Monday Funday

Another fall weekend went by in the blink of an eye. Jimmie has been having fun in New Jersey with my family. We went to our favorite pizza place on Saturday. Sunday we went to another pumpkin patch and made homemade pasta. I wish Jimmie was eating something other than formula so he could have enjoyed the pizza and pasta, but I told him we will have some when he is ready.

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Aunt Alicia feeding Jimmie while we wait for our hayride
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Jimmie’s first hayride
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Nolan trying to pick up a big pumpkin
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Watching football with Uncle Mike
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Making pasta!

pasta2I wish there was leftovers for this chilly Monday morning; there was actually frost on the grass when I woke up! I am ready to visit Arizona so that I can wear shorts again. I love fall and all that, but frost is a bit much.

Friday Five

1. I started reading Gone Girl this week. It is a page turner, for sure. I really can’t put it down. The downside of this is that I am now having nightmares. I’m over halfway done and it just keeps getting better and better. I can’t wait to see the movie with Jim!

2. Why did I not know, until yesterday, that Ebola isn’t airborne?I really think when they talk about it on the news they should put in big letters at the bottom of the screen, “EBOLA IS NOT AN AIRBORNE VIRUS!” I think it would make people feel a little (A LOT!) better. I feel like I am a pretty informed person when it comes to this whole situation, I even looked up the symptoms on WebMD, yet I didn’t know it was transferred through bodily fluids. Shame on me and shame on the news for not clarifying this every time they report on the scary situation. Part of me still thinks it could be airborne…

3. Jimmie rolled over this week! I was beginning to think he was going to be one of those babies who never rolled. I was trying to get it on video, but he did it right after I pushed stop recording. Figures.

4. My favorite author, Sarah Dessen, just announced when her next book is coming out. Saint Anything will be released on May 5, 2015. I will be pre-ordering my copy so I can start reading it that day! I just hope it’s better than her last book, The Moon and More, which comes out the same day in paperback.

5. Two weeks until Halloween! Jimmie’s costume came in the mail. It looks so warm, so I’m kind of hoping it is chilly. I want to make so many tasty treats before the big day, I just have to find time. Pumpkin cookies are on the top of my list, as well as mummy hot dogs.

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Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines

katherineColin Singleton looks for one particular thing in a girl, her name has to be Katherine. When the 19th Katherine bites the dust, Colin and his best friend Hassan go on a road trip that lands them in Gunshot, Tennessee, a small town far away from where the boys grew up. When they pull into a convenience store, they meet a girl named Lindsay. Lindsay’s mom, Hollis, owns a big factory in Gunshot where they make stings for tampons. Lindsay invites Colin and Hassan back to her house where her mother recognizes Colin from a TV show for smart kids. Hollis offers the boys a job interviewing the people of Gunshot by recording the ups the downs of life in Gunshot; she also offers them a place to stay, her pink mansion. While in Gunshot, Colin works on a math theorem that predicts the possibility of being dumped. Hassan learns the value of work and does more than just watch Judge Judy all day.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green ranks very high on the list of books that I didn’t enjoy reading. Yes, you read that correctly, I didn’t enjoy reading it, but I liked it enough to finish it. If you like math and footnotes, this book is for you. Unfortunately, I don’t like either. There are way too many math references in this book and far too many footnotes that were too distracting and long for me to read. To be honest, I usually just skipped over the footnotes if they were more than one line.

I have enjoyed reading all of John Green’s books up until this one. I just finished Looking for Alaska and loved it. I read The Fault in Our Stars and cried my eyes out, and was sucked into the mystery of Paper Towns, from page one. An Abundance of Katherines was just so boring. I had to force myself to read it and I couldn’t wait for it to end. Then, when it did end, I was left with the feeling that it wasn’t even over. I thought that the book was left unfinished and I was left unsatisfied.

What did I like about the book? I had to have liked the book a little to finish it because I have a new rule since my reading time has dwindled. If a book sucks, I won’t finish it. Hassan was a funny character, I did enjoy his quirks. I also enjoyed learning about the little town of Gunshot. I always enjoy reading about towns where everyone knows everyone else. I always said I wanted to live in one, but living in Korea was like living in a small town, and it overwhelmed me. I would rank this book as my least favorite John Green books. I probably wouldn’t recommend it to many people unless, like I stated above, they like math.

Adventures with Jimmie

Last weekend. as I mentioned before, we went to the pumpkin patch for the first time with Jimmie. I wish I could say he loved it, but he was kind of tired and doesn’t really “love” any experiences yet. None the less, I loved it. He looked so cute in his farmer gear.

pumpkin baby2We went to Milky Way Farm, in PA. Not only do they have tons of pumpkins and a petting zoo, they also make the BEST ice cream. We didn’t have any, which kind of bummed me out, but if you’re in the area for fall, you must get the pumpkin ice cream. It’s delicious!

my pumpkinThis weekend, we went to two state parks; one we stumbled upon while trying to get lost (with a GPS and an atlas in the car) and the other we have been wanting to go to since the summer. I love that active military get into state parks for free , we saved $6 this weekend; a penny saved is a penny earned!

