Friday, December 26, 2008

A Very Merry Christmas

Christmas was, as usual, wonderful and completely crazy. We may not have had the 12 hour drive to Oklahoma as in years past (Instead it's out to Colorado! See the last paragraph.) but we had the same crazy feeling of having to make sure everything made it from one place to another.

We celebrated our own personal Christmas the Sunday night before. Tim made a super yummy dinner of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, veggies, and crescent rolls while I very happily watched. (Don't worry, I cleaned all the dishes later, which is our rule. One cooks, one cleans.) Brenden had already received his gift of a zoo membership but was very excited to open his stocking, which held his ornament and some new books. Tim really seemed to enjoy his new indoor/outdoor weather gauge, fleece hats and gloves and I loved my Cd's and the song my grandpa Halter wrote for me (in 1981) that Tim had framed.
Reading The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was spent with my family. We were surprised by a visit from my uncle Mike, aunt Maxine, and our cousins Natalie and Aaron. We then headed to church at 7 pm, which is always interesting with a 15 month old. He wasn't quite as restless as I expected and thankfully the service was only about 30 minutes long so he was back at home and asleep at his normal time, which is now 8 pm. That night Tim and I made pumpkin and apple pies and my mom tried to make a new type of chocolate cookie without eggs. Unfortunately she misread the directions and the first batch wasn't exactly the best. The 2nd, more chocolate-y batch was MUCH better, but that meant that we were all up until at least 11:30 pm baking. Santa was going to be at the house soon so we hurried to bed.

Brenden and the Warehime Christmas Tree

Christmas morning Brenden woke us up happily by yelling "Mama! Mama!" across the bedroom. He waddled in to wake up his grandparents and then told us firmly that it was time to eat. Since it was Christmas his breakfast consisted of a few bites of oatmeal and 2 white chocolate chip cookies. He's not spoiled at all, right? By 9:30 am the rest of us were ready to eat and open presents but we were one great-grandma short and had a tired toddler on our hands. We eventually got great-grandma into the house and settled on the couch and decided that Brenden should open his presents and then we would eat and open ours after he was down for his nap. He really loved getting toys out of his stocking again but once his new cell phone was unwrapped he could have cared less what we showed him. He did stop a few times to push some buttons on his other toys, and he did push his new toy vacuum , complete with sound but unfortunately no sucking action, around the living room. Of course he did all of that with the phone securely clutched in his fist. We were all extremely spoiled that morning, both by gifts and lots of biscuits and gravy, and Tim and I are well on our way to getting a computer.


Smile!

A quick note: It's not a holiday at the Warehime house unless someone heads to the ER and this year it was grandma Warehime's turn. On Tuesday her cat Morris bit her, which is extremely unusual. Her poor wrist was swollen like a summer sausage, red, and hot. My mom took her in after we left and they gave her a shot of penicillin, which I hope takes care of the infection quickly. She doesn't seem too upset or in a lot of pain and the doctors weren't overly concerned, but what a wonderful way to spend your day, right? At least no one lost a fingernail to a belt sander...ask my dad about that someday. (Unplug the sander before changing the pad!!!)


After Brenden woke from his nap and we shoved some lunch in him we drove to Mike and Connie's house for the rest of Christmas day with the Hagan side of the family. Lunch was awesome and Brenden was much happier at this large gathering than he was at Thanksgiving. He entertained the table with his ramblings and laughed like a hyena at Papa Dan's funny noises. We then got to work opening another batch of presents. Brenden became very attached to his new fridge word builder toy until his tricycle was unwrapped. I had no idea he would be so excited. He hopped right on and even tried to push the pedals, although not very successfully. Even more exciting for him was using the screwdriver and the nut driver to move the seat. He's going to be taking apart the toaster and the lawn mower before we know it.

Anything else in the stocking?

So that's 3 Christmases down, 2 to go. On Monday night we're celebrating with the Kelly side of the family back at Mike and Connie's, and on the 30th we're headed to Colorado to see Karen, Rick, Pat, Jason and Chrissy. We are so excited to see everyone and so blessed already. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas full of happiness and love, and no trips to the ER.


Learning to ride his new tricycle!

