Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ryan was working the weekend of my birthday so my mom decided to come visit us and keep James and I company. Mom was so excited to see "her baby". We did all sorts of things over her visit: shopping, eating, going to the gym, playing at home, more shopping and more eating. Mom does such a great job playing with James and getting him to try new things. By the end of her visit James wanted to stay with Granny Deb instead of going to me...and I have to admit my feelings were a little hurt! All those hours I spend with him should count for something. Haha! All kidding aside Ryan, James and I were all glad that she came to see us.

Somebody is happy before 6 am every day

We put Granny Deb right to work

That Friday Mom and I took James to see Dr. Ritch for his 9 month check up. We actually got in and out pretty quickly and didn't have to suffer through any shots this time.

Let me help you with that Dr. Ritch!

I kept suggesting to my mom that we go run some errands while we were out but she kept wanting to go home. It's not like my mom to not want to be out and about, so I figured she must be worn out or something. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the house with James and there was my dad sitting on the couch!!!!! I was completely shocked- I almost dropped the baby! He had decided at the last minute to come in for my birthday weekend. Have I mentioned that I have the greatest dad in the world?


When Ryan got home we went to Windrush Grill around the corner since it was close and quick. The next day (my birthday) Ryan went into work and to do a surgery so I got to have some quality time with my parents and JT. One of the nice things about having visitors here is that there aren't all the distractions and commitments that there are in NC. Just lots of good quality time together. I got lots of sweet calls and texts from people which is always one of my favorite things about having a birthday. Mom gave me the wonderful gift of getting up with JT at his 5:30 am wake up call. I actually slept till 7:00, and it felt great!

Dinner at Windrush

That night we decided to go to 2 Johns. I had been wanting to go, and someone on the plane recommended it to Mom. I said a prayer that Ryan wouldn't get paged in the middle of dinner (and he didn't!), and we had a wonderful family dinner. James attracted a lot of attention- I don't think they have many 9 month olds there. :)

Birthday dessert

On Sunday we went to church and of course JT gave the nursery some trouble. I don't know what I'm going to do with that kid! Hopefully they will let him keep coming. Then we all headed to brunch (yes- we love to eat in my family, lol). Unfortunately Dad had to leave early the next morning. Thanks for coming to visit me Dad. It was one of the best surprises I have ever had!!!

JT seriously tried to pull the fire alarm at church

Church is exhausting

Broken Egg Cafe

Still working on the "no feet on the table" rule

Luckily Mom was staying a little bit longer, so we got to have a few more days together. JT decided to show off for her and finally started crawling right before she left. It's been crazy how quickly he is getting the hang of it, and I can already tell life will never be the same now that he is mobile. Thanks Mom for coming and for helping make my birthday such a special occasion. We love you!

Getting into trouble at Lifeway

Working on a puzzle from Granny

The Monjunis spaghetti was a hit

Ryan says this outfit is a little "sissy", but I say its precious!
So sweet

This is one of the first crawling attempts. He has made a lot of progress since. Check out these funny blue jean diapers!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Ninth Month

Stats: 23 lbs 11 ounces (90th percentile) 29 1/2 inches long (90th percentile). I can't remember what the head circumference was but he was in the 97th percentile! I never thought we would have such a big baby!

Likes: hanging out with the grandparents, drooling, eating, playing in the bathtub, skyping, food (especially when it is your mom or dad's), milk

Dislikes: being in your car seat, getting new teeth, having a cold, being in any nursery, drinking from a cup, feeding yourself

James, your dad and I can't believe how fast you are growing! You are wearing mostly 12 month clothes with some 18 month clothes as well. This was a really fun month with a few rough patches thrown in. You are getting so good at scooting all over the floor on your bottom. You also can spin around in circles fast, especially if you are trying to follow your Mommy! You can crawl backwards well and have learned to sit up from a laying down position by yourself. Mommy was so surprised when you were sitting up in your crib waiting for her one day. I confess that this monthly update is a week late and in the past couple of days you have started CRAWLING!!! However technically that was not this past month so we will leave that for another post.

