Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Observe. Alyse and Alex's first trick-or-treating experience:

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Muchos Videos!

Here's a couple of recent videos featuring the girls.

First, Alex shows an early proclivity for jig dancing as we saw her very much enjoying the "stomp your feet" part of "If you're happy and you know it...."

Second is one of Allie's first experiences in the bouncer. I'm not sure she quite knows what to make of it.

Please to enjoy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Two Videos

Here are a couple I shot the other night. Alex was asleep during all this. I promise I wasn't ostracizing her.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

An Emergency Room Scare

If you're ever wondering what to do on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, may I suggest not spending it at your local Emergency Room? That's where Charlotte, Allie, Alyse, and I were holed up for the latter part of the day yesterday.

To explain:

Charlotte had a friend, who she works with at the Grace nursery, over to the house for the day. I had just gotten home from work and was on the computer when Charlotte came through the hall, frantically saying Alyse had eaten some of the friend's medication-two pills--out of her purse. When I asked what kind, all that was known at the time that one was a "heart" pill, the other a diabetes pill. Of course, I became overcome with fear, thinking only to Google the number for the Texas Poison Control Hotline and then grabbing my keys on the way out the door.

Looking back now, we were endlessly blessed to have Amy Roberts at our house at the time, as well as Marshall (our temporary border) to look after Alex and Allie. We really never gave it a second thought.

Unfortunately, the friend did not know the exact names of the medication she was taking, and Amy had to rush her to the friend's house to retrieve that information. The Poison Control Center said there was little the ER could do until they knew that exact prescription information. As I raced past slow-moving vehicles, I kept expecting to look in my rearview mirror and see Alyse wigging out or starting to slump over--any sign that something was biologically wrong inside her. Instead, I saw the same spirited and playful Alyse, talking to Charlotte and playing games.

Once we were in the hospital, the staff took her vitals and drew blood. The doctor confirmed that they would not be able to tell anything until the prescription information was made known. Shortly thereafter, Amy arrived at the hospital with the names of the medication and half of one of the pills that was thought to be entirely ingested. After the doctor took the pill and the medication names, we were left to stew over the frightening possibilities for about half an hour. He came back and told us one was a cholesterol pill and one was a blood sugar pill. Unfortunately, he told us, the half pill was the cholesterol pill which would have little impact on Alyse. The blood sugar pill, however, could have drastic effects on her blood sugar--affecting it for 24 hours with the possibility of Alyse slipping into a coma if she was asleep and her blood sugar dropped low enough.

We were floored.

The doctor told us there was no reason to try and contain Alyse in such a small space with nothing to do. The only thing to be done was to monitor her blood sugar again in a few hours and proceed from there. He let us leave the E.R. and told us to return at 8:30 PM.

Trying to keep our spirits up, we picked up something to eat and went home. I sat there watching Alyse watch "Little Einsteins." My heart plummeted at the thought of anything remotely serious happening to her. I was lost in sweet memories when...

Charlotte yelled from the other room. "I found the other pill!"

Alyse had not eaten it, but rather mistook the first one for candy, took a chomp and then spit it out. We decided to take her back to the ER at the scheduled time, just to make sure everything was fine. Aside from wasting another two hours of our night, everything was completely normal.

We chocked this one up to a life lesson to keep visitor's purses high and out of sight. But any major incident has been avoided....for now.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Allie is Two Months Old!

...and growing like a very large weed. At her two month appointment, she was a whopping 15 pounds! Here are a few recent pictures:

Friday, July 04, 2008

Allie's Birth Announcement

From the Good Shepherd "Great Expectations" website:

I'm not sure if I wrote it incorrectly, but Allie's birthday is June 23, 2008. Not June 24th. We originally forgot to turn in the consent to have this picture put on the website, and had Joanna pull some strings for us as she works in the Good Shepherd nursery. Thus, the lateness of its posting.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Allie's First Video

***Even though I say she is 8 days old, she is really 9 days old in this video. Enjoy Alyse's running commentary.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Allie Laurel Allen

This week has been understandably crazy! I feel much aggrieved I have not been able to post until now, and this will even be an abbreviated post.

