Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beach Vacation - 2010

I cannot believe that it has been over a month since we went on our summer vacation to Corolla, NC. This is our annual trip with my family and I look forward to it all year long. It is sad to know that it is over, but we have already booked the same house again for next year! We just love this particular house and the location so we couldn't pass up reserving it for next year! (Click HERE to see the house where we stay).

This year, there were 17 of us in one house - 12 adults and five kids. This includes my parents, my three siblings, their spouses, their kids and my grandparents. It was quite the happening (and sometimes crazy!) house when all of the kids were awake (which actually didn't happen all that often), but we had a great time nonetheless. Here is a picture of all of us on the beach on our last night:

And, here is my little family:

When we went to the beach last year, Jacob was only five weeks old so obviously he did very little other than sleep. I was excited to take him this year because I figured he would really enjoy playing in the sand, swimming in the pool and just being outside. Unfortunately, it didn't really work out the way I had hoped.

As you can see from this picture, he wasn't really too sure of what this "sand" stuff was all about.
And, since he was in the midst of transitioning from two naps to one, most mornings (which is when we would all go to the beach) he was fussy and a bit clingy. He did go into the water a few times with Daddy. Mostly Keith would carry him in and they would watch the waves. A few times he would laugh as the water would splash up onto his feet, but mostly he wasn't very enthused. He did stand in the ocean one time - he doesn't look too upset by it in this picture, but I can tell you that he didn't stay in for long (I must admit it was a bit cold at first).

He did enjoy digging in the sand once or twice with Pierce, Sierra and Reid. And one day he had fun chasing a seagull down the beach (I wish I would have gotten it on video - it was so funny watching him walk after this bird!)

I think the thing that Jacob enjoyed the most during the vacation was the time he got to spend with his Daddy. Jacob just adores Keith and loves to be around him whenever he can. Keith is always so good with him and he spent a lot of time with him on this vacation. He even told me on the way home that he purposely went out of his way to take care of Jacob a lot because he wanted to be sure that I felt like I had gotten a break and enjoyed my vacation with my family. Awww, what a sweet husband I have!!

Here they are outside on the deck one morning enjoying the view

Every morning after breakfast, Keith would take Jacob for a walk. Jake loves to be outside and LOVES to go for a walk and Keith wanted to get some exercise while we were on vacation (better him than me, although I need it more than he does!!). Jacob would get so excited that one day he even went over to the stroller and showed it to Keith. It was really great bonding time for them and it was nice for me to get some time to get dressed, help clean up the breakfast dishes or just do whatever I wanted to do without a little one to worry about.

Jacob didn't really like being in the "big" pool that we had at the house, but he sure did enjoy the baby pool. Thankfully my sister brought this pool along because Jacob was in it A LOT! I think he liked it so much because he could walk around and didn't have to be carried or in a float like in the regular pool. He really enjoyed playing with his toys and splish splashing around. As you can see, it was fun for Daddy (and sometimes Mommy) to get in with him!

Even though Jake wasn't too fond of the pool, one afternoon, I put Pierce's swim vest on him to see what he would do. Of course, he doesn't know how to swim, so basically he just fell forward and wasn't too happy! I tried to get him to kick his feet, but he wasn't having it. Hopefully next summer, I'll be able to teach him to swim a little and he'll enjoy it more than he did this year.

Thankfully, he did stay in the pool long enough for us to get a family photo, although I think he was fussing to get back into the baby pool not long after this picture was taken!

All in all, even though this year's vacation was definitely more work than last year, we still had a great time. If you have children you know that vacation with your kids is not really a "vacation". But I am very blessed to have a wonderful husband who helped out A LOT so I was able to relax a little. It is always so much fun to get all of my family members together to play games, talk, laugh, eat great food and just be together. With our busy schedules and not living near each other, we don't all get together nearly as often as I would like. The memories I have from this vacation is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

One Year Old (a few months later...)

So, as of today, Jacob is almost 15 months old, but I found this old "One Year Old" post where I had uploaded pictures back in June. Just for documentation purposes, I thought I would post it - two months later!!

