Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hair Cutting at its Finest

I would just like to document my first attempt at cutting Joseph's hair. I didn't read any directions on what to do I just started chopping away (ok, snipping). I'm sure you can't tell a complete amateur did this. These are the results:
I'm amazed how not having hair in his eyes makes his look even more like a toddler. And did I mention that I hacked off his little mullet? Because I did.
Also, I'm curious to see if Will notices I cut Joseph's hair when he gets home tonight.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A little of this, a little of that

...but it's all gonna be about Joseph :)

Joseph has such a personality and has recently taken up some cute little "things" that he does. I realize this probably isn't very interesting to most of the internets, but I want to record his sweet personality. And I heart bullet points, so here goes.

- Whenever I put lotion on Joseph comes up to me and starts rubbing my legs with his hands pretending he's putting lotion on my legs. He has seen me put lotion on a few times after a shower, so I assume that's where the connection comes from. Usually I'm just putting lotion on my hands, but he always comes to rub my legs as if to remind me to lotion up my legs, too!

- Joseph has started saying "no" with a funny accent. It's almost as if he's turned into a little English boy - that's the best way I can think to describe the way he says "no." I'll have to catch a video of it for you to understand exactly what I mean.
- Joseph can now count to three all by himself. He tries to hold up his fingers while he counts, but hasn't quite mastered it yet. So, he'll be counting "unn...doo...hee" while looking at his five fingers. Then a couple seconds later he'll say "fie!" and show me five fingers. It makes me so proud every time!

- Joseph is also getting pretty good at repeating his alphabet (I say "a," he repeats "a"). (When he wants to) He can make it all the way to "r," but he can't seem to say "r" yet. I still love that he enjoys repeating the alphabet. I can definitely tell he's learning.
- Joseph has recently become very interested in using a fork and plate. For a while I'd offer his food on a plate, but it would inevitably be dumped on his try. Then one day it just clicked, and he left his food on his plate and ate off it. The same thing happened with using a fork. I would offer a fork a few times a week and usually he would just hold it in one hand while shoveling food in with his other hand. Then one day he became very interested in using the fork and worked diligently to spear his food and eat it with the fork.
What I found most amazing is the other night when we were eating pizza he seemed to pick up on the fact that Will and I weren't using any utensils to eat our pizza so he ignored the fork and used his hands. But at the next meal he was back to using his fork! He's a perceptive little guy.

- I bought Joseph a potty yesterday. He's been showing signs of being ready for potty training, so I went ahead and got a potty. Unfortunately,  I think I missed that narrow window when they let you know they're going. Over Thanksgiving he would say "poopoo" then, inevitably, he'd poop a few minutes later. He did that for about a week. He has since stopped such niceties. Now when I see him going and I ask if he's going poopoo and he yells "no!" and either runs away (to do his business elsewhere) or continues with his business.... we'll see if this works. If it doesn't I'll just put the potty away for a few months (or years) before I try again.
In the meantime, he really enjoys sitting on his potty (fully clothed and diapered, of course). Baby steps, right?

Friday, November 30, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 47)

 7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 188)
I've been trying to do an "update on life" post all week. Luckily, it's Friday which means I can just stuff everything neatly into 7 little snippets :)

1) Last week we headed to TN to visit my family for Thanksgiving. We left on Tuesday in an attempt to avoid traffic. We were mostly successful. Our biggest worry was having to stop a bunch because Joseph was sick (with diarrhea). Luckily, we only had one major blowout on the trip down. (Sorry if that was TMI.)

2) Wednesday, Will and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary. We kept it simple and went out to lunch at a nice restaurant with Joseph. AND we got dessert - score!
Joseph also seemed to finally have his appetite back after nearly a week of eating hardly anything. I think that was his anniversary present to us (because he's much more well behaved in restaurants when he's hungry/eating).

3) Thursday we went to mass in the morning then had a nice late Thanksgiving lunch. My dad's turkey, stuffing and gravy were delicious as usual. But, I think my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the sides.

4) Friday we celebrated birthdays. Four of them to be exact - Will's, my sister, Alyse's, my mom's, and mine. We went out to lunch at one of my favorite restaurants then went bowling. Joseph really enjoyed watching us bowl and running all over the place. Luckily, we were the only people there for the first half of bowling (then people started trickling in).

After bowling we had a delicious cookie cake. MMMMmmmmm. If you don't have a Great American Cookie Company near you, I'm sorry. Their cookie cakes are to-die-for (or maybe my family is just weirdly obsessed with them). The closest one to me here in MD is nearly an hour away, so I try to get my fill when I'm back home in TN.

