Saturday, January 16, 2010

Check Out Our New Blog!

I have been playing around with a new blog site and I think I am settled down enough to share it. This doesn't mean there won't be some changes in the coming weeks. So check it out:


Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Changes, New Challenges

Happy New Year everyone! 2009 was terrific. I enjoyed watching our family grow and change over this past year. I try to savor every moment, as these will be distant fond memories one day. This new year will bring many changes for us as well as challenges. It is with great excitement that I announce that Ryan and I have bought a 30+ acre lot in Harford County. We will be building our long awaited home in the country sometime this Spring. It is a great leap of faith to make a move like this, but we are ready. We've talked of doing something like this since before we were married and now it has come true. I thought I'd be scared out of my mind when the day actually came, but I (and Ryan) feel amazingly calm. It just feels right. We will terribly miss our little rancher where we started our family. (I am tearing up right now.) It is the home Ryan has lived in for 30 years. Many a party and good time have been had here. Its a home not only to us, but to our family and long time friends of Ryan's and Kristi's as well. But life pushes on. We are pushing on our little house's seams. To talk of a dream home year after year and never act on it would leave us feeling unsatisfied one day. So here we are, proud owners of a little farmette. We are picking out floor plans and discussing kitchens. It is so exciting. This year will be the toughest year yet for us, I have no doubts. A new precious baby, a rambunctious toddler, and a Daddy that will be busy with home construction. Not to mention moving out of our house and into another place as we finish building! Do I know what I've signed up for? We will persevere! Ryan and I can get through anything, and afterwards have a stronger marriage for it. We just need to focus on the end result. So thats our big news. Its a great time for us. I wish everyone the best in 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A New Room For Christopher

I have been delaying putting up photos of Christopher's new room. But here they are! He loves his new room.
Christopher loves hanging out in his "new room" as he calls it.

Ryan's Uncle Lee made this neat fish sign, which I love.
He can reach the radio and always turns it on when he enters the room.

The table and chairs I covered with paper so he could color without worrying about staying "on the paper". The shelf houses coloring books, crayons, stickers and building blocks. The rug is to protect stray markers from the underlying carpet.

The toy center. Here are some of his toys, puzzles and books. I rotate them weekly with fresh ones that are stowed under his crib. I made a felt weather board, which he loves. Each morning we check out the weather and he places the pieces on the board. The calendar he received on Christmas will help him learn the days of the week.

Here is a close up of the painting Lisa and I did last month. I was inspired by Christopher's favorite book at the time "Small, Small Pond". He is also very fascinated with our pond out back as well as frogs and birds in general.
Our reading nook. The chair I got off of Craigslist for $15! It is a little bigger than I wanted, but now in retrospect, its perfect for snuggling two little ones. Here I can also nurse the baby while watching Christopher play. The baskets hold books that I rotate with others on the shelf.

His beloved crib with "Snoops" inside. The birds flying above I found in a neat store while having Saturday brunch with my sisters in Hampden last Spring. He also has a bird house and chimes hanging over each window. Soon we will re-hang his bird feeder on the window. I wanted to bring the outside in this Winter.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Wintry Weekend

This was the best weekend ever! On Saturday it snowed and snowed! We were hammered with roughly 20+ inches of the white stuff in a matter of 24 hours. Ryan hunted on Saturday morning but was home by 11. I made a nice brunch and then we just lounged the rest of the day. Oh and watched the snow fall. Christopher happily put the appropriate weather on his "weather board". He was so excited to have snow. I spent the weekend cooking, baking and cleaning...and napping. All the while listening to Christmas music; it was perfect! Sunday the sun broke through and we all ventured outside. I felt like I made a right of passage as I, like many mothers before me, struggled to get their little ones bundled, then unbundled for the snow. By the way, have you ever seen a nine month pregnant woman struggle to put snow pants and snow boots on? It is quite comical. Once outside, Christopher commented "so much snow" and "big mess" as he walked around. He enjoyed watching neighbors plow driveways on their 4-wheelers. He slid down mountains of snow Daddy made while shoveling. Then when we had enough, we came inside for hot chocolate and some sugar cookie baking. In all, it was a weekend I'll remember forever, a weekend stuck inside with those you love doing simple things.

Blogger drives me crazy sometimes. All this pictures are in reversed order and I can't drag the pictures into correct order. So the last is first and first is last. Oh well, enjoy!
Enjoying the cookie he decorated.

