Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve

Happy New Year's Eve from our family to yours!

We hope you have a happy, healthy and blessed 2010!

I can't believe that this year is over...it feels like it has just begun! As crazy as the year has been for our family, 2009 was definitely a year to remember. We are thankful for every opportunity that has come our way and thankful for every challenge that we have overcome. Our family has accomplished great things this year and I couldn't be prouder of us!
Here are a few pictures of our little guy on New Year's Eve:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dancing Fool

Tonight, Alex decided that he wanted to wear his robe over his footed jammies (kind of like Hugh Hefner). As if that wasn't enough to get us laughing, he decided that he would also provide a little entertainment for the evening!

Here is a video of Alex dancing around the living room in his jammies and robe. Enjoy :)


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Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Pictures

As much as I love Christmas, I have never had as much fun as we did this year! Alex was absolutely amazed by the tree, lights and presents. When he first woke up, Larry went in and got him and tried to keep him occupied in his room while I set up the webcam, video camera and lights on the tree. Alex heard me talking and when we finally let him out of his room, instead of running towards the presents and tree he ran straight for Mommy! I gave him hugs, kisses and showed him the tree - I have never seen his eyes get so big!

Alex ran right up to his presents and started opening them right away! It was priceless watching him run from present to present, smiling and laughing! It took nearly 1.5 hours to open all of his presents - between opening them (which involved taking off every scrap of paper on EACH and EVERY present) and taking them out of the packaging to play with them!

We are so blessed that Alex is a part of our lives. He makes every day brighter, bring more happiness and laughter to our life than we could have ever imagined and is the light of our life. But this year, watching his celebrate the wonder of Christmas and seeing the joy and delight through his 2 year old eyes, we fell even more in love with him!

Here are a few pictures from our morning:

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Grandpa Larry and Aunt Claudia came down to visit a few days after Christmas and brought Alex another present to open! He got a NASCAR Racecar Helmet that makes noise when you put it on! Alex loves it! He also loves to make other people wear his helmet, slam the eye piece shut and say "bye-bye"! Very funny and very cute!

Here are a few pictures of Alex opening his helmet from Grandpa Larry and Aunt Claudia:




Aunt Sheena also came to visit after Christmas and she brought with her more presents! Alex loved unwrapping and getting a HUGE Diego ball pit from Aunt Sheena! After he unwrapped it, I told her that it would be the perfect present to keep at her apartment after we move to Huntsville :) Afterall, he does need presents there, too!

Here are some pictures of Alex opening and enjoying the ball pit:

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

We wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas!

I will be back on later tonight to report on what Santa brought us and hopefully have a few pictures to share!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Presents from Aunt Jenny & Nona Lynn

On Christmas Eve, we let Alex open his gifts from Aunt Jenny and Nona Lynn (Jenny's Mom).

Jenny got him two Geo-Trax sets, a Handy Manny Toy and two pairs of PJ's (Wonder Pets and Buzz Lightyear). Nona Lynn got him a tool box with a spinning/working drill and a super-cute long sleeve shirt. As much as Alex loved the toys, he loved the Wonder Pet jammies just as much. We changed into them shortly after opening them!

Thank you both Jenny and Lynn! Thank you for caring enough about our son to include him in your holiday shopping. It means to the world to us to know that we have such amazing friends/family like you! We truly are blessed!

Here are a bunch of pictures from present opening:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Larry & Sarah's Christmas

Larry and I decided to open our presents to each other on December 23. We wanted Christmas to be all about Alex and we knew that he wouldn't give us too much opprotunity to open presents that weren't for him.

It was nice to spend time with Larry, listening to Christmas music and opening our presents.

I got Larry a new pair of Oakley's (to replace the ones that he left in London), a new iPod (to replace the one that was stolen from our car), several Alabama shirts, an Alabama Columbia Fleece jacket, a pair of Nike shoes (that should be here in a few weeks) and some fun stocking stuffers. Oh, for those of you that don't know, I ordered Larry a specially made, very pricey watch for TPS graduation. Because of the expense, it is also considered part of his Christmas gift as well.

