Monday, June 27, 2016

Oscar Turns Three

Phew! What a month! And, we get to cap it all off by celebrating our favorite littlest brother.  We celebrated Oscar's birthday on his actual birthday (June 23) with some vegan cupcakes (thanks, Unrefined Bakery!) and some family time.
Oscar got things he usually has to share from his brother - like this perfectly manly pink baseball bat and ball.

And some rubbery whiffle balls that won't break when brother smashes the crap out of them. 
Did you notice the baseball helmet?? This might have taken the cake. Oscar absolutely loves wearing Walt's helmet and now has one of his own.

We also opened gifts from Aunt Big and Uncle Rusty. A Harley Davidson 3-wheeler!

With cool shades, of course.
 Oscar was so in tune with his birthday. I don't think Walt grasped the idea of birthdays until he was 4. All week long, Oscar knew it was his birthday and was so excited when it was finally here!

On Saturday, we celebrated with all of Oscar's friends. We had a big water slide and tons of water games. And, for dessert, an ice cream sundae bar!  Oscar didn't even know what to do with himself when his school friends started showing up.

Thank goodness for the blow up pool! 

Utilizing every single non-motorized vehicle we own

Ice cream bar!

Blowing out his candle (before the ice cream melted!). (Photo cred: Stori Zicchino)

buddying up to cousin Jameson
 
Had to show the brothers. This is how these two play. Play fight. 

So, what is Oscar into at 3?  He is a crazy chatter box. He loves to tell stories and is happiest with anyone who will listen to him. In fact, he's quite the little entertainer.  He loves to do whatever Walt is doing and mimics a lot of his behavior.  As such, he can hit a baseball on and off the tee, he is quite the aggressive soccer player, and he's learning how to swing a golf club (if we can just figure out which hand it goes in!).  Oscar continues to be super emotional. This is a good and a bad thing. He's lovey, gives hugs, likes to be skin-to-skin, bats his eyelashes and can say the sweetest things. It also means that he can get pretty upset.

Like most three year olds, he doesn't like being told what to do and gets very emotional when put in time out. He yearns for the hug and kiss that comes after the punishment. We are having to set some clear and tough boundaries with him. It's a trying time to say the least, but we're trying to prevent him from being a jerk when it's less appropriate (like 5 or 15 years old). Parenting is hard!

When it comes to eating, Oscar is a great eater. I wouldn't say he eats anything, but he definitely tries almost anything. I have to give him credit there. Walt doesn't even want a foreign food on his plate.

Some quick stats:

Weight: 38 lbs 4 oz (94%)
Height: 39.5" (85%)*
*his height didn't change from 2.5 years so one of them is off. We need to measure him at home. Either way, he's a big guy.

Oscar, we love you so much and you bring so much joy to our house. We love how you're different from Walt and how you two love each other so.  We can't wait to see you with your sister, Vivian.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Oscar's Big Boy Bed

It's the year of change in the Bruns' house! We are forcefully shoving gradually encouraging Oscar into some big boy changes. Joking aside, there are things it's time for him to move on from. We took his paci away about 3-4 months ago.  While he only had it at night, it was time. We have also been knee-deep in potty training for what feels like 57 years.  We aren't the 3-day, let-them-run-around-nekkid types. I have heard great things about those methods, but we're more the gradual, let-you-figure-it-out types.  The upside is he's gaining a lot of confidence and independence. The downside is this process seems to take for-ev-er.  I'm happy to report that Oscar is doing really awesome with pee pee. Poop is another story for another blog.

I've been threatening a big-boy bed for months now, but it's time. The logic is selfish. Yes, Oscar is ready, but the truth is I need that crib! We managed to have one crib for three kids and I sure as hell wasn't going to buy a new one now.  Like Walt, we went from crib to big-boy bed, with no toddler bed in between. I just didn't think it would matter and it's one less transition I need to worry about.

The bed arrived during Oscar's birthday week, which made the timing perfect.  He was SO excited about it.  To prepare him, we gave him a gift to go with this bed:


We use this clock with Walt to keep him in bed in the mornings. It turns green when it's "ok to wake". Walt has always been an early riser (in some cases, pre-6:00). It's not a magic wand. We had to coach and train a LOT with this clock. But, Oscar already talks about his clock turning green, so hopefully we've conquered part of the concept.

