Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Why We love Grandma

  • She lets me wear her "clock" (watch) and I don't like to take it off!
  • She always gets me new jammies.
  • She "la yu" so much.
  • She fixes me pb & j and carries my high chair out to the garage.
  • She Gaber-proofs the house when she knows I'm coming over.
  • "There are no rules at Grandma's house" - Grandma Smith
  • She makes me toast in the mornings.
  • She sings songs to me.
  • She loves my family so much always puts herself last.
  • She lives with my PaPa - I can't help it... I love the tractors!

Grandma, your Gabers just wanted to tell you how much he loves you and he's so glad that he's got the bestest Grandmas in the world. He loves you both up to the stars & the sky!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wish I Might

In an effort to do more of what I love, I am turning my hobby of taking photographs into a small business... when I say small, I mean I'm just starting out! Right now, I am in the process of creating my portfolio. I'd love it if you readers would view some of my portfolio photos HERE to provide any comments/feedback to this new photographer! I just love taking pictures so much, that I decided I would try and make it official. I have a self-proclaimed "geek" for a husband, so he's going to help me build a website. There are so many steps in doing this, I know it's way off before it's official, but hey, I have a logo! Would you like to see it?? Twist my arm... Ok here it is:

Thanks for checking out my pics! I'll keep you all updated on the progress. Thanks to all of you who have encouraged me so far - You have given me the confidence to do something with what I absolutely love.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Random Things I Didn't Want to Forget

  • My son got his first pair of "big boy" Spiderman shoes the other day. They light up! He looks adorable in them.

  • Gabers went to the doctor yesterday for his 18 month check up and he weighs 29 lbs, 1 oz. The doctor advised that we switch him to skim milk! (90th %tile for weight!)

  • While at the doctor yesterday (Gabe, this is a story I promise not to tell your future girlfriends...) Gabe had a, how you say, BLOW OUT! All of the kids in the waiting area were looking at Gabe and laughing (ok, I was laughing too) because it was very audible. Seriously, it was loud.

  • We are down to one nap a day. Ugh.

  • Gabe's vocabulary has exceeded 30 words. He can now say baby, letter, football, puppy, and ow! Sidenote: he likes to say "ow" when he hits/headbutts me.

  • He had one of his only time outs at daycare the other day... he pushed a little girl off the Little Tykes slide. Ugh.

  • He's becoming more and more aware of going potty. He knows when there's something in his diaper. My friend Darci told me about this and I want to get it for him so badly... even though I know it could end up with poop in it... It's so cute!

Yesterday, I purchased the book The Girlfriend's Guide to Toddlers. So far, it has been pretty comforting for me. I get kind of frustrated sometimes how fellow moms don't admit how stinkin' hard being a mommy is. Especially a mommy of a toddler. It's tough. You love them SO much, but sometimes, you just can't wait for them to go down for their naps, or to go to bed for the night, or for them to play with Daddy when Daddy gets home for the day. I know... that probably sounds bad. But, during those times, you don't have to stop what you're doing every 3 seconds and make sure they're not into something! Like today, for example, Greg came home from work for a couple of minutes. I thought HE was watching Gabe and he thought I was watching Gabe. Greg came into the living room and Gabe was using his rocking horse to complete an Evil Knievil manuever onto the couch! Ugh. Boys.

I'll survive the toddler stage. Yeah, sure I will. No, really, I will! Really! Other people have made it.... :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Back from Camping

Love this picture of my little Gabers. This is him at the campground absolutely zonked out from all of the activity. He had so much fun. Both of his Papa's were there, Aunt Jenny & Uncle Rene and Aunt Lindsey were there too. He was a lucky little boy this weekend to have all of that attention. We had such a great time camping with our family this weekend. I'm just so happy that it is something we can do together.