5) We attempted to take some family photos on Thanksgiving, but that was a major fail. I realized after Joseph refused to cooperate that he was probably hungry. Lesson learned: make sure Joseph is well-fed before attempting a photo session.

6) Saturday was Will's birthday. He wanted to watch the Ohio State vs. Michigan game for his birthday. So, I packed while he watched the game. Then we left to come home late that afternoon (again, to avoid Thanksgiving traffic).

7) Unrelated to last week - I'm so excited the Christmas season is upon us. I'm hoping to decorate the house tomorrow. I've already started playing Christmas music. It makes me so happy and calm and happy. We're sticking with our little 4-foot tree again this year, but I can't wait to bring out the nativity sets and Christmas lights. And I especially can't wait to see Joseph's reactions to it all.

That's all for now in Casa de Rayel. I hope you have a lovely weekend. For more quick takes go visit Jen at Conversion Diary.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I'm not partial or anything...

...but the fact is my son is a genius.

Evidence #1: A couple days ago he and I were playing with his little fire truck. I dug the firemen out of the recesses of the toy box, but was unable to find the dog that goes with the set. I asked Joseph if he could find the dog. He ignored my question, so I figured he didn’t know where the dog was. He worked on putting the firemen into the truck (you have to fit the square bodies into the square holes) for a few minutes. Once he accomplished this task he walked into the other room. I assumed he was finished playing with the fire truck, but wanted to encourage him to play more. I heard him open the drawer of the desk then start squawking. I got up to see what was the matter and try to bring him back into the other room to continue playing. Within a couple seconds I saw him pull out the little wooden dog. He must have stashed it in there a day or two before without me knowing and remembered it was there when I asked for it. Genius, I tell you.

Evidence #2: Tonight at dinner I made breakfast for dinner (french toast, eggs, sausage). I decided to wait until about halfway through dinner to make the sausage because as soon as Joseph sees the sausage he won’t touch any other food on his tray. He becomes singularly focused on the sausage. Must. Eat. Sausage. Now. So, we sit down to dinner and he starts fussing. He’s been a little sick which has turned him into a picky eater (hopefully only temporarily) and tonight was no different. Everything we offered he didn’t want. We finally just let him get down from his seat, but that didn’t help either. He went over to the fridge and started whining. It took me few minutes before I realized he wanted me to get the sausage out of the freezer and make it. I eventually went to the freezer and as soon as the door opened he was quiet. He saw me get out the sausage and all was well…until he had to wait for me to cook the sausage. But, seriously…the boy knew sausage was a part of this meal and he wanted nothing to do with the eggs or french toast when he knew sausage was coming. What the heck!? He’s only 16 months old. Isn’t he too young for this kind of memory? Genius.

Evidence #3:  I was doing laundry today in preparation for our Thanksgiving trip. This included washing his cloth diapers, which I usually line dry. I took a load of laundry up the stairs and when I came back down Joseph has gotten an empty laundry basket and was taking all the diapers off the line and putting them into the laundry basket. Never mind the fact that they were still wet. I was just surprised he knew what to do with them! Genius.

Evidence #4: Every night we read Joseph a few stories before he goes to bed. Will is usually the one to read to him, but Will was tired tonight so I read to him instead. At one point in “Sleep Tight, Baby Rhino” Baby Rhino’s mommy and daddy give him a kiss goodnight. When I read this page Joseph “blew a kiss.” I thought to myself, “Aww, that’s so sweet! Will taught him to blow kisses!” Then, when Will came upstairs to say goodnight he told Joseph to blow kisses to me (which he did) and I commented on how cute it was that he taught him that. Will looked at me quizzically and said “I thought you taught him that” at which point we both realized he must have picked it up somewhere else. My best guess is that he saw another child do it and simply mimicked it. Regardless, I believe it makes my kid a genius.

All of these scenarios occurred either today or within the past couple days, which I find amazing. Joseph continues to surprise me with what he knows and how quickly he learns. What will he think of next?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What I Wore Sunday (#4)

What I Wore Sunday linkup

I'd like to start by saying how proud I am of myself. Because of this nifty little link-up I've managed to wear four different outfits to church four weeks in a row. I think that must be some kind of record for me. My goal for today was to try and add accessories to my outfit. Since giving birth I've pretty much stopped wearing all jewelry except for my wedding + engagement rings.
I managed to wear earrings and a necklace this week. Who even knows when I'll ever wear a scarf as a fashion statement because a) the only scarves I own are solid colors and are meant to simply keep me warm and b) I haven't the first clue as to how to wear a scarf in the name of fashion. And I'll probably never wear a bracelet. I feel like they're uncomfortable and always get in the way. So, earrings and a necklace is about the best I'll do for a while.
Although I didn't think ahead on my outfit I had planned Joseph's outfit in advance. Unfortunately, that outfit was kiboshed when Joseph got sick. This morning he curled up in my arms and fell asleep. Poor guy slept until shortly before mass. Knowing the likelihood of me having to change his outfit mid-mass I just threw on some pants to go with the shirt he was already wearing. I still think he looked cute, but can't wait to use the outfit I had planned.
Sorry about the lighting....again. Clearly I'm no photographer, and that goes double for the hubs.

