Feeling Sentimental

As baby girl will be here any day, I am feeling sentimental, as I always do before a new little one makes their way. It reminds me how big my boys are getting and yet at the same time how little they still are. So here I am reflecting on their cuteness and all that I want to try to remember about them.
Current updates on Charles:

-Sweet Charles is now 3 years old! What a fun day celebrating our youngest (for a few more days anyways.) We celebrated with a special treat from our favorite bakery for breakfast, donut holes to celebrate with his classmates, a park session with daddy, present opening including some of his favorites a monster truck and microphone, dinner at the Hotdog Food Truck in Winterhaven, walking around to see the lights, lots of friends and family to add to the fun and topped it off with a cookie cake!
-Charles has become one of the funniest kids we know. His natural wit never ceases to have us in stitches. He recently was decorating Gingerbread men in his class and turned to his teacher and said, ‘Look I made a peenie!’ And lo and behold he had decorated the Gingerbread’s privates areas with some m and m’s and marshmallows. Ha.
-He LOVES to sing and can be found singing most of the day. Austin was prepping him for Christmas by teaching him Rudloph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Whenever he hears it he exclaims, ‘HEY IT’S RULDOLPH THE RED NOSE! THAT’S MY SONG!’ He knows all the words. He also has taken to the song Praise Ye the Lord but instead sings, “Praise ME the Lord!’ Yesterday he was singing that at the top of his lungs at the Desert Museum. Other favorites include, Take me out to the ball game, Silent Night and Still Still Still.
-He calls avocado, ‘all-a-bo-cado,’ mac n cheese, ‘mac-in-roni,’ I want to SMWELL it instead of smell, SHIR for sure.
-He loves to ask us,’So how was your day?’ about 50 times a day, but we gladly oblige because it is super cute.
-Poor baby gets car sick pretty easily, so often he will tell you, ‘Mommy slow down you are going the ‘speed lemon!’ Meaning slow down you are going to fast, as sometimes the speed limit is too fast for him.
-He loves playing with action figures especially, Paw Patrol figures, dinosaurs and monster trucks.
-He is getting more of an attention span everyday and the meticulous Baum genes are coming through more and more each day.
-He loves to cuddle and has a very tender side with those he loves.
We are so thankful for this little spunky guy and all the joy that he brings us!

Current updates on James: 
-He is fast approaching five and reminds us regularly, ‘I feel like I am almost five. I really do!’ He is for sure getting more mature by the day.
-He loves to pray for our friends and family at night and will regularly pray, ‘Dear Lord, I pray for ____, and all that you provide for them and all that you bless for them and hopefully you provide enough food and water for them.’
-He has such a thoughtful heart and is always thinking of others. He loves to help his teachers at school, help make new friends with the brand new kids in his class, and wants to make sure everyone around him is being taken care of. I love this about him.
-He is very sure of himself and very proud of all that he is learning. He currently loves practicing his math problems with basic addition, sounding out letters of words, color by numbers, coloring anything really, making lego creations
-He loves parks that have swing sets with a fire pole to slide down. Unfortunately we have yet to find one close to us in Tucson.
-He has great hand eye coordination and hits a ball 9 times out of 10 when playing baseball.
-He likes quiet and time on his own. When going to the library once he said, ‘I like our library because you have to be quiet and I like being quiet.’ He knows himself well.
He is such a fun kid who is growing up way too fast! We are eager to see who he continues to become each day.
We are so grateful to be parents to these two wonderful boys! And we are so excited to add a little sister to the crew.

Searching for Waldo together


Helping Daddy in the yard.


Sneaking in our bed and reminding me just how little they still are.


Classic James Outfit shorts, sports pants, double sweaters, scarf, goggles and a hat.


I’m swree!


Christmas Eve with all my boys!


That Santa Claus joy!


James’s all about me. Favorite color blue, food fish, movie Star Wars (those are AT-AT Walkers), thing to do camping, animal rhino, toy legos.


Squeaky clean!


Typical scene in our house. Charles in a costume.


