Friday, April 30, 2010

Forty-two Weeks Old

Connor is wearing two different outfits in his photos, because he was being a little stinker the day we took the teddy photo and refused to allow us to do the chair one. Thankfully, we only have 10 more weeks of these. It is getting soooooooo hard to get these shots; I will be quite thankful when he turns a year old and I can stop doing these.

What a week we had! Connor has been taking much shorter naps during the day at daycare (down to 40 minute naps each). At home with me, however, he's been taking two LONG naps (like 1.5-2 hours each). This is the opposite of how it's been ever since he was born. He would always take long naps at daycare and no nap at home (not wanting to miss anything). The problem with his new routine is that he gets home from daycare at 4:30-5 and wants to nap, but we put him down for bed at 7-7:30. I'll be ready for this stage to pass!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Zoo

I am always looking for ways to pass a few hours by myself with Little Man and have consequently spent a lot of time at the zoo (ahh the joys of a membership) and park! What I love about going to the zoo a million times, is that I completely get to see the evolution of Connor's understanding. This time, I invited my sister and her boyfriend along to spend the day with us. I was so glad they could come!! Each time we go, there's more and more of an awareness of what it is that we're doing. This past time, he kept reaching out to the animals! I love, love, love it!
Uncle Denny & Connor Gettin' Their Drink On

My sister, Connor, & Me

Seriously - isn't my sister such a great photographer?
I love this one because you can see all his teeth!
What a big boy - Standing to see the Orangutangs!


There were a million more photos which I will put in our album!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Oh How I love You Skinny Cow

After doing weight watchers for a few years, I fell in love with the brand Skinny Cow. They have really delicious low calorie, low fat desserts. Well, today, I would like to proudly declare to the world that I am officially IN LOVE with their new tiny little dessert cups (only 130-170 calories and 2-3 grams of fat).

As you've seen, I have very little self control (well I guess telling my husband to take the french fries out of the house means I have SOME self control)...but when it comes to ice cream, if it's there in front of me, I eat it. Of course, my darling husband also has this problem. Lucky for him he can eat an entire pint of Haagan Dazs and not gain a darn pound. Have I mentioned how much I hate him?!? Well, now I can eat the entire carton and not feel guilty! They come in Caramel Cone, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Dulce de Leche, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Cookies and Cream. One tiny little warning, for those of you used to decadent, fattening, delicious desserts, this will kinda have a slight "diet" sort of taste. Honestly, though, it is UHHH-MAAAZING!!!!

Because I haven't Posted A Food Video in a While

Because I'm often by myself with Little Man, I find ways to pass the time. Eating is sooo much more fun when you're being videotaped...right?


video

Did You Notice????

Alright folks, if you are in your blogger or google reader, GET OUT! Check out my new page made by this fabulous woman: http://designedbyleslie.blogspot.com/

Mr. Howard and I had been talking for a while, now that we have had over 12,000 visitors, about getting a more personalized, polished look for our site. We originally created this as a way to update friends and family about our little life, but as I became more and more adept at this whole blogging thing, I started to think of it as a way not only to communicate to those of you who love our family, but also to those of you who enjoy reading about a mom and dad trying to make the best life for their family. Aren't we all curious about how other people live?

So, enjoy the new site! I'll have some of the links that aren't working yet up and running soon - perhaps at the next naptime!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

It's Official

Well folks, now that Connor has been down for over a two hour nap, I have finally been able to finish my second book in nine months!

Ahhh I finally am starting to feel like myself again!

Ms. Kinsella, I eagerly await your next book!

My Classroom

After a recent post where I was trying to find pictures of my classroom and couldn't, I realized I should probably document my classroom. This post is more for me to keep as a record before I begin packing up my classroom. I almost made it private, but thought...maybe there's someone in the blogging world who would enjoy seeing the photos.

My Mini Computer Lab where we can do Project Based Learning in the Classroom
My Guided Reading Board Where I post Guided Reading Assignments
One of the Walls is Covered in Bookshelves!!
Our Sink, Place to Turn in Homework, Game Shelves, and Other Storage
The White Board
Our Classroom Library & Classwork Displays!