For more pictures click here and here. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

First Hair Cut

We finally did it...Brenden had his first hair cut! I was ready to have it done a long time ago, but Tim was a little reluctant. (Bald baby, anyone?) But last week I showed Tim a couple of pictures where Brenden was using my hair clippy and I guess that decided it for him. It could have also been the fact that his hair was threatening to get into his eyes, too.

Snip, snip!

What are you doing up there?

This thing is cool! Can I take it?

So Saturday we went to Super Cuts for both my guys to get hair cuts. We weren't too worried about Brenden being afraid of the noise, we were only worried he wouldn't sit still long enough. He wandered around the store while Tim had his hair cut first, and then it was his turn. He sat on his dad's lap and at first was interested in the spray bottle. That lasted all of 2 seconds. He then started squirming like a madman. I had to put his gloves on him, which somehow distracted him for a little while, and then we let him push the buttons on the camera. If I had been smarter I would have handed him my phone. All in all it wasn't that bad. He didn't mind the lady cutting his hair as long as he could push the buttons. I believe she cut off about 4 inches. Being the strange parent that I am, I snipped a couple of curls to keep in his baby book. I know I wanted his hair cut, but now I miss his curls! I guess now his hair has the chance to grow out at the same length and may look a little better. He always had one side of his head that was longer. So funny!

Here are the before and after pictures. Our little man is growing up!


Before

After

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Little boy, Big personality

Whenever people ask us to describe Brenden Tim will always reply, "He looks like me, with Amanda's personality." I'm still not sure if this is a compliment or not. Brenden has some really funny moments, but he also has some pretty awful ones, so who do we attribute those to? Tim and I are both pretty darn stubborn so Brenden was doomed to inherit that. I've started writing down a few of the funny things he does. I'll let you decide which parent he may have received these traits from.

His latest skill is putting his fingers in his ears. He isn't doing it to pretend he can't hear us, he just thinks it's funny. He'll hum while he does it so I think he may have discovered that it sounds different when he does it. I know that Tim and I didn't show him how, he just walked up to me one afternoon grinning like crazy with his fingers firmly in each ear. Since everyone thought that was rather hilarious he decided that he would try sticking his fingers in other places on his face. His newest one is up his nose. He doesn't dig around or anything, he just puts both index fingers in his nostrils and snorts. I can't help myself when I laugh at this, although I'm sure it will come back to bite me in the end. If we're at a store I may say, "Brenden, that's not very attractive" but I don't exactly stop him. When he starts wiping things on me, I might.

On Saturday night we ate Christmas dinner with Mike and Connie. We had yummy stuffed pork chops, scalloped potatoes, crescent rolls, and salad. We thought for sure Brenden would love the potatoes and the carrots that his grandma made for him. Unfortunately his picky side came out and all he would eat was the rolls and a banana. (Brenden shares the same obsession with bananas as his friend Anthony. We can't say the word around him.) After trying everything we could to get him to eat something else for dinner, we gave up. He had enough to eat that day and wasn't so hungry that I thought he needed tons more food, and the fact that it wasn't exactly a balanced meal didn't bother me at that moment. If he was eating I was happy. Eventually Brenden decided he absolutely HAD to sit in his grandma's lap. He was content for about 5 seconds and then tried to grab his grandpa's knife. Back into the highchair he went, but not very happily. We tried to bribe him with a roll, which he took but he refused to take a bite of it. After much screaming and pounding he realized we were not going to let him back out. This is when he looked at his roll and bit it with a ferocity that I did not know he had in him. He then glared at each of us in turn, as if to say, "Fine. I'll eat the stupid roll." I'm pretty sure we were all crying from laughing, which didn't make Brenden feel much better.

