Dallas Arboretum

My friend, Maya, has a membership to the Dallas Arboretum. She invited a few friends to join her for free with her membership! So nice of her. We had been planning this day for weeks. And every day we tried to go, the weather would end up crazy and we would have to cancel. This past week it was finally perfect weather for us to go. We had such a fun afternoon just being outside.

I was really worried we were going to let this fall get past us with no pumpkin pictures for Sid. That made me a little sad. It was his first fall after all ;)

This next picture freaks me out because I think he looks like a preschooler! But he sure is a handsome fella, isn't he?

Sid got to ride around in his stroller like a big boy! I thought about wearing him in the ergo, but I think he liked being able to look around at what was going on better.

After pumpkin pictures and a little strolling around, we found a nice shady grassy area to take a rest. When I first laid Sid down on the blanket under the trees, it was pure joy in his eyes. It seriously melted my heart. Just seeing the simplest things make him so happy. Melt.

Can't you just see that sparkle in his eyes? He was so happy to be there.

I joined him on the ground for a minute to allow myself the chance to see the world through his eyes. Definitely a different perspective!

Meet Sidney's first girlfriend, Audrey (8mo). This little girl belongs to Maya's friend, Pippin. Her husband works with Maya's husband. She lives close to the Arboretum and Maya invited her to come along. I was glad she did. I really like Audrey and her mommy, too :) Pippin is an earth mama, so we had lots in common!

We all brought a few snacks along. We just relaxed with our babies and took lots of photos (clearly!). The best part was when all 4 babies got hungry. We each sat around with our nursing covers and nursed them right then and there. We couldn't help but laugh at the scene we had created. 

I love my little pumpkin pie! He was seriously the happiest baby ever! He never once made a fuss.

He did start to get sleepy after a few hours. He and Audrey were the only babies that didn't nap while there. By 2:30, I was feeling like we needed to hit the road to head back west. I knew he needed a nap and would fall asleep in the car on the way home. And selfishly I was determined to beat the rush hour traffic. 

Before packing up, I was able to set my new camera up on the stroller for a group photo! So happy I did, because I think it turned out so cute!

Me + Sid (5mo)...Pippin + Audrey (8mo)...Maya + Ascher (4mo)...Lauren + Conway (4mo)

Sid fell asleep in the car before we even got out of the parking lot! Sweet little guy. He did great until we got near the airport and all of a sudden he woke up screaming bloody murder! He does this sometimes when he falls asleep really hard. He settled down though without me having to pull over and we made it home safely and before the terrible traffic!

Happy day had by all ;)


Happy Birthday to Me!

My 33rd birthday was seriously one of my best to date! I am a birthday person! I love them - all of them! I usually have pretty high expectations for mine. I want the entire day to be about me. I know, but at least I'm honest :) Ha! This year, I had no expectations. I didn't expect anything except a happy day with my sweet baby and his daddy. Sid had a great day yesterday! And Sean has had a really busy week, so unfortunately I didn't get my usual birthday breakfast from him, but to be honest, I didn't care! It was just perfect, regardless.

In true Parks' form - I opened my present the night before my birthday. Sean and I can never wait! We do it with all gifts. I remember last year I had a Christmas present for him that I was so excited about I had him open it a week early - whoops! But if we are ok with it, then who cares!!

Don't tell him, but I already knew what it was ;)
A new camera!

I have mentioned several times that I wanted a better camera. I don't really have a real camera anymore - I just always use my iPhone. Given, it does take great pictures, but I feel like I am going to want a better camera come Sidney's first birthday party, or his first soccer game, etc. I wanted something I could easily carry around in my bag, and not have a huge learning curve! This little puppy is brilliant! I am so happy and excited to have it. The zoom is amazing, and so are the megapixels! I'm excited!! Did I say that already :)

On the morning of my birthday, I finished the puzzle I had been working on for a few days! I am completely addicted to puzzles! Once I start one, I have a hard time walking away! My mom gave us this puzzle last year for Christmas. It was probably one of the most fun puzzles I've ever done.

Late morning, we had some unexpected visitors stop by! The Robinson's from Bentonville were traveling through town in their RV, heading to AZ! They wanted to come see Sid! It was nice to see them and their adorable dogs, Bentley and Rusty (they are larger versions of Louis!). They wanted to meet at a Starbucks originally, but due to their arrival time, Sid was napping, so they came to our house instead. When we greeted them at the door, I was hoping my mom and Louis were going to be standing there with them, no such luck ;)

I set out a few oatmeal cookies and got everything set up for coffee, but no one had any. I guess I just assumed since they said meet at Starbucks they would want a cup of coffee when they got here. They came in, we visited, we showed them our house, played with the dogs, and then they were off on their merry way!

