27 December 2012

in between

Well.  Christmas was Tuesday and I can't believe that December is now basically over.  Where has the year gone!? 

West Virginia/our area was apparently supposed to get some incredible winter storm last Thursday/Friday..or something.  I don't remember.  Regardless, we got a lot of high winds, a little rain, and a loss of power.  Which was annoying.  Fortunately, the power came back on right as we were getting ready to leave.  Lily and I did a happy dance, and Jesse didn't really notice a change until I pointed it out to him.  Lily and I did make some shadow puppets on the wall while we were getting packed up, so that was pretty priceless and made it (almost) worthwhile.

We had a great time in Findlay with my family (minus Joel and Kimmy, we missed you) over the past weekend.  Jesse, the girls and I left last Friday to get to my parents house.  We (thankfully) pulled over at a truck stop near Zanesville and Jesse overheard some truckers discussing how I70 was closed, which was our route home since the snow was piling up on back roads we normally take.  Since the road was closed, due to an accident, and we didn't feel like sitting in backed up traffic for 5 hours, we crashed at Jesse's parent's overnight and left for Findlay early Saturday morning.  

We had a great time in Findlay, seeing some friends and visiting my grandparents.  Emma decided that she needed to come down with a nasty cold Saturday night, which led to a midnight WalMart run with my mom for some supplies to try and help her breathe.  Poor baby is finally sounding a bit better.  Having a sick kiddo made me a bit more stressed than normal, so I promised my mom that one day, I would be able to come to Findlay for the weekend and not be stressed out the whole time.  We will see, it might be a few years before that happens..[to clarify, stressed from traveling with the girls.  Not stressed from being in Findlay]

working on decorating a gingerbread man
we even got Richard to participate
all the gingerbread people we decorated
Anyway, I had a great vision (of course) of how excited Lily would be on Christmas Eve morning (when my family opened our presents), and was able to talk the whole family into being in a good mood and letting me wake them all up early so we could bring her down stairs to see presents under the tree.  Let me tell you what.  Not so much.  She walked down the stairs, looked around and said "cuckoo done sleeping?" and then got further sidetracked by my mom who was having a little pre-breakfast snack and Lily wanted to join in on that, too.  Regardless, once we got her attention, she was very excited for all the unwrapping going on.  

new zubaz pants!

go ahead, be jealous of Lily's awesome nap mat!  Jesse and I want them in adult size..
Lily is buried in that pile of blankets

We all headed to my grandparents apartment on Christmas Day for a delicious dinner before the girls, Jesse and I had to head home so Jesse could go to work yesterday.  He also decided to come down with some sort of sickness, not too sure what it is yet, but hopefully he gets over it right now.  The girls and I had to drive him to work this morning because when I peeled myself out of bed to let the dog out, our front door was covered in ice and upon further investigation, so was the road.  We got probably about 3 miles from home before we met someone that told us to turn around and go the other way into town because people weren't making it up the next hill.  I forgot on the way home (naturally) and stopped at in the flat spot between two hills because a mini van was stopped sideways on the hill in front of me.  I stopped and got out at the bottom of their hill and hiked up the road to make sure they were all ok (which they were), and then literally slid the entire way back down to my car where I was able to turn around and go the clear route.  
And my family and people who have visited should understand this: no cars have been making that hill, but when I was there, guess who I heard coming?  Yep.  That Blue Van.  They must have gunned it the entire way up the hill, and when they crested the hill and were coming down the other side (where the van was stopped on the hill and my girls were waiting in my car at the bottom of the hill that I was ice skating towards), I could see that they had their brakes on because their tires weren't moving and they just kept skidding right past.  I prayed them the whole way past my car that they wouldn't slip into my car with my girls in it.

Anyway, not a lot to report here.  I feel that I have been behind on posting updates, though mostly it's just the pictures you all are concerned with, I'm sure.  I will post what (pathetic) update of the daily pictures HERE so check 'er out.


17 December 2012

party pants

I really can't believe that Christmas is a week from tomorrow.  We are already half way through December.  What?!  When and where did it go? 

