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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

PT in WF

Parker spent the weekend with grandparents in Wichita Falls.
I tried to turn his carseat around for our drive on Thursday since he is 25+ lbs. The plan backfired on me because he kept dropping things in the floorboard where I couldn't reach them. He was awake and needed entertainment for the whole two hour trip - not fun for mom!

Here are a couple of grandmother shots that were sent as updates...

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Viva Las Vegas - Friday

As I type, I’m flying back from one of our best trips ever to Las Vegas.  I guess the best trip to LV would have to be my first trip eight year ago when Benton surprised me and proposed, but this was a close second.

Benton and I both love to gamble, consume free beverages, stare at weird strangers, and stay up really late for no good reason.  Therefore, Vegas is a great place for us to visit for a few days about once a year.  The beauty of this trip was that I was not pregnant (like I was the last time we were in Vegas), Parker stayed in WF with the grandparents (didn’t have to pay for sitters and have the stress of flying with a lap infant), and we went with my best friend and her husband.

We really need to thank Ali for creating the trip.  He gave Hayley tickets to Garth Brooks for Christmas, and he made plans for them to go during his birthday weekend in February.  When Hayley mentioned the trip, she made an off the cuff comment that we should come to – little did she know that I would take her up on the offer and book our airfare before they booked their own!  We had a great deal on rooms at Wynn, got great seats to Garth Brooks (more to come on the most AMAZING experience ever), and had a great time hanging out as adults.

Friday night we ate diner at Switch in the Encore hotel.  The whole concept of building a restaurant with walls and ceilings that literally ‘switch’ the d├ęcor every 30 minutes was cheesy and the food/service weren’t great either.  After dinner, we met some Dallas kids at the Cosmopolitan nightclub, Marquee. I say kids because these guys are fresh out of college at 23 years old and they were ready to grab life by the horns and experience all Vegas had to offer.  We had a great time with them, but I’m sure they thought were old married parents who don’t get out enough. 

We had a great time people watching from our VIP table on the dance floor until people behind us started frantically dancing and pouring drinks on our heads and dresses.  We left the club around 2:30am, just as the party was getting really good.   We were way too old for some of the mess and didn’t want to wait in the really long bathroom lines.  Hayley and I were amazed at what constitutes “club attire” for twentysomething girls.  Everyone in the place had on tube dresses that barely covered their behinds and they had their undergarments hanging out in all the wrong places.  Made me glad I’m thirtysomething and don’t have to look like an idiot in public just because all of my girlfriends dress like idiots.  We wore flats and I was so glad that I didn’t have miserably sore feet or walk barefooted in the club.  You can do that when you’re an old married moms!

Behind in Blogging

I’ve been very behind in the blogging department, so I’ll go ahead and give you my two excuses.  First, Parker’s naps are hit or miss lately.  Some days he’ll take a 1.5 hour nap in the morning and another one in the afternoon.  Other days he will only take two 30-minute powernaps.  Since I never know which schedule we’re on, it’s hard to sit down and start blogging when I can be interrupted at any moment. 

Excuse number two is at least more positive.  I’m still working on building up my running stamina, so Parker and I try to spend at least an hour with the jogging stroller 4-5 days per week.  My most recent accomplishment is being able to run 3 miles without stopping in 37 minutes.  I love the feeling I have after spending an hour outside in the sunshine, smelling sweat and the outdoors in my hair, and being worn out from pushing myself to run longer each week.  Definitely brings back memories from high school – the last time in my life I was in shape.  I’ve also lost 15 pounds since Thanksgiving and I’m five pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant in July 2009.  Such a great feeling and motivation to keep working out and losing weight. 

I’m glad I started in late November, so that I’m not in a hurry to get ready for lake season.   I can’t believe that Spring Break is almost here.  We usually plan a trip where I tag along on one of Benton’s business trips, but since we just got back from Vegas (more on that in a later post) I don’t think we’ll go anywhere this year.  I’m looking forward to being able to wear flip flops and sandals (I still hold to old fashion rules that you can’t wear them regularly before Spring Break.  This rule is easier than waiting until after Easter, especially since Easter isn’t until the end of April this year).  If I’m lucky, Parker and I may take a day trip to Canton to shop for some fun metal decorations for our backyard and maybe I can treat myself to a pedicure with some obnoxiously bright pink OPI nail polish.

Okay, now for more catch-up posts.  This is the beauty of flying by yourself and bringing your Mac with you on vacation.  I’ve already had two free diet cokes, read this week’s US Weekly, and have rearranged my 3 workout playlists on iTunes.  Ah, the life of someone with free time…

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Worst Valentine's Day Ever

I know this sounds dramatic, and considering that I've never really had a bad Feburary 14th and I'm 30 years old, finally having a bad Valentine's Day isn't really such a big deal.  But yesterday, it was a no good, very bad day!