Here's the moment he saw his bed for the first time:


I think Walt was just as excited for him!  The first night was not so bad. In fact, the first 2 or three nights were pretty seamless. Then he started to figure out he could get up.  I'll say this much (blog truth: I'm writing this on July 8, even though it says June 21, so I have some future insights), in the grand scheme, he's done pretty well. We are currently working on keeping him in his bed at actual bedtime (7-7:30). It takes lots of patience and even some tears (our latest tactic is to shut his door all the way and lock him in. He doesn't like it, but usually 5 minutes of that is enough to keep him stayed put).  As for the mornings, it's tough to complain about this. He's naturally waking up between 6-6:30 (his clock turns green at 6:45). Lately, he's staying in his bed at least until 6:30, then he either gets up and comes to visit Chris and I, or he goes into Walt's room.  The truth is, I can handle 6:30.  We gently remind him to stay put until 6:45, but it's not as much disciplining as the nighttime. With all of this, Walt is such a stud. He's encouraging Oscar and does not at all mind the visitor he gets in the morning. He's usually up anyways :)



Hopefully we are well on our way past this hurdle!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Family Trip to Austin

I love summer. Schedules loosen a bit, which is nice (and can be a bit maddening for my Type A), but in the end, I like the change in pace. I knew we would be limited on vacation options this summer for a number of reasons. The obvious reason is my growing belly. I can't go more than 2 hours away starting on July 1, which leaves a short window for travel.  Not to mention, we're trying to save a bunch of money right now, so flying four people somewhere (even with points and miles) just isn't the best decision.

So, when a work trip to San Antonio came up, we decided to make a trip out of it. Since we aren't super keen on taking the kids to Sea World (see Blackfish) and they are too young for Fiesta Texas, we thought meeting a bit north of San Antonio in Austin would be fun. Lots of outdoor activities and a place that Chris and I generally just love.

Everything about the trip was great except three things: 
1) It went from spring to dead of summer exactly during this week. Holy hot.
2) The fascination of sleeping together was a little too much for the boys to handle
3) Our hotel was under major construction

More of this told in pictures:

The first afternoon we were there, we ate at Gueros Taco Bar on South Congress followed by Amy's Ice Cream. It was HOT. Too hot for Walt (who was way more fascinated by our hotel room). So, Oscar and I took a sunset walk down the Congress bridge

He's plugging his ears because cars were whizzing by us!

After a really rough night in the hotel room (they weren't quite ready to share a bed), we took an early morning trip to Zilker Park. This little train ride was so perfect.

For $10 for the whole family, we got a nice little 25 minute tour of the park and the boys LOVED it.

We also were ahead of the major heat of the day.

After lunch and a nap (for Walt), we went hunting for a pool (our pool at our hotel was under construction. Bad planning, mom). The Deep Eddy Pool was perfect, but just before we arrived, someone puked in the shallow end and they had to drain it. So we found a nearby splash pad. 

For the boys, this was just as good. They loved it.

After the splash pad, we put on dry clothes and drove out to The Oasis. It's always scary to go out to eat with the boys, especially considering Oscar fell asleep as we were pulling into the parking lot.  They could not have been better this night. We enjoyed our dinner then enjoyed the views!

Walt loved looking for boats! After dinner we also enjoyed some live music on the patio and danced around. It was a very special night.  PS we gave the boys a chance to sleep together again this night. After 20 minutes, we separated them (which meant Chris and I would be separated), but we all got a MUCH better night's sleep!

On Friday morning, we headed out. On our way north, we stopped in Georgetown to visit the Inner Space Caverns.This was a huge hit with everyone. The above pic is Oscar goofing off.

The cave tour is about 75 minutes and it's about 75 degrees in the cave. SO much better than the blazing 100-degree heat.

We learned about stalagtites and stalagmtes...

And tones of cool rock formations that happened hundreds and hundreds of years ago.  These rocks used to be part of the ocean!

The formation was found in the 1960s when construction workers were drilling to build I-35. They kept losing their drill bits, so they lowered a brave soul into the hole and this is what he saw...

Seriously, so stunning.

