Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Uptons!

A little Christmas song for your enjoyment--Merry Christmas from our family to you!
video

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My baby's blue eyes

These days Miller is too busy crawling to let us get too many pictures of him. Usually he is trying to crawl to us, wanting to get the camera from us and put it in his mouth. Really, have you seen him lately? I don't think he needs to eat our camera. Looks to me like he is getting plenty to eat.

Here he is trying to eat Maxwell's jingle bells. I am glad Maxwell was out with daddy during this photo shoot!

We have spent two weeks trying to get a picture of both boys together for our Christmas card, but since our camera is somewhat slow, we haven't captured anything, but today, I got him. Nothing Christmas card worthy, but look at those baby blues! And those lashes...I am so jealous!

This last picture I actually got as he was trying to crawl up my lap to get the camera. Little stinker...cute, but a stinker nonetheless.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Squishy Eyes

Today I sent Maxwell outside to play because he needed to burn off some energy and was driving me crazy inside. After being outside for barely 5 minutes, he came to the door and said, "Mommy, I have to come inside" to which I asked, "Why?"

With all seriousness, he looked at me, pointed to his squinted eyes and said, "The sun's so bright it's making my eyes squishy." I tried to find his sunglasses to keep him outside, but couldn't find them. Within a few minutes of me starting to feed Miller, he was back inside with his shoes off. Blasted squishy eyes!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ummm, George, It's Snowing Outside

For those of you who live in the Bryan/College Station area, you are probably tired of hearing about the surprise weather we had today, but for those of you who don't live here, read on!

This morning we woke up and Maria said, "It's cold in here". For whatever reason, that made me think to look out the window and much to my surprise, we had snow/sleet on the ground. We quickly got Maxwell bundled up, I threw on jeans and a jacket, and we ran outside to play in the light dusting of snow we received in the early morning hours. Maxwell loved throwing snowballs and even said, "Daddy, I'm throwing snowballs like Curious George!" and "Now I want to go sledding like Curious George". I told him we couldn't go sledding because there wasn't enough snow and we don't have a sled. Here is a picture of our early morning fun that we thought was over when everything melted. Then about 3 PM, Maria woke Maxwell up from his nap because it was snowing (enough to see that it was snowing) and that began our 5 hour playday in the snow! Since snow is such a rarity around here, I even came home early from work so we could all play together. Rae Rae also came over (she finished finals today AND it was her 21st birthday) and played with Maxwell in the backyard. While we were playing, the flakes just kept getting bigger and bigger, and the snow actually started accumulating on the ground. We ate dinner, went for a drive to see Christmas lights in the snow, and then came home to build Maxwell's first snowman. Our friends Sherman and Rachel Watters also stopped by and Sherman helped Maxwell and me build the snowman and a baby snowman to go with it. The slideshow below gives a snapshot of the 5 hours of fun in the snow!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Maxwell is "Straight Arrow"

In the post titled "School Days at the Renaissance Festival" from earlier this week, I mentioned that I would come back to a story about Maxwell's first foray into archery. The reason I waited is because today was Maxwell's Thanksgiving Feast at Kingdom Kids (his preschool at our church--he is in the Sunbeams class). In learning about the Pilgrims and Native Americans, each student was given a new name and Maxwell's is "Straight Arrow".

Now back to the Renaissance Festival--when his buddy Aiden's daddy (Mr. Riley) was helping him learn how to shoot an arrow, Maxwell did pretty well at hitting the target. He did so well that on about the 4th or 5th time he shot the bow and arrow, he shot an arrow right into the heart of the dragon (see the picture below--you have to zoom in, the black spot in the middle of the dragon's heart closest to him is the arrow)!
When Mrs. Pam gave Maxwell the name "Straight Arrow" she had no idea that he had done this, so when he told us his new name we thought that was pretty amazing. Straight Arrow indeed--may Maxwell be used for God's glory as a straight arrow for his name and renown!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hey! He took my my kettle corn!

