Sunday, December 28, 2008

Parkin' It

A day at the fun forest brought many smiles.  This kid and his Papa are two peas in a pod, and alike in more ways than I can count on both of my hands.














This is one of my favorite pictures to date.  My two men.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning 2008

I warn you this post will be quite the doozy!  I started this blog as a way to keep track of Julians milestones so it seems appropriate to post all of my favorites, plus I know family gets a kick out of it as well.

Jules was up bright and early, somewhere around 7AM.  He always escapes the bedroom and heads for the living room and his toys before we are out of bed so I rushed to get the camera once I saw him getting antsy and playing with the door.  I wanted to make sure I captured the morning since this was the first Christmas he could really participate in.






Sweet Book dude!


Awww, I love it!



Puppies ARE my favorite.














Zippity Zebra, Pete's special gift to Jules.  They made him together at Build-a-Bear, and Z has a recording of Pete singing the first line of his nursery song.












Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Kashi Pizza is His Fav

Christmas Eve dinner around here is Pizza Night, that way we can save all of the big effort for the big meal on Christmas Day.  And this boy loves to eat pizza just like us!  His meal also contained succotash (soy beans, corn, and red peppers from Trader Joe's), while we stuck to salads, but the kid can't get enough of things covered in cheese.






Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Plans

We're sticking close to home this year for the holidays, and so far we're off to a good start.  The tree has been up and decorated since the Friday after Thanksgiving, the lights are hung, and packages have been piling up under the tree for weeks now.  So far all I have left to do is pick up a few things at the grocery tomorrow to make Peppermint Marshmallows and Chai Snickerdoodles.  Other than that I've got a menu planned, and half prepared, ready for Thursday night.

Pete has to work tomorrow until 3, but after that we have him home all the way through Monday so that is going to be really nice.  We went walking through the neighborhood with Jules tied up in a wrap in a front carry and went around to all the houses with the biggest and best lights.  He is obsessed with bushes and lights lately so his two favorite things together nearly blew his mind.  Plus some people really go all out around here, so it's well worth hoofing it around.  So far we've already watched a Muppet movie, and some Sesame Street Christmas.  Tonight we stopped by and picked up some Gumby, more Sesame Street, and another Muppet movie to watch over the next few days with Jules.  It's the only TV he's been allowed to watch so far, and I figure as long as we keep it restricted to the holiday it can't be too bad.  Tomorrow night Pete and I have plans to eat pizza from Trader Joe's and watch White Christmas (the MOST important yearly tradition to me), while drinking hot cocoa with my homemade marshmallows - yum!  

Then Xmas is going to be a quiet day here at home, just the three of us. Starbucks is open so I'm hoping for a mid-morning walk with the puppy to pick up a Mocha, and I'm sure Pete is going to want some doughnuts for breakfast, plus there will be presents to open and time to spend hanging out.  I'm hoping to make a few ornaments with some materials I have around, and I'll probably spend a bit of time indulging in my newest obsession, Puzzles.  I LOVE puzzles.  I know it makes me sound like an 80 year old woman, but seriously, I love them!  Stefanie sent me the most awesome present, an Impossible Puzzle.  So far I've steered clear of them because of their difficulty level, but I'm glad to now have the push to give it a whirl.  So if you have any puzzles sitting around collecting dust, you can always send them my way.

Beyond Christmas day we don't have many plans, we picked up a few movies (Prince Caspian, A Very British Gangster, and Counterfeiters) and we're hoping to stay cozy and spend some quality time together. Claire and Tessa will be arriving shortly before the new year, and will be here for a week.  That's when things get really hectic!  We're going to go ice skating (hopefully Jules will get to try it out with a walker!), drive through the light display at the botanical gardens, hit up Ti'juana Flats for food, maybe drive up to Williamsburg, cook a big Italian feast for the Christmas celebration with them and exchange gifts again.

I'm really looking forward most to Pete's leave over the new year.  We haven't had that much time together since the leave he took last year when Julian was born.  It will be nice to have him home for whole days at a time for a change, and I know Julian is going to love all the time with his Papa.

