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. : ) 

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.

 

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.

   
 

Growing Boys!!! 

My goodness! I feel like my boys are growing up so fast lately. Mostly so I don’t forget this sweet phase I am documenting what they are each up to. 

James- Such a crazy/joyful time with him right now. One minute he will be happy as a clam and the next he is in total melt down mode over the slightest thing. It could be someone praying before him, not getting to be the line leader, putting his outfit on in the wrong order, or a hole in his toast. It feels much like I imagine a dramatic teenage girl house to feel during these moments. Then the next moment he is sweet as could be so happy about anything. He continues to love school and his friends at ‘school time’ as he affectionately calls it. He has an attachment to an orange soccer ball on campus that he claims is his, even though it is the schools. Everyday he comes into my office to ask me to pump it as it has a hole in it. I gladly do it and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to see him throughout the day. 

Lately he has been saying in his prayers things like ‘Dear Lord my mommy was not being nice but now her nice.’ This is of course after he has gotten in trouble for something. His prayers are more matter of fact prayers. 

Although he eats his entire breakfast and lunch we cannot get him to eat much at dinner. We never force it but he does miss out on special treats because of it. 

He LOVES to take a bucket or tin full of toys wherever he goes these days. He also enjoys picking up rocks and saving them for ‘later,’ never to use them again. 

He still loves to cuddle me and he and Charles fight over my lap. We always split it one leg for each. How do people with three do it? He has been wanting me to hold him lately and keeps saying ‘I’m not too big for you too hold me. See!’ I’m a sucker for this as I know one day soon he will be! 

We love reading books and going to the library together. Lately we have been reading Amelia Bedelia books which he finds funny and take me back to my childhood. 

When you ask him a question he will respond ‘Sure sure sure’ or ‘yes, yes, yes’ a few times in a row very quickly. Not sure where he got this from but it is a funny thing for a three year old to do. 

He is a love and I’m so thankful for him. I cannot believe how big he has gotten. 

  

Charles-My sweet baby is growing as well. He is almost 16 months. He is talking up a storm. He squeals ‘mama’ happily when I get home which makes me melt! He says agua instead of water and many other Spanish words as his loving nanny only speaks Spanish. It’s pretty awesome. He does a whole body nodd if you ask him if he wants something. He loves to tickle you and be tickeled by you. When he is tired for the day he will point to his crib and say ‘nigh nigh’ and wants to be placed in the crib right then. 

He is still super content while eating and can eat james under the table. This evening while James ate a hand full of noodles Charles finished three large bowlfulls. He asks for applesauce ‘apple-dauce’ often. 

Charles loves our dog Charlie and will pet him and lay on him randomly throughout the day. 

He still is super attached to mommy and wants to be held if I am around. He reaches his arms out and says ‘Uh-buh-ta’ not sure how Up became a three syllable word but it’s what he says. 

He loves going to the park and sliding down the big slide with me. He is fearless and will climb more and more these days. 

He loves to get dirty and play in mud and dirt. It makes my motivation to bathe him very low. As soon as I bathe him he is covered again. 

He too loves to read and says ‘buh’ whine he wants to. He likes to read on his own terms though. He holds the book, he turns the pages (or doesn’t). 

He loves to hear the sound of his loud voice bellow out. Through the vuvuzela, a cup or anything esle where he can project sound. It brings him great delight. 

He loves to dance, spin and sing. Our nanny will say ‘cantame mi Nino’ and he will go on and on singing. 

Our nanny has been teaching him to be gentle saying ‘carrinito’ if you say this to him he will gently stroke your cheek. It is the sweetest. 

He too is a joy and I’m so thankful for them both. 

  

  

That’s was a lot of update but I know one day I will miss these things. I love being their mommy!! Im so grateful for the blessing of motherhood. 

  

Two Under Two

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We have survived our first few weeks with two under two! Much to my surprise it has not been as crazy as I thought it might possibly be. This is just a small picture of what it has looked like in the Baum household lately:

-James has been a big helper. He wants to hold baby Charles all the time. He brings me diapers and wipes. He helps put the baby’s binky back in. He gets very worried about Charles when he cries.

