Thursday, July 29, 2010

Watch Me Grow!

We have officially made it a third of the year with a little one in the house and so far have managed not to mess him up too badly (we think at least). Our kiddo is still growing like a weed (too fast according to Mommy) and is just one majorly happy dude most of the time. Sure, he has his moments when his little teeth hurt (we think... there are some little buds in his mouth but nothing poking through yet) or when he is overtired or fighting sleep, but 90% of the time he is all smiles and giggles. Here is what Jake has been up to at 4 months of age:

Height: 26 1/2 inches tall (89th percentile)
Weight: 17 1/2 pounds (84th percentile

He is still our little rolly-polly man and flips and flops all over the floor for hours on end. He loves his jump-jump and I need to take new video of him in it because the little dude goes nuts in that thing! We joke that he's going to jump right out of it and/or have problems when he is learning to walk because if you stand him on his feet, he automatically bends his knees to jump. Jake is just as noisy (if not noisier) than he's always been and seems to have a whole lot to say, especially when he's laying on his belly. His fine motor skills are improving and he's starting to be able to see an object and actually grab it. It generally goes straight to the mouth, if he can get it there, but he often can't figure out exactly how to get it there! If he's in our lap he'll grab anything and everything in sight, but his favorite thing is paper (random I know). We've already had to buy a magazine in the check-out aisle because Mommy was silly enough to think that she could read it and hold Jake at the same time without him ripping out the pages. Personally, I think he was outraged by the fact that Carrie Underwood got married and is officially off the market. But hey, maybe he'll marry her daughter one day... who knows. The biggest change we've noticed, however, is his determination to crawl. The boy can scoot and roll all over the floor but works tirelessly to get himself up on all fours. The trouble is that he either has his head or his belly on the floor at all times and can't seem to get them up at the same time. The other morning he scooted backwards quite a distance, so we're not too far off from being able to move forward. Our doctor predicted that he would be crawling before sitting up on is own and even asked if we had someone coming to the house to work with him! I personally think that it's my influence of course. :) Only time will tell whether her prediction is right... he's getting pretty good at sitting up but doesn't have near the interest in that so we don't practice much. With all this said, it is certainly safe to say that Jake is the clone of his father- determined, strong-willed, independent, and will try and try to do something until he has mastered the skill. It's fun to watch, but scary to know that there are two of them now!

Taking his four month pictures was a bit challenging and it didn't help that my son's twin, Senor Crankypants, decided to come to the party instead. Here they are in what I like to call The Dissection of a Meltdown:

Seriously, Mom, do we have to do this right now?

But I don't wanna have my picture taken right now.

Fine. Whatever. Just take it. This is so lame.
Are you going to take it already or what? I haven't got all day!


Hee hee hee... even that face makes me smile! And for the sake of comparison, you can see his month one and two pictures here. And yes, silly Mommy forgot to take his three month picture. Oh well.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Birthday To...

Our beautiful, wonderful Mom!

She's not only a great mom to her girls...

But she's pretty great to these guys, too!
She beat cancer She walked a half marathon She housed 2 of her daughters (for too long!) after we finished college She gave a car, furniture, and lots and lots of help to the other one when she finished She's lived in more places than I can count and made us a home at each one She moves in when one of her girls has a baby and cooks, cleans, and loves on us She is the first to get on a plane and be there when anyone needs help She can spend hours on the phone with my husband and I love that they're close She loves to laugh and make corny jokes She taught us the beauty of asking "what's the worst that could happen?" She can't eat a meal without getting it on her shirt (then again, I can't either) She makes our favorite meals whenever we come home whether we ask or not She's selfless and loyal and is always there when you need her She's pretty much the best mom a gal could ask for She's a pretty awesome gramma, too! (Jake told me so this morning)

Happy Birthday, Mama! Thanks for putting up with us for all of these years. I never understood how much you loved us, hurt for us, prayed for us, hoped for the best for us, and tried to let us be our own person without being overbearing until I had Jake. And now... I will gain more understanding with every passing year as I try to raise a son of my own. Thanks for being an example that I am proud to follow. I hope that you get everything you want and more today. We love you!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Photo Shoot!

Back during my visit to Florida in June, my sister and I had the brilliant idea to do a photo shoot with our little cuties. Her son, Adam, was then 5 months, and Jake was just over 3 months old. We figured, how hard can it be? We have the right equipment, we found some good lighting, and surely 2 kids would sit still long enough to take some beautiful shots! Riiiiigggghhhhht. I won't go into how many pictures we took (thank goodness for digital photography), but I should probably do another post with just the outtakes! It only took 2 days of trying to realize that this was about all that we were going to get out of them. But with subjects as cute as my insanely adorable nephew and cutie-patootie son, they make it look effortless!

Perhaps we'll try again when they're both together again, but I'm not counting on an older age equalling less squirminess. We're in luck though because they get cuter by the day. I have a whole new respect for family photographers now, and don't expect me to quit my day job anytime soon! At least I have my own kiddo to experiment and improve my skills now. Maybe by the third or fourth kid (yes, I said third or fourth. No, we do not have plans on any more right this second. And you're right- we're really not planners, so you just never know) I will have this down pat!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy DOUBLE DIGIT Birthday to...

Our nephew, Kevin!
(Yes, that is a picture of him holding up a garter. Yes, he caught it at my wedding... and then the next wedding we went to. He is a stud. Enough said.)

Oh my, how time flies! It's been TEN YEARS since you were born??? Which points out that it's already been TEN YEARS since I was a sophomore in college??? Yikes! But that's besides the point. (And slightly depressing).