I'm sure by now most of you have heard the immaculate news:

Allie Laurel Allen is here! She was born Monday, June 23, 2008 at 2:26 PM at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, Texas. She weighed 8 lbs 6 oz and was 19 1/2 inches in length!

Labor technically lasted only about 5 1/2 hours and Charlotte was incredible! I don't have much time to post many pictures, but I will give you this beautiful one and the link to her birthday photoset on flickr:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Alyse Gets Her Game On!

You know your little girl is grown up when she can adeptly play a computer game by herself.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My, How You've Grown

Well, our little Alex Bear turned one year old yesterday! It's hardly believable when your firstborn turns one, but almost impossible to believe when your secondborn does, I'm not sure why. Also I--Drew--started my new job yesterday, so it was a bit of an odd day all around.

Although Alex's party is not until this weekend, we tried to commemorate her special day with a few low-key celebratory measures:

Eating Birthday Pizza
Here Alex chows down on some special birthday pizza.

Drinking Birthday Spritey
Here she has her first experience with soda - Spritey! (As Alyse calls it.)

Alyse Blew Out Her Candle!
Then, of course, being presented with the birthday cupcake...

Eating a Cupcake 
Then, of course, cramming her mouth full of cupcake (...and subsequently leading a sugar-rush rampage throughout the house...)

Alex's Present
Opening her present from Mommy, Daddy, & Alyse.

Tear it Up!
And finally, senselessly destroying any remnant of wrapping paper.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Zooropa (Better by Design)

To help make this Memorial Day weekend--well--memorable, we took the girls to the Caldwell Zoo. We took Alyse back in September but, as her knowledge base of the animalia kingdom has erstwhile exploded, this trip was much more fun to watch her run around and taunt the various animals by name.

Alyse & Mr. Penguin
Alyse watches a penguin.

Though Alex is a great deal younger than Alyse was on her first zoo safari, she--Alex--very much enjoyed herself, pointing and yipping at various animals that attracted her fancy as small children are wont to do.

Alex, Zoo Patron Since '08
Alex watches a Longhorn graze.

Despite the humid, ninety-five degree weather, an enjoyable time was had by all. Fortunately, we happened to be down by the elephant walk just as they were starting the elephant demonstration. Here is a picture of what the elephant was doing and subsequently the girls' reaction:

Catching Treats
Elephant catching treats.

Sisters Through and Through
Alex, Alyse watching the elephants.

Now, as official Caldwell ZooMembers, we are entitled to discounted tickets for friends and family. So if you come to visit, we'll go see some animals together!

For more zoo pictures, please visit Alex's First Zoo Visit set on Flickr (click the link).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Carseat Graduations

A couple of days ago the girls both graduated into carseats more befitting of their every-maturing physical stature. In fact, I'm still a little perplexed how we were managing to still carry Alexa around in the infant carrier--talk about a bicep workout! So Alex made the jump to a larger, more comfortable seat, and also now faces forward for the first time:

We purchased this car booster seat for Alyse which does away with the independent harness and uses the car's own seatbelt system for safety restraint. This, obviously, has presented its own set of challenges (e.g., keeping the shoulder strap across her), but has made her car-riding experience much more enjoyable and has bolstered her confidence, as it has been dubbed the "big girl seat."

I've also included this video as Alyse expresses her feelings about the seat. It sounds like I'm prodding her to give a positive endorsement, but I was merely coaxing her to repeat what she had already said (except for the "sweet" part--that, we'd never heard before):

Thursday, May 15, 2008

More Video!

In case you haven't seen them on Flickr or YouTube, here are a few other random, albeit hilarious videos of the girls:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Stuff and Such...

Just a brief video of Alex walking around. I realized haven't posted much, if at all, documenting her new skill:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Typical Alyse.