James practicing his math.


Santa letter 2016


Santa pic 2016. Charles was not getting any closer.


James’ duplo dog spa.


Building a monster truck garage together.


Eating a block of cheese. He finished the whole thing while I took a nap. Not my most proud moment as a mom. Ha.


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Charles’ gingerbread man. : ) 

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Charles is 2.5


My baby is 2.5 already! What a fun kid he is. When we had him we did not know if we would call him Charles or Charlie but there is no doubt his personality requires him to be called Charles. There is just so much personality packed into this little one, the big name fits him so well. We have really enjoyed this stage with him.

There is no doubt he is so different from his older brother. They are like night and day however they do love each other and play together well (85% of the time). It is so much fun to see them growing as friends.

Here are some highlights/things I would like to remember about Charles at 2.5.

-He is gaining vocabulary every single day and is able to express his opinion adamantly. He has almost completely lost his mispronouncing of letters and syllables. The sign of a true big kid. He does however say ‘hunder’ instead of thunder and ‘wa-nan-melon’ instead of watermelon right now which brings me joy.

-He is still the funniest one among us and regularly has us all in stitches over some random sentence he spouted out. James regularly tells us,’That kid is hilarious!’ in reference to Charles.

-He has become quite the little fish this summer and is holding his breath well underwater. He is fearless and will jump at you with no notice. Hopefully we can get this fearless boy more pool proof by the end of the summer.

-His favorite book is “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.” He can recite almost all of it from memory.

-He is LOUD and never stops talking/singing. This is particularly noticeable on long car rides. I love his singing and his happy personality but there are moments when it would be nice to just have some quiet. : )

-He has started tell us ‘You’re the best mommy/daddy ever!’ so naturally we gush over him after that each time.

-He is quite stubborn (nothing he gets from either of us. ha.) This is coming out most in his slow potty training at this time. He is for sure smart enough to learn this but he just does not care/want to.

-He still loves singing a good round of ‘Wheels on the Bus’ or ‘Old MacDonald’ before bed each night.

-He does not plan his moves or have strategy in anything he does (unlike his brother). He is a free spirit that does what he wants however he wants to. This can be seen in the way he eats an apple or burrito. When he is done with it there are just random bites all over the thing and it is a mangled mess, and he and the table and ground and everything else in sight are covered in food.

-He marches to the beat of his own drum and really could care less what everyone else is doing. Love this about him.

-Before I leave for work each day he tells me, ‘In case you need your umbrella in case it rains and put your sunshade down in case the sun.’ Then he and James sit in the carport waving at me and blowing kisses until I am out of sight. One of my favorite moments.

-He loves to pretend to be a doggie right now. He wants me to throw the ball and will go fetch it on his hands and knees and bring it back, barking for more. It is super cute pretend play.

-He will pretend to be a superhero and run around the house as fast as he can screaming ‘SUPERHERO!’

-He loves to pray for others especially our friends and family.

This little boy is such a blessing in our lives and we could not be more grateful to be his parents. Come over and hang with him any time. We are sure your time will be full of laughter and joy. Love you our sweet Charlesy!

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Eating an ice cream cone.

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We love his crazy hair.

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Eating a burrito.

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Love those smiles.

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Seriously big personality.

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Enjoying some Eegees.

Saddest sad face you ever did see.

Playing doggie with his brother.

He put his underwear on, obviously.

Love him so much!


Four Years Old Jamesy!

 My sweet baby James is FOUR! What a gift he is in our lives. He constantly amazes us with how much he understands about the world around him. He has such a tender heart and can be found on the playground at school patting the back of one of his friends giving them encouraging words. (I like to think he gets this from me : ) ). He will randomly tell me ‘This was the best day ever in the whole wide world!’ or ‘You’re my best mommy ever.’ He is a rule follower and wants to ensure that the other children are following the rules as well. He is a great listener and even when you don’t think he is paying attention he will surprise you with some complex understanding of what just happened. He can be timid, especially when there are lots of people around, but he comes around eventually. He has an attention span way beyond his years. He will sit and color or paint an object for 30 minutes to almost an hour making sure to cover every blank space on the object. He continues to be a bit of a perfectionist and gets frustrated easily when he can’t do something right the first time. We are learning all about practice and how that helps us get better at anything we try. He is the sweetest brother and loves Charles so well. You can often find him getting Charles a snack, sharing his toy or giving him encouraging words. His vocabulary is incredible, just yesterday we overheard him saying, “Charles I am so so aggravated with you!”

