Sunday, February 28, 2010

No More Tears

To go with Austin's new big boy bed, he got a big boy haircut! Mostly he was just due for one, but I had no idea how grown up he would look after this one! I love it and hate it at the same time. He looks so adorable! But he looks like an adorable little kid, not my baby boy! Too much change for this momma's heart!

On the upside though, he didn't cry or fuss at all! Which is a HUGE improvement from the 1st two haircuts. It helped that he's very into videos, particularly "My Friends Tigger & Pooh" because he watched that the whole time on the shop's TV. He cringed a bit and leaned away from the clippers & scissors from time to time, but he never made a peep! We had a different stylist who let him hold all the buzzers and stuff beforehand so he wasn't scared. I think that made a difference. So next time we'll be using Maria again!

Just chilling watching his video

So many new style options

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Big Boy Bed

Austin is officially on his way to being a big boy, if you count sleeping in a big boy bed as a requirement to being a big boy. (I suppose we have several obvious steps left to take towards this goal...using a toilet, tying shoes, balancing check book, etc., but he's definitely making progress!)

I was horribly apprehensive about this transition because it's so early! (He was only 16 months when we started!) And because, well to put it plainly, he doesn't exactly listen/obey oh so well. But to my surprise and amazement it is going splendidly!!

We started him out on just a mattress on the floor, surrounded by several blankets to act as "bumpers" to keep him from bonking the wall or falling out. It only took a day to realize that we needed something a little more significant to keep him falling out of the bed. This kid rolls in his sleep like none other! And he rolls in directions I wouldn't have off the top of the bed. At least twice I found him underneath the crib, where if he had the stomach muscles to sit straight up, he would have severely whacked his noggin on the metal bar of the crib. So within two days we set up the toddler bed because it has rails that at least assist in keeping him in. It's open near the end bottom of the bed, but he only occasionally falls asleep down there and I believe has only fallen out once so far.

Now consciously staying in the bed is a whole other issue. For bedtime he almost never gets out. But naptime is a whole other problem. Unless he's exhausted, he tends to wander around the room for anywhere between 5 & 30 minutes, trying to wind down. He'll crawl in bed and then get up again, then crawl into bed again, etc. I try to let him figure it out himself and only intervene when he's definitely having a hard time winding down.

We took just about everything out of the room so there is as little temptation as possible, but he has still found ways to get into trouble. The 1st week he was fascinated with dresser drawers and took just about everything he could find out! The 2nd week, I made the mistake of leaving some boxes in his room, only to come in and find him standing two boxes high with one foot on the diaper champ, taking everything out of the topmost drawer of his dresser. And just two days ago, he discovered that the diaper champ was a fun place to stuff his snuggie blanket! Needless to say, the blankie did NOT smell good afterward and needed a good cleaning before being returned to him!

So, while he still hs a way to go before being a perfect little sleeper in his toddler bed, he's doing awesome! Our original plan was to see how it went by the time McKenna came and if necessary, put him back in the crib and her in a PackNPlay, but it doesn't look like we will have to!

Next step to being a big boy....balancing the check book! Toilets are overrated, right?

Round 1: Big Boy Bed Mattress

Week One Naptime Destruction

Um...perhaps some barriers of some sort are in order

Round 2: The actual Big Boy Bed

Doesn't he look so adorable and grown up in his bed???

Occasionally he still falls asleep in random positions in his bed. We go in and readjust him once he's asleep, especially since once I found that he had rolled off the bed and across the room without waking up!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Thanks to Martin Luther King Day, Brian had a Monday off with nothing to do. So we took advantage of the extra time off to take a family outing to the Long Beach Aquarium. Austin's love for fishies has taken off since our last visit with church friends back in July. And sure enough, he was almost in a constant state of "Fishy Face" our whole time there.

It was a very rainy day but most of the aquarium sights are inside and we just decided to get wet to see what was outside too! (I should mention that I suggested bringing an umbrella, but was shot down by the hubby.)

He particularly liked the seals & sea lions. (Or as Daddy calls them, the puppy dogs of the sea.)

Austin was enjoying the rain.

After the aquarium we had lunch at Famous Dave's BBQ. We (well, it was really just me) thought it made more sense to walk from the aquarium to the restaurant rather than load up the car and possibly have to pay for parking again. Unfortunately, while it was only lightly raining on the way to the restaurant, it was POURING by the time we were done. Remember that note above about not bringing an umbrella?? Between Brian's bad idea to leave it at home and my bad idea to be cheap and not move the car, we were kinda in a bind! Thankfully Brian braved the elements to get the car and pick Austin and me up. I wish I had taken a picture of Brian. He was soaked! I think his jeans alone weighed 15lbs from all the water! At least we learned our lesson!