There is a mall not very far from our house that has a nice play area for kids. The floor is squishy and so are the toys. We've gone twice, once with Connie and then again today with Tim and me. Brenden has no problems running around with the other kids, occasionally getting knocked down or running into the benches around the sides. Both times we have gone he's found one or two kids he plays with the entire time and thankfully their parents have been extremely nice. Brenden is a big time hugger and always seems to find a little girl to love on. The little girls don't seem to mind, especially since one of them followed him everywhere today. (She was 2...an older woman!) :) Today he took a big step and went down the slide all by himself! The first time he made it to the top of the slide and I held his hand while he sat down and put his feet out. The next time Tim put him at the top and Brenden figured out how to push himself to get going. I thought he had the hang of it, but I was wrong. His next attempt he thought he'd try going head first, which means he tumbled down and landed in a heap. I was sitting on the bench watching and Tim was recording it with his phone. I thought for sure he would cry, or at least not want to go down again. I was wrong! He went down one more time, but this time was feet first. (Mom's insisting changed his mind about going head first.) We're very proud of him!

video

The video of his last sliding attempt. It's a little fuzzy since we used our phone. (The first thing you hear me say is "No." hehe)

Slides aren't the only thing that don't scare him. He's also not afraid to walk up to random people and ask for something, like lifting him so he can reach a button or their cell phone. I am constantly amazed at what complete strangers are willing to do. There was a lady that works at Circuit City that actually sat him on the counter and let him type on her computer. Another lady handed him her Blackberry and didn't even blink when he ran away with it. Who are these people!? I think they are all wonderful, I just didn't know that so many people would give into him so easily. I know I wouldn't hand over my cell phone to a child that I didn't know. Someday this strange power he has over people will stop working and he will be so upset. Until then, I guess he'll just enjoy having an extra grandma or grandpa every where he turns.



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

15 Month Check Up

We made it through another of the numerous check ups that happen in the first few years of a child's life. This is the one I was feeling the most nervous about, the one where Brenden got his dreaded MMR vaccine. I know that there are millions of people in the world that have had this shot. I know that both Tim and I had this shot before all the scares about autism and other horrible side effects were being shoved down my throat every time I turn around. That is not to say that there isn't a connection. I'm not a doctor and I have not done any personal research on the matter. I did read about it extensively, asked Brenden's doctor about it, and Tim and I came to the conclusion that we were definitely going to vaccinate him. It didn't take away my nerves, though.

We waddled up to the office, bundled up against the cold and snow. The last few days northeastern Oklahoma has been like an ice skating rink, so we've been stuck in the house driving each other crazy. Even if this wasn't a completely happy outing, it was still OUT. Brenden had a nice conversation with a lady in the elevator and continued chatting with everyone in the office until we were called back. He did a decent job of walking back to see the doctor, with only two detours into empty offices. The nurse we had is the same one we've seen every time. I think she is assigned to Dr. Mickle, Brenden's doctor, and we both really like her. She measured his length and head and then took us to weigh him. Brenden is 32 1/4 inches long, in the 75-90%, 28 lbs 3 oz, 90% (but I swear he weighs more), and his head is 49 cm, 90-97%. Both the nurse and the doctor commented that they were amazed he is so big when I'm on the smaller size and said he looked like good linebacker material. It's so funny that everyone says linebacker! Complete strangers wander up to him in grocery stores and say the same thing. They also asked about his head size when he was born, which I get all the time. People seem to be worried that his head has always been that size. No worries everyone, his ginormous cranium has grown at the same rate as his cheeks.

After a quick check to make sure that his egg allergy wouldn't be a problem with the vaccines, Brenden received the MMR and Hep A shots. The first shot he did OK, but the second one made him scream like a banshee. He even kicked the nurse in the stomach. OOPS! After a couple of minutes of soothing, lots of hugs, and a pacifier, he was doing OK. We walked into the waiting room and he found a couple of kids to play with, which he eventually ended up hugging like crazy. Thankfully they didn't mind at all and their moms found it amusing. One of these days he'll grab the wrong person and it won't be pretty. I really need to work on explaining personal space.

He is completely healthy and totally on track for his age, although if you ask me I think he's a little ahead of the curve, but there may be a bias. :) What parent doesn't think their child is the smartest and cutest baby ever? And I'll just have to see if there are any complications with his shots...but I'm praying that I'm being completely oversensitive. So far, so good!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Back online!

Wow...a few weeks without a computer at home and I feel completely disconnected. Luckily, Mike and Connie shared their desktop with us and now we are back in business! I could not be more excited...THANK YOU MIKE AND CONNIE! It's just a loaner until we get one of our own (which may be coming from another family member) and we are so thankful. Now I can get our Christmas letter done, because we all know it won't type itself, or be typed by anyone but me.

