Tuesday, February 24, 2009

8 Month Letter

Dear Jenna-Bean,

I've always said to the parents of 8 month olds "That's a fun age". And, after going through the last month, I can confirm, we're having more fun than ever. You, again, continue to amaze us. 

I feel like you're growing too fast. Milestones are flying by and as I look at the pictures of you (as I upload them) I realize that you're starting to look less like an infant and more like a toddler. Maybe it's because you now have 6 teeth. Maybe it's your smile. Maybe it's that you babble in your own language and will have a conversation with us after we say "Mamamamama" or "Dadadadadada" to you. You never repeat it back but we often get something like "GogagagogagaEEEEEgakgakgogaek" in response. Maybe it's that you're closer to a toddler than you are to a newborn (sniff!) 

My heart swells with love just thinking about you. I get teary thinking about the type of person you will become. You are independent like your Mama, a bit stubborn like your Dad and beautiful in a way we couldn't have expected. I still don't know who you look like. Dad says you look like his Mom (Nanny) and I see aspects of that, but I don't see either him or me in you. 

This last month has been amazing. You've started crawling, you've cut a bunch of teeth (as mentioned before). You've decided eating during the day isn't as exciting as EVERYTHING else going on around you. Eating at night 'sumo-style' is your preferred method, thus resulting in little sleep for me. You're up to 3 'solid' meals a day and eating the following: pears, sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, bananas, apples, mango, oatmeal, and as of today, cheerios.

I love your curious nature. You observe for a bit, then comment. At restaurants, you won't sit and look at us, instead, you prefer to turn around and watch the comings and goings of those that are working, of the guests and you like to flirt with other tables. You will smile for almost everyone. On walks, I often overhear "What a happy beautiful baby" nothing makes me more proud. 
With you crawling, we've been officially kept on our toes. We're trying to ensure you're safe, but without removing everything in sight. We want to be able to teach you that there are things you just can't have. "La Boca No!" is a phrase Irma started using with you, meaning "that doesn't go in your mouth" in spanish. It's working with you, and although you don't like it sometimes, you've learned. 

In the last month it's been raining, raining, raining. We need the rain as it's been a dry year up until this point. But, we've gone on less walks. I think  that in combination with your curiosity has resulted in you crawling. Below is one of your 8 month pictures. You refused to sit back with 'those creatures' to take this picture. Instead, you wanted to hang out at the front of the chair, as close as you could to falling off, just to give your Dad and I a heart attack. 

8 months is a great age. We've had a blast in the last month. I would love to hear what's going on in your little head, my dear. You're able to give me the inquisitive looks the glaring stares (scary, let me tell you!), the big smiles and the weepy eyes but to know what you're thinking, to hear you say it will be quite amazing. That being said, I'm still not ready to let you grow up. And yet, you still are before my very eyes. 

I love you, bean. 

Mamamamamama :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Project #3&4

So, I've been slacking at posting about my Project. However, I haven't been a slacker about doing the little things for Nick. I've actually been pretty good. And he's noticed. It's quite sweet.

Project #3
I cheated on this one. I put up on Facebook how great of a husband he is, how I love him so much. I'm sure he saw this one, but he didn't post anything to it. I intend to brag about him more, in front of others, well, someone other than Jenna. He hears me tell her what a Great DA-DA-DA-DA-DA she has... Hopefully she'll brag about her Dada soon, too ;)

Project #4
For Valentines, we agreed not to get each other gifts as we tend to go a little crazy and try to out do one another and we just spend too much. So, we agreed to just go on our date and get each other a card. Then, when my Mom gave us each a box of hershey's chocolates, we laughed and said we were bummed we didn't have any chocolate to celebrate with ;) Soooo, I made a trip to See's chocolates and picked up some Scotchmallow's. Now, those are my favorite, too... but I bought 4, JUST FOR HIM. I gave them to him, told him I loved him and he smiled and said "I know, babe, thanks!" (it was way more 'gooey' than I can convey with written word, I promise).

I like this, it's fun.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Milestones galore!

So, this past weekend we went up to Nick's parents (mountain camp) for the weekend. It's been a while since they've seen Jenna and we skipped out on a trip up there last month when we were at the apex of our sleeping/fussy/teething fiasco. So, needless to say, Nanny and Poppie were super excited to get some 'Jenna-Time' in :)

Just before packing up to leave, I was sitting across the room from Jenna. She was sitting up and I clapped and said "YAY JENNA!" She suddenly brought her hands together and clapped. I was shocked, we haven't worked on this one at all! So, I tried again and again that afternoon, and although it's a loose interpertation of a clap, it's an intentional clap none-the-less. It's funny when she's tired and trying to suck her thumb and clap at the same time.

