Friday, April 27, 2012

Post-Nap


Best thing about this one post-nap? The free cuddles. Best thing about cuddles in the springtime? Getting to enjoy them in the warmth of the sunshine. Happy weekend, y'all.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Breakfast


Good morning, world. -Owen

(Do you see this bed-headed waffle muncher?? How can you stand it? Oh, you can't? Me neither.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Scents of Spring


I like a number of things about April in Arkansas, but the scents of spring top the list.

When I reach the gravel path that brings me home from a day of work or play, the bright smell of honeysuckle wraps its arms around me. It's thick like a grandmother's perfume, pleasant and comforting.

The sweet waves become tangible things, caught in the air. They hang there and wait patiently for me to drop everything and listen. A soft breeze can rustle these things from their hiding places near the creek. Just a small, quiet breeze can bring them to my spot on the porch swing, and bring with them the realization of the world's beauty.

I'm thankful for how often these thoughts come to my mind, especially this time of year. I'm overcome with love for the deep brown earth. Earth that can produce incredible things, with help only from the ultimate Gardener. Fantastic paintings spread across my personal canvas. Along the highways, patches of light green mix with the evergreen. The darker colors take a backseat and the pastels dance against the sky.

Leaves wave from their sturdy branches, attaching themselves closely until they feel free enough to go. Wildflowers of pink and white are mowed down by tired tractors and the smell of green onion goes straight to my soul. Oh, how I'm moved by a stranger's farm work!

Then there's the vegetable patch. The spicy basil, the strong marigolds, and the incomparable smell of tomato leaves. When I stepped out of my home this morning, I smelled vegetables. I smelled new hope and strong roots. I smelled my way of life, the simple way of life I pray my sons make their own. All this from my back yard. :)

I write this to remind myself and my readers that there will always be beauty inter-planted with the sad, the cruel, and the negative. No matter what. The world is an amazing place, sprouting with new hope and ambition every day. Sometimes we just have to stop, take a deep breath and find it.

Breathe out your problems, breathe in your peace.

Find your beauty.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Green


It's getting to be that time of year again, when my writing (and a little bit of my thumb) turns green. Dirt will take residence under my fingernails and my palms will smell of tomato plants. The boys and I dug our hands deep into the soil this evening to plant our summer vegetables and herbs. Ready or not, gardening posts are on their way. Tomatoes, okra, and basil - oh my! Don't say I didn't warn you. :) The full report/entry one in the 2012 Bauer Family Garden journal is coming soon.

PS: If this diapered bottom is in all of my gardening shots, you'll be able to appreciate them, right?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Discover


The smallest Bauer boys and I took a mental health day from preschool and housework and loaded up the car with snacks, games, and baby blankets. We left as the sun was peeking over the treetops Friday and drove to Benton to pick up Aunt Diana. Then, we were off to discover.

It was the perfect day to tour the newly remodeled Museum of Discovery in Little Rock. Nathan was brimming with excitement about all the "science" he would see. He was not disappointed. From the dinosaur skeleton that greeted us upon entrance to the disgusting human guts on display to the most fascinating tornado ever, he was pleased. We stood, gazes fixed on that tornado for half an hour. After the museum, we went to a restaurant in which trains deliver lunches. It was amazing. We visited Grammy and Brian at their respective work places and then played a few rounds of Wii at the Denning home. It was a fun, full day and, in the words of Nathan, "It was AWESOME!"

Here are a few of the pictures I snagged when I wasn't busy discovering:





As you can see, Nathan isn't the only one excited by science. :) Happy Saturday, y'all!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Outside with Owen



















Owen threw a temper tantrum today.

It was the kind you can't even fix with Super Why and a sippy full of ice-cold milk. Not music, not mama, not even Owen's precious blanky could lighten the red cheeks streaked with tears and boogies. There was only one solution.

Outside.

This was the only answer for my colicky baby and as we headed to the porch, I prayed it was still the fussy-for-no reason cure. As soon as we sat on the swing, squeals of "SUSIE!" broke out between sobs. She entertained her brother by chewing on a stick and wagging her tail. Success!

I figured bringing the baby in would only lead to certain doom, so outside we stayed. A little Vitamin D never hurts and it was the perfect afternoon to soak it up. The sky was that bright shade of blue, the breeze rattled the leafy trees, and the sun wrapped us up in its warmth.

First stop was to eat the mulch. Second stop was to eat the mulch. Once it sunk in that he probably shouldn't eat the mulch, it was sidewalk chalk. I sat beside him as he created colorful masterpieces of dots and and lines. He stopped shortly after he started. It was then that Owen decided to play rocks.

He licked a few, flung even more, and offered one to me in what I assume was a "sorry for crying uncontrollably" gesture.

Once rocks got boring, as everything inevitably does, Owen moved on. First a finger, then a hand, and then he was crawling across the gravel and into the grass. Susie delighted at the sight of her best buddy barreling toward her, but I scooped him up before he became a slobbery mess (well, more so).

Testing it...

Umm, not sure...

Okay, this works!

After about an hour, I decided it was half-past nap time. We reentered the house with minimal fussing and after a few minutes of the aforementioned cartoons and milk, I dumped him into the crib. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think it's just about time to join him. The perfect afternoon to play looks mighty fine for resting, too. Happy Thursday, everyone. I hope y'all were able to catch some of those rays today, too!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Nathan Says


Those on Facebook know there's rarely a shortage of Nathan quotes. There are so many that I've compiled some over the past few weeks just to share here. They're probably better in context, but I bet you can't read them without smiling. :) The boys are currently spending time with the in-laws in Conway and I love how much Nathan can make me laugh from more than 100 miles away! Happy Saturday, y'all.
  • "It's a good thing Jonah wasn't swallowed by a shark. It would've ripped his head from his body and chewed up his arms. Whales can't do that, so it worked out just fine."