When we were growing up, my parents took all of us on several camping trips for vacation. One of the most memorable ones for me is when we went through Tennessee, Louisiana, and Texas. This was the year my Grandma Smith died and we took my Grandpa with us. We spent Christmas in the camper. I'll never forget seeing the awesome plantations in Georgia, Graceland in Tennessee, Galvaston Island in Texas... it was just awesome. Dad always found neat places for us to visit. I'm so thankful that we will be able to do these kind of trips with Gabe. I have some wonderful memories camping and it's so great to know that we'll be able to give him that too.

While camping, the last couple of weeks, we've noticed that Gabe's vocabulary has really started to increase. He is now saying these words (and I know I'm leaving a few out):

Momma (now also Mommy)
Abba, GaGa (Grandma)
Cookoo (Keeker)
Juice (Juish)
Oh Big Tractor
GiGi (Jinxi)
Love You
Yeah (CheYeah)
Poop (Boop)
Ketchup (Chetchup)

Along with those words he also does animal sounds for a: monkey, cow, horse, dog, cat, lion

He also knows how to point out his body parts: nose, mouth, hair, teeth, weiner (yes, we call it a weiner), fingers, toes, eyes, etc...

He sometimes knows his colors, but that's off and on. We just can't believe how much he picks up. He's so smart! It seems like lately, he's really changed so much.

Wednesday night, we had his birth family out to the campground for a cookout. It's something we've talked about doing since we got the camper. We had a great time with them. The above picture is the frame I painted at the pottery place for Gabe's birth mom's birthday. I do always get a little nervous before seeing them each time - not because of any pressure THEY put on me, but because of unnecessary pressure I put on myself. I worry that they'll think we're trying to be the "perfect parents"... basically I worry that we'll come across as phony or too happy. Well, we are really happy! Once they arrive, I find that all my fears were silly because they never make me feel like that at all. They always make me feel like we're doing a good job. They also do a great job of letting us know that they couldn't be happier in their decision in choosing us. It has all just worked out so well.

I'm so thankful for Gabe's sake (and mine as well) that they have wanted to be a part of his life. He is such a very blessed little boy. I know how much they love him. I could see it in their eyes as they placed him in my arms 18 months ago. But, now, because they've chosen to stay in contact with us, he'll see it too. As his mommy, I am so glad that he will know how many people love him. He will know that he is special - he has more family than most that think he's the top dog. I don't ever want him to doubt how very much he is loved and I know by staying in touch with us that his birth mom doesn't want him to doubt that either. It's not an easy thing to do to see the child that you placed for adoption every three months. It wasn't easy to place him in another home. She has taken the tough road and she has sacrificed for him. I will forever be thankful for her courage, friendship, and gift of motherhood to me.

Well, this post has become way too long, and I'm ready for bed. Sorry it's been a while since I've updated. We've been camping, and well, we were roughin' it! :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008


We went on our first camping trip this weekend and it was definitely unforgettable! Friday, Greg took off work at noon and came home so we could start getting ready. I never realized how much work it is to prepare the camper, pack the food, pack the bedding, etc... For years, my parents did this for us kids and until now, I never realized what a big job it is. We got out to the campground a little later than we'd hoped due to not having the battery charged enough, but that wasn't a big deal... just a little frustrating at the time. Greg and his dad got the camper backed into our spot relatively easily, so that was good too. We had some trouble right away though, when we found out that the air conditioning wasn't working. This was not good news for me & Gabe! We both have similar heat tolerance issues!

Gabe & his "funny face".

Campin' breakfast - Pancakes & Sausage

(& Ketchup - Gabe'll eat anything with ketchup on it)

Long story short, Gabe and I went back home to sleep (thankfully we are not very far at all from the campground) and Greg stayed at the campsite with the repairman until 12:30. Then, Gabe's Dad was up really early because he couldn't sleep. We all headed back to the campground yesterday morning and enjoyed a delicious breakfast of pancakes and sausage that Gabe's Dad made. We spent a lot of the day inside the camper playing with Gabe, watching Toy Story, organizing the camper (Greg's parents had furnished the camper and we took some time putting things where we knew we'd find them). Once it cooled off in the late afternoon, we took Gabe to an awesome playground area that was perfect for toddlers. He had a great time but was totally worn out!

