Saturday, December 25, 2010

A New Christmas Eve Tradition

This year we decided to have a gingerbread house decorating contest for Christmas Eve. I decided to be Betty Crocker and make all the gingerbread and the frosting...for seven people (just in case we broke one set) and we used what items we had around the house. Now we would like to leave it up to you to decide which you like the best...add a comment and tell me which you think is the best and they will be the winner. Oh, Joe and Kevin broke theirs. I guess they don't have gentle hands. So all that is left is mine, Gina, Andrea, and Diane's gingerbread houses. I won't tell you which is which, since I don't want you to know who made them...just pick your favorite house!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jack is 3 Months Old

Of course another month has gone by and I wonder if I have taken enough pictures of Jack. Some people are so good at documenting each month with a special onesie that says the week or month, but I'm just content to be like my mother and take pictures. I figure after the first year I'm going to put everything together in a scrapbook! We are just excited to celebrate his first Christmas and spend time with family members in New York.
Nicknames: Peanut, Little Man, Pumpkin

Temperament: He has always been an easy baby, but he continues to bring out his personality more each day. I have noticed that he doesn't really cry very much, he is more of a whiner. You know he is fed up when it really turns into a loud cry. He is also very vocal. Lots of coos and sounds. I think he has just discovered his voice so many times he will repeat noises or just get louder and louder. From an early age people always said that Jack was observant and he continues to take in his surroundings. He loves to look at the trees on hikes and not only does he smile at everyone, but he looks them straight in the eye. He has also fallen into a very nice routine with two morning naps and two afternoon naps. He is usually ready for bedtime around 7:30 and wakes up once at 12:30 for a meal. He is eating at five different times about 5.5 ounces each time.

Items/Toys That We Love The Most: Well, I have fallen in love with his baby swing. It was a bit too fast when he was younger, but now that he weighs more I think it has slowed the rocking down a bit. Many morning and afternoon naps are taken in the swing, which allows me to get a lot done! I think Jack has found his hands to be the best toys right now. He can put them in his mouth for a longer period of time so I often see him sucking on his fingers. The hairdryer has also proved to be useful for tummy time. I will lay Jack on his stomach on the boppy pillow on the bed, then I dry my hair. It gives him at least ten minutes or so without any crying as he is fascinated by the hair dryer. I continue to love our Ergo baby carrier which allows us to take Jack on walks throughout this cold winter!

First Experiences: Jack is making different noises, you can see it if you watch the video attached to this post. He also started grabbing at toys, mostly just swatting at them, but occasionally he gets them in his hands and he will hold on for dear life. He also seems to really be able to identify me as his mom, because he will kick and wave his arms like crazy when I am around or during diaper changes. He started to giggle too. All though it is more of a laugh than a giggle.

Jack has not rolled yet, but I figure it will happen soon. I had my first moment of thinking that I wished I could have some freedom. Eight hours of sleep would be really nice too. Becoming a stay at home mom has definitely been a big change, but I really love it. The moments of freedom and a need for a break do not last very long. I only need to see Jack smiling at me and I just melt. Plus, I have found that I can get much more down when I don't have to go to work everyday...the house is cleaner, dinners are better, and occasionally I even get to do some crafts!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Yesterday Was A Great Day

I felt like yesterday was a really productive and wonderfully relaxing day. I was able to work on a few Christmas presents...I'm trying to make a few of them (to save some money), we took a family hike on the endless trail, followed by a yummy dinner, and a happy baby who enjoyed his bath and went straight to bed. It was a cold day, but I loved seeing snowflakes fall from the sky all day (even if it did not really stick). It just gave me that much more Christmas spirit. We brought the camera along for our hike.
Right now we are dog sitting for my parents so it has been fun to see Bodhi play with his girlfriend, Roxey. And of course, they loved the hike as well.
I actually took a lot of pictures yesterday too, because I wanted to capture his cute outfits. Two of Jack's aunts bought the same Christmas outfit from Target. I think it is adorable. Of course, Joe thinks I'm dressing him up too much, but I love it. Especially his leg warmers!
Then this morning I actually put him in his first Yankees onesie. I know that will make his other aunt happy!
My favorite picture of them all would have to be when Joe decided to read Rock and Ice magazine to Jack for his bedtime reading. The great thing is that Jack loved it...he was just staring at Joe with the most interest. I just know daddy is going to be his favorite!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Jack is two months!

The second month has gone by quickly and fairly smoothly. We are beginning to see Jack's personality and it makes me very happy. I love being a mom and feel very blessed right now.

Nicknames: Little Man, Peanut, Wiggly Worm,Bean

Weight: 12 lb. 02 oz.