The deets:
Shirt: TJMaxx
Skirt: Motherhood Maternity
Jacket: Ann Taylor LOFT
Shoes: no idea - I've had them for a long time

mmmmmm...pasty legs
Earrings: gift at some point in my life
Necklace: bridesmaids gift from my sister's wedding

That's all folks. Now go check out what other (more stylish) people are wearing at Fine Linen and Purple.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What I Wore Sunday (#3)

What I Wore Sunday linkup

It's Sunday again which means it's time for a little installment of "What I Wore Sunday." Unfortunately, this Sunday I didn't do a whole lot of planning ahead (or even thinking ahead). But it was warm here - a solid 60 degrees out(!!!) - which made my clothing choice much easier. I went with my go-to dress + shrug/cardigan + flats combo. I even managed to spice things up a bit by wearing earrings (although you can't see them in this pic).

Dress: Ann Taylor LOFT (non-maternity!!! but baby bump friendly)
Shrug: Ann Taylor LOFT
Shoes: Steve Madden (from DSW, I think??)
Hair: down and freshly cut (after 11 long months sans hair stylist)

I love this dress. It's incredibly comfortable and so versatile. I wear it all the time during the summer, and I especially love that it has space for my growing belly.
I also love these shoes. They're fairly basic flats, but seem to be able to go with lots of different outfits. Being size 11W, I generally have a hard time finding shoes that I like that also fit and are reasonably priced. (Other than buying shoes online, which I generally don't like to do because they usually don't fit right and I end up having to return them. So it ends up being more of a hassle than it's worth.)
As for the hair cut - I'm so glad I was able to get that done yesterday. I've been looking for a new hairstylist since I got married and moved an hour away from my wonderful stylist in Annapolis. I had one not-so-great experience and have been terrified to try someone new since then. The lady I got yesterday did a good enough job, but took forever. I'm not torn as to whether to stick with her or continue looking. I suppose I have some time to think about it...

Ok. Enough rambling. Go check out some other outfits at Fine Linen and Purple!

Friday, November 9, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 46)

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 188)

1) I read many articles after the election (as I'm sure we all did), and I think this article really got at the core of what needed to be said (or what I needed to hear). It made me reflect on my life in ways I never have before. Specifically when Matthew Warner quoted Blessed Teresa of Calcutta saying this:

“If you are discouraged it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own power. Your self-sufficiency, your selfishness and your intellectual pride will inhibit His coming to live in your heart because God cannot fill what is already full. It is as simple as that."

I had to read that quote several times for it to really sink in. Not because I didn't understand what she was trying to say, but because of my own selfish pride. I didn't want it to be true. But the more I read it the more I realized the truth in that statement. Not only was this true for my disappointment in the election, but in many other parts of my life as well. I have to remember that I am not in control and I shouldn't try to be. It's so hard to let go of all worldly attachments. This is a very challenging lesson to learn, indeed.

2) Last week was an emotional roller coaster for me. For whatever reason I was really fighting feeling blue. I think it started with being cooped up in the house for two days due to hurricane/superstorm Sandy. Then the sun never really came back out until Sunday - and that's where my mood stayed for the most part. It was such an off week for me.
I'm so thankful that Halloween was Wednesday because we were able to visit with some friends in the day and have some friends over for dinner and trick-or-treating that night. The boys were adorable in their little outfits and I really enjoyed watching Joseph trick-or-treat for the first time. The whole day lifted my spirits in the midst of a very difficult week.

3) This week has been a little crazy because Joseph just keeps learning new things. It isn't bad that he's learning new things, but he's certainly giving me a run for my money.
On Tuesday he figured out how to get into the drawer in my night stand and how to get into some of Will's regular clothing drawers. I, therefore, have had to find new places for things/keep a much closer eye on him while he's in our room.
Wednesday he figured out how to open the chip drawer - which had previously been too heavy for him to open (it's a double drawer and sticks a little). He has since broken two chip clips, but hasn't actually gotten into a bag of chips... *yet.* Then, later in the day on Wednesday he figured out that he can stick his hand into all the top drawers in the kitchen and pull stuff out. He's been taking full advantage of that new skill these past few days.
Thursday he figured out how to get out of his crib (boo!) and went aaaaall the way down the stairs backwards - an improvement from trying to scooch down them forwards (yay!).
What will today bring? The realization that he can push one of the kitchen chairs to the counter and have access to EVERYTHING? I dread that day.
He did this last week:

4) All these new abilities have me pondering exactly how much I should baby proof. I can't just lock up every. single. little. thing. in the house. But it's exhausting keeping the house in some semblance of order when he's constantly getting into things.