New trick

So close to crawling!

You love to imitate people whether its splashing the water in your tub like your daddy taught you or saying "bye bye" to your Granddaddy like your Granny Deb does. You have become very vocal and love to make noise. Your favorite words are 'ma ma" and "da da" and of course those are our favorites as well. :)

You love just about any food we give you with the exception of broccoli. You especially love to have food from our table, but you have no interest at all in feeding it to yourself.

We have had a few rough weeks this past month. You got your first bad cold, and your parents were sick at the same time. Not fun!!! You also have had 4 new teeth coming in. Right now you officially have six teeth with two more trying to break through. This has caused some painful night wakup calls and has earned you the nickname "Mr. Ill-box". It also has contributed to a massive amount of drool!

Here come the teeth!

Check out the drool

JT you have continued to show your stubborn streak and definitely let everyone know if you are happy or upset. You have been giving the nursery at the gym a rough time so you are on limited privileges for the time being. I only take you on certain days when the head worker is there and only leave you for 30 minutes at a time. You are so rotten, but I love you anyway!!! I hope you get the hang of being left alone by the fall when you start Mother's Day Out. It has been an exciting month of travel and visitors and new milestones. Before we know it you will be turning one and not a little baby anymore!

I did the unthinkable and let James have red juice to try to get him to drink from the luck!

JT loves playing the guitar with his daddy
It's a lot of work playing all day

Will this video work?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend

Last weekend was my first "official" Mother's Day (even though I think last year should technically count!). I told Ryan that I didn't want flowers or special gifts, just some good quality family time and maybe a little time to myself if possible. :)

Saturday we went to lunch at Subway and then walked over to a frozen yogurt place called The Frozen Frog. We had never been before and it was sooooo yummy. The best part about it to me was I could pick exactly how much I wanted and exactly which toppings. Here is an obvious difference between Ryan and me. I put a tiny portion of about 15 different things in my yogurt where he just picked 2 and stuck with those. I guess opposites do attract! Later that afternoon I received another gift in that Ryan took JT with him to run errands, and I got to stay home ALONE!!!! Yay! That almost never happens. That night after dinner Ryan surprised me with a Mother's Day cake that he and JT had picked out for dessert.

The next day we went to church and then to eat at Shogun which is one of my favorite restaurants here. Everyone knows that I do not like vegetables, but I LOVE the ones that they cook for you. We keep trying to figure out the secret but no luck yet. James started off enthralled with watching the cook but when it got to the part with fire and flames he kind of freaked out. Ryan ended up having to take him out for the rest of the lunch which was so sweet because that meant I got to eat my lunch in peace and without stress.

That afternoon I got the greatest gift ever- a nap. Back in my LBK (life before kids) a Sunday nap was one of the highlights of my week. Ryan and James also gave me a sweet card and a bluetooth! Haha I know that's not what most people would want for a gift, but I had been asking for one so I can talk on my phone while strolling, working in the house, etc.

Being a mom has been the most challenging and rewarding adventure of my life. I remember being pregnant and telling Ryan that the responsibility of raising someone felt so overwhelming. How was I ever going to be able to do it? And especially do it right? Knowing that every decision and action you take is molding a human life makes for a challenge that can be daunting. It is the one job in life that you really don't want to mess up, and there are no do-overs. Yes, thankfully children are forgiving and every day is a new day to start again but you can never get back yesterday. That being said it’s amazing how God gives you more patience and love than you ever thought possible, how He gives you enough grace to make it through each day while you are just trying to do the very best that you can. Being a mom makes you more than ever depend on Him for wisdom and guidance. I have realized that I will never know enough or be able to do enough for James, keep him safe at all times, and always do things “right” but that is why we need a savior. As much as Ryan and I love James we will always come up short. Only Jesus can fulfill our deepest needs and at the end of the day I'm more thankful than ever that the load isn't completely on my shoulders. And believe me, the mother load is a heavy one! I can give it to Him and that gives me such peace. I am also so thankful to have had my mom, mother-in-law, and many “mom “ figures who had been such awesome examples to myself of what a great mother looks like.

