Monday, April 28, 2014


We took a weekend family trip to Blue Bell, Pennsylvania at the beginning of the month for a wedding and stopped off in Philly on the way home. I hadn't taken the time to plan the trip terribly well so we just parked in Old City and walked around fairly aimlessly until my friend Adam showed up and led us to a yummy Indian lunch buffet. Prior to that Eric had picked up tickets to tour Independence Hall (the building behind Hannah in the picture below). I learned a few things, like that back in the day, the person on trial actually had to stand and that's why we say "standing trial." The The highlight of that tour happened at the very beginning when our tour group was seated around a painting of the Constitutional Convention. The park ranger had just finished talking to us about the convention and the room where it took place (which she led us to next) and asked the group if we had any questions. Hannah, standing on her chair in the back row, raised her hand, and when the ranger acknowledged her, she said, "Um, what's that frame made of? Wood?" The ranger smiled and said she thought so, and Hannah replied that it looked like gold too. I love her.

Edited May 11:
I was shuffling through pictures on my phone and found two more pics from Philly.

Here's one of Hannah and Grammy in front of the Irish memorial.

And here's one of super dad carrying both his kids on his back.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Jacob's various birthday soirees and dedicated birthday update

Jacob's reaction to daylight savings time has been completely backwards and beyond brutal. Prior to DST, he woke up around 7. Since DST, he has been waking up at 5:30. Who does that???  On top of that, he is still waking up every 2-3 hours all night long.

If I had written this post on time it would have the sort of energy one has after being permitted to wake naturally for 3 nights in a row. I probably would have been bubbling over with enthusiasm, certain that those 3 miraculous nights were a harbinger of many more to come, and that this would be the year that we phased out sleep deprivation. He slept through the night 3 nights in a row!! It was a freaking miracle, and I was feeling better than badass as a result.

Alas, those stars have not aligned since then, and I am worse off as a result of them because those 3 nights in which I experienced full sleep cycles and woke naturally were enough to start to normalize my body, making it that much more painful when Jacob resumed every 1 to 3 hours. Fortunately, he's no longer awake and screaming for hours at a time during these wakings. Usually he's asleep again after a short snuggle, so I'm assuming it's some sort of separation anxiety which I read peaks around this age.

So, sleeping leaves a lot to desire, but he's otherwise a happy, healthy baby who still smiles constantly and has an infectious laugh. He's crazy curious and will bulldoze anything in his way to get to an object of interest. After nursing in the morning, he climbs over my face, dropping a knee into my neck if it happens to be in the way, and makes his way to my nightstand where he first picks up the monitor and, after inspecting it, drops it on the floor. The books are next, and then I pull him off my head and plop him on the floor just before he grabs the picture and lamp.

This tendency he has to bulldoze anything in his path when he sees something of interest makes picnics incredibly stressful. I spend the entire time shuffling the food around in an effort to keep him from crawling through it, but inevitably he crawls through something, smashing his knee down on someone's food and dragging it under him as he makes his way for someone else's plate.

On the bright side, he's eating less sand and sidewalk chalk these days, but it hasn't been that long since he shoveled dirt into his mouth. He also managed to pop a fistful of wet cat food into his mouth the other day before I yoked him up, and since he immediately locked his jaws, picking it out  was no easy task. 

In true family fashion, we celebrated his birthday on multiple occasions and managed to drag it out for most of the month. On the weekend before his first birthday, Hannah and I made Jacob blueberry muffins, and my mom and brother and his kids descended upon the house in a flurry of fun and chaos, the good kind that comes about when four kids under 5 end up in one row home. Zoey and Amy showed up in time for lunch and cupcakes and chaos too.

Jacob sat on dad's lap wearing the family birthday headdress and staring curiously at the fire while we sang to him.

Chip's present was (and still is) a HUGE hit. Jacob is totally obsessed with computers and constantly trying to bang on my keys the way I guess it looks like I do. This little LeapFrog computer is my go-to when I need him to just sit still.

Amy and Zoey got him That's Not My Dinosaur, a textured book that he reads daily, and this really neat plastic ball that changes back and forth from green to blue every time you throw it.

Grammy got him a Rody, a really soft stuffed tiger to snuggle, and a lift-the-flap book.

His present from Grannah and Granpah arrived in the mail a few days later, but since he opened it over video chat, I forgot to take pictures. They got a him some really fun cars, a stuffed dog, and a lift-the-flap book with farm animals.

Also, my aunts both sent cards stuffed with $20, which became the first two bills deposited into his piggy bank. Hannah has quite a stash of twenties at this point since that's where she always puts her birthday money too.

A couple weeks later, my dad and Sondra came down for an egg hunt and brought Jacob's birthday present: Elefun Busy Ball Poppper. It was a big hit.

Baby picture time!! From left to right, Eric, me, and Hannah after 1 year in this great world.  I think Jacob looks the most like his sister, except for his lighter coloring.

At his 12-month appointment he weighed 22 pounds and 6 ounces which dropped him down into the very average 66th percentile. The little giant who came into this world in the 99th percentile at 10 1/2 pounds is letting his peers catch up now. He is still in the 87th percentile for length (31 inches), which makes him a beanpole, just like his sister. I think she was usually 80th for length and something like 20th for weight. And his head, which seems like a totally arbitrary and pointless measurement to me, is 48 cm (92nd percentile).

We are all completely smitten with this baby brother and looking forward to more fun-filled days and (hopefully) more sleep-filled nights.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A hand for Hampden

This hand, situated in the bed of Steve's truck in March when I took these pictures, will soon be part of a sweet new playground currently being built a few blocks south of us. Since the playground is the brainchild of Steve, I have high expectations and no doubt that it will exceed those expectations. Really, just the hand is enough to make the space a huge hit; the fact that there will be more is just a party bonus. What kid doesn't want to sit in the palm of a giant hand and climb up the fingers?? I kinda want to sit on it too...

After a week of awesomely amazing 70-degree temperatures, it's hard to look at these pictures of Hannah bundled up in her winter gear and come to terms with the fact that this really wasn't that long ago. Sure, I'm behind on the blog, but I'm not THAT I?? It's funny how a dramatic change in weather can warp my sense of time and make a month feel like a year.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Random 'nuggles

I haven't forgotten about a proper birthday post for Jacob, but it'll have to happen on a night that I don't work. Tonight I'll just post a few pics that have been collecting dust in my cell phone gallery.

In the last month Jacob has taken to laying down with Hannah at bedtime and listening to a story rather than trying to tear the book out of the hands of the reader and then whack all readers in the face with it. I'm a big fan of this development.

Jacob spends a lot of his downtime time on the step ladder, and on this particular day, he slipped off it and landed pretty hard on the wood floor. He cried for a long time and snuggled with me for even longer. I kept worrying that he had a concussion but Eric assured me that he did not. He's more of an expert on that stuff than me so I took his word for it.

We miss having Zoey next door and loved running around Cylburn with her on one of those random warm days in March that made the snow on the ground seem like something from a sci-fi movie.

This next one was taken on a day that I THOUGHT was warm but was actually pretty darn freezing, hence the reason that we are the only ones on the playground. We didn't last long. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Happy 1st birthday, Jacob!

Unfortunately, Jacob is not going to get the detailed first birthday blog post I had hoped to give him because I spent the bulk of his birthday (today) either in the bathroom or in bed, and I am incredibly weak as a result of this stomach bug.  Here's a link to Hannah's first birthday blog post, and it includes photos of Eric and me at our first birthdays as well. I would re-upload them here, but....I can't easily find them and have already expended more energy than I have. How far we've come since his birth day!!