Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More Random Pictures

Todd, Rolo and Norrin just chillin'

My happy lil boy


The basement...almost looks like a room now :).



The other side of the room with my new closet door.



The front of the house- where the garage door used to be is now a big, beautiful window.



Monday, December 29, 2008

Our Christmas Story

So, Todd and I have a tradition of spending Christmas Eve together. We've done it pretty much since we started dating ten years ago. Its the quiet time before we're running around all day on Christmas. Since Norrin is only 14 months old...we continued our tradition and had a delicious dinner followed by the opening of all our gifts. Norrin had no concept of how to open a gift so we only wrapped four of his gifts. The girls from Todd's work got him a pony that he loves to bounce on. It interacts with the TV, but he's content to bounce, so we hooked it up once and deemed it an unnecessary hassle. Todd and I did not get him anything electronic this year (despite his love of Elmo Live). The most electronic thing he got was a magna doodle...which Todd and I play with more than Norrin does. Other than that, he got books, finger puppets and a lil portable stage, a wooden truck, a wooden puzzle and wooden sandwich maker, a bath towel shaped like a frog and Wall-E (which also was kind of a gift for the parents). The sandwich maker has been the best so far. Todd has taught him how to stick the pieces together and how to say "mmmm" before he takes a pretend bite. Other than that, he love, love, loves the stinkin' pony. He bounces on it all the time in various states of dress...I even fed him breakfast on it the day after Christmas. So much for our boring wooden toys :). On Christmas, we went to Rita and Joseph's...Norrin spent a cranky couple of hours with them before he took a nap. After his nap, he was ready to be a lil bit more friendly. Norrin is learning to kiss. He comes at you with a wide open mouth and then you just have to wait and see if you're going to get licked or bitten. If I remember correctly, Mommy and Uncle Jim were the only two people he was handing out kisses to. Other than that, when he's done at his grandparents', he raises his hand, waves it at himself (he hasn't grasped the idea that waves are palm out) and sings "ba-bye". We had pancakes followed by a delicious dinner then it was out the door and on to Uncle Steve and Aunt Anne Marie's house. I was looking forward to this because I thought the cousins would chase Norrin, wrestle him to the ground and ultimately wear him out. I underestimated the power of their new Christmas gifts. Both Maddie and Stevie Joe had their faces glued to some small electronic thingamajigs. Joe and Peggy's kids didn't make it and Conor and Declan found Norrin to be annoying (he kept pulling their electric trains off the tracks). So, it wasn't until 30 minutes before the Buffardis left that Maddie got sucked into a game of tag, which means Norrin runs all over the place and you spend more time trying to protect his head than you do trying to catch him. I wish I could say that this wore him out, but he was still up until about 11 pm. Norrin and I fell asleep on a couch while Todd, Steve Milligan and Steve Buffardi stayed up talking. I had told Todd it was time to go around 10 pm, so you see how much power I have in this situation. Needless to say, Norrin became very disoriented after being ripped from our warm snuggle and put into a cold carseat. He cried almost the entire ride home. Part of me was angry...why didn't we just leave when I suggested it?...and the other part of me thought, well, its not too often that Todd gets to hang out with everyone. Norrin woke up the next morning full of energy and ready to play, play, play...so, I guess there were no permanent scars :). And that is our Christmas story. Right now Norrin is napping and I just got dinner in the slow cooker- Spicy Red Bean and Sweet Potato Chili. I never realized how much I would love my slow cooker...if I did, I wouldn't have left it in the cabinets for two years. The guys are here working on our basement. After they leave for the day, I'll take some pictures...just for you, Steve Milligan :). Other than that, my brother is visiting tomorrow night and staying until Friday night. I have to work Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, so I'll get to see him about half the time he's here. Norrin loves his Uncle Holden (AKA Thom) and I'm looking forward to seeing them interact with each other...its very sweet...and it should be a really nice way to start off the new year.

Norrin's Second Christmas

Watching Ice Age with his Bounce-n-Learn Pony.