-Some reverting to baby days for James which has included climbing into the bassinet and pretending to sleep and sucking on a binky.

-Letting James get away with things that I would normally not let him get away with because I am feeding a baby and can’t stop him from doing what he is doing.

-Napping during James’ nap time and lots of cuddles with James and Charles.

-Times when I am caring for Charles and can’t tend to James if he is crying or needs something. This is a hard one for this mommy as I wish I could do both at once.

-Having to plan more time when getting ready to get out of the house. It is amazing how much longer it can take to get out of the house and get around when you have two.

-Lots of diaper changing.

-Forgetting the double stroller which equalled me carrying sleepy James in one arm and Charles in his carseat in the other to an appointment. They are heavy!

-James sneaking in our bed in the middle of the night which makes us question why we even have a three bedroom house when all four of us are in the same room by the end of the night.

Overall, I am enjoying both of my boys and so thankful for the time I am getting with them right now.

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21 Months

This is most likely my last post all about Sweet Baby James before Baby Baum #2 makes his or her arrival. I was not really planning on doing a 21 month post however, I cannot pass up the opportunity to document the sweet time we have had together before his little sibling comes a long. At this point my blog is more of a family photo/memory book than anything else. I created a book on Shutterfly of my blog from Tanzania and was so happy to be able to have a hard copy of our memories and pictures of our time there. Instead of the typical baby book or scrapbook, I plan to create a book each year for our family from this blog. It is just easier for me this way, as scrapbooks are so very time consuming for me. Maybe one day my blog will be something else but until then I am happy with it’s purpose. On to baby James…

Here are the most recent baby James happenings:

He is talking up a storm. He will repeat almost anything you say, which can be very entertaining at times. Some of my favorite sayings right now are, “pees mommy” (please mommy), “holdit” (as in pick me up and hold me), “hohoho’s coming,” (santa’s coming), “op barking,” (stop barking..directed towards the dogs when barking), “Hey Buddy!” (what he says every time he sees Austin as that is what Austin calls James) … and many more. He has a lot of expression and excitement when saying things too which makes it all the more fun. When Austin came home from work the other day, James and I were painting. James exclaimed, “I painting!” with great enthusiasm and pride.

He is a great helper. He loves to help with all things. He helps with unloading the dishwasher, particularly the silverware drawer. He helps mixing food up when I am cooking. He helps Austin fix things in the garage with a screwdriver and has had lots of fun helping with the Christmas decorations. He helps clean up spills by getting a towel and wiping it up. It is pretty fun to watch him imitate our actions and want to be such a good helper. For Thanksgiving, he was helping me make cinnamon rolls, by rolling the dough with a rolling pin. He and I were saying “roll it, roll it, roll it..” while working. A few days later in our morning cuddle time, he was saying good morning to the baby by giving my belly kisses. He then proceeded to take his blankie in a rolling pin position, rolling it on my belly and saying, “roll it, roll it.” Apparently he thinks my belly looks like a big ball of dough. Ha ha. I get it kid, I’m getting bigger.

He is getting into some trouble. He is intentionally doing things he knows he should not, and biting and hitting when frustrated. We have had to bust out the mean mommy and daddy side and time outs too. I can tell this is where the real difficulties of parenting are going to set in for me. I do not like being mean mommy and having to say no constantly but I am very aware that if we are not firm now it will become a bigger issue later.

He is very particular with certain things. When it comes to building blocks, coloring, or laying things out he has a way that he would like it to be done. He does not like help, until he needs it. I would call it more methodical than OCD, just like his daddy.

He is learning his ABC’S and 123’s. It’s pretty fun teaching him basic things like colors, numbers and letters. He is still just barely grasping the concept of most of them but he seems to be enjoying learning new things each day. He continues to love reading and is soaking up more and more vocabulary from books all of the time.

