Kristen & Benton Brown

An Unexpected Start

An Unexpected Start
Parker Trimble Brown was born April 9, 2010.

I'm One Year Old

I'm One Year Old
Parker will be 14 months old on June 9th.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Great Nana

I'm not sure what she'll be called, but Parker met my Nana (his great grandmother) for the first time last week. I've been to Wichita Falls several times with Parker, but her schedule is so busy =) that she has been out of town whenever we're in town. He smiled and cooed appropriately and then reminded her he was a baby by spitting up all over her leg.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Adult Disneyland

We spent the weekend in San Francisco and Napa Valley for Allison & John Spears' wedding. Thursday night we stayed in the Chinatown district of San Fran and went to Water Bar for dinner. The food was amazing - oysters Rockerfeller, prawns, and black sea bass with risotto. We went with two of Benton's IBM buddies who were out there for work.
I slept in Friday morning while Benton worked. We walked around the Union Square area and took some touristy pictures and did some shopping. We went to Neiman's and Nordstrom, but every store seems better when you're somewhere away from home!

Benton's rent car for the weekend was a big grey Mercury Marquis -not exactly cool to cruise around the wine country in, but it was free so I can't complain. We drove out to Napa around lunchtime on Friday and had a great lunch at Rutherfords. We also did a tasting at the Cakebread winery. I had been there when I went to Napa for work several years ago, and it was as good as I remembered. I highly recommend going there! The rehearsal dinner was at the Carneros Inn. The weather was perfect for cocktails on the lawn and the dinner was delicious with wine pairings for each course.

We stayed at the Harvest Inn in St. Helena for the rest of the weekend. The grounds were gorgeous and it was conveniently located in the middle of the valley. After breakfast the guys headed to Ana's Cantina to watch the USA vs. Ghana game. I got dressed and did some shopping in St. Helena - lots of cute shops with wine collectables, kids books, housewares, etc. We met up with Katie and Blair Lang for a burger at Gott's Roadstand, then it was time for wine! Benton's favorite winery is Frog's Leap in Rutherford, so he showed us out to their hidden vineyard and LEED-certified farm building. There were amazing wildflowers, a patio straight from a Crate and Barrel catalog, oh and the wine was great too! We also drove to downtown Napa so I could get a piece of champagne cake at the Butter Cream Bakery. Then Benton and I toured the Louis Martini winery and Mumm sparkling wines before getting ready for the wedding.

The ceremony was beautiful with the setting sun behind the Harvest Inn vineyard. We had more wine, a wonderful seated dinner, and great dancing with friends. We took some fun polaroids to go with their guest book and there was a large photo booth for the guests to play with as well. We were so thankful to be included for such an intimate wedding - thanks to John and Allison for an amazing mini vacay!

Parker the Munchkin was in Wichita Falls with both sets of grandparents while we were gone. From all reports, he giggled, cooed, squealed, and throughly hammed it up the entire time!

Notice how much hair he's lost - think he's going to have much lighter hair when it come back in.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm a Rebel

I may regret it in the morning, but I decided to put Parker in his crib without the Nap Nanny tonight. We have about three weeks until our vacation in Jackson Hole and we're going to limit how much baby gear we fly up there with. I'm paranoid about him rolling over, so thank goodness for modern marvel of technology. I'll let you know in the morning how things went!

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Blow Out

No, it wasn't a flat tire on I-35 South or a big party at Amon Carter Lake. For his first Father's Day, Parker decided to give his daddy one of the few gifts a ten week old can make - a huge blow out diaper that goes all over the car seat when you're still 30 miles from home. It was a two person clean up job at the Shell station in Denton today and Parker patiently waited while we cleaned him up and did our best to wipe out the car seat.

So happy Father's Day to Benton, my dad, and my father-in-law, Mark!

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thank You's

Major accomplishment - I finally finished my thank you notes for Parker's gifts. I did really well when I came home from the hospital and was all caught up, but I got behind after Parker came home. We were are so lucky to have so many friends and family that care about us and our new addition!

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Tales from the Motherhood

I love reading mommy blogs and facebook posts from my friends when they admit they screwed up as a mom. Not to be mean, but because it makes me feel better when I don't know what I'm doing either.

When I was in Waco a couple of weeks ago, a friend and I were sharing some of the things no one tells you after you have your baby. There is plenty of advice when you're pregnant, but I admit that I half listened because it didn't seem real yet that I was going to be a mother. Then when you need advice after the baby is several months old, friends and family assume you know what you're doing and don't offer any suggestions or reminders.

My friend shared that no one told her that there were different sizes of nipples as your baby gets older and can swallow and digest faster. I didn't know this either, so I was thankful she saved me any future embarassment.

