Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maxwell Corbin is here!

Maxwell Corbin was born (and FAST!) on Monday morning at 6:45 AM. He weighed 6 lbs, 8 oz and was 20 inches long. I'll share the story another day, but here are a few pictures...

He's healthy, very easy so far, and has even allowed us to get some sleep. We'll see how long this "honeymoon" lasts, but we'll enjoy it while it does! :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Big Boy Bedroom

For those of you using the blog to keep track, there's no baby yet...just keep waiting patiently! We are! ;) After Jacob/Max arrives, I'll have Keith get a little something on Facebook & the blog as soon as he's able. I promise!

The next time you visit, Alex will probably want you to follow him into his new Big Boy Bedroom so he can show off his fancy new room. Don't forget your sunglasses, by the way, because it's really bright in there! :)

Keith usually doesn't have much of an opinion when it comes to decorating. He chose the color of the office. That's about it. But when it came time to choosing a theme for Alex's big boy room, he really wanted a Chicago Bears theme. The hardest part was deciding whether the wall should be blue or orange. Keith voted blue. I voted orange. Keith painted orange, but he warned me that was taking no blame or credit for the color...and he wouldn't change it if I disliked it, either. Thankfully, I love it! I think it's growing on Keith, too.
Alex LOVES his new bedroom! He loves to play with toys on his bedroom floor. He proudly shows off his new bed. He points out the footballs on his fleece blanket. He loves to sit at the table & play blocks, sit on the floor and play "Tate" (Mr. Potato Head), and roll trucks around his bedroom. He is EXCITED (weird kid!!) to go to bed each night.
He has only fallen out of his new bed a total of 3 times, and he's been sleeping in it for um...probably about 6 weeks now. The only time we have trouble is if he wakes early from his nap. Sometimes he wants to hop out of bed & play (even though we put the toys in the closet at naptime) when he should go back to sleep. Oh, and once he woke in the middle of the night & was sitting next to his nightlight so he could read books to himself.
My goal was to make the room fun & boyish without spending much money. We already had the furniture for this room, as it was the guest room for the past few years. We found a toddler bed that came close to matching the furniture. To that, we added:
  • a Bears fleece "blanket", an orange "locker bin" and an orange hamper from Joann's - all purchased with Mom's 40% off coupon stash
  • a Bears pendant & sign from Shipshewana for $15
  • a peel & stick Bears helmet that Deb found online for $6 (and free shipping!)
  • a Bears picture frame from Grandma Purdy
  • 2 pictures of Alex in his Bears jersey
  • blue curtains on clearance at Walmart
  • blue crib sheet on clearance at Meijer

I love the simplicity of it, and quite honestly, I don't plan on adding much more. More = clutter, and I love how uncluttered his room is! As he gets bigger, I'm sure his toys will provide plenty of clutter to fill the extra space!

We have a couple of silver metal strips with magnets that I may hang by the little table if we keep it in that spot. That way, he can put up alphabet magnets, hang his artwork, etc in the future. We'll see.

I'm thinking about painting this table "Bears Blue". Keith says I'll regret it. What do you think?

The glider is from Grandma & Grandpa S's basement. It's a rusty orange color, covered in a blue blanket that was hiding in our hall closet. Wish this picture wasn't so dark, but I'm too lazy to retake it. The "locker room" Bears sign is fun!

Uh, ignore the boxes on the floor - they're full of kids' books, and they are too heavy for me to lift. They'll find a new home soon, I'm sure. For now, they keep Alex from accessing the craft supplies in the bottom drawer.The large frame on the dresser is a poem that Keith wrote for Alex's first Christmas. It's framed, and I'll be hanging it on the wall near Alex's bedroom door. The locker bin holds diapers & rash cream. And the lamp? Well, the old shade broke. I have to decide whether to replace it or just put the lamp away.

It's sad how disorganized his closet looks, as it really has been straightened & tidied. I still have 3 BIG boxes of "teacher stuff" in this closet, but we have nowhere else to store it. The shelves at the bottom hold some favorite toys. The rest of the closet floor has bags/boxes of clothes waiting for Alex to grow into them.

And that's about it! Just pretend to be surprised when Alex has the opportunity to show off his new room in person! ;)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mama's Letter To Alex

(This post is one of those times where you'll have to remember that the blog is our online baby book. I'm almost hesitant to post this, since it's really just for Alex, but it belongs here...)

