Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Stutlers & Isaacs in the '60s

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Anatomy of a face painting

Today we met up with friends at a Fall festival called Normalpalooza, where local artisans sold their wares and children played on bounce slides (one of Owie's favorites!), took pony rides and participated in other festivities-all set to lively music/drum beats. The highlight of the excursion? FINALLY meeting Emily and Joseph and getting to hang with Kiko and Vincent, of course! Next on the list? A little mother-son face painting! Owen wasn't sold on the idea when I've mentioned it in the past, but today he welcomed becoming batman for a day. An artistic sister duo based out of Dalton, GA, paint faces for a living at various community events, birthday parties, etc. Here are pics of the process, as documented by Emily (thanks girl!)

Let the festivities begin!

After Normalpalooza, we made a quick pitstop at our house for eats and coffee and ventured out into the evening for another Fall activity...the Fantasy Maze at the River Park. By now Owie's design had rubbed off, so we re-painted his face with our Batboy version and off we went. For $3 total we took the kids through a maze with high school volunteers dressed up in non-scary, fairy tale character costumes. Owen shyly stuck out his pumpkin basket for treats, but wouldn't speak to any of the actors. :) I *love* festive Fall events! Next we are looking forward to a Halloween party playdate at Miss Aimee's house on Friday. Roby has been trying to design a costume for Owie (who wants to be Plex, a robot from Yo Gabba Gabba), but looks like time is running out to be creative. Perhaps next year!

Friday, October 24, 2008

*3 months old*

Our little olly-pop turned three months old today! We enjoy watching her personality bloom and seeing what she's going to do next, well, when she's not sleeping...which she still does a lot of! Lately she has been obsessed with her hands. She always has her fists in her mouth and once in awhile manages to suck on her thumb, opting for a pacifier when falling asleep. And the drooling has begun, my friends. We have quite the slobbery girl on our hands these days! Olive also loves to suck on the corners of fuzzy blankets and chew on her lamby doll, which entrances her at times. Perhaps she will be the type to carry a lovey around? I always thought it endearing when children were attached to a stuffed animal or blanket. (Emma and her pink bears! ;) [sidenote: although i chuckled when i saw a little girl in wal-mart dragging a full-size quilt everywhere she went, i felt for her mother! i hope olive gets attached to a small item]

Olive still eats up her one-on-one time with Owen every day. He has a way of calming her down, even during a crying jag sometimes! And, if you could see the way she looks at her Daddy...it melts my heart every time. She looks at him with these wide, bright eyes. I am worried that if she does that when she is 16, Roby will do something crazy like run out and buy her a car! :)

Gazing at Dada during a bath

Seeing Double

Olive is still looking like her big bro!

Owen at three months




Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Owie telling Livy a story

Owen has been telling Olive stories ever since she was in my womb! I think that's why she recognized him right away in the hospital the day after she was born and *smiled* at him for the first time!

Translation: the arm he is speaking of is the mechanical arm the garbage trucks around here use to pick up the trash. (Watching the garbage truck do its thing on trash day is a treat for Owen, and the garbage man always looks for Owen and blows his horn for him!)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Meeting our Left Coast friends in the Deep South!

Recently we had the good fortune to meet up with some California friends (who now live in TX) in Atlanta, while they were en route to visiting family. The timing proved impeccable since Roby had to fly out of ATL airport the following morning for a business trip. After quickly settling into our hotel room, we drove a short jaunt to a local Ruby Tuesdays, and there they were! I haven't seen Suzanne and Aron since visiting them in Dallas when Owie was 5 months old or so, and *finally* got to meet their darling nearly two-year-old, Maggie! For the next hour-and-a-half, we chatted over dinner, while Owen and Maggie shared each other's markers and little people toys, and Suz & A had some Olive time. The kidlets played together wonderfully and, after relocating outside for some picture taking, enjoyed rock hunting most of all! I tried capturing some sweet moments of the energetic twosome-which proved interesting and comical-and was quite happy to get updated pics of me with my simply radiant preggo friend and a few of the guys as well.

While our time together was definitely way too short, it was most definitely sweet! I am SO happy everything worked out and we were able to catch up a bit. Our time together made me miss the good old California days even more, which Roby & I agree were some of the sweetest, most memorable of our lives! We used to have dinner at each other's houses and catch some shows (along with Suz's sister Shannon and her hubby Steve), and Suz & I participated in a book club and Bible study together. We can't believe it's been 6 years since we attended their wedding and that we have two kids and they are nearly there! Ah, we miss you guys! We wish we lived closer to you and look forward to hanging out again...hopefully sooner than 3 years from now! Can't wait to meet baby boy McKay at some point!

Afterwards, Roby and I had a little adventure trying to find the H&M store at Atlantic Station to get Owen's winter coat and then headed back to the Westin where we excitedly watched the Phillies win the National League Pennant! World Series here we come! I then took Owen for a little late night swim, which is one of his favorite things to do every time we visit Atlanta, while Roby had some Olive time. We had a fun-filled little day/night trip-which was MUCH needed on my part!

Owen falling for Mags!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Owie is THREE!