 

Celebrating with friends!

He is currently enjoying Star Wars. You can often hear him humming the songs as he goes about his day. He is very particular about order in which things should occur. This starts at the beginning of the day as he does not want to ever be woken up but likes to slowly start his day as he naturally wakes up. It continues into how he buckles his seatbelt, how he brushes his teeth which always ends with brushing his lips and even how he goes to the bathroom, which entails taking off his shorts, underwear and shoes completely. He loves to help and can legitimately help out with chores like taking out the trash, raking and sweeping. He just started his very first team sport, soccer of course. He has been a bit shy but he loved his last practice and is excited to go back. Watching him from the sidelines has got to be one of my favorite moments of parenthood so far.

We love you so much Jamesy and we pray that the Lord continues to bless you and guide you each and every day.

 

First day of soccer practice

 

 

Special treats for my boys

 

Cutest smile award

 

His outfits are the best

 

Current favorite toy….a John Deere tractor

Minutes after splitting open his head again…life of a boy mom

My Boys

James and Charles the cutest ring bearers I ever did see.

Lately, I feel as if my heart is overflowing with love for all of my boys. Recently, I was in a bit of a funk and life just felt hard. I had a difficult time just finding joy even though life itself was pretty good. I don’t know maybe you can relate. But right now, life is feeling sweet and I am feeling grateful. And so  here are a few highlights for and joys for each of my boys…

Making snow angels.

James is so fun to be around. He can be so serious and is extremely inquisitive. He wants to know how everything is working and why things are happening. He recently watched the first Star Wars movie and would not stop asking great questions the entire time. Santa got him a kids laptop as he requested a computer just like his dad. However, he was quick to say, ‘How come Santa got me a kids computer? I wanted an adult computer like my dad.’ Santa kinda knew this would be a possible reaction. He is just so mature for his age. When he gets excited about something he says, ‘This is my best!’ As in ‘Star Wars is my best!’ or ‘Cheeto chips are my best!’ He loves reading and can identify all of his letters and numbers up to 10. He is starting to learn the sounds of letters and reading with pictures. He is picking up on fun vocabulary words like ‘gisgusting’ (disgusting) and commotion. He turns the al sound into an owl sound. Alan becomes Owlan, salad becomes Sowlad. He holds you to your word which makes me think twice about anything that you say to him. He loves to orzanize (organize) everything. When I try to help him, he tells me I am not organizing correctly. So very methodical. He has silly moments where will make up a funny dance or a funny face but usually reserves those for people he knows well. He is not afraid to tell others what to do no matter how much older. It is always entertaining watching the three year old on the playground tell the eight and nine year olds what to do and how to do it. He uses his middle finger to point at things and swipe a touch screen. Not sure why but it always seems as if he is flipping you off. He can’t wait to start sports. He keeps telling everyone how he is going to ‘play all the sports!’ and that ‘Grandpa Fred will give me all the sports stuff.’ Watch out Grandpa Fred. He starts soccer in March. Can’t wait to be a soccer mom! He randomly comes to tell me that I am ‘the best mommy ever’ or that ‘this is the best day ever’ almost everyday and it makes me melt.

A serious case of bedhead.

