’s.

Around the first of October, Austin started wanting to give goodnight kisses to his stuffed animals that are on shelves on the walls of his room. We had started an elephant collection for him before he was born, so most of his animals are elephants. But it started with a small teddy bear that was given to Austin as a shower gift. He has on a crimson blazer and a houndstooth hat. Appropriately, we have named him “Bear”. One of his elephants is from a stuffed animal line called “Lubie”, so naturally we have named this elephant “Lubie” (or “Lulie” to Austin). It is SO cute to hear him say “night night Bear” or “night night Lulie” and then give them sweet little kisses. Once we’re done, we turn around and say “night night animals!” to all of them, but it comes out “nigh nigh aninals” instead. It’s a cute little struggle for him to say animals properly but I think I like his version better :)

He’s now using four word sentences, which I didn’t even realize he was doing until one afternoon when we were playing our version of hide and seek. I had hidden around a corner and when I peeked around it, Austin said “I see you Momma!!” It was ridiculously cute and I was so impressed with his vocabulary and the way he created a sentence like that, seemingly out of nowhere. He’s also wanting to walk out from daycare on his own, rather than letting me carry him. This definitely hurt at first. It made me realize that he’s growing up and I didn’t like it. I’ve gotten used to it now, and we have fun walking/running out together. He still will come up to me and say “Hold me Momma”, so at least I know he still likes to be held. But this just shows that he’s becoming more independent, which is awesome, but a little bittersweet for me.

We are still in a Mickey phase, but now he actually says Mickey Mouse instead of Mickey. I love that he has added the Mouse to the end. He also requests Spongebob Squarepants by saying “bob-bob”. Too cute! Around the first of the month, I started blowing bubbles while he was in the bathtub. He LOVES bubbles and gets so excited, so we had a lot of fun with this for the first few nights. While we were at the Vandy game and our friends were over baby-sitting, Austin and Alex took a bath together and one of the bubble containers spilled in the tub. No worries, Austin has just as much fun playing with the empty bubble bottle. If you put it in the water just right, it makes a bubbly pooting sound. The first time it happened, Austin said “Eww bubbles pooted!!!” I thought I would die from laughter!! He also loves to say “eww nasty” when he sees something that looks gross and he also says “mess” if he sees what he considers to be a mess (like the floor under his highchair after he eats!).

Over the last few weeks, he’s gotten really good at telling you “thank you” and “please” without being prompted. Honestly, it kinda blew my mind the first time he said “thank you momma” without me having to remind him. He’s gotten to where he says please sometimes instead of signing it, and sometimes he says it and signs it at the same time. He has also learned “I’m sorry” and understands when it’s necessary to say it. He has a problem with “hitting” me when he gets excited. I know he doesn’t mean to, and it’s not out of aggression but out of excitement. Either way, he needs to learn that hitting is not okay regardless of why. So we were sitting in the chair and he was in my lap facing me and we were messing around. He happened to swat me in the face, which of course I got onto him for. I said, “Do you have something to say to me?” His response was the cutest, sweetest “I’m sorry Momma”. And then he hugged me. Trust me, it was ALL GOOD after that!! I literally cried because it was so sweet. You could tell he meant it, and the fact that he hugs you after he says he’s sorry just melts my heart. He does it every single time he has to apologize, and he does it on his own without being told! It is really hard to stay mad at him when he does that!

We also took Austin to his first Mexican restaurant. He’s been out to eat with us before, but this was the first time we had chanced Mexican. He LOVED it! He loved the atmosphere first off. There was a kid at every single table, not to mention all the lights, music and waiters who were awesome with the kids. He loved chips and salsa, he loved chips and cheese dip even more (that’s my boy!) and when his chicken quesadilla, rice and beans came, he dug in. He ate every single bite except for about ¼ of the quesadilla. He absolutely loved the beans, which for some reason just really shocked me! I guess because I’m the weird one who hates beans. Not to mention, re-fried beans. What does re-fried even mean?!

Oh, and how could I forget – we went to the Tennessee game too! My mom came in town and spent the day and night with Austin and they had a blast together! This was an awesome game experience for us, and we had such a good time. The weather was awesome, we were with great friends and had some very tasty bourbon. And we won of course. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Halloween weekend, Austin dressed up as a pirate and had a party at school on Friday. That night, we enjoyed our first Fall Festival at Austin’s school. We had a great time, even though we weren’t sure we were even going to make it. After some interesting developments in my day that I have to keep off this blog, Justin and I were a bit on edge having to deal with the situation. I had picked Austin up from school early so his whole routine was thrown off. Combine that, plus him being hungry and tired, plus the frustration Justin and I were dealing with, and we were one cranky family. But we got him in the car and headed back to school anyways. Once we got there, Austin did great. He played on the playground and even slid down the huge blowup slide a couple of times with us. It was freezing cold (we even had snow flurries) so we went inside to eat hot dogs and chili. Austin enjoyed his very first hot dog (well two actually!) and his very first sucker that he won after playing a ring toss game! He also attempted to get his face painted, but that didn’t go so well. We stayed until the very end and Austin didn’t go to bed until 9:45!

The next day we went to Justin’s parent’s house to spend time with them and his grandparents who were in town from Mississippi. Justin’s parents have this clock that I really can’t even explain. Basically it’s like a new age cuckoo clock, and instead of the bird coming out, the entire clock turns around and these little Chinese kids sing a song and do a little dance each hour. Austin became obsessed with this clock! He kept calling it “clock clock” and every time the song and dance would finish and the clock would turn back around, he’d say “bye bye clock clock”.

We didn’t take Austin trick-or-treating this year. I just couldn’t see taking him around the neighborhood trying to get candy that he most definitely would not be allowed to eat, plus it was cold and I didn’t want to risk having him out in the cold night air again. So next year will be his first trick-or-treating experience.

Here’s some pics from the month!
Playing at Maddie's birthday party
Maddie checking out her cake!
With Alex and Jenna at the park for Alex's party
Coming down the slide with Jenna
Alex jumping off the rock
Cupcake Time!!
So much for the icing!
How cute is she?!
Austin loves Uncle Jeff!
And his hats :)
Love this picture!
So silly :)
Not sure why he did this?! It was funny though!
This picture cracks me up!
At Austin's Fall Festival
This is the best picture that shows his pirate costume
Austin's BFF Baylor
Coming down the slide with Daddy
We should have taken his jacket off to show his costume!
Austin and Nana
It LOOKS like his hand is down her shirt but he's just holding on!
Austin and Gran Gran, his great grandmother
Three generations of Vinson men wrestling on the floor :)
Justin, Austin and Grandad