My Sweet Little Monkey,

It's August 17th, and your baby brother was due to arrive yesterday. Just like you, he's stubbornly holding out until he is ready to make an appearance. Dada & I are eagerly waiting to meet this little guy, and we hope that you will LOVE having a brother so close in age...once you adjust to the big changes this brings to your little world!

Alex, you are such an amazing wonder to us. God blessed us with a wonderful little boy, and we will always be grateful. It's hard to imagine our world before you joined our family. A day of quiet, the chance to stay up late at night & sleep in the next morning, a day without stepping on a Little People "guy"...I can imagine these things, but only for the briefest of moments. Honestly, our crazy, busy, often exhausting days are so much better than that quiet life. I wouldn't trade you for the world, kiddo!

  • are sweet, funny, determined, stubborn, curious

  • are developing your own sense of humor. You know what makes us laugh, and you're good at doing those things

  • have learned that funny faces make Mama laugh...fishy faces are the best! So are scrunchy-faced grins at unexpected times - like yesterday in the middle of communion at church.

  • desire to be obedient, although (of course) you often fall short of that goal

  • are learning new words and new skills every day

  • are a skinny little thing, but you LOVE to eat

  • have started telling me what you want for a snack - so cute, but sometimes challenging to figure it out!

  • have developed into a pretty good night-time sleeper, easily go down for naps, but don't require a ton of daytime matter how hard I try to get you to nap longer

  • are always on the go

  • love cars and trucks

  • love to run around outside in the yard

  • get very clumsy when you're tired (Daddy says you get that from me!)

  • think anyone on a tractor should take you for a ride - whether you know them or not, your little hands go out to any tractor, anywhere.

  • love electronic devices

  • enjoy attention from others - when you seek it

  • are often bashful when someone else tries to get your attention

  • love to clap along with music, "dance" by waving your arms around in the air, and are often requesting to listen to the song "Go - Go" (from VBS) or "Na Na" (Every Move I Make)

  • still say "Bup" rather than "up", and Mama dreads the day you consistently say this word correctly

  • love having stories read to you

  • run to the laundry room door, calling "Dada!!!!" when your daddy gets home from work. As soon as he's in the door, you're demanding to be "Bup!"

  • begin whining to eat dinner about 30 seconds after Daddy sets you down, even if dinner isn't ready

  • thrive on a basic daily routine - but not a tight schedule

  • can find mischief just about anywhere

  • like to climb

  • enjoy grocery shopping & running errands with Mama

  • told the mailman last week that he had a "Cool Cuh" (cool truck)

  • wave at the UPS man when he drives down our street

  • love to watch the garbage truck pick up our trash

  • have a bit of a temper when you get really angry. It makes me so sad when you throw your toys or bang your head against a wall to show your anger.

  • adore Papa, Grandpa, and other guys

  • love, love, LOVE to play with your Dada

  • love when Dada flips you upside down or tosses you on the bed

  • love to snuggle with Mama

  • do activities with Mama like coloring, painting, putting coins in your piggy bank, etc.

  • make me smile with your love for "Tate" (Mr. Potato Head)

  • are currently fascinated with Curious George, and you love to make monkey noises

  • love to wear your Bob The Builder hard hat, and you even wore it to Mama's midwife appointment a few weeks ago - much to their amusement

  • love to watch/help Daddy when he's working with tools or electronics

  • call everything that Daddy does a "dada" - the tractor is a "dada", the sprinkler is a "dada", and now, the curtains that Daddy hung in your big boy room on Saturday are "dada", too.

  • watched Daddy & Papa hook up our new washer, and now you call the hot/cold water lines "Papa" because your Papa hooked those up

  • are slowly learning the spoken words for many of your sign language words ("mo" for more is your newest)

  • use the word "more" correctly, but also use it to mean, "I want that!" For example, we walked past the bulk candy bins at Meijer last week and you said/signed, "MO!!!!!!" You hadn't had any, but you figured using the word more would earn you some candy. (Sorry, it didn't work, bud!)

  • made me laugh today when you picked a tomato in our backyard, then took a big bite from it. I think you expected it to be sweet.

