Monday, December 31, 2012

Family of 3 = Family of 4

I've been mulling over this post since October! I'm so excited to announce that Team Bruns is making its way towards a basketball team.  In June 2013, we will add another little bundle to our mix and we couldn't be happier!

12 week sono... baby's head on the right... just lounging around
While we were trying to have a baby, I have to say it was a pretty half-hearted attempted as I was in the throws of my last semester in school and still trying to get my arms around a new job that I started in June.  Needless to say, I was super surprised to see the little blue line appear almost immediately on the pregnancy stick.

In terms of how I feel physically (emotionally, I'm ecstatic!).... meh.   I almost IMMEDIATELY had symptoms (fatigue, nausea, general ickiness) and with Walt I had symptoms for like one week.  We were kinda thinking this wouldn't happen until the first of the year, so it did sneak up on us during a VERY busy time. I'm sure that didn't help the funk.  I also noticed the pooch much sooner... but it's  much higher. Odd. I'll let you think about all the gender myths and apply them to my symptoms :)  I am happy to report that I have turned a big corner after 13 weeks. No more nausea and fatigue/headaches are almost gone. PHEW.  We'll never know if it's b/c I'm out of my 1st trimester or b/c the weight of school is off my back.

As for Walt -- he has no clue what's going to happen :) While we tell him there's a baby in my tummy (and he happily answers the same when asked "where the baby is"), and we even bought him a book on being a big brother... I really don't think the reality will hit until he sees an actual infant in the room next to him.  Despite not grasping the concept, I do think Mr. Munks will be a fantastic big brother. He's already started helping so much around the the house and he is the first to comfort someone when they are crying (even if it's just Mom and Dad fake crying).

There you have it! The official due date is June 30, 2013 (so, I'm 14 weeks as I write this). Yes, we are finding out the sex (should be early Feb).  Now you know why I'm determined to blog more consistently in 2013.
This is NOT what I had in mind for our first belly shot, but it's too hilarious not to share. Walt looks like he just robbed a candy store.

No lie, I think I was this same size at 17 weeks with Walt. I'll have to dig up the pics for a side-by-side

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

White Christmas in the SNOW

What a wonderful and awesome surprise it was to get a nice blanket of snow on Christmas Day. It seemed like a movie! The year that Walt was born, it snowed a LOT.  It snowed the day after he was born, and then in February 2011 when he was just weeks old, it snowed for like two weeks straight or something totally ridiculous for Dallas.

But, despite ALL that snow when he was little bitty, last winter was very mild. So much so that I'm not sure we ever wore a sweater.  All that to say, Walt got to have his FIRST snow experience on Christmas Day. Since he knows some Christmas/Holiday songs, he's very familiar with what snow is (and certainly what a snowman is).  This was our adventure into the great white powder:

Thank goodness Santa brought him a hat and mittens (but this puffy jacket cracks me up the most)

Not real sure how he feels about the snow in his face

Still unsure. Is it the snow or the cold that bothering him?

Half smile with Daddy!

Going for a walk... there were parts of the snow up to Walt's calf!

Walking through the neighbor's winter wonderland

Finally enjoying the snow falling and trying to pick it up!

And just to further illustrate Walt's hesitation with the snow, I have video proof.  I will say that for the 10 minutes we were outside, he was half whining and really unsure about the whole thing, but the minute we headed back inside he completely lost his mind. Poor guy... overstimulation with the presents and now snow!  (please notice I filmed this in the correct orientation... you're welcome).

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

Oh boy! What fun this Christmas was! Although Walt was almost a year old last Christmas, he really did not get it.  By the time he unwrapped his last present this year, I can positively say that he got it.

Chris and I tempered our gift buying last year for a number of reasons. First, the fact the he was only one years old, meant he didn't need a whole lot of stuff. The empty box would have been entertainment enough. Second, Walt's birthday is exactly two weeks after Christmas. While we did "no gifts" for his birthday last year (similar logic to the Xmas presents), we knew he'd still get some stuff.

Welp, we've totally changed our tune this year. Maybe it's because the toys for older kids are so much more fun than a light-up keyboard that plays the same annoying lovely nursey rhyme over and over. Chris and I jointly discussed what we're getting Walt, but each made some individual purchases. I'll let the pics (and video) speak for themselves.
The "BIG" Santa gift. He couldn't wait to start shooting hoops. See the video below

FIRE TRUCK! Walt got lots of trucks and cars and is in heaven.

