Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Stocking

Mason woke up on Christmas Day and could hardly wait to pull all of the goodies from his stocking. He got crayons, coloring books, a sticker book, several DVDs, and his very own cell phone. Grandmother ate breakfast with us that morning, and Mason spent the rest of the day playing with all of his new toys.

Georgia Aquarium

While we were in Georgia for Christmas, Pop and Mimi took us to the Georgia Aquarium. Mason had a fun time. His favorites were the sea lions and the bright, beautiful tropical fish.

Connell Family Christmas

We spent Christmas in Georgia this year. We celebrated with Pop, Mimi, MeMama, Uncle Rob, and Aunt Kristi on December 22. Mason got so many toys . . . I don't even know where to start! Pop and Mimi gave him a beautiful toy box. It matches the furniture in his room and sure is great to have something to hide all of his toys in. Mimi had a train underneath the Christmas tree, and Mason enjoyed playing with that. He would sit there and crouch down to see the train as it went around the back of the tree.

Pop likes to watch deer hunting shows on the outdoor channel after supper. Although Mason has seen the deer on the wall at PawPaw's and at Pop's, he has never really been too fascinated with them . . . until now. He could hardly wait for Pop to find the deer channel. I've never seen anything captivate his attention like that and keep him so still for so long. Every time a deer came across the TV screen, he would get all excited, point his finger at the TV, and say, "Dee, dee!" One evening his Daddy took him for a walk through the pasture and to the woods behind Pop's house, and Mason was able to see 3 deer. Of course, he let it be known as soon as he saw them, and they took off running. Seth really hasn't been hunting the past few years. I'll bet he'll soon start spending more time in the woods since it seems we have a little hunter on our hands.

We celebrated Christmas Eve with the whole Connell family at Grandmother's house. All of our aunts, uncles, and cousins - a total of 31 this year - were there to enjoy BBQ and a lively White Elephant swap. We even had a visit from Santa Claus . . . or, as Carter (my 6 year old second cousin) so eloquently put it, "Awww, that's Scott" (my cousin). Grandmother was standing at the door awaiting his arrival, and Mason was standing with her. He actually thought he could convince her to take him outside. Anyway, Santa came up the steps, and Mason grabbed Grandmother around the legs and held on for dear life when he saw him! And then he started screaming. Grandmother picked him up and gave him to Daddy. I then tried to get him to sit with me beside Santa, but he would have none of that. He wanted to be as far away as possible from Santa. Hmmm . . . wonder if Santa will remember that next year when he passes Mason's house?

Bayham Family Christmas

We celebrated Christmas with the Bayham's on December 21. We enjoyed shrimp and crab gumbo and had a great time opening gifts. Mason's PawPaw and MawMaw gave him a rocking chair that's just his size. He also got a book bag with his name monogrammed on it, some puzzles, and a travel-size Magna Doodle. He can't wait to go shopping with the money he received.

Mason's cousin Avery got a couple of dance CDs so we put them on and watched Avery, Beau, and Abbie dance to the Y.M.C.A. Mason was not about to let his cousins show him up. He started dancing, too. I wish I could adequately describe how he was dancing, but I really can't. All I can say is that it reminded me of that crazy stuff Bill Cosby used to do during the opening credits of "The Cosby Show." When Mason realized he was the center of attention and that everyone was laughing at him, he just got even sillier. It was a lot of fun.

Santa Comes for a Visit

Knowing that we were going to Georgia for Christmas and knowing he was not bringing Mommy a Suburban to haul a bunch of toys, Santa visited Mason a few days early. Mason woke up from his nap (okay, so I dressed him in his Christmas PJs before I put him down for his nap so he would be wearing them in the pictures!) the Thursday before Christmas to find a lot of cool, new toys under the tree.