On Saturday, we went to Patapsco Vally State Park. Since it was an impromptu road trip, (yes you can do this with a baby as long as you have a full diaper bag!) I didn’t have my camera and neither did Jim. I actually forgot my phone too, therefore I only have one picture from that trip.  I told Jim we were able to enjoy nature with our eyes and not from behind a camera lens. Interesting fact about Maryland parks, there are no trash cans. Whatever trash you bring in, you must bring out. This prevents trashcans from ruining the ambiance.

parkJimmie slept through most of this park trip, which was a bummer because it would have been easier to put him in the Ergo. Poor thing woke up and didn’t know where he was. He quickly became happy when he saw our faces, he loves being outside.

On Sunday, we went to Sandy Point State Park. It is the closest thing to a beach that we have found that doesn’t require us to go to Ocean City, Maryland, which is quite a ways away from us. It was pretty empty for a nice, sunny October day. The weather was a bit chilly, but we weren’t planning to go swimming. Jimmie was in awe of the water and the rhythm of the waves soothed him to sleep, it was precious. We stopped at WAWA on the way, to get hoagies for our picnic lunch. There are plenty of picnic tables and areas to spread a blanket out. Jimmie moved around on a blanket while we ate at a table and gazed at the water. It was perfect.

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101_7340I wish we could continue our state park adventure today, but we have to clean the house! Can’t wait to find more adventures when the weather warms up again after winter.

Friday Five

1. Toby is vacationing at Grandmom’s and Grandpop’s this week and I’m totally bummed! I miss waking up to his yawning in the morning. He always wakes up and runs right into the Jimmie’s room because he knows I will go see if he is awake before I go downstairs and let him out. It is too quiet in this house without him. He sure does love my parent’s yard though!

toby yard2. I bought Jimmie’s Halloween costume this week. He is going to be the cutest *****! Not telling until the big day, wait for the adorableness to take over your computer screen. Let’s just say he is going to be a duo with Toby. It will be epic!

3. I need to stop buying pumpkin items and then eating them all in one day. I bought pumpkin Eggo waffles the other day and I ate them for breakfast and an after dinner snack; they’re just that good. I just bought pumpkin Jello, yesterday, and I’m holding back the urge to just pour the mix in my mouth without making it first.

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4. Speaking of pumpkin items, the Starbucks pumpkin scone is OUT OF THIS WORLD this year. I’m not kidding, it is so much better than the years prior, and that says a lot because I have always loved pumpkin scones. Must.stay.away.from.Starbucks.

5. Have you watched How to Get Away with Murder on ABC? I’m digging it so far. Shonda Rhimes, I love you. Thanks for making another show that I can obsess over. I am also an avid fan of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy.

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Happy Five Months, Jimmie!

Five months ago, I would never have believed that time could go so fast. I know I keep saying this, but it’s true, Jimmie is growing up right before our eyes. One day he’s my baby, the next he is my big boy. To be honest, these are the best days. The newborn stage was cute, but this is even better. Jimmie is such a happy, happy baby, except when his teeth hurt. My precious boy makes my heart melt every moment of every day. His laughs, that are few and far between, bring me to tears; I just love him so much. Even thought most days are great, that doesn’t mean we don’t have our difficult moments. Sometimes, I can’t wait till bedtime or nap time, and then he falls asleep and I miss him all over again.

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Favorites: Jimmie loves sitting in his high chair while we eat, getting baby massages, grabbing his feet (and eating his socks), and taking baths.

Weight: He was 16.1 pounds at his four month checkup (his weight before then was with clothes on); I’m sure he is chunkier now. He is in mostly 6 month clothes, although I am trying to squeeze him into some 3 month clothes.

Firsts this month: Went to the zoo, slept in a pack and play, and lifted his butt into the air while he was on his tummy.

Nightly sleep schedule: Jimmie is an amazing sleeper. He is now going to bed between 7:30 and 8 and sleeping until 7 or 7:30. I have been blessed with an angel child. He will sometimes wake up for his pacifier, but doesn’t eat during the night anymore.

Favorite toy: Bight Stars Take Along Toy Bar – We will not be traveling without this ever again! Jimmie LOVES it and it keeps him entertained in the car.

Hardest moment of the month: Still teething, with no teeth. Every day I think, ‘Tomorrow he will get his firth tooth!’ Then nada!

Best moment of the month: Jimmie sleeping in different places and spaces; he is so adaptable. This makes me worry less about going to Arizona in November.

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Long Weekend Adventures

Last Wednesday, we loaded up the car and headed up to NJ/PA for a long weekend. We went to my parent’s house on Wednesday night for a quick visit, into Thursday, because we had to drop Toby off there. Jimmie slept in a pack and play for the first time and did great! I, on the other hand, ended up on the couch because I just can’t sleep in the same room as him; all I do is watch him sleep or listen for him to fuss. Granted, Jimmie normally sleeps 10-11 hours, so I have no reason to worry, but when we are in the same room, sleep never comes.

jimmie strollerOn Thursday, we headed to PA to spend time with Jim’s parents. We were going to visit a friend who just had a baby on Friday and then Saturday we had a wedding. Jimmie slept in another new place in another pack and play and did great, again. This child continues to amaze me every day. He also spent over 8 hours with his grandparents and was a happy little guy the whole time; I’m so proud of this little guy.