Austin was exhausted when we left. I think it took him all of 2.5 seconds to zonk out. I love watching this boy sleep! He's cute awake. He's cute asleep!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Very Berry Boy

Posting these just because they make me giggle! Have I mentioned how much Austin loves berries? Especially strawberries! A kid after my own heart!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2009 Family Portraits

Since our family is going to be expanding soon, I wanted to document it as it is now. So we arranged to have family pictures taken by my friend Rebecca, who has been taking fantastic pictures of Austin since he was where McKenna is! I swear she gets better and better every time she picks up her camera!

I'm so in love with these pictures! I really can't decide which ones to print out either. I could plaster my whole house in them!

(Rebecca took more than 300 pics in a matter of 40 minutes. We miraculously were able to narrow them down to 40 or so of our favorites. But because I already overloaded you with Christmas pics this week, I'm going to do my best to pare those down to a reasonable number. Though, I make no guarantees that my version of "reasonable" matches yours!)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Who Belongs In The Zoo? We do!

Between Brian having jury duty for 2 1/2 weeks and then being on vacation and Christmas break for an additional 2 weeks, Austin and I really got used to having him home! It was especially nice on Brian's vacation days because we were able to go on some playdates that Daddy doesn't usually get to go along to! So we did days at the park and various outings, including a day at the zoo.

My friend Rebecca, her mother & I recently purchased a zoo pass together. Any one of us can go and take another two guests and the kids get in free. So Brian, Austin & I basically had our day paid for. We didn't spend a long time there, just a few hours really, but it was a great time. Austin is more and more interested in the animals every time we go and since he's getting better at his animal sounds, he had more fun this time than he has in the past. Most of all, it was just great to get to spend extra time with Daddy!

They had reindeer in honor of Christmas

We saw a beautiful jaguar really upclose. Austin practiced his word for "cat" and his "roar" the whole time.

Austin & Daddy checking out the tapirs. Obviously this animal prompted some "Where is your nose?" lessons!

These monkeys were funny. They were play fighting over prime location on the vines. Austin was mesmerized by all the hooting and hollering and wrestling.

Austin working on his monkey impression

There was a new baby giraffe. Isn't he adorable? I heart giraffes!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Eight Four Crazy Nights!

In our family, we like Christmas so much, we make it last almost all month! We have a total of 4 full days of Christmas. And included in those 4 days are a total of 6 different events! We're doing our part to make Christmas as much like Hannukah as possible! And that's actually fewer get-togethers than we used to have. But for as crazy and busy as this makes Christmas and really the whole month of December, I love it! The majority of our family is within a 2 hour radius and so we get to see almost everyone. I'd much rather craziness than nothing have to pick and choose who we can see each year. I know we can't keep up this pace as our own family gets bigger and starts its own traditions, but for now it works and we'll savor the blessing that it is!

So all that being said, be prepared for probably my longest post yet. I'm not sure if blogspot has a limit on post length and number of links to pictures, but, heck, we might as well see if we can break it!

To start, I have to show off my decorations. When we first got married I insisted on getting up on a very treacherous ladder and hung lights on our house. Growing up, I was always disappointed that my dad didn't decorate the outside of the house so I wanted to with my own house. Yeah, it only took one year of that. That's a pain! As our little house got more full of stuff and then people, our Christmas decorations in the house got fewer and fewer too. But with Austin possibly at the age to start to appreciate the season of Christmas, I wanted to at least decorate some! (Still didn't bother with the outdoor lights, so don't worry - there wasn't a 6 month pregnant woman up on a ladder on the porch!) Austin being at the curious (read - destructive!) age he's at, we had to get creative with our tree though. So we bought a little table topper sized tree again and set it up on top of our TV. He was allowed to see it and we worked on touching the pretty things with just one finger. By the time the tree came down, he had that technique pretty down! I was pretty impressed.

Our cute little tree

Our mantel

Our cute "Little People" Nativity Set. Austin loved it and played with it everyday! By Christmas he could point out which one was Baby Jesus, or the Mommy or the Daddy.

Austin checking out the tree. Everyday he would ask me to pick him up so he could touch with just one finger. His asking consisted of pointing at the tree and then holding up one finger!

Wiley Christmas
Our first family get-together of the month was my immediate family. (My parents, brothers and their wives, and my niece and nephew) We hold it at least a week or so ahead of Christmas just to make everyone's schedules easier. This year it was more than two weeks early which felt odd, but made it so I had all my Christmas shopping done early!

We had a wonderful day of decorating sugar cookies, watching the kids play together, and opening great presents, but mostly just enjoying each others' company!

Nani and all her grandkids making cookies

My sweet niece & her sugar cookies

Me and my hula girl creation

My cutie patootey nephew and his creations

I love this pic of Austin! I'm pretty sure he has a mouth full of cookie!