Charles is funny as ever. His sense of humor makes us laugh constantly. He just started school in early January and he is thriving. He loves his teacher and friends. Since school began he has started pretend play which has been new. He is a wiggler and hardly likes to stay still. I think he has the energizer bunny Vasquez gene from my dad’s side of the family. He loves to sing and dance. He is getting quite possessive of items he plays with as he has an older brother who will take from him with out warning. The way he pronounces words can be so cute sometimes. C’s are T’s, and L’s are Y’s. Some of my current favorites are ‘sure tan’ as in ‘sure can’ if you  ask him to do something, ‘I wanna tunnel you’ as in ‘I want to cuddle you,’ and ‘I want da yunch-a-box’ as in ‘I want the lunchbox.’ Him starting school has made me very aware of how we have been very generous with feeding him whenever he wants. I honestly think it was a survival tactic for us as parents has he was a difficult baby and food seemed to be the only thing that calmed him. At school he has to wait to eat which is great for him but it is throwing him off. He asks his teacher often, ‘I want da yunch-a-box.’ When she says not yet he replies longingly, ‘Can I just hold it? I just want to hold it.’ I get it kid. I love food too. Ha. When he asks for bananas he flaps his arms in a monkey like motion and says ‘a yike dis a yike dis mama,’ as in ‘like this like this mama.’ Took me awhile to figure this one out but he is telling me he wants his banana peeled half way so that he can hold it from the bottom. Sometimes figuring out what they are saying can seem like learning a foreign language. He just started giving me real kisses instead of accepting forehead kisses which is the best. And one of my personal favorite things he does is look at me with his big ole brown eyes and say ‘I yove-a-you mama.’

Day date on the slopes.

And this guy. Wow! I never could have imagined 7 years ago when we got married how much I more I would love him. Watching him as a daddy, loving on our boys is quite possibly one of my favorite things. He is so patient with them and teaches them all about science, fixing things and how to have fun. He also does such a wonderful job at loving me in little and big ways. Encouraging words, date nights, flowers just because and so many more gestures that let me know I am loved. I also love how much I learn just from being around him. He is a smart guy who is constantly seeking more knowledge, which inspires me to do the same. He shows me how to be a problem solver which is so useful in pretty much all areas of life. Sometimes marriage can feel like so much work, and sometimes loving can be a very difficult daily choice BUT the joyful times are so so worth it!

My three boys making ice cream.

Something else I have been learning lately, motherhood can be so hard but it also can be so wonderful. Sometimes I fight what it is and what it truly requires. My selfish nature wants to do my own thing, have me time and pursue my own dreams. I have been encouraged lately by the saying ‘motherhood is sanctifying.’ So so true. It gets me out of myself and focused on others. On days where I am exhausted or have no patience I have to dig deep and lean on the strength of the Lord. Surviving and thriving in motherhood is not possible without the love, truth and grace of the Lord surrounding my every move. Thank you Lord for the gift of by boys and the sweetness of this season.

 

Charles is 2!

  Our sweet, silly, super fun Charles turned two today! It is crazy that three of the four of us have our birthday’s in December and for sure adds to the chaos of the season but I would never miss an opportunity to celebrate one of my boys.

This year we went to my parents barn to hang out with the horsesys and eat some donuts. It was a perfect birthday party for this two year old as he is beyond content when at the barn. He is mesmerized by horses and just seems at home while there. We had a chance to ride in a carriage pulled by a miniature horse named Oliver and see some donkeys and goats as well.

Charles’ personality has developed so much lately and it is so FUN! Here are some small snippets into a day with Charles….

-He is a GREAT eater and we really never have to ask him to eat his food when it is meal time. He is pretty much always down for some food no matter the time of day. Can’t say I blame him.

-Obviously he is in love with horses. He has a small stuffed animal horse that he carries with him especially at night and loves to cuddle with.

-His vocabulary amazes me everyday. He repeats just about anything you say, especially what his big brother says. He has a hard time pronouncing his ‘k’ sound which makes for some very cute words. Hot cocoa= Hot toe toe. Ice Cream Cone=Ice team tone. He calls movies, moonies. He calls milk ‘nilpy’ and says ‘I want the nilpy’ quite often. If he doesn’t know where something is he says, ‘No dis,’ as in ‘I don’t know where it is?’ Lately he has gotten more independent and yells ‘I do dat’ If you try to do something that he does not what you to help with. If you ask him to do something such as clean up his room he says very sweetly, ‘sure tan-a-mama’ (sure can mama). He has sentences well beyond 6 words these days but still says ‘mama uh-but-tah’ (mama up) when he wants me to hold him. Helps to remind me of how little he still is.