His "big" Santa present was a Little Tikes Swirlin Sawdust Tool Bench. Santa also brought Mr. Potato Head (51 pieces!!!) and some food (100 pieces!!!) for Mason's shopping cart. Mommy's favorite was T.M.X. Elmo . . . I think all of the adults have enjoyed him more than Mason has! I think Mason was a little scared of him at first. He wouldn't get too close and surely wouldn't tickle his tummy. But he is finally warming up to his furry red friend. Mason's favorite toys that day were the Lightening McQueen and Mater vehicles (for those of you who do not have little boys, those are the stars from the movie "Cars").

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Pajama Party

Mason had his first sleep over last night! We kept Mason's best friend Anna while her parents went to a Christmas party, and she spent the night. They had such a fun time! They even got to stay up late - 9:30 - and drink chocolate milk before bedtime.

Mason is wearing his Christmas pajamas that his Mimi sent him all the way from Georgia. They have a snowman on the front with a bunch of little snowmen on the pants, but you can't see them because Mason wouldn't let go of his favorite blanket for me to take the picture.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Stick It With the Fork

Mason is learning so many new things! He can now eat with a spoon and fork. He can even stick his own food with his fork and put it in his mouth without any help from us. Actually, that's not what I'm most proud of about this picture. He is sticking MACARONI AND CHEESE with his fork and eating it! So why is that such a big deal? He hasn't eaten mac 'n' cheese in over 6 months! When I put it on his plate tonight, I fully did not expect him to eat it. But he surprised me! Of course, I realize it doesn't mean he'll eat it again tomorrow or even next week, but for now I can at least say he eats mac 'n' cheese!

Mason loves animals. He can even say a lot of animal names now. But most times when I point to pictures of animals and ask him what they are, he tells me the sound they make instead of telling me what they are. My favorite is his pig snort . . . it's the best! Besides animals and his books, Mason also loves building things so his Mega Blocks are a favorite toy right now. He also loves cars and trucks. He rides his cars and trucks around and says, "Beep, beep!"

We are definitely looking forward to Christmas! We can't wait to see Mason's reaction to his big Santa present this year.

Monday, December 04, 2006

O Christmas Tree

We got our Christmas tree this past weekend. I wasn't sure how my rambunctious little one was going to react to the sight of white lights and colorful balls everywhere just waiting to be plucked off by little fingers. I know some Christmas trees are decorated only on the top half. And others grace the tops of tables instead of the floor.

I prepared Mason for the arrival of our tree last week by putting his tree in his room. It is decorated with fishing ornaments and blue and silver balls to match his room. It was there for several days before he even touched it. And then it was only because his friend Anna came over and enjoyed talking the balls off that he realized he could do it, too. My plan was that he would play with the tree in his room and not the big tree in the living room. So far this plan has worked. He loves looking at the lights, but he hasn't been interested in plucking anything off. Of course, the presents aren't under there yet either.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

More Wedding Pictures

I can hardly believe my "baby brother" got married! I guess I'll always remember playing cars in the dirt by the big rock in front of the barn. Funny . . . he never got around to playing Barbies with me!
Mason really was excited that his Uncle Rob got married!
We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family . . . wonderful parents . . . and now a wonderful Aunt Kristi in our family!
It was a big, beautiful wedding!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fall Festival

Mason had a great time at the Fall Festival at our church on Friday night! We had a special toddler area for the little ones, and he just played and played. He liked the slide, but his favorite part was holding on at the top like a monkey before actually sliding down! I could hardly keep him away from the duck pond. I had to keep my eye on him because I know he thought more than once about going head-first into the water. His Daddy helped him throw softballs at the "Krazy Cats." He was fascinated by the clown and her bubbles, but he didn't understand why they kept disappearing.

Uncle Rob and Aunt Kristi Get Married!

We had been waiting for this day for what seemed like forever . . . Uncle Rob and Aunt Kristi got married on October 14. It was a beautiful wedding on a beautiful day. Mason was very handsome in his brown courderoy longall and brown saddle oxfords. We sure did take lots of pictures that day. And by the time we had the chance to take Mason's picture with his new aunt, he wasn't too interested. For some reason, he didn't seem to like her big, beautiful white princess dress! But as soon as she changed clothes, she was his best friend again.