  • made me laugh again when you grabbed the grocery store flyer out of my hands, pointed at the apples, and said, "Mmmmm!"

  • cry when you're asked to come inside after playing outdoors

  • are getting very good at the word "no". Sigh. At least it's still cute, for now.

  • try to be my helper - handing me clean silverware from the dishwasher, unfolding the laundry I just folded, taking garbage to the kitchen trash can, bringing me the cordless phone when it rings, follow me with your own little watering can when I water plants

  • notify me when you want your diaper changed (by signing diaper)

  • love YouTube videos like "Elephant Song", "Rain, Rain, Go Away", and "Five Little Monkeys"

  • recently discovered how good ice cream is

  • inform me when you've done something naughty. Either you say "Uh-oh!" or you hold out your hand to be spanked...leaving Mama to figure out why you deserve the spanking!

  • spanked your own diapered bottom today after taking things out of the recycle bin

  • are getting the hang of your paint with water book, and you love to sit on a kitchen barstool while you paint

  • would love it if you could play in your toy fire truck all day, every day

  • enjoy looking through a little photo album of your newborn pictures, but don't understand that the baby is YOU!

  • are doing an excellent job in your "big boy bed", and you're so proud of your new big boy room

  • have a fascination with flies right now, and have actually managed to swat and kill a few flies in the past week

  • are so cute when you "keek" your little soccer ball

  • are learning to play with Maggie, rather than just bugging her

  • are so sweet at bedtime that Mama hates to say goodnight! I love the way you climb in the glider chair and grin, knowing that you just took Mama's seat...then giggle when I pretend to sit on you! I love how you snuggle in my lap for a Bible story, songs, and prayer. I love how you say "Ameeen" when we're finished praying. I love how you "pretend" to hide from my kisses when I tuck you into bed. I love how you grin & wave good night to me as I shut off your bedroom light.

I could go on & on about the things that make you special, but naptime is only so long! Your dada could probably add many other thoughts to this list, but this letter is just from Mama. So, Little Stinker, just know that you are a unique & wonderful treasure to us, and Daddy & I love you so very much! Thanks for being such a delight to us each & every day! We love you!

Love Always,


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Five, Toddler Edition

I already posted the Baby Edition a while back, so I'm finally taking the time for the toddler post. Here's what we've found WONDERFUL for feeding, entertaining, and caring for our little guy.


  1. Step 2 Water Table - I wanted another outdoor toy for Alex, and this water table has been a GREAT one! He loves to splash in the water, pour water down the water wheel, and use the plastic cup to water our (dying...) tomato plants. Thanks, Mom & Dad, for permission to use Alex's souvenir money towards something other than a souvenir!

  2. Step 2 Firetruck - a garage sale find (by Donna & Mom) last summer. It's supposed to have a roof, but ours doesn't. Alex doesn't care. Neither do we, as it's $60 new or $6 at a garage sale. He ADORES this firetruck, and it gets used every day. When we play in the play area at Menards, it's the first toy Alex wants...even though he has it at home!

  3. Tate - Okay, it's really Mr. Potato Head...but Alex calls him "Tate". I guess it's because they spend so much time together that Alex needed a nickname for his spud friend. ;) We have Mini Mr. Potato Heads from the dollar store and big Mr. Potato Heads. He doesn't always get the pieces in the right holes, but Alex LOVES Tate. Oh, and somehow he has lost most of the arms...even though our house is relatively tidy. Where can you hide Mr. Potato Head arms?

  4. Cars, Trucks, Buses, etc. They're all "cahs" or "cuhs" right now, but Alex loves them all...Little People cars, Dollar Store dump trucks, Fisher Price fire trucks...they zoom around our house all day long. We race bigger cars down the hallway, crash smaller cars off of furniture, and make vroom-vroom sounds.