Larry got me a new watch, a pink North Face Pull-Over jacket, a gift certificate to the spa for a massage, a Coach Purse and for my last present, the Apple Mac Computer that I have been drooling over for several years now. When he gave me the Mac, he told me that it was for both Christmas and for being such a big help to him this past year in TPS. It was nice that he recognized that and it made the gift so much more special.

We were both definitely spoiled this year, but after the past year in Maryland, it was very well-deserved :)

Here are some pictures of us opening our gifts...enjoy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pictures from my Cell Phone

Here are a few images from my cell phone taken at random times!

Alex on his potty...looks like he is really concentrating!

Sleeping on Mommy...such a sweet boy!

Hiding from the camera...and saying "Cheese" at the same time! Silly kid!

Having breakfast with blankie and doggie!

Sitting in his big boy bed:

Riding the new airplane at Daddy's school:

Dancing on the ride at Daddy's school (it was playing the theme from Top Gun")







Thursday, December 17, 2009

2 Year Pediatrician Appointment

Today, Alex had his 2 year pediatrician appointment. Yes, it was two months and a day late...but who is counting!

The appointment went great! First he was weighed - 28 pounds, then he was measured - 36 1/8 inches and then his head was measured 18.5 inches. His weight puts him in the 40th percentile, his height puts him in the 80th percentile and his head puts him in the 15th percentile. Thats right, we have a tall, lean child with a small head!

As always, we really enjoy talking to Dr. Whitaker (we really will miss him when we move to Huntsville, but he gave us the name of another pediatrician that he recommends Dr. Kevin Ellis, so we will definitely be calling him in a few months). Dr. Whitaker takes the time to answer all of your questions, doesn't make you feel rushed and really seems to geniunely care about both the child and the patient. We had a few questions about Alex being a picky eater and Dr. Whitaker basically told us that he will eat what he wants, when he wants and that is okay. I am not to become a short order cook! We are to make one thing at dinner that he does like and then serve him what we are eating and see how it goes. We are also supposed to give him healthier snacks throughout the day! Dr. Whitaker really makes us feel like we are doing an okay job at this whole parenting thing :)

Finally came the shots. Alex received three this time. He really did good with all of them. Only screaming for a few seconds when they poked him and then pushed the medicine in. Once that was over, he was just fine...especially after we gave him one of his coveted lollipops :)

As a parent, it is a great thing to hear your child is doing well physically, mentally and meeting all his milestones. It is nice when the pediatrician validates the work you have been doing.

Dancing Boy!

Tonight, Larry turned on the Christmas music channel on our tv. Alex started dancing to "Feliz Navidad" and I thought it was the funniest thing I have seen in a long time.

I picked up my cell phone and started filming him. I know it isn't the best quality, but I hope it makes you laugh! Please disregard the shakiness of camera, I was laughing too hard to stop!


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And this is one of the videos that Larry got! Wow...this kid cracks me up :) He definitely will be yelling at me for these videos in just few years!!

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Finally, the third installment of the Feliz Navidad video! This kid really knows how to shake his booty!!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Back in Alabama

After a long 15 hour drive, an exciting re-route through DOWNTOWN Atlanta (with a U-Haul, pulling a trailer with the Mariner), much fast-food consumption, many laughs and giggles, quite a few hours of DVD watching (by Alex), eating many snacks and Mike & Ikes (again by Alex...thank you Aunt Sheena), a torrential downpour on the last 30 minutes of our journey from Troy to Enterprise, and four very tired adults....WE MADE IT BACK TO ALABAMA!!

We are home and enjoying life back in Enterprise. Alex is getting used to the house and all the toys he left behind! Apparently we didn't need to buy him any Christmas presents, we just needed to bring him back to the ones we left behind!