A new book from Mommy.

Mommy just doesn't open those packages fast enough.



Yay! A truck!




Its so much fun to take apart.




Now we'll put it back together.





Happy lil boy.






The parents had more fun with some of Norrin's toys than he did :).






Norrin confiscated Mommy's new Sigg bottle.









Riding the pony naked...no comment.







Friday, December 19, 2008

Time To Get Back To Work

So, just three days of 12 hour shifts and I'm off for 10 days in a row. I can't say I'm feeling totally great about spending the next three days in work, but that's mostly because my week was so go, go, go. Every day at home was spent with a loud construction zone beneath our feet...but it looks great :). We have drywall up and I think I counted at least three new outlets. They also spackled, so I guess sanding will be next (hopefully my whole house won't be coated in a fine dust). Its really been coming along. Other than that, on Wednesday I tried to get Norrin's haircut, saw about six little kids close to his age at Wiggle Worms and decided we weren't going to make it through that waiting list. So, I decided to go to Target, but once I got Norrin in the stroller with a pretzel in hand and the diaper bag and his books and his sippy cup arranged just so, I realized I didn't have my wallet with me. I had him so comfortable that we just took a walk around Target, then we went home and I finished my Christmas shopping for Todd online...hope it all gets here on time. Yesterday I had a photographer come to the house for photos of Norrin and I. As Norrin is getting bigger and more independent, I'm realizing that things are changing, which is good, but I needed to capture these moments on film. So, I specifically asked her to take a few breastfeeding shots and then the rest were just fun candids. Desiree was so good with Norrin, he warmed up to her instantly. At one point, he ran up to me and hugged me, but turned in the direction of the camera, then he ran to her and gave her a hug, then he ran back to me...he did this four or five times hamming it up for the camera every time he got back to me. He liked Desiree so much that he even climbed into her lap with a book...it was very cute. We were able to get lots of shots of Norrin and I, as well as Rolo and Scout (because a hairless cat is like a car accident, you just can't look away :)) and she said the pictures should be available to look at online some time next week. I'm really happy that I arranged to do this...I wish I'd done more photos of my pregnancy and I'm so thrilled that she was able to get shots of Norrin nursing because that has been such a wonderful experience for me as a mom. And Norrin loved that he had a new face to show off in front of him. By the end of our session, she was ready to take him home with her. So, that's about it. I've been so good about posting new photos and little stories and now that will be coming to a screeching halt...keep your fingers crossed that my weekend will be uneventful. At least I have our bed delivery to look forward to on Saturday...if they bring the correct frame this time :).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mommy Didn't Want To Brush Her Teeth Anyway





The two biggest hindrances to our morning routine...and yes, Norrin is trying to draw on Scout with eyeliner.

And here's a two second video...we like to cheer when Norrin forcefully pets Scout...just more for his file at PETA.

Ornaments Stay On The Tree


Just walking around the tree...la, la, la.

Please note the death grip on icicle ornament :).

For those of you wondering how my tree stays so beautifully symmetrical, I took the first picture in the morning...before Norrin got up. And actually, Norrin is very good at understanding that he can touch the ornaments, but they need to stay on the tree...most of the time. He likes to pull the teddy bear ornament that's Baby's First Christmas and its hard for my lil boy to resist the glittery balls. Although last night's fascination was with the icicles that I made from beads and wire. The part I find so funny is he sneaks around the tree and doesn't even look at the target (like a true pickpocket...has he found his calling?). In fact, he won't even look at me when he's up to no good...smart kid.
In other news, our bed wasn't delivered until almost 7 pm and they got half of it upstairs before we were told they didn't have the correct frame. Putting it on the floor would void the warranty, so Todd had them take it away until the proper frame was available...so close, yet so far away :(. Then I spent fifteen minutes after they left, running around the house looking for Rolo (he was hiding under the couch, thank God)...both our cats have been testing the weather outside since we have so many people coming and going and its a constant fear since its cold and they have no hair. Hopefully, they'll remedy the situation promptly so we can get to sleeping much more comfortably.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Few More Pics

Our tree...the photo just doesn't do it justice.