  5. Choo Choo - We have a borrowed Leap Frog ride-on toy train (now considered a collector's item?!) from Karen. Her little Lillie is growing up fast, so we're going to have to return this beloved train before long. It's such a GREAT toy - music, lights, sounds, activities, and great for steering all around the house. Alex adores it, and he will be very sad when it goes away. I think we'll be hunting down this train for Christmas, if not sooner...neither Keith nor I can imagine Alex without this toy! I found a very similar Winnie The Pooh train on Target's might have to suffice.
    **Uh, did I title this entry FIVE? If I went to #6 and #7, I'd include his "Mow Mow" (Fisher Price lawn mower) from Grandma & Papa P. It's an indoor toy that Alex uses to "mow" our carpet, hallways, and TOES every day. I'd also add: Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Musical Table - we got this table for free through the Fisher Price House party. It's still one of the most-loved toys in our home. Hardly a day goes by when Alex doesn't play with this table...and he's had it since he was 9 months old!

General Items

  1. Bumkins Bibs (did I mention these in the baby post?) - I LOVE these bibs! So easy to shove in a diaper bag, wipe clean in a hurry, or toss in the washer. We have two. I'd like about twenty, ha ha! ;)

  2. Bum Genius diapers - I'm still in love, almost 20 months later. These are my favorite of all the diapers we've tried. The velcro isn't as "sticky" as it once was, but they stay on just fine...the velcro issue is in the dryer, where the diapers make chains by attaching to one another!

  3. Munchkin Snack Catchers - I got these snack cups before we went to Myrtle Beach, and they are GREAT for the car, for church, and out & about. It's a great way to give Alex a snack without having a huge mess to clean up.

  4. Gerber Sip N Smile Soft Spout cups - at least he'll drink out of other cups now! These Gerber cups are the ONLY cup Alex would use for a while. He's branching out, but we have a nice collection of these...and they are a very good sippy cup. We stick with all Gerber cups because then I only have to deal with one kind of removable stopper.

Food (our kiddo may be tiny, but he LOVES to eat!)

  1. Polaner fruit spread - I have to go out of my way to get this stuff, so I stock up when I can. The only sugar is from fruit juice, and it tastes sooooo much better than regular jelly. I love the chunks of fruit in it!

  2. "Stretch Island" fruit leather - not cheap at Meijer, so (again) I stock up when I get to the right store. Alex & I both love this stuff, and it's healthier than typical fruit added sugar!

  3. Raisins - the current cheap, healthy snack of choice. Alex LOVES them!

  4. Kefir - kind of like drinkable yogurt, but even healthier. Since Alex still won't drink milk, he gets about 8 oz of kefir every day (along with other dairy...the kid loves cheese!) Amazingly enough - they've started to carry it (although a little pricy...) at our local grocery store. If we can't find it or it isn't in the budget, Danimals drinkable yogurt is our "runner up".

  5. This one's a toss up...Juicy Juice? Cheese? Goldfish crackers? Special K tomato flavored crackers? Tomato soup? Fruit in general? I can't decide. The boy loves his food.


  1. Gallop (thanks, Grandma Purdy!)

  2. Bear Wants More

  3. Harry The Dirty Dog (Keith remembers reading this story as a child!)

  4. Truck book (again, from Grandma Purdy - it's actually a board book with one truck picture in it. Alex could care less about the other pages, though. He loves that truck page! I can only imagine what he'd do if he had a board book of trucks. I'm thinking about printing/laminating a bunch of truck pictures from the internet to make him his own truck book. We'll see if I get around to that.)

  5. Curious George At The Zoo board book (current fascination with all things Curious George/monkey...who knows why...)

DVDs Poor, deprived Alex still only gets about 30 minutes of TV per day...sometimes less...but here's what he loves:

  1. Curious George (actually, it's recorded from TV on our DVR)

  2. Little People "Discovering Things That Go" (free with a toy he got for Christmas last year)

  3. Baby Einstein sampler DVD that came in a magazine - he laughs & laughs at the puppets

  4. Baby Signing Time (but not nearly as often...)

  5. Leap Frog's Letter Factory (only on occasion)


  1. Step 2 Sand Table

  2. trains for the Step 2 train table we have hidden for him for Christmas (thanks, Deb, for finding an AWESOME deal!)
    Can you tell I like Step 2 products? Alex has the big slide (thanks Grandma & Grandpa P), water table, ride-on toys...their outdoor toys are QUALITY products!

  3. the swingset from Menards that we didn't get this summer, thanks to $$ going to a hospital stay instead :(

  4. I can't come up with 5...our kiddo is very blessed & very spoiled!

Could do without...