I'm not sure when I will update next, but I promise to take a bunch of pictures of the little guy over the holiday and update soon.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Please Take a Moment

As some one who purchases as many handmade, natural products as I can, the thought of losing the amazing resources of handmade toys for children is terribly saddening.  I have bought many a wonderful gift on websites like etsy.com, and I would hate to see people lose their livelyhoods just as much as I would hate to lose such an amazing resource for creative, nontoxic, and imagination inspiring toys. 

Please take a moment to click here and help save handmade toys and clothing.

Save Handmade Toys

Monday, December 15, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Music Man

It's not the best lit video, but it's awful cute.

Lately

We found a new park in the area recently and it's added a whole lot of fun to our days.  We try to meet up with James, Ryan, or Canaan after lunch but before afternoon naps on days with good weather.  Its a really nice, new, clean, safe, and enclosed play space for little kids attached to a church just a few blocks away.  It's open to the public and perfect for our little guys.  Jules climbs all over it, down the slides face first, over the bouncing bridge wiggling to be bounced by an adult, through the tunnels and ALL OVER the mulch!  He is not easily contained these days, and is frustrated that he can't walk, but that doesn't stop him from getting down on the ground and racing around anyways.  All of his shoes are worn off on the tops from scraping on pavement and through the dirt and mulch.  They also have the safe baby buckets that are enclosed all the way around for little kids to swing in too.  I love this because the park that is closer to us doesn't have them and I felt like he was missing out on some quintessential childhood fun.

We've had some unseasonably warm weather recently, up in the 60s and 70s, warranting opening all of our windows and spending lots of time outdoors.  The late half of the week we were forced inside by the rain, but hopefully we will get back out there this week.  He burns off at ton of energy at the park so he always takes a good nap afterwards, definitely an added bonus.  And on days when Papa leaves for work at 1:45 we all head over together for some added excitement.  













Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tis the Season

By the beginning of November I was already itching for Christmas.  It's like this every year.  As soon as the stores have the decorations on the shelves, which gets earlier every year, I get excited. When Thanksgiving was approaching I was already calculating where the tree could fit and be out of reach from Jules, thinking about things to do when Claire and Tessa come to visit, thinking about having a holiday party, planning the holiday crafts,baking, and gifting.  I've uploaded nearly 15 hours of holiday music to keep on shuffle throughout the season.  Crazy?  Yes, definitely.  A fun way to spend our days this month?  Big Time.

Winter, even as mild as it is here (It was 60 degrees on the first of December!) brings out the homebody in me.  I've been organizing, cleaning, and purging all over the house.  If we don't use it, out it goes.  If it needs to be fixed/replaced/re-purposed I put it on my To Do list and get to work.  I've been learning how to use essential oils, figuring out how to cook with dried beans, working on some new crafting projects, and doing puzzles now that the big table is out to use.  Cooler weather means I can get cooking in the kitchen again.  With summer days topping out at 100 degrees I try use the oven as little as possible for most of the year here in Virginia.  Now stews and chili's linger through the afternoon on the stove top, I roast tray after tray of vegetables - especially parsnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, and carrots, and now I'm making bread.  

There is whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread in the oven as I type this.  Soon it will be ready for our breakfast in the morning.  A book came out not long ago about a new, incredibly easy, and quick way to make homemade bread all the time.  You make big batches, the dough keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks, and it requires NO kneading.  It is the most amazing thing ever.  I've been making whole wheat bread,  cinnamon raisin bread, and sandwich bread. I'm going to try baguettes next to go with all the pasta we eat.

Jules isn't getting much for Christmas since he has so much stuff that is still new to him from his birthday.  With the economy where it is we're trying to be extra smart with our money this year.  I picked up a little wooden fire truck at the local green children's store, and a few other used wooden toys at some consignment shops out at the beach.  I'm trying to limit the plastic, not eliminate it - just keep it to a minimum, and I've found some great deals that way.  Lot's of puzzles, blocks, little wooden vehicles, and tons and tons of books.  This kid has a seriously large library of mostly second hand/free books.  The libraries around here have yearly book sales and give a ways, one even has a bookstore that is open when the library is open.  Thrift stores and consignment shops are another excellent place to look.  Not only does it save us a ton of money but I feel a lot better about our environmental impact, and life is simpler in many ways.