Saturday was Jesse's company Christmas party.  Since he works for a company with roughly 40 employees, the owners/bosses are able to go mostly all out and make it a pretty fancy ordeal.  One of the owners even busted out a tux.  Jesse said he was going to be sure to let said owner know I thought he looked like James Bond.  Hopefully that helps Jesse's career in some way.  Jesse's parents came for the weekend to watch the girls for us Saturday evening so that the two of us could drive down to the Stonewall Jackson Resort for the party.  The original plan (on our end) was to spend the night there, but with Emma still not being the best sleeper through the night, we decided to just go to the party and come home this year.  We will see about next year.  Regardless, we got dressed up and took the traditionally awkward couple pictures before we headed out for the evening.  The food was delicious, I had potentially the second best cheesecake I have ever tasted (Nikki, your cheesecake last year obviously fills the #1 slot), and Jesse even asked me to dance with him.  Another owner of the company (not the James Bond one) and his wife are pretty incredible swing dancers, and since I like to dance as well, I told Jesse I wished that he and I could dance like them.  He said "maybe one day."  So I think that was a green light to look for ballroom dancing lessons..
dressing both the girls in purple was an accident.  Emma's socks were not.
look: our precious little tree is almost as tall as I am with our super tall star..
In other news, we got a letter from the Post Office letting us know that they changed our address and what our new one would be.  ...we are both pretty annoyed by that.  They are the ones that changed it-- without asking-- and they aren't even going to have the courtesy to let everyone know for us?  Jesse pointed out that as obnoxious as it is for us, some of our neighbors have lived out here for 50 years.  I guess not having the same address for more than a year continues to be a streak for us, legitimately making this our 6th address in our 5 years of marriage.  To all our friends and family who have been able to keep track of us: thank you.  I promise we aren't doing this intentionally.  If you want our new address, please send me a message so I can get it to you.  We apparently will receive mail addressed to our "old" address for a year, so don't worry if you sent us something, we will still get it!
just because they're adorable. 
That's about it!

10 December 2012

(insert Christmasy title here)

Well.  Christmas is 15 days away.  I was so close to holding off this year, but I gave Jesse his Christmas present today when he came home from work.  I had only had it out of the mailbox probably an hour by that point.  At least I didn't tell him what it was this year.  For anyone who is keeping count, this makes it 7 consecutive years that I haven't given him a present on Christmas because I get too excited.

We went as a family to pick out a Christmas tree on Saturday.  I had all kinds of wonderful pictures in my head of what this would look like, now that Lily is more observant and participatory in our traditions.  Needless to say, that was a flop.  It was warm and rainy, the place we went to get the tree didn't have any power (hah), and the whole field of trees was muddy.  Instead of cutting our tree ourselves, we picked a nice one that had already been cut, and since we all went and my car doesn't have a luggage rack, the silly tree had to be stuffed unceremoniously in the trunk of my car.  Which,  yes, that means I have a 4 foot tree.  I have been teasing Jesse about the tiny tree, but honestly, it looks great and Lily loves it, so I could really care less.  We decided that we would make the half mile hike required to cut our own tree in a year or two when the girls can walk and maybe after I get a luggage rack on top of my car.  And not a single picture was taken.

When we got home, we excitedly started pulling boxes down from the attic so we could start decorating the tree.  Not too much to be said for the actual decorating-- there is only 4' of tree to worry about-- but Jesse did think one strand of 100 lightbulbs would be sufficient.  He's funny.  Lily loved to help put ornaments on the tree, and maybe next year, I will have the Christmas cookies and egg nog I wanted to have this year, which was a tradition my family always had and I want to carry on here.  Pandora on Jesse's tablet supplied us with Christmas music, and Emma was able to tip a box over and find herself a little ball of bells to ring as she played on the floor.
Sunday, I took the first set of Christmas pictures of the girls in front of the tree.  I had fun at least, and Lily and Emma were both in good moods.  The second set will be coming, hopefully this week.

except I really love this one, too.
Tonight, Jesse and Lily finally had a chance to decorate our gingerbread house.  We received a kit for a house three years ago, when Lily was 3 months old, so we decorated it by ourselves that year and joked that when the kids were able to help, Jesse would have to do one by himself so he could show his artistic flair while I did one with the kids.  We bought a kit ourselves last year and again, did it by ourselves.  This year, I made the gingerbread for the house myself and Lily got to "help" decorate.  She really ate more of the candy than she put on the house, of course.
constructing the house a few days ago
one of a few pieces that actually made it to the house

2012- Lily and I will be making one (probably out of graham crackers) next year, and we will let Jesse  make our gingerbread house pretty.  I learned a lot about making a gingerbread house from scratch, though!  it will be fun for us all to decorate together with a huge pile of candy next year.
2011- a rushed and pathetic attempt.  I couldn't get the icing right.
2010- our most artistic and pretty.