Let me explain the video below.  I was ever-so-kindly lectured by my friend, Richard Zicchino, about why I need to shoot iPhone videos horizontally.  One thing that was NOT explained was if you make this realization AFTER you have already started recording, then you just get a sideways video.  I hope the terrible cinematography can be overlooked to enjoy our Christmas morning joy :)


Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Picture Outtakes

In late November, our little family of three took some adorable family pics with a lovely photographer. Doesn't that sound all nice and pleasant? While the pics that were posted to Facebook revealed a happy, smiling family of three in a nice, tranquil wooded area, what the experience was actually like was 45 minutes of chasing Walt around, bribing him with everything from his iPhone to ice cream, and desperately trying not to sweat or mess up my hair.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVED how our pics came out. Lauren Ashley was our assistant wedding photographer. She has recently branched out from weddings and shooting families both here and in Tyler.  She's uber talented and I couldn't wait for her to shoot our family.  I was surprised (shocked, even) that we had so many great photos from the session because trying to have your almost-two-year-old do what you say, while outside, close to dinnertime is a huge feat. You can see the GOOD pics here, but I thought it would be fun to share the outtakes.

Walt supposed to be watching camera. More interested in what mom and dad are doing.

We have a LOT of these "Put me down" moments. Notice Chris and I are trying desperately to keep smiling!

Again, trying to escape

Seriously, a year ago I could toss this baby up in the air. He's huge or I'm way out of shape.

These are my favorites. Walt thought messing with Daddy was hilarious... and it was.


Friday, December 7, 2012

I'm All Graduated and Stuff

As unbelievable as this is for me to say, I am FINALLY graduated with my MBA.  As mentioned in previous posts, UTD did this so backwards that it was really tough to appreciate the actual graduation. While I walked across the stage and got a nice pretty portfolio (with a sentimental letter from the Dean), I still have a week ahead of exams. That's when I'll REALLY be done.

However, I'm SO glad I decided to walk across the stage. I had toyed with the idea of walking or not for a number of reasons. One being I just couldn't wait for this journey to be over and two, I didn't feel it was necessary... at first.  Then as I started to think about it, I realized that this degree I worked at harder than any other (high school or college).  Graduating from h.s. and college seemed "expectedd" to me. While  I know that going to college is a huge achievement and not everyone does it, I guess I was just lucky enough to be surrounded by people who went to college and didn't think twice about it. I don't really remember there being another option.

Getting my MBA was 100% my choice. Something I toyed with for a few years before taking the plunge. It was also the first education I paid for (am paying for?) myself, so that definitely made me feel like I had skin in the game.  Then of course we have all the things that happened during my journey (marriage, baby, new job, etc).  All this things VERY joyous and welcomed, but all adding a layer of complexity to getting my degree. 

So, walking across that stage felt amazing.  So much so, that I even got a little teary! I was genuinely proud of myself. Even though it was a UTD ceremony, I professionally walked back to my seat after getting my fake diploma, turned to look at my parents and Chris, and proudly lifted my hands in the air with a triumphant, "WHOOP!"  Since, I was the very first person in line, I'm certain everyone saw.

I am so thankful for all the support I received over the last four years. Encouraging words and little fun distractions made the road easier to travel.  I am MOST thankful for my insanely amazing husband.  He has sacrificed a lot so I can go to school. He keeps me well fed and is the worlds best care-taker of Walt. Not one complaint out of that man in the past four years. He's the best :)

There's the set up! It was a very small ceremony compared to both my high school and college graduation, but that's a good thing.

There I am.... first student in line.

My #1 Supporter and the reason I succeeded! I love you!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I realize this post is out of order, but at the moment, my life is a little out of order!

I wanted to make sure we captured the awesome time we had in Gilmer for Thanksgiving. We only spent a couple of days, but it was really a great time. Not only did we have the pleasure of hanging out with Nana and Papa (Chris's folks), and Walt's cousins, Kate and Maddie, but Chris's Uncle Frank and Aunt Bernadette were there. We also got a visit on Thanksgiving Day from Aunt Paula and Uncle Larry, cousin Stephanie and cousin Anna! It was a full Bruns/Lange party!

We had such gorgeous weather that Walt spent about 8 of his 10 waking hours outside. He threw a fit when we had to come in. He loves being at Nana and Papa's where he can roam free (we call it "free-range Walt) and just play to his heart's content.