I'm making several gifts, as well as new ornaments for the tree out of things I already have here at home. It's a great way to change it up a bit with no investment.  I found this awesome video online on how to make a 3D snow flake that I'm going to try out tomorrow.  I think Jules would love to look at them hanging from the ceiling, and it's something I can make with things from around the house.  

I love the holidays.  I love the cooking and the baking, the making and the partaking.  It's my all-time favorite time of year.

Back

Sorry for such a delay in posting lately.  Things got really busy around here and now that the holidays are upon us it's even crazier!  I'm baking and crafting and reading and decorating like a mad woman but I'm going to do my best to get back here more often.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Letter to My 13 Month Old

Jules,

Wow, this last month has been intense. A lot has been going on. All three of us have been occupied with a packed schedule and you have been busy with a huge developmental burst. These last few weeks have been rough. You are cutting several molars but we didn't know until they were breaking through the gums. Since you hate to let us brush your teeth, let alone look in your mouth there was no way to know. You've been terribly uncomfortable but a little ibuprofen goes a long way with helping you sleep and get some rest. The molars haven't kept you down though, you're still as wild and crazy during your waking hours as ever. Everyday you have something new to show us or way to make us laugh. You are a joyful little guy, and you want so badly to be bigger. I can't wait to see what you come up with next. Here's where you're at now:

Vocab: Baby, puppy, Papa, slipper, diaper, bite, baba (water), bye-bye, ball, Mama (mostly when you're very upset about something), Na-na's, bath, bunnies (a cheese cracker snack), a-Boo (peek-a-boo), zebra, football, bushes, ba-Boom!, penguin, balloon, book

Signs: More, Milk, Eat, Bye-Bye

Animal Sounds: Puppy, Dog, Monkey, Snake

New Skills:

Walking - You took your first solo step tonight!!!! Lately I have been having you walk more from room to room or activity to activity using my hands to steady yourself. Once you mastered that you started to let me just give you one hand. After your bath tonight I pulled you out the tub and stood you in front of me so that I could dry you off, letting you lean on me for support. I let go of you and the towel as I finished, and you kept holding on to the towel, thinking I was still holding it. You stood for a bit, then you started testing your toes to try and lift your foot, and next thing I knew you stepped forward all on your own! I'm so excited, you are going to love being able to walk, and I can't wait for that for you.

Climbing - You have figured out how to pull your self up into the desk chair. When it's pushed in you just climb underneath the desk and push it out. From there you try to climb onto the desk or play with whatever has been left out.

Firsts:
Had a birthday.
Selected this years Christmas tree.
Ate first Thanksgiving meal.
Had a yearly photo session.
Got a haircut.

It is so exciting to be able to communicate more with you. Just today you started signing milk like crazy, and you've been using "more" and "eat" consistently for at least two weeks. Next up: baby, down, up, hungry, and help. These are all words you say or try to say all the time. Hopefully the repetition will help you learn them quickly and continue to add to your sign library.

I still can't believe you are 1, but it's kind of cool. You're one of the big kids now. No more tiny baby here. We're looking forward to showing you all about Christmas, Yule, winter, New Years, ice skating, Christmas trees and carols, twinkling lights in the coming month. Many a family tradition will be started this year now that you can participate.

Kisses,
Mama


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Burnin' Time

This is how Jules spent at least a good hour yesterday:






Yes, my boy spent the day trapping himself inside a chair.  Our dining chairs are feather light and he's been pulling them over for as long as he's been crawling.    Now he's figured out how to crawl into them and use them as a walker, but he doesn't know how to get out yet.  He's a weird kid.

Something else new, Jules got a jogging stroller from his bud Ryan for his birthday.  It rocks! Now Papa can take him along with him when he runs.  It's getting colder now, but I stick the BundleMe in it with a extra blanket and that helps keep him warm.  I need to get the toddler size so it comes up farther on his torso.  