5) We were also planning on keeping him in a crib when the new baby comes, but now that he can get out of his crib I'm wondering if we should just go ahead and transition him to a "big boy bed." We've lowered his crib to the very lowest setting for now, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he figures out how to scale the crib by another four inches. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on this one? Should we keep him in the crib, or move him to a "big boy bed"?

6) I got to have dinner with a friends from college last night. I haven't seen her since my wedding nearly three years ago, so it was really nice to see her and have a chance to catch up.

7) And last a preg pic. I have been really bad about keeping up with these. This one is from 26 weeks + 1 day. Next up - my date with the orange bottle of disgusting.

I hope everyone has a lovely Veteran's Day weekend! Now go visit Jen to check out more Quick Takes.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Budgeting - Fixed Expenses

In my first post on budgeting I talked about why we (finally) decided we needed to come up with a budget. In this post I would like to share the first step we took in coming up with our budget: finding our fixed expenses.
Once Will and I realized we needed a budget we sat down and listed out all of our fixed expenses. We included all expenses that we could expect on a regular schedule whether it was monthly, bi-annually, annually, etc. Here is the list we came up with:

Faith Direct (a monthly donation to our parish)
Cardinal's Appeal (a monthly donation to our diocese)
Student Loans
Disability Insurance
Bar Dues
Will Cell Phone
Betsy Cell Phone (we're on different plans at the moment)
CFCA (we sponsor a young man in India through this agency)
Car Insurance

*These items are variable, but tend to be pretty similar or average out over time, so we simply listed the average cost per month for these two line items.

With this list in hand we were able to figure out our monthly expenditure for our fixed expenses.

We pay our car insurance bi-annually (it's cheaper that way if you can plan ahead!). So this expense doesn't come out of our bank account every month, but we were able to come up with how much money we need to set aside each month in order to have the money in our account when the bill comes every 6 months.

Our fixed expenses (theoretically) don't change on a month-to-month basis, so we were able to figure out how much money we had left to allot to our variable expenses.

For most people their fixed expenses represent the largest portion of their budget, so if you're spending beyond your means (aka - spending more money each month than you're taking in) cutting back on some of your fixed expenses is the best place to start.

Will and I have already discussed which items on this list we will cut when our budget becomes tighter (assuming we have more children). For us those include: cable and cutting down on our monthly contributions to savings or eliminating these contributions altogether (if that becomes necessary). We've also discussed possibly cutting back on our cell phones and getting a pay-as-you-go plan instead because we hardly ever use our cell phones anyway (we both already have the most basic plans available). But, we haven't done enough research on different phone plans to know if we would really save much money.

If you're not sure where to start with creating a budget for your family start by making a list of ALL of your fixed expenses. There are lots of software programs you can buy to help you track your spending, but we chose to just set up our own spreadsheet in Excel. Using Excel is fairly simple and, best of all, it's free!

Up next: Budgeting - Variable Expenses

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What I Wore Sunday (#2)

What I Wore Sunday linkup

This Sunday I tried the layering thing again. I think I pulled it off a little better this week. Sorry about the lighting - I was on my own for picture taking and had to rely on Photo Booth + my kitchen counter for these.
with cardigan
without cardigan
Cardigan: "tulle" - I bought it a long time ago, but still wear it quite frequently.
Dress: New York & Company
Leggings: Motherhood Maternity
Shoes: they say "Classified" but I've also had them for a long time and don't remember exactly where I bought them

Thanks again to Fine Linen and Purple for the link-up. I'm finding this a great way to take some extra time and put a little more thought into my Sunday attire. Go check out the link-up for more Sunday outfits!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Our Little Giraffe

I bought this giraffe costume for Joseph to wear last year, but it was WAY too big. So he got to wear it this year. I'll keep from blabbering too much and just inundate you with pictures instead.
giraffe race car driver
enjoying the Halloween party
hangin' with his buds at an impromptu get together on Halloween
ready to trick-or-treat
Joseph's buddy, Julian, ready to trick-or-treat
so proud of putting the candy in his bag
walking with daddy to the next house
post trick-or-treating picture with mom
Happy Halloween and All Saint's Day, ya'll!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween - Butler's Orchard!

