sequence of a baby unwrapping a Christmas present

We carried on my family's tradition of unwrapping one gift on Christmas Eve: our pajamas. My favorite picture is definitely the one I snapped right after Deric took the wrapping paper away (you'll know which one right away). Once Jake got over his initial disappointment at losing the wrapping paper, he perked up at the sight of his Christmas jammies (and I can't say that phrase now without singing it..). I'm glad we braved the insanity of the mall a few days ago to snag these, even if they were a size too big and I had to pin his pants to keep them up. (That's what we get for procrastinating, guess he can wear them clear through St. Patrick's Day!) 

PS. Not sure what was going on with my camera, every picture is out of focus. :/



Merry Christmas Eve! We're breaking out the Christmas pajamas, watching The Grinch and prepping for a stellar breakfast tomorrow. I hope your Christmas is thrilling not only because of the gifts, but because of the hope that Jesus' birth brought us so many years ago!


merry & bright

Our Christmas tree has been pulling double duty this year. Not only is it pretty to look at, its practical too-- every time Jake's upset, we simply carry him over to the tree and let him reach for a few ornaments, and he's instantly calm(er). Its proven handy for practice sessions of sitting up as well. Nothing motivates Jake to work on his core than the promise of a sparkly ornament if he can just reach a. little. bit. farther. (Supervised, of course.) We've had one casualty so far; Jake was in my arms and wrapped those little fingers around an ornament in lightning speed only to lose his grip, and it went crashing to the floor. Ah well, our ornaments are only from Target's clearance. ;) I'm enjoying my fully-decorated tree this year since next year I know we can only have the top half decorated!


7 months

Jake just hit seven months and it still amazes me that I've got a baby, much less one that now sits up, eats "real" food and growls like a lion all day. He's still as mellow as can be, as long as someone's in the room with him. He never wants to miss out on anything, not even doing the dishes or laundry. Seeing as he absolutely hates being on his belly but loves to pull himself up, I've got a feeling he may skip over crawling and go straight to walking (which would be fine with me, our floors aren't always the cleanest). We love his fake cough, his soft and fuzzy hair, and his impish grin when he knows he's done something funny, which is usually blowing bubbles.



1. reading before a nap: Jake's favorite part is when Peter (Rabbit) sneezes "ker-CHOO!" 
2. visiting Dad at work & trying his hand at guitar 
3. order up: sweet potato & squash  
4. basketball season at the middle school is in full swing
 1. (plastic) ornaments can be fun to gnaw on 
 2. feeling pumped about his first time in a high chair
3. babies have the best posture
4. i beat Deric by 7 points! hiya!


Thanksgiving 2013

Last Tuesday we drove through sleet and snow(!) to Indiana to celebrate Thanksgiving with Deric's family. The next morning, Deric went golfing with his dad and brother in 30 degree weather while Jake and I met up with the Fairs for lunch. The rest of the weekend was pretty low-key as Jake kicked off his first Thanksgiving with a serious diaper rash and a cold. He handled it like a champ, just a little snugglier and sleepier than usual which is always okay by me (and as a result, slept for 4.5 of the 6 hour drive home!). And while everyone feasted on both ham and turkey, all Jake got was some bananas (which he was plenty happy about). Next year kiddo, you'll see what the hype's all about.


fall family fotos

First time doing family pictures as a family of three! I think the last time Deric and I had photos done was our wedding, and in three years it hasn't gotten any less awkward to pose for pictures. But we powered through and the photos turned out great! It helps having a tiny, cute kid to take the spotlight off us though. ;)

(This one's my favorite.)


six months already?!

Its hard to believe Jake's already hit the six-month mark. He's still as chill as can be (thankyouJesus!) and is turning into quite the charmer too. He's quick to smile at everyone, including strangers, but his biggest smiles are reserved for his daddy. Jake's becoming quite a fan of Dad, which I figured would happen. As soon as Deric comes in the room, Jake will avoid me like the plague in an effort to maintain eye contact with Deric at all times. (I'm learning to use this to my benefit though, as much as it hurts my feelings. Can't stop staring at Dad? Ok, Dad can feed you/change you/bathe you!)

We had no idea Jake could sit up on his own until the doc propped him up at his six month appointment and it kinda made my heart hurt to see his little self sitting up like a champ! Just this week, he's starting rocking when he gets excited. Sitting up + rocking isn't the best combination though so he usually faceplants shortly after, but in true Jake form he's fine with it. Its so fun to see his personality develop and I can only hope his laid-back personality is around for the long haul...especially with teeth on the horizon, most likely. Oh boy.


rice is nice

Jake got to try out some rice cereal over the weekend. And by "try out" I mean "let spill all over his face and body". Our second try the next day was much better; I think he got a few complete spoonfuls down. Pretty soon I'll be able to take our Baby Bullet for a spin and puree all kinds of stuff--which I'm oddly excited about, even if it means Jake's growing up too fast.


last minute trip to SC

Deric had an elders' retreat in Louisville last weekend so rather than sit around by ourselves, Jake and I headed south to see Sarah and Drew! The weekend was spent relaxing with Sarah, Drew and friends, wandering downtown Summerville and a visit to Sarah's school, a seafood dinner (when in SC...), lunch at Moe's (of course), and lots of snugglin' with baby J. We wished Deric could have come with us, but we're planning on a spring-time trip to make up for it!


