Monday, July 30, 2012

Samantha’s First Trip to Camp

We didn’t do any work on the house this week.  Of course that doesn’t mean that we didn’t work…there was plenty to do with organizing the master bathroom, cleaning, doing laundry, etc., etc. 

Chris has been working a lot lately so it’s difficult for me to take care of Samantha and accomplish much during the day.  Most of the jobs I want to tackle require either a lot of dust (drywall compound), chemicals (stripping furniture), or a time limit (grouting and painting).  So I have to settle with doing smaller things like organizing and de-cluttering. 

So now, some random things from the week:

We have a huge garden spider living outside our front door.  We just hope she catches a lot of bugs!
Our basket of food for the week included watermelon, bread, lettuce, zucchini, corn, green pepper, tomatoes, basil, milk, mozzarella cheese, beef, and chicken.  Another very yummy week ahead!

This weekend Samantha and I drove up to Pennsylvania for my cousin’s baby shower.  The shower was at a campground that my family has been going to for 30+ years.  Unfortunately the weather was terrible.  There was a tornado warning, terrible thunderstorms, and a lot of rain.  We waited out the tornado warning in the van and the bathhouse. 

We only went up for the day so there was a lot less to bring (no tent, sleeping bags, etc.) but we were still able to have fun with family.  Everyone was disappointed that Chris couldn’t make it but he’ll be able to next time. 

Samantha was very good with everyone – very little crying and fussing.  Finally my parents were able to spend some time with her while still maintaining their hearing. 

There were a couple new things with the baby this week.  She just got her second tooth last night.  Hopefully there will be a break before anymore teeth come in.  She also said “MA!” but I don’t really think it was a word – mostly just making noise. 

Sitting has greatly improved lately.  Now she can sit and play with new toys.

Tucker needs to start watching out…

She moves a lot when she sleeps so it has been interesting to see where she ends up after her naps.

She is still Daddy’s girl and loves walking around the yard and garden with him.

We’re blessed to have such a joyful baby.

It is getting much, much harder to get her weekly photos!

This week we start Water Babies…we hope Samantha is like a little fish!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tooth #1 Has Arrived!

Chris has had to work a lot lately so we didn’t get much done on the house during the week.  Samantha and I have been spending a lot of quality time alone – we miss Chris!

On Saturday we were able to finish modifying the vanity in the master bathroom.  We had three drawers to modify to go around the plumbing lines. 

The big bottom drawer was easiest with just a small U-shaped cut.  The other two were much more involved.  We started by cutting out the section of each drawer to fit around the drain lines.

In order to actually use the drawers, we needed to add wood to the cut area.  The drawer bottom needed extra support so Chris got to use his new router to cut grooves in the wood. 

The result was fully functional drawers in our beautiful vanity.

Once the vanity was complete, I spent some time installing the towel bar, toilet paper holder, and robe hook.  It makes the whole room look (almost) ready to use.

I also started putting away some of our toiletry items that were stored upstairs all this time.  We still have plenty of storage space left and we haven’t even put up the shelves!

Our food box for this week was great and we were able to make a few of the recipes they suggested.  I made a quinoa salad, tomatillo salsa, and Mediterranean squash dish.  They were all delicious and it makes me feel like quite the chef.  The box contained ribs, ground beef, bacon, milk, bread, potatoes, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, Serrano peppers, tomatillos, cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash, blackberries, and peaches.

Samantha had another big first this week.  She has cut her first tooth.  It is just through the gum and the one next to it is just under the surface.  Fortunately she hasn’t been a bad teether (knock on wood).  I didn’t even realize she had the tooth until she was biting on my finger. 

She also attended her first birthday party.  We were invited to Jared’s 3rd birthday party.  Samantha had a lot of fun playing with Scott’s toys and watching all the big kids.  She really enjoyed the favors she received too!

The other fun things for the week was a very long walk on Tuesday, story time at the mall on Thursday, the library for Play Partners on Friday, and a nice lunch with the Nelsons on Sunday. 

She has been moving around a lot lately.  She did a small army crawl this week to get over to a toy but she hasn’t repeated it.  She spends a lot of time playing on a big blanket in the living room.  Rolling, rotating, and creeping all over the place. 

I just found out that I need to be careful even when she is captive.  I put her in her Bumbo seat while I was washing my hands and she leaned over to grab a can of spray paint that was waiting to go back downstairs.  We really need to de-clutter our main level soon!

She has been biting, sucking, and pinching everything lately.  Chris caught a couple of the “Zombie Baby” attacks on camera.

Here are a few more pictures from the week:

We probably won’t get much house work done this week but we need a break anyway!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Final Inspections Passed!

I’m happy to announce that we have passed our final plumbing and building inspections for the bathrooms!  While we still have a little bit of work to finish, they are at least functional. 

The plumbing inspector (who made me cry a couple years ago) was so impressed with our master bathroom design that he asked for information and photos so that he can copy it for his master bathroom.  They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery! 