-One of my favorite things is that when he says I love  you it comes out I W. He just started saying it ‘I yove you’ so I think the I W days are over but it was so precious. 

-When he was a bit younger he would scream out ‘EIEIO’ repeatedly when he was mad or frustrated about something. Not sure why but does he really love the song Old Mac Donald so that could have something to do with it. He would also yell with a low voice grunting excited sound ‘HAP BIRTDAY!’ (Happy Birthday!) for no real reason all of the time.

-He is mischievous and can usually be found sneaking a cookie, making a big huge mess, spilling water everywhere or something of the like if you take your eyes off of him for a few seconds.

-BUT he has these killer big brown eyes and a matching smile that rope you in and make you laugh instead of getting angry. Seriously every woman especially those who are grandma age or closer swoons over him in a matter of seconds. And he knows it. Those same eyes and his super expressive face make his sad and crying face almost unbearable to watch. He just looks SO sad you just want to pick him up and make it all better right away. This proves difficult when it is because he is being naughty.

-He has an incredible sense of humor for such a little kid and he doesn’t even have to try. He is the one who will put something silly on his head just to get a laugh or randomly yell ‘I Farted’ even though he didn’t because he knows it will get a rise out of us.

-He is very go with the flow and is not easily bothered or upset. This was not he case when he was under a year old but has changed completely. Such a great quality to have.

-He loves music. You can often find him singing, dancing or playing an instrument. I just love this about him.

Happiest of birthdays my love! We are so blessed to have you in our family. We pray each day that you would continue to grow into the man that God created you to be. Love you so much my Charlesy!   

    
    
    
 

Farewell Charlie Dawg

hp 11-06  058Today was a sad day in the Baum household. Our beloved Charlie dog is gone. He was such a huge part of our family and has been around since the very beginning of Austin and I dating. I thought it only fitting that I write a short bit about Charlie and some of our favorite times with him.

Austin got Charlie from a Rhodesian Ridgeback breeder in 2006. He was a runt of the litter as he was ridge less but Austin took to him right away because he was the most quiet puppy in the pack. He was dubbed King Charles the Lion Hunter, as Rhodesians have a history of hunting lions in their blood.

1930682_663047804822_3625_n25118_853391304922_7022935_nSome memories…

Osa (my dog) and Charlie got along right off the bat. Charlie was not one for befriending other dogs easily. He was never mean to other dogs but to be his friend as a dog really meant something. He liked Osa right away which was great for Austin and I as we started dating. He used to gnaw on Osa’s neck and they used to make out all the time. Young puppy love.

doggies (5) copyAustin threw a large first birthday party for Charlie which included all of his dog friends, a pinata filled with bones, singing happy birthday and even his grandparents and great grandmother were there. He was a bit spoiled. : )

DSC00854 copycharlie bdayHe liked to defy gravity often as he was able to jump incredibly well and was very nimble. Once he jumped off a cliff that he underestimated the distance of. People at the bottom were freaking out but he lived! 

IMG_9107He was a talker. When he wanted something he would just start saying “roo roo roo roo” at you. It wasn’t a bark but a talk for sure.

We took him on our cross country journey to Indiana where he got to see Arches national monument, Lake Powell, Denver, Chicago, and the beloved family lake house. A well traveled doggie. Indy 2007 (65)

Indy 2007 (9) copyWhile in Denver he got to hang out with our friend’s dog Addison. During their time together he managed to open the second story window and hop out of it. Thankfully he lived through that one too.

He was always great with our boys. I never once had to worry that he would snap at or have issues with the boys as we brought them home. He loved them well and tolerated them laying on top of him or pestering him.