He'd refused to nap the day they used it for the first time, and it was nearly dinner time by the time they left.  He was cranky and the best way to deal with that is to get him out of the house. When they got back Pete buzzed up and told me to bring the camera down.  This is how I found him:



Man, I love that kid.

Oh yea, I almost forgot!  Channel 3 came by the house again yesterday.  Juliet Bickford was super sweet, and I think Jules had a fun time playing ball with her.  This time they wanted to talk to me about free formula and diapers given to new parents.  It was cool, I got to tell them about how we cloth diaper and breastfeed,  and how it's a great way to save money - especially in this economy.  I don't know what they'll use, but it's on tonight at 11.  Hopefully I'll get to see Julian's cute face on there.  



Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Caved

As long as Jules has had his beautiful blond hair I've sworn up and down we wouldn't cut it, at least not for a long long time.  Then came yesterday.  I finally convinced Pete to get a "real" hair cut, aka not one that I give him in our kitchen with clippers to save money, and made an appointment with my stylist who gives me great cuts.  We brought Jules along on the off chance I would be convinced he needed one too.  His hair on top is gorgeous, but in the back it was heading into serious mullet territory, and that coupled with the weird hair that popped up from the spot all babies go bald as newborns = not such a good look.  Since we're getting his one year pictures taken soon, I figured now was as good a time as ever to get it done, especially since Pete was going to be able to come with us.  

She started with Pete holding him, though every time she came at him with the clippers or the scissors he tried to climb up him to get away!  Eventually I had to hold him for part of it, and then Papa held him again while she did some final touch ups.  It's shorter in the back, but still long on top, and I think as long as it stays healthy we'll let it grow for awhile and see if we can get it long again.  He looks like such a big boy now, it almost hurts to look.  I can't believe how fast this past year has flown.

Before:

Showing off the mullet/fuzz:

Uncertainty:

Finally success:

Adorable:

I'll try to get some better pictures up of the finished product.  I didn't get many pictures at the salon because I was too busy pinning his arms down so he didn't grab at the scissors!

In other update-style news, we had Julian's 1 Year appointment last week.  His new stats are:  25lbs 12 oz and 32 inches long!  He's dropped down to the 75th percentile for weight/head, but he's still in the 95th for height.  Big boy indeed!

Current vocabulary:  Papa, puppy, bite, ball, football, zebra, book, balloon, bath, baby, penguin, woof, diaper, nana's, bushes, a-boo, ba-boom!.

Tricks:  High-fives, plays peek-a-boo, claps, dances to music, gives kisses, retrieves well known items upon request, will say what a dog says when asked (Woof), drinks from sippy cups with the valves in, can drink from a straw, self feeding with a loaded spoon, can identify Papa in pictures around the house, can identify well known items in books and in real life, can throw big and small balls a good distance.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Walk to the Park

Julian still hasn't shown too much interest in walking.  He will occasionally stand on his own for a few seconds when you put him down and he is cruising up a storm in the living room, but he still seems pretty wary of only being on two feet.  This week he started to figure out how to turn his walker around in the apartment so that he could do more than go in a straight line.  I figured this was the perfect time to take things outdoors.  

We practiced first with a walk around the block while Papa was at work.  4 blocks took us about 45 minutes because we had to stop and look at every bush, tree, leaf, and speck of dirt within grabbing distance!  It was a ton of fun for both of us and I think he really got a kick out of being able to reach out and explore more close up than the stroller allows him.  It was a beautiful fall day with lots of leaves to throw around.  By the end he was exhausted and a nap was in order, and now I have another trick up my sleeve to wear him out!

This weekend we decided to walk down to the park that is just around the corner before dinner.   Jules walked all the way there and back using his walker.  He seemed a little freaked by the swings so we'll have to go more often so he can get used to them.  The slides took a minute to warm up to but once Papa went down with him it was much more exciting.  In the last video you can seem him shake his head nononono as Pete is about to let him go, but by the end of our excursion he was going down the tube slide all by himself kicking up a storm with his feet.  We're going to try to make a nightly trip to the park before dinner part of our routine when the weather is nice.  An added bonus are all the other babies, big kids, and dogs from the neighborhood that we get to see and talk about with him.