Austin watching the train with his cousins. He did so good just watching and not touching it. If it was off, he'd sit down and sign "please" over and over until someone would come turn it on. It was so cute!

Helping Austin open his presents. He got a cute puzzle from Nani & Papa.

Showing off his puzzle skills! Everytime he'd even get a piece close he would insist that everyone cheer for him!

Austin's great new shirt from Uncle Ryan, who often travels to Austin, Texas. Such a fitting shirt for my weird little kid!

Austin with his Papa

Steinmeyer Christmas
Christmas Eve is a busy busy night for our family. Brian always leads worship for our church service (and does a beautiful job!) and then as soon as the service is over, we hustle home, drop off music gear and rush off to the Steinmeyer Christmas Eve get-together. This year it was in San Juan Capistrano...just a mere hour away! Add to the drive that the festivities started when our church service did, and we obviously showed up very late. Thankfully food was saved for us! And thankfully we were able to stay long enough to visit with just about everyone before Austin started to get too tired.

All the (bigger) little kids listening to a story about the meaning of Christmas

All the great grandchildren. Aren't they cute!?!

My Grandpa opening a picture of the whole clan, taken last Christmas

Christmas Morning!
Christmas day was also a busy day! But it was so much fun. It was awesome having our little family Christmas in our own home and getting to watch Austin open his presents. Grandma Judy joined us in the morning. After a yummy breakfast of orange cinnamon rolls & breakfast burritos, we got to opening presents. Austin did good at first, but there were so many presents that we started dipping into naptime. By the end, he was a little overwhelmed and went off by himself behind the couch to get away from it all! Apparently he needed to go to his "quiet place"! Poor kid. But once we busted out his big presents (A ride along dumptruck from Grandma & a Elmo Live from Momma and Daddy) he was back into it!

Playing with his new fishy bath toys from Grandma. (Have I mentioned how much this kid loves fishies?)

Do I have something on my head??

Grandma enjoying her new Austin & McKenna calendar

Austin loved his new dumptruck!

He was mesmerized by Elmo!

Daddy opening his stocking from "Santa", who knows what he needs! New underpants and new hankies! That Santa is a clever one!

My beautiful new earrings from Austin! Man, that kid has great taste!

Getting tired yet? Only 2 more Christmas events left to go!

Crowley Christmas
After a quick nap for Austin, we headed Great Grandma Crowley's for the Crowley clan get together. It was a small crew but we had a really fun day. We had a great lunch over at Aunt Kathleen's and then headed back to Grandma's for presents and dessert.

Austin modeling McKenna's new hat from Aunt Cissy

Beloved cousins, Lisa & Eric

Brian & Great Grandma Crowley

Austin in his cell PackNPlay. (He was soooo tired due to lack of a nap, and was getting into everything! So he was able to enjoy the festivities from the PnP!)

Almost done! Just one more event to go. Still here?? Still awake?? Good!

Extended Wiley Christmas
We are so thankful that my Dad's side of the family has chosen for the last several years to celebrate Christmas at least one day after Christmas Day. When Brian and I first got married, we had to squeeze in 3 full family get-togethers on Christmas Day, in addition to our own Christmas. Which meant that we got to see everyone but only for like five minutes!

But now that our celebrations are spread out, it is so much better! We can actually enjoy ourselves fully and spend real time with people! We had a wonderful day!

Great Grandma with my cousin's little girl, Maddie. She's about 1 month younger than Austin. Just cute as a button!

Great Grandpa enjoying his new Nebraska Snugglie! Every Nebraska fan needs a Nebraska Snugglie, right??

Papa captured a great pic of my little man!

Austin hanging out with Nani.

(Wondering why my Mom looks like she's been in a UFC fight? The day before Christmas Eve, my mom decided that taking each step of the stairs was not as efficient as taking them all at once! She fell down a full flight of stairs while carrying some presents, landing on her face. She and my dad spent the good portion of the day in the ER, making sure all of her neck was where it was supposed to be! What a miracle that nothing was broken! She ended up just being incredibly sore and stiff for several weeks. She's just now getting all the movement back in her arms and hands!)

Great Grandpa & Maddie regarding each other. Either that or they're having a staring contest!

I was saddled entrusted with "The Muffin Man" for the year. My family has an odd tradition where this Muffin Man gets passed to a different family member each year. It's an extensive tradition - there's a legend, a quilt, a boxed muffin man, etc. I don't even know when it started. I'm not sure anyone actually likes it, but it continues year after year!

Phew, I made it! And Blogspot didn't crash! Did you make it to the end?? Congratulations! =D

Now to get caught up on about 6 more posts!!