Sunday, March 27, 2011

"The View from Here": March 14-20

Obviously I am still way behind on posting this, but at least I can say that I got two other blog posts done this week. These days, for me, that is quite an accomplishment! :)

Here is our "View From Here" Week #5:

Monday, March 14:
For some time now, we have listened to kids music every time we are in the car. We borrowed a few CDs from Katie back in the Fall and then Jacob got the Cedarmont Kids 100 Sing along Songs CDs for Christmas. Sometimes Jacob will ask for a certain song to be played (and yes, I have memorized the track numbers of his favorites). Other times, he is content to listen to whatever songs happen to play. Every now and then (not very often), I can get him to listen to my music (country). That usually only lasts a few minutes, but it is a welcome change from non-stop Nursery Rhymes!

Recently Jacob has asked to hold the CD holder while we are going somewhere. He doesn't really do anything with it, he just wants to hold it.

Tuesday, March 15:
One of Jacob's "favorite foods" right now is shredded cheese. As I mentioned in this post, he calls it "Daddy's cheese" and he probably asks for it at least once a day! For some reason, about a month or so ago, he started refusing to eat any cheese except for this kind. I don't necessarily mind since it's easy to just give him a handful when he asks for it. The problem is that it makes a HUGE mess!

The cheese ends up everywhere - inside the pocket of his bib, on his pants, in his highchair and most often on the floor! One day last week, we ran out of shredded cheese and thankfully he was willing to eat block cheese again. He still asks for "Daddy's cheese" and now that I have gotten more at the grocery store, I give it to him. But, it is nice to know that he will eat the other kind too if we run out again!

As I have said numerous times before, Jacob LOVES books. He has his favorites and is starting to be able to "read" (obviously from memorization) along with us. I got his really cute video of Keith and Jacob "reading" before bed:

Wednesday, March 16:
I belong to two Mom's groups and for one of them I have an official title: Event Coordinator. What this means is just what it sounds like - I coordinate events for the group. One of the things that I decided to do this year was to have holiday parties for every "popular" holiday. Of course, for March that means St. Patrick's Day.

Since we have a room reserved in the clubhouse of my neighborhood for playtime every third Wednesday, it worked out perfectly to have the party there! Here are some cute pictures from the event.

Our decorated table with some of the "green" snacks:

Jacob really enjoyed the chocolate-covered pretzels that someone brought to share:

Apparently Jacob was in the mood to wrestle. He loves being wherever Pierce is and will sometimes even tackle him!! Pierce is always a good sport and loves to play along.

Later that night, during dinner, Jacob was exhibiting his independence and wanted to open his yogurt himself. Unlike the video I posted a few days ago, this type of yogurt (the Gerber non-refrigerated kind) is not as easy to open. Even I have a hard time with it sometimes! But, no, Jacob wanted to do it himself. As you can see from this photo, he got the tiniest little opening in the top of it and then proceeded to stick his spoon in and start eating! He was content as could be since he got it open just enough to be able to get something out of it! Silly boy!

Thursday, March 17:
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I decided to let Jacob have some Lucky Charms as a snack after breakfast. I had brought them to the party the day before and he saw some leftovers sitting in a plastic container on the counter. The problem with him eating them (aside from them having a ton of sugar!) is that he really only likes the marshmallows. So...what does he do? He picks all of the non-marshmallow pieces out and drops them on the floor. Seems like a good plan, huh?

See them all scattered on the floor? (Yes, I did require him to help me pick them up.)

Friday, March 18:
We had beautiful weather that Friday - it was near 80 degrees outside (actually a little too hot for March in my opinion). Jake and I met Katie, Pierce and Reid (and some other Moms and friends) at the playground and we had a great time.

Jacob wanted to take a book along to read on the way:

My brave little boy on top of the slide (he used to only go down on his stomach, but now he will go down on his bottom too - or try to walk down like he is doing here!)

Jacob got really hot and he takes after me with the flushed cheeks! This is one of my favorite pictures of him - he looks almost like a little model! :)

Saturday, March 19:
One day while I was looking for videos and pictures to put up on a blog post, Jacob saw them and now whenever I have the laptop out, he thinks it is time to look at them. He will say "Picture, picture, pictures" over and over again. He gets really upset when I tell him that he can't see them (mostly if I am trying to do something else or there aren't any new pictures or videos to show him). On this particular day, nothing much was going on in the late afternoon so I opened up the laptop and let him watch some videos of himself. He prefers videos with other people in them, but since most of the videos that we have are of him, he will watch them until he gets bored.