Since we are in the process of unpacking, I haven't taken any pictures of Alex with our camera in the past few days. Sheena has a few cute ones on her camera from the roadtrip, so as soon as she sends them to me, I will share them with you all. But because we know the real reason that you call come here for (the Alex pictures), Larry did snap this cute one of him laying on the table watching TV!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

National Air & Space Museum

After living in Maryland for almost 11 months, Larry finally got a chance to go to the National Air & Space Museum. Larry, Larry, Jr., Sheena, Alex and I, took a trip to the National Air & Space Museum. We decided to take a day in between packing and moving and head to Washington, DC.

The Museum is incredible and I highly recommend it to anyone who is visiting the DC area. Larry really enjoyed seeing all the aircraft and Alex LOVED the children's area. It was completely hands on - Alex was able to play inside aircraft and play with different exhibits.

Here are some pictures from the day:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Test Pilot School Graduation

After 11 months of intense schooling, a rigorous flight schedule, many reports, one trip out west, one trip to England, one huge DT2 project, many sleepless nights and more stress that I ever realized was possible...it is official...Larry is a graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School.

Tonight was the graduation ceremony and Larry received his diploma!

Graduation was held at the Daughtery Center in Lexington Park, Maryland. The Graduate was escorted by both his dad and I. He had pretty good dates, if I do say so myself! There was a cocktail hour when we first arrived and we were served champagne by the instructors. After the cocktail hour, we were served dinner (both Larry's had steak and I had a chicken dish). Once dinner was over, we listened to the guest speaker, Mike Coats, tell us about his NASA and TPS experiences. Finally, the students of Class 136 were called up individually and handed their diplomas. It was a proud moment for both the student and their families! A very sweet moment in the evening is when the students presented their spouses with a rose (bottle of wine for the two gentleman spouses) and a "Certificate of Appreciation". It was nice to be reminded that not only were we celebrating the students, but we were also celebrating the people in their lives that made this past year happen! We ended the evening socializing with the other students and families.

At the end of the evening, we said our "good-byes" to many of the other students. It was a bittersweet moment. As excited as I am to be getting back home to Alabama, I am very sad to be leaving some of the people we have met. I think because TPS is such an intense situation, they students all grew a close bond. I know that regardless of where we go, we have made friends for life through this experience.

I am so excited for Larry and this accomplishment. It has been stressful, but he had such determination and drive to succeed. Proud doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about the situation. He amazes me on a daily basis with his intellect, his perserverance, his dedication and his success. He strives to be and do the best and often isn't satisfied with just "okay"! I was honored tonight to stand by his side!

Here are a few pictures from the evening...we hope you enjoy them!


Here are a few pictures from our cell phones:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bye-Bye TPS

Today, Larry had the opportunity to take us to TPS one last time. Larry, Jr., Sheena, Alex and I went with him and we were able to get quite a few good pictures.

Each class leaves the School a gift. This year, the students decided upon a "kiddie" airplane ride. The airplane was painted to match the planes at TPS and all of the students signed the top of it. When you pushed the button to make it go, it played the theme from "Top Gun"! It turned out amazing and Alex LOVED it! The best part about it...it is free! I wish they would have put it in sooner, Alex and I could have spent many afternoons there :)

Also, Alex was able to try on a real helment and really liked it! He kept telling us "my hat"!

Here is are a few pictures from our last tour at TPS! Oddly enough, I am really going to miss the place.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Cards

Since we will be moving this weekend, Larry and I worked extra hard to get our Christmas cards in the mail before we left Maryland. We were successful and they all went in the mail yesterday. If I have your address, you should be getting your card later this week.

However, I am so excited about the design of them, that I can't help but sharing! My friend Amanda has an Etsy shop (http://www.littlebeanshop.etsy.com/) and she designs holiday cards, gift and note cards, digital scrapbooking supplies and even does a little sewing! I definitely recommend contacting her if you need anything done - she is amazing!

I sent her my six favorite pictures from this past year (well, really just this past month or so) and she designed four cards for me. I selected two of the designs and put them inside our Christmas cards. I absolutely love them and hope you will, too!

