Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day!!

Today it snowed!!

Each week since we have been here, snow has been predicted but has never come! Today it FINALLY snowed! We woke up about 7:30 to a light snow and by the end of the morning it picked up quite a bit!

Alex and I went outside to play in the snow after he woke up from his nap! I bundled him up in sweatpants, a long sleeve shirt, his big puffy jacket, gloves and a hat! He was a little angry with me for bundling him up so much, but once we got outside I think he figured out the reason why! At first, we played in the snow on the porch, but I quickly discovered that it was pretty difficult keeping our active toddler from trying to wander down the stairs. After Alex chased Buckwheat around the porch and loving it, I decided to take him to the backyard and let him run wild!

He had a great time running around the backyard! He was running full speed ahead. He would fall down every few feet, pick himself back up and keep running! It was so much fun to hear his little laugh – I love that laugh!

Oh, another highlight of our outdoor adventures – Alex LOVED playing in the snow on the stairs of the deck! He had a great time playing with the accumulated snow on the steps! Who knew that could be so much fun?!

After spending so much of my life in Florida and not seeing snow, it was really neat to be able to experience it! I loved seeing everything covered in white snow – it really did look beautiful! I’m glad that Alex got to run around and play in the snow – while he probably will never remember it, I at least have pictures! The only thing missing from our day – Larry! He was at school, so he didn’t get to play in the snow with us – we missed him. Hopefully, it will snow one weekend day and he will be here with us!
Here are some pictures that we took today:

Alayna Kate Howard

Welcome to the world, Alayna Kate Howard!

Today our good friends Zach and Gina Howard, along with their daughter Aliyah, welcomed their new baby girl, Alayna Kate, into the world! Alayna was born weighing 7 pounds and is 19 inches long! The picture that Zach sent to my cell phone is the one that I am sharing with all of you - I can't wait to see more!

We are so excited for Zach, Gina and Aliyah and we know that Alayna is welcomed into their family with so much love! We all wish that we could be there to meet her in person - I think that is one of the hardest parts of being so far away from friends and family!

Congratulations :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Alex and his NEW toy box!

Larry and I were tired of the toys that were constantly lying on the floor, so we decided to get Alex a toy box from Toys R Us. We found a nice Step 2 (that is the brand name) toy box. We would like a nice wood one made eventually, but for now this will work!

Last night while Alex was sleeping, Larry and I put the toy box together. Okay, actually Larry put it together and I filled it with Alex’s toys! It definitely was big enough to hold most of the toys that we brought to Maryland (with the exception of the large toys) and it was nice to have the toys off of the living room floor.

When Alex got up this morning, he noticed his toy box! Well, actually he first noticed the basket that I had put all his “Little People” and “Little People” accessories in. He quickly examined the basket and then dumped all the “Little People” out of it! Once he was satisfied with dumping the toys of the basket, he discovered that all the rest of his toys in the toy box. Instead of pulling the toys of OUT of the toy box, Alex decided to climb IN the toy box with the toys! He was able to easily get into the toy box, but getting out was a bit more difficult. Larry had to help him out the first few times, but by nap time he had figured out both getting in and getting out! At one point before bath time, he was in nothing but a diaper and sitting in the opening just watching TV. He had both of his legs out and both of his arms out – he was just perched in the opening! I tried to get the camera to take a picture of him, but when he figured out that I was getting the camera he got down! Smart little kid! He is so crazy sometimes and is constantly keeping us on our toes!

We were initially worried that he wouldn’t understand that you have to pull the toys out and we were worried that he wouldn’t be able to get the toys at the bottom of the toy box. We should have known that he would figure it all out!

We took some pictures of the great adventure with the toy box. The pictures are below in a slidshow. After I got done uploading the pictures from today, I noticed that one year ago today I also uploaded pictures. Larry and I took a quick trip down memory lane looking at those pictures! It is unbelievable how much Alex has grown and changed.

Enjoy the pictures from today!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Pictures of Alex:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Update on all things Alex - Part 2!