Halloween recap

Deric and I don't go all out for Halloween, but I do look forward to when Jake + future babies can appreciate costumes and we can make some fun ones. (Or maybe I should have taken advantage of a child too young to fight my choice in costumes?) Ah well, a fleecy pumpkin sleeper and his too-big bear hat sufficed for this year. We'll get 'em next time! :)


five months

Drooly, screech-y, and so proud of his bubble-blowing abilities. As much as I hate how quickly time is going by, I love seeing Jake's personality developing. He's got a mischievous glint in his eye that I'm pretty sure is gonna be used against us here soon...



newbie at the zoo(bie)

Jake and I ventured to the Knoxville Zoo this week with friends of ours. It was the coldest day we've had so far (hello December??) but it was fun to get out and enjoy the chilly weather. Of course Jake didn't really notice or care about the animals, but he'll get there. I'm looking into family passes for next year so we can go as often as we'd like. Knoxville doesn't have a children's museum, but the zoo has pretty decent indoor exhibits and play spaces to make up for it. And a bonus-- they recently built a platform out over the giraffe exhibit so you can feed and pet the giraffes! Unfortunately the giraffes were clear on the opposite side of the exhibit when we were there, but I'm sure one day we'll end up in the same place at the same time.



Deric turned 30 on Monday and I've been ragging him nonstop about it, since I've got five years until I hit the same milestone (booyah!). But jokes about bad knees and fading memory aside, I love celebrating Deric and making sure he knows how much he means to me. The celebrations are continuing this weekend, he just doesn't know it!


downtown day date

We've been sitting on a Tupelo Honey giftcard since last Christmas, waiting for the perfect Saturday to head downtown, eat brunch and walk through the Market Square Farmer's Market. I thought we'd use it before Jake was born but spring this year was the coldest and wettest spring I've experienced in Knoxville. Then summer came (and so did Jake) and there was no way I was gonna brave the heat, so we waited until fall. And today was really the perfect Saturday for wandering around. Overcast, chilly enough for sweaters (and a puffy vest for Jake!), plus we waited until the UT/SC game had already started so downtown was relatively empty. Deric ordered pork with a side of fried parmesan corn on the cob, which was exceptional, and I had a fried chicken BLT. We'll be back for more, especially their biscuits and blueberry jam!


I'd call it a success

First time using the exersaucer yesterday. A blanket shoved in the seat behind Jake kept him upright and a little less wobbly as he went all King Kong on the toys, drooling and smashing and wreaking havoc. (I really should have taken video rather than pictures.) Its a good thing he liked it-- we've got two!

I love the expression on Jake's face as he looks at Deric. He just lights up when his dad's around.


a Monday at 4 months old

I've already pretty much forgotten what those early days were like when Jake was first born. I do remember how mornings seemed to last forever because our nursing attempts were still pretty uncoordinated and both of us would need a bath, but Jake would get the bath first and inevitably spit up afterwards, so it was never before 11am that I'd be able to shower and feel clean...until the next feeding. And then around two months in, nursing was getting easier but we were still up early so my days would start off productively but I'd end up falling asleep on the couch with Jake until Deric came home for lunch. I wish I'd documented a typical day at the newborn stage but I had my hands a bit full, so I'm planning to document every couple months from here on out.

10:00// Jake wakes up. (Best kid ever.) He always wakes up happy and I love coming in in the morning. As I open curtains and talk to him, Jake starts kicking and moving. He's usually got his blanket balled up on his chest from trying to grab his toes. In the living room,I turn on the Today Show and eat a granola bar while Jake nurses. I change and dress Jake, get into my running clothes, grab a water and put Jake in his car seat. He spits up as soon as the straps are in place.

11:15// I run two laps around the park. Jake didn't fall asleep on the four mile drive, but he's out less than a few minutes into the run.

12:30// The staff at church eat out for lunch on the first Monday each month, and Jake and I tag along. Today its Double Dog's, a sports bar-esque restaurant that we've never been to.

1:30// Backhome. After Jake nurses, I sit him in his bathtub on the floor outside the shower while I take a shower, then on the counter next to me as I dry my hair. I get dressed and realize I'm matching Jake. Ah well.

2:30// The fabric I ordered to make into a crib skirt is finally here, so I set up shop in our spare bedroom. While I iron and measure and pin, Jake entertains himself on his play mat.

3:00// He doesn't last long on his own though, so I rock him in his room and he falls asleep. When I move him to his crib, he wakes up. I leave him anyways in the hopes that he'll settle back down. I sew one side of the crib skirt and get annoyed because something's up with the tension on my sewing machine and it just doesn't look right. Since Jake's awake anyways, I decide to go get heat-n-bond from Hobby Lobby so I don't lose my mind over a simple crib skirt.

^Those blurs are a good indicator that he's awake and happy about it.

4:00// On the way to HL, we stop at the chiropractor since my neck's been bothering me. Chiropractor, Hobby Lobby and a stop to get gas and we're back home right in time to head to Deric's softball game.

5:30// When I pull up at the house, Deric's ready and waiting. I run in to grab snacks and blankets since its supposed to get cold this evening.

6:00// Game starts and I plop down a chair in the long line of wives + kids. If the guys win their game, they play again at 8:00. But they don't, unfortunately, so we head home.

7:30// Deric offers to cook dinner (salmon + rice) so I can finish up the crib skirt.

8:30// After dinner, we bathe Jake and get him ready for bed. Jake can about flood the entire bathroom as he kicks and splashes, but its totally worth it to watch him go crazy.

9:00// Since I almost always forget to do tummy time with Jake during the day, we read and practice rolling for a few minutes before Jake starts to get sleepy.

9:30// Deric puts Jake to bed and we watch West Wing while I finish the crib skirt. Around midnight we finally go to bed ourselves.