Decorating sugar cookies with Daddy before putting them in the oven.

Opening his Christmas card from Lulu and Papa. He loves getting mail, particularly cards. He keeps them all and "re-reads" them for many months. (Just the other day he asked me to read his Halloween card from Brenda in La.)

Romping in the snow with Steven across the street.

"Big Mess"

Our snowy abode.

Good job Ryan!

When Christopher first fell in the snow, face first, Ryan ran to his rescue. He cleaned off his face and instructed, "Christopher you let Daddy do it". Every time thereafter, Christopher would run up to Ryan after falling down saying "Daddy do it".

Daddy made a "fort" for Christopher. Can you believe the snow is up to his neck?

Crying because he can't use his hands to open the door. He wanted to get out with Daddy so bad!

The sun making its first appearance after 24 hours of windy dark snowfall.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Is There Someone You Can Call?

Christopher has been practicing many duck and goose calls so he will be ready to go hunting with Daddy in the upcoming years. Check him out. In reference to the title of this blog, well that's from a classic Ryan story. Many of you know it, if you don't remind me and I'll tell you. Its hilarious.

Not A Good Time For Blogging Hiatus!

The month of November found us fairly busy. The first week I watched Sophia so Mom and Dad could take a trip to Florida. My OB appointments were upgraded to every two weeks. I was still working and among all this, I had a photo catastrophe. I accidentally erased all of my photos and was only able to recover a few. I lost everything of Christopher's life! Without anything backed up! Talk about being depressed, I didn't sleep for days. But Ryan came to my rescue and downloaded software that recovered the majority of them, so now I am happy. And now I am finally backing up the pics, something I wanted to do before the baby arrived anyway.

This, however was not a good time to take a break from blogging since Christopher seems to be changing by the day. Mostly it is the verbal skills. Let me put it this way; if he is awake he is talking. NONSTOP. Remind you of anyone else you know? Ryan wants to hire a stenographer to record everything he says. It would be thick as a phone book. Example: "put the fire on" (repeat x10) "light on" (repeat x10) "light off" x10, "Daddy's truck" x10, "Noisy fan" x10, "Daddy working". It starts in the morning while he is alone in the crib and doesn't stop until his peepers are shut. On December 1st he said his first full sentence: "Turn the fire on please." While at the library a 2 week old baby started crying. Christopher softly said to himself "What's the matter baby?" Then when the mommy offered a bottle to the baby, Christopher said "hungry baby, mmmm, milk" So sweet and tender. Then there is the hilarious. One morning I used the toilet before I retrieved him from his crib. When he heard me he said "potty, yay! good job!" Speaking of potty, he is making huge advances. After Potty Boot camp, (10/19 post), we backed off a good bit, just using the potty when I thought of it. We switched back to diapers and gave the undies a rest. The week of Thanksgiving I realized we backed off a bit much, so I started toileting him regularly throughout the day, like previously planned. Well I was surprised to find him able to control the muscle to "go" almost every time he sat on the potty. I rewarded him with stickers, hugs and high-5's. After about a week, he was only wetting his diaper once or twice a day. So last Friday we ditched the diapers. We still diaper him for naps and bedtime, but the rest of the day its big boy underwear. Until today I diapered him for outings, but under the advice of a friend going through the same potty adventure, we ditched the diapers during these trips as well. It is too confusing to switch back and forth. So today we went to the library and I took the potty with us. He used it in the car before we went in, then used the public restroom before we left. (He said "library potty, noisy flush"). Then went again when we returned home! All the while he stayed dry. He is starting to tell us when he needs to go, although not that often. But this is a start. Oh and more amazingly, he has gone #2 for six days straight now! I just watch for cues during his usual time of day, and try the potty while reading lots of books, and we've had success! I am so proud and amazed. I actually like going through this process with him, even though it is time consuming and a little frustrating at times. Physically, he is making some advances. He is doing better with throwing a ball. A little too well in fact, as he started tossing some toys for practice. He can now come down steps without holding on at all, and he can jump from about 2 feet up and land on his feet. His coloring skills have finally taken off and it is now one of his favorite activities.
In the baby department, things are good. Baby is healthy, most importantly. Unfortunately, he or she is in the WRONG position! Heads up instead of down! I really hope there are some somersaults before January 27th, or I will be very disappointed to have a C-section. I am suffering the infamous "round ligament pain" many women get during pregnancy as well as lower back pain and twinges of sciatica. But in all, I am fairing well with some days better than others. Christopher received a boy baby doll from Lulu to help prepare for lil bro or sis' arrival. He helps the baby be "nice and warm and cozy" as he gives it it's "ninny" and blanket. We'll see if this helps him in the big brother department.
Thanksgiving was extra special since Jason, Laura and Leif came up to visit. It's amazing how kids change in the span of a half a year. Leif is such a kid now. I really enjoyed watching all the cousins play together now since they are getting bigger and more interactive. When Christopher said "Turn the fire on" Leif answered him "But Christopher, the fire is already on". This tickled me for some reason. I think it was their first conversation. In all, we had a great visit.
I think this covers just about everything. Right now I am being requested to "Get down, play!" so I gotta go!