So I promised a funny story from the Texas Renaissance Festival and here it is:

Our friends, the Migliaccio family, owns the kettle corn business at the Renaissance Festival so one of the first things we did when we got there was to find their booth and get some kettle corn. We enjoyed some of it after lunch and went to ride the elephant (see the picture below):

After we were done with our elephant ride, we walked over to tell Mommy about the elephant's rough and hairy skin (who knew an elephant was so hairy!) and as we were talking about it, the elephants came back by and stuck out their trunks for everyone to pet. When one of the elephants got to us, he apparently smelled Maxwell's kettle corn on top of Miller's stroller, reached out for it, picked it up, and put the entire bag into his mouth (yes, plastic bag, twisty tie, and kettle corn)! It all happened so fast that we didn't even have time to react (in retrospect, Maria said she was worried about the elephant reaching out to Miller and trying to "get him", but in the moment, we didn't know what to do). Maxwell immediately burst into tears and everyone around us thought it was because he was scared. In reality, it was because the elephant took his kettle corn--needless to say, the Migliaccios graciously replaced his stolen kettle corn. So the lesson here is to guard your kettle corn if you find yourself close to an elephant!

School Days at the Texas Renaissance Festival

At the end of October, the Texas Renaissance Festival hosts "School Days" for two days in the middle of the week. The cost for tickets and some of the activities is supposedly reduced and the really raunchy "stuff" is closed on these days. We decided that it would be a good idea to take Maxwell this year so all four of us loaded up and headed to Plantersville, Texas for the day.

We were supposed to meet a few other families who were there for the day, but we only saw one family, the Rileys, who inspired Maxwell to try his hand at archery (more on this when we post about his Thanksgiving Feast at school later this week...I promise you'll be able to see the connection then!). Here are a few pictures from the day:









Maxwell and Daddy getting ready to ride the spinning top










Maxwell and Mommy on the giant swing!













Maxwell on the bungee cord jumper - yes, he is that high!

We had a fun day, but we think once is enough for us! I have another funny story to tell about our day, but I'll save that for tomorrow. Oh, and Miller was an absolute trooper throughout the day--he only cried once, and that was right before he was supposed to eat.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our answered prayer...a new car!

Many of you have been praying for us over the past month or so as we have been looking for a 2nd vehicle (after 9 years of being a one car family, the time had come!). We have looked at more vehicles than anyone would ever want to and we've made 3 trips to Dallas to check out different ones--each time thinking we would buy that one. Now, as Paul Harvey would say, here is, "the rest of the story":

We looked at a car about 4 weeks ago, had a mechanic check it out (he gave us the "all clear"), and were ready to buy it. When we went back to the dealership to try to agree on a price, instead of countering my offer, they actually told us that they would have to increase the price because of the two minor repairs that we were requesting them to make (fix the passenger side door power lock and fix one of the back windows so it would open like it was supposed to, totaling about $320). Needless to say, I walked away. After 3 more weeks, they had lowered the price below what we originally offered so we called them back and made them a lower offer. Again, they chose not to counter...so we waited for another week. Then on Friday of last week, I saw that they had lowered the price another $500 so, at Maria's encouragement, I called on Saturday and offered the same price I had a week ago. The sales manager told me he would have to check on it and get back with me. In less than 10 minutes, he had called back saying they would sell it for that price, but that he wouldn't hold the vehicle for me (in other words, if someone came along before I could get there to pick it up and offered a higher price, he was going to sell it to them). He would hold it for the day when we told him we were coming to purchase the car though so we made arrangements at my work, called my parents to ask if they could come stay with the boys on Monday while we drove to Dallas, and we called the dealership to tell them to hold it until Monday (they are closed on Sundays).

So yesterday at about 1 PM, Maria and I left the Sewell Hummer dealership in Dallas with our new car (see below--no, it isn't the white Hummer in the background, it is the Honda Odyssey in the front--the Hummer was a mere $70,000 so we chose the Honda instead!).