Sunday, March 20
Jacob has some really strange habits (like all little kids, I am sure). One of them is that he likes to dip certain foods in his yogurt. Sometimes it is crackers or block cheese (yuck!) or some such fruit or vegetable. On this occasion it was apple slices:

Looks yummy. But will it taste good?

Yep, it's good!

Jacob is sometimes the most fun right after he gets up from his nap. Almost every day he wakes up super happy and full of energy. He loves to jump around in his crib and play. His newest thing is to drop (or throw) everything out of his crib. He thinks it is just the most fun thing to do! I took this cute video of him that Sunday after his nap. I just love how he is role playing with Elmo too.

Friday, March 25, 2011

21-22 Months Old

I've been meaning to do another monthly update post on Jacob for the past few months. I haven't done one since he turned 18 months old in December and he changes so much so quickly. I want to get as much as I can down on paper so that I can remember what this age was like.

Here's a glimpse into what Jacob is doing these days:

His language continues to just grow by leaps and bounds. He seems to be picking up new words and phrases daily. He will say three- and four-word sentences often these days. Some of the phrases we hear the most lately are "What the matter?", "What you doing?", "Who dat?", and "That one" (when he wants something). He still doesn't understand the "me" concept so he will call himself "you" (for example, he'll say "You do it" but he really means that he wants to do it.) It can be confusing sometimes, but it is also really cute!

He has some interesting names for foods based on what he relates them to. Two examples are: 1) he calls Frosted Mini-Wheats "Uncle Mike's cereal" because my brother, Mike, was eating them when we were last visiting with him. And (2) he calls shredded cheese "Daddy's cheese" because Keith was eating it on his salad one night and Jacob wanted some.

He is getting better and better at saying "please" when he asks for something, although I still have to remind him daily. He is also getting the concept of "thank you" a lot better and every now and then he will say it without me prompting him. He knows that he is supposed to say "excuse me" when he burps or toots, although I have never heard him initiate that (but he will say "scuse me" if I say "What do you say when you burp?"). He also doesn't understand the "I'm sorry" concept and he will say "I sorry" when I hurt him (if I accidentally bump into him or when I do something that causes him discomfort). He recently had a really bad diaper rash and every time I changed a poopy diaper and had to use a wipe to clean him up, he would wimper and say "I sorry, I sorry, I sorry". It broke my heart because I knew it didn't feel very good. I tried to be gentle, but I still had to wipe kind of hard sometimes to get him fully cleaned. He also says "All done, all done, all done" over and over again when you are doing something to him that he doesn't want you to (like getting the snot out of his nose or wiping his face after he eats).

His favorites things these days continue to be his matchbox cars, trucks and construction vehicles. He also still loves to read books and is getting better and better at repeating the words without us prompting. Keith thinks he is going to be an early reader, but I just think he has a really good memory! He did a really funny thing the other day when Keith was reading to him. He apparently got tired of the book that they were reading so he said "ok, the end" and shut the book. Funny boy! He continues to enjoy being outside - either swinging or going for walks in the wagon. Keith has been taking him for walks in the evenings and on the weekends and he loves it (it helps that the weather is getting warmer and it stays lighter later). Lately, whenever we are in the car and I drive past one of the roads that they walk on, he says "Daddy take a walk".

Jacob is definitely better with his stranger anxiety, but I would still consider him shy around most people (even family at first). A few weeks ago, he stayed with my parents while Keith was out of town and I was doing a Tastefully Simple party and he did really well. My mom said that he asked about me a lot, but he didn't cry or get upset at all. He doesn't fuss anymore when I leave him with Keith or vice versa and that is REALLY nice. Last night, I left to go out to dinner with some friends and I was able to kiss him goodbye and tell him I love him. He waved at me and say "Bye Mommy".

He still sleeps and eats really well. He is sleeping about 12 hours at night (8pm-8am) and most days he takes a 2-3 hour nap. For three days this week, he had some trouble falling asleep at naptime and was in his crib for almost two hours before he fell asleep. Thankfully, today he was back to normal and fell asleep not long after I put him in the crib. His eating habits seem to be the same as they have been. He continues to love fruits and vegetables and of course, bread (just like his Daddy!). Yogurt, cheese (especially "Daddy's cheese") and Cheese-Its ("Cheese crackers") are his favorites right now. And, breakfast is definitely his favorite meal. He will sit for a really long time and eat (usually a banana with either oatmeal, "Uncle Mike's cereal", or sugar/cinnamon toast). It helps that our routine is that he is able to watch a video while he is eating.

