Summer Vacation 2013

For many months now we’ve been planning a family vacation to the East coast. We had planned one spending one week with James’ family in South Caroline/Georgia and one week with my family in Florida. Unfortunately, life took a different turn of events and James’ grandparents were in a  car accident. So we rerouted our trip to Birmingham, AL for a week so we could spend time with them while they recover.

Although the trip was different than we had originally planned, it was still amazing to see family and spend time with our loved ones. We crammed a lot into two weeks and it will surely be a trip we will remember forever.

I go could on and on about the details of our trip but I’ll spare you all and give you a quick recap:

-Flew into Atlanta, hoped in a car and drove 3 hours to Birmingham.

-Spent 5 1/2 days in Birmingham.

-Ate pizza 3 times and bbq only once (Saw’s Soul Kitchen – go there, it was amazing).

-Visited the Vulcan Statue

-Celebrated Cecilia’s first birthday.

-Went to the Birmingham Zoo.

-Went to the Birmingham Civil Right’s Institute.

-Visited with our family in the hospital and spent time with loved ones that live on the East coast.

-Drove from Birmingham, AL to Kissimmee, FL.

-More birthday celebrations for Cecilia.

-Went to Universal Studies two different days.

-Went to Gatorland. They made me hold a Boa Constrictor during a show.

-Spent time at the beach in Melbourne, FL and many hours in the pool at our rental house.

-Stayed up late playing games with family.

-Went on an air boat ride.

-Mini-golf

-Saw Manatees and a hippo at Homoosassa Springs State Park.

-Took a boat ride to a beautiful island, Anclote Key.

-Had a fantastic family vacation.

Virginia Trip 2012

This year we decided to go to Virginia for Christmas to visit with both mine and James’ families that live out there. We spent one week with my family in Portsmouth, VA and one week with James’ family in Northern VA about an hour outside of DC. Our trip didn’t go exactly as we had planned but we still had a lot of fun.

Jimi was so excited to fly on a plane that he did not sleep much the night before and stayed awake from 2:50am (when we left for the airport) until about 9:30am and only slept for 30 minutes. Even though he stayed awake most of the day he did a pretty amazing job traveling. Unfortunately at some point during our travels Jimi picked up a stomach bug and started vomiting everything he consumed for 3 days. A day later I caught the bug, only worse. I could hardly move for a day. Next my nieces caught it and then James and my nephew…. It quickly made its way through the family. James felt well enough to travel the day after Christmas so we made our way North to stay with his family. That proved to be a mistake because we then spread the horrible bug to nearly all of his family up there, including everyone who had traveled from Georgia to see us. We’re so sorry everyone but we are really glad we got to see you!

In between horrible bouts of sickness we did manage to go to the Portsmouth Children’s Museum, the Norfolk Zoo, have a lovely Christmas with family, play board games, introduce Cecilia to many family members, spend a lot of time in with family we rarely get to see, watch Jimi play, play and play some more with many cousins, attempt to go snow tubing, have lunch with our friends Dana and Lauren who live in Virginia and go wine tasting.

Thank you very much to all of our family who traveled to see us! And a HUGE thank you to my mom and step-dad and the Virginia Orr family for letting us invade your homes and stay with you!!

Here are some pictures from our trip:

Dear Cecilia: 5 Months Old

295 303 286Dear Cecilia,

You turned 5 months old on your first family vacation in Virginia. Time seemed to get away from us while we were there so your 5 months pictures were taken a little late. I’m sure you’ll forgive us.

This last month you started rolling over in your sleep so we had to stop swaddling you at night. It proved to be a challenge at first but you’re getting used to sleeping with your arms out. Now you wish to sleep with your pacifier in your mouth which can be problematic (and tiring for mommy and daddy) since you often spit it out during your sleep and wake up screaming to have it back. We are hoping you return to the amazing sleeper you once were soon.

Your little personality is shining through more and more everyday. You have quite a big set of lungs on you and are often yelling out of frustration and happiness. You still get a lot of joy out of watching your big brother and your face lights up whenever he’s near. You love to put pretty much everything into your mouth, including Jimi’s hair. We think you may be getting teeth soon but you stick your tongue out whenever we try to check for them. We are slowly introducing “solid” foods to you. Some days you like eating and others you have no interest so we are taking our time and not being pushy about it.

You are getting very mobile and can roll/scoot across a room.  Daddy and I think you will be crawling soon. I’m not sure I’m ready for you to be growing up so fast.