Thank you to everyone who prayed...and sorry it has been so long since I posted.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Maxwell's dreams

Tonight on the way home from Kindermusik, we had an interesting conversation with Maxwell. I'll do my best to provide the "transcript" below.
Maxwell: "Daddy, sometimes when I sleep, I have dreams."
Daddy: "Really, what do you dream about?"
Maxwell: "About taking a bath in an elevator."
Daddy: "Oh...and what happens to the water when the elevator doors open?"
Maxwell: "The water goes down the drain."
Daddy: "You mean, it just runs out the door of the elevator?"
Maxwell: "Yeah...but when the door closes it fills back up with really warm water that makes you feel good."
Mommy: "But no one sees you when you are taking a bath do they?"
Maxwell: "No...well sometimes people do."

...and that was the end of the conversation! I am constantly amazed at how a child's mind works. We still have no idea what sparked the thought about dreams in his mind or why he brought it up, but he did! Now, we are praying that he continues to feel like he can tell us anything (well, almost anything) that pops into his mind.

Friday, September 5, 2008

10 WONDERFUL years!

Ten years ago today, I had the privilege of marrying Maria LeAnn Summers, and I must say that I am a blessed man. She is the love of my life, my best friend, my confidant, my encourager, the mother of my BEAUTIFUL children, and more than I could have ever dreamed to have as my wife. I know the words may seem overused in some situations, but they sum up exactly how I feel...GOD IS SO GOOD!

In our ten years, we've lived in two towns (Houston and College Station), we've experienced good jobs and bad jobs, a lay-off and 9 months of unemployment for me (I promise I am employable and have since held a job for 8 years straight!), infertility, much laughter, many tears; we've been blessed with two beautiful boys, Maxwell and Miller, and we have some really wonderful memories together.

While this post is mainly about honoring my beautiful bride, I would be remiss if I did not also thank our families for the heritage of lasting marriages they have passed on to us. My paternal grandparents have been married for 69 years, my parents just celebrated 42 years of marriage (on September 3--happy anniversary mom & dad!), and Maria's parents have been married for 45 years. We look forward to many more years together and to passing along this amazing heritage to our children!

Happy Anniversary Precious! I love you,

Matt

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer Fun



One of the presents Maxwell received for his birthday is this great beach ball sprinkler. While he enjoys playing with the sprinkler the way it was intended, from the very first time he used it he realized he could also disconnect the water hose from it and have fun with just the hose. Almost every day now I (Maria) hear, "Mommy can I go outside and play with the water hose?" Who knew that a beach ball sprinkler and water hose could provide so much fun?!

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a breakthrough moment...this is Maria's first official blogger post on our family blog. Please congratulate her. --Matt

Monday, June 2, 2008

Miller at 3 months

It is hard to believe that Miller is already 3 months old. Yes, he is sleeping through the night (from about 9 or 9:30 PM until 7 or 7:30 AM) and yes, we are starting to feel human again. We have already started to notice personality differences between he and Maxwell and it is fun to see him grow into the little man God created him to be. Miller adores his big brother Maxwell and will follow him across a room or across the backyard while Maxwell runs around.

He also has quite a smile and will talk to us and even giggle a little if the mood strikes him (case in point about personality differences--at this point, Maxwell would giggle uncontrollably at some of the silly things we would do; Miller just giggles once or twice and stops). He is an absolute joy to have in our family and we love having him in our lives!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Explain This!

The picture below gives you a glimpse into the world we live...if only you could see Maxwell's depiction of what it would look like if he were to actually pump. No need to worry though--we've told him that boys don't produce milk and thus he has no need to pump. He has assured us that he is "just pretending"--oh the imagination of a 4 year old!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Maxwell's Latest Performance

Maxwell came home from school the other day singing two new songs. When I picked him up from school on Thursday he started singing one about Peter Rabbit who had a fly on his ear, flicked it off, and it flew away. The song was cute and made even cuter by the hand motions. After I dropped him off at the house and went back to work, he then debuted another new song for Maria. Thankfully, he was willing to present an encore so I could see and hear it (and capture it on video tape). We hope you enjoy!

