Thursday, July 22

the hat junkie

It's quite possible that only the grandmas noticed that we've been a little MIA.
All I can say is that we're in chill mode! It's been hot. really hot. We just finished about 6 weeks of different guests in and out of our home (which we loved!) and we are simply laying as low as possible for a few!
August will be another busy month as we head to MN, NC, & VA, so I think I will take my 2 weeks & relax a bit. :)
When it's too hot to go outside, G's favorite position is looking out the window and he simply loves playing with all these containers!

He now asks for a hat when we leave to go somewhere. Perhaps he is used to seeing daddy grab one from the rack as we leave! But this day, he was convinced he needed all 3 - his and 2 of daddy's!
How much do I love my $5 Kohl's find? so much!!
Hope you all are enjoying a little chill time during these warm months!

Wednesday, July 14

Dropping the nappy-nap-nap................

Truthfully, this has been behind us for a while, but I still want to write it down and I always enjoy getting the feedback of what has worked for others!
When we hit 12 months, I knew one of our next big milestones was moving to one-a-day naps. Yay! I was excited considering summer was around the corner and 2 naps seems to keep you so close to home most days!
G's morning nap had always been longer than his afternoon one, so I knew that needed to be reversed! So around 11 months I began waking him up from his morning nap, first at the 1 1/2 hour mark and then eventually the one hour mark (sometime between 12-13 months). I know the timetable can vary a lot from child to child, with most books recommending dropping somewhere in the 15-18 month range. Once G hit 12-13 months, his afternoon nap definitely started shortening, so I knew he would probably be on the early end. I think (oh boy, I'm already forgetting!) that around 14 months I started skipping it every other day. That seemed to work pretty well. That way, if we were going to have a late night or extra busy day, he was gradually getting used to cutting it out. His afternoon nap definitely did not instantly turn longer, even when not skipping that morning nap! But after a while it gradually lengthened. After about a month of the every other day, or every couple of days, we were done, right about the 15 month mark. Occasionally, I still might lay him down for a cat nap in the am if he's definitely showing signs of needing it, but pretty much, we're good with the one nap now! And it definitely did lengthen to usually 2.5 to sometimes 3 hours.
One unexpected thing. At first, he still wasn't ready to go down until his 1:30 or 2 (his usual 2nd nap) time. But after a month or two, I slowly moved it up as his tired signs got earlier! Now he goes down at 12:30 and is quite ready!
All in all, it was one of the easier baby transitions that we've done. yay for that! I think it is kind of tricky though. A lot of baby things it can be best to just quit something cold-turkey and get thru a couple of days of chaos! But with the nap, I think their bodies need to be able to make that adjustment maybe over a little more time. Doing every other day or every couple of days is good for that, however, we know how important routine is to them, and so that's where they can get a little confused at a varying routine!
But anyways....we're enjoying our extra summertime hours!
Speaking of naptime, somewhere around the 14 month mark somebody got really attached to his "B". He has fallen in love with this thing! We're making him keep it in his crib because I can't handle all the germs it would pick up if he dragged it everywhere. :) SO FAR, he has been willing to say "bye-bye B" after nap! But he is also giddy when naptime/bedtime comes because he's SO excited to see B. Can't complain about that!!
We would love to know who gave this to him! (Cornerstone baby shower?) It's half-blanket/half-bear, with a silk edge that he loves to rub. The other day, I was vacuuming and found him sitting in the corner hugging it. Sweet, but sad all at the same time. :) But he loves it anyways! (Notice in the top picture, he is sleeping on top of it, which he loves to do!)
So, that's our story, do you have any major do's or don'ts?!

Sunday, July 11

a weekend of firsts

oh, yes, did I mention firsts?!

First #1: hubby gets the flu. I think this is the first time since we've been married that Andrew has been really sick. When I picked him up from work on friday, he was shaking with chills & fever. His temp hovered around 102/103 for a lot of the weekend and he was really down for the count. So my nursing skills got put to work!
First #2: sleeping in separate quarters. Don't worry, no marital strife here, but though it was probably too late, I was doing my best to avoid getting the plague that seemed to have gotten graham earlier in the week and then Andrew. So I took to the upstairs guests room. It actually turned out to be a good thing for first #3. we'll see if it worked.
First #3: a short night of sleep! Well, not a total first, but for the first time since Graham was probably 2/3 months old! We've been pretty lucky to escape many nighttime escapades. I have been pretty happy with my regular 8 hours of sleep each night for the last 14 months. And thankful. Very thankful!
Anyways, G wakes up about 10:30, (just as I'm drifting off!) and cried and cried. I rocked and patted and soothed, nothing worked. This was totally abnormal.
First #4: sleeping with G. I have a rule, no kids sleeping in our bed. :) I figure I'll probably spend the night worrying about smothering him or getting kicked by little feet or G has slept in his crib since the first night we brought him home. But last night (since I had extra space in my bed anyways) and he just wouldn't calm down, I finally brought him to bed with me. The only way he would calm down would be to lay sprawled across me. Fav position #1 (for him): head in my adam's apple, breathing hot little breath into my neck. very cozy. very. I tried to re-position him several times lying on his own and he would cry and cry. He finally fell asleep in fav position #2: body sprawled completely across me. Really? that's comfortable? But only one of us was sleeping. :) After a while I tried to move him and more crying. So then I gave up and took him back to his bed where he did settle down and go to sleep. Until 3 am. another bout of crying. And then 7 as well.
What was up? Sunday morning, I go to change his diaper and his poor little boy-part is swollen to twice it's normal size. OK, that explains a lot. Our poor little guy. So every time he peed, he must have been in terrible pain.
Of course it would be that I was scheduled for the nursery at church this morning. So in between making sure Andrew was ok and caring for G and getting presentable to go to the Dr, I was trying to get someone to cover! Thankfully, I finally found a very gracious recipient!
So, off to the dr. we go!
Turns out he had a definite bit of infection. Poor little guy.
He is still crying every time he pees and is in such obvious pain, but when he's not peeing, he's as happy as normal. Thankfully, he was able to take 2 good naps today and we're hoping for a better night!
The good news, while Andrew is still on the mend, he was able to function a little today!
And did I mention, it was so fun to snuggle my sweet boy, even though it was like cuddling a small heater?
All is well here, just a little unplanned excitement for our weekend!
So, here's crossing our fingers that G's RX works quickly and we don't have any more firsts for this weekend. I think that was enough for me. :)

