Thursday, November 1, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

Two Months

Haylie Jean is two months! 

The best part of the second month with our baby girl has been her sweet smiles.  Right before 5 weeks, we started to see this happy face:


Haylie loves laying on the kitchen floor on a blanket, looking at the ceiling fan, while big brother runs around wild.  Little sister is a great eater and a terrific sleeper.  She fusses quite a bit in the evenings, but then sleeps from 8p - 4:30a, eats, and then sleeps until about 7am.  She weighs 10lbs 6oz, is 22.75 inches tall, and has a typical larger-than-average "Shaw" head like all of her aunties, uncle, and cousins - 15.5 inches.
Our sweet girl loves to snuggle and enjoys it when we talk to her.  She smiles, and talks back with little sounds - we can't get enough! Charlie has been having fun with his little sister too.  The other day I saw him shaking her hand and saying, "Congratulations!"  Ha! Although sometimes I'm pretty sure they conspire to just take turns freaking out, life with two kids is starting to feel more normal for me. We've been enjoying trips to park, walks through the neighborhood, and playing in the yard while the weather is still nice.

This is one of my favorite dresses... I'm hoping we can do a long sleeve onesie and tights with it so that it can last through the fall! 

And, finally a little happy mommy memory of Charlie at 2 months (I couldn't pick just one picture). I think they look a lot alike!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Charlie James

Someone is three years old! I am so proud of my little boy who blessed our family three years ago.  What an honor to be your mother, Charlie James.

This year Charlie has grown in his social skills and has really grasped the concept of having friends.  He went from a very shy two-year-old with a lot of anxiety about people outside our family to a three-year-old that prays for his friends, talks about them, hugs them, and gets so excited to play! When we are out he will often run up to a group of kids and shout, "Hi friends! What are you doing?"  Last night we went out for birthday ice cream and he said "Hi Guys!" to everyone passing by... until one man jokingly asked for Charlie's ice cream, then he resorted to his typical defense mechanism and pretended he was asleep (also used when he has done something wrong and Mom tries to talk to him about it-- seriously, he lays on the floor, closes his eyes, and starts snoring).  Tonight he didn't want to get out of the bath, so he layed down in the tub, pretended to sleep and started snoring.  Where does he get this stuff?

Charlie is excited about life.  He runs instead of walking, shouts instead of talking, doesn't like to take no for an answer, and loves a good laugh.  When he is ready to get up in the morning he runs out of his room, bursts through our door, and snuggles with mom while I feed Haylie.  He quotes movies with dad (mostly Veggie Tales and Cars) and entire books like Are You My Mother? and Go Dog Go.  Baking with mom, painting, riding his bike, watering the garden, swimming, fixing things with tools, racing his cars, looking for airplanes in the sky, being chased, and running around like a wild man are things that Charlie loves to do.  His clever little mind thinks of funny things to say, like this week he decided to start calling popsicles "Piston Cups" instead of popsicles!?

It has been so encouraging to see him use manners spontaneously...and so cute! His cars even use good manners with one another. When one falls off the table, another says, "Are you OK?" "Yes, I'm OK. Thanks."  He is quick to say bless you when he hears a sneeze, and apologizes when he has hurt someone.  Despite his frequent impulsive, wild behavior (I can picture his "sneaky face" as I type this), one thing I love about my son is his kind, soft heart.  Yesterday when we were walking back to the car after ice cream, he stopped, looked back at our table and said, "Mom, where's sissy?" I pointed to Rob who was holding her and he said, "Oh OK, got her."  Already protecting his baby sister.

This year has had its two-year-old challenges, but Charlie James continues to be a joy to our family!

And finally... a year in pictures, one (or two) for every month starting last October:





Monday, September 17, 2012

Favorite Things

Two favorite things to share...

Tow Mater play house!  I made this last week for Charlie out of a dishwasher box that Rob picked up at Sears.  These days I measure projects in evenings and nap times.  For example, Charlie's Tow Mater play house took one nap time plus one evening.  I think I might like it more than Charlie James does!

A special gift from Rob after Haylie was born.  I love the little initials of my sweet kids, plus an extra aquamarine to honor our March Baby.  We ordered this necklace from The Vintage Pearl - a neat company with lots of meaningful hand stamped jewelry started by a mommy. Charlie calls it my "pretty" and can tell you whose initials those are. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One Month Old!

Haylie Jean is one month old!  Its been a busy busy with two kids that little miss Haylie has not made a blog appearance yet.  She is already growing and changing so much I can hardly believe it.  Here's a little picture review of Haylie Jean's first month...