His favorite things were riding in his daddy’s jeep, basking in the sun, fresh air out the window of the car and being allowed on the couch.

1936456_736393669122_3471952_n25118_853391334862_4599885_nHe was one of the sweetest, best behaved and most handsome dogs I have ever known. He will be missed so greatly. Thanks for so many sweet memories and great years Char Char!

Baum Boys Update

  Time for another Baum boys update.

James.

Mr. James will be three and a half next month. Yikes. He’s getting so big. He is thoroughly enjoying preschool. He is a GREAT big brother and loves Charles so well. Many times I will find him reading to Charles, including him in play intentionally or saying sweet things to him. He really likes tape right now and always tries to sneak it out of the craft cabinet. A few weeks ago my front bumper was covered in scotch tape as he thought it was broken. He loves to help my cook in the kitchen. He wants his own cutting board and own plastic knife so he can really help. He loves helping water the plants. He has super sweet moments where he will just come up to you and tell you how much he loves you. He proceeds with planting a big kiss on your lips and refuses to let go. At times it gets awkward because he hangs on to the kiss so long. He calls it a ‘longy kiss.’ Thankfully he only does it with me and Austin. He continues to practice his drumming and guitar playing. He has his sassy moments and challenges me some days more than others. He joins me while I do exercises at home with his own small set of weights. He can keep up with Austin and I on our runs for quite a distances now and we constantly have to slow him down on his bike so we can catch up. Some of my favorite things he says right now… swree instead of three, runging instead of running and vinivan instead of minivan. He is the child that always reminds me if I forget to buckle his seat belt and wants to make sure everyone is following the rules. I wonder where he gets this from? ; ) He requests watching ‘Science shows’ with Austin for a special treat. They are currently into the you tube channels, ‘Smarter Every Day’ and ‘Veritasium.’ I wish these kind of channels were around when I was in school. They sure make science super fun.

   
 Charles.

I love the age and stage he is at. He is just about 20 months. He is sassy and fun. His vocab is increasing daily and it is so fun to be around for it. He and James share a bed most nights, not because they don’t have their own bed but because they love cuddling each other. I love hearing the pitter patter of his feet as he runs across the house to say good morning and cuddle us. He still has a faint smell of baby smell left when he wakes up from a nap or sleep but it is almost gone which makes me sad. Soaking it in while I still can. He loves music, dancing and singing. We have recently found that if he is irate about something all you have to do is sing to him and it is like a light switch that instantly calms him. It’s awesome. He gets really excited about small things and starts dancing or happily screaming about them. When I come home from work, when he gets some string cheese, when he is playing outside in the dirt it all deserves dancing and happy screeches. Current things he says.. ‘Do dat’ as in I want to do that. Today he said ‘do dat’ right after James climbed a wall. ‘Hold it’ as in I want to hold the phone and face time with ‘Unk Drew,’ and not let anyone else hold the phone. ‘unry’ as in get me food now or else I will continue to say ‘unry’ louder and louder until I am fed. (We are working on his patience. Ha.) He is strong willed and makes it very clear when he wants something. We finally got him off the binky. Hooray!! It took some work but I’m so happy about it. His favorite thing by far right now is ‘orseys’ aka horseys. He loves looking at them, watching shows about them, reading books about them and even petting real horses. His obsession really fascinates me. Today he was bent on bringing his toy rocking horse with us to the store. He dragged it all the way from his room to the car and had such a sad look when I said he couldn’t bring it. He wasn’t throwing a fit at all just sad because he loves his horsey so much. I gave in. I think getting smaller stuffed horse animal might be a good investment. We have been introducing him to potty training and so far he stands there and produces long strings of spit instead. I am pretty sure he thinks that the spit is equivalent to pee at this time. Obviously we are still working on this one. Many meals he is the one who reminds us to pray as he says ‘Amen’ randomly before or during the meal.

   
 Both of them are doing so well and we are so thankful for the fun and joy they bring to our lives. We pray that they continue to grow strong and healthy and that they love and serve the Lord all their days.