Our garden has been growing so well this year.  But the weeds were also growing so well.  I haven’t had much time to weed properly (removing the roots) so Chris took care of Samantha a couple nights this week so I could focus on the garden.  The garden is really starting to produce…here are a few of the wonderful things we’ll be enjoying soon.

While I was weeding one night, it was getting pretty dark.  All of a sudden I had something soft and furry on my shoulder.  It startled me and I grabbed it and threw it down on the ground.  It squeaked and started squirming.  I thought it was probably a bat.  I was wrong. 

I went out the next morning to see if I could tell what it was.  It turns out that I was weeding around a nest of baby rabbits.  One of them was dead (I’m guessing one that I threw on the ground) and two others were lost in the weeds.  I moved the two lost bunnies into a little depression in the garden and covered them with some dry grass to protect them a bit.  They were doing well but Chris saw the owl swooping into the garden one night and now they’re gone…poor bunnies!


I feel really bad about the dead bunny but I never would have expected a furry creature to appear on my shoulder!  I guess the lesson learned is don’t do yard work in the dark. 

We were finally able to pick our first tomato of the season.  It was delicious!  I also picked a couple of our cucumbers (it’s so nice to not have wax all over them!), a bunch of lettuce, and some green beans for dinner.  We had a wonderful salad – I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a salad this much.


Samantha and I picked up our farm basket for the week.  We got a whole baby chicken, short ribs, milk, cheddar cheese, green beans, corn, potatoes, onion, green pepper, kale, peaches, a melon, and bread.  We have been eating so healthy lately that we’re both losing weight. 


Chris and I have both been having a lot of doctor’s appointments lately.  Chris has been going to the Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, Throat doctor) for issues with his nose/throat.  They may decide to perform surgery on his deviated septum – he has to go for a CT scan before they have the discussion.

This week I had to go to the dermatologist in order to get three moles biopsied.  There is one on my right shoulder, one on my left shoulder, and one on the left side of my upper back.  Wouldn’t you know that Samantha has been grabbing those areas a lot – I think she’s trying to pull out the stitches!  I go back in two weeks for the results and to get the stitches removed…hopefully everything is all clear!

Samantha had a very busy week.  On Tuesday, we went walking with my New Mom’s group.  Samantha has let me know that she does not like reclining in the stroller anymore – she now only enjoys sitting up.  She’s still so small but she loves looking around at everything. 

We were invited to the beach near our friends Diane and Steve on Wednesday.  Diane was hosting a mom’s group and was nice to invite us as well.  The beach is a small sandy area near their neighborhood boat launch/dock.  Samantha was pretty content sitting with me in the water and started kicking her chubby legs (a clear indication that she was having a great time!).


When we weren’t in the water, we were relaxing on our big beach blanket.  Baby Scott was nice enough to share his toys with Samantha.  


I think we have a lot to teach her about sharing though!  She always wanted to play with what Scott had...

On Friday we met up with the Stay-at-Home Mom’s group for a meet and greet.  It was a nice time and I got to re-meet one of the women in our childbirth class. 

My branch at work had their annual picnic on Saturday afternoon.  The picnic is always at Jack’s house – they live on the river and have a lot of boats.  It’s a great place for a picnic because all the kids enjoy playing in the water and normally we can all go out on the big catamaran.  We left a little early (and missed out on the boat) because Samantha needed a nap.


After the picnic, we came home to rest before our next party.  Our next door neighbor, Jeff, is turning 50 this year so they had a big party.  We didn’t know it when we were invited but it was also a 16th birthday party for their daughter (and a Bastille Day party for their French foreign exchange student).  We ended up with dozens of teenagers playing in our front yard.  The party migrated to our yard because theirs is so small.  Fortunately the neighbor cleaned everything up while we were at church on Sunday.    

Samantha tried a couple new foods this week – avocado and oatmeal.  She absolutely loves the avocado and can’t seem to get enough!

She is Daddy’s Little Princess too.

Here are her weekly photos:

We hope to have more house work to report next week!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Out With the Old…

I have quite a few “Before and Afters” this week.  The first is the fence on the left side of the house.  We were having some problems with the gate (it was starting to sag) so we made it stronger by adding another diagonal piece to each section.  Now it is an “X” gate. 

We attached the old fence to the corner and I removed the old fence.  We think it looks much nicer (and gives a little more privacy) than the old rusty, broken fence that was there before.  Once the lumber dries out more we will paint this white.  We still have to complete the gate on the other side of the house but I’ll post those pictures when it’s complete.    

Today (Monday) we have our final inspections for our plumbing and building permits for the bathrooms.  One item that was missing was the showerhead in the master bathroom.  Chris installed it this week and the great news is that there are no leaks!  Yay!

It’s come a long way from the stud wall it used to be…

Now we just hope that the inspectors are happy with the work!

