Thursday, August 25, 2011

My World Comes Full Circle

Don't you love when you have one of those moments when you are reminded of the past? Well, I had one those crazy moments where I ran into someone from my travels overseas in the most random way and it pulled me back into those days of exploring. Oh, i miss those days and I am itching for the opportunity to work overseas again (in about seven years!).

This past Monday I arranged to go climbing with a few friends from town. I haven't been able to go regularly since Jack has been born. However, there was going to be a very good size group and three of us were pregnant, which meant they were at least baby friendly! So after Joe got off work we headed to our friend's house to meet up with everyone. We started with introductions, since there were two couples we did not know and then we hatched plans for where we would go for the evening. During introductions we were introduced to a man named Matt, who has an Australian accent. He mentioned that they were building a house in Summersville (just a few towns over) but they own a hostel in Switzerland. I didn't think much of it, until we were riding in our car headed to the climbing area. I told my husband that I thought Matt looked so familiar and I wondered if that was because I stayed in a hostel in Switzerland. It was actually the first place I had ever rock climbed! I have even told Joe about this place and how beautiful it is and one day I wanted to go there with him.
So when we arrived at the climbing area, I had to ask him. I couldn't remember the name of the hostel, the town, but I definitely remembered all my memories from the trip. So I asked Matt how long he had lived there, since it was in 2003 that I took that trip with an ex-boyfriend. Sure enough, his wife said the name of the town, Gryon and I knew it exactly and couldn't believe he was the guy who first taught me how to climb at the Chalet Martin Hostel. Almost ten years later and I was going to be taking him out to an area where I live and love. Now feel like there is so much more incentive to make another trip to their hostel. I look forward to that day.

Before I end this post, I must tell you about some of the amazing things I was able to do there. Maybe you will want to experience it for yourself. While we were there took an amazing hike to a cross on top of a mountain. It started out with sunshine, a storm hit, and then sunshine when we reached the top. We ate our lunch in a ski lean-to although and gazed out at the wildflowers on the mountain. It was amazingly beautiful. I wish I could show you those pictures, but that was before digital cameras and I really don't look through that scrapbook much since it involves an ex-boyfriend. We also managed to swim in freezing cold glacier water, under a damn! Eat delicious steaks, which were cut by the local butcher and then he marinated it with his own stuff, and we grilled it out on their deck overlooking the snow-capped mountains. We spent a day climbing a local crag, followed by a trip to the thermal pools (a spa resort). And it was probably one of the nicest hostels I have come across. I can't wait to bring my family back there one day.

All pictures that you see here are from the Chalet Martin website,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jack is 11 Months Old

Only one month left of being an infant for little Jack. This year has really flown by and also been such a learning process for the both of us. Every day I think he looks more like a little boy and less like a baby. The funny thing is that I have always wanted children, but I guess I'm sad to think that he will grow up. I love him this little and I know I will keep loving him as he grows, but I just love having a little one around. I can truly understand when people say they miss when their kids were "that age." I'm already sad to see that he is changing.

Nicknames: Pumpkin, Little Man, Peanut, Sneak Butt

Temperament: Bold This past Monday, we took Jack out for an afternoon climbing trip. There have been many times when it doesn't seem all that successful and I end up heading home early with him. However, maybe it was the larger number of climbers (8 people, 3 of which were pregnant), but he was a very happy camper. He was crawling all over the rocks and giggling with everyone. I was happy to get some climbing in before my belly gets too big with baby number 2. We took a trip to visit family for a couple weeks, which completely messed up his sleeping schedule. Thus, we went through the whole process of falling asleep in the crib. He is doing OK at it, but still wakes up in the night. I am beginning to wonder, will that ever change? Although Jack can have his moments, I have found that he takes most things in stride. He loves to be around people and interact with them. He also loves to play with dogs or cats. We are lucky to have such a laid back child. Another thing he really likes to do right now is open and close doors or cabinets. Last month we put safety looks on the kitchen cabinets so that helped from having a big mess of pots and pans. However, he still loves it when he can find an open door to play with. Who knew they would be so much fun?

Solids He Has Tried: Just the other day I had mentioned to Joe that Jack can pretty much eat anything we are eating. Usually at dinner time I will give him small pieces of our meal. So far that has meant, spaghetti, casserole dishes, tacos, beans and rice, etc. He still eats some baby food though and I give that to him during the day. I went to the WIC offices today to apply for some support and after they weighed him, he was only 19lbs. That seems a bit discouraging for me, because I feel like he has really increased his diet, but only gained 1/2 a pound in the last month. Maybe I just need to be trying to feed him more often?