We went over to Fort Worth for a great dinner with the Denmans on Saturday night at Eddie V's.  After dinner, we went to Michael's for a couple of drinks with the Winfreys.  When I called the babysitter to tell her we were on our way home, she said Parker had woken up twice (which he never does) and he felt warm.  He had woken up a third time by the time we got home.  Lucky mom, he was up screaming and feverish every 45 minutes from 2-8am.  Not fun, but we made 10 months without a fever, so I am still counting my blessings.  Fever went away by Monday morning, but we went into the doctor just in case.  Now he's just got a runny nose and drainage and we started antibiotics.  At least its not the flu or an ear infection.

So my Valentine's Day started with a trip to the peditrician. It was great they could see him by 9:30am, but that meant we had to leave the house by 9am, so I didn't get to shower before we left the house.  Parker's morning nap was only 20 minutes in the car. I tried to put him down again at 11 when we got back home, no dice mom, another 20 minute power nap.

Since I thought Parker would be taking a good 2 hour nap, I started to make the Pioneer Woman's meatloaf for Benton for our Valentine's Day dinner.  Took longer than expected since Parker woke up and wanted to open every drawer and cabinet while I was trying to mush together raw meat and wrap it with bacon.  Is it bad that I let him chew on a sponge from underneath the kitchen sink while I worked?!  Meatloaf looked great after an hour, I even took pictures and posted them on Facebook so Benton could get excited about his yummy dinner.

Then we rushed out of the house to take Jack to his checkup with the vet - not a great plan to visit two doctors in one day.  Parker's afternoon nap was - yes, you guessed it - a 20 minute power nap in the car.  We got back home around 4:15 and I did some yard work while Parker tried to eat leaves and fistfulls of potting soil.  Should I be worried that he has pica?

Fast forward, put fussy Parker in the bath, gave him a bottle, got him to bed at 7:15, and we finally sat down to my fabulous looking meatloaf, homemade mashed Yukon gold potatoes, and roasted asparagus.  Then realized that the meatloaf was cooked to "medium" on the inside - even after Benton nuked both of our plates for 2 minutes.  Literally, not salvageable - threw out the whole meatloaf.  I ate the potatoes and asparagus for dinner, while Benton made a chicken salad sandwich.

I'm quite competitive, and it fires me up when I screw up something in the kitchen.  I was hungry, it was supposed to be slightly romantic, and it turned out to be a mangler meatloaf.  Benton, of course, wasn't upset, but I was down on myself and even tried to cry about it.  It took 30 minutes for me to find the humor, and it will now be a Valentine's Day we will probably always remember as new parents.

Since I'm the eternal optimist, I have decided that yesterday didn't really count.  I think we started dating on February 23, 2001.  Even if the date is wrong, Benton won't remember, so we'll say that is the real date.  Which means that next week is out 10-year dating anniversary and we have a fun trip planned for Las Vegas with friends a concert by a guy named Garth Brooks.  So let the nine-day countdown begin for the real Valentine's Day for the Browns...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Parker is 10 Months Old

Dear Parker,

At ten months old you love bath time, so much in fact that you learned how to climb head-first into the bath tub tonight. On the plus side, the water was running but the stopper wasn't closed and you landed gracefully on the tub mat without hurting yourself. Too bad you had all of your clothes on! I look forward to telling this story one day when you're a famous diver or swimmer one day. Just don't experiment with drugs like Michael Phelps.


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Friday, February 4, 2011

Snowpocalypse Reminders

I feel like I need to post something about the never ending ice storm of 2011 when Parker was 9 1/2 months old.  I was fine on Tuesday - Parker slept until 9am, took a nap from 11am - 2pm, and was asleep again by 7:30pm.  Wednesday was much of the same.  I had stocked up at the grocery store on Monday and was holly homemaker.  I made buffalo meat chili on Monday, made biscuits from scratch on Tuesday, baked cinnamon muffins on Wednesday, and did numerous loads of laundry.  I also reorganized my closet, polished the dining room furniture, washed everything in Parker's room, made some vases for an upcoming baby shower at my house, etc. By Thursday, I was really jealous that Benton got to hike 2 miles round trip to the grocery store while I stayed warm with Parker. Its now Friday and I showered, dried my hair, and painted my toe nails and fingernails bright pink in hopes that spring will be here by the end of the month.

With this said, I decided I need to make a list of things to do before the next snowpocalypse.  There were some things we said we learned after the 2009 White Christmas in the Falls, and we didn't do them this time.  So the next time something like this hits (which will probably be when Parker is in college), we will be prepared.

1) Park one car in the garage and one car on the street.  This way you have two options for driving and may not end up with ice/snow drifts blocking both cars.  Both of our cars are currently trapped in the garage indefinitely...

2) Make sure both cars have gas so you can run the heater if you get stuck somewhere.  I did fill up both cars on Monday, a lot of good that did.

