December 31, 2006

Photos will be better than ever!

I just set up my flickr account, which is where all of my photos are going to be posted from now on since I'm posting on the new blog. Here is a link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rachael1013/sets/

You can also get to it by going to the right hand side of my blog and clicking the 'photos' link under 'Cool Stuff'. I will make sure to include it in my post when I add new pictures. The pictures are better quality and I'll be able to put more up, so I'm excited about that! I wil post pictures from my New Jersey trip as soon as I get unpacked and get them organized, and will post another blog entry about the rest of the trip!
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December 22, 2006

Feliz Navidad!

Hello! This is my first real post on the new blog. I don't have any pictures to post right now, but when I do, I'll make sure to leave good instructions on how to access them. It will also be easier for me to post links for people on this blog.

I'm writing this on Justin's laptop in the dining room at Dad and Helene's house in Flemington, NJ. Emmy is sitting across from me writing some tips for Kira and Mom when they go to D.C. next week, Dad and Kira are working on putting the lights up on the tree, and Justin and Sam are upstairs taking a nap. It's been a pleasant day so far, and tonight we are going to the Shaker Cafe around the block for Mexican Night. Dad goes there every morning when he's in town to get his daily egg sandwich.

Sorry it's been so long since my last update. The last couple of weeks have been a little crazy with celebrating Christmas with a few people, getting ready for our trip, and the big storm that hit Washington and Oregon last week and knocked out power for thousands of people, including ours for a while!

The weekend of the 9th was busy and fun! On Friday we went down to Tacoma and went to see the Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo. It was pretty cool, and it made me wish that I had a better camera since that kind of thing is so hard to take photos of with an ordinary camera. I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to see more animals - although we did see a racoon in the trees while we were looking at the lights! After that, we popped over to Tacoma General Hospital to visit Brie and the babies and drop off some hand-me-downs and lots of bottles we're not using, and to see them for the last time until next year. That night and the next night Brie and Kyle were rooming in at the hospital with Ginny in preparation for her homecoming that Sunday! It's very exciting, she's been home for almost 2 weeks now and things are going well so far. Roman is not quite as advanced and is still in the hospital as far as I know, but they're still hoping that he'll be home for Christmas. On Saturday the 9th we headed up to Bellingham and went to Mom's Kulshan Chorus Holiday Concert, then on Sunday we all headed over to Rob and Susan's house for brunch and to exchange Christmas gifts. We had a really great time, and it was really wonderful to be able to spend time with Rob, Susan, and Mom all at once. I think I've been really lucky in life to have parents who value family so much and have such good relationships with each other. We had a really great time! Then that evening we got to spend some time with Leela, Esme, and Ty. It was a really great weekend.

Last week we spent a whole day over at Brooke and Dave's while waiting for our power to come back on after the storm. Brooke, Lorelai, Seamus and I decorated Christmas cookies and we had a cozy little Christmas gift exchange in the evening. We also had Laurie over for lunch last Sunday and she got to see how big Sam has gotten and hang out with us. It was really great to see her.

Now we're in New Jersey and looking forward to Christmas Eve and seeing our families that evening and on Christmas Day. Kira's looking forward to a short trip to D.C. with Mom next week, and I'm looking forward to lots of people passing Sam around and enjoying taking care of him while I have a little R & R! Woo hoo!

Sam is doing pretty well. He did wonderfully on the flight out here. He was a little fussy, but didn't really cry, and took a pretty good length nap during the flight. We did curbside check in again, which is very convenient with so many suitcases and a carseat and trying to carry Sam around and keep him happy!

Since we got here he has been a little under the weather. The last couple of nights he has had a pretty high fever (102.6 and 102.4) and has been a little fussy and clingy. We're not sure if he just has a fever because he's teething or if he has caught some kind of bug. His fever was definitely better in the middle of the night last night, but he did feel a little warm this morning when he got up.

The biggest change is that he's definitely army crawling now! He can really get going if you give him some incentive like a remote control or a video game controller. He can get up on his hands and knees and take a little crawl, but he hasn't gotten it down very well yet.

That's about all that's going on! I will definitely get back on during our vacation and post more updates and some pictures as our vacation goes on. I'm sure that Sam is going to get totally spoiled and there will be TONS of pictures of his first Christmas!
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December 7, 2006

First Haircut!

Tonight I gave Sam his first haircut! It was slightly difficult until I realized that the key was to stick the bottle in his mouth, then it was pretty smooth sailing. I just cut it in the front and on the sides around his ears. It was starting to get in his eyes a little bit in the front. It didn't look too bad when we put him to bed, but we'll see what it's like tomorrow! See photo album for pictures!

Also, we just put Sam to bed after our bath, bottle, book ritual. And it literally took 2 minutes after Justin put him down for him to go to sleep. I looked at the clock, and he cried for 2 minutes, then silence. CRAZY! He's doing so great.

It's funny, I notice new things every day. Today he was in the exersaucer and his book fell over the edge and he actually leaned forward to look over the edge to see where it went. Wow. It's really amazing watching him learn and develop.