Wow. Our firstborn turned THREE! We are still a little shocked at how the years flew by! Owen is super excited to be a big boy now, (he says, “I’m a big boy, but Mama can still call me her baby boy.” Apparently I needed his permission!), and we treasure watching his personality bloom. He fared well at his annual check-up today, even impressing me by watching the nurse do a finger stick to collect blood without flinching/crying! We are so proud of him! Owen currently weighs 31 pounds and is 37 inches tall. Roby and I are so thankful he remains a healthy little boy-growing just fine in every way!

Owen’s interests still are: robots, dinosaurs, diggers, books, puzzles & drawing. He continues to amaze us with what he picks up. One day we were talking about a tall building that still needed some work near the top. After pondering a bit, Owen offered, “They are going to need an aerial truck to fix that, Mama!” Yeah, I had never heard of one either. He learns so much from his books! He also told us recently, “I want to be a builder when I grow up!” and thinks it would be pretty cool to become an architect or an archaeologist too. Owen can still put his 50-piece dinosaur floor puzzle together by himself in no time flat, basically remembering where each individual piece goes. His drawings have started getting more and more detailed, and I keep snapping pictures for his little kid portfolio. (When he’s older we think he will enjoy seeing what he drew as a toddler.) Oh! He has pretty good taste in music right now as well! He requests to listen to his favorite songs, over and over, especially in the car (which is cute, but can eventually drive you slowly mad :) His current faves are: Vampire Weekend: Blake’s Got a New Face, Jack Johnson: Upside Down, One Republic: It’s Too Late to Apologize and Jason Mraz: I’m Yours. You never know what song he will like obsessively next! He absolutely *loves* to dance, too. I’ll have to post some video of his moves!

I’m amazed at how Owen is developing his speech patterns. It’s such fun to watch as he learns to speak in long sentences and use little phrases he picks up from us along the way. He uses correct grammar the majority of the time, and doesn’t mind if we correct him…even enjoying using it correctly and pointing out that he did so. He still can’t pronounce hard Cs, Ss and other random sounds. Some of the cute things he says these days: I’m farry (sorry), bemember? (remember), barry white (very right), atarium (aquarium), hanitizer (hand sanitizer), byack (black), byue (blue), & chicken donald’s (mcdonald's-an oldie but still a goodie. :) Also, anything that has transpired prior than the current day, in Owen's world happened "last night." Owen can also write his name, although he spells it OMEN- which is either endearing or a bit creepy!

Our little guy still likes to “snuddle” with us in the morning and before bed. Such an affectionate little guy. The funny thing is, even though he is just mispronouncing “snuggle,” the urban dictionary defines snuddle as a verb mixing the words snuggle and cuddle. So I guess he is our snuddle bug! And Owen makes it abundantly clear that Olive is his “cutie.” The boy is so protective of his little sis! I showed Owen pictures of Maggie on our friend Suzanne’s blog, explaining that we were going to meet up with them in Atlanta yesterday, and I casually asked, “Isn’t Maggie a cutie?” Owen said very seriously, “No! Olive is my cutie.” I replied, “She’s pretty though, right?” and he agreed. (After meeting her, he told me today that “Magdie” is a princess ;) Apparently he takes his big brother status with his cutie very seriously! Chuckle. When Olive cries, he rushes to her side repeating, “It’s ok, Olive, I’m here,” trying to comfort her. Every day he gets to hold her for a few minutes and brushes his cheeks against hers and says “Yes, you are” over and over. (We will say something to her, like “You are such a sweet baby. Yes, you are. Yes, you are. So now Owen just says “Yes you are” without anything preceding it. Cute!) He also asks (a million times a day it seems!), “I washed my hands, can I touch Olive’s hands now?” I don’t know what it is about her hands, but he always has to be touching and holding them! We love watching Owen transform into such a good big brother to Livy!

It's so hard to wrap up Owen's personality in a tiny blog entry, but I will continue to update the blog with his three-year-old antics!

Owen's moves!

Here are two videos of Owie getting his groove on (to one of his favorite songs no less)! As a bonus, the second one also involves some eating of plums and following of the 10-second rule ;)

*Olive's accomplishment*

While Jason and Melinda were visiting, Olive decided to roll from her belly to her back for the first time! It took her awhile to get where she is in this video-I thought I would spare you the beginning and show you the good stuff! She still has yet to roll over the other way, but I think it's due to the fact that she doesn't like being on her belly...so why would she want to purposefully roll onto it? he he he.

Monday, October 13, 2008

party, party, par-tee

For Owen's third birthday party, we invited his closest little pals and their families, along with his "blueberry," Miss Vicki, who Owen is very fond of. The kids chilled inside a bit then moved out into the cool weather to play with the sand table and chase Mr. Chris around the yard. Roby grilled, while the adults hung out on the back porch chatting and passing around Adrian and Olive. Then it was time for cake! This year, I didn't go with a theme, but had Owie pick out his plates (wall-e of course!) and opted for yet another Martha Stewart inspiration-a cake made out of Rice Krispie treats and decorated with Trix! Vicki lent a hand (literally) mixing the mass of gooey marshmallow and cereal. It turned out to be a cute, whimsical, little cake for the O-man, who, flanked by Caleb and Isaac, enjoyed his Happy Birthday song and didn't even mind Isaac helping blow out his candles! Afterwards, Owen gave his buddies their treat bags, which he had painstakingly colored in the morning. They finished off the perfect evening on the front porch with some bubble blowing fun before heading home with bright green balloons.