Sweater Vest

It's not often in Louisiana that a cute little boy has the opportunity to wear a cute little sweater vest. But Mason got to wear one the night of Uncle Rob and Aunt Kristi's rehearsal dinner in Georgia.

Several people have said that Mason looks like his Pop (my dad). I see so much of Seth and the Bayham features in him that I haven't really made that connection (althought I will say he has my big eyes). In this picture of Mason, his Daddy, and his Pop . . . you decide!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Mason Goes to the Fair

When we were in Georgia, Mason's Pop insisted on taking him to the Georgia National Fair. Boy, did he have a BIG time!

Mason enjoyed petting the rabbits. He had fun in the petting zoo, too. He got up close and personal with sheep, goats, donkeys, camels, yaks, deer, and several other animals.

Mason loves ducks! His first word (besides da-da) was duck, and he plays with his rubber duckies every night during bath time. So of course he had to play the "pick up ducks" game. He won a stuffed dolphin.

I wasn't sure whether or not Mason would actually ride a pony, but he did! And I think he really liked it. This pony's name was Maggie.

You can't go to the fair without riding the carousel! So before we went home, Pop took Mason for a ride. I think he liked the real pony better!

Mason Meets Caroline

Mason and I finally got to meet Caroline! She is as sweet and content as her Mommy says she is. At 5 1/2 weeks, she really couldn't play very much, but Mason enjoyed rocking her while she was in her infant carrier. We enjoyed our visit with Barbara and Caroline so much! We ate a picnic lunch in the park, and on the way home, Mason and Caroline both fell asleep.

Corn Maze

During our last trip to Georgia, we went to the Connell Farms Amazing Circles Corn Maze. Mason had a great time playing with his little cousins and enjoyed walking through the maze. Okay, so we didn't walk all the way through from beginning to end, but it was fun anyway!

Sunday, October 01, 2006


As a parent, I realize I am supposed to train, discipline, and teach my child. Some days I feel like he is teaching me much more than I am teaching him. The most important thing I have learned is that I don't know as much as I thought I knew! And just when I think I have it figured out, I need to think again! I have also learned to have much more grace and compassion for other parents and not be so quick to judge their parenting skills. For example, my personal experience has taught me that I should no longer assume that a parent is allowing their child to be a picky eater and that it is a high possibility that the parent has exhausted the advice of books, other moms, and the pediatrician in attempts to get their child to eat something besides yogert, string cheese, and fish sticks (Mason's personal favorites - most of the time or when he will actually eat).

If you haven't heard our story, you have probably just figured out that our Mason is a very selective eater and has quite a sensitive palette. That being said, I have learned that it is okay if he sits down to a meal and later gets up without having eaten anything. I have also learned that it is not necessary for me to buy Happy Meals, kids meals, or chicken nuggets. For now we can still go out to eat without the extra expense of a meal for Mason!

Another thing I have learned is that not all kids like macaroni and cheese. Last night we sat down to a meal of spaghetti. I put some spaghetti noodles in Mason's bowl and set the bowl on his high chair. I mostly did this "just for kicks." Mason has never eaten pasta noodles of any kind. I didn't expect him to eat them this time either, but I thought I'd try again anyway. His very first reaction was to take the bowl of noodles and dump them out on his head. I know I wasn't supposed to do this, but I laughed. And then I took a picture. It was only after that that I let him know he wasn't supposed to do that with his food.

He sat in his high chair and played with the noodles for awhile. He didn't put them on his head anymore, but he didn't throw them on the floor either (that's another thing we've been working on). And then he finally started eating them. I had not cut them up into bite-size pieces because I hadn't expected him to eat them to begin with, but he managed to figure it out anyway.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Mason's Curls

I can finally find something good to say about the extreme humidity we've had this summer and continue to experience . . . it brings out the best in Mason's curls! Most people are surprised when I tell them that my hair used to be this curly, too. I can't wait to see whether or not Mason's hair stays this curly as he grows older.
Mason has two new teeth on the bottom so now he has eight teeth. I must've forgotten what it was like the last time around (his other teeth came in when he was 6 months old, which was quite awhile back) . . . or maybe it's just worse this time. He has really had a hard time, and I have, too!