  • "If you beat this Sonic level for me, I will never break your heart."

  • "Mom, you look beautiful today, but you definitely need a shower."

  • "I see that you are going to the restroom. Are you going to go pee pee or *drops to a whisper* poo poo?" (said to a girl he'd met about five minutes prior)

  • Me, in my best mom voice, upon finding jumping from table to couch: "Nathan Thomas!!"
    Nathan: (freezes and smiles) "Aren't you going to say, 'I love you?!'"

  • "I can't pee! There's no electricity!!"

Thursday, April 12, 2012

That Baby


Last week a friend-slash-photographer of ours met us in Hope for a sweet little one-year photo shoot. There were prop chairs, wild flowers, and colorful balloons. Most importantly, however, was a boy sporting a fedora and a grin. :) The above photo features one of many half-second intervals he was wearing that awesome hat. Luckily, she caught it.

Below are some precious Owen faces that perfectly capture his silly personality. This set was taken downtown. For more shots of Owen (and a few of his photogenic big brother), click HERE. Happy Thursday, y'all!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Gross





(This is an unrelated "after" shot. Trust me, you didn't want a "during.")






Today is not my day.

I had all my chickens counted before the eggs were out of bed. Alarm clock before the sun. Shower, makeup, hair. Lunchbox, breakfast, sleepy boys. We were out the door at 7:03. I needed to leave by 7:05. Yes!

I was to drop Owen off at Nanny's in Hope, take Nathan to the dentist in Texarkana, drive Nathan the hour back to Nashville for school, and then head back to Hope for work.

Time was on my side. Then, as we finished our first leg, Owen spewed. I won't go into detail. You're welcome.

Nathan and I hung our green faces out of the car windows and we drove straight to Nana's empty house. Waiting for me in the back seat was the most disgusting sight I've witnessed in five years of motherhood. It was rough.

Owen was promptly disrobed in the driveway and after a nice long bath and hours of wrestling with the car seat cover, washing it, and wrestling with it again, we are good. We missed every part of our perfectly planned morning, but we're good. Owen is enjoying a nice afternoon nap and has shown no signs of round two.

Why did I share this with you? First of all, I need others to feel my pain and cringe in solidarity. Did you do that? Okay, good.

Also, there's this: no matter how great things are going, proverbial vomit can happen. Wrenches can be thrown out of nowhere. The best solution is to grin, bear it, and hose down your car. Beneath that metaphoric pile of puke is typically a metaphoric cute baby.

Happy Wednesday!! ;)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Sunday


Our Easter Sunday was a rainy one, but that didn't stop these Bauers from having fun. After a fantastic morning praising the Lord in Hope, the clan traveled back to Nashville for a family-filled afternoon. We ate a delicious spread, sent Nathan on an impromptu indoor egg hunt, and played a rousing round of dice. We also watched Owen devour his first Ring Pop. After it was said and done, we all seemed as satisfied as a blue-mouthed baby on a sugar high.

I hope your Easter was wonderful, too, and that you remembered and truly celebrated the reason for the season. Chocolate bunnies and colorful eggs are a blast, but if it weren't for that first Holy Week, our lives wouldn't be quite as fun. :)

And I wouldn't end this without more photos. So here you go, a few quick highlights (re: cute faces) of Easter 2012:

Preparing the eggs is serious business:

Nathan's cheese face:

Owen's cheese face:

Baby's first ring pop. It's blue raspberry, for inquiring minds:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Jump for Joy




Nathan took advantage of today's gorgeous sunshine and got several jumps in while mama was busy snapping prom photos. Oh, to be so happy and so free! This is joy.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mullet No More


Quite the transformation, right?

As of 2:00 this afternoon, Owen's shaggy Texas mullet is no more. Although I loved his long, glorious locks, it was time to upgrade. Hopefully the "OH! What a cute little girl!" comments will start to diminish with his hair length, too. :)

Yes, Owen had his first big boy haircut and he was a champ. Between the steady flow of puffs, a crinkle book, and a mirror to take in the adorable view, he was good. He watched as the hair fell to his shoulders and piled on the floor. Gone was the hair he grew in the womb. His sweet baby hair. It was sad to see the change happen, but it was necessary.

He looks much older now and it's even more apparent that Baby Owen is growing up. His hair is blonder, his eyes are a deeper brown, and his round face looks more like a child's.

We scheduled his new 'do the day before his one-year photo shoot. Tomorrow morning we will meet one of our favorite photographers and capture this special time in his life. We can't freeze time, but we can preserve memories. And boy is he going to be looking good! Happy Thursday, everybody.

(you didn't think I'd leave off photographic highlights, did you??)
(as you can see, it wasn't all fun and games!)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Totally Got You


(Go along with it, he's four.)

"HEY! You, sitting at your computer staring at my cute little face on the screen. It looks like there's something on your head. OH, I think it's a bug!!"

(This is where you, the unknowing victim, frantically grasp at your head as if your life was nearing its end. There's a bug on your head, for heaven's sake.)

"APRIL FOOL'S!"

This is for all the people who weren't lucky enough to see Nathan in person today. I figured you all needed a dose of what I've been going through since a pajama-clad kid first told me I was floating in the air. You're welcome.