Saturday, December 31, 2011

So This is Christmas

As I sit curled up with my family on New Year's Eve, enjoying a movie marathon and a margarita, I can't help but look back on the past two weeks. We've played host to Grammy, Poppy, and Aunt B, who we haven't seen in over a year. Although we would love to see her more often, the best thing about this visit is that it feels no different. It's as if about 14 months passed in a moment and we are together, like we'd always been. It was the exact same feeling when two of my best friends and I went to dinner with Aunt B. I can't think of a better way to describe family than when years apart creates zero change.

That being said, what a fantastic Christmas! It was a joy to see Nathan lay out those delicious cookies baked fresh for Santa, to watch Owen's face light up when he began to understand what presents were, and to be together to witness it all. We attended Christmas Eve Mass, we spent time with my family in Hope, we shopped 'til we dropped, and we cherished every giggle along the way. Here is a small sample of the joy we felt this Christmas: (Psst, you can click here to see even more!)

May God fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you have hope.

- Romans 15:13

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas!

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?"

-Dr. Seuss

Friday, December 23, 2011

Birthday Fun

I know it's two days before Christmas and today's hustle and bustle (read: pajama-thon) should keep me from the computer, but I felt I should sneak in an update before I flood the place with holiday photos. So Jonathan turned 29 on Wednesday and Aunt B made it to Nashville with Grammy and Poppy. It was a fantastic day filled with pirate cupcakes, balloons galore, and some much-needed home cooking. As for Christmas, I think we're ready. We have cookie dough in the fridge to bake and presents in the closet to wrap, but thankfully we can do that in the comfort of our cozy pajamas. I promise we changed into clean ones at some point this afternoon. We have had a fun start to the merry season and it'll only get better. Owen is loving his first Christmas, mostly because it involves a lot of this:

Merry Christmas Eve Eve, y'all!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Boys Only

These shots were taken during a boys-over-the-age of-one trip to fly airplanes and drive sweet Monster trucks. While we were visiting the grandparents in Conway last weekend, Jonathan and Nathan just had to find some wide-open spaces and take Poppy's newest toys for a test drive. Look closely at the photo below and you'll see the giant plane sailing through the sky. Since Nathan was looking so cute (and ridiculously grown-up *tear*), I thought I'd stick a few pictures here to tide you over. You're welcome. :) Happy Saturday, y'all.

Sorry, Santa

Dear Santa,
About that Christmas list? You know the one with the race cars, the airplanes, the video games, and loads of other heavily-commercialized toys? And the other, smaller list with bath duckies and puff puffs? Please disregard. We got a new car seat that came in big box. So we're pretty much all set.

The Bauer Boys


Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Christmas Pig

Near the end of every fall semester, Nathan's preschool puts on a Christmas program. This year was no different. The only change, really, was that he was dressed as a pig. :) The children acted out the nativity and it was great! Although Nathan can't seem to find an oinker in our nativity scenes, he was still thrilled to rock the show. His pig-ear sweatband, pipe-cleaner tail and toilet paper roll nose (which he wore as a necklace) made for the best singing pig I've ever seen. The preschoolers, all dressed as animals, sang "Away in the Manager" and I could hear Nathan's voice, loud and clear. I could even see the sideways glances he passed around when a classmate began to speed things up or sing off-key. Singing is serious business when it comes to little gray pigs.

As for the rest of the Bauers, we have had a wonderful beginning of December (minus baby's first ear infection!) We're all constantly channeling the holiday spirit, from decking our halls with Christmas sparkle to becoming Christmas ninjas in hiding/wrapping presents while going undetected. Believe me, that last part is getting harder every year. We're counting down the days until our Aunt B joins us from Maine and then we'll all count down the days until our favorite holiday, together. Have a lovely Sunday!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brothers are Annoying

Last night I was in the bathroom cleaning up after two rounds of tub time. My phone dinged and it was a video text from my husband in the living room. The above played out. It may not be hilarious to you, but I LOLed. I'm not sure I've seen Nathan remove his brother from any situation, especially with such certainty. It looks like he's back to being himself, doesn't it? Plus you get to see Owen's first awkward crawls. Who knows what will happen between the Bauer boys when those scoots are mastered, but I'm sure it will be funny! Happy Wednesday, everybody.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Like a Champ

Nathan had a colonoscopy and an esophagogastroduodenoscopy this morning. No big deal.