Then, this weekend while up at mountain camp, she kept doing her 'mock' crawling around the hardwood floors upstairs. So, I suggested we bring her downstairs to the family room (carpeted) and play with her there for a bit. It didn't take long, she officially started crawling. She only gets 3-4 "steps" but she's finally figured out how to move forward rather than backward.

::let the babyproofing begin::

So, she now can go from any position to sitting, pull herself to standing (if she's near a surface to grab onto), crawling, clapping, smiling and laughing. Oh, and she now has 5 teeth. My oh my, this all happens so fast!

7 months, 19 days

Friday, February 6, 2009

Before I forget!

So, this week Jenna hasn't been napping very well at day care. I think it started on Wednesday (see why I'm noting it now!) Irma said that she laid her down for a nap, and a few minutes later she was still chatter boxing and it sounded like she was playing (you have to stay out of her sight otherwise she thinks you're going to come and play with her!) So, Irma walked over to the pack n play and saw Jenna, sitting upright, trying to pull her self up on the side of the pack n play.

Thank goodness we lowered the crib mattress from the very top level to the lowest level a few weeks ago.

Jenna's learned to go to a sitting position independently. She's also still working on crawling. She can go backward, but gets frustrated easily. She also goes on all 4's then straightens her legs (think downward facing dog). Who knows what she'll do next... this girl's already keeping us on our toes!

~ 7.5 months

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Project #1

This is what I did for Project #1
So, Nick often gets the house alone time this project stipulates. So, instead of doing that, I tried to look for another 'nice thing' to do for him. Like I said, he often gets the transitional time this project suggested, still gets to play video games a couple of times a week, peruse the internet (on car chat boards) and gets down time. But, what he doesn't get is a bit of time alone with me. Well, he gets that, but often we sit on separate couches, and watch tv together.

Last night, I snuggled up next to him. It was nice to be a 'couple' rather than being roommates for an evening. Jenna was asleep, the house was quiet and we were able to watch a movie. Sounds simple? It WAS! Plus, often, on our separate couches, I knit or read while he's watching tv or on the internet. Last night, we just snuggled.

Oh, and this morning while making his coffee (yes, I make coffee just for him, as I can't drink the caffinated stuff, or, at least I'm too scared to drink the caffinated stuff while BFing) I put a little cinnamon in it, because I knew it'd be a nice surprise for him (something small I know he loves).

Yay! 1 down, 4 to go....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Husband Project

With all the reflection I've been doing lately, coming across this post from the nest and it opened my eyes. I need to honor the man I love and adore frequently. I'll be trying this little mini blog project that the author put on her website. It's all from the book "The Husband Project".

In any case, I hope you'll join me, at least in one of the projects. Nick doesn't know any of this is coming, and since I know he doesn't read the blog, it makes it easy to share with all of you :)

Please comment and let me know what you did and how it worked out for you! I'll post what I did in subsequent posts. :)

Project #1
30 Minutes is All it Takes
Create Some Free Time When He Gets Home
“There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

Your Project:
Focus on your husbands transitional 30 minutes today. Would he like to be left alone to rest and rejuvenate, or does he want some undivided attention from you? The point is to let your husband know you value what he does out in the world, and that he has a safe loving place to come home and get refreshed at the end of the day.
Getting CreativeThere are plenty of reasons why it might not be easy for you to give your husband some transition time at the end of the day. You need to look at what can work for your relationship. Be creative, like the stories listed below. Brainstorm with your friends until you find a situation that will work for you and your guy.
My friend, Joann, purposely scheduled her daughter’s dance classes twice a week at the same hour that her husband gets home from work. That way, her hubby comes home to an empty house. He gets some quiet, and she gets a more peaceful man.
One husband has his workshop out in the garage. His wife encourages him to go and hang out there for a while before dinner. (Since starting this arrangement, her husband has started helping out with the after-dinner clean up. Nice side benefit.)
Crockpots are The Husband Project’s best friend. Set your crockpot to be finished thirty minutes after your husband gets home from work. Let him know that you don’t need anything until dinner is ready. Don’t know a crockpot from a flower pot? Check out the recipes in The Ultimate Guide to Man Food at http://www.kathilipp.com/
Does your husband already have a great transition routine after getting home? Find some other little thing to bless that time. Maybe it’s making sure the TV is available, his favorite sweats are clean and ready to be changed into, or there’s a cold soda waiting for him in the fridge. It may be so small that he doesn’t even notice. That’s okay – you’ll know what you did.
What if your husband works from home? Maybe the best way to help him relax is to ask what he would like the schedule to be. Does he want dinner before or after he gets some time to recharge? Ask him what would make his night better.