07 December 2012

a little bit of catch up

Ok friends, you can stop worrying: I am alive, and so is my family.  I know you were all concerned with my lack of posting.  Does it make sense for me to say that we have been really busy but we haven't really been doing anything?  Because that's the best way I can describe our lives right now.  

Jesse and I have been keeping busy with being spouses, parents and homeowners.  We have been trying to cram in any last minute projects outside that we can when the weather is nice (and we are home) on the weekends, as well as half-heartedly attempting to put the basement back together after the construction.  I say half-hearted because that really is the truth: I had just gotten the space down here useable and then we completely demolished it.  Only a year later...and now we are back to square one.  Well, 3.  Jesse has built me some incredible shelves in my pantry again, so that room is complete, as well as the main storage area we have down here, and our computers are back where they belong.  I have zero motivation for getting the rest of it taken care of, though.  When Jesse finds time/motivation, he will be building a workbench and shelves back in his "man cave," which will help decrease the pile of stuff in the main room.  And that room will need a new name, for the record, because he is also going to be building me what promises to be a killer sewing table adjacent to his gun bench, so I'm pretty excited about that.  I will keep you posted.  
my awesome shelves in progress.  I will try and get a new/completed picture soon.  I'm kind of annoyed I never got a pic of the old ones..
The girls are hanging in there.  They have been sick since last Monday or so, and I took them in to the doctor's at the beginning of the week to make sure that it was just a cold.  Emma's congestion and cough sounded like it had moved to her chest, and I am incredibly paranoid ever since Lily had RSV at 5 months, so I am one of those mom's that takes her children in to the doctor for a cold.  In my own defense, however, I do watch other people's kids every day and I'm pretty sure they would be ok with me being cautious and not passing my germy kid's germs onto them.  All that aside, a few long nights and we seem to be on the upswing of the colds.  Jesse and I are trying to stay healthy.

Lily.  She cracks me up.  She has a checkup on Monday, so I will report her growth stats, but I absolutely love this age.  Jesse and I are having so much fun with her, and as Aunt Julia pointed out the other day: it is so much better being able to ask her a question and get an answer vs a blank stare.  Her coordination is pretty impressive, partly because of her age, but also partly because she has some of my DNA and I'm not the most coordinated person always.  She can put on shoes and socks by herself-- velcro shoes she can fasten without help, and get them on the right feet!-- remove pants to go to the potty-- or when she feels like running around naked..-- and is so close to being able to zip a coat from start to finish.  We had to break down and buy another car seat the other day for her so that Emma could move into Lily's old convertible one.  Lily's new car seat is "fancy" and has cup holders, so she thinks that is pretty slick.  She adores her sister, which just is an indescribable feeling and makes my heart so happy.  She is always wanting to help with Emma, whether it is change clothes or diapers, buckling her in, picking her up (heart attacks are less frequent now), feeding her, or helping calm her down in the car with a quiet "Emma...shhhhh."  She even has started trying to sing to her and work out gas bubbles like I do.