Correction: Big scary deal. For me, at least. I know GI issues don't make for good reading, so I won't get into the details. I will say his insides are healthy and, pending test results, it seems our answer lies in a temporary fruitless diet. Awesome outcome compared with other possibilities!

The topic of discussion here is Nathan. Super Nathan. Over the past two days, this kid has been poked, prodded, and squeezed, in a hospital gown and without a word of complaint. The nurses were shocked by his compliance and positive attitude and the doctor was thrilled with his manners. And I was proud of him every second.

My little boy has been through a lot in his four years and he knows more about medical procedures than a kid should. It breaks my heart, but I know Nathan won't be given more than he can handle. This is apparently more than I realized. He is something special, indeed. What a champ!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

Despite the fact that there's stil a day left on the Thanksgiving countdown and my brand new, beautiful Christmas tree is already glowing in its place, I haven't forgotten tomorrow's big day. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I like getting the chance to gather with friends and family I haven't seen in a while, gorge ourselves with turkey, and then unwind and catch up all afternoon. I sure do like the "thanks" part, too. However, while I make it a point to count my blessings in November (you roll your eyes here in reference to my FB account), it's important to keep it up. Thanksgiving should be the first prayer you pray and the first thing you say to those who make your life even the smallest bit brighter. That being said, here's a rundown of the top three things we're thankful for this year. (And more shots from our fall photo shoot)

Name: Jessica
Age: 27
Thankful For: "A loving, supportive husband, the two sweetest sons I could ever imagine, and the faith that Someone loves me a billion times more than I love those guys."

Name: Jonathan
Age: 28
Thankful For: "Family, faith, friends, and opportunity." I know that's four, but I'll let it slide.

Name: Nathan
Age: 4
Thankful For: "My big new Christmas tree, my airplane that flies through the wind when it blows, and you." (ME!)

Name: Owen
Age: 8 months
Thankful For: "Dada, dada, dada!" (obviously)

To sum it up, I hope you enjoy the holiday with your loved ones tomorrow, stopping to give thanks before diving into dinner. Speaking of yummy food, I'll leave you with Nathan's turkey recipe, as dictated to his preschool teacher:
  • Ingredients: Lots of sweet and sour sauce, a sprinkle of hot sauce, and a sprinkle of cheese.
  • Directions: Stir it up until it is very hot, so hot that it's at least 30 miles away.
  • Oven Temp: 500.
  • Cook Time: 35 miles away.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Afternoons with Owen

On quiet Friday afternoons with my baby, I often find myself spending time just being with him. I kiss his chubby cheeks, watch him learn with every blink, and make any silly face that ends in laughter. That moment came today after a yummy banana/pear lunch. As the sunlight was pouring in through the back doors, Owen was content to sit in his highchair, revel in the warmth and be with me. And the camera, of course. Today's afternoon with Owen has been full of fun, love, and extra-long naps. :) Hope your day is going just as well. Happy Friday!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weather Tease

Yesterday was the picture-perfect spring afternoon, spent with dirty hands and T-shirts, leaned over garden beds with shovels in hand and hope on our faces. Too bad it was November.

What a tease! After a few early freezes and then temps soaring into the 80s, the bean plants flowered, but decided to stop there. I don't blame them. Since the weather was so nice, we spent the afternoon pulling them up, turning the soil, and getting the garden ready up for winter. If I wasn't so good at keeping up with my calendar, my two empty beds looked perfect for spring planting. Oh well, I know spring will follow whatever winter comes to us, it always does. Although we didn't do much but pull dead plants, Nathan had a blast finding worm families in the healthy dirt. Yes, he touched them. No, I'm not sure when this tolerance developed. :) OH! And worms weren't the only thing I was shocked to see Nathan lift from the ground:

Look at that carrot! Nathan and I were pulling weeds both in and around the bed when he made this discovery. It was growing outside of the bed. I suppose the ground didn't freeze as quickly as the soil in the beds did and this carrot was well on its way! Isn't it adorable? It wasn't quite ready to eat, but it was ready for its close-up. Hope you guys enjoyed this unseasonable weather. It may not have been right on timing, but it sure was perfect for me. Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fall Family Photos