Kev, when you came along we all adored you. Well, we still do. As the first grandson and nephew, you were basically the greatest thing since sliced bread. We all still think that and watching you grow up has been such a joy... you are turning into a smart, witty, athletic, well-behaved young man and we are all so proud of you. It's been a great ten years...

I can still remember the first time I met you. I was scared to death. I think you can probably tell! This photo is weird for me now that I have a son who was that size not that long ago. My how things change!

Here you are, in the same chair that your cousin Adam now sits in. You paved the way for your cousins and I know they'll always look up to you.

I had a tough time deciding which pictures to post, so here are just a few of my favorites through the years...

You've been such a charmer since day one...

And are always fun to take on adventures.

You're also a great conversationalist and love your Uncle Josh

And Minnie Pearl, too, of course.

But most importantly, you're going to be a great cousin to our little Jakey. Get ready... that little dude will be wanting to be just like you before you know it!

Actually, he's already started. I kind of chuckled when I came across this picture today... you with the same dog that Jake takes his picture with every month.

Happy birthday, little man and welcome to the double digits. I hope you celebrate being a DECADE old today! We love you so much and wish we were there!

Friday, July 9, 2010

As of late...

Here are a few snapshots of what has been happening in Mauneyland lately...
We've been hanging out in front of the fan (and upstairs in our rooms with window units) to beat the heat,

Hanging out with some of our best buddies,

Giving Miss Katie some practice (c'mon Baby Tuck, we want to meet you!),

Cruising around in Josh's new ride (this one is carseat friendly!),

Celebrating America's Birthday,

Making Shake'N Bake (and I helped!),

And just being downright cute.

We've also figured out how to roll front to back AND back to front... it provides hours of entertainment for the little one! Well, that and his feet, which he just loves these days! Hopefully I can take some video soon.

And since I mentioned America's birthday, I thought I would post a few photos from the 4th. As if I didn't love Small Town, Illinois enough as it is, they lined the streets all through town with American flags. I love it. The Midwest really is the heartland of America, and the folks here love our country. My photos don't do it justice, but here is what Main Street looked like last weekend:
We had a pretty low key day, but did manage to make it out to a street fair that was put on by a local church here. There was barbeque, tons of blow-ups to play on, sno cones and cotton candy, face painting, and a visit from the local fire department. We enjoyed strolling around, but I have a feeling that our little one will love this event in the future!

At least he looked festive, even if he was a little bored with it all!

So that's about it from here. We're off to Colorado for a few days... Josh will be preaching at the Crossroads campus out there and hopefully I'll have a little bit more time than usual to blog. We'll see. Regardless, have a great weekend and I will post the link to his sermon as soon as it is online!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy (belated... sorry!) Birthday to...

My brother, Josh!

I can still remember meeting this guy. I was in 8th grade and my sister, Angie, had just started dating him. Since I was the nosey little sister, I just happened to be up when he dropped her off after a date which gave me prime opportunity to meet him. Convenient. So out I went, dressed in Mickey Mouse pajamas (yes, I still wore Mickey Mouse pajamas in 8th grade. Granted, I also wore a pair about 2 nights ago. Don't judge me.) and introduced myself in the driveway behind our house. With a mouth full of braces and hair a complete disaster, I was a mess. And since that day, I'm pretty sure that he still sees me that way! But because he's been around so long, I cannot really remember a time when he wasn't in our family. He used to tell me that he had to make up for the years that I spend without a brother (exhibit A: throwing me in the pool at my rehearsal dinner... that would be the back of his head as he is doubled over with laughter)

and I have to say that he definitely succeeded! But more than the practical jokes, he came to my soccer games, played Nintendo with me, and has always been there for me no matter what. Their house was a home for me to visit when I was in college and my parents lived far away and I have washed countless loads of laundry in their machine because of this! One year I even crashed their family camping trip, which is still the best Memorial Day weekend I've ever spent and I hope that our families do this together in the near future.

When my Josh came along, the debate began as to how to distinguish between the 2 in the family. While I won't go into details as to the suggestions, it was obvious from day one that the two of them hit it off. The scary part is that they often get asked if they are brothers- probably far more than Angie and I get asked if we're sisters! I'll let you see why for yourself.

We don't always get to hand-pick our relatives, but Angie did a good job with this one.

Happy 35th, Bro! I hope you get to indulge in something like this on your big day:
Josh, Jakie, and I love you!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

To Tie You Over...

Okay, okay, so I know I've been HORRIBLE about updating my Mauneyland readers this past month! Now that I'm back at work, I feel like I'm in front of my computer all day long busting my hump so that I can be a good mommy whenever the little one is up and needing attention. So when I have some "me time" (yeah, like that ever happens!) there is no part of me that wants to sit in front of the computer. But enough with my lame excuses.... I'm here to at least tie you over until I can properly post a few things from the past month. I've heard complaints from 3 different people that I haven't shared anything new from my cutie-pie son, so to make up for it, you're not getting pictures, you're getting videos! Granted, everytime he's smiley and laughing, I don't think to pull out of the camera until we're on the verge of Senor Crankypants making an appearance. Compound that with the fact that Jake stares at the camera as if trying to figure out what it is rather than continuing to smile and laugh, and we get some pretty serious-faced pictures and videos. But regardless, he's still adorable. So here you go!

So as I said, there are more posts coming (let's call it a blogging bananza... or not) to include our trip to Florida (since mom asked, "So when are you going to blog about your Florida trip?" She wants to hear all about it, but last I checked, she was there and should be the one who knows all of the details! Sorry, Mom, just giving you a hard time), hopefully I can get Josh to post something about his trip to Brazil, Josh Van's birthday post (yes, this should be posted today), and our July 4th festivities since we have some fun plans. Stay tuned!