Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lazy Weekend

It seems like our calendar quickly fills up every year: weddings, showers, parties, visits to friends and family, etc... So it's always nice when we have a weekend to just relax and hang out.

Saturday morning, we went to the mall and got some great deals at Baby Gap & Children's Place...I got some clothes for next winter for Jake (woohoo, I love a bargain!) We let Jake burn off some energy at the play area in the mall, then headed home.

Somehow, Jake took an amazing almost 4 hour long nap (I wouldn't normally let him sleep quite that long or late during the day, but he's had a cold the past few days, so I figured he could use the extra rest...and frankly, this mama needed the extra rest, too.) A lot of times when Jake naps, Brian & I run around doing household chores or some type of organization project....but not yesterday. Brian announced that he was going to go work out in the basement so I took advantage of that, parked myself on the couch, cloaked in my Snuggie and watched the critically acclaimed (haha!) Lifetime movie "The Pregnancy Pact", followed by an episode of the sleaze-tastic "The Real Housewives of Orange County". Everyone felt refreshed by late afternoon!

Today, we did have plans, but we were super excited for them....Melissa ("Aunt Missa"), Dennis ("Nennis") and Ben ("baby Ben") were in town and came over to visit! Ben & Jake had a great time, as always!



It's always easier to go back to the grind on Monday when you had such a nice weekend :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

GO.

Last night, we had Jake's 2 year check up...for some reason, our kid is absolutely terrified of the scale and threw a fit when the nurse tried to put him on it. That was strike one against her. Strike 2 was when she came in the room to give him a shot (the 2nd half of his H1N1 vaccine); he didn't cry or even flinch, but he must have been annoyed by it because after she was done, he stood up, looked right at her, pointed to the door and said "Go."

Other than that, everything went well and everything looked good and right on track. The weight was a big guesstimate, as he was fully clothed with his coat on and had to get an unscientific measurement of Brian getting on the scale with him, then weighing just Brian and figuring out the difference.

27 lbs (30th percentile)
33 inches tall (20th percentile)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

1, 2, cha-cha-cha!

Jake isn't a huge fan of being strapped into his carseat, so I normally try to do something silly to distract him while I'm putting him in there. Recently, he's been very entertained by me singing a little song that goes something like this:

Get in the car seat, cha-cha-cha!
Put on your buckle, cha-cha-cha!
How many buckles?
1, 2, cha-cha-cha!
3, 4 cha-cha-cha!
All done, cha-cha-cha!

So, keep that story in mind.

Sunday night, he sat at the dinner table and counted to 6, skipping only the number 4. YAY! Such a proud moment.

Last night when we got home from school, I asked him to count for me and got him started by saying "one" to which he responded, "One-two, cha-cha-cha!!"

Oops.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Party Like a Rockstar



Well, ok, so maybe it wasn't so much a party as it was a small series of events put together to form a celebration of Jake's birthday, but still. We had a fun weekend and that's all that counts.

The festivities started earlier in the week when we received a box from Nana & PopPop...Daddy, er...Jake (yea, it was totally him) insisted that we open it that night, instead of waiting. He got some cool new clothes for his spring collection and a bike helmet!! And, Nana and Aunt Sharon made him a cape with a "J" on the back, which might be one of the cutest things I've ever seen. We must get pictures of him in the cape & helmet soon!!

Friday was Jake's actual birthday, so he went to school and got to bundle up and play outside in the snow. Later that night, he opened up some gifts from us (a puzzle, some books, a bucket of animals and a broom...we start 'em young around here with the household chores)


The next day, it was like a heatwave. You know, all of 45 degrees in January...cabin fever had set in weeks ago, so daddy & Jake took advantage of the weather and went to the park while mommy went grocery shopping.



That afternoon, the little shaggy boy was in dire need of a haircut. This would be his 4th cut...the first one went as to be expected (some crying, not too bad though), the 2nd one was about the same and the 3rd one was just painful, he cried and screamed the whole time. We needed a different tactic, our previous methods of trying to distract him with snacks were failing us.

I'm not above using bribery...but I had to think of something really good to bribe him with. Finally, I came up with a genius solution: a juice box. When he first realized where he was, he promptly threw himself to the floor in a fit of hysterics. But fear not, my friends....once he held that juice box in his little chubby hands, the hysteria subsided into a few hiccups and sobs and all was well. He walked out with a handsome haircut!

The birthday celebrations continued on Sunday, when GG & Pappy came up to celebrate! He got some more cute stuff, including a stepstool, clothes, a beanbag toss game, books, puzzles and a shopping cart!