  1. tub toys - he currently loves an empty Tums bottle and plastic salsa container. He'll get interested in tub toys again sometime, I'm sure, but for now...tub toys aren't a big hit.

  2. specialty toddler snacks - Gerber can sure pack a lot of sugar and junk into their supposedly healthy snacks!

  3. for now, the Clipo - a VERY cool Christmas gift, but Alex just doesn't "get it" yet. Sabrina & Keelie had fun with it the day they were here, so I'm really hoping Alex grows into it before long. For now, he just walks around with the battery-operated gear electronics-loving kid! ;)
  4. suction cup plates - they're useless because they don't stick. Fancy divided baby plates in general - our plain old bargain plates work just fine...and they stack nicely in the cabinet, too.
  5. no #5 here, either...maybe we're getting smarter in our purchase? Probably not... ;)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sleepover, Anniversary, and Birthday

Alex had a sleepover at Grandma & Grandpa S's house a few weeks ago. Other than my hospital stay, we've never had a night without Alex...and I'm not sure that really counts (even though we're very grateful to Aunt Deb for taking him...) as a night without Alex.

It takes a little effort to hand over our boy. We've chosen not to do that up until now, but we figured it made sense to have a night off before adding a newborn to the family. It's also good for Alex to have a night away from Mama & Daddy, I suppose.

Grandma & Grandpa took Alex to an old car show at a local car dealership. They had 5 cent hotdogs for supper. They came home, played in the yard, and Alex helped grandpa water the flowers. Grandma got Alex settled in the pack n play, and he slept ALMOST 12 hours straight! They had to wake him to get ready for church! That's not my boy! Do you think they wore him out? Otherwise, they need to teach us their trick! :)

They claim that Alex said two new words for them. I think they're just trying to make us feel bad about leaving our boy. (ha ha!) Anyway, we haven't heard these words at home yet, but Alex said "flower" as clear as day, and he finally came close to pronouncing truck correctly - "cruck".

While Alex was busy having fun with Grandma & Grandpa, Keith and I went to Chicago to celebrate our 5th anniversary. We'd been trying to come up with a plan, but neither of us are good at coming up with creative things to do. Keith suggested a boat ride on the Chicago river, as we'd really enjoyed a PBS show about that a while back. ( What can I say - we're nerds!) We took a 90 minute tour sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation...very neat narration of the history of many of the buildings along the river! The most amusing thing we learned is that Chicago comes from a Native American word meaning "stinky onion". Nice, huh?

In true "Keith & Dawn" fashion, we didn't get dressed up & kept things pretty low key. We headed closer to home, used an Olive Garden gift card that we've had since Christmas, and then got dessert at Cold Stone. We didn't have to scold anyone for dropping pasta on the floor, wipe any messy faces, or share our ice cream. Ahhh! ;)

At home, we enjoyed watching a movie...without having to wait until Alex was asleep. We went to bed at a decent time...without turning on a baby monitor. We got out of bed when WE wanted to get up in the morning...not when a little voice called, "Mama, Up!"

We had sausage & homemade pancakes for breakfast, had time to move Alex's big boy bed to his new room, and even made it to church early!

After church, we headed up to my parent's house for a late lunch with the family. Mom celebrated her 70th birthday on Sunday, and Dad asked all of us to come for lunch. He did all the planning & preparation.

There are no pictures of Alex's fun with Grandma & Grandpa, but there are a few pictures from Grandma's birthday dinner.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

As Keith said, here's hoping for 70 more years! ;)

Wisconsin Dells

(I've been intending to 'steal' some pictures from other relatives, but figured that actually get this post up might be better than holding out until I work on my great intentions. Something is better than nothing!)

Each summer, my parents arrange for all of us to spend a weekend together as a family. For many years, we camped or stayed in cabins - sometimes in Michigan, sometimes in Wisconsin. Last year, we changed it up a bit & stayed at Chula Vista Resort in the Dells...for a very wet, partly powerless, but still very fun weekend. This year, we stayed at Chula Vista again. The weather was much more cooperative!

We had two 3-bedroom condos last year. This year, we stayed in 3 golf villas hotel rooms with a kitchenette & a loft with bunk beds.

The weather was perfect. It rained here & there, but never enough to interfere with our plans. We had meals together, did a lot of water "stuff", did a little shopping in downtown Dells, and each family had some of their own activities, too.