He was scared of Santa this year. Last year he had no qualms about sitting with Santa, but this year that was not the case. He was much more weary. I tried to prep him a bit with some santa videos and such but no such luck. I understand I was scared too when I was little. The result was a Santa picture with me in the middle and James looking like a deer in headlights. One for the books. Ha. He has not stopped talking about Santa since and I think if I took him back he might actually say hi on his own. Oh well.

As always, we are so thankful to be James’ parents and thankful for the joy he brings us. He is a blessing in every way. I am sure that having a sibling will be an adjustment for James and for us too, but I am confident that he will be a great big brother once he settles in to his new role.

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Santa Claus visit 2013

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Wearing daddy’s poofy jacket.

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Spending time with Unkie Drew.

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Stick out your tongue. AHHHH!

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Making a comfy reading corner with the dirty laundry pile.

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Passed out at mommy’s office.

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Roll it… Roll it.

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Untangling the Christmas lights for the neighborhood.

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Bundling up for the cold.

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Such a big boy!

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20 Months

James is 20 months today, and while it may not be the most memorable age marker, I am trying to soak up every bit of the time I have left with just him. Baby Baum #2 will be here before we know it and James will not be the only grandchild on both sides, only child or star of the show. I know this will be good for him but I can’t help but want to soak in these moments with him as he is such a fun kid and has so much personality.

Things he does/ have happened lately:

1. Asks to color almost everyday. He likes to pick the colored pencil, and part of the picture for you to color and then have you do the coloring. Occasionally he will join in on the actual coloring but for the most part he likes to put others to work. He is starting to be able to identify some colors which is fun.

2. Jumps! Well he can’t really jump yet but his BFF Harrison showed him his jumping skills and James has gone crazy for it. He frequently goes around the house saying ‘jumping, jumping, jumping’ while attempting to jump. He will ask whoever is with him to jump with him. This makes for pretty fun times and lots of giggling.

3. Learning to say no. He is saying no to just about everything these days. As in, ‘Do you want to play with your Legos?’ ‘No.’ ‘Do you want to go outside?’ ‘No’ I am more and more convinced he is just saying it to be contrary. I can even ask him things like, ‘Do you want ice cream?’ And he will still say no. This is where the ‘you can’t reason with a toddler!’ part comes in and you just have to ignore grumpiness and let them know they can’t always get what they want.

4. He loves to read. I have been trying to add to our books and get some variety as I get bored reading the same things over and over. We have recently added ‘Skippyjon Jones’ which is pretty funny and ‘Why do camels have humps?’ Which has tons of animals in it to point out.

5. He loves the zoo. With our awesome zoo pass, we try to get to the zoo as much as possible. James is getting more and more aware of all of the animals. The zoo recently added some bear cubs and lemurs which are fun to watch. His favorites now are the ‘momos’-‘monkeys,’ turtles, and tiger. We got to see some tiger training which was really cool and James wasn’t scared at all. What a tough guy.

6. Stung by a bee. James got stung by a bee on the top of his foot. Poor guy. His foot got a bit swollen but no allergic reaction thankfully. He was limping around for a day or so but it healed quickly. Wheew!

7. First real trick-or-treating. My parents took James out for his first real Halloween. He reportedly loved it and was even willing to go to the door by himself and say thank you. However, one of our neighbors wore a scary werewolf mask and legitimately scared him. After that he was not so into it, and all scary masks equalled him wanting to be held. I don’t blame him, I get scared of them too.

8. Loves being outside. He wants to play outside all day. Ball, swings, slide, cars, digging, sorting rocks does not matter as long as he is outside. I don’t mind one bit as the weather is PERFECT these days.

9. Cuddling in the morning. He loves to cuddle in the mornings, which I love. He wraps his arms around my neck, squeezes tight and says, ‘cuddle cuddle.’ Melts my heart!

10. Amen! He is now very in tune with saying grace before meals and at bed time. Now he will bow his head and say grace before we can even think of it. If someone new comes to the table he wants to pray again. And he always gives a good Amen at the end. We pray that being thankful to The Lord something that sticks with him as he grows!

He is so precious and we are so grateful for each day we get to be his parents.

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