After testing out all of the new toys, we enjoyed lunch, followed by FunFetti Cupcakes.

"Um...I was told there were going to be cupcakes? What's the hold up??"



Here's Pappy, probably thinking to himself that he was also promised a cupcake...



Make a wish!!



Yep, he's definitely my kid, look at that appreciation of the cupcake!



Gracie says, "Ok, I put this hat on, now where's MY cupcake??"



Thanks to everyone for all of the great gifts and happy birthday, Jake!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Help Get Them Out of Haiti

I fully admit, I don't follow the news that much under normal circumstances; however, I have been glued to a story involving 2 girls from Pittsburgh who run BRESMA orphanage in Haiti, which was destroyed by the earthquake this past Tuesday.

I can't get those 2 girls and all of those little babies and kids out of my head. Maybe it's because they're from Pittsburgh. Maybe it's because it really drives home the fact that I have a healthy, happy child and it breaks my heart to think of other kids who don't have the same blessings. Maybe it's the fact that there are parents out there waiting to adopt these children, who are now left feeling uncertain about the adoption situation. Our family has close ties to adoption...I think about Brian's parents waiting to bring home his little sister from Korea and about my cousin, bringing home her 2 daughters from China (2 years ago, almost to the day).

Whatever the reason, I've been moved by this story, which is why I'm posting about it on here.

If you live in Pittsburgh, you've no doubt heard about this orphanage situation. But I know there are random people who read my blog (and I know this because one left a comment the other day) which got me to thinking that if just one more person reads about it on here, that's one person who wasn't aware before. And maybe one more person who is willing to donate money or supplies to this cause.

For more information on this entire story, updates and details about how you can help, check out one of my favorite blogs, thatschurch.com

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Terrific Two

While he can no longer be referred to as a baby, Jake will always be my sweet baby boy in my mind. It seems hard to believe that 2 years ago today, this little man came into our lives and has since brought us so much happiness...it's such a cliche, but I really don't know where the time went. I feel like I blinked and I am now a mom to a little boy who amazes me every day with how smart, cute and sweet he is.

I forget sometimes just how incredibly tiny he was. He was 6 lbs, 2 oz when he was born, but only something like 5 lbs, 10 oz when we brought him home, which seems unimaginable to me at this point. Here he is shortly after being born and in the hospital the next day:

Look at that first picture, giving us the stink eye already...



Here he is first on his actual 1st birthday, then at his birthday party last year (according to this handy blog where I keep track of this info, he was 21.5 lbs around the time of his 1st birthday):



And here he is now sharing some after-bath smiles with his daddy...not an ounce of baby left (he hasn't had his 2 year check up yet, but the last time we had him at the office about 2 months ago, he was around 26 lbs).



So far, Jake has celebrated his birthday with his choice of breakfast (crackers, a banana and a juice box)....they are planning on going out to play in the snow at school today and tonight we'll open some presents and relax :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Recipe: Chicken Spaghetti

After a few of my friends raved about this Pioneer Woman recipe, I had to give it a try. I made a few changes, due mainly to laziness (this is the original recipe, I'll note my changes at the bottom).

Spaghetti Chicken
  • 2 cups Cooked Chicken
  • 3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
  • 2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • ¼ cups Finely Diced Green Pepper
  • ¼ cups Finely Diced Onion
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
  • 2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoons (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Preparation Instructions

Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.

Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

Changes:

The chicken: I can barely handle looking at chicken breasts, let alone a whole dead chicken, so I stuck with what I knew instead of frying up a whole chicken. I cooked 2 breasts and chopped them up.

Broth: since I didn't cook a whole chicken, I had no broth to speak of, so I just cooked the spaghetti in some chicken broth from cans.

Cream soup: I used cream of chicken, instead of cream of mushroom

Enjoy!! :)


I guess kids don't feel like they're about to get hypothermia...

Unlike their parents, I don't think kids are bothered by the cold (or maybe I should just say unlike their moms, because Brian doesn't seem bothered by the cold either). I spent 3 days this week standing at the bus stop for 30+ minutes waiting for my bus when it was about 10 degrees outside (without taking the wind into account) and I seriously stood there and wondered a few things...how do you know you're getting hypothermia? At what point does frostbite set in? Will the bus driver still bother to stop if I'm laying in a frozen heap at the bus stop and at least have the courtesy to drop me off at a hospital on the way?



Fast-forward to Saturday, when we went to the Children's Museum, where Jake could not.be.torn.away from the water play area. Clearly, he did not share the same fears of hypothermia as his mother, since I had to drag him away from the water after 45 minutes when I realized that his teeth were chattering and his whole face had a slight blue tinge to it.



