Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ice, ice, baby...

Gary and I both had this Friday off, and we had a babysitter, so we went on a date! First, we went to the Gaylord Texan for the Ice exhibit. The theme of the ice exhibit was "The Grinch" by Dr. Seuss. They gave us these fantastic parkas at the entrance, which REALLY came in handy! I mean...they told us it would be 9 degrees, but I think that's hard to wrap your head around when you grow up in the South! The parkas kept us really warm...gloves would have come in handy.
The ice sculptures were really amazing.

Gary's alter ego...
We had fun hanging out together, but we were ready to get the heck out of this icy tent! We finished the day with some yummy sushi at Kona Grill and a little bit of shopping. It was a great day! I enjoyed being able to reconnect with my hubby and eating/shopping without rushing!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Gary and I decided that it would be romantic, and yummy, to make s'mores the other night. So, we lit up the chiminea, gathered our goodies, bundled up in our least attractive yet warmest attire and headed to our deck to make s'mores. It was REALLY cold outside, so I made some hot chocolate, too. We took a couple of the metal chairs that are normally outside and put them in front of the fire. We also had a cardboard box sitting around that we thought would be a great table (in hindsight, not so smart...but nothing caught on fire...except several marshmallows!)

It was a great time! We had time to chill out, literally, and talk without any distractions. Well, without any big distractions. Well, Jack was there. Anyway, Gary taught me the fine art of roasting a marshmallow. I'm a pretty inpatient person. I want instant gratification, so I torched my marshmallow and didn't put it out until it was resting on top of my chocolate, gently nuzzled by my Graham cracker. Gary has tons more patience. He let the marshmallow warm up and get a delightful golden brown.

I realized that we looked like homeless people that night. Neither one of us wanted to wear anything nice, since it would probably smell like smoke, but it was cold outside and we needed to bundle up. Add a random cardboard box and fire, and there you go. The only thing missing was the bridge.

After several s'mores, a sick tummy from eating too many s'mores, smokey clothes and numb fingers, we decided to go inside. It was a lot of fun! I look forward to doing it again. I can't wait until Gavin is old enough to enjoy doing stuff like that, too!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

This Thanksgiving, I cooked a turkey all by myself! I got some brining bags and brine from William Sonoma. For those of you cooking novices who don't know, brining is soaking your poultry or pork in a salt water concoction for about 24 hours in the refrigerator (that really makes me sound like I know what I'm talking about). It promised my turkey would be moist and succulent. It was both of those things. And it looked really pretty, too! I also made gravy from scratch. I made a homemade caramel apple pecan pie, too, but it tasted better than it looked!

This is the brine in a giant zip lock bag (or brining bag...William Sonoma can charge more for calling it something fancy). I added 2 gallons of water and a 15 pound turkey to this bag.

This is one pretty bird, if I do say so myself!!

It was also Gavin's first Thanksgiving. He was dressed to the 9's in his Thanksgiving outfit, complete with his "Baby's First Thanksgiving" bib. He really enjoyed all of the food we had. I think his favorites were the mashed potatoes that I made and the sweet potatoes that Erica made. She was sweet enough to make half of her sweet potato casserole without nuts so the babies could have some.

We are so thankful this holiday season for our Dallas "family". It's hard not being around our family, and we are so happy to have such great friends to share good times with...including Gavin's future wife, Saylor .
Our sweet friends...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Raising puppies, rearing people!

Having a puppy before having a baby was great practice! But, sometimes I wonder (and worry) that there are too many similarities in raising our boys. For example, we learned that when Jack did something he wasn't supposed to, you make a noise (ah-ah) and then distract him. Now that Gavin is more mobile, he gets into everything! When he reaches for the outlets or the fireplace, I make the same noise!!! I've tried to start saying "no-no" to Gavin and "ah-ah" to Jack, but I get them mixed up and reversed. On the other hand, when Jack is behaving well, we were taught to praise him and really make a fuss over him. guessed it....when Gavin listens, gives kisses or high fives, or anything else, we follow it with an enthusiastic "good boy-you did it!!!"