Our renovation project...the window is where the garage door used to be.


The other side of the room and home of my future large storage closet.

Random Pictures of Cuteness

Thank you Target for the super adorable jammies.






But I Love The Kitty


I don't think Scout wants to be snuggled, Norrin.

Norrin...



Be gentle, Norrin...




Oh, crap.



















Why Not Gut Our Whole House, While We're At It

So, yesterday was total chaos. For the first time ever, the guys working on our basement came at the time they said they would (9 am) and my cleaners came half an hour early (9:30 am). However, exactly 5 minutes before all this craziness ensued, I took a shower while Todd made breakfast in the kitchen, which is directly below our bathroom...and that's when a small chunk of the ceiling fell down. We had noticed the crack in our ceiling a few months before, but didn't think anything of it...our house is full of tiny cracks. This particular crack seems to be something we need to pay attention to. The small chunk was really no bigger than a silver dollar, so no one got hurt...except our bank account :). According to our contractor its a simple case of fixing the leak and hanging new drywall since the leak seems to have been going on for quite some time and there may be a mold situation (so not healthy for our lil family). I was honestly having nightmares of having to gut the whole bathroom and not being able to shower for a month...which would just bring me back to the time when Norrin was a newborn :). This is not something I'm not completely familiar with since we lived in an apartment where there was a leak from the apartment above ours. They ripped out our ceiling and it kind of stayed that way for at least a month. I really don't want to see that happen...especially since this gaping hole will be in my kitchen. Avery is gonna have himself one hell of a happy Christmas if problems like these keep arising. As for our lil basement project, they spent the day framing out the room and wiring the light switches and outlets. We came home and could truly start visualizing what the finished project will look like...its amazing and I'd totally be lying if I didn't say I love it. The room is going to be a good size and we still have a great closet/storage space. I am genuinely excited for this needed improvement. So, while all this craziness was going on, Todd (who took the day off), Norrin and I all escaped to Todd's parents' house. They fed us well in exchange for a little of Norrin's entertainment. He dances for them, climbs all over them, and basically wreaks havoc in their very nice, neat home. He doesn't pay any attention to Rita when she says no, but he did hand out his signature kiss...mouth wide open...before we left. He's still in a bit of a grouchy mode...the teeth are just taking their sweet lil time coming in...and Todd and I risked a total meltdown and took him to the mall for some Christmas shopping. I can't say we accomplished much, but even a few gifts is a start. When we got home, we decorated our tree while Norrin undecorated anything close to the bottom. It looks amazing, but I really love anything having to do with Christmas...the lights, the tree, the beautifully wrapped presents that I have no intention of leaving anyplace within Norrin's grasp. This year I didn't get to decorate as soon as I usually do, so I should probably leave the tree up until February to make up for it :). And that's about it. Hopefully, today is our bed delivery. Todd said they would call the night before and they didn't call...but I'm washing our new sheets in hope that we'll be sleeping on a cloud of softness tonight.

Monday, December 15, 2008

And The Madness Continues

And so starts a crazy week :). Renovations are continuing today. I never know what time the guys will show up, but rumor has it, they'll be here. Tomorrow is the day the cleaners come (every other Tuesday), which ultimately bans Norrin and I to the basement. And Wednesday is the delivery of our new California King bed...which is a piece of heaven that I can't wait to climb into. Todd is taking off from work on Tuesday, so we'll get to enjoy part of our day together. A small section of it will be interrupted with a visit to the doctor's. Todd has been having back pain for months (since August, I think?) and it has been getting to the point where OTC drugs can't touch it. So, a trip to the doc's is definitely in order. I'm hoping its nothing a few steroidal injections can't handle, but you never know what life will throw at you. Norrin was a lil terror last night. He was screaming, throwing his body all over the house, he bit me, he wanted to be held, then he wanted to be let loose. It was terrible. I don't know if he just doesn't sleep enough on the days I work or if teething is hitting another peak, but I get so stressed out trying to figure out the answer. I feel so out of the loop being at work for 12 hours 3 days in a row. Its like starting from square one every Monday...or actually, every Sunday night. After another careful inspection (I was bit, but he didn't break skin this time), I noticed he's getting all his incisors and all his first set of molars for a total of 8 teeth! So, I could probably chalk up some of the craziness of last night to that. I'm hoping that despite the craziness of our week that I can get Norrin back into a groove. Its only one more weekend and then I have Xmas off...10 uninterrupted Mommy and Baby days...and then I work four weekends in a row :(. I still haven't figured out when I'm going to Xmas shop, but I'm not worried.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Few Photos...Before I Go Back To Work