Emma is finally past the boring infant blob stage.  Everyone gives me appalled looks when I refer to her that way, but it's true.  I love to cuddle a new baby that has the new baby smell and one that just snuggles in for a nap, but I love a baby that's on the go even more.  She is getting to the fun infant stage where she can see and recognize people, respond to me and voices and is tracking people and following them with her eyes.  She has a 6 month (ugh, already?!) appointment in 2 weeks, so I will give you her stats then.  Since Emma threw up the rice cereal both times I tried it, and I was afraid I wasn't feeding her enough since she was still demanding food every two hours, we decided to go ahead and introduce other baby foods.  So far, she seems to be ok with sweet potato, green beans, carrots, and bananas.  I pureed and froze some sweet potato and squash the other day, and have some avocado for her to try, possibly this weekend.  She is all kinds of on the move, and can crawl quickly towards her target, even though she's not to hands/knees crawling yet.  When she does get on her hands and knees and do the rocking thing, Lily likes to announce "Emma bouncing!"  It won't be long, people.  She loves Zeke, and loves to reach out and touch his fur.  He seems to love her too, as she doesn't climb all over him yet and seems to be more docile than Lily is.  Zeke did have to put her in her place the other day, though she missed that memo.  We give Zeke the scraped out peanut butter container as a treat, and he was working on it but Emma got interested in it and went after it.  Zeke was not amused and growled at her a few times before taking his tub back to his bed.
That's about it for now.  We are hopefully going to pick up a Christmas tree tomorrow, as well as work on some other Christmas traditions we have been doing the last 2 years, though Lily wasn't very participatory.  Here is a sneak peek at one of them:

Also, go check out my other blog for updated pictures of my girlies!

25 November 2012

Thanksgiving Leftovers

I'm sure I am not alone in stating that we have been keeping busy, and will probably continue being busy through the remainder of the year, cramming as much fun in with family and friends as possible with as few roadtrips as possible.  Those pesky gas prices..

Last week was no exception to the busyness.  Two of our dear friends from college came all the way from Tennessee to see us for the day!  Ok, really, they were in the state for Thanksgiving with family, but those are just details.  We had a great time seeing them and just hanging out for a few hours and are so glad we could coordinate schedules for them to be able to visit.  Lily loved the extra attention and playmates, even though she was confused on who was visiting.  Apparently in her mind, our friend Tiffany looks similar to her Aunt Jess, and Tiff got called "Jess Tiff" the whole time she visited.  Jesse also enjoyed talking computers, guns and who knows what else with Derek, and even got to go shoot some clays down in our field, which we are pretty sure our neighbors loved since it was the second day of deer season and they were out shooting shotguns.  Oh well.

We headed to Zanesville for Thanksgiving with the Hildebrand clan on Thursday morning and got to Mom and Dad H's in time to heat up our portion of the meal we brought and sit down to a delicious lunch.  Matt, Erin and my favorite niece, Kole, came down from MI as well, so we were able to enjoy some time as the entire family.  Grandpa Brennan came over Saturday morning to visit with all of us before Jesse, the girls, dog and I came back to WV.
tea party with Great Grandpa Brennan
K and E playing

Trying to get 3 little girls, two of which are under the age of 1 to look at the camera is just as difficult as getting all 3 to be happy at the same time. 
Kole punching Emma with her Sophie
then we thought we would add the daddy's to get smiles.  this was a clear success.
And on top of all this fun, Emma is now 5 months old.  Though it's not hands and knees coordinate yet, she is definitely on the move and crawling, not just relying on rolling all over the room to get where she wants to go.  Since Emma is still getting up way too much (for my taste) in the night to eat, I have been trying to introduce some baby food to help fill her little tummy.  Have I shared this already?  Rice cereal was an absolute bust and led to her projectile vomiting both times we tried it.  I have little interest in trying other cereals at this point, though I may still try oatmeal, but we had a few successful tastes of sweet potato today.  I think her aversion is more of a texture than taste thing at this point, so I will keep trying a few bites here and there to get her accustomed to the texture and what her tongue is supposed to be doing to move the food down her throat.  

this guy is so patient.  he has proven himself many times over in the past few months, including letting Lily, Emma, and Kole climb all over him this past weekend without flinching.
Lily is doing great.  Her vocabulary continues to improve, as well as enunciating words and speaking in more complete sentences.  She still refers to herself as "you" and likes to do things "by my yours self," and brings us tons of smiles and laughs with the silly things she says.  She likes to count to 10, as well as "counting" the abc's-- which go something like A, B, C, Q, R, S, W, X, Y, Z! with the last being said with lots of gusto.  When we drive places, Lily likes to point out the animals we see.  This mainly includes cows, horses, goats and donkeys, but she occasionally will either ask or tell me she has seen a moose, giraffe or elephant in the field along with the cows.  Every animal is declared with an accompanying sound the animal makes and a "[insert animal] taaaaaaaaaasty!"  Which cracks us up every time.