One of the first pictures we took just a couple minutes after birth

A few hours later, swaddled and happy
One day old and ready to go home
2 days old

4 days old
1 week
3 weeks (I couldn't find any 2 week pictures - kind of sad...I guess it was an extra busy week?)
At the park with the family
3 1/2 weeks

One month! We've been walking in the evenings together.
And here is what she is doing right now while I type this. Rob took this picture on his phone so the quality isn't great, but she's so squishy and sweet sleeping next to me that I had to share it!

Haylie has done quite a bit more than her brother did during his first month (mommy is less paranoid and has an almost 3 year old who cannot be contained in the house all week).  We go for walks and go to the park almost every day.  We took our first family outing when she was 4 days old - we went to her check up and then lunch at the local airport so Charlie could watch the planes.  When Haylie was one week old we were able to visit her new friend, baby Eli, at the hospital the day after he was born. She loves riding in the ergo carrier while Charlie sits in the cart at the grocery store. Pretty soon she will ask for a balloon, a cookie, and two penny horse rides like her brother (I don't remember what it is like to just "run in and grab something") but for now she just snuggles in the carrier. All the sweet old ladies at the store like to peek in the carrier to see her.  We've spent some days playing with friends which has been great for Charlie, and also nice for me to have time to regain my sanity and chat with friends.  Haylie's baby dedication was last Sunday at our church.  It was such a special day, but we managed to somehow take no pictures! 
The last month has been a little overwhelming (and honestly just really hard at times) as we adjust to life with two kids, but each week has gotten a bit easier and we are starting to get the hang of our new normal.  We are so blessed by our baby girl and honored that we have been entrusted with this tiny person to care for.
What has big brother been up to this month?  Oh boy, that is a whole other blog post!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What's Growing in the Murray Yard?

Last year's garden never quite took off the way I had hoped... we had a big snow in May, mysterious black spots on my tomato plants, and not as many hot hot days for growing.  This year's garden is so much better! I love to garden but most of my techniques are based on trial and error plus a few things I have read or heard people say. . . so I generally have no idea what I am doing right or wrong in any gardening season.

Over the last few years (especially with a small child and dog) we have tried to be mindful of the kind of fertilizers we are using in the yard.  This year we got some great advice/ products from our local nursery and have used all organic fertilizers and compost to help our yard grow.   Basically, we traded chemicals (even "safe" chemicals) for poop-based products.  The lawn gets an organic chicken poop fertilizer.  Our dog thinks this is the greatest thing ever and rolls around the lawn after we use it.  It's kind of gross.  The garden beds get a sheep peat and compost mix, and the fruit producing plants get a bat poop based fertilizer (bats eat and digest lots of fruit... somehow this makes fruit trees and plants grow better fruit?)

Rob bought me an apple tree for my first mother's day when I was pregnant with Charlie.  It did not grow a single apple for 3 years. Kind of sad when your mommy gift can't make fruit? Well, this is the first summer we have had some apples... thank you bat poop and the woman at the nursery who suggested it.  We started off with about 8 apples, but a certain curious little boy picked a few that were within his reach and now we are down to about 5.    Just waiting for them to turn red!

I was worried about my plum tree when it blossomed in late February... surely a freeze between February and May would kill all the little fruit buds and we would have no plums again like last year.  Colorado's fickle weather pulled through this year with some ridiculously hot weather and no spring freezes and we have plums... lots of them!

Our blackberry bush also has a ton of fruit this year... but they are a little small and sort of sour so I need to figure out something to do with them.  Any good blackberry recipes out there?

Charlie has his own little patio tomato plant.  He waters it (drowns it) everyday and is very patiently trying to wait for those tomatoes to turn red.  Sometimes he is not so patient and comes to show me he has picked a couple little green tomatoes, and usually has taken a bite.   Today was an exciting day because a couple of them are yellowish and turning red and he noticed!

We've got our regular herb garden with onions, parsley, basil, rosemary, mint, oregano, and a little cilantro... but I have been a little lazy this summer about actually using the herbs in our meals.  Spaghetti sauce from a jar or go pick stuff from outside?  I have chosen the jar, sadly.   One of my favorite things to do (which hasn't happened yet this year) is to cook chicken kabobs on the BBQ on skewers of rosemary sticks...yum!

In the first big garden bed, our strawberries came back abundantly this year!   I had to build a tent of tulle netting as the berries ripened to keep the birds out (they will literally eat ALL of them if I don't).  We also have purple kale, green kale, carrots, lettuce, arugula, lettuce, and cucumbers growing in this one...