I didn't spend a whole lot of time with the camera, so we're a little lacking in the picture department.

(Holy Toledo, Batman! I got these pictures from my brother's Facebook page and they are HUGE! Sorry!)

My niece Katelynn with brother Dave at the resort

most of the girls went to get henna tattoos...Keith & I were taking a Dells Duck ride with Alex at the time

the typical family craziness

the waterpark - there are big slides and a kiddy splash area outside, a wave pool behind the big resort, and an indoor waterpark complete with a "water coaster", slides, kiddy splash area, medium-sized slides, hot tub, and lazy river.

Pregnant Mama and Alex spent a lot of time in the lazy river since water slides weren't an option. With Keith just recovering from mono, he chose to skip the slides this year, too.

One of our 3 golf-villa units - We gathered 18 (I think...) people into one unit for each meal.

Alex climbed in our suitcase to play with something that he's not allowed to touch at home - my hair dryer.

Alex really liked this little waterslide. We started with a few quick splashes in the "pool" at the bottom, and then he was ready to try it from the top. I just lifted him & set him on the top. Later, Grandpa helped Alex to climb the stairs.

(You can't see the front of my swimsuit top in this picture, but I just want to thank my mom for sewing the insert into my maternity suit. Most bathing suits are just a little too revealing, but she fixed that for me!)

He didn't want to get too wet, but Alex was curious about the water sprays.

Daddy teased Alex by wearing the pool floaty on his head.

Attractive, huh? ;)

Grandpa is brave enough to hold a very wet little boy.

Alex got to push elevator buttons quite often...a favorite of his! "Beeeeeeep!"

Deb & Tony, Justin & Derek, and Keith & I went mini-golfing while Alex played in the water with Grandma & Grandpa and the cousins. Afterwards, we enjoyed some very good ice cream...BEFORE lunch! (I love vacation!)

Pirate's Cove is our favorite place to mini-golf in the Dells. We have soooo many pictures of family members in these stocks. Justin volunteered to keep up the family tradition. If I knew where to look, I'd dig out a picture of Justin in these stocks when he was about 6 or 7 years old. My, how times flies!

Afterwards, we went to Dave & Diane's house for lunch before heading home. (How many people are lucky enough to have a sister who lives 15 minutes from the Dells?) Alex enjoyed their kitty, although he called it a "puppa" until Chino started meowing at Alex. Then Alex called the cat a "meow". Close enough, I guess. At least it's an improvement!

We ended the afternoon with yummy ice cream cake to celebrate a few family birthdays, then we hit the road and headed for home.

Thanks, Mom & Dad, for spoiling us with such a fun family weekend!

(If you're bored, here's a rather dark video of Alex behind Dave & Diane's couch - trying to get the "puppa" to meow.)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

38 Weeks, 4 Days

Technically, that means I've got 10 days to go. Realistically, I'm not counting the days...and I mean that. Our baby boy will be here before the end of August. That's good enough for me. Honestly!

Keith asked me a few weeks ago if I was ready to "not be pregnant anymore". Really, that's an easy question for me to answer. The answer is NO! Yes, there are definitely symptoms that I'll be glad to get rid of! But that doesn't mean I want to "not be pregnant" anymore! Nor will I complain about those symptoms...not when a miracle is growing inside of me!

This is such a blessing, and it's one that we treasure! Alex was our lesson in God's perfect timing, and now this one is another little blessing that we're so grateful to have! I'm not sure there is anything more amazing that feeling those first little kicks, feeling little toes digging into your ribs, little hands tickling your insides, or even feeling crazy shoves in the last few weeks - and knowing that there's a little one growing in there. I'm not quite ready to give that up just yet.

Full term is anywhere from 38 - 42 weeks. So, until I hit the end of August, he's not overdue. He's hangin' out right where he should be, waiting for just the right time to come.

So, in this mama's opinion, Baby Bob can stay put just as long as he likes...and I'll enjoy letting Alex have his mama all to himself for just a little while longer.

Shh, don't tell...but I also might also enjoy sleeping in stretches longer than 2.5 hours, having quiet evenings with Keith after Alex is in bed for the night, and having an excuse to be lazy when I feel like it. Soon, those things will all be foggy memories! ;)