As Alyse has demonstrated the ability to sometimes stay out of trouble when left to her own devices, she has been given much more freedom to gallivant about the house without her parents' overt supervision. This has lead to many unexpected discoveries, from the very cute (i.e., finding her elephant in her mini-pack 'n' play with a washcloth for a cover and a sock for a nightcap) to the very bizarre (i.e., a can of corn in the toilet).

This past weekend, Alyse went to church with Grammy and Sonny so Charlotte and I could accomplish several daunting tasks on our to-do list. As we waved good-bye from the window, we returned to the kitchen to put Alex in her chair and have breakfast. As though Alyse intentionally ensured we would not forget her, we saw this in her seat at the table:

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Stepping Up.

The past month has been quite the time of achievement for little Alex Bear. In addition to taking sporadic steps here and there, she has also shown her aptitude for mimicking sounds and gestures.

Please to observe:

Alex, in a rare display of public exhibition, shows how she can step independently. Aggrievedly, we thought she had quit trying after this little camera-video was shot, then as everyone had turned away Alex took about 7-9 steps from Charlotte to Stuart.

This video, I feel, is fairly self-explanatory.

Friday, April 11, 2008

New Allie Pictures!

My procrastination in posting these is unforgivable. Please forgive me. These are not new to those who regularly frequent our Flickr photo page but, this being our baby blog and all, I thought I should post them all the same.

We were pretty amazed with this similarity in one of Alyse's sonogram photos.

I'm not sure what to make of early ultrasound pictures, but Charlotte and I were agreed that she seems to favor Alexa a lot from this round of pictures.

This picture of her little legs, I feel is pretty sharp.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

28 Weeks with Allie

Charlotte realized she is almost three-quarters through this pregnancy and we don't have many "pregnant with Allie" pictures. We try hard not to show favoritism, so here are a couple of Charlotte at about 28 weeks:

Also, those kind of you to harass us about posting videos, you finally get your way. I have plenty of video of the girls, it's just my computer is getting on in years and doesn't do such a swell job of editing, or even processing high quality digital video anymore. Sad, really. These are videos taken from our regular digital photo camera, hence the exceptionally poor quality audio/video.

Alyse rarely does anything when the camera's lens is trained on her, so her contributions to this performance of "Old McDonald" is more than I could have expected:

Also, nothing really happens in this video. I just think it's freakin' cute when Alyse says "Alex Bear." Also, Alex is in it, so that's a plus.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Alexa's Last Stand

And by "last" stand I, of course, mean "first" stand.

This post coming about three weeks late, I can only apologize and post these pictures of Alex as she has randomly started standing by herself:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sonogram Pictures!

Here are a few select pictures from our recent sonogram:

Definitely a girl. Like her sisters before her, she's not modest about it, either.

A sweet close-up of her precious little face in color.

Another clear face shot. This one is my favorite.

A regular sonogram picture of her little foot.

A great 3D shot of her little legs!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Alyse's Birthday Present

The news is officially in.

Super Tuesday for us this year was much more about finding out that we will be having our third girl, than it was finding out who becomes the clear front runner in the Democrat and Republican parties. As the news (about our baby, not the primaries) came sandwiched between Alyse's birthday party and her actual birthday (today - Thursday, February 7, 2008), we're counting it as one of her presents.

Picking out a name has come with much more difficulty this time around than with Alex. Charlotte and I wanted to stick with the A.L.A. initial scheme, but had not intended for the first *two* letters of the first name to be the same, nor the fact that the first and middle names have the exact same number of letters. Ergo, we have resolved to stick with it and do the same for our third daughter.

Naturally, we have disagreed on each other's picks and a peaceful negotiation doesn't appear to be coming anytime soon.

With it, the gender news also brings with it some tacitly implied news: the Allens will have at least four children.

But it will probably be more.

Meanwhile, here are some pictures from Alyse's grand old birthday shebang.

(To see more of Alyse's birthday pictures, please visit her birthday picture set on Flickr!)