Sometimes he asks for "Elmo songs on TV" as soon as he gets up. I try to keep his TV watching to a minimum, but I admit that I am not a huge stickler about it and he will sometimes watch videos a lot in the morning (especially if we don't have anywhere to go). Lately he is very indecisive and seems to only watch a video for a short time before he wants to switch to something else. I know he is just trying to exert his control of the situation, but it is quite exhausting for Mommy!

Along with trying to control a situation, he is also starting to show his independence more and more. He wants to be able to do things himself and will get upset if I do something for him when he wanted to do it. I shot this video a few weeks ago and it is a perfect example of his need for independence!

As you can see, Mommy still wants to be able to help. I love seeing his little mind working and enjoy watching him learn. I am also glad that he is able to do more things for himself, but I am sad that my baby is growing up!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

In a Funk

I am kind of in a funk today and I find myself crying for no apparent reason. Maybe it's PMS or maybe it's stress. Or maybe it is just that I have been feeling very overwhelmed the past week or so. Feeling like there is so much to do and I cannot get it all done. And that I am not really giving 100% to anything and therefore failing at most everything. I also have not been eating very well during the day (or eating at all somedays) because I just don't take the time to make something. I am sure that has added to me feeling bad and not having a lot of energy.

Here are some other things that I think are also causing me to feel this way:
Jacob wants my attention and wants me to play with him. And, of course, I would love to be able to just sit and read to him all day. Or play cars and trucks. Or go outside and swing. Or take him for a walk in the wagon. But, then there is only so much time in the day and while I spend thirty minutes playing with him, I start to feel the pressure of everything else that needs to get done. And then, I feel really guilty because I should be enjoying these times with him because I know that he is only going to be little for a short period of time. It's a constant struggle to figure out how to balance all of the demands that are placed on me (or I have placed on myself!).

Jacob is also starting to exhibit some "terrible two" behavior. He is definitely exerting more need for control and independence. Along with that comes yelling outbursts, hitting, throwing things, telling us "NO NO NO NO NO" and sometimes throwing a fit when we tell him he needs to do something. This includes things that are necessary like putting his shoes on to go outside or sitting in his highchair to eat. It is can be very frustrating trying to explain to him that he HAS to do these things. It can also be exhausting! Something else that is new behavior is that he will change his mind on a dime. Most days after watching a video for about five minutes, he says NO and wants to watch something else. If I don't change the video, he sometimes freaks out. At that point, I turn the TV off all together, but I still have to deal with his tantrum. And, last night he said he wanted to take a bath (and we obliged even though it wasn't a "bath night") but once he got all undressed and the water and bubbles were filling up in the tub, he threw a huge fit and didn't want to sit down in the tub! I know that this is all normal behavior for his age, but it is exhausting to deal with sometimes!! I find myself trying not to get too angry and to discipline him with love, but that is not always easy. I feel like a really bad mom lately because I find myself running out of patience very quickly. I wonder if I am putting him in "timeout" too frequently or for things that aren't really "that" bad. But then again, I want to be sure that I am giving him clear signs of what is correct behavior and what is not. And, I have seen signs of change based on my discipline so I know that something I am doing is working! Some days, this parenting job is REALLY hard!!

My house seems like it constantly needs to be cleaned. A day after I washed the kitchen floor and swept the hardwoods, they are messy again. The bathrooms seem to be like that too. In fact I hate to admit it, but our master bathroom is disgusting! It really needs to be cleaned and I just keep putting it off because it's not high on the priority list! And, of course there is the never ending laundry that always seems to be piled up and the meals to cook and the grocery lists to make and then a trip to the grocery store with a toddler (which is not very fun sometimes due to the resistance of putting on shoes and sitting still in the grocery cart). The list of things to do around the house just never seems to end!!