Sunday, November 9, 2008

Babies Gone Wild Part 2

More super cute videos of Jules and Jackson!

The boys checking out the new blocks Papa picked out:


Blowing Kisses:


Jackson and Pete goofing around (Jackson called him Peep all weekend!):

Friday, November 7, 2008

Babies Gone Wild Part 1

Here is the first installment of videos from Julians birthday weekend.  

The balloons arrive:

Cupcakes!:

More cupcakes!:

Party time:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Julians Big Birthday Weekend

I'm sorry that this has taken so long to get up! We've been so busy since last week, I'm just not getting time to sit down and put my thoughts down. WE had a fabulous birthday weekend for the boy, it was definitely a success. Be sure to check out the slide show at the bottom of this post. I will also be getting 5 or 6 videos up as soon as Blogger will let me.

It all started Thursday night when I picked up Jackson and Stefanie from the airport. We got home, put Jackson to bed, and hung out chatting for awhile. The next morning Stefanie and I headed out for some adult time, leaving the boys with Pete for the morning. Once Jules was up from his morning nap, Pete took them down to the Hague to feed the ducks and to the park to play , keeping them occupied for several hours. Once they were down for their afternoon nap we finished baking cupcakes for Julian's party. We made Chocolate Chocolate Chip with Orange Flavored Icing and Pumpkin Spice with Cream Cheese frosting. Stefanie and I went on a Costco run for the last minute food items we needed, and the proceeded to decorate the entire living room in crepe paper, cobwebs, and spooky Halloween decorations I got at the Dollar Store. That night we headed over to the Mather's for Trick-or-Treating. Jackson and Jules rolled in a double stroller while all the boys raced from porch to porch through the neighborhood. By the time we got home that night, after leaving Pete behind to wear a scary mask and scare the bejeezus out of people, the boys were exhausted. We laid them down in the nursery together, and they went right to sleep! It was amazing!

On Saturday morning Pete got up and took Jules to the grocery store to get balloons and doughnuts, the boy came home very happy. We put him down for a nap right after he ate breakfast, in hopes he would sleep right up until the party and be in a great mood. He woke up minutes before guests arrived, had a quick lunch, and we popped him into his costume - an adorable little candy corn! After everyone arrived and had an opportunity to grab some food and mingle we brought out the cupcakes. Papa thought it would be a great idea to give him two! He picked them right up and went to town, all the while holding on to his precious balloon. By the time he was nearly done it had began sinking to the floor from the weight of all the icing! At that time we realized that a mid party bath was going to be necessary. Stefanie scrubbed him down while I grabbed some new clothes, and took a few pictures to memorialize.

Once he was dressed again we headed back out to the party and began opening presents. He got some really wonderful gifts from everyone, lots of things with wheels which seems to be a huge hit these days. He also received some wonderful books, and a basketball to add to his ball collection. We were so lucky that the majority of the families from our Moms Group were able to make it, along with the Mather family, and Stefanie and Jackson who came all the way from Indiana. All the babies had a blast playing with the new toys, getting into the wrapping paper, and generally being crazy. By then it was nearly 3 and we were starting round down on nap time for the little ones so people started heading out. All in all it was a great party, and I think Jules had a fabulous time.

Jules and Jackson crashed for over two hours, Jackson barely stayed awake for dinner, and they both went immediately back to bed. It had been a long day!

Sunday we hung out and opened family presents in the morning, took the boys to lunch at Tijuana Flats and then to check out Toys R Us. By the time we were done with that it was nap time again. We got the boys up for dinner, and then down to bed for the night. Then it was time for moms to go out because it was Stefanie's birthday! We headed out to The Wine House, had 3 delicious glasses of wine, amazing dinner, and excellent company.

By Monday morning we were all exhausted and it was time to get Stefanie and Jackson ready to fly home. It was so wonderful to have them here for such a special weekend, it wouldn't have been nearly as awesome without her help and their prescence. Jackson was so big! He is 17 months old now and talking and walking, doing all kinds of amazing things. The boys were so cute together, I really hope we can get them together again soon.