Love,

Mommy

Dear Cecilia: 4 Months Old

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Dear Cecilia,

You are a very busy 4 month old. You started rolling over from back to tummy at 15 weeks and haven’t stopped moving. It doesn’t take you long to flip over from your back and then scoot around in circles in search of toys. You’re starting to move forward so I have little doubt that you’ll be crawling soon.  I can already tell we’re going to have our hands full once you figure it out. When your hands aren’t in your mouth, your feet are.

You continue to have a growing relationship with your brother. I think you must have a secret language with him because he runs up to you to whisper that he loves you too as though you said it first. You like to grab any and everything to try to eat and explore including food out of Mommy and Daddy’s hands and your brother’s face.

You give the best smiles and are such a happy baby. You always wake up with a smile on your face. I’m going to talk to your doctor about starting you on “solid” foods soon because you seem so interested in them. In a few weeks we are going to see our East coast family for the holidays and I can’t wait to show you off to all of them.

Love, Mommy

12 Months!

It really is hard to believe but Jimi is 12 Months (and 5 days) old already!
Weight: 22lb 5 oz (42%) Height: 31 inches (85%)

As usual, catching this little boy and getting him to stay still for a picture was quite difficult. It is amazing that in the little over a month he has been walking he has gone from a few steps at a time to full on running. He is still proving to be a picky eater, although his doctor doesn’t seem concern since his weight is still maintaining the same percentile even though he’s still active. Maybe once he gets more than one tooth he’ll be more interested in eating real solid foods. Until then we’ll just keep on trying….
Jimi still isn’t sleeping through the night but the doctor said at this rate we probably shouldn’t expect it until he gets his teeth in. That doesn’t give me much hope for sleeping through the night for the next few years considering James got his teeth in late and Jimi only has one thus far. Sigh. I don’t think my body would know how to sleep through the night anymore anyway. I haven’t been able to do so since I was about 4 months pregnant with Jimi.
Jimi seems like he’ll be speaking any day. He is definitely trying to make words and every day they become clearer and clearer. I’m sure some of the words are clearer to us because we see him everyday but even people who don’t can understand what he is trying to communicate. Most of his words aren’t clear pronunciation though yet. It is amazing to watch him learn and understand more clearly every day. 
This past year has been one of the most amazing of our lives to be able to experience all of the awesomeness that comes with being a parent. There are definitely challenging and frustrating days but overall it is the most positive and rewarding experience. I would sum up parenthood this far as every emotion bundled into raising one little person. There is so much joy, excitement, hopes, fears, frustration (with the occasional tears), and love. 
This once itty bitty baby…..

Is now this fun, crazy, energetic little boy:

The month has been very exciting around here. James start his position at Jackson High School in Everett and has had several shows with the big band MoJo and 20 Riverside. I ran another race with my father. This time one benefiting a local elementary school’s PTA. We’ve also had several visitors from out of state for Jimi’s birthday party and baptism (both on the same day). James’ grandparents made the long drive from Alabama and my mom and step-dad flew out from Virginia. I’ll write another post about Jimi’s baptism and birthday party another time but it is late and I’m sure I’ve only got a few hours before Jimi is awake again…

Oregon, Wedding and a Gig

This last weekend was quite the busy one for us. 
On Thursday James and I left for our first overnight trip without  Jimi to Forest Grove, Oregon for two days. For Christmas James’ Dad and Step-mom gave us a trip to stay at McMenamin’s (it’s a chain of breweries and hotels, mostly in Oregon) and they would watch Jimi while we were way. Since summer is almost over and it’ll be Christmas again before we know it, we finally decided to take our trip. James has stayed overnight away from Jimi before, but I have not. Needless to say, I was pretty anxious and nervous about leaving him. I know James’ parents did a great job taking care of him and I’m sure Jimi had fun. 
On Thursday we met up with my friend Melissa and went to the Bridgeport and Deschute brewpubs. Then James and I enjoyed ‘Field of Dreams’ playing outside at the hotel. On Friday, we did numerous wine tasting, a sake tasting, and watched ‘Bridesmaids’ with Melissa and her boyfriend. The weather was great and so was the hotel. The only thing that could have made the trip better was if I didn’t have a sinus cold.
View of Portland from Melissa’s apartment

Story of Aldie Howard on our hotel room wall

We drove home early Saturday morning to attend James’ Mom’s wedding to her long time boyfriend, Jamie. James’ walked his Mom down the aisle and played his saxophone for the processional. It was a very nice wedding and the weather was perfect for it! James had a gig that night with 20 Riverside at one of our favorite dive bars in Everett. I stayed home to snuggle with Jimi though.
Sunday, James’ band 20 Riverside played at the 20th annual Hempfest in Seattle. This was my (and Jimi’s) first time attending the festival. The band played great(!) and the park it was at was beautiful. Although, it was a little too hot and there was too much smoke (of every kind) for Jimi to be around.