I realized that it had been quite awhile since I have given an update on all things Alex (it has been about 2 months). Between the holidays and moving to Maryland, I haven't had much time to write in the journal! He has started doing new things both physically and developmentally, as well as fine tuning all the things has been doing!

He is saying so many more things, it is incredible. I swear he learns a new word everyday (or at least it seems that way). He can now say the following words, and most of them are pretty recognizable:

Ball (and simultaneously points to a ball)
Hi/Hi Guys/Hi Dada
Oh Man/Oh Me
Gabba (for his favorite show – Yo Gabba Gabba!)
Stop (usually at the dogs when they are barking)
Bye-Bye (or sometimes when he is feeling lazy just “bye”)

Recently, I have started trying to teach him the parts of his face. We have started with the mouth. I try to point to my mouth and say mouth, then point to his mouth and say mouth. Yesterday (January 20) for the first time he pointed to his mouth when I said mouth. I couldn’t wait for Larry to get home so I could show him his new “trick”, but of course when Daddy got home we decided not to show off our new skill!

Alex is a dancing fool! Whenever there is music on at the house, he is dancing. He shakes his booty and gets the biggest smile on his face – so cute! I need to get a video of it, so you all can see it! I will try to work on that this week! He also has figured out how to spin around in a circle, which he does quite often!

He is climbing onto everything. A few weeks ago he figured out how to climb on and off the couch (bad idea). He is constantly climbing on the couch, off the couch and on the back of the couch! There is a picture in the album titled “Added 011609”, where he has climbed up onto the back of the loveseat and is messing with the air conditioner thermostat. When I asked him what he was doing, he just turned around and started grinning…he is such a mess! Oh, along with his great new climbing skill, he has learned how to successfully climb OUT of his Pack-N-Play. Yesterday (January 20) I left him in his Pack-N-Play to run in the kitchen to get him a snack and some juice. I heard him making some noises, but thought nothing of it – when I came back in the room he was standing outside of his Pack-N-Play and smiling at me! I put him back in while I was sitting in the room and he climbed out not once, but twice! He was not shy at all to show me his new found talent!

Another fun game is to take his toys and throw them over the gates. Sometimes if he is really lucky, he will get to watch the toy bounce down the stairs to the foyer! Every time he does this, he laughs like it is the first time he has done it. It amazes Larry and I the things that he will throw over the gates – some of them are really heavy, but he has determination!

He is quite fond of running up to either Larry or me and blowing on our arms (or whatever skin is exposed). He thinks that is the funniest noise in the world. He smiles and cracks himself up! Of course, Larry and I are expected to laugh right along with him! Each time he runs up to us with an open mouth and each time we are worried that he might bite us, but he hasn’t yet – he just wants to blow on our skin!

Alex does not know the meaning of slow or still! He is neither of these two things! He is always RUNNING around and always on the move! If you find him slow or still, he is usually sleeping.

He enjoys the new stairs at our place in Maryland. He loves crawling up them and scooting down them. We have put gates up so he can’t discover them on his own, but when we go up the stairs with him he insists on doing it himself.

Alex and Daddy love to roll around on the floor and play together. Alex will tackle Daddy and roll over him. He laughs so hard when he plays with Daddy! It melts my heart to see them playing around with each other – they both are having such a good time and it is completely evident how much they love each other. I added a few pictures of them playing together in the album titled “Added 011609”.

Another thing that melts my heart – he comes up to us now and gives us hugs! He will run over from wherever he is and give us hugs, spur of the moment and unplanned. Totally unexpected, but so very much appreciated! He has started giving kisses – although they are very sloppy and usually consist of his open mouth slobbering all over you!

On Monday (January 19), we took Alex to a place called Kiddos. It is an indoor toddler play place. They have padded mats on the floor, a ball pit, tunnels, things to crawl on, balls to play with and mirrors. Alex had a blast! They have a playgroup for his age group every Monday morning from 10 to 11 and I think we are going to go. The other Mom’s were pretty nice and it was great to be able to have Alex interact with the other kids. Larry was off on Monday, so it was great to be able to have him come along.