Thank you Ryan for embarking on this parenting “adventure” with me and for making Mother’s Day weekend so special for our family. Thank you James for blessing my life in more ways than I can count. From the moment you were born our lives have never been the same, and we wouldn’t change it for anything. The joy of being your mom is unlike anything I have ever experienced, and I will forever be grateful that you are my son. I love you!

A Visit to NC

So once again I have gone against my earlier statements and decided to take James with me to NC for another visit. Though I really dread flying and traveling alone with him and it definitely disrupts our normal schedule, I know that this is the one time in my life that I have the flexibility to travel. I’m not working right now, Ryan works a lot, and James doesn’t have to have a ticket yet. Also he is changing so fast and it just makes sense for me to do the traveling versus all of our family and friends having to come here. Anyway, Ryan got the opportunity to take kidneys out of pigs in Dallas with a special machine so I decided this would be a good time to go on back home. :) It also happened to be Relay for Life weekend, and since it was JT’s first time to be on the team he needed to make an appearance.

Before we headed over to Relay James and I went to visit with Aunt Randy, Uncle Bobby, and Nana. Sandra had pulled out some of Ryan’s old toys, and James had a lot of fun playing with those.

Afterward we headed to South Central. It was one of the biggest crowds I could remember at a Relay. James was not too keen on strolling on the track, but we did get to hang out with lots of friends. Ashley came to see us and hang out at Relay. James did pretty well but had a sudden extreme meltdown so we had to get on home and put him to bed.

James was so tiny compared to this big guy

Of course one of the best things about being in NC is getting to see family. We really miss not being just a few minutes car drive away! David drove from Wilmington to see us. He could only stay a couple of hours before he had to leave, but we were so thankful he came. Thanks for making such an effort to visit us David!

We also got to hang out with Whitney, Rod, and the Holland’s at their house. JT especially loved playing on the pool table and getting to try some banana pudding given by his Nana.

Since I was staying in Greenville for a decent amount of time it worked out for me to leave James with Granny and go meet my bible study girls in Wilson. We don’t typically get to hang out all at once so it was really special to have that opportunity.

Getting ready to go. It was weird leaving James behind!

I miss these girls!

The next day our wonderful family photographer Sara came over to take some pictures of James. We took him to the strawberry patch. He was so funny. I think he was a little confused and we couldn’t convince him to eat a strawberry. It may have been the first time he ever refused food! These are just a few of the pics that I took. I can't wait to see Sara's!

I wonder what he is thinking here... he looks like he is up to something!

We had some more visitors that day including Aunt Sandra who hadn’t met JT yet. He loved her!!! Abby and her mom stopped by as well as Shannon. Shannon and I had planned on walking but went shopping instead- haha!

Is it time for a haircut???

My mom invited me to go to the Power of the Purse luncheon on my last day in town. We needed someone to babysit and my dad graciously volunteered. I have to admit I was the slightest bit skeptical about the situation and left a lot of detailed notes. Dad not only got James down for a nap but he even dealt with a massive diaper blowout. Dad- I will never doubt your abilities again!!!

Aunt Nell and Margy came to visit and go to the luncheon

It was another great trip to NC. I’m always amazed at how fast the days fly by and fill up. There is never enough time to do all I want to do or see everyone I want to see. But…that’s just another reason we will have to come back soon, right? :)

This is one of those outfits his dad and uncle make fun of, but I think it looks precious!

One of the funniest moments of the trip. James was scared of Granny Deb's bread. He doesn't know what he is missing!!!