Temperament: He is a great baby. For the most part he only cries when he needs something: food, sleep, a diaper change. He has also started to talk to us with lots of coos, which has been really fun and he is a great smiler!

Items/Toys that We love the most: I decided to buy an activity center, which has been a favorite spot for Jack to play. He will lay there for up to a half an hour and just look up at the toys. I can tell when he is happy because he will coo at the toys, and when he is done it sounds like an angry coo!
First Experiences: Jack started sleeping a little longer through the night. Now we will feed him around 8pm and then he does not wake up again until 2 am. After a quick feeding he is back to bed again. Unfortunately I cannot seem to kick him of the habit of waking up at 4am. He is not hungry, but just wants his pacifier or to get into our bed in the morning. Then he will sleep for at least another hour or two. I don't know how this habit got started, but it never fails to happen every day! He also started smiling. I was the first to see them, as he likes to do it when I am changing his diaper. It must be because he is looking right up at me and I noticed that he was studying my face. He gave his dad a smile on Joe's birthday, which of course made Joe very happy. Now we see smiles everyday whenever he is awake.

Jack also started to coo. I am trying to get him to make a high pitched coo, but I only hear those occasionally. I have a feeling he will be giggling by the three month mark. He has also experienced his first cold. Both Jack and I have gotten sick this week. It is just a little cold, but I was so worried about Jack sleeping through the night. We survived though!
Oh, he also went climbing with mom and dad three times! Although I was constantly worried about Jack crying while we were climbing, but mostly he just loved being outdoors. He would lay down looking up at the trees and just quietly observe. He also took two road trips...once to his great grandparents house and then also up to Northern Virginia for Thanksgiving.

Honestly, we have the best little baby. I cannot complain. I am learning to be a good parent and just feel very blessed to have him in my life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hunting Season

A few days ago, I was taking a hike on the town trails when I heard a gun shot...yep, just a reminder that it was hunting season. Don't worry I did not go too far into the woods, but I figured this reminder was a great excuse to dress Jack up! Now he is ready to be a true West Virginian and go hunting!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Our House - 1 Year Later

We have done a lot of work on the house in the last year of living here, so I thought I would show the before and afters of the rooms we have worked on so far.

1st Project - The Upstairs Bathroom

Upstairs Bathroom After
The Baby's Room/Guest Bedroom - Before
This room was is good shape, since the previous owner had already renovated the bedrooms, so mostly it needed new paint and the fine touches to make it into a nursery. I'm still sort of not finished with this room though, because I have some pictures to frame and hang up, plus I need to complete the slipcover for the chair. Let's be honest though, a baby takes up your time so I will get to it when I get to it.

Baby Room/Guest Room - After

Our Bedroom - Before
This room was also in good shape, but we changed the paint color, added doors to the top of our closets, brought in a sophisticated fan, and curtains.

Our Bedroom - After

Upstairs Hallway - Before
You might not be able to tell, but we had to re-level the floors. That was a big project for Joe and he did a fantastic job.

Upstairs Hallway - After
Downstairs Hallway - Before

Downstairs Hallway - After

Dining Room - Before

Dining Room - After

The eyesore in the middle of all this would be our stairs. At first we were going to replace them, but for cost reasons, it is far better for us to just repaint them. So that will be a project that we complete in the spring. Right now we are adjusting to parenting, so other than the little project here and there to finish up the hallway work, we are not doing any renovations. But we have done a great job for just one year though, don't you think?

The upstairs is complete (except the thresholds which we need to install) although I'm sure we will add a few more accessories or pieces of furniture. Now it will be work to get the rest of the downstairs finished...especially our kitchen, which just might be the worst room in our entire house. I love this old house, and I'm happy with our improvements...and besides the bathroom reno, everything else was done while I was pregnant! Okay, I admit, Joe did most of the work with help with my family (but I'm a painting machine....that is definitely my specialty).

Oh, I should also mention that Joe had a major surgery on his wrist after falling 30 feet in a climbing accident. To keep himself busy when he could not climb (and honestly when he could barely move his fingers and wrist) he built our dining room table, a book shelf, and a coffee table. We also planted a garden, added a screen to our front door, put a vapor barrier underneath the house, and fixed the sub pump!

And here is one picture of our Little Man that I took while I was roaming from room to room taking the after pictures (we have family come for a visit, so I knew it was time to take pictures since I finally had a clean house).

Monday, November 1, 2010


We did a low key Halloween this year...we went climbing, had only one set of trick or treaters and dressed up Jack for pictures. We wanted to go out to a friends party but Jack started to really cry (it was bed time) so we stayed in!

Update in February

One might think that having several snow days would give me the time to write in my blog, but I have been spending a lot of time working on ...