We are still holding steady with 8 teeth. The top four and bottom four. But he is in the process of having a molar come through on the left side of his mouth. He is also getting his top two incisor teeth, nothing like getting three painful teeth all at once. Needless to say, this process is going very slowly and he has not been a happy camper!

All in all, our little man is growing and changing every day. He is constantly surprising us with new things he can do - some we teach him, others he just picks up on his own. He is at an amazing age – filled with so much wonder, excitement and love.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


For Christmas, Uncle Mike and Aunt Kristy got Alex the game "Whack-A-Mole". We didn't take it out of the box (it was easier to travel with still in the box) ... until today!

Alex had a great time with "Whack-A-Mole"! He loved being able to bang on the moles. He wasn't quite sure about it at first, but once Daddy showed him what to do he had a great time and caught on very quickly. He started banging on the miles like had been doing it all his life! At one point, he had all the mallets in one hand and was trying to bang on the moles with the other! After he got tired of the game, he was walking around banging on everything else with his mallets (thank goodness they are plastic). I walked out of the room and heard Larry telling Alex - "No Alex, we don't hit Daddy with the mallet. We hit the moles!"

He was hilarious while he was playing the game! Thank you so much Uncle Mike and Aunt Kristy - we really enjoyed watching him!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Uncle Josh!

Happy 18th Birthday, Uncle Josh! We can't believe that you are 18 years old - time has flown by! We hope you have an amazing birthday. Know that we are thinking of you and wishing we could be there to celebrate this BIG birthday with you! We miss you lots and how that you will be able to come see us this summer!

We love you!

Happy Birthday, Uncle Trey!

Happy 22nd Birthday, Uncle Trey! We hope that you have a great birthday and hope you get a chance to come visit us this summer!

We love you!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Safe in Maryland

We made it safe and sound to Maryland!

We left Enterprise, Alabama around 6:00 am on Friday morning. We loaded up the U-Haul on Thursday, so all we would have to do Friday morning is get ready, throw the last minute stuff in the car and hit the road. We headed up to Birmingham, Alabama to pick up Sheena and Larry Jr. (Thank you for meeting us Trey – it really helped out!). Sheena was kind enough to agree to ride with me to keep Alex occupied and keep me awake and Larry Jr. was kind enough to ride along with Larry in the U-Haul to keep him company!

While the trip was long, it was not as bad as I had been anticipating! We were lucky enough to get some “doggie downers” for the dogs and they slept nearly the entire ride (is it bad that I am thinking of giving them the tranquilizers on a daily, full-time basis?!). At every stop, we made sure to get them out of the car to walk around and go potty! They woke up a few times during the ride, but each time they would look around for awhile and then lay back down! Normally they are not that great in the car, hopping around the car and acting crazy all the time, so this was a welcome change!

As for Alex, he was so much better than I expected. For the most part, he was happy watching a DVD on the DVD player and eating “Puffs”. He had about an hour and a half of fussiness, but in his defense - when he had his fussy moments he had already been in the car for 12 hours. We were able to let him run around when we would stop, which he loved. He took two good naps and fell asleep for the night around 9:00 pm.

We pulled into our driveway in Maryland at midnight. Considering that we had to stop frequently to fill up the U-Haul, walk the dogs and let Alex (and the adults) stretch his legs, we didn’t do too badly! Once we got to the house, Alex woke up (which I had anticipated) and we unload a few essentials. Alex went to sleep fairly easily once he ran around in the house for a few minutes. Luckily, we thought ahead and put the essentials in an easy to grab spot in the U-Haul. We were able to get the things inside and get to bed around 2:00 am.

Throughout the rest of the weekend, Larry and Larry Jr. were able to get all of the big items put together and set up. Sheena and I focused on making several trips to Wal-Mart and getting a good portion of the boxes unpacked. There is still a bunch of things left to do, but it is a great improvement from where we started on Saturday morning!

Thank you both Larry Jr. and Sheena! You both were such a big help and I know that Larry and I couldn’t have done half of this stuff without the two of you! I know that you are both exhausted and have sore muscles, knees and heads, but please know that we appreciate all that you did more than you will ever know! We are so lucky that you were both willing (and able) to drop all of things going on in your own lives to help us with ours!