There were a lot of laughs, tons of fun, baby love all around. I'm so glad we were able to have such a great 1st birthday for Jules. I know he won't remember it, but we will have a ton of great stories to tell.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote!

Today Pete and I walked down to Starbucks for some coffee and then headed over to the Chrysler museum so that I could vote.  Pete had already sent his absentee ballot down to Florida a few weeks ago, but he was coming along for support since I wanted to take Julian for such a historic election.

We waited in line for about an hour.  Julians smiled at tons of little old ladies and other babies, snacked a bit, and just as he was getting really antsy it was our turn at the voting booth.  I took him right up, pushed the screen button for Obama, and got out I Voted sticker.  

Now I'll be sitting in front of CNN for the next 12 hours waiting for the results!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Letter to My One Year Old

Dear Julian,

My dear sweet little boy how fast this year has flown.  I have waited until after your birthday to write this letter because I wanted it to be official so I could capture all my feelings about your new big boy status.  You are officially a toddler, but still my baby, and yet seem so different from the tiny newborn we brought home from the hospital.  I loved you from the moment I saw you on the warming table, and when your Papa brought you over for me to see all I could exclaim was how perfect you were.  From that day forward you have been the center of our universe, and now I cannot imagine this world without you in it.  You are a special little guy, so lively and gregarious.  You are loud, funny, silly, smiley, happy, excited, and not easily contained.  You want to explore the whole world, and you rarely see limitations in your abilities.  Even at this young age you are determined to do everything yourself.  You have much of your Papa and I in you, and we can see that more and more everyday.  You have inherited his wild energy and my smiley eyes, you are stubborn like both of us, but you are loving through and through from all the love you get every day.

Every day there are more words that you understand or can say, and it is so much fun to see how your brain is working in overdrive all the time.  Each day is a new day for you to learn, and you soak it up as fast as I can dish it out You love to read books all the time now, and play with trucks and things with wheels more than ever.  Luckily you got many of each for your birthday so I think that will keep you quite busy. 

Bath time is still big, especially since Papa lets you splash with wild abandon wrecking havoc in the bathroom.   You love to race all over the house chasing Papa or being chased by him while your laughter and squeals echo through our apartment.  Peek-a-boo is a new favorite, it always entices a big smile and you are even able to hide your eyes and say "a-boo" to play along.  It is so cute!  You love to snuggle in the crook of my arm in the morning, nursing as the sun comes up and rock in the glider as we read together before bed.  

I love your huge sloppy kisses, your crazy head shaking, the way you wake up and go to sleep happy as a clam nearly every day.  I love your happy crawl when you are excited about something. I love to run my hands through your beautiful blond hair and snuggle close to your soft cheeks, inhaling your wonderful baby scent.  I love to hear you say Mama and Papa, and can't believe it's really true that you are ours forever. 

Cruising is mastered, and I can often see you tempted to make the leap between two objects, or between me and a piece of furniture, but it seems you are still too cautious to give it a whirl.  You are faster on your hands and knees and that seems to appeal to you more. Sometimes when I set you down on your feet you hold there, standing on your own for a few seconds, but inevitably you dash straight to the floor.  I think you will be so thrilled when you are finally walking because you want down no matter where we are or what we are doing.  I can't wait to put you down and set you free on your two little feet, I know you will love it.

This past year has been a crash course in baby care and parenting.  It's been a lot of ups and downs, but as we round out this year we're definitely coming out on top.  Sleep is better and that definitely helps:)  You have brought so much love and happiness to our little family, and for that I will always be thankful.  I know your Papa loves you more and more everyday, and revels in the time he gets to spend playing with you.  We both look forward to this next year with excitement and anticipation of many many more good things to come.  

I love you Minkie, and I always will.  You are our world, our hearts, and the most amazing little boy I have ever known.  I hope you never lose your loving ways, your giants smiles, or your ecstatic demeanor, you are perfect in every way.

Love,
Mama
xoxoxo

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Prep

It's Thursday October 30th, and in just 7 hours Stefanie and Jackson will be on a plane headed for Virginia.  Pete and I have been working hard to get the house ready for them and for the birthday celebration this weekend.  I can't wait to pick them up at the airport!  It's been 9 months since we had the boys together, and they have grown and changed so much since then.