We had a busy week, both at my job and at home. Most people probably know I'm working 2 days a week at my old dance studio and I love it. I get to take Brenden with me and he loves chatting with the girls and their families. When he isn't there people are always asking about him. My mom comes to get him for a little while on Monday and for most of the evenings on Thursday, so Brenden's spoiling has increased tremendously.

This last weekend was Bartlesville's Christmas Spectacular, the show that Art of Motion puts on every year. Dress rehearsal on Friday went pretty well, even with some drama at the Community Center beforehand. We've handled almost everything they can throw at us in the last 20 years! Brenden spent the entire day with Grandma and Grandpa Warehime and I am sure that he enjoyed every minute of it, especially since when I left he barely blinked in my direction and refused to hug or kiss me goodbye. His clingy-baby stage did NOT last long. Actually, that's not true. He becomes very clingy with random people, like a grandma at the studio that plays with him, or the lady at Tim's reserve unit. If they leave he screams like I've taken away Barney Bunny. I have no idea why he feels so attached to complete strangers but could care less if I ever came back.

Ok, I got a little off the point. Saturday night I was headed to the show and Tim, my parents, his parents, Justin and Brenden were headed to the Dewey parade. Brenden seems to have had a great time people watching and grabbing up all sorts of candy that we can't let him eat. He may have molars now, but I'm pretty sure hard candy is out of the question for a long time. I was sad that I missed going with them, but the show was fabulous, as usual. A big thanks to the girls and Hayden for my present! I really appreciate it. You are all too sweet!

Backstage at the show was insane! One person, who will not be named, showed up at 7 pm, which is when the show started. Performers are supposed to be there at least 30 minutes before. Scary! After helping with a few quick changes, I ended up running down a few flights of stairs in order to grab a class that was due on stage. It was NOT fun trying to herd seven 4 year olds back up those stairs, especially in tap shoes. Thankfully we made it in one piece, although not in the right order to dance on stage. In the end, no one cared what order they were in. All that mattered was that they made it, and that that will never happen again. With the show over and the floor rolled up and deposited back at the studio, I went home to sleep. It was a busy two days.

For pictures from the parade, and other fun things, click here!

Stay safe and warm! It's sure chilly here!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

I still exist! (and updates)

I've stolen the laptop again! Tim is off doing the Army reserve thing this weekend so I begged him to leave me the laptop. "Just a couple of days of contact with the outside world, please?" Somehow, I got my wish. (Thank you, Tim!) I have decided that for Christmas I am going to ask everyone to contribute to a "Get Amanda a new computer, she's going crazy without one" Fund. Not the most personal gift ever, but I'm ready to be able to read my emails in a normal size, not the minute version on my cell phone.
There is a lot to include in this post...sorry in advance!!!

Thanksgiving was held at Grandma and Grandpa Warehime's house and we ended up with 15 people in one den. Cramped, but very happy! Fried turkey, ham, potatoes, mac and cheese, green bean casserole, homemade apple and pumpkin pie, etc...all made for a super yummy day. Brenden was a little overwhelmed with the sudden appearance of half of the family after naptime and only wanted to be held by Grandma Connie, who shared her plate of food with him. He's usually extremely social so I think it had to do with the fact that when he went to sleep there weren't that many people and when he woke up he had everyone watching him. He did settle down and eventually ate his own food for dinner. I'm not sure how to make this easier for him next time, but we'll figure it out.

We (meaning Tim and my mom) decided to have a garage sale the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I knew we were going to have one, I just didn't know it would be so soon. I don't think anyone realized just how many things were shoved into my mom's storage shed. It took at least 5 trips back and forth to get everything to the house on Thursday night and Friday morning. We then spent what felt like ALL DAY Friday (at least 8 hours) sorting and pricing the junk. Some of it was decent, but 90% of it was really just odds and ends that my mom and I had collected over 20 years. Yes, I still had jewelry and random things from when I was 7 stored away. I'm not sure what I thought I would do with them, but I guess I imagined a garage sale. Wish granted!