Today at Target I happened to notice that Dr. Brown's did indeed make level 1,2, & 3 sized nipples. Size 1 is for newborns - check, size 2 is for 3+ months, and size 3 is for 6+ months. Parker has been taking almost 30 minutes to take 6 oz., so I think maybe we should try the size 2 nipples a little early.

Some of you probably can foresee what is coming, but I'll go ahead and share the messy details anyway. I made Parker's 5pm bottle and put on one of the freshly sterilized size 2 nipples. Parker seemed to like it and quickly gulped down 5 oz. in 10 minutes. He burped three times during the feeding and I was so excited that we'd cut down on his feeding time.

Parker is super relaxed and is almost ready to fall asleep when he suddenly squints his eyes and frowns. I'm talking out loud to him and telling him he's making a wierd face when he has two projectile spit ups all over himself, my dress, and my lap. I am staring at him in shock while he grins at me with spit up on him from head to toe.

He promptly got a bath, I'm still working on laundry, and I haven't made it to the shower yet. I guess we'll wait another couple of weeks to try size 2 nipples again. So that's my tale from the motherhood - good night!

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Trick of the Week - Week 9

Parker has discovered he can lick his hand like a lollipop - or he's practicing to kiss the ladies one day according to Pops!

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wichita Falls Wedding

We spent the weekend in Wichita Falls for a high school friend's wedding. My parents babysat Parker while we went to the wedding and reception with Benton's parents. We had a great time at the reception and were able to enjoy some adult time since everyone had babysitters.

We discovered that more people are reading our blog than we realized. We saw lots of people last night that said they feel like they know Parker from the blog, but they want to meet him in person. I'm glad he's already so popular in his young life. We've been out and about a lot in the last two months, but after Parker's vaccinations on Thursday, then he will be ready to be loved, cuddled, and kissed by everyone.

Here are some pictures from last night:

The soon to be Mr. and Mrs. - we can't wait for your wedding in Jackson Hole next month!

We're only together once or twice a year, but its always fun!

The Mirzas and Browns

Benton and Ali catching up.

Winfrey's solo performance to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin" with the band, Pictures.

The Barnards

Benton & Michael up to no good...

Me & Beth

Me & Benton

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It is the Best of Times, It is the Worst of Times...

No, I do not have post-partum depression. I'm referring to the evening hours between 7pm and 10pm. The worst of times is between 7 and 8:30pm when Parker throws his nightly temper tantrum. Some nights are worse than others, but we have finally figured out that when hr gets really berzerk its because he's exhausted from the day and fighting sleep. We swaddle him up and shoosh him as loud as we can and he'll be passed out in less than 10 minutes.

The best of times is when I wake the sleeping munchkin for his last feeding of the day. Sometime between 9 and 10pm, I slip in and watch him lightly snoring and sunggled in his nap nanny. I whisper to wake him up and I usually get a sleepy grin when he hears my voice. I unswaddle him while he stretches and moans, then I change his diaper, give him mylicon, and set him in my lap to feed him. This past week he will only take about half of his bottle (around 3 oz.) because he's so sleepy. He eats while half asleep, falls asleep while I burp him, and doesn't even wake back up when I swaddle him again.

This sweet precious munchkin always makes me forget about the evil munchkin that appeared earlier while I was trying to eat dinner. Sometimes I think I see glimpses of what he'll look like when he's older. I try to freeze the memory in my mind so I don't forget how wonderful nights like these are. I know some people prefer the early morning feedings when the sun is rising, but I come from a family of night owls. I've always done my best work at 10pm, so its fitting that these are the best times for me as a mom. =)

Blue-Eyed Baby

Everyone in my family has blue eyes. When my brother and I were little, my dad would sing us the "Blue-Eyed Babies" song. We thought he made it up, but we later figured out that it was an old blues song. I'm sure some of dad's verses were original, but the song went something like this:

I've got some short ones, I've got some tall ones, I've got some blue-eyed babies.
I've got some big ones, I've got some small ones, I've got some blue-eyed babies.

Just add in some more adjectives and you can sing the song over and over! Most people say Parker looks like a mini-me version of Benton, except that he has blue eyes. I keep rooting for them to stay blue, and Benton keeps saying that they're starting to turn brown. Here is evidence that I'm winning the competition (not that I'm competitive or anything):

Jack has adjusted well to his new little brother. When Parker is napping, Jack takes his nap too and he makes sure he won't be disturbed if Parker wakes up early crying.

Jack also likes Parker's chair in his nursery. He wants to make sure he doesn't miss any excitement or the opportunity to grab one of Parker's toys off the floor. We're going to be in trouble once Parker is sitting up and playing with his stuffed animals.

Its hard to catch Parker's smiles and grins on camera. When I talk to him and get him grinning, he stops as soon as I cover my face up with the camera. He makes new noises everyday and is beginning to be much more expressive with his coos.