video

NOTE: The word "ungrella" is his way of saying "umbrella". We think it is so cute that we have actually considered using his version instead of the "real" word just so he'll keep saying it! Are there any things you wish your kids still did or would continue doing because they are so cute?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Moms


Today is a very special day because it is a day we specifically set aside to honor moms. With the birth of Miller this year, I have had a number of reminders about why moms, and specifically the mother of my two boys, are so important! With both of our boys, I have seen my wife selflessly give up her own comfort and sacrifice for them both. From not giving up on breastfeeding even when it was painful or took longer than she wanted (with both of them!), to giving up dairy and eggs (have you ever stopped to think of how many food items have those two products in them?), my precious Maria has chosen to serve our family by giving them the very best. I am honored to be her husband and to raise our boys with her by my side. I can't imagine life without her. We love you Maria/Mommy and are honored to bless you today (and thanks to our friend Patrick, who took this great picture today).

Our hearts also go out to all the moms in the world who can't hold their babies today because they are already with the Lord or haven't been sent from the Lord yet (we pray in faith that the heart's desire of these women, to hold their child will soon be fulfilled). You see, for us Mother's Day was a very hard day until we had Maxwell and I can remember one particular year that this day was almost more than we could take. After 2 years of trying to conceive a child, it just didn't seem like it was going to happen. The tears fell hard that year.

So even now, with two children of our own, we often think of all the moms who are hurting today...because no matter how hard you try, when you want to have children and you haven't been able to your family just feels incomplete. So if you know someone for whom Mother's Day is not a blessing because of their unfulfilled longing for children, say a prayer that their heart's desire would soon be fulfilled.

Finally, a special shout-out to my mom, Rita, and Maria's mom, Minnie. Neither one of us would be who we are today without your prayers and love. Thanks for being such great moms!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Maxwell!

NOTE: I originally started this on his actual birthday, May 4 (sorry it was posted late).










Four years ago today, Maxwell was born at 5:52 PM. He weighed 8 lbs 14 oz and was 21 inches long. He was helpless and we were to help him grow and thrive. We have had our fair share of feeling helpless as we have tried to do just that.

Today we had a special day doing almost everything Maxwell wanted to do (you still have to maintain boundaries, right?!). We had waffles for breakfast, Freebirds for lunch, cake after his nap, and time outside with his new birthday presents (most of them were outdoor toys). All in all we had a great day...but that isn't the most important part. We want to share some things that we love about Maxwell--a blessing so to speak.

  • We love how loving Maxwell is--he will often spontaneously come to us and say, "I love you daddy" or "I love you mommy". He apparently does the same thing with his teacher, Mrs. Lisa.

  • We love listening to him sing and watching/listening to him listen to music. From Watermark/Mrs. Christy to Kindermusik, he is really developing quite an ear for music.

  • We love watching him with his baby brother. He really does love Miller and is very sweet to him (we are enjoying it now since Miller can't take toys away from him).

  • We love that he loves, yes, I mean loves, his friends. Not a day goes by that he doesn't ask to play with a friend or have a friend come over. Having a brother is going to be great for him as Miller grows up.

  • We love his laugh...I mean, when he really gets to laughing, I can't help myself. We also love that he wants so desperately to make others laugh (unfortunately, as a boy, he thinks that sometimes involves words like poop and toot).

  • We love that he wants to please people (us, his teachers, his friends)--for now, we see this as a good thing! Our prayer is that this will translate in his life into wanting to please the Lord...and not worry about pleasing man.

  • I (Matt) love that he asks me almost every day, "Do you have to go to work today, daddy?"

  • We love how passionate he is about everything and how he wants to share it with everyone. Give the boy a new toy/CD/radio/etc. and he wants to take it everywhere with us and show anyone who will listen (and often many who don't listen because they don't know he is talking to them).

