It’s Like We’re Moving

Once I got the date for our kitchen renovation, things got real, fast.  Jeff got the call that the other fan and the light fixtures were in at the light store, so he picked those up Saturday morning.  Also Saturday morning, my new baby arrived!oven

I took Saturday off to get to work on the rest of the kitchen.  I spent most of the day cleaning out the remaining cabinets and organizing our workspace in the basement.  I can already tell it’s going to be an interesting few weeks!  I’m going to get a lot of stair credit on my Apple Watch, I’ll tell you that!

The first, and probably most important part, we tackled was the pantry.  I started by removing all of the food and organizing it into what I knew I’d need (oils, sauces, etc) and what I might not (waffle mix, lemon curd…you know…those non-everyday items).foodNo, this is nowhere near all of it.

Jake was a HUGE help!  He removed the items he could reach and put them on the counter for me.  Then I went through and organized things.  Eventually we switched and he started “organizing”.jake1I had tons of plastic bins from over the years (I told you I liked containers!), so I organized things into bins where I could.  Jake loves thing organized (unless it’s his toys), so he really enjoyed helping! jake2Once we had everything pulled out of the pantry and organized, it was time to haul the stuff downstairs to set up.  I have a bunch of these shelving units in the basement with bins of things on them, so I was able to clear off and stack the bins and move one of the shelves over to my work area to act as a pantry.jake3I have had “overstock” (yep…you can tell I work retail) in my basement for years (on the lefthand shelves).  When I see a good deal on something, I stock up.  So adding another shelving unit of food just seemed the right thing to do!

I will be cooking in a “make shift” kitchen throughout the process.  My personal challenge is to only eat out once a week.  The boys might eat out twice because I work one night a week, but other than that, we are STAYING IN!  The more money we save, the sooner we can take on the next project!

cooking-setupI’m pretty proud of my little “kitchen”.  I can’t really have the fridge items downstairs with me, which is the only thing I’m really not looking forward to, but I’m pretty sure I have everything else I need!

toasterI love my toaster oven.  It’s good size and I can cook a small pan of lasagna or stuff shells in it.  I’m pretty sure I won’t have to use it nearly as much as I would have before I got my Instant Pot though!  It would be pictured, but I’m making Mississippi Pot Roast for dinner, so it’s up in the kitchen currently.

olive-oilMy “workspace” has my most used items within arms reach.  My olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and DLM spice rub is right there as well as some small mixing bowls and measuring cups.

cooking-itemsThe rest of my utensils and important accoutrement are in the stacked drawers that sit on the table. Ignore the labels…these were from my very brief days of scrapbooking.  I was too lazy to remove them.  The bottom drawer has various baking things in it.  The next two drawers are filled with my spices…I told you I was addicted!  The second to top drawer has measuring cups and spoons, whisks, spatulas, mixing spoons, etc in it.  And finally all the tall bottles are at the top.  You never know.  I might actually like this set up!  I won’t have to bustle around the kitchen quite as much!

coffeeOf course I couldn’t forget my coffee maker!  I’m not really looking forward to going downstairs for my morning cup of joe, but we all must make sacrifices.  Maybe it will get me in the habit of exercising first thing in the morning!  (Wow…I sound lazy!)under-tableUnder the table, I have some larger mixing bowls and other kitchen items on the left, my big bin of baking things in the middle, and all the plastic wrap, bags, etc on the right.

jacobAt this point, I had spent a good few hours in the kitchen and basement.  Jake was tired of helping so he decided to drive his truck around and pout, waiting for me to play with him.  I should have sent him to his buddy’s house so he wasn’t so bored!