He is also really close to getting his top front teeth, and has been pretty fussy because of his mouth hurting. I think they'll come through in the next couple of days.
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December 6, 2006

I Can't Believe How Fast Time Goes By

Sam is now 7 months old, and I can't believe how fast the time has gone by, and how much he changes every day. He's such a big boy now - that may seem silly, but anyone who is a parent will know what I mean when I say that I already have nostalgia thinking about how small he was just a few months ago.

So, what's new in his world? He is now a champion eater, and enjoys breakfast, lunch and dinner along with his bottles every day. He still loves his yogurt, and usually gets a little with every meal. It seems to help with his digestion, and his spitting up is definitely improving. I think soon it'll be a rare event instead of a regular one! It's been fun being able to start giving him 'regular' foods like mashed potatoes and letting him try things like different flavors of ice cream!

He still wears bibs pretty much all the time, but the main reason for it at this point is the drool! He is a big drool machine. Right now he's drooling a lot because he seems to be getting more teeth. We think that the next ones to come in will be his front top two teeth, they're right there, but not quite coming through yet.

Sam is also VERY close to being able to crawl, and he can sit up by himself! It is amazing how much better at it he gets just day to day, but he can now sit up for long periods of time by himself and even catch himself sometimes if he starts to teeter over. He can also sometimes go from sitting to lying down without tipping and bumping his head. He can move around the floor now, and once he starts crawling he's going to be all over the place - I am sure going to get a workout chasing him around! He now gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth a lot, he even scoots a little bit, but he doesn't get the alternate leg movement quite yet!

The biggest change lately has been the start of establishing a bedtime routine for Sam, and teaching him to be able to put himself to sleep when it's bedtime. We currently start around 9:30 and get him into the bath - the great thing is that he loves the bath so much he can be in there for a long time, or if we're feeling tired or it's late we can just do 10 minutes or so in the tub. After his bath, we get him all cozy in his jammies and give him a warm bottle and read a few books to him. Then he goes into the crib (without a pacifier) to go to sleep. We haven't been doing it for long - just about a week - but it is going pretty well so far! The longest he's cried in the past few days is 15 minutes, but tonight it was more like 10. It's hard to listen to him cry, but it's also nice to know that he'll be able to put himself to sleep and that if we're really tired or need him to go down, he knows what the bedtime routine is and will start to understand what it means when it's bedtime. It's hard to know what advice to listen to, and which experts to listen to, and which methods to choose. But I think that what we're doing is going really well so far. He also sleeps through the night almost every night now, which is really nice!

We are having so much fun with Sam even though the teething has made him quite a bit more fussy than normal in the past week! Last night he went and spent a few hours with Brooke and Dave while Justin and I went out to celebrate our 7 year dating anniversary! It's amazing it's been that long... we just went to a movie, but it's always fun to get out just the two of us, and I think we've done a pretty good job so far of making time for us to spend together.

We leave on the 19th for our Christmas trip to New Jersey. Before then, we have some things to look forward to. This weekend we're heading up to Bellingham to see some people that we probably won't see again until after Christmas (Rob, Susan and Maggie, Esme and Ty, and Justin's Dad). We are also going to see Mom's Kulshan Chorus concert on Saturday night, and visit with Leela on Sunday. Then on the 15th we'll have our Christmas celebration with our friends before going on vacation. I'm looking forward to watching Seamus and Lorelai open their presents. It really gives me a peek into how fun it will be for Sam's first Christmas that he's actually more aware of! During our trip we'll get to see lots of relatives and have a couple of celebration dinners. I'm mostly looking forward to Sam meeting the relatives he hasn't met yet, and spending time with Dad, Helene, Lianna, and my cousin Emmy. We always have a really fun time.

In other news, my friend Brie found out today that her daughter, Ginny, is going to be able to come home from the hospital on Sunday as long as everything goes well! It's so exciting, she's been in the hospital for a little bit over a month since she was born at 30 weeks. Her twin brother Roman will have to stay in a little longer, as he's not quite as mature as she is. We are very excited for her to be home and to be able to go down and visit and hold her and really start getting to know her! The other good news is that my good friend Leela found out last week that after 1+ year long interview process, she's been accepted into the United States Border Patrol training program! It's a little sad because it means she'll be away from Washington for at least 3 years, but we're really happy for her too!

The other big news is that this month both Justin and I got Lasik surgery and no longer need to wear glasses! I am still in the recovery process - using antibiotics and LOTS of eye drops - I have to use them every hour. Justin is just using them as needed at this point. I'm still geting used to not having to put on my glasses in the morning and being able to wear sunglasses, and not trying to feel my contact lenses! And I'm definitely enjoying being able to see Sam and lie with him and play with him and not having to worry about him grabbing onto my glasses!

Well, I'm off to read for a little while before bed - the new Michael Crichton book came out last Tuesday! I will be back again soon to update!
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