September 30, 2006

Successful September Vacations

I'm back! I'm writing this update from the Homewood Suites in Portland! We don't have internet at the house right now, so I'm doing the update while I can. Unfortunately I don't have a cord with me to transfer pictures from my camera to the computer, so it's going to be a few days before I can post pictures from the things I'm going to update about. I'll post another update when I get the pictures up of course!

I got back from my vacation to New Jersey on Wednesday night. The trip went really well. Sam was SO good on the airplane both ways. He didn't even cry! On the way there, we ended up having an extra seat, but we didn't on the way back. Actually, we weren't even seated next to Kira, but we got a nice guy to switch with us. The plane was really warm on the way back, so Sam slept for pretty much the whole plane ride.

We got to see lots of people during our vacation, which was wonderful. Sam got to meet his Great Grandma Doley, it was really cool. We spent about half of our vacation in Ocean City, and had spectacular weather for mid September. We got to go to the beach on Sunday and Monday, and it was in the 80s both days. The water was pretty warm too. While we were down there, we got to visit with my cousins Matt, Laurie, Emmy and Erica, and with my Aunt Ann and Aunt Barb. It was really nice to be able to see everyone, and to spend more time with people than just visiting for dinner or something.

We had a great time hanging out with Lianna, and going out to the bus stop with her on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. She just had her 8th birthday, and I can't believe how big she is. It's so fun to watch every stage she goes through. We had fun playing with Sam and making jewelry with the bead kit I gave her for her birthday. Dad and Helene had a great time visiting with Sam too, from what I could tell! Helene was so great while we were there. She just did a lot of things like doing our laundry and washing Sam's dirty bottles- it just made the difference between it being just a visit and being an actual vacation for me!

When we got home, I was sleeping in a new house! Justin and his friend Tim moved a lot of our stuff while I was gone with Sam. It was actually really disorienting to come home and be living in a different place. Most of our stuff is still in boxes, and I can't really fully unpack and make everything how I want it until we get new furniture and shelves and stuff. We're planning on taking a trip to Ikea this week, and then maybe I'll be able to post some pictures on here of our new place! It feels really good to have more room, and we are really glad to have our own bedroom again.

Sam is doing great. He eats rice cereal before bed every night now. It's amazing how much he seems to change every day. Since we started giving him the cereal two weeks ago, he's actually learned how to eat. It's so amazing that in such a short time he could go from 'what are you doing? I have something in my mouth... I better spit all of it out" to sitting on our lap opening his mouth and wanting the food and enjoying it. It's really just so much fun to watch him grow. He's also rolling from his back to his stomach with ease now. In fact, it's kind of hard to keep him from doing it, and almost every time we lay him down he flips right over. Even though he's only almost five months old, we can see how much he wants to crawl. When he is on his stomach, sometimes he starts working really hard and you can tell he really just wants to take off across the floor. There is just so much to look forward to. Right now I can't wait until he can sit up on his own!

Yesterday we got to meet up with Amy, who used to be in my book club, at the Portland Zoo and see her daughter Saige. She's 17 months now, and I think last time I saw her she may have been less than 6 months old. She's very cute! We had a great time at the zoo - I had not been to this zoo before and it's very nice. Plus since we joined Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, this is one of the linked zoos around the U.S. that we can also get into for free. Today we went to the Portland Pirate Festival with Brooke and Dave. Justin stayed at the hotel to sleep because he was up all night last night working. I was disappointed that he didn't get to go with us, but they have a deadline coming up for his work on Tuesday so they're all trying to get things done.

Well, that's most of what's going on here! Sam was taking a nap, but now he's awake and crying, so I better go and get him. I'll be back as soon as I can - we are not getting internet at the new house until October 4, but hopefully I'll be able to post before then and share some pictures from our trips!
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September 14, 2006

Success!

