Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Giant Baby (and Carrots)!

Chris had to work on Saturday to build a test fixture at work.  So we didn’t get to do much with the house. 

Our deck permit is SLOWLY making its way through the approval process.  They said 5 – 7 business days and it’s already been 10.  I just hope they get their act together and approve it by this weekend because we’re doing work whether we have the permit or not!

Here is the deck design.  There is nothing fancy about it – just a square 16 foot deck – but it will be a major improvement!  This was my first time using Sketch Up so there was a little learning curve!

On Sunday we went with some friends to a Beer and Wine festival.  It poured rain most of the day so it wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been.  While we were there, Samantha got to spend some time with our friends Steve and Diane and their two boys.  I guess she was a little fussy – we hope she gets over this soon!

Our food basket this week contained chicken breasts, sliced beef, cheddar cheese, green beans, tomatoes, green pepper, onions, corn, Cubanelle peppers, plums, watermelon, bread, and milk.  The carrots we received were the biggest I have ever seen – they are as long as my forearm! 


Our meals have been so healthy and colorful since we started getting the food baskets.  Here are just a few of the great meals we've had.

One of my friends in the Stay-at-Home Mom’s group offered to re-take Samantha’s 6 month pictures.  We went over there one morning and had a good time taking a ton of pictures.  Fortunately Samantha smiled more than the first ones!

We also started music class this week.  The class has a lot of songs, music toys, and dancing.  She really seemed to love it – and was trying to “sing” throughout the class.

On Friday, Samantha had to go to her 6 month doctor’s appointment.  She did well with the shots and is meeting all her milestones.  She is VERY long (28 ¼”, over 98%), average weight (17 lb, 6 oz, 75%), and has a small head (41 cm, 25%).  Her height is off the charts – I think we need to hang up the basketball hoop soon! 

And of course her weekly photos:

Hopefully we’ll have some deck progress to report next week!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Class of 1992 and Deck Dreams

Early in the week, Samantha and I went to apply for a permit to build a deck off the back of the house.  Right now there is an ugly, awful, tiny back porch that is not really good for anything. 

We want a large deck so we can have a nice place to eat and relax outside.  Plus Chris wants to be able to keep the grill outside (it currently resides in the garage and has to be moved for each use).  Our plan is to build a 16' x 16' deck with a few wide steps leading to what will become the patio (at a much later date).  We don't plan on anything fancy but we do want to paint it white when the wood dries out.

I had to provide a plot plan to get the permit.  The permit has still not been issued but it is in review so hopefully we'll have it by the end of the week.

We hope to start the demolition of the porch (or hire someone to do it) next week. 

I took Samantha to get her 6 month pictures taken.  We were not happy with the results at all - she didn't smile in a single picture and most of the time just looked annoyed!  I'm going to a friend's house this week to use her professional set up to hopefully get some better ones!

Our food for the week contained eggplant, potatoes, zucchini, green peppers, tomatoes, leeks, peaches, cantaloupe, flowers, pork chops, ground turkey, bacon, eggs, bread, and milk.  Yummy!


It's hard to believe but we celebrated Chris' 20 year high school reunion this past weekend.  We traveled to Ohio to attend the school's "Steak Feast."  I wasn't able to get a good picture of the class together but here are a few of them chatting.  It was quite a party!

Samantha got to spend some quality time with her grandparents.  They took her on a lot of walks along the road.  She also got to watch the cars drive by and play on the swings at the park. 

Chris' parents had given away a lot of their baby toys years ago (there was a very large gap between grandchildren 10 and 11!).  Samantha was content to play with measuring cups, a dryer ball, and some plastic apples in a basket (a grandchild favorite).  She also had fun with a shiny red car. 

She is sooo close to crawling - we think it'll be within a week or two that she'll be speeding across the room.

She is still a Daddy's girl.  Just last night she said "Dada" for the first time!  I was out of the room the first time she said it but she was nice enough to say it a few more times.  

Samantha continues to explore new foods.  This week she tried prunes - she liked them and made a mess with them too.

Lately when we've been giving her a bath each night, she wants to turn sideways in her little bathtub.  And of course she's always chewing on the rubber ducky.

Her weekly pictures:

Let's hope Samantha cooperates and we're able to get some nice 6 month pictures this week!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Highs and Lows

This was a very hard week for me – it was filled with very high highs and very low lows. 

The lowest low was that a very close family friend died unexpectedly this week.  It’s been difficult for me to understand what happened and I know I will struggle with it for awhile.  Fortunately Samantha keeps my spirits up.