They respond to similar things, too. They both get excited and run to the door when you say "outside" or "W-A-L-K". We play the same games with Gavin that we played with Jack when we first brought him home. Those include "hide and seek", "peek a boo" and a little game we play called "where's momma/daddy".
And, sometimes they act the same. They will both put anything in their mouths and try to eat it (leaves being a favorite), they both carry socks around in there mouths, and they both like to "fetch" balls, just to name a few things.
Some things are different. Jack is potty trained, Gavin is not. Gavin likes to take a bath. Jack licks his own butt.
I think Jack turned out really dog we EVER had! So, if Gavin turns out like Jack, I think we'll be ok...unless Gavin starts to lick his butt. Then, we have a problem!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Golden Picnic 2009

Today was the 2nd annual (for us) Golden Picnic. It's a picnic sponsored by the GRRNT or Golden Retriever rescue of North Dallas. It's a great cause and an even greater excuse to bring Jack to Lake Grapevine to swim, play and frolic with his friends. The weather could NOT have been more perfect! Although, from all the rain this past week, the beach was flooded. There was no sand to walk or play on today...just grass. I guess that was good for us because Jack didn't get nearly as dirty as last year.
Jack fetched tennis balls out of the water for a while and then played Frisbee with Gary. Then, we went to play on the play ground. Jack made it up the slide with Gary and Gavin, which surprises me. Jack is normally afraid of heights and things that are high. But he got up there. We couldn't get him to slide down, though. It was a lot of fun, but we only stayed for a little while. The wee one was getting tired so we had to head home. It was a perfect day with my perfect little family! Well, almost perfect. There was that time today when I kneeled in poop, and Gary had to clean me off with a wet one. But other than that, it was pretty perfect! I wish I could bring my sweet Jack with us more places.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Random thought

I got angry today driving down the street. No, it wasn't road rage at the idiot that almost ran me off the road because he was texting or the guy going 20 mph in a 40 mph speed zone. I got angry because I saw a young girl sitting at the bus stop on a cold day, and I wanted to give her a ride to where she was going. But, ewwww! How creepy is that? "Hey little you want some candy???MUUUHAHAHAHA!!" Or, suppose I did give this girl a ride and she caused physical harm to me in some way? It's depressing that we live in a world where we can't trust each other. You can't genuinely help a stranger (or even an acquaintance or some family members) without fear that, at the very least, you'll be taken for granted and play the fool. Sure, I could join some organization, or send money to feed the starving kids in some third world country for the cost of a cup of coffee a day, but what about spontaneous random acts of kindness that give you the warm fuzzies? Gary told me the other day that Pete Carroll, USC's head coach, drives to the ghetto to talk to the young guys. He tells them to stay in school, asks them if they need anything, and gives them money...I admire that. But, am I going to do But, I will continue to be open to all opportunities that come my way. And, I will continue to celebrate all the beautiful things in my wonderful husband, my sweet puppy and my son, the light of my life. I may even be open to joining an organization to fulfill my need to help in some way. Even if I have to give up my daily latte.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This weekend...

This weekend, Beth came to visit us! Gary went to New Orleans and Baton Rouge for a boys weekend to watch the LSU/Florida game. So...Beth came up here to hang out with us! She flew in Friday night, so we just hung out and caught up. On Saturday, Gavin saw Beth again for the first time since he was 6 weeks old (and quite colicky). I was worried how he would greet her because he's at this weird stranger anxiety stage. She woke up on Saturday morning and came and sat on the rug with us. He crawled right up to her and said hi! He wanted her to pick him up! How great is that?!?
We planned to go to the Arboretum to take some pumpkin patch pictures. We drove by and the entrance was blocked off. It was sooooo busy that they closed the parking lot, diverted would be visitors to an off site parking location, and offered a shuttle...not worth it. So, we drove to a local church who has a pumpkin patch. They were great!!!! And best of all, not busy! We got some great pictures...
I got a babysitter on Saturday night so Beth and I could go to a sports bar and watch the LSU game. It was so empty in there! We sent Christy there an hour early to get a table and that was horribly unnecessary! Was everyone else at the game?? Oh well. We had fun. I was drunk (and hungover) after 3 beers. What a light weight!!!
Jack had his "therapy dog test" (aka temperment test) on Sunday. Beth, Gavin and I took Jack for a long walk to try to get rid of some of his energy. He got a bath and a blow dry and was all ready to go! He did so great with all of the obedience stuff and tolerating noise and being poked and prodded. His biggest down fall...his energy and love for people! He was a nut case when anyone tried to touch him! He jumped and licked and acted more excited than I'd ever seen him! I knew he wasn't ready, but I had no idea he would be such a nut! Half way through the test, Linda says, "D, he's not ready". Duh. I tried not to cry. My boy failed. He was set up to fail by me and all the people encouraging me to test him. He's still just a puppy at 18 months old! He'll test again in February, maybe. I would love for him to be a therapy dog, but, if he's not, that's ok too! He's perfect for our family and so great with Gavin.