Friday, July 9

More fun at the Falls..............

Here's a *few* more pics of our trip! I didn't really realize that NF is a full-out family friendly vacation destination! If you haven't been, you should definitely try to go sometime!
We were so glad that our hotel was in easy walking distance of everything! Sometimes it's hard to tell when you book online, but we were right in the action!
Do you think this place closed because it was having an identity crisis?
Is it Canadian, Szechuan, Kosher.....apparently it couldn't figure it out either!
If you are going to sell footlongs for $6, you at least need to have 6 fingers!
our favorite dinner is always salad & pizza!
fresh-baked waffle cones - yum!
a good farewell Canadian breakfast!

Thanks Canada, it was fun!

Wednesday, July 7

One year

It's hard to believe, but one year ago today, we arrived in the 'burgh to stay!
In some ways, it feels like it was another lifetime when we were living at the beach! Certainly a lot has transpired over this past year and it has been a very full and blessed year. We are so thankful for how God has directed our path each step of the way!

the blessings................
  • arrived without (kelly) having seen the house we were moving in to. Praise God, though not without some inconveniences, it has been a wonderful home for us!
  • arrived without any jobs. Within a month, God had provided a job for Andrew.
  • Small problem - he hated it. :) Again, God was gracious and provided a new job within a few months!
  • A few months into that job, he received a promotion which allowed him a huge increase in the flexibility of his hours. Something we have not had the privilege of before, and how thankful we are for that!
  • we love living in the heart of the city. We love being able to walk to our bank, eye dr., dentist, other dr's, cvs, rite aid, restaurants, friends' houses, parks, starbucks......
  • coming in at some of the beginning stages of Redeemer Community Church has been such a learning experience. We are thankful for what God is teaching us through this phase.
  • we have found the city to be SO kid-friendly. Since starting our mom's group, we seemingly have a never-ending list of activities which come across our path. From symphony concerts to movies in the park to spray parks to stroller walks to the Children's museum, Science center, Zoo....Graham is one lucky boy!
  • we left behind so many wonderful friendships, and while those cannot be replaced, we are thankful for the new friends & neighbors that God has brought across our path.
  • everyone here smokes. ok, probably not everyone, but sometimes it seems that way! I hate walking down the street and having multiple people blowing their smoke right at stroller level. grrrrr.
  • the weather. not so in love with the weather here, seems we go from extreme hot to extreme cold to 20 inches of snow in 2 days to 7 straight weekends of rain in the spring.....yes, it's been crazy.
But, as you can see, the good list is far longer than the not so good list and we rejoice in God's goodness.

not an uncommmon sight in our neighborhood of older Italians!
Graham was just 5 months old when we arrived!
 It was an interesting 6 weeks without a stove, and we were thankful to have it!
our team might not be great, but baseball games are still fun!
at the pumpkin patch with our Redeemer clan!
my very dear friend who has since moved back to Turkey. SNOW!
the momtourage is growing.......
enjoying the spray park!
After almost a year of living in white walls and interesting borders, we were very thankful to get the go-ahead to make a few changes! A $5 can of "oops paint" goes a long way!
our big 17-month year old boy!
looking forward to what God has for us in year #2!

Monday, July 5

FRIENDS. FUN. 4TH. FIREWORKS. how to sum it up?!

We were so excited that our friends, Jeff & Holly, from Va Beach came to visit for the 4th weekend! We tried to give them as much Pittsburgh flavor as we could pack in 3 days, around naps of course! They were such good sports as most of the time we were plowing thru crowds of people!
Max & Marcus were good little troopers!
G & Max had lots of fun playing together. They are 6 months apart, and yep, G is twice his width. :)
the boys
we were outnumbered!
thanks random picture-taker, these don't usually turn out!Jeff & Andrew took in the Pirates game, and they actually beat the Phillies!
On to the fireworks....................did I mention there were lots of people?!!
We basically watched the fireworks from somewhere down there!
Marcus was more into them them Max or Graham!
G immediately started crying when they started and said he wanted to go ni-night. So this was his postition during them, apparently he was over the excitement!
he's never been up 3 hours past his bedtime!it was a great fireworks show!!
Fun weekend! We are exhausted, I am pretty sure we exhausted our guests! But it was all good. Of course our favorite moment of the weekend we didn't get pics of - Saturday night after the kids went to bed, we grilled bbq chicken on the deck and topped it off with s'mores. ah, peaceful!
Thankfully, we have monday to crash & recupe! I am sorry our guests aren't so lucky. :(
I do believe the 4th of July should ALWAYS be on a weekend. :)