A couple weeks ago I took Joseph to a local farm that has a little fall festival type celebration. They had so many activities for the kids - Joseph LOVED everything! Unfortunately, my camera died early on so I didn't get too many pictures, but I did manage to get a few good ones :)

ridin' the tractor
playing in the water at the duck race
he LOVED the duck race (because of the water)
collecting ducks
so. many. pumpkins!
Joseph would have stayed there all day. They had lots of stuff for little ones to climb on, a petting zoo, a hay ride, a barn filled with hay for the kids to roll around in, 2 HUGE slides (we're definitely going to do that next year!) and lots of other stuff that I can't even think of right now.
We actually went with a couple friends (we had 4 boys there altogether), but I didn't get any pictures of them. I will next year, for sure.

And later today (hopefully!) - pictures of the cutest giraffe you've ever seen :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What I Wore Sunday (#1)

I saw this linkup last week and thought it would be fun to participate. I'm no fashion guru by any stretch of the imagination, but figured I'd give this a whirl. I'm currently attempting to make my summer maternity clothes work for winter by layering - one of my non-talents. Here was my first attempt:
Dress: Motherhood Maternity - I wish I took a close-up of the detail around the neck because that's my favorite feature of the dress.  Alas, I did not.
Sweater: Old Navy, but bought at a consignment store for $3
Leggings: Motherhood Maternity
Shoes: Coconuts (that's all I know, I got them a while ago)

Hair: in a pony tail as usual
Glasses: because it was rainy outside and I figured we'd be lazing about the house awaiting Sandy's arrival anyway

There you have it. My Sunday attire for this past Sunday.
I'm not sure I'm in love with the leggings, but they are pretty warm and will enable me to wear my summer maternity dresses so we'll see.

For more put together outfits go check out Fine Linen and Purple's linkup.

Friday, October 12, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 45)

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 188)

1) I taped all the flaps in our lift the flap books last week. I was tired of the flaps ripping and decided there had to be a better way. So, I took packing tape and taped the front and back of every. single. flap. This included the repair of a couple flaps that had already been ripped off, but that I had saved to fix. So far, so good. We haven't had any flap mishaps since the taping.

2) We bought a couch over Labor Day weekend and it finally arrived last Friday. I love it! It's so nice to have somewhere to sit/lay while Joseph is playing in the play room.

3) This is Joseph's favorite use of the couch...

...watching people and cars go by. He waves at them when they drive by. Maybe one day someone will wave back.

4) This past weekend Will and I attended the Indian Summer Ball to support The Northwest Center - a crisis pregnancy center and maternity home in DC. This is the second year we've gone and we have really enjoyed the event both years. I'm hoping it will become a tradition for us - especially since it's one of our favorite charities to donate to.

5) My mom also came up this past weekend to watch Joseph for us while we attended the ball. We are so thankful that she was able to make the trip up. We spent the day Saturday up in Mt. Airy at a craft fair. She was even kind enough to buy Joseph an adorable rocking chair. It's still a tiny bit too big for him to rock himself, but he really enjoys sitting in it. And he loved hanging out with his grandma!

6) I hit 22 weeks in the pregnancy on Wednesday. The documentation:

7) Joseph is starting to try and mimic what we're saying now. He's gained a few new words in the past week or so including: moo, hiss, two and three (we're still working on "one"). And just today he tried to say "meow" buuut, it still needs a little work.

Have a lovely weekend and go see Jen at Conversion Diary for more quick takes.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ten Minute Tuesday - The Need for a Budget Edition

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I haven’t been blogging. I’ve realized that it isn’t as high of a priority for me as it was before. That, and I’ve started reading about a zillion other blogs and by the time I’ve read them I’ve basically used up my computer time. I am only able to write this right now because a) I know that it’s only 10 minutes and b) Will and Joseph are having some quality bonding time right now.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that budgeting post (or posts) I said I was going to do. And I still plan on doing them. So, maybe this would be a good place to give a little background as to why we started budgeting in the first place.

Shortly before Labor Day I finally decided we needed a couch for the front room (the play room). I had been pondering it for several months and wavered back and forth whether it was something that needed to be purchased now or if it was something that could wait a year (or two or three). But the more I thought about it the more I realized how nice it would be to have somewhere to sit (not the floor) while nursing baby #2 and watching Joseph play. So, I started looking for a couch.

I told Will about this and informed him that it would likely use up the rest of my “for the house” budget for the year and likely dip a little into next year’s budget. He had forgotten we had even set a limit for me. But when it comes to spending money I need clear limits. When he realized how much this was going to cost he started looking at our bank account. I had mentioned before that I thought we were spending more than we were taking in, but he brushed it off saying that he gets paid every 2 weeks so occasionally we would have a 3-paycheck month that should cover the monthly decrease.