Finally the kitchen was cleaned out and our basement kitchen was assembled.  Here is our final look at the kitchen I’ve been cooking in (and wishing to update) for over 7 years:

ceilingThis is the main space I’m in when I’m in the kitchen.  I spend most of my time cutting and prepping my food on both of these counters.  One thing I love about our house is the tall ceilings.  Our new kitchen is going to have cabinets that go all the way up to the crown molding above our fridge.kitchenThis is the opposite side of our kitchen.  You can’t tell in this picture, but the space between these counters and the previous counters is too great.  It was too small for an island and felt bigger than necessary.  Our new kitchen will be straightening out the counter and removing pretty much everything thats not attached to the counter.  Our upper cabinet (complete with its crooked door) and pantry will be gone and the counter will be turned into an island.  I’ll be very excited to get rid of the “bar height” counter. No one could ever use it because the builders made it way too high.barThis will all be gone!  So long, ugly bar stools!sinkGod, I hate our white cabinets and blue counters.  So dang ugly!  We are going to have a medium brown cabinets and grey/black counters.  It’s hard for me to describe the color, but it’s very pretty.  We love it.  We will also have creamish colored tile on the floor and the same color subway tile as our backsplash.fanYou can baaaaarely see our cabinets and counters on the left side of this picture.  In the new kitchen we will be extending the cabinets by TWO pantries!  The cabinets will go nearly all the way to the windows!  And there’s another one of those ugly fans!  Good riddance!  We will also be parting with our kitchen table.  Jeff got this table when he was in college so it’s a good 15 years old!  It’s a nice table but won’t really go with our new “look”.

So that was my Saturday.  I feel accomplished and excited, though I am a little apprehensive to see how this whole cooking in the basement thing goes.  It’s kind of like camping!  Wish us luck!  Now to go see Fifty Shades Darker.  😛

 

 

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Hey, Y’all

You all miss me?  It’s been quite some time since I blogged.  I know I posted here and there over the last several months, but nothing’s been consistent.  I can’t guarantee this is my big comeback or anything like that, but I hope it is.

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So…what’s been happening the last few months?  Tons of stuff and nothing at all really.  You may remember that I got transferred from my store in Beavercreek to a store in Kettering.  That’s where I’ve been for the past eight months.  I was working hard and didn’t really have time or energy to blog.  So what’s changed to allow me to have a little more time on my hands?

Drumroll please…

I got PROMOTED!  I was an assistant manager for 6.5 years, but I guess all the work as paid off!  I was told last Wednesday that I had proven myself and was being given the chance to see how I could run my own store.  Lots of things change with this promotion, but one of the biggest perks in my opinion is a better schedule.  I have most weekends off, which means plenty of time with my guys.  It also means I actually have a set day to meal plan!

This morning, while Jake was eating breakfast and playing, I planned our meals for the next week, made a grocery list, and showered.  Then we were off to the grocery store.  We purchased all our groceries, then came home and Jake went straight to bed to nap for a few hours.

I set to work prepping the ribs for tonight and then took a little time out to write this blog!  Now I’m about to go do some meal prep for the rest of the week.  It’s so incredibly nice to be able to set aside the same day every week to focus on meal planning and (hopefully) blogging!  I have had several people tell me they missed me.  Aww *blush*.

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I’m sure you’re excited to hear what I have on the agenda:

Sunday-Oven Ribs
Monday-Peach Whiskey BBQ Chicken Thighs
Tuesday-Macaroni & Cheese with Beef
Wednesday-Oven Corn Dogs
Thursday-Green Chicken Enchiliadas
Friday-Frito Chili Pie

I hope to be back soon with an update on how things turn out and…gasp…possibly a recipe or two!  Stay tuned!

16 Months

Hi, guys!  You miss me?  I’m not going to make excuses for not posting much in the past few months.  I have a life.  I was living it.  The end.  🙂

Regardless, I wanted to share some of the latest pictures in our life.  Jake has been growing so much.  He’s actually becoming more like a little boy instead of a baby.  He’s gotten a lot more independent, often playing for long stretches of time on his own.  He loves attention, though, and makes it a point to get lots of hugs and kisses from Mommy and Daddy.

He’s saying tons of words now, specifically Mommy, Daddy, Nana (banana), soos (shoes), cra-ka (cracker), bubby (blueberries), etc.  He knows where his head, belly, hands, and feet are.  I think he’s starting to get ears and eyes too.  He can blow kisses and leans in to give Mommy a kiss when she leaves for work.  He will pick things up and give them to us when asked and he’s even managed to throw some things in the trash on command.  He’s getting a lot better at following directions.  He’s also getting a lot worse at following directions.  We will ask him to do something and he will throw a holy tantrum.  Other times, he does it just fine.  He definitely tests his boundaries.