  • We love how kind he is...when a friend is sick, he wants to pray for them; when he sees one of us crying, he wants to know why; when Miller is crying, he tries to make him feel better by turning on music or making sure Maria knows that he is probably hungry.
After 2 1/2 years of trying and 10 months of pregnancy, we look back on that almost 3 1/2 years of waiting for him and realize it was well worth the wait. If we had conceived at any other time, we wouldn't have our precious Maxwell. Thank you Lord for choosing us to shepherd his heart for you and your glory.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Maroon and White game

Maxwell is finally at the age where we feel like he can go to Aggie sporting events and allow all of us to enjoy them. The only problem is that the events can be so expensive...but not the Maroon and White game! Each year at the end of spring practices, the Texas A&M football team hosts a scrimmage that is open to the fans--children through college age are free and adults are only $5 (compared to the $50 tickets you have to purchase for EACH PERSON, including infants, for a real game). Here is Maxwell decked out in his football jersey (thanks to Dr. Gail Weatherly) on his way to the game.

Some friends of ours, the Rileys, were smart and combined a birthday party for their youngest son, Cal, with the festivities leading up to the game. Needless to say, Maxwell had even more fun at the game because he got to play with his buddy Aiden (the Rileys oldest son). Here are the two of them at the game.









At "halftime", we even got to see the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band perform an entire routine. We had a great time and hopefully next year all four of us will be able to go (Maria stayed home with Miller). I have a feeling this will become an annual tradition in the Upton home since Maxwell talks about the game every time we pass Kyle Field followed by the question, "when are we going to go to the football game again, daddy?"

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Miller Update

Miller is really starting to wake up from what I think of as the "newborn sleepies". He is smiling at us, listening to our voices and then following with his eyes, babbling, and even starting to attempt a laugh.


It really is a fun time and Maxwell continues to be so sweet to him. Each morning he tells Miller "good morning brother" and gives him a kiss. Then at night he tells him goodnight and says "Ooo-py" and attempts to hug him goodnight. Here are a couple of pictures of Miller. If you think your screen tint is off a bit and that his lips look blue in the picture with Maria, don't try to adjust the color. We had to treat him with gentian violet for thursh a couple of weeks ago so his mouth was blue for a week.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pearly Whites

Maxwell had his first dentist appointment at the end of March and, as you can tell from the picture below, he had no problems opening wide for his first visit to the dentist.

After just a little bit of trepidation, Maxwell really did a great job with his cleaning and check-up. The first picture (on the left) is Maxwell with our dental hygienist, Ms. Alyssa and he really liked Mr. Thirsty (the instrument they use to suck up all the "stuff" in your mouth from the cleaning).
Finally, the picture on the right is him with Dr. Kaiser. They are all smiles because everything looked good and he has all of the teeth he is supposed to have! We do have to floss his teeth, which isn't always the easiest with an "almost" 4 year old, because he is like his mom and has teeth that a really close together.

NOTE: We've had a lot going on lately so I hope to take the next few days to try to catch up on our blogging.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Four weeks or one month?

Okay, so I have to admit that the whole "age" thing for babies doesn't always make sense to me. When people ask me how old Miller is, I tell them he is four weeks old tomorrow, but in most people's mind, isn't that the same as being one month old? From what I understand though, you can respond with either the "weeks" age or the "months" age...or even a combination. If I'm wrong, would someone (likely a woman because I doubt any man has even thought about this) please tell me by leaving a comment?

Regardless, Miller has hit a milestone--he is four weeks old tomorrow and will officially be one month old on April 3 (also my dad's birthday--happy birthday dad/grandad!). When we had Maxwell, a very dear friend told us that the only advice he had was to survive the first 6-8 weeks. Such wonderful advice and that means that we are either 2/3 or 1/2 of the way there! Yippee!



Maria took these pictures last week and I thought many of you (or at least the 3 of you who read this) would like to see the latest. Have a great week!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter from the Uptons!

As we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, we leave you with this message from Maxwell about the King of Kings. Happy Easter from the four of us!


video

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maxwell-isms

Just a few things our oldest son has said lately...

To Maria and Rae Rae (our dear friend and babysitter Rachel) while playing outside:
"When Miller gets bigger I'm going to teach him how to drink out of a big boy cup...(long pause) and spit."

