Monday, April 23, 2012


11 months, 1 week

One of my best friends in the whole wide world, Rea, is having a baby in June. She lives in Arkansas and we don't get to see each other more than a couple of times a year. Well, being from Wichita, I was planning on attending the baby shower she had there. Unfortunately dates didn't match up, so we decided to drive down to Fayetteville for her 'couples' baby shower. Since both girls hosting the shower were pregnant, I offered up any help and we made plans to head down south!

Our original plan was to head to 'the lake' - Grove, OK where all my dad's sisters live and meet my Dad/Pat down there for the weekend. Then Nick and I would just drive over to Fayetteville for the shower. Well, my dad had some minor health issues come up last week and they decided they weren't going to be able to make the trip. Once we knew my dad was in the clear, we were still going to head down for the shower and just leave Saturday, instead of our original plan of Friday.

Well, my fabulous husband and the best daddy ever, found this awesome place in Eureka Springs, AR called Turpentine Creek ( They rescue wild cats (think tigers, lions, cougars, even bears) from crazy people who think they would make good pets. They have over 100 animals (sadly) that have been turned over from again, crazy people, who decide that cute little tiger cub isn't as cute when it becomes a full grown adult tiger that could eat your face off. So these wonderful people have set up a sanctuary for these animals - some are in small caged areas, but many have large caged grass areas with room to roam. So we decided we had to take Brock to see it! We re-planned our entire trip to leave Friday morning, head for the 'big cats', then stay near Fayetteville for the weekend.

Turpentine Creek, while it was cold/windy, did NOT disappoint and it's somewhere we will go again! You could get so close to these wonderful creatures! Tigers, Ligers, Lions, Bears, Cougars and other animals. While I usually hate seeing them in cages, all of these animals seemed very happy in their home!!

Friday night we went to dinner with Rea and her husband Budd. Brock absolutely loves both of them! They are going to be such amazing parents and I can't wait to meet their sweet princess in a couple of months!

Given that our trip was altered, this meant we still had time to make the hour drive over to visit my family. Randomly, it turned out a bunch of my cousins were there also, one with his baby that is just 3 months younger than Brock. It was WONDERFUL to see my family. Brock got to play with his cousin Tristan and while Brock is usually grabbing at people's faces, etc, Tristan was giving Brock a taste of his own medicine. However, Tristan was much more gentle than Brock usually is! LOL! Only a few little melt downs out of Brock due to being tired, but they seemed to love hanging out with each other!

The shower on Saturday was so fun and Brock was the life of the party. He let people hold him and play with him and finally passed out on Mommy at around 9:30. He certainly took advantage of the 'vacation schedule' with later bedtimes! Luckily, he also slept in a bit!

Overall the trip was just wonderful. Life down there is so much less complicated and slower than where we are and in the best way possible. You feel like you are able to clear your head and think of what really matters. It's just an absolutely gorgeous part of the country. There were so many times over the weekend that I just wished time could stop. Seeing Brock laugh at the 2 tiger brothers wrestling each other, taking him to my absolute favorite place as a child and introducing him to my family, seeing him watch the fish in Aunt Mollie/Uncle Delmar's pond, being with Rea and Budd and seeing how great they will be with baby Monroe.

It was a much needed break from everything for our whole family. I feel like it even helped Nick and I reconnect. Those 4 hour drives to and from really gave us time to just talk. Not about what was going on this week, or what chores need to be done, or how work went that day. Just talk, like we used to, about everything and nothing all at the same time.

Brock wasn't a fan of being in the carseat that long, but overall he was wonderful! People at the shower kept asking if he's 'always that good' and while we do see his 'naughty' side more than others, we were so proud and thankful to be able to say 'yeah, pretty much!'.

Rea and Budd taught him how to say 'bye bye' and wave! He had been doing the waving, but they really helped him put the 2 together! We are now saying 'mama', 'dada', 'dog', 'oscar' (sometimes and it's still a work in progress), 'uh oh', 'bye bye', 'no' and many other things he randomly repeats after us! He LOVES to clap! If you start cheering 'yeah', he'll start clapping! He also started mimicking our faces this weekend. He's just so much fun!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pull up man

11 months!

Sorry I missed a post last week. Easter was crazy and so fun!! Brock got totally spoiled with lots of Easter baskets and toys. We debated on the Easter bunny situation for a bit, but when Nick mentioned our little shopping center by our house was having a free one, we figured we'd give it a shot. Who would have known, but Brock LOVED him...thought he was hilarious!!

 On Saturday, we colored eggs (he just wanted to smash them), then Sunday went to church and had a nice lunch at our house. And in true Brock form, he just wanted the food. The kid LOVES's maybe his new fave. He also looked like a total stud in his Easter best. Here are a few fun pics from Easter morning.
Believe it or not, this is his 'funny' face. He crinkles his nose and squints his eyes when he laughs now. LOVE!
 My handsome Easter man!
 Our happy little family after church!
Brock is starting now to pull up on just about EVERYTHING! He went from just doing it sometimes to quickly pulling up on anything and everything he can!
He has also started wanting to walk while we hold on to his hands. I'm thinking we aren't too far away! Right now, Mommy is in the party planning trenches getting ready for the big bash for his 1st birthday! They only turn one once and being the party planning addict that I am, I'm going a little overboard.

We are heading to Arkansas this weekend to see my friend Rea for her baby shower! She hasn't seen Brock  for a long time so she'll really get to see how fast they grow! We are hoping to take him to a 'big cat' - ie: Tiger, Lion, Cougar and even some bears - rescue on Friday afternoon. He just loves animals and you can (safely) get pretty close to see them!

Tonight, it's girls and baby night! Brock gets to see all his ladies (Madison and Marlee) and hopefully meet his newest buddy Charlie!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Our little fish

10 months, 2 weeks

We had our first swim lesson on Monday! I'm terrible about putting pictures up so forgive me, but I promise I'll get some up eventually! Anyway, he LOVED IT! There was one poor little girl that just screamed through the whole thing, but Brock was in Heaven! He laughed and chased after toys in the pool, he totally chilled when Daddy had him on his back, kept creeping on the older lady in the next lane doing her laps. He was just taking it all in! I can't wait for next Monday when I can get in with him!!

This Sunday is Easter and I'm so excited! We are having my mom and sister, Nick's parents and brothers (and Erin), and Nick's grandpa over for lunch at our house! We are going to make Easter cookies, cake and dye eggs tomorrow! I know he's probably too young to get into it, but hopefully he'll at least be entertained!

We have also bit the bullet and hired a cleaning lady. I was really struggling with the 'deep cleaning' in our tiny house (so embarrassing). But, working full time leaves little time with the munchkin and the time we do have, I certainly don't want to be cleaning. I have to say, it was some of the best money I have ever spent. She got that house cleaner than I ever could have and in probably half the time. It was such a huge weight off of my shoulders. I hate things being dirty so it was driving me crazy, but I just couldn't find the time/energy to do it myself.

Brock is now repeating words like crazy. He usually only does it a few times right after you say something, but so far, here's what he's got down: Hello, Woah, No No No, Oscar, Babe (yes, hilarious!), What...I think that's about it.

Meme and Poppy were in town last weekend and had a total blast playing with him. He was all smiles and a lot of fun! The mommy phase has slightly improved this week so he's letting other people hold him more!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope the Easter bunny brings you all lots of goodies!