One of his tricks he’s been doing for a while is throwing food.  He’ll do just fine for a bit and then all of a sudden he will pick up some food and throw it on the floor.  I’ve started removing his tray and/or taking him away from the situation, which helps for a bit, but hasn’t had a long term effect yet.  The last time it happened, I put him in his play pen and we continued to eat dinner, which he absolutely hated.  When I took him back out, he finished his meal like a little angel.  Last night for dinner, we actually set him up in his little table and chairs my mom bought for him for Christmas and he did better.

He’s transitioning into the next room at daycare, which means no more high chairs (all their meals are at baby tables) and transitioning to a cot instead of a crib at 18 months.  Jeff and I agree he’s growing up too fast!  He has a toy train that he pushes around all over the place now.  It makes noise and sings to him, which he loves.  It’s the cutest thing.

In the spirit of the NCAA tournament, we have started teaching him how to play basketball.  The kid is smart.  Now all he needs is a UK jersey!

He’s the sweetest, best little boy.  If all children were like Jake, I would have a million of them!

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Thank goodness for iPhones, right?

14 Months

My little booger is 14 months old today.

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He is the best little boy in the world.  He is an absolute joy to be around.  Just ask his daycare teachers!  I will be the first to admit babies are not necessarily my thing.  Toddlers on the other hand are awesome!  Jeff and I both agree that if we could have a baby born around 9 or 10 months, that would be ideal.  They sleep through the night, they interact more, and they don’t need constant attention.

Jake is independent, but definitely loves attention from his mama and daddy.  He plays well by himself but loves sharing with us.

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He’s smart as a whip too!  He now knows the words shoe, book, blankie, head, and hand.  He will show you his belly on command.  He says “tan to” (thank you) when he gets and gives you something.  (You’re all pronouncing “tan to” in your heads right now, aren’t you?)

He knows exactly where we keep the animal crackers and will try to get one any time I go into the pantry, which is often especially at dinner time.  He likes to pick out his own from our super huge tub of them and prefers to have one for each hand.

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His favorite foods are still mainly fruits and veggies, though he does eat more meat now.  His top picks are blueberries, grapes, and sweet potato.  He also loves mac and cheese, sloppy joe, and spaghetti & meatballs.  Typical kiddo.

Most of the time, he eats exactly what we eat.  Every so often if we have something with seafood in it or I think it will be too spicy for him, I give him something else, but that doesn’t happen often.  I do know he does not like spicy yet, but that’s to be expected.

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He still does not like frozen things either in his mouth or on his body.  He bumps his head sometimes at daycare and they put a cold pack on him.  They always say he hates the ice pack more than the bump!

We’ve had a little…uh…frustration (for lack of a better word) with meal times lately.  He has this bad habit of trying to slam his body into the back of his high chair over and over again.  I asked people on Facebook what was going on with this and everyone said it’s normal, but I don’t like it.  I’m afraid he’s going to hit his head or hurt himself in some way.  Plus it’s not going away.  No matter how many times I tell him “no” he continues.

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Speaking of “no”, he thinks that word is a game.  Whenever I tell him “no”, he just looks at me and grins the biggest, goofiest grin he has.  This, of course, makes me smile, which in turn confuses the heck out of him!  I try to keep a straight face, but the cutie pie is manipulative!  😉

Jake is a great sleeper, for the most part.  His most typical routine is to go to bed around 7:30p and sleep until 6:00a.  I wish he would go to bed a little later and wake a little later, but that’s just me being selfish.  He has to leave for daycare around 7:30a, so honestly the 6a wakeup time is actually pretty ideal.  It allows us time to play with him and get him ready at a leisurely pace instead of scrambling.  I leave for work at 7a, so if he slept much later, I wouldn’t see him for very long nor would I be able to help get him dressed.  Still, waking up at 5a so I can have a little quiet time gets tiring some days.

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My little guy is seriously the best thing that’s ever happened to me.  I love playing with him.  I love watching him grow and learn.  He is getting so big so fast!  Every time he does something new I am amazed.  It’s awesome how their little brains soak up everything like a sponge.

Every month brings new, exciting changes.  Instead of getting nervous when I have to watch him by myself, I find I encourage Jeff to do things on his own now.  I have no problem watching Jake by myself for long stretches of time.  I know most of my SAHM friends are thinking “Yeah, I do this every day” but when you’re a working mama who has a retail schedule and aren’t home a lot of nights and weekends, being the sole person in charge can be daunting!