My "part-time" job has also become much more demanding. I have several projects to complete and I am also working help desk shifts a few times a week! The past two weeks I have worked close to 30 hours each week and it has been draining! I have been working during Jacob's naps every day and often working in the evenings. I have decided that staying up until after midnight doing work is not good for me. I wake up tired and cranky in the morning and Keith and I are not spending much quality time together in the evenings. I really do enjoy the job and the money that I am making is definitely helping us, but I have found that working an "at home" job means that you really never leave work. There is always something that can/should be done when you have a free moment.

The stress level in our house has also been affected by the medical issues that Keith's mom has been going through for the past month. First, she had surgery on March 3rd to remove a cancerous tumor in her liver. They ended up taking out half of her liver, but thankfully that organ will regenerate on its own! While Keith was up in PA for her surgery, he ended up staying for an additional two days. First, because Marge was put in ICU for breathing troubles. And, then because he had to gather documents for a social worker to see if she qualified for Medicaid (for which she has since been denied for bringing in too much money each month...seriously??! Apparently the max is $900 a month and she brings in just over $1000 between SS and her small pension check). Then, she was released from the hospital a week later and sent to a skilled nursing facility for rehab. She seemed to be doing really well with rehab until last Friday, when we received a phone call at 10:30pm saying that she had been taken to the hospital in respiratory distress. She was diagnosed with a Pulminary Embolism (a blood clot in her lung) and she was in the Critical Care Unit. She stayed in the CCU until Monday and now she is currently in a step-down unit. She was diagnosed with pneumonia, although that seems to have cleared up now. She is most likely going to be released either today or tomorrow and she will go stay with her sister (which is another stressor since they don't get along very well). Keith has been in constant communication with his aunt, the social workers, doctors, nurses, and anyone else involved in her care. It's been a lot for him and it makes it even harder to help when he is 200 miles away! We have talked about the possibility of bringing her down here to stay with us for while she recuperates, but that brings up a whole nother level of stress! Right now, we are going to wait and see how her follow-up appt with the surgeon goes on April 4th.

I also love to blog and it has certainly been put on the back burner recently. Most importantly, I use this blog as a journal so that I can remember what our life is like during a particular time. I also like writing and find it therapeutic at times (this post for example) and I miss the ability to do that. I put stress on myself to get certain posts done (like montly posts about Jacob - which I am like 5 months behind on!) and then I feel like a failure when I don't get them done.

Part of my guilty feelings also surround the fact that I know that I have a GREAT life. I am SO blessed to have this life and I feel like I should be happy and appreciative all the time instead of feeling so stressed. I know that these feelings will soon pass and that everything that needs to get done will get done. I just need to refocus and remember what is important in life. And know that I am doing the best that I can.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"The View from Here": March 7-13

Another super busy week and I am behind again. Oh well, better late than never! Here it is...our "View From Here" for Week #4:

Monday, March 7:
Jacob and I stayed in Richmond on Monday since Keith was not coming home from PA until Tuesday (which then actually turned into Wednesday). I was excited that Jake and I were able to meet my good friend, Trish, at Cracker Barrel for lunch. It was really great to see her and catch up. And, as you can see from the photo, while we were there Jacob found a new love for jelly! He was having fun peeling the tops off of the butter and jelly and then he asked me for a spoon and decided to start eating it. Strange and not so healthy, but it kept him occupied so Trish and I could actually talk a little without getting interrupted!

Tuesday, March 8:
After being in Richmond for almost a week, it was good to be back home. I shot this video of Jacob right before breakfast. He was singing his ABCs (which he can do from start to finish - and has been doing for about 2 months now), but as soon as I turned on the video camera, he refused to do it. This is a normal occurrence these days as whenever I get the video camera out he stops whatever "video-worthy" thing he was doing and will not do it no matter how much I ask (or bribe!) him. You will also notice the sort of "growl" that he does at the very beginning of the video - that is his new way of showing his anger or frustration. Oh, terrible twos...I feel that they aren't far away!!

Wednesday, March 9:
As I said last week, Jacob has had this thing where he wants to stay in his crib for awhile after I go in to get him in the morning. His request now is to have "Milk in bed" (as he says). So, instead of him drinking his milk cup on the changing table while I change his diaper, he wants me give it to him in his crib and he lays back down to drink it. Sometimes he even says "Mommy Come Back", which in Jacob language means he wants me to leave and come back a little later. Silly boy!

Thursday, March 10:
Thursday was a rainy, yucky day. We stayed in our pjs for most of the day and spent a lot of time looking out the window at the rain.

At one point in the afternoon, it was raining so hard that a small stream formed in our front yard. There was also a small lake in our backyard. Everything was overflowing!

Jacob spent a lot of time watching videos on TV that day too. This is one of his favorite things to do these days but most days I try to limit it to twice a day - while he is eating breakfast and after he gets up from his nap. His favorite videos right now are pretty much anything with Elmo or Sesame street characters and Baby Genius Sing-A-Long Songs. I have tried to get him to watch Curious George (just for some variety) but it doesn't usually keep his attention. I recently bought a few videos about trucks & constructions vehicles and he is asking to watch those now too.

Friday, March 11:
Keith decided to take the day off on Friday since he had been away and dealing with all of his Mom's stuff. He needed some "down time" and also wanted to spend time with Jake and me. Jacob LOVES when Keith is here (and so do I!) so we had a really fun day. We didn't really even do anything that exciting but I would still say it was a great day!

Jacob loves to wrestle and roughhouse with Keith so they enjoyed a litlte bit of that in the morning:

Jacob is becoming more interested in puzzles these days. My aunt gave us a bunch of really cool ones last year, but he is just now enjoying playing with them. Basically, he just likes to take all the pieces off and play with them, but I am also teaching him how they go back in and fit together.

Jacob's balance amazes me sometimes! He often likes to stand on this giraffe while he is watching TV. He is really good at standing on the little seat with his feet really close together. And, he rarely ever falls off! Maybe some balance beam gymnastics are in his future?!

Saturday, March 12:
Saturday was a good, but busy day. My sister, Katie, hosted a Tastefully Simple party at her house and we had a great time taste testing all the yummy food. Keith and Jacob spent a lot of time together - playing outside, taking a walk (with Jacob in the wagon) and just having fun - while I got ready for the party and was gone for most of the afternoon.

I did take this one picture in the morning - ripped books courtesy of my little book-ripper! As I have said before, Jacob LOVES books and we read often throughout most days so I do not understand why he wants to rip them!

He doesn't necessarily rip pages (although he has done that a few times), but he mostly rips parts of books with pop-ups, lift the flap or moving parts. The funny thing is that the ones that he rips are often his favorites - like Matthew Van Fleet's "Tails" and "Cats". Right now two of his other favorites are "If You Give a Cat a Cupcake" and "If You Give a Pig a Party" by Laura Numeroff, and thankfully he hasn't ripped those!

Sunday, March 13:
We decided to go into Charlottesville on Sunday morning and grab some breakfast at one of our favorite breakfast places - The Tavern. It is a small restaurant near the UVA campus and they are known for their great food (their Biscuits & Gravy are awesome!) and their very fast service (we got our food less than 5 minutes after we ordered it!). Breakfast is my favorite meal to go out for and we don't really have a breakfast restaurant close to us (other than iHop). Because of the time change, we didn't end up getting out of the house before until 10am, so it was really more like brunch!

Since it was such a nice day (upper 60s), we decided to go over to the grounds at UVA and walk around. We had a great time walking up the stairs next to Alderman Library (where Keith works) and just running around the Rotunda & the Lawn.

We took the opportunity to take a few family pics. Unfortunately, there wasn't anyone nearby to take a picture of all three of us, so separate Mommy and Daddy pics with Jacob will have to do!

Here is a video I put together of our outing. It was great being outside, enjoying the beautiful weather and spending time as a family!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"The View from Here": February 28-March 6

Here I am, almost a week behind in posting last week's "View From Here". Like most weeks, I am not really sure where the time went. Although this week seemed particularly busy and the days just flew by!

Since I have been such a slacker blogger, I really want to commit to posting these weekly summaries. Even if they are WAY behind. I know that I will appreciate the effort years from now when I can look back and get a glimpse into what our life was like.

So, here goes...our "View From Here" for Week #3:

Monday, February 28:
Sometimes Jacob refuses to put clothes on when I try to get him dressed. On this particular day, I decided not to fight with him and instead let him walk around for awhile in just a diaper and socks. Oh, and he added one my flip-flops to make the "outfit" complete!

"Where is your sippy cup?" - that question is one that comes out of my mouth quite often because Jacob will take his cup and walk around with it and then drop it somewhere in the house. On this particular day, I could not find it anywhere! I searched every room in the house and looked under and around toys, but didn't see it. Then, once I got him another cup, the first cup magically appeared and he decided he was going to use both! I wonder if he had it hidden in a special hiding place that Mommy doesn't know about?!

Tuesday, March 1:
Recently, Jacob hasn't wanted to get out of his crib after his nap (or sometimes in the morning). When I go in to get him up, he says "Stay in Bed" and starts jumping around. If I try to take him out of his crib, he puts up a fight. So...instead of fighting him, I just let him stay in there! He will jump around and play with his toys (or throw them all out!). And sometimes he asks for a book. One of his favorite books these days is "Love You Forever", a book that will make any mother tear up while reading it. On this particular day, he sat in his crib and flipped through the pages for a good ten minutes! I love my little book-loving kiddo!

Wednesday, March 2:
On Wednesday morning, Keith left for PA to be with his mom who was having surgery on Thursday. She ended up having half of her liver removed to rid her body of the cancerous tumor that was growing there. Since he was going to be away for several days, I took the opportunity to take Jacob to visit my family in Richmond.

On Wednesday (and Thursday) afternoon, after Jacob woke up from his nap, my brother, his dog Rhea, Jacob and I all ventured over to an elementary school playground that is not far from my parents' house. Jacob and Rhea both had a great time running around!

We were the only ones there so Rhea was able to pretty much go wherever she wanted. At one point, she followed Jacob up the steps of the jungle gym!

Since it is an elementary school playground, there aren't any baby swings. Jacob LOVES to swing and he kept asking about it, so I put him on one of the regular swings.

He didn't do too bad at first, but he was having trouble keeping his balance while sitting on the seat. He kept either falling forward or backwards while I was pushing him. And, I was getting nervous that he was going to fall off.

At one point, he thought it would be really fun to purposely lean back and fall backwards off the swing! Good thing Mommy was there to catch him!

Thursday, March 3:
I didn't take any pictures on Thursday, but I did get this cute video of Jacob and my brother, Mike. Even though Jacob still has a little anxiety around people (even family members), he really enjoyed spending time with my brother and sister-in-law (who recently moved to Richmond and are currently living with my parents). It was really great to see them since they have been in NC for the past few years. I'm really glad that they are living so much closer now!!

On Thursday evening, we got a really great surprise when my grandma, aunt and cousin knocked on my parents' front door! They live in Rochester, NY and they had driven nine hours to surprise us with a visit for the weekend! It was really great to see them!!

Friday, March 4:
We were blessed with beautiful weather for the weekend so we tried to spend as much time outside as possible. Jacob is really enjoying riding his tricycle right now even though he isn't able to really pedal it himself. It has a handle which works well so that someone is able to push him.

Four generations: my mom, Jacob, my grandma and me

On Friday afternoon, my sister Karen and her family arrived and we decided to take a Sierra and Jacob for a walk to the playground in my parents' neighborhood. It is nice to have a playground that is within walking distance (it's about a 1/2 mile walk) and the kids love to go for a ride in the wagon.

My aunt Julie graciously pulled the wagon

My cousin, Rachel, pushed the kids on the swings

Jacob found a basketball and had fun playing with it

Saturday, March 5:
On Saturday, my sister had a party at my parents' house for my niece, Chyler's 1st birthday. Since everyone was going to be there, Mimi and Papa got out the awesome Bounce House that they recently purchased for the grandkids to play in. It is huge and so much fun! I wish I weighed 150 lbs less so I could play in it too! :)

Jacob absolutely loved playing in the ball pit! He really enjoyed throwing the balls and jumping around.

A shot of most of the family enjoying lunch at the birthday party

The beautiful birthday girl!

Later that day, Jacob asked Papa to read him a story ("Just Me and My Mom", which is one of his favorites these days!) and Pierce joined in too!

One of the really cool gifts that Chyler received was the Gazillion Bubble Machine. It really does make a gazillion bubbles and the kids had a blast playing with it.

Sunday, March 6:
Sunday was another day that I didn't take any pictures. It was a pretty run-of-the mill day hanging out at my parents' house. I did have my first Tastefully Simple party with my friends, Dee and Lisa. I had a blast! It was fun to talk about their great products and to set up the taste-testing. I am very grateful to my parents who took wonderful care of Jacob while I was gone.

I had planned on us returning home on Sunday evening since Keith was supposed to be coming home too. But, he got delayed because his mom ended up in ICU with some breathing troubles. Since he was not coming home, I decided to stay and visit with family for a little while longer!