Jacob went for his 12-month checkup at the doctor on June 16th and she said that he was looking great! His weight was 22 lbs, 6 oz (45th percentile) and his height was 30 inches (50th percentile). His head circumference was in the 75th percentile so she was not concerned anymore about the shape or growth of his head. He got five shots, two in one leg and three in the other and he did great. Of course, he cried but he was quick to stop once I picked him up and cuddled him. We talked a bit about what he was eating and drinking and the doctor said that we could start him on whole milk (which I had already done about a month earlier). She thought his movements and language development was right on track and she even got to witness a bit of his temper (he hit me in the face when I told him he couldn't have something). She said that all of what he was doing was normal and that we were now entering into the "fun" stage of toddlerhood! His next checkup (15 months) is in September.

Jake loves the water! He moves around in his float really well and he even tries to walk in the water without it. He doesn't really mind getting water in his face and if he falls down and goes under, he comes back up and doesn't cry. I think he is going to be a fish in the water as he gets older.

I took this picture when we were in Pennsylvania visiting Keith's family. It was the weekend of Jacob's first birthday and Keith's cousin's son graduated from high school. We were at the restaurant for Ryan's graduation party and Jacob was having fun climbing up and under the table in the booths.

Right around Jake's first birthday, we started to brush his teeth. At that point, he had eight teeth and I felt bad that I hadn't started brushing them sooner. We are only brushing once a day, at night, although I realize that I should probably start doing it twice a day now. He really hasn't ever seemed to mind the brushing and actually does very well with it. Of course, we don't let him do the brushing, but I thought this picture of him holding the toothbrush was cute!

I have other pictures (and some video) from his two birthday parties (one in PA and one at our house), but I am going to do those in a separate post.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fun with Grandma

Two weeks ago, Keith's mom came to visit. She lives in Southwest PA and since she doesn't drive, this is first time she has come to visit us since Jacob has been born. It took some planning to figure out how she was going to get here, but in the end, Keith met up with his aunt & uncle in Winchester (which is pretty much halfway between her house and ours). He left work on Tuesday around 3pm and met them at a restaurant for dinner. Then, he and his mom drove back and got back to our house around 10pm.

Originally, that plan was going to be repeated the following Monday (with Jake and me in the car also), but plans changed and Keith's cousin's wife ended up stopping at our house on her way from AL to PA. She arrived last Wednesday evening and spent the night. Then, she and Marge left on Thursday morning and she drove Marge home. That meant that Marge stayed three days longer than she was originally supposed to, but it ended up working out fine because we didn't have to make the four plus hour drive to and from Winchester with Jake.

Jacob really enjoyed having his grandma visit us. He was a little shy at first, but after just a day or so, he really warmed up to her. Unfortunately, due to her health, she is not able to move around as quickly as Jake would want her to or to keep up with him. She read to him, helped feed him, and played with him the best she could. He really enjoyed spending time with her.

Here they are sitting on the couch reading together
She helped feed him mashed potatoes for dinner one night
Marge LOVES to take pictures and she was constantly trying to get Jacob to stand still (not an easy task!) so she could take his picture. On this day, we were playing outside and I was giving him rides up and down the driveway in the wagon. I thought it would be fun to take a picture of Marge taking a picture!

Jacob is just now starting to learn how to get on and off of things like this fun ride-on toy that he got for his birthday. He got on it one day and Marge got the idea of pushing him around. I was worried that she was going to overdo it, but she and he both had a ball! She pushed him all over the house and he laughed and laughed! I wish I had gotten it on video!!

I took this picture on the last full day that she was here. Jake was eating a snack and watching one of his Baby Genius DVDs. Marge was sitting on the couch and he walked over to her and put his hands up like he wanted to get up on her lap. It was really sweet to see him do that and I know that Marge was really happy!

