Friday, December 30, 2011

First Trip to the Zoo

This Christmas we had no snow, and I am not complaining.  It was in the 50's today so we decided to take Grace to the zoo!   
She was quite in awe looking at all the children running around, let alone the animals!  
She enjoyed watching the monkeys play.
She loves it when Daddy carries her in the bjorn!  It is so funny watching her legs wiggle in the air with excitement as we looked at all the displays.  
Her favorite animals were the bears!
In other news, Grace has her first tooth!  I was trying to get a picture of her toothy grin but I couldn't quite capture it.  I have this funny picture instead.  She doesn't seem to be too bothered by it!  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Star of Christmas

Nothing like an adorable baby to bring the family together!  This was the best Christmas I've had in years!
  Another memorable thing about this Christmas is we got to meet Brian, Sam's other half!  He is wonderful and makes our family even better.  We all enjoyed his warm personality and amusing quips.  Jason enjoyed sneaking off to the basement to play video games with him.  Plus, he does dishes!  
Grace loved hanging out with her Auntie Sam!
A family shot!
A bigger family shot!  We are all in this one so there is no one to dance around idiotically to get Grace to look at the camera.  
I loved having everyone's stockings to display on the mantle.  
Mom and I took a ton of pictures and there are a lot of good ones, but this is one of my personal favorites!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Moment of Glory

So guess what, I did it!  I made it back to my pre pregnancy weight!  
Here is a picture of me the last time I wore this sweater:
Being all flabby after birth was definitely my LEAST favorite part of the entire baby making experience.  I know it is an inevitable part of pregnancy and I'm sure a lot of women feel that way, but I was very impatient with the losing weight process.  Pregnant people are supposed to be huge, but when I was no longer pregnant, I felt awkward and almost embarrassed that I couldn't wear my old clothes and I wasn't my old self.  Not that I'm completely my old self now.  Things seem to be... redistributed a bit, but that is a reality with which I have come to terms. 
That awkward time did not take too long though, and wouldn't everyone like this cutie sucking 500 calories out of them every day?  I don't have to tell you that it was totally worth it in every way.  Who knows, maybe I can make it to wedding weight!  Nursing is the best weight loss solution, I highly recommend it!  Get your own baby though :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Five Months Old!

Happy five month birthday to our beautiful baby girl! 

 This Christmas is going to be the best Christmas ever.  Not only will it be Grace's first Christmas, but my family will be coming to visit!  I'm very excited!  Plus, we've just discovered that Grace loves watching us rip paper.  Apparently, it is hilarious!  We got the idea to try it after we saw the famous youtube video of a dad ripping up a rejection letter.  But don't watch that video, watch mine!  She's a little in awe at first, but keep watching!

Now think about it:  with Christmas paper ripping everywhere, Grace will probably be in hysterics!  What's not to love about this Christmas?


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fireplace Challenge Part 1

Jason is making progress with the fireplace!  I requested that it be completed by the time our holiday guests arrive, and he is rising to the challenge!    

We had all the materials needed for this project left over from previous projects (excluding the tile), but the axiom is still true:  every project requires the purchase of a new tool.  This time we bought a sledgehammer!   To install the hearth tile, we first had to remove inches of cement mortar.  Jason and I hammered it out with a crowbar and sledgehammer last Friday.  I had forgotten how much I love construction dust.  
Next, Jason created a level surface on which to lay the tile backer board.  As you know, he is very particular, so this had to be exactly level and triple fortified.  He used plywood and 2x4 pieces from our previous demolition.  
Tile installation!  Jason says it was MUCH easier than the backsplash tile that took him days to complete.  
And the finished product!  We chose a slate and glass tile mosaic.  
The glass pieces are brown and reflect light from the fire when it is turned on.  
We are so pleased with the result!  The fireplace is looking so much better, but now we need a new mantle.  We have some ideas from Marianne's boyfriend Michael, who happens to be a very talented carpenter.  Stay tuned for news about that; the challenge deadline will be here soon!  Doesn't my living room look warm and cozy?  My mom made a third stocking for Grace and all three are truly works of art.    Love!
What do you think of our new living room set up?  This is the only way we could figure it out with a Christmas tree involved.  We aren't sure if we prefer it but it is kind of fun to have it be different.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful for Babies

Grace waves hello to you from Marianne's lap! 
We had a lovely Thanksgiving with Jason's mom, Marianne.  Grace seemed to really enjoy smiling at her Grandma and we think they bonded!
Jason set up Grace's high chair so she could join us at the table!  
She didn't stay there for long though!  She was watching the food go from Jason's plate to his mouth intently, and even had her mouth open as the fork went over her head.  I think she is getting ready to try some solid foods!
Marianne and Jason made the pumpkin pie together and it turned out great!  The three of us ate more than half of it in one sitting alone!  
A family photo!
This is Grace's first time in shoes!  
Marianne really wanted to put Grace in this christening outfit.  She put up with it very well - for a short time!
Here Grace is reaching the end of her patience.  She looks cute though!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  We love you!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Riding the Sleep Train