Walt with Maddie and Izzy the dog.  We always needed to know where Izzy was.
While it appears Walt is helping with the gardening, he's simply retrieving his golf ball lost in the rough

No lie, this kid can hit off a tee (albeit with a plastic ball and club, but give him a break!)

Maddie and Kate giving Walt more attention than he needs :)

Walt enjoying some time with Uncle Larry, who makes him laugh

My best boys!
I just LOVE Thanksgiving because it's so less hectic than Christmas. Being in Gilmer really gave us the opportunity to slow down for a bit and just enjoy the greatness of our extended family!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Reflection on My MBA

Today I'm one week away from graduating with my MBA.  Sounds super fancy, huh? It doesn't really feel that way right now. While this isn't my first semester juggling a job, a family, and school, it's definitely been the hardest. I don't know if it was easier when Walt was little bitty b/c there was less to entertain him with? Now he has play dates and birthday parties galore on the weekends, and he's just active in general!

The other frustrating thing is I graduate next Friday, Dec. 7, but I have finals the following week. It's really the dumbest arrangement ever. It makes me wonder if some Aggie is in charge?!  Don't get me wrong, I'm walking my happy butt across that stage, accepting my diploma, and having a party. Those things are non-negotiable. It's just tough to get REALLY excited until it's all over.

Today I picked up my cap and gown (yay!) and thought about a question a former co-worker and friend, Kyle, has asked me, "Would you do it over again?"  Meaning, was it worth it.  The short answer is yes.  The long answer is I did it all kinds of backwards. The whole journey will have taken me four years (hello, it's like a whole other undergrad degree!).  While it's been possible to do it while having a kid, I do NOT recommend that. I started my MBA when I was 29. I probably should have done it when I was 27. However, it's a fine line. I do NOT recommend an MBA without some decent work experience. There are too many "straight from undergrad" kids that just don't get it.  The work experience is a HUGE plus.

I also used to say I wish I had taken a year off and just done it in 16 months or whatever.  But, really, I've been able to apply lots of things I've learned to current jobs. So, I see value immediately. That's a good reward. So, yes, I'd probably do it all over again if I was 27 and kidless. But since I'm 33 and fully kidded, I'm dogmatically DONE with school.  Three graduations in my lifetime is plenty.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Munks the Chatterbox

Recently (in the past month or so), Walt has REALLY improved his speech. He's gone from single words to putting two, three, four words together and really has a conversation. It's really pretty awesome.  Now, Walt definitely has his own language. Chris and I are mostly fluent in "Walt-ese", but there are plenty of times we stare at each other truly questioning what our son just said (Did he just ask to watch an elephant sing?).

Sometime soon when I find more time I will post a few YouTube videos of the Munks chatting away. For now, you can enjoy this abbreviated list:

  • "Where'd (insert name) go??" -- First off, Walt is really fantastic with names. He usually catches on to people (or animal) names right away, then obsesses about asking where people are.
  • "(Insert name), where are you?" -- please refer to the above phrase. This usually follows that
  • "(Insert name ), is at home/work" -- if Chris or I turn the question back on Walt (I don't know, Walt, where DID Daddy go?), Walt usually answers "They are at home" or "They are at work". Those are your only choices.
  • "Please", "Thank you", "Bless you", "'Scuse me" -- this is Walt's glossary of manners. He is really pretty studly at sayiing Thank You without prompting. He just starting blessing us when we sneeze, and he REALLY thinks it's funny when Daddy fake burps, and promptly responds with "excuse me!"
  • "Kick the ball?" - we hear this a lot. When we go outside, he incessantly wants to kick the soccer ball
  • "Go, Aggies, Go!" "Football!" "Touchdown!" - these are my personal favorite. No matter what football game is on, Walt is rooting for the Aggies (brainwashed??). And he constantly yells at the TV. He'll say "uh oh" if guys fall down and yells "touchdown" whenever he deems a play satisfactory.
Words Walt says wrong, that I love:
  • Boppy = water (sippy cup)
  • Applesauce = Octopus
  • Soccer ball = sucker (lollipop)
In addition to these phrases, Walt has a whole string of words he says. He's definitely a parrot. Not that Chris and I have potty mouths, but random things come out and get repeated ("that guy's a tool").  What a super fun time this is! I can't wait for Walt to continue to communicate more (or can I?!) :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Goin' on a Hike

Per my previous post, I'm underwater with end-of-semester deadlines.  Lucky for me, our neighbors rock.  Our neighbor, Josh, offered to take his son, Austin, and Walt to a hiking trail on Sunday morning.  I saw a window of opportunity to sit on the couch and catch up on dvr'd shows start a 15-page term paper. It was really a nice gesture. Austin and Walt are about a month apart, so I knew Josh would have his hands full.  I basically handed him a little bag of snacks and said "Good luck!"