It wasn’t until the couch purchase was almost a done deal that he took a closer look at our bank account, and we were, indeed, spending more than we were taking in….to the tune of approximately $100/month (eeks!!!). So, we sat down that same weekend and made a budget. As with most families (I think) food and household supplies are our biggest monthly expenditure (behind mortgage/rent).

My time is running out, but let’s just say our first month with putting a limit on our food/household supplies budget was a bit of a challenge, but a really good learning experience. I think it’s going to take a little time to get used to, but I’m up for the challenge.

Now go see Rachel at Testosterhome for more!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ten Minute Tuesday (Episode 1)

Last week Rachel Balducci of Testosterhome hosted her first "Ten Minute Tuesday." I thought it would be fun to do, so I tried it today. Rachel's been busy and didn't end up hosting today, but I figured I'd go ahead and publish what I wrote anyway...because I didn't feel like editing it and making it into a "real" post. The idea is that you set aside 10 minutes and just write whatever comes to your mind. Here's what I came up with.

Ten minute Tuesday starts right here, right now. I’m currently seated with Joseph in his booster eating lunch. We had a lovely morning. We went to mass and Joseph hardly made a peep! Amazing. He’s been much better at mass lately. I think it has to do with us praying the rosary with him each night. We just started doing this about a week and a half ago.

*break to hand Joseph another Pringle*

Will holds him on his lap from the beginning of the rosary through the first mystery then we let him get down and play. He usually stays right by us and plays with his rosary and my husband’s rosary case. The first few days were rough. He screamed and fought Will almost the entire time, but now he sits there fairly calmly. And we’ve noticed a HUGE improvement in his behavior at mass.
Not only does he rarely fight us at mass anymore, but he also somehow began to understand that he should be quiet and not jabber the entire time.

*break to hand Joseph another Pringle*

He still talks a little, but it’s hardly noticeable anymore. So, if you’re having issues with behavior at mass I would recommend this technique. Will learned it from Steve Wood’s book – I don’t remember the exact title…something to do with fatherhood.
After mass we took a short walk to the park near our parish. Our church has a nice little walking path just behind it that goes…

*break to give Joseph another Pringle…*

…through the neighborhood behind the church.

*break to hand Joseph his water*

…There’s a park that’s only about a 10 minute walk. I had never taken him before, but we found ti just the other day and I wanted to check ti out. Joseph seemed to enjoy himself and I let him walk part of the way back, which he LOVES doing because he can pick up sticks and leaves and pine cones and and and.

*break to give Joseph another Pringle + water only to have no idea what he’s asking for. He eventually settles for the Pringle.*

After our short walk and park excursion we headed home. It was almost nap time and I needed to get the laundry started.

Friday, September 21, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 44)

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 188)

1) Will and I officially started budgeting this month. I've been meaning to do a full post on it, but just haven't gotten around to it yet. I haven't done a very good job with the food/household budget. I managed to spend about 80% of the budget within the first 2 weeks. Sooo, these last two weeks I have only been able to buy what we absolutely need at the grocery store which has been a good learning experience for me. It has definitely kept my impulse buys in check. And I have avoided Target like the plague. It'll be interesting to see how this last week of our first month with an actual set budget goes.

2) I've noticed recently that I have a horrible habit of interrupting people when they're talking. This is particularly the case when I'm talking on the phone. I don't know where I learned this habit (maybe it was just not corrected enough as a child) or why I do it, but I'm starting to get annoyed with myself - and I'm sure my friends are, too. My dear friends - I'm working on this. Please be patient with me :)

3) The whole napping situation is getting better. We've been working on getting Joseph on more of a set schedule and I think it's helping. I am at least able to get him to sleep in his crib now (after falling asleep in my arms or the car). This is a huge improvement from a couple weeks ago. Hopefully the situation will continue to get better and maybe one day he'll let me put him in his crib to fall asleep like he used to do.

4) Joseph is starting to love basketball. We got him a little hoop for his birthday and he loves to put balls in it. He also really enjoys playing basketball with his daddy. It's pretty adorable to watch.
A boy can never have too many balls.

5) We had our anatomy ultrasound this week and found out we're having another boy! We're very excited for Joseph to have a brother. Now all we need is a matching onsie that says "Little Brother."

6) Now that we know we're having a boy I spent the past couple days going through baby clothes trying to figure out if we had enough warm stuff for baby #2. It was a little overwhelming trying to think about what exactly we would need. Joseph was born in the middle of summer and I was worried we wouldn't have any warm stuff, but he had a fair amount of clothes that we can reuse. And today I went to a baby sale and filled out the winter wardrobe for both of the boys on the cheap. Man I love those baby sales.