Several hours later, my mom called to see how their visit was (these are really her friends, but Sean and I feel like they are our friends, too :). I told her I set everything out for coffee but no one ended up drinking any. To which my mom replied very matter-of-factly, "That's because they don't drink coffee. They are tea drinkers." WHAT!? That sure explained it! So after they left, I fixed ME a cup of coffee and enjoyed it thoroughly ;)

The rest of my afternoon was spent playing with my baby and taking lots of phone calls and texts from friends and family.

Sean asked his parents the night before if they wouldn't mind coming over to babysit after Sid went down for the night so that he could take me out to dinner. They showed up around 7 and then we left for Truluck's. We didn't want to go too far because we needed to be back at a decent hour so his parents could go home and go to bed!

Our dinner was really tasty, but mine was very spicy!

I made Sean promise me he wouldn't tell the waiter it was my birthday! I didn't want the complimentary dessert! I wanted to pick my own off the menu! Ha! So on the numerous occasions we were asked what the occasion was, Sean always replied with "Just a good meal in cold weather." -HA! - because everyone wants a good meal in cold weather, right? He cracks me up! We finished up and I remembered that The Cheesecake Factory was next door! I had the idea to go there for dessert instead. Truluck's is a little stuffy and I was just feeling like getting out of there and going somewhere a little less formal. We grabbed our tab and bundled back up to head next door for dessert!

We ordered coffee with Bailey's and White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle cheesecake! OhMy!!! I was having to instruct Sean on his bites. He kept getting all the good bites with the yummy raspberry inside! And he kept devouring it, where as I wanted to savor it! It was MY birthday after all ;) He had to eat MY cake MY way. Geez, I'm bossy :) Hey Sean, I LOVE YOU!!!!! ;)

We got home at 9:45 and got a good report on Sid. He apparently didn't make a peep. Good little fella :)

We then, with full bellies, plopped on the couch in our warm cozy house, watched The Voice, then went to bed. 

It really was a wonderful day! Thank you to everyone who made it special :)

Grammy Returns!

Last weekend, Grammy and Louis made a quick trip to our house! Sean and I had plans to go out on Friday night (for the first time - alone - together, since Sid was brought into this world!) and LSU was playing Bama! I tried to convince her to stay home since she could only come for 2 nights this time, but have you ever tried to tell a Grammy no when it involves her grandson? Well, take it from me - it doesn't work, so just don't try!

Anxiously awaiting Grammy's arrival!

She got in town Friday night with just enough time for Sean and I to jump in the car & head to Dallas for our friend's surprise birthday party! We did our usual routine with Sid that evening. Bath at 6, bed by 6:30. Every night, it's the same routine. Splish-splash in the bath with daddy, scream on the changing table for mommy, relax in the glider while nursing, then quietly going down in his crib and then drifting off to sleep. Every. Single. Night. Last Friday though, Sid had other plans.

He didn't want to lay quietly in his crib. He didn't want to peacefully nurse. He decided to scream his head off - and I mean scream - real tears - the works! Until nearly 8pm, when Sean decided to pull out the old trick that worked for us every time when he was a newborn - the birthing ball! Finally- just shortly after 8 o'clock, our poor little red faced baby was sleeping peacefully!

Did I mention we were supposed to be in Dallas by 8:15? Clearly that was off the table. We were worn out from the fiasco. We didn't have it in us to drive an hour to get there when we had already missed the surprise. We could have left and let Grammy handle him, and I know she could have, but I was afraid I was going to have to nurse him to calm him down again so I was scared to leave!

Once he was asleep and I knew nursing wasn't in his cards, Grammy convinced us to at least go grab some dinner somewhere. So that we did, and it felt good! We went to our Cheers bar and I had my usual, pre-pregnancy, skinny margarita! And we split some nachos :)

The next morning, my mom promised to cook us biscuits and gravy! Unfortunately, I bought the wrong kind of Bisquick and the biscuits didn't turn out that great, but if you smothered enough gravy on top, they were perfect :)

The weather over the weekend was wonderful! We enjoyed a lot of time on the patio. Grammy got to rock Sidney in the rocker, which they both love, a whole lot :) And Louis enjoyed running around, only he isn't used to a small fenced in yard. So it didn't take him long to get bored. He never runs out of things to chase in his yard back home. 

Busted! We ate Cane's for lunch on Saturday (yes, after eating biscuits and gravy {and sausage} earlier that morning). But you see, it was game day! And LSU was playing Bama - as in NICK SABAN's team!!! Cane's originated in Baton Rouge, and everyone always eats it at their tailgates when you go to Death Valley. So - it was only fitting :/

This boy loves his Grammy. Look at him! He's like butter!