Here are the designs:



And this one was another favorite, but we didn't use it:

Hope you all enjoy them just as much as we did!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Flat Iron Farms

Tonight, we went to Flat Iron Farms with The Cady's (Matt, Stephanie, Bella and Austin). Flat Iron Farms is a great place to bring the kids to get the into the holiday spirit! They had a great light display - one of the areas was even set to music on an FM radio station. There was also a little petting zoo, an indoor area with tractors and inflatable jumping toys for the kids, an area with cookies and hot chocolate, pony rides and Santa was even there.

We walked around, mostly freezing, but really enjoying seeing the smiles on the kids' faces. Alex loved the lights and kept pointing them out saying "lights, cool lights"! We tried to get Alex to sit with Santa, but that did not happen. He liked Santa long enough to get his candy cane, but not long enough to get a picture with him!

Here are a few pictures from the night - surprisingly, I was enjoying the moment and not taking pictures :)

Bella and Alex loving the animals in the petting zoo:


Sweet Bella:

Alex running around the indoor area. He loved the tractors and train display and had a little trouble following the "hands off" rule:

Alex playing on the inflatable toys:

Austin - I am so going to miss this sweet little boy! He is so photogenic and so handsome!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

SEC Championship Game

Today was the SEC Championship game. Alabama played Florida for a spot in the National Championship game. Fortunately for us Alabama fans, we won the game! We are now anxiously awaiting January 7 when Alabama plays Texas in the National Championship Bowl. ROLL TIDE ROLL!

During the game, we got a few cute shots of Alex - these three were taken with my cell phone. I've been searching for the few that we took with our camera and can't seem to find them on my computer! As soon as I find them, I will upload them also :)

Alex smiling for the camera:



Alex and Daddy...all decked out in their Alabama gear! I do have to say that these are two of the cutest Alabama fans that I know!

Here are a few pictures from the camera that I FINALLY found on my computer:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Temper Tantrum

For all of you that think Alex is a nice, sweet, calm boy...here is proof that he isn't all the time! This is when I was fighting with him to take a nap - we had just moved into our room when the tantrum ensued.

Enjoy!


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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Larry's Last TPS Flight

Today was Larry's last flight as a TPS student. He flew in an S-55T. He took a few pictures inside and out of the helicopter, so I thought I would share them with you all. He enjoyed the flight and told me tonight that this is the helicopter that they modeled "Harold the helicopter" on Thomas off of! Kind of a cool little tidbit of information and something that Alex will definitely appreciate in the years to come :)

Here are the pictures:

Inside the cockpit: Full picture of the helicopter - pretty neat looking:

Larry and the pilot:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cell Phone Pictures from Philadelphia

Here are a few pictures that I took with my cell phone while we were in Philadelphia.

Our first authentic Philly Cheesesteak:

City Hall in Downtown Philadelphia (I didn't realize what it was at time I took it - I got a little lost when I was exlporing):

Alex during the Iron Bowl:

He was a little nervous about the score:

Riding the rides at Sesame Place - he loved them and it was so nice to see the smiles on his face:


Alex, Larry, Elmo and Zoe:

So he saw another child's stroller and decided he liked it! He hopped on and was REALLY angry when I tried to take him off:

Headed back to the hotel after a LONG day at Sesame Place:

Watching a movie in the hotel room after his day at Sesame Place. He was loving on "bankie" and "dog" (yes, we are VERY creative with names around here):

The Liberty Bell (no, we don't know the man in the picture):

Alex running on the lawn outside of the building with the Liberty Bell:

This was our incredible bathtub in the hotel room. I might have fallen in love with it and it might be a requirement for our next house:

Cell Phone Pictures Before Philadelphia

I cleaned off pictures off my cell phone and here are a few from before we went to Philadelphia.

Trying on Mom's shoes:

I know this one is blurry, but I just love that smile:

Watching TV:

Decided he would ride on the back of his tricycle...unfortunately no one was driving the tricycle:

Pushing his tricycle - we are slowly working on teaching him how to ride it:

Using his tricycle as a step-stool:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 3 in Philadelphia

Today, we decided that we wanted to explore the city before we left. We had a few places that we wanted to see (namely City Hall and the Liberty Bell). We bundled up and headed out to sight-see!