7) Joseph's new hangout is under the changing table. He pulls out the drawers then crawls inside. The funny (irritating?) thing is he can get himself in there but can't get himself out, so I hear him yell for help getting out many times a day now.
Last night my husband thought it would be fun to leave him in there and just play with him. Joseph seemed to enjoy it....
Daddy stacked a bunch of toys on me!
Have a lovely weekend, and go see Jen for more Quick Takes!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Dirty" Associations

Joseph recently learned the word "dirty." Well, he learned to say the word "dirty." We're still working on connotation. He knows that if I tell him that something is dirty he isn't to touch it (and he generally doesn't). But, if I say "yucky" he says back "dirty." Which, as we all know yucky and dirty aren't synonyms.

When I referred to his hours-old, browning, disgusting-looking, cut-up banana from breakfast at 3 o'clock in the afternoon (which he asked to eat) as "yucky" he immediately responded "dirty." All I could think was "weeeeeellll, not exactly, but I'll take it. And now I'm going to clean your tray."

When he began to grab at the lamp I said "don't touch that, you'll go directly into time out" he said "dirty." Again...close, but not quite. At least he associates "don't touch" with "dirty," right?

While we continue to work on his understanding of the word dirty I'll just revel in the fact that he has become so proficient at another new and exciting word.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The New Normal

Today marks day 1 of Operation Daily Routine. Joseph has been having serious issues with (not) napping for the past few weeks. It hasn't been pretty. He pretty much refuses to nap in his crib anymore. In my arms, the car or his stroller? No problem. But most definitely not the crib. I'm really unsure what caused the sudden change, but I sure want to fix it.
After consulting Facebook, my pediatrician sister and Dr. Ferber we decided he desperately needs a consistent daily routine. So, beginning today he has a set schedule that we're going to follow for a few weeks and see if it helps. If after a few weeks it still isn't helping we'll re-evaluate the situation.
And because I know you're dying to hear what this schedule is I shall post it below.

7:30am - wake up
7:30-7:45(ish) - breakfast
12:00 - lunch
12:30-1:00 - Joseph goes down for a nap
4:00 - snack
7:00-7:30 - dinner
9:00 - bedtime

Before coming up with this schedule the only consistent activity we had for him was bedtime. Hopefully this will help.
So far today has been - eh. He wasn't particularly happy about being woken up at 7:30 then didn't eat his breakfast very well because he isn't used to eating that early so he kind of munched on his breakfast for an hour or so before finishing it. Lunch and nap time have been ok, but he ended up sleeping on our bed again. I hope to nix this starting tomorrow, but wanted him to have at least one day getting used to going down at 1pm.
Snack is going swimmingly. But, the kid loves to eat so I wasn't worried about any of that.

Did I mention that it's just lovely outside today? We might go hang out outside for a while after snack.

Friday, August 31, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 43)

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 186)

A friend of mine sent out a family update email today which has inspired me to write this post. I originally started this blog with the intention of keeping a journal of our family - I wanted something I could look back on to remember the little things that happened. Unfortunately, I've only been posting about major events lately and neglecting to record some of the more mundane and, to me, interesting parts of life. I'm going to try to do a better job of keeping up ... we'll see how it goes.

1) Joseph's naps have been very erratic lately. He went from taking two naps a day to not wanting to nap at all. I did push the two-nap thing a little through my 1st trimester, but he didn't seem to mind and would take two good naps for me. But literally the day I entered my 2nd trimester is when he started fighting his naps. And this past Saturday he went on a nap strike altogether. He tried to strike again on Sunday, but ended up falling asleep with me on the couch in the late afternoon. This week has continued to be a little rough on the nap front. And the fact that Joseph has been a little sick (just a runny nose, really) hasn't helped the matter. The only way I've been able to get him to nap is by holding him and singing him to sleep or having him nap in the car. Neither of which are very good options. He has even started rejecting his before-nap books. He'll let me read the first few pages then he shuts the book as if to say he isn't interested in napping.
He generally needs at least one nap or he gets super clingy/cranky. I'm just not sure what to do about it.

2) Joseph has recently started saying "mama." I think he quasi-associates it with me which is super exciting. He also tried to say "ok" yesterday a couple different times. It's very similar to "uh-oh" which is why I think he likes it. I also taught him to say "dirty" today. As in, "The dustpan is dirty. We don't reach in to grab the dirt mom just swept up" or "The trash can is dirty. We don't reach in to pull out used diapers."