We had Boyd, Carol, Claire, Aunt Mary, and Becky over to eat chili and watch the game that evening. The Pope's were out of town, boo! Sid had to go to bed just after everyone arrived, but the good news is he went down without a fight! We were all holding our breath based off of his previous evening.

We were in our purple and gold!
Love that foot sticking out!
Louis on the leash so he didn't jump on everyone when they arrived.

Sadly, LSU lost the game. We put up a good fight, and then did a stupid thing and kicked the ball out of bounds on a kickoff with 40 seconds left in the game, giving Bama extra yardage. Went into OT, and we flippin' LOST! UGH!!!!! Darn Tigers. 

Sunday morning Grammy was set to hit the road by 10 so she could make it before dark. She had plenty of time to eat pancakes and get a few more snuggles on the patio before taking off!

Even though it was a quick trip, we are so glad she and Louis came to watch the game with us, and also babysit Sid! We are already counting down the days to when she returns for Thanksgiving!!!!!


This Boy Has Moves

One day I was dancing around in the nursery while Sid sat like a big boy in his chair watching me. We were jamming to something on The Eagles Pandora station. I can't remember what exactly. Regardless, that doesn't matter. This went on for a good while. He was totally entertained watching me. It was totally awesome, killing two birds with one stone...I love to dance & who doesn't love easy entertainment for a baby at the end of the day?!

As time went on, I noticed Sid wanting to join in on the fun! This boy has got some moves! Don't be jealous, daddy ; ) You still have the most progressive dance move of anyone I've ever seen! Kiss kiss!

So, without further ado...I present to you Michael "Sid" Jackson...

....wait for it...

....wait for it...

....aaaaaand GO.....

Ohhhhhh my gosh. I die laughing ever single time I look at this picture. I'm guessing the first picture was his attempt at getting his leg up there! But, seriously? Is it not the best! Ahhhhh, I love this boy!

I sent these pictures in a group text to my brothers and sis'n'laws. Let's just say the captions were equally as funny as the picture. 


Sidney Loyd - 5 Months

I know I know - I say it every month. But really! How is it possible? I just gave birth to him. Well, apparently that was a whole five months ago! My little man is growing up so fast. He is awesome. We love him (obviously!).

Here is his latest...

` He plays on this mat at least once a day! I usually put him here after he nurses in the morning while I fold diapers or start laundry. He loves to crane his neck around to see what I'm doing! And then he smiles once he realizes I'm not going too far away. So cute!

` It took him a few attempts, but he is really starting to love his Jumparoo! I was soooo hesitant to buy one of these for 2 reasons: 1 - our living room isn't that big and 2 - it's hideous looking! I did so much research trying to find a good looking jumper, and basically the consensus was just get over it. And I am so happy I did, because the look on his face when we first place him in it is priceless! 

` He loves it when daddy lifts him up over his head! Daddy can lift him up higher than mommy, but I try!

` He still absolutely loves being naked! When I start stripping him down, he kicks and squeals in pure joy! I almost want to make it a game (undress, redress) just to see his excitement! He was getting tired by the time I took the picture, so his happiness isn't exactly shining through. We usually do naked tummy time the hour before bath so I don't have to worry about getting him dressed again! We can just go straight to bath! 

` Here he is working on getting Sophie's face into his mouth! He loves to chew on her ears and face! It's pretty cute. We leave Sophie on the changing table usually so he can have something to distract him play with while we change his diaper.

` We had to take his mobile down from his crib this month. One morning I put him in his crib for a minute while talking to Grammy on the phone. When I walked back into his nursery - this is what I found...BUSTED!

Someone was able to finally reach his little cars and he decided it was time to eat them! The cars I'm not worried about, but the little beads on the ends...no sir! Bye bye cute mobile for this baby :(

` My little sleeping angel. Sid has days where he has a lot of trouble going to sleep for naps (very few). Usually it will be 3 days in a row and then he gets back on track. This baby loves his sleep! So when he gets off for whatever reason, and he falls asleep during a nursing session, I let him cozy up wherever he sees fit :) 

` Even if it happens to be in a yoga class! This sweet boy was ready to go! But instead of fussing, he just quietly fell asleep in my arms until it was time to leave. Let's just say I didn't get much yoga in that day, but these snuggles were way better :)

` It's hard to tell from this picture, but he still is into bubble blowing. It's quite funny when he chooses to do it. It's almost like he's frustrated and he just starts blowing them out of frustration! In this picture he was getting mad because he wanted to sit up more than he was. I guess the pillows weren't propping him the way he wanted, ha! He's so subtle with telling us what he wants ;)

` He has been pushing his cheeks out a lot lately. I think it's because he's teething. He will push his cheeks out really big and then start sucking on his bottom lip. The other day when he did this, I couldn't help but think he looked like my grandfather, Paw-Paw! He used to sit in his big maroon leather chair with his pants pulled up to his armpits and have his cheeks pushed out. Grammy, I need a picture of this! Too funny!