More Walking

Because in the world of a nine month old learning to walk, things change daily...here is a new video!
video

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Show us Your Life - How I Met My Husband

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

On Kelly's Blog, for her Show Us Your Life, the topic today is How You Met Your Husband. So...here goes...
Mr. Howard and I both were raised in the Palm Springs area and while we never attended the same school, we crossed paths multiple times in the years before we truly met.

In November of 2000 we attended a birthday party for a mutual friend Rafael (shout out to Rafael who just got engaged recently) and because I was in charge of videotaping the guests to get their birthday wishes, I got the opportunity to meet many of the guests at the party. The second Mr. Howard came over to give his speech on the tape, I fell for him.

After a phone call, the next day, to our mutual friend, I got his phone number and called him. Yes I made the first move - and the best move I ever made. We spoke on the phone for a butterfly-filled thirty minutes and hit it off. When it was time to end the conversation, he said he'd call me back....which he NEVER did (If you're keeping track, this is Strike 1 Mr. Howard).

After a few months, before New Years, after talking to an ex who was on the water-polo team with Mr. Howard, I was convinced I should try to email him (yep I made the second move too). We sent emails back and forth for a while and even had an IM conversation. After several butterfly-filled emails and IM conversations, he suggested we get together for New Years Eve. He said he'd call me in the morning to make plans. I was SOOO excited and even had my mom take me to get my hair cut and blow-dryed....But he never called (Strike 2 Mr. Howard). I vowed never to answer his emails or calls again and decided to just have fun.

In late January (the week before Super Bowl), I received a beeper page (haha...does that date me or what?) from Mr. Howard asking me to call. I was in a theatre with Kathleen and thought, "*?*& him! He had his chance!" But after about 30 minutes, curiousity got the best of me and I called him back. He was hanging out on Palm Canyon and wanted to meet up with me. I caved. I have always been a sucker for cute boys!
We talked and talked and talked and talked. I even went over to his house with his mom, dad, Chris, & maybe someone I'm missing, on Superbowl two days after we met. From that day until the day we graduated high school, we did not spend a SINGLE day apart. At that time I was coaching a middle school volleyball team, working as a nanny, and performing as Antigone in the play Antigone. Mr. Howard was working full-time and going to school full-time. But somehow we managed to find a way to spend hours every night getting to know each other and falling in love. That summer before I went away to college, we spent hours talking about our future and made a lot of grand plans for how the next year away from college was going to go. We, however, were also realists. We decided that it might be best for us to see other people while in college, to make sure that if we truly had met the person we were going to spend the rest of our lives with - that we'd have no regrets.
While in college, we met a road block. I was in Irvine; he was in Palm Springs. We were seeing each other every weekend. Mr. Howard was driving up for every sorority formal and party and I was driving home to visit my family and friends. Right around the end of our freshman years, Mr. Howard's family decided to move to Alabama and he had to make the decision about what he wanted to do. Luckily for me, he decided to move out to Irvine to be with me! Those were the months we really started to get to know each other. We essentially lived together right away (I was technically living in the sorority house) and he had an apartment with Casey (sorry Casey...I just barged right in) so we spent days and nights with each other.
After almost four years of knowing each other, on August 1, 2004, Mr. Howard proposed to me in the living room of the apartment we shared in front of most of our friends and a lot of our family. And three short years later (I finished my credential and master's before marrying) on July 14, 2007 we were married in a beautiful mansion in downtown Sacramento in front of all our friends and family.

And We Began Our Lives Together

Forty-one Weeks Old

Long gone are the happy days sitting in the crib with the teddy. Now we are angry we have to sit; angry that Mommy is pointing some object at me and begging for me to smile; frustrated that Mommy won't let me STAND up!!

What a big boy we have! As you can see from the videos, he is getting so old. My sister said it best when she said, "He's like a gigantic version of himself!" Yep! He is!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Typical Wednesday Night

Mr. Howard: "I'm done!"
Mrs. Howard: "Please take the french fries with you to class."
Mr. Howard: "Can't I just throw them away?"
Mrs. Howard: "Please, JUST take them with you."
Mr. Howard: "Why?"
Mrs. Howard: "Because I might be tempted to dig them out of the bag in the trash."