We made it to New Jersey! I am writing this entry in my Dad's dining room. We had a direct flight yesterday. Dad's plan of reserving a window seat and an aisle seat worked perfectly - we had a whole row with an empty seat between Kira and I for Sam to be in. He was so good on the plane! He didn't cry at all. He had a bottle and fell asleep before we even took off. He took a couple of naps during the flight, and laid on the seat and played and chewed on things for the rest of the time. On the drive home, he had another nap. Everything went really well. We didn't get to bed until pretty late because of the time difference. Sam initially fell asleep between 12 and 1, but he was sort of fussy in his little bed. He fell asleep and didn't want to eat his rice cereal before bed, and woke up crying at about 3 or 3:30. I gave him another bottle then he just slept in the bed with me for the rest of the night. We ended up getting up around 11, so I still got a good 8 hours of sleep with a few wake-ups. He doesn't sleep as well in his travel bed because it's a lot smaller than his crib, so I'll still try it, but I think he might end up in the bed with me for the rest of the trip. It's okay because the bed is definitely big enough for both of us. He's down for a nap right now, and I thought I'd post a little update. Lianna and Kira are making jewelry right now with the bead kit that I bought for Lianna's birthday. I'm glad she likes it. Tonight Kira and I are going in to Philadelphia and going to a play with Emmy, then either tomorrow or Saturday we're heading to Ocean City for a few days. It's rainy and gloomy out today, so hopefully the weather will improve while we're here - especially for the time we're at the beach! I can't wait to see everyone this weekend. I will post again soon!
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September 11, 2006

Still Well

Once again, it has been WAY too long since I updated, and I apologize for that. August and September have turned out to be busy months for us, and I let things slide a little in the online world. I will try really hard to update much more often! I have also added a bunch of pictures to the photo album, so check it out!

So much has been going on in our world! We have had fun - I've gone to my girls night out dinner, we visited the Evergreen State Fair, attended Esme's baby shower, had a great time at my friend Kelly's birthday party, went to both the Point Defiance Zoo and the Woodland Park Zoo, attended my friend Melinda's wedding, and more. Here is a recap of some of the bigger exciting events that have happened....

Justin in China

Justin stayed in China until August 7, which ended up being about 2.5 weeks. Sam and I missed him a lot! I did okay until I hit the two week mark, then started to feel somewhat overwhelmed with taking care of Sam by myself 24/7. I was very happy for Justin to be home.

Book Club Trip to Chelan

After Justin got back from China, I took a four day trip to a rented house near Lake Chelan with some of the other Moms from my book club. I left Sam with Justin because he went to Levenworth with some of his family during that time, and I knew they would want to see Sam. It was my first time being away from Sam for any length of time. It wasn't quite as restful as I thought it would be. I spent a lot of time with Seamus and Lorelai, so I was still helping out with kiddies while I was there. It was really great to bond with them even more though. They are such great kids! I didn't miss Sam too much until the last day, and I was ready to go home and be with him.

We're Moving!!

When Sam started showing signs that he was going to be rolling over, I suddenly realized how hard it would be to give him room to play in our Condo. Not only that, but I began to look around and realized I have no idea how it would even be possible to babyproof this place with the amount of stuff that we have in here. Justin's been working at home from a desk in the living room, which is less than ideal, and I think Sam is ready for his own room. So... we decided it's time to look for a new place to live. We started with thoughts of buying a house, but quickly realized that we weren't sure we were up for that. The first problem being that we definitely don't have the money for a down payment on the kind of house we'd be looking for. We are also not sure we're in a place where we want to deal with looking for, bidding on, losing, finding and doing all of the process to own a house. It is a big step to go from owning a small condo to owning a house with property. Eventually we decided that in many ways, it would be more feasible and a better idea for us to rent a house for a couple of years until we are really ready to take the plunge. We found a house last week in Bothell (about 15 minutes north of where we live now) and we have signed a lease! We rushed through things a little bit because I am going away with Sam this week and that will give Justin time without us in the way to move stuff. We are very excited, as we're gaining 1000 square feet, plus a yard! It has 3 bedrooms (one for us, one for Sam, and one we'll use as an office), plus a big family room in the basement where Sam and all of our friends little ones can run amok. We are so excited about moving, having more room for Sam, and I am very excited about finally being able to comfortably have people over to our house again! I am looking forward to hosting my book club sometime soon. I will post pictures of the new place as soon as we're settled. As for the condo, we are pretty sure that instead of selling it, we will rent it out. It would be nice to have the money from selling it right now, but we haven't gained that much equity yet, and I feel like if we don't keep it for a while we will kick ourselves in 10 years. It's a good investment, and we can easily rent it out for enough to cover the entire mortgage & homeowners association fees. So, anyone know someone looking for a one bedroom condo in Redmond?