We're almost ready.  Presents are bought and wrapped, decorations are ready to be put up, pumpkins are carved, the house is clean, laundry is done, lists are made, recipes are gathered, and soon I will be embarking on the baking.  I have banana bread to make for breakfasts, as well as pumpkin and chocolate cupcakes for the party.   I've also got to figure out how to make orange icing and what goes in cream cheese frosting - should be easy enough.

We're expecting 20-25 guests, 10 of those children.  All of Julians best friends from our moms group are coming so it should be a blast to have them all together.  Hopefully everyone will wear their costumes so we can get some good group pictures.  I can't wait to see our little guy in his, and I can't believe he's going to be 1!   This weekend is going to be awesome, and I'm so excited to be spending it with my best friend and our Norfolk family.  We are so blessed to have so many people here in our new community come out to celebrate this special occasion with us.  One year ago we were just on the cusp of growing our family, and now here we are with the most amazing little boy.  It has been a wild ride to say the least.

I hear Jules stirring from his nap, so now it's safe to get moving in the kitchen.  Hopefully he will be content to play in his room for a little while.  I'll be sure to update after the weekend with pictures of all of the festivities and fun.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Pumpkins are Carved!

It's cooling off just in time for Halloween and Julians birthday party, and now the pumpkins won't roast in the heat.  Pete carved his required "scary" pumpkin, and I took care of the rest, completing our family of four this year.  Now they will be ready to put on display this weekend for all of the festivities.

Can you guess who is who?:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Papa Time

Jules is absolutely in love with the Safari Tractor that his Aunt Claudia and Uncle Johnny B got him for his first birthday. It's been here for nearly two weeks and is still the center of his focus during playtime. He is not often seen without either the giraffe or the zebra in his hand. He loves to set thing on the end tables, on us, on the ottoman, etc. He also loves to give them kisses and have us give them kisses as well, it's adorable.




Thursday, October 23, 2008

Almost One

Every week of this past month Julian has been making huge strides towards toddlerhood. He started pointing a few days ago, and now that takes up a majority of his day. He wants to know what everything is, and he tries so hard to mimic it back to us. He has so many words: baby, zebra, mama, papa, puppy, ball, book, diaper, kisses, bath. Not every word sounds correct, but we know what he is saying and that is way cool. He wakes up every morning chanting "papa papa papa papa" over and over again, crawling all over Pete's head and kissing him a million times. Mama is saved for when he is a sad, whiny, or clingy and wanting to be held or nursed. He asks for "Nana's" now, his own word for nursing, and it's great to be able to communicate like that with him.

We have bits of free standing here and there, mostly when he doesn't realize I've put him down and let go. Otherwise he hits the deck as quick as he can to get moving, leaving little time to practice standing on his own. He's really fast, and now that belly crawling is far behind him I find myself really having to race after him if I want to catch him before disaster strikes. He cruises along the couch, the walls, the bed, etc - but not yet from place to place.

Here are some videos from the last week or so:





Thursday, October 16, 2008

Papa Time and Snack Traps

Jules loves to sit at the desk and watch the computer when either of us are sitting there.  He crawls over and demands to be picked up, he hates being left out of anything. Pete still insists that Jules doesn't really look like him so I snagged some profile shots to see what you guys think:



I really don't see much of me in him yet, but I think it's all that blond hair and those beautiful blue eyes that throw me.  Looking back at pictures of Pete and I as babies he still resembles Pete the most, though sometimes I see myself in his eyes.  People say that when he's looking mischievous he looks most like his Papa, and his serious faces look more like me.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not!




It took Jules one day to become a Snack Trap master.  These things are genius.  They have a floppy top that he can get his little hand in, but it keeps spillage to a minimum.  If I'm not careful and I fill it too full he eats it all just for the joy of getting it out of the container by himself.  The Snack Trap comes in super handy at the grocery store and on long walks.  Now all I need it a tether to tie it the stroller or cart so that when he flings it down it doesn't go too far!