One of the highs was that we finally finished a project!  Chris worked to complete the fence – he had to cut off part of the posts, install a tube for the cane bolt, attach the corner, and remove the old fence posts.  He worked his butt off and is so happy it’s done!  I'll post pictures next week.

While he was working on the fence, I tackled the ridiculous weeds in the garden.  I spent a lot of time before weeding right around the plants and never got a chance to finish the aisle areas.  The aisles were crazy – some of the weeds were over 6 ½ feet tall. 

Our pet spider has been growing very large.  She ate an entire cicada this week so it’s not surprising that she’s almost doubled in size.

I spent some time the last couple weeks constructing a float for the Howard County Fair Baby Parade.  I decided to make Samantha’s stroller into a tractor and dress her as a farmer.  I had a lot of fun doing it!

On Saturday we spent a lot of time at the Howard County Fair.  It started with the Baby Parade.  Samantha was up against a lot of really cute babies – a mermaid, the cowardly lion, Pebbles Flintstone, a gardener, the old man from “Up”, etc.

We were very happy that Samantha won third place!  Chris thinks our float was the best – I must have scared everyone by being dressed as a cow to put us down a couple notches! 


We got to see a lot of animals at the fair.  The horse pull competition was very impressive – the winning sled weight was 4500 pounds.  Some of these horses weighed over 4000 lbs as a pair and were massive. 

Of course we also had to get a picture on a real tractor:

Our food basket for the week contained hanger steak, sausage, milk, bread, lettuce, cucumber, yellow squash, corn, tomatoes, yogurt, peaches, and plums.  We are getting so spoiled!

There were so many big things from Samantha this week.  She had her half birthday – we celebrated with a cupcake (too bad she didn’t get to eat any of it!).

I tried to post a few videos this week but for some reason it's not working - I'll try to post them next week.  The videos are:

She started saying “Mama” a lot.  It makes my heart melt every time!

Crawling is coming very soon as the army crawl has been seen on a few different occasions already.

Tucker has been gaining even more interest as well - he really needs to watch out!  She tries to grab hold of him every time he is near.

She has been practicing with the sippy cup – she doesn’t exactly understand that she has to tip it up yet!

Here are a few more pictures from the week:

We still haven’t finished the bathroom but we still have high hopes of being able to use it soon!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Samantha Swims Like a Fish

We didn’t have much time during the week to work on the house but we did get very close to finishing one outdoor project over the weekend. 

We put up the fence on the right side of the house awhile ago but never had an opportunity to install the gate.  Even though the weekend was very hot, we did get to complete the installation.  While Chris worked to build the gate frames, I worked at removing some of the old fencing sections.  I have to re-request the underground utilities to be marked before we can remove the old posts though.  I’ll post some before/after pictures when the old fence is completely removed.

The food basket for the week presented a new challenge for me – it included quail.  Fortunately they provide recipes for the items so I was able to make them taste pretty good.  The items in the basket for the week included pork butt, quail, sausage, milk, rolls, eggs, watercress, green beans, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, peaches, and blackberries.  We are definitely eating well – I’m down to 5 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight!

Our garden is going crazy – we have so many tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and lettuce.  We also have a lot of butterflies hanging around our sunflowers.


We spend a little bit of time each day in the garden – it is great Daddy and Samantha time!  Plus she thinks our tomatoes look very tasty!


The reason that we didn’t have much time for weekday work was that Samantha started Water Babies swim classes this week.  Every evening we drove to one of the local pools so that she could have some fun in the water.  She did such a good job at the first class – absolutely loving the water and coming as close to swimming (doggie paddling) as a baby can. 



In the picture above you can see Samantha’s new funny face.  She scrunches up her nose and sniffs – it makes us laugh every time!  

She seems to be always moving or "talking."  Her current vocabulary includes squealing, saying "mmmmmmmmm," and every once in awhile a "mum" or "ba."

With Samantha’s two front teeth coming in, I’ve had to watch which toys she’s playing with.  She was chewing on a block and did some damage.  I just don’t want her to be ingesting plastic!

I think Tucker is becoming her new partner-in-crime.  I’ll have to keep an eye on these two!

She has really enjoyed playing with a bunch of toys on the floor in the living room.  I put down a big blanket (it’s easier to keep free of dog hair) and she just rolls and squirms from toy to toy. 


And of course the (difficult to get) weekly photos:

We still have high hopes to finish the bathroom this week but Samantha has one more week of swim classes left.  Eventually we’ll get to use it!