Needless to say, he loved the museum, we'll definitely be going back again!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation (by Jake)

I love going to school every day, but I also love staying home with mommy & daddy! We did a lot of fun things.

Mommy had to work on the first day of my vacation, so daddy took the day off to hang with me & we decided to go to the zoo! At first, I was all "um...dad, it's going to be COLD!" but then I remembered that my favorite things at the zoo, the penguins and fish, live inside.



Oh wait, check out this video of me saying hi to my penguins:

video

I got a little scared there at the end of the video, some big wave came down into the fish tank! Man, they should give a warning bell or something when that's about to happen.

When I woke up the next morning, it was a Christmas miracle....Nana, PopPop & Aunt Amy were at my house! They came while I was sleeping...sneaky little buggers they are.



On Christmas Eve, my BFF Ben came over and that was awesome. Mom did a whole post about it...we exchanged Chrismakah gifts and played all afternoon. I know we're dudes & all, but we're in touch with our feelings and I miss him!

The next week, it was time for a ROAD TRIP!! I always thought that road trips involved loud singing and eating a bunch of junk food and drinking slurpees, but really, I just read some books then fell asleep in my carseat. Bummer. Anyway, when I woke up, we were at my Great Aunt & Uncle's house and I got to play with my cousins...they liked to jump and run too, so we got along well.



A few days later, we met up with GG and went to a place called Lilliput Town Center...it was awesome! Everything was just my size and they had tons of stuff to play with and even a big slide to go down.



The rest of the week, it was FREEZING outside, so we basically just hung out at home and played with all of my new toys, which was fine by me. On Monday, it was back to the grind at school. I know mom was a little worried that I would have trouble adjusting after being gone from school so long, but I was excited, I had missed my friends and teachers! I ran right in & started playing.

I hope everyone had as nice of a Christmas vacation as I did!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hysterical Bathtime Giggles

video

Thanks for the new towel & washcloth set, Aunt Jodie...I think Jake likes them :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Decade in Review

A quick review of things that have happened in the last 1o years:

-Met Brian (2000), got engaged to him (2005), then married him (2006) :)
-Graduated from college (2003)
-Got first real job after college (2003)
-Adopted little Gracie Lou (2005)
-Bought our first home (2006)
-Got pregnant (2007), had Jake (2008)
-Got laid off (2009)
-Getting laid off ended up being a blessing in disguise, got new job that I'm really liking so far (2009)

There's lots of stuff in between, both good and bad, but the things that I listed are some of the highlights that stand out for me. We've come a long way in the past 10 years and I can't wait to see what 2010 holds!

Christmas is a time for friends.

My other favorite part about Christmas this year? Our bestest friends were in town! :) They came over Christmas Eve and the boys exchanged Chrismakah gifts. Ben got a step stool:



And Jake got a sand & water table:



Then, there was a dance party.



Followed by some pizza eating.



And of course, playing!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas

I have always been a big fan of the Christmas season, but this year I was even more excited. (so much so that I woke up on Christmas morning at 5am, too excited to go back to sleep and for once, wishing that Jake would wake up early!)

I was super excited this year for a few reasons... I knew Jake would "get it" a little more this year. Also, I was hosting! Brian and I have frequently discussed how lucky we are that we both love each others' families, as I have heard horror stories about terrible in-laws. So we're pretty lucky that our families enjoy spending time with each other, and we were able to have everyone here for the holiday (no traveling for us, score!)



As you can see in this picture, we had some problems stuffing the gifts under the tree due to the fact that the tree itself took up half of the room. I must admit, though I was a bit apprehensive about the huge tree when we first shoved it through our front door, I grew to love it :) (shhh---don't tell Brian!)



Jake understood the concept of the presents...but he had no interest in opening them. He wanted what was inside of them...he just wanted someone else to open them for him. So, much of the morning was spent with him saying someone's name and pointing to a present, indicating that they were the chosen one who got to open that gift for him. It was odd, but at least we didn't have to worry about him tearing into everything at once.



He got a lot of great gifts (thanks everyone!) and favorites included his train table, set of dinosaurs, a Build-a-Bear dressed in a Steelers uniform (and appropriately named "Big Ben") and race car track.



After the gift opening marathon, it was time to EAT! I decided to brine the turkey this year and it definitely turned out to be very moist! Jake was so impressed with the food that he promptly passed out at the table after eating a little bit of his meal.




I hope that everyone else had as wonderful of a Christmas as we did!
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