In early November, I helped out with Sophia. Christopher and I love spending time with her, and the older they get, the better they play together. Well, parallel play anyway.

Christopher eating a big boy lunch at the kiddie table at Grandmom's.

Snack time! They both had the giggles this afternoon. But in this pic they have full mouths.

Mr. Independent

Practicing on Daddy's duck and goose calls. He is pretty good too!

Hanging out in the baby's crib. As soon as it was set up he'd say "baby's crib, IN!" He has asked everyday since for the same. We fixed up the baby's room December 1, just like Ryan promised!
More pictures to follow when it is complete.

The day after Thanksgiving, we enjoyed an oyster roast down Bayside. It is a great family tradition. Despite the cold, we kept warm near the outdoor fire. The kids were hard to keep inside. Here Uncle Kevin plays with Leif and Christopher. I loved having Jason, Laura and Leif with us for Thanksgiving, I miss them so much. Its amazing how hectic a day is when you add one more kid! I took terrible few pictures during their visit.

Story time with Aunt Lisa.

A small preview of Christopher's room. I am almost finished, I just have a few more things to hang on the wall. Christopher LOVES it! He calls it his "new room" and suddenly rediscovered all his old toys. Very happy with the turn out so far. I will post more pics in detail when it is complete.

Every morning Christopher is found at his table involved in some activity. Favorites of late: play dough, coloring, blocks, lacing games and of course, his precious puzzles.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Perfect Day

"Mom, I'm so cute, don't you just wanna pinch my cheeks?"

Did you ever have one of those days that just felt so right? I mean, nothing particularly spectacular happened, but the day was special just the same. Conversation flows easily. Your little one is agreeable and so darn cute. And much of your time is spent just relaxing and enjoying your family's company. That's the kind of day we are having. A lot has to do with the fact that Ryan is home with us all day. *He is taking time off from hunting and teaching me how to be a better parent. It's hard to explain how much I really learn under his tutelage.* Christopher acts different when he is around. He is happier, and seems more relaxed. Its obvious he loves his Daddy. Our morning started a little too early, but that's ok. I finished tidying the house (I often have more energy in the morning than in the evening). We had a breakfast of buttermilk pancakes and bacon; Christopher ate 3 pancakes, bacon and 2 strawberries! Then we all snuggled in front of the fire as Ryan and I sipped hot coffee. Christopher took turns snuggling and then playing by himself on the floor. When we emerged from downstairs, we discovered it was snowing! Great big pregnant snowflakes, as Ryan put it. So we sat and watched their journey to Earth. Then I asked Christopher if he wanted some hot chocolate. He responded by hopping off the sofa shouting "hot chocolate! hot chocolate!" and clambered up into his booster seat. I found this funny, since he's never had the stuff before!
We learned from Amy that the Science Center was having a "Dollar Day", so we decided to toss our cozy blankets and head out into the wintry mix for a family fun day. It was fun too, especially for Christopher who had a blast in the "Kid's Room". They have a great interactive exhibit geared towards toddlers. Christopher really liked the water table and a water bed room with foam blocks. Just as things started to get too crowded, we headed home. Christopher had a huge lunch of lentils, then went off to sleep. Ryan and I had homemade potato leek soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, then we joined Christopher for a family nap. And its still snowing.... so cozy!
*While I stepped away from the computer I returned to find my post slightly altered. The sentences in red were added by my hilarious husband. Ha ha Ryan, very funny!

Gazing at the falling snow:

Christopher kept asking me to take his picture while he practiced smiling for the camera. This is something new, because he never smiles for the camera. I have about a dozen shots like this, as he kept saying "again".