Kale is one of my favorites and one of the most nutritious foods around.  I typically bake it into kale chips or just marinate some leaves in lemon juice and olive oil to soften them up a bit and eat them raw.   Lots of good vitamins for pregnancy in kale like iron (dr. says I am iron deficient) and vitamin K! 

I love baby arugula in salad, but sadly the rollie pollies loved it more this year and every leaf has hundreds of tiny holes.   They don't eat any of the other greens, just the arugula.  I love the color of our lettuce (you can see a sad little arugula leaf in this picture too)...

Our other big bed has our tomato plants, squash, and a pepper plant.  We just ate our first ripe tomato yesterday! I will admit, some veggies don't taste THAT much different when you buy them in the store... but not tomatoes.  Grocery store tomatoes can't compare to the ones that come from the yard. 

My California friends and family are probably laughing at my little plants because your garden looked like this 2 months ago and your gardening season lasts from March to November! Gardening in Colorado is no piece of cake.   You can't plant until mid-May and even then there is no guarantee the plants will make it through crazy hail and storms that creep up in the summer.  

I love our little garden plants at the Murray house and I think there is nothing better than eating from the yard! Every night that we eat from garden I "announce" to Rob which plants came from outside.  I didn't get a very excited response the first time (I know, I know, I could not believe there was an absense of excitement over vegetables).  Well, the family has learned my expectations and now gives me the "OH WOW" that I ask for - ha!

What's growing in your yard?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Almost a Big Brother

With our baby girl's due date just 12 days away, I have been thinking a lot about my time with Charlie James.  I am thrilled to meet our new baby, but also a little bit sad that my time with just Charlie is coming to a close.  We do so much together, and life with just one kid has become easy.  I know how my little buddy works, and he knows how to make mommy laugh (and how to push my buttons). 

Charlie is a typical boy... he loves looking for bugs, riding his bike, being loud, making a mess, and playing "tacky" (tackle).  I'm not sure I would call him a "compliant" child, but he's typically pretty funny and easy going... until he doesn't get what he wants. 

He also loves anything that is a tool, including kitchen utensils.  I am pretty sure we make a mistake by laughing the first time he did this, but now he thinks its hilarious to chase us around the house and pinch our legs with the salad tongs. 

One thing that has been so much fun this summer is swimming.   Since it is one of my favorite things to do, I was so happy when we went to the pool this summer and I realized I had a little fish.  He's done a great job learning to kick his feet, blow bubbles, and jump off the side of the pool.  

This summer I took him to a class at My Gym.   Charlie is a shy kid and tends to cling to us when he feels uncomfortable, just ask anyone who works in our church nursery!  He definitely isn't ready for preschool, but I wanted to start helping him get used to structured activities with a teacher and classmates.   When a friend suggested this class, it seemed like the perfect opportunity (plus we got to hang out with some of our favorite friends each week).   I am so happy we did it!  While each week certainly wasn't perfect, I definitely saw growth in Charlie from week to week.  The first week I left exhausted -- I basically held Charlie the whole time (and was 8 months pregnant), while he watched the other kids but didn't participate much.   He's still a little shy during certain parts of the class (like structured circle time), but has tried a lot of the activities, follows the teacher's instructions (sometimes) and gets excited about going to gymnastics.   I would love to hear techniques of other parents with shy kids, but I have found it challenging to balance allowing him to opt out of activities when he feels shy/ scared verses encouraging him to be a little more independent and not completely babying him.  Its not easy, but this gym class has been a very positive experience for us!

Charlie's new favorite spot in the house is our window seat.  The window is the perfect place for his cars, trucks, and trains.   It is so funny to hear him talk to his cars... they shout things to each other like, "I WANT TO WACE (race) YOU!!!" and even offer motherly advice to one another like, "Don't go in the street," or "Don't touch a bee, you get ouchie."   Ha!  At least he is paying attention.

 (Did I mention his obsession with Lightning McQueen and the movie Cars?)

Charlie has definitely made a shift from mommy to daddy in the last few months.  He adores his dad and wants to do everything that daddy does... wash the car, play Xbox, fix things with tools, mow the lawn.  Each day when it is time for dad to come home from work, we open a front window and Charlie watches for daddy's car.  When he pulls onto the street, Charlie SCREAMS as loud as he can... "DADDYYYYYY, DADDY, HIIIIII, THERE HE IS, DAD CAR!!!!" Its a pretty loud scene.  Sorry neighbors.  It makes my heart so happy to see him adore his daddy so much. 

Having this little boy has brought me so much joy for the last two years! There is so much more I could say about him. I imagine the next few months will present some new challenges with sister's arrival, but I am also confident that he will be a wonderful big brother.