To us while talking about praying and about how Jesus prayed to God in the garden of Gethsemane:
"You can pray to Jesus or God, it doesn't matter which one."

(I'm taking the liberty to tell on myself as a father and a man). To me while giving him a bath one night:
Maxwell: "Daddy, what do you say when you have a stinky toot?"
Daddy: "Excuse me."
Maxwell: "Daddy, when you toot, it's like a nightmare."

To Maria after giving Miller a kiss right after he was done nursing:
"Mommy, when I give Miller a kiss on the lips, he thinks it's 'milky' time."

To both of us while we were driving home from dinner and Miller was crying:
"Look daddy! When I hold Miller's hand, he stops crying." (and Miller really did stop crying as long as Maxwell was holding his hand)

To Miller:
"I love you Miller" and then to us, "I wish he could say 'I love you' back to me".

To Papa (Maria's dad) while taking a nap on the couch:
"Papa, quit your honking!"

Although we know it will be full of challenges (it already is!), we also know that having 2 boys is going to be a lot of fun! Have a great day and be sure to check back for our Easter message.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Maxwell's Music Video Premieres

Today we are posting not one, but TWO Maxwell music video premieres. Here he is singing "Light of the World" and "Be Blessed" (his title, the real title is "Knees to the Earth"). Both songs are by his favorite singer, Mrs. Christy Nockels of Watermark (a duo made up of her and her husband, Nathan).
video video
Many of you know that Christy (I say that as though we know her personally--we don't) is one of our favorite singers,too, so you might be interested to know that according to her myspace page, she is currently recording an album that will hopefully come out this spring. If you aren't familiar with her music, go here to hear a sample or simply ask us--we'll gladly let you borrow a CD or two (we have them all including their original work as Sons and Daughters with Charlie Hall).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Welcome Baby Miller!

On Monday, March 3 (his actual due date) at 3:48 PM we welcomed Miller Isaac Upton into the world. He was 9 lbs. 2 oz. and was 21 1/2 inches long...and Maria delivered him completely naturally (when your wife delivers a 9 lb. baby with no drugs, that is worth bragging about!). Mommy and baby did beautifully and we had no complications (praise the Lord).

We came home on Tuesday evening and then were back in the hospital with jaundice from Thursday until Saturday morning. Unfortunately that makes us 0 for 2 in having a single hospital stay when our children are born (Maria had a serious infection after Maxwell was born and was back in the hospital for a week followed by 10 days of outpatient IV antibiotics). That was the only downside...and hopefully on our third one (Lord willing we have a third child) we'll make it in and out of the hospital with no return visits!

Maxwell adores his little brother, showers him with kisses, and tells him, "Miller, I love you!" After telling Miller he loved him several times, Maxwell finally looked at us and said, "I wish he could say he loved me back." So sweet! We'll obviously have more about our two boys so stay tuned!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Reminiscing--how cute is this?!

As we continue to get ready for Miller's arrival (hopefully sooner rather than later for Maria's sake), Maria came across this video of Maxwell when he was 2.

video

Oh my goodness--Maxwell has changed so much and speaks so differently now, but he is so cute here. Two of my favorite parts are "Optober" and "wu-dee" for "Love you!" I know everyone says children grow up so quickly, but you never realize how true that is until you have one of your own!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Where to begin?

It has been so long since I've updated our blog, and I'm not sure what blog etiquette is. Do I try to go back and add posts about all of our December and January activities or do I just act as though those never happened (at least for the blog) and pick up with the here and now? If you have any thoughts about this, feel free to leave a comment and maybe I'll take your advice!

For now, I'll start with something we did tonight. I've been on what I'll call a "retro candy" kick. On Sunday we bought some Pop Rocks and let Maxwell try that. Then later this week I had a sudden craving for Fun Dip and my dear wife found some at the grocery store (they put everything in individual packets to give away as Valentine's cards these days). So tonight, we let Maxwell try some after dinner. Did he enjoy it? I think the pictures explain it all.