In about a month your favorite Bauer family Christmas cards will be patiently waiting in your mailbox. However, since I know you can't wait, I thought I'd give a little peek into what it may look like this year. Earlier this week we met our friend Ashley at Old Washington and she snapped a few photos of this family of four. It went great, especially with a busy baby and a kid with the attention span of a... well, a four-year-old! She got some great shots, though, with the above being a few of my favorites. Have a splendid fall weekend and remember to give thanks this month and every month. Happy Sunday! :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Brother See, Brother Do

Just wanted to share a moment from a few nights ago. These two started off reading one book, but with the new development of Owen needing to have everything Nathan touches, that didn't last long. So Nathan grabbed his own baby book, handed Owen one of his favorites, and the two sat silently on the nursery floor. Although there a few habits I'd rather Nathan not pass down, his love of books, words, and pictures is not one of them. With this big kid leading the pack, it seems like brother see, brother do will work in our favor. Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eight Months

Today is Owen's eight-month birthday. I really don't have much to say on the subject other when the heck did this happen?? It's been so fun watching the chunk grow up that it's hard to hang on to time as it whizzes by. Owen's a pretty good eight-month-old. He's up to a total of five teeth with number six expected any day, eats every form of mush we give him (just polished off a carrot-and-pea combo above), and makes the sweetest, albeit loudest, noises nonstop. I try my best to cherish all of the time I have with him at this age. Both one-on-one and as a family of four. Yes, Baby Owen has turned out to be a pretty good kid. We'll keep him around for a while, as long as he promises to stop growing so fast.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Seriously, Mom?

Maybe it's not nice to laugh at a crying baby, but admit it, this is adorable. It was an experiment to see if Owen's babbles of "dadadada" were actually aimed at Jonathan. I can vouch that the tantrum did not begin until the poor guy was in my arms and promptly ended when his "dada" took him (ouch). This isn't an official word so much as making noise, but it looks like there's some sort of association. Maybe one day he will cry for me with the "mamama" sound. Until then I suppose I'll be the one who holds him in funny videos. :) Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween on the Farm

Farmer Nathan and his freshly picked carrot had a fantastic Halloween. These two were the hit of the downtown Nashville trick-or-treat and returned loaded with candy. Even Owen had a sucker in one fist and a roll of Smarties in the other! Nathan finally seemed to get into it this year. He even came up with this costume combo himself. Props to Grammy for crocheting Owen's veggie get-up. Now that we've seen her skills, who knows what fun we'll think up next?? Now that Halloween 2011 has come and gone, Nathan is already at the drawing board on ideas for next year. Here are a few pictures of the guys right at home in the backyard garden. Happy Thursday!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Autumn Harvest

This year's trial-and-error fall garden took a hard hit a few weeks ago. There were a couple mornings of October frost. Now, that surprise definitely wasn't factored into my garden zone calendar. We lost all the carrots, which I thought were frost-tolerant. However, I knew the green beans were not so they were saved by a couple of old bed sheets. There are dead leaves from where the frosty ice rested on the sheets, but the plants are still alive. They've even started showing signs of flowering. Who knows if we'll make it to beans before frost, but at least I've learned a lesson or two. (ex: plant EARLIER!)

In my other bed, we planted various lettuces and spinach. These crops actually loved the frost and this morning I harvested the majority of a salad bowl lettuce plant (pictured above). That should make for a yummy salad with dinner. I actually spent time sitting in the garden, sampling leaves like a rabbit, and they tasted alright to me. :) Hopefully those frosts will stay away for a few more weeks and we will have beans to share before the darkness of winter takes over. Even if it does come before then, enjoy a bit of photographic evidence proving that I did grow vegetables this fall:

Green bean blossom peeking out among the frost damage:

Pretty little butter crunch lettuce forming a head:

Dark green spinach leaves growing in the cooling temps:

And of course, I couldn't do it without my helpers:

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Pumpkins

To kick off the Halloween season, the boys expertly carved a couple of perfectly plump pumpkins. Per usual, Nathan was quick to draw his own silly face pattern and his Daddy was happy to bring the jack-o-lantern to life. This year, Nathan's pumpkin was a dandy, complete with mustache! Jonathan also carved a pair of ghosts looking particularly spooky. Once again, Nathan didn't want to touch the "pumpkin meat" but was happy to scoop it out with an extra-long-handled spoon. Hope your weekend is just as filled with holiday happiness! Happy Friday, y'all.

(PS While the big boys were busy carving pumpkins, Owen was trying to figure out why his wasn't real!)