It's been quite a week for us!  Actually, it has been a really busy couple weeks, and it isn't even over yet.  This weekend I have two gigs on Sunday, and non stop teaching Saturday.  I'm in need of some cute baby pictures, how about you? 
I love this outfit from her Aunt Sam.  
We just started putting her in this toy, and she seems to enjoy it!  She is supposed to be able to touch and spin around to all the different toys, but right now she can only touch if she uses her tiptoes, which doesn't give her enough leverage to spin herself around.  That is okay because she is entertained for half an hour by that bird toy alone.  
Who doesn't love a sleeping baby?  Mr. Frog is draped around her neck, just where she left him.  
Daddy LOVES taking naps with Grace on the couch, but since we started sleep training this week, it is not advised to have more than one sleeping location.  So unless he crawls in the crib with her, naps with the baby are on hiatus.  Jason is bummed but I'm sure there will be more nap opportunities once she gets a little older.  Sleep training is going pretty well, by the way.  Sometimes she has a fit or two of screaming, but for the most part she goes down to sleep without a peep! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lauritzen Gardens, 4 Months Old

Our friend Maria invited me out for a walk around Lauritzen Gardens!  I think it was really just a ploy for her to see Miss Grace.  Grace loved walking around in the Bjorn with me and we had a great time.  I had never been to the gardens before and I look forward to visiting again in the spring when more is blooming.  It was still beautiful with fall leaves and grasses, however.  Grace was the star of the day, getting oohs and ahhs from everyone we passed.  People kept calling her a bunny in this jacket, but really I think it is supposed to be bear ears on the hood because there is a bear embroidered on the chest.  Silly old ladies!  
Grace fell asleep not long into our walk.  You can tell she is a bit sleepy in this picture.  Wouldn't you like to be able to fall asleep in any situation?  She is four months old today!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


A whole bunch of baby giggles coming your way!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Grace's First Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone! 
We stayed at home intending to hand out candy and show off Grace to the trick or treaters, but no one came to our door!  NOT ONE!  Now we have a bucket full of candy that we really should not eat.  
Jason and Avery joined us though, so Grace's cuteness was not wasted.  Not that it ever is!  
Avery was adorable in her Baby's First Halloween onesie!  They have a onesie for everything these days.  She and daddy Jason had fun playing around with us while we waited for the non existent trick or treaters.  This Halloween was different than the usual rowdy parties we normally attend for the holiday, but even though those days are over, I'm not sad at all and I'm ready for the wonderful times ahead!  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Baby with the Blue Dress

When Gracie smiles and she really means it, it is a full open mouth smile!  I just adore this little blue dress and this picture especially, don't you? 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Grace has started to laugh a lot!  We caught this one on video while I danced around for her like an idiot.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Gracie had a very exciting week.  She met Grandma and Grandpa S for the first time!  
Remi the dog was a big hit also!
Grandpa passed the taste test.
There were many smiles shared.
Everyone seemed delighted with each other!
Grandma Roberta won points for appreciating the many charms of Mr. Frog.  This is by far her favorite toy (besides her activity mat).  It is a frog head with a rattle in it that is attached to a blanket.  The blanket has a soft, fuzzy side, and a smooth satin side.  We never would have guessed this would become a favorite, but the heart wants what the heart wants obviously!  
Here is proof that she really does love this thing.  (There is a phantom baby hand to the right because I was babysitting our friends' baby Avery at the time this video was taken.)
Gracie really enjoyed a serenade from Grandpa.  She watched intently the whole time he played.  She may have a penchant for trombone!  
It was also Roberta's birthday, and we had fun celebrating with a symphony concert, Scandinavian Almond Cake and gelato from E-creamery (it is okay to be jealous; I know you are.). 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

We are not too old for Pumpkin Carving

Some of us got together at our friend Penny's house for some pumpkin carving and beer drinking!
Penny was very smart to put down this tarp in her kitchen so we could scoop pumpkin guts with abandon.  
Grace fell asleep in Penny's arms.  It is too bad that Penny and Ryan are moving to California because obviously she is the baby whisperer.  She even does house calls!  
It was a good thing Grace was sleeping for most of it because there were some real psychos there.  Anne had better watch her back!
I disturbed this sleeping beauty for this next picture.  
All the jack o lanterns, including my little punkin!  This is a little weird with Grace lying on her boppy pillow, but since she isn't sitting up yet, this is the best we could manage!  No babies were harmed in the making of this party spectacle. 
A rare photo with mama in it, courtesy of Gini :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Exploding Hand

Our good friend Erica took this video while kindly babysitting for us.  They are both keepers!  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Bumble Bee

I did a photo shoot with Grace today and I can't decide which one is my favorite!
She has just started to really respond to us with big smiles, and it feels like magic when it happens.
I really haven't been able to capture it is in a picture. It feels more wonderful than the sun coming out from behind the clouds. 
She especially responds to Jason's voice and looks for him when she hears him from the other room.  Sometimes she'll stop nursing to look for him, and she wiggles with anticipation when he reaches for her.  She is Daddy's girl!  
I think this one is my favorite :)