And you think I'm kidding?

Some Steps Captured on Tape!

Here is a sort of collection of videos taken on April 21st of Connor taking some steps. I had about 15 minutes of video that I tried to edit down. I know one of the clips cuts off my talking. Sorry!
video

My Funk

I have really been in a funk lately and I am struggling to get out of it. I remember feeling this same way last year while I was pregnant and didn't have a job. Up until this week, I hadn't felt nearly as bad about losing my job as I did last year (really...can anything beat being pregnant AND laid off?). But now that reality has set in and the to-do lists have begun (like packing up my classroom), I have come to an unhappy place.

Below is a picture of part of my classroom on Valentine's Day (it was all I could find)!
I am so trying to be present for my students who need me to be consistent and loving, but really the majority of my job duties fall when I'm not getting paid (all the lesson planning I do, classroom preparation, newsletters, extra projects, etc.) and I have NOT been able to muster the strength to do any of those things.
Of course the more depressed I get about the whole situation, the more I feel guilty. Mr. Howard and I have a great life. We're both healthy. We're blessed with an amazing child. We have a roof over our heads. We have been SO unbelievably blessed, both professionally and personally! So then I start to think, "what do I have to complain about?"
And then, to top it off, I have been sooo unhappy with my body. I never seemed to go back to my pre-pregnancy size and even though I'm fitting into most of my clothes, it's a MUCH different fit than it was before. Cue the guilt again! Because the reality is that I am still MUCH better off physically than a lot of people. Sure I have about 10 pounds that I could SERIOUSLY afford to lose, but the reality is that I am super healthy and active. A parent, at the beginning of the year, was talking to me about her weight struggles and I said something about not being able to lose the baby weight. She looked at me in utter shock and said, "well, for someone who is as tiny as you..." That may be the first time (in years) anyone has called me tiny, but it reminded me that I have a lot to be thankful for and perhaps I need to just find a way to not pick my body apart. But, How? Really? I signed up to birth a beautiful child. I knew that it would be painful when I signed up for that. I knew I'd probably not escape without some battle wounds (most likely in the form of stretchmarks). I did not, however, sign up to permanently add an extra layer around my mid-section.

Ahhh. I feel better just venting! Thanks for listening...the good, the bad, and the ugly, right?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Speed Racer

Connor has perfected the Quick Crawl and is also taking steps. I swear he does much better when the camera isn't on him (Mamas out there, can you relate?)

video

Monday, April 19, 2010

Updated Post

I updated THIS blog with a repaired video!!!

Our Little Cow Butt

This weekend it finally got warm enough in these parts to break out some of the short sleeved onesies we've had for him! This is one my mom and I found about a month ago.

Ahhh....look at that little tush!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Forty Weeks Old

What a whirlwind week! Connor started walking or stepping. We headed down to Southern California to see friends and family. We got to see Sara and Nate probably for the last time until their little one is born. We got to see Allison, Jack, and Madison for the last time before they become a family of four! We put in some quality time with Jen & Brett's new baby Mali. And we worked full-time jobs on top of it all!

A Birthday Party

We spent the most wonderful Saturday at a birthday party for Miss Kate-Lynn (how on Earth did I not get a picture of the Birthday Girl??) who turned 4!

The Mama Friends
Auntie Susan
A Nine Month Old Not Afraid of a Giant Carebear!!
Our Friends Diana & Sophia
The Ladies Man - Connor and Sophia
See what a Ladies Man he is - Connor and Ellie!

Can Anyone Help??

With the new camera that Mr. Howard and I got, we have to convert videos from AVI to a WMV file in order to upload them to blogger or YouTube. I have tried three different converter software programs (Windows Media Encoder, Format Factory, and Prism Video Converter) and NONE of them have been successful.

They make the videos freeze! What programs do you use??