` Thanks to some cooler weather, we've been able to enjoy taking Sidney outside. He loves listening to all the sounds and watching daddy work around the house. 

` This boy loooooves sitting up on his "own". When I plop him up in a chair he just looks so content that he's sitting there by himself! And he always throws one arm over the side! So cute!

We still look at him in amazement each and every day. It's the neatest thing watching him explore new things. We are just enjoying being home a lot and spending time with our favorite baby on the block ;)

It blows my mind that in one more month we will be starting solids! I am starting to research Baby Led Weaning, but I am absolutely terrified of him choking. I don't know if I can do it. Ok, must stop talking about it because it seriously gives me anxiety - AHH! On the other hand, I think he is going to LOVE IT!

Weight: Heavy!

Height: Tall! So tall he's almost outgrown his infant car seat!
Medical Issues:He has had a small irritation behind his knee and a tiny bit of eczema. Nothing major.
Naps: It changes all the time. Typically it's one or two really long naps (3 hrs'ish) and a few short naps.
Night Sleep: 6:30p - 7:15a is his standard. But he does wake up screaming several times before 11pm on some nights. He isn't really awake. We don't have to go in there because he soothes himself. It's interesting.
Clothing Size: 6 months fits him like a glove. So we are transitioning into 6-12m or 9m.
Diapers: BG 4.0 w/ cotton inserts during the day / red prefold w/ cover for night
Diet: Mama's milk! 
Favorite Baby Gear: Ergo, Jumparoo, Sophie, his little bee rattle
Personality: Aggressive! He likes to hit and kick, really hard! While squealing! He just pounds things - like daddy's computer keyboard! And he kicks so hard in the bathtub he sloshes the water everywhere!!
Milestones/Firsts: He isn't quite sitting up on his own, but he is really close. I think teething has officially started. He is starting to really gum his teethers now. Before he was just sucking on them, now he's actually chewing on them.
Likes: Being tickled
Dislikes: getting his diaper changed at first because he doesn't always want to lay down
NicknamesLittle Munchkin, Baby Love, Bugaboo

...and now for the outtakes :)


Halloween 2014

Sid's first Halloween was a lot of fun, and probably pretty typical for a child of his age :) We couldn't figure out what to dress him up as. Finally - one morning while scrolling through the costumes on Amazon, I came across a businessman onesie! It immediately spoke to me since everyone always calls Sid Mr. Serious!

The morning started off with our last Baby & Me yoga class we have been taking. Stephanie told us the week prior that we should dress all the babies up and bring them to class! It was just about the cutest thing I've ever seen!

Clockwise starting with Sid at the bottom...then Conway Hilton as a caterpillar (Alison's nephew)...Hudson as a monster...Maya's baby, Ascher as a pirate...Christine's baby Caleb as a puppy dog...Jenny's little Elizabeth as a banana...and sweet Kai who's mommy is Alexandra as SuperBaby. Christine, Maya, Jenny and I met during prenatal yoga. Elizabeth is only 3 days older than Sid. We are all planning on getting together regularly.

He was very active - not in the mood to lay down and chill like the other babies!
Conway and Sid
Doing some leg stretches for the babies.
That is Alexandra and Kai on the left, and Lauren and Conway to the right.

When we got home from our fun class, Sid needed a nap big time! When he woke up he had a big surprise from Grammy waiting on him! She sent him a book and a sweet card to mark his first Halloween. This is a book I remember reading and also baking the Old Witch's cake recipe on the back :) I can't wait to bake it with Sid in a few years! Thanks Grammy! He will enjoy the book one of these days. This year, he only made it to page three!

Around 5:30 we went to John and Tiffany's house to trick or treat with them! Their neighbors all gather at one house and have food and then everyone walks around together! It was fun, but we only lasted for about two and a half hours. It was actually pretty cold and Sid was getting sleepy. 

Sean as Skinny Elvis, Sid had his costume on under his hoodie, and me...well, maybe next year!
The Bolton's!

After almost two hours of wearing Sid, Sean switched with me because my back was starting to hurt. Shortly after, we walked back to our car and went home. Poor Sid had red little cheeks from the wind!

We skipped bath and put him straight to bed! He was so happy to be home in his warm house. Whenever we take him out for a while and it gets late and he gets tired, he gets SO excited when we get home! It's like he just can't contain how happy he is that he's back in his safe surroundings! He kicks his legs in pure joy while changing him. It's so darn cute that it makes me want to play with him instead of putting him to bed! Needless to say, regardless of the cuteness, to the crib he went :)

Sean and I plopped on the couch, ordered take-out, and went to bed shortly after. Happy belated Halloween!