Items/Toys That We Love The Most: While we are at my parents house, my mom bought a baby walker and it quickly became his favorite toy. He loves to walk behind it and gets a big smile and he almost giggles. I always laugh too, but that's because he runs into everything and doesn't understand when it bangs into something and he can't move forward. I am learning though, that I don't need too many toys. He is just as happy to play with Bodhi (our dog) or crawl around when we are outside. When I take him to the park he likes to be in the baby swing. Oh, and when we are around other children I have noticed that Jack is not afraid to pull other kids pacifiers out of their mouths so he can try theirs! Um, sorry about the germ swap! Although he doesn't always listen to me, I have noticed that he definitely understands. If I explain things to him, more than half the time he will follow my directions. He is so cute!

First Experiences: While visiting with our family, we were able to take many day trips. One of my favorites (which also happen to be too short) was to Intercourse, PA. Jack had no idea he was about to experience such a place as Intercourse, but he was happy none-the-less to be with all the family in my parents truck on the way up. Basically we went to explore Amish country. We stopped in a few stores, then ate a huge and very delicious lunch, followed by some bike riding (although I was a slow and timid rider). Overall, I think Jack had a good time. He also decided to take his first steps. Now, he is not walking yet, but that will come with time. I happened to be on a trip to Target in Charleston. Since it is an hour drive before we return home, I decided to let him walk around for a bit in the store. I put him on the floor and he just stood still. So I let go with my hands fully expecting him to squat into a sitting position, but he just continued to stand with this huge grin as if he was proud of himself. So I moved a few steps away from him and said, "Come here," and sure enough he took a few steps forwards into my arms. Since then he has done that a several times, but only at my encouraging. I'm not sure he really wants to walk yet, but he can do it when he is ready!

You can really see how pretty his eye color is in this picture! I think he has my eye color!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

National Zoo

We just returned home from a two week trip to visit family in Virginia. Of course, we kept extremely busy seeing friends and family, but planned a few trips in as well. It seems like every trip to VA we are running errands as well, since there are stores that we cannot get to at home. This trip was nice since it was so lengthy, it allowed us to do almost everything we wanted to do. One of the outings was at the National Zoo. In fact, Jack and I went there twice (once with my mom and once with my sister and husband). Here are the pictures from both trips. I must admit it was super fun as we left in the morning when it was still fairly cool outside and left around 1pm before we were too sweaty.

When I went to the zoo with my mom, I happened to experience one of the most humorous and gross "mom moments." I had pulled Jack out of his stroller to see the lion family playing and as I held him up, he was leaning against my chest. It didn't take long for me to smell that he had a poopy diaper so as I was pulling away, I looked down and saw a big poop spot on my chest. It had smooshed up and onto my shirt! Of course, my mom was laughing as I looked over at her and said, "Mom, help me!" I just wanted a wipe to clean up the poop on my clothes first.

Thankfully she helped me as we worked our way over to a bench and stripped Jack down to nothing and wiped him up. I didn't realize there was a big spot showing on my shirt until I saw the pictures below! Oh well. We survived and I could at least laugh it off. I guess that is what motherhood is all about!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Prepping for Jack's Birthday Party

There is about a month and a half before we reach Jack's birthday. I am so excited about it. I don't have a lot of money to spend, but I feel like it is worth celebrating the fact that we all survived one year together. Plus, I can't wait to see Jack smoosh a cake in his face. I can't wait! So I am looking forward to a great party with some friends and family. The other night, I couldn't even sleep because I kept thinking about details. The next morning I wrote them all down. So I'm putting a few of these on the blog as a good reminder to follow through and make this a fun party...I haven't planned for something like this since my wedding day! Should I mention again that I can't wait?

So I thought I would put a few of my ideas out on the blog for you all to enjoy! I don't even mind if it spoils the surprise for those invited, because I just can't wait! I'm already shopping for supplies.

1. Food
I am thinking of working with what we got. So we will have pulled pork and coleslaw (hopefully using ingredients from our garden) with a mixture of vegetable side dishes and macaroni and cheese for the kiddos. Of course there will be cupcakes and smash cake for Jack. I'm thinking of working with a woodland theme. Since we already have owls in his bedroom, I am thinking of making these cupcakes! I love them!

2. Decorations

I will most likely do something very simple. My plan is to make some tissue paper balls, use christmas lights for lighting outside (if I need it), balloons, outdoorsy items that we have around the house, and I made fabric flag pendants too.

3. Games/Activities
There won't be a lot of kids there, but there will be a few. Plus it would be fun to have something for the adults to do too. So I'm thinking of setting up a cornhole game, having a simple bowling game, maybe a puppet show, and some other activity. I'm still coming up with ideas in this department. Maybe some sort of photo booth would be fun. I could work on that!

4. Favors
I think trail mix will do nicely in little bags to go. Those should be fun to make. I can't wait. There is still plenty more to think about (well, not really since I'm not going to go too crazy) but I will just have to wait until the big day to show pictures. I am pretty certain I am looking forward to this more than anyone else. Yeah, yeah!

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 ...