3) Joseph has also been teething like crazy lately. Starting right around 13 months I noticed he was getting his baby molars in on the bottom. Those were soon followed by the top bi-cuspids (the teeth between the incisors and baby molars ... I think that's what they're called) which are still working their way in. But in the mean time his top baby molars and bottom bi-cuspids have started coming in as well. All but the bottom bi-cuspids have broken through the gums. So, within the course of one month he's gotten 6 (soon to be 8) teeth. Crazy!

4) My belly grew last night. It's so weird how that happens when you're pregnant. I mean - not that it's weird that it gets larger, but that you'll wake up and feel that it is larger than when you went to sleep the night before.

5) I've been on the hunt for a couch this week. With it being Labor Day weekend I figured I'd be able to get a good deal (and I can), but I can't seem to make a decision. I've found a few that I like, but for some reason I just can't take the plunge. I feel like it's a lot of money to spend and ever since Will and I came up with a yearly budget for me to spend on stuff for the house...well...I've been much more cautious with my spending. Pretty much all these couches would eat up the remainder of the budget for the year, and I'm not sure I'm ok with that. I'm leaning towards putting off the purchase until next year so I can just roll over some money from this year and combine it with next year's budget. That way I won't eat up my entire budget 4 months before the year is over. And this way I can buy a few other more necessary things before the baby arrives (ahem, a crib). There will be more sales, right?

6) Joseph has been obsessed with the book "Good Night, I Love You" lately. He'll have us read it anywhere from 4-10 times in a row. He's also still fairly obsessed with "Llama, Llama, Wakey Wake."

7a) Two of my mommy friends (you might know Lisa) moved to TX this week (one last weekend, one this weekend). I'm sad to see them go, but it gives me a liiiiiiittle more leverage for convincing Will that we should move to TX (like that's ever going to happen...). I can dream, right?

7b) I'm super excited for the long weekend. Yay for having my husband home for 3 days in a row!!!

Aaaand this basically turned into a 7 (errr...8) Quick Takes Friday, so I guess I shall publish it as such.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Joseph's First Birthday

Joseph turned ONE (!!!) last month. Yes, I realize this post is super tardy, but it took a while to get the pictures and then other stuff happened and yadda yadda yadda. I'll stop making excuses now.
Joseph's birthday was tons of fun. We are so fortunate that many of our family members were able to come into town to help us celebrate. It was so nice to be able to share the weekend with them, and I was delighted that Joseph was able to spend some extra time with family that he doesn't see very often. 

The general theme for the party was initially basketball then sort of morphed into a blue/orange/ polkadot/basketball party - all of which are awesome. I used the same format for the day of the party that my sister used for my neice, Clare's, 1st birthday. I especially liked that it allotted special time for family to celebrate before the chaos of the big birthday party. The day of the party format was: lunch and presents with family starting at noon then a cake party with both friends and family starting at 2.

I am so grateful to my family for their help with setting up. I had so many big plans and got waaaay behind. For some reason I thought I could do everything on my own - what was I thinking? Thankfully they were able to help me pull everything together and the party went really well. 
I "made" Joseph's basketball shirt for the party a few days ahead of time by painting his name and the number 1 on the back so it looked like a basketball jersey (sort of). The front already had a basketball on it. I tried to make his cake match his shirt, but I'm not sure how well I accomplished this goal. You be the judge (it was the first time I attempted to ice a cake....after my first disastrous attempt earlier in the maybe you can cut me some slack).

Joseph didn't have too much interest in opening presents (sadly), but he did do a little. Tearing paper he understood and enjoyed fairly well, but pulling tissue paper out of a bag he didn't understand quite as much. He got lots of neat books and really enjoyed looking through them. About halfway through opening his presents he got tired and ended up having to go down for a nap.
(yes, I realize the 1 is crazy crooked)
After his little nap, Joseph geared up for the rambunctious part of the day.
The balloons were a huge hit. I didn't actually mean for them to be entertainment, but I think I'll just fill a room with balloons next year and call it a day. The kids went crazy over them!

After playing for a while it was time for some cake. I made a little basketball cake for Joseph while the big basketball jersey cake was for everyone else.
We gathered everyone in the kitchen, put Joseph in his high chair and everyone began to sing. I was surprised when Joseph nearly cried. He looked absolutely terrified. He's usually a little ham - always looking for attention from complete strangers. I think he was just shocked by everyone singing together and looking at him all at once??? Anyway, he survived.
It took some time, but he eventually ate his cake - and loved it!
After getting all sugared up the kids played a little more then everyone headed home. The family then spent some more time hanging out.
Notice the birthday banner - that I made with the help of my
sisters - at the top. This is the only picture I have of it.
We finished the weekend with a "photo shoot" of Joseph and Clare.