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cakeIt was a great weekend catching up with family and friends. We also made time for a pumpkin patch visit; more on that later this week. Our friend’s new baby girl is so precious and little; I really don’t remember Jimmie being that small anymore.  The wedding was so much fun, we danced the night away. It was so nice to have some time without Jimmie to recharge by spending alone time with Jim and our friends; to say I missed Jimmie a ton is an understatement, though.

pumpkin baby

MAM Bite & Relax – Phase 2

Happy October, friends! It is officially my favorite month of the entire year. I cannot wait to watch Hocus Pocus and Casper over and over again, but until then, I am trying my own magic to help Little Jimmie deal with his teething pain by making it disappear.

Jimmie started teething about a month ago, and since he still doesn’t have any teeth, this momma has had to deal with more than a few fussy days. Over the next few weeks, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on a variety of teething products that we have tried, some have helped and some were a bust.

MAM was nice enough to send me their Bite & Relax -Phase 2 to review. I was intrigued by this teether because it is supposed to support babies with little hands because it it small and lightweight. Ever since Jimmie started teething, he has had trouble keeping any teether in his mouth without my help. As much as I love holding him and easing his pain, he also needs to be able to stick something on his gums when my hands are not available.

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I gave Jimmie this teether by clipping it onto his PJs yesterday morning. After clipping it on, the first thing he did was stick it in his mouth. Perfect.  The Bite & Relax – Phase 2 kept him engaged for quite some time while I ate breakfast and drank my coffee. Jimmie literally squealed with delight when he stuck the different massage textures on his gums. I was surprised  how easy it was for him to stick it in his mouth and keep it in there. Jimmie also really enjoyed analyzing the teether because the shape is so different than all of his other toys, this made it even more interesting to him.

A few times when the teether fell out of his hands, he found it again because it is attached to an awesome pacifier clip. Not only is the teether great, but I absolutely love the MAM pacifier clip because it doesn’t open and close like a regular clip. The holder has a plastic piece that you move to open and close the clip.  I have never used a pacifier clip before using one for the teether, but it really is a lifesaver. I don’t have to worry about Jimmie throwing his teether across the room or it falling out of his car seat while we are in the car.

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MAM Bite & Relax – Phase 2 is a fantastic teether, not only is it good for easing Jimmie’s gum pain but it also helps him work on his fine motor skills. Children, boys especially, sometimes need extra attention when it comes to fine motor skills. I’m so happy that Jimmie has this little teether to help him continue to work on sticking objects in his mouth, after all that is how babies explore the world.

The MAM Bite & Relax – Phase 2 kept Jimmie calmer longer than many of the other teethers we have tried. I continued to give it to him throughout the day yesterday and it delighted him every time. As a bonus, the teether comes with a great carrying case to keep it clean from everything else in your diaper bag; this is a big plus because I am always misplacing little baby items. The MAM Bite & Relax – Phase 2 will grow with Jimmie and help him throughout all of his teething days (weeks, months!)

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I was sent the MAM Bite & Relax – Phase 2 teether and pacifier clip in exchange for an honest review.  Thanks MAM!

Weekend Fun

Jim is leaving in a few weeks for training, which means we only have a few more weekends left to have fun while it’s still nice out. This past weekend we decided to explore Maryland a bit more and stumbled upon an environmental center about an hour away. To be honest, I was looking for a beach to sit on, but have no fear, we found one for next time. Here are few good shots Jim captured while we were there.

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Mom and Babe

On Sunday, we took another spontaneous adventure to The National Zoo in D.C. We had never been there before and figured it would be a great zoo to take Jimmie to because it is free. What’s not free, is parking. For $22 you can practically park in the zoo, but there is street parking if you look for it. We ended up finding FREE street parking. Granted, I wondered if we were going to get towed the whole time, but we didn’t, all is well that ends well.

The zoo is in such a nice area, unlike the Philadelphia Zoo (where we both went to a few times as kids.) The houses right next to the zoo are spectacular and the main street, where the zoo is located, has a ton of cute restaurants and shops. Plus, there is a Starbucks right across from the zoo. You can bring food and drinks into the zoo, even Starbucks cups. This actually surprised me because most zoos do not allow plastic straws.

Jimmie slept a good portion of the zoo trip and when he wasn’t sleeping, he was usually crying because his teeth were really bothering him him this weekend. On Saturday, pools of drool were falling out of his mouth, he looked like Dracula but instead of teeth fangs, he had drool fangs. There were a few good moments though, where he would just stare at us while he was in the Ergo with a huge smile. I kept trying to tell him to look at the animals and not us, since he can see us all the time, but we were more interesting to him. I really think taking him to the zoo was a great experience even though he had no idea what was going on. The more places you take your kids, the more the see, and the more they learn. Which would you choose, sitting inside with a teething baby or going to the zoo with a teehting baby? I’ll take the latter.

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