Other than the sleeping stresses, the trip was really good. We found a lot of "cool" activities and I think the boys learned a lot. As an added bonus, Walt at Chick Fil A chicken not once but twice! (He normally refuses this chicken).  We can't wait to go back when it's cooler and the boys are a little older.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Oscar the Gymnast

If you know anything about Oscar, you know that he's not exactly built like a gymnast. He's tall and solid as a rock. More like a linebacker than a tightly compact gymnast.  But, the kid is strong!  About a year ago, we decided to enroll him in gymnastics at Eagle Gymnastics. It was a parent-and-me class and really just a way for him to get some energy out.  Over the course of several months, he really grasped the concepts and was showing some pretty impressive feats for a 2.5 year old! At least one of his size (all of this in my humble mom opinion).

Just this week, we got a certificate in the mail from his gymnastics coach saying he had accomplished all skills in the parent-and-me class and was ready for an independent class.  How exciting! We never really know how Oscar is going to react to situations. He's much more of a clinger than Walt ever was (Walt LOVES reaching the next milestone on anything and never looks back). Oscar needs a bit more assurance.  Well, in this case, he was off and running ... or off and tumbling.  He never once hesitated and did the entire class with not so much of a blink in my direction.

Warming up by running in a circle
Oscar needs a lot of coaching and spotting, but tries absolutely everything. He can forward roll like nobody's business, jump and do tricks on the trampoline, hold on to monkey bars, attempts a cartwheel, and knows what to do to execute a backwards roll (just needs a boost to get his booty over his head).
More warm ups with Coach Matt - ready to jump up!

Prepping for a backwards roll with Coach Tory

Jumping both feet on the green mat...

...followed by his favorite: a forward roll.

A forward roll on the balance beam!

On the balance beam ready for his big dismount. His favorite part is jumping a high and hard as he can. 

We have been so happy with this gymnastics program and are trying to figure out how to keep him in these classes when soccer starts in the fall. It will be a lot to juggle, but we think it's worth it!

Friday, June 3, 2016

28 Weeks



How far along: 28 weeks - third trimester!

Total weight gain: Not gonna do it!

Maternity clothes: Absolutely!

Sleep:  Mostly still good. I'm starting to wake up occasionally to pee in the middle of the night. Not my favorite thing, but it's not every night. 

Best moment this month: SO much this month. Walt's graduation? Finalizing Viv's name?

Miss Anything: 
Wine and normal-sized clothes. 


Movement: Yes - regular movement, though still less than the boys (I think). She kicks during the day just to let me know she's here, but only goes on kicking streaks at night. Every time Chris tries to feel her, she chills out and stops :)


Food cravings: Still gravitating to fruit. I'm also hella thirsty.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really, except a late night or bad night's sleep kicks my butt. Coffee was a no-go in the first trimester (because I couldn't stomach it). I stuck mostly to black tea with an occasional cup of coffee. Lately, it's a small cup of coffee daily.

Gender prediction: Girl! And she has a name: Vivian Elise

Labor signs: nope (thank goodness)

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy - but maybe a wee bit overwhelmed.  Work is insanity right now, there is a lot of "to dos" on our prep for Baby Viv, and, oh yeah, we bought a house... what?!  More on that to come.

Looking forward to: A mini family vacay to Austin and Oscar's big boy bed is ORDERED.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Vivian Elise Bruns

We have a name! We've had a name for quite some time, but were struggling with the middle name, so we kept it quiet for a while. But, I'm happy to announce our baby girl's name is:

Vivian Elise Bruns

I wish there was a fabulous, insightful story to her name, but it's really mostly about us just flat out liking it.  With both Walt and Oscar, we tied family names into them (Walt's middle name is Hill, which is Chris's dad's middle name and his grandma's maiden name; Oscar's middle name is Angelo, which is my grandfather's middle name).  The boys' first names are just good old fashioned names that we liked. 

We love the old fashioned, classic first names (think: uncommon, but not unrecognizable), so that was a good place to start. After perusing a list of Hollywood actresses in the 1930s/1940s we came across Vivian and loved it. It's super feminine and we loved the first letter "V".  

Then came the middle name. Boy, I struggled with this! Chris and I each had a favorite first name and both agreed on Chris's first choice (read: he won). But, with that he gave me full creative liberties on the middle name. Between both of our families, so many names have been used (I know, I know -- names can be used more than once!) and nothing was clicking with me. I removed the variable of using a family name and just concentrated on names I liked. Elise was on the list pretty early on. I just kept eliminating the other ideas and realized this was the one I liked the most. 

For anyone interested - here is the meaning:

Vivian
Origin: Latin
Meaning: Alive or Life

Elise
Origin: French (variation of Elizabeth)
Meaning: Pledged to God