One thing that was particularly amusing to me while Marge was here was that she was constantly picking up Jacob's toys! She didn't like that they were scattered all over the house and she was always trying to "tidy up". I, on the other hand, just let the toys lay all over the house until Jacob goes to bed at night and then I pick them up. I tried to tell her that he was just going to make a mess again, but she insisted that things not lay on the floor.

Even though having an overnight guest for over a week always adds more stress, it was nice that Marge was able to come visit. Coordinating travel plans for her to get here can be tricky, but it's definitely easier for us to be here than to go stay with her. She only has a one bedroom apartment so as Jacob grows, the space seems to get smaller and smaller. And, this way, we don't have to pack up all of his things (high chair, pack and play, toys, etc) and make the five hour trip up there.

It was definitely great to see her and Jacob interact and I know that she really enjoyed spending time with him (and us! lol). She mentioned to me that she hopes she is able to come back again soon, so maybe we'll coordinate another trip in the Fall.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A super busy summer!

Wow! I just looked at my blog for the first time in a LONG time and I realized that I only made two posts in the month of July AND it's been almost a month since I posted! Really? Where did the time go?

We have been super busy and obviously this blog has taken a back seat. I am disappointed in myself because in addition to having a blog where people can see what's going on with us, I also like to use it as a journal of sorts. But, if I don't blog, obviously I won't be able to remember what happened.

So, here's a quick run-down of what's been happening with us in the past few months (in no particular order)....

1. I started a part-time job in May. I work from home about 8-12 hours a week as a Help Desk Engineer for a company called Mobile Insight. The work itself is not hard. The hard part is trying to juggle my SAHM job with my job that actually pays money. I don't really want to work, but since we need the extra money, it is a necessity right now. It is just extremely hard some days because I feel bad that Jacob isn't getting my full attention or I feel bad that I am not working more and making even more money or I feel bad because the kitchen floor didn't get washed or the laundry didn't get done. I am hoping to be able to find a better balance with all of this soon. Or maybe I'll just win the lottery and then life will be so much easier, right?! :)

2. I had a huge fiasco with my laptop over the past few weeks. The long story short is: my screen broke and Apple wanted $610 to fix it! So, I tried to do the less expensive route and order one online and install it myself (along with help from my brother-in-law, Brian). The first screen they sent me arrived cracked; the second screen arrived at my house while I was in Corolla so my mail carrier (who has become a friend of mine) overnighted it to me at the beach only for us to find out that it wasn't the right screen for my laptop! Oh and did I mention that I paid $30 both times for the company to overnight it to me? Yeah, and they are refusing to reimburse me for that shipping charge! Lovely!! Anyways, I finally decided to just send it off to iresq.com, which is the company that the Apple technician recommended to me in the first place. A week later of sending it in the mail to them and paying $400, now thankfully it has been fixed and I have it back. (Now I need a new battery, but that's definitely an easier - and less expensive - fix!!)

3. Jacob and I stay really busy during the week. We try to get out as much as possible to enjoy the nice weather (when it's not 100 degrees!) and visit with friends. We usually see Katie, Pierce & Reid at least once a week (and sometimes more). We have visited the pool every week, mostly one day per week, but sometimes two. Now that he is walking, he really likes to be outside so we play in the driveway or in the front yard. I am looking forward to cooler temperatures and Fall-like weather so we can spend even more time outside.

4. We went on our annual week-long summer vacation to Corolla, NC with the entire Stank family. My grandparents also went this year so there were 17 of us (12 adults and 5 kids) in one house. We had a blast! I really want to do an entire post about our trip, but with my recent track record, I won't make any promises!

5. Keith and I painted our front porch over July 4th weekend. He took a few extra days off of work and we got it done in three days (this included having to "fix" the mess I made while trying to power wash the porch rails before we painted them). Again, I am hoping to do a separate post about this because I have a ton of pictures I want to share (plus I want to document all the "fun" we had!). Hopefully that will happen before we need to paint it again!

Wow, it doesn't really sound like we have been that busy, but the days (and weeks and months!!) sure do fly by! I am very much enjoying life right now, but I just wish it would slow down!