We explored City Hall first. It was such a beautiful building and I loved taking pictures of it.

After City Hall we headed to Reading Marketplace to get some brunch. We found an amazing crepe place, among all the other great looking vendors. Larry had a bacon, egg and swiss crepe and I had the berry cheesecake one. They were fantastic!

We headed towards the Liberty Bell after brunch. We were able to go in and see the Liberty Bell for free. I am so glad that while we were up here, we had the chance to see it. I really enjoy seeing things that were such a large part of our history. We got great pictures of the Liberty Bell, as well as Alex and Larry near it! Outside of the building that houses the Liberty Bell, there is a great lawn, so we let the kids loose and let them run around. I really got some good shots of Alex when he was running around – he is so photogenic when I am able to capture the candid shots! Austin was being super-photogenic, too! I love some of the pictures that I got of him!

We headed back to the hotel after tiring the kids out, gave Claudia back to her mom and left Philadelphia!

Despite the traffic that we hit on I-95 on our way home (adding an extra 2 hours to the trip), we had a great weekend. Philadelphia is a beautiful city and I wish we would have had another day to explore it!

Here are a BUNCH of pictures from our third day in Philadelphia. The first half are mostly of the buildings and the sights – after that are pictures of Alex (which I know is really what you come for)!


(I will put captions on the pictures tomorrow...I'm too tired to do it tonight)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sesame Place and Day 2 in Philadelphia

Since we moved up to Maryland, we had been talking about taking Alex to the theme park in Pennsylvania called Sesame Place. Sesame Place is an amusement park for the little ones with a theme of Sesame Street. They have quite a few “dry” rides, but there were a bunch of “wet” rides. Obviously since it is the end of November, all of the wet rides were closed! We met up with our friends, Matt and Stephanie and their kids, Bella and Austin.

All of the rides at Sesame Place are geared towards kids and Alex was able to ride all but the roller coaster. Surprisingly, he LOVED all the rides. His favorites were Elmo’s Teacups and the Big Bird Balloon Race (think Dumbo meets Teacups – it went in the air AND it spun around). He could not get enough of the spinning rides! They also had a large climbing area with cargo nets and tunnels that he really liked and an inflatable bouncy pad that he enjoyed. He had a great time on the carousel, but he wasn’t very hygienic on it. For some reason, he could not stop licking the pole! If you look at the first few pictures in the slideshow, you will notice that he has his tongue out and he is licking the pole. No matter how hard I tried (holding his head back, redirecting him and distracting him), he continued to go back to licking the pole. Yes, we realize our kid is a little special sometimes!

At the end of the day, we went to meet Elmo and Zoe inside of the toy store. At first, he was VERY timid around the characters. Last year when we went to Universal Studios at Christmastime, he was terrified of the characters, so we didn’t have much hope for this year! Elmo then asked Alex for a “high five”, which Alex loves to give, and then Alex started opening up to the characters. He would not stand next to the characters without Daddy holding him, but even with Daddy hanging around we still got a few cute pictures. Bella on the other hand was not afraid of the characters at all and ran up to them giving them hugs and talking to them – I got a few cute pictures of Bella with Elmo and Zoe. We also tried to have Alex meet Bert and Ernie, he was shy at first but a “high five” to Bert quickly got him to befriend him! We didn’t get any pictures with Bert and Ernie.

The kids probably could have stayed and played a little longer at Sesame Place, but the adults were worn out, so we left shortly after 3 pm. Definitely a long day, but well worth the $9.95 that we paid for admission.

Once we got back to the hotel, we met Matt and Stephanie downstairs in the lobby for the free wine hour that the hotel offered. After a glass (or two) of wine, we wrangled up the kids and got ready for dinner. We found that it was a little difficult finding a restaurant that was both kid-friendly and able to accommodate our large party. We finally settled on a local pizza place (that wasn’t that good) and followed it up with some frozen yogurt. We got back to our hotel and had great intentions to meet up with Matt and Stephanie for a little adult time once we got the kids in bed, but we quickly realized that we were pretty tired and wound up relaxing in our hotel rooms!