Gary came home Sunday and Beth left Monday. LSU lost, and it was rainy, but it was still a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Big week...

It seems like Gavin is just growing up before my eyes! In just one week, he has started scooting all over the place! He started saying "dada" last Friday just in time for Gary to come home from work, and he got his first tooth! He also started to eat puffed cereal. I was hesitant at first. If it were up to me, he'd be on pureed food until he goes to college. I'm terrified of him choking, but he handled it like a champ. He had a lot of fun at story time at the mall on Monday. He laughed a lot...especially while singing the morbid "Ring around the Rosy" (a lovely song about the plague). His favorite part is: "ashes, ashes, we all fall down!" Go figure. I did realize that I get really choked up while singing "You are my sunshine" because it's so true. I tear up everytime. He started riding in a big boy stroller, too. I took the car seat attatchment out of the BOB. He has officially outgrown his Graco cart...tear.

Just in case you didn't know the lyrics:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy, when skies are gray
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away.

Love you, sweet boy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pow Wow...

My mom and sister came in town this weekend. I saw that there was a Pow Wow in Grand Prairie, and I know my mom loves that stuff! So...I decided to take my mom and sister to the Pow Wow on the pouring rain! It took us twice as long to get there because I drove like an old lady on Sunday going to Luby's after church! By the time we got there, it was almost over. But, we still saw some pretty impressive, er, Pow Wow'ing? Anyway, there was one young man (and I do mean young) that stood out in the crowd. Everyone wanted a picture with him, not excluding my mom and sister. Reminding them that he was jail bait, I took the picture.

I had some interesting food there, too. We got something called an Indian taco. It was basically fry bread (think giant, flat beignet) with pinto beans, ground meat, lettuce, tomato and cheese plopped on top. It was pretty good. They also had meat pies. I did not buy a meat pie because the lady making them was mean to me. I asked her if I could take a picture of her because...well, just because. She said "no" so I took a picture of her hands. She turned to the lady on her right and said, "Geez, I said no, these people!" I wonder if she gets asked for photos a lot. That would surprise me.
We finished up the day shopping for some stuff. I bought my mom a hair thingy and a choker and we called it a day...a pretty fun thing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I didn't realize that babies pose for pictures at such a young age. But now I realize that Gavin does pose for pictures, just not the way his two closes friends do. When Saylor and Ian see a camera, they turn to it and smile.

As you see, Gavin either ignores the camera, or does his best impression of Blue Steel (Zoolander reference). I once heard an interview with Shaquelle O'Neal about the commercials he does. He says his smiles reflect the amount of money he gets paid. A low paying job gets a smirk, no teeth showing. A high paying job gets the biggest, open mouth smile possible. I think Gavin has adopted this policy, too. When we try to take pictures by calling his name or making funny clicking noises, he phones it in. But, when we put the work in, by singing "Old McDonald" or making pigging noises, he really gives us all he's got!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gavin is 6 months old!!!

Gavin is having a pretty busy week! He went to the doctor on Wednesday for another round of shots. He cried for a minute or two, but he was easily consoled. Besides some mild fussiness, he was fine the rest of the day.
He is in the 75th percentile for head circumference (17 10/16") and height (27") and in the 60th percentile for weight (17-13 1/2 oz). He can roll over both ways, he can sit on his own, he can babble your ear off, and he's even trying to pull up into standing! I think he may start to crawl soon. He's starting to lunge forward from sitting. Right now, he gets a face full of floor, but soon he'll get the hang of it. He's doing lots of other things, but it's just too much to list. I think he's starting to smile for the camera...

Thursday was his official 6 month birthday. To celebrate, Gary bought him a card and three presents. He wrapped the presents really loose so Gavin could open them himself. As expected, Gavin had more fun with the wrapping paper than with the actual toys. He got some onsies, a milk and cookies coin drop thingy, and a sippy cup with his name on it!