Is this shirt my mother's not so subtle hint that my kid needs to be behind bars (AKA his crib)? He's such a cutie...and always hamming it up for the camera (see below).

One of the many messes my child makes at his grandparents' house. Thank goodness Rita and Joseph let my boy be a boy. Another perfect smile :).


Total concentration...what will make this even messier? Hmmm....decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Are We Thinking?

So, we are currently setting ourselves up for renovation hell...right before the holidays. What was going to start off as just a two day installation of a wall where our garage door was is now becoming a creation of two separate rooms with two separate doors. Todd and I have had quite a few conversations about our garage. For the five years that we've lived here, the door has not functioned, so it was never truly used as a garage. However, with a lil boy in the house, I was hoping to keep it as a garage and fix the door so future trikes and bikes could make their way in and out of our house with some sort of ease. Well, Todd wanted to create a wall and he won out on that discussion. Since the wall went up yesterday, I have to admit it looks pretty nice. They put a big window in and it lets in lots of light. And now that the wall looks so nice and we already started to make the decision to create a room, we signed on for a completion of the room...which means insulation, drywall and flooring. However, I have insisted that we keep some kind of storage in this house, so Todd and Avery (our contractor) decided we would wall up the new room and separate it from the "storage" room...which means they need to create another door for access to that room. Do you see how this keeps getting bigger and bigger? Now, I don't want to seem ungrateful. I would love the basement to become a level that our child can play on...especially when I'm trying desperately to get the laundry done...and I know its going to look beautiful. I think I'm just a little shocked we agreed to all of this right before Christmas. I mean, that is one money-sucking holiday and we just bought a brand new bed for a small fortune, so I'm trying not to hyperventilate here. I think once the intial shock is gone and I see the end result, I'll feel better...but seriously, what are we thinking? I guess it just wouldn't be us if we didn't put almost too much on our plates to handle :). Okay...focus, Jaime...Norrin will have a whole new space to play in :)...and you're still keeping your storage. I need a yoga class.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Playing In The Snow


What's with all the cold, white stuff?




Pull me faster, Mommy!


Walking around on a snowy day.



So peaceful...so beautiful.



Put me down, Daddy! I want to keep playing in the snow!



Waking Up To Snow



The beautiful view that we woke up to :).





See the snow, Daddy.






Look, Mommy, look. Pretty.


A Boy, A Gate and His Wagon

Mom and Wayne built and decorated these gates to block their woodstove in a creative and interesting way. Norrin loved it. I love the outfit with the tail on the butt :).







Norrin insisted on squishing himself into this toy wagon.






He was determined to fit.




But he really didn't fit at all.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Our NY Trip