Girls' Night

The girls and I decided last night that we would do a Girls' Night or TGIF and BOY DID WE NEED IT!! I am SOOOO unbelievably blessed to have such close friends in my life! Saskia, Susan, & Diana I love you!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Call it Mommytuition

**This is a Chest X-Ray of Lovebug from today!**

I have had a sneaking suspicion that something wasn't right with Little Man for some time now. His cough just never seemed to go away, which was highly suspicious and he just hasn't fully been himself. SOOO this morning when I went to get him out of his crib and I heard him wheezing, I thought "That's It! We're heading in!" I'm sure had we spoken with the advice nurses they would have told us not to go in because he had no CLASSIC sign. He didn't have a fever. He wasn't lethargic or completely out of sorts. He wasn't sick. He just was off.


Well, call it mommytuition but guess what?!? He has pneumonia. It's nothing too terribly concerning, but it's enough to put him on a full-blown dose of antibiotics. Plus we have an inhaler for him if we hear him wheezing again. So, let me Oprah for a moment and tell you to trust your gut!! If you think something is wrong, it probably is.


Might I also gloat for one tiny moment (hey I don't get to do that very often) because my Darling Husband did NOT think we should go in to the doctor. I think this has definitely earned me "I told you so" points for at least a month. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Fun Giveaway!

Leslie Lambert is having a giveaway for some really adorable stuff. I have been reading her blog ever since I found her other design blog and love the recipes and advice she posts. Discovering that she is a sorority sister of a family member of mine was just the icing on the cake in solifying my excitement for her blog. You should check out her giveaway (and her blog design if you are interested).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Where Have We Been?

We temporarily disapeared and headed down to our Home Away From Home: Southern California! My how we have missed our friends. What a wonderful surprise to see all my tri delta sisters and what a whirlwind it's been for all of us. I am entitling this next section,

"How on Earth Did we Become Adults since leaving the sorority a few years back?!?"
(from left to right in the photo)
**
Jen has gotten married, bought her first home, and is raising an adorable puppy!
**
Amy has moved in with her fabulous boyfriend and his beautiful daughter and is settling in!
**
I got married, became a teacher, and had a baby!
**
Jen has moved in with her fabulous boyfriend and is a Team Manager for the USA Waterpolo Team!
**
Sara has gotten married, almost graduated law school, and is expecting her first born!
**
Mary is a super successful buisness woman and jet-setting traveler!
**
Carmen is in a band and is well on her way to super success!
**
Allison got married, became a School Psychologist, had a baby, and is expecting her second!!
**

Thirty-nine Weeks Old

I am apologizing, in advance, for when you scroll down to the next picture. Connor was in a fussy mood, was SOOO ready for bed, had already been given his bath, and then was set into his crib; whereby he believed he was going to sleep. Instead I shoved a camera in his face and begged him to smile. That photo is the result! :-)

Well, folks, we have a walker. I never really understood when Diana said, "it's hard to pinpoint when exactly Sophia started walking..." until I had a baby. Now I realize that there are so many firsts...first time they take a few steps period...first time they take a few steps and fall flat on their face...first time they take a few steps unassisted...and first time they walk completely independently for a while. Yes...I said, "a while." If you can figure out what that means, let me know. I'm still having trouble figuring out the "unassisted" part. Regardless, since I'm the boss and I decide, I say he is walking. He stands up, takes a few steps, and sits on his bottom (no falling face-forward anymore) and is able to balance. He'll take a few steps towards the dogs or away (more often than not) from the dogs and even lets go and tries to follow me.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"I Like Using a Walker, Mama!"

Things have been SUPER stressful for both Mr. Howard and myself in our job situations and it's been nice to throw ourselves into our Little Man. Here is a video I took of Connor using the walker his Grandma & Grandpa Howard got him for Christmas!

video

Monday, April 5, 2010

Last Easter Picture

Connor ended his Day of Easter Fun in his adorable outfit that Nana bought him (in his Easter Basket). This is him sound asleep....

Ahh...Our Little Lovebug!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He's Walking (well...a little bit)!!

video

Easter Morning Wake-up!!

video

Easter Egg Hunt

video

Happy Easter

Just a few pictures before we head to my mom & dad's house!
The Easter Bunny Came
All the Eggs He Left
Look at all of them!
Connor is going to be so excited!
Oooh I am SO excited!
"Daddy, Help Me!"


"I like my bunny ears a whole lot better when they are off!"
"I love the puffs inside the eggs. How did the Easter Bunny know?!"
I'll post more pictures and a video later!

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