A few people lately have asked about the planters I built and if they were working.  I’m happy to report that they are thriving!  Everything in these planters started out as seed and I have only had to add water once so far.  We have a ton of lettuce and herbs in the one planter and beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs in the other planter. 

There are a few great things about these planters – they don’t have to be weeded, don’t have to be watered (except 2 times), there are no pests bothering them, and I don’t have to bend down to pick anything!  We know exactly what we’re going to plant in here next year (the groundhog has had quite the smorgasbord in the garden!). 

Now in addition to our garden and planters, we are picking up our CSA-type basket every week.  This week was again a very impressive spread.  We have been eating so healthy and the only things we’ve had to buy at the grocery store are sandwich buns and some avocados for Samantha.

For Samantha’s first Independence Day we wanted to have some fun.  We went over to the lakefront where they were having shows and children’s activities.  We saw a magician which she seemed to enjoy but then we were left with a long time before the fireworks.  It was incredibly hot and humid that day so we decided to come back home.  We can actually see some of the fireworks from our front porch but Samantha was already asleep – maybe next year!

Now that Samantha’s eating solids, we continue to try different foods with her.  To date she has had rice cereal (not too excited about that one!), banana, and sweet potato.  She is really starting to get the hang of it but she sometimes just gets so excited that she dives for the spoon and ends up with food all over her face.  I guess that’s to be expected though.  At least she’s not throwing food yet…knock on wood!

Samantha has been very mobile lately.  She has started to “army crawl” backwards.  I put her down on her play gym and she crawled her way under the entertainment center.  I have to keep her in sight at all times when she’s loose!

She also loves to bounce in her exersaucer.

In order to keep Samantha from eating dirt or dog hair, I have been laying down clean blankets where she can play.  I may have to forget the blankets and start cleaning the house more frequently.  She started out on a nice blanket while I was folding laundry and after a couple minutes she had the whole blanket wrapped around her.

She is such a happy baby.  Yesterday in church a woman commented that she “has the joy!”  We would definitely agree with that statement! 

It’s still hard to believe that she came into this world five months ago today.  It’s gone so quickly!

Wish us luck with the inspections today!

Monday, July 2, 2012

50th Anniversary Party!

We signed up for a CSA this year and at the last minute they had to cancel it due to problems on the farm.  We were really looking forward to fresh, local produce this year so we looked around for another option.  Chris had found out about a company called Friends and Farms that is similar to a CSA.  They put together shares of produce each week that we pick up each Thursday.  The best part is that they have dairy, meat, bread, fruit, and vegetables in each week’s basket. 

This week was milk, bread, cheese, pork chops, chicken breasts, cilantro, green onions, beets, cucumbers, potatoes, zucchini, spinach, green beans, blueberries, and raspberries.  That’s a lot of food for the two of us but we are definitely enjoying it!

A great surprise was that our shower door was completed early.  We had it installed on Tuesday.  We went with a heavy glass, frameless door.  We also decided to get a towel bar inside the door for washcloths since there is nowhere else to hang them.  We are really happy with the way it turned out. 

In order to maneuver easier, Chris installed the toilet before the shower door was installed.  We just ordered all the other fixtures for the bathroom (towel bars, etc.) so hopefully we’ll be finished very soon! 

Chris was also able to touch up paint in the bedroom (no more ghetto wall!) and put up trim around the door.

 That was all the work completed this week because we left on Friday morning to head to West Virginia.   We went to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of Chris’ parents.  The whole family got together at Oglebay Resort.  It was the first time Samantha was meeting a lot of the family so she was passed around a lot.  We really enjoyed spending time with everyone. 

There was a photographer to get some whole family pictures.  There was only one person missing but they may be able to PhotoShop her in!  Here are a few of the pictures we took while everyone was assembled for the pictures.

We took Samantha for a walk earlier in the day and this was the only real nap she had – she was definitely tired!

She did have energy to play on the swings with her cousins though.

The anniversary party was great – wonderful food, fun people, and active dancing.  Samantha absolutely loved all the dancing.  She kept smiling, laughing, and kicking her legs to the music.  Even Chris and I did some dancing…here’s a picture of him dancing with his niece, Anna.

Chris’ parents and his aunt and uncle both celebrated their 50th anniversaries this year – it’s a very impressive accomplishment!

One big piece of news is that Samantha started solid foods this week.  At first she was a little bit confused…she tried to eat the book about baby food…

…but eventually she realized that real food was better. 

Chris fed her the first meal of rice cereal and breast milk.  She kept putting her head down to suck on the spoon instead of opening her mouth for Chris to feed her.  And she kept sucking on the bib because it had food all over it.  I’m sure she’ll get better with practice and will love eating.  Until then, I’ll be doing a lot of cleanup!

Some other pictures from the week:

She loves hanging out (and roughhousing) with Daddy:

 She’s such a happy baby.

And of course we just think she’s adorable!

Since we have the 4th of July this week and a full weekend, we hope to finish off some projects (when we’re not watching the Tour de France!).