Here are a bunch of pictures from Sesame Place – enjoy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

First Day in Philadelphia

We arrived in Philadelphia around 12:30 pm, got checking into our amazing hotel and set out in search of a Philly Cheesesteak for lunch. Lucky for us, the hotel staff recommended a place that was only a block away. We ate at a place called Jrs in downtown Philadelphia. Both Larry and I had a Cheesesteak with provolone cheese, Alex had a toasted cheese sandwich and we all split some fries. We were very impressed with our lunch and our “authentic” Philly Cheesesteak! We walked around a little bit after lunch and visited some of the stores around our hotel – The Children’s Place, a specialty toy boutique (it was so cute) and Coach (I had to point out a few purses for Larry for “ideas” for Christmas presents)! We headed back to the hotel so Larry could watch the Iron Bowl.

This year, as it is with most years, the Alabama vs. Auburn game really elevated Larry’s blood pressure. Alabama pulled out the win, but not without scaring Larry quite a few times. The final score was 26 to 21 and we couldn’t be happier…ROLL TIDE ROLL! Unfortunately this year, Alex was napping during most of the game (and I was out exploring the exciting streets of Philadelphia) so we didn’t get a picture of Alex and Larry all decked out in their Alabama gear! Next weekend is the SEC Championship game versus the Florida Gators, so I will be sure to take a picture of the boys in their finest Alabama attire! Who knows, maybe I will even show up in the pictures in my jersey, too.

Once the game was over, Aunt Claudia got to the hotel and we went to get something to eat for dinner. Another great dinner recommendation by the hotel staff led us to the Metropolitan Grill in downtown Philadelphia.

For those of you that don’t know, Claudia (Larry’s youngest sister) lives in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, which is about 45 minutes from Philadelphia. When we were on our way to Philadelphia, we asked Claudia if she would like to join us for the weekend – she said yes and her mom brought her to our hotel. We were happy that we got to see her and she was very excited to be able to spend some time with Alex (and us)!

We walked around a little bit after dinner and then headed back to the hotel room. After a long day of driving, walking around and the Iron Bowl, we were all pretty tired!

Off to Philadelphia...

We have a BUSY weekend planned. We are leaving this morning for Philadelphia.

Our plan is to be to our hotel in time for Larry, Alex and I to watch the Alabama vs. Auburn game (ROLL TIDE). After the game, we plan on getting a little sight-seeing in and hopefully having an authentic philly cheesesteak.

On Saturday, we are going to Sesame Place (http://www.sesameplace.com). It is a theme park devoted to just Sesame Street characters. It is also just for the little ones, so Alex will be able to ride all of the rides. We know that he will really enjoy it! After Sesame Place, we are going to walk around the area a little more.

On Sunday before we head back for Maryland, we are going to do a little more sight-seeing in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is a city that Larry, nor I have ever been to before, so any suggestions on things to do or places to visit are greatly appreciate it!

Oh, and no worries, we will definitely come back with plenty of pictures for everyone to see! We are hopeful that Alex isn't as afraid of the characters as he was last year at Universal Studios. We will see though :)

Hope everyone has a great, long weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Many Faces of Batman...

Here are a few pictures of our little Batman from today! He is such a crazy, fun kid! We are so thankful to have him in our lives!






So, I Might Not Be Betty Crocker...

...but I sure can cook a GREAT Thanksgiving meal! We had turkey (from the bag), cranberry sauce (the kind that looks like a can when you take it out of the can), cheesy hashbrown potatoes, sweet potatoes (with yummy marshmallows on top), stuffing (Stove Top - we like it best) and orange jello (my absolute favorite holiday food). Oh, and for dessert, I made the preztel/jello thing.

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but it turned out really good! We have enough food to feed a small Army, but at least we will know what we will be eating for the next few days!

Here are some pictures of how our food turned out:

And here is Alex enjoying his dinner at his "Cars" table: