New word, new skill

Turns out, all we needed to buy G was a ball. He’s now spent nearly 30 minutes entertaining himself by throwing the ball, chasing after it, throwing it again, etc.

As he chases it (90% walking, although he hasn’t learned how to turn corners…just kinda ricochets off of whatever’s there and then continues on his merry way!), he yells, “Baww! Baww! Baa! Baww!”

I must say, he’s got a pretty good throwing arm! A lady at church yesterday said that she thinks he’s left handed. He walked over into her pew (we were at the Greek church in SLO) and started sorting the toys and papers, putting them into groups. She leaned over to us at the end of the service and said, “He’s so SMART!”

Yes, yes, we like to think so 🙂

Also, he’s almost entirely on milk! No more formula…so glad to be done!

Choir Practice

Tonight was my first choir practice with the church in Santa Maria. Every other Saturday, they hold an hour long practice after their 45 min. Vespers service.

Since it would’ve cut into G’s bed time, Jesse stayed home with him while I went. It actually only took me 45 minutes to get there (instead of an hour)…still a drive, but not as bad!

Only about half the choir was there– 2 sopranos (who were very good), a baritone, and the choir director who sang a mixture of tenor and bass. I was immediately assigned the alto part.

All in all, I’m pretty proud of myself! I was only very a little bit afraid, which is good, considering I was jumping in with a bunch of strangers. I was not only sight reading music I wasn’t familiar with (nativity and baptismal songs), but also reading in a few different languages (Spanish, Slavonic and Arabic!). I was the only alto, so there was no one to follow along with, except the occasional match-up with the bass line (often, they borrow from one another, just in different octaves, obviously!). I think I did well– they all seemed very grateful to have me there and begged me to come sing at the Liturgy tomorrow morning.

Ugh…I feel so at home there! Why is it 45 minutes away?

Pity Party done.

Cue the thankful music: It’s so nice to be part of a choir again! I love singing alto, and the fact that they really need it makes it all the sweeter.

Moment of Zen? Singing Silent Night! What, you’re surprised? Many Orthodox churches sing a few Western Christmas songs!

Friends with Kids

This article has been going around on Facebook, so I thought I might post it here and ask what you all think? Maybe the situation is spelled out a little dire and dramatic, but maybe that’s because I only have one kid? Will my perspective change once I have two?

At the Park

After Jesse got home from work today (3:15! This is not getting old!), we decided to go for a quick run to the park. Even though we woke up to ice/frost on the windshield (G and I went with Jesse and the Senior Class to breakfast at Colby Jack Cafe and Bakery!), it turned into a gorgeous and sunny 75 degree Fall day.

First up, the swings!

Once again, G was not a fan. He had this face the entire time, holding the seat in a death grip. Finally, Jesse said, “We have to take him out! I simply can’t do this to him anymore!”

So, we moved on to the ducks.

Huge hit! Our lil’ animal lover kept trying to break free of Jesse to jump in the lake.

Next up, the slide!

Apprehensive at first...


Before we left, G walked around for a bit on the grass.

“Say bye bye to the park! We’ll come again soon!”

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Gregory’s Newest Game

I can’t wait for the day when Claire will actually pay Gregory more than 10 seconds of attention. He is absolutely fascinated by her! I think half his day is spent figuring out just how he can get her to play with him.

Lately, his strategy has been to find whatever she seems most interested in, capture it, then taunt her with it, just to keep her playing with him. Sometimes, it’s this stuffed animal carcass that Claire destroyed a few weeks ago. Even though all the stuffing’s been ripped out, Claire still gets possessive if anyone touches it. G’s figured out that if he can get a hold of the animal, chase Claire, then beat her with it, she’ll sometimes play with him.

Today, the item of interest was a dryer ball. Gregory made it his mission for at least 30 minutes to wrestle the ball from Claire, throw it, watch her chase it, then repeat.

16 weeks

Well, almost. A few more hours. But I just felt a few more unmistakable “flutters”, so it reminded me to post. Funny, I don’t remember feeling those for at least a few more weeks with Gregory! Hopefully that doesn’t mean SnowCone is more active…like, is that even possible?

In just 4 more weeks, we have our “boy/girl” ultrasound! Not that anyone’s counting down the days, or anything…

Enter, The Whale. Feeling so huge…I’m not liking it. Someone hold me, tell me it will all be okay. Oh wait, you can’t. I’m too big.

You can't see the shirt really well, but it's from one of the 3 huge bags of maternity clothing that a friend just lent me! Hooray for not having to buy stuff!


There are some days where I wake up feeling down…depressed…”cheated”, even.

Today was one of those days. I couldn’t shake it. I felt like crying all morning.

On the “list’ of things to do today was to make it downtown SLO for a Barnes and Noble run and lunch with my Dad. Lately, he’s been on a “diet”, so we’ve tried not to go to our special Italian place across the street from his office. But today was a “Bueno Tavoli” kind of day, we both decided. Calories be damned.

After a lovely hour and a half of pouring out all my “troubles” over the yummiest pumpkin/ricotta cheese tortellini (oh yes, it’s just as good as it sounds!), I realized that over the past 2 years of coming to this restaurant, I’ve done a whole lot of complaining about bad things in my life.

By the next time we have lunch, however, God’s already fixed/resolved whatever it was I was complaining about the last time!

For example, last January, as we were eating our tortellini at this same restaurant, I was complaining about how much I hated being away from family and hated Jesse’s job. We sat there and talked wistfully about how nice it would be if Jesse, G and I could live in CA and have a nice teaching job.

And just 9 months later, I’m sitting in the same restaurant, complaining about something else!

Seems very ungrateful. Duh.

I’m so glad that God was able to remind me of the fact that the problems I have now are a breeze compared to what they used to be. I don’t suffer with the daily agony of missing my family. I don’t suffer with the fact that I want children but it’s “not time yet”. I don’t suffer for lack of my dream job.

Plus, I got to have a wonderful afternoon hanging out my dad. A blessing in and of itself, one that used to be a rare treat instead of a daily part of my life!

Awake Training

My doula/lactation consultant in Dallas just posted this. I thought it to be pretty hilarious!

Awake Training for Parents: 

Dear Fellow Babies, 

OK, here’s my situation. My Mommy has had me for almost 5 months. The first few months were great – I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, around the clock. Then something happened. Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep thru the night). At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. 

I’ve talked to other babies, and it seems like its pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 5-6 months. Here’s the thing: these Mommies don’t really need to sleep. It’s just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep – they just don’t need it anymore. So I am implementing a plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle. 

It goes like this: 

Night 1 – cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, it’s hard. It’s hard to see your Mommy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, it’s for her own good. 

Night 2 – cry every 2 hours until you get fed. 

Night 3 – every hour. 

Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights. Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Don’t give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night. I know it’s hard! But she really does not need the sleep; she is just resisting the change. If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it. 

The other night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any reason I could come up with: 

-My sleep sack tickled my foot. 
-I felt a wrinkle under the sheet. 
-My mobile made a shadow on the wall. 
-I burped, and it tasted like rice cereal. I hadn’t eaten rice cereal since breakfast, what’s up with that? 
-The dog said “ruff”. I should know. My Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL. 
-Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room. 
-Too hot, too cold, just right – doesn’t matter! Keep crying!! 
-I had drooled so much my sheets were damp and I didn’t like it touching me. 
-I decided I was sick of all the pink in my room so I cried. 

It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies’ internal clocks. 

Sometimes my Mommy will call for reinforcements by sending in Daddy. Don’t worry Daddies are not set up for not needing sleep the way Mommies are. They can only handle a few pats and shhing before they declare defeat and send in the Mommy. 

Also, be wary of the sleep sheep with rain noises. I like to give Mommy false hope that listening to the rain puts me to sleep sometimes I pretend to close my eyes and be asleep and then wait until I know 
Mommy is settling back to sleep to spring a surprise cry attack. If she doesn’t get to me fast enough I follow up with my fake cough and gag noise that always has her running to the crib. At some point I am positive she will start to realize that she really doesn’t really need sleep. 

P.S. Don’t let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out. 

Trust me. 

Baby J

A year ago…

…at this exact time, my mom came to visit us in Dallas and help out with G! It was the first “help” Jesse and I had gotten since his birth 8 days prior.

We decided to go on a walk through Euless. It’s one of my very favorite memories from those precious/blurry first few weeks.

this will make your day…