Mason loves to play outside. He likes to ride in his wagon, but he also likes to run through the neighbors' yards, too, so it usually ends up in a big game of chase. The worst thing right now (besides the humidity!) is the love bugs! I never knew what these horrible little creatures were until I moved here. They come out in swarms (literally!) in May and September. Mason likes to try to catch them and eat them! Yes, he's been successful more than once. Last weekend we took him swimming in the "big pool" at his PawPaw and MawMaw's house. He loved it! His favorite game these days is "What is that?" He points to anything and everything and asks, "At?," which means, "What is that?" He also tells me to "It it" all the time. That means, "Get it." And he still loves to read. I can not even imagine how many times a day I have to read "Does a Kangaroo Have A Mother, Too?" and "The Wheels on the Bus." I'm tempted to hide those books for awhile, but I think it might be a rather traumatic experience for him!

Mason has been invited to a birthday party for his little friend next door. The party is a cowboy theme, and they are going to have ponies for the children to ride. Now, I don't know about you, but as much as I'd love to have pony rides at one of Mason's birthday parties, I'm not going to have them in my yard (it's not like we live on a farm --- we live in a subdivision) . . . I mean, can you imagine?!? It was enough cleaning up when everyone left, much less cleaning up after horses!!! Anyway, I can't wait to see Mason's reaction to the ponies. He loves to "ride" on our backs so hopefully he'll be willing to ride a pony, too.

Today we went shopping and found the perfect outfit for Mason to wear to Uncle Rob's wedding. Now we just have to find some shoes to match. We are very excited about going to Georgia for the wedding. Mason will also get to meet his new friend, Caroline, too.

Tomorrow we have been invited to a friend's house to watch the LSU/Auburn game. I thought about wearing my Georgia shirt . . .

Monday, August 21, 2006

Play Date

Mason and Anna are best friends! Anna is not quite a month older than Mason. We go to church with Anna's family, and since Anna's mom is a stay-at-home mom (I actually prefer the title Domestic Engineer!) too, we go shopping together and have play dates every week. Last week Anna spent the day with us. It was such a joy watching them play together. It reminds me of the show tune . . . "anything you can do, I can do better; I can do anything better than you." They show off for each other and try to out do one another. My favorite thing is when they play the piano together. Mason will stand at one end and Anna at the other, and they bang away. It actually doesn't sound too bad.

Mason got some new shoes today. I was really hoping to wait until fall to get him some new shoes, but he is growing so fast that I had to get him some to get him through the remainder of the summer (which will be until December in LA!). He wears a size 6! I couldn't believe it. He skipped size 5 altogether. I just can not believe how quickly he is growing . . . and growing up!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Book Worm

The other day, Mason's Mimi asked me what Mason's favorite toys are these days. He loves stealing the balls from his busy ball popper and thinks it's the neatest thing that he can ride his car all around the house without any help from Daddy or Mommy . . . but his favorite toys are actually not toys at all. Mason loves books! His books are the first things he looks for every morning after breakfast. By the end of the day, all of his books are off of his bookshelf and on the floor, leaving Mommy with quite a lot to pick up.

Mason will come running to us, book in hand, and expect us to stop whatever we are doing and read to him. Of course, he has to be the one to turn the pages! I sit on the floor a lot (those of you with small children understand why!), and my favorite thing is when he comes to me with a book in his hand and plops down in my lap. He doesn't sit still much these days, but he'll stay in my lap for nearly 15 minutes uninterrupted if we're reading a book. And then he gets up only to go get another one!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Mason's Second Birthday Party

We celebrated Mason's 1st birthday again on Saturday! The theme, food, and decorations were the same as his GA party. But I decided that I will never again have a birthday party outside in LA in July . . . it was HOT HOT HOT!!! But we had a good time none-the-less. As you can see, Mason enjoyed his birthday cake yet again. Mason's cousin Abbie and friend Braylon enjoyed swimming in his pool with him.