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Jake is my little buddy now.  We go places and do things, he helps me with chores, and we play tons.  He’s the best friend a girl could have and I love every minute I’m with him.  If the years to come are anything like the past 14 months, we will be the luckiest parents on the planet!

Doesn’t hurt that he’s super cute too! (This is a new face that he makes all the time.  Love it so much!)

Coming Clean

My house, while cute, has a lot of potential.  We’ve revamped the outside and worked a little on the inside, but now it’s time to start the bigger projects.  Originally our first room to get an overhaul was supposed to be the kitchen, but my husband texted me the other day asking me what I thought about adding cabinets to our laundry room.  I have been wanting to do that for a long time, so I said sure!

My brother-in-law is a civil engineer who spends a lot of time designing things on a computer program.  He was the one who helped us create the plans for our patio project.  Anyhow, he came over the other weekend, took a bunch of measurements, and drafted a couple laundry room plans for us.  Then, he and Jeff headed to a cabinet store to get more ideas.

Today, I believe the work is going to get started.  We are basically revamping the entire room.  Here’s what it looks like now:

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See?  Lots of potential.  His job is to add cabinets, counter tops, and more storage.  My job is to make it pretty.  That’s where you guys come in.  I need some help.  I’m not horrible at decorating, but I’m definitely not the world’s best.  Not like Supermom!  Here’s what I know:

I want dark wood cabinets and neutral counter tops like this:

So my question is…what color should I paint the walls?  Do I go with a neutral color like Oat Cake?

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What about a teal like Mermaid Treasure or Gem Turquoise?

Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 10.47.10 AMA purple like Twilight Pearl?  (Is it bad that I especially like this color because it has “Twilight” in the name?)

Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 10.48.10 AMOr how about a yellow like Lemon Tart?Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 10.48.54 AM

I honestly have no clue what I’m going to do or what will look good.  What do you think?  What color is your laundry room?  Oh, and Supermom, what brand of paint is your favorite?  I’m always up for suggestions.

11 Months

Jake is officially 11 months.  Well, technically he’s 11 months and a few days.  Which means he’s nearly one. ONE.  Can you believe it?

We’ve had some fun this month.  Mommy practiced her photography skills and Jakey got to dress up for Halloween.  We also (all three of us) got the stomach bug.  Ick.

Jake hasn’t changed a whole ton in the last month.  He is still getting four bottles a day:  at 6:30a when he wakes up, two at daycare, and one right before bed around 7:15p.  He usually goes to bed around 7:30ish and sleeps for about 11 hours.  Here’s a typical day in our life:

6:30a:  Jake wakes up, gets changed, gets a bottle
8:00a:  Breakfast
8:30a-9:30a:  Playtime
9:30a-11:30a:  Nap
11:30a:  Bottle #2
11:45a-1:00p:  Playtime
1:00p:  Lunch
2:00p-3:30p:  Nap
3:30p:  Bottle #3
3:45-6:00p:  Playtime
6:00p:  Dinner
6:30p:  BATH TIME
6:45p:  Changes into jammies and plays in his room
7:15p:  Bottle #4
7:30p:  Lights Out

Of course, this is on the weekends.  During the week, he goes to day care from 7:30a-5:00p.  Otherwise it’s the same.

Jake has a new favorite toy.  I broke out a huge box of Mega Bloks I bought super cheap at Walgreens last year and he has found a green square he carries with him everywhere.  He even took it to daycare and back one day last week!  It’s funny…I’ll throw the block in with the other blocks and he will pick that specific piece out!

The other day I bought him a fun little walker.  He’s still learning how to use it, how to not go too fast, etc.  He doesn’t know how to turn yet, but he’s pretty good at walking with it.

Speaking of walking…we have a walker in our house!  He got moved up to the next room at day care and they told us the babies don’t wait too long to start walking once they make the switch.  They see all the other babies walking and tend to figure it out pretty quickly after that.  He’s still not super confident at walking, but he will take a couple steps here and there.  I’m sure he’ll be flying by his birthday!