We all liked the atmosphere of his small get-together with a few children his age, as opposed to a huge party (although I'm sure we'll still have some of them once in awhile!) The adults had a great time and were surprised at how calm everything was with 3 toddlers and 2 bebes! Owen had a blast with his pals and is so excited that he is 3 now!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Owen laughing with Uncle Jason

While playing with Jason, Owen started dramatically sighing after a spell of laughter, which would crack us up, which would get him started laughing again. I love his little, well, big, laugh!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Jason and Melinda's Visit

My brother Jason and sister-in-law Melinda recently visited us for a week! After some craziness involving their flights and 24 hours with no sleep, they arrived in Nashville and drove to Knoxville for an University of Tennessee game. They are Penn State Alum, so that's where there hearts lie, but they enjoy the sport in general. After driving down to Chattanooga and getting a night's sleep, the adventurous duo left for a white-water rafting trip about an hour's drive away. My brother has a busy job as a newish lawyer in Philadelphia, working many hours to ensure he gets his quota of billable hours. Because of this, he rarely takes any time off, so we were happy he was able to escape for a vacation and come see us!

Owen enjoyed all the attention from Uncle Jason (who, for some random reason, he chose to just call "Uncle" while he was here) and Aunt Mel and the busyness of their stay. While Roby worked, we piled into their rental car and drove down to Alabama (a two-hour drive, not bad!) to visit with Mel's Aunt, Uncle and cousins. Mel & I took in the nice weather, chatting with her Aunt Janice on the back porch, while Jason channeled his inner child and jumped on the trampoline with Owen. All that activity wore out Owie, who promptly fell asleep at the dinner table as we enjoyed some homemade Italian food! I think Olive had fun on her first little day trip too!

On Melinda's 27th birthday, while Roby worked, we went to the Chattanooga aquarium. Owen continues to be fascinated by marine life, and even witnessed a special treat...We happened to be at the right place at the right time when divers descended to feed the fish and stingrays. In the evening, to celebrate Melinda's special day, Jase took her for some delish eats at Tony's, an Italian restaurant located in the carriage house of a Victorian mansion in Chattanooga's Bluff View art district. Upon their return, we had a little party, that, thanks to Owen, wasn't much of a surprise. While they were enjoying their dinner, Owen, Livy and I shopped for some birthday items. As soon as Melinda stepped in the door, Owie said, "Let's have your birthday cake now!" and "We got party hats!" Thankfully, O's antics amused Mel, and she seemed to enjoy her little birthday party.

The following day, Jason, Mel, the kidlets and I drove down to Dalton, GA, to pick Roby up from work on our way to Atlanta. A rep at work kindly gave Roby tickets to the Phillies vs. Braves game, and we decided to make a little overnight trip out of it. Thanks to hotwire.com, we secured affordable rooms at a posh hotel in Buckhead, a nice part of Atlanta. After arriving at the hotel, we got ready, made sure the kids were fed and took a train to downtown Atlanta to catch a shuttle that took us to Turner field for the game. Owen liked his first train ride. (I love how everyday things fascinate children so much!) We had fourth-row seats in left field. This was Owen's second Phillies game, and he wondered where the Phillies mascot was (the Philly Phanatic). He amused us by clapping whenever anyone else did, including for the other team. ;) He also enjoyed his first little taste of spun-sugar heaven. What would a baseball game for a kid be without some blue and pink cotton candy?! Oh, and it was nice to win, too! Roby also bought a commemorative home team ball, which he does at every stadium he visits. Apparently they will one day be displayed in Owen's room- which I'm fine with as long as we can do so in a cool way. ;)

After a night snoozing in big, comfy beds, we walked to nearby Lennox mall, grabbed breakfast at Panera's, purchased discount tickets, and then were on our way to Zoo Atlanta! This zoo was much bigger than the one that Owen is accustomed to. He just told me his favorite part was seeing "the giraffes...and the zebra by the giraffes." I think we all liked watching the giraffes unfurl their long tongues to grab leaves from the tall trees. Olive slept most of the time either in the stroller or worn by Roby in a sling. Afterwards, we had a little photo shoot by some trees with Jason, Mel and their niece and nephew. I think the pictures turned out spectacular! On the drive home, we stopped at a Crab Shack for some eats, which I think Owen enjoyed because 1. pizza 2. shark toy that came with daddy's drink 3. the waiters and waitresses spontaneously started dancing to loud music every once in awhile...what's not to like?!

After a week filled with hanging out and fun excursions to different places, it was time for Jason and Melinda to drive back to Nashville for their flight home...but not before taking in Owen's first soccer game! (See details a few entries below.) We were so happy that they chose to come visit us, and that they were able to spend some quality time with Owen and meet Olive for the first time! We look forward to seeing them at Christmas time!