The trip was a success! Todd and I tag teamed the lil man all the way there and it was actually a relatively stress-free adventure. Of course, by the time we got to the farm, neither of us felt like going out to dinner (even though it was my bday). So, the first night we spent in front of the woodstove, eating delicious vegetarian stew and homemade Anadama bread, drinking peppermint tea, and for dessert- chocolate cherry cake (my favorite)! It was a snuggly and relaxing thing to do after driving five hours in very chilly weather. Norrin spent time with lots of family. We spent all day Friday with my dad and grandmother. On Saturday, we spent the day at the farm making wreaths. Chris (Wayne's daughter) brought her lil girl for a visit and she managed to scare the living daylights out of our lil boy. Norrin was talking up a storm, so Colleen got it in her head that she would talk too...very loudly...some might call it yelling. Well, Norrin just burst into tears and came running for Mommy. Colleen managed to do this a few more times. It was pretty funny because when she yelled, Norrin cried...and when she didn't yell, Norrin looked like he was going to cry :). I guess I'd feel bad for him, but Colleen owed him one for the numerous times he tackled her...not to mention the...um...love pats to the face :). Norrin napped better this time around, although he stayed up pretty late. He was very clingy and I chalked it up to teething. After careful inspection of his mouth, I realized he is getting six...yes, six!...teeth at once (two upper molars and all four incisors). So, when he wasn't whining about his teeth and clinging to his mommy, he played with the cats and the dogs, tried to shove his chubby lil bottom into a mini wagon, worked almost tirelessly at getting through the gates Mom and Wayne set up and rearranged Mom's toy and book shelf over and over :). He played tag with my mom (at 10:30 pm...the boy knows how to avoid sleep), he showed off his dancing skills to anyone who would watch and he pretended to be asleep, complete with fake snores on my dad's living room floor. Nobody told me just how entertaining my child was going to be and with the endless parade of people, there was no end to his one man show. On our last day, there was snow...and it was beautiful. I love snow! That morning, Norrin slept in, so I had time to make a cup of coffee, snuggle under a blanket on the couch and watch the snow fall. It was such a peaceful way to start my day. When Norrin got up, we bundled him up and took him outside. He didn't understand it, but he enjoyed it...especially being pulled in the sled. It was a quick romp outside before we had to pack up and head back to Philly, but it was a really nice ending to our trip. Now we're back home and back into our routine...kinda. Things are going to get hectic b/c I realized that Christmas is only a few weeks away and I have no idea when I'm going to get some shopping done. I work the next two weekends and then its Christmas...hmmm...I wonder if I can take care of everyone at the hospital gift shop? Well, it will get done...one way or another :). And now to post some pics of our adventures :).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

NY or Bust

So, tomorrow we're heading back to NY to visit my family. Good ol' Schenectady, where the temperature is between 20 and 30 degrees and snow showers are expected for two out of the four days we'll be there :). The good news is this will not be a trip I make by myself...my loving husband will be making the trip and therefore taking some of the burden off of me. We will be driving during daylight hours...heavier traffic, but necessary to avoid the panic Norrin went through when he woke up in the dark on our last trip. Also, by taking a day trip, we can stop and let our little guy run wild when he needs a break from his carseat. Or at least, that's how I'm hoping it will go. Yesterday was a laundry day...so we have lots of clean clothes...none of which are packed yet :). Norrin has become even more of a crazy climber. His favorite activity has been to climb the dining room chairs. Sometimes I catch him halfway up the chair and other times I don't see what he's up to until he's standing in the middle of the table. Like any smart child, he waits until I'm in the bathroom or washing the dishes. And I know its coming because the whole house gets silent. I don't know what he's going to do at my mom's. She has the tall barstool chairs. I expect him to attempt some climbs, but those will be his Mount Everest and I will have to watch him like a hawk. Other than the chair climbing, he managed to plant his face into the floor...this happens quite frequently and I'm a little worried about his inability to get his hands up. Yesterday's face planting actually resulted in a squished nose and a little bit of blood. But his nose appears to be straight and he can still breathe...we were unable to help decrease the swelling since Norrin has no interest in an ice pack on his face. When he wakes up, I'll have to get a good look at his nose to see the extent of the bruising. I don't really want him to look like he got punched in the face right before we go to hang out with all my family. So, that's about it. Today I have to get the oil changed in my car, we're going to Grandmom and Grandpop Milligan's and there's still packing to get done. I'm not feeling as stressed because I have the extra set of hands tomorrow. Oh, and tomorrow is my birthday...so, I can always play that card, right :)?

Monday, December 1, 2008