As I mentioned above, Jake’s birthday is right around the corner and, to be honest, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.  I need to plan his party, order invitations, get a birthday shirt for him, and figure out what to get him.  On top of that, I’m in charge of Thanksgiving this year (which I’m actually really excited about as I’ve never cooked Thanksgiving before) AND will be switching to only being off one day a week during the month of December.  That’s how we do at Walgreens…

Anyhow…back to Jake.  I also mentioned above that we all got the stomach bug a few weeks ago.  Jake brought it home from daycare and Jeff and I got it a few days after he showed signs.  Luckily, it only lasted about 8 hours in each of the grown ups, which was good because it let us take care of Jake better.  Also luckily, I happened to be off work the days we were sick!  Good thing too…

They put Jake in the baby swing at day care when he first showed signs of the illness and he still liked it!  We had moved our swing down to the basement a while back, but after hearing he slept soundly in it when nothing else worked, we brought it back up from the basement to give it a try.  He is content in it for a while, but I don’t know if it was worth lugging the thing back upstairs.  I guess we will find out.

We have decided Jake’s favorite food is most likely cheese, though blueberries are a close second.  He will actually pick out the blueberries even when they are hidden in other things!  (FYI, I don’t usually give him this much cheese but I was at work that night!)

I mentioned Halloween earlier.  Well, Jake was sick over Halloween but I still managed to snap some pictures of him in his costume so we could remember it for years to come.  I love his little costume!

We had a great month.  You can see it in our faces:

 

We love this little boy.  He’s the best in the world!

Oh, Hai…

So, by now you notice I’ve been missing a bit.  Yeah, life has been a bit hectic lately.  My mom came for a visit in early September and since then I’ve been playing catch up at work and at home.  Well and doing a bunch of fun things also!  Here’s what you have to look forward to in the coming weeks:

Jake turned 9 months old

We finally finished the outside of our house with the completion of our landscaping

My mom and her boyfriend/partner person Wes visited

We did several fun things including going to the Renaissance festival, trying to go to the Mansfield Reformatory and failing,

taking a Thai Cooking Class,

and eating at a several places including the Cherry House Cafe,

and the Cobblestone cafe.

We took Jake to the park and had a psuedo impromptu picnic.

I tried a few new recipes of banana puff bites for Jake

and PW’s Crash Hot Potatoes for us.

I also tried freezing herbs.

Jake got new jammies!

And, oh yeah, I got a new car!

Before long I’ll be posting about Jake turning 10 months also.  I may have to do a joint 9 month/10 month post.  Ha!

So, dear readers, I’ve missed you so much I’d like you to tell me which post you’d like to see on Wednesday!  Please leave a comment below and tell me which of the above topics you’d most like to read about!

 

Halfway

Six months.  Jacob is six months.  Wow.  Where has the time gone?

Jacob came into this world as a little “peanut” of a guy and has transformed into a wonderful baby who is always happy and smiling.  The ladies at day care love him and are constantly telling us how much fun he is to have in class.

He has changed our lives in every way possible and, to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Sure, I may not get a full, uninterrupted night’s sleep anymore and, yes, I tend to have slobber on my clothes and in my hair, but when he looks at me with those twinkling hazel gray eyes and that big gummy smile, I forget all that.

He is my little guy and he is the absolute best thing I have ever done or that has ever happened to me in my entire life.

He is the best baby, only crying if he’s extremely hungry or tired.  We feel incredibly blessed.

The first few weeks were challenging, but we made it through.  Every month brings new, more exciting changes, and honestly I fall a little more in love with Mr. Jake each and every day.

Jake and Jeff are my entire world.

And that’s not bad.  Not bad at all.

17 New Things to Remember

Jake just turned 5 months old!  A while back, I wrote a post about 10 things I wanted to remember about Jake at that time.  Today I realized there are several new things I want to remember about him at this age.

1.  He dream smiles. After he’s done eating and we are holding him as he drifts peacefully off to sleep, he usually gets a little smirk on his face.  I believe this is the moment he crosses over into dreamland.  It’s so sweet to see him smiling in his sleep.  It’s also a good timing indicator; I know when I see this dream smile, he is out and I can put him back in his crib.