Baby News from my Friends

My friend Esme had her baby last week! He is totally adorable, his name is Ty, and he's just precious. We got to go and visit her on Sunday, and she seems to be doing really well, as does the little guy. It's a funny connection, both Esme and I had our babies on their due dates, which less than 4% of people do. But what's funnier is that I had Sam on Esme's birthday, and Esme had her little boy on my sister Lianna's birthday, which also happens to be the birthday of her little boy's Aunt! Crazy, huh? It's so exciting, and I am looking forward to watching Ty, Sam, and Maggie together as they grow up. In other SUPER exciting news, my good friend Brie found out recently that she is having TWINS! A boy and a girl. They are due in January, and it has been so great watching her go through the process and everything. I can't wait to meet her little ones!

Maggie

My little sister Maggie is doing well. They found out a few weeks ago that Maggie has a partial cleft palate, which is why she hasn't been doing that well with bottles or breastfeeding since she got home from the hospital. They have special bottles for her now, and she'll have to have surgery when she is betwen 9-15 months old. It's a shame, but judging by how well she recovered from her first surgery, I think she will do just fine. She is gaining weight now and is totally adorable. She looks so much like Rob, I can't believe it! We visited them on Saturday night and had a delicious pasta dinner. Check out the photo album for pictures of Sam and Maggie together!

Sam, Sam, Sam!

Sam had his four month checkup last week. He now weighs 13 lb 6 oz! He is getting close to having doubled his birth weight, which babies usually do by 6 months old. He is also 25 1/4 inches long. Only 3/4 of an inch left until he officially outgrows his infant car seat! We haven't taken his next car seat out of the box yet, but it looks like it's time to start figuring out how to use it. Sam is right on track. He had to get four shots again at this appointment. I didn't do as well with it this time and almost found myself in tears. He stopped crying soon after though. He got a little fever and his legs were sore, but cuddles from me and Justin usually did wonders for him.

Sam is doing great. He knows how to roll over from his stomach to his back now, although he isn't always that interested in actually doing it. I have probably not given him quite as much tummy time as I should, but I am thinking about it more now. He is working on rolling the other way, but he can't quite do it yet. He's gotten very good and turning from his back onto his side though, and likes to lie that way.

Sam is now laughing! He laughed for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It's very funny, it doesn't really sound quite right yet, although it's improving. At first it almost sounded a little bit like coughing. So, our new goal in life is to make him laugh, which seems like a pretty happy goal! He is still a very happy baby and smiling constantly, which is wonderful.

We also started him on rice cereal last Friday on the advice of our pediatrician. She suggested feeding him some of it before bed to see if it would fill him up a little more and help him sleep without waking up to eat in the middle of the night. We decided to try feeding with a spoon and start getting him used to that rather than just mixing it in his bottle with formula. It's so funny! I never thought before about the fact that there's a time in life when you don't know how to eat, but there definitely is! The great thing is that he has SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT two of the three nights since we started!!!!! Yay! The one night he didn't, we were in Bellingham, so he wasn't in his normal crib and stuff. Friday he slept from 11:30 to 9:00 and last night he slept from about midnight until 9:30! It's so great to REALLY get a full nights sleep finally. So, hopefully this is the beginning of a wonderful trend!

We are starting to think about getting Sam on a little bit more of a schedule for eating and naps, but we don't really know where to begin. It would be nice if he took longer naps and fewer of them. The doctor also suggested that perhaps we might want to think about starting to teach him to fall asleep in his crib instead of just putting him in there after he's already asleep. So, those things are on the horizon. We haven't come up with a plan or anything yet, so if anyone has advice in these areas, we would totally welcome it!

I am still having a wonderful time staying home with Sam. We're currently getting prepared to leave on Wednesday for a week long trip to New Jersey with Kira. I can't wait for Sam to meet all of his family there! We're going to have a great time, but it will also be my first time travelling with Sam, so there's a lot to think about and look forward to. Speaking of which, I need to get the laundry out of the drier because I'm thinking I need to start packing to make the next couple of days a little less stressful. Thanks for reading my mondo update, and I promise to post sooner next time! Hopefully I'll get a chance to do at least one update while I'm on vacation.
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