According to the pics that follow, those boys (all three of them) had a real blast. Austin and Walt are truly little buds, and it warms my heart.  They take MyGym class together and Walt knows exactly where Austin lives and always asks for him.

Here are pics of the 2 hour adventure (plus Josh took them to lunch after!)  So awesome!

Look, a tree!

Tweedledee and Tweedledum on the bridge

Walt goofing off per usual

I just LOVE this picture. Walt gets so tickled with Austin!

Sweet friends!


Trying to get into the mud
 Walt had a blast and talked about their adventure for days!

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Life in Numbers

Here are my next five weeks of life:
  1. 8 more in-class sessions
  2. 4 group projects
  3. 1 term paper (15 pages)
  4. 1 final exam
  5. 1 graduation ceremony
...and a partridge in a pear tree.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

What a different a year makes!  Halloween at almost 2 years old is a totally different ballgame from Halloween at almost 10 months. It's WAY more fun!  Since I already gave you the background on the costume, I'll dive right in to Halloween festivities.

It's important to note (not really sure why it's important, but I feel like mentioning), that I flew in from Charlotte just hours before the fun began. Never a dull moment, people!

Our neighbors, the Allens, has a fun little gathering in their front yard starting in the late afternoon. It was perfect for all our little toddlers considering It doesn't get dark til nearly 7:00 and that's Walt's normal bedtime. So, the kids had a blast just running around in their costumes. And we still got to do some traditional trick or treating, which Walt TOTALLY figured out. After one house he was marching up to the door, ringing doorbells, and saying "chick a cheek". He even managed a few "thank yous" in there, so I'm a happy mama.

Walt giving his buddy, Austin the Fireman, his fireman hat

Ready! Hut!

The princess costume is popular among the ladies. I love it!

Baby Laura is a precious little bumble bee!

The boys ready to find candy!

There goes Walt with Austin close behind... gimme some candy!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Party!

This year, Halloween has been so much more involved. I love it!  Chris and I thought long and hard about Walt's costume. Knowing very well that our years of dictating costumes are numbered, we figured we'd continue our brainwashing.  We agreed that Walt should be a sportsplayer of some sort, and quickly picked football player (what's ironic about this is neither Chris nor I really want Walt to actually play football... too scary!).  Since Chris and I differ on which pro teams we root for (GO BRONCOS), it was easy to turn Walt into a little Aggie.

In addition to normal Halloween activities, we were invited to a Halloween Party at Storybook Ranch for one of Walt's classmates. It was a GREAT time and I'm so thankful this little girl's mom decided to have the party. I kicked and screamed last year when I didn't get to take Walt to a pumpkin patch and this year was quickly headed in that same direction. Enter party invite where the party is AT a pumpkin patch. Two birds! Yes!

Here is Walt having fun with his friends:

A bounce house! Walt was a boune king. Love this action shot. His friends Juniper (kitty cat), Jaxon (Thor), and the party host, Addison (Minnie) made it more fun.

My little 12th Man :)

On the haride.  Juniper telling us all what's going on, Walt confused, and Jaxon ready to protect at a moment's notice

He's gotten so independent. Stop it!

The gratuitous pumpkin/hay picture! Yay!

Chasing chickens and goats with Juniper

Miss Becky helping Walt touch the goats
I can't wait for actual Halloween with this excited little man. He's such a curious bear, and I know he'll love Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Show Me Your Funny Face

As working parents (and parents with not exactly the same schedule... there's lots of handing off in our house), we communicate a lot with our phones.  No, of course we don't talk on our phones. Do people do that?? We text and send pics and videos of the Munka man.   However, we started seeing a lots of similar pics from each other: here's Walt eating, here's Walt playing outside, here's Walt picking his nose... the norm.

So, we've started sending each other funny faces. Walt is a great sport and REALLY gets into it when you use the "self camera" on the iPhone and he can see both his own face and the picture taker's face. 

Some silly faces:

Funny #1
Stick your tongue out - classic funny face

Popeye (mom) and Walt making funnies. Walt getting tickled at my goofiness :)

And just a fun one :)