Gabe had a blast emptying Jinxi's water dish - onto himself.

After Gabers went to bed, Greg and I enjoyed an awesome campfire and a spectacular sunset. We had the opportunity to just sit and talk - he on his laptop and me playing my handheld Yahtzee game. Greg had music playing lightly and we just sat and talked. Since becoming parents - especially parents to a toddler - our relationship has kinda been put on the back burner. Often times, there isn't time for "us" anymore. So, it was really nice to just sit and talk - to rediscover my best friend. We absolutely crashed once we turned in (with the air conditioning set REALLY COLD) and had a great night's sleep. Gabe was so worn out that he slept all night too. Camping sleep is great.

So, were we roughing it? Ummmm.... air conditioning, laptops, Yahtzee, well.... Maybe not, but hey, if you don't have to, why do it? We had a fantastic weekend as a family and I am so looking forward to many more trips like this one.

PS to Gabe's Dad: Are you cooking something?
PS to Julia: Happy Birthday, Nutroll!

Julia Marie - 7 years old

The Cousins: Katie, Gabe, Braden, & Julia

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Little Lamb

Wanted to share this picture of my little lamb sleeping. He's just so precious. I love how he just fell asleep and it looks like the bottle just fell out of his mouth. This kid was tuckered out. He got up at 5:30 this morning and only took a mid-morning nap - no afternoon one. He was an excellent little guy today.

Also, had to share this. The quality of the picture isn't the best, but I had to blog about the latest toddler entertainment. When we're sitting at the computer, Gabe will come up to our chair and say "Dactur!" I guess I should explain a bit... A few weeks ago, to keep Gabe entertained, I pulled up Google Images. I searched for tractors... Thus began an addiction for Gabe. Now, anytime we are at the computer, he wants to see tractors! It's so very cute! When he sees a bigger picture, he'll say "OH, Dactur!" (Translation: "Oh, Big Tractor!")

Well, Gabe's mom is going to turn in for the night... Heading to the couch to watch Design Star! Yippee!


I'm really far behind right now. There are so many new things that Gabers has been doing. One of the funniest things is he says "Uh Oh, Spaghettio!" Except it comes out like "Duh oh, Dada!" He also says "Oh, Big tractor!" But, it comes out like, "OH, Dactur!" It's just the cutest thing. In fact, the other night, we had to call both sets of grandparents just to have them listen to him talk. Papa Smith got a big kick out of "Dactur". He also says "I love you" and that comes out as "Dah Doo". I don't think I'll ever get tired of hearing that. It really is just the most precious thing.

We're getting our Gabers back. He's been behaving a lot better than he was. He is still having some behavior issues, but at least now we feel like it's just normal behavior - that he's not sick or anything. He had a fever last week when the tantrums were going on, so we think he just wasn't feeling the best. Poor guy. They don't know how to express themselves at this age, so they kinda throw these little fits. I guess if I was trying to tell people I didn't feel good and they didn't get it, I'd probably throw a fit too!

We have just really been enjoying watching him do all of these new things. He's so funny. He's recently learned his colors - this totally shocked me! He will point to the wrong color when you ask him to point to one and then he'll laugh because he knows its the wrong answer! How smart is this kid! He definitely has his Daddy's sense of humor and mischieviousness! It's so funny how I can see a lot of Greg in his personality. He's smart, funny, a prankster, and gentle. If Jinxi's laying down, he'll come up to her and just give her a hug. Adorable!

Well, I've got a busy couple of days coming up... I'd better head to bed! Ok, one more picture... if you insist...

PS: Yes, we did have him on the train tracks... I hope this doesn't show bad parenting skills... We do have good listening skills. He was completely safe!