He's doing really well without his sleep suit. The first night was rough, and he cried...a lot. The second night was much better, and he seemed to actually like sleeping on his stomach. I did go to get him up the second morning and found that he was sleeping in a puddle of urine, spit up and had a poopy diaper!!! Poor baby!! I guess sleeping on his stomach caused him to spit up and his diaper to leak. The solid food probably caused the poopy diaper. I bought a bigger size diaper and the third night was great! I did wake up three times to make sure he wasn't sleeping in peepee again. He wasn't. He looks so stinkin' cute in his pajamas!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ode to my Gavin Gerard

Dearest sleepsuit:

Tonight we will part ways...forever. This is a bittersweet moment for me because of our love/hate relationship. I fought so hard at nap time and bedtime to keep you off of me only to fall fast asleep as you enveloped me in your puffy, cotton warmth. I resented you for holding me back...well, on my back. But, as I toss and turn in my bed tonight, I realize that being on my stomach sucks! I hated hearing how I resembled the kid in A Christmas Story, or a starfish, or a cotton ball, etc.
You were such a part of me for so long, half my life! But, I have outgrown you...literally. I'm not the newborn you once knew. I'm an infant now, and I must move on to bigger, better things. So, goodbye, sleepsuit. Thank you for all the good times we shared. Thank you for keeping me warm, for keeping me safe and for helping me sleep through the night since I was 10 weeks old.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I heard my niece use the term "arm-itis" when she came in to visit Gavin a few months ago. I think Gavin may have a case of arm-itis. I started to notice it last night when Erica, Matt and Saylor invited us to dinner. We were so excited to see them and to get out of the house. It was Gavin's dinner time, too, so we brought his cereal to dinner with us. We sat him in a highchair for the first time ever, and he did so first. Once the novelty of it wore off, he started to really act up. He could not be calmed by spoonfuls of oatmeal or squeaky toys. The only thing that calmed him was to hop in mommy or daddy's lap! He then proceeded to have a mild fit because we were not giving him the yummy fajitas we were eating. The night ended as it usually does, with a bath, a story and a bottle.
I went to bed just as exhausted as Gavin and didn't give arm-itis another thought until we went to Target today. Gavin is sitting up so well now, so I thought I would bust out the shopping cart cover for him to sit in. That was fine for about 15 minutes. Again, the novelty wore off, and the boy began to cry. He was distracted by his toys for a little while, but when the whine turned into a howl, I had to pick him up. I felt like if I didn't, I might be stoned to death by the other patrons. He immediately stopped crying. I finished throwing the rest of the stuff I needed into the cart and raced to the checkout counter. I had to put him down in order to load the groceries onto the belt. Gavin had a meltdown. After about a minute of crying, and several Target employees trying to make him stop crying, I had to pick him up. By this time, I'm loading overstuffed Target bags into my cart with one hand and holding the boy with my other hand. To make matters worse, I accidentally dropped a giant, glass jar of spaghetti sauce on the floor at Target! Oops. So, I left pushing the cart with one hand and holding Senior Grumpy Butt in the other. It may be time for a little tough love. While I may never go back to that Target, I have to get him used to riding around in the cart, sitting in a highchair and anything else that might come our way while we're out and about.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Love sick...

Saylor came over to play the other day, and for the first time, Gavin and Saylor took a mutual interest in each other. Saylor is a lot more mobile than Gavin (she's 2 months older), so she was the aggressor most of the time :). My favorite part of the day was the conversation they had... it's great that Gavin throws up at the's like Kyle and Wendy from South Park! Never mind the video, I'm an idiot and can't get it to upload to the'll just have to take my word.

My next favorite moment was when Saylor crawled over to Gavin and they gave each other a giant hug before toppling over!

That day was filled with other fun activities...Gary put the high chair together and we all ate dinner together in the formal. Gavin LOVES to eat and drink from a big boy cup! He squeals in delight when he sees his bowl (and starts to get fussy if you don't get it in his mouth fast enough). He's doing so good with eating. He gets more than half in his mouth and in his belly. Good job!
And, we took some shots of our boy in the bathtub. He is sooo scheduled. If it's 7:05 PM, and he's not in the bathroom, he starts to get fussy. He is immediately in a better mood once you start walking towards the bathroom, and he hears the water running. I recently took out the mesh "hammock" in his tub, so he sits up like a big boy. Only problem is he doesn't like to lean back to let me rinse his hair. And he tries to stand up in the tub. He's starting to splash around and play with the toys in his tub, too.