3) Stock up on several days' worth of meals. But more importantly, stock up on anything you might possibly need to bake with.  I've been inspired to try some new things, but then I realize I'm missing key ingredients in the pantry.  Some of these essentials include:  flour, white & brown sugar, shortening, buttermilk (fun biscuits), whipping cream (why not), baking powder & soda, cocoa powder, cream of tartar (for snickerdoodles of course), you get the idea.

4) Stock up on crafting supplies so you have something to show for your hours of sitting around.  I wish I could beam myself to a Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, or Michaels for some spray paint, scrapbooking paper, and styrofoam wreaths.  At least I have burlap, rubberbands, and recycled baby food jars to keep me entertained for now.  Give me another day and I may start mod-podging the bookshelf in the back closet.

5) The next car we buy will have four-wheel drive.  It will be totally worth the extra money when you get stuck in the mud at a deer lease or ranch, or when you have a freak snow storm in Texas.

6) Purchase some sand and the big bags of Morton's rock salt and hide it in a corner of the garage.  I thought it was dumb that our Wal Mart was selling rock salt in December, and now I could use it on my driveway or break out the ice cream maker we got for our wedding eight years ago and have never used.

7) Get our heating and air conditioning units serviced in the fall and spring - just in case.  Our bedroom heater went out on Wednesday after the rolling blackouts.  Apparently, the thermostat that was installed last June was only programmed for stage one heating.  What is stage one heating, you may ask?  Its a low-blow and low-flame on the gas furnace.  When it's 12 degrees outside, you need stage two heating with high fan flow and high flames.  We're back in business and the repair was free since the unit was only seven months old.

8) Marry your best friend and have lots of patience.  I don't think Benton and I have ever been stuck together for four plus days with no interaction from other people.  We're both very extroverted and don't spend a lot of time "sitting around" the house.  We are the opposite of homebodies - more like awaybodies.  I may not have earned any money this week, but at least he has been able to have conference calls and be home with me and Parker.  Its a good thing we like each other or we might have gone crazy by now!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Here's What We've Been Doing in the Ice

Chillin at home (literally since the heater in out bedrooms was out last night).

Playing tug-o-war with Jack flash.

Getting rides in his wagon that we finally assembled after he got it for Christmas from his Aunt Cindy. And yes, we've all been wearing pj's all day long...

Blow-dried hair looked like Biff from Back to the Future last night.

Climbing head-first into the toy bucket - he's all boy with no fear for anything yet.

Our driveway and alley are a bobsled run until probably Saturday, so our cars are not an option. Benton used the wagon to walk 1 mile to the grocery store today to stock up on necessities like steaks and cinnamon rolls!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Cheated...

Pretty dramatic title huh?  Don't worry, I didn't do anything scandalous, but I did cheat and start working on one of my New Year's resolutions in the middle of December.  Therefore, I have made some great progress over the last six weeks that I can now report since it is a habit.

I have been taking Parker out on hour-long walks since September since it cooled off.  He loves to look around, take a little snooze, and I love the "alone" time with my headphones.  It occurred to me around Thanksgiving, that I could really get into shape if I started running some since I had already committed 4-5 hours per week for exercising.  I found a used jogging stroller through a teacher friend for $50, bought a bicycle pump for the tires, learned one of the tires needed repair, and spent another $15 at the local bicycle shop.  Ta-da! Newly used jogging stroller for about $75!

I started using the stroller the middle of December and began alternating between running and walking during my 60 minute trip.  This method wasn't anything new - it was what our soccer coach required us to do every August when we started Cross Country practice.  He was never concerned about distance, but rather stamina.  Using Coach Warner's philosophy, I needed to be able to run for 20-30  minutes straight and then I could work on my speed.

I made it through Christmas break and worked out in Wichita Falls, took a break for the cold weather after New Years, and will take time off this week for the ice storm, but its now something I look forward to everyday.  After six weeks I can run two miles without stopping or I can run for 20 minutes straight.  I try to go out for at least 45 minutes four days each week with the stroller and its a treat if I can go for a quick run without Parker while he's napping and Benton is home.  I also feel better and sleep better after a good long workout - which I know should be common sense, but its been awhile since I've been in the habit of exercising every day.

Ultimately, I was also inspired by some friends/bloggers that update on their families and their running.  Thanks to Brynn ( for motivating me with your double stroller all over Coppell and now Brisbane and to Jessie ( for sacrificing your tush in the cold dark Oklahoman mornings (I prefer late afternoon jogs myself). Through Jessie, I also found an entertaining running junkie who reminds me of what it was like to be 24, newly married, and teaching high school kids.  I'll never be a marathon junkie, but it makes me feel like I'm training for a marathon when I read her daily posts (

What did I do before blogs?  Oh, yeah, I worked from 7:30am to 6:00pm everyday...