Saturday we woke up at 5:20 am to get everything put out by 7 am. Anyone that knows me knows that getting me out of bed before sunrise is a miracle, but it happened. It was cold, a bit misty, and still dark, but we got it done. By 8:30 am we hadn't seen one person. (I got up that early for NOTHING?!) We thought for sure this entire day was a bust, and then it happened! One person showed up and bought something, which apparently made it ok for other people to show up. We sold roughly $150 worth of junk, including a grab bag of my old jewelry and things, most of which went to 3 people. I think one lady was shopping for flea markets but at that time I didn't care. When it was all said and done we still had a majority of the stuff left. Some of it we are going to sell on Craigslist, the rest went to Goodwill or was left on the curb by my parent's house. I am amazed what people will pick up if it's free. I'm just happy it's not still in storage!

Brenden can now officially stand up without holding on to something. He started doing it the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and has continued to get better at it every day. I have had several people comment about how steady he seems on his feet now, which I've noticed as well. We still have moments where he falls down and face plants on the hardwood, but they are very few and he's learned how to fall without busting a lip. He can also squat down without tipping over, which comes in handy when he wants to hide behind something to play Peek-a-Boo.

He has also started becoming attached to things, although he hasn't picked out a favorite yet. One day he'll want to wear his OSU hat everywhere, including into his crib at naptime. Another day he wants me to put the monkey that Grandma Karen got him at the Denver Zoo around his neck, which he then leaves on like a funny tie. I guess having several objects that can keep him interested and happy is a good thing so I'm not going to push him towards one thing or another. The only thing that is constant is Barney Bunny, who lives in Brenden's crib and only comes out when we go somewhere overnight. Brenden does seem to love clutching him in the car so maybe he'll be a car bunny soon, too. I've very interested to see which thing stays the course, but I have a feeling that his preference may just keep changing every week. A few weeks ago he only wanted to play with our Swiffer or the vacuum. (he can make a vacuum noise now!) We'll just roll with it!

Like my new tie?


Sleepy baby with his Barney Bunny in the car.

Brenden continues to learn new words and signs, some of which he has made up himself. If he pounds on his chest then he wants a cracker, or if he pats his head he wants his hat on. He has taken to calling the dogs "bub-bee", which sounds like a version of "puppy" to me and we can't get him to just say "dog". Other random phrases will come out of his mouth repeatedly, so I think he's trying to tell me something but I just don't speak Brenden-nese. If I repeat what he has said to me he gets a very funny look on his face, like I just promised something that I may regret. I've told him several times that even though I may have said he can get a new car when he's 16, it was because I had no idea what I was agreeing to. :) My favorite one has been "stinky" which is what I say when I think it's time to change a diaper. I'll ask if he's stinky and he'll wave his hand in front of his nose and try to repeat the word "stinky". There have been a few times where he has walked up to me and said it, wave included, and when I check he's definitely stinky. I'm hoping that this is a good step towards potty training, which I'm dreading! The horror stories I have heard, including the long drawn out process that Tim's parents had to go through with him, are not putting my mind at ease. We're not actively trying to potty train him or anything crazy like that, but I've started thinking about it and what we can do now to help him. It's a scary thought!

My last piece of Brenden related news (what else is there?) is that he officially has 13 teeth. When this happened I'm not sure, but while we were brushing his teeth before I bed I noticed that there were a few more than I remembered. The screaming is making sense! He now has the beginnings of 2 upper molars, along with a canine on the top as well. As far as I can tell, and I'm no expert, the other 3 canines are trying to make an appearance, too. His pediatrician told me that he would get the canines and then get his molars, but she seems to have forgotten than this child does not like waiting for anything. Here come 6 new teeth at once! How lucky are we? Yay for teething tablets! If you haven't heard of them, please try them if you are dealing with an unhappy teether. They have saved us from many MANY sleepless nights. (Thank you Heather G!)

On that happy note, it's about time for Brenden's nap to end. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend full of happy chatting and emailing. I'm going to use this laptop time while I still can!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kaput!

Our laptop at home has gone on permanent strike. No more internet during the day for me! I've stolen Tim's work laptop to type this quick apology for being gone for so long.

A quick Happy Birthday to Jason! It was Nov. 26th, right after the computer went goodbye. Sorry Jay!

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope we aren't computer-less for that long but I better say it now. :)


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