Parker has lost some hair on top of his head and it's coming in a lighter color. His eyebrows are getting darker and his eyelashes are getting longer and thicker. One of the first things I noticed about him when he was born was that he has Benton's eyelashes.

We were making fun of Parker earlier in the week because he has a pitiful fake cough to make you feel sorry for him. Now it has developed into a hacking cough with junk in his throat. He sounds terrible when he wakes up and it makes him mad to have stuff running down the back of his throat. He's not running a fever, so I guess he just inherited allergies from Benton and sinus congestion from me. Picture below was taken while he was napping this morning. He doesn't look like he feels too bad!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Two Months with the Munchkin

Could he be any cuter?

Happy two-month birthday Parker!

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Wild about Waco

Benton played in the Ridgewood member/guest golf tournament in Waco last weekend with friend Taylor. The Starrs' were nice enough to host Benton all weekend and they invited me and Parker down Friday night. Parker did great by the pool and slept straight through his first night with a babysitter while we went to the tournament dinner and dance. I'm sure this is he first of many golf tournaments we'll travel to with Parker. Thanks to Taylor, Sarah, and their son Carter for a great time!

Wild about Waco refers to the fact that Parker was so excited when we left Waco Saturday morning, he decided not to sleep again for almost 11 hours. We went home and ate, met Benton's parents, shopped at the Galleria, came home and ate, saw my parents come back from NYC, had a bath, drove to Sasha's party in Fort Worth, ate some more, drove back home while screaming like crazy, and finally went to sleep at 10:30.

In retrospect, I learned that 8 week olds should not be in their infant carriers all day long and that babies can be overstimulated! I learned my lesson and am glad to report that Parker slept until 7am on Sunday and is now back on his regular schedule!

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Happy Birthday Pops

Yesterday was also my dad's birthday. He went to UT and is a die hard Longhorn fan, so I thought it was fitting for Parker to send him a birthday email with his UT gear on. Thanks to Sharon Roach for the cute onesie!

Happy Birthday to Pops! Love, Parker the Magic Munchkin

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Happy Anniversary

Yesterday was our 7 year wedding anniversary. We were married at half past seven in the evening on Saturday, June 7, 2003 at First Christian Church in Wichita Falls, Texas with the reception following at the Wichita Club. Everything went perfectly as planned and we left our reception at 11:30pm for a limo ride to the Four Seasons in Las Colinas. The next morning we left for our honeymoon in Kauai.

We began trying to get pregnant on our five year anniversary. We took a trip to Costa Rica to celebrate and we both assumed getting pregnant would happen quickly and easily. I was dissapointed to go back to Costa Rica (yes, I know this sounds crazy) for our 6 year anniversary and still not be pregnant.

It may have taken longer than we planned, but we are so blessed to have sweet Parker as our 7 year anniversary present for each other. We'll miss Costa Rica this year, but we have different priorities now.

One of my best friends, Olivia, watched Parker for a couple of hours last night so we could go to Del Frisco's for our anniversary dinner. It was our first post-baby date night and the two hours to ourselves was great. Thanks for O for being there when we needed her!

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Eight Weeks and Counting

Parker is eight weeks old today and weighs approximately 12 lbs. He is quickly outgrowing 3 and 6 month old outfits - he is quite a chunky thing!

He is sleeping like a champ. His last feeding is around 9pm and he is asleep by 10pm. He then sleeps through the night until around 6am.

He woke up quite grumpy thus morning - not sure why. After fussing through his 9am feeding he fell asleep again. I guess he was still sleepy. Here he is in my lap:

I got quite a bit done this morning while he was sleeping. I had a lot of laundry to do for him since he's been quite the spitter upper these days. There is also the occasional blow out diaper. I highly recommend Oxy Clean's Max Force spray for yellow stains on clothes. Spray it on and work in with a toothbrush, then throw straight in the washer. It even works on old stains you've missed. It's truly magic!

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Weekend Recovery

We had a great weekend at Amon Carter Lake in Bowie, Texas at our friends', the Winfrey's, lake house. I hung out in the house with Parker on Saturday and Parker's Mimi watched him on Sunday so I could go out on the boat and enjoy the very hot weather.

Parker is still sleeping from around 9pm until around 6am, and I could not be any happier. I highly recommend reading two books if you want to help a new baby get on a schedule and sleep more. First, read "On Becoming Baby Wise" by Ezzo and Bucknam. The short advice is to feed your baby every 3 hours during the day and let them sleep at night until they wake up. For us, it has worked like a charm. Secondly, read "Happiest Baby on the Block" by Karp. It has some strange ideas about baby evolution, but it gives great step-by-step details about how to hold a baby and stop their crying. I think even if you have an older child that this book can help. It's so much easier to calm Parker down when he has his evening fussy time. Before reading this book he would cry for an hour, now it's more like 2 minutes!

Here is the munchkin fighting a nap this morning:

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