2.  Has developed a deep love for his thumb.  Oh, man, do we have a thumb sucker.  He really isn’t a huge pacifier lover, but take his thumb away from him and he will go nuts!  I hope this isn’t an issue down the road…

3.  Thinks one of the best things in life is standing on Mommy and Daddy.  He loves, loves, loves for us to hold him on our lap while he stands on our legs.  He also loves it when we are laying on the ground and he stands on our belly.  I believe he thinks he’s the king of the world!

4.  Loves playing airplane.  We lay on the ground and hold his ribcage.  Then we lift him waaaaaay above our bodies and he laughs and laughs.  Well, not vocally, but you can see in his face he loves it.  It’s really the cutest thing.

5.  Has a best friend.  Any time I need to put ointment on his head or lotion on his back, I lay him on his stomach on the newborn lounger facing the mirror.  He sees his reflection and immediately starts smiling and carrying on. It’s adorable.

6.  Smiles 95% of the time.  He only cries when he’s tired or very, very hungry.  We are so blessed!

7.  Does not like to be “primped”.  He absolutely hates for his nose to be wiped or picked.  Yes, I pick my son’s nose because I hate seeing bats in his cave.  Is this weird?  He also doesn’t care for lotion to be applied to him, but dude has some dry spots we are trying to treat.

8.  Loves grabbing faces and sucking on our hands.  He will grab our cheeks, our noses, our eyes, basically anything he can reach.  He loves to explore everything and our faces are one of the things he sees most often.  I’m glad he’s so curious!  He also loves to stick our hands in his mouth…like his own hand isn’t good enough!

9.  Prefers to be pantless.  When he gets to go sans pantaloons, he moves his legs up and down with fury!  I think he likes to feel the air against his skin.

10.  Developed a deep love for the Baby Bjorn.  I believe it’s because there is a built in chew toy right at mouth level!  It allows me to do chores or get ready (I’m a pro at putting makeup on without getting anything on him) while still entertaining him.

11.  Has the eternal itchies.  I think he has a rash or something like that on his head, face, body that doesn’t seem to want to go away!  It might just be dry skin or maybe something having to do with hair growth? Since he rolled over a while back, we decided to stop swaddling him.  The main reason we were swaddling him in the first place was to prevent any more scratching of his head.  Now I just try to keep his nails clipped and his head moisturized and treated.  That’s really all we can do.

12.  Little Mr. Jacob the Explorer.  The ladies at daycare told us a few weeks ago that Jacob is easy.  He just sits and observes all the things going on around him.  That’s really true!  This morning he was getting fussy.  Jeff went outside to mow the lawn so I thought I’d sit outside with him.  He was instantaneously quiet.  He just watched Daddy walk up and down and up and down the yard with the mower!

13.  Fingers are just as much fun to suck on as bottles.  Today when I was feeding the little guy, he kept trying to stick his fingers in his mouth along with the bottle!  I would remove his fingers and he would stick them in his mouth again.

14.  Just can’t get it in his mouth!  He has a favorite toy, this multicolored ball, that is very easy for him to hold.  Unfortunately, he wants to put it in his mouth but, being as the ball is a cylindrical shape, it just doesn’t fit.  He tries and tries and tries, but ultimately fails.  Poor little guy!

15.  Raspberries!  Jake’s newest trick is blowing raspberries.  He loves to do this!  I sometimes blow them back at him and his eyes get real wide and then he laughs and laughs (in his own little inaudible way)!  It is so cute!

16.  He can sleep on his belly!  A few weeks ago, Jake rolled over.  I have been saying since he was a wee lad that he wants to sleep on his stomach (like his mama I might add).  I was right.  Since rolling over, he has slept on his stomach at least 50% of the time if not more.  Just tonight, Jeff showed me the monitor.  On it, Jacob was not only sleeping on his belly, but his little booty was up in the air!  Love that!

17.  He found his feet and doesn’t want to let go.  Babies are so curious and they love to explore everything, including what’s at the end of their legs.  Jake can almost put his feet in his mouth!

We are so very blessed to have little Jake in our lives.  He got exponentially easier to handle once he hit 4 months.  He seems more like a little person than a creature that we might break.  He is so much fun, loves life, and has a blast with Mom and Dad.  Jeff and I both agree that he gets easier and more fun the older he gets.  I love every day more than the last!