Project #2
Back in the Day
Do Something He Enjoyed Before You Got Married

“Lust is easy. Love is hard. Like is most important.” ~ Carl Reiner
Your Project:
Initiate an activity that your husband used to love. Whether it’s his favorite hobby, sport, or pastime, it’s time for you to get involved – be his buddy today.

Getting Creative
Many a man’s hobby has gone by the wayside due to matrimony. Is it possible that it’s time you learned to golf or fly fish? Don’t try to beat him, just join him.
Possibly the only thing your husband would enjoy more than playing chess with you is teaching you how to play chess. Ask for a lesson so he can teach you something that he is an expert at (or really loves). Just your willingness to learn will be a huge boost to your guy.
Pick up a magazine about your guy’s now dormant hobby. Ask him questions about why he loves it so much. Learn a couple of technical terms so that you are better able to discuss it.
Do a little research. Find out what the definitive website is on your husband’s favorite subject. Maybe there’s an event in town, a lecture to attend, or a game to watch.

Project #3
You da’ Man
Spreading Great Gossip About Your Guy

Your Project:Say something nice about your husband to someone else. Make sure you tell him what you said, and to whom.

Getting CreativeWho are the important people in your husband’s life? Your kids, his parents, his friends? Be intentional about who you chat with when you brag on him – it’s almost as important as actually doing it.Having a hard time coming up with something? I still brag on my guy for things he did years ago. He loves when I tell the story of how brilliantly he proposed (there were waterfalls and stuffed portabella mushrooms involved…).
Here are some other areas to think about when crafting your brag:
His parenting skills
His patience level
The way he treats your mom
His culinary ability
His job
His loyalty to you

Project #4
Heart vs. Stomach
A Treat Just for Him

“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans.”Ronald Reagan
Your Project:Get a food treat for your husband that he’s not required to share with you or any other family member.

Getting CreativeStumped for ideas? Here are some thoughts:
Get his favorite pint of Ben & Jerry’s and hide it behind the frozen chicken. Even if you buy it on Tuesday, you’ll have it ready and waiting for his special night later in the week.
Is there a certain cut of meat that your husband loves? How about having the butcher cut something just for him? Most supermarkets will even do the marinade for you – one less thing to think about.
Is there a certain candy that your husband loves from his childhood? Check out http://www.candywareearhouse.com/. They have all the nostalgic candy you could want (Black Jack Gum, anyone?) while also carrying any modern favorite you could be looking for.
My husband’s family loves something called “noodles and mashed potatoes” (we lovingly refer to it as “The Starch Fest”). I learned how to make this special dish just for him.
My guy loves the smell of baking almost as much as he enjoys eating the treat. Have some brownies in the oven when he gets home from work or working out. (I know, it negates the workout, but isn’t chocolate always worth it?)
Our friend Scott mentioned that he loves cranberry sauce, but eats it only at Thanksgiving. His wife intentionally made the holiday treat for him this past July.
Are you a wife who is an expert at low-cal salads and other forms of chick-food? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Man Food at http://www.kathilipp.com/ for ideas

Project #5
Text or E-mail Some Sweet Nothings

“I turn on my computer. I wait patiently as it connects. I go online. My breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words, “You’ve got Mail.” I hear nothing, not a sound on the streets of New York. Just the beat of my own heart… I have mail, from you.”Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kennedy in “You’ve Got Mail”
Your ProjectSend a flirty text or e-mail to your husband.

Getting Creative
Use an e-card service (hallmark.com or americangreetings.com) to send a cute and flirty note.
Don’t know how to text? Ask any teenager in the general vicinity.
Most phones have a camera feature where you can send a photo message. Be sure to keep it G rated so that he doesn’t get in trouble at work.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Weekends with Friends!

So, this past weekend, we went to meet beautiful baby Olivia. She's tiny, born at 5 lbs. 9 oz. Andy and Jean are the proud parents and you can see that in the pictures below. Nick's happy that Jenna has another girl to play with as most of her friends are boys (yes, he's nervous already).

Here's Olivia.
Olivia and her proud Papa.
A knowing glance between parents.

Jenna was happy as a clam, playing with Daddy and Andy while Olivia was being fed.

And, Nick holding Olivia, showing her which team to *really* cheer for. (Andy's a Boo Sox fan). Seeing Nick hold Olivia is sweet, serene. This is the man that wouldn't hold a baby before Jenna came along.

And, the weekend before last, we met up with the Dunnings! It was good to see Moriah, Conn and of couse, Kellen. Daddy and Jenna...

Conn and Kellen.

Kellen's happy as can be hanging out in Mommy's arms.

We took some pictures of Kellen for a Valentines card. But before that, Jenna had to get in the shot, too. Jenna's about 2 weeks younger than Kellen.

And, I'll leave you with a family shot.

It's good to meet up with friends. The baby boom is certainly helping!